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Issue 813 • Week of September 30 – October 6, 2017
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
Gail and I walk through campgrounds and RV parks almost every day. We meet people. Almost without exception we like them. Some are out for a stroll. Others sit in their lawn chairs and wave. Sometimes we pause to talk. Sometimes it’s Gail and me sitting in our lawn chairs doing the waving. Sometimes we invite passersby to stop.
I never ask these people their political views. They never ask mine. To me, they’re just nice people. We talk about our coaches, where we’ve been, where we’re going. We talk about kids and grandkids. We talk about dogs. We talk about the weather. We laugh.
We don’t talk about the President or Congress. I don’t care who or what they believe. They don’t seem to care what I believe. We’re just people with RVing in common.
ONLINE, WE ARE NOT SO KIND. I was reminded that last week in the comments section of this website. As it usually does, it began when someone voiced an opinion that a few others didn’t share. If it can be construed as political, watch out! The know-it-alls in the crowd will pounce, often labeling the person an idiot or worse. And then all the other know-it-alls will chime in and it’s a freewheeling display of idiots with keyboards gone crazy, slinging verbal poo left, right and every which way, all so they can be “right” and prove those who disagree “wrong.”
STOP! STOP! STOP!
Does it ever occur to these cyber bullies that the people they’re trying to belittle may be wonderful human beings they would probably like if they met in the real word, say in a campground? So what if their politics are different?
To me, those who ridicule others online are cowards, safely hidden away with a keyboard as their weapon of destruction. Remember the great and powerful Oz, who gets unmasked behind his curtain? That’s them.
If I were to ask the people I meet in campgrounds who they voted for, and it was not “my candidate,” would I scream and call them names because I’m right and they’re wrong? Would you? Of course not! But too many people do that while hidden safely away at home, where those they condemn are merely names without faces.
That sort of behavior will not be tolerated on this website. Those who mock or belittle others will be banished from commenting. Discussing politics is okay if it relates to RVing and is civilized and constructive. But name-calling is not.
Be tolerant. Be kind.
OBSERVING THE HEAVENS
I hope you enjoy our new column about astronomy by Chris Fellows. We RVers are often fortunate to stay in remote areas where the night skies are perfect for stargazing. In his first column, Chris explains how to get started viewing the heavens beyond simply looking with the naked eye, and for less than $200!
Letters to the editor (your comments are welcome)
• Reader lists problems with his new 5th wheel.
• Want to camp with alligators and an army of ants?
• Reader frustrated by crowded campgrounds, inexperienced RVers.
* * *
•Did you miss last week’s RV Travel? Read it here.
•Directory of back issues.
Support Honest Journalism
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Comprehensive list of
RV-related recalls for September
The list of latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles and/or products of interest to RVers has been released by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from Forest River, Keystone, REV, Thor, and others — plus other vehicles commonly used by RVers. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Find out here.
• Forest River recalls some Prime Time fifth wheels.
• KZRV recalls 2,382 model year 2017-2018 trailers.
• Forest River recalls some 5th wheels for improper install.
• Thor recalls some popular 2014-2016 motorhomes.
• Forest River recalls some trailers for wrong tire info.
• Big recall on Dodge pickup trucks.
We have a winner! No more entries for this contest, please. The answer: A mile is longer than a kilometer. Win this 2018 National Park Foundation Wall Calendar. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Monday. The question: Which is the longer distance, a kilometer or a mile? Email your answer to RVcontests (at) gmail.com. 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 Monday at noon (Pacific), at which time a winner will be selected by Random.org. We’ll let you know if you win.
Wholesale movement of RVs continues to rush forward, according to Recreation Vehicle Industry Association figures. August saw a 25 percent increase in total RV wholesale shipments, compared to August 2016 – the best August ever. Towables took the limelight, with travel trailers surging ahead nearly 27 percent. Motorhomes didn’t suffer, showing a near 16 percent lead for the same time period.
Today, September 30, is National Public Lands Day. All national parks will waive entrance fees and many will sponsor volunteer work events. Learn more.
August was a record month for sales of used RVs at auction. According to market watcher Black Book, used towable values reached an all-time peak of $14,052, up a whopping 12 percent from July prices. Motorhomes didn’t blush, reporting the highest selling prices since 2010 with an average price of $48,072.
