Wednesday, May 25, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 833

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 833 • Week of February 17–23, 2018   #rvtravel

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Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

My home moves at the turn of an ignition key. It takes me to wonderful places. It’s like a mechanical magic carpet.

Twice this past week I felt homesick. Just a little. It wasn’t a big thing, but I recognized the feeling immediately.

In the several decades I traveled by motorhome as a roving journalist, I was never away from home more than four months at a time. Today, there remains a little timer in my head that remembers those days, and the wonderful feeling of returning home to people and things familiar.

Except for a week when I flew to Seattle at Christmas, I have now been on the road exploring America for seven months. My stick home and office are gone. My home is now wherever I am — a 32-foot motorhome. It’s Gail and me and the few material things important to us. I got rid of 90 percent of my possessions when we left town. Gail and I share a closet eight times smaller than our former closets. I don’t need many clothes: I can wear the same shirt two days in a row and nobody notices, much less cares. Okay, I will be honest: I can wear the same shirt three days in a row (after it passes the “does it smell okay?” test).

Dining in unfamiliar small town restaurants is fun when on the road.

I love the freedom from “too much stuff.” My parents died with a house packed with things they had not touched in decades. When I had to dispose of it, I realized most was unimportant to them. They kept it all because they had ample space to store it. “We might need it some day,” they said. I know they said that because that’s what we all say sometimes.

WHEN MY HOMESICKNESS STRUCK this past week, I briefly wondered why. I am perfectly at home in my little house on wheels, and Gail and I are as happy as we have ever been. At times it’s almost too much fun, too stimulating.

Mr. Giant Catfish is at least six times bigger than this puny one. But I have not been able to get his picture. So this fish will have to do.

Our present RV park is a quiet, pretty place in a pecan orchard in the Texas Hill Country. It’s tempting to stay longer than through March. Wild deer and miniature horses graze close by. Gail and I enjoy walking to an overlook on Johnson Creek, counting the sunbathing turtles and hoping for another glimpse of Mr. Giant Catfish, who I swear is at least four feet long.

I think experiencing a little homesick is natural, part of the withdrawal process from a previous life. When you live in a regular home, one that doesn’t move, switching to a mobile home is a huge change. 

So I’ll just accept a little homesickness from time to time. The plan now is to return to our present park next winter, to catch up with the friends we’ve made and to see if Mr. Giant Catfish has grown into an even bigger monster.




My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• My obsession with Ham Stuart and how I found him.

• Our RV Travel Meetup is officially set for a week from tomorrow, 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 

Win $122 cash today!
Our Pot of Gold Contest has returned. Today’s cash prize is $122. 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. 

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters
Welcome to the 847th edition of our RV Daily Tips Newsletter.
Keep your steps in tip-top shape.
Care and feeding of your shore power connection – Part 1.
Keep your holding tank valves from sticking.

Sign up for’s
new monthly newsletter about RV electricity

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

Support Honest Journalism
The staff of works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every Saturday, plus our other newsletters, too. 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 issues (add another 208 if you read our RV Daily Tips Newsletter!). 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 AMA call for action to speed up RV repairs
The new chairman of the RV Dealers Association, Tim Wegge, addressed the problem of long waits for RV repairs in a column in the January issue of RV Executive Today. Here are some highlights from his article.

Recent recalls:
Jayco recalls some 2017 motorhomes: brake fluid could leak.
Ram trucks recalled for potential rollaway issue.


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.

Carefree of Colorado Wireless Control for 12V Awnings
Enjoy full control of your 12V awning from as far away as 50 feet with the Carefree Connects™ Awning App. This
Bluetooth® enabled system operates via mobile app or remote fob. Functionality includes extension, retraction, LED power and motion sensitivity. Pair with CarefreeMotion™ for maximum peace of mind. Click here for information.

