Monday, December 4, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 781


Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 16th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Issue 781 • Week of Feb. 18–24, 2017

Editor’s corner            
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

UPDATE: Sunday, Feb., 19 at Midnight (EST).

The free Gaffer Tape offer has now expired. Approximately 7,800 readers clicked through to claim their free roll of Gaffer Tape from the folks at Gaffer Power. We have removed the web address below with the special offer. Our thanks to Gaffer Power for providing this wonderful opportunity for our readers.

* * *

(with specific references to the special offer removed)

In last week’s issue, I promised that the folks at Gaffer Power would send readers of this newsletter a free sample roll of their excellent Gaffer Tape upon request — free postage, no strings attached.

Well, they did — to the first 750 readers who responded. But by 5 a.m., Pacific Time other readers were getting an “out of stock” message with an offer of 20 percent off. “Bait and switch,” some wrote. “A scam,” said others. I spent much of Saturday and Sunday replying to comments and emailing explanations, saying it was neither.

The problem was the company had no idea of how many people read this newsletter, and they greatly underestimated how much tape they’d need: They had set aside 750 rolls, which was not nearly enough. I messed up by playing up the offer so big without checking all the details: I was very excited about giving you something of excellent value and wanted to be sure you didn’t miss out (read our review of the product).

Well, the good news, the deal is back, and you won’t get an “out of stock message” this time. The company apologized repeatedly to me about causing so much frustration and even anger in some cases. It disheartened me that many readers unsubscribed to this newsletter without even giving me a chance to explain the honest mistake. 

So, please click here (OFFER NOW EXPIRED) to claim your roll of Gaffer Tape (the roll is 2 inches wide by 10 yards long).


I apologize for the mess up last week. And I thank the people at Gaffer Power for being so eager to make things right.

• • •
Gail and I are now in Tucson, where we will stay through mid-March. We’ll explore the area and also just take it easy for awhile. Then we’ll gradually head north, arriving at our official home base in Edmonds, Wash., in early April. I have some business to attend to there that I must do in person, and Gail will have a chance to visit with her family.

Then, we’ll be off again. We plan to drive cross-country this summer, making a stop at the big Hershey (Pennsylvania) RV Show in early September.




My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
VIDEO: What chickens taught me about life.

Sources of information about free and 
inexpensive RV camping, official and unofficial.

back-768•Did you miss last week’s RV Travel? Read it here.
Directory of back issues.


Is reading this newsletter
worth 10 cents to you?
Our staff works hard to bring you a valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help us continue with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year is appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! Your contributions make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to make advertisers and RV industry big shots happy. Enter a voluntary subscription. Use a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

Reader RVs


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

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

We have a winner! No more entries, please.

Win this very handy George Foreman grillCreate nutritious meals in minutes with this Classic-Plate Grill, with a patented slope to drain off the fat as you cook. Nonstick coating lets you cook oil-free. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Sunday. The question: What is the secret word listed somewhere below in this newsletter? Email your answer to . We can only ship prizes to addresses with a U.S. Zip Code. Only one entry per household. All entries must include your mailing address and telephone number (only used for shipping your prize if you win) or your entry will be disqualified and we’ll choose the next (correct) entry. Contest ends Sunday at noon (Pacific), at which time a winner will be selected by We’ll let you know if you win.

No contest last week so no winner to report.

breaking-newsThe RV Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) has announced its next RV Technical Education and Safety Conference will be held Oct. 1-5, 2017, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The annual event is described as a learning opportunity for new or aspiring RV owners as well as RV veterans. The curriculum covers technical, safety and lifestyle topics taught by RVing experts. Visit for more information or to register.

Sales of new towable units rose in December, compared to December 2015. Travel trailers did the best, growing 10 percent, while fifth wheels were flat, up a little less than 1 percent. Pop-ups dove, showing nearly 9 percent in sales losses. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.

Steve Walser photographed this (“Setting Up Camp”) old Aladdin trailer, ready for a night of parking-lot camping of Vintage trailers at the XXX Root Beer in Issaquah, Wash. See a larger image of this photo or Steve’s catalog. Photo © Steve Walser

Park model sales in 2016 were less than lustrous – showing a 0.2-percent rise compared to 2015. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, total sales amounted to about 10 per day through the year. Where did they end up? The top four states for purchasers: Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and California.

Enjoy a “Fee-Free Day” – Visit any of the 417 national parks across the country without paying an entrance fee on Presidents’ Day, February 20th.

