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Issue 752 • Week of July 23-29, 2016
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
William Piper, inventor of the Piper Cub airplane, was often called the “Henry Ford of Aviation.” His Piper Cub airplane sold for $1,325 in 1937, making it affordable to many Americans. The price even included flying lessons. One of the smartest things Piper did early on was lobby communities across America to build airports. Without airports, he reasoned, where would his customers take off and land their airplanes? Smart guy!
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) could take a lesson from Mr. Piper by helping promote the creation of RV parks and campgrounds. After all, why build and sell RVs if there are too few places to use them? From the many letters I receive from readers, finding a place to camp these days is very often difficult, frustrating and sometimes even impossible.
I DON’T THINK ANYONE AT THE RVIA or at most RV dealerships cares where people camp or if they have problems finding campgrounds. I doubt they even talk about it.
The RVIA has two missions: 1. to promote the sale of RVs, and, 2. to ensure the RVs made by manufacturers meet certain quality standards (even if they do, the standards do not cover quality of workmanship). Nothing says the RVIA must be concerned about how people use their RVs after they buy them except for any bad word of mouth that might hurt sales.
In his series the “RV Industry Death Spiral,” RV Daily Report editor Greg Gerber wrote that “Partnering with JD Power, a well-recognized name in gauging auto industry satisfaction, the RVIA was going to show the world how happy RV owners were with the products they purchased.” However, said Gerber, “the results were never made public.” He speculated that the RVIA buried the report so “the industry in general would never, ever find out how badly consumers viewed the products, service and customer experience.” Gerber noted he has seen no customer satisfaction surveys since.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I won’t go on and on with either of these subjects — lack of campgrounds and poor RV workmanship. I’ve written enough in the past. But, please, if you have something to say, would you click here and leave a comment? I’d very much appreciate your thoughts.
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
Ready to plan
your next camping vacation?
The CampUSA™ App allows you to quickly search, book and camp at more than 170 Encore and Thousand Trails RV resorts and campgrounds nationwide! Click here to see how it works! Download the app and receive 10% off your next stay! Use code CAMPUSA.
You’ll find some good reading material here.
• Photography while RVing
• Inside your RV
• GPS and navigation
• Disabled RVers
• Campground hookups and etiquette
• Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal
Dish TV Discount Program for Military and Veterans
DISHForMyRV.com is your partner for getting DISH HDTV in your RV. We offer the hardware solutions including a wide variety of portable satellite antenna solutions. Our specialized agents are experienced with RV setups and equipment and are knowledgeable in the DISH Pay As You Go programming options. This month we are honoring our Military Active Duty and Veterans with our new Military Discount program. Learn more.
Alternatives to expensive RV resorts and campgrounds
It’s easy to find an amenity-filled campground when traveling — just look at a printed or online campground directory. But what do you do if you are on a tighter budget and can’t afford campgrounds that have excess funds to spend on advertising and camper magnets like swimming pools and golf courses? Or you would just like a little more space for yourself and don’t need a bunch of amenities? Veteran RVer and boondocker Bob Difley (“Boondock Bob”) explains some alternatives here.
Weigh your RV: Why thumping your tires can lead to disaster
Mac McCoy, “Mac the Fire Guy” ( MacTheFireGuy.com ), discusses why you must get your RV weighed to avoid overloading and risk a fire. Thumping your tires with a stick, he advises, is not good enough to determine if tires are properly inflated. Watch the video.
Water heater not hot when on electric — What’s wrong?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader related, “I have a hot water tank that runs on electric or propane and after a couple years it no longer heats with electric. Any suggestions?” Read Chris’ response.
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U.S. sales of new towable RVs continue to rise, says Statistical Surveys Inc. Comparing May 2016 sales to those of May 2015, overall the market grew more than 8 percent. Travel trailers took the lead, growing nearly 12 percent. Park model sales rose 7 percent. Sales in other segments were lackluster – fifth-wheels were flat, up only 1 percent; and pop-ups tanked, dropping almost 7 percent.
Wholesale auction results for RVs for June are “mixed,” says market watcher Black Book. Motorhome sales averaged $42,010, down 4 percent from May. Towable RVs averaged $11,352, a drop of 6 percent. Compared to June 2015, motorhomes then averaged $40,005 and towables $10,626. In terms of volume, motorhomes sold for 12 percent less, and towables about 14 percent less, a seasonal expectation.
