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March 5, 2023
REMINDER: WE’VE MOVED! Yes, this newsletter was always published on Saturdays… until now! Our Saturday and Sunday newsletters have swapped places.
A historical treasure: The postcard
By Chuck Woodbury
o back 100 or so years. Just imagine: There were no RVs and only a few primitive cars, and few roads to travel. There was no television. Movies, in their infancy, were silent and in black and white.
Hardly anybody owned a camera, and color film was just a dream. There was no YouTube, social media, blogs or fancy travel magazines.
So wherever you lived, the rest of the world was an unknown, mysterious place. Imagine that!
And so it was that shortly after the turn of the 20th century, postcards appeared. They became popular in the U.S. after they were distributed at Chicago’s Columbia Exposition in 1893. By 1908, 677 million had been mailed (or so it’s said).
The first postcards were in black and white. Then hand-coloring was added. Imagine what it was like to receive a postcard 100 years ago, when there were very few ways to see faraway places. I bet those cards were considered treasures.
I bring this up because I found a box of old postcards the other day. I especially like the colorized ones from the ’40s and ’50s.
Now fast forward to today. Nobody needs postcards anymore. We text and email photos daily. We post our digital images on social media and blogs for friends and family. We’ve seen every corner of the world in living color on TV and websites, in movies, on YouTube and in newspapers and other publications. Our neighbors return home with smartphone videos of where they traveled… but we already know: we saw them on their Facebook pages.
I quit sending postcards years ago.
Tourist shop merchants don’t sell many today like in the old days. How many postcards do you send today compared to, say, 30 years ago?
Next time you pass by an antique store, pop inside and look for their postcard display (they almost always have one, or maybe in a box or two). Flip through them and read the messages on the back. You’ll love the short glimpses of each sender’s life. “Who were they?” you may wonder…
After visiting the antique store, stop at the nearest tourist shop and buy a postcard. Send it to your friends, family, or even back to your home address. If you don’t feel creative then simply write “Wish you were here!” That seemingly little piece of history will some day make someone smile.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
Lots of RV disasters this week: One RVer’s black tank fell off of the trailer!
By Nanci Dixon
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. One reader wrote about a huge list of problems since they first got their 2022 Forest River r•pod. Another compares pre-COVID repairs to post-COVID (have you experienced this?). And one RVer has had problems with his Jayco “since day one,” including the black tank falling off! All that and lots more here.
Why go big? The case for owning a king-sized RV
By Mike Sherman
A debate on RV size is almost a waste of time. It’s a question that’s been debated for years. Everyone has an opinion. Go BIG? Go small? Have you ever wondered when you’re parked next to a huge RV that you may never see the occupants unless they have a dog to walk? For many, that large RV is all they’ve got. There’s no stick home sitting on 5 acres waiting for their return. Everything they own is in that rig. Everything! Continue reading.
Setting some misinformation straight: Can you live in an RV on your own property?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
As the number of folks “selling out” and becoming RV full-timers grows, new issues arise. Here’s part of a letter we received from one of our regular RVtravel.com readers. Mary H. wrote, “My husband and I have looked into purchasing land to put our RV on and use as a ‘home base.’ This seems to be harder than we first thought! … This is like trying to find a needle in a haystack! Is there a better way?” Can you live in an RV on your own property? We’ve done the research. Here are some answers.
Don’t miss out on the full RVtravel.com experience
By Jessica Sarvis
We work hard to bring you great information in an entertaining way. To add to that experience we use some third-party software. Unfortunately, ad-blocker and script-blocker browser extensions prevent that content (as well as some ads, which help keep our free site running) from showing on your screen. To make sure you can see our polls, media players, forms and embedded content on your device, disable your ad-blocker/script-blocker. I’ll show you the most common ad blockers and how to disable them for RVtravel.com. Continue reading.
Incredible, mind-blowing stories: Running into unexpected friends far from home
By Cheri Sicard
This is part two of the responses we got to our small world RVing question asking RVers to share their real-life, small-world experiences. Click back to read part one for some really strange ones of people having multiple experiences at once, finding long-lost relatives, and more. In this post, we are focusing on times people ran into friends, or friends of friends, far from home. It happens more frequently than you think! Some of these stories are unbelievable! Here’s what you shared.
Around the Campfire
Angry RVer ‘Bob’ ruins campfire experience. Don’t be like this!
