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Issue 780 • Week of Feb. 11-17, 2017
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
RVs are amazing. I was just getting ready for bed, brushing my teeth in my small bathroom. For whatever reason, the thought popped into my head how lucky I am to live so comfortably in a small space that can be moved so easily whenever I wish.
A few days ago, five months into full-time RV living, Gail and I were discussing what we thought of the experience so far. We both agreed that we did not feel closed in by the relatively small space of our mini-house, and that we have almost everything important that we had in our traditional homes.
It’s wonderful having so little “stuff” to manage. I have a fraction of the possessions I had before. As I have said before, I can’t think of a single thing that really matters to me that I don’t have other than a washing machine and dryer and a home Internet hookup, where the bandwidth is unlimited.
The other day I was reading the brochure for my motorhome, which is a 2011, 32-foot Winnebago Adventurer. I compared it with the same model in longer versions, 35 and 37 feet. About the only thing Gail and I would gain in the larger models would be space for a washer/dryer and a bigger bathroom. There’s a little more room to move around, but not all that much. We are both happy with what we have. Our compact bathroom works fine. Our queen bed is perfect, too: a king size would be overkill. And, at only 32 feet, our motorhome fits easily into most public campgrounds and RV parks.
WHAT A WONDERFUL THING to have the freedom to travel where you want, stay as long as you want, and meet new and interesting people nearly every day. And you can be as comfortable as in any regular house!
Sometimes, usually in the evening or at night, when I cannot see out my window, I hear a distant, unfamiliar sound. For a moment I forget where I am. I’m so comfortable in my RV that the world outside disappears.
I love this mobile, RVing life. For a guy who needs frequent stimulation, who yearns to learn something new every day, living like this is a dream come true.
If you yearn for a life of freedom and simplicity but keep putting it off until “tomorrow,” get going. Life is short.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• A talking, RVing bird named Picaro.
• VIDEO: You can’t “just” retire.
• Stinky cow poop around Yuma.
• VIDEO: When cows are better than lawn mowers.
• RVer’s tractor gets attention in RV park.
• VIDEO: Tacky stuff at an Arizona trading post.
Subscribe to my new personal “Roadside Journal” YouTube channel.
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Winter Differently in Yuma, AZ!
With 7 resorts to choose from, book your stay in one of the sunniest places on earth, Yuma, Arizona! Whether you are looking to book an RV site or relax in one of our beautiful rentals, we have something for everyone. Stay a week, a month, all season or all year long! Click here to reserve your Yuma site today!
New federal regulations have some effect on RVers
News floating around the Internet of late may have made it sound as if RVers have new rules about propane cylinder inspections. One source put it this way: “As a result, cylinders must be requalified by proof pressure or volumetric expansion testing every 10 years instead of every seven or 12 years.” What does that mean?
Truma AquaGo®: Instant, Constant and Endless Hot Water
The revolutionary Truma AquaGo® hybrid instant water heater provides instant, constant and endless hot water. The Truma AquaGo® is the only RV water heater that can be decalcified to extend product life and maintain performance. And its “Easy Drain Lever” makes winterization simple. Use the Truma AquaGo® to replace any 6 – 16 gallon water heater. Visit our Facebook page.
What RV do you drive or tow?
Send us a photo of your RV (and tow vehicle) with a 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 last week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.
Nobody likes a dirty beast!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
So don’t wash your RV with products designed for cars. Duratain’s Wade Maid products are RV Specific solutions specially formulated to clean and protect your RV’s fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum parts. Watch Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Wade Wax at the Wade Maid website.
RV auction prices in January surprised market watchers once again, as both towable and motorhome prices jumped, bucking the usual trends. Motorhomes saw an 18 percent gain compared to December, with an average selling price posting at $41,444. Towables weren’t far behind, gaining nearly 13 percent for the same time period, averaging $12,610 per sale. Source: Black Book.
Shopping for trailer tires? Goodyear Tire & Rubber has rolled out a new line, Endurance, marketed specifically for RVers who want to tow heavy and fast. The Endurance is Goodyear’s only U.S.-built radial trailer tire, made in D (8-ply rating) and E (10-ply rating) ranges. And with an N speed rating that allows you to zoom along at up to 87 miles per hour, you can finally tow your trailer with your Batmobile.
Apparently neither hell nor high water can turn away North Carolina tourists. The state’s park system reports that despite Hurricane Matthew and huge wildfires, all suffered last year, record visitation rates continued. There were 18.8 million park visitors in 2016, up 9 percent from 2015.
