Wednesday, July 6, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 829

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 829 • Week of January 20–26, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Our traffic the last month. The spikes are on Saturday when the newsletter is posted.

Things are crazy (crazy good) with this website and newsletter. I do not know what has happened, but circulation skyrocketed last week. Last Saturday’s newsletter received more than 72,000 page views on Saturday alone. By Sunday night, they hit 100,000. And people are still reading it.

A few weeks ago, I put the word out that we were looking for more writers. The reason: my current staff and I do not have adequate time to write about everything we believe you should know to get the most from your RV travels. Times they are a changin’ in the wonderful world of RVing, and we’re trying to make sense of it for you. Nobody else is. There isn’t a quality RV print magazine left and 95 percent of all RV websites offer pretty much the same old stories you’ve read a thousand times before. Most websites and blogs about RVing are one- or two-person operations without adequate time to properly devote to gathering information and/or paying writers to post quality stories.

Every week that passes we receive more support from our readers. And with every new one we are more empowered to serve you better without commercial interference.

No other website has a staff of experts like we do. Have you been following Mike Sokol’s articles on RV electricity? The man is a genius! You will not find any other person in America who knows more about RV electricity than Mike. He and I are working on several educational programs for RVers. Since he joined us, Mike has been approached by major companies about promoting RV electrical safety education. His monthly newsletter has already topped 6,000 subscribers. Read his latest issue.

You won’t read articles anywhere but here like the one in this issue by KOA owner (not for long) Andy Zipser about why he is leaving the KOA system.

And don’t forget our regular contributors — veteran RV journalists Russ and Tiña De Maris and the RV Doctor Gary Bunzer (who is heavily involved in establishing construction and safety standards for the RV industry). And there’s retired Firestone executive Roger Marble, who reports on RV tire safety. And Boondocking expert Bob Difley. The list goes on.

And, beginning this issue, we are proud to present a weekly column by veterinarian Dr. Deanna Tolliver. Deanna is a full-time RVer and lover and protector of animals. She is thrilled to be associated with RV Travel — and we are thrilled to have her. Read her first column here.

Last issue, I stirred up a hornet’s nest with my comments about how so many new RVs are coming equipped with residential refrigerators. Go back and read what I wrote if you missed out. Some of you love your residential refrigerators. But others want nothing to do with them. This is a topic we will dig into in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, here’s a recap of many of the comments we received, pro and con, about residential refrigerators since the last issue.

If you are one of our “voluntary subscribers” you should have received a special email from me yesterday with more news about behind the scenes goings-on at If you did not, please let me know at and I’ll make sure you get it.

If you are reading this newsletter week after week for free, that’s fine; I know some of you are challenged just making ends meet (been there, done that). But if you are okay financially, please consider the value you receive from what we publish. Decide if it’s worth a one-time or ongoing donation to help us do more for you that makes your RVing more enjoyable, rewarding and, above all, safe.

See you next week — same little corner of cyberspace.




P.S. Click the video to the right: Toby the parrot stands in for me to say “Bye bye.”

Remember, our news section has moved to make room for more features in this main section of the newsletter. Read it here.

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Old lady transforms into sexy young woman (short video)

No Contest this week
We had planned to bring back o
ur Pot of Gold Contest this week but ran into some last minute technical problems. We hope to get it going next week.

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.


Our news section has moved 
We’re beefing up our news coverage and there’s not enough room here to post it all along with all our other great features. So click here to read this week’s news.

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.

RV fires: They happen, and they’re not pretty!
Every week, in our Saturday newsletter, we post an RV Fire Safety Tip. The fact is, RV fires happen. And when an RV catches fire, it goes up fast. RV fire expert Mac McCoy (Mac the Fire Guy) advises that if you can’t extinguish a fire in 20 seconds, then concentrate on getting yourself out of the RV safely; forget about trying to save the RV. Learn more fire safety tips in this article and two short, but very important, videos.

