Sunday, July 3, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 826

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 826 • Week of December 30, 2017 – January 5, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Flying over irrigated rice fields near Sacramento. The area produces 20 percent of the nation’s crop in a typical year.

It’s Friday morning and I’m in a fog. Gail and I are back in Texas after two weeks in Seattle and a week in California. We arrived yesterday after enduring a packed red-eye flight from Fresno, Calif., to Dallas, and then a short hop to San Antonio, where we reclaimed our car and drove in a semi-conscious daze 60 miles to our RV.

The late-night flight, in which I got maybe an hour of sleep in an unhumanly cramped seat on an American Airlines 737, after seven inglorious hours in the Fresno airport, left me, as noted above, in a fog — as bad as any jet lag I’ve experienced traveling to and from distant lands.

I now realize another advantage of RV travel: no jet lag. This is a very good thing.

Aboard our various aeroplanes, Gail and I discussed how odd it was that after having spent only five days in our present RV park near Kerrville before flying away three weeks ago, we felt we were coming “home.” We realized “home” was more about our RV than our spot on the map. We would soon be back in our own bed with all our “stuff” —  free from suitcase-life, which gets old very fast. Sure enough, when we pulled up to our motorhome, I felt happy to have arrived in my “special place” — three weeks of whirlwind movement now halted.

BEGINNING JANUARY 2 my staff and I will resume working full-time on and our other projects. Readership takes a huge jump immediately after the first of each year, when RVers’ thoughts return to their favorite pastime as the hustle-bustle holiday season fades behind.

I wish you a very Happy New Year. If you drink and drive on New Year’s Eve, please make it root beer: we want you back next year (the funny looking man in the image to the right, we are told, is drinking grape juice).

It’s time now for our New Year’s resolutions. Mine is to exercise more and drink more water, both important to good health. It’s been brought to my attention by the very good woman who shares my space that typing is not quality exercise and drinking coffee all day is not the proper way to hydrate oneself!




P.S. HELP WANTED: We have a part-time, freelance opportunity available covering news and writing feature articles for our websites. The person must be knowledgeable about the RV lifestyle and have experience writing quickly and on deadline for a daily newspaper or daily/weekly trade journal. Email me at .

The second issue of Mike Sokol’s monthly RV Electricity newsletter is coming tomorrow. If you have not signed up to receive an email alert for it please do so here. This should be required reading for all RVers.

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• Robots’ now taking orders at McDonald’s.
Words not meant to be read or understood.

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


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Last week’s RV recalls
Grand Design recalls 4,000 RVs, jack problem
Salem, Wildwood trailers recalled for wrong placard
Jayco recalls 49,563 RVs for defective fire extinguishers
Newmar recalls some motorhomes for headlight defect
Forest River recalls some 2016-2018 motorhomes for fire risk
Recalls for last month (November)

New York Times
Best Selling books for 2017

Fiction and Non-fiction. Printed and Kindle. Click here.

No contest this week. We’re taking a break for the holidays. We have a few new contests up our sleeves for 2018, so stay tuned for your chance to win FREE prizes!

breaking-newsAs the National Park Service wrapped up its comment period on its proposal to jack up entry fees to 17 national parks during high tourist seasons, one big-time politician has put in his two cents’ worth. Utah Governor Gary Herbert says the fees might “devastate” businesses, drop the number of park visits, and actually backfire in terms of cleaning up the Service’s $11 billion maintenance backlog. A poll commissioned by Outdoor Alliance for Kids found nearly 66 percent of Americans say they’d be less likely to visit a park if the fee increase were put in place; 72 percent said the parks would be better served by having federal funding increased to care for needs, as opposed to fee increases on users.

Grand Canyon National Park visitors at the South Rim should be on the lookout for road construction at the Hermit Road and Village Loop intersection near Bright Angel and Maswik lodges. Detours will be in place during construction, which will begin shortly after the turn of the year.

Bahia Honda. Flip Schulke/US National Archives

The Florida Keys are slowly recovering from Hurricane Irma, and Bahia Honda State Park is witness to that. Slashed hard by the winds, locals may tell you it’ll never be the same, but the popular park is now open for day use. Overnight use is a different matter – on the bayside of the park a restored campground could open within months. However, the beach camping area is evidently just a memory.

