Saturday, September 30, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 836

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 836 • Week of March 10–16, 2018   #rvtravel

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Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Long road in desert
I continue to work and write to explore roads like this, too.

Here is one reason I continue to work even though I’m beyond traditional retirement age. It’s because of letters and comments like the one below, this one left as a comment to our RV electricity expert Mike Sokol. It’s from reader Robb Drellich, of Stuart, Florida. He wrote:

“The No Shock Zone may have saved my life! I never heard of a ‘hot skin condition’ until I read about it in the No Shock Zone section of RV Travel. When hooking up last year I received a slight shock when I touched my travel trailer. My rig was fairly new and I was quite alarmed. After no avail trying to figure out what might be the problem, I was lucky enough to get a mobile RV electrician to come out the afternoon of July 3rd!

“After he spent significant time problem solving with my rig, and almost giving up, through his determination he found a defective ground on my 30-amp power cord. Not having one on hand I raced into town and was able to purchase a replacement just as an RV dealership was closing for the holiday. Many thanks to Mike Sokol for this life saving information and RV Travel!”

If you don’t know what a hot skin condition is, then you must read Mike’s RV Electricity Newsletter. It’s a topic that comes up often (read the latest issue here).

Every year people are killed just by simply touching their RVs under certain conditions. Read about four-year-old Landyn Keener who died that way. After we wrote about Landyn, we received letters from other readers whose children had also felt a mild shock when touching their RV, but didn’t give it another thought. One man wrote that he wrapped his door handle in cloth, thinking that would solve the problem. Then he learned here about RV hot skin conditions. He said, “Thank you RV Travel. You may have saved my child’s life.”

Hot skin conditions kill adults just as easily.

RVs DON’T LOOK MENACING. We buy them and assume everything will be fine. For example, we don’t even think about a fire, yet type “RV fire” into YouTube and see what comes up! And how about drivers who don’t know how to react if a front tire blows? If they react improperly, they could die. That’s why every so often we publicize this video from Michelin about how to deal with a tire blowout. Also, we remind our readers regularly about the dangers of carbon monoxide, and we publicize RV recalls within hours of when they’re issued so you can get any defects fixed right away. 

RVs are about fun. They’re about adventure. They’re wonderful for vacations and increasingly to live in full-time. RVs are amazing — modern-day magic carpets. Yes, I write about problems in the industry (and will stay on that soapbox), but I still love RVing as much as when I began doing it half my life ago.

But for me, this newsletter, and our other newsletters and websites, are very much about educating RVers to buy more wisely and to be safe with them. That’s what gets me revved up every morning.

Please tell your friends about us. Help spread the word. 

You can read us for free or you can become a voluntary subscriber and help put some extra fuel in our editorial tank. That’s your decision. Our decision is to keep producing quality information that lets you enjoy your RV more and do it safer. We’ll do that until our ink runs dry. But then there is no ink in cyberspace. So I guess we’ll just join the Energizer Bunny and keep on going and going and . . .

Thanks for reading. You empower us.


The next scheduled get together will be at the RVillage Rally in Elkhart, Indiana, May 17-21. Please join us. Sign up at RVillage to learn more. The rally should be a great time. Gail and I would love to meet you there.

Mike Sokol will be a guest for a taping of the syndicated radio program “The RV Show USA” this coming Wednesday, March 14, at 5 p.m., Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern Time). Watch the taping live on Facebook beginning then.

The prize money for our Pot of Gold contest: A few of our voluntary subscribers have written asking why we are spending (wasting) money on the contest. Well, we are not. All the prize money is covered by sponsors and advertisers. We actually come out a few dollars ahead every day, which we put to good use.

spyWhat we learned about you last week: We conducted a half-dozen reader polls, two in this newsletter and four in our Monday-Thursday newsletter RV Daily Tips. Here’s what we learned about you: for example, how many of you use a space heater in your RV, how long it’s been since you used a pay phone, how many of you listen to a radio station while driving, and more. Fun (and interesting!).

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)

Win $106 cash today!
Our Pot of Gold Contest has returned. Today’s cash prize is $106. 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 Richardson from Newnan, GA, who won $120 on March 6! 

cover story

Are alien bugs hiding in your RV?
The United States and parts of Canada have been invaded by stink bugs that not only smell terrible but threaten the agricultural industry. The bugs can hide out in your RV for months, then appear hundreds, even thousands of miles away. In this story, which you will soon see in the major media, learn about the bugs and what to do when you encounter them. “They have followed us everywhere. We killed six the other day, in early March, in our park in Texas,” said RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury. “I’ve wondered if they’re here in Texas or if we brought them along with us.” Read more.

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters
Volunteer: Have fun, do good, save on camping fees.
Navigating parking lots with a big RV.
Care and feeding of your shore power connection – Part 3
Electric power:  You pay for it – learn to read the meter.

Sign up for’s
new monthly newsletter about RV electricity

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

Support Honest Journalism
The staff of works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Even a pledge of $5, $10 or $20 a year is appreciated — that’s for more than 50 weekly issues (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 AM

Comprehensive list of
RV-related recalls for February

The list of latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles and/or products of interest to RVers has been released by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from DRV Suites, Entegra, Forest River, Gulf Stream, Jayco, Keystone, Lance, Newmar and others — plus other vehicles commonly used by RVers and some tires. Is your RV, other vehicle or type of tires on the list? Find out here.

