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Issue 764 • Week of Oct. 15–21, 2016
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
A few years ago, on a visit to my aunt’s in Lindsay, California, she told me about a friend in nearby Visalia who owned a vintage two-story trailer. Shirley Wallace’s father built the second story when she was a child — bedrooms for Shirley and her sister. Shirley lived there until she went off to college.
“Would you like to see the trailer?” my aunt Linda asked. A couple of hours later, we were on our way.
Shirley gave me a tour, which I videotaped with my iPhone. That video has now been viewed by more than a half million people on our YouTube Channel! It is, in fact, the most popular video on our channel. What’s interesting is that I shot the entire thing with my iPhone — no professional equipment!
WATCH THE VIDEO BY CLICKING ON IT
My aunt tells me that Shirley now gets stopped occasionally by strangers. “Oh, you’re the one with the two story trailer,” they say. “I feel like a celebrity,” Shirley told my aunt.
Gail and I will spend Thanksgiving in Lindsay. I hope to see Shirley and her trailer again (to show Gail) and to ask Shirley how things have gone since the video debuted.
So, two interesting points about all this: The fact that I shot this video on an iPhone proves that a person does not need expensive, fancy equipment to shoot a popular YouTube video.
And here’s an idea to earn a few dollars on the RV road: if you can create a YouTube channel that attracts good traffic — even a few hundred views a day — YouTube will permit you to monetize the channel. You’ve likely seen monetized videos. In most cases a commercial runs at the beginning (which you can stop most often after a few seconds if you choose).
IF ENOUGH PEOPLE WATCH the commercials, over time you get paid, a penny or two for each view on average — something like that. Some of the most popular videos on YouTube (the talking dog, Charlie Bit Me, etc.) can earn the channel’s owner thousands of dollars a month, even six figures a year! That little video of Shirley and her trailer generates about $50 every month for RV Travel, and will for years to come even if I never post another video.
Most of our videos are lucky to earn a dollar a month, so our earnings are modest. I consider my YouTube channel my retirement fund. One day, when my mind has left me for another place and I must stop working, I’ll likely still earn $500 or so a month from YouTube — a nice supplement to Social Security.
If you are handy with a video camera (or even a smartphone), and are looking for a little extra income, consider setting up a YouTube channel. Pick a subject that you are passionate about. You’ll need to do some homework first — how to edit the videos (all Macs come with iMovie) and perhaps even more important, how to build traffic. But if you take it seriously, your channel can provide extra income for your travels today and even years to come.
And if you’re lucky enough to videotape a chipmunk yodeling on your picnic table, you’ll be set for life!
If you like this video about Shirley’s trailer, would you please consider sharing it with your Facebook friends? Just write your message and paste in this code: bit.ly/two-story
(see example at the right).
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
THIS WEEK’S CONTEST!
UPDATE: WE HAVE OUR WINNER. Hold your entries.
Win a My Heat personal ceramic space heater (uses only 200 watts!). Be the 23rd person to correctly answer this question: “How many freckles did Howdy Doody have on his face and what was their significance?” The answer is below (just look for the small pic of Howdy Doody). Email your answer to RVcontests (at) gmail.com. We’ll let you know if you win. We can only ship to addresses with a U.S. Zip Code. Contest ends Monday at noon (Pacific) if we have no winner.
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Question of the week
We’ll compile your comments into a story about this next week.
What do folks do about medical care when full-time RV living? Asked by a reader named Daniel.
Do you have any advice for Daniel or other readers who might be interested? If so, leave your comment here.
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 see Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING with Beast Wash. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Beast Wash at the Wade Maid website.
Brutal accident decimates motorhome!
It’s a miracle nobody was killed in this accident. The motorhome literally collapsed on top of the three occupants after it veered out of control off the highway and flipped over. Read more and see a photo.
Winter Differently This Year!
When temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall, head south for the Winter! Florida, Arizona and South Texas benefit from beautiful sunny days and gentle warm breezes. You can too! Stay a week, a month, or the whole season! Book your long-term seasonal or annual stay at one of over 80 resorts in the Southern United States. Click here to learn more!
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.
Travel trailers were the only bright spot in the new towable RV sales picture for August. Comparing sales for this August with those in 2015, travel trailers pushed ahead 6 percent. Other towables did the “lead balloon” trick: Fifth wheels fell 6 percent; folding campers flopped 3 percent. Park models needed parachutes, dropping a dramatic 21 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.