The umpire has called “strike two” in Camping World’s move to fly an American flag larger than a tennis court over its dealership in Statesville, N.C. Back in 2015 the city issued a denial to fly the 40′ by 80′ banner as it exceeded the city’s allowance of 8′ by 12′. Early in December a city councilman tried to make U.S. flags an exemption from the size limiter, but the majority of the city council voted no. The issue has divided the council, some saying the city is just unfriendly toward Camping World and patriotism, with others suggesting the flag isn’t about country, but more about advertising.

A 24-site campground in Oregon’s Hood River County is going to be a washout, literally. Kingsley Reservoir Campground is slated to go under water as an irrigation project expansion moves forward. At this point, county officials who own the campground are mulling over a plan to replace it with one located on dry ground – and with 50 sites available – “subject to available funding.” Still, the old campground’s track record ought to be an indicator: In the last two years the county shelled out nearly $13,000 in expenses to operate the campground, but took in over $35,000 in revenue. A new campground is estimated to rake in $109,000, while costing $78,000.

Photo: Chelsea Muise, USFS

Forest Service officials in Washington state are finding it necessary to remind people who take advantage of dispersed camping just what “pack it in, pack it out” means. Recent photos from the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument show seeming mountains of trash being removed by volunteers. “Leave no trace” means take it ALL with you or face fines of up to $10,000 and six months camping out – in jail.

RV industry types are happy with the recently signed tax reform bill, says lobbying group Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Much welcomed is the 21 percent corporate tax rate. Also included in the law, a provision allowing dealers to write off interest expense of yet-to-sell RVs – but that’s a mixed bag. Motorhome “floor plan” interest can be written off in full, while towables are subject to a 30 percent limitation based on earnings before tax and interest. The industry hopes for a change in that in a “technical correction” in 2018.

Winter Differently with Us!
Come down to Encore RV Resorts this winter. Plan your season of fun at any one of our sunbelt resorts in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Palm Springs and more. Find your winter destination today and stay a week, a month or the entire season! Learn more.

news524(2)More News

In a “win some, lose some” scenario, New York park officials say they’ll be making some changes in three Adirondacks campgrounds. At Caroga Lake, there will be new bathrooms and 20 of the 105 campsites will get upgrades. At Buck Pond in Franklin County, 15 of the 116 sites will see improvements. But at Piseco Lake, while two campgrounds will get remodels, a third campground will be converted to day use only.

Photo: CAL FIRE Riverside on Facebook

California firefighters breathed “life” back into a dog at the Lake Perris RV Campground. Firemen responded to a travel trailer blaze and started putting out the flames. After 22 minutes firemen were able to enter the rig – and found a “lifeless” female dog. After carrying the big girl out and putting her on a picnic table, oxygen and resuscitation efforts brought results. Later in the day, local animal control authorities reported the dog was “alert and attentive.”

Not all municipally owned campgrounds are a financially losing proposition. Moriah, N.Y., town officials got a happy report regarding the two campgrounds the town operates. The 2017 camping season saw Bulwagga Bay Campground grossing nearly $295,000, netting the town more than $143,000 after expenses. This year the town took over management of the Champ RV Park, which brought in close to $130,000, netting better than $84,000.

Progress is ongoing in Twin Falls County, Idaho. Officials sought and obtained a grant to rebuild an RV park at Murtaugh Lake. Now the county has the go-ahead to drill a new well for the operation. In reality, the existing RV park will be converted to day use, and a completely new RV park will take its place on site.

“SafetyStruts™ Prevent RV Bumper Failure”
Sales of the innovative SafetyStruts™ RV Bumper Support Brackets exploded in 2014 after the US-based start-up was profiled by 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 to learn more.

Muskegon County, Mich., county park users are seeing a jump in camping fees. Fees have increased by $2 per night to $30 a night at Blue Lake and Pioneer parks, and to $32 at Meinert Park’s Pines Campground. This compares to $32 per night state park nightly fees. Seasonal fees at the Pines Campground have jumped $200 per season to $2,700. The county says the fee hike will generate $22,000 more per year in revenue.

Vacaville, Calif., Camping World employees who showed up for work in the early morning hours recently discovered somebody had broken open the gate. Police responded, and after a bit of a look-around, spotted somebody opening mail – sitting on top of a trailer. Stephen Jacob Wilson, 29, had plenty of Christmas cards and other goodies with him on the roof – and apparently none of them belonged to him. He’s facing charges of mail theft – among others.

