Saturday, June 19, 2021
Saturday, June 19, 2021

RV Travel Newsletter Issue 815

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 815 • Week of October 14–20, 2017

Editor’s corner      
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Gail and I are north of Roanoke, Virginia, for a week. We’ve begun a slow crawl back to Arizona where we will join other snowbirds savoring the winter sunshine.

Devastation from Irma in Fort Myers, Florida. FEMA photo.

Since we left the Northwest four months ago, we’ve watched as many Americans have struggled to survive fires and two major hurricanes. The current northern California wildfires are awful with entire neighborhoods flattened. Before this latest round of  fury, Mother Nature lashed out at Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. But you know that. For many Americans, it was the summer from hell.

The RV industry, oddly, has benefited from the misfortune of many Americans with orders from FEMA for temporary housing for people who lost their homes. FEMA has requested existing RVs that meet this criteria:

The travel trailers and fifth wheels should … have a separate bathroom and a separate bedroom but should not have televisions, fireplace, outdoor kitchen, washer/dryer, kitchen island, large entertainment system, theater seating, outdoor television, or a Murphy bed.

FEMA estimated that only about 25 percent of RVs currently on dealer lots would qualify, which leaves manufacturers with another opportunity to boost their sales while still cranking out RVs for consumers, already at a record-breaking pace. I wonder what these government sales will mean to the already questionable quality of consumer RVs.

In Elkhart, Indiana, where most RVs are made but labor is scarce, a new PR campaign aims to target areas hit by the recent disasters. “In some of these areas, say Houston, Texas, if you’re walking into the unemployment office and you have your smart device with you’ll actually get a pop up on your smart device that says, check out Elkhart County jobs,” said Mark Dobson with the Elkhart County Economic Development Corporation.

Shelter for Irma victims. FEMA photo

Residents hit by the recent natural disasters who own RVs have at least one bright spot, a place to live while they rebuild. It’s far better to live in an RV than in a shelter, motel or spare bedroom of a friend or relative. I wonder if some of these people will choose to not rebuild, and simply continue to live instead in an RV: When disaster threatens, move!

I CONTINUE TO SEE evidence of crowding in RV parks, as more Americans choose to retire in recreational vehicles or live in one rather than a traditional home. In the park I just left in Pennsylvania, both my neighbors rose early every morning to drive to jobs. Three doors down, a young couple with an infant went about their lives in a 40-foot travel trailer. It’s the same scene everywhere. RV parks are quickly morphing from a place to camp to a place to live.

I have a lot more to say, but I’ve run out of time this week. I’m signing off now on Friday at 6 p.m., Eastern time.




In Centerport, Pennsylvania, I came upon a fork in the road.

P.S. If you have voluntarily subscribed to this newsletter and did NOT receive a special email from me last Sunday, please let me know at chuck (at) I will send you the link to the first of my special videos for our supporters. I’ll have another video this coming week plus other special features in the weeks ahead. The support of our “voluntary subscribers” is enabling us to lay plans to influence the RV industry to do something about quality issues and campground crowding! Thanks to all of you who pledged your support in the last week!

WANT A GOOD LAUGH: Don’t miss the photo and short story I did titled Campground bathroom warns: “Don’t drink from the toilet!

YOUR RECIPES WANTED: My daughter Emily, our staff RV cooking editor, seeks more recipes from RVers. Those that are well suited to the RV lifestyle are especially welcomed. Email her at Emily (at) .

HACKING REPORT. received about 2,000 hacking attempts this past week. Top hacking countries were: Great Britain (1,037 attempts), China (620), United States (101), Turkey (84) and France (56). Once again, Russia pretty much left us alone. 

TRIVIA: As of Friday afternoon, this website includes 2,594 articles and 8,020 reader comments.

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
My dad the pilot and woman hustler.
Sonder: You and everybody else have a rich life story.
Ah, life in the RV park.

Letters to the editor (your comments are welcome)
Stick to basics or lose me as reader
Frustrated with new Jayco coach 
Reader opinion: Want better quality RVs? Then pay up! 
Shortage of campsites is ‘for real!’ 

Sign up for’s
new monthly newsletter about RV electricity

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

Support Honest Journalism
The staff of 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.

