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June 4, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
An ode to weekend campers – the “weekend warriors”
By Nanci Dixon
elcome the “weekend warriors,” those RVers and other campers who swarm our campgrounds on Saturdays and Sundays! I remember the excitement and the unmitigated joy that we had as weekend warriors. Sometimes if we were really lucky we could even squeeze in a Sunday night. I would spend all week happily getting ready for our mini trip – packing, loading the RV, starting the fridge, planning the meals…
We talk a lot about the negatives of the weekend warrior invasion in this newsletter, particularly in my Campground Crowding column: the noise, kids running all over, the campfire smoke, disrespect for the sites, overabundance of trash and, most irritating of all, the total disruption of OUR peace. It helps to remember the joy and excitement we once had as the campground crowds and the noise increases.
We are in a regional campground on a Friday afternoon watching the weekend warriors roll in. By Saturday, all 279 sites will be filled.
AS CAMP HOSTS, we meet the weekend warriors and I am struck by how many are new and totally enamored by camping. I am awed by how much work it is, too, particularly for tent campers. They come in with their cars filled to the brim with kids, tents, cabanas, sleeping bags, a roof top carrier and sometimes a trailer full of bikes. They spend hours setting up and taking down.
As I look around the campground, these weekend warriors are in small and large groups laughing, talking, eating together. They are happy to just “be away” and sit around a campfire, even in 90-degree heat. Yes, kids are running around and sometimes they run through our site. Yes, it is noisy and smoky and the generators are roaring. But these weekend warriors will be gone on Sunday afternoon, exhausted but happy. They have to return to their nine-to-five, the laundry, the unpacking… all while we will still be sitting in our camp chairs waving goodbye.
I am happy to share this little piece of heaven with them.
We stopped to talk to a couple as we were making our rounds tonight and they mentioned how much they loved the park and their memories camping here. I pointed to a site, B01, where we camped with our children for almost 20 years. The memories flooded in: the kids running around, making s’mores, cleaning their sticky little faces and hands. I remembered how important it was to relax for a few days without the pressure of house cleaning, washing clothes, and mowing lawns. I remembered how golden the memories have become: to us, to our children and now to our grandchildren.
So to all you hard-working weekend warriors, welcome!
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
Reader’s secret: Ask the campground hosts for repair recommendations
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week Nanci Dixon shares several tips from our readers about getting good repair service, and where.
Military readers set us straight about camping at military campgrounds
By Nanci Dixon
Military rules have changed and expanded, but not for all DD-214 holders. Last week in our Campground Crowding column I included an email from one of our readers, Stephen W., about a change in military rules that allows more people to camp in the military campgrounds. … That email caused a lot of confusion and excitement among our military readers, many of whom were honorably discharged veterans but not retired. Our very knowledgeable readers responded. Comments and emails flowed. Read more.
Can campground swimming pools make you sick?
By Gail Marsh
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a dip in the pool after a long, hot day of RV travel, setting up your rig, and preparing dinner. But, I wondered, can campground swimming pools make you sick? Find out here (if you dare, that is).
A discussion about loneliness and the solo RVer
By Chuck Woodbury
In my early years of RVing, I spent a lot of time traveling alone. Actually, I spent most of my time alone. All my friends were busy with work and could not just take off and spend weeks or months wandering around America with a drifting journalist. Although I experienced many wonderful times, and met a lot of wonderful people, I was often acutely lonely. I never want to experience that again. Below, in her podcast, Kathy Belge discusses loneliness on the road. Continue reading and listen to the insightful podcast.
Around the Campfire
RVers discuss homelessness in campgrounds
By Gail Marsh
I first encountered Dixon on a morning walk around the campground. He looked to be in his late forties, but I’m not very adept at guessing ages. Dixon, or Dix, as some campers call him, was smoking his breakfast. He unapologetically acknowledged that every day began and ended with a smoke (cigarettes). I eat chocolate chips in my oatmeal, so who am I to judge?
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- An RVer’s guide to cooking with, storing, and making spices
- Unusual ways RVers can use old water hoses
- 26 practical uses for Mason jars in your RV
- Is it time to re-level your RV? Here are some signs to look for
- Do you really know what’s in your RV? Take inventory!
Deer crashes into RV – takes short ride!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
“Honey, there’s a deer in our bed!” Well, “honey” would have to look quick, because when the deer crashes the RV, it may not stick around long. We’re not sure if this is a comment about the resiliency of the Cervidae species, or about the thin-wall construction of RVs. In any event, a deer crashing into your RV could ruin your whole day! Watch this very short, and very interesting, video.
Everyone wants to be somewhere else
By Gail Marsh
The heavy Memorial Day weekend traffic was cringe-worthy. As we slowly rolled to a standstill, our youngest grandchild called out from the back seat, “Why are we stopping?” To which her older sister explained, “The traffic is stopped because everyone wants to be somewhere else.” … I ruminated on these words for a bit. I wondered where the people inside the countless vehicles might be headed. Continue reading.
Does your slang change as you RV around the U.S.?
By Lucinda Belden
As you RV around the United States and Canada, don’t get too worried if something someone says “throws you for a loop.” The fun part of traveling and living like a local is learning what it means to be local. I have learned so many new slang words as I RV. It only opens your mind up to new ideas and expands your vocabulary for a greater way to describe RVing lifestyle adventures. Read all about slang words here.