In Detroit’s “tow wars,” Ford has fired the latest shot: The company’s 2017 F-450 Super Duty trucks now have 32,500 pound trailer towing capacity, up 1,300 pounds from the current iteration. Ford pridefully points out that beats the nearest competition, Dodge Ram 3500’s 32,210 pound rating.
Volunteer campground hosts and park hosts are needed in more than 100 of California’s 280 state parks. Host duties vary according to each park and most hosts work about 20 hours a week in exchange for an RV campsite during their stay. Many parks offer full hookups, restrooms and showers; others are more rustic. Learn about current and ongoing host openings here.
RV refrigerator manufacturer Dometic has quickly responded to news reports regarding an “updated lawsuit” we reported on last week. The company points out this is not a new lawsuit, but rather an amendment to one already filed by the same firm. The amendment adds two more plaintiffs. The company adds, “Dometic remains firm in its position that the allegations are without merit and intends to vigorously defend against them.”
Escapees RV Club members looking forward to their 56th annual Escapade will head to New England, as the big show will take place in Essex Junction, Vt. So far about 900 “Skip” rigs have signed up for the July 24–26 event at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center.
SCAM ALERT: A Facebook page that began circulating this month promising to give away luxury RVs is a scam. Here’s a link to an article on Snopes.com that explains why this is a hoax and why you shouldn’t fall for it.
Seeking the elusive Charizard? If you’re near any of Indiana’s state parks, drop in – you may find Charizard or any of the other Pokemon characters unleashed in the latest Pokemon Go fad. The state’s parks and eight reservoirs are home to 200 locations for the game-craze critters, although park’s officials caution players to watch where they walk, stay on trails, and enter the parks through the main gates.
Fire broke out at La Mesa RV Center in Phoenix, Ariz., Thursday afternoon, destroying one motorhome and causing nearby propane tanks to explode. More than 20 fire units responded to the fire and hazardous materials situation. No cause has yet been determined.
In Texas, the saying goes, “It’s so windy we’re using a log chain instead of a wind sock.” Charles Furr may disagree – he recently used a travel trailer as a wind gauge. Furr owns Lubbock Auto Auction and says on Thursday he noticed something funny — a travel trailer – or what was left of it – resting atop some of his pickup trucks. Apparently a master of understatement, Furr told local news media, “I’m assuming that it was picked up off the ground and flipped over there.” A review of security video confirmed it.
RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match!
An 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.
RVers in Alaska pitched in to help save the life of a teen girl on the Kenai River. Doug Bangle and his son, Ryan, were sound asleep in their RV at Iva’s Place RV Park in Soldotna when they were awakened by cries for help. Both trained in emergency procedures, they quickly dialed 9-1-1 and went for their boat – as the cries came from the nearby river. They found a girl clinging to a log lodged near the campground and fished her out. Others helped her dry off and warm up until emergency personnel took her to a hospital. She apparently slipped off a dock somewhere upstream at the beginning of a memorable journey.
Ronald David Johnson, 50, of Corcoran, Minn., told investors he had a great plan: He’d build large warehouses on properties he owned in Bakken oil country (N.D.) and lease out space in the warehouses for oil field workers to move in their RVs to escape the winter cold. Trouble is, Johnson never owned any such property and is now charged with ripping off investors for some $2 million. The money, says prosecutors, went into vacations, vintage cars, even the purchase of a 17-acre island for his personal use.
Share the RV road – with Millennials. RVing used to be the retired folks’ game, but about a third of new RVers are now under 35. In case you missed it, read Julianne G. Crane’s article on farmforum.net.
RV sales in Canada continue in a train-wreck-like skid, reports Statistical Surveys Inc. May towable sales were down almost 26 percent compared to May 2015. Overall, sales were down more than 22 percent since January. The worst hit was in the fifth-wheel market, down 30 percent, followed by travel trailers, dropping nearly 25 percent. Pop-ups deflated 22 percent. Throughout the nation, only three park models sold in May. Motorhome sales are also lagging behind, down 11 percent in May, with Class A sales plummeting 43 percent. Class C sales actually were on the plus side, up more than 5 percent, but still down 11 percent over the year.
If the skid on sales of new RVs in Canada weren’t serious enough for the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA), the group is now up in arms about the “tiny house” movement. A U.S.-based tiny house company is putting on seminars in Canada, showing folks to how build the little rigs. A Canadian campground trade group chimes in, “[We] have made our members fully aware of the potential threat to their campground and the RV industry in general if we do not monitor each RV unit that occupies our campsites. We want to do our best to ensure that we are never put in a position whereby there is a tragedy involving a non-compliant ‘tiny home RV’ in one of our campgrounds.”