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Recent Recalls:
Recall issued on 2,500 Fleetwood Bounders, Southwinds 
Jayco Greyhawk motorhomes recalled for LP issue 
• Some 2016 Sprinter 2500 and 3500 vehicles recalled 
• Keystone recalls some Raptor toyhauler RVs 

We have a winner! No more entries for this contest, please. The Answer: 1946. Win this paperback edition of No~Shock~Zone RV Electrical Safety by Mike Sokol. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Monday. The question: In what year was the RCA Victor television pictured here manufactured? 1939, 1946 or 1955? Email your answer to RVcontests (at) We can only ship prizes to addresses with a U.S. Zip Code. Only one entry per household. All entries must include your mailing address and telephone number (only used for mailing if you win) or your entry will be disqualified and we’ll choose the next (correct) entry. Contest ends Monday at noon (Pacific), at which time a winner will be selected by We’ll let you know if you win.

breaking-newsSales of towable RVs over the first eight months of 2017 look good for the industry. According to Statistical Surveys, Inc., overall the group shot ahead nearly 11 percent over the same period of 2016. Travel trailer sales were ahead nearly 12 percent, while fifth wheels were up almost 9 percent. Pop-up trailers lagged behind at a 4 percent gain, but park models fell off 6 percent. 

National Park System statistics: Visitors to all NPS sites, 2016: 331 million, a new record. 2017 on a pace to beat that. August 2017 visits alone: 40 million. National Park Service maintenance backlog: $11 billion. Current White House budget proposal for Park Service: Cut back 13 percent from present levels. Source: NY Times

The California RV Show in Pomona doesn’t end until Sunday, but early attendance statistics made exhibitors happy – even if visitors weren’t happy with parking. The show opened on October 6 with a mob possibly 10 percent greater than anticipated clogging parking lots. The Pomona, Calif., venue had 1.2 million square feet of show space with 1,400 RVs on display. 

If you want to sell your RV in Portland, Ore., better make sure it doesn’t leak sewage nor is it “likely to do so.” If it does, you’re now breaking the law and subject to a $500 fine – and up to six months in the hoosegow. And by the way – you can’t give the rig away either. It’s all part of an emergency ordinance passed earlier this month. 

Indiana Dunes

Indiana may join the list of states hosting a national park if a plan before Congress becomes law. No, new land wouldn’t be acquired, but the existing Indiana Dune’s National Lakeshore might be re-dubbed Indiana Dunes National Park. The principal motivation behind the legislation is to boost tourism.

Jayco will beef up its production in Twin Falls, Idaho, to improve service to dealers in the western United States. Jayco began producing RVs in Twin Falls in 2005.

The push for “public-private partnerships” on public lands got another thrust in the spotlight in a guest editorial in the Denver Post. Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association and former president and CEO of Outdoor Industry Association, partnered up with Thomas Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, to make a further pitch for bringing more private industry into public lands. The two argue against the term “privatization,” countering that current administration moves are “a modernization effort that aims to create the world class experiences visitors now expect, including practical elements such as providing for greater guest amenities and basic Wi-Fi.” Read the piece here.

While you won’t likely find Commander Data and Captain Picard there, there is a point to the nickname attached to Lake Vermilion State Park. Minnesota’s newest state park has been dubbed “The Next Generation” park for some of its futuristic amenities. Bathhouse showers are heated by solar panels. Check in is at a self-service electronic kiosk. Fire up your iPad with the assurance of a strong WiFi signal – after you’ve charged it on a park-provided charging 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.

news524(2)More News

Powers, Ore., city councilors are taking comments on a proposal that the city develop a new municipally owned RV park. They’ve already started a feasibility study and now want to hear from the citizenry for more input. Public comments will be taken at council meetings October 17 and 24. 

More RVers, fewer campsites, higher fees for sites. That’s the equation from South Dakota state park officials who say they won’t actually increase site fees, but will simply reclassify some campgrounds. The reality is, if your favorite campground is reclassified into a more “desirable” classification, the rate you pay actually goes up. For example, charges for sites in “basic” campgrounds are now $15 per night with electricity. If that campground is reclassified as a “preferred” campground, that same site would now be charged $19 per night. 

Photo: Kurt Wannenwetsch on

Something’s eerie in the canal. An RVer in Monroe County, N.Y., bought himself a new boat, and the very next day had a major fail when he attempted to launch it in the Erie Canal. The boat floats, but the Class C motorhome that towed it most definitely doesn’t.

