Tuesday, October 3, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1104

Welcome to RVtravel.com, 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 14, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition

 Cover story 

A letter about my mother, Ruthie, on Mother’s Day

By Chuck Woodbury

Ilost my mother 15 years ago. It seems like yesterday. I think of her nearly every day. I miss her terribly.

She was a happy, happy person. That was her nature. My father was more serious. When she was around him, she was quieter. But without him, she was full of it: She reminded me of a college girl — so youthful in spirit.

I tell the story sometimes about driving her from Northern California after my father died to live with me in Seattle. That turned out to be only five months before her own death (those months by her side ended up being the most rewarding, happiest time of my life).

She was in the passenger seat. She loved being on the road. Her father and mother took her and her brother on a trip on Route 66 in the early 1930s from Southern California to Chicago. Maybe that’s where she fell in love with road trips. She and my father owned RVs for most of their married life and traveled often with them.

As we passed through Oregon, she spotted a huge barn in a farm field off the east side of Interstate 5. In huge letters — they must have been at least 12 feet tall — spread from the front of the slanted roof to the back, was the single word ANTIQUE.

I observed her as we passed. I had noticed the barn myself. I saw the gears in her head spinning. “I guess they only have one antique,” she said.

That was my Ruthie — always finding something to say that just came out funny. I know I got my sense of wanderlust from her and my often sarcastic sense of humor, too.

Ruthie and me when I was a young fellow

I miss her now so much. If your mother is still living, call her. Visit her. Tell her how much you love her. She won’t always be there. I wish I could have my Ruthie back for even one day. I have so many questions for her that I put off asking when she was alive. And I want to give her a big hug and a big kiss and tell her how much I love her and how much I appreciate everything she did for me, from changing my diapers to being my biggest fan when I grew up and became a writer.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ruth Elizabeth Woodbury, wherever you may be.

And Happy Mother’s Day to you mothers and grandmothers out there, wherever you may be, too.

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

‘RV service appointments are when you take RV in, NOT when they will work on it’

In this column, Nanci Dixon summarizes some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. One RVer commented: “There are not enough techs to keep up with all the repair needs. Some are not trained well. All are not paid enough so they move around frequently.” Do you agree? Another RVer related how his shop told him, after his RV had been sitting there for three weeks with nothing being done, that the appointment was just when they were to take the RV in, not when it would be worked on.

Read much more

RV trade-in or sell – How to prep RV and get the most money

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If it’s time to move your existing RV along, you’ll want to get the most value from it that you can. Will you trade-in or sell? How you prep the RV and how much you invest in that preparation can be quite different. We talked to industry insiders to get the lowdown on what you need to do. Get the inside scoop here.

An important guide to getting medical help while on the road

By Gail Marsh
One thing many RVers don’t plan for is getting sick while traveling and/or needing medical help on the road. So, what happens if you or a travel buddy need medical care while on the road? How can you find a good doctor or get the quality medical help you need? Check out these potentially lifesaving tips.

Love’s overnight RV sites may be ‘affordable,’ but cancellation fees soar

If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve been reporting on Love’s travel stops adding overnight spaces with hookups for RVers. This is a huge deal! With the growing number of RVers comes the growing need for more places to safely “camp” overnight. … This week, we hear from readers Glen and Patty A., who shared this warning with us about Love’s cancellation fees.

No thanks, hotel room. I’ll take my RV any day!

By Gail Marsh
We proudly attended our grandson’s college graduation this past weekend. Everything was just perfect: the weather, the Baccalaureate service, the Commencement, and the after-party, too! It was all “rainbows and kittens” until (dun, dun, DUN) our hotel room. After two grueling nights in that hotel room, we both desperately yearned for our RV! Continue reading.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

DID YOU KNOW? Our RV Daily Tips newsletter is our readers’ favorite newsletter! Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss out. Click here.

One RV flood prevention mistake I’ve been making

By Nanci Dixon
Yesterday, as I was casually sifting through a mass of emails, I glanced at one from Geico Insurance and almost deleted it. Good thing I read through it first. What caught my eye in it was the list of things that could cause a water disaster. Are you making this mistake?

RV History: Barth handcrafts quality motor coaches

By Randall Brink
The story of Barth Motor Coaches begins with the company’s founder, Bob Barth. … The rich history of Barth Motor Coaches is a story about how the Barth brand transformed the world of recreational vehicles for a relatively brief moment in RV history. Read more about how the company’s legacy inspires RV enthusiasts and owners.

