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Issue 765 • Week of Oct. 22–28, 2016
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
It’s raining in Eugene, Oregon, and I’m typing. I’m on the road, living in a 32-foot home on wheels with all the creature comforts including a double door refrigerator with . . . drum roll . . . an automatic ice maker. It’s uptown living on wheels.
This is my new life. I have no traditional home. Ninety percent of my worldly goods are gone — to family, to charity or sold. I no longer have a mortgage. There are no electric or cable bills and no condo dues. What a wonderful feeling to be free of those obligations!
For the last six weeks, finishing up chores at home, Gail and I lived in our 32-foot Winnebago motorhome in an RV park near Seattle, a short drive to my office (which I will keep for awhile). We left home last Tuesday, driving to Eugene, where we will stay a week. After that, it’s two weeks in the Florence area, just a few hundred yards from the ocean shore and the famous sand dunes, where once, years ago, a man named Lawrence gave camel rides. He called himself “Lawrence of Florence.”
I don’t like driving a large motorhome — at 32 feet, mine is longer than anything I’ve ever owned. Many of you, I realize, would consider it short compared to yours. I’ve never pulled a car behind an RV, which I’m doing now.
With my previous, smaller RVs, not towing, I could pull off the road just about anywhere to snap a photo, or park in a small town to dine in a mom-and-pop cafe. It’s too hard to do that now. The idea with the new, larger RV is to travel from place to place, staying two weeks to a month at each, exploring the area with the car. I am very excited about that new freedom.
Really, my new RV is a “mobile home.” Hopefully Gail and I will stay in some beautiful public campgrounds, but I suspect we will stay mostly in rural RV parks. I’m not a boondocking kinda guy, one who likes to camp in the middle of nowhere for the peace and solitude. I get bored. Ditto for Gail. We both have the attention span of a first grader.
Right now, I feel like I’m floating — living day to day, trying to comprehend what it means to live without a fixed place with family, friends and things familiar. I’m drifting. But it’s okay. Exploring new places will be invigorating. I’ve always loved being on the road and all the discoveries that unfold. But I have never done it full-time.
I’m energized, happy and thankful for my wonderful partner, my good health, and your readership.
So see you again next week from the Oregon Coast. And, by the way, did you know that carnivorous plants live near Florence? It’s true. I plan to visit them. Hopefully they will not find me appetizing! If I survive, I will file a report.
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
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THIS WEEK’S CONTEST!
UPDATE 11 am Saturday: WE HAVE OUR WINNER. Hold your entries.
Win a very cool collapsible colander, perfect for your RV. Be the 42nd person to correctly answer this question: “When Disneyland opened in 1955, Tomorrowland was designed to look like what year in the future?” Was it 1986? 2001? 2050? The answer is below (in our trivia section). 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. Only one entry per household. Contest ends Monday at noon (Pacific) if we have no winner.
Last week’s winners: Sheryl and Bobby Greene of Polk City, Florida, who won a My Heat personal ceramic space heater.
Part three in a series. . .
Using Google Earth to pinpoint RV boondocking locations
DON’T MISS THIS! RV Boondocking expert Dave Helgeson presents his popular seminar “Boondocking Using Google Earth.” Even if you have boondocked for years, you’ll pick up some valuable tips here about how to find places to camp “in the middle of nowhere” before you even leave home! Dave will show you how to spot promising locations by using Google Earth, and then learn how to get there and even determine if the terrain is suitable — even level enough — for RVs. This should be a must-view for all RVers who like to camp away from the crowds using their on-board systems to sustain them for days or even weeks at a time. All the locations Dave shows you are on public lands, where the camping is free. Watch the video.
Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!
Wish your special someone a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary and we’ll post your well-wishes and your short comment right in this newsletter. It’s super easy to leave your greeting. Just click here. Remember to send them in prior to the Saturday before the big event.
See this week’s greetings near the bottom of this newsletter.
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 this week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.
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.
Fifteen South Carolina state parks are closed due to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Myrtle Beach and Huntington Beach state parks were included, but may reopen by month’s end.
