Thursday, December 1, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter, June 18-24


Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 15th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Issue 747 • Week of June 18-24, 2016

Editor’s corner
With Chuck Woodbury

The WiFi in RV parks stinks. Now, for RVers who truly “camp” — who enjoy nature with no need or desire to stay connected to the outside world — this does not matter one bit. But for RVers like me, who need to stay in touch using the Internet, the fact is, most RV parks that advertise WiFi are stretching the truth. I don’t care if it’s KOA or Joe’s RV Park, in most parks the WiFi doesn’t work or it’s so slow it’s worthless.

Stopped at a picnic area in California’s Modoc National Forest on our way back to Seattle.

Suppose an RV park were to advertise water hookups but only had a single garden hose coming into the park. That water would need to be split up to serve all campers, plus water the lawns, flush the park’s toilets, etc. Each camper would get a dribble unless they turned on their faucet at 3 a.m., when everyone else was asleep.

And while there are exceptions, that’s the way it is with the WiFi in RV parks— except we’re talking bandwidth, not water. If more than a handful of RVers are online at once, and if one or two decide they’ll watch Netflix — “the heck with everyone else” — then good luck to other campers getting online at anything better-than-dial-up speed or even connecting at all.

I speak from experience — my four-month trip last year cross-country and back, and more recently this past week as Gail and I worked our way slowly from Las Vegas to Seattle in our new motorhome.

jetpack-747For anyone who needs to get online dependably, there is one simple solution — sign up for phone and data service with Verizon Wireless. I have used the company for more than a decade, and most RVers I know who need dependable Internet access use it, too. Forget Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and others: They do not have the wide coverage of Verizon, especially in rural areas where many of us travel.

There are two common ways to get online through Verizon or other services. Use your phone as a personal hotspot using Bluetooth, or purchase a Jetpack MiFi device. Either way, several people can get online at the same time. But here’s what some people do not know: the Jetpack will connect to the Internet much faster than a cell phone’s personal hotspot — typically five to ten times faster in my experience. Any Verizon store can provide the details. By the way, Verizon didn’t pay me to say this. I’m simply a satisfied customer.




P.S. I’ll write about my new motorhome next week. For those of you who missed the last issue, where I wrote about it and included a few photos, just click the link right below.

Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? Read it here.

LEAVE A COMMENT: If you have a comment about this issue, feel free to submit it using the form at the bottom of this page.

Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PM
Wish your special someone a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary and we’ll post your well-wishes and your short comment (up to 20 words) right in this newsletter. It’s super easy to leave your greeting. Just click here.

See this week’s greetings near the bottom of this newsletter. 

presenting-738_edited-1Featured categories
You’ll find some good reading material here.
On-board systems.
Beginners’ quick tips (but info for everyone).
Gas engines — maintenance.
Walmart and other free pavement parking.
AC electric — maintenance and more.
Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal.

572-beautifuldime-738Would you pay 10 cents to read this newsletter?
Our staff works hard to bring you an entertaining and informative newsletter every Saturday. The readers of the newsletter help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year would be appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! If you care to chip in, please know we will be very appreciative. Just contribute what you think is fair. Enter a voluntary subscription.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMEvergreen finally confirms shutdown
After a week of rumors, officials at EverGreen Recreational Vehicles officially announced the closing of the business. The RV manufacturer, which touted itself as an environmentally friendly, cutting-edge firm, let workers go and closed its doors last week, former employees and Elkhart County government officials said. EverGreen officials had remained quiet, not responding to media inquiries on developments until this week. Read more.

Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Airtab-logoJust peel and stick Airtabs™ to the rear sides and the rear roof of your RV coach or trailer to create swirls of air that reduce aerodynamic drag, save fuel and improve stability. Airtabs™ dramatically reduce trailer ‘fish tailing’ and crosswinds pressure to RVs from passing trucks, while improving fuel efficiency 2% – 5%! Click on the video. 
Click here for more information about using Airtabs™
Click here to purchase Airtabs™.

Reader RVs
What RV do you drive or tow?


Send us a photo of your RV (and tow vehicle) with a 150-200 word description of where and how often you travel with it, and what you like or don’t like about it. Include your name(s) and hometown. We’ll post them to Send to assistant editor Diane McGovern at Diane(at) .

CLICK HERE to see last week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.

Light up your RV with Boogey Lights!
boogie(1)RV accent lighting is all the rage! Just look around the RV park! Enter Boogey Lights®! These robust, super-bright, state-of-the-art LED lights with hi-tech controller technology represent the next generation in LED lighting for RVs. The AWNING & UNDER-GLOW LIGHT KITS are specifically designed to withstand harsh operating environments. Don’t waste your money on junk! Get Boogey Lights! You can even control them with your Smart Phone! Learn more or click the video for a demonstration.

breaking-newsThe demand for RVs in North America just continues to grow. In 2014 the demand was worth $16 billion. Looking forward, estimates suggest the demand will hit more than $20 billion by 2020. Source: Market Research Store.

On the other hand, U.S. sales of new motorhomes hit a major pothole in April according Statistical Surveys Inc. Overall motorhome registrations dropped more than 5 percent compared to April 2015. Class A sales took the worst hit, dropping more than 8 percent. Class C rigs also put the brakes on, down 3 percent.

Steve Walser photographed this (“Made in the Shade”) 1954 Boles Aero. See more of Steve’s photos or purchase them as prints, on tee-shirts, etc. by clicking here. Photo © Steve Walser

Is your RV central to your work? RV group Escapees would like you to take a brief survey on your lifestyle and your work to help them provide resources for folks like you. The survey takes about five minutes to complete and can be found here.

