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June 11, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
RV industry again falsely claims RVing is cheapest way to travel
By Chuck Woodbury
he RV Industry Association (RVIA) issued its annual press release recently that claims, again, that yet another study confirms traveling by RV is the most affordable way to take a vacation.
The headline on its recent press release was:
Families save money by vacationing in RVs
The release begins:
“A new study conducted by an outside, independent firm has found that RV vacations cost much less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership.”
One of my favorite classes in college (way back when) was Advertising 101. One subject we discussed at length was “Lying with Statistics.” What I learned is that you can prove just about anything you want by twisting the data in a way that proves your point. Advertisers and politicians do it routinely.
In its most recent press release, to prove its point that traveling by RV was cheaper than other means, the RVIA compared a vacation with a Class A motorhome to a vacation of luxury without an RV.
I asked Monica Geraci, the Director of PR and Communications for the RVIA, this: “Is the following statement regarding your latest study correct?”
“The class A motorhome, typically the largest and most luxurious RV, was compared to travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.”
She responded: “Yes, Class A [vacation] is compared to a luxury vacation.”
I own a Class A motorhome but I do not fly first class when I take a vacation without my RV. Do you? And how does the RVIA define a “Class A” motorhome? Is it one that someone buys used for $10,000, or a half-million-dollar diesel pusher purchased brand-new?
I asked her if camping with a tent was included in the study. I mean, wouldn’t that be a cheaper way to take a vacation than with an RV? Her response was no. “We were comparing ‘comparable vacations’,” she said.
So camping with a pop-up trailer, for example, can’t be compared to traveling with a tent, but camping with a Class A motorhome can be compared to flying first class, renting a premium car, and staying in luxury hotels? Huh?
WHERE’S THE WILDFIRE SMOKE? Find out here:
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
‘Your headline made me choke on my coffee! Social media IS for experts!’
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week, Nanci Dixon continues to share your comments about poor RV service and poorly built RVs, but also rave reviews of great service at RV service centers. And Frank D. explains why he choked when he read our headline: “Reading the owner’s manual, NOT trusting social media, will solve many RV problems.” See if you agree with him.
The RV industry scrambles to survive: Are camping’s glory days over?
By Andy Zipser
Heading into the Memorial Day weekend, camping and RV industry cheerleaders were cranking out comparisons and forecasts to support their contention that the industry’s best days still lie ahead. But coming on the heels of some truly astonishing declines in factory shipments of new RVs, the chorus had a distinctly plaintive tone. Continue reading this no holds barred report.
Absolutely outrageous campground rules!
Nanci Dixon is currently traveling from Arizona to Minnesota and staying in a variety of RV parks. She notes that she has never seen the sheer number of rules at campgrounds before! She wonders: When RV parks charge more, do they print out more pages of rules? You won’t believe some of these rules—they’re insane! … Or are they? Read more then add your comments.
You caused a freak accident at the campground. Are you covered?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It’s another relaxing trip to the campground. This time you brought the grandkids. As the sun sets over the horizon, you break out the marshmallows by the fireside. The youngest grandchild ignites a marshmallow, and in their excitement, springs the burning goody off the stick and onto a guest across the fireside. The flaming projectile ignites the guest’s coat on fire, and the rest is summed up in a lawsuit. You have homeowner’s insurance—are you covered? Hang on, you have liability insurance on the motorhome—are you covered? Continue reading this important message.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- 25 unusual uses for zip-type bags while RVing
- Do you need to “balance” RV trailer tires?
- Solo camping: Tips for staying safe while RVing alone
- 12 easy RV cleaning tricks with everyday products
- Avoid falling so you can RV longer
DID YOU KNOW? Our RV Daily Tips newsletter is packed with helpful tips and advice every Monday through Friday. Click here to subscribe.
The one thing you absolutely MUST pack when RVing
By Gail Marsh
A credit card’s famous tagline used to be, “Don’t leave home without it.” These same words might well be used when it comes to RVing. No matter where you plan to go, no matter what you plan to do, no matter who is traveling with you, there is one thing that every RVer absolutely must pack for every, single trip: … Find out what it is here. [Sorry, folks. Chuck made me do it. —Diane]
Incredible campground, sightseeing and history in Monument Valley
By Nanci Dixon
As we meander our way up north, we had an amazing short stop at Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation, Utah. I was awed well beyond my expectations. While the drive on US 160 from Flagstaff, Arizona, was winding and a little bumpy, it was so worth it. For years I have seen spectacular, otherworldly photos and postcards of Monument Valley and longed to go in person. For those of you who have been there, you know. Read more, see the incredible campground she stayed at, and check out Nanci’s beautiful pictures!
If you’re making RV payments, how much are they per month?
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
Do you think most other RVers eat dinner before 5 p.m.? Or is between 5-6 p.m. the most common time they eat? Or is it between 6-7 p.m.? Take a guess and see if you’re right, and see how nearly 1,900 other RVers answered.
RANDOM THOUGHT: If you are having a bad day at home and your RV is close by, escape to it for a while. Close the door and just sit quietly. The change of scenery plus the “good feeling” of the RV might improve your spirits.
