Saturday, December 9, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 803


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 803 • Week of July 22–28, 2017

Editor’s corner
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Gail and I have left Seattle. We were there nearly three months in an RV park north of town. It worked out fine, but we were going crazy squatting in the same place, surrounded on three sides by pavement with little space between our neighbors. Such is the state of too many RV parks these days.

The view from the front of our RV. Very nice.

We had returned to Seattle in April to shut down my office. now lives exclusively in cyberspace, except my writers and me who still inhabit the physical world. My home is gone, too, sold a year ago. My non-essential belongings are in a 10×10-foot storage locker. Everything important is in my motorhome.

We’re now heading slowly east, with a stop at the big Hershey RV Show in Pennsylvania in September.

Our RV park was fine. We had good neighbors. But we were squeezed so tight we couldn’t fully extend our awning. The young family next to us was pleasant and mostly quiet. But the kids, age two and four, played inside the fifth wheel — running, stomping from one end to the other. We could feel the vibrations — “thump, thump, thump.” It felt like they were jumping on our roof.

The view from the back of our RV. Seasonal residents. Not so pretty.

They played outside, too, screaming as kids do. A few weeks ago, the family got a gas-powered go-cart. On weekends, for maybe ten minutes a couple times a day, Mom or Dad would take a kid for a spin. It was noisy. I didn’t complain; I knew we were leaving soon, and they were nice, quiet people otherwise (except for the stomping). But, really, it’s not right to treat an RV park as a racetrack.

A small lake was only 50 feet away. It’s pretty, as you can see in the photo above. It’s stocked with Rainbow Trout, and with some bass. We watched the trout being planted. Some were 16 inches, big fellows. A man walked by one day with a stringer of trout he’d caught. They were 10-12 inches. “There are some big ones in there,” I told him. He said he throws them back. “They taste muddy,” he said. Well, the lake is a little muddy, so it made sense.

Our feathered pals. Two of the babies later vanished.

A LOT OF DUCKS hang out at the lake. Gail was Grandma to one family, a hen and her ducklings. For some reason, when Gail was close by Mama figured her babies were safe, so she’d swim off to chase off other ducks. Gail and I worried often about the little ones. Two bald eagles and a couple of hawks spent time in surrounding trees, and we think they dined on duck more than once. 

Gail and I spent one evening trying our best to keep the baby ducks out of the raptors’ sight. I wanted more than once to grab one and keep it for a pet. When I was a little kid I lived next door to a duck named Louie. I liked him. We fed him Wonder Bread, which I ate as a child, which explains why my I.Q. is not ten points higher.

A couple of days before we left town, Gail rose early for an appointment. She opened the door, and guess who greeted her? Yes, Mama and babies! “Quack, quack.” I think they were saying “Hi nice lady,” in duck-talk. Gail led them back to the lake. 

It’s good to be back on the road. I’m happy to be moving. I miss the ducks.




Reservations required
to enter a National Park?
Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AM
To handle the hordes of visitors, National Parks may begin requiring a reservation simply to enter — never mind camp there, which is often already the case. Zion National Park is the first to announce such a plan: Make a reservation or stay away! Read more in this breaking news story.

My Roadside Journal

(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• Mystery on the Colorado River

back-768• Did you miss last week’s RV Travel? Read it here.
• Directory of back issues of RV Travel.
• Did you miss the most recent Great RV Accessories Newsletter? You can read it here


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worth 10 cents to you?
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Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMManhunt underway
Authorities are asking anyone who recently camped in the Bridger-Teton National Forest (western Wyoming) near where police are searching for a triple-homicide suspect to contact the Teton County Sheriff’s Office. Individuals who stayed at the Pacific Creek Campground in the forest between June 1 and Monday, July 17, should call 307-733-2311.  There are unconfirmed reports that the suspect, Gerald Michael (Mike) Bullinger, may have been sighted in the Fall Creek area near Swan Valley in Idaho on July 20. 

The Final Solution for RV Roof Problems?
Ask any RV owner and they’ll probably tell you that their roof is what worries them the most. Mother Nature will test your RV roof. Even the smallest crack may leak, and cause thousands of dollars in water damage. Then there are interior stains, mold and mildew, and sidewall lamination decay. Want protection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the life of your RV? Here’s how to get it.  

presenting-738_edited-1Featured categories
You’ll find some good reading (and viewing) material here.
Camping on public lands.
Using your RV.
RV heating and cooling.
RV maintenance and repair videos.
Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal.

breaking-newsU.S. motorhome sales were lackluster in May, reports Statistical Surveys Inc. Overall, motorhomes barely cruised ahead of May 2016 figures by a slim 3.6 percent gain. The resistance came largely from Class A sales, which were down 3 percent, while Class C units tried to pull the weight, gaining 9 percent. 