In a small turnaround from reporting that state parks have taken yet another financial hit, lawmakers in Kentucky have actually pumped $18 million into their state’s park budget. Governor Matt Bevin described the action as a bit small and not nearly enough, but he is happy to have gotten some funding after what he called “a tug of war.” Park officials say the money will first go to toward safety improvements then to “aesthetics.”

Officials at Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest want to change campground fees at both German Ridge and Saddle Lake campgrounds in order to have funds to improve both sites. The proposed new fees would be $8 at German Ridge (presently $4) and $5 at Saddle Lake (presently free). Age, wear and tear, vandalism and theft have created a backlog of needed improvements. Send your comments before September 30 to Mike Chaveas, Hoosier National Forest, 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN 47421.

fire-danger-RVT-747California’s high fire danger has already brought about recreational fire restrictions on all Bureau of Land Management lands in Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern, Madera, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. Counties encompassed by the Mother Load Field Office (Yuba County south to Mariposa County), 14 counties in all, are under the same restrictions. While portable stoves may be used, users must still possess a valid California campfire permit.

A new county-owned RV park at the Jackson County Expo in Medford, Ore., is due to open July 1 and become fully operational this fall. It has been on the drawing board for 36 years but was delayed due to primarily economic reasons. It will offer a 92-space park with 50-amp electrical sites, Wi-Fi and shower facilities, among other amenities. The nightly rate for a standard 60-foot space is $38, and $40 for 75-foot spots. Source: Mail Tribune.

Camping World Holdings Inc. on Monday filed documents for an initial public offering. Camping World logged $3.33 billion in revenue in 2015, up 25 percent from a year earlier, and recorded a 43 percent rise in profit to $178.5 million in the year. The company said in a filing it has about 3.1 million active customers. Camping World estimates nine million households in the U.S. own an RV, a number “we believe has grown consistently over the past 20 years, including during the last economic downturn.” Source:

Photo: National Park Service courtesy of Susan Luckie Reilly

A living, breathing tie-in to this year’s centennial celebration of America’s park system has a centennial of her own. Susan Luckie Reilly was born in 1916, and began serving as a ranger-naturalist at the then Joshua Tree National Monument (California) in 1965. A celebration for Reilly will be held at Joshua Tree National Park on June 22 at the Oasis Visitor Center.
Detroit wants you to buy a new pickup to haul your towable. Now GM joins Ford with offering specialized rear-view cameras for the trailer hauling set. No, this isn’t a backup cam that turns on when you hit reverse, but a camera set up to let you watch over your fifth-wheel hitch while motoring down the road. GM’s “IntelliHaul” system will tack on around $1,000 for the option. Other cameras can be fitted, too, for other views, at less than $400 a pop. But if your truck runs off the lot for $60,000 or more, what’s another grand for a camera system?
A 50-year-old  man died in southern Colorado Sunday after a microburst apparently threw his RV trailer about 40 feet, according to the Otero County Sheriff’s Office. He was killed near Highway 194 on County Road 33. The man’s name has not been released, pending an autopsy and notification of family. Source:

RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match!
evelo-logo-732An Electric Bike is the perfect, simplest and most affordable way of sorting all the ‘challenges’ of RV’ing. Get around camp effortlessly, visit the sites or town nearby without unhooking or simply enjoy a fun ride with fellow campers! Click here to discover our electric bikes and get free shipping & returns, and 0% financing on any new EVELO. 

news524(2)More News

Niagara Falls

Name the nation’s oldest state park. Did you get Niagara Falls in New York? Righto! And now the nation’s oldest state park will get a $17 million cash infusion to attract more visitors. When the work is done there will be more waterfront green space and enhanced walking trails. You’ll see the first installment this summer at Terrapin Point.

A Texas appeals court has ruled that the families of two men killed when flood waters carried off their RVs from a Guadalupe River campground are not entitled to compensation. The court ruled that the RV park had no duty to warn tenants of “hazards that are open and obvious,” like a potentially flooding river. The court cited examples of ice, mud and other natural occurrences which are beyond a landowner’s control and which visitors should be aware of and guard against.

Groene-RV-RVT-747Longtime RVer and travel writer Gordon Groene died March 21, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Janet Groene, whose recipes appear weekly in this newsletter. In Gordon’s memory, Janet is donating their much-beloved and much-used 21-foot 1970 Fan-Hanomag diesel RV — still in complete and operating condition, thanks to Gordon — to the permanent collection at the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum. No other fully operating units are known to exist. Learn more

In a sad RV mystery, California Highway Patrol officials closed down the northbound lanes of the busy San Diego freeway (I-405) for a time June 7. A Freeway Service Patrol stopped when he spotted a motorhome parked on the shoulder, only to find a 74-year-old unidentified man crushed beneath the rig. Troopers say the man was the rig’s owner, and they speculate he was underneath making some kind of repair when he was pinned under the differential. When found, the rig’s engine was running, the transmission in drive. He was alone at the time of the accident.

Photo: National Park Service, Lava Flow Campground

Visitors to Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument will find less camping available for several months. Lava Flow Campground, built five decades ago, will be shut down July 5 to allow for major renovations. Rangers will provide information on other camping options in the area.