Cäsium137 (T.), Wikimedia. org

Camden County, Mo., planning commissioners have shot down a rezone request needed to transform a defunct yurt resort into an RV park. In addition to local resident opposition, commissioners had reservations about damage to local roads caused by “large RVs” and the safety of children in the neighborhood. Developers say that since they can’t build the RV park, they’ll likely subdivide the 25-acre property and build 100 homes instead. The final decision on the request still rests with county commissioners, but the expectation is the request will be dead on arrival.

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at

This week’s Reader Poll
. . . will return next week

Get more from your amps and watts
Electricity. We take it for granted. Plug in an appliance and turn it on. What could be simpler? But when you take up boondocking, electricity is more like opening the spigot of a water jug. When it all flows out there is no more, unless you refill the jug. If you observe a few basic electricity conservation rules, you’ll be able to get the most out of your available battery power. Get some tips from Boondock Bob Difley.

video camera WPA fact of traveling by RV: breakdowns
Breakdowns happen no matter what form of transportation you use. Whether it’s a car, plane, cruise ship, yacht or RV, there’s always the possibility you could get stuck on your vacation. As Forrest Gump said, “It happens.” So how do you deal with the ever-present specter of the dreaded breakdown? Find out in this article and short video from Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician and former technical editor at

Fulltiming doesn’t have to mean major eating change
In a question posted on a fulltimer’s forum, a huge majority of respondents said they pretty well stuck with the way they cooked “back home.” How’s that? Here’s a sampling of some of the “menu items” fulltimers take to eating. Read more.

Rent a tiny house (like an RV) near a Florida beach
Tiny houses are like RVs, they just don’t move around as often. Learn about a former Florida RV park that is now home to tiny houses, where travelers can rent for a night or longer. Read the story

A few of the many uses for WD-40
There are few RVers who don’t consider a can of WD-40 an essential item in their tool arsenal. This “can do” lubricant has a wide range of uses, making it a very handy and useful product. Here are some uses for the product –  some of which you may not have previously considered. Learn more.

Waterless trap for your RV plumbing system
Make foul smelling odors a thing of the past!
Already used by major RV manufacturers, the revolutionary HepvO waterless trap is a fantastic alternative to a conventional ‘P’ trap and it won’t fail due to evaporation, movement, freezing or leakage. Its unique membrane prevents foul air from the grey water tank entering your RV and its in-line design helps create extra storage space! Learn more

thumbs upThumbs up – December 2017
Want to read something positive for a change? Here are some recent “thumbs up” letters and comments we’ve received from our readers. Read more.

Best and neatest BBQ sauce applicator
Can you believe that Rich “The Wanderman” has been applying BBQ sauce the wrong way for years? Well, that’s what he’s saying now that he has discovered these”little beauties” at a closeout shop. They worked so well that he even went online to find more. He doesn’t often rave about a kitchen gizmo, but he’s definitely raving about this one.

Popular highway guide Next EXIT published for 2018
The ever-popular Next EXIT Directory, a motorists’ guide to services located along U.S. interstate highways, is now available. The Next EXIT 2018 is the 27th updated edition of the iconic USA directory, which in its 508 pages lists gas stations, food, lodging, shopping, hospitals, RV parks and other services. Learn more.

video camera WPDo you use the right adapter when plugging in?
Are you using the right electrical adapter when you plug in at your campground? If you don’t use the right one, it could cause problems. In this video Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, has a tip about using electrical adapters when plugging an RV into power at a campground or elsewhere. Watch the video.

New fees – and fee hikes – in the Idaho Panhandle
In a move that may be unsettling for some Pacific Northwest recreationists, fee increases, and new fees where none existed before, are being trotted out for review by managers of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It’s a broad spectrum of changes that managers say will simply bring rates more into line with other existing facilities, based on their amenities. You can comment until January 14. Read more.

Income wasted!

Is 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 significant money! Learn more at Campanda. Endorsed by

Readers’ comments on recent articles

tell-friends-755Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Towable RV owners lose benefit with new tax bill.
Propane exchange could be an expensive pain.
RV street dwellers: “It’s a crisis.
How do you know if you have a (dangerous) miswired power pedestal?
Southwest snowbirds — Beware the wind of many names.