RVers and yurt lovers will see a fee increase if camping out in an Oregon State Park. On November 1, rates for RV use and basic yurt rentals will jump $2. Tent campers are off the hook – their rates remain the same. 

Georgia State Parks are phasing in site-specific reservations in their system for eight additional parks. On December 1, you can reserve your choice of sites at Fort Mountain State Park (Chatsworth), High Falls State Park (Jackson), Vogel State Park (Blairsville), and Laura S. Walker State Park (Waycross). On January 8, 2018, the same will be true at Hard Labor Creek State Park (Rutledge), Skidway Island State Park (Savannah), George L. Smith State Park (Twin City) and all sites at Reed Bingham State Park (Adel). Click here to make your pick. 

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Fall is the 
best time to camp!

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.

October 14 marks the last day of camping at Staysail RV Park on Washington state’s Whidbey Island. The municipally owned RV park is shutting down for “improvements,” which means, when translated, a $1 million project to put in a pavilion, restrooms and basketball courts. 

Modern technology and propane may not mix well – at least they didn’t for a Springville, Tenn., man. Jim Hart was in his RV when he pulled the charge cord out of his cell phone. Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t aware there was an LP leak in the rig, and the resulting explosion sent him to the hospital with moderate to severe burns. His RV now has bulged-out walls and several blown out windows. 

Late last week Alabama officials warned RVers along the state’s beaches that they should pack it up and move along prior to the possible arrival of Hurricane Nate. Some paid heed and left the area, but according to news accounts, a surprising number of RVers said they’d simply ride the storm out. Typical was the reaction of one: “We’re not going anywhere. I’m just going to roll the awning in and sit back and watch it. We’ll have a hurricane party. If it was gonna come and stay awhile, we’d move on. As long as it don’t turn our camper over, we’ll be fine.” Source:

Two battery thieves are currently facing charges after their arrest in Regina, Saskatchewan. The two are suspected of lifting RV batteries in 79 cases between mid-July and late September. Arrested on Monday in the revolting case, they spent at least one night in their cells before being charged in court on Tuesday. It’s not clear if they were able to power nap during the time. 

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at

This week’s Reader Poll
What model year is your RV?
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.
 Are you active socially in a local or specialized chapter of an RV club? Click here for the results.

A relaxing “low impact” short vacation
Sometimes you just want to go somewhere in your RV that doesn’t require a lot of setup or finagling to be enjoyable. This past week, Rich “The Wanderman” was in the mood for just such a trip. Because of the limited amount of time, he wanted a short travel distance with someplace interesting to stay, with the option to participate in some activities available. Read Rich’s review of his first experience at a Harvest Hosts location.

Slideout without slide topper

RVs without slideout toppers: Do they leak?
Editor Chuck Woodbury was discussing slideout toppers with a neighbor in the RV park (among other things). Slideout toppers, if you do not know, are like awnings that cover your RV’s slideouts to keep out water and debris. Some RVs have them; some don’t. It got Chuck to wondering: If your RV does not have slideout toppers, does rain water seep in when you pull in the slides? Read more, and please respond to the survey if your RV does not have slide toppers.

video camera WPHotel Walmart: Living in a parking lot
This is a fascinating look at the homeless who live in a car, van or RV in a Walmart parking lot. It profiles RVers as well as car campers who stay not just overnight but for years at a single Walmart. Watch the video.

Explaining converters, inverters and generators – Part 3
Do I need a generator?
In the final part of his series, Wolfe Rose explains what an “inverter generator” is, how it works, and why you might want to invest in one. Learn more.

Airstream announces new European-styled trailer
Airstream has announced a new trailer, the 27-foot Globetrotter, which uses Airstream’s classic bullet shape and adds “European touches.” It features a minimalist interior of aluminum walls, panoramic windows, wrap-around upholstery, recessed speakers, and backlighting throughout. Check it out.

Solar basics – Know how to determine your solar system
For your RV, this article by Greg Illes, retired systems engineer and long-time RVer, is meant to be a “thousand-foot view” – a way to see the entire landscape of solar power without getting bogged down in too many details. Learn (lots) more.

