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Issue 819 • Week of November 11–17, 2017 #rvtravel
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
It’s been a crazy week. We left Nashville Wednesday on a 360-mile battle with 18-wheelers on I-40 west to Little Rock, where we’ll hole up for 11 days. It’ll be good to stop awhile.
When you talk to veteran full-timers they say it’s hard at first to slow down. There’s so much to see. It’s like being in a candy store with a sweet tooth and a pocket bulging with change. What delight do you choose? How much can you take in before you explode?
For me, it’s what cool place do I explore next? I pull out my atlas, and see all the towns and I want to visit them all. Yesterday, we passed a place called Bucksnort. It was along the Duck River. Now, how about that for a place to live? “I live in Bucksnort, right along the Duck River.” Ya gotta love it!
The view out my window keeps changing. My neighbors keep changing. It’s invigorating, but ultimately tiring. They’re nice people, but you end up saying the same things over and over. “Hi! Where you from? Cute dog. Nice rig. Where you headed? Drive safe.“
Some have great stories and I could gab with them for hours (but not enough time in the day). We met a woman in Nashville last week, Jennifer. She lived there her whole life. “It’s not the same town,” she said, a reference to how much it’s grown (I’ve heard that story a hundred times). She told me she babysat the kids of country superstar Patsy Cline, “but it was after she died.” The writer in me goes crazy when he hears that. I want to write the story. But I can’t – too much already on my plate.
Stories are everywhere! When I first took up writing it was next to impossible to come up with an idea: In a week’s time I’d be lucky to come up with one or two. Now, I come up with two at the breakfast table, three in the shower, and they keep on coming – bam, bam, bam! I have a three-inch stack of 3×5 cards with ideas for articles and essays I want to write.
Let me be clear: There are few things in this world I enjoy doing more than writing. So I am not complaining Just saying. . .
I have always been a Type A person. Busy, busy, busy. But now I’m a type AAA person. You just can’t be out here in America, seeing all there is to see – the good, the bad, the ugly, the crazy – and not get all revved up. Why is it, for example, that in the Midwest and here in the South, the Bible Belt, there are more XXX adult stores than anywhere else in America? Billboards advertise Jesus and “hot ladies” in equal measure.
Some mornings in the RV park at checkout time I think of a big airport, say O’Hare, where airliners queue up on the taxiway awaiting takeoff – a dozen, two dozen in a row. In the RV park, it’s big ol’ motorhomes and big ol’ fifth wheelers queued up, parading toward the exit. It’s Grandpa at the wheel with Grandma riding shotgun – Baby Boomers all grown up, headed out into America, their Schnauzer perched on the dash, King of the Road. They head north, south, east and west – going home, going away from home, or just moving on with their home to another place, adrift in the vastness of America the Beautiful.
They’re on the move – old folks (me included), work campers, poor people who can’t afford a traditional home, loners and Millennials with itchy feet who can work from anywhere. Why stay in one place when you can move around? It’s the American Way – a never-ending road trip. It suits America’s ever-shortening attention span.
THIS WEEK ZOOMED BY. We re-launched our website NewRVer.com. I retired it a couple of years ago when I thought I might retire. Well, that didn’t happen. Now it’s back – bigger, better … and I have 2,000 of you to thank, those of you who support us with voluntary subscriptions. Because of you, we could afford to build the site and pay writers fairly to pack it with quality information. Please consider becoming one of our supporters.
My staff and I are committed to helping better educate new RVers, and the website will help. Consumers need to know a good RV from a bad one. I still get a dozen emails a week from readers who bought a piece of junk. Some didn’t do their homework. Others did plenty of homework but were no match for the sophisticated methods RV makers use to hide their cheap components, shortcuts and sloppy work. With no lemon laws, what do these RVers do? Read what reader Jason Laber did to spread the word about his problem-ridden Thor motorhome.
And, one more thing. Please take a minute to read yet another attempt to bribe me to lie to you, to sell out for money … really easy money. You know, 15 years ago, when I needed every penny I could get to pay the bills, I might have done this. But no more. I’m not rich, but nobody is buying me, which is also buying you!
If you’re a veteran, thank you for your service. You deserve this special day! Thanks to you guys who fought in Vietnam who returned home unappreciated. How wrong! And thanks, all you others! Thanks to my father, up there in Heaven for nine years now, who piloted a B-24 Liberator bomber 35 times over Germany during World War II, getting shot down once but coming right back after the French Underground helped smuggle him and his crew back to England! What guts! Heroes? Absolutely!