The continuing battle of wills between mega-RV promoter Marcus Lemonis of Camping World and “Little David” RV dealer Gigi Stetler seems to never end. We reported before that Lemonis has fought against giving a deposition in a suit filed by Stetler, and refused to attend. Stetler’s attorneys got an order to compel the testimony. Lemonis sought a stay to stop the deposition. The latest? Lemonis is “scheduled” to give a videotape deposition in Illinois on March 10.

It’s been 10 long years coming, but it will finally be here by summer. A 56-site campground in Manistique, Mich., near U.S. 2 and Trader’s Point Drive on the state’s Upper Peninsula, promises full hookups on most of the sites. Municipally owned, the 22-acre Manistique Lakeshore Campground was in the planning stages for nearly 10 years, and officially got into construction last year.

Winnebago is now the exclusive carrier of the Truma Combi in its Era, Travato and Paseo Class B motorhome lines. The Truma Combi offers both propane and electric heating of water and air. The system is the standard in motorized vehicles across Europe, with more than ten years in the market in its current configuration.

Forgetfulness has lead to the temporary suspension of primitive camping at the Perdido Key area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (Fla.). Authorities say people are forgetting to take their trash and gear back out of the primitive area – and in some cases, are evidently forgetting to bring clothes in with them. Everything from common garbage to tents and sleeping bags has been left by campers for Park Service officials to pack out; and public nudity reports have increased.

City council members in Buellton, Calif., faced with what at least one called a “Hatfields and McCoys” situation pitting RV owners against other city residents, did what they could: They made everybody unhappy. In a 3-1 vote, the city has a new ordinance limiting parking of RVs on private property to two, and requiring those to be typically parked out back, or in a side yard behind a fence. Owners have six months to comply or move their RVs to storage lots – none of which exist in the community. RVers were irate, and other city residents barked about some allowances made RVers in the new law they felt would encroach on their own rights.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When assistant editor Diane McGovern typed the item above into the newsletter, her spell checker suggested she change Buellton, California, to Bellybutton, California!

The ten worst snowbird driving habits? According to the Phoenix New Times, here they are: (10) Turning right – to go left. (9) Using reversible lanes as turn lanes. (8) Coming to a complete stop to change lanes on the freeway. (7) Trying to merge onto the freeway – at 45 mph. (6) Being oblivious to their mirrors. (5) “Falling asleep” at stop lights. (4) Building freeway barriers with other slow drivers. (3) Wrong way on one-way streets. (2) Driving slow/scared-to-death in the HOV lane. (1) Clog the passing lane. Further details and illustrations of each here.

Surprise flooding of the Fresno River near Oakhurst, Calif., caught managers at High Sierra RV Park off guard. Within the span of 90 minutes, a small puddle turned into a torrent that floated away several of the park’s yurts, worth about $8,000 plus their contents, only to smash into a downstream bridge. When they couldn’t contact a guest with a rented RV that was likewise threatened, managers took it on themselves to call for a tow truck to pull the motorhome to safety. Now the negotiations are on as to who’ll pay the $450 tow bill.

1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1 1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at 500 wineries, farms and attractions across North America. Harvest Hosts offers an exciting alternative to traditional overnight stops where you can meet interesting people and learn about their lifestyle. Learn more at the Harvest Hosts website, or watch an interview with the founders by editor Chuck Woodbury.

news524(2)More News

Planning a trip to Banff National Park (Canada)? Be prepared to see something not seen there in more than 100 years: bison. Shipping containers of the beloved “buffaloes” were brought in by helicopter on January 31 in an effort to reintroduce the species to the park, after being nearly wiped out by hunting. The animals will be limited to a small area in Panther Valley, but next year they’ll get a bigger, 463-square-mile range.


A Washington state RV manufacturer that produces teardrop-shaped, wood-sided, eco-friendly travel trailers is getting bigger. Homegrown Trailers – which not only builds but also rents or sells its “artisan, sustainable” trailers – has moved to a larger facility to keep up with demand. The new facility in Kirkland pushes 7,000 square feet.

More camping is coming to Craig, Colo. Already popular Elkhead Reservoir will soon add a new campground with twice the capacity as Bears Ears Campground. Rather than the previous first-come, first-served camping availability, sites can now be reserved online.

