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March 19, 2023
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Will new campground concept be the Motel 6 of RV parks?
By Chuck Woodbury
Imagine the Rose Bowl, filled up, every seat occupied. Now visualize every one of those 100,000 seats occupied by an RVer. Now visualize all those RVers leaving the stadium and then another crowd filing in and occupying more than half those seats!
That’s a lot of people! A lot of RVers! Well, guess what? Last week’s article on this website by Russ and Tiña De Maris about the new RV camping areas at Love’s Travel Stops, many with full-hookups, attracted that many readers — more than 160,000 by yesterday afternoon. If you did not read that article, please pause for a moment and read it now.
I wonder if this new idea of reasonably priced, no-frills places to stay will be to RV parks what Motel 6 was to motels when it debuted, setting off a parade of low-priced copycats.
We polled you last week about whether you would stay at a Love’s “campground”. More than 800 of you responded and … Wow!!! A whopping 90 percent said they would definitely stay or probably stay!
NINE OUT OF TEN!
Okay, before you write to stay these are not really campgrounds… Well, no, they are not places to have a meaningful experience with nature. What they are are places to stay, mostly short term, where you have a power hookup to run your air conditioner, heater, residential refrigerator, etc. And although I wish the fee were lower, $36 a night (on average) isn’t bad.
I am excited, very excited
This past week we called the public relations departments at Pilot Flying J, Travel Centers of America, and other travel centers (new word for truck stops), and even Cabela’s to see if they had any plans for RV camping areas similar to Love’s. So far, no one has responded. I’ll bet you, though, that they’re thinking about it. I expect that we’ll soon see other retailers with big parking lots or extra land copy Love’s with their own RV camping areas.
This is not the solution to campground crowding, but it’s a logical step to help alleviate the crowding in existing RV parks and campgrounds.
I, for one, am excited. We will stay on this story and keep you posted.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
RV mattress “sourced from a granite quarry”
By Nanci Dixon
This week we hear from Richard M., who just bought a brand-new RV and it has so many problems he’s afraid to take it on the road! Wait… isn’t that the whole point of owning an RV?! And John S. says his RV mattress from his new RV could have been “sourced from a granite quarry and the seats from a marshmallow factory.” (Sound familiar?) And many, many more stories… some good, some “yikes.”
OMG! This RV is for camping? Really?
That RV you see right above these words (well, in the article), guess what is it — motorhome, trailer, fifth wheel? Nope. None of those. It’s a truck camper! Do you believe it? You won’t…
Why your RV’s GVWR is different than its GAWR
By Ross Regis
Alphabet soup is hard to choke down, I know. But if you can stomach the acronyms for a few minutes, I think you’ll learn something important about your RV’s weight capacity—and maybe save yourself a tire blowout along the way. Today’s question: Why does your RV’s GVWR not match its GAWR? In other words, why is your RV allowed to weigh more or less than what the axles can carry alone? Find out here. I break it down and make the math easy for you.
New virtual waitlist opens for campground reservations, prime sites snatched within seconds
By Nanci Dixon
What?! I hit the reservations button at the moment they were released at 9:00 a.m. and I am over number 400 on the waiting list for a campsite reservation! How did that happen?! A very popular regional park in Minnesota is trying out a new reservation system: If you are logged in at the moment reservations open, everyone is put on a virtual waitlist based on when they logged in. How, then, did I get to be over 400 when I was up and ready at 6 a.m. to make the reservations? Continue reading.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Four important things to know about RV windows
- RV spring shakedown primer
- When RV parts are discontinued, DIY projects to the rescue!
- Tips for overcoming RV claustrophobia
- A place you probably haven’t thought of to store shoes in your RV
Are you ever missing out!
What’s RVtravel.com’s most popular newsletter? Hint: 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.
If you’re slamming your RV’s door, you’re doing it wrong!
By Gail Marsh
Bang! Bang! Was that a gunshot?! No, thank goodness! Bang! Is it hammering?! No, it’s not that either. Huh. It stopped. Good! Now I can go back to … Bang! I jump every time I hear it. Bang! Then, realization strikes: Please stop slamming your RV door! Here’s how.