North Dakota State Parks resume full services on May 19. To that end, reservations for sites in the parks can be made starting Tuesday, February 14 – for dates from opening day through September 4. Internet and phone reservations open at 7:00 a.m. — click here or call 800-807-4723.
In the state made famous by potatoes, Idaho, you won’t have to keep your eyes peeled to spot a Camping World store. The mega-retailer is now taking over three more spots in the greater Boise area as it recently snapped up two Nelson’s RVs in Boise, and another in Caldwell. The company already has outlets in Meridian and Idaho Falls. Will Marcus let the (potato) chips fall where they may?
It’s been nearly seven years since a devastating flood killed 20 people at Arkansas’ Albert Pike Recreation Area. Eleven lawsuits were filed that alleged that the government was responsible, that it knew the risks and failed to adequately warn campers of the danger. Now those suits have been consolidated and a U.S. District Court judge will soon rule on whether the case will be dismissed or proceed. A motion to dismiss the case was filed in 2015 by the U.S. government, arguing Arkansas law rules out damage claims unless “actual malice or the desire to harm others is present.”
With the August 21 solar eclipse getting closer, campgrounds and RV parks in the path of the event are more and more reporting their spaces are full. Officials in Jefferson County, Idaho, are providing a way out. The county is relaxing rules to allow private landowners to open up their land as temporary campgrounds. Up to two RVs or five tents are allowed without further consideration. For those who want to put up more, a cost-free administrative permit will be issued.
Outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia says it’s pulling out of Utah’s big Outdoor Retailer show over a disagreement with the state over a proposed national monument. Patagonia’s parent company, Patagonia Works, says it cannot abide by a “blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business.” That “disregard” came in the form of a resolution asking the Trump administration to overturn the designation of the monument. Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert was a signatory of the resolution.
When RV enthusiasts were told the price of admission to the Northern Michigan Camping and RV Show would be a can of food, they took it seriously. No entry fee, just a donation. Show-goers pitched in hard: Seven truck loads of food and $9,000 in donations to the local homeless shelter rolled in.
Gate fees at Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park have seen a jump. The vehicle entry fee is now $15, and will jump to a summer rate of $20, May 1 through October 31. Entrance fee collection recently allowed the park to enhance visitor services, including water filling stations and restrooms, and to stabilize cliff-dwelling sites.
Scientists say they’ve found a fix for insomnia that doesn’t involve pills or counting sheep — go camping. A study from the University of Colorado at Boulder says a couple of nights of camping will help reset your body clock. Seems that so-called modern living can upset the body’s circadian rhythm, and camping can readjust the natural clock. But there’s a caveat: You’ll need to leave the electric lights off and shuck your electronic devices for the camping trip.
A Wisconsin state parks friends group is warning state officials if they don’t take better financial care of their parks, that they’ll see far fewer visitors. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks say that park facilities are falling apart, while at the same time, the government has withdrawn state tax support and, instead, jacked up park fees. The group’s president, Bill Zager, gave the warning, “If park users have a good experience, they are going to have fun and they are going to come back, but if they don’t have fun, they may not be back.”
For three decades, RVers have been able to stay in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, with great views of the harbor at the Westbay Marine RV Park. But Westbay closes at the end of this month, shutting down 61 sites. Come July, however, a newly renovated RV park with sites to accommodate even larger coaches will reopen on the site, owned by the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations, which bought the land in 2006. The owners say they’ll design a First Nations theme into the renovation.
In Rome, maybe money talks. Back in November we reported that some residents in Rome, Ga., were up in arms over a proposed 81-site RV park along Alabama Highway. Perhaps it was the projected million and a half dollars’ worth of annual economic impact the park would have that swayed Floyd County commissioners, but in any event, the new park has received their benediction. It should open come summer 2018.
Failing to pick up his litter could lead to a man’s arrest in the future, if the Kings County Sheriff in Hanford, Calif., has his way. Deputies were called to an attempted travel trailer theft – the owner found the trailer’s securing padlock cut. Low and behold, deputies found a receipt from a hardware store at the scene – for the purchase of bolt cutters. Sure enough, video surveillance footage from the store provided a clear image of the bolt-cutter purchaser. While the trailer here didn’t get too far, a neighbor’s RV was stolen recently – and surveillance footage provided an image of the thief’s truck.