When Dearborn Heights, Mich., city officials towed 76-year-old Jerry Smith’s motorhome from his driveway, it sent him to the hospital. That’s the word from Smith’s daughter, who says her dad suffered from a heart condition that acted up when the tow truck showed up and yanked his Class A off to an impound lot. A city spokesman says they’d been getting calls from irate neighbors about the “improper storage” of the rig since 2015 and finally got a court order to remove it. 

Police in Sparks, Nev., report a recent spike in thefts of RV propane tanks and batteries, removed from RVs that were parked in driveways and on city streets at various locations. Any info on the culprits? Call Sparks Police at (775) 353-2231. 

The California Department of Parks and Recreation reports that the Oceano Dunes District has canceled all reservations for camping at popular Oceano Dunes until February 20 due to recent storm activity, hazardous Arroyo Grande Creek conditions and anticipated storms over the President’s Day weekend. Other closures: Oso Flaco Lake Natural area at the SVR, North Beach Campground at Pismo State Beach and campgrounds at El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara County (closed until Sunday). SOURCE:

Photo: soupstance on

Florida’s Airstream Ranch, a Stonehenge-like display of the classic trailers, will soon vanish to the realm of memory. The display of half-planted-on-end trailers on Interstate 4 will soon give way to the construction of – what else – an Airstream dealership. Inside the dealership, the new owner promises visitors an Airstream museum.

Four teenagers had a harrowing experience in South Carolina when they faced an EF2 tornado. The friends were walking together at Barnwell State Park when the wind started blasting tree limbs their way. Three of them locked their arms together and clung to a tree trunk; the fourth grabbed his own tree. They were eventually able to take shelter in a car, but had to walk out after the twister passed as so many trees had fallen the road was blocked. While none were seriously injured, they say next time they come eye to eye with a twister, they’ll take shelter in a ditch.

A “man cave” for your RV? That’s what one Cape Coral, Fla., developer has dreamed up. Imagine a luxury garage big enough for the largest motorhome, equipped with 50-amp electrical service, bathrooms and air conditioning. Deck the place out as you like, party, repair, or just “veg out.” You own it! Only drawbacks? You can’t live in the unit, and it’ll only set you back $174,000 to $197,000. More info here

A few too many brewskis may have contributed to the arrest of a Canadian snowbird in Fiesta Key, Fla. Daniel Fournier, 58, had been stirring up trouble all day, and the climax came when he threatened to bean another guest with a barbecue grill brush. Too much for campground security, they asked Fournier and his wife to vamoose – which he refused. Next, local police placed the same request – with a promise of arrest if he failed to cooperate. Promise fulfilled: Aggravated assault, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest charges followed an apparently belligerent response.

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at

Where can you get your portable LP cylinder requalified?
Last week we published news regarding changes made to portable propane cylinder requirements. The bottom line of the regulations means that these portable cylinders will need to be “requalified” or inspected by authorized facilities according to a schedule or they cannot be legally refilled. But where can you get them requalified? Find out here.

RV Mods: Quiet that noisy water pump
RVers away from “city water” connections sometimes complain of a noise when using the RV water system. They may not be used to the sounds produced by the RV water pump; other times there are genuine issues that can often be resolved to bring quiet back when running water. Learn more.

Flushable toilet wipes are bad news for RVs
video camera WPThose moist toilet wipes so popular today can be a big-time problem for your RV’s waste system, even plug the valves, which can cost a bundle once you find someone to to repair it. In this video hosted by editor Chuck Woodbury learn more. Hopefully, the advice will save you some future frustration and expense. Watch the video.

Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler motorhomes recalled
REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2017 Fleetwood Storm and Holiday Rambler Vacationer XE motorhomes and 2016-2017 Holiday Rambler Vacationer motorhomes. In the affected vehicles, if the fuel fill tubing is damaged by contact with the spring shackle bolt, a gasoline leak may result, presenting the risk of a fire in the presence of an ignition source, which may result in death, personal injury or property damage. Learn more.

Glove up for RV dumping
Here’s a reminder to use disposable gloves when dumping RV sewer tanks, and tips on a good type to use. There are also suggestions for a few of the many other uses for disposable gloves. Learn more.

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.

Rubber roof issues: Reglue, Eternabond, or both?
When Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, was serving as’s technical editor, he received a letter from a reader asking about resealing the seam where the outer edge of the bedroom slide meets the EPDM on the roof, which had come loose. Read Chris’ response.