Readers share their RV insurance experiences
By Cheri Sicard
Because we have been hearing some horror stories about insurance companies using ANY possible excuse to deny a claim, last week we asked you if you had experience with this. The answers and experiences you, our readers, had were varied but the very first one we got was from someone who carries no RV insurance at all! … Beyond that, we did receive some good responses to this question, both positive and negative. But what was most surprising to us? Find out here.
Visit Tennessee’s incredible Treetop Skywalk for an unforgettable adventure
By Gail Marsh
I love squirrels. I enjoy watching them leap from treetop to treetop in our backyard or in the campgrounds we visit. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a squirrel’s view of the world and how it might feel to stroll through the treetops. You might well imagine my delight when I discovered the Tennessee Treetop Skywalk in Gatlinburg, TN. Read all about it here.
TRY THIS! Weekly RV Recipe Challenge: Culinary improv for small-space cooks
Cheri Sicard is a longtime food writer with several cookbooks and hundreds of published recipes to her credit. She is also an RVer and, more specifically, a boondocking RVer. When Cheri has a great campsite in the middle of nowhere, the last thing she wants to do is to go into town for ingredients to cook with. … Want to play an RV version of “Ready, Set, Cook”? Submit THREE random ingredients currently in your RV’s fridge and/or pantry. If your ingredients are chosen, Cheri will come up with a recipe using them. Oh, this sounds like fun!
Tour the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in southern Nevada
By Dave Helgeson
In this month’s edition of Ghost Town Trails, we will travel to the Techatticup Mine about 45 minutes south of Las Vegas, Nevada. … The oldest, richest, and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada, the Techatticup Mine awaits photographers and history buffs in stunningly scenic Eldorado Canyon, just 45 minutes outside Las Vegas. (Per Travel Nevada) Continue reading about this very special location.
RVers, look out for butt-breathing, hard-biting snapping turtles
Dale Wade tells us everything we want to know about snapping turtles and then some, including, yep, how they breathe through their butt. Yuk. Read all about it here.
Would you prefer to stay in a campground where kids were not allowed?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
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:
- My RV’s furnace ductwork is exposed to the elements. How do I insulate it?
- Who offers the best RV warranty?
- RV’s batteries charge with solar but drain overnight when plugged in. Why?
- My RV’s 6-volt FLA batteries are dry, but service manager says they should be good
- Can I install a single on-demand water heater for RV’s kitchen and bathroom?
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!
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Consider an electric scooter for your RV travels
By Janet Groene
If you’ve been in any city recently, you’ve probably seen electric scooters all over. They’re all the rage these days, and cities have adopted them for public use. They make it easy to get around, not to mention they’re a whole lot of fun. Let’s talk about those cute new electric scooters for camping. After all, who wants to walk all the way to the camp store when you can hop on a scooter and channel your inner sixth grader? Continue reading.
Video of the day
What it’s really like RVing at Love’s RV Stops
By Cheri Sicard
We have been hearing a lot about the new overnight, full-hookup RV facilities certain Love’s truck stops are putting in. We even wrote about it last weekend and again today. In the video below, the team from Changing Lanes is here to show you what the experience is actually like.
Dr. Karel’s Krazy Kritter Korner
A dog’s final ‘run’ and a lost alligator in Brooklyn. Huh??
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
As a vet, I appreciate everyone who cares for their pets and other animals the best they can. This week, we have more stories of people who do just that… Also, an alligator was found recently in Brooklyn and heroes stepped in to save it. Read these heartwarming stories here. And get a good chuckle, too.
RV Tire Safety
Should there be different pressure in each tire?
By Roger Marble
Should there be different pressure in each tire? Well, it is a reasonable question given the fact that we tire folks tell owners of motorhomes to get “4-corner weights,” especially if you have a Class A. Learn the answer, and explanation for it, here.
Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Baked beans? Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup? Mandarin oranges? Tuna? Manwich? What do all those things have in common? Well, find out here and see exactly what you need for them! We love this!
Did you miss yesterday’s News for RVers?