August sales of new motorhomes saw growth in comparison to August 2015. Statistical Surveys Inc. reports overall registrations were up 6 percent. However, it was a mixed bag, based on class. Class A motorhome sales went down 1 percent, while the growth in sales were propelled by a nearly 14 percent sales increase of Class C units.
If you hate crowds, love outrageous scenery, and can handle the cold, today marks the start of a great time to visit the North Rim of Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park. October 15 saw the shutdown of most visitor services, and the departure of seasonal crowds. But RV camping is still allowed until November 1, provided Highway 67 into the park remains clear of snow.
Sobering statistics: The largest jump in traffic fatalities in 50 years occurred in 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports a 7 percent jump in traffic deaths, and an alarming 10 percent jump January through June of 2016. Finger pointing says half those deaths were due to an increase in driven miles, mostly attributed to cheaper fuel prices. But, says NHTSA, 94 percent of those deaths were due to “human behavior,” linking distracted driving, speeding, and drug and alcohol use to the rise in pavement carnage.
RV show promoters are purring in Pomona, Calif.: The 64th Annual California RV Show opened Friday, October 7, and when Sunday night rolled around, a record 17,471 looky-loos and customers had rolled through the show — up from 14,249 for the same time last year. The show goes on through October 16, and estimates are that as many as 45,000 will gallivant through the gates.
A lifelong camper is searching for his missing new Jayco Jay Feather RV. Larry Durr, of Lexington, Ky., says it was stolen from his driveway sometime in the past couple of months. In January, Durr was stricken with spinal stenosis and was in an assisted living facility until a couple of weeks ago. Camping with his wife, children and grandchildren has been a lifelong passion. He’s hoping to have the RV back before spring, so he can make some new memories with his family. If you have information about the missing RV, contact Lexington Police at (859) 258-3600. Source: LEX18.com.
Amazon is hiring 120,000 seasonal workers across 27 states this year — 20,000 more than last year. If you’re interested, click here to learn about the jobs and where they’re located, and apply online.
Olympic National Park (Washington state), one of the largest U.S. national parks, is now changing gears for winter camping season. Staircase Campground has already closed. Sol Duc Campground will close October 30. Deer Park Campground could close as soon as mid-October, depending on snowfall. While Graves Creek, North Fork, Ozette, Queets, Kalaloch, Mora, Heart o’ the Hills, and Hoh campgrounds will remain open year-round, the Hoh Campground will close between October 31 and November 4 for electrical work.
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.
A Billings, Mont., teen has shown that bravery isn’t limited to older folk. Austin Letney, age 19, disregarded his own safety and ran inside a burning truck camper to rescue his father, Mark Beaver. Beaver had just hooked up an LP bottle and lit a pilot light inside the rig when an explosion occurred. Austin leaped through flames, yanked burning clothing off his father, and moved him to safety. Dad is expected to recover.
When Hurricane Matthew blasted up the U.S. southeast coast, it definitely ruffled more than feathers. On October 6, Fort Wilderness, the RV park at Disney World, shuttered, asking RVers and tenters to vacate by 11:00 am. Nevertheless, newspapers reported on October 8 that at least some snowbirds weren’t rattled, and were proceeding toward the Sunshine State for their winter retreat, hurricane or not. Other RVers, however, took their rigs to Tallahassee, and as of last Monday, had turned a local Walmart parking lot into an ersatz refugee center, along with some folks reportedly tenting and others sleeping in their cars, when local motels were full to the brim. Sadly, as of Friday, at least 44 people lost their lives across five southeastern states due to the hurricane.
Canadian RVing snowbirds may feel slighted by a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) wants to amend existing laws that limit snowbirds from Canada to only 182 days in the U.S. Stefanik’s bill would tack on an additional two months for snowbirds to, in her words, join in “activities [which] will support many small businesses, grow jobs and foster an ever-closer relationship with our northern neighbor.” But then there’s that fine print: Only Canadians who own or lease a home in the U.S. would be granted the 60 more days to spend their money in the Lower 48.
