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July 9, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
The little pleasures of RVing: The cool side of the pillow
By Gail Marsh
ecently, as we settled into bed for the night, I heard the far-off, deep-throated grumble of thunder from a distant storm. The storm must have hit the power lines that bring electricity to our campground because almost immediately our RV’s air conditioner shuddered and then abruptly stopped.
As I opened the RV windows, I gratefully noted that the evening temperatures had dropped significantly—probably due in large part to the passing rainstorm. Gentle, intermittent puffs of fresh nighttime air found their way into our rig, and as I lay back down, the thought came to me: Use the cool side of the pillow. I smiled.
Growing up, my family did not have air conditioning. It was simply a luxury we couldn’t afford. Daytime heat steadily rose to the top of our small, two-story Iowa farmhouse, where my sisters and I shared a bedroom. That oppressive heat resulted in many hot, summertime nights of struggling to fall asleep. Too many nights to even count, until that is, the wonder of the cool side of the pillow.
It was my mom who first suggested that I flip my bed pillow over—to the cool side. I was surprised when cool, crisp cotton immediately greeted my weary, heat-flushed, 7-year-old face.
MOM WAS UNDOUBTEDLY a hundred times more tired than me, but I remember she kissed the nape of my sweaty, little neck and patted my back—silently acknowledging the misery of summertime heat and humidity. As she left the bedroom, she suggested, “If you get hot again, just flip to the cool side of the pillow.”
The memory of Mom’s little cooling secret would never have returned to my thoughts had we not been RVing.
As I flipped my pillow to the cool side, I got to thinking about the many additional pleasures that I enjoy the most when RVing—many of which I experienced so long ago during my childhood. With the air conditioning off and windows open, I hear the crickets’ summer song and the unmistakable hoo-hoot of an owl. Peeking out my bedside window I’m reminded of the vast number of stars in the nighttime sky—a sight I rarely see when in our stix-n-brix home.
RVing takes me out—away from the city’s lights and noise. RVing takes me away—to places I only dared to dream about as a child. RVing takes me back—to when my days were simpler. The days of hot, humid, summertime nights when I flipped my pillow to the cool side.
Keep up with Gail’s posts by signing up for a weekly email digest of the articles she wrote the previous week.
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FOR FACEBOOK MEMBERS: Check out our new RVer Scavenger Hunt group. Members post photos of where they’ve been and others try to guess the location. Lots of fun.
WHERE ARE THE WILDFIRES AND SMOKE? Find out here:
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
116-point inspection and RV is still “crap”
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week Nanci Dixon shares your comments and concerns, including Anthony S.’s question about a dealer’s refund policy (have you heard of this?). Also, there are more complaints about RVs spending more time in the shops than on the road due to the poor build “quality.” Gerald H. wonders what good is a 116-point inspection by the dealer when the RV is still “crap.” And while we’re on that topic, Don T. says: “I’ve always had a philosophy that when you purchase an RV, you beat the crap out of it for the first year, while everything is still under warranty.” Well, there ya go.
So you want to sell your RV? Here are the best places to sell, and why
By Nanci Dixon
Whether you have had it with crowded campgrounds, have discovered RVing is just not for you, or are looking to upgrade or downsize, you might be asking: “Where’s the best place to sell my RV?” Let’s find out.
Can I camp in an ADA site?
By Nanci Dixon
One of our readers wrote in about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) camping sites. Dana M. writes: “Are ADA-accessible RV camp spots to be treated the same as handicap parking spots, with penalties for unauthorized use? Or are they available for use by non-ADA persons the same as restrooms and toilet stalls when unoccupied and available? We recently visited a national park that had numerous accessible sites that I’m pretty sure were occupied by non-ADA campers.” To answer Dana’s question: It depends. Continue reading.