Full-time RVing – the plague of cargo capacity
What if you want to try full-time RVing? Since “all your worldly goods” go with you, how do you choose an RV with enough cargo carrying capacity (CCC) to meet your needs? Sad to say, limited weight capacity for cargo is a reality for many RVers. What’s to be done? Get some tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris here


How can you end the “military” RV shower?
You know the routine, constantly turning off the shower to conserve hot water. That’s because most RVs have tank heaters with limited hot water. You never have to run out of hot water with a hybrid instant water heater. Find out how the Truma AquaGo®  gives you a real shower in your RV. Learn more

Are tribal fuel stops a bargain?
As you roll across America in your RV, there are several constants of our universe: You’ll have to stop to refuel, and you’ll run across plenty of casinos that offer “cheap fuel.” Are the two compatible with your wallet? Here’s an area where that good old Latin expression caveat emptor comes into clear focus. Learn how to beware here.

RV Mods: Protect your headlights!
Traveling on dirt roads (e.g., in deserts or Alaska) can be hazardous to your RV’s headlights from other vehicles tossing stones up off the roadway. Some headlights are expensive and difficult to replace, but here’s a simple and inexpensive solution to prevent breakage.

How well do you know Yosemite National Park?
Waterfalls, towering granite monoliths, deep valleys and ancient giant sequoias – that’s Yosemite. On October 1, 1890, Yosemite became a national park, and more than 125 years later, it’s still wowing visitors. Here are a few facts you might not know, courtesy U.S. Department of Interior.

Too cold for your RV fridge?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor about operating an RV fridge in cold weather. She had read that it’s not a good idea to run an RV fridge at extremely cold temperatures and didn’t want to damage the fridge. Read the question and Chris’ response.

Buying your pet’s medicine online? Be careful!
As RVers, we’re often away from home and in spots where we don’t know where the nearest veterinarian or pet supply store is. According to a recent survey, 50 percent of RVers have a pet (mostly dogs). So, when your pet needs medication, how are you handling it? Here are some important factors to consider when ordering your pet’s medication online. Learn more.

Cart makes easy work of lugging your RV stuff
If your RV is parked a distance from the picnic table, for example, you may have the chore of lugging all your gear back and forth. Here’s a handy folding cart that can carry quite a load (up to 100 pounds), while still folding up compactly when it’s time to store it out of the way. Read more.

Germany’s Hymer Museum is worth a visit
If you’re ever in the neighborhood, the Erwin Hymer Museum in Bad Waldsee, Germany, is a testament to how Germany has embraced camping over the decades. It is loaded with historic vehicles and RVs, including motorhomes as well as trailers from the 1920s thru the 1960s ranging from incredibly small to very well appointed. Learn more.

RV 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.

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Letters to the editor: Poor quality RVs.
Video: RVer admits rookie mistakes buying motorhome.
Trust issue when fueling up.
Is sway control necessary for a short travel trailer?
Letters: No campgrounds to stay at except lousy ones.
Travel planning with one app? Not possible.

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Shocked by my air conditioner? What’s going on?
 What’s the deal with composting toilets?
Drive the dirt trail without fear of getting stuck
Explaining converters, inverters and generators – Part 2.
Video: What you may not know about your CO detector.
Is tilting your RV solar panels worth the trouble?

1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1 1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at more than 570 wineries, farms and attractions across North America. Harvest Hosts offers an exciting alternative to traditional overnight stops where you can meet interesting people and learn about their lifestyle. Learn more at the Harvest Hosts website, or watch an interview with the founders by editor Chuck Woodbury.

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.

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™.

Ask the RV Shrink

Couple disagree on what’s important to haul in RV

Dear RV Shrink:
I have a weight problem. My husband says my embroidery machine is too heavy to carry with us in the 5th wheel. I was fine with that until he bought a small air compressor to haul around with us. His argument was that we needed it to check our tire pressure and add air when necessary. The thing weighs more than my embroidery machine. I told him every gas station in America has an air hose.

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

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 13 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.50 (on Oct. 9). Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Up 23 cents.
Diesel: $2.78 (on Oct. 9). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 33 cents.