While RV manufacturers are beating their chests in the glory of huge sales estimates, a voice inside the industry recently sent up a danger signal. Darrell Friesen, Chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, wrote to industry members via an industry publication, RV Executive Today, that two major issues face the RV industry. One, “The volume of new units entering the market is starting to exceed the inventory of campsites.” Friesen’s organization supports the idea of privatizing the management of federally owned campgrounds. The second problem? The “need to improve performance in parts and warranty support” in the RV industry. Two huge problems that RV consumers have been yelling about for years. 

Plenty of RVers fancy Montana as a great place to license their rig. Put the brakes on — it may not be so anymore. A new law coming into effect may considerably hike those “low, low, Montana registration fees” on RVs. Facing a shortfall in funds, the legislature passed a new law that tacks on an $800 registration fee for motorhomes less than 10 years old that are valued at more than $300,000. Other vehicles are hit hard, too — those worth more than $150,000 and are less than 10 years old will see a whopping $825 registration fee. All this goes into effect January 1. 

Photo: Kelton Hatch / Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game

Spring runoff from winter snow has devastated parts of Idaho’s mountain country. One example from the Sawtooth National Forest is a stretch of road northwest of Fairfield. An 8-mile section of the roadway between Baumgartner Campground and Bounds (aka Bowns) Campground is largely wiped out. Other Forest Service roads are likewise in bad condition, and officials say some of them may be out of service for years. They recommend calling ahead to verify road conditions before traveling.

A wildfire dubbed the Cold Springs Fire, just north of Reno, Nev., last weekend may have its blame laid at the feet of an RVer. The 1,500-acre fire on Highway 395 put 250 homes in danger. A Bureau of Land Management employee spotted a pickup, likely a Ford, towing a travel trailer near Exit 80 and reported it was shooting sparks. Officials are looking for the suspect rig. 

Sales of motorhomes in Canada continue on the rise. According to Statistical Surveys Inc., May registrations of new motorized rigs was up 35 percent, compared to May 2016. Class C units jumped nearly 40 percent for the period, followed by Class A rigs at close to 20 percent. 

A huge sinkhole in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., has claimed two stick-built homes — but a motorhome got away. Rescue officials helping out at the scene spotted a motorhome parked in a driveway near a home that had been damaged by the sinkhole. They ran inside the home, found the keys to the motorhome, and were able to move the coach just as the sinkhole consumed the driveway where the rig had been parked. 

Sales of new towable RVs in Canada were up in May, compared to the same month of 2016. Overall, towables sold 15 percent more, led by travel trailers up 16 percent, and fifth wheels at nearly the same gain. Pop-ups dragged, losing more than 6 percent in sales. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc

Relax and Enjoy the Outdoors this Labor Day Weekend
Time to leave work behind — take the family and relax around a campfire this Labor Day weekend! Make lasting memories at your favorite RV Resorts. Book your Holiday weekend today, sites are filling fast! Click here to reserve your stay today! 

news524(2)More News

In a conundrum worthy of one of Kwai Chang Caine’s masters in the old TV show, “Kung Fu,” how can Berkshire Hathaway “relinquish control of Forest River, while maintaining ownership of Forest River”? It’s part of the continuing Texas saga where Forest River’s parent company has been sued for violating the state law that prohibits a vehicle manufacturer from owning dealerships. Berkshire Hathaway owns car dealerships in Texas, while manufacturing RVs by Forest River — a Texas no-no. But the state’s attorney general suggests that if somehow the company doesn’t control Forest River, but still owns it, it may be able to dodge the bullet. It’s a mystery fit for a Shaolin master — or a team of high-paid attorneys.

