Wednesday, February 8, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 834

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 834 • Week of February 24 – March 2, 2018   #rvtravel

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

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Last Saturday about 1,500 readers did not get their email alerting them of the new newsletter. This sort of thing happens often because of “Spam Filters Gone Wild” but usually involves only a few hundred readers. So I was busy answering emails Saturday, one after another, about missing newsletters. “I didn’t get mine,” they said. I wrote back and explained:

The email you receive Saturday morning is just a reminder notice of a new issue. It’s not the newsletter itself. If you do not get your email simply go to and then click on the current issue link near the top of the page. That will take you right to the new issue —the same as clicking the link in the email alert.

Another way to be reminded of all our newest newsletters plus every other story we post to this website is to scroll to the bottom of this newsletter right now and sign up for a daily email through Feedburner. It will arrive in your email box every afternoon. There’s no advertising, just a brief description and link to every article we posted that day.

August 29, 1982, my third night ever on the road, writing with a manual typewriter. Photo shot from outside my motorhome’s back window with tripod and camera self-timer.

• • •
If you are in the San Antonio, Kerrville area of Texas tomorrow (Sunday), please join Gail and me for an RV Travel Meetup. I’ll debut my presentation “A Writing Life on the Road,” about my more than three decades as a roving journalist in a “motorhome newsroom,” beginning as a struggling freelance writer, then gaining an incredible amount of media attention for my unique, quirky on-the-road newspaper Out West. I’ll show a lot of photos and a clip from the ABC World News Tonight TV segment that was seen by 22 million people, and launched me as a minor league celebrity and led me to eventually start If you plan to attend, would you please email Gail at to let her know. Click here for more info including directions.
• • •
After two weeks, our RV Daily Tips Newsletter is already a big hit. It appears every Monday through Thursday morning. I urge you sign up. If you don’t like it or it gets to be “too much” it’s easy to unsubscribe. You will learn a lot, believe me. And don’t forget Mike Sokol’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter – you should definitely be reading that to stay “electricity safe” in your RV.
• • • 
Last week, I sent out a press release, via PRWeb, to virtually all the media in America that matters. Its message was about how manufacturers need to build better RVs, and how RV buyers need to make better choices when buying them.

But,  you know what? Nothing happened of any significance, even though the press release was picked up by 128 media outlets including several major newspaper websites and those of dozens of TV stations. See the release as it appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I learned a lot from this experience, which I explained in a special message I sent yesterday to our paid subscribers, whose financial support enabled me to afford the release. I’ll change my approach on the next one and hope for more significant results. 

* * *
I’m planning to do some video chats on Saturday mornings, where I would appear live (as opposed to dead!) for an hour, right on this website. Just click to a page and there I’ll be! We could discuss my essay or anything else on your mind. I would occasionally bring in one of our columnists on a split screen. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.

Both Facebook and YouTube make it pretty easy to do this. What I’d like to know is do you prefer one or the other? Would you simply click on your preference on the poll. The current results will appear immediately thereafter. Thanks.

Finally, just a quick note about the challenges of running a large website these days: In the past month, has been attacked more than 40,000 times by hackers (among the lowest forms of human life). But, ha! We have super strength filters in place to keep them out! The largest number of those attacks came from China, followed by France and Russia. Get lost, you creeps! 



P.S. We learned some things about you last week! V-e-r-y interesting! How did we do it? You’ll need to click here to find out!

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• The time I spent in Congress.

Win $104 cash today!
Our Pot of Gold Contest has returned. Today’s cash prize is $104. 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.
Congratulations to Paul Enns who won the Pot of Gold last Wednesday, February 21, and received $128! 

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters
Do more than just let your thoughts keep you warm.
It’s winter and batteries are dying.
Care and feeding of your shore power connection – Part 2
• Quick rig leveling trick – use it for an overnight stop.

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

Is reading this newsletter worth 10 cents to you? 
dime-738Our staff works hard to bring you a valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year is appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! Your contributions make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to make advertisers and RV industry big shots happy. Enter a voluntary subscriptionUse a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.


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

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.

The world’s longest RV? We think so!
Here’s a photo of a very interesting, and very long, RV. Is this the longest RV ever? See a larger picture and learn more. Check it out.

video camera WP

Don’t get suckered into buying an RV this way!
Do not buy an RV under the terms Chuck Woodbury describes in this article or you could very well regret it for the rest of your life. Many RV buyers fall into this trap – never realizing what they’ve gotten themselves into until it’s too late. Read this article before financing an RV – it’s definitely an eye opener!