REMINDER: My daughter, Emily, needs more Reader Recipes. Do you have a yummy dish you’d like to share with other readers? Email her at Emily (at) rvtravel.com and she’ll tell you more.
ONE MORE THING: If you have pledged a voluntary subscription to RVtravel.com, but did not receive a special email yesterday from me, please let me know so I can send it to you. Chuck (at) rvtravel.com .
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Some recent recalls:
• Keystone recalls 1,697 trailers for fire hazard.
• Forest River recalling some 2018 Puma trailers.
• Keystone recalls some 2018 toy hauler RVs.
• Keystone RV recall: stabilizer jacks could fall off during transit.
We have a winner! No more entries for this contest, please. The answer: Bucksnort. Win these swell salt and pepper shakers. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Monday. The question: What town did the editor mention above which is next to the Duck River? 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.
Last week’s winner: Tina Gallagher of Flora Vista, NM. She won the very useful Camco water filter with flexible hose protector.
It appears FEMA (the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency) is having a mixed bag in terms of its use of RVs for disaster relief. While few residents in Florida or Texas have actually received FEMA-provided rigs, in California, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors OK’d the lease of 80 RV sites at its fairgrounds for use as FEMA emergency housing. It’s reported another 120 sites will be let out in coming weeks. However, the RVs have yet to appear in the move to help victims of recent wildfires.
RV manufacturing giant Forest River has been handed up to $1 million in tax credits and another $150,000 in grants for training by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. With that promise in hand, Forest River announced it will bring 125 new jobs to DeKalb County, Ind., next year.
Damage will run into the millions at Junction City, Oregon’s Premier RV Services. Fire alarms sounded last Sunday morning, and crews took nearly six hours to control the blaze which completely consumed six RVs, and damaged as many as 40.
When fire devastated California’s wine country, one of the few treasures left untouched turned out to be Jack London State Historic Park near Glen Ellen. The 1,400-acre park shut down October 9 when fire blasted up the nearby Sonoma Creek. With nearby fires out, the park reopened November 1, and to help with the healing process, park managers are waiving park fees. Special “meditation hikes” are under way to help people find relief from stress by walking through the park’s natural landscape.
Passing storms shot a few quills of their own at Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park week before last, providing a one-two punch by striking on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Lake Superior roared ashore dumping piles of debris and rock on the Union Bay campground, forcing closure. Adding insult to injury, higher-placed campgrounds in the park were hit with snow by the weekend storm. “Porky” is the state’s largest park.
The mass shooting at a Texas church last Sunday has brought another disturbing tremor to American life. When Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 more, it seemed unimaginable to many that a house of worship could be the scene of such unholy carnage. Kelley’s fellow workers at the Summit Vacation and RV Resort in New Braunfels, Texas, where he worked as a security guard, had no reason to believe anything was wrong with him. Read more.
Gypsum, Colo., town councilors have voted to eliminate restrictions on how long someone may live in an RV in an RV park. Initially, council members were leaning toward a 30-day limit, but on reflection felt there was little difference between a mobile home and an RV, and so eliminated time restrictions altogether.
The plan for a village cemetery in Ruidoso, N.M., died when too much rock was found under the surface soil. What to do? How about a “dry camp” RV park? The 12-acre site already had roads roughed in – ones that would have given access to burial plots – so why not RV sites? Village officials aren’t too keen on the idea: No water and no sewer service run contrary to local codes. But the developer hasn’t given up on the idea. He says it would be great for overnighters and those interested in staying less than a couple of weeks.
Is it costing more to stay in an RV park this year? According to a survey by campgroundviews.com, nearly 57 percent of campground operators (both public and private) said they increased rates this year. Only 2 percent of respondents said they’ve never raised rates. The survey was based on 835 responses.
Need mail forwarding? Choose the best!
Choose Americas Mailbox! It’s the best, endorsed by RVtravel.com 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.
A popular overlook at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Ariz.) is getting a safety makeover. The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is being outfitted with a new safety rail, and improvements to make accessibility easier for folks with disabilities are being put into place. During the work, half of the overlook will be closed at a time, with work expected to be completed in about three months.
If you thought it was getting harder to find a place to stay overnight in your RV, if British Columbia sets an example for the rest of the world, you’re right. Since 2011, development has killed off 50 campgrounds, representing 2,585 campsites. Put another way, that’s 8.5 percent of the entire province stock of overnight RV sites. Supply and demand is reflected in all this: In 2016 rental rates for full-hookup sites jumped nearly $2 per night on average, landing at $42 a night – up nearly 5 percent from 2015. Source: British Columbia Lodging and Campgrounds Association.
