Saturday, February 4, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 795

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 795 • Week of May 27–June 2, 2017

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Hold on to your hats! Be sure you are sitting down for I am about to tell you something that will cause you, at first, disbelief. You will say to yourself, “Chuck, you are telling me a big fat lie!” I assure you I am not. I am telling you the absolute, 100 percent truth, as surely as if I were in a court of law!

The park as seen from the Pacific Coast Highway.

Here’s what I am talking about: In Southern California, near the ocean, in the town of Newport, by an artificial salt water pond created in 1960, is an RV park — Newport Dunes, “a waterfront resort and marina.”

The pond, which is actually an inlet, is about 800 feet wide by 1,300 feet long — about a third of a square mile. It’s about a mile from the ocean as a crow (or even a sparrow) flies, but maybe four miles in a boat. Needless to stay, you won’t see any crashing waves and ocean mist here as you might while camping along the Oregon coast on a beach created by nature, not men with backhoes.

There’s no crashing surf or ocean mist, but there are plenty of inflatables!

There’s a hotel, which doesn’t matter to you and me. What matters to us is that the hotel has an RV park, which it labels a resort, which many RV parks do these days so they can charge more. I am reminded of the saying “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” which is true of many RV “resorts.” Not saying there aren’t those places that are worthy of the term, but for many it’s stretching it.

Now, to get to my point
(pretend you hear a drum roll . . .), if you want to stay at the Newport Dunes RV Resort, right along the artificial beach, in what is billed as a SuperSite (35 feet by 45 feet), you will pay up to $479 a night at peak times during the busy summer season. Yes, that is PER NIGHT! For non-math wizards, that’s $20 an hour!

But wait, there’s more! You must stay at least two nights in the summer season, meaning your stay at peak times will be $958. I assume there’s tax, so figure $1,000 and change — for two nights!

In the less popular winter season, you can steal a SuperSite for between $117 and $255.

During prime season, at popular times, budget travelers may choose, instead, a “Select Site” (25 x 40), which is not on the beach, for a mere $339 a night! If you only require an itty-bitty site, which backs up close to busy Highway 1, you’ll pay up to $150 during prime season: The tiny parcel of real estate will be 22 by 25 feet, which means you’ll be super chummy with your neighbor. 

Newport Dunes under construction is 1960. Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives.

If you have a dog, add $2 a day. If you have more than one vehicle, add $20 a day. Want a fire pit? That’s $35 a day. And go ahead and invite a guest ($18 for up to two hours).

Interestingly, considering the park’s sky high prices, only gives it a rating of 6.3 stars out of 10, which would be like a “C” in school-lingo.

* * *
WE BLEW IT LAST WEEK in our Reader Poll when we asked you how much you’d be willing to pay for one night of camping. The choices we provided began at zero dollars and ended at “more than $80.” Maybe we should have added options for “more than $100″or “more than $200” or even “more than $400”! About half of you, by the way, reported your limit is between $30 and $50. Only 4 percent of the approximately 2,800 readers who responded would pay more than $80 a night.

* * *
I’m in New York City today, finishing helping my daughter pack up a small van for her move back to Seattle. We’ll hit the road tomorrow morning heading west on I-90. We plan to take seven days, roughly 400 miles day. Oh, I can feel it already: my aching butt!

See you next week. Same time, same place.

Please tell your friends about this newsletter and suggest they sign up. Thanks a whole bunch if you do! And welcome to the 520 new subscribers who signed up since last week! We’re glad to have you along!

Thanks to reader Kevin Hogle for alerting me to the Newport Dunes RV Resort. If you know of a park that charges more than this one, please let me know. I can’t imagine it, but maybe so. . .




I took this photo at the Cambridge American Cemetery in the U.K. where 3,812 Yanks rest in peace.

In honor of Memorial Day, my staff and I would like to acknowledge the brave servicemen and women who died serving our country. They gave their lives to something bigger than themselves — to protect the freedoms of you, me and all Americans — then, now and forever. I urge you to visit a cemetery this weekend and seek out the white crosses, little flags or headstone inscriptions noting veterans — both  those who died while serving and those who survived to live out their lives. Pause a moment to think about them — each one a national treasure.