Yosemite National Park officials report one person was injured in a rockfall at the El Capitan monolith on Thursday, a day after a similar rockfall from the cliff face killed one person and injured another. The British climber who was killed was celebrating his first wedding anniversary with his wife, who was injured. Thursday’s rockfall was several times larger than Wednesday’s, but the only apparent injury on Thursday was from a rock crashing through the sunroof of a vehicle leaving the area and striking the driver in the head. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
Hurricane Irma raised Cain with the Florida State Parks system. At one point, 153 of the state’s parks were completely closed. On September 21 the count was at 53 still closed. Yet, as of Monday, only 19 of the parks were still completely shuttered as workers made headway with getting the gates open again. Here’s a website where you can check on the status of any of the state’s parks.
Arizona RV park owners are getting ready for a bigger rush of snowbirds than they’re accustomed to – and they can thank Harvey and Irma for the business. Many RV parks report that calls are coming in from folks who say they normally winter in Texas or Florida, but figure they’ll make the Grand Canyon State their winter retreat this season. An improved standing of the Canadian dollar may also bring a larger migration of Canadian visitors as well. Apache Junction officials aren’t sure what to make of it – they say the parks in their town were full-up last year.
Mammoth Cave National Park (Ky.) officials are looking to increase fees at the park – but don’t worry, it doesn’t appear the hikes will be mammoth. Cave tours would climb from the present $1 to $3; specialty tours hopping up from $3 to $6. You can comment here through October 13.
Looking for a place to camp near Fresno, Calif.? County-owned Lost Lake Campground is back in business after a million-dollar makeover. The spruce-up included a new bathroom, shade structures, fire pits, tables and two ADA-accessible campsites. Overnight rates start at $25, and only $9 for seniors over 62 – plus a $5 entrance fee for all, including campers. Click for more info.
A privately owned RV park at Winchester Bay, Ore., could move into public ownership. Douglas County’s commissioners voted to accept a $650,000 grant from the state that would cover about a third of the cost of purchasing Discovery Point RV Park, a 70-hookup campground. While officials haven’t determined that they will, indeed, buy the park, accepting the grant allows them to keep their options open.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Beaumont, Texas, city officials have decided to allow people to live in RVs on residential property for up to a year. An extension may be asked for at the end of the year, if needed.
Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Just 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.
Forest River, Inc. is in line to pony up $18,000 in fines for violating Indiana Department of Labor safety codes. This is the second time this year the big RV builder has been fined for violations that endanger workers. This time an inspection at its Goshen plant revealed a variety of hazards including possible falls from unguarded scaffolding, emergency exit routes that were blocked, saws with broken guards, and hazards from fire and electrical shock.
As of press time, the eastbound lanes of Oregon’s Interstate 84 through the Columbia River Gorge had reopened. However, the westbound lanes are still closed, and at least one section of the westbound lanes are being used for eastbound traffic. The interstate has been closed for several weeks due to a huge human-caused wildfire through the area. Officials note that the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge was saved from the fire. As of Monday, four state parks in the area had reopened. They are: Dabney State Recreation Area, Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, Rooster Rock State Park and Starvation Creek State Park.
Plans for a new RV park in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Parish were scuttled last week when officials gave it a thumbs-down. Locals testified against the planned park near Sulphur, complaining about safety and drainage issues. “Another day another time, heck it might have been a good idea, but you know not now, not after what we’ve seen,” said Juror Judd Bares, quoted by media outlet KPLC.
When RVers parked their Class A motorhome at a sporting goods store in Federal Way, Wash., they fully expected to return to it – and their 10 show dogs inside. Instead, the rig and the canines were gone. Security cam video from the store showed a young man with a backpack purloin the pooch-mobile. Police in Lacey, Wash., about 35 miles away, caught up with the rig, booking the driver and returning the bow-wows to their rightful owners.
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 days 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.
THL, the parent company of El Monte RV, a U.S. RV rental agency, says it plans to put automated warning systems in all of its rental RVs around the world by 2020. The electronic-based system warns drivers if they’re speeding, coming up on a low clearance, even hitting the brakes too hard. The company points to 25 percent reduction in repair and maintenance costs in units equipped with the system. Americans might not appreciate one other feature: When an RV is equipped with the system, the company can tell exactly where the rig is, at any time.
The city of Sandwich (Ill.) apparently doesn’t know which side its bread is buttered on. City councilors have unanimously ordered that RVs may only be parked on city streets for no more than 12 hours.