Minnesota will continue to require all diesel fuel contain at least 10 percent biofuel. A lawsuit asked the U.S. District Court to kill that requirement, but a judge has ruled that arguments used in the suit don’t hold water. Brought by businesses, the suit claimed the “bio diesel requirement” increases consumer costs and endangers engine warranties that limit the amount of non-petroleum products in diesel. Minnesota may increase the bio mandate to up to 20 percent in the future.
Planning to use the Oklahoma Turnpike? Carry more cash. January 1 will see tolls jump 12 percent, with increases through 2019 totaling a 17-percent jump. All this is predicated on the settlement of a case in the state’s Supreme Court. That matter is a challenge of allowing collected tolls to finance new toll roads elsewhere in the state.
Grand Design RV, an RV manufacturer just recently “absorbed” by Winnebago, says it has hit a milestone: the rollout of its 25,000th towable unit. The company notes that 21,000 of these units have already been sold at retail.
Canadian motorhome sales are a statistical roller coaster. Sales of new motorhomes actually rose more than 6 percent in August (compared to August 2015), but total sales have declined 13 percent since January. Class A sales nosedived a preposterous 29 percent since January, and August sales kept to form, declining 7 percent. Propping things up are Class C sales – up almost 19 percent for the month, and still treading water for the year – up 1 percent since January. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.
Death Valley National Park has raised gate and campground fees. Gate fees are up $5 to $25 per carload, and campground fees have jumped between $4 and $6, depending on amenities.
It has been six weeks since 21-year-old Lindsey Piccone disappeared after leaving her car at Pennsylvania’s Tyler State Park. She is 5-foot-3, 120 pounds and was last seen wearing a black tank top. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to her discovery. Know anything? Call Bensalem, Pa., detectives at (215) 633-3719.
A coalition of motorized recreational industry groups, the American Recreation Coalition, is drum-beating to “help” the National Park Service stay sustainable. Among their proposals, jack up fees to some users. ARC calls on the Service to charge foreign visitors higher gate fees, as they don’t pay U.S. taxes. Some that do, however, include U.S. senior citizens, about whom ARC writes, “Increasing the cost of senior passes could provide a much needed budgetary boost.” How much of an “increase” you ask? ARC cites the thinking of Terry Anderson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Anderson says, “No doubt this proposal will get a backlash from the AARP, but if the NPS sold 600,000 senior passes, as it did in 2015, at $80, it would generate an additional $42 million for operating costs or maintenance.” The current rate is $10.
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 RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.
A man has died in a weird case involving a motorhome in Solana Beach, Calif. Drivers flashed their lights at the motorhome, described as a white ’80s model, on Interstate 5 last Monday to warn the driver someone was riding on the back of the rig, hanging on to the roof access ladder. Apparently the driver didn’t get the message, because he continued on after the rider apparently “stepped off” the back of the rig and into freeway-speed traffic. Authorities feel the rider’s actions were intentional. California Highway Patrol is looking for the RV driver or witnesses to the accident. Phone the CHP at (760) 643-3400 with information.
Will they come? That’s what RV park owners in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley are wondering. In the past, nearly 20 percent of “Winter Texans” called Canada home when not in the Lone Star State. Now with the exchange rate at 77 cents on the dollar, park owners are stewing over whether the low Canuck dollar will cause many Canadians to stay away. There’s hope, as the cost of motor fuel is far lower in the USA.
A homeless, blind woman and her young child are at the center of a controversy pitting Kent County, Del., officials against a local church. Alexis Simms was blinded by lupus, and Victory Church in Dover offered to let Simms, her daughter, and her care-giving mother live in a travel trailer on church property. The county says the church doesn’t have permission to use the property as an “RV park,” and could face fines of $100 per day for allowing the family to live there.
Arizona snowbirds are migrating early says industry group Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The group says parks are reporting early reservations, many suggesting their occupancy will be higher than last year. Many RVers have already “reported for duty.”