Some of you have subscribed to the helpful membership website, the best resource for places to stay with an RV for free or nearly free. The site currently lists more than 13,500 locations. Just an FYI, but we have negotiated a deal with publisher Jim O’Briant to add an additional three months to new annual $24.95 subscriptions for readers. Click here to learn more or sign up with the extra three months included. There’s a free demo, too, so you can see how things work.

OUR NEW MAILING ADDRESS: Our new address is 9792 Edmonds Way #265, Edmonds, WA 98020

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)

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


woman-756Is reading this newsletter
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Our staff works hard to bring you a valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible 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 managing editor Diane McGovern at Diane (at) .

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

Overnight RV Parking Alternative
For a low annual membership fee, join RV Golf Club today and park FREE every night of the year at 400+ beautiful, safe, private golf courses, resort hotels and RV resorts across the U.S. and Canada. Plus, receive discounts on golf, restaurants and shops at most properties. Click here for more info and to purchase a membership .

We have a winner. No more entries for this contest, please. (The answer is 9 percent.)
Win this Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Sunday. The question: In 1950, what percent of American households had a television? Nine percent, 19 percent or 28 percent? The answer is in our Trivia section below. Email your answer to RVcontests (at) . 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 mailing 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.

breaking-newsThere may be some unhappy campers in Kansas this Memorial Day weekend. Flooding in many parts of the state has inundated some state park campgrounds, affecting even sites already reserved for the weekend. Park officials are attempting to contact those who have made reservations to let them in on the problem. Some will be offered alternate sites in their campground, but others – well, it may be a “Come some other day, or we’ll send you a refund” situation. 

Locals didn’t like the idea, but the Flathead County (Mont.) commissioners have given the thumbs-up to a new RV park near Glacier National Park. Glacier Park Inc. wants to develop a 178-acre RV park with 102 RV sites. Locals railed about increased traffic, but commissioners voted to approve the plan. They did, however, reduce dog traffic. Instead of the “three dogs per site” allowance requested, only one will be allowed. Sorry Baby Boomers, no “three dog nights.” 

Chisos Basin Campground in Texas’ Big Bend National Park has reopened following a wildfire in the park. While the campground was not threatened, officials closed it to the public to use it as a staging area for firefighting. The actual fire is now at the smoldering stage. 

Photo: Facebook/Monterey County Sheriff’s Office

More woes for California Highway 1 travel: A huge landslide has piled up to 40 feet of mud and dirt over one of California’s most scenic highways. A 1500-foot section of the Pacific Coast Highway a mile southeast of Gorda (some 60 miles south of Monterey) is closed while authorities try to figure out how to clear the 1 million tons of rock and dirt from this main thoroughfare through the Big Sur country. The big event took place May 20, and highway officials aren’t even sure if the road is still under all that earth.

Repair work on a damaged water pipeline at the North Rim of Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park was completed early. The North Rim opened for visitors on May 15th, and RVers and other campers can expect normal water service in area campgrounds. That includes showers and laundry facilities, as well as drinking water taps. 

Born Free, a maker of high-quality Class C motorhomes, has closed its doors, as we reported here late last Saturday. A Wisconsin customer inquiring about ordering parts for his Born Free motorhome received an automatic reply noting “due to circumstances beyond our control, as of May 15, 2017, the Born Free factory in Humboldt, Iowa, will be closed until further notice.” However, on Monday, May 22, telephone lines to Born Free’s Iowa headquarters office were disconnected. Read more.

Here’s our complete list of RV recalls in the past year.

Camping in northern Utah this Memorial Day weekend is not a sure bet, says the U.S. Forest Service. Spring is still very much present, meaning cool nights, and in higher elevations snow is blocking roads. Scenic Mirror Lake Highway through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest was still closed as of Wednesday, as Department of Transportation crews had yet to be able to open it from winter snows. 

Zion Tunnel

U.S. Park Service officials have reopened the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, the main route through Zion National Park (Utah). The route was closed for about a day after a stream of sand and rock began pelting the highway near the west end of the Zion Tunnel. Geological specialists have been called in to review the situation.