Long may your toilet paper roll? In what may be one of the weirdest toilet paper ad campaigns, Scott, maker of 1000-sheet rolls, is providing RVing families a single roll of TP and pointing them down the highway. Five families will make cross-country road trips on Interstate 90. In a sort of relay race, the families will take possession – not of the toilet paper, thank heavens – but of a motorhome (and a fresh roll) documenting how “Scott 1000 is here for them, no matter where life takes them.” This is how we roll?
KINDLE BOOKS ABOUT RVing. Instant Reading! Click here to browse.
File this one under “false alarm clock.” The Windsor Wine Country RV Park in Sonoma County, Calif., was evacuated for a short time last week when a fire broke out. Firefighters entering a residence at the park spotted what they took for three sticks of dynamite with a timer attached. They backed out immediately, evacuated the area, and called the bomb squad. Turns out the “bomb” was a gag alarm clock that the resident had dreamed up and innocently left at home when he went to work, never expecting that an incidental fire would bring so much attention.
If the philosopher Diogenes were alive today, he wouldn’t have to travel farther than Independence, Mo., to find an honest man. Independence resident Josh Estes put an ad on Craigslist, looking for a pop-up. He soon found a seller who offered one for far less than one would expect – but sold Estes with a story that he was in tough financial times. A month later, Estes discovered he’d bought a stolen rig. Estes’ next investment was in time – time to track down the “real” owners, Shawn and Colleen Jones, who traveled three hours to gratefully retrieve their trailer. The alleged crook has yet to be arrested.
Want to buy a $300,000 motorhome – and not have to pay? That’s allegedly what Everett Leon Stout, 74, tried to do in 2014. According to charges, Stout and his common-law wife showed up at Dandy R.V. Superstore in Oxford, Ala., carrying paperwork he said showed that a bank owed him $25 billion. When the dealership investigated and told the couple the paperwork was bogus, they responded by filing “fictitious liens” against the dealership’s employees. It’s all part of a 14 counts of extortion and one of attempted theft the couple is charged with. The trial began this week.
No contest this week
Last week’s winners (only two of the three prizes claimed due to not enough entries): Clyde (no last name provided) and Kenneth Newcomer. Both won the board game Chutes and Ladders. Congratulations!
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi ! Seven day per week sales & technical support & over 12 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.
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 RVtravel.com. Send to assistant editor Diane McGovern at Diane(at)RVtravel.com .
CLICK HERE to see the last issue of RV Travel Reader RVs. (More next week.)
RV Armor has tough skin!
RV Armor’s tough skin was featured recently in Trailer Life. Read the full story here. RV Armor offers a unique, liquid applied roof system that is Guaranteed for the Life of the RV! No more maintenance, seams or headaches. Nationwide mobile service. We come to you. To learn more, call 1-855-782-7667 or click here.
More on RV tires’ cold inflation pressure and “ambient” temperature
RV tire expert Robert Marble, of RVtireSafety.com, clarifies cold inflation pressure (“CIP”) for your RV’s tires — when to check it and when to adjust the inflation — and what “ambient” temperature has to do with it. Learn more.
Can you afford to snowbird?
Are you an RVer tired of the cold winter weather and ready to become a snowbird? Worried you can’t afford it? Here from Russ and Tiña De Maris are a few things to help you figure out whether or not you can fit the snowbird lifestyle into your financial limits. Learn more.
Even the simple things — tiny folding plastic step stool
Rich “The Wanderman” has seen those small folding step stools but thought only of how short they were and that he couldn’t use them for reaching high places. But, with age, he’s come to the conclusion that this handy step stool is perfect for sitting on to work on something you would otherwise have to bend down to see or touch, in addition to working as a step. It folds down almost flat, weighs just over two pounds and only costs about ten bucks. He concludes: “Try it, you’ll like it.” Read more.
Is it time for instant hot water in RV’s?
Why have tankless water heaters become so popular at home, but failed to capture the RV market’s favor? One reason has been an inability to prevent temperature spikes that sometimes scald. Finally, a new hybrid mixing vessel technology in the Truma AquaGo® instant water heater has solved this concern, providing instant, constant, endless hot water. Learn more here.
Should you electrically insulate (“ground”) your levelers?