The pros and cons of RV “residential” refrigerators
Boy, did we open a can of worms last issue when we wrote about RV refrigerators and offered our thoughts! We had no idea what a hot-button topic this would be. We’ll write more about this later, but for now read the many comments our readers left last week on the subject.

Cut your RV lifestyle expenses
Bob Difley offers a long list of tips for reducing costs and becoming more efficient for whatever your RVing lifestyle. Feel free to add your tips in the Comments section below the article. Read more.

video camera WPWhat you need to know if you carry a firearm in your RV editor Chuck Woodbury explains in a video how a law-abiding citizen of one state may risk getting in trouble by carrying a gun in another state, where laws differ. A survey by revealed that 40 percent of RVers carry a weapon all or most of the time. RVers or others who travel with a firearm outside their own state should know the laws. Watch the video.

Fulltime RVer – Death while on the road
It’s not something we like to spend a lot of time thinking about. It’s when we finally “hang up the keys” for the last time. At this point, death is inevitable for all of us. But if you’re a fulltime RVer, or spend a lot of time on the road, here’s a question: What happens if you die while away from your home base? Russ and Tiña De Maris look at both the immediate situation, and the longer-term issues in this important article.

This week’s Reader Poll
To combat crowding, should popular national parks require reservations to enter? 
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:
Did you winterize your RV this winter season? Click here for the results.

Results of more recent polls (including comments):
Has the RV-type fridge on any RV you’ve owned ever caught fire?
How often do you dine out compared to eating at home?

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.

RV water: How fresh is “fresh” water?
Having your RV sitting in the driveway, “ready to roll” on a spur-of-the-moment trip, is one of the gifts of our lifestyle. Got propane and gas in the tanks? Holding tanks empty? If you keep a few clothes in the rig, some non-perishable food items, and grab whatever else from your house fridge, your RV is up to an “instant getaway.” Ah, but what about the fresh water tank? How long can you safely keep water in it before worrying about “bugs”? Find out here.

Is staying overnight in an RV at Walmart in jeopardy?
In a recent development, some Oregon Walmart stores are banning overnight stays from their parking lots. It’s not your average RVer to blame, but a new breed of RVers who don’t necessarily play by the commonly accepted rules. Read more.

The junk drawer – What’s in there and what can you toss?
Admit it … we all have one: a Junk Drawer. That’s the one that ends up catching all the odds and ends from all around the RV. Eventually, it fills up and you have to figure out what you need and what you don’t. Rich “The Wanderman” (and a self-proclaimed pack rat) takes you on a tour of his junk drawer and offers advice (sometimes via links) on organizing storage spaces. Read more.

Add-on small shelves can organize or display
It seems like there’s never quite enough “space” for everything in the RV. Sometimes an off-the-wall idea can help. Actually, in this case, it’s an on-the-wall idea. Here are some nifty storage/display tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris. Learn more.

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.

Keeping spare light bulbs is a bright idea
According to Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, keeping a selection of light bulbs in your rig’s tool box is a great idea. This way, when you have a burnout, you have a replacement handy. Here are some tips for what to have on hand, and a warning to not change the size or type of a bulb in a fixture. Learn more.

RV park drops KOA affiliation. Owner explains why
Andy Zipser is leaving the KOA system on Feb. 1. He opted out for a variety of reasons, which he explains here. This is interesting reading, as it offers an insight into what it’s like to operate an RV park and a KOA franchise in particular. Read his story.

Special road atlas keeps tall RVs out of trouble
Long haul truckers rely on Rand McNally’s Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas for the most comprehensive highway and trucking information on the market. Perhaps most importantly, the atlas shows them where they can go without hitting a low bridge or encountering a dangerously narrow road. RVs these days are sometimes nearly the height of big rig trucks, making this atlas just as valuable to these “big rig” drivers, too. Learn more.

DyersRV 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

Deep thoughts found at a flea market

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Will HUD make living in an RV or tiny home illegal?
The mystery of the burning RV cover.
RV shopping? Two “musts” you may not have considered.
Dumped RVs costly to property owners who must remove them.
Goodyear tires under investigation.
Drive ’til the wheels fall off? Seems like this RVer did.