“Dew” away with mildew!
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor regarding ongoing musty smells in a trailer stored during the winter in Florida, despite the owner’s attempts to prevent mildew. Read Chris’ advice

video camera WPTips to improve your home security while on RV trips editor Chuck Woodbury interviews Sergeant Cole Langdon of the Lynnwood (Wash.) Police Department about how RVers can help protect their homes from burglars while they’re away with their RV. Watch the video.

Let a solar oven do your cooking
It’s a hot day in July in Wisconsin. Or a warm winter day in Arizona. You want to make chocolate chip cookies, but dread turning on the oven because it will heat up the rig. Or, you’re boondocking and want to conserve electricity and propane. Here’s a solution: Use a solar-powered oven instead.

Fulltime RVers: “Acts of Service” an easy entry into volunteering
Now that you’re a fulltime RVer, do you find you have some excess hours in a week or a month? Maybe you’ve been thinking about volunteering, giving back, because of your good fortune to be able to live full time in your RV? A website called Acts of Service, in conjunction with Lippert Components, makes it easier to find volunteer and community outreach opportunities. Learn more.

This week’s Reader Poll
Do you buy special RV toilet paper for your RV bathroom? 
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:
Where is your favorite “go to” place to buy RV parts and accessories? Click here for the results.

Clean your RV… with beastly-good results!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
Your RV’s large surface area makes it a beast that collects more bugs, grit, grime, soot and industrial pollution than your car does. And it may have different surfaces of paint, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum. Click on the video to see Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING with Beast Wash. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Beast Wash at the Wade Maid website.

“To sleep, perchance to dream …” – but not behind the wheel
Good sleep helps make for a good life, but for some, good sleep can be elusive. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep – especially important if you’re going to be managing a 10-ton rig going down the highway at 65 miles per hour. Read more.

video camera WPFind boondocking spots on public land with Google Earth
In this video veteran boondocker Dave Helgeson explains how to find places to camp “in the middle of nowhere.” He shows you how to spot promising locations by using Google Earth, and determine how to get there and if the terrain is suitable for RVs. Nearly all the locations are on public lands, where the camping is free. Watch the video.

Gorgeous RV restorations will amaze you
Timeless Travel Trailers of Wheat Ridge, Colo., restores old trailers, motorhomes and other vehicles, which then end up as classy RVs, mobile food businesses, mobile barber shops, and more. Wow! Check ’em out!

Fulltime RVer – Keeping a log
Many RVers have found keeping a travel log is not only fun, it can be useful in many ways whether you’re a fulltime RVer or not. Here are some ideas from Russ and Tiña De Maris for what type of log book to use and what type of information to jot down for future reference, such as places you’d like to visit again, places to stay away from, RV maintenance, new friends, and much more. Learn more.

1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1 1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at more than 570 wineries, farms and attractions across North America. Harvest Hosts offers an exciting alternative to traditional overnight stops where you can meet interesting people and learn about their lifestyle. Learn more at the Harvest Hosts website, or watch an interview with the founders by editor Chuck Woodbury.

The not-so-useful pancake flipper
Rich “the Wanderman” has been on a low-carb pancake kick for a while now. One of the things he doesn’t like about making pancakes is having to flip them – especially in a small pan – pancake after pancake. He thought he had found a better way. Before you spend $10 or $15 on a multi-pancake flipper, read this.

Bob Wick, BLM

It’s a great time to visit “the Grand Canyon of the Mojave”
Looking for a place that’s off the beaten track, offers amazing desert wildlife views, yet still has a year-round river? Before summer (and the heat) arrives, consider a trip to California’s Afton Canyon. East of Barstow, the BLM oversees an amazing chunk of public land that offers a little bit of everything: colorful, steep canyons; wildlife sneaking around; and a public campground, accessible to just about any RV. Learn more.

Sticky 5th wheel hitch, Cowboy? Slick ’em up!
One of the most neglected areas for fifth wheels, the hitch, can be one of the most cantankerous. Having a “stuck” hitch release can really take the joy out of the lifestyle, yet it’s easy to care for problems before they come up. Find out how to prevent a stuck hitch release.