California’s Stanislaus National Forest officials say winter storms have created so much road damage that around 20 forest service roads will be closed clear into 2018. Affected campgrounds include: Stanislaus River Campground, Union East Campground, Union West Campground, Sand Flat Campground, Rocky Point Campground, Spicer Campground, and the Spicer Group Site. For more information visit this site.

Cecil County, Maryland’s planning commissioners are fed up with RVers exceeding their 150-days-per-year limit of camping on their “funsteads” (lots of a few thousand square feet) and think they’ve got a way to stop it: Just rule that those campgrounds can’t be open between November 1 and March 31. Site owners are furious – some say they like to stay during winter, but county officials say it’s just too hard to enforce the 150-day limitation. 

Fits Right in – Evelo’s Foldable E-Bike Perfect for RVers!
We’ve long raved about EVELO’s Electric Bikes, but EVELO’s latest model — the Quest — is a must-have for any RVer. One of the world’s first folding e-bikes, light and compact for easy storage, yet features a sturdy design and 40-mile range. Quests are perfect for exploring trails, moving around campsites or heading to town. Click here for more info on Quest and other models at

news524(2)More News

There’s a potential for a new state park in North Carolina. A bill before the General Assembly would make Black River State Park a reality. Named for the river that would flow past its border, the park would be home to some of the oldest cypress groves in the U.S. House Bill 353 would also create three additional state natural areas. 

Tuttle Creek Campground. R&T De Maris

Looking to camp for a while in California’s Eastern Sierra? The Bureau of Land Management has announced long-term visitor permits are now available that allow camping in BLM campgrounds in the Bishop Field Office jurisdiction. This includes camping within the Tuttle Creek, Goodale Creek, Horton Creek, and Pleasant Valley Pit campgrounds in Inyo County, and the Crowley Lake Campground in Mono County. With the permit, folks can stay up to 180 days per year in designated long-term sites, and up to 30 consecutive days in any of the campgrounds listed. And the cost? Not cheap: A 30-day permit is $120, while a 90-day permit is $320. Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass holders will receive a discount on 30-day permits.

Despite extensive remodeling last summer at the Conconully Lake RV Campground (formerly Conconully Lake Resort) in Washington state, the federal Bureau of Reclamation says they’re still not clear when the campground will reopen. After upgrading electrical and plumbing to sites at the campground, it was found water levels in the well were insufficient for operations. Now the agency is working on fixing that problem. Opening will happen when the water flows. 

Rabies has closed Rose Canyon Lake Campground on Arizona’s Mount Lemmon. A 12-year-old boy camping there was bit by a fox in mid-May. Officials report that three sick or dying foxes have been found in the area since March, and all tested positive for rabies. Now the campground is closed until the perpetrator can be tracked down. Untreated rabies victims almost universally die, so officials warn if you see an animal that doesn’t act right, stay away from it and call authorities. Don’t allow yourself or your pets to touch dead wildlife.

Papillion, Nebraska’s RV parking wars appear to have finally ended. After months of battles before the city council, a sort of truce has been declared now that the council has backed down from an extremely strict ordinance that would have outlawed RVs larger than 20 feet on private property. On May 2, more than two dozen RVers spoke out vehemently against the proposed 20-foot rule, and apparently the council got the message. RVs up to 35 feet can park on private property, so long as they are in a side or back yard. Rigs to 20 feet can park in the driveway, and any rig can park on the property for up to five days for “loading and unloading.” However, to park on the street, Class B and Class C motorhomes will need a city permit. Evidently Class A units are not allowed street parking. 

Photo: S.D. Highway Patrol on

RVers pulling a travel trailer along a stretch of South Dakota’s Interstate 90, east of New Underwood, got quite a shock last Monday. A strong wind gust caused the rig to sway and then simply blasted the entire shell, roof and walls, right off the tow platform, leaving only the floor on the trailer frame. The exterior walls jetted on across the freeway, landing near the opposing side of the freeway. Needless to say, a total loss — but happily, no injuries.