Montana State Parks officials say they’re between a rock and a hard spot, and Painted Rocks may be the rocks that go. With the largest inventory of park lands for any state in the area, Montana’s system struggles with a budget of less than 70 percent of other park systems. Keeping up with the demands of the land, officials now say they may cut loose Painted Rocks State Park near Hamilton, dropping management of the land owned by another state agency. If the park closes, it will take with it room for 25 RVs.
Last week we reported that Long Beach, Calif., city officials were contemplating a city-wide ban on RV and large vehicle parking. After a city council meeting reviewing plenty of input from residents, the city has sheltered itself behind a time-honored strategy: Do a study. It will now become the onerous job of the city attorney to figure out how to draft an ordinance that meets state and local requirements, defines just what an “oversized” vehicle is, and figure out how local RV owners could park long enough at home to load and unload their rigs. Just how long that takes in Long Beach is anybody’s guess.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia isn’t an unusual venue for RVers during NASCAR races. But last week the speedway threw open the gates to its campground to house evacuees of Hurricane Matthew free of charge. Hot showers and restrooms were also made available.
RV dealers near Murray, Utah, say they think there’s an organizational method behind a rash of RV break-ins and thefts in the area. Within the last month at least 50 RVs were burglarized at three area dealer lots. The crooks appear to be targeting TV sets and appliances, but breaking up cabinetry to get at the goods is creating huge and costly headaches for the dealerships. One RV dealer says he’s pumped $10,000 into upgrading security cameras at his lot in an effort to catch the crooked creeps.
After a freak accident burned their motorhome to the ground, a North Carolina couple have vowed to keep on RVing. Billy and Peggie Tote were rolling down New Jersey’s Route 287 when somebody up ahead dropped a mattress in the roadway. Their rig flanked by cars on either side, Billy steered over the mattress — and unknowingly caught it in the motorhome’s undercarriage. When they pulled over, Peggie was greeted by flames as she pushed the door open. Uninjured, the couple rented a car to get home, and are already shopping for a replacement rig to continue their adventures.
VIDEO: How to camp for free at Walmart.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Light up your RV with Boogey Lights!
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.
RV Quick Tips
Pilot light won’t ignite?
Gas appliance pilot refuses to light? Could be dust in your pilot assembly. “Canned air” is perfect for blasting those delicate parts. Don’t have a can on hand? A bendable drinking straw coupled with your own lung-power can suffice.
An alternative to holes in RV walls for hanging pictures
Florette and Jeffrey Schilkraut suggest the following for hanging pictures in an RV: “We used two Command Strips Picture Hangers on each side of [our large] painting to hang it on the wall of our Tiffin Allegro. We’ve had no problems with it on the road, did not have to make holes in the wall and can change its location easily if we choose to.” Thanks for the suggestion, Schilkrauts!
A safety tip on “aging” tires
Sharon Brown, one of our faithful readers, said she owes much of what she’s learned about RVing to attending training sessions at RV shows and reading newsletters like ours (shameless promotion!). She shares this thought about tires: “I would NEVER keep tires more than five years. Actually, I have become a nerd and if the tires are over four-and-a-half years they get dumped. Even if the camper is new and was sitting in the lot, as mine was, the tires still may need to be replaced. I was shocked to read in a forum that was discussing what the best tires are for a travel trailer. A gentleman, obviously not too informed, said that he had the best tires and they have lasted over 20 years. Wow, what was he smoking?!?” (Learn a lot about RV tires at our blog RVtireSafety.com).
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. Click the video to see our 2-day process in 6 minutes!
Modifying your RV toilet for a better fit
If getting older also means it’s getting a bit harder to get on and off the throne, then this article may be of interest. Too often RV toilets are on the short side. But Russ and Tiña De Maris found that a relatively inexpensive upgrade that really helps is to install a riser to give yourself a bit of a lift. Here’s how to do it.
Hooking up a refilled LP cylinder? Check this out!
If you own an RV and it’s not a motorhome, chances are close to 100 percent that you have portable LP containers that you remove to have filled. Those nifty little containers are great – but sometimes when you go to hook those cylinders back up to your rig the gas just won’t flow. What’s the problem, and could it be hazardous? Find out here.
Homer Simpson buys a motorhome
Get ready to laugh as Homer Simpson and the family head over to “Bob’s RV Round-Up” to buy a new RV. Salesman Bob introduces the family to the “Ultimate Grand Behemoth.” Alas, when it comes to financing the giant RV, Homer runs into problems. Many RVers who bought an RV off a dealer’s sales lot will appreciate Homer’s experience. Watch the four-minute video.
