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Bill Massicotte
3 years ago

Traveled Rte. 66 back in 1966 from one end of continent Binghamton, NY to Calif. and yes, did use the magic fingers. Delightful!

Will Swarts
3 years ago

Problem with driving 2 lane roads they tend to be narrow twisty and hilly. Another problem is the people who lives along these roads. They all too often pull out without looking to see if any traffic is coming. I had a very frightning close call with a 18 wheeler pulling out to make a left turn in front of me. If I had been 100 feet closer I would not have gotten stopped in time. Sure interstates are boring but they are a {bleeped} site safer. As for the $50 cost of camping for a nite, that is pure bullshit. I would rather find a walmart or rest stop and put that $50 in my gas tank.

Joe Allen
3 years ago

Traveled route 66 back in ’62 and enjoyed the small towns and interesting places to stop. When we were kids, mom and dad stopped at the Howard Johnson’s motels and of course remember the Burma Shave signs. Had seen the magic fingers, but never used them. A quarter was a lot of money back then. Thanks for the memories!

James Collins
3 years ago

Chuck I am with you I really hate the interstates, love the old highways, in fact we used Us 19 and 27 coming home from the Tallahassee area just last week in our 29 ft. Jayco motor home after a week at the Grand Canyon

Janice Kibbe
3 years ago

We would rather travel the blue roads rather than the interstates any day!

You might like this Jimmy Buffett song, “Hotel Room!” Here’s the link:

Jim in NY
3 years ago

Ah yes, I remember as a kid traveling with my folks on two lanes through Canada and New England. Then we went from upstate NY to New Jersey and traveled on this brand new super highway called the NYS Thruway, now I 87. Wow was I impressed. Also tried a magic fingers once and it just stole my quarter. Never touched one again. Also on the motels, Days Inn was originally 8 Day Inn and cost just $8 a night. Stayed in them all the way to Florida back in the early 70’s with my new bride. Course by then we traveled down on I 95 and stopped at South of the Border for souvenirs. Great memories, Thanks Chuck.

John Hiler
3 years ago

Yes, it was a motel 6 and she did have magic fingers…

Dick S
3 years ago

I still love the back roads. Been border to border and coast to coast more than once. Interstates are fine but the backroads are still the best.
Keep up the good work Chuck.

Harlan Steinle
3 years ago

Enjoyed the ‘travel before Interstate’ editorial AND the mention of magic fingers. I DID travel BEFORE interstates and enjoyed all the things you say you missed BUT I will tell you as an RV’er who is almost 70 foot long if I triple tow (still long even if only towing the Toad) I am thankful for the interstate as I feel safer traveling on an Interstate in case I have a breakdown and need those wide shoulder pull overs. Nothing worse than breaking down on a narrow 2-way highway and subjecting yourself, your family, and your rigs to damage. We use the toad, once we are safely set up in the campground to do our non-interstate exploring. Sometimes we will venture off the interstate but only after careful planning—too many low obstacles and narrow issues to travel ONLY non-interstates. We have friends who like you avoid interstates at all costs—they have had 10 times the motorhome physical damage as what we have had over the past 10 years. Magic Fingers–what fun memories. I ALWAYS used them in those old motels and I DID exceed the limits you recommended and I did get ‘motion sickness’ but it didn’t stop me. Now over 60 years later I won’t buy a new bed that doesn’t have the ‘magic finger’-now called massage–option.

3 years ago

As for Magic Fingers, my parents were very thrifty so once in a great while, we were allowed to put a quarter into the Magic Fingers machine, but then we had to unplug it and save the rest for the next day, which we did. Magic Fingers for the whole weekend on one quarter.

MaryRuth Leftwich
3 years ago

The answer to this week’s contest is the Magic Fingers machine at motels which cost one quarter per use.

MaryRuth Leftwich

David Hagen
3 years ago

Your 50 budget friendly campgrounds site you mentioned this week does not have budget friendly campgrounds, in my opinion. $45 to $55 a night is not easy on my retirement budget. And some, like Cherry Creek State Park in Colorado charges $7 daily entry fee for motorized vehicles. Add $14 a day for a motorhome and a car.,

