Wednesday, September 27, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1098

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. Your support means a lot to us!

Page Contents

April 2, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition

 Cover story 

Joy, Joy, Joy! We’re camping again!

By Nanci Dixon


s the spring rains green the desert, I am filled with the absolute joy of camping again. The nights and mornings are cool but the sun warms everything, including a weary heart. It’s not that we haven’t traveled—in January/February we drove more than 3,200 miles to get repairs done on our motorhome. But, we drove the motorhome. Actually, my husband drove the motorhome and I navigated. Driving a motorhome from point A to point B as quickly as possible is a lot different than camping.

This is camping!

And this is camping. The patio rug is out, the chairs are rocking. The wood is ready for our first campfire of the season. I can smell the sweet scent of other campers’ fires. We’ve unfurled the awnings and opened the windows. A tablecloth is secured on the picnic table. This is the time I wait for, the time I dream of!

Dream built with imagination

What are chores in a house are no longer chores out here. As I was scrubbing dishes, and conserving as much water as possible, I realized our RV is not a lot different from the childhood playhouse of my dreams, albeit upscaled with water and heat. I am still fitting tiny dishes into tiny cubbyholes. My real playhouse had a cardboard kitchen and plastic walls thrown over a card table. It was a place of imagination. Camping in an RV has always been a dream built with imagination and anticipation.

Sitting in the sun overlooking desert wildflowers in bloom, I have decided that the joy of camping can override the most crowded campground, noisy neighbors, dog messes and kids walking through our site. It can override the costs and irritations. Override the frustration of spending days on the phone making reservations or being caught short with nowhere to stay. It can even override breakdowns and bad weather.

Joy mixed with gratitude. What better way to spend the first real camping trip of the season?

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

18-year RV industry worker says RVs haven’t changed, customer demands have

In this column, Nanci Dixon summarizes some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week we hear from several very happy RV service customers (and include names of their service providers). But there are also a couple of complaints (of course) about unsatisfactory service. An RV industry worker says that nothing has changed in the RV industry except “what people have demanded that they ‘need’ to have on an RV.” Find out what he’s referring to here.

Live in an RV on your own property? Readers tell us where—or not

By Russ and Tina De Maris
Early in March, we explored the possibilities of living in your RV on your own property. We tried to straighten out a lot of misinformation that’s appeared on the internet. The bottom line at the time—it seems places where it’s legal to do so are few and far between. So we threw it open to our readers and asked, can you tell us where—or where not—it’s legal to live in an RV on private property? A hearty “Thank you!” to those who responded. We got plenty of advice, and a few potential leads, which we’ll now share.

Robots take the wheel. Is ChatGPT the future of RV road trip planning?

By Gail Marsh 
It was reported this week that recent updates to Microsoft’s AI-powered ChatGPT now enable it to surf the Web, find airline flights, and much, much more! Prior to this update, ChatGPT was limited to the information that had been included in its “training,” which concluded in 2021. … With this latest update, ChatGPT can retrieve live data from the Web, including sources like Kayak, Expedia, and more. It’s a game-changer! Is ChatGPT a road trip planner now, too? We put this robot to the test in planning an RV trip.

Arizona’s Tumacacori National Historical Park worth a stop

By Nanci Dixon
I just love to take short trips to historic sites, and Tumacacori National Historical Park in Tubac, Arizona, was no exception. Getting to go with our friends, Leslie and Jay, made it even more special. Tumacacori is near Tubac, in southern Arizona, about 19 miles from the Mexican border. It is an area filled with history and art. Learn more about this very special location.


Class action lawsuit over fire danger against major RV manufacturer can move forward, judge rules

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Imagine you’re tooling down the highway, towing your fifth wheel. Suddenly you notice smoke at the back of your rig. Fire! Montana RVer Jay Nelson didn’t need to imagine it—it happened to him. Now a Montana judge has ruled that his claim against toward the RV’s manufacturer can continue toward class action status, despite the manufacturer’s objections. If Nelson’s allegations are true, there’s a potential that many other owners could be in danger of fire in their rigs. Continue reading.

Around the Campfire

RVers discuss camping vs. glamping, but does the difference really matter?