Highlights of RV Travel reader comments
In this new biweekly feature from Russ and Tiña De Maris, we’ll take a look back at what’s caused RVtravel.com’s readers’ “blood to pump,” based on comments and emails we’ve recently received. This week, we’ll start off on a question that Chuck Woodbury posed in the October 1 edition of the newsletter: “Did you buy a brand new RV in the last year or two? Would you please leave a comment if your experiences with the new RV were good, not bad?” Chuck’s already mentioned a bit about your responses, but we wanted to break it down a little further. Read more.
Part two in a series. . .
Where to RV boondock for free on public lands
DON’T MISS THIS! In this segment Dave Helgeson narrows in on how to boondock on public lands including where they are and how to find them (you won’t believe the resources available!). Even veteran boondockers will learn some valuable tricks here about where to stay away from the crowds of RV parks, and in most cases for free, not $30, $40, $50 or even more for a night in a congested RV park. Watch the video. Watch part one of Dave’s boondocking series here.
Gas pains: Debit card holds at the fuel pump
As more RVing snowbirds hit the road, turning the season into “tour time,” there can be an unexpected bit of financial reckoning. Even as gas prices are still pretty reasonable, there’s still a possible snake-in-the-grass waiting for you at the fuel pump: Debit card holds. Find out why they happen and how to avoid them happening to you. Learn more.
‘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 (printed and/or digital). A normal first-year membership is $60 per family, but FMCA is offering a special rate of $50 to RV Travel readers who click this link to join.
No Shock Zone, Part Four
In this episode, learn about one of the greatest dangers of RVing, perhaps second only to a fire, which is getting shocked and possibly electrocuted when touching the skin of your RV while simply opening the door. The information in this 12-part series has saved lives. It’s very important. Take the time to read. If you missed last week’s episode about how to test 30- and 50-amp campsite outlets, read it here.
Keep your RV interior clean? Is that possible?
It seems no matter where Rich “The Wanderman” camps (and probably most RVers), dust and dirt will find its way inside his RV and end up on and in the carpet. Even though vacuum cleaners can remove the dirt fairly well, what about keeping the dirt, or at least most of it, out in the first place? Read how Rich tackles this dirty issue.
Southwest camping for 85 cents a day (or even free)!
Wintering in the Southwestern deserts offers some of the most frugal camping and boondocking opportunities available to RVers in the nation. If you want to really get away from it all, the camping is free. Read more.
Why spend money on a tire pressure monitoring system?
RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury talks with RV tire expert Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com about tire pressure monitoring systems. Roger responds to a question from a viewer who asks, “Why can’t I just thump my tires?” Watch the short video.
Beware buying an RV with evidence of water leak
If you’re buying a used RV, especially if you’re buying from a private party, be especially aware of any previous water leaks — no matter what the seller may say to the contrary. A roof leak is a serious problem: In many cases a leak can cause serious structural damage resulting in potentially thousands of dollars to repair. How can you protect yourself from a leaker? Here’s where to look and what to look for. Learn more.
DON’T RISK HARMING YOUR RV
It’s time to Winterize!
Winter’s coming fast and for many RVers in the USA and Canada that means it’s time to winterize their RVs. Prestone RV Waterline Antifreeze offers burst protection to -50 degrees Fahrenheit, a non-staining dye, and a ready-to-use formula (no need to dilute). Will not harm plastics, except acetate. Learn more or order at a great price.
Too chilly for antifreeze?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor regarding whether antifreeze freezes, based on the reader’s unnerving observations of his spare antifreeze during very cold weather. Read Chris’ response.
Forest River recalling some Salem and Wildwood trailers
Forest River is recalling certain model year 2017 Salem and Wildwood recreational trailers manufactured August 9, 2016, to September 6, 2016. The Federal Placard on the affected vehicles incorrectly lists the tire and rim combination. The incorrect tire information may result in the operator under-inflating the tires, which may cause sudden tire failure or poor handling, increasing the risk of a crash. Learn more.
Winnebago income up for fiscal 2016
Winnebago Industries reported Thursday its financial results for its fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2016, less than two weeks after announcing it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire towables manufacturer Grand Design. Learn more.