5 tricks for hiking with children
By Dale Wade
When my grandkids were younger, we used to go on nature walks around the neighborhood. They had me take pictures of rocks and sticks and a bird in a tree. Now that they have turned the ripe old ages of 7 and 9, I realize that they are more curious about what nature offers. Hiking with kids can be a good time for everyone. To keep them actively interested, I follow these five basic points for a hike that is fun and educational.
How far away do you store your RV when not using it?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- How much does it cost to replace an RV floor?
- My refrigerator works fine until 9 a.m. then inside temp spikes. Why?
- Another toad takes off! And a follow-up on braking systems
- My RV’s window leaks. Can I fix it with silicone?
- My RV’s water pump runs constantly for no apparent reason. How do I fix it?
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 know who always has this? Cracker Barrel. And no, we’re not talking about their hashbrown casserole. Think! What does Cracker Barrel always have to entertain you? This is it!
In the RV shop with Dustin
Why do an RV warranty inspection?
By Dustin Simpson
Your RV is broken and your warranty is about to run out! Now what? Who will do your RV warranty work for you? You do have rights as a consumer. Maybe it’s not too late to have your RV warranty inspection performed! Most manufacturers require dealerships that carry their brand to complete warranty work.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Finally, a gas lighter that works—without gas!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We’ve struggled for years with lighting LP. Our early rigs had water heaters and refrigerators that had to be lit outside. No fancy-schmancy electronic ignition systems. Even now, when everything is handy, we still have to light the burners on the stove top, or the oven down below. Sure, we have piezo lighters on the burners, but sometimes they don’t work, and occasionally they cop out altogether. We needed a gas lighter that we could count on. You probably know the feeling. Continue reading.
22 tips and gadgets to make the most of a small RV kitchen
By Gail Marsh
One of the very first things I noticed in our “beginner camper” was the kitchen space—or, should I say, lack of kitchen space? It was tiny. I’m certainly not a gourmet cook or an award-winning baker (just ask my family). But still, I wondered, “How does one cook in an RV kitchen?” Find out here.
NEW! Mystery article
Do you love your RV as much as these people? These people really, really, REALLY love their RV! And they’re going to love their RV forever! See why.
Video of the day
How to clean mineral deposits in an RV toilet
By Cheri Sicard
I can report firsthand that the technique outlined in the video below from the Cleaning How To YouTube channel actually works. When I found it, I had been searching for how to clean mineral deposits in an RV toilet. However, I was wary of putting chemicals into my RV septic system and did not know what was and was not safe to use. Turns out the solution is inexpensive and all-natural.
RV Tire Safety
Tire bulges and depressions: Do not drive on a tire with ‘this’ condition
Tire expert Roger Marble explains the difference between tire bulges and depressions, some of their causes, and which condition is dangerous to drive with, and maybe even stand next to.
Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?
If so, stories you missed:
• New ethanol-gasoline blend could be bad news for some RVers
• Nearly one in four campers work from campsite
• Hiawatha National Forest camps closed; Recreation.gov cancels reservations
• Campground Crowding: ‘We thought RVing would be a good way to see things, but prices were hard on our wallets’
• Rub elbows with 55,000 others at these national parks
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
by Anthony Nicometi Jr from Cheektowaga, NY
This savory bread is a must for any cheese fan. It can be served with anything from spaghetti to barbecue. Enjoy it fresh from the oven, toast it with a bit of butter or add a little garlic spread on top for cheesy garlic bread. The amount of Colby Jack in this bread is perfect. Yum!
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is Jayla Grace (Boxer) after playing in the creek next to our campsite. She took to the RV life like a duck to water. She loves traveling and exploring new places. Her motto is ‘Have leash, will travel.’ All we have to say is ‘Wanna go camping?’ and she’s waiting at the door.” —Terri Spengler
Catfish possess a remarkable number of taste buds, with an average count exceeding 100,000. In fact, certain larger catfish species can boast an impressive tally of up to 175,000 taste buds. These taste buds, composed of specialized cells that perceive the various molecules responsible for flavors, are distributed throughout the catfish’s body. However, they are particularly concentrated on the four pairs of whiskers, scientifically referred to as barbells, located around the fish’s mouth. Functioning like antennae, these whiskers, in conjunction with the multitude of taste buds covering the catfish’s body, serve a dual purpose. They enable the fish to not only discern the presence of food nearby but also precisely pinpoint its exact location.
Do we dare tell a catfish how good they taste…?
How pure is your drinking water? Find out!
This handy, affordable digital water tester will tell you your overall water purity level, which will be displayed on the screen in ppm (parts per million). Just stick it in about 1 inch of water and instantly you get the reading. It’s compact and doesn’t need any maintenance. It includes a protective carrying case with a belt clip. This is handy for all RVers to have.
Miles of Smiles: Funny RV jokes and stories
By Gail Marsh
A friend once told us, “If you’re going to RV, you’ll need to pack a sense of humor!” Over the years we’ve learned that our friend was absolutely right. From unexpected minor mishaps to major calamities, it certainly helps to keep a sense of humor. Here are just a few examples of the “miles of smiles” (RV jokes and funny stories) we’ve heard—mostly from other RVers.
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 Simpson, Dale Wade and Paul Lacitinola. Moderator: 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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