Need mail forwarding? Choose the best!
Choose Americas Mailbox! It’s the best, endorsed by which has toured its South Dakota facility and interviewed its very customer-oriented owner. Many plans available. Learn more. Or view the video interview RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury conducted with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 13 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

Hopefully, you’ll never have to put your fire plan into action. However, if you do, remember to keep calm and to get out of your coach like you practiced during fire drills. Stay focused on your prime objective – getting yourself and your passengers out of the RV safely. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon. Here are links from for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, LP gas detectors, and combination smoke and CO detectors

Your RV just sitting around?
Rent it. You’ll be amazed at how much you can earn! The owner of a Class A motorhome, for example, could earn up to $4,520 a month. Own a popup trailer? It could bring you $1,780 a month in rental income. Join thousands of happy RV owners making real money! Learn more at Campanda.

RV Quick Tips

Another possible cause for sticky tank valves
All hard-to-open-and-close gray and black water tank valves may not be due to sticky valves – often the cable gets dry or corroded. When the handle is pulled out (the tank valve is open) liberally spray a lubricant on the exposed wire. Run the handle in and out and do this several times. You’ll likely find this makes opening and closing the valves much easier. —Thanks, George Bliss!

Keep insects out of your RV
While RVing, our RV got inundated with large black ants. Upon inspecting just HOW they were getting in, I found I was the culprit! I made it easy for them by creating “highways” to the RV. The water hose, TV cable and power cable all became expressways to the RV by allowing these crawly guys a direct path to us. I got some dry chemical, Triazicide, and buried the hose and cables in it. I also got some Ortho Home Defense spray for the cables. This kills them on contact. Great for ant nests. So, FYI, do not help them get in. Be prepared! —Thanks to Mike Palmer!
[Editor: Ortho Home Defense spray and Triazicide are available at]

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

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.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Move your Pod or fifth-wheeler with Parkit360 power dolly
Trailerable RVs have never been more popular, especially the new pod campers. But many people have difficulty maneuvering them with a car or truck, especially when backing around corners and into tight spaces. With Parkit360’s Force 5K and Force 10K power dollies, moving a trailer has never been easier. Lightweight and small enough to fit into the back of a small sedan, they’re powerful enough to move a fifth wheeler. Learn more.

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

Great gift!
Lucy and Desi go RVing

Now, here’s the perfect stocking stuffer — Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz go RVing! In this 1954 classic — in gorgeous Technicolor — the famous couple (as newlyweds) invest in a 40-foot travel trailer and hit the road. The result is hilarious! The scene in which Lucy tries to make beef stew, a Caesar salad and cake in the wobbling, moving trailer is a classic! This DVD is a great gift for your favorite RVer! Learn more or order

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

Why does one bathroom sink stink and the other doesn’t?

Dear Gary:
I have two bathroom sinks in my coach: one with the commode and one next to the shower. The one in the hallway of the coach has a terrible smell. It is not all the time, but I cannot pinpoint what is causing it. This has been going on for a few years now. I have poured the stuff that takes away smell down there and even used apple cider vinegar. Nothing seems to work. It is just that one drain. Any suggestions? —Kathy P.

Read Gary’s response.

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

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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Losing water from fresh tank vent on steep grades?

Hello Bob,
You gave me some great advice a few months ago when I asked about boondocking during our trip from FL to CA. We had a GREAT time! Now, here is a question for a situation that came up during that trip. We have a 30-gallon fresh water holding tank on our Class C. We were diligent about filling it up before each day’s new adventure. Problem is, while driving up the steep hills and mountains, we would lose water out of the overflow drain. My husband used a small carrot to plug it, but that got old (and so did the carrot!!). Is there a simple fix? Maybe a cap specifically designed for that purpose? Thank you! —“Friskie” 

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Don’t become a wildfire hazard or statistic: Practice safe campfire tips.

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

Check out this huge selection of RV covers.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Intro to new RV Electricity newsletter

Dear Mike,
What’s this I hear you’ll soon be starting your own RV Electricity Newsletter on What kind of topics will you be covering? —Mike Sokol

Read Mike’s response, including what he would like to receive from you, the readers.