A Hastings, Minn., man has been arrested after police allege he made phony money in a stolen motorhome. Police say Steven K. Khuns (49), had been traveling about the area for a year, passing phony bills, and they finally caught on when someone driving a car Khuns also used tried to pass a “hinky Hamilton” and got caught. That person told officers he’d gotten the bogus bill from Khuns.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
This week’s Reader Poll
Is your tow vehicle or motorized RV powered by a gas or diesel engine?
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:
How long is your RV? Click here for the results.
Unique 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 RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.
More about paid content, the real “fake news”
Editor Chuck Woodbury recently wrote about how RVtravel.com does not accept paid content, even though it receives, almost daily, requests from advertising and PR agencies to “plant” their stories on the website and pass them off as normal editorial. Woodbury feels this is dishonest and won’t play the game. Check out some examples.
Custom install now available on automated RV dumping system
Drain Master is now offering custom installations of its state-of-the-art RV waste products – valves, hoses and storage. The new Drain Master Pro-Series waste valves are operated by a control module, either inside the RV or out (or from both locations), vastly improving reliability and performance. With two simple open/close switches (gray and black), dumping RV tanks is easy. Read more and watch the video.
How are RV parks, campgrounds faring since the hurricanes?
The toll from recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas has been well documented in mainstream press. For the RV and camping industry the devastation has been widespread. The impact could affect RV travelers during the coming “snowbird season.” To learn more, the team at CampgroundViews.com reached out to its contacts to gauge the overall damage, status of repairs and impact on RVers. Read the article.
Explaining converters, inverters and generators – Part 1
There is a lot of confusion for new RVers as to whether they need a converter, inverter or generator. What’s the purpose of each, and if one is needed, what type or size? How do inverters vary from the converters built into RVs, or are they the same thing? Learn more.
Even the simple things – small LED aimable clip-on light
As mentioned several times previously, Rich “The Wanderman” has an addiction to flashlights. He can’t resist buying one when he sees something new. This time he found something very simple that fits in the “Why didn’t I ever see that before?” category, but he’s very happy that he finally found it. Read more.
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.
Don’t be a carbon monoxide victim
Here is important information about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to protect yourself and others from becoming sick, or worse, from CO poisoning in your RV. Learn more.
Full-time RVing – Storing off-season clothing
For those moving over into the full-time RV lane, some are still looking in the rearview mirror. Here’s a question: If you have too many clothes to carry with you, how can you safely store the stuff you won’t be using this season? Get some tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Save a damaging rear-end collision with Superbumper
RVtravel.com contributor Gyro Gearloose (aka Wolfe Rose) reviews the Superbumper, and shows how his truck survived a rear-end collision with virtually no damage while the vehicle that hit him was totaled. Watch the short video.
Keep those prescription costs down
Spend any amount of time on the road with your RV and you quickly learn the ropes of how to keep up with the mundane: Getting your mail when away from “home” and paying the bills. But what about getting your prescription drugs? Here are several great tips to keep prescription costs down while on the road.
Plan your next fall getaway. Enjoy colorful camping with fall leaves and autumn breeze. Click here to book your RV site or cabin today and get 10% off your stay.
How to fix a sticky black tank valve
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received the following question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor: “Pulling the black water handle on my 2012 Entegra is getting more difficult compared to the gray water side. Is there any way to ease this or prevent it from getting even more difficult?” Read Chris’ response.
The new RV thing: Murphy beds
Murphy beds, those that store out of the way against a wall, are gaining popularity in RVs, as evidenced at the recent Hershey RV Show in September 2017. In this short video of a walk-through of a Forest River-Salem Cruise Lite West travel trailer, see how at least one version of a Murphy bed works. Watch the video.
RV Mods: Recycling with a receiver hitch
Jim Twamley ran across a guy using a can crusher in his receiver hitch. As a money-making hobby he takes a walk, collects cans, crushes them, and tosses them in a bag hanging on the ladder of his RV. The nickels and dimes add up. Nifty! Read more.
Leaf peeping – and camping – in Connecticut
The New England states are famous for their spectacular fall colors, and Connecticut is not lacking when it comes to vibrant autumn foliage. Where to park the RV to enjoy all this beauty? Find out here.
The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 40+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order.
Readers’ comments on recent articles
Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
• RV makers’ one-upmanship getting out of control.
• FMCA’s future unclear. Your thoughts, please?
• Nice neighbors but noisy generator – What to do?
• Thumbs down: Frustrated by roadside plan cancellation.