Need mail forwarding? Choose the best!
Choose Americas Mailbox! It’s the best, endorsed by which has toured its South Dakota facility and interviewed its very customer-oriented owner. Many plans available. Learn more. Or view the video interview RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury conducted with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes.

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Really? RV industry survey doesn’t even suggest improving quality.
Stupid RVer trick: Mud bogging.
Rants not welcome on this website.
Where is your favorite “go to” place for RV accessories? (responses to Poll)
While RVing, have you ever had to rush your pet to a vet?
Stupid Tourist Questions. Ya gotta wonder … (comments include more of the same)
Simpler backing into your RV site. (comments include more great tips)
RV Electricity: Can reversed polarity shock you?

More popular articles from last week’s issue
How to weigh your RV at the truck stop. (comments include more tips)
RV Mods: Did you wire your inverter safely?
Reader’s Recipe: Einar’s Crockpot Sausage Risotto.
RV park trend: Luring customers without RVs.
RV History: Aviation pioneers and the early RVs.
RV travel expense debate between spouses.

The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user-friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi! Seven days per week sales & technical support & over 13 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.

No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.

RV Clubs
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

Reader RVs
Click here to see many submissions from our readers about their RVs.

Win these!
Last week’s winner Paul Siegfried by the World’s Largest Buffalo!

Bonus Contest: Scavenger Hunt!
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 wearing a blue hat or cap by a five-foot or taller statue of a horse, chicken or Ronald McDonald! 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 out right away to short that photo: The entry deadline is Monday at 2 p.m., Pacific time. We’ll send the winner a pair of swell Floureon Walkie Talkie radios. If there’s no winner, we’ll save the prize for another time. 

Ask the RV Shrink

Couple having trouble downsizing to RV full time

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife and I have been traveling for a couple of years and have decided we like this RV lifestyle enough to pull the pin and sell our home. The problem is we have many family heirlooms that we just can’t sell. We have been cultivating our detachments for several months, but there are many family items we just can’t part with. Is this a common problem? How should we handle the family jewels? —Family Problems in Florida

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.

Stinky holding tank odors? Here’s the solution
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintains clean sensors, eliminates odors and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.61 (on Feb. 12). Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 30 cents.
Diesel: $3.06 (on Feb. 12). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 50 cents

DyersRV Parts and Accessories
Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Electrical safety
Have any wiring in your coach done by a capable electrician, and use common sense in using any electrical aid. Check all 12-volt connections before and after every trip. Most coach fires are caused by a 12-volt short. 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

corps-book-748Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.

RV Quick Tips

Keep your battery terminals clean
It doesn’t take much crud on your battery terminals to shut things down. Make it part of your regular maintenance to keep them clean – and your electrical system operating at optimum. Wire brush ’em, and shoot them with terminal spray from the auto parts house.

Don’t put anything extra down toilets
What’s safe to put down the RV toilet so as not to create damage or dumping problems? To put it simply, other than toilet paper, if you didn’t eat it or drink it first, don’t put it down there.

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

Gizmos and Gadgets

Carefree extends living space on Starcraft toy haulers
Carefree of Colorado and Starcraft RV of Elkhart, Indiana, have teamed up to extend the living space of Starcraft toy haulers. Starcraft is offering the Carefree Retreat on its new GPS toy haulers. The new Carefree Retreat Tailgate Annex attaches to the back of a toy hauler trailer, fully enclosing the entire tailgate and giving RV owners more usable living space without upsizing their RV or affecting their towing capacity. Learn more.

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

Essential for big RVs! 
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.

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

Read this before replacing nonworking absorption fridge

Dear Gary,
I have a refrigerator that needs to have the cooling unit replaced.  Do you know of any place that I can get a new or rebuilt cooling unit for it? Thanks! —Tom R.

