Tuesday, July 5, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 813

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 17th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Issue 813 • Week of September 30 – October 6, 2017

Editor’s corner
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.”


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.




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! 

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
The moped I lusted for but never got.
What Mr. Piper could teach RV manufacturers.

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
The staff of RVtravel.com works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Even a pledge of $5, $10 or $20 a year is appreciated — that’s for more than 50 weekly issues! Many readers set up an ongoing subscription, most $5 to $10 month. Your contributions make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to please advertisers and RV industry big shots. Enter a voluntary subscription. Use a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AM

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.

More recalls:
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.

Courtesy Bailey Miller

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

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!
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™.

news524(2)More News

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.

Multnomah Falls, by Kirt Edblom on flickr.com

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.

Image: Sstrobeck23 on wikimedia.org

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.

rvbuslogo519Keep 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

video camera WPThe 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.

Be first to guess correctly and win a swell prize. Click the photo for clues.

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.

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

Reader RVs
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.)

Awning torn?
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.

Read the rest of the question and 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

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.

gas-738Latest 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

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

“Great escape” from John Goodell.* Email photos of RVing-related personalized license plates to Diane (at) RVtravel.com

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.
Drive over speed bumps head on
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

gary-736Ask 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.

Read Gary’s response.

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

insect-screen-761Keep 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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
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?…

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

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.

RV Electricity  
with Mike Sokol

Does coiled extension cord heat up in storage bucket?

Hey Mike,
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

Read Mike’s response.

rv-safety-764Mike 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.

wipers-2-761Extend the life of
wipers-1-761your 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. 

Read your RVer horoscope for October.

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.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed 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.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Generator basics
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.

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

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.


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

Ketchikan, Alaska, harbor by Julianne G. Crane

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 629-rv123
• 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
From OvernightRVparking.com

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 demoWatch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.

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

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

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.


Road sign in Kutztown, PA. Many Amish live in the area.

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.

Worth Pondering
“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. cw501

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.

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 Amazon.com, Inc . RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com.

RVtravel.com 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 RVtravel.com to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to RVtravel.com and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2017 by RVtravel.com

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Dave Dark
4 years ago

I think you have hit the nail on the head with your editorial this week. It does not require any courage to insult and disparage someone behind the shield of the computer. To say the same things to their face is quite another matter. Long time reader,


Tom Toomey
4 years ago

Just read a review on a book about older Americans seeking seasonal work on the road, called Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. Many traveling place to place in RV,s. Going to pop into the local Library and check it out.

Gregory Mercado
4 years ago

Chuck and Staff,
Thanks for the information you provide us. I look forward to reading the newsletter and learn from each. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments concerning political opinions.

Ron Schulz
4 years ago

The ad in the newsletter “Test the RV park water before you drink it!” is seriously misleading. This so called purity meter measures only Total Dissolved Solids in the water, NOT impurities. Someone depending on this device to prove if their water is pure may become very ill. This ad should be removed or reworded to describe what it really does. Measures electrical conductivity, not bacteria…

Mel Goddard
4 years ago

Re: your rant about “unkind cyber bullies”.
You Americans once had a saying of wisdom: “There are two things about a man that’s nobody else’s business; his Religion and his Politics”!
Whatever happened to THAT?

Sherry Dawson
4 years ago

I’ve only been reading a few minutes and have come across the third article which refers to a link that is non-existent. What gives this week? I’d like to read everything, so can you get someone to add the proper links to these stories?

Steve Barnes
4 years ago

Response to Editor’s Corner of Sept. 30, 2017
Chuck, I agree, no politics in parks, especially as Canadians. We have great relationships with most all RVers. Why spoil a good thing. The Americans never engage us in politics and we should not engage them as it is not our Country so not our business, or is it?
After 10 years as a Snowbird spending 5 months a year in the US I feel some Americanism, some loyalty to the U.S. As the World leader everything the U.S. does affects us all. So in that limited sense it is our business but not in RV parks.
President Trump has me engaged but this engagement is restricted to a newsletter to about 10 Americans and 30 Canadians. At the end of each Snowbird season they are asked to re-enroll or decline the publication. Political discussion is healthy but only in it’s place.
Steve Barnes
Kamloops, BC

John Hiler
4 years ago

You do know though that you are exactly right on your discussion of Rv Spaces in the US. We have to continue to protect our Special Places in this country. You should do more articles on the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the BLM – how much they do to make our lives more liveable. What happens when the population doubles in the next 50 years. Let’s talk about protecting what we have and are leaving to other generations. In our Republic we do have that responsibility…

Greg Illes
4 years ago

Being kind — One of the finest pieces you’ve ever written, Chuck. Kudos.

4 years ago

The passenger in that accident you mentioned in Parker County, TX has died.