• Website ranks Camping World second worst in customer complaints.
• How easy it could be to deceive you for quick profits.
• Thumbs down: Loose bolts under the slideout.
More popular articles from last week’s issue
• RV “chain” as strong as the weakest …
• How to defeat RV burglars.
• RV mods: Give your galley a stainless-steel makeover.
• Beware your RV slideout. (video)
• New SmartPlug Cord Set more flexible and easily coiled.
• Need hospital care? Your RV may be welcome.
• What power extension cord for RV parked 90 feet from outlet?
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.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Click here to see many submissions from our readers about their RVs.
Current wildfire information in the U.S.
Complete, up-to-the-minute wildfire information around the U.S., from Incident Information System (InciWeb), a U.S. government interagency. (There are 187 wildfires [“incidents”] in the U.S. as of Friday, Sept. 29.)
Clear Gorilla Tape to the rescue
This works, and it’s half the price of most other awning repair tapes. It’s not just great for awnings, but tons of other surfaces. Watch the video or click here to learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Car alarms – sometimes unnecessary noise pollution
Dear RV Shrink:
As many campers have expressed recently, we, too, find generators annoying and always opt for generator-free campground loops when available. … My concern is yet another sound annoyance we have noticed – car alarms. Many cars now come standard with car alarms. Campers with unfamiliar rentals or new vehicles get into them at all hours of the night and you hear loud honking until they finally figure out what button to push. By that time they have already pushed all my husband’s buttons. …
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.
Soap and water won’t work!
Easily remove bugs, tar, sap & grease
Tarminator Tar & Sap Remover breaks down the complex molecules found in tar and other sticky materials. The unique MicroActive cleaning technology gives Tarminator unequaled ability to remove even baked-on tar, grease, sap, and asphalt. Soap and water just won’t do it! Free shipping with Prime! 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: $2.58 (on Sept. 25). Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 36 cents.
Diesel: $2.79 (on Sept. 25). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 41 cents.
Sign up for RVtravel.com’s
new monthly newsletter about RV electricity.
COMING THIS FALL TO YOUR EMAIL INBOX
RV Fire Safety Tip
An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 11 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.
It’s a good idea to make sure visitors can open the front door. Not all manufacturers use the same lock and latch assembly. You’ll also want to make sure your travel companions know how to unhook electricity (screw-on cords can be tricky) and how to close propane valves, in case either of these measures is called for.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon. Here are links from Amazon.com for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, LP gas detectors, and combination smoke and CO detectors.
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 Quick Tips
Avoid tire blowouts with proper inflation
An RV tire can lose up to half its inflation and still not appear flat. Tire blowouts are one of the most common insurance claims as they can cause damage not only to the tire but to the undercarriage of the RV as well. Watch this video to see an example. Tire blowouts are often caused by under- or over-inflated tires.
Cross speed bumps straight on (both wheels over at the same time) and very slowly. If you drive over them at an angle (one wheel over slightly ahead of the other), your coach will rock back and forth, from side to side, especially in the back. Even creeping over speed bumps at an angle may cause the coach to rock enough to actually cause things to fly out of the upper cabinets! This is true with the small speed bumps, too. Thanks to Ron Jones, AboutRVing.com.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
*License plate explanation from John Goodell: “We started our retirement with a 12-month RV trip in which we visited all 48 of the continental United States. We gave the trip a name (Great Escape) while we planned it and applied for the plate. Since then we moved to a new state but we still have the old plates on display!”
Winterize your RV with this kit
Make winterizing easy with Camco’s Pump Converter Winterizing Kit. This kit is a permanent installation that allows you to bypass your fresh water supply line and use your RV’s water pump to fill the fresh water lines with antifreeze. Every piece is made of high quality material. The kit includes all parts necessary to bypass the fresh water supply line. Some tools needed for installation. Learn more or order.
Gizmos and Gadgets
weBoost Drive Sleek claims faster cell signals, cell data
Wilson Electronics, the industry leader in cellular boosting technology, has launched its most powerful and versatile 4G in-vehicle cell phone signal booster – the weBoost Drive Sleek. Priced at $199.99, the Drive Sleek is an affordable, single-phone cradle that uses coupling technology to improve 4G LTE and 3G cellular signals up to 32x for cars, vans, RVs and boats. Learn more.
Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click here.