By Gail Marsh
Carl glanced up. “Oh, no,” he said under his breath. “Here comes Bob.” He quickly grabbed his chair and turned to go. Carl’s wife stood and folded her own lawn chair, as well. “Carl, wait! I’ll go with you.” She glanced back at the rest of us still gathered around the fire, and with a low voice whispered, “Bob always makes everything an argument. We’ll see you all later.” It’s sad, isn’t it? The way some folks enter a conversation as if it’s a battle to be won, a verbal fight to the finish? We bet you know someone like Bob. Continue reading.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- These are the spare items you should always have on hand in your RV
- Your ice cube tray does a lot more than just make ice
- Campground shower house tips and etiquette for the best experience
- 15 ways to repurpose old beach and bath towels around your RV
- Pay attention to passing motorists’ warnings of trouble
Not signed up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter? You’re missing out!
What’s RVtravel.com’s most popular newsletter? It’s not this one. It’s our Monday through Friday RV Daily Tips. The percentage of subscribers who open each issue’s email reminder notice is the highest of all our newsletters. They love all the incredibly valuable tips and advice, delivered concisely every weekday morning. If you don’t already read it, why not give it a try? Just click here, type in your name and email address, and you’re good to go. Easy unsubscribe if it’s not your cup of tea (or coffee or whatever).
Nobody cares what you wear in the boonies!
Lucinda Belden claims to have never been a fashionista, but does fashion even matter when you’re RVing? What about when you’re boondocking and nobody is around? Well, her very interesting outfit choice one day was a bit of a wake-up call. She bets this happens to you too. (You’ll laugh!) Does it?
It’s finally time to spring forward. RVers see pros and cons to time change
By Gail Marsh
It’s that time again. Daylight saving time (DST) begins on March 12, 2023, at 2:00 a.m. That’s when you’ll “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour. Yes, you’ll lose one precious hour of your life, but you’ll get it back on November 5, 2023. Are you ready to spring forward? Read the history and some pros and cons of DST here. Then feel free to share your thoughts.
Campers share their biggest pet peeves. We bet you’ll agree
By Dave Helgeson
Camping pet peeves: What are yours? Many have written about campground etiquette in the hopes of educating new RVers. I recently saw a Facebook post asking the question, “What’s something you see while camping that makes you cringe?” Many of the nearly thousand answers went beyond standard campground etiquette, stating valid concerns worth sharing. Read some of them here and see if these are the things that bother you most, too.
Worth a visit: A house made out of newspaper!
By Gail Marsh
My husband and I have worked on several volunteer building projects since our retirement a few years ago. We’ve mostly worked with typical building materials, so I’ll admit, I was fascinated when I learned that there is a house made from—wait for it—newspapers! Wouldn’t you love to see this? Well, you can! You can tour The Paper House and it’s truly one of a kind!
Will your next RV trip in the USA be to a destination east or west of the Mississippi River?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
This would come in handy for many activities… or you could just use it in the bathtub. Wait, the bathtub?? See what it is.
Is this your RV?
Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if today’s RV photo shows your rig
Every day we post a photo of an RV either submitted by its owner or by our editors and writers as they move about the country.
Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- Can I repair the cracks in the RV’s countertop?
- When RV heat is on, cabinets and counters get hot. Why?
- My Dometic fridge won’t get below 50 degrees. Should I get a lithium battery?
- Can I safely retract the RV’s slide with a full fridge in it?
- How can I get scratches out of my RV’s solid surface countertop?
Click here to see more questions for Dave.
Have a question for Dave? Click any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!
NEW! Dr. Karel’s Krazy Kritter Korner
‘Community cats’ find a stroke of luck; and a turtle swims very, very far
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
In this new column, I’ve asked you to submit your own pet and animal stories. Last week you submitted several, including more reports of hidden kitties and one about an unusual encounter with a bird. I will publish your stories next week, so please remember to check back then. In the meantime, every community that I have ever lived in has had populations of stray cats. Often called “feral” cats, that term is now avoided because many of the cats were once pets and are not truly feral (wild). We now try to use the term “community cats,” which implies they have been and still are members of the local community. Continue reading.
Go back to school and learn about RVs with the Escapees RV Club
RVers Online University will make sure you are ready for the challenges of RV life whether you are a weekend camper, a full-time RVer, or anywhere in between. In these courses, the club takes its famous RVers Boot Camp program and expands it with additional content. Two popular courses: RV Operation, Safety and Maintenance and Roadmap to Full-Time RVing … Trust us, they’re worth it! Learn more or sign up.
RV Tire Safety
How to ask tire questions to get the answer the first time
Tire expert Roger Marble offers some general comments and requests to those posing questions about tires and specifically about how to set the inflation. As reported in more than one thread on the topic of inflation, the answers and information can be confusing to many. … It will also help when you post or email your initial question if you provide the following facts. This will save everyone time and confusion. Read more.
Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?