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Nine easy steps to holding down fuel costs.
Electrical reference graphics to print and save. 
Why do trailer tires fail more often than tow vehicle tires?
Luxury motorhome comes with helipad and helicopter!
Dealer says water in RV from retracting slideout is normal.
Full-timers: Husband wants to downsize RV; wife says no.

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.

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.

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

What size RV should we buy?

Dear RV Shrink:
We are shopping for a new RV. My husband wants a giant bus-type motorhome and I would like to see us in something smaller. I don’t care if it’s a trailer, 5th wheel or motorhome, I just think it will be easier to travel in something less large. He thinks he needs the biggest thing that rolls on tires; I think we might feel more comfortable in something more conservative. Do you have any suggestions on finding a happy medium? —Bigger not always better in Birmingham

Read the RV Shrink’s advice.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his 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” guide to services at Interstate exits

Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2018 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.56 (on Jan. 15). Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 20 cents.
Diesel: $3.03 (on Jan. 15). Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 44 cents.

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 

The RV Vet
With Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM
Seven out of ten RV Travel readers travel with a pet (see our reader survey). Here’s a weekly dose of helpful information from our resident veterinarian.

RVers worry about traveling with dog because of seizures

Dear Dr. Deanna,
We have finally made the decision to sell our home and travel full-time. We want to take our dog, Dolly, with us. But recently she’s been having seizures; at least, we think that’s what happening. She might whine a little at first, then hold very still and her eyes kind of glaze over, and she trembles. This lasts just a few minutes and then she kind of wakes up and after another few minutes, she seems normal. She’s a terrier mix, only 3 years old. Is she going to die? Should we take her with us on the road? — Lindsay N.

Read Dr. Deanna’s reply

Camco Store at
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.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Make sure your smoke detector works
Test your smoke detector(s) regularly, and make sure all travelers know what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. 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

Mini dehumidifier removes moisture from RV
This brand new mini dehumidifier from Pro Breeze quickly and efficiently removes moisture from the air. It is perfect for use in small areas like RVs. It extracts up to 9 ounces of moisture per day with a large 16-ounce capacity water tank that will automatically shut off when full. Very quiet, too. Learn more or order.

RV Quick Tips

A tip for “tightening up” loose screws
Speaking of RVers – er, RVs – with loose screws, Ken Wahl sends along this great tip:  “Sometimes if a screw vibrates loose it’s because the screw has no more gripping ability in the wood – the hole is stripped out or too big, or the wrong size screw was used. To repair a hole that isn’t holding anymore, remove the screw then squirt a dab of wood glue in and add a few broken-off pieces of a wooden toothpick into the “gluey” hole. This creates a wood plug. Let it dry partially or fully before you use this as the “new” hole for the old or replacement wood screw. If the glue is a bit damp, this will add to the holding ability of the screw and hole. This old attachment trick with the new hole is stronger that the original arrangement.” Thanks, Ken!

Remove scuff marks with vanilla extract
Still have a vinyl floor in your galley? Banish black “scuff marks” by rubbing them with vanilla extract on a paper towel.

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

Pop popcorn the fun, easy way
Pop your popcorn with Colonel Popper, the all-silicone popcorn maker that folds down for compact storage. It’s super durable, safe and eco-friendly. You can eat fresh microwave popcorn right out of its colorful bowl! Perfect for the RV. Click the video for a one-minute demonstration or order at Amazon.

Gizmos and Gadgets

King introduces clear dome satellite TV antenna
KING has introduced two new, state-of-the-art automatic satellite TV antennas, with first-ever clear covers. The new DISH Tailgater Pro and KING Quest Pro for DIRECTV are designed for use as either a portable or a roof-mounted satellite system for RVs. The clear cover allows users to see where the dish is pointing and simplifies troubleshooting to ensure receiving the best signal. The antennas are small and light like previous models, yet provide improved signal reception. Learn more.

