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October 22, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
My time-trip back to the Hollywood Old West
By Chuck Woodbury
The little boy in the black and white photo below is me — 4-year-old me along with my mother, grandmother and little sister. The photo was taken in Pioneertown in the Southern California desert about a 45-minute drive from Palm Springs.
The adult in the color photo below, taken recently, is also me, except instead of a kid I have now reached the “glad I am still alive” age of 76. The older me is standing very close to the same spot as the “little kid” me. Notice the shape of the building to the right with the exhaust chimney poking up from the roof. Yup, same place.
Pioneertown was a very popular Hollywood Western movie set for a decade beginning in 1946. Roy Rogers filmed there. Many Gene Autry TV Westerns were filmed there. Ditto the Cisco Kid and Annie Oakley TV shows, and many movies. It’s still used for commercials and music videos.
Publisher’s Roadside Journal
Why RVers are like kindergarteners
By Chuck Woodbury
That headline may sound like clickbait, an attempt to get your attention with a sensational headline where the article that follows does not live up to what the reader might expect. But it is not. I have been telling this story to friends for years. I haven’t written about it, I don’t think. Until now…
If you remain reading this essay and not abandon it out of boredom, you will understand why the headline above makes sense.
And now, the story. It has to do with human rear ends and underpants.
Today’s RV review…
The Grounded G2 is an EV RV—Is it for you?
By Tony Barthel
Today we’re going to take a look at a new motorized RV from a new company, Grounded RVs. The Grounded G2 is a motorhome based on the BrightDrop Zevo 600 platform, which is a product of none other than General Motors.
BrightDrop was designed to be a delivery van like what you’d see your local package delivery person driving. It is a large, electrically-driven box in its simplest form. From there, the folks at Grounded get their hands on it and transform it into a motorhome. But there’s much more than that, of course.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
Service techs “dumb as a bucket of rocks”; but could truck repair shops be the answer RVers need?
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week, Nanci Dixon reports on more horror stories regarding items that were supposedly fixed on RVs but weren’t, including a water tank that fell off, was replaced, and that one also fell off. Sheesh! Also, some apparently false advertising—watch out for buying something “as is.” Plus, thankfully and refreshingly, another rave review for a “one stop RV shop” in Texas. And could truck repair shops do a better job, and quicker, than RV service shops?
The ABCs of free and low-cost camping on state land
By Dave Helgeson
Is free and low-cost camping available on state land where you camp? I previously wrote an article entitled The ABCs of free and low-cost camping on federal land, which was well-received by RVtravel.com readers. In that article I covered the acronyms of the various federal land agencies along with the camping opportunities on the land they oversee on behalf of the American people. Since then, the cost of campground fees has continued to escalate, making free and low-cost camping more popular than ever among RVers. In this article we will look at the different state agencies, the public land they oversee and the free and low-cost camping opportunities on that land. Continue reading.
Holy crap! Poo pyramid in my black tank!
By Jan Steele
Sh** happens! Poop pyramids happen! Especially if you dry camp, like I do, and are a full-time RVer, like I am. I’ve been on the road long enough to know better, but… My RV black tank just got graded an “F.” As in: I flunked flushing! Wow! How did this happen? Find out here.
How to stay warm in an RV in winter: Insulate, heat, and protect
By Cheri Sicard
As the weather gets colder, a lot of folks are going to start thinking about how to stay warm in an RV in winter. If you’re one of them, you will definitely want to check out this video from RVstreet that has some great tips. Martin, the host, says staying warm in an RV boils down to three main components: insulating, heating, and protecting your RV. Read the tips and watch the video.
RVtravel.com readers convert old school bus to hippie-themed skoolie
By Nanci Dixon
One of our readers, Theodore Zen, wrote in and told us about the school bus he and his partner are converting to an RV, better known in the school bus conversion world as a “skoolie.” They also finished an amazing spaceship-themed conversion of a GMC RV a few years ago. For their skoolie, they set out to build an eco-friendly tiny home on a budget and with an “artsy flair.” Check this out. It’s groovy, man!
RV Fact or Fiction?
Deep-cycle lead acid batteries are designed to be discharged until almost empty
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?
Is the following statement fact or fiction? “Both deep-cycle lithium RV batteries and lead acid batteries are designed to be discharged until almost empty, then recharged (this is what ‘deep-cycle’ refers to).”
Take a guess then find out here.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- 11 uses for Windex while RVing that don’t involve cleaning glass
- Don’t let a space heater fire burn up your RV
- A list of “must-haves” can help you buy your perfect RV
- Taking care of RV batteries, high-tech style
- Will “decision fatigue” stop your RV adventure? Don’t let it!
