Tuesday, March 21, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1095

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Page Contents

March 12, 2023
Free, abbreviated ad-supported edition

 Cover story 

Love’s new campgrounds may lead to bigger and better things

By Chuck Woodbury

Did you read Russ and Tiña De Maris’ article yesterday about how Love’s Travel Stops are adding RV parks to many of its 600 locations? If you missed the story, read it now before continuing on or you won’t fully appreciate what I am writing here.

This is a big deal! It’s not a perfect solution to the problem of “too few campgrounds for too many RVers,” but it’s an important step in the right direction. The photo below is of one of the few large Love’s parks. Most are smaller — a half dozen hookup sites or less, and most, from what I have seen, are back-ins, not pull-throughs. The former will be inconvenient for RVers towing a trailer or a vehicle behind their motorhomes. I hope Love’s will add more pull-through sites in the future.

One of the larger Love’s facilities.

The average full-hookup site is about $36, which is fair in today’s world where it’s hard to find full-hookups for less than $50. Russ and Tiña discuss details of Love’s fees in their article. A less-expensive dry camping option is available, at least in some of the locations.

So far, Love’s is operating 29 “campgrounds,” big and small, around the country. The company plans to double that by the end of the year.

One of the more common, smaller RV sites at a Love’s Travel Stop.

Here is what I hope

I hope that bigwigs from Pilot Flying J, Cabela’s, and even Walmart take notice of these new “campgrounds,” which I believe will be very popular and profitable. I hope they will ask themselves, “Why don’t we do that?” — and then do it.

My vision of such facilities, as I have written many times before, is very basic — simply provide a 30- or 50-amp hookup to a back corner of a parking lot, an automated online reservation and check-in system for in-transit RVers headed their way, and limit the stays to one or two nights. And keep the fee low.

THE STATE OF OHIO provides exactly that along its Ohio Turnpike. The cost is $20 a night, one night maximum, with payment via a kiosk. RVers passing through on a hot, muggy night or during a frigid winter storm would find the electric hookup a godsend for cooling or heating their rigs. They can’t do that dry camping in a Walmart parking lot.

Overnighting is $20 with an electric hookup at an Ohio Turnpike service center.

My vision is that these conveniently located overnight stops should not be designed for “camping” but more for “short-term stays” while RVers are enroute from one place to another.

I commend Love’s for taking the lead on this. The company has recognized a problem (too few places to stay a night along the road with an RV) and done something about it. The existing campground owners association is powerless to undertake anything similar because its mission is to promote its members’ concerns: The last thing the owner of an RV park wants is a no-frills, inexpensive alternative just down the road. The short-sighted RV Industry Association (RVIA), which represents RV manufacturers, is too buried in its sales charts to do anything but give lip service to the idea of finding ways to help RV owners find places to stay.

Stay tuned: We’ll keep you posted on Love’s progress and whether any other big box stores get in on the action.

Do you envision yourself using one of these locations in the future? Answer our quick poll here.

We want to know…

Have you ever been denied an RV insurance claim?

DeniedLately, the topic of RV insurance has been at the forefront of our RVtravel.com staff meetings. We are hearing tales of insurance companies using every possible way to deny coverage. Full-timers, for example, may have been denied a claim because they did not disclose their full-time status on their policy application. One RVer we know of was declined reimbursement on items stolen from his RV because he was posting monetized YouTube videos, and thus was “operating a business”—which was not allowed on his standard insurance policy. Have you had a similar experience?

Tell us here 

RVtravel.com gets around!

Our readers are all over the World. Ninety-four percent are in the USA, but here are the next nine countries where we have avid readers. In order, they’re: Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand. How ’bout that?

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

Camping World? Or maybe Camping Horror World?

This week, we hear from a few RVers complaining about Camping World, including sloppy and dangerous repair work from it, and one customer’s trailer was sold to them… WITHOUT BRAKES! We also hear from RVers who have learned to DIY RV repairs, to save time, money and grief. One reader (paraphrasing RV industry insider Tony Barthel) says: “My point here is the people you purchase your rig from matter more than anything.”

Click here to read

Leave your hood open in Arizona parks!

By Nanci Dixon
This week we received an email from Allen S. He was wondering if any of us here at RVtravel.com knew what in the world these folks in Tucson, Arizona, were doing. Allen asked: “Why are people leaving their hoods open and lights on all night in the engine area of their tow vehicles while camping in the Tucson area? We come from Canada and are confused.” Unfortunately, Nanci knows all too well, and tells you all about it here.

