Saturday, November 26, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 830

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 830 • Week of January 27 – February 2, 2018   #rvtravel

Receive an email alert for each new issue of this newsletter. Click here.

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

We’re celebrating a milestone: We have now posted more than 3,000 articles on this website. Imagine that! You’d think we’d run out of things to write about. But, nope, there’s much more to say. We’re adding another 150-200 new articles a month. Plus, our just debuted is also growing, with hundreds of articles already published.

Also, we just surpassed 17 million views on our YouTube Channel with nearly 56,000 subscribers. If you’re not subscribed (free) click here

Our “home”

Gail and I are about to head into our third month living in the Texas Hill Country near Kerrville. It feels great to be settled for awhile — not having to pack up our stuff, pull in the slides and drive off to yet another park (after struggling to find a decent one that’s not already booked solid). After seven months of moving often, it feels good to be in one place and live like a local.

It’s been fun exploring the countryside and nearby towns. We’ve already found a few excellent restaurants and are gradually visiting some of the local attractions. Last Sunday we visited the Fredricksburg Trade Days (flea) Market, where I met Harvey Gann, an amazing 97-year-old war hero. Please take a minute to read my story

Gail and Nugget. “A horse is a horse, unless, of course, it’s a tiny horse.”

WE’VE BECOME FRIENDS with some of our neighbors, which has made our little plot of land in a pecan orchard even more like home. Animal lover Gail is plotting how to adopt one of the mini-horses that graze only about 15 yards from our campsite. I believe I have convinced her that bringing a horse with us just isn’t feasible, even though her favorite little friend, Nugget, isn’t much taller than some dogs.

We will stay put here through March. After that we’ll probably head northwest into New Mexico. Our only firm commitment ahead is the big RV show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, next September. Until then, we’ll just drift. . .

WE CONTINUE TO BRING ABOARD NEW WRITERS to provide you with even more quality content, thanks to the financial support of our 2,242 paid subscribers. If you have not read our new pet column by veterinarian Deanna Tolliver, please read this issue’s installment where she discusses dog (and cat) flu. Can your sick little friend spread the disease to you? Find out.

Many readers in the Kerrville/San Antonio, Texas, area have written asking to meet up with Gail and me. We think perhaps finding a place to meet and inviting everyone to visit might be the best way — perhaps an early Sunday afternoon in mid- to late February. If you’re interested, would you please email Gail? We’ll see how many of you might want to attend and then find a gathering place that can accommodate us. Her email is . We’ll keep you informed about the plans.

That’s all for now. Have a great (warm) weekend. I’ll see you here again next week.



A trip to the emergency room!
Gail took a bad fall late Thursday afternoon, slamming her head on concrete. It was a scary time for her and for me. I immediately drove her to the emergency room. Read how it all turned it out (she will be okay) and my “lessons learned” from the experience.

The third edition of Mike Sokol’s fabulous RV Electricity Newsletter will be officially published tomorrow. But if you’d like a sneak peek, click here. You owe it to yourself to sign up to receive this important free resource each month. Mike is the national authority on RV electricity, and we’re proud to have him on our “team.”

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
A Millennial applies for a job. Too funny! (short video)
• My meeting, in awe, with a 97-year-old Word War II hero.

Win $100 cash today!
Our Pot of Gold Contest has returned. Today’s cash prize is $100. If your official residence is in one of today’s randomly selected Zip or Canadian Postal Codes, you could win the daily cash prize. Click here to learn more about the contest and see today’s winning Zip and Postal Codes. New Zip and Postal Codes are posted every Monday through Saturday. Every day there is no winner, the prize money goes up. 

•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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMSome recent recalls:
Thor recalls some ’18 motorhomes for missing heat shield
Gulf Stream recalls 3,034 RVs for bad fire extinguisher
Forest River recalls some ’18 trailers for furnace issue
Forest River recalls 3,297 trailers for improper wiring
Forest River recalls some Surveyor trailers for fire risk
Forest River RV recalls trailers for wrong circuit breaker


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.

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.