Some people who went to move an RV on their property in Arlee, Mont., in early June made a gruesome discovery: The shower was stacked with furniture and clothing – and under the pile, the decomposing body of a young man. Police have now arrested Kassandra and Stephen Seese, who formerly lived in the RV, charging the latter with the murder of his nephew, Richard Warner, age 18. It’s alleged Seese killed his nephew with a hammer in February, and Kassandra assisted him in stashing the body in the shower. The couple then continued to live in the RV with the body until May.

Photo: Parks Canada

Wildlife run amok: Last week it was wolves raiding picnic coolers; This week it’s peek-a-boo-bears – all this at Alberta, Canada’s Banff National Park. Visitors to Castle Mountain Campground have been vamoosed because a black bear poked his face up to peer into a car window – considered conduct unbecoming a bruin. It’s possible somebody fed the bear from a car, and now the bear will suffer the consequences as rangers try to trap and relocate him. In the meantime, no camping allowed.

Casey Nocket, 23, who defaced rock formations in Western national parks in 2014, pleaded guilty Monday to defacing government property, according to the National Park Service. According to court documents, Nocket damaged rock formations within seven national parks over a 26-day period in 2014, drawing or painting on them using acrylic paints and markers. She was sentenced to two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service, and is banned from all lands administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Army Corps of Engineers during her probation period. Source: National Parks Traveler.

cat-and-mouse-RVT-747Last week we reported on fleas carrying bubonic plague in Arizona. This week it turned up near Lake Tahoe, Calif. A flea taken from a squirrel at the Fallen Leaf Campground tested positive for plague, and authorities have posted caution signs at the campground. Cat lovers beware: Felines are extremely susceptible to the plague. If your cat gets sick after playing with rodents, get to the vet.

Police in Elmore County, Idaho, were still scratching their heads after a high-speed chase involving a man in a stolen pickup towing an equally stolen travel trailer. Police stopped Anthony Lyle Foster for not staying in his lane, then found he was carrying someone else’s license – turned out his own was suspended. Foster then hit the gas, hitting speeds near 90 mph, making sharp turns to try and “ditch” the trailer. It all ended when Foster missed a curve, stacked up the rig, then “bravely” left his passenger holding the bag while he attempted to run off. He didn’t get far, and is now calling the county jail home.

Local residents in New Zealand became suspicious when three men began offering them wads of cash to help launch a boat from a remote New Zealand beach and helped lead police to the nation’s largest-ever methamphetamine bust, police said Tuesday. Police pulled over an RV on Sunday which they found filled with suitcases and bags that contained a half-ton of the drug, worth about $316 million if sold on the streets. Source: The Seattle Times.

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at

Clean your RV… with beastly-good results!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
Your RV’s large surface area makes it a beast that collects more bugs, grit, grime, soot and industrial pollution than your car does. And it may have different surfaces of paint, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum. Click on the video to watch Wade clean everything with Beast Wash as it cuts through slime and grime. You’ll see the difference.  SALE! 5% off – Use code: Catclean15 when ordering.

Click here to buy, or learn more about, Beast Wash at the Wade Maid website.

How do I inspect my tires?
Roger Marble, RV tire expert, receives emails asking about inspecting tires. He advises that you should do a thorough inspection annually, and that becomes even more important as times goes on. The problem is, few know even the basics of proper tire inspection, which involves a lot more than checking the tread or looking for large cracks in the sidewall. Learn the correct way to inspect your tires.

Holding tank tips for the stationary RV
While the term “recreational vehicle” fosters visions of hitting the open road and exploring new sights and new civilizations, we don’t always boldly go where we haven’t gone before. Sometimes we stay in the same place for a couple of weeks or even months. Having a “stationary RV” means special care of the black water holding tank. Learn more.

men-sm-747Why do men talk about their RVs as if they’re women?
At first, RVer Julie Schneider thought the men in her RV life were talking, in mostly flattering ways, about women, perhaps bragging about their wives. Then, one day, she realized they weren’t talking about women at all, but their RVs! Read more.

Slideouts “out” okay at Walmart?
Walmart “overnighting” has its attractions —low cost, easy in and out, handy to shopping — the list goes on. Of course, it’s not without its detractors, including RV park owners and even other RVers. Here are some tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris regarding “proper etiquette” when spending a night at Walmart — which might help tone down the “bad press.” Read more.

Revised-RV-Roof-Logo-11-05-14No more roof leaks, for life, guaranteed!

Now with locations in TX, FL, MS, AZ and NC!
RV FlexArmor® is a sprayed RV roof that is 187 mils thick, has no more caulking joints and is the proven RV roof alternative for over a decade. Guaranteed not to leak for your RV’s lifetime! “Your company gets an A+.” —Marsha G., customer. Click on our new video showing how we handle air conditioners.
Click here for more information at our website, or call 1-844-FLEXARMOR.
Click here to visit our Facebook page.

picture-taking-747Taking photos may enhance a trip experience
According to a new multi-university study, reported on, taking snapshots can actually make your experiences more enjoyable. Learn why.

Simplify backing into your RV space
If you tow, you’ve probably suffered through the stress that comes along with backing into your space in the campground with everyone watching, not to mention the sometimes-heated discussions between the driver and the “director.” But here’s a potential solution. Learn more.

Think rubber tires will protect your RV from lightning? Think again!
video camera WPWhen lightning is striking all around, do you think your RV, riding atop rubber tires, will protect you from being struck? Well, hate to spoil your confidence, but the tires won’t. The fact is, in some RVs you will be heavily protected in your RV, but in others you might as well just stand outside. Learn more by watching this video.

