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August 6, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
Full-time RVers not welcome here: South Dakota’s attempt to prevent RVers from voting and residency sparks outrage and concerns
magine receiving a jury duty summons while traveling miles away from the state that issued it. For Nanci Dixon and her husband, this summons turned their lives upside down. Despite pleading their case, health issues, and prior commitments, they were ordered to appear in South Dakota for an on-call duty for 30 days in the winter, maybe over Christmas. Wait… South Dakota in winter?? With snow and ice?? In a motorhome??
Full-time RVers across the nation are facing challenges to their voting rights and residency status. Recent bills aimed at restricting RVers’ voting rights have caused outrage.
Here’s her important story:
BY NANCI DIXON
My husband just received a Summons for Jury Duty in South Dakota. No problem, I thought. We are full-time RVers, miles from SD, and I will just contact them and he will be excused. Two days, with emails back and forth and no luck (at all), he is ordered to appear in South Dakota for September/October for 30 days on call.
Note: My husband is not against serving his public duty as a juror. But we are campground hosts through October 20th; we can’t leave the park in the lurch and still expect to be brought back the following year. We also have all our doctors’ appointments scheduled through that time—appointments that took months to get.
December in South Dakota?? In the RV?? In the snow??
I explained all of that, major health issues and more, in detail with the Minnehaha County Jury Manager and the Presiding Judge. They showed no mercy. We were only offered a chance to move it within the year. No, not next year after the spring thaw, but in November or December of this year. December in South Dakota in the winter… on icy roads… in a motorhome. And over Christmas! More than 1,600 miles from our snowbird retreat! To say I was shocked is an understatement.
HE’S BAAACK! Tony (Barthel) is back with all-new RV reviews. His reviews will appear in the Monday and Wednesday editions of our RV Daily Tips Newsletter, and the Sunday edition of this newsletter. Make sure you’re signed up to read them.
The 2024 Winnebago Solis Pocket 36B—To camp or not to camp?
By Tony Barthel
Today’s RV review is of the forthcoming Winnebago Solis Pocket 36B. The Solis Pocket is the most compact of Winnebago’s van-based RVs and makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. In fact, this might be a great choice if you have no intentions of going camping— but is also a good choice if you do.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
Another water tank falls through the floor. And maybe RVers are asking the wrong questions about RV quality?
In this column, we summarize some of your comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week Nanci Dixon shares comments from Jim A., who compares car travel to being told to “expect problems” with an RV. He thinks if RV shoppers ask the right question, maybe the quality of new RVs will start to improve. (What do you think about his suggestion?) Phil A. is a disabled veteran who is not only frustrated about not being able to do his own service on his RV, especially when he has the knowledge to do it, but also not being able to get even routine maintenance from a service center. Jim T. had the water tank fall out of this RV and neither the warranty company (including an expensive extended warranty) nor the manufacturer will cover the cost. Yikes!
Do you need an RV A/C cover?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Don’t look now, but soon the summer travel season will be over. Around the country, you may hear that collective sigh as RVers pull off the road and begin the process of winterizing. One question that pops up: Do you really need an RV A/C cover? That cooler up there is a big investment. Will spending thirty or more dollars make it last longer? Find out here.
The most difficult thing you have encountered while RVing? Fooling around, and lots more!
By Dave Helgeson
“What is the most difficult thing you have encountered while RVing?” This was a question recently asked on Facebook. At last check, more than 700 members had responded to the question. Many told of problems with their RV, others offered rants about RV owners, some related rather scary encounters… The best part was that many of the “difficult things” were comical. Read some of the responses here, then feel free to tell us about your own encounters in the comments.
RVers ask: Our RV’s steps hurt our aching knees. What to do?
By Gail Marsh
Readers Paula and Larry S. wrote to us with a concern. They wrote, “What do people with bad knees or legs do for better entry steps? The ones that come with campers nowadays are much better than the ones before 2019, but our camper is 2008. We need steps closer together and with a better handrail now that we are well over 65. I am sure others do too, as everyone seems to have bad knees in our age group! … What are others doing?” Good question! RV entry steps may be difficult for many people to use safely, especially as the years go by. Continue reading this very helpful information.
Around the Campfire
Are there unspoken rules about taking leftover firewood?
By Gail Marsh
There wasn’t a campfire, but folks were hot—and not because of the summer heat! Consider the recent conversation around the “campfire” about leftover campfire wood to see which side you’re on.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- RVs and roundabouts—Get safely through the traffic circle
- Watch in horror as this truck slides down the highway. Know these safe driving tips
- RVers will benefit from these unusual uses for koozies around their RV
- Tips from the experts: Get the most from your air conditioner and heat pump
- Stay safe during dangerous summer temperatures
High-elevation RV travel: What’s affected in your RV and how to adjust it
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
An RVer wrote us that she’s planning a trip from Texas to the higher elevations of the U.S. and wondered if there are any issues that she might face. High-elevation RV travel can and does present some challenges. We’ll tell you about them, and how to “fix” what you can. Continue reading.
A sudden epiphany: Life lessons learned while riding my bike
By Nanci Dixon
I have been learning life lessons while riding my bike (my beloved Lectric eBike). It is not as simple as the old adage goes, “Just like riding a bike.” I have been working on it for a while. … I am always a bit tense while riding and am afraid of falling. I have only fallen twice on my electric bike. Read about the insightful life lesson (important for everyone) Nanci learned from her second fall.