More popular articles from last week’s issue
What’s the best way to change two flat tires on RV?
Take care with your RV generator switchovers
Pros(?) and cons of dual air balance system.
Thor recalling 110,400 towable RVs and motorhomes.
Keystone issues recall on more than 1.2 million RVs.

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.

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.

Heat your RV with Electricity, not Propane!
SAVE $$$! Until now, the standard for heating recreation vehicles of all types has been to use bottled propane (LPG). With the CheapHeat™ system there’s a better option. Now you have a choice to change the central heating system between gas and electric with the flip of a switch. When you choose to run on electric heat rather than gas, your coach will be heated by the electricity provided by the RV park. Learn more.

Ask the RV Shrink

If in doubt, check it out before parking – or pay a hefty price

Dear RV Shrink:
I am very upset with my husband. We were just fined $150 for illegally parking overnight in a Florida marina parking lot in the middle of nowhere. He says it is partly my fault because I should have seen the sign. I’m 78 years old. I’m just happy if I can see tomorrow. …

Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s response.

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.

Tank Sensors Reading Full?
Restore them overnight with Caravan Sensor Cleaner
Caravan’s highly concentrated, bio-enzymatic formula is guaranteed to remove the debris causing your tanks to misread. No driving necessary. No dangerous chemicals. No strong odors. Perfect for full-timers and permanently parked RVs. Learn more or buy at

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.47 (on Dec. 25). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 16 cents.
Diesel: $2.90 (on Dec. 25). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 36 cents.

grip766Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best-seller and costs about $8. Learn more or order.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Be prepared!
Develop a plan of action before a fire occurs. Review with everyone the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” rule so they know what to do when clothing is on fire. 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

Stop rust and corrosion
Of the many gremlins that attack your RV —like mold, mildew, leaks and black streaks — rust will attack your hand tools, spare parts, door hinges & other vulnerable metal surfaces & moving parts over time. STA-BIL® Rust Stopper prevents rust & corrosion by protecting metal surfaces with a long-lasting barrier while lubricating parts & tools to stop squeaks & sticking. Learn more.

RV Quick Tips

Help for your fridge in cold weather
Weather so cold your refrigerator won’t run properly? Reader Phil E. suggests, “Put duct tape over the upper vents, but just remember to take the tape off when the weather warms up.” Thanks, Phil!

An easy way to save money on propane
From the “So tight he squeaks when he walks” department: Turn off your oven pilot light when not in use. Save propane = save money.

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

better-living-showerOrganize your RV’s shower!
Quit hassling with shampoo & conditioner bottles
RV showers are small! Hassling with bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap are a pain! Make it easy with this Better Living Classic 3-Chamber Dispenser. It utilizes a “patented pump technology” and comes with a lifetime warranty. The liquid is stored in three 15 oz. refillable chambers. The right amount of product is dispensed with a stroke or two of the pump. Installs in minutes without tools. Learn more or order.

Gizmos and Gadgets

State Stickers colorfully document your RV travels
Track your RV travels the fun way with this RV State Stickers United States Map. Made of premium, clear 4-mil vinyl that wraps to the contours of your vehicle. Apply the map decal to your back window or exterior wall, and each time you visit a state add the respective sticker. Each sticker features a signature attraction in that state and each image is 100% original and unique to this brand. Learn more.

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

slideout-seal656Protect your RV’s slideout
with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.

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

RVer needs help finding slideout’s manual override

Dear Gary,
We have a 27-foot Gulf Stream Streamlite trailer with a small slideout. The manual states that there is a manual override to retract the slideout in the event that the electric motor fails. We can’t locate the “emergency device” mentioned in the manual. We even had a technician look, with no luck. The motor is located in the middle of the sofa but there appears to be no access to it. Any thoughts? —John E.

Read Gary’s response.

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

Hot off the press!
2018 Good Sam RV Park Directory
The Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is the only print directory of RV parks in North America. It features an exclusive rating system by consultants in the field at privately owned parks. Plus, detailed park listings include amenities, services, restrictions, camping rates, contact information, Good Sam discount locations, hundreds of dollars’ worth of Camping World savings, pages of helpful RVing information and much more! Many RVers consider this printed directory essential even with all the online resources available. Learn more or order.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Are our public land boondocking options being whittled away?