Do-it-yourself inverter repair – Important to know
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’re away from shore power, having a power inverter goes a long way to making life better. But if your inverter takes a vacation while you’re on vacation, life can get tough. Can you do your own inverter repair? In some cases, the diagnosis and treatment is easy for the competent do-it-yourselfer. Read all about DIY inverter repair here.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- You can prevent RV-caused wildfires
- RV awnings: Everything you need to know
- Tips for making your RV feel more spacious
- RVing during wildfire season? Clean your RV A/C filters!
- These are the home remedies we swear by for bug bite itching
These campground owners buck the trend and do things right!
By Nanci Dixon
When we stopped in Waco, Nebraska, at the Double Nickel campground and were led to our campsite, I let the owner, who was guiding us, know how happy I was with the breathing room between sites. She didn’t just stack the RVs side by side. She told me that when she and her husband bought the campground they actually reduced the number of campsites. Read all about this wonderful park that RVers built.
How can I know if RVing is right for me?
By Gail Marsh
A would-be RVer recently posted a question on Facebook. Chip said, “My wife is all hyped up about RVing. She’s ready to buy an RV and take it traveling immediately because we’re both recently retired. I like to think I’m a little more pragmatic. I mean, we’ve never even talked about RVing. She says I’m a stick in the mud. What do you think?” Oh, Chip. Where to begin? Continue reading.
RV Prospector: Adventures in boondocking and prospecting, Part 2
By Randall Brink
The rising sun chased the heavy morning mist into the trees. I drank camp coffee and thought about moving closer to the bench where we would set up to work the ancient stream gravels. A move would be risky due to the dense foliage upstream along the trail—a trail that was but a vestige of a logging road that ran parallel to the creek. A mountain spring had surfaced in the middle of the old road. I could drive the 4×4 into the site, but the condition of the trail discouraged pulling the camp trailer over it. Continue reading about Randall’s and Bebe’s ongoing adventures.
Is your RV model older than 10 years or newer than 10 years?
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: Do you start each day with a cup of coffee? How do you think nearly 1,900 other RVers answered? Are they coffee drinkers or not? Take a guess and see if you’re right.
California Gold Country wines and wine tasting with Harvest Hosts
By Cheri Sicard
I have done a lot of California wine tasting through the years. Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Temecula, Paso Robles, and more. But I never realized how much great Gold Country wines and wine tasting opportunities there were until this year’s travels took me up California’s Highway 99. This area is huge farmland for all kinds of agriculture, including table and wine grapes. I planned to spend a month or so in the Auburn area, but to get there I used Harvest Hosts to wine-taste my way up California’s interior. And what a great time it was. You’ll enjoy reading this, even if you’re not a wine lover.
For baseball and history fans, this museum is not to be missed
By Chris Epting
If you’re on the road in the Denver area this summer and you love baseball history, there is but one place to visit: the National Ballpark Museum. Located a short toss (one block) from Coors Field, the museum is dedicated to the long-gone “green cathedrals” where much of baseball’s lore and myth was written. The museum prides itself in one-of-a-kind treasures, including those from the original 14 classic ballparks, and is the only museum dedicated to ballparks. Continue reading.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- 8 tips to ward off mosquitoes inside and outside of the RV
- What is the best option to connect six 6-volt batteries for RV?
- We want to add a ventless washer/dryer combo in our RV. Any suggestions?
- Why is it snowing Styrofoam beads and debris from my RV’s A/C vents?
- My RV’s auto-level system doesn’t work. How do I recalibrate 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!
In the RV shop with Dustin
Reasons to update your RV faucet
By Dustin Simpson
RV faucets for kitchens and bathrooms are the unsung focal point of the room. All the activity in bathrooms and kitchens revolves around the sink. The RV faucet is the sink’s crowning jewel. An old, malfunctioning RV faucet may provide a good reason for replacement, but upgrading the interior décor may be another. Choosing a stylish design can really make a difference inside the room.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
If you see us in this while we’re around the campsite, do not laugh (we know it will be hard). This looks like it could really work and we NEED something that really works!
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Getting a new FlexArmor RV roof for our RV – Worth it!