Are all RV power adapters created equal?
A reader sent in this question: Can electrical adapters be as safe as a dog bone adapter? Russ and Tiña De Maris discuss the types of adapters and how to prevent meltdown. They also explain why you should keep electrical plugs shiny, and why you can’t call for more power than the lowest value in the system. It’s explained here.

video camera WPSewer rats in RV holding tanks? It happens editor Chuck Woodbury talks with Doug Swarts of, 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.

Lithium ion rechargeable batteries for flashlights?
Rich “The Wanderman” is an admitted flashlight aficionado and is constantly on the lookout for new models and better ways of powering them. Since there are so many choices at all price levels for rechargeable lithium ion batteries, he ordered a whole bunch to test and report on. Read his test results.

Tow vehicle tire pressure question
A reader on an RV tire forum posted a question about some new tires he had purchased for his F150 tow vehicle. The tires were larger than what came from the factory, and he wondered about the pressure to put in them for towing, since the tire shop couldn’t give him a definitive answer. Roger Marble, RV tire expert, helped him calculate the best pressure for the application. Learn more.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7_24_55 PMRV Parts
and Accessories

Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.

Saguaro bandito at Tucson RV park.

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

1878 — Thomas Alva Edison patents the phonograph.
1885 — Washington Monument is dedicated.
1929 — First Academy Awards are announced.
1930 — Pluto is discovered. (Walt Disney’s Pluto was created in 1930 — hmm.)
1940 — Woodie Guthrie writes “This Land is Your Land.”
1948 — NASCAR is founded.
1962 — John Glenn Jr. is first American to orbit earth.
1988 — Supreme Court defends right to satirize public figures.
1998 — Seven tornadoes rip through central Florida, killing 42 people.
2001 — Dale Earnhardt is killed in crash.

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

Click here for more information about using Airtabs™.
Click here to purchase Airtabs™.

Bumper sticker of the week
Hire a teenager while they still know it all.

Funny/clever business slogan
“Don’t let a drip spoil your trip” — at various radiator shops.

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

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 2017Learn more or order.

No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.

RV Clubs
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

Keep your fridge in order when you travel
Tired of stuff moving around in your RV fridge after a day of driving? Maybe a carton of milk has fallen out on the floor one too many times? Here’s the solution: Camco’s RV Double Refrigerator Bar is designed to keep order in your RV fridge during travel. It’s spring loaded to keep items in place. The bar extends from 16″ to 28″. And the good part is the price tag: about $5! (The staff uses a pair of these in its RV!) Learn more or order.

Websites of the Week
Here are two we like:

Here’s help for planning a 2017 solar eclipse viewing trip
If you’re planning on viewing the 2017 total eclipse of the sun, here’s a website recommended by Roger Marble, our RV Tire Safety expert. Roger reports: “I used [this website] to lay out plans for a trip to TN to view the total eclipse. It uses Google maps and with the extra info I was able to find a few RV campgrounds that still have sites available.”

8 things that matter more than money for a happy retirement
It’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to enjoying a happy retirement than simply saving enough money. True wealth and happiness come from many sources — and many of those sources can relate to the RVing lifestyle. How cool is that?! From U.S. News & World Report and

Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.

Downsizing The Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go
Whether you’re downsizing to go full-time or for other reasons, this best-selling AARP book will guide you through the process, from opening that first closet, to sorting through a lifetime of possessions, to selling your home. The author helps you create a strategy and mindset to accomplish the task quickly and rewardingly, both practically and emotionally. Learn more or order.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Watch this video to learn about 10 National Parks you may never have heard of before!
• Located on southern coast of Alaska, Kenai Fjords National Park is one of America’s most breathtaking regions.
• It may look like just a boring chunk of wood, but this wood happens to come from a very special tree.

Best way to fill your batteries
Fill this container with distilled water, insert the nozzle into the cell of your battery, then push and hold. When the battery is at the proper level, the water will automatically stop. Then move to the next cell, etc. You won’t over- or under-fill your batteries this way, helping extend their lives. Learn more or order at

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

Visitor regrets mouthing off to rude park ranger

Dear RV Shrink:
During our recent travels to several national parks we have noticed a difference in park ranger attitude. Many of them seem burned out and annoyed that we were asking questions about park features, policy, directions and programs. I know they get asked the same questions a million times, but I would think it comes with the profession. With one especially rude ranger I finally reached the end of my patience and gave him a good dressing down. After my outburst I felt awful. I don’t know who got the attitude adjustment, him or me. How should I have handled the situation? —Regretful in the Rockies

Read the RV Shrink’s response.