Manufacturers can make getting RV parts difficult
One of the things that you as an RV owner may not realize is some manufacturers sell parts only to their own dealers. For example, if you need a part for a Keystone product, you’ll find their parts are only obtainable through a Keystone dealer. For many RV brands, the nearest dealer might be a 100 miles away. That means a shop has to get the part shipped to the dealer, then the dealer has to ship it to the shop. That’s a lot of downtime for the RV owner. Learn more.

video camera WPVideo: RV burns! Where are the fire trucks?
You’ll go a long time before you witness a scarier scene than this one at a Midland, Michigan, gas station. It seems to take forever for the fire department to show up and then when it does arrive you wonder when the firemen might decide to start putting out the fire. Watch the video.

Trailer folk: Jack the frame – not the axle
Learn from Russ and Tiña De Maris’ lesson learned the hard way (although it could have been much worse) about why it’s critical to jack a trailer by the frame and not the axle. Find out here how to safely jack up a trailer – and what to watch for when it’s in the shop.

RV Mods – A quick disconnect for your RV’s LP heater?
Many RVers have found it to their advantage to shuck the use of the factory RV furnace in favor of a “Blue Flame” or catalytic style heater. If you store the heater when not needed, that means disconnecting the heater from the LP gas line. There are two approaches to plumbing here: one is using a flexible gas line equipped with quick disconnect fittings. But are these fittings safe? Find out here.

This week’s Reader Poll
If someone today offered you a great price on your RV would you sell it? 
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:
Do you buy special RV toilet paper for your RV bathroom? Click here for the results.

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.

Understanding causes will help prevent an RV fire
RVs do catch fire – but if you know why, you can take steps to prevent this horrible experience. Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy explains in this video some reasons how and why RVs catch fire. Watch the video.

Boondockers: Make sure your hike is a safe one
Some time back a 59-year-old woman went missing in a Northern California state park before she was found six days later. She had fallen from an unmarked trail into a ravine. She was uninjured but could not climb out of the ravine – she could only wait, hoping to be rescued. If you like to go out wandering where there is no one else, what can you do to protect yourself from becoming lost or injured and maybe never making it back to civilization? Here are important safety tips from Boondock Bob Difley (who admits he has been lost in the desert but eventually found his way out).

video camera WPA visit to Annie Oakley’s grave
Old West sharpshooter Annie Oakley was born just north of Greenville, Ohio, and lived her final days there. She’s buried alongside her husband Frank Butler in Brock cemetery, a short drive north of town just off U.S. route 127. editor Chuck Woodbury visited there and recorded this video, revealing his special “connection” with Annie, who is considered the first American female superstar. Read more and watch the video.

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

How to find mold in your RV and what to do about it
How do you know if you have mold in your RV? You can detect mold both by smell and by sight. If mold is found, what can you do to get rid of it? Here are some suggestions.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s a car!
You don’t see something like this every day. We found this 1919 Leyat Helico at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. It was built by a Frenchman named Marcel Leyat, an engineer and airplane enthusiast who designed, built and flew his first plane in 1909. Read more about this car (and more), the builder, and the Lane Motor Museum – a great RV Short Stop.

What to do in the RV when it rains … and rains … and rains
Rich “The Wanderman” laments that it’s been raining in the Northeast for days. What if you don’t want to go out in the rain, but you don’t really feel like working inside your RV, tidying up, etc.? How about just relaxing on the couch, watching out the windows and listening to the rain on the roof? Perhaps add a warm (or cold) beverage? Isn’t this idea of shelter and comfort one of the main reasons we own RVs? Rich has a few suggestions which just might make you look forward to being “stuck” inside when the weather outside is just too soggy for comfort. Read more.

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.

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Couple having trouble downsizing to RV full time.
Do you buy special “RV” toilet paper for your RV bathroom? (Reader poll; lots of comments)
Fulltime RVer – Keeping a log.
Changing trailer tires – new load capacity requirement.
Read this before replacing nonworking absorption fridge.

More popular articles from last week’s issue
A call for action to speed up RV repairs.
Can a 9-volt battery start a fire in your RV?
Acts of Service” an easy entry into volunteering.
The planets – With spring come the mighty gas giants (and Mars).
Let a solar oven do your cooking.
Where and how to find Southwestern desert flowers.