Read Gary’s response.

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

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Where and how to find Southwestern desert wildflowers

Hi Bob,
We’ve been traveling throughout the Mojave and Sonora deserts of Southern California and Arizona this winter and are now excited about seeing the wildflowers that are starting to bloom. The problem is, we don’t know where to look. Can you advise? Thanks. —Rob and Eileen 

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Will spring wildflowers bloom this year?

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

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.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Can a 9-volt battery start a fire in your RV?

Dear Mike,
I recently read where a 9-volt battery thrown away in a trash can started a fire in a garage. Can this really happen? What do we have to do to keep safe in our RVs? —Donny F.

Read Mike’s response and a story about his personal experience with hot pants – Oh my!

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.

“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 Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Changing trailer tires – new load capacity requirement
On many of the RV forums Roger Marble monitors that focus on trailer application, there are recurring questions about changing tires, including going up in load range (ply rating), changing the “type” of tire or changing the tire dimensions. While there are many reply posts, Roger notes that not everyone offering answers has worked as a tire design engineer, as he has. While he provides answers as often as possible, he ends up saying the same things over and over – so this post is intended to be a go-to post for those asking tire change questions. Learn more.

Charles Kuralt
In this issue’s “On The Road” dispatch, Charles Kuralt travels to the small California town of Boonville where the locals speak their own, unique language. We’re not sure when this originally aired on CBS, but it was probably the late ’60s or early ’70s. We’re told that “Boontling” is still spoken today, but rarely. Click the video to watch.This feature runs every other week.

M51 by Chris Fellows (slightly altered to fit space – see full image on FB)

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows, Serenity Mobile Observatory

The planets – With spring come the mighty gas giants (and Mars)
Without a doubt the most crowd-pleasing objects at the telescope eyepiece are the Moon and the large planets Jupiter and Saturn. The reason is simple: These objects are bright, show clear structures and detail, and Jupiter and Mars are even colorful. If you get up early enough, before sunrise, you can see Saturn, Mars and Jupiter all in a line in the east. Click here to learn some fascinating facts about them.

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.

Museum of the Week
National Toy Hall of Fame 

Rochester, NY

Unleash your inner child and come play at this quirky hall of fame! The museum displays toys that have inspired creative play and gained popularity over a sustained time period. Each year at the museum, new toys, board games, dolls, electronic games, books, photographs and documents are added to the museum along with their historic counterparts. Come learn the history of your favorite toys and dress up like Mr. Potato Head while you’re at it!  Visit the museum website here for more information

sponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_Easily clean those
stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Po’ Boy Porridge
Let’s have hot cereal for breakfast. In Zambia, where peanuts are called ground nuts, this hot, filling cereal is a breakfast standard. Traditionally it’s made without salt or sugar but North Americans may want to add fruit,  jelly, cream, pancake syrup or brown sugar. Try it as a change from oatmeal. Leftover cereal turns hard when chilled. Form into patties and fry in butter for a delicious second act. 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. 

The RV Vet
 With Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM

Valley Fever: A Fungus Among Us
Dear Dr. Deanna,
What is Valley Fever and how does it affect my pets?

Read Dr. Deanna’s reply to learn all about this not so fun-gus! 

Read last week’s column: Dogs, cats, and chocolate: Lethal combination? 

Leashes & Collars, Dog & Cat Toys, Dog & Cat Food, Dog & Cat Treats, Top Deals in Pet Supplies 

Lots of responses to last week’s Special Survey for Pet Owners:
While RVing, have you ever had to rush your pet to a vet in an emergency? Click here for the results

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

RV Short stop

Old Downtown in Perry

Free things to do around Perry, Georgia
Just in time for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 97th International Convention & RV Expo in Perry, Georgia, here’s an article from Julianne G. Crane about Perry and some free things to do in the area if you’re attending the convention, or plan to visit the area any other time. Perry prides itself on being “the home of Southern charm and hospitality.” Learn more.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Mobile Internet Resource Center
• Key Ring
• 10 RV Battery Tips for Longer RV Battery Life