Got $500 burning a hole in your pocket? Drop over to Boston on June 8 and you can do lunch with Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World. Well, OK, you don’t actually eat at the same table, but just one section over from the CW Kingpin. If you’d really like to rub elbows with Marcus, up your ante to a mere $2,995 for a seat at his table. Lemonis will appear along with other big money folks at the “Ultimate Wealth and Achievement Summit.” Mark your calendar and register at

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at

This week’s Reader Poll
What does the term “boondocking” mean to you? 
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE RESULTS.

Read the up-to-the minute responses from last week’s poll: How much is “too much” to pay for one night of camping? Click here.

Will you be in your RV this Memorial Day weekend?
The RV industry is predicting that 5.8 million RVers will be on the road this holiday weekend. What about you? Will you be in your RV? Take our 10-second poll.

Forest River’s new policy: Good news or an “idiot’s tale”?
Perhaps it’s a coincidence, or maybe there really is an RV manufacturer that’s “seen the light” and wants to do something to make peace with the RVing community. Whatever the case, a new move by RV giant Forest River has created a bunch of “unhappy campers” among the ranks of its dealers. Learn more.

KOA raises $118,000 for children’s charity
Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA’s) annual Care Camps Big Weekend set a new camper attendance record May 12-13, drawing about 4 percent more camping families than last year, earning nearly $118,000 for its KOA Care Camps. The Care Camps Big Weekend is in its 14th year and is a major fundraising event for the charity that supports a network of 128 specialized, weeklong summer camps for children battling cancer. Learn more.

Free RV spot? Try caretaking — trade skills, or your presence
Caretaking takes many forms, such as simply camping at a remote location to deter theft or vandalism, or staying on someone else’s property while they are away. Each caretaking position is different and usually involves trading your services for free living and sometimes, depending on the work and responsibility, also some $$. How do you find caretaking positions? Learn several ways here.

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.

Hard water hard on RV plumbing? Try vinegar!
Some parts of the country have to deal with hard water and the resulting plumbing failures due to the stuff making deposits inside pipes and even eating through fittings. Some RVers swear by “the vinegar treatment.” Once a year, it is said, a solution of white vinegar and water should be pumped through the RV water system, allowed to sit and dissolve hard water deposits. Here is how some RVers handle this problem.

Will weight on rear of RV trailer off-balance the rig?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter from a reader while serving as’s technical editor regarding his concern about the need to offset extra weight from adding a hitch and bike rack to the rear of his Hi-Lo trailer. Read Chris’ answer.

When entering text gets frustrating, fight back with a Bluetooth keyboard!
Rich “The Wanderman” has Bluetooth everywhere, or almost. It seems that almost any device can be used to e-mail or text or search through a list of TV shows or movies. But sometimes it can be very frustrating to navigate through TV listings with a remote control. There IS a solution: the battery-powered Bluetooth keyboard with touchpad. Learn why he’ll never go back to fumbling with the remote again.

RV Mods: Here’s a use for your fridge front!
RVers live in small spaces, and making all that we can of that space just makes sense. Much has been said about increasing kitchen storage capacity by adding extra shelves, conquering “dead space” and using your microwave oven as a storage area. But here’s an area that’s rarely thought of: the front of your RV refrigerator. Read more.

A Waterless RV Wash & Wax!
$5.00 off through 5/31/17! Use coupon code: spitshine17
Spit Shine has more emulsifiers than other waterless washes. It traps and lifts dirt to leave a clean, scratch-free, glossy surface. Great for when you’re on the go and don’t have access to a water hose. Requires just a damp, and a dry, towel. Watch Wade clean all RV surfaces. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Spit Shine at the Wade Maid website.

Our contributing writer Dave Helgeson sent this photo: “Dear Chuck, Per your recent rants concerning over crowded camping areas, I find you can’t even expect to be all alone camping in the boondocks any more! The photo shows the neighbors I had to deal with this weekend!”

del-545This week in history
Week of May 27–June 2
Compiled by Dell Bert

1848 — Wisconsin enters the Union.
1865 — American Civil War ends.
1911 — First Indianapolis 500 is run.
1917 — John F. Kennedy is born.
1926 — Marilyn Monroe is born.
1930 — Clint Eastwood is born.
1937 — Golden Gate Bridge opens.
1967 — The Beatles release “St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
1971 — Mariner 9 departs for Mars.

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™.