Avoid moisture damage to your RV
DampRid FG50T Hi-Capacity Moisture Absorber, 4-Pound Tub eliminates musty odors in RVs and other spaces, protecting them from moisture damage for up to 60 days in areas up to 1000 square feet, and up to 6 months in a 250-square-foot area. Don’t let your rig get damaged from moisture this winter. Learn more or order.
This week in history
Week of Oct. 15–21
Compiled by Dell Bert
1867 – U.S. takes possession of Alaska after purchase from Russia for $7.2 million.
1958 – Chevrolet introduces the El Camino.
1976 – “Disco Duck” hits the #1 spot on the U.S. pop chart.
1982 – John DeLorean arrested in $24 million cocaine deal.
1989 – Wayne Gretzky breaks NHL points record.
1989 – Earthquake rocks San Francisco, killing 63.
1994 – Burt Lancaster dies.
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.
RV Club of the Week
Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too!
A non-profit RV club for owners of Bounder RVs which “offers fun, relaxation, and information.” Membership offers chapters located around the U.S., a large bimonthly newsletter, rallies and much more.
Space heater uses only 200 watts!
It’s hard to believe that an electric space heater could use a mere 200 watts — the same as a couple of light bulbs —a fraction of other space heaters. And this one really works! It’s meant to heat a nearby person, not a room (although it will keep the chill off a small bathroom). Put it on your desk or at your feet. It’s perfect for the RVer who’s “always cold.” Click the video by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury. Or order at Amazon.com.
Bumper sticker of the week
My mother doesn’t just enjoy guilt trips — she runs the travel agency.
Funny/clever business slogan
If Your Hot Water Turns Cold, You Better Think “Fast” —Fast Water Heater Company, Seattle, Wash.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com
Dish rack collapses for easy storage
Conserve space with this Collapsible Over-The-Sink Dish Rack. It’s perfect for your RV kitchen. When collapsed measures: 12.4″ x 14.5″ x 1.9″and when expanded measures: 12.4″ x 14.5″ x 5.1″. The RV Travel motorhome uses this in its kitchen. Learn more or order.
with Mike Sokol
I am enjoying your series No Shock Zone for RVs. In part three, you discuss testing the voltage at an RV park’s electrical post. My question is if connecting with a 30-amp system by plugging into a 50-amp receptacle using a 50-to-30-amp adapter, what amperage would you actually receive? I assume 25 amps if the system is on two 25-amp circuit breakers. Is there an advantage to connecting to a 50-amp adapter unless it’s the only connection available? —Gary Reed, Frankfort, Illinois
A 50-amp outlet is actually 50+50 amps, or 100 amps total. So if you plug a 50-to-30-amp adapter into a pedestal’s 50-amp receptacle you’ll still have the full 30 amps available. There is no advantage of doing that compared to a standard 30-amp outlet, so only do it if there’s no 30-amp outlet available.
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the list of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.
Websites of the Week
We like these websites. Check ’em out. More next week.
Here’s one site we especially like: Eight road trips to take this fall
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
COSTS LESS THAN $12!
Don’t get caught
in a weather emergency!
The Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio receives NOAA weather alert broadcasts and searches for the weather frequency for the area when powered up. Its automatic alert system turns it on in event of dangerous weather or civil emergency, so you don’t miss anything crucial. Requires 3 AAA batteries. Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Stream your favorite tunes with the Cera Wireless Portable Speaker by Tego Audio.
• This is a tasty new twist on the classic chili dog, and a terrific idea for a campfire meal!
• These full-time campers give us their must-have items in the video, check it out!
Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos
Discover hundreds of RV-friendly casinos throughout America. Learn which casinos have an RV park and which ones allow free overnight parking. RV parks at casinos are popular because they offer modern, upscale facilities at reasonable rates (and often free!). Boondockers seek casinos for a quiet, safe place to park. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Dear RV Shrink:
We are considering buying a Class C motorhome and doing some traveling. We have no clue on what to expect, what we might need, or how to go about making a buying decision. My wife says we just need to go ahead and take action. I am more cautious. She says I study things to death, but I just don’t want to spend a pile of money and find out two weeks into our trip we bought the wrong darn thing.
Can you give us any advice? It’s turning into an argument every time we go RV shopping. —Studious in Standish
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 $10! Learn more or order.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Safety during a storm
When you arrive at a campground ask at the check-in desk about an emergency plan in case of a bad storm, i.e., tornado or high winds. If they don’t have a plan, make your own. Locate a structure that is safer than your RV, like a bathhouse or the campground office. Brief everybody with you on your plan. RVs are not safe in damaging storms!