How to write a useful description of tire failure for NHTSA
Here from tire expert Roger Marble is Part 3 of how to post a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regarding tire failures. (Parts 1 and 2 are linked in the article.) NHTSA needs facts in order to consider if an investigation is warranted, and Roger explains how to supply that information. Learn more.

good-sam-roadsideDon’t get stuck along the road
Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance will come to your aid! See why half a million customers have signed on to Good Sam Roadside Assistance! Learn more.

Better to flat-tow dinghy or use tow dolly?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, explains some pros and cons of flat towing, dinghy towing or trailer towing, as well as which he prefers and why. Read more.

Scotty, we need more power — solar power, that is! — Part 1
With a nod to the 50th anniversary of the debut of the original “Star Trek” TV series, Rich “The Wanderman” reminisces about that as he works on the third generation of solar panels on his RV. Due to the tiny size of his roof, he’s had to get custom-built panels twice; but with improvements in panels he can now go with a stock size, reducing the cost while increasing the number of panels and the power generated. Read more.

del-545This week in history
Week of June 18-24
Compiled by Dell Bert

1944 — President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs G.I. Bill.
1953 — Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for espionage.
1975 — The movie “Jaws” is released.
1977 — First oil from Prudhoe Bay begins flowing down trans-Alaska pipeline.
1983 — Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space.
2013 — James Gandolfini, TV’s Tony Soprano, dies at age 51.

Discover the RV Warranty Taking the Community by Storm!
The best RV warranty coverage just got better: Introducing the Viking Protection Plan, a policy designed for maximum coverage and ease of use, all backed by the customer satisfaction guaranteed by RVer Favorite Wholesale Warranties. Ready to see what the ultimate in Peace of Mind might cost you? Get your FREE Quote for coverage today! Read more about this exclusive coverage.

RV Clubs
Here are some RV clubs from our extensive directory which you may be interested in:

It’s getting expensive these days to dump your holding tanks — $20 at the Fallon (Nev.) RV Park, where we found this sign.

Heartland Owners Club.
“Chapters of the Heartland Owners Club continue to form all over the United States and Canada. Owners are meeting at camp-outs and rallies at great destinations, sharing experiences, making friends and making memories.” Also, Heartland owners share stories, recipes, photos, experiences, tips, tricks and knowledge on the Forum.

NAARVA — National African American RVers Association.
“The fastest growing RV organization in the country,” with numerous chapters throughout the U.S. “NAARVA is futuristic in its outlook, concerned about the environment, and a facilitator of family values.” Enjoy annual national rallies with an ethnic flavor, camping, social activities and much more.

Ramblin’ Pushers.
A Holiday Rambler Recreational Vehicle Club Chapter. The mission is “To provide information to our members to help them safely and properly operate and maintain their respective Holiday Rambler diesel motorhomes and to enhance their ownership experience.”


Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at 500 wineries, farms and attractions across North America. Harvest Hosts offers an exciting alternative to traditional overnight stops where you can meet interesting people and learn about their lifestyle. Learn more at the Harvest Hosts website, or watch an interview with the founders by editor Chuck Woodbury.


Bumper sticker of the week
If you object to logging, try using plastic toilet paper. Thanks (again) to Jennifer Hill, Mill Bay, B.C.!

Funny/clever business slogan
Edgar Kremer saw this on a TV service van in Annapolis, Md.: “Fly by night TV service.” Thanks, Edgar!

Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)

Upcoming RV Shows
See the Web’s best directory of upcoming RV shows for 2016. 

Websites of the Week
We like these websites and we think you will, too. Check ’em out. More next week.

ppl-logo-1America’s Largest
RV Consignment Dealer
Buy or sell your used motorhome, diesel pusher, fifth wheel or travel trailer hassle free at PPL Motor Homes. And check our huge selection of parts! PPL is the largest RV consignment dealer in the USA, selling more than 24,000 consigned RVs since 1972. Visit the PPL website.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• The Folding Cooler
• On the Road Again: Florida Caverns State Park
• Observation Knob County Park, TN

water-filter-677Essential equipment for many RVers!
Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
This best-selling product reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 100 micron fiber filter. Its durable in-line, exterior mount filter has a wider body to increase flow. Use it at your campsite to keep sediment out of your RV water tank and to improve the taste and smell of your drinking water for a whole season. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a big discount.

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

How to shop online when on the road

Dear RV Shrink:
We have started traveling part of the year and living in a fifth wheel. So far it is everything we thought it would be. We are slowly working out the kinks. One problem that drives us crazy is shopping online. Over the past few years a majority of our shopping is online. We miss the convenience now that we are on the road.

I noticed in last week’s RV Travel Newsletter that Amazon [article link] is beginning to sprout delivery lockers around the country. That’s great, but for now we are very frustrated with a lack of options for having our online purchases delivered to us. We spend more time and money driving around looking for items we want when they are right here on our screen yet unreachable. Can you deliver for us a few ideas? —Frustrated in Freeport

Read the Shrink’s response.

Essential for big RVs!
2016 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Campground electricity safety
I have always been an advocate of monitoring the AC line voltage coming into your RV. Campground electricity can fluctuate a great deal. If you don’t know what the voltage is coming into your RV, you risk damaging thousands of dollars’ worth of electrical appliances and electronic equipment.

Doyle, Calif., is most famous for its annual Lizard Races, held each August. You may also see the reptiles racing at other times, too — across the street!

Every RVer should invest in some type of digital voltmeter that plugs directly into a 120-volt outlet in your RV. There are several types available and they are inexpensive compared to the repair costs for damaged electrical equipment and appliances. I recommend one that can test campground polarity, measure AC line voltage and, if you have a generator, measure AC frequency.