From Dave & Jeanine Kline. “If you think there’s something you should see, then ya’ oughta.” Email photos of personalized license plates to Diane (at)


Bumper sticker of the week
“Dirty deeds done dirt cheap!” —Hank Smith’s favorite bumper sticker!

Funny/clever business slogan
My uncle had a sign made for his small auto body shop: “Reasonable work at Expert prices.” —Thanks to Kim for sending this in!

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

Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.

Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:

Don’t be sheepish! Tell your friends about this newsletter! Sign up at

50 most beautiful highway drives in America
Here are some excellent road trip ideas, especially if you’re of the belief that the journey is more important than the destination. These trips are for those who like to stop and take in the views along America’s legendary highways. There is something for everyone among these scenic road trips. From Cheapism and

The 10 most dangerous bugs to watch out for this summer
Some bugs sting, bite or even carry disease. Learn to recognize these dangerous insects to protect yourself and your family. From Reader’s Digest and

The weirdest facts about all 50 states
There’s a quirkier side to each state that’s likely not covered in a history class. From the birthplace of fast-food pizza to the tiniest park you’ll ever see, here are just a few facts that reveal the more unusual side to each state. These are fun! From Good Housekeeping and

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

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.

ppl-logo-1America’s Largest
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.

Your RVer Horoscope for June
RV Travel is honored to present to you the RVers’ horoscope for June from Swami Hal, a retired psychic who travels full-time in a 37-foot Pace Arrow motorhome with his considerably younger, full-figured German wife Helga, aka Helga the Magnificent. Swami Hal has won many awards (he says), due to his uncanny ability to predict the future with fairly decent accuracy. 

Read your RVer horoscope for June.

Camco Store at
There isn’t much you need for your RV that Camco doesn’t have. If you think we’re kidding, then click through to the Camco store on Amazon where you’ll find some of their best-selling products — all for your RV or for you to make your RVing better. Click here and you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

New Goodyear Endurance trailer tire

Here’s some info regarding the new Goodyear Endurance tire that will be of “great interest to trailer owners,” according to Roger. Read more.

Easy way to add water to your batteries!
Never, ever, let your automotive or RV deep cycle batteries run out of water. Here’s a simple way to keep them topped off for maximum performance and long life. Just use this syringe with distilled water. So easy. Learn more or order.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Superstition Sunrise RV Resort is a state-of-the-art complex packed with everything you’ll need for a fun, relaxing vacation.
• Tired of putting on bug spray to keep the insects away? The SuperBand Insect Repellent is the solution!
• Try this delicious treat on your next adventure!

sponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

Hubby wants to confront
Walmart camper misfits; wife worried

Dear RV Shrink:
We have been using Walmart parking lots for overnight stays while traveling between destinations. We think this is a wonderful opportunity offered by Walmart. We call them our “Pit Stops.” We do our shopping, do laundry nearby and rent a movie from Red Box. They always have an out-of-the-way area that is not too noisy or bright. Several times we have noticed other campers not just taking advantage of a good thing, but potentially ruining it for the rest of us. … It takes every tactical maneuver I can muster to keep my husband from turning into a Walmart referee. Maybe he’ll listen to you. —Up Against the Wall-mart in Earp, CA

Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s advice.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book: 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

Stop rust and corrosion
Of the many gremlins that attack your RV —like mold, mildew, leaks and black streaks — rust will attack your hand tools, spare parts, door hinges & other vulnerable metal surfaces & moving parts over time. STA-BIL® Rust Stopper prevents rust & corrosion by protecting metal surfaces with a long-lasting barrier while lubricating parts & tools to stop squeaks & sticking. Learn more.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Tire air loss
Did you know that your tires can lose up to two psi of air pressure every month? That means if the RV sat in storage for three or four months the tires could be seriously underinflated. Try to get in a habit of checking tire pressure before each trip you take with your RV. Always check the tire pressure when the tires are cold (before traveling more than one mile.) Don’t forget to check your automobile tires periodically too.

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

RV Camping in State Parks

The 6th edition of this guidebook profiles nearly 1,750 state parks, forests and recreation areas in 49 states that offer accommodations for RVers. Included are state maps, directions (and GPS), number of sites including those with hookups, WiFi access, plus other amenities. 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: $2.40 (on May 22). Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 10 cents.
Diesel: $2.54 (on May 22). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 18 cents.

