Monday, October 3, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 832

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 832 • Week of February 10 – 16, 2018   #rvtravel

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Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

A long time ago, before I bought my first RV, I dreamed of it. I envisioned traveling in a small wheeled home that would take me to new and exciting places. I would travel the backroads by day in search of fascinating places and people and then camp under the stars. My dream was to write and photograph what I discovered.

John Steinbeck’s home-built camper “Rocinante” at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California.

For several decades now I have done just that. My dream came true.

I was born with wanderlust, fueled when I was a wee fellow by my parents who took me on wonderful camping adventures in their 15-foot Field and Stream trailer.

But what propelled my wanderlust to warp speed was the writings of a handful of men. The first was John Steinbeck, who traveled 10,000 miles through America in 1960 in a home-built truck camper with a big black poodle, producing his wanderlust-inspiring “Travels With Charley.”

Then came William Least Heat-Moon, fresh from a divorce, who bought a white van and headed out onto the backroads, writing beautifully about it in his now-classic Blue Highways. Later I discovered Home Country by Ernie Pyle about his road trips through North America from 1935 to 1940. Treat yourself to this book (long out of print but available used at Amazon) to compare what America and Americans were like then compared to today. In the process, you will fall in love with Ernie Pyle.

BUT THE PERSON who fueled my wanderlust the most was CBS-TV correspondent Charles Kuralt, who traveled America with a two-man crew in a motorhome that doubled as a newsroom. I went crazy with envy watching his reports. “I want to be him,” I would think. The intensity of the feeling was right up there with my childhood yearning to be Superman.

Kuralt reported on regular folks, like Frances O’Brien and her one-woman library in Blue River, Oregon, and record collector Stan Killar, whose small home was so packed with albums it was sinking from the weight. Watch a video I did with Stan a half dozen years after Kuralt’s visit

Charles Kuralt died 20 years ago, a sad day for me and millions of other Americans. Oh, how we need him now, to remind us of the goodness of Americans at a time when we seem so divided.

I had always hoped to meet Charles Kuralt, but, alas, it would never be. The other day I came across the video above which aired on “CBS This Morning” last October. It’s a delightful tribute to Kuralt on the 50th anniversary of his first report from the road in 1967. Please take four minutes to watch it. And if it makes you yearn to see his actual reports, consider getting the DVD set of his work. I occasionally watch an episode for yet another dose of inspiration. Every time I do I miss my special TV friend all over again.

In the weeks ahead, we will feature some of Charles Kuralt’s On the Road reports — to witness again his genius and to bring a smile to your face.



I was interviewed last week on a 30-minute podcast by The Weekly Driver, a website for automobile owners and enthusiasts. The hosts and I discussed many of the same issues I’ve written about here — poor RV workmanship and crowded campgrounds. Listen here.

Also, please read my thoughts about what we do with the comments from readers who rant on this website. Have you heard of Deep Space? That’s where we dispatch their offensive and usually ignorant comments. 

• Our RV Travel Meetup is officially set for Sunday, Feb. 25, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Ingram, Texas (a few-minute drive from Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country). Here’s what’s happening, as outlined in RVillage: We’ll meet up at the Johnson Creek RV Park in Ingram. We’ll have coffee and other beverages (no booze) plus snacks, and door prizes at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Join editor Chuck Woodbury, who will give a brief talk about his 30-year life on the road as a roving reporter. Just let us know if you’re coming (email Gail Meyring at While you’re here, walk around the park to see if you can spot the herd of Axis Deer, the sunbathing turtles, the shy Armadillo and the monstrous four-foot catfish that lurks in Johnson Creek. And don’t miss petting tiny Nugget and the nine other miniature horses (bring carrots and you will be their best friend). Come anytime after 1 p.m. (we finish up at 4:30).

Our new RV Daily Tips Newsletter will resume publishing again on Monday (we had paused it for two years). If you are not signed up, please click here. If you are not sure if you’re signed up, do so again: You will still only get one copy no matter what.

gary-736For those of you in the Seattle area, be sure to visit the Seattle RV Show, running today and tomorrow. Our columnist Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, is conducting several seminars. Don’t miss attending one or more. When Gary speaks, you always learn something!

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Remembering my father, ten years after his passing
Why I love dirt and why it makes me happy.

Win $110 cash today!
Our Pot of Gold Contest has returned. Today’s cash prize is $110. 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 by $2.