By Gail Marsh
It’s just a matter of semantics. At least that’s how I viewed the recent discussion around the campfire. Other folks took the discussion much more seriously as they tried to define what they’re doing in their RVs: camping, glamping, or what?! Continue reading, then let us know what you think.

RV Store at Amazon! Just about anything and everything you need for your RV at great prices. Visit now.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

WHAT DO YOU THINK? According to a recent poll at, what percent of readers do NOT own a cell phone? Is it 11%, 4% or 1%? Find out.

Most popular hobbies among RVers—Readers speak out

By Cheri Sicard
We recently asked about what hobbies you bring along in your RV. Kudos to publisher Chuck Woodbury, who thought this would be a popular topic. He knows his readers. I did not think we would get a lot of responses, but we got TONS! So much so I am going to break the follow-up into two parts (and we still won’t get to them all). The responses were surprising. Continue reading, and maybe get some ideas for new hobbies to try. (You folks are amazing … and very talented!)

Prospectors: Look for these rocks that may indicate the presence of gold

By Randall Brink
If you’re an RV prospector with a thirst for adventure and a desire to strike gold, knowing the types of rocks and minerals that indicate the presence of gold is essential. Identifying these geological clues can significantly increase your chances of discovering the valuable yellow metal. Here I will identify rocks and minerals commonly associated with gold deposits and how to recognize them on your next RV prospecting trip.

Satisfy your sweet tooth; these Northeastern candy stores are a treat!

By Gail Marsh
I’ve been known to hide the Halloween candy my children collect, just so I can enjoy it myself. I keep a stash of Christmas fudge in my freezer year-round. I top my breakfast oatmeal with chocolate chips each morning. It’s undeniable. I have a sweet tooth. If you like candy or sweets of any kind, here are some sweet spots in the Northeastern U.S. you simply must visit! Continue reading.

Reader Poll

How would you describe your personality?

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.

Okay, okay, we heard your comments loud and clear. We will NOT be ending this contest as planned, but instead, we’ll run it three days a week. Make sure you open your newsletters every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to see if your RV has been featured (beginning today).

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!

 NEW! Road Trip Playlists

8 awesome “life on the road” songs

By Cheri Sicard
Welcome to our second installment of Road Trip Playlists (check out the first installment, “Joyous Songs to Start Your Journey,” here). This week I wanted to focus on songs about the lifestyle of living on the road and experiences that can happen out on the open road. As always, I tried to mix it up with different genres and songs you know with those you likely never heard before. These are cool! (And they’re all from YouTube, so you can click right on them in the post.)

In the RV Shop with Dustin

Slide out roof EternaBond tape failure… and fix

Follow Dustin Simpson at his shop, California RV Specialists, during an inspection of a 2019 Winnebago Minnie Plus, as he finds the cause of water leaking into the interior of the unit with the slide out in the out position during rain. Watch the inspection and the fix here.

You already know we love these, but we came across this one and adore it! It’s perfect for these rainy spring days…

RV Tire Safety

“Max psi” on tire sidewall. What does it really mean?

By Roger Marble
I know I have answered this question in the past, but maybe it was on an RV forum for a single-brand RV so not everyone has heard this. So here goes. Many, but not all, tires have the words “Max psi” followed by a number on the tire sidewall. I have no idea which lawyer wrote the requirement, but he or she didn’t understand how those words would be misinterpreted.

Read more

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

Did you miss yesterday’s News for RVers?

If so, stories you missed:
Class action lawsuit over fire danger against major RV manufacturer can move forward, judge rules
New South Dakota law could ban some full-time RVers from voting
New RV buyers are young, want RVs as place to work from
Amazon’s satellite internet Project Kuiper ramping up. Trouble for Starlink?
Maryland considers law for RV dealer franchise agreements
The night sky gets darker, bigger in Boulder City, NV, under new project
Campground Crowding: Rates tripled for full-time RV residents in less than a year
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

 NEW! RV Recipe Challenge

Quick, easy and impressive Dutch Baby Pancakes

By Cheri Sicard
Welcome to week two of our RV Culinary Improv Challenge. This week’s recipe? A Dutch Baby Pancake! Each week I take three random ingredients readers submitted and turn them into a delicious recipe that’s small-space cooking friendly. This week’s suggestion comes from Judith P., who threw me a softball. And that’s OK. I appreciate softballs. Plus you will too, especially if you have never made a Dutch Baby Pancake before. Continue reading.