Hi Bob,
It looks to me like the trend in the uses of public lands like the Forest Service and BLM is leaning toward commercial ventures and away from recreational. Examples are the Forest Service’s new Travel Management Plan restricting boondocking to only approved areas, the reduction of the size of some national monuments and opening formerly protected land to mining and other commercial exploitation. Is this trend foretelling the end of boondocking on public lands? —Bernie

Read Bob’s response.

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

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

tempgun-682Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C and heater output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

What’s all this electrical “ground” stuff about?

Dear Mike,
I had a problem a few months ago where the campground pedestal lost its ground, which gave my RV a hot-skin voltage. But I had my jacks down on the ground, so why didn’t that ground my RV? Are there different grounds or what? —Frank S.

Read Mike’s response.

Mike 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.

corps-book-748Camping 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 Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

RVer concerned about “too much” tire pressure increase

Roger was reading an RV forum thread on TPMS usage recently and one comment jumped out at him: “I have a serious concern with the G-rated tires on my 5th wheel trailer. When I run the cold max pressure at 110 psi, I get TPMS readings up to 134 psi rolling down the road. Lately, I have been running 95 psi cold and am getting 115-119 psi rolling. The tires and rims are rated for 110 psi. I can live with 120 psi, but the 134 psi concerns me.” Read Roger’s reassuring response.

Quick, simple, no-mess way to cook eggs
Perfect for RVing! Cook your favorite egg recipe in a breeze, mess-free with the Egg-Tastic Microwave Egg Cooker & Poacher. Crack the eggs right in the ceramic pot, add ingredients & microwave for fast, fluffy, flavorful eggs! The vented lid allows steam to escape while the ceramic pot circulates heat for even cooking! Prep, cook & enjoy your meal in the same dish. Dishwasher safe. Click here to learn more or order for about $6.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Tic Tac Toe
Snacks for the campfire crowd.

Who knew that breakfast cereals could be so flavorful? Best of all, you can fine-tune this recipe to use cereals that are sugar-free, organic or gluten-free. You can also lighten the salt or skip the MSG. Check out the secret ingredient in this devilishly addictive mix. 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

Irv’s Make-Ahead Frittata Muffins

We’ve all done enough cooking for the holidays, right? I don’t want to be in my kitchen (or any other for that matter) for the next couple of weeks, and I certainly don’t want to wash another dish. However, I’ll sacrifice one more hour for these delicious frittata muffins. Make-ahead breakfast for nine days? Sounds great to me!  Read more and get the recipe


damp-rid-2-761damprid-761Avoid moisture damage to your RV
DampRid FG50T Hi-Capacity Moisture Absorber, 4-Pound Tub eliminates musty odors in RVs and other spaces, protecting them from moisture damage for up to 60 days in areas up to 1000-square feet, and up to 6 months in a 250-square foot area. Don’t let your rig get damaged from moisture this winter. Learn more or order.

Digital RVer

How to make a map of your travels – free and easy

Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, have been traveling the country by RV since 2003. Chris has made a map of their travels for each year so they can remember where they were and when. She uses Google My Maps, a free tool for anyone with a Google account. Chris explains how simple it is to set up and save your maps, as well as how to share them with your friends and family, and more. Learn how.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here is a popular webcast: #111, Adding Google Photos to Google My Maps.   Watch live or archives of past programs.

Special offer for RV Travel readers!
Visit the Geeks’ Store to buy a membership. Use the coupon code rvtravel and get a 20% discount off anything you order.

Downsizing The Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go 
Whether you’re downsizing to go full-time or for other reasons, this best-selling AARP book will guide you through the process, from opening that first closet, to sorting through a lifetime of possessions, to selling your home. The author helps you create a strategy and mindset to accomplish the task quickly and rewardingly, both practically and emotionally. Learn more or order.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• The Springs at Borrego, CA 
• New Year’s Eve Fireworks at the Pier
• Living In Your RV During The Winter

Be sure you’re “dumped” when you dump
When dumping your holding tanks you need to know when the tanks are empty. This clear fitting elbow allows you to actually observe when the dumping is done. It is made with UV stabilized resin for long life. Bayonet fitting has built-in gasket for an odor-tight connection. Every RVer should have one of these. Learn more or order.