A winner last week!
Richard Slater of Ridgecrest, California, pocketed $112 for letting us know that his Zip Code appeared last Saturday! Congratulations! 

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

Overnight RV Parking at Golf Courses & Resort Hotels
An RV Golf Club membership allows you to park FREE every night of the year at 430+ beautiful, safe, private Golf Courses and Resort Hotels in the U.S. and Canada. No blackout days or restrictions. Golf, restaurants & shop discounts at most locations. Watch the video for answers to your questions or visit the RV Golf Club website.

Support RV Travel with your voluntary subscription
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 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 AMWith the inclusion of towable unit owners into the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) fold, early changes are being seen. The May edition of the club magazine will have a new look, including the title – now called “Family RVing.” While a large majority of the members who voted did so to accept towables (6,820 for, 2,981 against), only 13 percent of the entire membership bothered to vote. Read more.

Recent recalls:
Lance trailer recall: battery may fall out during travel.
Newmar recalls some motorhomes for headlight issue.
Forest River recalls trailers for misplaced marker lights.
KZRV recalls trailers: emergency exit issue.
Forest River recalls some Palomino trailers: LP tank may detach.
Jayco recalls RVs for stove explosion risk.
Entegra Coach recalls RVs for brake issue.
Forest River recalls RVs for missing emergency exit window.


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.

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.

Stupid Tourist Questions. Ya gotta wonder. . .
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Right? Well, yes there is, if you ask the National Park rangers who compiled this list of actual questions asked by park visitors. Read ’em and weep (tears from laughing so hard).

RV park trend: Luring customers without RVs
When spaces in RV parks are getting harder than ever to find, owners of some RV parks are turning to guests without RVs to fill their parks — and increase their profits. “There’s more to a campground than RVs,” reads the headline in the largest publication of the RV park industry. The article points to cabins (many more like lodges), tee-pees, “glamping” tents and even covered wagons as places for guests to stay, paying more than for an RV site. Read more.

A 99-year-old RVer driving wrong way kills teens in head-on crash
A 99-year-old man driving the wrong way on a Florida highway crashed head-on into a truck, killing the two teens inside. The crash occurred Tuesday night, just before 7 p.m., near Fort Pierce, Florida. UPDATE: (Feb. 12, 2018) — The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the RV driver died from his injuries on Friday, Feb. 9. Read more.

video camera WPA tip to help you escape if a fire breaks out in your RV
Here’s a great tip that you may not know about from Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy which could help you escape your RV if a fire breaks out. Watch the short video.

Really? RV industry survey doesn’t even suggest improving quality
Are they kidding? A survey this week from RV Business Magazine and Wells Fargo asks about the state of the RV industry. One question asks about RV quality. But, really, don’t you think they could have asked about improving RV quality, not just maintaining it (like everything is perfect)? Read more.

Simpler backing into your RV site
Most people who tow have suffered through the stress that comes along with backing into your space in the campground with everyone watching. The yelling matches between spouses can reach divorce-pending proportions, and discussions about the best way to communicate between the person driving and the person directing have been going on for decades. Here’s what works for one long-time RVing (and still married) couple. Read more.

This week’s Reader Poll
Where is your favorite “go to” place to buy RV parts and accessories?
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:
How much time RVing do you stay at a public campground without an electric hookup? Click here  for the results.


While RVing, have you ever had to rush your pet to a vet in an emergency?
Click here to answer

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.

Even the simple things – How to freeze items without them sticking together
Sometimes Rich “the Wanderman” likes to prepare food before a long RV trip and freeze it so he can just reheat it and not have to cook an entire meal. It’s wasteful to freeze everything in separate zip top bags. But if you freeze items correctly, they won’t stick together and can be tossed in a large bag and individual servings removed and reheated at your leisure. The trick is in the freezing technique.

Incredible! RV is being built with 3-D printer
RV manufacturers are using “high tech” to a higher degree each day. But the average U.S.-based RV builder will have to hurry to catch up with a high-tech plan coming out of Canada: Build an RV with a 3-D printer. Learn more.

video camera WPMake coffee in your RV. No electricity necessary
If you boondock or dry camp you need to have a way to make coffee without running your generator or depleting your batteries. editor Chuck Woodbury shows how he makes coffee in his RV without using electricity. Watch the short video.

