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September 10, 2023
Why won’t most RVers let a stranger use their RV bathroom?
By Nanci Dixon
V Travel recently posted a poll asking RVers if they would let a stranger use their RV bathroom. 85% resoundingly said no or most likely not! Only 14% said most likely, and 1% said yes.
Personally, I had a hard time responding to the poll. It was somewhat of a moral dilemma for me. Would I do what I think is right or what I want? The right answer for me would be to allow a stranger in need to come in (with my big, tall, strong husband in the RV, too). But what I want is definitely no stranger in my RV’s bathroom! I am not even fond of my kids and grandkids using the bathroom.
But beyond the issue of right or wrong or what I want, there is the bigger question of trust or distrust. Comments under the poll confirmed that. It brought to mind how things have changed with fear, anger and distrust.
Forty years ago I happily picked up hitchhikers and even hitched a few times myself. I made some lifelong friends. Today, I wouldn’t consider picking someone up on the side of the road. I certainly don’t have the stamina or trust to stand on the side of the road believing in strangers to help. Thank goodness, I don’t need to.
WHEN DID IT CHANGE? When did we start locking our doors and windows? And when did Ring Doorbells become a multi-million dollar business? A lot of people say it was Covid. I think Covid and the constant reminder of division have contributed to the anger, but I believe the fear and distrust came earlier.
When did we quit entertaining strangers and welcoming the homeless and hungry to our table? My husband welcomes the stranger much better than I do. We are campground hosts in Minnesota. It is a huge wooded county park near the city. We have seen changes these last few years since Covid with domestic disturbances, unpaid stealth camping and particularly increasing numbers of the unhoused being escorted out of the park.
Today’s RV review…
Coachmen Mirada 35ES—A brilliant solution to the bunkhouse dilemma
By Tony Barthel
Today’s RV review is of the 2024 Coachmen Mirada 35ES motorhome. This is a motorhome that solves a problem I’ve never seen done before and sets a new standard in this area. What the heck am I going on about?
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
“I was told to not make a service appointment until the parts come in”—Yikes!
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week Nanci Dixon shares some of your emails, including an RVer’s agonizing story about their full-time fifth wheel residence being in the shop for months (while they stayed with a very understanding friend). Also, a happy camper’s recommendation for an RV shop, which is three hours away but worth the drive. Plus, there’s a comparison of two shops that are like night and day regarding their service, even though they’re under the same brand.
The sneaky white lies and tricks some RV salesmen use when selling an RV
By Gail Marsh
“Five, ten, fifteen, twenty!” If you watch television, you’ve probably seen Camping World’s plethora of end-of-summer advertisements. “See America for less!” That’s Camping World’s most recent boast, and many folks get excited at the thought of owning an RV. My thought? RV buyer beware! RV salesmen always have tricks up their sleeves… Continue reading.
What do you think of this homebuilt RV?
We will all agree, right, that this RV did not come off a manufacturer’s production line? And we will all agree that it will almost certainly never will. Are we correct to say that? Our staff thinks so. All right, then. Now that we are in agreement, here, from a mind-merge of our brilliant, creative RVtravel.com staff members, are some of our thoughts about this most unusual recreational vehicle. What do you think?
Ralph Nader and the transmission shift P-R-N-D-L sequence
By Nanci Dixon
Ever wonder why the sequence on your car transmission shift and many gas-powered RVs goes Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, then Drive 2 or Low? It is all about safety. Thank Ralph Nader. Find out why here.
RV Fact or Fiction?
Is this statement fact or fiction? Liquid propane expands 270 times when released into the atmosphere
By Dave Helgeson
RV blogs, social media groups and YouTube videos have exploded over the past couple of years. Some provide great information, others questionable information and some downright bad information. Can you tell the difference? In this regular column we will post a question based on information we find online. You can then test your RV prowess by seeing how your answer compares with our experts.
So, does liquid propane expand by 270 times when released into the atmosphere?