Lap top desk provides cushion and support
VERY HANDY! Whether you’re working on your laptop or writing with a pen and paper, this soft, fleece covered cushion with a sturdy surface is perfect for when you’re not at a desk. Take it with you wherever you go. Great for a child for coloring or playing a game. It has a built-in drink and pen holder and a flexible battery-powered light. This would be very useful to many RVers. Learn more or order.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Pretzel Cookie Squares
Quick, no-bake cookies.

You’ll need a very large container to mix these yummy cookies. This is a cousin of the famous crispy rice squares Mother used to make. Salty pretzels give them a special tang. For easier slicing use a serrated knife such as a Ginsu or a steak knife. Get the recipe.

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


365 Days of Crock Pot Recipes
If you like cooking with a crock pot slow cooker, you’ll love this wonderful cookbook and guide. Learn how to choose a slow cooker and how to prepare great meals (lots of recipes are included). The RV Travel motorhome travels with a small crock pot, and does it ever come in handy! Plus the RV smells great all day long when dinner is cooking. Learn more or order.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Keep your fire extinguisher(s) full
Do not pull the pin and expel the contents to test your powder extinguisher. If you use a portion of the powder extinguisher, have it refilled or replaced immediately. When you have a fire extinguisher refilled, ask to shoot off the charge first (most refill stations have a special place where this can be done safely). This lets you see how far it shoots and how long a charge lasts. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

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

wal-mart-loc-748Walmart Locator: 
Find stores in the USA and Canada

This is an invaluable aid for RVers who occasionally spend a night in a Walmart parking lot. State maps identify where stores are located in the USA & Canada. Detailed information includes city or town where each is located, type of store (Walmart or Supercenter), availability of gas & diesel fuel, distance from Interstate if within 10 miles, & more. Published 2016. Learn more or order.

RV Quick Tips

Another way to ease new fittings onto sewer hose
Putting new fittings onto your sewer hose? We’ve all heard the idea of dipping the hose in hot water to make the fittings slip on easier. Here’s the polar opposite: Stick the new fittings into your freezer for a few minutes – they’ll contract and slip in the hose easier.

Installing a magnetic-mount antenna on a rubber roof
If you’ve ever tried to install a magnetic mount-style antenna on an RV’s rubber roof, you know it just won’t happen. A piece of galvanized metal — for example, an electrical junction box cover — is a great “base” for such antennas. How to attach it? We screwed ours down to the roof, using roof-compatible sealant under it. Others have used heavy-duty double-stick tape to hold the plate down.

Worried about counter drop leaf dropping?
If you’re worried your counter extension drop leaf may “drop” at the wrong time, get a short-length shower curtain rod and use it for extra support. Simply put one end of the rod on the floor under the leaf and rack out the rod until it firmly supports the leaf – coming up underneath it.

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

90-degree-hosePrevent hose crimping and strain
. . . and extend RV hose life
This 90-Degree Hose Elbow eliminates unnecessary stress and strain on all RV water intake hose fittings. The elbow, with an easy-grip connector, is made of brass and is lead-free. Learn more or order for a great price!

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

How to remove surprise blockage in RV toilet drain pipe

Dear Gary,
How do I retrieve a toilet cleaning brush, approximately 14 inches long, from the toilet-to-holding-tank sewer pipe? The brush fell down the toilet and appears to have wedged inside the pipe causing clogging which fills up the pipe. Very little waste is making it to the holding tank. The pipe length from the bottom of the toilet to the entry to the holding tank is approximately two feet and has a 45-degree angle. Help! —Robert H.

Read Gary’s response.

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

PRE-ORDER! Essential for big RVs!
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
Coming June 16 — 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.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Try this Oregon Coast nesty forest service campground

Hi Bob,
We will be traveling down the coast of Oregon this summer and though I know that lots of RVers want to have an ocean view, I thought there might be some interesting campgrounds/boondocking places along the route that don’t have an ocean view but are equally interesting. Can you recommend one?  —Kathy and Phil

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Rapid technological changes will affect your RV Lifestyle, Part 2: A cashless society.