Free and bargain camping

Walmart Store # 1616, Susanville, CA
Overnight RV parking is allowed. Obtain permission from Walmart store. Park in marked RV spaces in the south corner of the lot, near adjacent tire shop. Can be noisy if lots of RVs are there, and especially if there are trucks parked there too. Some highway noise as well. Two RVers report parking lot sweeper in early AM. There is a Subway sandwich shop in the store and Jack In The Box adjacent. Address: 2900 Main St., Susanville, CA. GPS: 40.408,  -120.63688

Cracker Barrel # 167, Gainesville, FL
Overnight RV parking is allowed. Obtain permission from the store. Park in one of several marked Bus/RV spaces on the west side of the building. Well-lit and lot appears level. Usually fairly quiet. One RVer says the lot is tight for a 40-ft unit, but commercial drivers bring 44-ft buses here regularly. Two RVers say that there are low branches at entrance/exit driveways. Address: 4001 SW 43rd St, Gainesville, FL. GPS: 29.617714, -82.38887

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

Best way to fill your batteries
Fill this container with distilled water, insert the nozzle into the cell of your battery, then push and hold. When the battery is at the proper level, the water will automatically stop. Then move to the next cell, etc. You won’t over- or under-fill your batteries this way, helping extend their lives. Learn more or order at

Upcoming RV Shows

• Colorado RV Adventure & Travel Show, Jan. 4-6, Denver, CO
Greater Atlanta RV Show, Jan. 5-7, College Park, GA
Knoxville RV Show, Jan. 5-7, Sevierville, TN
South Carolina RV & Camping Show, Jan. 5-7, Greenville, SC
Wisconsin RV Show, Jan. 5-7, Milwaukee, WI
Pittsburgh RV Show, Jan. 6-14, Pittsburgh, PA
• Ohio RV Supershow, Jan, 10-14, Cleveland, Ohio
Mid America RV Show, Jan. 11-14, Kansas City, MO
57th Annual RV & Campgrounds Show, Jan. 12-14, Allentown, PA
Washington Camping RV Expo, Jan. 12-14, Chantilly, VA
• OKC Boat & RV Show, Jan. 12-14, Oklahoma City, OK
Boston RV & Camping Expo, Jan. 12-15, Boston, MA. Visit Show Website.

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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.

del-545This week in history
Week of December 30 – January 5
Compiled by Dell Bert


45 B.C. – First New Year’s Day is celebrated.
1788 – Georgia becomes the fourth state in the U.S.
1896 – Utah enters the Union.
1933 – Construction begins on Golden Gate Bridge.
1942 – United Nations is created.
1952 – “Dragnet” TV show debuts.
1959 – Alaska admitted into Union.
1974 – Nixon signs national speed limit into law.
1985 – Rick Nelson dies in a plane crash.
1998 – Sonny Bono killed in skiing accident.

Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a book using no more than 50 different words. The result? “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Spotted near Yellowstone National Park. We doubt you will see these three “C’s” on any one sign anywhere else.

Bumper sticker of the week
Who cares? I’m retired.

Joke of the Week

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!” He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Funny/clever business slogan
Sign on tow truck in Eustis, Fla.: “We meet by accident.” Thanks to Martine Flory!

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


Random RV Thought
On cold winter nights, it’s nice to climb into a warm bed, not a cold one. An easy way to warm a bed before climbing in is with an electric warming blanket. They’re smaller than full-sized blankets but when placed on the bed will make it cozy warm. They also make good lap blankets while lounging on the couch.

Worth Pondering
“A child on a farm sees a plane fly by overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse and dreams of home.” —Carl Burns

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, J.M. Montigel 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 2018 by


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4 years ago

I seen an article in this issue by a man named Phil E.
about my frig not working properly in the winter. He says to put duct tape over the upper vents but I don’t know where the upper vents are that he’s talking about. Is there a way that I can contact him to find out.

Patti and Brad Lounsbury
4 years ago

Well, it has been another great year full of fun and helpful information, thank you so very much. It gives such a wonderful feeling of community and we are looking forward to reading and trying out the good advice in 2018. Have a fantastic New Year everyone!

Dennis Hengstebeck
4 years ago

Thanks folks, another great read. Stay warm, stay safe, and HaPpY New Year.

Dennis in Kerrville @Take It Easy

4 years ago

The editorial on comericial flights is so on for me. I am 6’ 4” tall and no longer fit in the seat spacing that is currently being sold by today’s airlines. I would rather drive for two days than fly for 2hours! I don’t see why any larger person would get on a flight today . Today’s airline seat are only fit for a small person who weighs less than 140 lb. and is shorter than 6’ 0”. As a 25 or 30 year old I enjoyed flying all over this country for my employer. I did at least a half dozen flights a year usually in uncrodewed plaines an with a seat in the exit row with extra leg room. I did this for most of a. 35 year career. Today even first class seating is way to small| as I foun out on my last flight in 2003.