Around the Campfire
Proper handling of food scraps: What’s the best way while RVing?
By Gail Marsh
A discussion was already in progress as I joined my husband around the campfire this week. He seemed to be mumbling, “No, no, no,” under his breath. By the time I settled into my lawn chair, I, too, was thinking, “No, no, no.” Folks were talking about the proper handling of food scraps. How do responsible RVers dispose of these food scraps?
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Use your hair dryer these 13 surprisingly helpful ways while RVing
- How to kill lingering RV refrigerator smells
- Are RV tire covers necessary? Are they worth the money?
- This is a gadget every dumpin’ RVer needs
Brand-new book for county park camping
Roundabout Publications and the Ultimate Campground Project have published the first edition of “Camping in America’s County Parks.” The 192-page directory profiles 2,068 RV, van and tent camping areas at 1,408 parks in 42 states. Inside, maps pinpoint campgrounds with information about staying, including types of restrooms, showers, dump stations and RV length limits. Rates, contact and reservation information is also listed. Read more about it here.
By Gail Marsh
When I first approached my husband with the idea of visiting cemeteries, he paused and then laughed. “For a minute there I thought you said, ‘cemeteries.’” He’s not the only one who thinks cemeteries are reserved for the dead and the bereaved. However, in recent years, novice historians and genealogists have found a treasure trove of information in cemeteries across the country. Others simply enjoy the beautiful gardens and trees of our oldest graveyards. There are many fascinating cemeteries just waiting for you, but first, it’s important to have some background information. This is interesting.
It’s time to rethink RVing with an Instant Pot
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Last month we polled readers regarding RVing with an Instant Pot. We were really surprised to learn only 35% of respondents had ever tried cooking with one. Back in the day when we taught RV classes for newbies, one mantra was, “Keep it simple. Save space. Take things that have more than one use.” For our RV galley, the newer three-way Instant Pot is a winner. Continue reading.
Already have an Instant Pot? Check out these recipes, also from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
The last Reno Air Races: Goodbye to a major national competition beloved by RVers
By Randall Brink
Many RVers are headed to the National Championship Air Races in Reno for one last time this week, September 13-17, 2023. The competitors will take off there for the final time after 59 years. … The end of air racing at Reno is a poignant time of reflection for those of us who were lucky enough to attend the event since 1964. The Stead Airport parking areas were always filled with the RVs of racers, support personnel, and air race fans alike. Learn more.
Do you have a hobby?
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:
- My RV needs a new roof. What are the pros and cons of PVC vs. TPO?
- My RV’s slide room flap won’t “flip,” so I use a stick to pull it out
- I’m looking at getting a Class A RV, but I hear they’re not as safe as a Class C
RVing the U.S. Civil Rights Trail: Top destinations
By Nanci Dixon
Expand a National Parks bucket list by traveling the United States Civil Rights Trail. The last few years have presented us with lessons that should not be forgotten, and one of the best ways to not forget is to learn more. There are more than 100 sites to visit on the Civil Rights Trail in 15 states, mainly across the South. My husband is Black and grew up in Mississippi under Jim Crow segregation. Sometimes visiting the museums was just too much for him, and sometimes he would pause and reflect on the past versus the present. As we traveled and visited some of the sites, we did so with a heavy heart. Continue reading.
A quick, delicious stop at Peppermint Twist, voted Minnesota’s best drive-in
By Nanci Dixon
The Peppermint Twist Drive-In in Delano, Minnesota, was voted “Minnesota’s Best Drive-In”. As camp hosts in Minnesota, we have passed this rather kitschy roadside drive-in for years but never stopped. Today, however, when I saw the drive-in again, I just had to have an ice cream cone! … Have you been here? You just might want to add this to your list of places to visit.
What is the flattest state?
Is it (a) Kansas, (b) North Dakota, (c) Florida, or (d) Louisiana? The answer is below in today’s trivia.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Oh, we can think of plenty of times we wish we had one of these along on our trips! In fact, we’d use this just about every night! This product is really cool! No, wait, it’s not cool at all: It’s hot! Huh? See for yourself. You’ll want one!