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

Free and bargain camping

Wegman’s Supermarket # 30, Mechanicsburg, PA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Permission from customer service or manager required. Store specifies one night only. Very friendly & accommodating staff. Park in far south part of lot, farthest from store. Large lot is level and well lit, with normal traffic noise and no apparent safety issues. Buffet restaurant in store; Chili’s, Panera Bread, Chick-Fil-A, Longhorn Steakhouse close by. Address: 6416 Carlisle Pike. GPS: 40.2491, -77.009

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, McNeal, AZ
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Park in designated areas only, & not in auto parking lot. Area is level, quiet, not brightly lit, and has no apparent security issues other than it being a remote location. Room for 5-10 RVs. Pit toilets are reported clean and well supplied. Excellent viewing area for sandhill cranes, waterfowl, and other birds and animals. Max stay is 3 nights in any 7-day period. Address:  Bagby Rd. GPS: 31.560567, -109.718977

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

Graphite keeps your locks working
Keep your RV’s locks (and other locks, too) working the way they should. This product from AGS will keep them lubricated and working smoothly and will guard against sticking and dirt buildup. Also reduces wear and corrosion. This should be essential equipment on all RVs. Learn more or order.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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
• Battle Creek Camper & RV Show, Mar. 1-4, Battle Creek, MI
• Central New York RV Show, Mar. 1-4, Syracuse, NY
• Colorado RV, Sports & Travel Show, Mar. 1-4, Denver, CO
• Greater Philadelphia RV Show, Mar. 1-4, Oaks, PA
• Montreal Recreational Vehicle Show, Mar. 1-4, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ocala RV Show, Mar. 1-4, Ocala, FL
• Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show, Mar. 1-4, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
• Central Illinois RV Show, Mar. 2-4, Peoria, IL
• Fredericksburg RV Show, Mar. 2-4, Fredericksburg, VA
• New Orleans RV & Camping Show, Mar. 2-4, Kenner, LA
• Oregon State Eugene Spring RV Show, Mar. 2-4, Eugene, OR
• Rhode Island RV & Camping Show, Mar. 2-4, Providence, RI

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

Andrew Jackson was the only president to pay off the national debt. He was also the first president to ride a train.

Bumper sticker of the week
Always remember you’re unique – just like everyone else!

Funny/clever business slogan
“A great place to take a leak” – at several radiator shops.

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

Joke of the Week
A man walked into his house out of breath, exhausted. “What happened, Honey?” inquired his wife. “I have a great new idea,” he said, gasping for air. “I ran all the way home behind the bus and saved $3.” Replied his wife: “That wasn’t very smart. Why didn’t you run behind the taxi and save $30?”

Random RV Thought
Someone who commutes alone by car to work 10 or 20 miles a day likely burns far more gas or diesel fuel in a year than 95 percent of all RVers in their RVs. Also, most RVers travel in twos, making the fuel cost per passenger far less than the solo commuters. People who don’t know anything about RVs who commute to work every day think RVers are gas hogs. They ought to look in their mirrors. Oink!

Worth Pondering
“Some people see things that are and ask, ‘Why?’ Some people dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’ Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.” —George Carlin

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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.

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4 years ago

Hi Chuck, Gail ,
Is there a seminar or group to discuss starting a new campground? You discussed the growing deficit between record RV sales & diminishing campsites (especially affordable ones) but I think we, as RVers, will need to be an active part of the solution. Suggestions & further discussion would be appreciated.