Motorhome and RV Retirement Living
This highly regarded book by Jerry Minchey reveals how full-time RVers make their lifestyle work in retirement. Minchey lives full time in his motorhome. His honest descriptions of the RV lifestyle will answer your most pressing questions as well as those you probably never even thought to ask. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Replacing an RV television – Anything special needed?
Dear RV Doctor:
My husband and I are RV “newbies” and my question will probably sound stupid to veteran RVers. The two TVs in our fifth wheel (probably original equipment) are dual voltage (12/120). I know that means they can work when hooked up at a campground or on battery power from the “house” batteries if not connected to “shore” power. We’d like to replace them. Can we just use an ordinary TV or is there something different about the electric outlets/wiring/breakers in the RV that could ruin a new TV? Or does it just mean that the new TVs won’t work unless we’re connected to a campground power source? —Sue L.
Keep insects and
bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
with Bob Difley
Is filling water tank from mountain stream safe?
Hi Bob — I enjoy your articles and appreciate the insights. You spoke to Dan about conserving water but the truck camper picture prompted yet another question. We are considering using a solar-powered 12-volt DC water pump with an inlet strainer and an inline whole house water filter to refill our fresh water tank from available natural sources such as the running stream in the truck camper picture. Do you know if that is safe?…
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Arizona: Best State Parks and superb boondocking
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Test the RV park water before you drink it!
How pure is the water at the RV park you just entered? Is it pure enough to drink or full of contaminants? This TDS meter provides an inexpensive and convenient way to instantly check your overall water quality. Don’t risk drinking bad water! Use this hand-held device to check the condition of your water filter, too. Every RVer should have one of these! Learn more or order.
with Mike Sokol
Does coiled extension cord heat up in storage bucket?
I was thinking about getting a bucket to store my shore power extension cord, or maybe even one of those fancy reels. But my neighbor who’s an electrician told me that the coil of wire will create some sort of induction heating effect and the wire will get hot. He recommends that I pull the entire extension cord out of the bucket and lay it all flat on the ground. Is that true? If so, what’s the theory behind this phenomenon? —Nick
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Extend the life of
your wiper blades!
Over time, pressure on your wiper blades during storage can cause them to break down and crack. Camco’s Wiper Stand-off Wedges lift the wipers and remove the pressure, helping to extend the life of your blades. Perfect for RVs in storage. Simple to use. Learn more or order at a great low price.
Your RVer Horoscope for October
RV Travel is honored to present to you the RVers’ horoscope for October 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.
RECENTLY PUBLISHED! Essential for big RVs!
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this is for you. The truck driver’s road atlas shows all the highways 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.
RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
Whom to believe on RV tire inflation?
Roger was reading an RV forum and found a number of folks offering their interpretations on what the proper inflation is for tires in RV application. Some insisted the only correct inflation pressure was what was shown on the “Tire Placard” or “Vehicle Certification label.” Read Roger’s response.
Endorsed by RV 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 off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all this for about $12! Learn more or order.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Commonly used on motorhomes, a generator produces 120-volt AC power. A generator allows you to use 120-volt appliances when you are not plugged into an external electrical source. Generators are rated in kilowatts; for example, a 5 KW generator is 5,000 watts.
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.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Zesty Salad Dressing
One dressing, many salads: Make and take plenty of this fantastic dressing on RV trips to bind salads, toss lightly with hot vegetables or even plop a little into hot mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs. The recipe is easily doubled. Just keep it cold for up to a week. Get the recipe.
RVtravel.com Readers’ Favorite Recipes
with Emily Woodbury
Casey’s Blueberry Pie
I’m having a hard time saying goodbye to our favorite summer fruits. Each year I savor the last juice drippings from the nectarines and plums, and I dread the day I see the wild blackberries start to droop and shrivel. For this week’s recipe, we’re featuring Casey’s delicious blueberry pie, in hopes of holding on to summer just a little bit longer. Read more and get the recipe.
Fix it in Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix it in Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.
RV Short Stop
Ketchikan is a delight to explore right from Alaska ferry dock
Ketchikan, the southeastern most city in Alaska, is located in the midst of “the Tongass National Forest, a 17-million acre rainforest full of lush cedar, Sitka spruce, waterfalls, and wildlife.” It sits at the entrance to the famed Alaska Inside Passage. Technically, the only way to get to “The Salmon Capital of the World” is by sea. This Alaska town has long been a popular destination with RVers because it is a year-round port-of-call for the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry) System. Read more in Julianne G. Crane’s article.