Recipe of the Day

Chewy Granola Bars

by Sarah Mayer from Racine, WI

Throw a couple of these homemade granola bars in a resealable bag and you have a great on-the-go snack. They’re chewy, sweet, and full of texture. Puffed rice gives them a little crunch and the oats are chewy. The peanut butter flavor is faint, but there. We loved the tart contrast from the dried cranberries. So good!

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This picture was taken in 2017 after our sweet girl Lola was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at age three. She’s been through a lot, left hind leg amputation, six rounds of chemotherapy and now a weekly chemo pill. This July she will be six years cancer free!” —Chris Lippincott


We’re lucky to have the convenience of Google Maps or other mapping software built into our phones that scream at us as we trek down the highways. But what did we do before satellite GPS? In the early 20th century there weren’t any satellites or such things as in-dash car computers, so how did people get around? If you were a wealthy and fashionable driver, you may have had the Iter Avto. This was a black TV-like device that was mounted on the dash. The Iter Avto would hook up to gears in the odometer and would hold paper scroll-style maps that would advance (scroll) as you drove. If you made a wrong turn there was no “RECALCULATING” scream, as we all know well, but instead, you’d have to manually re-load all the scrolls. Yikes.

Sunday funny

Ah, the great, great, hilarious outdoors!

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

Are we worth more than ‘free’? 

If you value what you learn from, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber by pledging your support? Every contribution, no matter how modest, helps us serve you better. We work our fannies off every day trying our very best to be more helpful to you than any other RVing website. Thank you. Learn more here or contribute. 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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This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.


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Uncle Swags
5 months ago

I often use 2 GPS when traveling and it is fun when they fight over which way to go. I now know that I could never handle 2 wives.

I liked the old AAA Trip Tiks. My dad would get them if we went on a road trip and it kept me occupied just flipping the pages.

Paper maps are still the best but you have to know how to read.

5 months ago

I love GPS. Especially when it says {bleeped} I said left not right. The blippy sound it makes. Love it. I remember using a map years ago and saying to myself there is a road there? Wow. I cannot live without GPS. Gotta love technology.

Joe S.
5 months ago

As a long time donor to RV travel, I was looking forward to your paid subscribers ad free addition. However, one of my favorite features is the RV news section. I do not get this in my Sunday addition, Any ideas?
I prefer not to read the Saturday addition, but I am being forced to. Any chance you could move this feature to Sunday? If this is as popular with others, it might be a good way to get more donor subscribers by making it available only on Sunday. Just a thought!
Thanks for a great enjoyable, informative site.

Diane McGovern
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe S.

Hi, Joe. I just looked up your account and I don’t see any donations from you, but I might be looking in the wrong place since I don’t handle the accounts or donations. I see you’re subscribed to the RV Travel Newsletter, the Latest News for RVers, and the RV Daily Tips Newsletters. A few weeks ago we switched the days of our two weekend newsletters, so the Latest News for RVers is now published on Saturday and the regular RV Travel Newsletter is published on Sunday. If you’ve been a “long time donor to RV travel,” I’m wondering whose name you donated under. Anyone who donates any amount at any time should automatically be sent the members’ ad-free editions of either or both of the weekend newsletters. If you want to be unsubscribed from a newsletter, let me know. Otherwise, when you receive the email alert linking to the newsletter that you don’t want to read, I suggest you just don’t click on it. You can email me at diane (at) and I’ll try to get this straightened out. Have a good evening/night. 😀 –Diane

5 months ago

“Robots Take The Wheel” – I will never use the woke AI chatbots!

Gena and Bob
5 months ago

Big congrats to Lola. She’s beautiful. We lost our 9 yo tortie cat to osteosarcoma in Jan. this year. Folks, if you find anything unusual (like a small bump) on your fur babies, please take action.

5 months ago

Nancy Dixon, you write beautifully. A photograph could not have presented a more clear picture.

5 months ago
Reply to  Cancelproof

Well said. Very poetic. Keep writing.

William Lesh
5 months ago

Thank you for keeping “Is this your RV “ contest. I always watch for my pics hoping to win.

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