Looking for a spot to do a little free winter camping? If you’re out in the Manhattan, Kan., area, you’ll find two Army Corps campgrounds accommodating. Both the Tuttle Creek Cove and Stockdale Park campgrounds offer free camping from now until April 14. No water or electricity will be available, and the only toilets (besides your own) will be a few vault toilets.
Too many yurts taking up space in campgrounds that could otherwise be used by RVers? New Jersey state park officials say they’re pulling out their yurts. Too hard to maintain, and not enough call for the rounded tent-like structures. But don’t think that’ll translate to RV spots – officials say they’re replacing the yurts with hard-sided cabins.
“SafetyStruts™ Prevent RV Bumper Failure”
Sales of the innovative SafetyStruts™ RV Bumper Support Brackets exploded in 2014 after the US-based startup was profiled by RVTravel.com. The product line has grown with 5 types of SafetyStruts, 4-inch & 6-inch aluminum replacement bumpers, generator trays, hitches, etc. Watch the video or visit Mount-n-Lock.com to learn more.
A strange “wind” startled an RVer in his travel trailer near Worland, Wyo., on November 3. When the trailer started rocking, the startled RVer took a peek out the window and observed – no wind. Turned out the area had been hit by a 4.2-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter 50 miles east-southeast of Thermopolis. No casualties reported – unless being frightened out of one’s wits counts.
Busted by satellite: Langley, British Columbia, township officials never saw behind the screen of trees that shielded an illegal RV storage yard. But the proverbial “eye in the sky” shows all: About 30 RVs, boats and other rigs were parked in the tree-screened lot. City officials are trying to work with the landowner to work something out, recognizing there is a paucity of RV parking in the area. Part of the problem: RVs must be parked in a back or side yard of residences, not out front, and many city lots simply don’t have the room for it.
Walmart shoppers in Cedar City, Utah, got a good fright last Sunday when police cordoned off a motorhome in the parking lot and sent in the bomb squad. Two men in a motorhome were said to have made a disturbance of some sort, and a Walmart employee was sent to talk with them. One allegedly responded, “I should blow this place up.” Police were called, the store evacuated, and a bomb squad eventually cleared the scene. On interviewing witnesses, police said the “threat” may have been taken out of context, and that at least one of the motorhome occupants was having a mental health issue.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
This week’s Reader Poll
Where are you right now?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.
Read the up-to-the minute responses from last week’s poll:
Do you keep your gray tank open or closed when you have full hookups? Click here for the results.
Clean your RV… with beastly-good results!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
Your RV’s large surface area makes it a beast that collects more bugs, grit, grime, soot and industrial pollution than your car does. And it may have different surfaces of paint, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum. Click on the video to see Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING with Beast Wash. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Beast Wash at the Wade Maid website.
Free entry to National Parks on Veterans Day weekend
The National Park Service will commemorate Veterans Day and the service of American military members past and present with special events and free admission in parks throughout the country this coming weekend, November 11 and 12. Learn more.
National park fees to skyrocket – Comment now or forget it
The calendar is quickly closing in on the last day (November 23) to make comments on the National Park Service’s move to possibly jack up entry fees on some of the most popular parks in the U.S. In a move that Department of Interior Secretary Ron Zinke calls “targeted fee increases,” 17 parks would see entry fees skyrocket to $70 per carload of visitors. Learn more
Paying an RV park for power? Read your meter!
Spend any amount of time in a commercial RV park and you’re apt to get a power bill. Since power is expensive anywhere, it’s a bitter pill for RVers when they are often presented with a bill for rates higher than the locals pay. How do you know if you’re actually being billed for what you’ve used? If you’re at a park which uses the old style “clock” type meters, here’s how to read them. Learn more.
Car can’t make up its mind!
Driving forward or backward doesn’t make any difference with this 1952 Citroen Cogolin, which was operated by the rescue service in Cogolin, France. Two front sections were welded together. The two parts function independently, each with its own engine. Read more.
How to save every drop of “get warm” water
For years Greg and Karin Illes would save their “warmup” water – the cold water that comes out of the hot faucet until the hot water from the water heater finally gets there – in a jug and then use that water for toilet flushing, washing or other chores – like most other RVers. But Greg figured out a way to “recirculate” the water from the shower straight back into the fresh water tank. Read how he did it.