If so, stories you missed:
• Montana moves to save campsites from filling up with out-of-staters. Will other states follow?
• Industry insiders say RV prices will drop—and they already are
• RVillage … going, going … (almost) gone!
• Campground Crowding: Employees and owners overwhelmed and exhausted. ‘A major tragedy for camping’
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
by Lindsey McCue from Los Angeles, CA
Don’t forget to pack this orzo salad for your next picnic. With no mayo and loads of flavor, this is a perfect picnic pick. The mixture of fresh basil and tomatoes makes it taste like pure summer sunshine. Poured over the orzo salad is a wonderful dressing that’s a little tangy and a little sweet. It complements all the fresh ingredients. Full of flavor and texture, it’s easy to make and ready to serve immediately.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Odie the Pom was a 14-year-old senior when he first experienced camping at an ocean beach for the first time. The wind, smells, sights and miles to explore transformed him back into a puppy again.” —John McGrew
A baguette means wand, stick or baton in French, which refers to the shape of its long, narrow loaf. No one knows why the baguette is the shape it is, but one story is that Napoleon Bonaparte insisted that all bread baked for his soldiers should fit into the pocket of their uniforms. It’s an interesting theory and could be true. If not, it sounds good! Speaking of baguettes…
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RVtravel.com All Star Team
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Jeff Clemishaw. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Mascots: Archie and Astor “the Disaster”
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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As for angry bob? There is one at the Timberland. He gets enough in him he makes serious threats and let me tell you I told the guy to bring it on because he had no leg to stand on. It ruined it for a lot of people but when I return things will be different. As for angry bob? I am glad I have a new seasonal site so I do not have to deal with his kind. IMO not yours.
did you corn pop him? hes a bad duuuude
100 years ago was 1923. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but yes there was RVs then. Look it up. Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan does have a camper trailer on display. Here is the link on the history and yes there was a 1923 motor home. Really need to do your homework before you find someone like me who does know her history. IMO not yours.
Hmmm, postcards – what an enigma!
Just last week we were reading about how if you shot videos or photographs in a National Park they would hound you and essentially banish you from their properties. Now we see that precedence has been set from many years ago. I bet all of those pictures of our national treasures resulted in some form of monetary gain for the person selling them. Why has the Park Service turned a bind eye towards this historic breach of policy? How is having a You Tube channel that is monetized any different than this form of commercial exploitation of images from a national park?
My wife and I usually buy some postcards from famous places that we visit as the pictures are always better than ones we can take . Some professional photographer spent hours waiting for the right light, best composure, best time of the year and the colors last longer than home printed and cheaper than professional printing. We do add a few with us in it to prove we were there or to show something not available in the postcard line. We can show folks back home a few cards and not bore them to death with a zillion little shots on a phone. If they are really interested we can set up computer or TV show (Egypt, Petra Jordan).
I have to respectfully disagree with Chuck regarding postcards. My wife and I can normally find a decent selection of postcards to choose from during our stops at either RV parks or especially at state or federal parks. She has an elderly aunt who dearly looks forward to receiving a postcard from her as she vicariously lives out her dreams of traveling through us. She has neither a smartphone or a computer and relies on the “old fashioned” method of communication.
This past year my cousin in Australia asked if I would send her grandson in Australia a postcard when we visited places. Because it would make him happy. So I do when I can find one. I guess the high cost of postage and smartphones with cameras are making postcards extinct.
In 1923 there were 13 million primitive cars in the U.S.
While post cards can be a bit harder to find, we do find them! Then we send them to our 7 y/o granddaughter from the places we visit. Since she is now a homeschool student she tracks us on a map as part of her geography lessons. We have also been sending them to our great nieces and nephew since we began our RV travel journey in 2013. They have loved receiving mail to keep up with where we are.
I didn’t see a link to comment on Chuck’s postcard story. I retired and have been traveling full time 7 years now and my daughter’s only request was to send her a postcard from every place I visited. last time I was visiting her, she pulled out her album of all my postcards. We had a good walk down memory lane together! Yes – Those postcards are fewer and far between now, sometimes there are none and it’s obvious that if they sell what’s left, they will not be reordering. Somewhere in a box, I have a collection of old postcards from my grandparents. I can’t wait to find them, scan them, and share them with my kids.
Postcards, a thing of the past…not quite! We traveled 3.5 years (all 48 states) and during that time we used an app called PostSnap to take photos from our travels to create and send our own personalized post cards to friends and family. When my mother passed at 96 years in June all of the postcards she had received were neatly tucked in among some treasured family photos! The app is a much better way to send postcards and every one is unique and personalized because it’s your photos.
That sounds pretty neat I think we will look into using it on our next trip.