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 Large Scale Road Atlas from Rand McNally
Give your eyes a break with this large-scale spiral-bound road atlas of the U.S. and Canada from Rand McNally. Maps are 35% larger than the standard atlas, plus over 350 detailed city inset & national park maps & a comprehensive index. Road construction & conditions contact information conveniently located above the maps. Tough spiral binding allows the atlas to lay open easily. Learn more or order at

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

RV driving and towing
Make sure other adults who travel with you are capable and confident in driving the motorhome or towing the trailer. It’s better to share the driving duties or, at a minimum, have the ability to drive if the need presents itself. Are you confident in driving and towing?

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

Easily brew a single cup of coffee
This is great for RVers! Brew a single cup of coffee without the high cost of an expensive coffee maker with the MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker! Just fill reservoir with hot water from tea kettle, or heat water in a microwave. Assemble, place K-Cup pack in base, attach the water reservoir and pump. Watch the video for a short demonstration or learn more or order at a big discount.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.31 (on Feb. 13). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 58 cents.
Diesel: $2.57 (on Feb. 13). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 59 cents.

Prepare Mac and Cheese in 5 minutes!
With the Rapid Mac Cooker quickly microwave a box of Macaroni and Cheese in five minutes, not 20 minutes like the old way! No more draining, straining or waiting for water to boil! BPA and dishwasher safe. Perfect for a quick meal in a small RV kitchen. Learn more or order.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Lentil Soup Italiano
Spring for a springtime soup.

The unpredictable weather of springtime calls for hot soup on cold evenings. Classic lentil soups are often garnished with a splash of sherry, but adding tomato and basil transforms it into a Mediterranean treat best enhanced with a tot of red wine. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at, including the brand-new “The Survival Food Handbook.”


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.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Check radiator and heater hoses monthly
A pinhole-size leak in a radiator or heater hose can spray antifreeze on hot engine parts. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol concentrate and water. When the water boils off, the remaining ethylene glycol can self-ignite at 782 degrees F. During your monthly fire inspection, check all hoses for firmness, clamp tightness, and signs of leaking. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

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


Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small tester, for about $8, will alert you in an instant to the condition of your batteries, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of life left! Works on AA, AAA, C, D and 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.

RV Quick Tips

These people never had a chance to read RV Travel. But you do. You’re pretty darn lucky!

Make sure your pet is comfortable when traveling
Introducing Rover or Fluffy to RV travel? Make sure they have a comfortable bed for traveling. If you’re headed for cold or damp country with an older pet, consider springing for a heated pet bed. Whatever you choose, let your pal get used to it at home before traveling.

Are you licensed properly?
Last Saturday we asked if your RV was licensed properly. This week we’re discussing your driver’s license. In many jurisdictions, if you only possess a regular driver’s license you are not allowed to pull a trailer over 10,000 lbs. (4600 kg). If you’re not licensed properly, and in the event of a claim, your insurance company could deny you coverage. You could as well be ticketed or shut down on the side of the highway. Don’t put yourself in a position that will cause you grief. If you’re not sure, check with the licensing standards department of your state/province. Our thanks to George Bliss.

Putting in a dishwasher?
Thinking about installing an RV dishwasher? Before you go out and lay down money, check out the specifications. Not only do you need enough physical space, but also consider the electrical and plumbing requirements – your rig must be able to provide for all.

Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) and you just might see it here!

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 editor Chuck Woodbury. Or order at

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

Who can perform a PDI? Who certifies RV technicians?

Dear Gary,
Thank you for the seminars you present.  I find them interesting and informative, especially your advice on getting a PDI (pre-delivery inspection) by a certified inspector. My questions for you are: (1) Who certifies these inspectors? (2) What is the difference between a Certified and a Master Certified inspector? Thank you. —Bob M. 

Read Gary’s response.

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

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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Veteran RVer asks the “how to” of boondocking

Dear Bob,
I’ve been RVing for about 8 years and have boondocked only three times because — I’m a little embarrassed to say — I’m not really sure “how to.” Can you give me some of the basics, that is, what accessories can I use when the only power is my coach battery? Can I use my coffee maker or built-in heater? Can I leave my fridge on d.c. or propane (I have a 3-way Dometic fridge) without running the battery down? I’m not sure how long my battery will last with[out?] running my gen. Hope my question is not too long, but I really would like to intelligently boondock a lot more with more confidence. —Andy M.