Bill Burks
4 years ago

Hello, RV Family,
I will try to keep this short….. I had a 6 bedroom, 6600 sq ft home in Brentwood Tn for over 18 years and it was my dream home. But in July of 2015 I went camping over the 4th of july holiday at a local campground in Nashville Tn and I got the camping bug. My idea of camping before was a Hilton hotel with no pool….. Moving forward in October of the same year i scratched my head and said …WOW i still have that big house and I havent been home since July 4th this camping thing is pretty awesome…..So i went thru many different types of campers from pop up to pull behind to motorhome to 5th wheel…. Fast forward in April of 2017 I sold the BIG BEAST DREAM HOUSE and paid off all my debts bought a brand new 2017 DRB Mobile Suites 5th wheel with 6 slide outs and live ina RV Resort on the lake in Nashville Tn and I am there 9 months out of the year as its closed Dec- Mar. I go to another local rv campground for the winter months and then back to the lake in March which i cant wait for it to open……. I have only one regret …… I wished i had done it 10 years ago. I had a 5 day estate sale and had over 5000 people go thru and buy all my treasures, trash, trinkets aka JUNK and now i could not tell you what i had and all i know is that i had about 4-6 of everything i owed as i always had plenty of room but i also look back and say i had to dust it, clean it, move it, polish it , maintain it , insure it, protect it and sometimes even feed it…… Wow IT sure did take a lot of work and with the more of IT you have the more time IT take you away from the finer things in life…… IT’s just stuff and now I dont have a lot of STUFF but I have all I need and again wish i had done this 10 years ago as now i wake up to beautiful sunrise and sunsets and i have a small space that takes me less than 15 minutes to totally clean and have all the features and luxieries such as induction cooking, dishwasher, washer, dryer convection microwave ( which i didnt have in the “BIG BEAST” I have a bath and half full master suite and make more friends on a daily basis than i ever made in my stick neighborhood. Most people work all their lives to retire late and then only have a FEW GOOD YEARS left or end up dying early and NEVER get to enjoy LIFE ……Listen to me people retire early by downsizing to real life sized living and live life before its to late. Hope some of you can relate to this and if I can be of any service and answer in questions on how why and what to do I am glad to help……. Thanks and enjoy the BIG SMALL LIFE while you still can..

Eric Malm
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill Burks

Thanks Bill. You are a very wise man who has learned what is necessary for a simple life. I am still in “school” working on the leap of faith.

Michael Hale
4 years ago

Hi, Chuck.
Really like the newsletter, but have a small gripe. in the bit about your closets, you say “eight times smaller”. Nothing can be smaller than 1 times smaller. Eight times as large, yes; 8 times as small, no. 1/8 the size, yes.

While I am sure everyone knows what you mean, it isn’t possible for something to be 8 times smaller.

Michael H

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hale

Michael, Well, that’s my grammar lesson for the day. I still don’t understand, and I think readers understood what I meant. But not sure I will remember this particular rule as ye ol’ brain can’t quite comprehend the math as you’ve explained. But thanks for weighing in on this. Actually, now that I have written this, I think maybe I WILL remember!

Maggie williams
4 years ago

I love reading your articles but when I read your homesick one I had to comment. We are relative newbies to fulltiming as we just sold our house a year plus ago and moved into a nice RV (no complaints there) but when back (holidays, doctors, etc) to where we had permanent roots for forty years, family and friends, I become swamped emotionally with feelings of wanting my things back, even though my head knows they were just possessions that tie you down. The biggest problem causing the most ho-hums for me is not having my own place for family to gather. However, when we are out on the road the incredible freedom, joy of new experiences and the pure exhilaration of seeing what is over the next hill is like no other that I’ve experienced in my life time. It is good to know that others have moments of homesickness in the middle of the wonderful and indescribable life we’re living on the road fulltiming. Thank you for addressing that subject.

Roy Shaw
4 years ago

Thank you for “On The Road” at 63 I still remember watching that. Like to see that here on the newsletter weekly. Never know we just might get a Chuck or Charles wanting to do the same thing. I enjoy reading and watching about your travels, got your book and enjoyed reading.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Roy Shaw

Roy, we decided to run the Charles Kuralt pieces every other week. We don’t want to run out too fast, which could happen if we did them weekly. I wish we could run them weekly, too.

