Thursday, September 28, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1097

Welcome to, America’s longest continuously published RV newsletter. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

This is the abbreviated free edition of this newsletter. For the ad-free, full edition, please become a voluntary subscriber for a one-time donation of your choice.


Page Contents

March 26, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition

 Cover story 

The fencing that tamed the Wild West

By Chuck Woodbury


ne of my favorite things to do when traveling with my RV is to visit rural pioneer museums.

Most are not very exciting—old photos, antique plows, a replica of a kitchen from 100 years ago, maybe an old dentist chair complete with barbaric-looking tools that always scare the pee out of me just looking at them.

But at many museums, you can learn a lot about things you might never think much about otherwise. For example, I once visited the Barbed Wire Museum in La Crosse, Kansas. Now, maybe you think that barbed wire is a boring subject. Well, I beg to differ with you! When you drive around the rural American West, you see it everywhere. But what you may not know is how important barbed wire was to the development of the modern West and the end of the cowboy era.

Before it was invented, ranchers sometimes planted thorny hedges to keep domestic animals and wild ones apart. Then, in 1873, Joseph F. Glidden of Dekalb, Illinois, attended a county fair where he observed a demonstration of a wooden rail with sharp nails protruding along its sides, hanging inside a smooth wire fence. This inspired him to invent and patent a successful barbed wire in the form we recognize today.

When livestock encountered barbed wire for the first time, it was usually a painful experience. The injuries provided sufficient reason for the public to protest its use. Religious groups called it “the work of the devil” or “The Devil’s Rope” and demanded removal.

The Cole Porter song “Don’t Fence Me In” sums up the cowboy’s feelings about barbed wire fences.

Another good place to learn about barbed wire is at the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, Texas, which bills itself as the “Largest Barbed Wire Historic Museum in the World.”

This is the type of thing I learn when I’m roaming around the countryside with my motorhome. I learn more history on these trips than I learn in books, and it’s more fun. I was bored by history as a kid. Now, I can’t get enough of it.

Make sure you read Gail Marsh’s article (featured below) this week about the regional tradition of cowboy boots on fence posts. It’s interesting.

We want to know

Do you take along any hobbies when you RV?

A recent video we posted about Robin Barrett’s Class C RV garden got some of us talking about RV hobbies. Besides the act of RVing being a hobby unto itself, we wondered how many of our readers take their hobbies or crafts along with them while they travel and what that looks like.

What about you? Do you take along any crafts or hobbies when you travel?

Tell us here 

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

‘Everyone working at Camping World acted like they had tried to weld a turd to a garbage can’

By Nanci Dixon
This week there are more almost-unbelievable complaints regarding Camping World and other service centers. You’ll have to decide what you think of Jim J.’s idea that manufacturers should just quit including mattresses with RVs. Hmmm… There’s also Timothy M.’s complaint that “It seems like everyone working at Camping World acted like they had just gotten done trying to weld a turd to a garbage can.” Huh? You’ll have to read about his horror story, and much more, here.

Elvis Presley’s 1962 private jet to be restored as an RV!

By Dave Solberg
As crazy as that sounds, it’s fitting for Elvis Presley, the “King”—who once flew to Dallas, TX, to get a peanut butter and banana sandwich—to have his private jet turned into an RV! Yep, red velvet seats and all… This is great, and for a great cause! Read all about it here.

RV road trip fails: Update your packing lists or be prepared to face the consequences!

By Rod Andrew
No matter what kind of RV you own, I’ll bet you’ve said this sentence many times: “Do you  remember where we packed the …?” Or, perhaps even scarier: “Did we pack the …?” Sometimes the missing item can be simply annoying. Or it can be nothing short of potentially disastrous. Here’s a tale of one of the latter. (And you know this is gonna be a kick, being from Rod!)

No better time to prospect—Gold hits $2,000 an ounce!

By Randall Brink
Early in the morning on Monday, March 20, 2023, the price of gold surged past $2,000 an ounce for the first time in history. RVers who have added prospecting to their travel plans for this year are excited by the potential for fun and profit. Fueled by economic uncertainty and investors seeking a safe haven for their assets, the milestone has financial markets abuzz, along with RV enthusiasts who are looking to combine their love of travel with the potential for a lucrative hobby. Learn more, and dust off your gold pan!