Read Bob’s response.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: You can help to protect our nation’s legacy wildlife.

You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.

damp-rid-2-761damprid-761Avoid 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

Quick and easy smoothies, shakes with compact blender
When you find an appliance that performs the duty of your home unit but in a smaller size that fits the storage spaces of your RV, it is a thumbs-up. Such is the case for the easy-to-use Oster My Blend blender, an individual-sized blender and sport bottle in one that is designed to fit the active RV lifestyle. Learn more.

Tuson launches RF Wireless Camera System
Tuson RV Brakes announced it is launching its new and improved RF Wireless Camera System for sale immediately. The new RF Wireless Camera System is easy to install and includes a large 7-inch high definition video monitor with a 12 Volt DC accessory power plug. The camera is equipped with an LED Light allowing the user to illuminate the camera subject in low light conditions. “Recent customers have told us that our new RF Camera System has the best signal strength of any RF Wireless Camera System on the market today.” Read more.

RV and auto enthusiasts love Harbor Freight Tools. If it’s a tool or something “automotive” of use on your RV or car, Harbor Freight has it, usually at great prices. In this case, shop for your favorite Harbor Freight tool at Amazon, where Prime Members get free shipping. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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 (Part 1), Timonium, MD
Mountain RV, Boat & Recreation Show, February 17-19, Fletcher, NC
• 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
• Good Sam RV Super Show, February 23-26, Phoenix, AZ
• Harrisburg RV and Camping Show, February 23-26, Harrisburg, PA
• Maryland RV Show, February 24-26 (Part 2), Timonium, MD
Raleigh RV Show, February 24-26, Raleigh, NC
• Colorado RV, Sports and Travel Show, March 2-5, Denver, CO
• Greater Philadelphia RV Show, March 2-5, Oaks , PA
Ocala RV Show, March 2-5, Ocala, FL
• Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show, March 2-5, Mississauga , Ontario, Canada
• Montana RV, Boat & Powersports Show, March 3-5, Kalispell, MT
• Central-Illinois Recreational Show, March 3-5, Peoria, IL
• Eugene Spring RV Show, March 3-5, Eugene, OR
• Fredericksburg RV Show, March 3-5, Fredericksburg, VA
• Rhode Island RV, Camping Show and Sale, March 3-5, Providence, RI

See the list of all upcoming RV shows.

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 Short Stop

USS Lexington
Corpus Christi, Texas

The USS Lexington aircraft carrier rests majestically next to the North Beach of Corpus Christi Bay on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Beginning in World War II, the LEX played a significant role in the nation’s defense for nearly 50 years. Self-guided tour routes cover 100,000 square feet and 11 decks. Much of the ship is wheelchair accessible. Inexpensive all-day parking is across the street. Read more in Julianne G. Crane’s article.

Quick, simple, no-mess way to cook eggs
Perfect for RVing! Cook your favorite egg recipe in a breeze, mess-free with the Egg-Tastic Microwave Egg Cooker & Poacher. Crack the eggs right in the ceramic pot, add ingredients & microwave for fast, fluffy, flavorful eggs! The vented lid allows steam to escape while the ceramic pot circulates heat for even cooking! Prep, cook & enjoy your meal in the same dish. Dishwasher safe. Click here to learn more or order for about $6.

laughing-man-RVT-752Stupid Statements of Yesteryear
“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” —David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s. (Among many other accomplishments, Sarnoff became president of RCA in 1930 and retired as its chairman in 1970.)

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

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PM RV living on 30 amps
Mark Polk does a great job of explaining what you can use and not use on an RV when you’re connected to a 30-amp hookup. Watch the video.

• Using Google Earth to pinpoint RV boondocking locations
This advice is brilliant. If you boondock or want to, set aside 25 minutes to watch this


youtube_logoVisit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!

Random RV Thought
If you want to make a friend, do this: On a cold and rainy day in a campground, if you spot a tenter or a tenting couple holed up in a tent, invite them into your cozy RV for hot chocolate or maybe even dinner. You will most likely make a new friend (or friends) and enjoy good conversation.

Charlie Chaplin once participated in a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest at a San Francisco theater. He didn’t win.


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

Worth Pondering
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” —Jimi Hendrix


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

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

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter.

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

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

This newsletter is copyright 2017 by



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Red Heis (@guest_4731)
6 years ago

Hello, looks like it happened again !!!!
No link !!!