A motorhome backed up traffic for miles on U.S. 101 in San Carlos, Calif., Thursday after it caught fire. The RVers were returning to Oregon from a model rocket show with some rockets still on board. Because of the rockets and the rig’s 50-pound propane tanks, fire fighters had to work from a distance for more than an hour. The danger was so high officials shut down the entire freeway, leaving motorists stranded for hours in the rush hour traffic.
The Santa Barbara, Calif., city council has unanimously approved an ordinance to ban all on-street parking for oversized vehicles, including RVs. The new parking regulations will apply to vehicles that are more than 25 feet long, 80 inches wide or 82 inches high, with some exceptions. Residents had complained that RVs parking in their neighborhoods had caused sanitary, safety and noise issues.
A new RV design is putting a whole new meaning to the term “pop up trailer.” Opus Camper’s Air Opus doesn’t use poles or lifts to raise the roof and walls of its diminutive RV, but air. Flip on a pump and within 90 seconds you can climb inside to complete your camp setup. Look for U.S. availability in April 2017. See video here.
Looking to cross the Detroit River into Ontario? As is, your only RV route is via the Ambassador Bridge. Now Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. says his country will soon ask for proposals to put together a team for a new bridge: the Gordie Howe International Bridge. It could be five years before traffic could bypass the Ambassador Bridge.
City council members in Nelson, British Columbia, say they’ll pull the pin on any plans of winter camping in the city campground. There was a proposal to keep a few sites and a building with laundry and showers open this winter, but on hearing that winterizing was out of the question this late in the game, ordered the park closed October 21.
An RVer in San Jacinto County, Texas, got more than a little fresh air when he stepped out of his travel trailer early one recent morning. The man heard a hissing noise and whipped around to spot an alligator – 11 feet of him—under his rig. Police sent an “alligator wrangler,” who snared the mondo reptile and used a tractor to load him up.
A family living near London, England, had their motorhome swiped the night before they were to head out on vacation. But what they’re most concerned about is what was inside: two teddy bears. The bears belong to the 10-year-old son who, born without tooth enamel, has endured hours of surgery with the help of his two bear friends. Says Mum, “I want to say to the thieves, ‘If you have them, just throw the teddies over the fence next to where you stole the motorhome’.”
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Yikes! A holding tank pyramid!
Certified RV technician Chris Dougherty received a holding tank question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader was concerned about a “pyramid” which had formed at the pipe base in the black tank while their RV was stationary for awhile, despite steps they had taken to prevent such an occurrence. Read Chris’ response.
Full-time RV travels: Medical care on the road
Many RVers swear the full-time RV lifestyle actually improves their health. And there is something to be said about less stress, a change of scenery, fresh air and sunshine — all of which are associated with RVing. Nevertheless, RVing is not a magic elixir of life and, face it, something is pretty likely to happen sometime that requires doctoring. So then what do you do? Find out in this article from Russ and Tina De Maris, which also describes a hard-learned, expensive lesson.
Should you weigh your RV before each trip?
How important is it to weigh your RV before each trip you take with it? Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com has an answer. Watch the brief video.
How do you know when to begin winterizing your RV?
How do you know when to begin the actual winterization process of your RV without a weather crystal ball? The short answer? You don’t. Every year Rich “The Wanderman” goes through the same conundrum as lots of RVers. If you winterize too late, you risk lots of damage and very expensive repair bills. If you begin too early, then you may miss out on a fantastic, late-season trip. Read Rich’s seasoned advice.
Changing shocks in these Class C RVs is a nightmare!
If your Class C motorhome is built on a Ford E-350 chassis, you’re far from being alone. But you’ll find plenty of E-350 owners who begin to use language that’s not safe for this column when speaking of changing out shock absorbers. Why is that, and how can you get around this built-in problem? Find out.
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 or click on the video.
No Shock Zone, Part Five
This is the fifth episode of a 12-part series about basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. In this episode, we’ll cover amperage and ways to calculate how much your RV needs before you plug into a power pedestal. 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 preventing hot skin condition, read it here.
Is it really safe to boondock?
