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October 29, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
A young boy at Walmart whose story will warm your heart
By Chuck Woodbury
In our world of negative, often depressing and sometimes tragic news and information, it’s wonderful to come upon a story that warms our heart. This one is about a young boy at Walmart, hardly where you would expect to find inspiration. But when I stumbled upon the story, I felt instantly aglow from head to foot. Oh, young children — sometimes they do things, most often little things, that brighten our day and embolden our faith in humanity. Here is the story and its photo. The source, I’m sorry to report, is unknown:
A mother visited Walmart with her young son. Sometime while shopping she realized her boy was gone. She searched all over for him and was becoming frantic when she neared the front of the store. There he was!
She was about to scold him when she noticed that he was kneeling at a bench, praying. She did not understand, at least at first. Then she saw a huge poster on the wall above him with photos and descriptions of missing children. It read: “Every second counts.”
One Facebook commenter wrote: “Whether or not you believe in a God really doesn’t matter. This was a child in Walmart who was thinking about others and doing the only thing he could to help. The world would be a better place if everyone followed his example.”
Oh, isn’t that so very true?
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Today’s RV review…
Keystone Cougar Premium 260MLE fifth wheel – Home run?
Today’s RV review is of the 2024 Keystone Cougar 260MLE. This is a new floor plan for the Cougar line and is part of their Premium series. … Knowing that I was in Indiana at the RV Open House, a friend of mine messaged me and implored me to go look at this new floor plan, as she is interested in getting one. … [F]or whatever reason, the website doesn’t reflect just how good this floor plan is. So let’s look at what makes this such a unique fifth wheel and one that I can see why my friend was all excited about.
The craziest RV story we’ve ever heard…
We’ve heard a lot of crazy, insane, unbelievable stories around here (just read our RV Service Centers and Repairs Report column each week to see what we mean!). But this one takes the cake for the craziest RV story ever!
Claudia and Steven Sorensen detail what happened when their RV was stolen from their storage facility, recovered, towed, stolen again, towed again, then SOLD… and nobody ever told them.
Read it to believe it. Wow!
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
RV techs calling newly-made RVs “Covid trailers” – “manufactured fast with little or no inspection”
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week, Nanci Dixon relates a few of your ongoing RV service horror stories, including more reports of trouble getting warranty work done, more suggestions to get work done at locations other than an RV center, and another story about an RV reportedly being “used” by someone while in the shop. There are also several good reports about service received which was “above and beyond.” (Yay!)
Should homeless RVers observe the same rules as other RVers?
By Dave Helgeson
My wife and I prefer boondocking on public land. We sometimes find ourselves camping in the vicinity of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I am referring to those who are considered homeless or unhoused residing in an RV as their last resort for shelter rather than choosing an RV as a primary residence by choice, like full-time RVers. Many homeless RVers have taken refuge on USFS or BLM land, as it is plentiful in the West with areas open to dispersed camping and not far from larger cities to obtain services. I have no issue with this if they keep a clean camp and abide by the regulations. Continue reading. What do you think?
Basic RV etiquette that isn’t always talked about, but makes all the difference
By Gail Marsh
We all learned the “magic words” as a kid. Do you want a piece of pie? What are the magic words? “Please” and “Thank you.” “Magic words” and other proper manners were taught to most of us as we grew up. In the spirit of “never stop learning new things,” I recently learned a few rules of etiquette about RVing that I hadn’t known before. Here they are.
What keeps RV holding tanks clear? Readers offer ideas
By Jan Steele
Did you read my story last Sunday about the “pyramid of poo” in my RV’s black tank? You know this is a hot topic of conversation among RVers. No sh*t! Read it here before continuing on. I received some good responses from readers who don’t agree with everything Kleen Tank literature says. Several swear by Dawn or Happy Camper. No one mentioned the products you find in an RV store aisle. Continue reading and see what other RVers are using.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Why you should carry an extra hose in your RV
- Tips for using RV forums, blogs, and social media
- Is maximum towing capacity just smoke and mirrors?
- How to get Amazon deliveries while RVing
- These affordable, effective devices will track your RV or other items if stolen
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).
A “cool tool” indeed: The Magnetizer/Demagnetizer
This gadget, recommended by Dave Solberg and Dustin Simpson, instantly magnetizes or demagnetizes steel tools and other small parts. You can convert any tool blade to a magnetic retriever of things like screws, nuts, and metallic particles. No batteries or electricity required. Never lose a screw again! Read more about it here, or buy one for yourself here.
RV Mistakes: Dumb things I have done while RVing. What are your stories?
By Nanci Dixon
In this new column, we will be sharing some of the not-so-brilliant things we, the RVtravel.com staff, and you, our readers, have done while RVing. We hope that in addition to a chuckle or two, we can learn from others’ RV mistakes and not make them ourselves! Continue reading.
World’s largest Lego travel trailer is sight to behold
This is not a little toy, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s a full-sized travel trailer made of Legos – yes, Legos, the same things that children worldwide use as toys. It’s certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest creation of its kind. Watch it being built in the short video below.
Scammers are getting creative. Know about these RV scams and be careful
By Janet Groene
With the explosive growth of RV travel comes the increase in RV travel scams, many of them borrowed from other travel industries such as hotels and cruising. Some are old, but many are so new to RV travel, and so high tech, they can be hard to recognize. Here are some new RV scams to watch for.