First we reported on how Treasure Cove Casino and Hotel in Prince George, B.C., told RVers they could no longer park overnight at the casino, creating joy among local RV park owners. Then we told you that the casino pulled down the “no overnight parking” signs. Here’s the why: “‘Honestly, what happened after the article was run, we received overwhelming complaints from people all over B.C.,’ marketing manager Amanda Chandler said Monday in reference to a story the [Prince George] Citizen posted and printed in late June. ‘Some of them saying they had incorporated Treasure Cove into their vacation plans and were going to take their business elsewhere.'” It appears the power of customer opinion overrides that of the park owners. Source:

Some Spokane, Wash., RV thieves aren’t too high on the evolutionary ladder, or so it seems. First, they took an RV in broad daylight. Not just a nondescript rig. No, they took a motorhome that was painted half-purple by the imaginative family that owned it. When Larissa Wilson discovered her Class C rig missing, she posted photos of the “sore thumb” RV on social media. Three days later the rig was spotted in a nearby park. No thieves, but they left behind their fingerprints on a box of crackers — and their ID cards.

Sheldon, Nev., city aldermen have blessed an RVer’s wishes to live in his RV on his property in town. Current city ordinances rule against RV living, but when Robert Bogart brought his plans to the aldermen, including a concrete pad with a cover, they took notice. One of the aldermen described Bogart’s property as “neat,” while others noted some RVs in the town should never have been let in. The lawmakers issued a waiver to Bogart, and promised to revise city ordinances to make RV living more attractive. 

Stinky holding tank odors? Here’s the solution
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintains clean sensors, eliminates odors and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order.

RV scams on Craigslist are legion. Usually the victim gets suckered out of their money — and gets nothing. This time a Texas couple spent money on a Craigslist-ed RV and got more than they bargained for. A down-on-their-luck family bought two used RVs, looked them over — at least on the outside — and forked over $950 and had them towed to an RV park. The next morning they came to check out their new rigs, only to find one festooned with yellow hazard tape — the rig had a huge, active bee hive, and the upset insects were plaguing the neighborhood. After the bees were evicted, the family found the refrigerator and water system didn’t work, as had been promised by the seller. 

Ethan Hein on

Being a Forest Service ranger can have its rewards — and a few quirks. Cody Chamberlain serves in Utah’s Uinta National Forest. He spends plenty of time cleaning up after folks who should know better, but says a good part of his job is just educating visitors. It’s not unusual, he says, to spend ten hours just answering questions. Most are pretty straightforward, like, how to get to a nearby campground. But then there are those gems, like this one: “When do the elk turn into moose?” Source:

An RVer camping in Paeroa, New Zealand, spent three very uncomfortable days and two nights trapped in his rig. The unnamed man, who is in his 70s, was staying in an RV park when he slipped, wedging his foot under his campervan’s clutch, and his hips between the front seats. Although parked a mere 30 feet or so from other campers, nobody noticed his plight until the park manager dropped in to check on him. It took rescue personnel a bit of doing to “manhandle” him out of the trap and to a hospital where he was listed in serious condition.

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at

This week’s Reader Poll
Which cellular service do you use?
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. CLICK HERE.

Read the up-to-the minute responses from last week’s poll:
Do you wear gloves when emptying your holding tanks?
Click here for the results.

Don’t get scammed by a skimmer!
RVers, who travel extensively and rely on gas pumps and ATMs, may be more at risk than the average guy when it comes to card-skimming crooks. Card skimmers take your credit or debit card information right off the card’s magnetic strip and use it to rob your accounts — and they’re using new techniques. So what are we to do to protect ourselves – and our financial accounts? Here are some great tips.

RV Mods: Improve your fire escape-ability
Steve Barnes, a regular reader, took to heart one of our RV safety videos that stressed the importance of regularly checking your RV’s egress windows – fire escapes. Steve reports, “A year ago, when it was brand-new, it was jammed.” He got it repaired at the dealer, then tested it again a year later and it was stuck. He explains how he fixed it, and then explains how he built a way to escape out of the upper end of a fifth wheel trailer. Here’s what he did.

RV through the parks that built America
As the weather gets cooler and daytime exploring becomes possible, point your RV’s GPS towards some of America’s lesser-known national parks, the ones that tell a story of what it means to be “made in America.” There is nothing more special than America’s national parks. Each of the 417 sites administered by the National Park Service tells a story of America’s history, innovation, ingenuity, adventure, accomplishment, triumph or tragedy. Learn more.