No smoking – especially in shore power connections
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor which began as follows: “A couple weekends ago, we were using close to the rated 30-amp draw on our trailer with fridge, water heater, periodic microwave, HVAC, etc., when my son suddenly told me that the power plug outside was smoking slightly. When I looked, sure enough, it was melting in the socket!” Read the rest of the letter and Chris’ response.

Can you both get the rig home?
More men still drive their RVs than women. If you are the female half of a couple, imagine if you were out in the boonies and the driver became ill? You would have to learn how to drive the rig quickly — and  under extreme stress. Don’t wait for that moment to happen. Learn more.

video camera WP“Homeless” who live in RVs are not all the same
It’s a problem much of America is facing: skyrocketing housing costs abruptly forcing people out of their homes. Illegally parked RVs are showing up by the thousands along streets in neighborhoods across the country. Some of them are occupied by mentally ill people and others with drug addictions. But some people, like Laura Bliss, just need a home. In this video she aims to “balance the narrative” and bring less hate towards the people forced to live in this situation. Watch the video.

Fairgrounds camping: Alternatives for RVers “on the hoof”
Traveling the back country of Idaho, Russ and Tiña De Maris didn’t know where to stay so they asked at a fuel station about the whereabouts of a county fairground. “Just up the road in downtown.” They found the county fairgrounds – where camping was allowed and it was free. This is not the first time they’ve been “rescued” by a county fairground. Read more about this great alternative for a place to put up overnight or even for a few days.

This week’s Reader Poll
Which of these printed RV magazines do you read on a regular basis?
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:
To combat crowding, should popular national parks require reservations to enter? Click here for the results.

“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.

Ditch the DVD player – Is it time yet?
Rich “The Wanderman” likes to watch movies while boondocking – especially when it’s raining and miserable outside. He started out with VHS tapes and has upgraded through the years. Now he has lots of DVDs and could reclaim quite a bit of storage space if he converts them to digital versions – but he’s reluctant to do so. Find out why.

How about a desert sea serpent? But wait, there’s more…
Sprawled across the back lots of Borrego Springs, Calif., are dinosaurs. And prehistoric camels. Miners, farm workers, battling bighorn sheep and, yes, a monstrous sea serpent – well, to be more precise, a desert serpent. Greg Illes takes you on a quick tour of this one-of-a-kind location where you would be sure to have a “magical time.” Learn more.

RV Mods: Light up those dark places easily and inexpensively
The old saw “It’s always darkest before the dawn” may apply for some folks, but for others, it’s darkest when you open the closet door or when you really need to find something in your basement storage area. Yeah, in some of those places it’s darker than the inside of a cow. What’s to be done? Find out here.

Stop mildew before it attacks your memory foam mattress
Mold and mildew are the scourge of RVs, and whenever possible steps should be taken to prevent it from invading your home-on-wheels. In this short video, Jim Nelson introduces you to a product that will keep mildew from forming beneath your RV’s memory foam mattress. Watch the video.

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

Keep your RV safe with this checklist
Safety should be your first priority, both to yourself and to your family and guests. With a few minutes of your time and a safety checklist, you can prevent many accidents and dangerous practices before they become a serious problem. This checklist is a good start.

Customers shedding teardrops over teardrop trailer debacle
An Australian RV manufacturer, Gidget Retro Teardrop Campers Pty Ltd., has left its customers in the United States and Australia holding the bag for more than 1.2 million U.S. dollars. The company has announced it has placed itself under “Voluntary Administration,” roughly equivalent to a bankruptcy proceeding. The company produced a modern remake of the 1960’s style teardrop camper on a made-to-order basis to customers around the world. Read more.

Buy an RV without slideouts? Think again
Considering the purchase of any type of RV without slideouts? You might want to think again. Yes, slides have probably done more to destroy the structural integrity of RVs than any other single design change in recent memory. On the other hand, the majority of buyers are in love with the added space slides offer and are not about to give them up. So why should that affect you? Read more.

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.