In the RV shop with Dustin
Keep this product on hand for easy RV underbelly repair
By Dustin Simpson
You may have encountered some debris on the road that has caused impact damage underneath the RV. Or maybe you’ve experienced a tire blowout that caused damage to the RV underbelly or fender area that has required you to need some undercarriage repair. If you have experienced either of these situations, you may be asking yourself, “Now what do I do about it?”
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Small and mighty: Grecell T-1000 portable power station
By Cheri Sicard
Portable power stations, aka solar generators, are changing the way the world RVs. You can now plug in appliances and charge devices anywhere! If you are considering a portable power station for your RV, Grecell’s 1000-watt portable power station provides a lot of power in a small, lightweight, easy-to-pack package, especially important if weight and space are in short supply. Learn more.
Ugreen PowerRoam 1200 portable power station review – my favorite?
By Cheri Sicard
There are a lot of new players getting into the portable power station (also commonly known as solar generators) game lately. But while Ugreen might be fairly new to portable power stations, the company itself has been around for about 10 years in the mobile device and computer accessories market, especially in regard to charging devices. So it would only be natural for them to expand into the portable power station arena. And if you are in the market for a portable power station, the Ugreen PowerRoam 1200 merits serious consideration. Continue reading.
Monocular telescope connects to phone, wow!
This is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while! This waterproof monocular telescope connects right to your phone, so you can take photos of that bird waaaaaaay over there. You can now photograph anything up to 10x closer than before. Great for birdwatching, concerts or shows, fishing, boating, or any sporting event; you’ll get the best shot and impress everyone! We already bought one! Learn more or order.
RV Tire Safety
Why use nitrogen to inflate tires?
By Roger Marble
I saw this question on a Facebook page: “Has anyone researched the cost, etc., of replacing the air in our tires with nitrogen? It’s more stable and does not change pressure with temps. All my BMW’s have it. I hate checking my pressures every trip.” There were over 10 pages of replies. Some good, some not so much.
Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?
If so, stories you missed:
• Hard to believe: Many cars are fully capable of invading our privacy, even learning our most private habits
• Will Chinese electric cars force U.S. RVers’ fuel prices down?
• Campgrounds price out the average RVer – “see what happens”!
• Camping World and Eddie Bauer join forces. Two peas in a pod?
• Travel trailer breaks out of Burning Man mud—video!
• RV video tour: Now in the U.S.—You must see this 17’ Micro Class B motorhome!
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
Apple Pie Muffins
by Jane Forbes from NB, MA
What could be better than waking up on a fall morning to the smell of apple pie muffins? Super moist, the muffins are buttery with chunks of apple inside. On top is a delicious cinnamon-spiced crumble. They kind of taste like apple strudel. Yum!
WHERE ARE THE WILDFIRES AND SMOKE?
Find out here:
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.
Weather & Air Quality Data in National Parks.
The coolest puzzle for RVers
Have you ever done a shaped puzzle? Now is your chance! Not only does this puzzle have a great image, but it’s shaped like a travel trailer! The weather is finally cooling and it’s the perfect time to get cozy and do a puzzle. Or, if it’s still warm, do it at your picnic table! Learn more or order.
What is the flattest state in the U.S.? If you guessed anything other than Florida, you were wrong. Florida is the flattest state. One of its highest points is Mount Trashmore at 225 feet. (No, we’re not referring to Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia.) It’s not natural, but a landfill located between Coconut Creek and Deerfield Beach in northern Broward County. It’s hard to miss along the east side of Florida’s Turnpike between mile markers 69 and 70.
I was sitting beside my husband on the couch when I said, “I love you.” He said, “Wow, is that you or the wine talking?” I responded, “It’s me… talking to the wine.”
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, Jan Steele and Tony Barthel. 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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