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 Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows
An RVer’s guide to gearing up for astronomy
In this first installment of our new and, we think, very exciting feature, astronomer Chris Fellows explains how easy it is to get started exploring the heavens on a budget. On his Facebook page he states, “I travel the country and set up my telescope to share with the public. Come out and see the stars!” RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury asked Chris if he would be interested in writing for us when he ran into him recently at a campground in North Platte, and we’re delighted that he agreed to give it a try. Read more and see why.
Full-timers: Need an RV Home Base?
Then you need Americas Mailbox! You’ll enjoy great tax advantages with your South Dakota “residency,” like no state income tax and low insurance rates (second lowest in the USA says the Insurance Information Institute). Many plans are available. Click the video where RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury talks with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes. Or click here to learn more or enroll.
Good reading from RV123.com
• 10 Must Have RV Gadgets (video)
• 90-Year-Old Woman Drives 800 Miles Alone to Escape Irma
• Campfire Fruit Compote
Propane running low? This will tell you!
With this Dometic LPGC10 LP Gas Checker you can instantly monitor your LP tank’s level. It uses ultrasonic technology to tell you in just a few seconds how full – or empty – a propane tank is. It’s about the size of a writing pen and weighs less than two ounces, so it’s easy to store. For use on steel and aluminum liquid propane tanks. Learn more or order.
Free and bargain camping
Seneca Gaming, Irving, New York
FREE: Overnight RV parking is allowed with permission from main security desk. Level, lighted (but not brightly), appears safe. Light traffic noise; RVers report nearby RR tracks with trains, but no nearby horns. Located at 11099 Erie Rd, less than 3 miles off I-90. GPS: 42.578687, -79.105318
Walmart Supercenter #523, Carthage, Texas
FREE: Overnight RV parking is allowed; permission from store is required. Park near SE edge of lot; level, well lighted, quiet, appears safe. Located at 4609 NW Loop 436. GPS: 32.168898, -94.368517
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 and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
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
Upcoming RV Shows
• Great American RV Show, Sept. 28-30, Colorado Springs, CO
• Evergreen Fall RV Show, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Monroe, WA
• Austin RV Super Sale, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Round Rock, TX
• New York State RV Show, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Syracuse, NY
• Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show, Oct. 4-8, Novi, MI
• Tacoma Fall RV Show, Oct. 5-8, Tacoma, WA
• California RV Show, Oct. 6-15, Pomona, CA
• Fall RV Show & Bargain Expo, Oct. 12-15, Oklahoma City, OK
• St. Johns Fall RV Show, Oct. 12-15, Elkton, FL – CANCELED due to Hurricane Irma
• Georgia RV & Camper Show, Oct. 13-15, Atlanta, GA
• Pittsburgh RV Liquidation Super Sale, Oct. 13-15, Pittsburgh, VA
• Toronto Fall RV Show and Sale, Oct. 13-15, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This week in history
Week of September 30 – October 6
Compiled by Dell Bert
1890 – Yosemite National Park established.
1927 – Work begins on Mount Rushmore.
1955 – James Dean dies in car accident at age 24.
1962 – Johnny Carson makes debut as “Tonight Show” host.
1985 – Hollywood icon Rock Hudson dies.
1990 – East and West Germany reunite after 45 years.
2011 – Apple founder Steve Jobs dies.
Thor is the dominant player in the RV industry, with around 48 percent of total retail market share. Through its subsidiaries, Thor has a hand in every sub-segment of the RV industry, from small affordable towable campers to large, luxurious Class-A motorhomes. SOURCE: seekingalpha.com
Bumper sticker of the week
Ban bumper stickers.
Funny/clever business slogan
From KFK: Seen at a Chicago radiator shop: “Best place in town to take a leak.”
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
The attorney tells the accused, “I have some good news and some bad news.” “What’s the bad news?” asks the accused. “The bad news is your blood is all over the crime scene, and the DNA tests prove you did it.” “What’s the good news?” “Your cholesterol is 130.”
Random RV Thought
RVing is great no matter what the weather. If it’s pleasant outdoors, then you can hike, swim, fish, or just hang around camp and snooze in your lawn chair. If the weather is cold and dreary, or rainy, you can simply hole up inside your little house and be as comfy as can be.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” —Robert Louis Stevenson
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Mark Polk, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Chris Guld, Julianne Crane, Chris Fellows, Wolfe Rose and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com.
About the RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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