The importance of having hardware – screws, nuts, bolts, Oh My!
There are, literally, thousands of fasteners in our RVs. Screws, nuts, bolts, washers of all types and sizes. For Rich “The Wanderman” it never fails that when he needs a specific size or type and only has one, it’s one size too big or too small. You can’t carry an entire hardware store around with you, so what’s a tinkerer to do? Rich tells you here

Full-time RVing — Be a professional “rent-a-guest”
Need a place to “settle in” for a little while but don’t have the cash to pay high rates at RV parks? Here from Russ and Tiña De Maris are some ideas for finding places to stay for free in your RV, including one enterprising RVer’s methodology for developing leads for places to stay. 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.

Phantom electrical loads can spoil your dry-camping adventure
Phantom loads are electrical connections to your batteries that continually draw power, however small. Loads that are run off the house batteries will not be a problem as they are slight and your house batteries will most likely be continuously recharged. The problem is with those phantom loads connected to your starter battery, such as the dashboard clock radio. So how to avoid a dead starter battery? Bob Difley explains here.

Los Angeles sinking in wave of derelict motorhomes
Portlanders call them Zombie RVs. The folks in LA just call them a nightmare. And city officials on the West Coast’s largest city are having serious problems figuring out how to get rid of them. They’re old RVs, parked illegally, creating an eyesore, and fraying the nerves of the locals. What can be done? Read more.

Mr. Fix-It
Some folks are handy, and some others – maybe not so much. Veteran RVer Greg Illes is the handy type. On his RV, there are so many things that need fixing, or just routine maintenance, you’d think that he’d get tired of working on it. Sometimes he needs a break, but in general, he loves working on the old (2003) beast. Do you consider yourself a handy or non-handy person? Feel free to comment under his article.

Tips for traveling with people with dementia
Traveling is a way to relax and recharge, especially with an RV, but it can be stressful when things don’t go as planned. That’s especially true for families who are traveling with a loved one living with dementia. With the summer travel season in full swing, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) offers these tips to help make such a trip as smooth as possible. Learn more.

RV essential tools: Electrical multimeters
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, wrote this article about electrical multimeters while he was serving as’s technical editor. He explains different types and makes a few recommendations for features. Learn more.

parvshowimagelogoAmerica’s Largest RV Show coming September 13–17, 2017
See, compare and shop over 1300 new RVs from virtually every major manufacturer! Visit hundreds of vendors including campgrounds, accessories and services. Attend seminars covering subjects for the beginner to the seasoned RV enthusiast. Location is Hershey, PA. For more information, click here.

From Mike Miller. (“Wheel estate”) Email photos of personalized license plates you spot to Diane (at)

Readers’ comments on recent articles
Learn more about recent popular articles through what readers added with their comments

Be prepared for RV breakdowns — physically and mentally.
How to deal with noisy neighbors during campground quiet time.
Pros and cons of RVing with mother-in-law.
Turbo diesel engine overheats. RVer wonders why.

Websites of the Week
Here are some we like:

Put out your campfires — all the way out — folks. If not, they can come back to life, and that can cause forest fires!

Top-rated attraction in each state
Yep, just what it says. These are top-rated by TripAdvisor, and we’re sure you’ll agree with at least some of their choices. Plus, you’ll probably get some new ideas for travel destinations. From USA Today and

2017’s best and worst states for summer road trips
“With road warriors in mind, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states based on 22 key metrics to find the most fun, scenic and wallet-friendly road-trip destinations — plus those that’ll have travelers pulling a quick U-turn. Our data set ranges from the number of attractions to road conditions to costs. Read on for the full ranking, our methodology and expert road-trip advice.”  From’s 50 most-saved recipes
You know these have to be delicious. From main dishes, to side dishes, to desserts — we bet you’ll find several recipes you’ll want to try from these favorites. The hard part will be choosing which to make! From

Current wildfire information 
Complete, up-to-the-minute wildfire information around the U.S., from Incident Information System (InciWeb), a U.S. government interagency. (There are 120 wildfires [“incidents”] in the U.S. as of Friday, July 21 — 28 more than last Friday.) 

Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like.

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.

Refreshing Alternative For Overnight RV Parking
For a low annual membership fee, join RV Golf Club today and park FREE every night of the year at 430+ 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. Read our unsolicited testimonials.