Well, the good news, the deal is back, and you won’t get an “out of stock message” this time. The company apologized repeatedly to me about causing so much frustration and even anger in some cases. It disheartened me that many readers unsubscribed to this newsletter without even giving me a chance to explain the honest mistake.

So, please click here (OFFER NOW EXPIRED) to claim your roll of Gaffer Tape (the roll is 2 inches wide by 10 yards long).


I apologize for the mess up last week. And I thank the people at Gaffer Power for being so eager to make things right.

Chuck Woodbury
6 years ago
Reply to  Red Heis

Red, the offer expired Sunday at Midnight. We say this very clearly in the newsletter. Sorry you missed out. — Chuck

Richard Geraci (@guest_4717)
6 years ago

Your video on using 30 amp circuits was informative.

We have a 2000 Winnebago 35B that only has a 30 amp service. Can you address the RV that uses 30 amp but plugs into a 50amp hookup using an adapter?

Joe Barber (@guest_4740)
6 years ago
Reply to  Richard Geraci

50 amps means that the service can provide up to 50 amps of power. If you have an RV rated at only 30 amps, it means you can run everthing in your RV and not pop the circuit breaker (on the supply). On the other hand, if your 30 amp RV is plugged into a 15 amp circuit. and you power up your AC and frig, you’ll pop the circuit breaker.

Ron (@guest_4710)
6 years ago

Missed you at the Escapees Happy Hour in Quartzsite. We’re now in Tucson and will attend the “Escapade” in mid-March. Any chance of getting your Tucson friends together for a Happy Hour before you leave the area? Take care . . .

Marty (@guest_4706)
6 years ago

Hi Chuck, I see you are in Arizona until March. If not, You should read up on it.

RVers need to be aware of the symptoms and what tests to get so some uneducated doctor doesn’t give them med’s to make it worse. I.e. Antibiotics

4 months ago they told me I had lung cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes, after many expensive tests and much worry I found I had valley fever and the associated lung nodules. A simple blood test could have saved time, money, and emotional distress.

If you are interested in writing an article to raise awareness, I’m happy to help.

Marty (@guest_4707)
6 years ago
Reply to  Marty

Sorry chuck not sure what happened to a sentence in my post. I see you you are in Arizona , have you ever heard of Valley Fever?

Phil English (@guest_4704)
6 years ago

I placed my order last week on Saturday morning for the tape early before they ran out, it was on my doorstep on Monday. Good service and glad they stepped up

Pierre (@guest_4699)
6 years ago

Couldn’t order Gaffer tape as we are in Canada. We still like the newsletter.

Ron Schmitz (@guest_4689)
6 years ago

Thanks Chuck and Gaffer Power, my order for the free roll of tape went though this week.
Great information, look forward to your newsletter every week. While you are in Tuscan, take some time to visit the Pima Air & Space Museum. I passed though Tuscan last October on the way from CA to TX with my motor home. Lots of RV parking.

Drew (@guest_4696)
6 years ago
Reply to  Ron Schmitz

Something is still amiss…I ordered a roll and will not accept the discount code “GAFFRV”. Oh well, it was only a free gift anyway. Happy Camping,


Tina GAllagher (@guest_4683)
6 years ago

I didn’t know there was a problem with the Gaffer tape offer- I just thought I got to it too late to get one. Worked great today. Thank you. It’ll take far more than that to make me unsubscribe from this newsletter- I learn a lot from it.

Pius Horning (@guest_4680)
6 years ago

today I tried to get one of the free rolls of tape offered by one of your contacts, I also tried to read other items on your page and all come back as harmful web sites. what kind of people do you deal with?

Chuck Woodbury (@guest_4684)
6 years ago
Reply to  Pius Horning


We deal with reputable people. Not sure why you got the “harmful websites” messages.

Stuart Syme (@guest_4714)
6 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

It happens regularly with the Safari web browser (Mac users) when following links from There is a security setting that warns “too many re-directs” and it won’t open the target site. On your site, it is usually the result of linking to a site that was linked to a site that was linked to the original. You can avoid it by linking to the original instead of linking to the referral.

Chuck Woodbury
6 years ago
Reply to  Stuart Syme

Thanks, Stuart. Good to know. — Chuck

Dave Stansbury (@guest_4677)
6 years ago

Eegads! It’s a free offer for God’s sake! I’ll say this for your staff ’cause they’re too polite: ” If you can’t figure out how to order it, then shut up. “

Dave Stansbury (@guest_4676)
6 years ago

You don’t have to apologize to anyone. Thank you for the free offer.