How to weigh your RV at the truck stop
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received this question from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor: “I have read a lot about checking the weight of your RV. My question is: Where does one go to have your RV weighed one axle at the time?Read Chris’ response.

Big crowd expected for FMCA Georgia rally
FMCA, now a club for both motorhome and towable owners, is expecting a big turnout for its upcoming international rally March 15 to 18 in Perry, Georgia. There is still time to register and attend. Get the details here.

Win these binoculars!

Bonus Contest: Scavenger Hunt!

Gail would win if she sent this photo of herself by the World’s Largest Black Olive!

SAT. MORNING UPDATE: We have a winner. So hold your entries.
Everybody likes a scavenger hunt, right? Well, here’s your chance to participate right now. But there’s just one item to scavenge — a photo of you or your companion by something that is the official World’s Largest! One catch: The person must be wearing a red shirt or blouse! If you’re the first person to send editor Chuck Woodbury such a photo (at ), you win (we will publish the photo in this newsletter). But get going, the deadline is 5 p.m., Pacific time, tomorrow (Sunday). We’ll send the winner a pair of swell Bushnell binoculars. If no winner, we’ll save the prize for another time. 

RV Mods: Did you wire your inverter safely?
Don Wilson currently serves as a technical instructor for the RVIA Trouble Shooters Clinics and is a full-time sales application engineer for Xantrex Technology. At his technical seminars he receives lots of questions regarding the installation of inverters/chargers. Here is very important information on this topic.

Boondock near the highest summit in the Lower 48
Mount Whitney is a mountain with an interesting history – and a debatable altitude, as explained in this article. From Lone Pine, Calif., you can head out toward Mount Whitney and a couple of fine campgrounds – one for the pop-up set with a few bucks, and one for the rest of us who’d like to save a buck. Tuttle Creek Campground, with 83 RV sites, is an “every man’s” campground with views of the wide-open West like you probably saw in some 1960s Western movies. It’s a great place to drop out of sight for a few days and really unwind. Read more.

video camera WPStupid RVer Trick: Mud bogging
Oh, what silly, stupid, idiotic things some people do! Here’s yet another example of Stupid RVer Tricks. We trust you will never do this with your RV! Watch the video.

Museum putty keeps objects in place in your RV
There seems to be a correlation between the size of one’s RV and the effort exerted to make the interior more like home. The larger the rig, the more we tend to opt for free-standing furniture and more loose accessories. Whenever you move it’s necessary to put all the loose stuff securely away where they won’t fall and break. There is, however, a solution to this tedious chore. Read 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

Readers’ comments on recent article

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Camping World repair turns into nightmare.
Has Good Sam Man been hijacked by Gander Man?
Why would you want a composting toilet?
Spouses disagree on how to handle a nosy neighbor.
Batteries for boondocking.
How often do you stay in a primitive campground? (poll)

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Why vultures poop on their legs (and more).
Tire failure could have been prevented with TPMS. 
LP cylinders: Tips, tricks and safety.
Fulltime RVer: Tips for using General Delivery to get your mail.
RV Pet Vet: Tell me about rabies.
GMC motorhomes: Oldie but goodie still looks good.

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.

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.

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

RV travel expense debate between spouses

Dear RV Shrink:
Every time I get the urge to do a road trip my wife throws cold water on the idea by asking me how much it will cost in fuel. I tell her it is all relative. With our motorhome the biggest expense is getting there. After we arrive we spend virtually nothing. She tells me about people that travel cheaper with smaller rigs, do not tow a car, or have diesel. I’m tired of defending my position. I really think we are as economical as the next RVer when you compare apples to apples. Can you please give me some backup? —Up Late to Debate in Des Moines 

Read 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: $2.64 (on Feb. 5). Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 34 cents.
Diesel: $3.09 (on Feb. 5). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 53 cents.

Income wasted!

Earn excellent income renting out your RV!
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

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.

Dogs, cats and chocolate: Lethal combination?

Dear RV Vet,
“I know that chocolate can be bad for dogs, but what about cats? We travel with a 5-year-old cat, Harley, and Bowen, a 7-year-old Shih Tzu. Thanks.” —Jack H.

Read Dr. Deanna’s reply to learn about why chocolate can be lethal to both dogs and cats.