Ask the RV Shrink

Peace, love and RV tranquility

Dear RV Shrink:
I’m in my late 50s and met a wonderful old hippie who has great social security. We have so much in common and have decided we’d like to be traveling companions. The problem is she is a vegetarian minimalist and I am a meat-and-potatoes abstract. She wants to buy a small trailer that looks like a fiberglass egg. I want an old 35-foot school bus. Can you explain to her that people do not live full-time in such a small space. I have tried to explain to her that we need the kind of room that a big bus offers. She insists that it is doable and I cannot reason with her. Please send help. —About to be Crammed in Camden

Read the RV Shrink’s advice.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books

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.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.28 (on July 17). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 5 cents.
Diesel: $2.49 (on July 17). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 9 cents.

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™.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 1 of 13
Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation

Most people killed by fires are actually overcome in their sleep from gas, lack of oxygen, hot air and smoke, or wake up too late or confused to escape. Flames are last on the list of killers. That’s why your best defense from a fire is properly installed and maintained smoke, LPG, and carbon monoxide detectors. Test your detectors weekly to be sure the batteries have enough power and the detectors are in working condition.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

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 more than 570 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.

RV Quick Tips

If eels could read, they’d read

Hook up an extra hose for convenience and safety
Reader Jim Schrankel offers this suggestion when making camp. “I put a splitter on the hose bib and add a 50-foot hose and sprayer. This is not only handy for hosing down the dirt, etc. — it’s also my insurance against a fire, not only for my rig, but the ones adjacent to me. I leave it turned on to ensure it’s ready at a second’s notice.” Thanks, Jim.

Check between your duallies

Take an occasional peek between your dual tires to make sure nothing has wedged in there. If it seems like something has been there a while, it might be best to have a tire shop inspect for damage.

Remove pesky flies with Windex
To get rid of flies, instead of swatting them and getting guts everywhere, just spray them lightly with Windex. They will fall to the ground temporarily incapacitated and you can then remove them with Kleenex. When you wipe up the Windex (if the fly was on the window), you’re also cleaning at the same time! Thanks to Ray Burr at RV Happy Hour.

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

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.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Dutch company Epsilon solves RV battery limitations
A new lithium battery developed by Dutch battery expert Super B offers campers and boaters huge power and energy reserves, so people no longer have to worry about energy provision, charging points or limited power. The Epsilon weighs substantially less and will last five times longer than conventional batteries, is fully charged within one hour and has more energy than ever before. Learn more.

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

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.

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.

Portable gas grill: great for camping
The portable grill goes where you do – simple & lightweight at only 10 lbs, with folding legs & a latching lid. Its 188 square inches of primary cooking surface on porcelain-coated wire grates means you’ve got space to grill burgers or hotdogs for an RV-load of friends! Watch the video or learn more or order.

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

Older RV oven acting up

Dear Gary:
The Suburban oven in our older RV is acting up. The pilot lights normally and when turning the control to a cooking temperature the flame goes large and the signal to light the burner seems to be received and the main burner comes on. So far so good — it appears to be working. The problem is the oven only heats to a certain point (not even 300 degrees, according to a thermometer) and the main burner goes out, acting as if it reached the temperature the control was set at. … —Gord S.

Read the rest of the question and Gary’s response.

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

Personal fan keeps you cool
The Flippi V6 is an innovative personal air circulator with chic style. When not in use, it can fold down to conceal the grill. The high-gloss sleek finish and modern design make it the personal circulator with personality. And with its 2 speed settings, the Flippi V6 provides the perfect breeze. Learn more or order for about $20

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Can gray water be dumped into a pit toilet?

Hi Bob,
Is dumping sewage and gray water into pit toilets permissible? Thanks. —Jim E.

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob’s Blog post: What is the true value of wildlife and their habitats?

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

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.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Electrical safety near water inside home or RV — Important!

 The recent news story about the teenager who was tragically electrocuted while bathing prompted Mike to write this article about what probably occurred, technically, what to watch out for in your home or RV, and how to prevent these terrible accidents. Read this important information.

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.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

When should you replace your tires?
Roger saw the following question on an RV forum from a motorhome owner: “Does anyone ever just replace their front tires after 7 years? It seems that a tire failure on the front is much worse than the back. If the tires have a lot of tread and no sign of cracking, why replace the back ones?” Read Roger’s response.