Sometimes people who live in metropolitan areas have more uncertainty about their personal safety when boondocking than those who live in rural areas. Maybe city dwellers feel more unsafe because boondocking away from any signs of civilization is a new and unknown experience. Here are some tips from “Boondock Bob” Difley to be safe while you boondock.
Trailer goes out of control.
Dash cam catches it flipping over
If you own a travel trailer, watching this video might hurt. Motorists traveling behind a travel trailer watch in horror as the RV gets slammed by a gust of wind and flips on its side out of control, whipping its tow vehicle 180 degrees. The message here: If the wind is strong, pull over and wait for it to calm. And the other message: Never, ever, allow passengers to travel in your trailer (or other towable). Watch the video.
Got gumption? Make money chasing space rocks
Looking for a way to make a few dollars during your RV excursions? Need a little exercise — or does your ATV or dirt bike? Here’s an interesting way to put it all together: meteorite hunting. Check out this article from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Jayco recalling some 2017 Seismic travel trailers
Jayco is recalling certain model year 2017 Seismic travel trailers manufactured November 19, 2015, to August 19, 2016. The affected vehicles may be equipped with an underrated resettable fuse for the awning with LED lights. The incorrect fuse may not properly protect the circuit, allowing an electrical short to occur and increasing the risk of a fire. Learn more.
Here’s the Quartzsite show calendar — so far
With Labor Day behind us, the snowbirds are beginning to shiver in their skivvies and plan for their winter travels. Here’s a partial calendar of the big Quartzsite happenings. And if you’re a boondocker, September 15 marked the opening of the winter season on Bureau of Land Management Long Term Visitor Areas. Read more.
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.
This week in history
Week of Oct. 22–28
Compiled by Dell Bert
1861 – Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line.
1881 – Pablo Picasso is born (Oct. 25).
1881 – Shootout at the OK Corral (Oct. 26).
1886 – Statue of Liberty is dedicated.
1904 – New York City subway opens.
1946 – “Wheel of Fortune’s” Pat Sajak is born.
1965 – Gateway Arch is completed in St. Louis, Mo.
1969 – Movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” opens.
RV Deadline Approaching: Don’t Wait!
Temperatures may be dropping, but RV repair costs are still on the rise! Whether you’re winterizing your rig or hitting the road, now is the best time to protect your home-on-wheels. RV Warranty pricing and eligibility changes hit January 1st, 2017. Take advantage of current year rates from Wholesale Warranties while you still qualify!
RV Club of the Week
Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too!
Chinook Camping Club East and West
“Owners of Chinook Motor Homes from across the United States and Canada can enjoy any of the activities and read Newsletters from either the Chinook Camping Club or the Chinook RV Club.” Website includes care and maintenance of Chinook RVs.
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.
Bumper sticker of the week
A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
Funny/clever business slogan
“We’re number one in the number two business” —Slim’s Sanitation, Greeley, Colo. (from a few years ago)
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com
No 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 to see our new video from the FMCA family reunion in Perry, GA.
•Click here for more information at our website, or call 1-844-FLEXARMOR.
•Click here to visit our Facebook page.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the Web’s best directory of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
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.
Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:
•National Park Owner’s Guides
Plan your next family vacation with National Park Owner’s Guides from the National Park Foundation. Filled with detailed maps, travel tips and inside information on what not to miss, you’ll learn about more than 400 national parks. Additional free guides are available.
•LibriVox. Free public domain audio books for anyone to listen to — on their computers, iPods or other mobile device, or to burn onto a CD. More than 10,000 cataloged works available, and growing. LibriVox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project, powered by volunteers.
•Odd, strange and unexplained places in the U.S.
We’ll bet you haven’t heard of, let alone seen, all of these ten very strange places in the U.S. This would make a very unique bucket list, for sure! From USA Today and msn.com.
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have gathered over the years.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Buckhorn Lake Resort is one of the highest rated campgrounds in Texas.
• When flat or dry ground is nowhere in sight, the Smittybilt Folded Tent has got you covered.
• These cheesy garlic fries are the perfect pre-s’mores campfire snack!
Be prepared for a roadside emergency!
Forget messing around with flares.