Read last week’s column: Tell me about Rabies

Keep your pets safe in an emergency
Do you worry about what would happen to your pets if you had an emergency and you couldn’t get back to them? This Pet Alert sticker, wallet card, and keychain set is a necessity for all pet owners. It informs first responders you have pets at home. On the sticker, check off how many pets you have and stick it on your car or RV window. Also included: a keychain and wallet cards, in case you are hurt and can’t talk. Learn more or order

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Fuel safety tips
Gasoline and propane can pose an immediate, explosive danger. Though diesel fuel is less volatile, it dissipates more slowly so it remains a danger longer. Deal at once with any leaks or spills, and use all fuels in adequately vented areas. 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

State, Regional,
City and U.S. maps
GPS devices are great, but there’s nothing like a folded map to plan a trip or guide you where you’re going once you’re underway. Just about every folded map you would ever need is here. Most sell from about $2 to $6. Check ’em out or order.

RV Quick Tips

Guys brag about the big fish they caught. Here’s proof that sometimes they really do catch a big one. Hey, do pictures on postcards lie?

Conserve LP but still have hot water handy all day
RVer Bill Hall conserves LP gas but still keeps hot water available. He found a large coffee urn (45 cups or so) at a yard sale. He keeps it on his galley counter when hitched to shore power. Bill says it’s plenty to keep the dishes clean and for the occasional cup of tea or noodles. He plugs it in first thing in the morning, keeps it topped off through the day, and shuts it down at night. Thanks, Bill!

Another idea for hot water without using LP
From Roger “the Tireman” Marble: “In our 21-foot Class-C we added a ‘Hott Rod’ water tank heater for hot water without having to use LP gas. One advantage for us is we have hot water for shower and in both sinks. This and other brands are available at Amazon.” Thanks, Roger!

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

Gizmos and Gadgets

Solar lamp for your campsite or picnic table
In the daytime, the solar panel of this LED lamp converts the sun’s energy into electrical energy and stores it in the built-in batteries, and in the evening the light-control system turns it on automatically. No wires or electrical source required – other than Mr. Sol. Easy to install, high brightness and energy saving. Light up your campsite, courtesy of the sun. Read more.

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

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.

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

Can I paint and paper my RV’s interior?

Dear Gary:
Can you paint and or wallpaper the inside of an RV? A service person said it will cause mold under the painted or papered area. I would love to brighten up the interior of a fairly new travel trailer. —Patty K.

Read Gary’s response.

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

“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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Should you turn off propane when traveling?

Hi Bob,
I’m working at a company pumping propane. I’m very shocked at the number of people that travel with propane turned on, seeing that this gas is very volatile and presents the possibility of an explosion in an accident. It makes me wonder how many RVers are taking their own life or others’ and putting them in danger. Makes me wonder how many RV fires out there on the highway could be eliminated if people travel without the gas turned on. —twstrucking

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Boondockers’ unwritten rules.

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

insect-screen-761Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Can reversed polarity shock you?

Dear Mike,
Your No~Shock~Zone articles are some of the best I’ve ever read about RV electricity. Thanks for educating all of us “non-electrical” types. So here’s my question: During a trip on my boat to the Erie Canal, we had one guy checking electrical outlet polarity, something I never really quite understood. He found many outlets with the wrong polarity but didn’t seem too worried about it. So can a reversed polarity cause a hot-skin shock? —Fred 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.

Don’t risk your safety, even your life!
An inexpensive Non Contact Voltage Tester (NCVT) such as a Fluke VoltAlert is the easiest way to check your RV for dangerous hot-skin voltage after plugging into shore power. Something as large as an RV with a hot skin of 120 volts will generally cause a NCVT to light up and beep from more than a foot away. And remember, if you ever touch your RV and feel a tingle, you have a hot-skin condition that could prove deadly. Learn more about the Fluke VoltAlert or order. 

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Tire suffered belt separation, not a “zipper” failure
Roger read a recent post on an RV forum about a tire that lost its tread, and a response from another forum member about “zippering.” Roger explains tire tread separation, belt separation and “zippering,” as well as possible causes. Learn more.

stepbraceScreen-shot-2014-10-03-at-2_46_34-PMHelp stabilize and keep your RV steps safe
The RV Save-A-Step Brace is designed to be placed under RV entry steps for safety. It stabilizes the RV steps and helps keep the coach from rocking — preventing sag and wear. The brace is made of heavy-gauge steel with a 3/4″ solid metal screw thread, 1000-pound load rating and 7-5/8″ to 14″ adjustment range. Learn more or order at

RV History
with Al Hesselbart

Aviation pioneers and the early RV industry
Aviation pioneers and other aviation related leaders played a very large part in the growth of the RV industry from the very early days. Even the lead engineer on the building of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis was involved. Read more.