Many RVers have concerns about electrical safety in their rigs, and we get occasional letters on the subject. One reader expressed concern about the use of leveling boards/blocks and the grounding of a trailer. We asked RV electrical expert Mike Sokol for his thoughts on putting down levelers or stabilizers with or without adding “insulation” between the foot and the ground. Here’s what Mike said.
RV Death Spiral part 4: RV dealers
not taking care of RV service needs
RV dealers are on the front lines of the RV industry. While they are becoming more professional every year, they have some glaring deficiencies. Perhaps the most significant, for which they have the ability to solve, but choose not to, is service capacity. They are laser-focused on selling new and used RVs, but rarely invest in expanding the business’ infrastructure to service the RVs being sold. Read more.
America’s Largest RV Show runs September 14–18, 2016
See, compare and shop over 1300 new RVs from virtually every major manufacturer! Visit hundreds of vendors including campgrounds, accessories and services. Attend seminars covering subjects for the beginner to the seasoned RV enthusiast. Location is Hershey, PA. For more information, click here.
RV Quick Tips
Don’t buy an RV that smells musty!
We often hear of RVers who want to know what magic potion can eliminate “that musty smell” in an RV. If you’re shopping for an RV and smell that musty odor, STOP! Musty odors are often attached to water damage – a terminal issue. Look closely for signs of water stains, including inside every single cabinet. If you find water stains or feel a “soft” wall or ceiling, RUN, don’t walk, away from that rig.
Removing old decals without scratching the RV
Trying to get an old decal off the side of your rig without damaging the siding? Use plastic razor blades. Where to get ’em? They have mini-scrapers with plastic razors for removing decals, etc., at Amazon.
Help protect your drive train on steep grades
Climbing steep grades with a motorhome or with a vehicle in tow can really cause your drive train to heat up. Automatic transmission users, use your selector to run through the gears, not allowing the transmission the “choice.” When you do this, run your engine at higher RPMs to allow the cooling system to work more efficiently.
Find stores in the USA and Canada
This is an invaluable aid for RVers who occasionally spend a night in a Walmart parking lot. State maps identify where the stores are located in the USA and Canada. Detailed information includes city or town where each store is located, type of store (Walmart or Supercenter), availability of gas and diesel fuel, distance from Interstate if within 10 miles, and more. Published 2016. Learn more or order.
This week in history
Week of July 23-29
Compiled by Dell Bert
1847 — Mormons settle Salt Lake Valley.
1908 — FBI founded.
1931 — Grasshoppers bring ruin to Midwest.
1943 — Entertainer Mick Jagger is born.
1953 — Armistice ends the Korean War.
1978 — “National Lampoon’s Animal House” is released.
1981 — Prince Charles marries Lady Diana.
2003 — Bob Hope dies at 100.
Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Just 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.
Here are some RV clubs from our extensive directory which you may be interested in:
Marathon Coach Club International
For over a quarter of a century, Marathon owners have enjoyed the benefits of club membership including fun-filled rallies at spectacular locations, service discounts and complimentary subscriptions to “The Maratime” magazine. Magnificent Monterey Marathon Rally October 9-15.
Forum for Airstream owners who are “military folks Active, Guard, Reserve, Disabled, or Retired, and the people that support them. We welcome all from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard.” Regarding dues: “We paid our dues with service to this great nation. Lest we not forget that all gave some, but some gave all.”
Roadtrek International is open to all owners of Roadtrek motorhomes who are members of Family Motor Coach Association. There are about 3,400 members, and rallies are held at sites around North America every year.
Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.
Bumper sticker of the week
Being organized is for people who are too lazy to look for their stuff. —Thanks to K Mac!
Funny/clever business slogan
“We Take a Bite Out of Grime” — at a car wash.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com
Guide to RV Camping in State Parks
Learn about more than 1,730 state parks, forests & recreation areas for RVers. Book includes maps, locator charts, reservation & fee info, plus contact details & website. Plus park location, directions, GPS coordinates, type of hookups, season, RV length limit & availability of showers, dump station, Wi-Fi, etc. Learn more or order.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the list of upcoming RV shows for 2016.
Websites of the Week
We like these websites. Check ’em out. More next week.
Here’s a sample: The best barbecue festivals in America
Be sure to check out the rest of the list — lots of summertime stuff.
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 about $8, 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 and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Thinking of spending the winter in an RV? This video will get you prepared!
• Crater Lake is one of America’s most unique geological features.
• Your adventures deserve more than just a blog post or a status update!
‘Best club for motorhome owners!’