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
RV park drops KOA affiliation: Owner explains why
Is staying overnight in an RV at Walmart in jeopardy?
Fulltime RVer – Death while on the road
Should reservations be required to enter popular national parks?
RVers worried about traveling with dog because of seizures
Pros and cons of residential fridges in RVs (new comments below article)

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Cut your RV lifestyle expenses
How important is leveling for an RV absorption fridge?
Using snow chains on an RV 
What size RV should we buy?
Quiet as a Bouse (in Arizona)
RV Electricity: Is this non-contact voltage tester on?

Truma AquaGo®: Instant, Constant, and Endless Hot Water
The revolutionary Truma AquaGo® hybrid instant water heater provides instant, constant and endless hot water. It is the only water heater that can be decalcified to extend product life to maintain performance, replace any 6-16 gallon water heater, and the “Easy Drain Lever” makes winterization simple. Make an appointment to upgrade your RV at a Truma Sales & Service Center or find your closest dealer here.

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

Couple “out of sync” for volunteer time commitment at NPS

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife and I felt we needed to change things up a bit in our travel routine so we decided to try volunteering at the National Parks. … We find openings at various parks that satisfy both our wants – the problem seems to be time commitment. My wife wouldn’t mind staying in one place for six months at a time. I, however, like to move around a lot more. I think two or three months in one place would be perfect. …  —Vulnerable Volunteer in Virginia

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

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.

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: $2.57 (on Jan. 22). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 24 cents.
Diesel: $3.03 (on Jan. 22). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 46 cents.

Portable TV! Use in bathroom, at picnic table. Anywhere!
As long as you’re in range of a broadcast TV signal, you’ll be in luck watching your favorite local or network TV show or sports event. Watch the portable 10-inch TV at your picnic table or while away running errands. Plug it in or run on a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Heck, if you spend a lot of time in the bathroom, this is for you. And you’ll love the price. 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.

Can dogs (and cats) get the flu?
This week Dr. Deanna was asked: “Here we are in the midst of a bad flu epidemic. Can dogs get the flu, too?” The short answer is yes. The better answer: Yes, they can, but they can’t catch it from you, and they can’t give it to you. If you travel with a dog or cat, read this article to see how to protect your pet.

Power tools galore!
If it’s not at it’s probably not easily available anywhere! Check out this huge selection of power tools — drills, saws, air compressors, impact wrenches, car vacuums, sanders, polishers, tool boxes — the list goes on! See what’s available and maybe pick up a great deal!

RV Fire Safety Tip  


RV galley fire safety
In a compact galley, all combustibles – from paper towels to curtains – are apt to be closer to the stove, so use even more caution in your coach than you do at home. A box of baking soda – the ingredient in powder extinguishers – can be used in lieu of a fire extinguisher for minor galley flare-ups. 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

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.

RV Quick Tips

Bacon (without the mess), anyone?
Pete Doddato passes along this tasty tip:  “I’ve never used microwave bacon before, thinking it would be horrible. A friend gave us a package to try and we were quite amazed. It cooks up crispy in the microwave in about 3 minutes. The best thing about it is there is no mess to clean up. We have avoided bacon many times because we didn’t want to deal with a greasy pan. Now we can enjoy bacon in the RV without the mess.” Thanks, Pete!

Unhooking a “stuck” toad
Jim Riley sent in this hint: “When it’s time to unhook your towed vehicle and it won’t break free because it’s not level, restart the toad and turn the wheel sharply to the right and/or left and it should release the tension and enable you to pull the pins easily.” Thank you, Jim!

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

Gizmos and Gadgets

Tekonsha Electronic Braking System provides stopping power
An electric trailer brake controller is a device that installs in the cab of your tow vehicle and activates your trailer’s electric or electric-over-hydraulic brakes when you hit the brakes in your tow vehicle. These systems can be divided into two main groups: proportional or time delayed. A true proportional braking system, the Tekonsha P3 has several added features, making it the standard for electric trailer brake controls. Read about it and you’ll understand why it has a 97 percent 4- and 5-star rating with more than 1,300 customer reviews on Learn more.

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

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

Why are RV batteries setting off CO detector?