RVing the Midwest
By Gail Marsh
Not-to-miss small-town Midwest (and more) 4th of July celebrations
Small town, America. You’ve gotta love their celebrations! Midwest small towns proudly show the world their patriotic spirit. If you haven’t already, put one of the following small-town Midwest 4th of July celebrations on your RV summer camping list. As you’ll soon discover, I stretched the boundaries of the Midwest a bit here and there. I couldn’t seem to help myself! It’s just that so many small communities are huge when it comes to patriotism! Continue reading, then start planning.
Your guide to every Midwest drive-in theater to visit this summer
Remember watching movies from your car? Or seeing your favorite Hollywood stars on a huge outdoor screen? Or listening to the movie’s audio via a speaker that fastened onto your car window? You can relive those cherished moments this summer—or perhaps introduce your kids or grandkids to this unique experience. There are many Midwest drive-in theaters for you to visit this summer, so be sure to plan a night or two for a drive-in theater experience. Learn all about drive-in theaters here.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Ohhh, say can you seeeeeee… Come on, sing along, you know the tune! You’ll be singing it every day if you have this around!
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- The cargo carrying capacity of my Class C is only 630 lbs.! Can I tow a trailer?
- Conflicting info from RV tech and dealer about 50-amp plugs. Who is right?
- RV window seals shrank, exposing opening. How to fix?
- Dometic A/C keeps changing fan speeds. Why?
- RV’s absorption refrigerator is not cooling. How about a residential fridge?
Have a question for Dave? Click any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!
In the RV shop with Dustin
Prevent water heater explosions by knowing the signs
By Dustin Simpson
Water heater explosions are rare but when they do happen, they can be devastating. Do not wait for a catastrophe. Here are a few signs your water heater will give before bursting.
DID YOU KNOW? Dustin writes three other articles each week, posted in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday editions of our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. Make sure you’re signed up.
NEW! Mystery article
This memorial to one of our most famous and beloved American singers is found at the most unsuspecting place (truly). Leave it up to Chuck Woodbury to ask, “Why the heck is this here?!” See who we’re talking about and learn the fascinating story of this memorial. (And hold your breath—it’ll stink after this!)
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
By Cheri Sicard
Rophor RV Levelers: Streamlined solution for double-axle trailers
Ever since I bought my current travel trailer a few years back, I have been looking for a better way to level side to side than stacking boards. Not that stacking boards don’t work, but it’s not always easy or convenient. Along the way, I found out the hard way that some RV levelers on the market leave a lot to be desired. Continue reading.
Most used accessory: Camco’s flat-folding step stool for RVs
This little gadget is one of my most used RV accessories. The Camco folding step stool folds flat to be neatly tucked away into almost any closet or cubby and instantly unfolds into a sturdy step stool. When it’s time to put it away, just press in the hinged sides, which causes the hinged top to fold up. Couldn’t be easier. Read about many of its uses here.
DO YOU ENJOY READING ABOUT GADGETS? Then you absolutely must read the latest edition of our Great RV Accessories Newsletter! Read it here, and if you like what you see, sign up for it (delivered to your inbox every other Thursday).
What is it?
Now what do you suppose this is? We’ll give you a few hints: It’s not a 1940s Jell-O mold. It’s not a helmet. It’s not a toy. It’s not for chips and dip. It’s highly unlikely you could buy it on Amazon, but you might find it at an antique shop. It could hold a liquid at times, but you wouldn’t want to drink it. Finally, we found this item in a museum in Massachusetts. Give up? We’ll have the answer in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter. (Sign up for an email reminder of the issue.)
RV Tire Safety
Tire ‘safety margin’ versus ‘durability margin’ – What’s the difference?
By Roger Marble
The term “safety margin” is used for many “structures” like bridges or sometimes in individual components like bolts or steel cables. However, I bet you have never used the term “durability margin.” When it comes to tires, this might be a better term to use.
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:
• RV manufacturer touts new 7-year extended warranty – Is it for real?
• New BLM rule would lack congressional oversight and limit recreational access
• Court rules in favor of ‘Corner Crossers’ on public lands in federal lawsuit
• Camping World stock shoots upward. What it means for RVers
• Time running out to visit gas station that pumps Cheez-Its
• Lippert launches revolutionary flexible solar awning
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
by Amy Jajliardo from Mt. Vernon, ME
Enhance your summer grilling with this homemade apricot barbecue sauce. Sweet with a slight tang, it caramelizes while grilling and browns the meat perfectly. We loved it on chicken breasts, but any cut of chicken would work. Pork would be great. If you use this sauce with bone-in chicken, we recommend waiting until the end to baste the chicken or it will burn.
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“Lola and Lukas. Relaxing after a tough day at the campground.” —John McKinnon
• RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.
When you order decaffeinated coffee at a restaurant, the pot will usually have an orange top and handle. The reason? When decaffeinated coffee was the hot new thing, Sanka, with its distinctive orange packaging, was THE brand. In a big promotion, the company sent thousands of orange coffee pots with orange spouts to coffee shops across the USA. To this day, when you order decaf coffee, the pot it’s poured from will most often be “Sanka” orange, no matter what the brand.
You may not find yourself laughing at this one, but you’ll surely find yourself saying, “Yikes!” Can you believe this?? We’ll say it for you… Yikes! Watch it more than once and you might let out a chuckle…
Give the most patriotic RVing gift of all time
If you’re going to be patriotic, why not do so with an American flag made out of motorhomes? How cool is this shirt? It comes in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes, so you can match with the whole family. And it’s 100% cotton so you know it will be soft! This is so neat! Get one for yourself 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 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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