4 years ago

I absorb each issue of this newsletter, enjoy the articles, have filled in some gaps in knowledge about RV living, and eagerly await each new weekly issue of this newsletter. Chuck, you and your staff are doing an AWESOME job, and I want to say Thank You!
My wife and I are not full timers yet but we will be taking the final step of selling our home and upgrading our motorhome when we return to the cold climates again next spring. I am sure we are not alone in our method of travel but am surprised that I never hear comments regarding people with retirement goals similar to ours. My wife is partially disabled and we will never be able to travel to simply see sights we only read or hear about, but our chosen lifestyle is one we thoroughly enjoy. Our destinations are to simply be closer to friends, family, grown children, and grandchildren. Parking our motorhome on properties owned by our children or friends allows us the comfort of our own “home”, while also adjacent to their homes. When she doesn’t feel well enough to go outside, our door is always open to welcome the happiness that enters, and when able, to join in the excitement of their homes and activities as well. Sometimes, there is more joy and fulfillment in parking, than in traveling to see new and unexplored places. With God’s blessings, our hearts are full and we get great enjoyment with an RV living experience tailor-made for our needs…as long as I am able to continue to “drive my own Miss Daisy”.

4 years ago

Whenever tempted to engage “a clear idiot,” examine whether your intent is to sort out who’s right or wrong, or to educate yourself. Most fools are content in their ignorance and won’t be moved, but a LOT can be learned from understanding why they are so mistaken… Lies have a sliver of truth, and bad ideas often stem from good intentions. If you’re muttering to yourself “How can anyone actually believe ____?”, then pause and answer that question – either you’ll learn something, or you’ll have a better basis to teach than just throwing tantrums.

Jimmy Holland
4 years ago

Thanks for the op ed reminding all of us on how we should treat others Chuck. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Keep up the good work.

Anne Fronk
4 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Holland

Right on!

Mel Goddard
4 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Holland

THAT was the “Golden Rule”.
Of course, with a little ‘Tongue in Cheek’;????
I present the “The ‘Silver Rule’ :
“Do unto others as they WOULD do unto you” .
And the ‘Brass Rule’:
“Do unto others BEFORE they ‘do’ unto you.”

Mel Goddard
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff


4 years ago

Home Base Services

People who use Home Base Services in states like South Dakota need to be aware you might be committing a felony. In a previous life I was a fraud investigator for a mid western state. over the years I investigated several people who registered their RV in states with no sales tax to avoid paying theirs State sales tax. It was very easy to have the DMV computer do a match with driver licenses and registration. States like South Dakota were happy to sell us registration lists. Not rocket science. In state driver license, out of state vehicle registration, you get a knock on the door. Also several states do not allow a mail box as a permanent address to maintain a driver license. Recommend you check with your home state before going down this road.

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Python1946

But if someone establishes his or her residency in, say, South Dakota, and does not have a residence elsewhere, I believe all is okay. I’m guessing what you were investigating were people who were an official resident of a particular state who were buying and/or registering it elsewhere to save on taxes.

4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck you are correct. However with the federal real ID law it makes it difficult to use a mail box for a permanent physical address. Where people get into trouble is they want it both ways. A driver license in their home state and vehicle registration in another state to avoid taxes. If you claim residence in South Dakota you better make sure you have a South Dakota driver license, vote in South Dakota and no paper trail back home.

4 years ago
Reply to  Python1946

Another thought about this issue. Rest assured if you hear living back home and have an expensive RV parked in your yard with South Dakota license plates, some one will turn you in. When I was in the business, I had several such calls and letters from concerned citizens.

4 years ago
Reply to  Python1946

I’m no longer RVing, but altho we’re from WA my husband and I were legal TX residents while using Escapees mail service, and we actually stayed in Livingston at times, and got TX drivers’ licenses and plates and registration for our motorhome and other vehicles.

Prior to that we’d bought a vacant lot on the Oregon coast and registered our first moho there because we planned on building a small house on it, but never did, nor established a legal residence. Just as well, because we were stopped once by the WSP for having OR plates but WA drivers’ licenses! But it was Just a warning . . . !

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Python1946

You are right about using a PO Box. But address with a PMB address is okay.

Doug Rizzo
4 years ago

When I was in the Air Force we had a saying that turned out to be very true. “opinions are like ***holes, everyone has one, and they all stink.” I found this to be an excellent point. Remember this when you are tempted to give your opinion.

Ken Pratt
4 years ago

I could not agree more with your editorial this week. We need to exercise tolerance and show some respect to others whose values may differ from ours. Opening a conversation and listening with understanding instead of launching personal attacks can often lead to a better understanding. It may not change our minds but it sure feels better that bullying people, and you get to meet and understand some really nice people.

John Goodell
4 years ago

I know what you mean about on-line debates that degenerate into insults. Six years ago I was researching diesel trucks and visited some diesel owners sites to get some tips and pointers on Ford vs Ram vs Chevy/GM. Each subject of debate between the truck brands almost always evolves after a few semi-useful comments into the most ridiculous juvenile exchange, such as “That’s because you’re stupid!” followed by “No, you’re stupid!”, then the universal response “No, you’re stupid!”. I didn’t get much useful info from these “debates” except that brand loyalty was very strong!

rodney teuscher
4 years ago

I love your Newsletter. Wish more people would comment on issues that mean something to the RV’er without giving stupid comments that really dont mean a thing to me. Press on, you and your team are doing a great job.

Jim harding
4 years ago

Please send me your daily rv news thank you

Wallace Twigg
4 years ago

Great op ed Chuck