A special investigation has been called for an RV arson fire in South Carolina. The rig, owned by a woman identified as “Jane Doe 3,” was allegedly torched at an RV park in Bucksport. No one was injured in the blaze. “Jane Doe 3” is one of five women who have filed suit against local agencies for assault or sexual harassment they claim were perpetrated against them by a former detective.
While California’s drought isn’t over, rains of near-Noachian levels have made a big dent. Over a two-day period in December, 8.7 billion gallons of rain sluiced into Lake Tahoe, bringing the water to higher-than-rim level. For purposes of visualization, that two-day rainfall was like adding enough water to fill more than 13,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
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.
Important to know when buying new tires
Need new tires for the rig? It may be best to stick with the same tire specification as the original equipment. If you do decide to change specs, make sure you always match up your tire and wheel capacity. For example, NEVER mount a 3,000-pound capacity tire on a 2,000-pound capacity wheel.
Check the drip tube in the back of your fridge
It’s a good idea to occasionally take a peek in the back of your RV refrigerator. They have a drip tube that channels off water from evaporation. Sometimes this tube leads to a drip container (often near the chimney) that evaporates off this water; others may “port” the water out of the rig harmlessly. In any event, if the tube gets loose and starts dripping water onto your RV framework, it can lead to damaging rot.
Size does matter
Is your vehicle licensed properly for its size? Some jurisdictions will move you from personal class to commercial class simply because of your licensed gross vehicle weight (GVW). Be sure this doesn’t happen to you as the rules change significantly. Being classed commercial may limit your hours of driving, keeping log books, having restricted routes, need to carry specific equipment, etc. Thanks to George Bliss.
Be sure you’re “dumped” when you dump
When dumping your holding tanks you need to know when the tanks are empty. This clear fitting elbow allows you to actually observe when the dumping is done. It is made with UV stabilized resin for long life. Bayonet fitting has built-in gasket for an odor tight connection. Every RVer should have one of these. Learn more or order.
RV mold: Seek and destroy!
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter regarding mold from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader asked: What is the best way to find out if there is mold in our rig? What are the steps that need to be taken if mold is found? Read Chris’ response.
Video and Article: RVing beautiful Iceland
Six years ago, RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury explored Iceland for a week in a camper van. In this article and accompanying video, he explains what it’s like to travel by RV in this beautiful island-nation (where the natives are avid RVers and speak fluent English!). Read the article and watch the video.
Cold and flu season — Keep the bugs at bay
Want to spoil the joy of the open road? Just get sick. Nothing slows down a good time like a case of the flu or a really bad cold. But there are a few tricks that will reduce your chances of getting sick out on the road. Learn some handy tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Sewer rats in holding tanks? It happens
Editor Chuck Woodbury introduces Doug Swarts of Drainmaster.com, who tells a story about an RVer who found a rat in one of her holding tanks. How did it happen? Doug explains. Plus, sewer flies in RV holding tanks? Absolutely. How to avoid them (and the rats) getting into yours. Watch the video.
Highland Ridge RV recalls fifth wheel trailers
Highland Ridge RV is recalling 396 model year 2017 Open Range, Mesa Ridge and Roamer fifth wheels and travel trailers. The vehicles are equipped with an outside range that can be stored with the gas valve left open, allowing gas to enter and build up within the vehicle. If that should happen, there is an increase of an explosion or fire. Learn more.
Jayco recalls 2017 Eagle 5th Wheels for propane issue
Jayco is recalling certain 2017 Eagle fifth-wheel recreational vehicles equipped with the dry camping option. In the affected vehicles, the LP manifold was mounted to the fifth-wheel frame directly above the axle assembly and the suspension U-bolts. Impact from the axle can crack the LP manifold, and break free the LP lines and fittings. Learn more.
PUBLISHED IN 2017
Guide to the National Parks
This award-winning guide, completely updated for the 2017 edition, includes more than 450 new photographs, 160 revised maps, and 50 hiking tables, making it the only guidebook you’ll need to explore the United States National Parks. Attractions beyond the parks and suggested road trips make it even more valuable. Learn more or order.
RVers dodge a bullet from generator exhaust
Read, and heed, this article from Greg Illes, veteran RVer and long-time contributor to RVtravel.com. He had a frighteningly close call with his generator, even when he thought he was doing everything right. He lists some valuable lessons learned from this experience. Important reading.
Don’t camp near a stinky stockyard
RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury learned last week that it’s a good idea to research whether a cattle stockyard is nearby before paying upfront for a week of camping. Watch his short video.