Al Hesselbart is the author of The Dumb Things Sold … Just Like That!,” a history of the recreational vehicle industry in America.

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 

Museum of the Week
National Museum of Wildlife Art

Jackson, Wyoming

This large 14-gallery museum sits atop a cliff overlooking the National Elk Refuge. Dedicated to recognizing the relationship between mankind and the environment, the museum offers 5,000 pieces of art as well as a 3/4-mile walking trail through sculptures and the beautiful surrounding landscape. Keep an eye out for the elk on the refuge too. Visit the museum to enrich your connection with nature, enjoy the beauty of the surrounding areas and brush up on your knowledge of buffalo and the grand ol’ Wild West. Visit the museum website here for more information

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. 

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Vidalia Onion Cornbread
A kicky take on cornbread. Everybody loves cornbread, including the cook because it’s so quick and easy. No rising. No punching down. And it goes with almost everything at breakfast, lunch and supper. For a change, here’s a more spicy take on America’s favorite quick bread. It’s filled with bits of savory onion, has a little bite on the back your tongue from the hot sauce and it’s rich enough to make a meal with just a mug of cream of tomato soup. Best of all, it begins with that RV cruising favorite, a box of Jiffy cornbread 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’ Recipes 
with Emily Woodbury

Einar’s Crockpot Sausage Risotto
I happen to LOVE risotto, but sadly I don’t make it as much as I’d like. I could eat it every night for dinner and be happy, but making it is time-consuming, mostly because without a crockpot you have to stir it a lot while it cooks. I was thrilled when I saw Einar’s easy crockpot recipe because, yay, no stirring (oh, and I can leave the house and come back to risotto – isn’t that magic?)! Read Einar’s recipe here


Best seller year after year
The Ultimate RV Cookbook
This popular cookbook will help you prepare cuisine in your RV that’s appetizing, healthy and convenient. Each chapter provides a grocery list and recipes for three days’ worth of meals! There’s a reason this has been a best-selling cookbook in RV kitchens for years. Learn more or order.

Digital RVer

How to find bicycle trails with Google Maps
Chris and Jim Guld, the Geeks on Tour, have special new bikes – they’re foldable so are transported easily, and they’re electric so they don’t have to worry about getting tired. But where to ride them? Chris tells you how to find bike trails on Google Maps and even how to see the Street View of the area! How cool is that? Learn how.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are two recent webcasts: #133, Facebook Privacy, and #134, Scanning old photos with GoogleScanWatch 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.

Hands cold? Keep ’em warm with a Zippo Hand Warmer
These attractive hand warmers will be very welcome on the cold days of winter. Just fill them with lighter fluid (easy to do). They’ll provide up to 12 hours of relief. The flameless gentle warmth provides 2.5 times more heat than disposables. Learn more or order.

Free and bargain camping

Walmart Supercenter # 2519, Shrewsbury, PA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from store, per Walmart Corporate Policy. Park farthest from the store & across the driveway from main lot, without blocking any traffic lanes. Well lit, but difficult to find a level spot. 6 – 8 eating places within a short to moderate walk. Address: 698 Shrewsbury Commons Ave. GPS: 39.76785, -76.6708

Point of Rocks Roadside Park, Fort Davis, TX
FREE. Overnight parking is allowed. This park is a loop, well away and separated from the highway with entrances at both ends. Large enough for 3-4 rigs. One reporting RVer calls this “one of our favorite overnighters ever!” Location: On the north side of SR 166, ~ 9.1 mi west of jct with SR 17. GPS: 30.53437, -104.06477

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

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.