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

vac-long-755vac-square-755Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
This Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Lightweight Bagless Stick Vacuum is compact and it works great. Plus it converts to a hand vacuum in a snap! It’s the vacuum of choice in the RV Travel motorhome. Weighs less than 4 pounds. Learn more or order for about $20.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Can black tire “covers” be used without causing damage?
Roger has done tests over the years comparing the temperatures of tires shielded from the sun with white vinyl covers versus no covers versus (in a rough check) black plastic. He has lately observed some Class A RVs with what appears to be a mesh shield that hangs down off the side of the RV, as opposed to the vinyl “bag” that hangs directly over the outside of tires. This summer he was given the opportunity to test a black mesh Tire Shade from ShadePro, Inc. Here are those test results.

water-filter-677Essential equipment for many RVers!
Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
This best-selling product reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 100 micron fiber filter. Its durable in-line, exterior mount filter has a wider body to increase flow. Use it at your campsite to keep sediment out of your RV water tank and to improve the taste and smell of your drinking water for a whole season. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a big discount.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene
Getaway Muffins
A quick breakfast for a fast getaway. On mornings when you have to scramble out in the wee hours to get to one of those “first come” campsites, here’s a way to have a totally nutritious breakfast in a hurry. Just grab a couple of these hearty muffins, an OJ and a cup of joe and you’re on your way. Make them at home and keep a dozen in the freezer to nuke when you need them.  They are also easy to mix and bake in the RV galley’s regular or convection oven. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at, including the new “The Survival Food Handbook.” Readers’ Favorite Recipes 
with Emily Woodbury
David’s Moroccan Chickpea Curry
David’s dish is perfect vegetarian comfort food, whether cooking for guests, for when you’re sick and need a dash of curry to clear the sinuses, for a “meatless Monday,” or for a protein kick before a workout (chickpeas have 39 grams of protein per cup – impressive, right?). Read more and get the recipe here.

Want your favorite recipe to be featured? Send it to Emily (at) Include a picture (if you can), too! 


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

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows

Let the stars be your road map – Part 2
In this 3-part series, Chris is teaching you how to walk out into the night with nothing but your senses and orient yourself in space. Part 2 builds on the knowledge learned in Part 1 in order to identify a third constellation, Andromeda, and find a deep sky object (DSO), the great Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31 or the 31st object in the catalog developed by Charles Messier. Learn more.

Don’t be without this Emergency Weather Radio!
For about $17, you can rest assured that anytime severe weather threatens, you’ll be notified, even if cell service is down, the Internet is down or power fails. The staff travels with this small, handheld, battery-powered NOAA weather radio. If severe weather is on the way, the radio sounds an alert, followed by detailed information about the storm to let you know to seek shelter or move away. Get one for yourself and one for someone you care about who travels a lot. Learn more or order.

“See where you’re going to stay. . .”


Zion Canyon Campground, Springdale, UT
One of the prettiest places to camp in the world. This full-service private RV park is within walking distance of the entrance to Zion National Park. Have you ever been here? Write a review by clicking here.

Basin Campground, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Henrieville, UT
One of the most unique places to camp in the deserts of Utah. There are amazing rock formations visible direct from camp … plus camp has full hookups! See it for yourself. (Next week we will feature the other lesser-known campground at this park.)

The motto of is “Look Where You’re Going.” See videos or photos of nearly 16,000 campgrounds and RV parks “as they are,” not as shown in fancy, often misleading brochures. Learn, too, about amenities (water, sewer, pool, pets, cable, Wi-Fi, etc.). Do you own an RV park you’d like spotlighted on Contact Mark (at)

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.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Wine Country RV Resort Opening in 2018
• Erving State Forest, MA
• Terra Wind Amphibious Motorcoach in Action (Video)

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.

RV Short Stop

Warm reception at Lovejoy’s Tearoom, by Julianne G. Crane

Afternoon cream tea in Florence, Oregon
Lovejoy’s Tearoom is located just off the main street in Old Town Florence, Oregon, and a few short blocks away from the no-frills Port of Siuslaw Campground and Marina. It not only has authentic British teas as well as scones, it also has a full lunch menu. Decorated in a warm, relaxing English country decor, for a peaceful atmosphere this is one of the best “tucked away treasures” on the Oregon Coast. Read more in Julianne G. Crane’s article

Multipurpose Microfiber Duster
No more car wipes to dry up — this duster replaces all interior car products. The 10-inch dusting head is big enough to get your dash dust-free quickly, but small enough to leave in your glove box. The back of the duster doubles as a scrubbing sponge. Great for interior or exterior use on cars, RVs, motorcycles or in the home! Learn more or order.