Your ice maker could be growing mold. Make sure you clean it!

By Dale Wade
Ah, spring has arrived. We pulled the RV out of storage for this year’s maiden voyage. As I went through the spring checklist, I came across “Check the ice maker.” I pulled it out of the box, opened it up, and found black mold around the inside edges. Whoa. Let’s clean that portable ice maker. Here’s how.

You could be breaking food laws as you eat your way across the U.S.

By Lucinda Belden
One of my favorite things to do as I RV from state to state (or travel from country to country) is try the local food and beverages. But I didn’t know about these weird food laws! Check these out!

Reader Poll

What most often determines where you travel 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

We asked: Do you own a golf cart? You may be surprised by the results.

RV Prospector

Gold Prospecting: Mining crevices in stream beds

By Randall Brink
A popular method for RV prospecting involves mining crevices in stream beds, where the natural flow of water can concentrate gold particles. We’ll look at “crevicing” in active stream beds and old tertiary streams, including the necessary tools, techniques, and safety precautions involved.

Read more, then go find some gold!

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!

Lithium Batteries

Are lithium batteries really worth it for RVers? Part 3: I finally answer the question (and comments)!

By Dave Solberg
In the two previous installments of this series (here’s part one and part two) I have been accused of either not answering the question, or leaving it to the end. So let me just answer the question right off the bat: …

Continue reading

RV Electricity

Deadly “RV hot-skin condition” can spread to multiple RVs

Simply touching an RV under certain “hot skin” conditions can shock you, even kill you (learn how such a condition killed a four-year old boy). But did you know that a dangerous hot skin condition can spread to neighboring RVs? Mike Sokol explains in this article we first told you about two years ago. Read it here.

Who publishes 700+ RV newsletters a year? Only us!
RVtravel.com 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.

This is almost like a magic trick—first, it’s there, then it’s not. First, it’s big, then it’s small! Magic or not, it’s absolutely perfect for RVers.

In the RV shop with Dustin

Gadget prevents RV catalytic converter thefts

By Dustin Simpson
If you haven’t heard, catalytic converter theft is a major problem on trucks and motorhomes. We want to introduce you to a product we sell and install called the CatStrap™. It just might prevent your vehicle’s catalytic converter from being stolen on your tow car, truck, SUV or RV.

Read more and watch the brief videos

Campground Characters

Meet Marian, the 92-year-old RVing adventurer

By Gail Marsh
I had to look up “nonagenarian.” I’d wondered what name was given to a person in their nineties, and I found out it was nonagenarian. I’m still not sure if I pronounce the word correctly, but the way I say it, it rhymes with Marian. A happy coincidence, I think. Marian certainly qualifies as a nonagenarian. At 92, she and her husband, Ed, (still an “octogenarian” at age 88) continue to travel the country. They’ve been RVing for 10+ years and have big plans for the years to come.

Continue reading this uplifting story

RV Tire Safety

How much air pressure do my tires really need?

By Roger Marble
“How much air pressure do my tires really need?” Ya, I get this question a few times a month either here on RVtravel.com, or on my blog RVTireSafety.net, or on my Facebook page “RV tire News and Information”. I have decided to not add to the confusion but to use this post as an example of how NOT to get the correct info on tire loading and inflation.

Read more

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:
Will timed entry into National Parks work with your RVing plans?
Some Arkansas residents opt for drug addicts over RVers
New report says it’s five times harder to find campsites now than in 2019
Homeless people living in RVs stretch for miles in wealthy county
New Jersey community perplexed by 500 lbs. of pasta found near stream
Sleep tourism aims to provide travelers with good night’s sleep
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

Recipe of the Day

Bourbon Braised Pork Chops

by Pauline Greenwood from Iowa City, IA

This is a really flavorful pork chop dish that was quite a pleasant surprise! It elevates a basic pork chop. Braising the pork chops in a mixture of brown sugar, allspice, bourbon, and orange juice creates a deliciously sweet sauce. Browning both sides of the pork chops helps to seal in the juices. Once braised, they were extremely tender.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Nordic is 7 years old. We adopted him when he was 7 months old from Guide Dogs Of America. His entire litter was disqualified from being seeing eye dogs due to a strong prey drive. They liked to chase shadows, leaves, etc., and had too much play in them. He’s a great traveler. In fact, we can’t even get the motorhome keys out without him going crazy.” —Mark Barrett



Approximately 70% of snake species worldwide are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs, while the remaining species give birth to live young, a process known as viviparity. Oviparous snakes are typically found in warmer climates where the heat helps to incubate their eggs, while viviparous snakes tend to live in cooler regions where the ground temperature is too low for egg development.