Has a sewer valve or hose ever broken or malfunctioned while you were dumping?
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:
- Is a slide room awning a good idea? And my RV tires are delaminating!
- Can I just drain my on-demand water heater, or does it need RV antifreeze?
- My RV has a chassis recall. Chassis dealer won’t honor it; RV dealer can’t touch it. I feel like a ping pong ball!
- Which works best to insulate RV windows – shrink wrap or bubble wrap?
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Stop losing your keys! Stop losing your dog’s leash! Keep your hats and scarves and gloves organized! This will help all of that. You can thank us later!
In the RV shop with Dustin
Preventing dump valve handles from coming loose in travel
By Dustin Simpson
I was recently asked by a customer about RV dump valve handles coming loose in travel. They wanted to know where they could get a replacement handle and how they could prevent it from coming loose again. … If the handle on your RV dump valve is loose, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent any accidental openings or difficulties in operation. Here are steps you can take to secure a loose dump valve handle.
THOUGHT FROM OUR READERS: “It’s too bad RV’s don’t get manufactured by aircraft manufacturers.” —Bob & Beth S.
The beautiful Grand Canyon National Park: A guide for RVers
By Dale Wade
This segment of Nature’s Highways needs to address the elephant in the room… the Grand Canyon. In 2022, Grand Canyon National Park came in second as the most visited park in the U.S. (4.7 million), just edging out Zion but way behind Great Smoky Mountains. The area’s numbers are impressive. Through the 1.2 million acres, the Colorado River carved the canyon 277 miles long, 18 miles at its widest, and over one mile deep.
NEW! RVing with Harvest Hosts
Blast off with Harvest Hosts: Stay at these 3 great aviation and space museums
By Cheri Sicard
Come along as we count down to adventure and education at three terrific aviation and space museums where you can spend the night in your RV as a Harvest Hosts member. … A lot of RVers stubbornly hang on to the misconception that Harvest Hosts is all about wineries, but that’s only a small part of the variety of experiences awaiting Harvest Host members. This week’s picks featuring three great stops for space and aviation buffs of all ages make terrific examples.
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Ghost Town Trails
Berlin, Nevada – Ghost town with ancient marine creatures
By Dave Helgeson
Berlin, Nevada, is the featured ghostly place of this month’s edition of Ghost Town Trails. Like last month’s entry of Rhyolite, NV, it is a great stop for snowbirds heading south for the winter. A paved road takes you most of the way to the old townsite, plus there is an onsite campground for those that dare spend the night. This sounds perfect for Halloween.
RV Tire Safety
Regarding tires, what is an RLOF? And why should you care?
By Roger Marble
“RLOF” is the short-hand abbreviation tire engineers use for a tire with a Run-Low Flex failure. In the past, this was one of the most common conditions found in tires submitted by customers for adjustment. Read what causes these and why they’re not actually “blowouts”.
Bed sheet suspenders keep your sheets in place!
We have to admit, we just recently discovered these and wondered how we didn’t know about them sooner – they’re amazing! If you have bed sheets that don’t stay in place, these easy-to-use bed sheet fasteners or “suspenders” keep them in place – no more corners that won’t stay down! Learn more or order for a great price.
Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?
If so, stories you missed:
- RVer warns: Just because you have a reservation doesn’t mean a park can’t change the price last-minute!
- Grand Design RV to begin manufacturing motorhomes
- Congress fails to halt BLM proposal that imperils boondocking
- Love’s growing RV park network ready for holiday travel
- Gas prices could drop 9 percent by end of year
- Developer wants to turn prison yard into an RV park
… and much more
From Johnny Robot, our A.I. staff writer
Fake Dr. Seuss writes about RV breakdowns
As he does most weeks, our publisher Chuck Woodbury offers up an article written using artificial intelligence. Today, he asked the free A.I. platform ChatGPT to “write a 200 word poem in Dr. Seuss style in first person about a man who complains that every time he takes a trip in his motorhome something breaks. He is beside himself. And not to mention that he can never find somewhere to get the problems fixed.” Read the poem that was spit out by a “robot” in 20 seconds.
Recipe of the Day
by Elizabeth Lancaster from Naples, TX
Want a fun snack mix for Halloween? Well, this is festive and has a nice mix of flavors and textures. The salty popcorn and peanuts are a tasty contrast to the sweet candy corn and chocolate candies. We loved the candy corn. They’re slightly chewy compared to the crunchiness of the mix. Fun for a movie night or on Halloween.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“We picked Reba up on July 8th @ramboboxers. They held her another month to get all but the rabies vaxes done. (So grateful.) She is very smart, full of energy, and as loving as they come.” —Kelly Sleeper
• RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.
Don’t kill yourself or loved ones out of ignorance
• If you ever feel a shock when touching your RV, take action. Otherwise, you could kill yourself or loved ones.
• If you blow a front tire, do this. The result could be a disaster if you follow your instincts.
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.
St. Augustine, Florida, a little less than an hour south of Jacksonville, is the oldest city in America. Founded in September 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain, it’s the longest continually inhabited European city founded in the U.S.
Have you ever visited St. Augustine?
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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