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

“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 if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

DIY: Safe way to test the ground wire “bond” to the RV frame

Dear Mike,
You talk a lot about RV grounding and bonding, and I understand that the frame of the RV is supposed to be connected to the green ground wire. But exactly how is the ground wire connected to the RV frame, and is there a definitive test for this? —Eddie

Read Mike’s response.

rv-safety-764Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

Graphite keeps your locks working
Keep your RV’s locks (and other locks, too) working the way they should. This product from AGS will keep them lubricated and working smoothly and will guard against sticking and dirt buildup. Also reduces wear and corrosion. This should be essential equipment on all RVs. Learn more or order.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click here.

Perform your own diagnostics on your vehicles with CarMD
Using CarMD is like having a crystal ball for your car or light truck. We’ve all had that dreaded “check engine” light suddenly cast its ominous red glow from our dashboard. So what do you do? Thanks to CarMD you no longer need to worry about those red warning lights. CarMD’s Mobile handheld device and its accompanying app can instantly check your vehicle’s health wherever you are, and determine what your next actions should be – saving you both time and money. But that’s not all. …  Learn more.

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.

RV Short Stop

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fireflies of Tennessee (

Synchronous fireflies put on magical show
Did you ever watch and/or catch fireflies on warm summer evenings in your youth? Have you ever witnessed thousands of these enchanting insects flash all at the same time? These rare synchronous displays are magical. Fireflies typically start appearing after the rainy season, with the peak date occurring between the third week of May to the third week in June. As for “synchronous fireflies” sightings, there are less than a handful in the United States — the three main locations are in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Read about this amazing little creature and where you can view their rare show in this very informative article by Julianne G. Crane.

laughing-man-RVT-752Stupid Statements of Yesteryear 
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” —Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

Bet you didn’t know!
• Men think they’re better at math than they really are.
• There are more than 2,000 Americans named Santa.
• The 1950 book “How to Survive an Atomic Bomb” recommended wearing a hat to shield from the atomic flash.
From 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.

mobile-internet-750Best guide to using the Internet on the road
This comprehensive guide to mobile internet covers cellular data, public WiFi, satellite, ham, cable/DSL, enhancing signals, installation, managing bandwidth, traveling to Canada & Mexico, entertainment options, cellular phone plans and much more. If you’re on the road a lot and need the Internet, this is the best guidebook by far about how to use it & get the most from it. Learn more or order.

Free and bargain camping

Unnamed gravel parking lot
Wells, Nevada
FREE: Across from Sinclair gas station. Lot is flat but not level and is unlighted. Large enough to park away from trucks. Appears safe. Cafe and casino across the street. Located just off I-80 at exit 352, then N on US 93 to 4-way stop sign, R on 6th St, L into lot. GPS: 41.102718°, -114.953850°

Pilot Truck Stop
New Albany, Mississippi
FREE. Get permission from friendly staff. Expect truck noise. Arby’s on site. Located at 500 SR 15 S. GPS: 34.467414°, -89.005271°

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,500 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demoWatch a video about FYI — We have negotiated a deal with publisher Jim O’Briant to add an additional three months to new annual $24.95 subscriptions for readers. Click here to learn more or sign up with the extra three months included.

wheel-chalks-757Keep your RV from rolling away!
Wheel chocks are one of those “must-have” basic items for all RVers. Hey, who wants to go rolling outta their campsite at 3 a.m.? For trailer owners, the chocks are designed to keep your RV in place so that you can re-hitch with confidence. The chocks are constructed of durable hard plastic with UV inhibitors and are easy to use. Learn more or order.

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PM RV water heater difficult to light. How to fix it
Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, offers advice. Watch the short video.

An easy, cheap way to remove bug splatter from your windshield
Mike and Jennifer Wendland found a really easy way to clean off bug splatter from their RV. You’ll be surprised at what they used to do it. Watch the one minute video.


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

Random RV Thought
Some single RVing women put a big pair of men’s boots outside their front door. Maybe not a bad idea.