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

Protect yourself from intruders, bears and more!
The BASU eAlarm lets us explore, sleep, and adventure with confidence! This tiny device emits a 130-decibel alarm which scares away intruders, burglars and wild animals, and will call for help if you find yourself stranded. Used by the RV Travel staff, you can count on this alarm to keep you safe. Watch the video to learn more or click here to order for about $10.

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

How important is leveling for an RV absorption fridge?

Dear Gary:
We recently purchased a used 2007 motorhome and haven’t actually camped in it yet but have done some local driving to get used to it. We’ve been reading about the leveling for the refrigerator and understand the necessity. We have a two-door unit (top freezer and bottom refrigerator). My husband is concerned about leveling while driving such as on hills and mountains. Should we be? —Rosemary P.

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

Quiet as a Bouse (in Arizona)

Hi Bob,
We recently passed through a small, intriguing desert town named Bouse on a two-lane backroad when driving from Wickenburg to Parker in southwestern Arizona. We were through in an instant, but after we arrived in Parker it bugged me that we hadn’t stopped to explore. Did we miss anything there? —Gus and Anne

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.

Keurig mini coffee maker perfect for RV
If you love the convenience of brewing your coffee with a Keurig coffee maker but don’t have counter space for a full-sized machine, here’s your answer. This one cup coffee maker occupies very little counter space.It’s easy to use and brews a single cup of java in about two minutes. The RV Travel motorhome crew loves its Keurig K-Mini. Learn more or order for about $66.

And if you don’t like tossing those plastic pods into the trash, try these totally compostable pods. They totally decompose in a week after use.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Is this non-contact voltage tester on?

Dear Mike,
I just finished reading your book “RV Electrical Safety” twice.  You have demystified things I’ve only guessed at for years. …  I have a 30-amp outlet on the side of my house and I decided to check it with the techniques you described in the book. There are two outlets in the box, the 30 amp and a 20 amp. I checked both with the non-contact tester and it showed no hot contacts. I assumed the breaker had tripped.  … —Bruce

Read the rest of the question and 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.

2018 Guide to Firearm Laws of the 50 States
PUBLISHED JAN. 2018: Learn how to prepare, carry & transport your firearm in all 50 states, Canada & Mexico. Includes state breakdowns of firearms ownership, semi-auto gun ownership, castle doctrine, right to protect, open & concealed carry, state & national parks, permit reciprocity, loaded vs. unloaded, interstate transport restrictions, traffic stops, universal restricted areas, motorhome & RV issues, preemptive local laws & more. Learn more or order.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Using snow chains on an RV
Some folks may find themselves wanting(?) or needing to drive in areas where roads get snow and ice covered, and even in areas where the use of chains is required. If we travel in such areas, it is important to have the correct type and size of “chains” for our application or we may end up doing damage to both our tires and the sides of our coach. But what does the RV owner do when it comes to using chains in the dual application? There are several types of chain setups to choose from. Included in this article are very helpful videos regarding chain types and proper installation. Learn more.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed by Roger Marble of!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. All for about $16! Learn more or order.

NGC 7822 by Chris Fellows

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows

Hunting for comets
Did you know that at any given time there are normally several visible comets in the sky? No matter how you find them, comets are always fun to catch and fun to watch move across the background stars while you watch them. In this article, Chris explains all about comets and how to spot them. Learn more.

Cordless vac gets sky-high rating
More than 12,000 Amazon customers have given this Black and Decker CHV1410L cordless hand vacuum an excellent rating. It boasts lithium technology, strong suction and fade-free power. With a translucent bagless dirt bowl, the dirt is easy to see and empty. Ever-ready, the hand vac can hold a charge for up to 18 months. Perfect for the RV! Learn more or order.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Campground Potluck Turkey Stroganoff Casserole
Big casserole for a big group.  This rich, creamy, versatile casserole is a favorite at family reunions and campground potlucks. It can be made on the spot or ahead of time. Make it with any cooked turkey including canned chunk turkey or good quality deli turkey cold cuts. Get the recipe.