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

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

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

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

Readers’ comments on the poor quality of their new RVs
RVs today are being built fast, and in way too many cases poorly. Here are some horror stories.

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

Ask the RV Shrink

Hubby solved noisy LP detector by disconnecting it – Bad idea!

Dear RV Shrink:
We live six months at a time in a 35-foot fifth wheel. Recently our propane detector started acting weird so my husband just disconnected the wires. He failed to inform me of this repair technique and I was content that it was working properly again. When I finally discovered that it was disconnected I had a fit. … —Alarmed and Dangerous in Detroit

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

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

“The” guide to services at Interstate exits

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

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.56 (on Feb. 19). Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 26 cents.
Diesel: $3.03 (on Feb. 19). Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 46 cents.

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.

The RV Vet
With Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM
Traveling safely with your pets
Many of us started RVing because we wanted to travel and take our pets with us. And for the most part, life with a pet in your RV is not much different than in a house. But there are some safety issues directly related to RVing with a dog or cat (or other pet) that you should know about. Read more.

Keep the dog’s mud outside!  
We saw the Mudbuster in action and were impressed – why doesn’t everyone have one of these? After Fido plays outside and brings the mud inside, say no more. Simply fill the Mudbuster with water, dip your dog’s paws in one at a time, and voila! They come out clean as a whistle. No more paper towel or wet-wipe waste. Watch the video and learn more here.  

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

RV battery safety
Batteries produce explosive gases. Keep flame, cigarettes and sparks away. Be sure your battery compartment is properly vented. Keep vent caps tight and level. Check your battery monthly. Replace swollen batteries immediately. Use extreme care when handling batteries – they can explode. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

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.

“Boomer of Bremerton” won our Scavenger Hunt Contest last week with this photo of him wearing a blue hat standing by a horse statue. His prize, a set of walkie- talkies, is headed his way.

RV Quick Tips

Check the drip tube in the back of your fridge
It’s a good idea to occasionally take a peek in the back of your RV refrigerator. It (usually) has a drip tube that channels off water from evaporation. Sometimes this tube leads to a drip container (often near the chimney) that evaporates off this water; others may “port” the water out of the rig harmlessly. In any event, if the tube gets loose and starts dripping water onto your RV framework, it can lead to damaging rot.

Handy hints for using a gas oven
If your oven at home is electric, adjusting to a gas stove in the RV can be tricky. Gas ovens usually don’t heat as evenly and may have hot spots. Turn your items several times when baking to even out the cooking, or use a heat deflector or a baking stone to help even out the heat. Mary Lowe suggests you put a cookie sheet upside down on the rack and then place your baking dish/pan on top of it. Thanks, Mary!

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

This isn’t corny – it’ll really hide your valuables! 
Odds are, if a burglar breaks into your home or RV, they’ll look in the obvious places for valuables: a safe, dresser drawers, the glove compartment, but a can of corn? Nope. This “can” is actually a hidden security container made to hold valuables such as jewelry, keys and cash! Screw off the bottom (the top just looks like a regular ol’ can) and hide away! Fool those burglars!. Learn more or order

Gizmos and Gadgets

KeySmart puts bulky keys into single fold-up device
The KeySmart Pro is a key holder that consolidates noisy, bulky keys into a single fold-up device. This little gadget ensures no more bulky keys and guarantees you’ll never lose them on a camping trip again. It also puts Bluetooth tracking technology, an LED flashlight, bottle opener and a rechargeable battery right in the palm of your hand. Learn more.

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

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

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

RVers can’t locate source of slideout leak

Dear Gary,
We have a 2009 Monaco and have had a leak in the bedroom slide from the very beginning.  It takes about an hour or so for the water to start dripping in on the floor and it will continue to drip three hours after it stops raining. We can see it dripping in but can’t find out where it is coming from. If you have any ideas please let us know. Thank you in advance for any help that you may give us. —Gary and Linda B.

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

Tips wanted: Protecting dog and human feet from cactus spines

Hi Bob,
A couple of weeks ago I drove from my home in Colorado to Arizona with my two dogs. I parked my truck camper in my friend’s driveway in New River, Ariz., for a few days. I found that there were so many cactus and cactus spines on the ground that it was nearly impossible to go out of the camper with the dogs without them getting stickers in their feet. Likewise, I would get them in my shoes and then, of course, the spines would get tracked into the camper where my bare feet would find them for the second time. Was this just an anomaly of the particular area I was in, or is the whole state like this? This experience has me never wanting to go back to Arizona. It just seems cruel to take dogs into an environment like that. Thank you, Bob! —Tom F. of Fort Collins, CO

Read Bob’s response.

