Thursday, September 28, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1103

Welcome to, America’s longest continuously published RVing 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

May 7, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition

 Cover story 

The boss packed up and left us

By Emily Woodbury

Chuck, our publisher and my father, is out of town. He finally (!!) took a vacation. This time, though, he left his RV behind and he and his partner, Gail, flew to Boston for a couple of weeks to enjoy the sights, study the history, eat the lobster rolls and cannoli and sit by the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. By the time you read this, they should be exploring somewhere on Cape Cod. Lucky them! 

He was so happy when he booked his hotel room in downtown Boston. He called me and said, “Emily, it was so easy. I just plugged in the dates, selected the room, paid, and it was done! No waking up at 8 a.m. and refreshing for any campsites, no fighting with anybody or any bots… so easy!”

It was much easier to book a hotel than a campsite, he said. Would you agree?

He’s doing a good job of staying “offline” while he’s gone (it’s good for him, trust me), so try your best not to “bother” him. He wrote the short essay below before he left.

Chuck and Gail outside the historic Colonial Inn in Concord, MA.

In other lonely news: Last week we “lost” a staff member (she’s fine). Jessica has been with us for about four years, and we’ve enjoyed every minute of working with her. If you ever won a contest or had trouble with your email subscription, you’ve probably emailed with Jessica. She did many of our day-to-day tasks, helped manage our email subscriptions, helped with our website design, and so much more. We’ll stay in touch with her, of course, but will miss having her on our staff. Thank you for all you’ve done for us, Jessica! (I miss Jess, my “security blanket.”😢 —Diane)

THAT LEAVES TWO OF US. Just Diane and me, our only full-time staff members, running the ship for this past week and the few weeks to come. We can manage the site, get our newsletters out, all that, but we couldn’t do what we do without our wonderful team of writers. Yes, real writers—real people! Real, wonderful humans. I am so grateful for all of them. Without them, this website would turn to dust. I encourage you to read as many of their articles as you can. They are such a diverse group who live all over the country, interested in all sorts of different things. And I don’t need to mention this because you already know, but they are smart, intelligent, curious, and have an endless supply of wonder about our world.

Perhaps click on an article or two today that you wouldn’t normally read. Get to know them. See what their writing is all about. I’d bet a s’more that you’ll enjoy it!

That’s all for now. Diane and I still have four newsletters to finish up just for this weekend, not to mention all those email alerts that you get straight to your inbox. Yep, everything is “manual labor” around here. But we don’t complain. We love what we do. And that’s why Chuck hasn’t taken a vacation in three years—when you love what you do, life’s a vacation.

I’ll leave you with a line Chuck wrote way back in issue #161 of this newsletter (in 2005!): “May your roads be smooth, your bumps small, your curves gentle, and your RV adventures the very best!”

Publisher’s Roadside Journal

Are my friends only four feet tall? I don’t know

By Chuck Woodbury
Written before he left on his trip
“I had never heard of Zoom before the pandemic. I would very seldom do a video chat back then. Zoom, for those of you who don’t live on the internet like me, is a service that makes it easy to meet up by video with one or more persons on your computer, phone or tablet.” But now, he realizes, after a few years of Zooming he doesn’t know something about his new friends and business associates. Can you relate?

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

Slide barely hanging on by three screws, totally rotted out and owner didn’t know!

Every week Nanci Dixon reports on some of your emails and comments regarding your experiences with RV service centers and repairs. One reader relates the nightmare of a 1/4″ gap in the seal around the slide room which destroyed the bedroom floor. Yikes! There are more service shop horror stories, and a possible shady add-on to an RV loan. But there are more rave reviews for service centers, with links provided.

Read all that and much more

U.S. highways get ‘D’ rating, potholes getting worse

By Dale Wade
I have traveled the interstate highways many times over the years. They used to be the smoothest, fastest way to go. Now the interstates are filled with potholes and traffic. The traffic I can deal with, even through big city interchanges. It’s those (fill in your favorite expletive) potholes that bang up the tires, throw out the alignment, and hurt my back. It is so bad that the American Society of Civil Engineers rated our roads a D with more than 40 percent in need of repair. Continue reading.

Thanks for the memories, RVing. Goodbye!

By Brenda Odom
We are still healthy and able, but quickly tiring of changes that have come too quickly thanks to pandemics, road conditions, employment shortages, entitled behaviors, and more than a little bit of greed within the RV community. But if we were to name THE one thing that helped us make this final “Goodbye, RVing” decision, it would be the lack of knowledgeable, experienced, and available repair technicians. This is interesting and sad, but with a happy ending.