You should always test the campground wiring for improperly wired circuits before you plug your RV in. Before you plug your RV power cord into the electrical supply make sure any breakers are turned off. Plug the RV in and turn the breaker on.

Editor: Here are some digital multimeters available at Amazon.

Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.

2016 Traveler’s Guide
to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States
Learn how to prepare, carry & transport your weapons during travel in all 50 states, Canada & Mexico. Includes state breakdowns of firearms ownership, semi-auto gun ownership, castle doctrine, right to protect, open carry, concealed carry, state and national parks, permit reciprocity, loaded vs. unloaded, interstate transport restrictions, traffic stops, universal restricted areas, motorhome and RV issues, preemptive local laws & more. Learn more or order.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.40 (on June 13). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 44 cents.
Diesel: $2.43 (on June 13). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 44 cents.

Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can
last a year on a set of batteries 

When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires & install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order at a great price) at

Pets-Shemack-6-4-2016RV Travel Reader Pets dog and photographer - left
Do you travel with a pet? We’d love to introduce your pet(s) to fellow readers. Send a photo or two of Fido or Boots and a 150-200 word description of your furry friend(s), along with your name(s) and hometown to Diane(at) .

Click here to see this week’s issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.

fridge-fan651Keep your food cool
with this RV fridge fan
Every RV refrigerator should have one of these!
This small refrigerator fan from Valterra Products will help keep the food in your RV fridge cool and from spoiling. It cuts down initial cool-down time by 50 percent. Runs for more than 30 days on 2 D batteries. Don’t leave home without this!  Learn more or order from

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Tapioca Plum Pudding
Plum wonderful for breakfast or dessert.

Quick-cooking tapioca is a useful thickener to keep in the RV pantry. It keeps forever and cooks into juicy little BB’s, adding an interesting texture to the finished dish. Serve with crisp toast for breakfast or with regular or whipped cream for dessert. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet … and her many books at, including “The Survival Food Handbook,” coming very soon!


tempgun-682Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

In case of fire when towing
Practice unhooking your tow vehicle as quickly as possible to avoid spreading the fire to other vehicles. Courtesy:

Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.

Updated for 2016
Locate services at Interstate exits
The 2016 Next Exit is the most complete USA Interstate highway exit directory ever published for every exit of major and most minor routes. Find what’s located at upcoming exits on your route — gas, food, lodging, camping, shopping, hospitals, Walmarts and much more. A best-seller year after year. Learn more or order.

RV Quick Tips

Recycle old awning arms
Here’s a recycle use for old awning arms: They make great sewer hose supports. Just scope ’em out the length you need and put them “channel side” up. Don’t have one? Check with an RV dealer – they may have a couple of “junkers” you can have.

Easily clean and sanitize your plastic cutting board
RV kitchen plastic cutting board looking a bit tacky? A build-up of “organic” material can make it look dingy and harbor bugs. Soak it in a solution of one part bleach to 20 parts water for several hours. Rinse off well.

Don’t overdo it when pulling in the slideout
When pulling the slideout back in to travel position, you can “overdo” it. When the slide gets close to the retracted position, let up on the switch, then tap the switch and bring the slide in a bit at a time until your helper tells you the seals have made full contact.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed by Roger Marble of!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all this for less than $12! Learn more or order.

gary-736Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

Reader asks about no DC in RV

Dear Gary,
I recently upgraded from our 1987 pop-up and purchased a 2003 Starcraft Travel Star. I used an adapter to power the camper at the house. When I first plugged it in, it appeared that everything was fine. After approximately 15 minutes, all of the lights went out. I purchased the unit from my brother and I camped in this unit last fall so I know that there were no previous issues. … —Mark W. 

Read the rest of the question and Gary’s response.

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

water-pressure-655Protect your RV from damage
from high water pressure!
It’s hard to imagine any RVer not carrying one of these along on a trip to protect against damage from a high-pressure water hookup at an RV park. It happens often! And the damage can cost thousands to repair! This inexpensive, highly rated Valterra lead-free water regulator will allow 15 to 20 percent more flow than standard regulators. The orange plastic grip allows easy, screw-on installation and removal. Learn more or order.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Camco RV Sewer Hose Cleaner

Clean your dump hose the easy way
Did you ever ask yourself why you store away your sewer hose after dumping your tanks without thoroughly cleaning it — not just a feeble rinse. Well, you don’t have to any more. The Camco RV Sewer Hose Rinser with Shut-Off Valve thoroughly rinses your sewer hose with jet cleaning action before storing, helping to reduce odors. And it can be left in place, serving as a hose cap while in storage. Learn more.

Early morning black bears tire cover

“Early morning black bears” spare tire cover
With Tire Cover Central you can choose from a large selection of horses, dolphins, eagles, camping scenes, cartoons and more. All spare tire covers are made from rugged marine grade vinyl and double stitched with heavy duty upholstery thread, and come with a one year warranty. All sizes are available, and they can be locked in place so envious passersby don’t help themselves. Read more.

No more leaky water faucet hookups!
water-bandit-746Camco’s Water Bandit connects your water hose to would-be-unattachable water sources. One end connects to a standard water hose via a male, standard water connection. The other end, a highly flexible, silicone-polymer sleeve, stretches to fit over the end of virtually any standard water source; those with damaged or stripped threads and even water sources with no threads at all. Every RVer needs one of these on occasion. Learn more or order.