FMCA announces new Internet plan for members
On Wednesday, FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, announced a new benefit to its 74,000 motorhome owner-members: a new data plan from Verizon. Read here for more info and to take a quick RVtravel.com reader poll. What do you think? Big deal or dud?
Last trip of the season – very sad
Rich “The Wanderman” took advantage of an unexpectedly pleasant weekend recently and went on one final quick trip before winter. Planning the trip was easy, using his Harvest Hosts membership. Read about his interesting and cozy weekend, the llama neighbors and the “defective” roosters.
Cold hands? Keep ’em toasty with this Zippo hand warmer
This Zippo 12-hour hand warmer will keep your hands warm even when the temps get downright cold! It provides up to 12 hours of flameless, gentle heat before refueling. Runs on Zippo warmer fuel or lighter fluid. Sturdy, metal construction. Sleek, thin design. Stay warm this winter! Learn more or order for about $20.
RV Mods: Keep the chill from climbing in your window
When Russ De Maris’ feet hit the deck one morning recently in the old RV, he knew something was decidedly wrong. Even with a bit of neuropathy, his sensors indicated that it was one COLD Arizona morning. The recording thermometer confirmed it: 24 degrees in Quartzsite. Part of the chill factor is that old problem of “single-glazed” RV windows. Here’s how to easily add your own “storm window” with shrink-fit window insulation.
Is it safe to camp in a desert wash?
Setting up your boondocking campsite in a desert wash is considered by many RVers to be foolhardy and should be avoided. Many real-life stories circulate about hikers being washed away in flash floods, and boulders, trees and splintered RVs tumbling down washes ahead of a raging torrent. But not every wash is unsafe. To make an informed decision whether to camp in a wash, you need to study several factors about it. Learn more.
Thumbs up – October 2017
Want to read something positive for a change? Here are some recent “thumbs up” letters and comments we’ve received from readers of RVtravel.com. Read more.
Find RV roof leaks? Here’s what’s next
RV roof sealant repair and touch-up is a key part of roof maintenance that most people can do with a bit of care. It’s a good idea to make regular inspections of how your roof is holding up in protecting your RV from potentially expensive water damage. Taking care of some small cracks now can prevent big problems later. Here’s how.
Taking delivery of your new RV: Don’t miss this step!
You bought your first RV. Congratulations! Before you drive it off the lot, though, you’ve got an important task: the Pre-Delivery Inspection or PDI. As long as your unit is still on the dealer’s lot, you are still in control. Take full advantage of this opportunity. Read more.
California fire victims to get RVs for temporary housing
Northern California’s Sonoma County and the city of Santa Rosa are working with state and federal partners to provide safe, immediate, transitional, and long-term housing to assist residents who were displaced by the recent tragic fires and stabilize the immediate housing crisis faced by residents. Nearly 5,000 residential units were destroyed. Read more.
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
Readers’ comments on recent articles
Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
• Is Walmart “camping” doomed?
• Do you keep your gray tank open or closed when hooked up?
• Camping World cuts off the competition again.
• Dog owner’s “bite” worse than dog’s bark.
• RV Electricity: Electric space heater safety, Part 1.
More popular articles from last week’s issue
• RV and RV-related recalls for October.
• How to add RV batteries.
•RVing to the Stars: McDonald Observatory, West Texas.
• Differences between towable, motorhome and car tires.
•Kidde recalls 40 million fire extinguishers.
• It’s Quartzsite boondocking time.
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.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Click here to see many submissions from our readers about their RVs.
Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at more than 570 wineries, farms and attractions across North America. Harvest Hosts offers an exciting alternative to traditional overnight stops where you can meet interesting people and learn about their lifestyle. Learn more at the Harvest Hosts website, or watch an interview with the founders by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.
Ask the RV Shrink
Hubby’s campground “hobby” driving wife “plumb” crazy
Dear RV Shrink:
My husband is a campground plumbing fanatic. Ever since we started full-time RVing, he prides himself on being able to beat any water system that tries to throttle his hooking up. He has six different kinds of water thief connectors, 300 feet of hose on reels, a 50-gallon fresh water tank in the back of our tow truck, and a tackle box full of various brass and copper fittings. Why can’t he just take up photography or something normal. …
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.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.56 (on Nov. 6). Change from week before: Up 7 cents; Change from year before: Up 33 cents.
Diesel: $2.88 (on Nov. 6). Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Up 41 cents.