Problems with dog rules and fees in campgrounds

By Gail Marsh
I had an interesting discussion with a campground manager yesterday. She was visibly upset as I walked into the office. When I asked what was wrong, Mary replied, “There are so many problems with these new dog rules and fees!” Mary was referring to the newly instituted $20 fee for each dog that an RVer brings along with them to camp. Owners of the campground recently decided to add the extra fee, and Mary is the unfortunate one who must enforce it. Continue reading.

Around the Campfire

RVers want to gift RV to son, but do the pros of ownership outweigh the cons?

By Gail Marsh
Folks who gathered for the evening campfire this week had an interesting conversation. One couple, Roy and Ellie, plan to “gift” their RV to their son’s family. But is this a good idea? Here’s how that conversation went and what other RVers think. What do you think?

Who publishes 700+ RV newsletters a year? Only us! would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary contributors. Their support helps us avoid relying on advertising, and keeps our resource-rich work unbiased and free for all RVers to enjoy. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of $10 a year comes out to less than 2 cents for each issue we publish. That’s all! And when you contribute, you’ll receive a special member-only ad-free version of our weekend newsletters forever as one way for us to say thank you. Learn more or donate.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

A dry day—but water’s dripping outside and inside my RV!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It’s a bit disconcerting: You’ve got the RV out for a trip and you notice water dripping. Dripping down the side of the rig. There’s not a cloud in the sky, but water is flowing away merrily. Or it could even be worse. You flip on the air conditioner for a hot day and after a short while what happens? A nasty drip, drip, drip of water falls from your air conditioning unit. It drips—onto the floor—INSIDE your RV! What’s going on? Continue reading.

Are expensive lithium batteries really worth it? Part 2

By Dave Solberg
In last week’s part one comparing the differences in RV lithium batteries, we covered the type of cell used such as Grade A, Grade B, and used cells, and how to tell the difference with a sealed box. The next issue we will look at is how those cells are connected and protected inside the box. Learn more.

Modern prospecting equipment for the RVer

By Randall Brink
In my first installment of this prospecting series, which you can read here, we covered essential equipment and where best to dig. In your search for the precious metal, you are looking for free gold that has been moved from its original deposit and washed down into streams through erosion. I pointed out that not all gold lies in the current streambed but that you may discover it in “ancient” streambeds—old riverbeds that are now dry. Here, we’ll go over some additional prospecting equipment and tools to unearth gold and wash gravels in those old, dry deposits. Continue reading.

Animals are no prob-llama at this KOA

By Nanci Dixon
It’s not every day that a herd of llamas is seen camping at a KOA! Much to the delight of our friends Jay and Leslie Pederson, a horse trailer pulled up at the Henderson, Nevada, KOA and started unloading. They never expected that the Phaeton motorhome next to them was hauling a bunch of llamas from Wild Oak Llamas! What a fun story!

You see them everywhere, but are cairns a help or a hazard?

By Gail Marsh
You’ve probably seen them in campgrounds, on beaches and on hiking trails and paths, but if you don’t know, a cairn is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a mound of stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline. Better known today as rock stacking, the practice of building cairns dates back to ancient times. Learn more.

Explore real-life places from famous fictional movie and TV locations with your RV

By Lucinda Belden
What places do you have on your bucket list to see in your RV travels? One of the things we enjoy most is seeing Americana at its best. For us, that means traveling to see things like the world’s largest ball of twine, the smallest skyscraper, or the oldest time capsule. People are creative. But have you checked out fictional places (or real places in fictional movies) yet such as restaurants or haunts where characters hung out in movies or television, or were made famous in books? You should consider visiting famous movie and TV locations on your travels. Here are a few to check out.

Reader Poll

Which of these manufacturers made your present 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

We asked: Have you ever flown first class on a commercial airline? See how nearly 2,000 other RVers responded (the results may surprise you).

Reader photos

Paul S. writes, “A ‘schoolie’ towing its classroom!” Now that’s not something you see every day…

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!

You might find that this is all you’ll ever need, ever again, to get your day started…

RV Electricity

How does a 30-amp dogbone power a 50-amp RV?

Dear Mike,
On one of your webcasts there was a question about the two legs of 50-amp service. What does each leg power? Are they independent circuits?

Just wondering because I seem to be able to run anything if hooked to 30 amp – but not at the same time without tripping a breaker. Thanks. —Steve Peterson

Read Mike’s answer

Road Trip Playlists

8 great going-to-the-country road trip songs

By Cheri Sicard
We are getting out of the city and heading to the country in this installment of Road Trip Playlists with eight great going-to-the-country road trip songs that celebrate the more rural side of life. And why not? More often than not, RV road trip journeys do take us to the country (although I do love me some urban RVing too).