Dear Gary:
On a recent camping trip, we were connected to 30-amp shore power. During the night, our CO alarm went off. Since there was no stove or furnace operating, I felt the alarm was defective. I did notice the coach battery compartment felt warm. Later when entering the coach from outside, I noticed a foul odor that I couldn’t identify. … Is it possible that the batteries are producing carbon monoxide poison? —Fred N.

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

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

micro-2-762Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
micro-2-flatWhen heating your food you don’t want to spend 10 minutes later cleaning the splatters inside the microwave. Here’s the solution — and perfect for RVers: it pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer, too! Learn more or order at

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Propane for RVs is safe and easy to use

Hi Bob,
I have been studying for the past year how to get myself on the road full time. Your boondocking articles have given me some of the guidance I need. One aspect (of several) to RVing for which I lack complete knowledge is propane. Where do I buy it? Can I refill tanks without training? Can the 1-pound canisters be refilled? Do you have any information on Viking canisters? What else should I know about propane? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. —Warren J.

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: You can’t do Deming in a day.

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

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.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Does ground size in extension cord matter?

Dear Mike,
When I went shopping for a 50-amp extension cord for our 5th wheel, I was surprised (shocked?) to find that they seem to all contain three #6 gauge conductors and one #8 gauge conductor. I’m assuming that the #8 gauge line is the ground. But whether it is ground or neutral, I’m surprised that one of the leads can be seemingly underrated. How can this be safe? Thanks, and thanks for all your contributions to the RV community. —Al

Read Mike’s response.

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

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 Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

More on why trailer tires fail more than tow vehicle tires
Roger recently found this statement on an RV trailer forum: “At highway speeds interply shear is not as much of an issue, as I understand things.” Roger posted his reply (included in this article), which explains more about the differences between trailer tires and vehicle tires – which he first explained in this article a couple of weeks ago.

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.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Chili for Two
Everybody loves chili. If you’re an RVer who is also an empty nester it’s possible you never made chili for less than a crowd. Here is a down-sized recipe that feeds two hearty eaters for one meal or one person for two meals. 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 seconds! 
Tired of making omelettes and dealing with the mess, cleanup, and timely preparation? 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. 

Digital RVer

Getting lost? Find your way back by taking a photo
As an RV traveler, this is Chris Guld’s favorite feature of Google Photos. She takes a picture every time she and hubby Jim park at a new camp spot. Whenever they are away from that spot, they can easily navigate back there using this feature of Google Photos and Google Maps. It doesn’t matter where they are – her phone will use its GPS capabilities and get them back to the exact spot where they’re parked. Learn more.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are the two most recent webcasts: #134: Scanning Photos and #133: Facebook PrivacyWatch 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.

Eliminate hose crimping at the faucet!
Sometimes it’s a real pain hooking up your hose to a faucet or to your RV. This Camco flexible hose protector is the answer. Its easy gripper makes attaching the hose effortless. It’s compliant with all federal and state low level lead laws, too. Every RVer should have one or two of these. Super low price, too. Learn more or order.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Smoky Bear Campground and RV Park
• Workamper News Begins Operations of National RV Training Academy
• RV Regrets and Investments

Clean your microwave with no hassle! 
Is your microwave dirty? Is it in an awkward position and hard to scrub off all that crusty gunk? Admit it, when was the last time you scrubbed it clean? Angry Mama, the miracle microwave cleaner, is here to do the dirty job for you! Add water and vinegar (maybe some lemon too) to this feisty lady and watch her steam away the mess. Within minutes your microwave will be sparkling! Be right back, I’m buying one here

Free and bargain camping

Walmart Supercenter # 368, Parsons, KS
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Permission from a manager on duty required. Park in far south part of the lot, near outer edges, without obstructing traffic lanes. Level, well-lit, quiet, appears safe. No known restaurants nearby. Address: 3201 N 16th St. GPS: 37.3708, -95.254935 

Business Route US 75 Roadside Picnic Area, Denison, TX
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. The state of TX allows parking (not camping) for up to 24 hours in roadside picnic areas unless there is signage to the contrary. This fairly short area is parallel to & separated from the highway. Long enough for 1-2 rigs. Two picnic tables. Other amenities unknown. Address: On E (NB) side of BR US 75, ~ 3.7 mi N of jct with SR 503 in Denison, TX, serving NB traffic.  GPS: 33.79345, -96.53077