Links to updated load inflation tables
Roger has updated his comprehensive list with links to load inflation tables for almost every brand of tire available, including adding some LT sizes from Hercules in Load Range F & G, which some folks with large Class C or maybe even heavy trailers might be interested in. Plus there are a dozen links to very helpful general information about reading load inflation tables, where to find truck scales, and lots more. Learn more.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. Used by the RV Travel staffLearn more or order.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Valve extenders
If you have dual wheels you will want to add extension hoses to the valve stems to make the job of checking tire pressure easier. A word of caution: If you add extension hoses you will want to replace the rubber valve stems with all-steel valve stems. The added weight of the extension hoses can cause rubber stems to leak air resulting in under-inflation.

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

Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Smoothie Pie
This pie is as easy as pie!

This is the simplest pie you’ve ever made. It all whirls together in a blender. While it bakes it separates into crust and filling. Serve the pie as is or top it with a wow factor such as ice cream, crushed strawberries, whipped cream, warm vanilla sauce or maple syrup. The sky’s the limit! Get the recipe.

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


foil-757Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.

RV Short Stop

Camp 18 has ample RV parking. Photo: Julianne G. Crane

Camp 18 in northern Oregon includes a logging museum, good eats
Traveling along Oregon Highway 26, west of Portland, you’ll spot a huge rustic log-cabin restaurant and loggers’ memorial at milepost 18, at Elsie. If you are visiting local communities like Seaside, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Nehalem, Wheeler or Portland, it’s a short and beautiful drive to Elsie! At Camp 18 there are hundreds of logging-related historic artifacts, tons of antique logging equipment, a logging museum, and generous servings of pretty darn good food. It’s billed as “A ‘dining and logging experience’ you do not want to miss!” There is plenty of large RV-size parking in the lot. Read Julianne G. Crane’s article.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Bass Lake Recreation Area is located in Area A on the north side of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, OH.
• When you’re roughing it in the great outdoors, a hearty breakfast is in order.
• PackPoint is a packing helper app that creates checklists to help you prepare for any kind of trip you may be taking.

motor-carrier-2017-752Essential for big RVs!
2017 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.

Free and bargain camping

Soledad, California
FREE: Get permission of manager on duty. But be sure to be gone by 11 a.m. the next morning. Light to moderate traffic noise. Located off U.S. 101 at Exit 302, then right to 1215 S Front St. GPS: 36.417660, -121.321200

Miller’s Chevron
Fillmore, Utah
FREE. Get permission from station attendant. Park in paved lot just NW of station. Lot is level, well lit, quiet and appears safe. KFC across the street. Located off I-14 at exit 167, then NW to 1155 Cedar Mountain Road. GPS: 38.995172, -112.324400

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,480 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information,  click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demoWatch a video about

Earn money on the road
Bill Myers has written a helpful guide for RVers who want (or need) to earn money as they travel. You’ll discover many different ways to generate decent income. You’ll learn how to camp for free, how to build a steady income, how to make quick cash when you need it, and how to enjoy your life while paying your way. Learn more or order.

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PM Which overhead LED lights are best for you
Rob Lowe of RVpartsPlus explains that it’s not always the brightest bulb that’s the best. Watch the video.

How to hand crank an RV slide out
Stew Oleson shows you how. Watch the video.


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

Upcoming RV Shows
• Green Country RV Show, July 21-23, Tulsa, OK
• Midwest RV Super Show, August 10-13, Elkhart, IN
America’s Largest RV Show, Sept. 13-17, Hershey, PA

See the list of all upcoming RV shows.

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

del-545This week in history
Week of July 22–28
Compiled by Dell Bert

1847 — Mormons settle Salt Lake Valley.
1908 — FBI is founded.
1931 — Swarm of grasshoppers ruins millions of acres of crops in the Midwest.
1933 — Wiley Post flies solo around the world.
1976 — Worst modern earthquake (7.8 – 8.2 magnitude) kills 242,000 people in China.
1978 — World’s first test tube baby is born.
1998 — “Saving Private Ryan” opens in theaters.
2003 — Bob Hope dies at 100.

Red hair is the least common hair color in the world, as the recessive gene is rare. It is prominently found in the UK and Scotland, where about 6 percent carry the gene.

Bumper sticker of the week
The past, present and future walk into a bar — it was tense.

Blue Laws 
In Salt Lake County, Utah, no one may walk on the street carrying a paper bag containing a violin.

Funny/clever business slogan
“” sign seen on building in Sparta, Tenn. (It’s a company which sells surplus and display models of plumbing products.) —Thanks to Ron C.

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

Joke of the Week
With hindsight, I wouldn’t have sat on that cactus.

