Saturday, September 30, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1111

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

July 2, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition

In yesterday’s issue, in our readers poll, we asked readers if they were currently experiencing unhealthy, smoky air or an unusually high temperature. At 3 p.m. Sat., with more than 1,100 responses already in, more than half — 58 percent — were experiencing such extremes. Thirteen-percent were experiencing both smoke and heat. From our staff, we want you to know we feel your pain — we’ve been there. Good luck! 

 Cover story 

Traveling with Bebe: Finding solitude and gold in nature’s splendor

By Randall Brink


n RV trip that mixes boondocking with prospecting is my camping ideal. Far from towns, campgrounds, and crowds, the boondocking prospector lives in freedom, tranquility, and peace.

My Labradoodle, Bebe, and I were headed out on the first boondocking adventure of the season. The road trip took us north through Sandpoint, Idaho, then south down the eastern shore of Lake Pend Oreille, through the small towns of Hope and Clark Fork.


We left the highway at Clark Fork. Outside of the town, we entered the Kaniksu National Forest. The road was open, but this was very early in the high country. The weather and the road conditions were marginal. We took it slow, not wanting to beat our little travel trailer to death on the gravel road. After two hours, we arrived at the confluence of two major creeks near where we would be placer mining for the summer.

We would be boondocking in the purest sense of the word and could pull off the road anywhere that was open and flat enough to park. I had a particular setting in mind. I’d been thinking of this spot all through the long winter months. It was just a few yards off the main Forest Service road and down a couple hundred feet of logging road in a clearing right on the creek.

I backed and maneuvered the trailer parallel to the creek about sixty feet from the bank. The creek was still full on its banks but well below the high spring runoff level. A few minutes later, we were parked, chocked, and leveled.

river wild

Bebe and I stood next to our little house on the creek bank and listened to the sound of the water on the rocks and gravel. There were a few bird sounds from high in the evergreens and, for the moment, nothing else. She looked at me in wonderment and sniffed air redolent of cedar, pine, white fir, and high-country creek verdure. We were more than twenty miles from the nearest paved road and thirty from any town. Though there were a few isolated cabins here and there on private parcels scattered amid the more than 2.5 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land, the sense—and reality—of wilderness isolation was profound.

Continue reading


Current Wildfire Report. (Includes map and details of fires.)
Current smoke and fire report for where you live or where you’re traveling.
Canadian Wildland Fire Information.

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

Forest River says these issues are ‘normal and to be expected’ with RVs. NOPE!

In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. Nanci Dixon shares John M.’s concerns about “the utter lack of documentation and schematics available in new RVs.” Michael K. is annoyed about RV manufacturers’ lack of quality control, and “by how the ‘Big 3’ companies are consolidating soooo many brands in their race to the bottom.” And Mark M. sold his RV back to the dealer, at a loss, after encountering numerous issues and Forest River claiming “this kind of thing is normal and to be expected with an RV.” Several others also did not “hold back” in expressing their frustrations with the RV industry.

Click here to read their outspoken but justifiable “rants”

Butt-to-nose RV sites. How close is close enough?

“Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?”

By Nanci Dixon
How close is close enough?! We are currently butt-to-nose with our RV neighbor next door. While we could easily find campsites all along our trip from Arizona to Minnesota, now in Minnesota, it has become a challenge. We have ended up for seventeen l-o-n-g days at a full-hookup site at an RV park near the metropolitan area. It is a fine RV park with concrete sites, full hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits, but it’s the tight sites that bother me. (And tight they are! Is it “close enough” when you’re touching your neighbor’s window?) Continue reading.

Quartzsite heat. Aren’t you glad you’re somewhere else?