RV Fire Safety Tip
Know where to shut off your propane
Liquid petroleum gas, like gasoline fumes, tends to pool in low spots in the coach until a spark sets it off. Newer motorhomes are equipped with an automatic shut-off for when its sensor detects an LPG leak. If you have a leak, be sure to shut the propane off at the tank. 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.
Enjoy a campfire anywhere, anytime!
Camco’s “Little Red Portable Propane Outdoor Campfire” allows you to take your campfire with you even when in-ground fires are prohibited. Realistic log pieces create the ambiance of a real campfire. Includes an 8′ propane hose for use with standard LP gas cylinders and an adjustable regulator with a maximum output of 65,000 BTU/HR. Learn more or order.
RV Quick Tips
To quiet the annoying drip of rain on cargo compartment door tabs, Donald M. suggests the following: “Put a SMALL awning just above that compartment lock. The awning should be pretty long and could be made of metal or plastic. The water would hit at an angle so it would not make a sound and would be deflected around the lock.” Thanks, Donald!
Easy cast iron pan cleanup
“We were dry camping with friends and it was my turn to make breakfast. Remembering all the water it took to clean my cast iron pan the last meal like this, I took extra heavy aluminum foil and covered the inside of the pan, pressing the foil tight against the pan. A quick spray of Pam, a little melted butter, and gentle stirring with the plastic spatula of the scrambled eggs turned them into a wonderful meal topped with cheese. Foil was crumbled up, pan clean.” Our thanks to Debbie P. J.!
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
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.
Gizmos and Gadgets
A Rumpl Puffy hits the spot with the arrival of the winter chill
Bob Difley had tried a “puffy” jacket last winter when caught unprepared in the cold Pacific Northwest. He was completely surprised when it turned out to be so efficient in keeping him warm and comfortable without the bulk of most winter coats. Then Rumpl asked him to review their Puffy Blanket, made with similar materials. Was he as impressed with the blanket as he was with the jacket? Brrr! Find out here.
Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click here.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
What to do about a surging RV generator
Dear RV Doctor:
I recently purchased a toy hauler with a generator with only 27 hours on the meter. At first the governor appeared to be sticking, due to what I believe was bad fuel (varnished). I sprayed the carburetor with a cleaner and it ran fine for awhile. The idle still surges with no load applied, and if I put a heavy load on it, it seems to get better. The butterfly plate at the front of the carburetor, when pushed down manually, makes it run smooth. Any ideas? —Mike C.
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.
with Bob Difley
Snakes in an RV? Call Samuel L. Jackson, or do this
I read your stories every Saturday morning. My friends were traveling and found one morning they had two snakes in their camper. My questions: How could they get in, and do others have this problem? —Nancy
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Finney Lake – the best-kept-secret bird refuge in the Southern California desert.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
with Mike Sokol
Portable space heater safety, Part 2
In the second part of our two-part feature on space heater safety, Mike discuss the various space heater technologies available, how they produce heat, and which ones are safer than others. He recaps with a short list of very important safety tips. Learn more.
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
How to Live in a Car, Van or RV
And Get Out of Debt, Travel and Find True Freedom
There are two main reasons you might buy a book on living in a vehicle: 1) You’re being forced into it by a bad economy, divorce, or unemployment, or 2) The “American Dream” has become a nightmare for you and you are dropping out of the rat race. Whatever your reason, this book will tell you everything you need to make it the best possible experience it can be. Learn more or order.
RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
Did your RV company/dealer follow federal law regarding tires?
There have been a number of posts recently on recalls, including tires and fire extinguishers, and violations of federal safety standards in the RV industry. Tire dealers are required to provide purchasers with a registration form to submit in case of a future recall. When a vehicle is sold (car, light truck or RV), the tires are “sold” with the vehicle. The regulation says “tire dealer,” but even though a company sells vehicles and doesn’t think of itself as a “tire dealer,” it is in fact selling tires. However, few people have received the appropriate registration forms, whether from a tire dealer or when they bought a new or used RV. Did you? Learn more.
Camco Store at Amazon.com
There isn’t much you need for your RV that Camco doesn’t have. If you think we’re kidding, then click through to the Camco store on Amazon where you’ll find some of their best-selling products — all for your RV or for you to make your RVing better. Click here and you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.
Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows
How to choose your first telescope
You’ve made the decision – you’re going to buy your first telescope, but which one? There are dozens of choices at a huge span of price and capabilities. How do you choose? In this article, Chris hopes to tame the decision beast that stalks this important choice. He provides links to equipment he is discussing and systems that he has used or has some familiarity with. Read more.
