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May 7, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
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 recreation.gov 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.
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.
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?
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Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Get the most from your RV’s exhaust fan
- Finding a good service department is one of the most important parts of RVing
- Making RVing friends: Stay connected and build long-term relationships
- Packing your RV’s medicine cabinet the smart way
- DIY: Remove and replace rotted flooring in your RV
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.
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.
POPULAR POLL FROM THIS PAST WEEK
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).
Paul S. writes, “A ‘schoolie’ towing its classroom!” Now that’s not something you see every day…
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- Water heater quits on LP when camping but works at the dealership. Why?
- My RV’s rubber roof has a few bubbles. Should I be concerned?
- How long can fresh water be stored in the RV’s tank?
- Shore power goes off, so do interior 12-volts; battery fluid low. What should I do?
- What is the solution to battery corrosion?
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!
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
You might find that this is all you’ll ever need, ever again, to get your day started…
How does a 30-amp dogbone power a 50-amp RV?
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
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.
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: …
Other RVing-in-Mexico articles:
- The joys of snowbirding in Baja California, Mexico
- Everything to know about crossing the border between San Diego and Tijuana in an RV
- Traffic stops in Mexico: What to expect if stopped by the police
- Visiting the very cool Airstream City in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
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
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.
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.
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. 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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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.
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?
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 😉.
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.
The dryer and welder outlets are 220 volts. Guaranteed to burn out things
The 30 amp plug on your RV is 110 volts.