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

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

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Exercising your generator with a load

Hey Mike, about this tip…
“Don’t just exercise the pooch, exercise the generator, too. Fire it up and run it at half-load (or more) for two hours each month.” I just read this Quick Tip in the RV Daily Tips Newsletter, but I wonder just how to run a generator at half-load? And why do I have to run it for two hours? That’s a lot of gasoline and gas costs money. Can’t I just run it for 5 or 10 minutes every month to make sure it’s working? –Joey D.

Read Mike’s response.

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

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Tire inflation not the same for all trailers – more on Interply Shear
Roger Marble has written a number of times on the topic of Interply Shear. This is the force that is trying to tear the belts of radial tires apart. So why do trailer tires seem to have such high Interply Shear forces? Well, it’s not the case in all trailers, as the cornering forces of single-axle trailers are much lower than the forces of tandem- or triple-axle trailers. Roger explains here, including videos.

Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can last a year on a set of batteries 
When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires & install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order at a great price) at

RV History
with Al Hesselbart

The evolution of the trailer hitch
The history of devices to connect a load to a towing device goes back many centuries. From a wooden yoke by which cattle were attached to many types of trailers, to leather collars used to connect horses, there have been many types of “hitches” used through the years. When mechanical pulling power was created with the advent of the automobile, the evolution of the trailer hitch began. Read more

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

Perfect RVer gift!
Lucy and Desi go RVing

What a hoot! Lucy and Desi Arnaz go RVing! In this 1954 classic 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 for about $8.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Madras Mulligatawny soup
Muddle through with quick mulligatawny. During the English Raj in India, a soup course was expected at any proper dinner, but soups as we know them were not known in Indian cuisine at that time, so this one was invented. The name means “pepper water.” It’s an easy, one-pot meal with exotic flavor and a bit of heat. This is Janet’s shortcut version. Get the recipe.

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

State, Regional,
City and U.S. maps
A GPS is 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.

Digital RVer

Make your travel photos go from so-so to stunning
Do you go to beautiful places and take pictures that don’t do the place justice? Chris Guld, of Geeks on Tour, is often disappointed when she looks at her pictures and thinks, “It looked so much better than that.” Sound familiar? If cropping and applying the “Auto” filter in Google Photos isn’t enough, Chris uses the app Snapseed – which edits photos right on your phone. Learn more and check out her impressive before-and-after example.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here is their recent webcast about using Snapseed: Episode 136, Editing photos with Snapseed Watch live or archives of past programs.

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

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Ennis RV Village
• Camper College: March 3rd
• Celebrating Diversity on the Road

Learn about low bridges along your route!
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

Free and bargain camping

Walmart Supercenter # 791, Alice, TX
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from the store. One RVer was greeted by security, who gave permission to park, escorted RVer to location, gave permission to use slides, and promised to watch out all night. Park parallel to a wood fence on SW side of the lot, and as far from store as possible. Lot is large, level, well-lit, and appears safe. Possible truck noise. Address: 2701 E Main St. GPS: 27.7678, -98.0431

Flying J Travel Plaza # 683, Kenly, NC
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Park in one of nine marked RV spaces in NE corner of the lot. Do not park in the truck area unless directed there by Flying J. RV spaces are not perfectly level. Well-lit with no apparent security issues. Expect the usual noise level of a larger truck stop. Dump station is $10. Propane fill available. Denny’s restaurant on site. Address: 1800 Princeton-Kenly Rd. GPS: 35.57508. -78.14567

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

Save your knees 
when working under your RV

Do you ever need to reach under your RV to grab something, adjust something, add air to a tire, or remove a leveling block? If you’re parked on dirt, gravel, hot pavement or other uncomfortable surfaces, your knees can take a beating! This kneeler pad, for about $7, will save the day. The staff uses its pad all the time. Learn more or order

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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
• Maryland RV Show, Feb. 23-25, Timonium, MD
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
• Port Huron Camper & RV Show, Mar. 8-11, Port Huron, MI
• The Real RV Show, Mar. 8-11, Sacramento, CA
• Virginia RV Show – Hampton, Mar. 9-11, Hampton, VA 
• York RV Show, Mar. 9-11, York, PA

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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. Learn more or order

In 1919 it took an army convoy 62 days to drive from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco. The convoy showed that not only was the American highway system inadequate for moving goods and people, it was inadequate for national defense. Lt. Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower was on that trip and he never forgot it. As president, he signed the 1956 Federal Highway Act to create our interstate system. Today those 47,000 miles represent only 1 percent of all roads, yet carry 20 percent of all traffic including 40 percent of all truck traffic.