Give gift cards to your favorite stores and restaurants
You can’t go wrong giving a gift card for the holidays — or any other occasion. Here’s where to order most of America’s most popular gift cards.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Slow Cooker Cottage Loaf
Bread, the staff of life.
Quick breads are a natural for the slow cooker, as long as you know the rules. First, the loaf will not brown on top. Second, the loaf will be the shape of the cooker so a very large footprint means a short loaf. Third, all quick breads slice better if they are cooled, wrapped and let “season” several hours or overnight. Fresh and warm they’re more crumbly but, oh, so scrumptious. Get the recipe.
RVtravel.com Readers’ Favorite Recipes
with Emily Woodbury
Wolfe’s One Pot Pot Roast Dinner
Pot roast, or “Yankee pot roast” as we call it here in America, is a meal associated with frigid winter nights; for when a little extra “blubber” (let’s call it that, shall we?) from red meats and potatoes helps us keep warm in the cold days ahead. A term for “browned meat” cooked with vegetables, pot roast first appeared in cookbooks in the late 19th century, but the method of cooking meat in liquid, known as braising, has been around since long before then. Read more and get the recipe here.
Fix it in Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix it in Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Helpful Boondocking Tactics (Video)
• Featured App: RV Parky
• Free November AL State Park Admission for Veterans
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.
Free and bargain camping
Walmart Supercenter # 2832, Hardeeville, SC
FREE. Overnight RV Parking is allowed. Obtain permission from customer service. Park along N. edge of lot, farthest from hwy. and from store. Level, well lit, quiet and appears safe. Address: 4400 Hwy 278. GPS:32.310613, -80.976485.
Old Sappington Railroad Station Parking Lot, Sappington, MT
FREE. Overnight RV Parking is allowed. Permission not required. Park in large gravel lot on N. side of RR tracks, where RR station used to be. Nothing around, so you’ll be very visible. Level, quiet, unlit and safe other than remote location. Train passes by on some days, in early evening. No amenities. Address: Sappington Rd. GPS: 45.795133-111.754883
Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,480 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
The best book on RV electricity!
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
Upcoming RV Shows
• Portland Metro RV Show, Nov. 9-12, Portland, OR
• Tampa Bay Fall RV Show, Nov. 9-12, Tampa, FL
• West Palm Beach Fall RV Show, Nov. 9-12, West Palm Beach, FL
• Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale, Dec. 7-10, Indio, CA
See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.
Casino Guide includes RVer info
The highly rated 2017 American Casino Guide provides detailed information on more than 750 casino/resorts, riverboats and Indian casinos in 41 states including which have RV parks and/or allow RV overnighting for free. Includes maps and more than $1,000 in coupons. Discloses the actual slot machine payback percentages for every state’s casinos. Learn more or order.
This week in history
Week of November 11–17
Compiled by Dell Bert
1806 – Zebulon Pike spots an imposing mountain (Pike’s Peak).
1851 – “Moby-Dick” is published. (“Call me Ishmael.”)
1907 – Oklahoma enters the Union.
1918 – World War I ends.
1956 – Elvis makes movie debut in “Love Me Tender.”
1958 – Kingston Trio hits #1 on pop charts with “Tom Dooley.”
1980 – Voyager I flies near Saturn.
1981 – Actor William Holden dies.
1982 – Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated.
Frederic Baur invented the Pringles container. When he passed away in 2008, some of his ashes were buried in a container, per his request.
Funny/clever business slogan
We saw this slogan at the Roche Harbor Marina (San Juan Island, WA) on a little pumper boat that pumps out the holding tanks on moored yachts. “M/V Phecal Phreak – We take crap from anyone.” —Thanks to Carl Manganaro
Bumper sticker of the week
My cat is smarter than your honor student.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
An RVing couple, born the same year and month, were celebrating their 60th birthdays. A fairy appeared and said she would grant them both a wish. Very excited, the wife said she would like to visit Europe. The fairy waved her magic wand and airline tickets appeared. Then it was his turn. He paused briefly, then said with a sly look, “I’d like to have a woman 30 years younger than me.” The fairy waved her wand … and, presto, he was 90.
Random RV Thought
The term “RV withdrawal” might be applied to pulling one’s RV out of the driveway or storage area. But it might be better applied to the anxious feeling one gets when deprived of RVing for an extended period of time.
“Character is a tree. Reputation is its shadow.” —Abraham Lincoln
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 and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com.
About the RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Amazon.com. Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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