Listen to them here. Some of these will “take you back in time”

In the RV shop with Dustin

Your RVs water heater can catch fire if not maintained

By Dustin Simpson
I want to talk about RV water heater safety and show you reasons why not to bypass the safety items. In the pictures below, the LP gas and flame are back burning in the burner chamber, and the (safety) thermal cut-off has been removed. During a water heater service, we are checking for any and all issues that can cause a problem. I can’t begin to explain how important it is to have your service done regularly.

Read more

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

10 must-have accessories for hot summer RV trips

By Cheri Sicard
Bring on the summer RV trips! RV season is here and summer travel is about to get real. It’s time to go shopping and check out some great summer RVing accessories. Below are some of my favorites. Some, like the USB bug zapper, I personally consider absolutely vital to my summer RVing survival. Other items will add functionality to summer days and others will simply make your summer RV trips more fun.

We bet you’ll want several of these

RVing in Mexico

What to buy, and why, before returning home from Mexico

By Cheri Sicard
This article is for all the RVing Americans returning home from Mexico. Before you cross that border when returning home from Mexico, WAIT! It makes sense to do some shopping first. I am not going to give you suggestions for souvenirs and “junk.” We can all find the junk that appeals to us on our own without outside help. Instead, the things in this article all have practical value. You should buy them south of the border before returning home from Mexico because: …

Continue reading

Other RVing-in-Mexico articles:

RV Tire Safety

How heavy is your RV, really, and why does it matter?

When buying an RV, owners are exposed to a number of new concerns they probably never faced with their regular passenger car. These include the actual weight of the vehicle, the weight distribution, and its effect on tire durability.

Learn why the info is so important

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

Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?

If so, stories you missed:
No need to plan your next RV trip! Artificial intelligence (AI) can now do it for you!
New concern suggests that LED lights may harm your health
Game-changing new features released on The Dyrt: Free camping, $0 reservation fees, offline maps, more
RV owners battle manufacturer over faulty roof: Extended warranty offers prove insufficient
Starlink News: SpaceX speeds up launches of V2 satellites, makes improvements, expands coverage
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

Recipe of the Day

Crock Pot Frijoles Charros (Mexican Beans)

by Susan Elizondo from Dequeen, AR

An easy way to make Frijoles Charros (Mexican beans). The slow cooker does all the hard work and they are filled with flavor. Pinto beans simmer in bacon, smoked sausage, spices, and a couple of other ingredients. The final result is a rustic and smoky flavor. They can be considered a side dish, but they’re hearty enough to eat on their own like a soup.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Chico is quite a character!” —Cheryl D. 

HELP keep this feature going! We’re running out of photos! Please do not submit the same photo or pet more than once. Send us a photo of your pet with a short description. We publish one each weekday in RV Daily Tips and in this Sunday RV Travel newsletter. No blurry photos, please! Thanks!


The oldest recording in the world that can still be played today is called The Experimental Talking Clock, where the clock’s inventor, Frank Lambert, speaks the hours of the day and sounds various chimes and bells. The clock was invented in 1878. It’s not the most, er, pleasant thing to listen to, but you can hear it here.

Sunday funny

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. Moderators: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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.

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
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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4 months ago

It’s really a test that Chuck doing. He probably photoshop their picture of a picture he downloaded off the internet. He is really across the street watching.

Keira B
4 months ago

Traveling without your RV is always an option. If the RV is not easy and fun, why not just drive or fly and stay in a hotel? Doesn’t everyone do this? Can’t get a reservation for an RV campsite in that beautiful mountain lake RV park? Stay in a motel nearby and drive to that same lake. This RV newsletter helps people use their RV. Why spend so much time complaining about how many people are RVing when you are promoting RVing?

4 months ago

As for the roads, mainly the Interstates, give a F. We have been full timers for over 10 years and they have gotten so worse we are getting new springs and such due to them. It’s not just potholes, it’s the way they put in overpasses and bridges, leave that gap or doesn’t level on and off that you get slammed coming off. We usually stay under 65, due to that, but there are roads that you hit that’s like, thump, thump, thump, thump, ones that has the seems in it and of course worse on the slower lanes. See taxes aren’t going there.
For the new dog rules, can just see how it goes or have phone calls everyday for people to do what’s expected when owning a dog. Unfortunately, that’s the job with managing, working or owning at park, we did it for a few years.
Finally, glad he took some time off. It’s hard when you have your own business to run, but looks like you’re doing ok so far. He will be thankful. Watch it, he may see you’re doing so well he will take more vacations 😉.

Rodney Lacy
4 months ago

About the dogbone adapter. I found that if you plug into a 30 amp dryer or welder outlet without a separate neutral. You can kiss your dish receiver goodbye. This needs to be addressed somewhere.

4 months ago
Reply to  Rodney Lacy

The dryer and welder outlets are 220 volts. Guaranteed to burn out things
The 30 amp plug on your RV is 110 volts.

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