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


Make an omelette in minutes with no mess! 
Tired of making omelettes and dealing with the timely preparation, mess and cleanup? This microwaveable omelette maker saves the day! This handy gadget makes omelettes in just three easy steps: beat eggs and milk, add ingredients, microwave, and eat! It promotes healthy eating by cutting out butter, oil and grease. Buy this breakfast-saver here. 

RV Short stop

Julianne G. Crane at Forsyth Park.

Historic Savannah: A Snowbird’s place to visit
Savannah, Georgia, is (almost) a year-round destination. In between the often unpredictable weather along the Eastern Seaboard, one fairly safe harbor is Savannah. With its founding going back to 1733, it is one of America’s oldest cities. There is so much to see and do there, no matter what the weather, one visit is never enough time. And when visiting America’s Most Haunted City, take at least one of the many ghosts tours. Learn more in this article from Julianne G. Crane.

grip766Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers and 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.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Smokiam RV Resort
• Boondockers Welcome
• An Off Road RV You Can Actually Afford

2018 Large Scale Road Atlas now available
This 2018 Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas has maps of every U.S. state that are 35% larger than the standard atlas version plus over 350 city inset & national park maps & a comprehensive index. Road construction & conditions contact info is located above maps. Mileage chart shows distances & drive time between 77 North American cities & national parks. Tough spiral binding allows the atlas to lay open easily. Learn more.

Free and bargain camping

Yaqui Pass Campground (Anza-Borrego State Park), Borrego Springs, CA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed in large open gravel parking/camping lot. Area is reached via short gravel driveway off paved road (CR S-22). No amenities. Pack out all trash. The large unlit lot has both level & sloped areas, with room for many rigs. Very dark & quiet at night; appears safe. Address: On east side of SR 22, 2.2 mi north of jct with SR 78 or 4.7 mi south of jct with Borrego Springs Rd. From CR-2 at tiny “Camping” sign, turn east on gravel driveway to open area off highway. GPS: 33.149, -116.349

Dowling Fruit Orchard, Beaumont, CA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from staff on duty. Park in open gravel lot. Some RVers report the lot as level; one says “not necessarily.” Quiet and appears safe. Driveway & lot may be muddy. Address: 38021 Highway 60; GPS: 33.9318, -116.99845

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

Carry used dog poop bags hands-free! 
Are you tired of taking a walk with your dog and having one hand tied up carrying a used bag of dog poop? The Bag It, Trash It keeps poop bags tied to your keychain. No more worrying about where to put your bags when you walk. Tie it to your keychain, put it in your pocket, or attach it to your backpack and keep both hands free! Keeps poop bags secure until you can trash them. Learn more or order at Amazon

Upcoming RV Shows

• Florida RV SuperShow, Jan. 17-21, Tampa, FL
• Austin Boat & Travel Trailer Show, Jan. 18-21, Austin, TX
Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, Jan. 18-21, Grand Rapids, MI 
• Inland Northwest RV Show and Sale, Jan. 18-21, Spokane, WA
• Tacoma RV Show, Jan. 18-21, Tacoma, WA
• Toronto RV Show and Sale, Jan. 18-21, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Georgia RV & Camper Show, Jan. 19-21, Atlanta, GA
• Greater Chicago RV Show, Jan. 19-21, N. Schaumburg, IL
• Lexington RV Show, Jan. 19-21, Lexington, KY
• New Jersey RV & Camping Show, Jan. 19-21, Edison, NJ
• Tidewater RV Show, Jan. 19-21, Virginia Beach, VA
• Quartzsite RV Show, Jan. 20-28, Quartzsite, AZ. Free parking and admission.
Calgary Expo & Sale, Jan. 25-28, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Fort Meyers RV Show, Jan. 25-28, Fort Meyers, FL
Cincinnati-Dayton RV Show, Jan. 25-28, Dayton, OH
• Atlanta Camping & RV Show, Jan. 26-28, Atlanta, GA
• East Texas Boat & RV Show, Jan. 26-28, Longview, TX
• Greater Phoenix RV Show, Jan. 26-28, Phoenix, AZ
Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show, Feb. 1-4, Fort Wayne, IN
St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show, Feb. 1-4, St. Louis, MO
Hamilton RV Show and Sale, Feb. 2-4, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Mid-Michigan Camper & RV Show, Feb. 2-4, Saginaw, MI
Rhode Island RV & Camping Show, Feb. 2-4, Providence, RI
Seattle RV Show, Feb. 8-11, CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle, WA. Visit Show Website.