RV Short Stop

Mt. Shasta by Julianne G. Crane

Mt. Shasta is a magnificent view almost any time of the year
Siskiyou County, California

Depending on the amount of winter snowfall, the views of Mt. Shasta from I-5 can take your breath away — and you don’t even have to stop and get out of your rig — simply look out the window. Or you can pull off the highway at the many viewpoints along the way. If you do want to stop for longer, however, and are looking for a place to camp near I-5, consider the U. S. Forest Service Antlers Campground near Exit 702, open this year through September 12.

Read Julianne G. Crane’s article.

gray-tank-745Eliminate gray water
tank odors for less than $8

Gray water tanks can produce nasty odors, too. Using the latest technology in quick-dissolving biodegradable tablets, Elemonate deodorizes your gray tank, freshens sink and drain lines and dissolves grease and organic sludge buildup in the drain lines of your sink and gray tank. Learn more or order.

perplexed The Dying Art of Proofreading
In an office (in England?):

See this little icon near the top right of this page?Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.13.48 PM
Click it and you will be taken to a random article on this website. Click again and you’ll go to another. It’s fun. It’s random. It’s cool. It’s educational. It’s simply … wonderful!

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PMRVer’s campsite model railroad keeps campers smiling
RVers who pass by this RVer’s campsite do a double take when they see his train layout! Watch the video.

Rubber RV roof maintenance
Bob Livingston and Bill Gehr walk you through the complete cleaning and maintenance of rubber RV. Watch the video.


Random RV Thought
If you dream of spending all or a good part of your life traveling with an RV but keep finding excuses why you can’t do it, then quit making excuses. The time will never be right. Meanwhile, time is passing. You could get sick or your spouse could get sick, and “bye, bye dream.” And don’t listen to your kids if they say, “Stay home.” Just tell them you will keep in contact and that you will swing by when you’re in their neighborhood.


battery-charger-655SAVE MONEY!
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small tester, for less than $7, will alert you in an instant to the condition of your batteries, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of life left! Works on AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries. Learn more or order.

According to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, a car steering wheel carries more than twice as many germs as a toilet seat.

tank707Super clean your holding tanks!
Extreme Cleaner by Happy Campers cleans, softens and helps dissolve and remove all types of sewer waste, toilet tissue, crud, sludge, light corrosion and scum buildup. Highest concentrated, most active (powerful) sewer tank and sensor cleaner on the market. Recommended for winterizing, annual clean out, and removing persistent odors caused by chemicals or medications obstructing your tank treatment. Often helps restore poor-working sensors. Learn more or order.

Worth Pondering
“No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” —George Chakiris


Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PMReaders’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings

Happy Birthday!
• June 18: To Bonnie Seashore from Ken Stewart. Happy birthday to my sweetheart.
• June 19: To Allan from Carol. Happy birthday! Can’t wait for you to plan our next trip.
• June 20: To Linda from Jim. Happy 65th Birthday to my best friend and special camping and RVing buddy!
• June 21: To to my wife, friend and lover,  Cheryl, from Dale K. Curtis. Happy Birthday to my Bride.  You are still the greatest.
• June 21: To My Honey (Donna) from Her Hun. Happy Birthday to my honey. May we enjoy many more years of safe and happy travels. Love you the mostest! XO

Happy (belated) Birthday!
• June 9: To Leo from Grampa Ron. Happy Birthday, little Leo. This greeting is belated because … you were only born two days ago. (Welcome to a future RVer from the RV Travel staff!)

Happy Anniversary!
• June 21: To Pauline from Chuck D. You are forever My Dear Bride.
• June 22: To Karen from Tim. 25 years — and I’m even happier now than when we first met. Each year just gets better!
• June 23: To Rita from John. Thank You for 50 wonderful years. Here’s to many more with you!
• June 24: To Ruth from Roy. Happy 49th anniversary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Are you ready for the next 49?  Love always, Roy and our little muffin

Happy (belated) Anniversary!
June 11: To Georgeana from Michael. Happy 45 and many more.
• June 16: To Nor from Vonnie. Happy 44th anniversary and many more ahead .. Love u sweetie and love how you are always making me laugh .. I know this message is late but better late than never. Love and kisses forever.

Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting (20-word maximum)


RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Assistant editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Janet Groene, Roger Marble and Julianne Crane. 

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at) cw501

About the editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.

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 or this newsletter.

Our offices are located at 610 5th Ave. S, Suite F, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc . is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2016 by

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Terri Foxx-Wishert
6 years ago

I agree with your experience of poor Wi-Fi in RV parks. We are full-time RVer’s, and have been using both Verizon for cell-phone and a jet pack. Thank goodness for both of these. Rarely do we have issues anymore with connectivity.

Kat Stewart
6 years ago


I agree totally with you on wifi in every parks. My partner had to get Verizon’s hotspot for working on the road. And it works just as great as you said. HOWEVER. The data costs are outrageous. I limp along on whatever lousy wifi is available where we stay and he uses the hot spot for his business only. I’d say Verizon knows it has us over a barrel. Whenever we leave a park I make sure to tell the manager/owner/whoever’s in charge that we would be more than willing to pay $15-20 more if they’d just install real wifi. It would still be cheaper than Verizon!