BLM boondocking tips to keep you out of trouble
Most boondockers know about the BLM’s Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) near popular snowbird locations in Southern California and Arizona. But boondocking is also permitted on most BLM land, even if it is not a designated camping or dispersed camping area. Here are several tips from BoondockBob Difley to avoid trouble with the authorities and otherwise when boondocking on BLM land. Learn more.
Full-time RVing: Staying warm — without busting the bank
Can you live full time in your RV on $1,000 a month? Some do, and one important aspect of that topic is heating your rig. Even if you “travel with the sun,” sometimes it can get bitterly cold. Here’s a discussion on heaters which will keep you warm “without busting the bank.” Read more.
Even the old radio can learn new tricks! — A better cassette adapter
Do you still have cassette tapes and players in your vehicle, like Rich “The Wanderman” has? Most cassette player stereos for cars don’t give you a way to input your music or your cell phone. Sure, you could wire it all together on the back if you have a high-end stereo, but what about something simpler? Read about Rich’s quick and inexpensive solution.
The readers write: Gray water, night lights, and more
Here’s our semi-monthly digest of reader commentary, as edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris. This week’s topics: Keeping that gray water valve closed, Leave your porch light on? and Recalcitrant to retire? Interesting reading from our readers! Thanks!
50 States, 5,000 Ideas:
Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
This richly illustrated book from National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Includes national parks, beaches, Civil War battlefields, out-of-the-way museums, and more. You’ll discover the world’s longest yard sale in Tennessee, swamp tours in Louisiana, dinosaur trails in Colorado, America’s oldest street in NYC, and the best spot to watch for sea otters on the central California coast. PUBLISHED IN 2017. Learn more or order.
This week in history
Week of Feb. 11-17
Compiled by Dell Bert
278 — St. Valentine is beheaded.
1903 — First Teddy bear goes on sale.
1923 — Archaeologist opens tomb of King Tut.
1929 — Penicillin is discovered.
1972 — VW Beetle overtakes Model T as world’s best-selling car.
1998 — Dale Earnhardt wins his first Daytona 500.
2012 — Pop singer Whitney Houston dies at age 48.
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.
Bumper sticker of the week
Man who stands on toilet is high on pot.
Funny/clever business slogan
“While you sleep, we loaf.” Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet, Tahoe City, Calif.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
Super-light step stool/ladder perfect for the RV
This Cosco Signature Step Stool is ideal for any task around the RV or house. Whether it’s reaching a high cabinet or ceiling, changing a bulb or washing your RV, this folding aluminum stool makes it easier. It weighs a mere 4.4 pounds — very light compared to other models — and folds up to fit easily. The secure extra large steps help avoid tripping. Learn more or order.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Kids Road Atlas
Give this Rand McNally atlas to your kids or grandkids before they hit the road. It features simplified yet real road maps of all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. Extras include state-related games plus state birds, flowers, trees and capitals. Answers for all games and puzzles are in the back of the book with an index. This makes a great gift. Learn more or order.
Websites of the Week
Here are two we like:
The most underrated tourist attraction in all 50 states
Each state has its own iconic tourist attractions, but here is a list of underrated hidden treasures that are well worth the visit. From Easyvoyage.co.uk and msn.com.
National Park record-setters
Here’s an interesting list of the 10 highest, tallest, hottest, smallest, etc., of the 413 national park sites. From CNN.com.
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.
Jack Pads required by many RV parks
Many RV parks require jack pads beneath an RV’s leveling jacks to avoid damage to pavement and asphalt. Camco’s inexpensive Stabilizer Jack Pads are specifically designed for use with stack jacks, fifth wheel stabilizers, swing down stabilizers and awning arms to keep them from sinking into soft ground and/or causing damage. They interlock for convenient storage. Four pack. Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• While there are many great locations across the country for RVers to escape to, Blackwater River State Park is one of the best.
• Steaming hot stew after a long day outdoors? Sounds like a winner!
• The National Parks app from National Geographic is both fun and informative!
Keep your food cool with this RV fridge fan
Every RV refrigerator should have one of these!
This small refrigerator fan from Valterra Products will help keep the food in your RV fridge cool and from spoiling. It cuts down initial cool-down time by 50 percent. Runs for more than 30 days on 2 D batteries. Don’t leave home without this! Learn more or order from Amazon.com.
Ask the RV Shrink
Do RV campsites come with rights?