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

sponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_Easily clean 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 January 20–26
Compiled by Dell Bert

1556 – Deadliest earthquake in history kills 830,000 people in China.
1849 – First woman M.D.
1924 – First Winter Olympics begin in the French Alps.
1935 – First canned beer goes on sale.
1968 – North Korea seizes U.S. ship Pueblo.
1973 – Lyndon Baines Johnson dies in Texas.
1979 – “The Dukes of Hazzard” premieres.
2009 – Toyota passes GM as planet’s biggest car maker.

Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency’s Maryland headquarters in 1999. It was feared the toys might record and repeat national security secrets.

Bumper sticker of the week
Next time you wave … use all your fingers!

Funny/clever business slogan
Received from Craig Miller: Seen on the back of a Home Builders Services Inc. dump truck: “We stash your trash.” Thanks, Craig!

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

Joke of the Week
Found on FB, source unknown: A woman phoned her husband on a very cold day in Minnesota. Wife: “The car is not starting. Dashboard shows the sign of a person sitting on a toilet.” Husband: “What…?? Send me a picture.”
(Look again. It says -4 degrees.) Thanks to Michael Logan for sending this!

Random RV Thought
In the winter when the wind is howling, always be careful when opening the door of your RV. A sudden gust can grab the door as if it were a sail and rip it from your hand, thrusting it against the side of your rig, sometimes denting the siding or even smashing a window.

Worth Pondering
“Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them.” —Henry David Thoreau

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, Deanna Tolliver, J.A. 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.

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Pete C
4 years ago

Hi, I’m not sure where to submit letter to editor so I’m doing it here. If it isn’t the right place, can you lead me to it…

My wife and I just recently, very recently (2 weeks), joined the full time RV’r community but have been following RV Travel Newsletters for years preparing. We decided to full time upon retirement and have been planning for about 12 years. We have been camping with our RV for 5 years as often as possible to learn the ‘ropes’ and prepare for the lifestyle change. We went from over an acre of yard with 4500 sq ft of house to a 28’ travel trailer.
I’ve been following the articles about overcrowded campgrounds and frankly, while I believe there is a growing problem, I believe the approach of the articles is a little ‘off’, you asked. The latest article on the topic in issue 831 says “It needs to be a collective scream!”. This approach is more like one a group of citizens would take in voicing a concern to politicians of a community with an overcrowding problem. That is not the case here.
While the full time RV’r lifestyle is considered a “community”, it is not one with political structure or representation, a voice we have that has a right to be heard. Campgrounds are private corporations and family owned small businesses. The management of those businesses might not want a bigger business. Bigger business means more work, more headaches, more property taxes, more employees, more problems and so on. I have not visited campgrounds where there is actually unused property. There are very defined property lines that would only be expandable if the campground owner purchased more property. Some of the owners I’ve met are retirees that want to live for free with some income to supplement their retirement checks. A bigger campground would not be inviting for these folks in their retirement years.
Furthermore, there are very specific weeks that are booked solid. The cost of the property, construction, maintenance and property taxes would definitely outweigh the profit for the few weeks a year the extra business would bring in. The added sites would be empty 90% of the time. This brings back memories of a business I owned 15 years ago, a billiard room. I had a 10 pool table billiard room where business was seasonal. Summers were very slow with most of the business in cooler months. The days before holidays when college students were home were the busiest which added up to less than 10 days a year. We could have used a few more pool tables to accommodate customers, but I would have had to pay lease on the added footage for the other 356 days of the year to accommodate the holiday rush (10 days). It also would have made the place look less full during the slower months. It would not have been good for annual profits.
It is also in the campgrounds best interest to be known as a place that fills up and turns business away. It shows that it is a place of demand and making reservations far in advance is necessary. Advance reservations allows the business to plan employee levels and activities. Local attractions would also offer more benefits to the campers of the busiest campgrounds. It would especially come in handy with leverage when going to the bank to borrow money for upgrades and repairs.
A better approach to solving the problem would be to entice investors to get involved to build new campgrounds, but remember, the overcrowding problem is only during very specific weeks. The corporation’s due diligence in research to justify a successful and profitable venture in the business plan may not show high profits for a finite timeframe. You need to show the business owners there would be annual profit to expanding or building new campgrounds.