Free and bargain camping

Beecher Island Battleground, Wray, CO
DONATION: Overnight RV parking is allowed; donation requested. National historic site is on private land that permits public access. Several campsites on south part of property, under large shade trees. No hookups. Picnic Tables, Fire Pits. Restrooms, showers. Central potable water fill hydrant. Very remote, very quiet. Directions: From jct of US 34 & US 385 in Wray, CO, go S on US 385 ~ 17.9 mi, then L on CR 24 ~ 3.0 mi, R on CR ‘KK’ ~ 3.3 mi. Look for church & large meeting hall on W side of road. GPS: 39.87165, -102.1855

Paradise Casino, Yuma, AZ
FREE: Overnight RV parking is allowed, & it’s once again free. (There was a small charge reported by RVers in the winter of 2016-2017.) No permission or check-in required, no players club card required. Park in large well-lighted open hard-packed dirt lot, SE of casino building & E of S parking lot. Security stated that RVers should patronize casino while parking here. Restaurant with modest pricing, in casino. Address 450 Quechan Dr. GPS: 32.7334, -114.61242

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

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

Upcoming RV Shows

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, PA
Toronto Fall RV Show and Sale, Oct. 13-15, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
• Panhandle RV Show, Oct. 19-22, Ft. Walton Beach, FL
• Tampa Bay Fall RV Show, Nov. 9-12, Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach Fall RV Show, Nov. 9-12, West Palm Beach, FL

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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

del-545This week in history
Week of October 14–20
Compiled by Dell Bert

From Steven Hansen.

1867 – U.S. takes possession of Alaska.
1898 – U.S. takes control of Puerto Rico.
1947 – U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier.
1957 – “Wake Up Little Susie” becomes Everly Brothers’ first #1 hit.
1958 – Chevrolet introduces the El Camino.
1988 – “Roseanne” debuts.
1989 – Earthquakes rocks San Francisco Bay area, killing 67 people.
1994 – Burt Lancaster dies.

On April 18, 1930, the BBC reported, “There is no news.” Instead they played piano music. (Oh, just imagine ….)

Bumper sticker of the week
Got turn signals?

Funny/clever business slogan
Not quite a “business slogan,” but definitely an attention-getter: Seen on a tip jar in a Portland, Ore., coffee shop: “If you’re afraid of change, leave it here.” Thanks to Tom Hart!

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

Joke of the Week
Accountant, after reading nursery rhymes to his young child: “No, son. When Little Bo Peep lost her sheep it wouldn’t be tax deductible, but I like your thinking.”

Random RV Thought
If you are in no hurry to get somewhere, stay put on days when your driving would involve headwinds. You’ll get far better fuel mileage when the wind dies down, and even better mileage if you wait for a tail wind.

Worth Pondering
“To find yourself, think for yourself.” —Socrates

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, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Chris Guld, Julianne Crane, Chris Fellows, Wolfe Rose and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)

cw501About the editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc . is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2017 by

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Susan D
3 years ago

I’ve recently started reading your newsletters and am enjoying them and learning a lot. You stated that you were staying just north of Roanoke, VA, where we currently live and wonder where you stayed. We have stayed at many nice campgrounds north of here, mostly with the RV club we belong to. However, i do notice, more of an emphasis on RVing in the West in most of the newsletters. We do need a good campground close to Roanoke, as it is a very nice city and would offer a lot to RVers.

John K
3 years ago

Just a thought from a retired police officer…while the license plates are amusing it may not be a great idea to post them online. It isn’t difficult to obtain information about the vehicle owner, address, etc. and obviously the owners are away from home a lot. Not that anyone who subscribes would be so heinous but anything, as we learn day after day, that is online is available to just about everyone. Again, just a thought…

3 years ago

With all the discussion of workmanship in RV construction, I thought I would share this interesting video I came across.

Jim K
3 years ago
Reply to  sam

Went to winnebago factory tour, we watched a movie, got on a bus, watched someone sew zippers on cushion covers for about twenty minutes, looked at patterns for cushions for another ten, get back on the bus and watched workers clock out because their workday was over at two P.M., stood on an overhead platform for about twenty minutes looking down at partially completed RVs, and watched one person take a radio out of a box, plugged, in the wire harness, and put it back on the shelf.