Dear RV Shrink:
We love birding all over the country. The RV lifestyle has made it possible for our life list to grow substantially. We move into an area and we don’t leave until we’ve found every species we came looking for. I’m not as obsessed as my husband. He doesn’t know when to quit. Last week he was looking for an Elegant Trogon at Patagonia State Park in Arizona. He could hear it over in a secluded site at the end of a cul-de-sac. He went sneaking through the bushes and surprised a lady out sunning herself. … —Embarrassed in Arizona
Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new eBook: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.
2017 Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the 50 States
JUST PUBLISHED: Learn how to prepare, carry & transport your firearm during travel in all 50 states, Canada & Mexico. Includes state breakdowns of firearms ownership, semi-auto gun ownership, castle doctrine, right to protect, open carry, concealed carry, state & national parks, permit reciprocity, loaded vs. unloaded, interstate transport restrictions, traffic stops, universal restricted areas, motorhome & RV issues, preemptive local laws & more. Learn more or order.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
When you first check into a campground, locate your site and conduct a site survey. Identify where the campground connections are and where to locate the RV so you have easy access to all connections. If you have a slideout make sure there are no obstacles in the way. Allow plenty of room for extending the awning.
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: $2.29 (on Feb. 6). Change from week before: Down 0.3 cents; Change from year before: Up 53 cents.
Diesel: $2.56 (on Feb. 6). Change from week before: Down 0.4 cents; Change from year before: Up 55 cents.
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.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Quick Cheesecake Pie
When you have packaged graham cracker crusts in the pantry, gourmet desserts are just one step away. This cheesecake is lighter than the baked version, requires no oven time and it’s easily garnished with fresh strawberries or a drizzle of caramel ice cream topping. Get the recipe.
Cooking with Convection
Don’t know how to cook with your RV’s convection oven? Then this book is for you. Beatrice Ojakangas, an authority on convection cooking, explains how to use your convection oven to achieve perfect results in dramatically less time than with a conventional oven – from meat to side dishes to dessert — all at the same time. GREAT GIFT! Learn more or order.
App of the Week
Make your photos pop!
Chris Guld of Geeks On Tour uses Google Photos to store all her 60,000+ pictures. Using a computer or any mobile device she has access to all of Google Photos editing tools and can enhance any of her photos. One of the editing tools is called “Pop,” which brightens a photo, increases the color, brings out some of the detail in the shadows and adds definition and contrast. In other words, it makes them “Pop!” Learn how simple this is.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. This Sunday’s live webcast topic is: #110 Smartphone Camera Basics. Here is a link to their most recent episode: #109 Apple vs Android with Guest: Mike Wendland of Roadtreking.com. Subscribe to their YouTube channel: YouTube.com/geeksontourTV to be notified when they’re live. Otherwise watch for it to be posted on TheButtonShow.com on Wednesday. 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.
Good Sam Campground Guide
With more than 12,500 locations listed across the USA and Canada, the Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is the only print directory of RV parks and campgrounds. The 2017 edition features an expert rating system with all evaluations completed on site in the past 12 months. Park listings include amenities, services, restrictions, rates, contact info, Good Sam discount locations, hundreds of dollars’ worth of Camping World savings and pages of helpful information. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
RV holding tank dumps — How long can it wait if not full?
I agree with your philosophy of filling the holding tanks almost full prior to dumping. However, my wife and I go to all the home Penn State football games and rarely get half-full over two nights. We stop at a campground on our way home and dump every trip. Do we have to do this every trip or can it sit in the tanks 2-3 weeks and then dump after the next run? How long can you go between dumps? Ray T.
Essential equipment for many RVers!
Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
This best-selling product reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 100-micron fiber filter. Its durable in-line, exterior mount filter has a wider body to increase flow. Use it at your campsite to keep sediment out of your RV water tank and to improve the taste and smell of your drinking water for a whole season. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a big discount.
with Bob Difley
BLM fees for boondocking in the Southwest explained
We are new to full-timing and trying to learn about boondocking in the southwest BLM lands. Some people say you need a permit while others say there are time restrictions. Where do we go to learn more? Thanks. —Mark and Judy W.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: The 6 worst things about full-time RVing.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
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.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Take a load off those tired legs
Whether it’s to take a break while waxing an RV or fishing from a secluded bank, everyone needs to take a load off once in a while. Shurhold Industries’ Bucket Seat/Lid turns its World’s Best Rope Handle Bucket, or any ordinary five-gallon pail, into a convenient stool and storage container. Read more.