Quartzsite heatBy Russ and Tina De Maris, longtime QZ residents
Quartzsite clings tenaciously to its claim of being the “Snowbird Capital of the West.” With the Big Tent RV Show, hundreds of miles of ATV trails, and loads of open space on BLM land to camp on, there are plenty of attractions. And when Minnesotans groan as they pull on Long Johns to face sub-zero weather in January, Snowbirds in Quartzsite are in “Hog Heaven.”… But it’s not January anymore—and the Quartzsite heat has arrived. Yikes!

Speaking of Quartzsite… If you are active on be sure to join the Quartzsite RVer Group.

Campsite neighbors light up cigars… So much for fresh air!

By Gail Marsh
We were excited to finally open our windows. After one solid week of RVing in the rain, the skies cleared. All day we looked forward to nighttime—sleeping with the fresh air breezing through our open bedroom windows. But then—smoke! And not from a campfire this time! Is that cigar we smell? Are cigars even allowed in the campground? Read more then participate in our poll.

RVers’ guide to surviving a Mormon cricket invasion

Morman crickets on the ground.
Crickets on the road to the ghost town we explored. Photo: Dave Helgeson

By Dave Helgeson
You have probably read the headlines concerning the Mormon crickets overwhelming sections of eastern Nevada. They are invading buildings, covering roads to the point where snowplows have been dispatched, devouring vegetation and, worst of all, they smell. My wife and I can relate as we have firsthand experience RVing through swarming Mormon crickets. We found ourselves in the middle of such an invasion many years ago in eastern Nevada. Continue reading and get ready to say, “Yuck!”

Around the Campfire

How do I tell my partner that RVing isn’t for me?

As related by Gail Marsh, at a recent gathering around the campfire one of the RVers arrived without her husband. He was watching baseball back in their RV, but Jodi needed to vent. She also wanted advice. Read what Jodi told her fellow campers, and the advice they offered her. Do you have more advice for her and others who may be second-guessing their RVing life?

Read more and share your thoughts here

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

These systems will keep your RV cool all summer long, even when dry camping

By Dave Helgeson
The dog days of summer are once again upon us, leaving many RVers concerned if they will be able to stay cool enough to sleep well at night. This is especially true when dry camping with no shore power. If you want to keep your RV cool all summer long, keep reading.

RVers, celebrate freedom from high prices with these 4th of July specials

By Gail Marsh
On the road this Fourth of July? RVers can celebrate freedom from high prices and take advantage of some great deals with these 4th of July specials. We bet you’ll find something you can save on.

It’s summer. Beware of rattlesnakes

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is sharing important information to keep you, your family and your pets safe from rattlesnakes. Recently, an 11-year-old boy was bitten by a rattlesnake during a biking accident near Golden, CO. He survived, thanks to his father’s quick action. Continue reading this potentially lifesaving information.

It’s illegal to wrestle bears in Missouri, and for good reason!

By Gail Marsh
Yes, you read that correctly! Local authorities recently reminded RVers and other folks that bear wrestling is illegal here. So, you’d best not add bear wrestling to your planned camping activities—at least not while RVing in Missouri! Learn all about bear wrestling here.

Reader Poll (and article)

Would you recommend RVing to a friend?

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: Walmart “campers,” do you ask the store for permission to stay, or just stay? Do you think 16 percent, 43 percent or 73 percent always ask permission? Find out here.

Handy tools: “Magnetizer” should be in every RVer’s toolbox

In this three-minute video, our tech advisor, Dave Solberg, shows you a small device that would almost certainly come in handy in any RVer’s tool kit and at home, too. It’s called a Magnetizer. If you are not familiar with this, you will be impressed how useful it can be, and for the price of a fast food burger. Learn more or order.

Travel Destinations

Beware of the Wolf: Surviving Colorado’s intense Wolf Creek Pass

A map of Wolf Creek Pass

By Nanci Dixon
My husband and I drove our 40-foot motorhome towing a pickup truck down one of the most dangerous highways in Colorado, Wolf Creek Pass, and lived to tell the tale. This pass has a switchback curve at the top and a 200-foot drop-off. Forget the guardrails here, you’d go off the cliff! Continue reading.