Jim Krauciunas
3 years ago

At 64 years old, I hate to be the one that says “I remember when”, but I believe we live in a world that has just become complacency. We now purchase junk, and seem to be ok with it. Seven to ten years on all appliances! I still have a refrigerator from the fifties that still works!
I purchased a new Winnebago in 1984, everything worked, interior held up, not one problem with it. Another new one in 2006, and it was almost as good, the last one in 2015, and I do mean my last Winnebago I will ever buy, I believe is just plain inferior. Customer service is non existent. When I wrote to the better business bureau on items that I purchased as options that no longer work, and they refused to repair, their reply to the complaint was “it may be a slight inconvenience, however it is not considered a safety issue by Winnebago”. Case # 32106204, Disgraceful

John Hiler
3 years ago

Is there any reason that we can’t have public facilities in the USA? Campgrounds on public lands looked after by our great national services? Oh right, I forget, we must use the money to go to foreign lands and wage war to support our arms industry or as some style it, Corporate madness…

Bullshit Politics????
3 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler

“wage war to support our arms industry ”

Save your political bullshit for non RV sites.

John Snell
3 years ago

Although he is correct, I agree with you, this is not the forum.

Margaret Pearman
3 years ago

We are looking at a motor home to become our full time home. It is used. The owners have taken it in to replace the fuel pump and it has been in the repair shop for a week. This leaves a question. Is having your RV in the shop for this long common and do most of you stay in hotels while the repairs are being done?

Richard Davidson
3 years ago

Unfortunately having your motorhome in the shop for this long is becoming more and more common. Doesn’t happen all the time but depending on where your at, yes it can be a problem. We have had to have things fixed numerous times that took more than one or two days and have been fortunate in being able to stay in our rig at night while it was being worked on more often than not. Sometimes they hook us up to electricity, some times not. Our last problem is when we took some back roads and jacked the rig somewhere which caused the driver’s side windshield to “pop” out at the top left corner. The nearest windshield repair shop couldn’t get us in for two weeks. Thank goodness for caulking and gorilla tape! Have an appt. to have it fixed with our trusted repair shop in November. RVing is all about rolling along. Rolling with the punches is part of it too.

3 years ago

Yes they can take days even weeks when waiting on parts. Sometime rv repair has parking with hookups that you can spend the nights in provided your coach can leave the repair Bay in between various repair steps. Even with mobile RV repairmen you could be waiting on parts because the do not know what the may need until they diagnose your problems. This past summer I had two instances of waiting over a week for parts to come in and the mobile repairman to come back and install. During busy times your parts can arrive but en you may have to wait for an appt when the repair facility or person can fit. You into their schedule. Labor costs per hour also vary during the busy and slow periods. You might pay $140 hr labor during busy times and $110 or less during slow times. You need to be prepared for the costs of breaking down while at a rv park you only had a reservation for a few nights and they are so booked they can’t let you stay past your checkout date–in which case you may now have a tow charge.

Lisa Dupree
3 years ago

FYI- Hurricane Harvey made a direct hit on Rockport- Fulton Beach , TX which is over 200 miles south of Houston. There area has a huge RV population, including many snowbirds. The destruction in Houston was caused by the massive amounts of rain from the hurricane. Many areas in the Rockport area were completely flattened by the high winds. This is also true of other little towns in the Texas Coastal Bend area.

3 years ago

The fork in the road is really in the middle of nowhere. Not too far from us. Did you stay in the area? Any campground reports?

3 years ago

Rob, What a curmudgeon! How dare you take a position that affects some many 100s of thousands. You’re one lucky guy to have the one rv that has no problems.

Chuck Woodbury is the guiding light to challenging the industry with it’s poor product quality. If not Chuck then who ?

Chuck keep up the excellent work you do !

Denny Napora
3 years ago

Speaking of headlight protection, a simple thing would be to get some ConTact type , clear plastic & cut to size over the lens….

Mike Masters
3 years ago

Many restaurants fail to offer a sugar free dessert for the person with diabetes or the person that prefers to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet. I would like to suggest The RV Kitchen focus, once a month, on sugar free desserts. Thank you.

LARRY Rettke
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Masters

Too many foods have so much sugar
I’m for it

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