Bumper sticker of the week
Beware … Karma has a wicked sense of humor.

What is this? Is it a doggie treadmill? We bet you can’t guess! If you want to know, you’ll need to click here.

Funny/clever business slogan
Moore’s Tree Service, Port Deposit, MD: “We go out on a limb for you.” Thanks, Dan Jandon!

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

Joke of the Week
Joe and Jenny drove for miles in silence in their new motorhome after a terrible argument in which neither would budge. After many miles had passed, a frustrated Joe pointed to a mule in a nearby pasture. “A relative of yours?” he asked Jenny. “Yes,” she replied. “By marriage.”

Random RV Thought
It is sometimes hard to hear the television or stereo in your RV during a pounding rainstorm. But the sound of the storm is a very nice reminder that you are cozy and dry, which is pleasing. This is an excellent time to relax with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

Worth Pondering
The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream. — Harry Kemp

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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

I really have to post this. But the Passport ROV is almost identical to the Jayco swift flight. I took a look at this camper thru a KOA sweepstakes give away and once I took a look inside thru one of those on line visual cameras realized it was identical to the Jayco. So if you are going after one? The Jayco is much nicer and has more storage this piece of junk. IMO I wonder if jayco knows of this.

Michael Gardner
4 years ago

As long as the uninformed keep buying poor quality RVs, manufacturers will continue to make them. Perhaps we all should go to a dealer, look over an RV, then tell them their stuff isn’t well enough made. Not fair to the dealers, but the manufacturers aren’t listening. Keep blogging and Youtubing the stories…..

Mike Sherman
4 years ago

We don’t expect auto manufacturers to lay asphalt and should not expect RV manufacturers to provide campsites. More investors would pony up to building campgrounds if there is a fair return on their investment, and the government eased up on the permitting process. Try building an RV park on the coast of California. Mention sewer system and the Coastal Commission will insure it never gets built. The cost of raw land, plus FHU utilities is expensive….the investors get a bigger return from hotel/motel projects. Fortunately, new RV parks do pop up, but they are expensive because they add golf courses, restaurants, etc. etc.

Rory Roberts
4 years ago

I follow the newsletter and read the articles on travel and safety with great interest. I do have a suggestion though. It is confusing to me when I read so many articles or watch videos where FT’ers are discussing wild camping or boondocking off the grid. It seems that there are legions of RV’ers who do this, yet in my travels, I haven’t met many who do this on a regular basis. The “noise-level” re: wildcamping, making it seems as though the greater percentage of RV’ers are off the grid boondockers. I boondock some but not that much.. Communing with nature is great, but my personal preferences is to do so, just to recharge my batteries, and then I go where there are new friends to be made and old friends to meet and catch up with. Would you consider doing a survey to more or less get a estimated percentage of just how many RV’ers prefer “off the grid” boondocking to private and public RV parks & campgrounds.

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Rory Roberts

Rory, we have done surveys in the past, and less than 20% of our readers do much traditional “boondocking,” in the sense of plopping down in the desert or elsewhere, usually on government lands. And I’d guess only about 10% do it exclusively or nearly so. We’ll do another survey soon, though. Good idea!

4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

That’s one of the great things about boondocking. While most RVers are crammed into campgrounds and complaining about the lack of more of them, I have the desert to myself!

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  John

John, Yeah, it’s great in the Southwest, but you don’t find much of that wide open space on public lands east of the Mississippi.

4 years ago

I am confused. RV Travel had an article “Trailer folk: Jack the frame – not the axle” but in another on-line publication, I read “How To Avoid Flat Spots On Your Trailer Tires” which is about a device that jacks a trailer up by the axles.

John Koenig
4 years ago

I don’t (and WON’T) “do” Facebook. Move content to Facebook and it becomes USELESS to me.