Carl Fuller
3 years ago

Tire Story. I bought a 5’er from a dealer in Williamsburg, VA, and in hindsight, he pulled a good one on me. The camper was listed as new, used on one excursion and traded. NOT. It was new, it was damaged and not reported. I started having tire issues on every trip more than a hundred miles. Catastrophic failures. I went through thousands of dollars on tires, repairs to the sides of the camper, wiring, diagnostics, and finally, with my wife driving, the rear axle came out from under the camper partially. One side actually threw out the leaf springs.Sandra crabbed to the side of the highway and we occupied a spot in “the on ramp run out”, causing issues for anyone trying to get on at that entrance. Both sides of the highway at that point had Jersey wall barriers, no shoulders. Busy, busy traffic. No one was injured, or worse, luckily. The ordeal of getting the rig off the highway and into a shop was tense and difficult. Lucky for me, a real mechanic (Harvin Truck and Trailer Repair of Fremont, OH) responded to our call and took renarkable care of everything. He rigged up a method to escort us 35 miles to his shop, with a single axle, 25-30 mph, His findings: the axle pin on one side (left) was missing allowing the axle to float some, an alignment issue at a minimum. Hence the blowouts. Shortening the story, the brakes on only one axle were hooked up to work, This was discovered by an anual inspection requirement in Virginia. Both axles had undersized brakes for the weight of the rig. This was discovered by a “trailer” repair facility in Virginia, not a RV dealer or repair. This isn’t sounding like an accident. Do you believe a rig comes out of the manufacturer with only one axle connected and both axles having undersized brakes on it? Now, to take this further, know that I am very aware of the dangers of thinking the undercarriage on a rig is “A-OK” just because it’s new. I am also aware that not many RV repair facilities even know to check for something out of alignment on these rigs. Nor do they care, especially the RV shops. As a follow up to my personal story, on our recent annual trip to Michigan, my nephew and I were caravanning to our next stop and he had the occasion to get in front of me. Immediately I saw an indication of something being out of ‘whack’. When we stopped, I asked if he was having any problems with his rig and ‘damned’ if he wasn’t suffering blow-outs on the opposite side I was, but his problem was obvious. He’d been to the dealer a few times and was assured it was normal. BS. I was seeing the rear tire being angled inward at the top, but also appeared to be trying to “turn right.” No other tire was showing any abnormal lean or angle. Taking a temperature reading across the tread width, the inside edge was running 140 degrees, and the outside was 108. Same tire. The rest were in the 104 range. My suggestion / reccommendation for anyone suffering blow outs on RV’s or other trailers, is have a professional check alignment. And…. slow down. Our trailer tires are rated for 65 mph max. Also, if an RV’er passes you on the highway, do a quick assessment of his undercarriage. If you see something, try to get his attention somehow. Even if you just follow and flash lights. He’s not wanting to injure anyone or ruin his day because of an alignment problem. Anyone else have these issues?

Alan Edes
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Fuller

Hi Carl, I feel fortunate to have found a similar story and did not waste any time inspecting my tt for issues like you have mentioned. No axle pins missing and everything in good order. But it is terrible that there are folks out there suffering financial and possibly physical damages due to poor workmanship. For those that would like more information, try searching YouTube or Google. I got my info from “Keep your daydream” on YouTube. Don’t trust the manufacturers; read, watch videos, and learn, then prevention is possible.

Charles Maurice
3 years ago

Ah….Magic Fingers ….. the Original Quarter slot machine…..Put many coins into those gismos…..

3 years ago

Magic Fingers,
Your article mentioning Magic “Fingers and bypassing the payment brought back a memory. in about 1975 we were going across country from Washington to Maine. We stopped at a small motel in South Dakota which had the Magic Fingers. I discovered that the money box for the device could be unplugged and you were left with a short electric cord which by moving the bed you could just barely reach an outlet and plug it in. After a full day of driving it gave great satisfaction to get this “free” massage.

john & lana
3 years ago

I am 73 and never encountered the magic fingers. But I love the interstate and I love the small towns as well like Dillon, Montana, Lockhart, Texas, etc. The interstates gets me where I want to go faster and then I park my home, unhook my car and explore the little towns. Sometimes I wish we had to go thru all the small towns and other times I like to get somewhere quickly. Maybe in the years to come I will be able to slow down and spend more time enjoying the neat things in the small towns Thank you for your weekly newsletter. I enjoy it. . .

Lisa Dupree
3 years ago

Loved your story about the old two lane roads! Brought back lots of great memories.
My sister and I wanted to try the magic fingers vibrating bed. My dad gave us a quarter and said we could only use it until the quarter ran out then it was time to sleep. We put in the quarter and……nothing. So my very smart sister crawled under the bed and noticed it was unplugged. She plugged it back in. Evidently, no other motel patron had been intelligent enough to check the plug. So we vibrated happily for hours! My dad was not amused!

3 years ago

That joke of the week is the best one I’ve heard in a long, long time.

David Lee
3 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

It’s Kiss SIM ee