Upcoming RV Shows

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
• Austin RV Expo, Feb. 15-18, Austin TX
• West Palm Beach RV Show, Feb. 15-18, West Palm Beach, FL
• Chicago RV & Camping Show, Feb. 15-18, Rosemont, IL
• 49th Annual RV Super Show, Feb. 15-18, Oklahoma City, OK
• Utah Sportsmen, Vacation & RV Show, Feb. 15-18, Sandy, UT
• Atlantic City RV & Camping Show, Feb. 16-18, Atlantic City, NJ
• Chattanooga RV Show, Feb. 16-18, Chattanooga, TN
• Gulf Coast RV Show – Mobile, Feb. 16-18, Mobile, AL
• Maryland RV Show, Feb. 16-18 & Feb. 23-25, Timonium, MD
• 44th Annual Northeast RV Show, Feb. 16-19, Suffern, NY
• Springfield RV Camping & Outdoor Show, Feb. 16-19, West Springfield, MA
• 64th Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Feb. 16-25, Indianapolis, IN
• Harrisburg RV & Camping Show, Feb. 22-25, Harrisburg, PA
Dallas RV Supersale, Feb. 22-25, Dallas, TX 
Columbus RV Show, Feb. 23-25, Columbus, OH
Good Sam RV Super Show, Feb. 23-26, Phoenix, AZ

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

Great gift!
Lucy and Desi go RVing

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

The famous painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” was painted in Germany and was modeled after the Rhine. That’s why there are huge chunks of ice floating around the boats, something not seen on the Delaware. The boats are also far too small to have transported Washington’s men.

Bumper sticker of the week
Nothing says “I’m an idiot” more than tailgating does.

Funny/clever business slogan
John Kiblin saw this clever slogan on a restaurant placemat in Portersville, PA: Marshall Tree Experts in Ellwood City, PA: “You should see what we saw.” Thanks, John!

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

Joke of the Week
Doctor: “Nurse, how is that little girl doing who swallowed the ten quarters last night?” Nurse: “No change yet.”

Random RV Thought
When you haven’t been RVing for awhile, and your thoughts turn to getting away again, it’s really tough to get the thought out of your head. If you are at work, it’s especially bad. Who can work when his or her head is filled with thoughts of being away in the RV, seeing new places and things and enjoying nature? So don’t resist: just find a way to go!

Worth Pondering
“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” —Lao Tzu

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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, Dr. Deanna Tolliver, 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.

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4 years ago

The tiniest RVs are at Class B. While larger RVs provide more living room and tend to be more lavish, smaller RVs are easier to move and will not be mitigated with size constraints.

4 years ago

This was posted on Face Book. I hope the link works. Because this is the weirdest RV yet. It will turn heads.

James McLarty
4 years ago

I would like to say I read rv travel every week and have supported for 8 years great info and reading . I do enjoy your contests I may be the only Canadian to have won a contest prize was frist aid kit.your pot of gold contest says you must use a password that is in the news letter I can’t find it anywhere .keep up the great work

F. Gisler
4 years ago

I didn’t see the humor in the video of Stupid Things RVrs do ( driving the motor home into the muddy pond). Sadly these were adults being idiots in the presence of children. Just creating the next generation of “stupid”. Those kids will have a hard time learning the value of personal property and how to maintain it. Sad.

John Snell
4 years ago

One thing we learned is to ask questions. We were looking for a park in Yuma AZ last week to get some dental work done in MX. We looked through the Good Sam book and found Friendly acres mobIle home and RV village. The book said WiFi cable and other amenities. We booked a week over the phone and upon arriving they stated they had no WiFi for the park except in the office and activities room and also no cable tv. Had we known we wouldn’t have booked there. Also when booking we hadn’t told them we were Good Sam members and after quoting a price , I mentioned the GS discount. They said it was included in the price. Rather odd don’t you think. Why bother being a member if anyone off the street gets the same price. Unless….

Joe Allen
4 years ago

Chuck, thanks for bringing back the memories of Charles and his FMC motorhome! Loved that series and I am sure that watching his adventures and my Mom and Dad driving around the country in their full time adventures kindle a spark in my wonder lust as well! I am glad I had hero’s like Charles, Ernie Pyle and the rest of the story by Paul Harvey!

4 years ago

MICROWAVEABLE OMELETTE MAKER? We do the same thing with a gallon Ziploc bag in less time. Comes out exactly the same.

4 years ago
Reply to  Tren

would you tell me amounts of each item,how long to cook etc. thanks

4 years ago
Reply to  Tren

Please be careful with using any kind of plastic (bag or container) in the microwave. Today it is known to aid in the cause of cancer. We use to, but now use only glass or Corning Ware in the microwave. At our age, it is better to be safe than take any chances.