Random RV Thought
This is a bad situation: You pull into a campground beneath a beautiful pine tree. You dine, enjoy a campfire, then go to sleep. At dawn, a loud “boom” explodes on your rooftop waking you from your peaceful slumber. Then there’s a second, and a third! Don’t worry — it’s just a squirrel dining above on pine cones, dropping them when done. You step outside and see him 50 feet above you. You say, “Shoo, squirrel,” and he looks at you with authority and says, “No, the food is good and you can’t do anything about it.” And you realize that we humans do not always have the upper hand with nature, even small rodents.

Worth Pondering
“The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.” —Charles Kuralt

“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

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articles we posted that day! 
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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. Administrative assistant: Emily Woodbury. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(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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Hugh (@guest_10525)
6 years ago

My wife & I have camped over two months in six states so far this year & have never had a problem finding a camp site. The average coat has been less than $10/day. We stay in state & federal camp grounds & have the golden age pass so that helps.

Wendell Howell "Jim" (@guest_10211)
6 years ago

I want to thank and Steve Barnes for the fire escape idea in the July 21st newsletter. We also have a 5th wheel. This is such a great idea and so easy to put in place! We have completed installing this in our 2008 New Horizon. is such a great source of continuing great information. I recommend it to fellow travelers often. Thanks again

Cheryl Sheldon (@guest_10166)
6 years ago

As you wander east you should consider stopping at Alliance, NE on August 21 for the solar eclipse. There are special events planned, some at Carhenge.

Contact me if you need someplace to park the RV.

KEN KRONOWITZ (@guest_10138)
6 years ago

How do I change my email address from AOLCOM TO KKRONOWITZ@GMAIL.COM


Dave Piposzar (@guest_10129)
6 years ago

Chuck, I think the shortage of campground spaces might be partially addressed by charging by the foot! Just like dock space. The behemoths over 30 feet with toad take up so much space, us little campers could fit four into the same area. Might get the RV consumer more conscience of their conspicuous consumption and pay for it. Havent had a problem yet getting a tent site for my 15 foot vintage camper.

Bob Godfrey (@guest_10150)
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave Piposzar

So, you’re advocating putting 3 campers in the space were a 40′ RV would go? How would that solve crowding?
Do you live full-time in your 15′ “vintage” camper?
You sure sound like a jealous person to me if you think that large RVs and their owners are “conspicuous consumers”. What makes you think they consumer any more than you do per day?
America is allegedly the home of the free and that gives you the right to drive and live in anything you like don’t you think? It’s about freedom is it not?

Patrick J Granahan (@guest_10115)
6 years ago

The problem we all face is…Too many RVs and not enough camping sites.
Last week I did much research both on the net and in RV camping catalogs looking for possible long term sites in both North and South Carolina.
What I discovered was a general lack of availability of monthly and weekly sites. Most campgrounds were booked solid for months…no sites available.
Some of these RV Resorts had hundreds of sites but none available!!!
I am in the final stages of selling my home in the Adirondacks of upstate New York and plan to live full time in our RV in the Carolinas until we find a perfect spot for our retirement…for us it must be a home with acreage and privacy with mountain views. That might take several months.

The RV industry will find itself in dire straits if does not adress this problem of too many campers/RVs and too little space to park them…it short we need more campgrounds and fast!!!

Mick Wood (@guest_10074)
6 years ago

What is it with the full timers at an RV park?
We all pay the same to rent a space for a night, a week or several months. Stop putting signs on the lawns by your RV that tell me to stay off the lawn, not to walk my dog near your space or do not walk here. You don’t own the space, you rent it as I do.

Darrel (@guest_10392)
6 years ago
Reply to  Mick Wood

Actually once ANYONE rents a RV space, that space is thiers.

Stay off their lot unless invited in!

john & lana Stahl (@guest_10030)
6 years ago

Went to 6 National Parks this summer. All were well run. They were all different and all beautiful. But they were crowded. Yellowstone was the worst coming in from West Yellowstone it took hours to get in. We entered early from the south so did not have that horrible long, long waiting experience.

Terri Foxx-Wishert (@guest_10011)
6 years ago

The advertisement about the disposable latex gloves for doing tank emptying duties are not latex, the pictured gloves are vinyl. The problem with vinyl is that as soon as they are wet, they are permeable. Permeable means that small particles, such as viruses, are now able to go thru the gloves onto your hands.
Even sweat can make them wet, and one can’t wear vinyl gloves without sweating. They may be OK for handling food, but not waste. Be safe. If you use thick rubber gloves, after use, dip them into a dilute bleach solution (3 drops of bleach/gallon of water), an d then let them dry.