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is THE “best club, hands down, for motorhome owners.” That’s the word from RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury who has been a member for 25 years! The group has many local and special interest clubs, national rallies, valuable member-only web content, and a wonderful monthly magazine. A normal first-year membership is $50 per family, but FMCA is offering a special rate of $40 to RV Travel readers who click this link to join.
Ask the RV Shrink
Wife concerned about RV’s water leak; hubby says no problem
Dear RV Shrink:
After a recent rainstorm I found a pool of water on my makeup table in our motorhome bedroom. There is a small window there and my husband says it checks out fine. He looked at all the seals inside and out and says they are fine.
With that report he dismissed the problem as a freak accident. I told him water leaks are not a freak accident, but he refuses to pursue it any further. I hate to be a nagging wife, but don’t you think he should work on it until he finds the cause? —Mad as a wet hen in Helena
Endorsed by Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com!
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 $13! Learn more or order.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Safety first when using a generator!
Always keep in mind when you use a generator there is carbon monoxide. You should always inspect the exhaust system on the generator set before using it. Do not operate a generator with a damaged exhaust system. If you’re using a portable generator set make sure the exhaust is directed away from the camping area. Test your carbon monoxide detector for proper operation prior to using the generator.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.23 (on July 18). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 57 cents.
Diesel: $2.40 (on July 18). Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 38 cents.
Protect yourself and others from sharp edges of RV slideouts!
Cut your head just once on the corner of a sharp RV slideout and you’ll race out to buy a set of these so it never happens again! Camco’s Black RV Slide-Out Corner Guards offer a simple solution to the danger posed by sharp corners on RV slideouts. Simply place them on each exterior corner of the slide to provide a cushion zone. They’re made of advanced UV-stabilized resin for long life. Easy to install and no tools are required. Learn more or order.
RV Travel Reader Pets
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)RVtravel.com .
Click here to see this week’s issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.
Extend your battery life with LED lights
If you haven’t switched your RV lights to LEDs, you’re tossing away energy. This is especially important when boondocking, when every amp counts. Watch this video for a demonstration of the huge energy savings with LEDs. In most cases, installation is as easy as screwing out an old light bulb and replacing it with the new LED. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Lotsa pots o’ pasta.
Janet always hated to cook pasta in the RV because it takes so much water and makes a lot of heat and steam. So she began experimenting with other ways to enjoy the dishes everyone loves. Here’s a way to use less water while making a pasta meal in one skillet or saucepan. The bonus is a tastier pasta because it cooks in broth, not water. No draining required. Get the recipe.
Headed to Alaska? Let this be your guide!
This is THE mile-by-mile guidebook for RV or auto travelers headed to Alaska, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. First published in 1949 as a guide about traveling along the Alaska Highway, today’s Milepost includes more than 600 pictures and more than 100 maps, and details every place travelers might eat, sleep or pull off the road for scenic viewing. Learn more or order.
App of the Week
Uber for RV travelers
Uber is the new age ride-sharing service taking the world by storm. You put the app on your phone and you can see where the Uber cars are and how long it would take one of them to get to your location. Tap the screen and enter where you want to go and it tells you how much it’s going to cost. When you reach your destination, payment is done by the app. What does this have to do with RVers? Many people who travel by RV don’t have a car. Uber might make this a more palatable option. Learn more in this article from Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour about this handy and free app.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. This Sunday’s topic is about buying a new phone: Does your old phone need replacing? What are your choices? Plus more. Watch live or archives of past programs.
The special offer for RV Travel readers is back!
Become a member of Geeks on Tour and get a 20% discount. Click here.
Jumper cables essential for a dead battery emergency!
Don’t let a dead
auto battery ruin your trip
You carry a set of jumper cables in your car or RV, right? If you don’t, you’re asking to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery and no way to charge it back up! These AAA Heavy-Duty, 16-foot, Six-Gauge Booster Cables are top-rated on Amazon and deliver 100 percent more power than light-duty cables. And they even come in a nice storage bag. Learn more or order at a discount.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Keep RV tires on a firm foundation
Love your articles and I have learned so much from you. I have a 2013 Itasca. It has hydraulic stabilizers which level it, but right now it is parked in my driveway which has an incline to the road. I want to be able to use it when family comes to visit but I am trying to figure out how to get it level. The front is probably sitting 10 to 12 inches lower than the back. … —Carol B.