Does RV size, age, REALLY matter? 

By Lucinda Belden
We know size does matter when it comes to what campgrounds we want to get into. Or, if we want to boondock or stay in national and state parks. But have you had someone say to you, “How can you live or camp in an RV that small?” … We have no idea why the RVers around us have picked their recreational vehicle. It might help each of us to stand back and not make snap judgments on other RVers’ rig choices. Here are some thoughts that should run through your mind when you start to question someone else’s RV choice.

Save $20 on an FMCA membership

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’ve been thinking about joining FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) but have held back paying the $60 bill for your initial membership, here’s a deal. How about signing up with FMCA for just $40? A $20 savings on an FMCA membership is available—with a slight catch. Learn about it here.

RV Fact or Fiction?

It’s winter. It’s cold. You can see your holding tanks underneath your RV? Do you have a problem?

By Dave Helgeson
RV blogs, social media groups and YouTube videos have exploded over the past couple of years. Some provide great information, others questionable information and some downright bad information. Can you tell the difference? In this regular column, we will post a question based on information we find online. You can then test your RV prowess by seeing how your answer compares with our experts.

Fact or Fiction: If you can see holding tanks underneath your trailer, you should not use it for winter RV camping.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

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).

The history of a camper’s favorite dining seat: The picnic table

By Gail Marsh
Adam and Eve were probably the first people to enjoy dining outside. Holding your food proved to be somewhat problematic, so eventually a blanket was introduced to the outdoor dining experience. The blanket had its drawbacks, and picnickers everywhere dreamed of a device that would hold not only their food, but themselves up and off the ground. It was time for a novel invention. A picnic table! And here’s how it happened.

Google Maps help solves desert mandala mystery years later

Read Rod Andrews’ interesting story of an intriguing and impressive mandala in a barren desert shown to him years ago by friends. He has always wondered about it, until years later when his friend discovered something special about it… on Google Maps. Read what’s become of it, and the lessons Rod learned from this experience, here.

RVtravel.com readers have seen real-life UFOs, even an RV UFO!

By Cheri Sicard
We recently asked if you have ever seen a UFO or some other type of inexplicable phenomenon in the sky. Some of you have had some astounding, unbelievable real-life UFO experiences. Think we’re alone here? Well, maybe not… Read about your experiences here.

The Museum of Bad Art is weird, wacky and not at all bad 

By Gail Marsh
Sotheby’s is not interested. Christie’s fine arts aficionados couldn’t care less. Neither famous art auction company has any interest in this collection of art. Why? Because it’s the Museum of Bad Art. Located today in Boston, Massachusetts, MOBA (Museum of Bad Art) offers “art too bad to be ignored™.” Learn all about it here.

Milly needs advice about her RV’s bum refrigerator

Milly, a digital woman. It’s hard to tell, though.

In last Wednesday’s Talkin’ RV Tech webcast, co-hosts Dave Solberg and Dustin Simpson were surprised when they were told a guest was waiting to ask them a question by video about a problem with her RV’s refrigerator. See how the guys reacted when they finally realized the attractive woman was not real but a creation of artificial intelligence. This is a hoot. Watch now (about a minute long).

Reader Poll

If you could go back in time to the day you bought your RV, would you wait and buy another RV or keep the one you bought?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.

Tell us here


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.

Ask Dave

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.

This past week’s questions that Dave answered:

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!

Ever want to tell someone to stop riding your tail? Ever want to tell someone they have a brake light out? Well, now you can! Just try and be nice…

 NEW! Dr. Karel’s Krazy Kritter Korner

Flaco the owl’s wild New York City adventures

This week our favorite veterinarian, Karel Carnohan, DVM, has more stories that readers have shared about a cat missing in an RV and a wild bird (which apparently loves chicken) that adopted an RVing couple. Also, she shares the story of Flaco, a rare Eurasian eagle-owl which made a daring escape from New York City’s Central Park Zoo after vandals opened its enclosure. Flaco is enthralling New Yorkers, and others worldwide, with his adventures. Also, we’re pretty sure that you’ll love Mr. Happy Face. All that and much more here.

RV Tire Safety

Use caution if using pressure washer on or near tires

Tire expert Roger Marble explains, and shows, what can happen to your vehicle’s tires if you use a high-pressure washer on them. It’s not good.

Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.

Did you miss yesterday’s News for RVers?