By Gail Marsh
You may remember that a pounding hailstorm ruined the roof of our fifth wheel RV. Our insurance company requested that we get quotes for the repairs, so we approached our local RV dealership. We’ve bought and sold several RVs at this business over the years and have a good working relationship with the techs who work there. They seemed an obvious choice for replacing our roof. But then, my husband began to research other options. Once he discovered the FlexArmor RV roofs, he was sold! Find out why here.
Mini portable grill and cooler in its own carrying bag works great for RVers
By Cheri Sicard
I have been searching for a truly small portable charcoal grill for a long time. Cast iron hibachis looked good, but I did not need their heavy weight. Plus, hibachis are EXPENSIVE! I also wanted something that would not take up much physical space and that I could pack away in my RV without dirt and ash getting on everything. Then one day while browsing at the Dollar Store (where nothing is a dollar anymore), I happened upon this portable mini grill that comes in its own carrying case. Read all about it.
?? Mystery article ??
Now THIS is glamping in a whole new form—only it’s delicious and in your very own RV! Get your bib on, you’re going to need it! Click here.
Bob Williams was an avid RVer, and the first Black player for the Lakers
By Nanci Dixon
You never know who you’ll meet in the campground! Marietta Williams stopped by our campsite to chat. She said that she and her husband, Bob Williams, had bought seven RVs and she liked ours. She then began to tell us about her late husband, Bob Williams. He was the first Black basketball player for the Lakers in the 1950s and one of only seven in the nation at that time.
PRIME DAY IS APPROACHING: Save tons of money on thousands of items. Prime Day is July 11-12, but many items are already on sale. Click here for more details, or go straight to Amazon to see the deals.
RANDOM THOUGHT: A terrific place to pause on your RV travels is at a library. And the price is right – free admission! Search for local or regional magazines: They may provide ideas of things to see and do. And the same goes for the local newspaper, which will not only provide quick clues about local news and events but about the residents and their culture. Most libraries have a section devoted to regional history. Browse through a book or two. You will learn things about the area that you would never learn otherwise. In small libraries, consider donating a book you’ve read. It will be appreciated.
RV Tire Safety
Why do some spare tires go “POP” when mounted on RV rear bumper?
By Roger Marble
I heard that there were a number of folks in the RV community with trailers and 5th wheel towables that were having problems with the spare tire that is mounted on the rear bumper. The tires were having a “belt detachment” even though they had never been on the road. So let’s dig into this phenomenon.
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:
• Generator noise ratings matter more than you think
• Cyanide bombs should be banned from use on public lands
• KOA swimming pond closes after drownings
• “This ‘Woe is me, I can’t find a campsite’ stuff is getting old!”
• Lock your doors: A foot fondler is on the loose
• RV expert picks the BEST 5th wheel brands for 2023
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
by Stacey Lawson from New Orleans, LA
Sweet and sour, this pork tenderloin has a bit of a kick! The pork itself is super tender and juicy. After simmering in the slow cooker, the flavors of the sauce are fantastic. So simple and delicious, this is a slow cooker dinner everyone will ask for seconds of.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is our RV traveling buddy, Presley, getting ready to enjoy a soft serve from a fast food restaurant. She loved RV travel. She loved to just go out and sit in the truck, even when we weren’t traveling, in anticipation. Yes, and she did get to go to Memphis many times. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge in May at the age of 14. We miss her and have a lot of fond memories of her.” —Jeff Jarrett
• RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.
The painting of George Washington that was used for the one dollar bill was never finished. Artist Gilbert Stuart first painted George Washington in 1795. The painting was so successful that George’s wife, Martha, wanted a portrait for herself. Once he began painting, Stuart did not wish to part with the painting so he left it unfinished so he could refer to it when reproducing.
We dare you to try this at your campsite!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
My first job: A television anchor!
By Chuck Woodbury
Many of you have read my articles for 10, 20, even 30 years or more. But I bet none of you ever knew that one of my very first jobs was a television anchor. Do you think I am kidding? I am not. Here’s the story.
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, 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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