Combi-Cam Combination Cam Locks secure your outside lockers
Your RV compartment locks are the same as many other RV compartment locks used by manufacturers — which means that there are a lot of people that have keys to your locks. Combi-Cam Combination Cam Locks resolve that quandary quickly and easily with combination locks that you can set so only you know the code. Learn more.
Compact Crock Pot is great for RVs
If you’ve ever cooked in a crock pot/slow cooker you know handy they are for preparing stews, soups, dips, pulled pork, etc. Well, this compact, 1.5 quart cooker is perfect for RVs, where space is often limited. And the price is right, too — less than $14 the last we looked. Read more or order.
with Mike Sokol
Is a warm electrical outlet cause for concern?
I have a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) question about our RV. I have noticed that the GFI outlet in the bathroom was warm when we had an electric heater plugged into another outlet. The second outlet had a GFI sticker attached to it but was not a GFI outlet. When I tripped the GFI test button on the first outlet the heater also shut off. So obviously this one GFI is protecting more than one outlet, but should it get warm? Thanks. —Tom Toomey
Read Mike’s response.
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. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2017 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including which brands and if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, movie theaters, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Learn more or order.
Upcoming RV Shows
• Seattle RV Show, February 9-12, Seattle, WA
• Jacksonville RV Show, February 9-12, Jacksonville, FL
• Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show, February 9-12, Minneapolis, MN
• Salem Spring RV Show, February 9-12, Salem, OR
• Ottawa RV Expo & Sale, February 9-12, Ottawa, ON, Canada
• San Antonio Boat & Travel Trailer Show, February 9-12, San Antonio, TX
• Montana RV, Boat & Powersports Show, February 10-12, Great Falls, MT
• Columbus RV Show, February 10-12, Columbus, OH
• Richmond Camping RV Expo, February 10-12, Richmond, VA
• Houston RV Show, February 15-19, Houston, TX
• Austin RV Super Sale, February 16-19, Austin, TX
• Chicago RV & Camping Show, February 16-19, Palatine, IL
• West Palm Beach RV Show, February 16-19, West Palm Beach, FL
• Atlantic City RV & Camping Show, February 17-19, Atlantic City, NJ
• Maryland RV Show, February 17-19, Timonium, MD
• Vermont State RV & Camping Show, February 17-19, Essex Junction, VT
• Northeast RV New Product Show, February 17-20, Suffern, NY
• Springfield RV Camping and Outdoor Show, February 17-20, Springfield, MA
• Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, February 17-26, Indianapolis, IN
See the list of all upcoming RV shows.
Toss your colander. This is better!
The adjustable Snap ‘n Strain silicone strainer fits nearly all pots and pans. Once snapped on, the pot can be tilted over a sink or bowl to do its magic. Leave it on the pan even while cooking! Works with heavier foods like potatoes. Super compact for storing, perfect for RVs. Dishwasher safe. Learn more or order.
Joke of the Week
A man sits down at a bar and orders a beer. “Hey, nice shirt!” says a tiny voice. The man looks around. Nobody’s there. A couple of minutes later he hears the voice again, “Great tie!” Again, nobody around. He’s getting a little concerned. Then again, “Hey, nice haircut!” He summons the bartender. Obviously disturbed, he tells him about the voice. “Oh, don’t worry about that,” says the bartender. “It’s just the complimentary peanuts.”
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.
Videos you’ll like
• Controlling travel trailer sway and tongue weight
Walter Cannon of the RV Safety and Education Foundation provides advice to travel trailer owners about sway control and maintaining the proper tongue weight. Watch the video.
• Removing an RV slideout: How feasible is it?
In this excerpt from the June 14, 2014, live webcast Chris Dougherty provides advice to an RVer who wants to permanently remove her leaky slideout. Watch the video.
TRENDING: Great deal! Camp with your RV for 85 cents a day.
Random RV Thought
A hard rain pounding on a roof can make a lot of noise inside an RV. Most RVers like the sound. It reminds them that while it is nasty outside, they are very comfortable inside their cozy, portable house.
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 about $11! Learn more or order.
A dog’s nose print is like the fingerprint of a person: no two are alike. The Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting dog nose prints as proof of identity since 1938. This pet identification system is patented in the U.S., although it does not appear to be available commercially.
Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
This Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Lightweight Bagless Stick Vacuum is compact and it works great. Plus it converts to a hand vacuum in a snap! It’s the “go-to” vacuum in the RV Travel motorhome. Weighs less than 4 pounds. Learn more or order for about $20.
“My RV is the only place where I can find some peace and quiet.” —Actor Paul Newman
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.
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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