If so, stories you missed:
New laws benefit campground owners, but how about RVers?
Harvest Hosts to expand internationally
Montana rationalizes camping reservations as other states target non-residents with higher fees
South Dakota full-time RVer vote in question again
Starlink News: An exciting update for RVers
If you want accurate campsite reservation pricing, double…no, triple…the advertised rate!
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

CAN you organize your pantry? You will!
You probably have quite a few cans in your pantry right now, right? Soup, tuna, canned veggies, canned pet food, broth, beans, etc. It all takes up space! Here are a ton of can organizers to help keep your pantry organized so you can easily find everything. These are great for the RV too, since it’ll stop everything from moving around. Look through these organizers here.

Recipe of the Day

Bacon Wrapped Grilled Asparagus

by Danielle Matthews from Knoxville, TN

This is such a simple, tasty recipe your friends are sure to enjoy. How can you go wrong with bacon and asparagus?! In case the bacon grease flamed too much, I cooked these in a “grill skillet.” Then, I could easily remove them if I needed to.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pets of the Day

“Foxy, Lilly and Bear, my Pembroke Welsh Corgis, are my constant travel companions and keep me laughing with their antics!” —Louise Mellon


During the first quarter of the 20th century, new Americans arriving at Ellis Island were served Jell-O gelatin dessert as a treat to welcome them to America. Gelatin dessert was patented in 1845 and the Jell-O brand was created in 1897. The first flavors were strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon.

Sunday funny


Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

RVtravel.com All-Star Team

rv travel logoPublisher: 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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
Help desk:
Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.

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Melissa Leisure
6 days ago

In the “Love’s new campgrounds…”, I thought the request for “pull-through sites” at Love’s is unnecessary. He stated “The [back-in sites] will be inconvenient for RVers towing a trailer or a vehicle behind their motorhomes.” This concerns me that there are many people out there driving a trailer or a mobile home that can’t back their vehicle. I always been confused as to why there are sway and weight distribution hitches that you have to unhitch to back up. Everyone needs to learn to back their vehicle, you never know when you might get into a situation where backing skills are necessary. There are RV driving schools available.

I stayed in a Love’s RV site last summer. It was great: upfront away from the trucks and very close to the dog-run. Everyone was very nice. I’ll stay again.

Rich Dzialo
8 days ago

I wish Loves would concentrate on easy access to the gas pumps for those of us with longer RVs with the fuel cap in the rear.

9 days ago

Colorado police will tell you to avoid Loves at all cost. Its nothing but a den of thieves. I should know. I laid my wallet next to me and it was taken as I washed my hands. Talk about a nightmare. So avoid Loves. Avoid liberty mutual for RV insurance. We had a flat tire and when called for help told you are on your own. I was like say what? Their RV insurance is very limited. So we went Progressive for RV and car. Great insurance. If we had the space I would have kept my Jayco sleeps three model. After my mother died I realized the new camper we have now was limited as a bunk model. Bunks are great if you have a bigger family but now its just me. My husband told me to keep it so we can use it for weekend trips. I am buying a bigger model for my seasonal site in Maine. It will live there until I decide I can no longer drive to Maine. But for now onward to Maine for at least 10 years. But yes I regret trading that jayco in.

Glen Anderson
9 days ago

I entered a comment a couple hours ago and I no longer see it.
After reading yesterday’s article on Love’s RV, I made a reservation for my summer travel. The nightly rate was $36.50 but the final invoice was $46.25. There is a $3 booking fee and taxes were $6.75.

Diane McGovern
9 days ago
Reply to  Glen Anderson

Hi, Glen. You posted your comment at 7:12 under the Poll. It’s still there. 😉 Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Glen Anderson
9 days ago
Reply to  Diane McGovern

Thank you. How did I manage that?

Diane McGovern
8 days ago
Reply to  Glen Anderson

Hi, Glen. It’s easy to comment under whatever you’re looking at at the time and then forget where it was when you move on to the next article. No problem. I had even checked first in Spam and Trash, in case it somehow ended up in there. Started to write to you and then I thought, ha! Maybe he posted it someplace else. So I looked at all of your comments and, sure enough, it was right where you had put it. 😆 Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

9 days ago

In my opinion, I’d rather have just the electric hookup and a common dump station and have the price around $20.
This is how the Ohio Turnpike Commission runs their sites, along with 1 nite max, and first come first served. Ohio’s pad length is 40′ max.

Tom Schmidt
9 days ago

What happened to This Week In History? I look forward to getting a little smarter each week, and miss not seeing this.

9 days ago
Reply to  Tom Schmidt

It was in Saturday’s addition.

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