And some Mother’s Day trivia:
More consumers plan to celebrate Mother’s Day, but that doesn’t mean they will do so by buying gifts. So says Chain Store AgeNearly nine in 10 consumers (88%) say they will celebrate Mother’s Day, compared to 79% for Father’s Day, according to a survey by Numerator. But 57% of Father’s Day celebrators plan to purchase gifts, compared to 52% for Mother’s Day.

Sunday funny

Brand-new book! Van and RV Camping at State Recreation Areas
Our friends at Roundabout Publications have done it again—they’ve published another helpful book for RVers. This one is for RV camping at 656 camping areas at 415 state recreation areas across 30 states. This includes camping locations at off-highway vehicle areas, state beaches, state recreation areas and sites, state vehicular recreation areas and more. Having this book will save you money! Learn more or order.


Mother’s Day

All moms, across all species, are amazing.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

RVtravel.com 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
Help desk:
Contact us.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.


3.1 7 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 months ago

My mom passed away May 3 and the funeral was held May 7th of 2011. May 8th was Mother’s Day that year. I think of her daily and Mother’s Day is a difficult day for me. My mom was 96 years old.

Happy Mother’s Day to all, and yes if your mom is alive visit or call her.

Frank Zobrosky
4 months ago

Happy Mother’s Day! Just curious if you have thought more about your tech show on Saturday mornings. Hope you have enough people watching to make it worthwhile!

Dalton Mccormick
4 months ago

so the tire pressure article today, Zero Help

Roger Marble
4 months ago

Sorry to hear that. What is your question?

Lee A.
4 months ago

The article “Deadly RV Hot Skin Condition” by Mike Sokol was written in 2021 and there isn’t a place for new comments. I would like an explanation to his comment:

“But the failed water heater element can easily provide more than the 30 mA of current through you that can put your heart into fibrillation.”

Both my RV and my house have electric heating elements in their respective water heaters, so how does a failed heating element create a risk for electrocution? What is a failed heating element? Are there any safeguards to prevent this from happening? What tests can I do to check for this hazardous condition. Should I turn off my RV’s electric heating element when taking a shower? Answers would be much appreciated!

4 months ago

Sorry for your loss, my mom passed 23 years ago.
These repairmen here are getting paid well and they have quite a few of them. While we are waiting to get our parts in. Can’t say they know their job, but sure hope so.
We usually set where we are headed to and when, then do two different routes just for weather reasons. We have changed our travel plans for the weather and now for repairs. Living this lifestyle you need to be flexible.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the “moms”!

Larry Lagerberg
4 months ago

Nice piece Chuck. I lost my mom just 2 years ago. I was blessed to have 89 years with her. Peace to all here that can’t celebrate with their moms today.

Larry Lagerberg
4 months ago

Duh. Just woke up. 56 years with her. Back to my coffee!😁

Tom E
4 months ago

Mother’s day is one of the worst days of the year for me. My mother spent my entire life telling me how unwanted I was; how I had ruined her life. The only things we share are the genes she passed along to me. Even though I wasn’t given that normal love and attention a mother gives to her children, I don’t resent her for the way she treated me. Nor do I feel loss in her passing several years ago. I don’t long for her to be around me, to hear again how unwanted I was. I finally found the love of my life. Someone who helps center me, makes me whole, and provides the love and attention I was never given in my youth. I honor my mother this day because she gave birth to me. She gave me my life. So to those few others out there that share in a similar upbringing – Happy She Gave Birth to Me Day.

Craig Seitz
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom E

It’s a testament to your strength that you were able to not hate and actually go on to find love.

T & S
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom E

Tom, so sorry to hear about your experience. Please know you are not alone. One of our moms was similar to yours. She’s still living but relationship is not much different than years ago. Was asked once how I’m going to feel when she passes. My response was and still is ‘how do you miss something you never had?’ Like the ‘Happy she gave birth to me day’! Thanks for sharing.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.