Pete C

Trent Alexander
4 years ago

Your article about cheap places to stay is a bit misleading. I kind of expected a list of places to stay where you could actually camp and enjoy yourself rather than just a place to park overnight. Although that information is somewhat useful the article was not represented correctly and was a pay service that I think most people would be disappointed with. I know I was not satisfied with it at all.

Fred Gordon
4 years ago

Hi Chuck,

As usual, great newsletter

Do you have any idea what type of guns RV’ers travel with? We have just received our FL weapons permits and before we leave for camp hosting for 4 months we’re conflicted as what to purchase

Thanks Fred & Linda

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Fred Gordon

Fred and Linda,

I have no idea. I have not carried a gun in 35 years of RVing, never felt the need. Perhaps others can weigh in. — Chuck/editor

4 years ago

Note to Gary Bunzer and the reader who talked about the need, or lack there of, to be level while using the refrigerator while traveling. Of great importance, and not discussed in this article, was the danger of keeping the propane on while motoring. It can be very dangerous.

Bruce and Melissa
4 years ago

This is not directly related to this newsletter, but other newsletters you folks publish. I am trying to sign-up for the following, but every time I click on the sign-up button nothing happens. Can someone tell me how to sign up for the following.
• Best RV Videos of the Week
• Email alerts for upcoming live RV webcasts
• Full Time RVing
• Great RV accessories and gadgets
• RV Doctor
• RV Tech Tips

Thank you.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago

Hi Bruce and Melissa, I signed you up. So you are all set! — Chuck

4 years ago

Has anyone considered writing WalMart and thanking them for allowing overnight RV parking and saying you appreciate the convenience and you do shop at those stores? I have. WalMart head office address is: 702 SW 8th St., Bentonville, AR 72716. Isn’t an overnight parking spot worth the price of a stamp?

4 years ago

So who are we blaming, the democratics or the republicans? Maybe all politicians? I bought my motorhome to forget the problems in the world and enjoy life while I can

4 years ago

I have followed all of the comments about the residential refrigerators in RV’s and there are valid points on both sides. But with all of that being said why isn’t the OEM embracing technology like RV Comfort Systems Hybrid Gas/Electric Furnace Systems. This hybrid system has been available for over 4 years, its UL Listed, RVIA compliant and CSA the gas furnace certification agency has said it does not affect the ANSI listing on the gas furnaces. Multiple OEM’s have been made aware of this product and not one has opted to offer it as an option. Instead the answer is, “the furnace manufactures have told us that if we install this system they won’t sell us their furnaces anymore”.
This is something I don’t understand, how is it that companies like Thor and Forest River allow the furnace manufactures to dictate what products they are going to install in their RV’s. It seems to me that this type of product should at least be offered as an option. Allowing the consumer the opportunity to decide if they want this in their new RV.
Doesn’t this seem strange even though RV owners currently have the option of selecting an electric stove tops, residential style refrigerators or Gas/Electric hot water heaters?

Kerry Myers
4 years ago

I tend to agree with the subscriber last week that said he was unsubscribing to this newsletter because there was so much negative content. I was also disappointed that you spent even more space defending it. Have you considered the reason for your growing subscriptions is the very thing you complain about the most, too many RVs and thus we all have to work a little harder to find good camping spots. Get past the “good ole days” when you could just show up most anywhere and find a spot. Those days are gone.

I have been “full timing” for years and it does take time to find good spots. That is just part of the lifestyle now.