Patti L
4 years ago

The idea of where can you go is probably one that should be part of researching before you make a purchase. Hear me out here… check out the average parks in areas that you might be interested in seeing, typical road types that you like to travel (none of this being hard and fast, mind you)..just what it is that you want to do. This research will come in when you are looking at types and sizes. I mean, yeah. that 40ft fiver with 5 slideouts and all the comforts that you don’t even have in your sticks and bricks may seem perfect…until you find that it can’t go easily to the off the path places you really want to be. Most camping places probably were not built with the new, much bigger units in mind. That will really add to your frustration. But this is just an idea floating around in my head but I thought it might be worth mentioning.

Peter Calimeris
4 years ago

I saw your article about the RV industry last week in the Contra Costa Times. The paper is a member of the Mercury News Group in the Bay Area. It was titled “RV industry in chaos”. It was in the automotive section of the Saturday edition. Thank you.

4 years ago

HELP HELP HELP, Chuck we all need your help in getting the RV manufactures to clean up their act. I know you have 3 decades of RVing, hopefully that can get the ball rolling. I’m fighting back, luckily I live in Ca & lemon laws are strong here, & I’ve got one going against Forest River & DDRV for all the lousy workmanship & the 6 months out of 12 I couldn’t use my RV. Chuck I can’t speak for all the RV’s but the RV manufactures need to not only make good on their promise of quality, so do the selling dealers in actually doing the repairs. Hey if it takes some kind of financial help, I’m good with that.

Eric Eltinge
4 years ago

In CA, I’ve migrated to NASCAR tailgating and military campgrounds. With 25% of the nation’s homeless and sanctuary illegal aliens everywhere, the public campgrounds are being overrun. We also now have 55,000 marijuana farms. You’ll find needles in fire pits and tented hobo towns under freeways. Exercise caution.

John Matheny, Austin, TX
4 years ago

A caveat to my response to the reader poll about daily newspapers. My response was every, or almost every, day. However, it could also be never since I don’t read it in hard copy but rather on line. Wonder how many others might fit that category?

William Watterson
4 years ago

In issue 843 you advertised a tank sensor cleaner called caravan sensor cleaner. Clicking on it took me to Amazon where it only had a 3 1/2 star rating. Is the products in the news letters actually tried and tested and recommended by the RV community or are the listed solely because of paid advertising?

Michael Falkner
4 years ago

You know I’ve been reading your newsletter for a while and have never seen any article about diy rv’s. I have been rving since I was 20 and am now 65, I have bought new and used all types of rv’s and decided after my last 4o ft piece of junk I would downsize and my wife and I decided we would rather build what we want and not what we were offered with a bunch of defects. Why can’t you talk about some of the people that are doing the same? There is a real large community of us out there, you could increase readers and introduce another point of view? You ought to try it? Thanks Mike (Love your newsletter)

Hubert Bru
4 years ago

The one biggest issue we have is that there are very few rv,Trailer friendly gas stations out there and if you do pull into one that services big transports you get fround on.

4 years ago

In poll of live video chat, I selected YouTube. My husband & I are deaf & full-time RVers. We are asking you to please have your videos with closed captioned. There are many deaf RVees who are Campers, vacationers, partial, full timers. We can gain knowledge with closed captioned videos. Thank you so much for your well-written newsletter articles.!

4 years ago
Reply to  Sheri

I’m with Sheri. Human hearing typically starts to decline around the age of 65 to 74…..much earlier if you have Tinnitus or other hearing related problems. Close Caption will greatly benefit those of us with poor hearing as well as those who are deaf.

Barbara Hagen
4 years ago

We cannot ignore the lack of quality control among the manufacturers but the lack of campground space around the country. I believe the dealers should pick up the slack and provide spaces for the RV’s they sell. Lately I hear that RV service centers have provided sites for RV’s being serviced to help the fulltimers to stay in their RV’s. How about Dealers stepping up !!!! No one takes up this cause.

4 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Hagen

I agree…too many RV’s and not enough decent RV parks out there.Many dealers do not care after they get your hard earned money…I found out the hard way from an unscrupulous dealer in Pasco,Washington.Something to do with a blue dog.

4 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Hagen

Dealers are for the purpose of selling RV’s, not providing RV sites. If one thinks there are no available sites, why would one buy an RV in the first place? Let the free market decide the number of sites to exist.

Bill T
4 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Hagen

Interesting idea. Although we all know dealers are just about the sell, not the after purchase service or where you want to park it. The bottom is about to fall out in the RV sales business. At the multi-million pace RV’s are being sent out by the manufacturers, people will realize that there will be no place to go with them anymore. Six plus months waiting list at any national park. Ridiculous.