Unleashing the untold wonders of the Midwest’s top state parks

After several important caveats, Gail Marsh lists a few of the best state parks in the Midwestern United States that she and her family have enjoyed. There are undoubtedly many more great state parks, and she welcomes you to add your favorite state park(s) to the list, here. These parks are gorgeous!

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

Are you ever missing out!

What’s’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.

Think something is wrong with your RV? Perhaps check your memory instead…

By Lucinda Belden
Have you ever wandered around your RV for at least thirty minutes or more looking for an object? My husband and I joke about how we can lose something in an area that is so much smaller than our brick-and-mortar home. We are full-time so it is not like we have the excuse that we have not been in the RV for a while. I’m talking about losing items we put away yesterday and said, “Don’t let me forget I’m putting this here!” We complain about losing stuff in the RV but it’s not really the RV’s fault, now, is it? Continue reading about their “epiphanies” here.

The art of cowboy communication; the Western spirit lives on

By Gail Marsh
I love learning about regional traditions as we travel around the country in our RV. Recently, I saw a boot hanging upside down over a fencepost in Nebraska. When we stopped for lunch at the local mom-and-pop eatery, I asked about the boot on the fencepost. I discovered that this tradition has deep roots in the past and several different explanations in the present. Read Gail’s fascinating story here.

Venomous snake bites are a real risk to RVing pets. Be aware and be prepared

By Karel Carnohan, DVM
Venomous snake bites are a real risk to your RVing pets. Knowing what to do if this happens to you and your pet is very important. I received this email from reader Rebecca N. and knew the information was worth sharing with everyone. Rebecca wrote, “We are camping in Northern Florida, and I’m concerned about cottonmouth moccasins and our very curious young dog. What is the first aid if he were to be bitten? How long would we have to get him to an emergency vet?” Continue reading this very important information.

Get your head IN the clouds, why don’t you?

By Nanci Dixon
On those wonderfully lazy days, lying in a hammock gazing up at the beautiful blue skies, do you ever wonder about the clouds? What are they called and what do they mean? How many types of clouds are there? I wondered, too, so I went to the historic The Old Farmer’s Almanac for information. Yes, it is still alive and well. Continue reading.

Reader Poll

What size bed do you have in your RV?

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.

Please note: This contest will end at the end of this month. It simply does not generate enough interest for our staff to continue putting their time into it. We’ve enjoyed it (and loved seeing all of your RVs!) and know those of you who have participated have, too. We apologize to those whose RVs weren’t randomly chosen out of the thousands of submissions. Now we’re off to think of another contest idea… 

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.

 NEW! Road Trip Playlists

Happy songs RV road trip playlist7 joyful road trip songs to start your journey

By Cheri Sicard
Welcome to Road Trip Playlists, my new semi-regular column here at! For this column, I will try to pick songs in a variety of styles/genres. I will also try to mix it up with songs you probably already know and love along with others you may have never heard of.

I came up with the idea after having a lifetime of friends come to me for music recommendations. My business partner has even called me the “DJ of his life.”

For this first road trip playlist I wanted to focus on joyful songs to get your trip started.

Listen here

Well, this is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while. We found this by accident and we’re so glad we did. It’s perfect for RVers, and we just bought one!

Video of the day

12 easy RV mods under $50!

By Cheri Sicard
Is your RV ready for an upgrade but you don’t want to spend a lot of time or money? YouTuber and RVer Jim Thomas has compiled 12 easy RV mods that won’t break the bank.

Some of these are pretty darn clever. I am going to have to order a few myself.

Click here to watch 

Dr. Karel’s Krazy Kritter Korner

A doorbell-ringing dog, cat cafes, and an important Easter reminder

By Karel Carnohan, DVM
Spring has sprung! The bulbs are pushing up through warmer dirt, my pomegranate tree is springing leaves and the snow is melting in the mountains. Spring brings us many joys but also brings some annoying and dangerous things for our animals. Being the vet that I am, I must warn you about them. Continue reading. (And don’t miss one of Dr. Karel’s favorite YouTube videos. It’s absolutely hilarious! [We love it, too!])