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: $2.27 (on Oct. 10). Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 7 cents.
Diesel: $2.45 (on Oct. 10). Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Down 11 cents.
Avoid moisture damage to your RV
DampRid FG50T Hi-Capacity Moisture Absorber, 4-Pound Tub eliminates musty odors in RVs and other spaces, protecting them from moisture damage for up to 60 days in areas up to 1000 square feet, and up to 6 months in a 250-square-foot area. Don’t let your rig get damaged from moisture this winter. 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 the last issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.
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.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Green Pastures Lentil Stew
Warm up chilly autumn campouts.
Freeze this easy recipe in batches to suit your own needs. Better still, whip up a double batch and have plenty of quick warmer-uppers on hand for winter suppers in your RV travels. Get the recipe.
Riding the rails! Tourist Trains Guidebook
Do you like to ride tourist railroads on your travels? If so, you’ll love this guidebook. It thoroughly describes at least 500 excursion trains and railroad museums in the USA and Canada. About 200 of the most popular sites are presented in full-page reviews written by a Trains magazine editor or correspondent. Reviewers offer advice on what to see, when to go, and how to get there. Learn more or order.
App of the Week
Add maps (or any image) to your blog post with a screenshot
Any map (or anything at all!) that you can see on your phone, or on your computer, can be captured as an image with a computer screen capture or “screenshot.” Then it can be used in your blog, just like any other picture. Find out from Chris Guld, GeeksOnTour.com, how simple it is! Learn how here.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. Last week’s webcast topic: How do I keep my (phone) battery charged?, 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.
So what model year is the TV?
This TV would have been state-of-the-art when it debuted in 1949 — a far cry from the huge high-definition models of today. Still, to youngsters at the time, watching Howdy Doody on it in glorious black and white was a magical experience! The Howdy Doody Show, by the way, ran from December 1947 to September 1960. And in case you didn’t know, Howdy had 48 freckles — one for every state in the then-USA.
Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
When heating your food you don’t want to spend 10 minutes later cleaning the splatters inside the microwave. Here’s the solution — perfect for RVers: It pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer! Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Water pumps out of RV’s city water inlet
I keep my 29-foot Dutchmen Class C parked under my pole barn. It’s plugged in for power but nothing else is hooked up. I’ve just noticed that when I turn on the water pump, it pumps gallons of fresh water out through the park water hose inlet. It’s emptying my fresh water tank. When I turn the pump off, it stops. The pump is only a few years old. I would appreciate any guidance. Thanks! —Jim
DON’T LET A LOW BRIDGE RIP OFF YOUR ROOF!
2017 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.
with Bob Difley
It might be time to invest in solar
If you do a lot of boondocking, now might be a good time to invest in solar panels. Internationally, solar panel prices have plummeted resulting in much lower prices for a system. Find a company that specializes in RV solar systems, such as AM Solar, and get an estimate. And if you are even a little handy with tools, do the installation yourself. Several websites offer installation instructions and videos. And if you have a hard time swallowing the initial cost, remember that after the installation you’ll be streaming free electricity from the sun on a system with no moving parts and requiring little maintenance. Browse the large selection of RV solar panels at Amazon.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Keep burglars away with fake TV
The next time you leave your home or RV, turn on this fake TV to scare intruders away. At night, when burglars like to strike, from outside your home or RV the light mimics someone inside watching a 40-inch LCD TV, while using very little power. This is enough to scare most would-be intruders off. Learn more or order.
Gadgets and Gizmos
Clean all your vehicles the fun way with Foam Blaster
The Chemical Guys Foam Blaster 6 Foam Gun is a fun and easy tool for washing any vehicle. Using the power of a garden hose, the Foam Blaster 6 Foam Gun creates super suds that help loosen dirt, road grime and filth for a perfect washing experience. The durable construction is built to perform and last for years. Learn more.
Keep your cool with EZ ZipBlocker awning sun blocker
If you’ve ever had your campsite aimed broadside into the setting sun, especially in the desert, you know that the late afternoon sun can get quite hot when it shines in under your awning. You can stay cooler longer — and keep the sun out of your eyes — with an awning drop-down sun blocker, a see-through screen that effectively cuts the heat and brightness while still offering visibility. This is very “EZ” to install and uninstall. Read more.