Sam Lunt
4 years ago

Steinbeck was a novelist, so you have to read about his rv’ing with suspended disbelief.
From Wikipedia…
“Steinbeck was almost never alone on his trip. Out of 75 days away from New York, he traveled with, stayed with, and slept with his beloved wife, Elaine, on 45 days. On 17 other days he stayed at motels and busy truck stops and trailer courts, or parked his camper on the property of friends. Steinbeck didn’t rough it. With Elaine he stayed at some of the country’s top hotels, motels, and resorts, not to mention two weeks at the Steinbeck family cottage in Pacific Grove, California, and a week at a Texas cattle ranch for millionaires. By himself, as he admits in Charley, he often stayed in luxurious motels.[7]”

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Sam Lunt

Sam, I wrote about this long ago after visiting with the historian at the Steinbeck Center in Salinas. But the fact is, I loved the book and it did fuel my desire to find a way to earn my living “on the road.”

Chuck Maurice
4 years ago

Well, it’s raining in Richmond, VA today….. I thought about attending the RV show in town this weekend…..My wife said, since we’ve already owned four units in the past she would not attend, and BTW leave the checkbook at home, If I go…… case close….. Now where is that book I’ve been reading…….Hum…’s here somewhere..

4 years ago

Boy, I must do everything wrong in my trailer!!! First I’ve never made coffee WITH electricity in the trailer, and I always use the *built in* electric hot water heater to save LP *IF* I have shore power/while I run genny.

Leaving a commercial coffee urn full of hot water on the counter seems dangerous and strange to me, but maybe I’m not seeing the application where you’d have/use AC but not the electric heater? Also, some of those urns pull 1500-1800W, which may overload minimal RV wiring.

Morrie Estrada
4 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Not everyone has an electric water heater. How is an electric coffee maker more dangerous than a electric heater that so many use.???

4 years ago
Reply to  Morrie Estrada

I personally haven’t seen a travel trailer without electric/LP hot water (even my buddy’s car-towable popup has an EWH). So, I’m corrected if it’s just not an option for your rig.

As for danger: assuming there is a choice, I’d rather not have several gallons of 200*F water sitting on my counter for the dogs and kids to knock over catastrophically. Same with (non-radiator) electric space heaters, for similar reasons. But, if you lack kids, dogs, and built-in safer alternatives, maybe it is a good idea for your application.

Mary and David Ballard
4 years ago

Under stupid questions we have a doozy. While volunteer hosting at a WHALE watching center in Depoe Bay, Oregon we were asked “what time of year do the elk turn into moose?”

4 years ago

I wonder if the weekly survey could have been a bit more precis i.e., “Amazon” rather than “”. I shop but had to put my response in “Other Online Store”.

Keith Botts
4 years ago

I love reading your posts. I just started RVing last year (retired) and someone at a gas station pointed out a problem. My 2000 Hornet 5th wheel works almost perfect. Except, when my pickup headlights are on the trailer brake lights are on 100%. The pickup connector and bed extension connector connector are pin-for-pin identical. Any ideas? I can’t find any real technical documentation for this trailer anywhere.

4 years ago
Reply to  Keith Botts

Trailer wiring is pretty easy to trace with a meter, but I’ll try to “blindly” diagnose your problem for you.

First off, a 7-wire (Bargman) RV plug doesn’t HAVE a discrete connector for headlights, so it’s not possible to cross wires from that since it doesn’t exist. However, your running lights come on with your headlights, so that’s the source of the “signal” gone wrong.

What it DOES have is (high intensity) left and right brake/directional wires, and (low intensity) run lights. Looking into the connector, these are the 3/9 oclock pins (labelled #5/6 on some), and the 11 oclock (#3) pin, respectively. It IS possible one of these pins is cross-wired 3-5 or 3-6, so check whether your directional/brakes work normally WITHOUT turning on your headlights.

If those wires appear correct, the next likely possibility is that someone installed the wrong bulbs in your taillights — some bulbs have the high and low intensity filaments reversed relative to your wiring. If this were the case, (testing with headlights off) you’d have bright running lights and dim directional signals. If everything is normal without run lights but still goes nuts with them, you may need more detailed help, on site.

Good luck!

4 years ago
Reply to  Keith Botts

Keith, as no one else has commented I’ll throw this out. It seems something is miswired or short circuited. Check each wire at the truck end of the plug and RV end of the plug. A cheap multimeter should be all you need. Use the diagram at

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago

Chuck, A few weeks ago I stayed at an Encore RV Resort in Florida, as in your advertisement above. Their automatic gate closed on my RV as entering, doing extensive damage. They refuse to give me their insurance information, or return my phone calls & e-mails.