4 years ago

In regards to the American Flag? If Trump can build his 30 foot flag pole and fly it higher then anyone else by building a mound and posting it there then why can’t Camping World. Sounds like we have some liberals who do not like our flag. Time to rethink what is patriotic and what is not. The bigger the better I say.

Gail Anderson
4 years ago

I want to purchase one of those maps where you put stickers of states you’ve been in, but our travel trailer is corrugated. Will it stick?

4 years ago
Reply to  Gail Anderson

We used a paint stick to help smooth it into the grooves. Some of it came loose but it is still there a year later. We have no problems with ours. Even attached the Canadian one as well. Good luck.

Michael R Palmer
4 years ago

It will be interesting to see how the 2018 Tax Reform will affect the RV industry. Being discussed, is not allowing any interest deductions for all RV’s that are not self propelled. If you have a travel trailer or 5th wheeler, the interest on the loan will no longer be deductible as a second home. Motor home loans are still OK for now.

john stahl
4 years ago

Hi Chuck,
If you come by Pearland, Texas, please stop and visit. I too would like to meet you and Gail.

Charles Yaker
4 years ago

One of your adds for “Popular highway guide Next EXIT published for 2018
The ever-popular Next EXIT Directory, “

IMHO Is an example of the deteriorating. RV sceane. There used to be a better formatted exit guide called “The exit Authority “ listings were by Highway not state so I95 started in Maine and ended in Florida and you didn’t have to skip around to find you’re exit information. it went under then was reborn and eventually bought out by Camping World and immediately closed down again. For whatever reason somebody not necessarily the consumer likes the “Next Exit “ more

James Y. Gochnauer
4 years ago
Reply to  Charles Yaker

“The Exit Authority “was by far the better directory and much easier to use. Years ago I contacted the publisher but they had no plans to re-publish another issue. Some people keep their old copies and write in updates and changes they notice. Maybe Chuck Woodbury can check into it and see if it can be re-issued. We would certainly appreciate it. Jim G. – Ohio

Erin James
4 years ago

I know a little bit about what is involved in putting together a weekly newsletter, so to say that I’m impressed with RVTravel is an understatement.

I truly appreciate both the level of journalism and the content provided. Thank you and your staff, and best wishes for a great new year.

4 years ago
Reply to  Erin James

Erin, I know nothing of putting together a newsletter but I do know about timelines. Kudos to all the RV Newsletter staff for an excellent weekly product.. It continually amazes me how they get so much great content done and published every 7 days.

4 years ago

The 12/29/17 Fire Safety article reminded me of a clothing article and flammability ratings of material. I have a wood stove and will burn some old clothing with wood. For example T shirts and other high cotton clothing. The flames are amazing. So, I was curious on the clothing and risk of wearing during fire. I can only say, that most women’s light and loose clothing is a easy torch. Synthetic material is petro based and especially flammable. Loose knit, light, and airy type clothing can burst into flames. Synthetic material will melt and stick to skin for horrendous burn as the material directly transfers burning heat to skin.
What is the best material? Animal based material such as wool. Cotton burns very well. Best material is heavy or thick with dense weave. Clothing should not be wet as the eventual steam will do more harm than direct flame contact.
Since I’m an Engineer with a habit of always inventing, I’m thinking a custom wool blanket would be very useful. Maybe a round blanket that one could flip over head and center with blanket edges touching floor. Wool is a material fire fighters use with special fire retardant. This blanket would trap an air pocket of cooler and fresher air for breathing. Smoke and heat go up and the blacket separates oneself from this danger zone. A dry blanket would give a few minutes of safety to walk out out even within flames. Even if wearing problem clothes the blanket will protect you. Really, some of the clothes we wear are just dangerous around any flame. This clothing would burst into flame and make quick work of losing survivability.

Jerry Collis
4 years ago

Hey Chuck,
I’m curious where you are currently staying. You mentioned that you are near Kerrville, TX. We are currently in Boerne, TX at the Top of the Hill RV Resort. A great place to stay. Would enjoy the opportunity to meet up and share a story or two over coffee.