Janice Frame
6 years ago

Chuck, I am so glad you have found your soul mate and are making plans to keep traveling the country! I am a bit sad that you are giving up your View, as that is what I have. I understand that you will be full timing and that the additional space will be well-used.
Thinking fond thoughts for the two of you,

Tom Lemcool
6 years ago

Reroof add says that there is a dealer in MI that is the abbreviation for Michigan not Mississippi, I have not found a dealer in Michigan

Vince Sadowski
6 years ago

Is there any way to boost the incoming wifi signal that is reliable? Years ago I had a device that was about the size of a pack of cigarettes that flipped up and swiveled. It plugged into a usb port. For some reason I sold it or gave it away.
Does anyone know of a device that will do this?
I just bought a Net Gear AC600 Dual Band wireless AC adapter. This is my second try using it and so far I am able to get a signal and stay on line using it an rv park.
What else is out there?

keith cooper
6 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Rather than a signal booster we chose to go with a WiFi router in the coach so that all of the WiFi enabled devices in the coach use a single connection to the WiFi service in the RV park. Either way the key measurements for the Booster or router you choose are radio transmit power, receiver sensitivity and antenna gain. In the US, maximum radio transmit power is one watt or 30 dbm. With an omni directional antenna attached the maximum combined gain is 36 dbm (aka 4 watts). With a directional antenna the maximum combined gain is 48 dbm ( aka 64 watts). Typical receiver sensitivity ranges from -70 db to -90 db.
There is a decent do it yourself WiFi router video on the Outside Our Bubble web site at.:
The only change i might suggest is to use a Ubiquiti NanoStation M2 for a little better coverage.
to put some of the numbers above in perspective one mile is approximately 104 dbm at 2400 Mhz (WiFi frequencies) So if you transmit at 30 dbm and receive at -74 dbm you have an effective range of one mile. Power is doubled or halved for every change of 3 db. Distance is doubled or halved for every change of 6 db,

Kristina Cessna
6 years ago


i beg to differ on the Verizon Jet Pack. I purchased one with a contract since I live in a not too rural area but we cannot get cable tv or high speed internet. I was told by the salesman that the Jet Pack will work any where and he looked up my zip code on a map and said “yes you have service” I tried using the Jet Pack for 3 months and found that I lost the connection, it was super slow and there was not a good signal any where on my lot. Come to find out, I live in a “marginal” area and Verizon is not going to increase the service to the area until there are more houses built in the area. Please look into this and advise your readers correctly…the Jet Pack does not work everywhere. You may have not ran into problems in the years you have been using the device and have been very lucky to not experience using the device in a “marginal” area. The local cell tower is about 11 miles away by road but the area is in the foothills.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
6 years ago

Kristina, you are having your problem in one location. That happens with all carriers. I have found dead spots in Verizon’s coverage, sometimes in urban areas where you would expect it to be strong. But overall, in my travels around the USA for the last 10 years, Verizon has been very dependable. I have tried both Sprint and AT&T and experienced many more dead zones. — Chuck

Doug Smith
6 years ago

Very difficult to compose in light gray type. Hope it converts to black type when posted..

What do you recommend for part timers who take a couple of 6 week trips a year? I would prefer a prepaid plan, but JetPack sounds good. I see that you can buy a Jetpack® MiFi 6620L or a Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot-AC791L for $199 with no plan or an Ellipsis JetPack MHS800L for $149 no plan. I see some Verizon offerings including $20/30das (1GB) and others.

I am assuming that if we just do email and general stuff on the internet, e.g. Google Maps, RVparkreviews, Amazon, etc that 1GB would be a lot, but do not know for sure. We don’t stream movies and only occasionally watch a something on YouTube, mainly for info, not entertainment.

So….. What do you think might be a good option for what we do?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions to research.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
6 years ago
Reply to  Doug Smith

Doug, you’ll run out of bandwidth fast if you only sign up for 1 GB. I’d recommend 3GB. It might cost you an extra $20. But you could start with 1 GB and see how it goes. Verizon will text you if you are getting near your monthly limit. One thing about Verizon is that you can sign up for the minimum bandwidth plan, then increase it month by month when you are traveling. There are likely other options, too, but I’m not familiar with anything much beyond my plan. — Chuck

Keith & Eileen Cooper
6 years ago

As with so many others we use multiple carriers for Cellular data. as an RVer the best service provider depends on where we are parked at any given point in time. We usually try to predict the service we can expect in a given campground by using two app’s that provide a form of drive testing results. The two apps are Coverage Map and OpenSignal. Its also important to recognize that voice and data networks provided by a service provider may actually be different networks. For us, the selection of cellular service provider depends on price, coverage along our routes and data rates available. When we arrive at a destination we are also able to improve the overall signal strength by utilizing a Wilson Electronics 460108 4G/lTE signal booster. Typically, we see a 27 db boost in signal strength inside the coach. As you may or may not know, there is a direct correlation between signal strength and data throughput rates. To help put these comments in perspective i should state that I am a retiree with 37+ years background in the Telecom industry.

Diane Souders
6 years ago

I live in a rural area and we have no internet service available other than dial up. I also use Verizon for my cell phone and a year ago purchased the Jet Pack, it works great. Verizon charges $20.00 month for the Jet Pack as it is counted as a phone line with its own number, and it is shared with my cell phones data plan. I can check anytime how much data I have used and what amount of data is left available. The Jet Pack always goes with me when we travel in our RV and have never had a problem with the connection. It does use a lot of data if your downloading movies, but for normal use, emails, surfing the internet etc., it is not excessive.

Joe and Sue Schmidt
6 years ago

Hi Chuck,
Welcome to the world of Winni Adventurer. We have the same model in Bronze and think the floorplan is fantastic.