ENJOYING THIS NEWSLETTER? Then you’ll love our RV Daily Tips Newsletter! It’s filled with RV tips and tricks, RV maintenance advice, cool gadgets, trivia, a poll question, a joke, websites we love, recipes, and much more. Read the latest issues here then sign up here. Easy unsubscribe if you don’t like it (but we know that won’t happen).
RV battery problem? A converter issue? A romantic gesture? What’s going on?
By Gail Marsh
At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. Overnight, it seemed, our RV’s bedroom ceiling lights weren’t as bright as usual. Could this be an RV battery problem, a converter issue, or (ahem) a romantic gesture by my husband? Find out here. [Don’t worry. It’s rated “G”, for Gail.]
Weird, and not-so-weird, souvenirs that bring back special travel memories
By Nanci Dixon
About a month ago, RVtravel.com ran a poll question asking, “Do you collect refrigerator magnets when you travel?” At the time of writing, 48% of our readers buy them often or occasionally. I am part of that 48% and display them on my refrigerator in the RV. I choose refrigerator magnets because they are small and I can usually find ones from states and national parks we travel to. If I ever reach my dream of visiting every state and every national park, we will need to get a bigger refrigerator! Read more.
Our dark skies are rapidly disappearing. RVers can help
By Gail Marsh
I never dreamed it could happen. I grew up in a very rural area and I loved watching the stars appear as daytime turned into darkness. As I grew older, I learned how to spot planets in the sky, and could identify various constellations. I loved learning the ancient folklore that accompanied these pictures in the nighttime sky, as well. Wouldn’t you love to share your enthusiasm about the dark, night sky with your grandchildren? Me, too! But our dark skies are rapidly disappearing. Continue reading.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
It’s an uncertain world these days. It can be so confusing knowing up from down, left from right. How do we know if our important decisions are right or wrong? Well, the solution is there. It’s been there. When you seek an answer, it’s always there.
Do you decorate your home or RV for Halloween?
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: Have you ever stayed at a nudist resort with your RV? Would you?
Well… what do you think? What percentage of fellow RVers has stayed at a nudist resort? What percentage would consider it? Find out here.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- Should I add RV antifreeze to freshwater tank for our trip south through freezing temps?
- RV generator won’t stay on. Replaced the battery, but could it be the fuse?
- Why does my roof A/C unit have a rotten egg smell?
- I winterized the RV part of my Class B. What should I do about the Mercedes part?
- My on-demand water heater has no bypass or drain. Can I use RV antifreeze in it?
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In the RV shop with Dustin
RV front cap wrinkles: Causes and prevention
By Dustin Simpson
Join Dave and me as we explain more about RV front caps becoming wrinkled. In this video, we’ll show you one of the causes. If you’re experiencing wrinkles on your RV front cap, then you may need to replace it. This procedure is labor intensive. Watch this video to learn what can cause wrinkles so you can do some preventive maintenance.
Weed, California: It’s not what you think!
By Cheri Sicard
Those traveling north on Interstate 5 in Siskiyou County inevitably pass through the small town of Weed, California. I daresay a large percentage of these folks stop at The Weed Store, or another local merchant, in order to purchase what seems like an almost obligatory travel souvenir when passing through these parts, namely, an “I heart weed” T-shirt. … Interestingly, the double entendre proclamations seem to appeal to both cannabis users and abstainers alike. But what may surprise many is the fact that the town’s name has nothing whatsoever to do with the plant.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Dalykate backpack laundry bag – Perfect for traveling RVers
By Cheri Sicard
If your RV does not have a washer/dryer, and most of us do lack that luxury, how to store laundry becomes a problem, not to mention how to transport it to and from the laundromat. So far, my best solution has been this backpack laundry bag by Dalykate. Learn about this handy bag here.
Scrubba Bag—Laundry washboard in a bag for quick washes
By Cheri Sicard
Here is an RV gadget that will be of enormous interest to some solo travelers, boondockers, and van lifers, and be of zero interest to others. The Scrubba Bag portable “washing machine” can help you clean a few pieces of laundry (say, a T-shirt, socks, and underwear) anywhere. Continue reading.
NEW! RVing with Harvest Hosts
Three awesome caves and caverns to explore and stay at with your RV
By Cheri Sicard
Welcome to our new RVing with Harvest Hosts column. Each week we will feature three different amazing Harvest Host locations where you can spend the night in your RV. This week we are highlighting three awesome caves and caverns attractions that the entire family will enjoy. There is even one cavern tour that’s wheelchair accessible!
The best trash can for your car or RV
Don’t let trash litter your car or RV! This small trash can is made for cars and can be attached to either a headrest or the center console with adjustable straps. When it’s not being used, it collapses flat. The trash can is leakproof and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about anything spilling. This could also be used as a storage container for drinks, snacks or even pet toys. Learn more or order.