Raising the bar: Historic drinking establishments you’ll want to say ‘Cheers’ to

By Chris Epting
You’ve been running all over the city (or the country), visiting museums, landmarks, tourist traps, souvenir stands, zoos, aquariums. After all, you’re on a relaxing road trip vacation, right? Well, for those moments on the road when you’d love to do nothing more than slow down, relax and curl up with someone special over a good strong drink, why not make it something memorable – or even historic? There are some well–oiled taverns, pubs and saloons still left in the U.S. that are steeped in history; the perfect places to begin (or end) a vacation pub crawl. So if you have a little time, this round of places is on me.

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!

DID YOU KNOW? Unlike many other biting pests, ticks are adapted to feed for long periods of time. They bury their curved teeth deeply into the skin of a host, so they can remain securely attached for days on end to eat. It’s important to note that ticks typically require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections like Lyme disease. So get rid of that free-loader pronto! Have a Tick Twister on hand—it gets rid of ticks immediately!

What if we told you you’d never be itchy again? Well, it’s true! We recently got one of these ourselves and, yep, it works (review coming soon)! In the meantime, definitely keep this handy… and never itch again!

Campground Characters

Completing one RVing couple’s bucket list: Bike in all 50 states

By Nanci Dixon
Yesterday I met Ed Gramza, a fellow camper. He was working on his eBike and I wandered over to see how he had turned it over, since he seemed to have it down. He has the same brand, Lectric eBike, that I have, so I had to go see. I was impressed by how clean and well-cared for their bikes were. I was glad mine was undercover so he couldn’t see it.

Read their story here

In the RV shop with Dustin

Have you checked your RV A/C ceiling vents recently? They’re dirty!

By Dustin Simpson
When was the last time you checked your RV air conditioner ceiling vents? If it’s been a while, listen up! Join me as I show you how to clean them and check the aluminum foil tape. You’ll also want to go the extra mile and add filters.

Continue reading

Snowbirds: Prepare to Hit the Road!
As you plan your fall and winter routes, remember that Tifton Overnight RV is the place to stay while you’re on the way! Located just off of I-75 at Exit 62 in South Georgia, this RV stop offers full hook ups, pull-through sites, a fenced dog park, and fast WIFI – and is within walking distance of restaurants including Starbucks, Waffle House, and Chick-fil-A. Learn more and book your stay today!

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

Save-a-Step stabilizes RV steps; no more bouncing!

By Gail Marsh
Boing! Boiiing! That’s the sound we used to hear when stepping on our RV’s steps. Well, maybe we didn’t exactly hear it, but the entire trailer bounced whenever anyone used our entry steps. It certainly felt like Boing! Boiiing! The flimsy two steps had way too much “give” in them, even if a child used the steps! Learn about this stabilizing product here.

TaoHorse hand-held, cordless, USB rechargeable vacuum cleaner cleans RVs in an instant

By Cheri Sicard
Let me start this review with the disclaimer if you have a BIG RV, this product will likely not suit your needs. If, on the other hand, you have a small- to medium-sized RV, it does an amazing job. Plus, besides being hand-held and cordless, this vacuum cleaner is USB rechargeable. Continue reading.

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).

 NEW! Mystery article

Why would someone get naked and paint themselves with stripes? Well, this article tells you why and, hey, it works! (Would be quite the sight in a campground, though…)

RV Tire Safety

Understanding what temperature change does to tire pressure

By Roger Marble
This is Part 2 in a series of posts I’m doing in which each will be focused on one aspect of tire inflation. Last week I talked about the “MAX PSI” information on the sidewall of tires. If you missed it you can go back by clicking here. This week I will cover what temperature change does to tire pressure.

Read more

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

Cut up a whole watermelon in minutes!
This stainless steel watermelon slicer works like magic! If you eat watermelon, you need this! Simply push the tool into the watermelon, and pull out perfectly cubed pieces of this sweet summer treat. It couldn’t be easier. If you don’t believe us when we tell you it’s great, just read the reviews! Learn more or order here.

Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?

If so, stories you missed:
With RV sales plummeting, repair wait times are shorter
Truckers and RVers battle for overnight parking spots
Rest area dump stations are closing. Where you gonna go?
The stunning future of AI in RVs: Imagine your RV driving itself!
Campground Crowding: ‘The concept of the great American outdoors is now miniature golf and water parks’
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

Recipe of the Day

Patriotic Berry Trifle

by Macrayla Evans from Ceres, CA

Macrayla’s berry trifle is beautiful and would make a wonderful centerpiece for your dessert table. It tastes just as good as it looks. The base is a pre-made angel food cake that’s brushed with a tangy lemon simple syrup. In between layers of fresh blueberries and strawberries is a light and fluffy cream cheese whipped cream. Once assembled, this is a delightful summer treat. Since it’s red, white, and blue, you can enjoy this at your Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day cookout.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Eddie is our little ‘weirdo’ rescue dog. He’s been part of our family for about a year now. It’s wonderful to see how he’s gone from anxious to trusting over time. He loves exploring new places with us and we can’t imagine life without him! Rescue dogs are awesome!” —Elisabeth Degallier

RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.


The sun’s core is so hot that a piece the size of a pinhead would give off enough heat to kill a person 99 miles away.

Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.

Sunday funny

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

 Roadside Journal 

Random Act of Kindness:

Tissue needed for this story: 87-year-old Rose inspires others by example

By Chuck Woodbury
An 87-year-old woman named Rose goes back to college, where, by example, she inspires the young students to be all they can be with their lives. Before you read this, have tissue ready. This story will warm your heart — No, that’s not right: Rose will warm your heart. All Star Team

rv travel logo

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, 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 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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2 months ago

Now I can tell you about wolf pass. We took a wrong turn and went up 10k feet wolf pas and it took us forever to get up there towing an RV. That is not for the faint of heart. We did it and let me tell you that was nothing until you hit some switch backs in Utah north of Bryce Canyon. Its heading south off 12. That was not for the faint of heart. Colorado and Utah has some wicked turns and scares you can imagine. So I am no stranger to scary drives with a trailer. Stay safe.

2 months ago

You missed the mark when it comes to the wildfires and air quality. It also affects the weather as well. I am in Maine for a seasonable job and I came up May 18 to secure the new RV. Uh huh yeah well it is chilly until June 1. Since May 18 it has rained, been wet and cold since. Maine went on record since record keeping began in Maine as the wettest, coldest and rainiest on record ever for June. Normal Maine is usually in the 70s to near 80s and sometimes we get humid weather. Not this summer. It is still raining and being cooped up when not raining is not fun. So lets blame Canada for this fun weather pattern. As for the other not RVing any more? As a family I knew it was over for all of us as family camping. 2 years ago we did our final farewell to camping in the UP of Michigan. Since then I season in Maine and my permanent home is now NC. We have all gone on our separate ways and we do our own thing now. So as for camping? Thats all over and done with.

2 months ago

Nothing has changed with Manufacturing RV’s. We have two different manufacturers and both lacked quality control. Our first one , they placed an inner wall on our intake water line, then when asked, they said we didn’t know how to fill it. Nope, they placed an inside wall punching our line. Second one, we couldn’t and still can’t figure out how to get satellite in bedroom. It supposed to go through water bay, it doesn’t, and when asked for diagram for wiring, they sent one, but wasn’t ours. Tho we sent the vin # and model. We still can’t figure the bedroom, but did find some wiring after replacing tv in Livingroom, nope that wasn’t it either.
Being on top of neighbors, we tried to pull into a site in MS and had to ask our neighbor to put in his awning just to get into our site, too close.
One of my husbands pet peeves is smelling someone smoking, just don’t care for it. I give my husband an option to quit RVing, going on 11 years😉

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