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

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 

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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
Detroit Camper & RV Show, Feb. 7-11, Novi, MI
• Houston RV Show, Feb. 7-11, Houston TX
• Edmonton RV Expo & Sale,
Feb. 8-11, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Jacksonville RV Show, Feb. 8-11, Jacksonville, FL
• Oregon State Salem Spring RV Show,
Feb. 8-11, Salem, OR
Seattle RV Show,
Feb. 8-11, CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle, WA. Visit Show Website.
• Minneapolis/St. Paul RV,Vacation & Camping Show
, Feb. 9-11, Minneapolis, MN
• Ottawa RV Expo and Sale,
Feb. 9-11, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
• Richmond Camping RV Expo,
Feb. 9-11, Richmond, VA
• Virginia RV Show,
Feb. 9-11, Hampton, VA

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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.

del-545This week in history
Week of January 27 – February 2
Compiled by Dell Bert

1861 – Texas secedes from the Union.
1876 – National League of baseball is founded.
1887 – First Groundhog Day.
1933 – “The Lone Ranger” debuts on Detroit radio.
1971 – Apollo 14 departs for the moon.
1985 – American recording artists record “We are the World.”
1996 – Actor Gene Kelly dies at age 83.
2003 – Space shuttle Columbia explodes.

Thor is the largest RV manufacturer in North America. The company has a 50.9 percent market share in travel trailers and 39.6 percent in motorhomes.

Bumper sticker of the week
I’m just happy to be here!

Funny/clever business slogan
“After the first whiff, call Cliff’s.” Cliff’s Septic Service, Sunnyside, Wash.

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


Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small, inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to the condition of a battery, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.

Joke of the Week
Gary Takata shared this story about winterizing his RV: “When we purchased our first RV, being a newbie at that time, another RVer asked if I would winterize the RV in the fall. I said I would take it back to the dealer and have them winterize it. The other RVer said it takes a lot of work and time to winterize an RV – he said it takes him 26 hours. I was thinking to myself, ‘Gee, what did I get into, purchasing an RV?! Oh no!’ … Then with a smile on his face, he told me that’s how long it takes him to drive to Florida.” —Thanks, Gary! And also, thanks to Seann, Chuck Dunn and Richard Davidson, who report they also “winterize” by heading south

Random RV Thought
When using a public shower, like in a state park, always turn on the hot water before getting undressed. Sometimes there will be no hot water. And if it’s a cold morning or evening, you will feel pretty stupid standing there naked with nowhere to go. Of course, if you are brave and have the cold tolerance of a polar bear, jump right in. Brrrrrrr. Good luck!

Worth Pondering
“This above all: To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” —William Shakespeare

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, Dr. Deanna Tolliver, 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

Related Articles


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Most financial institutions have forms they are happy to provide for this purpose. Often they can be completed online on your computer and then saved to a thumb, or printed off and completed by hand that contain all of the information you need to know about your partner/wife. Get in touch with a Bank, Trust Company, Financial Planner etc., to get one.

P.S. I would not recommend having this information on your phone

4 years ago

We are heading to the RV show in Novi Michigan next weekend. Can’t wait to see all the new RVs. We are keeping it under 25 feet due to the fact I do not want to trade in my car. Plus I don’t need anything huge. Simple. Have fun. I know I will.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jillie


Go on RV Trader and look for a used PleasureWay (or buy new if you have the money). Look for the Excel built on the Ford E350 chassis as they are wide bodied and can be serviced by a mechanic anywhere. They are the most well made Class B (Van Conversion),
\you can buy, double as a second vehicle, and can be parked legally in your driveway (as well as many other places).

Mitzi Agnew-Giles
4 years ago

Steve Savage highly recommends only buying an rv with slides. I highly recommend not buying slides if you aren’t a fulltimer. I am extremely pleased with my molded fiberglass LilSnoozy, a cousin to the well known Scamps and Casitas. We have a 19 ft trailer tongue to rear bumper and DH and I travel with 4 cats and we have a dedicated queensize bed. No slides. Molded fiberglasses retain their resale value. Check the prices at if you don’t believe me.