In 1950 only about 9 percent of American homes had a television. By 1962, 90 percent had one.

leveler-698Easy way to level your RV!
The motorhome packs along two of these and, boy, are they handy! Camco’s RV Yellow Tri-Levelers are designed to raise the RV up to 3-7/8″ on any tire for a more level position. The lightweight levelers are durable and have a resin non-slip surface with a load capacity of 3,500 pounds. Learn more or order for a great price!

Worth Pondering
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

RV Travel staff 
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Mark Polk, Roger Marble, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld and Andrew Robinson. Advertising: Eric Brotman.

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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, 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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5 years ago

Very cool polling software..

Matt Colie
5 years ago

I was in a location with limited bandwidth last weekend. I wanted to comment on your cost of a campsite survey.

To us it is not a straight dollar issue. It is a value issue. There have been places that were over charging at $15 for a flat place (not level) with no services. And another place was 22.50 for a quiet FHU site.

I collect all of them and write about the ones I can.

5 years ago

For that price you could park your rig somewhere and stay in an upscale hotel in or near Newport Beach. Probably even save some money.

James Blake
5 years ago

My wife and I spent 7 weeks on a trip to Alaska from Pensacola, FL. In this entire time we spent 5 nights at a campground in Denali as we went there twice. Throughout Canada and Alaska we would be driving and see a beautiful scene or some wildlife and we pulled over and camped. Never left anything but our tire tracks, but had the most wonderful trip in a lifetime.

5 years ago
Reply to  James Blake

Now that is living the dream!!!! More to come I hope.

Ray Zimmermann
5 years ago

Wow, $479 a night . . .I guess you can charge as much as you want as long as somebody is willing to pay it, which there apparently is. We stayed at Newport Dunes for 4 or 5 nights in 2003. Don’t remember what we paid, probably thought at the time it was outrageous, but nothing like now.

5 years ago

Sort of like staying at Fargo-La-Margo or whatever the place is in Trumpistan and then bragging to the poor-folks that you stayed there. You hear it all the time, “We stayed in bla-blah” while they are sitting outside their motor home that they can have because the Government subsidies the oil companies and builds super highways so you can even drive them and provides cheap camping on public lands and keeps ocean shores public. If you’re dumb enough to pay for it.

Dan Peelman
5 years ago

Chuck: I liked your amazement in this week’s article regarding Newport Dunes. My wife loves the ocean and Balboa, so we have used Newport Dunes a number of times over the years. But, you are right – it is extraordinary expensive and you get little for the astronomical prices! When we go there, I always feel like I have been ripped off.

J. davis
5 years ago

I like reading this news letter. So I subscribed to Overnight RV Parking . It’s a horrible site to navagate around. Then after checking so many green spots. I learned nothing new. These are places that all Rver’s know about. I really feel I wasted my 27 dollars. Oh well live and learn. Not 1 place I didn’t know about.

Jim O'Briant
5 years ago
Reply to  J. davis

Ms. J. Davis’ comments are self-contradictory. She states that the 13,000+ locations in the database are “places that all RVers know about.” Our systems logs show that she logged into our website exactly ONE time, for less than ten minutes, yet she says that we list “Not 1 place I didn’t know about.” I am inclined to wonder about her motives.

It’s also patently obvious that she could not have run the 21 searches that she ran in less than 10 minutes if our website really were “a horrible site to navigate around.”

I believe that our track record of a constantly growing database, which is constantly updated, speaks for itself, as does the annual double-digit growth in our subscriber base every year since 2012.

In addition, Ms. Davis has misrepresented the price of an annual subscription to It’s not $27/year; it’s $24.95/year. New subscribers who come to our site through the links in this newsletter now receive fifteen months for the price of 12 for their first year, so that’s a cost of just under 5 1/2 cents per day. Doesn’t seem exorbitant to me.

Jim O’Briant
CEO & Adminsitrator

5 years ago
Reply to  Jim O'Briant

I agree that her post is very odd. I plan to subscribe soon. We are not traveling yet, so I want to wait a little before joining, so I will have it longer when we are on the road. Retiring in August, then off we go.

Jim O'Briant
5 years ago
Reply to  Pat

Pat, we’ll be happy to have you as a subscriber, whenever the time is right for you.

Jim O’Briant
CEO & Administrator