Pius Horning (@guest_4667)
6 years ago

I must have missed your news letter last week and this week I saw the post on free tape. I clicked on the point to get my free tape and my computer blocked the site as a damaging site. me thiks something is strange going on here.

Chuck Woodbury
6 years ago
Reply to  Pius Horning

Pius, we can only guess that maybe the page where we sent readers at Gaffer Tape got “hit” so often and so heavy this morning that a “danger” trigger went off, prompting the message. There is nothing unsafe with the website.

John Bilton (@guest_4664)
6 years ago

Hi Chuck,
We seemed to be reading, and hearing about all of the negative aspects of RV manufacturers and dealerships which to be quite honest must put a lot of RV’rs off RV’ing at all.
Admitted, most of the negative claims are too unfortunately true.
To your knowledge, are there any good or honest RV manufacturers or even dealerships out there?
Must admit, it is a case of “buyer beware as I’m sure most of us have had bad experiences with dealerships and/or manufacturers but it would be good if we could “sing the praises” of some of the decent ones.

Billy bob Thorton (@guest_4663)
6 years ago

Rich, nice touch making it right with the grip tape people. Always wondered seeing those guys zip some coiled electrical line together with tape. Until I read about gripper tape on herre, I had no idea that the product, with its unique properties existed. Thanks again. Oh, to those over amping, all is well, there is a new leader in place. MAGA

Steve Cissell (@guest_4658)
6 years ago

The article about having the proper drivers license was important but it should have had an example. My neighbor thought he was licensed correctly because he is under 42 feet but but South Dakota uses weight not length and 26,000 pounds is the limit using a regular drivers license. Almost all diesel pusher motor homes are over that weight. I also assume that some large fifth wheel trailers are over the 10,000 pounds allowed on a regular license. There is also a special test you must take is you have air brakes. This info from SD website.

Dan (@guest_4682)
6 years ago
Reply to  Steve Cissell

Weight of vehicle does not apply for RVs in South Dakota. Texas yes.

Ralph Caldwell (@guest_4656)
6 years ago

Question: We go camping in the northwest, we like to hear news and /or music and weather on the radio. We have tried 2 emergency am/fm /weather band radios and their reception was poor to no none. we tried a couple of regular am/fm radios and their reception was poor too. If I go to my tow vehicle and turn on the radio I get reasonably good reception. I don’t understand. My camper is a Scamp fiberglass RV so large amounts of metal are not the issue.

Stuart Syme (@guest_4715)
6 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Caldwell

Metal can be a good thing. It provides a ground plane for your antenna. That’s definitely important for transmitting; not sure if it plays as much a role in receiving. But if it does, it could explain the tow vehicle/trailer differences.

Mike Logan (@guest_4655)
6 years ago

A comment about the upcoming solar eclipse in August for the state parks in Tennessee. They are adding an extra charge of $75 to your camping fees if you camp in one of the state parks during August 21st, 2017. It was on the locale Nashville TV news is how I found out. February 20th, 2017 is the earliest date to reserve a campground site for a Corp of engineers campground and no extra charge.

Diane M (@guest_4650)
6 years ago

Just ordered our tape to give it a try. Sorry that some people flip out for something so innocuous as a roll of tape. Life is too short. I tried last week, didn’t work & smiled thinking they had no idea how many readers you had :-). Pleasantly surprised to see it was all worked out and back on this week. So thanks. THe readers that unsubscribed….their loss for losing out on your website & a roll of tape!

C.B. Sheward (@guest_4648)
6 years ago

Some people will get upset over any thing, i read this as a good thing for the co. to do for a few people, be first to get in line, but if you are too late then so be it, they can’i do this for ever. I feel sorry for the people @ gaffer tape co. trying to do A good thing, who won the election???

George (@guest_4647)
6 years ago

“..many readers unsubscribed to this newsletter..” because of no free tape!!!! They are also no doubt the same ones who have never sent in any $ as a voluntary subscription to help keep this great newsletter going. S*#t happens and most times it’s a misunderstanding, like last week. I do a lot on ebay and have never received nor left Negative feedback, simply because issues can be worked through. You done good Chuck as did Gaffer in stepping up to the plate to make things right..

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