You’ll be thankful to have this set of three emergency flashers along with you if you’re forced to the side of a busy highway with a flat tire, mechanical or other issue. One FlareAlert™ provides about 20 hours of safety before a battery change (three AAAs in each). You’d need to strike 80 incendiary flares, one after another, to achieve the same thing. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
How to deal with “stalking” RVers
Dear RV Shrink:
We have met a lot of wonderful people in our travels. We seem to keep track of each other on social media and meet up over the years whenever our paths cross. It’s been great up until now.
Recently, one couple decided they wanted to travel with us exclusively. They never asked if we would mind; they just started stalking us in an RV way. At first they would ask where we were headed and just show up; now they are wanting our itinerary and suggesting we share meals together.
My husband doesn’t want to confront the situation. He finds it awkward. I am insisting we break it off with them, and get back to our own life on the road. How should we handle this? —Uncomfortable in Atlanta
Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask.
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.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Inverters are nice to have at times when you are dry camping/boondocking and/or when you don’t have access to 120-volts AC. Batteries produce power in Direct Current (DC) that run at low voltages. Power companies and AC generators produce sine wave Alternating Current (AC), which is used to operate 120-volt appliances and electronic equipment. An inverter takes 12-volt DC power from your RV batteries and electronically changes it to 120-volt AC. Some RVers use an inverter just to watch TV or for their personal computer.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
Easy way to wash dishes & save water, too!
OXO’s Soap Dispensing Dish Sponge combines a long handled sponge with liquid dish soap for convenient cleaning, perfect for your RV. A light push of the button on the body easily dispenses a steady stream of soap. To refill, simply unscrew the back end of the handle and add soap to the reservoir. When it’s time for a new sponge head, simply push up on the tab to replace it. RV Travel staff loves its OXO brush. Learn more or order.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.26 (on Oct. 17). Change from week before: Down 1 1/2 cents; Change from year before: Down 2 cents.
Diesel: $2.48 (on Oct. 17). Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 5 cents
Find stores for shopping and overnight stays
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. 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.
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.
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.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Tater Tot Skillet
It’s crunch time in the RV galley.
After a long day on the road in your RV, sizzle this one-dish treat in a skillet and dinner is served. Your secret ingredient is crisp corn chips, folded in at the last minute to add a surprise crunch. Get the recipe.
Fix it in Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix it in Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety Tip
Batteries produce explosive gases. Keep flame, cigarettes and sparks away. Be sure your battery compartment is properly vented. Keep vent caps tight and level. Check your battery monthly. Replace swollen batteries immediately. Use extreme care when handling batteries — they can explode. Courtesy: MacTheFireGuy.com
Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.
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
RV Quick Tips
Consider a catalytic heater when boondocking
Forced-air furnaces go on strike when the house battery voltage drops low. It’s the devil’s own time to boondock in winter without sufficient battery power — your furnace runs to keep you warm, while drawing down the house batteries, and batteries are just less efficient the lower the temperature. Consider a catalytic or blue flame heater that doesn’t require battery power when boondocking.
How to help avoid mold and mildew in your RV
When winter camping in a humid area, mold and mildew can creep in. Electric dehumidifiers are noisy and eat lots of power. Keeping the air moving in your rig can often chase off the mildew creatures, so try running a fan to keep the air circulating. And don’t let your furniture come up against an outside wall if you can help it.
Join the largest club for motorhome owners, the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). Special rate for RV Travel readers. Save $10 on first year membership. Click to learn more.
How Canadians can deal with credit card issues at U.S. gas stations
Before fueling up at many U.S. gas stations, Canadians are asked to punch in their Zip Code. Problem is, they don’t have one. But good news! Canadian Reader George Bliss explains a workaround: “For security reasons, a lot of gas/diesel pumps in the U.S. require you enter your billing address Zip Code when using a credit card. In Canada we don’t have Zip Codes but use letters and numbers for our postal codes. So if your postal code is R4S 6L5 you need to enter the numbers followed by two zeros, as in 46500. This will work about 80% of the time.” Thanks to George Bliss and to Steve Delany, who provided the same advice in our Reader Comments section.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
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.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Winterize RV using a “Schrader valve”?