I do agree with the poor workmanship on RVs now. You make good points on that front.

Glen Scofield
4 years ago
Reply to  Kerry Myers

Would you rather focus on Trailer Life or Motorhome magazines that are entirely advertisements for stuff sold by Camping World? I subscribe to this newsletter because he tells the truth and because the others did not. To me, Chuck’s occasional rants are worth reading just to get the rest of the newsletter. Keep at it, Chuck!

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Glen Scofield

Thanks, Glen. Yes, I rant on occasion but it’s mostly in response to what I experience and how I feel about it. — Chuck

Dee Farrar
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck I have been reading all your articles for over 10 years. After renting an rv and traveling cross country w my kids I was hooked. For over 10 years I have done nothing but dream about traveling in a Motorhome to see this great country and all our national parks. Even though I have not traveled yet I’ve been following you and many others. It’s a bit disheartening to hear about the poor workmanship on rv’ s since 2008 and the lack of places to stay. My dream remains and I’m hoping that maybe this year or next will finally be the year I buy my rv and start traveling. I’ve researched enough of the rv industry to narrow my eventual purchase down to 2 manufacturers. Now my big concern is finding decent places to camp without being squeezed in like a sardine. Unlike some campers I don’t live in a city. I have a gorgeous view of wildlife with privacy but I want to see this great country before I die. However my idea of seeing the country does not include having neighbors so close that I can hear them sneeze. I don’t know where the rv industry is heading but I think if nothing is done to bring back the original idea of getting away from it all by building more campgrounds and viewing Mother Nature at her best then this will end up as a dying past time! I truly hope this isn’t the case but I can’t help reading about over 1/2million rv ‘s being sold in 2017 and wondering where they are all parking?

Dan Nallon
4 years ago

One of the subjects I would like to see addressed in your magazine are the problems that arise from the Ham radio operator and the issues with antennas, radios, and grounding for RF in the RV. .

Many full time, part time RVers are also Ham radio operators Running HF antennas in campgrounds or attaching an antenna to a fiberglass body with no ground plane and controlling the RF can be a problem. Having it set up so not to interfere with all the electronics going into RVs can be a problem. Just a thought.

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nallon

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting my ham license since I was an avid shortwave listener back in my early teen years (with a Hallicrafters S85). I do have a colleague who’s a ham and antenna designer, plus another friend I’ve worked with for decades is an RF engineer for many of the local radio stations. So it would be fun to wrap my head around all the issues of mobile ham operation. One more thing to do on my growing list of things to do.

hank hoyt
4 years ago

Chuck, Howdy;

I’m not sure I understand the reasoning behind parsing the ‘News” section to another tab. As the entire newsletter is a continuous scroll
All we readers need to do is position the cursor over the \/ and tap it to move on down. A lot more convenient then opening a new tab to do the same scrolling then closing the tab to resume where we where before we had to take the detour …

4 years ago
Reply to  hank hoyt

I agree. I hate that everything opens to a new tab.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Linda, how might we do it differently? We present so much information that I don’t see another way to do it. I would appreciate your thoughts. Chuck/editor

Ron Reagan
4 years ago
Reply to  hank hoyt

What/where is this \/ that I can put my cursor on?

Stan Harris
4 years ago

Great lots of good information thank you

John Snell
4 years ago

As to “quiting KOA” I thought blood letting was discontinued centuries ago. Great example of corporate incompetence and greed.

Dennis & Rosanne
4 years ago

Thanks to you, and the Doctor for supplying the new section on pets! Almost everywhere we go, RV folks always have their pets with them. In fact if we go somewhere without our Josie the Beagle, we have doggy withdrawal and look for another dog to show affection to in the place we are staying.

4 years ago

Banish black scuff marks on a Vinyl or other types off flooring by rubbing it with a tennis ball. This was a daily chore by a 40year school custodian. Also keep the floors clean and also keep them properly waxed.

D Napora
4 years ago
Reply to  Buzzelectric

Those white “mr clean” erasers work really well also!