TEG (@guest_10386)
6 years ago

What baloney! Vinyl is the common name for PVC. Do you think PVC pipes get porous when wet?

rich Thibodeau (@guest_10000)
6 years ago

The website seems to have undergone a little upgrade lately – which is both good and bad. Some full-timers are loading it over connections that aren’t the equivalent of a sticks ‘n bricks cable internet throughput, and as a result visual features like the crawler at the top place an unnecessary burden on the precious data and throughput we depend on. Is there any way to either offer an alternate “quieter” page?

Tom Rastall (@guest_9985)
6 years ago

Reference the article Scammed by a skimmer, I was told by American Express Security that the new chip cards have reduced this practice a 100 fold. The new chip cards scramble the card number making it almost impossible to skim your card. Skimmers can no longer copy your number with a portable scanner. Hope this is true.

Russ and Tiña De Maris
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Rastall

Tom: Sad to say, but the bad guys have figured out a new one for this too. They’re called “shimmers” and they put these critters into the card slots, positioned so that the device sits right over the top of the chip to read its data. I’ll be doing a story on this as a follow-up, thanks to your question.

Tom Rastall (@guest_9974)
6 years ago

Chuck, I think we should all stay home so you can have the RV campgrounds to yourself. Recommend you sell your RV and go back to a house or condo.

chris p hemstead (@guest_9983)
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Rastall

Recommend you stop making comments.

TexasBob (@guest_10066)
6 years ago

I second that , What a jerk !

Rich Thibodeau (@guest_10101)
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Rastall

Third. The trend is clear. Crowding is definitely getting worse. Even an industry publication has published an insider’s voicing of the same concern Your snark flies in the face of facts. Some opinions are based in fact – some are not. I would place yours in the latter category.

richard doscher (@guest_9972)
6 years ago

We lost a piece of the molding that goes around our wheel well. Is there a source of used RV parts where we could try to get a replacement. We drive a 2004 four winds 5000. Thanks, rich

Russ and Tiña De Maris
6 years ago

Richard: Check out It’s a company that supplies replacement wheel well moldings for a wide range of RVs. Might be able to help you with your needs.

Barbara O'Brien (@guest_9955)
6 years ago

Chuck-We have stayed at the same campground north of Seattle as our daughter lives in Redmond. In fact, we were just there for a month this spring. We agree the sites are very tight but did you have to do the park shuffle as we did in order to stay that long? Just curious..

Tom Compton (@guest_9945)
6 years ago

Hi Chuck,

I’m experiencing trouble responding to this week’s (Newsletter 803) contest at When I type in the email address it takes me to a page which does not allow me to respond to the contest.

Bob (@guest_9947)
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Compton

I am having the same problem

John Hiler (@guest_9941)
6 years ago

Just think how much better it’s going to be when all the National Parks and Monuments are made private and the only motivation will be to increase revenue. The madness of less public space as we have more public just boggles the sane mind. Write about that as you travel between public facilities. What happens when it’s all behind locked gates…

Onwego (@guest_10311)
6 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler

Life offers enough real things to worry about. I’ll work on those, thanks.

Ken (@guest_9937)
6 years ago

I’m against privatization of federal campgrounds. The cost of camping in theses parks will go up. They’ll start packing more sites into an area and the next thing you know the camping areas will be turned into the crowded RV parks we despise. Federal parks are not retirement communities, they are recreation areas.
Part of the campsite inventory problem is people abuse the system. I’ve talked to Canadians who stay at our local State park all summer by opening different reservation accounts one for the husband and one for the wife. They reserve the site for two weeks max in each name so they don’t have to leave the park for 24 hours before returning. They just register under the other account. Sometimes they have to move to a different site but they’re using the park as an retirement RV Park.

John (@guest_10001)
6 years ago
Reply to  Ken

Maybe go by the vehicle license plate as well to prevent “permanent” alternating spouses?

Seann (@guest_9931)
6 years ago

Why didn’t I get my copy of RV travel emailed to me today? I had to link to it off of Facebook

TP (@guest_10054)
6 years ago
Reply to  Seann

I got mine. It was “late” arriving though.

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