The changing world
Girl Scout rescues older woman camper from bear attack (A.I.)
INTRODUCTION BY Chuck Woodbury
I asked ChatGPT (artificial intelligence tool) to write a fictionalized article of about 1,000 words about “a married couple Mary and Earl Dunright, who encounter a grizzly bear at their campsite in Glacier National Park.” I told Chat GPT that Mary should be outside their Minnie Winnie motorhome while Earl was hiking a nearby trail to a fire lookout. I explained to ChatGPT that “Mary is terrified of the bear, the biggest she has ever seen. But just as the bear gets close to her a Girl Scout named Emma approaches, waving her hands high over her head saying ‘Get out of here you bad bear.’ And the bear runs off. But as it does it slams a hole in the side of Mary’s RV.” Read what ChatGPT wrote in 20 seconds.
Beginning next month, we will report the news daily
We are discontinuing our weekly news briefs feature on Saturdays in favor of an email recap of the very latest news about RVing every weekday afternoon. We’ll begin the weekday emails next month. Sign up to receive these timely emails here. (You can easily unsubscribe if you wish.)
RVing with Dogs
Help! Our dog hates RVing!
By Gail Marsh
Panicked RVers recently posted this message on Facebook: “Help! Our dog hates RVing! We don’t want to give it up (RVing OR the dog). What can we do?” Read what several helpful folks suggest. Can you offer any additional advice?
RVing with dogs? You need these 3 products!
By Gail Marsh
Two Golden Retrievers always accompany our friends when they travel in their RV. When I asked them for product recommendations that make RVing with dogs easier (and better), they didn’t hesitate for a second. They said, “If you’re RVing with dogs, you need these three products!” Learn what they are here.
An all-metal RV water heater tank rinser wand that works and won’t fly off!
Nanci Dixon shares her new favorite all-metal water heater tank rinser. She writes, “It is practically guaranteed to not come apart in the tank. They had two similar ones and I made sure to pick the one that came with an adaptor to fit a garden hose with an on/off lever. … The wand can go in far enough to cover the whole tank and the nozzle can be turned down to flush out the deposits on the bottom of the tank.” Read Nanci’s story here and order one for your RV.
RV Tire Safety
This tire “blowout” was actually from puncture, run-low and cutting impact
This tire was presented for analysis to expert Roger Marble as a “sudden blowout” with a claim that the tire “must have been defective.” Check out these images and read Roger’s analysis of what actually caused the tire “blowout.” Proper maintenance might have prevented this.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel Newsletter?
If so, stories you missed:
• Is this how motorhome shoppers and towable RV shoppers differ?
• You could win a Toyota Tundra from Texas State Parks group – but you gotta hurry – Deadline Sunday!
• The sky is falling …? A controversy surrounding Starlink satellites
• Winnebago has tough financial year. Will RVers benefit?
• “Site lock” fees being added on top of campsite fee to secure specific campsites—Yikes!
• First look: 2024 Wingamm mini-motorhomes now in America
… and much more
Recipe of the Day
By Sondra Scheel from Monroeville, OH
This is not your traditional meatloaf, but it’s fairly simple to make and quite tasty. It’s an individual serving of meatloaf with a surprise stuffing in the middle. We used leftover cornbread stuffing, so this recipe would be a great way to use stuffing leftovers. Filled with flavor, the sauce is a delicious touch. Serve with mashed potatoes and a veggie, and you have a very comforting meal.
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“It is hard to get a good photo of all three (Harper, Delilah and Brodie; two Cavaliers and a Westie) at once unless they are tethered in the front of the Class B and I am in the kitchen!” —Rhonda Brodbeck
• RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.
Inflation has impacted Girl Scout cookies. Many regional councils are raising the price of their popular cookies to help cover rising costs at the two commercial bakeries that make the treats. That means your favorite box of Samoas that used to sell for $5 could soon cost $6 in many parts of the United States. Prices for all Girl Scout cookies will range from $5 to $7 in 2024.
Your hands won’t be tired or in pain with this caulking gun
Completing repairs and maintenance is a whole lot easier when you have the right tools on hand. Reseal your RV with the BEST caulking gun! This one is favored by RV technicians. If you’ve ever had to reseal any part of your RV, you know how tired your hand gets. This relieves that hand pain and makes the job easy. Learn more in this article, or buy one here.
Bob forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife, an avid NASCAR fan, was mad. She told him, “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 250 in six seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!” The next morning, she looked out the window and saw a gift-wrapped box in the driveway. She raced to open it and found a brand-new bathroom scale… Bob has been missing 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, 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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