Temperature 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.
with Bob Difley
Practice makes perfect
The best way to become comfortable with boondocking and become an expert at it is to do it often. Keep a log on how many days you can boondock without having to dump or replenish your on-board systems, and what measures — such as carrying extra water, watching less TV, or using the shower warm-up water to flush the toilet — have contributed to extending your boondocking days. Soon you will be practicing these conservation habits automatically. These skills open up thousands of square miles of forest land and open desert for boondocking and exploring.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Easily brew a single cup of coffee
This is great for RVers! Brew a single cup of coffee without the high cost of an expensive coffee maker with the MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker! Just fill reservoir with hot water from tea kettle, or heat water in a microwave. Assemble, place K-Cup pack in base, attach the water reservoir and pump. Watch the video for a short demonstration or learn more or order at a big discount.
Gadgets and Gizmos
All-in-one space-saving food prep set
This food preparation set offers a modern take on maximum utility with minimum space, perfect for the RV lifestyle — where all space is valuable and should be used to maximum efficiency. Eight durable plastic BPA-free pieces in all necessary sizes for preparing food in your galley/kitchen nest together in a neat stack with a small footprint. Set includes mixing bowls, colander, sifter and measuring cups. Check ’em out.
Cool your RV for a penny a day
Hot summer days are still ahead, resulting in hot, sleepless nights as well. If you are a boondocker/dry camper and don’t always have adequate — or any — electrical hookup to run your power-hungry air conditioner, what to do? Geizeer is a personal, eco-friendly, portable mini-ice cooling with refrigerant device, which consumes less than 1 cent per day. Learn more.
RV Stove Top Cover — Convert your RV’s stove top to a temporary food prep area
The Universal Fit Stove Top Cover provides extra counter space in your RV as well as protecting and hiding the burners when the stove isn’t in use. The rattle-free design is compatible with 3 or 4 burner stoves and will enhance and complement your RV or marine kitchen décor. Cover is made of durable 20-gauge steel with a powder-coated black finish. Learn more or order.
Stupid statements of yesteryear
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” —Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.
Easily clean those
stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Videos you’ll like
Must-have travel trailer towing accessories
Mark Polk demonstrates towing accessories from Fastway Trailer Products. Watch the video.
Don’t let your RV become an “Ant Farm”
Ants can tunnel into RV walls. Chris Dougherty shows how to avoid this happening to your RV. Watch the video.
Random RV Thought
An angel is the first person out of bed in the RV on a very cold morning, who turns on the heater and makes the coffee.
Liquefy solid wastes in sewer holding tanks
Happy Campers Treatment liquefies solid waste and household tissue. It’s a natural formula that’s environmentally friendly and biodegradable, with no formaldehyde or harsh chemicals. Basically, the good bacteria overtakes the bad bacteria to eliminate odor and accelerate the natural decomposition of waste. Because it is totally organic and odor free, you won’t be embarrassed by bad odors inside or when you dump. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
The death of Yogi Bear!
Yogi Berra, who died last year, was a star catcher for the New York Yankees and famous for his amusing sayings such as “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.” He’s also forever linked to the cartoon character Yogi Bear. Indeed, the two names are so alike that in announcing Berra’s death the Associated Press mistakenly announced the death of Yogi Bear!
Protect your RV’s slideout
with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” —Abraham Lincoln
RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers manages more than 12 million acres of land and water nationwide. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. This book will guide you to more than 600 Corps-managed campgrounds with sites suitable for RV camping on nearly 200 lakes around the country. Many RVers believe Corps campgrounds are among the best out there! Learn more or order.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• July 23: To Scott from Mj. Happy birthday, Captain Amazing! We are all excited to celebrate you this weekend. Slainte
• July 26: To Joy Overton from Joanne & Phil Overton (Mom & Dad). Happy 28th birthday to our awesome daughter Joy! Looking forward to our annual birthday road trip together! Love & kisses, Mom and Dad
• July 28: To Charlotte from Dave. Wishing my dear wife a very Happy Birthday.
• July 23: To Jim from Penny. Thanks for 50 years of great happiness. Looking forward to more time on the road with you. Thanks for our life together.
Happy (belated) Anniversary!
• July 21: To Little One from Your Kenny. “Forever is as far as I’ll go.” I wouldn’t be where I am today without you! Thanks for loving me for the past 43 years.
Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting. (25-word maximum. Be sure to send it to us prior to the Saturday before the event, or it will be a “belated” message.)
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 RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com.
About the RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for nearly 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 Amazon.com. 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. Nowadays, he lives near Seattle, where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way. In 2013 he was named the Honored Journalist of the Year by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.
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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