Stay warm with this 12-volt Warming Blanket!
Here’s a way to keep warm in your RV without wasting propane to run your heater. Just snuggle up with a warming blanket! This one has an 8-foot cord and operates on 12-volt, perfect for RV use. Stitched from 100 percent polyester fleece, the blanket is comfortable, functional, safe and gentle on your RV’s battery. Put it on your bed before turning in to warm your sheets! Learn more or order from Amazon.
Upcoming RV Shows
• California RV Show, Oct. 7-16, Pomona, CA
• Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show, Oct. 13-16, Salem, OR
• Fall RV Show & Bargain Expo, Oct. 13-16, Oklahoma City, OK
• Toronto Fall RV Show & Sales, Oct. 14-16, Mississauga, ON, Canada
• Austin RV Super Sale, Oct. 14-16, Round Rock, TX
• Oregon State Eugene Fall RV Show, Oct. 21-23, Eugene, OR
• Tampa Bay RV Show, Nov. 10-13, Tampa, FL
• West Palm Beach RV Show, Nov. 17-20, West Palm Beach, FL
See the list of all upcoming RV shows.
Prevent hose crimping and strain
. . . and extend RV hose life
This 90-Degree Hose Elbow eliminates unnecessary stress and strain on all RV water intake hose fittings. The elbow, with an easy-grip connector, is made of brass and is lead-free. Learn more or order for a great price!
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” —Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943
Trunk and RV Basement Organizer
Keep your car, SUV or RV organized with this handy organizer. Multiple compartments allow you to separate food, drinks, sports objects, tools, gadgets and work-related stuff, all stored in the same trunk or basement yet separated. Four mesh pockets allow you to see through and easily access the frequently needed objects by making them quick to find. Folds flat to only a few inches, occupying very little space. Learn more or order.
Videos you’ll like
Where to store an RV when not being used
For many RVers, where to store an RV when it’s not being used is a big deal. It’s not always easy to find a place. RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury has some advice. Watch the video.
Avoid these poisonous plants in some campgrounds
RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury warns you about a poisonous plant found in the American West, including some campgrounds in dry climates or deserts. The plants can be deadly under certain circumstances. Watch the video.
Random RV Thought
On windy days, facing a day of driving into headwinds, stay put unless you are in a hurry to get somewhere. Wait until the wind is at your back. Your mileage will improve significantly.
Don’t come up short
of power at the RV park
This 50 amp extension cord can save the day! Sometimes your RV’s power cord just won’t extend far enough to reach an RV park’s hookup pedestal. Here’s the solution: a 15-foot extension cord. Using a wimpy cord that isn’t rated high enough can ruin appliances and even cause a fire. Do it right with this! Learn more or order at a big discount. Need a 30-amp extension? Click here.
The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at the University of Cambridge, England, to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks. That was in 1991.
“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.” —Pete Seeger
Keep rodents out of your RV!
The overwhelmingly positive reviews on this make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets so no safety warning is required. 98% biodegradable. Tested and endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• October 15: To Holly & Gary from Mom & Daddio. Happy Birthday to two great kids who enjoy the RV lifestyle!
• October 15: To Rosanne from Dennis. I wish you a very Happy Birthday, and look forward to our “Off-season” from glamping! But don’t worry — winter will fly by and we shall be back at it soon! Love, Dennis
• October 21: To Sheree from Bobby. Happy Birthday! I love you!
Happy (belated) Birthday!
• October 9: To Deb from Neal. Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife!
• October 11: To Jim from Sandy. Happy birthday sweets. Looking forward to another great Winter in Tx. Plus the trips to & from. Love Sandy
• October 14: To Marilyn from Jack. To my dearest and favorite travel partner!
Happy (belated) Anniversary!
• October 10: To Jan from Larry McLeod. Thank you for all the good and not so good times I have had with you. Looking forward to the new years we will have together.
Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting. (25-word maximum) Be sure to send them in prior to the Saturday before the big event — early is fine.
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, Julianne Crane and Chris Guld.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com.
RV Travel is rated PG* by the Detroit Organization of Practicing European Yodelers (DOPEY).
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.
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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This newsletter is copyright 2016 by RVtravel.com.
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