If so, stories you missed:
• Company files to dismiss Recreation.gov lawsuit
• Lightship self-propelled RV – or self-aggrandized RV – leaves too many questions
• Senate to again consider gun legislation that affects RVers
• Tainted pharmaceuticals found. Is it safe to buy prescription drugs in Mexico?
• Campground Crowding: Costs have risen, and this RVer’s spreadsheet is solid proof
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
Chili Cheese Burritos
by Jamie McKinney from Lindale, TX
These chili cheese burritos are comfort food all the way. They remind us of burritos you can get at a Mexican fast-food restaurant. The ground beef is full of taco seasoning flavor and stuffed inside flour tortillas. Then, they’re smothered in chili and cheese and baked until the cheese is nice and gooey.
RVers who carry a firearm should pack this along to save them from trouble
This 2023 edition of Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States covers the basics for armed travel. What is legal in one state could be a felony in another. This book should be used as a reference before entering a new state so you avoid trouble. Clear writing gives you the basics for every state. Read more about the book here.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Cheddar loves to camp with us (although not so much the traveling part). Here he is resting after a nice long walk on the leash.” —Daniel Boivin
An estimated 1 million dogs in the U.S. have been named primary beneficiaries in their owners’ wills.
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, 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. Artificial (AI) contributors: Johnny Robot and Milly MacWilly. Canine 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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Cheddar is so handsome. Thanks for caring enough for him to take for a walk on a leash. Our Jake also walks on a leash. He loves our nightly walks and is safe and secure.
The Ohio Turnpike rest stops ( some not all- yet ) have similar set ups. Electric only and for $20 as I recall. Some of the sites are somewhat short in that our class C flat towing a Jeep wrangler was too long.
My wife and I have reservations at two Love’s RV on our route for our yearly trek to the PNW from PA. It will be our first experience with Love’s RV. Both stops are around $35 each. Safe place to spend the night and fuel stop all in one is a bonus. We are Boondockers Welcome members since its inception and have used them quite few times and met great hosts but BW has drawbacks of host availability, distance from our route, etc.
Stops we have overnighted at include Walmarts (always felt uneasy but never had anything bad happen). Always went in to buy something whether we need it or not, Cabela’s a couple times, again, always going in to buy something whether we needed it or not. We have never stayed at Harvest Hosts. They expect you to spend money for the privilege of staying. So $35 for a safe spot with power and a convenient fuel stop is not bad IMO. Other folks’ mileage may vary of course.
Happy and safe travels.
I have used Harvest Hosts dozens of times and you are correct that the “expectation” is that you spend some money with your host. This is not like a campground fee as I always get fair value for a meal, bottle of wine, maple syrup, fresh produce, fresh eggs, or a bucket of range balls if I stay at a golf course. One of the best programs available for overnight stops. I even had an amazing breakfast delivered to my RV a couple of months ago!
Thanks Leonard. These Loves stops are generally right in our wheelhouse for overnighters and we will definitely use them in the future but your assessment of Harvest Hosts as an option is so clear and uncomplicated, painting a real good picture of the plus side, it fits with how my wife and I try to travel, it is on our list, as of today, for an option.
The question here isn’t so much the kids, it’s the parents of the kids who do not watch them and some, even tho are out there with them, still don’t. We had a visitor across the road show up with a child. Tho each site has a bit of grass, this lady let the child play in middle of the drive, where no one slows down here, and let him throw sticks and stones. Instead of taking him out behind their rig on the grass, where he had room and wasn’t in harms way. We have only seen a set of parents in all the 10 years full timing that actually watch and interacted with their children at all times. I even had to speak to my own adult kids about grandkids riding bikes in the parks when saw pictures. You just don’t know who will be coming around the corner. People don’t care about rules.
Well said. It’s not the kid’s. It’s the lack of parents supervision! Heaven forbid one gets hit by a car.
I actually keep my dash cam on all the time. It’s proof of what happened.
Especially if that is a child of someone like John Gotti! His kid was killed by a neighbor when he ran out on the street. Yup, the poor guy “disappeared.” Sadly, this is a true story.