RV Tire Safety

How to identify impact (pothole) damage to your tire

By Roger Marble
Is it impact damage to your tire or a defective tire? How can a fishing line help explain which it is? Find out here.

Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum

Did you miss yesterday’s News for RVers?

If so, stories you missed:
Bowlus first RV manufacturer to go all electric across product line
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act likely to pass this time
Oregon officials explore affordable RV park as a solution to homelessness crisis
Up to $1,500 tax credit may be possible for e-bike purchase
Is KOA ‘single-handedly ruining camping’?
RVer busted for extensive fake ID lab inside ‘stolen’ trailer
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

 NEW! RV Recipe Challenge

With Cheri Sicard
Welcome to the first official week of our RV Culinary Improv Challenge! Each week I take three random ingredients readers submitted and turn them into a delicious meal that’s small-space cooking friendly.

This week’s crispy chicken thighs with stuffed zucchini and fresh salsa is the perfect way to kick-start this series. Yum!

See how Cheri transforms these ingredients

Recipe of the Day

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

by Jennifer Bass from Richmond, KY

These stuffed portobello mushrooms are fresh and fantastic. Super hearty, they’re stuffed with spinach, cheese, and fresh veggies. Red bell peppers add a mild flavor to the cheesy filling, while the onion gives a little bite. We added the optional bacon and love the saltiness it adds to the filling. Enjoy these portobello mushrooms for lunch or a light dinner.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“We got ‘pick of the litter.’ Aristotle Chase Edward (ACE) is 12 years old. His name is: Aristotle because he’s smart, Chase because he’s a hunter, and Edward because he’s a happy guardian. He is energetic and has a great sense of smell. He loves RVing, especially lying on the couch. His favorite activity is eating and catching his Kong. He loves people and welcomes other dogs to his home. Cats? We’re still working on that! If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is a novel. Take a look and see what I mean. 🙂 ” —Joseph Yergin

Sunday funny

You will laugh so hard at this! Poor guy! Make sure to click the full-screen icon (little square next to YouTube) in the bottom right corner to make it bigger.


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Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues 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, 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 or this newsletter. 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 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.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.


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Tom Schmidt
6 months ago

So you’ve lost This Day In History and average gas prices. That sucks.

Diane McGovern
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Schmidt

Nope. We didn’t lose them, Tom. They’re in the Latest News for RVers Newsletter, which is now published on Saturday instead of Sunday. The two weekend newsletters just switched places. Have a good afternoon/evening. 😀 –Diane at

6 months ago

Thanks for this terrific RV related sightseeing article Chuck. One if my favorite small town Pioneer Museums is in Thermopolis Wyoming. A couple of dollars donation at the door gets you some sensory overload on an awful lot of history. They have dozens upon dozens of barbed wire styles on display with representative dates and specifics of design. Wire is a looking glass into the history of the range wars. Small town museums with local curators are one of the things I seek in our travels. Don’t fence me in.

6 months ago

Is this your rv…… Is the Only reason I read this newsletter. It’s sad that y’all are taking it away, again. I love seeing everyone’s rv. It wasn’t too long ago y’all said you were stopping this, then decided to keep it going.

D.T. Smith
6 months ago

There was much discussion on the comfort of mattress on new campers. Our 2011 Forest River R Pod RP 172 had horrible mattress/cushions we updated but our new 2018 Palomino Real-Lite RL181 had a really good Queen mattress. I bought a 2.5 inch foam topper and made it even better.

6 months ago

Oh crap! I am laughing so hard at the Sunday funny! A couple things are happening, have to watch again as I missed so much because I was laughing. Must have tissue with me as the tears were running down my face. I can just see me doing this as a game the next time we have company! Thanks for sharing. I know not everyone will find it amusing, but I sure did!

6 months ago
Reply to  kat

I agree, Kat. That was hilarious. Every time it smacked one of them the sound it made was absolutely making me roar with laughter.

5 months ago
Reply to  kat

And the girls ducks down, then gets up again and gets hit. You’d think she would have learnt!

5 months ago
Reply to  kat

🤣 I, too, had to get tissues! I thought it was pretty darn funny! My husband just shook his head because he had no idea what I was watching 😂

Last edited 5 months ago by Mindy

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