Just thought you should know.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago

Steven, that’s not right. If you email me at I will pass along your email to people I know at Encore and ask for an explanation. — Chuck

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Thank you Chuck. My mail server is down, but as soon as I get it back up I will send you details. Thank you, again

4 years ago

I too enjoyed Charles Kuralt’s reports from the road, and always looked forward to his next report. Unfortunately, like many other public figures, he had a secret life in addition to the public one. His mistress of 2 decades (more like a second wife – they had a family together) attended his funeral with a letter from Kuralt that bequeathed to her acreage in Montana valued at $600,000. This was in addition to the “hundreds of thousands of dollars, a cabin in Montana and a cottage in Ireland” that he had already given to her over the course of their 20 year secret affair which produced a second family. We all have our flaws, and while it does not detract from his being an erudite and entertaining reporter, I can’t quite muster the adulation to call him a hero,since clearly he was a bigamist. This is not the product of National Enquirer or loony fake news echo chambers – it’s all documented in court filings and has been reported on CBS News, Larry King Live, and several reputable newspapers around the country (the kind that actually print retractions admitting factual errors whenever they come to light.) Chuck, I’m a little surprised that either you’re unaware of this, or that you still consider him a hero despite all of it. He had a wife and 2 daughters. Ask yourself if you could have done this. Nobody can take away how good he was in public, but I believe his family deserved better. At the very least, he could have divorced his wife and remarried, but I’m sure that wouldn’t have been so convenient.

4 years ago
Reply to  Rich

Rich: I’m hesitant to hero worship anyone who didn’t shut down a war or cure a disease, but I don’t feel Kuralt’s lifestyle diminished his achievements. Since, as you say, he had two families for decades and it was NOT much of a secret, I’d say everyone involved was consenting, and taking care of his familIES might even be commendable (I don’t know deeper details any better than you).

If Jonas Salk was a jaywalker, I’m still not turning down his vaccine. Cosby may be misogynist, but he arguably did almost as much as King to advance blacks. It seems foolish to me to shallowly dismiss great contributions because someone didn’t live by your own personal rules, or dared to be an individual or even (gasp!) a mere human.

4 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

As far as anyone knows it was no “open secret”. Rather, it was a “secret secret”. There is no consent involved in a situation like that. There are multiple accounts and none of them suggest that his widow was the least bit aware – exactly as one might imagine for a reporter who lives his life “on the road”.
As someone once said, “facts are stubborn things”.
I did not suggest that this in any way diminishes his public life – only that it diminishes his role as an example to be followed. I guess if I were in the same situation as Chuck, I might say that he was an inspiration – despite his complicated personal life – and leave it at that. But to make no mention at all is a disservice in my opinion.

4 years ago
Reply to  Rich

I never knew about it. It doesn’t diminish his reporting on “The Largest Ball of Twine” or any of his stories.
If I was his friend and knew of this double life, that would be different circumstances.

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

Rich, I know about Charles Kuralt’s other life. I wrote about his genius at reporting/storytelling and how he was my “hero” for that. The point of my essay was to tell about the people who inspired me to hit the road. Am I supposed to bring every little detail of their lives into such a short essay? Can I do all that in about the 600 words I have to work with? Kuralt’s double life had nothing to do with the fact that he inspired me, any more than Ernie Pyle being an alcoholic had anything to do with me being inspired by his brilliant writing. And, yeah, Steinbeck made up a lot (if not most) of Travels With Charley, but when I read the book way back when that was not known, nor did Kuralt’s “other” life come out until after he died, when he had already inspired me for 15 years, and he did it so well I was already on the road by then.

John Snell
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Kuralt was a true orator. He had the deep voice and capturing inflection. This is over and above his personal life, whatever that may be.

4 years ago

Tip for watching TV without satelite or cable. If you have internet, I use an AV adapter that pairs my IPAD with my TV. I then watch all the old tv shows like gun smoke and Seinfeld on UTUBE. There are other ways to do this, however using the AV adapter is simple. Plug the AV adapter into your IPAD or phone and using a HDMI cable, plug it into the adapter then to your TV. AV adapter can be found at Best Buy or Walmart. Around $50.

4 years ago
Reply to  python1946

Thanks for that tip!