Trent Alexander
4 years ago

I’m a newbie and just bought a travel trailer last December. I’m still learning how to use it and on my 2nd trip out I noticed the battery was almost dead. It had a cheap 12V that was several years old. So I talked to a friend about replacing it. I ended up buying two 6V deep cycle golf cart batteries and wired them up to make 12V. I now have 235 amp hours versus an almost dead 80 amp hours. I consider this a major upgrade. Yes, this was a bit more expensive but I like to get the most from my purchases and peace of mind that I have ample power. I would appreciate more tips in your publication that will teach a newbie like me how to maximize my travel trailer core systems.
Thank you,

Bruce H Pedersen
4 years ago

One of my enjoyments Saturday morning is reading RV Travel usually around 7:30 – 8:00 am. However today I did not get one in my e-mail. I am a voluntary subscriber and do hope this is an electronic mishap.

Dave Graham
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I usually get it around 3am but today I didn’t get It until around 8am. ?

Brent Adamson
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I have yet to get my email, so I went to the web and here you are!

4 years ago

Check your spam folder. Might be in there.

4 years ago


marty chambers
4 years ago

Dear Chuck,

You were most likely right on target with your giant catfish sighting, they get big.

Check out “noodling” if you want to see more.

All our best to you and your lady.

Jerry J Parkinson
4 years ago

Way too many ads. Very hard to decide what is an ad and what is content. I realize this is a means to make money but enough already. The content isn’t worth the effort.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago

Jerry, all the ads have red headlines, other material does not. I know there a lot of ads, mostly to Amazon, where we get a slight cut on what someone buys. We average about a $1 per sale. We have a paid staff of more than 10 people now (including regular freelance columnists) and we pay them, not take advantage of them by asking them to write or work for free. Also only a few percent of our readers have “voluntarily” subscribed with a small donation, so we need that Amazon revenue. Now that we have our Monday-Thursday RV Daily Tips newsletter back, we are producing approximately 300 newsletters a year. And people won’t even chip in $5 or $10 a year, which is less than 3 cents an issue. So until we can get more support from our readers we will continue to run more ads than we’d prefer because there are bills to pay. Also, unlike paid advertising (and we have some of that, but not a lot), the Amazon revenue comes with no strings attached which is often the case with major companies who will not continue advertising if we say anything bad about them. That’s why you seldom see a bad review in a printed RV magazine. Keep in mind, too that most printed consumer magazines must run at least 50% advertising in each issue to pay the bills. I don’t think we are close to that. We just present it in a different manner. So, I really can’t apologize for all those Amazon ads, but I can say that we pick mostly products we think would be of interest to RVers, and most of our readers understand.

Bill Patterson
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

I see most of your ads are in the column on the right and not in the main body of the site. I think that separation is correct and makes it easy to read or ignore if you wish. Unfortunately money is what we all have to make to do the things we want to. Remember the Golden Rule…what would you do if you ran the newsletter?

Brent Adamson
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill Patterson

I think it is a good balance, keep it up Chuck!

Robert Bendall
4 years ago

Hi Chuck,
I read your post everyday. I think it is full of great information.
A few issues ago you demonstrated your coffee maker. It looked very good.
In the article, it didn’t indicate where one could be purchased.
I did the usual ” google search ” with no success .
Is it possible to pass that information along?
I am from Ontario Canada
Thank you for your time and consideration

DJ Napora ( currently at home)
4 years ago

Heres something to think about.
I see so very many RV ers posting on facebook pix of their travels. If you are a part timer, wait until you come back home before posting those pictures!
Dont be telling folks that you are away!!

Wolfe Rose
4 years ago

…or keep pictures of yourself cleaning your vast pistol collection in your phone to post while you’re away… 😉

June Johnson
4 years ago

Need guidance on sealing the roof and seams on our fourwinds 5000 motor home.