We did FYI have a continuing problem with the fridge which started immediately upon delivery ( Brand new in 2012). It had to be completely removed and a new one installed. It died on and off and was repaired each time under our extended warranty…. but that’s a time-consuming process with days of diagnosis, waiting for Winnebago to respond back.. the repair warranty people, parts to arrive and install, and so forth. no reasons could be given wired continue to die, neither from Winnebago, or any of the techs online, or any of the service centers that were authorized for dealers. The continuing thread, from readers online and talking with service techs is that some, curiously not all, evaporative refrigerators in a slide experience problems. Well we were one of those people. After almost a month of testing and talking with Winebago, service techs on line and three service local service centers… includng a new cooling unit made by the Amish… AND two different systems installed to redirect the cooling air from the outside vents… WE Had The Fridge Pulled Out Completely, bought a Residential Fridge from Sears, and had the RV service center install it with new molding. It fit into tne same hole.

WE LOVE IT. It has much more space, gets and stays below freezing in plus 100 degree weather, cools literally 8 times faster, freezes ice in about + 1 hour. it only works on electricity and our generator, but we don’t Boondock anyway. Should we decide we’d like to Boondock without our generator, we can upgrade our inverter and will be all set. But we see no need for that.

The new adventures now I’ll give you the option between the evaporative or residential refrigerator, and go online and you’ll see that 100% of other RV Resort changed to residential fridge are as happy as we are. We highly recommend it.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
6 years ago

Joe and/or Sue,

So far we have had no problems with our refrigerator. But thanks for describing your problem and the solution. — Chuck

Gene Bjerke
6 years ago

Just now commenting on your new MH. I know you and Gail are happy with it. As a dedicated Class B traveler (Sprinter Roadtrek) I felt that with your small Class C we were sort of “in the same club.” That was a warm feeling. I still like your ideas and your writing now that you are playing with the big boys. And at lest you didn’t go all the way to a 45-foot MacMotorhome. Enjoy.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
6 years ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Gene, I’ve always enjoyed small RVs and this one feels too big to me in the early stages of ownership. But, really, I just could not envision full-timing with the View and its “upstairs” bunk. I feel the 32-footer is roomy enough for our comfort; I wouldn’t want anything longer. For the first time, too, I will be towing a car — a Honda Fit, manual transmission. I’ll write about all of this later. — Chuck

Alain Marchildon
6 years ago

Last year, we spent two months in Louisiana and Texas and the coverage (voice and data) with Roam Mobility was non existent at least half the time. We could see other people using their cell phones but for us, we just had no signal… This year, we spent two months in New Mexico, eastern Arizona, South Utah and Colorado and had a much better experience: we had service about 80% of the time. Still, when we were without coverage, we could see plenty of people using their cellphone.

So I will certainly try Verizon wireless the next time I travel in the USA (we are from Canada). me and my wife both have a cell phone with voice & data plan

Jim Hamm
6 years ago

Chuck, I agree with your comments on wifi in RV parks and Verizon, although we happen to have AT&T because we bought the iPhone when it first came out, and AT&T was the only Carrier. I buy 3GB of data monthly for my iPad and use the iPad in RV parks when the wifi is too poor to use. If I don’t watch any video, 3GB does fine for emails and web surfing. Enjoy your new motorhome and I’m interested to read what you think about it.

Ray Thompson
6 years ago

Last year my wife and I went across Canada for 2 month s we signed up for Bell Mobility for our phone and internet. If this was great my wife could get on the internet as we were going down the road , pick a campsite call them and reserve a spot for that night. Bell is counted with |Verizon in the US.

6 years ago

Is there no more game contest?

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob


We’ll have more contests soon.

David & Andrea Burckhardt
6 years ago

We use the AT&T Velocity mi-fi which has given us excellent signal all over the western states. It often will provide an adequate wi-fi signal when our phones cannot connect or are marginal. I would love to see an article or suggestions on managing/preserving data…we are usually over our data at end of every billing cycle. We are presently workamping as volunteers at an Oregon State Park and depend on the Velocity for all our data needs.

Tom Becher
6 years ago

Love my Jet-Pack. got it in Yuma because of the fact that you mentioned. all the bandwidth being used by people that thought they were the only ones on earth. The only place iv’e not been able to use it is when we go to a friends home near Hayward Wi. Just NO service anywhere near. I buy 10 gigs of service for my 2 cell phones and Jet pack and never run over for $50 a month. and it is with me so I don’t have to worry about canceling cable while away.

Alan Prochoroff
6 years ago

Disagree with your comments about Verizon. I, too, have a Verizon hotspot (and an unlimited data plan), and its coverage is extensive. But there have been times when, for whatever reason, Verizon just didn’t deliver (lack of coverage, too many people on the same cell tower, etc.). When I travel, I need Internet service for my work, so I also carry an AT&T hotspot. But really, coverage on all the four main carriers is improving, and there is a great app for smartphones, Coverage?, that shows where there is service for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile. It is updated periodically and I highly recommend it.

Mike Jackson
6 years ago

Certainly agree about Verizon as a carrier. One of their techs suggested using an iPad as the hotspot rather than an iPhone. Better battery capacity.

John Griffithj
6 years ago

Strange that the service with AT&T seems bad. We have had an AT&T air card and cell service for years with no problems at all., regardless where in the country we were.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
6 years ago
Reply to  John Griffithj

John, I carry both AT&T and Verizon MiFi cards and I find the Verizon is by far the most dependable. — Chuck