4 years ago


You are right. Most problems with noise, squeaks and leaks occur with Slide outs and if they can be avoided so much the better. Better

Rita Anderson
4 years ago

Sent this on Sat as email. Not sure you received. it.

Just reading this week’s issue of RVTravel and saw you might leave Texas early. Let me tell you — there is NOTHING like Texas in the spring!!! Especially the Hill Country. The wild flowers are gorgeous in bloom and are everywhere—thanks to Lady Bird Johnson.

I lived in Texas for a bit back in the ‘80s and enjoyed every minute of it. Texas is a beautiful state and the people are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met (I traveled the US for business a lot back then and met lots of folks). Kerrville is one area hubby and I plan to winter in when I finally retire next year. We are currently in Idaho — which has amazing mountain areas! I hope you get a chance to play in them during your travels.

Anyway my point — stay and experience Texas in the Spring. You won’t be disappointed!

Happy Trails, my friend.
Thanks for making my Saturday’s very interesting.

Rita from Nampa, Idaho

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Rita Anderson

Rita, we will be here through March. The space in our park will no longer be available, so we’ll just move on. Hopefully we’ll see the wildflowers before we leave.

Karen Solle
4 years ago

I recently traveled back to the United States from Costa Rica where I was for 2 months. While in Costa Rica I couldn’t access your newsletter. That was a bit frustrating and I wonder why your newsletter is inaccessible in Costa Rica.

4 years ago

While in San Antonio area don’t miss Luckenbach just outside of Fredericksburg. Old Tyme country and some of the more recent.

4 years ago

Wondering where the news section went?

Ron Schmitz
4 years ago

Sorry to here about Gail’s accident. Hope she is alright. Thanks for the great info, my wife knows all my info, but I don’t know any of hers. In an emergency I’ll never know where all the info is, so thanks for your article, now we will put all our info on our phones so at least will be the one thing one of us will have with us.

4 years ago

I know Gail and you are ready to move on but you are doing yourselves an injustice by not staying to see the flowers in April/May. Can be unbelievable.

Rodger Temple
4 years ago

Could you please tell me how I could contact Mac McCoy the fire guy. He demonstrated and recommended a fire escape ladder. I can’t find one anywhere. It looks like he modified a commercial ladder.

John Hiler
4 years ago

Sometimes we don’t realize what a dream we live in here in our US if A. . We travel around, completely protected by our public health for pure water, clean lands, sewage disposal. safe food, standard fuel, fire, police protection. We go from state to state, crossing lines without passports or papers. Come and go at our pleasure, safe and secure in the blanket of freedom that envelopes us. Supplied with adequate money and health care by laws instituted to make our life good in our Republic.

Jeffrey & Kelli Koniarski
4 years ago

dump up under & all around our RV. To make a long story short we had to pay 300 dollars that we didn’t have to have our RV towed here from 15 miles away thinking it would be a nice place to live for a while. We were wrong & now totally broke unable to pay anything to tow us to a safe place less then 8 miles away. We are parking our home at friends house then driving up North to Eden NC where we have arranged an employment opportunity of a lifetime. We will live in our van until we earn enough money to have our home towed to us in NC. Its extremely hard for us to beg for help we normally are the couple who is always helping anyone & everyone who needs it. Please help us we need to be out of here by February 4th 10am or we will loose everything we both own. This is our only home. If you can please help us our phone number is 843-304-0713 call or text anytime. Thank you for just reading this. Have a wonderful day & God Bless.

Jeffrey & Kelli Koniarski
4 years ago

I’m sorry half of my comment was lost. Our trucks engine blew & our only home is our 34 foot 5th wheel RV. We are in desperate need of a tow out of here at 10 Baynard rd. Beaufort SC to less then 8 miles away to a friends on Broad river rd. From one RVer to another please help us.

Wayne Caldwell
4 years ago

Wow! Very glad Gail will be alright. Very scary situation. Thanks for letting us know and for reminding us what we need to know about our partners and to know where to immediately find important documentation.