I have been hearing about dry winterizing a motorhome using a “Schrader valve” and blowing the water out using an air compressor set on 20-PSI, plus putting some of the pink stuff in the kitchen sink, bath sink and shower drains only. Is this a good idea? If so, how do I find the Schrader valve and where do I install one? —Bobbie V.
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.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Enjoy a cozy RV this winter with
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy
With a larger heating surface, fold-down handle, swivel-out fuel connection, and an easy-start four-position control, the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy sets the new standard for portable radiant heating comfort. With its low-oxygen shut-off and tip-over safety shut-off systems, this heater provides safe, reliable heat anytime, anywhere. Read more.
Keep dirt out of your RV with a Reversible Awning Leisure Mat
Camco’s Reversible Awning Leisure Mat covers the ground wherever you may be. At an RV park or campsite, it is great for helping to keep feet clean, thus preventing dirt or sand from being tracked into the RV or tent. It’s also great for sprucing up the appearance of your deck or patio and folds compactly for storage. Each mat measures 6 x 9 feet, is made of high-quality mold and mildew resistant material, and is easily cleaned. Learn more.
Eliminate 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.
with Mike Sokol
Forgive my electrical ignorance but doesn’t “AC” mean “alternating current”? Does that mean that the hot and neutral wires are constantly reversing?
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.
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.
Upcoming RV Shows
• 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
• Fall Clean Sweep RV Show, Dec. 2-4, Ft. Myers, FL
• Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale, Dec. 8-11, Indio, CA
Extend the life of
your wiper blades!
Over time, pressure on your wiper blades during storage can cause them to break down and crack. Camco’s Wiper Stand-off Wedges lift the wipers and remove the pressure, helping to extend the life of your blades. Perfect for RVs in storage. Simple to use. Learn more or order at a great low price.
RV Short Stop
Battery Point Light, Crescent City, Calif.
The Battery Point Light may not be the most dramatic or breathtaking lighthouse on the Pacific Northwest coast. It is, however, a lovely place to pause on your road trip along Hwy. 101 when you are traveling through northern California. It’s located on a small island just offshore, and if you arrive at low tide you can stroll across the road that leads to the lighthouse grounds where there are beautiful 360-degree views. It’s free. RV camping is nearby.
A folding bike is great for RVers
You can’t beat a bicycle for local trips from your RV — and the exercise is good for you! A folding bike is especially appealing to RVers because it can easily fit into a storage compartment or in the trunk of a tow vehicle. This highly rated, affordable Schwinn bicycle has seven speeds which helps get up hills. A nylon bag is included. Learn more or order.
Joke of the Week
A family of mice are sitting around in the lounge. Father mouse is reading the paper while mother and the children are watching television. All of a sudden a cat rushes in. Father mouse gets a terrible fright and starts barking like a dog. The cat runs away. Turning to the rest of his family, father mouse says, “Now you see how important it is to learn a second language.”
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.
Videos you’ll like
What’s the best RV for a beginning RVer?
RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury and Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, tackle the question “What’s the best RV for ME?” Woodbury and Bunzer do a good job of pointing out the various types of RVs and the appeal of each to different people with different needs. Watch the video.
• Make sure your RV’s countertop sinks are not leaking
Certified RV technician Chris Dougherty has a tip about how to keep your RV’s countertop sinks from leaking. Watch the video.
Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!
Random RV Thought
The next best thing next to being on an RV trip is studying a road map before going, and dreaming of what’s to come.
When Disneyland opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the future — 1986!
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, inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to the condition of a battery, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” —Mark Twain
TODAY’S DEALS ON RV PARTS & ACCESSORIES AT AMAZON.COM. Click.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• October 25: To Honey Paul Sherrick from Sherrie Sherrick. It’s been only a year! I wish we could of met years ago, but God put us together now so I’m am looking forward for many many years. I love u with all my heart, my dearest Paul.
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.
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About the RVtravel.com 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 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. 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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