The delicious history of a campfire’s favorite treat
By Gail Marsh
Get ready to celebrate! National S’mores Day is August 10, 2023. Ever wonder how the s’more treat originated? Me, too! Here’s what I discovered. (Includes the history of each of the ingredients as well as the origin of the tasty treat itself. Yum!)
Why dogs are not allowed in some California State Parks
California has some of the best open spaces to sightsee and take in nature to the fullest with family and friends. Whether for the views from the mountains like Mount San Jacinto or walking barefoot along the beaches in San Diego, heading to the outdoors is good for body and soul, especially when you visit with your four-legged friend. Dogs are welcome at most state parks, but not all of them. Learn here where they’re not allowed.
Do you own an extended warranty for your RV?
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:
- RV’s retracted slide room blocks bedroom. OK to extend it partially?
- RV’s batteries are dead. Do I have to replace them if always on shoreline power?
- My generator only starts with RV engine running. What should I check?
- What seemed to be a shower leak in RV was something totally different!
- I found a seemingly hollow area on my RV’s roof. Should I investigate?
In the RV shop with Dustin
It’s time to clean those dirty, yellowed or clouded headlights
By Dustin Simpson
If your pickup truck, tow vehicle, or motorhome has yellowed or clouded headlights, it is likely due to the plastic or acrylic components. This yellowing or clouding can occur over time due to exposure to UV rays, environmental factors, and general wear and tear. Cleaning your headlights is an important safety task.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Prevent blisters with this easy gadget
By Gail Marsh
Hiking and walking long distances would be great if it weren’t for the blisters! If that’s been your excuse, you definitely need this! I absolutely love that this is a product for blister prevention. Yes, you read that correctly! It prevents blisters! Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than finding a great first-aid bandage after blisters have already formed? I thought so, too. So if you’re hiking, trust me, you need this!
Honcho Poncho Down: Warmth and comfort on chilly nights
By Cheri Sicard
Therm-a-Rest®, a company that specializes in sleeping mats, sleeping bags and other essentials aimed at keeping campers warm, had a hit with their original Honcho Poncho. But their new Honcho Poncho Down is even better as it’s down-filled and will keep you warm on even the coldest nights. Read Cheri’s warm and cozy review.
Midwest Travel Destinations
With Gail Marsh
Big surprises in a small Midwest town
A recent work camping job took us to western Nebraska for a few weeks. The small town of Imperial, Nebraska, proudly stands just over twenty miles from the Colorado border. We were expecting summer heat. (We got it!) We counted on long workdays. (We had those, too.) What we couldn’t have guessed was that there could be so many big surprises in such a small Midwest town. Click here to read.
The last few Midwest summer festivals and events worth attending
Experience thrilling Midwest summer festivals and events, from tug-of-war battles at Great River Tugfest to the enchanting Bristol Renaissance Faire’s RennCon™ weekend. Embrace the authentic charm of St. Paul’s Irish Fair with traditional food and mesmerizing performances. Don’t miss out on these fantastic celebrations before summer ends! Click here.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Hey, we bet you love this! We bet you forgot how much you love this! Try it again, it’s great fun!
RV Tire Safety
Can you change a tire on your RV?
By Roger Marble
Can you change a tire on your RV? This is not a question of your physical ability. While that is something you need to consider, let us set that question aside for this post. Let’s imagine we are in great physical shape; or even if we can’t lift 150 pounds off the floor, we might be in a situation where there are others around who can lend a hand with the physical aspect of doing the task. The intention of this post is to help people focus on the parts, information, and tools that might be needed to change a tire on the side of the road.
Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.
Adventures in prospecting and boondocking, Part 4
By Randall Brink
After a week’s hard work in the bramble patch mucking the gravel of the prospect, I found sufficient minerals to meet the federal “prudent man rule,“ pursuant to the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Chrisman v. Miller: … That meant it was time to stake a mining claim, so work was interrupted to do the physical marking of the claim boundaries as required by federal and Idaho state code.
Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?
If so, stories you missed:
• Full-size pickups most stolen vehicles in U.S. in 2022
• A new class-action lawsuit filed over RV park rent hikes
• Trip planning? Here are the states with the most distracted drivers!
• One town board is fighting to protect small-town free camping, and what RVers can do
• RVers say finding campsite for same day is easy, and cheap!
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
by Pat DiMercurio from Saginaw, MI
Fruit salsa is wonderful on chicken, fish, or all alone on a tortilla chip. This is a wonderful way to use ripe and juicy peaches. It’s sweet with a slight bite from the green onions. Fresh bell peppers and a lot of cilantro make this salsa wonderful. A bit of tang from lemon juice balances out the sweetness of the peaches. Simply delicious!
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“Moqui, a Border Collie mix, and Quail, a Pyrador [Great Pyrenees and Labrador mix]. My seven dogs all love to travel and have been across the continent. The oldest hit 48 states and seven provinces. For the younger dogs, it is a chance to hike new and more challenging trails, and towing the Jeep gives us the ability to get to some remote places. A hike often starts with 15 to 20 minutes of play, and ends with two tired dogs laying their heads on my arm and sleeping as we drive back.” —Michael Stumpf
• RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.
How did military vehicles get to be known as “tanks”? Well, they weren’t always. When tanks were first designed by the British during World War I, they were known as “landships.” However, in order to keep operations in secret, workers and laymen that came into contact with the vehicle construction programs were told they were building transportation vehicles to haul water and other liquids. In other words, tanks. The code name caught on and it has stuck ever since.
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 and Cheri Sicard. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade and Tony Barthel. Moderator: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Artificial Intelligence (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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