Most recent recalls:
Keystone recalls trailers for improper GFCI receptacle.
Thor recalls RVs for sofa seat belt design error.
Forest River recalls toy haulers for wrong safety chains.


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.

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.

RV Mods: Lock your LP cylinders away from thieves
Most travel trailer owners have their propane cylinders mounted up-front, right on the trailer tongue. While that makes for an easy access for refilling, it can also make for easy access for people with bad intent. Our long-time reader Tommy Molnar provides us with a security mod he uses to keep his LP cylinders from walking off. Learn more.

Okay to level with one wheel off the ground?
Here’s a question that sometimes pops up: When leveling, is it okay to get a wheel or wheels off the ground? It’s another one of those loaded questions, with people lining up across the fire pit, shootin’ irons ready to blaze. There are valid concerns about raising a motorhome’s tires off the ground, including parking stability or even having the windshield pop out. Learn more.

The RV park stay from hell
Russ and Tiña De Maris rarely stay at an RV park, and their recent nightmare experience, from start to finish, has reminded them why not. You won’t believe this horror story! Read more.

video camera WPHow to safely handle an RV tire blowout
Do you know what to do if your RV or tow vehicle blows a front tire? Slam on your brakes? No, don’t do that or you’ll risk going out of control, being badly injured or off to your next life. This video from Michelin shows you what to do in such a situation, and why to do it that way. Watch it. Then watch it again. And then tell your friends and family to watch it. Really, watch this video!

This week’s Reader Poll
Which TOP THREE of these amenities would you prefer most at an RV park?
Would you prefer speedy WiFi, great cable TV, lots of space between sites …. or ?? After you click your responses, 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:
What’s the fairest checkout time at RV parks? Click here for the results.

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.

Gardening for RVers? Yup, right on your bumper!
One thing Tiña De Maris missed when on the road was a garden. Sure, you can put a potted flower on the dinette, but it’s just not the same, and vegetables don’t always lend themselves to a little bitty pot. Russ, being the supportive hubby that he is, not to mention fresh fruit and vegetable lover, constructed the ultimate traveling garden: the RV bumper garden. It’s not too difficult, and maybe you can have one too! Learn more.

Faded and cracked decals got you down? Make new ones!
Rich “The Wanderman” sees many posts on online forums about faded and cracked decals. His 1991 Aero Cruiser has  straight decals going most of the way around it, and parts of them look awful. He’s been wanting to replace them and perhaps add some unique touches in various places. The trick is, how do you get it done? He explains here.

video camera WPControl excess moisture in your RV
Excess moisture is not something you want in your RV. It can lead to rot, mold, mildew and nasty odors. Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, gives advice about how to prevent and control excess moisture in an RV, as well as ways to prevent odors associated with excess moisture. Watch the video.

Rats eating the wiring in your car? RV?
The Weekly Driver reports that vehicles parked outside and near trees are literally being eaten by rats! At least their wiring. “Owners of cars from several manufacturers are increasingly reporting that rats and other rodents are eating their vehicles from the inside out,” the website reported. Why is this occurring more frequently? Find out here and participate in a quick poll.

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

Thor Industries shifting focus from Boomers to Millennials
Thor, the largest RV maker in the world, is shifting its focus from Baby Boomers to Millennials. That’s what company CEO Bob Martin told Jim Cramer last Thursday on Cramer’s CNBC TV show “Mad Money.” “It’s all about Instagrammable experience,” Martin said. Read more.

Why are my RV batteries drying out?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received this question from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor: “I have a 50-amp transfer switch. My question is if the power from the converter/charger goes through the transfer switch? I’m boiling batteries and trying to determine if the converter or transfer switch is bad, or none of the above?” Read Chris’ answer.

video camera WPHow many fire extinguishers in your RV – two? three?
Is it really necessary to carry more than one fire extinguisher in your RV? Mac The Fire Guy offers advice about the need for more than one fire extinguisher in your RV. Watch the video.

Keeping cool in a spring desert
Some snowbirds like to stick it out in the desert until the increasing heat thoroughly thaws out their bones before moving north. However, some spring days can easily reach into the 90s and if you are boondocking, running an air conditioner from your main engine or a generator for hours may not be an option. There are two effective methods to control your interior heat. Learn more.

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

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Man asks, “Should I sell my home to travel in an RV?” (video)
RV Electricity: What’s “the Code”? Find out here.
Astronomy for RVers: Catch a shooting star.
Advance technology boosts power inverter capabilities.
What’s the fairest checkout time at an RV park?
RV owner stymied by stuck-out step.

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Video: Building the first 3-D printed RV.
Adding storage in RV’s dinette seats
Visit the OK Corral ghosts at Clanton Ranch.
Desert wildflowers are already beginning to bloom.
Hubby wants to be navigator, but forgetfulness causing issues.
• Can I run my LR-E at 65 psi, or is this overloading the tire?

Route 66 bookBest selling guide to driving Route 66
Eighty percent of the original Route 66 is still easily drivable, but often not on ordinary maps & signage. The EZ66 GUIDE is the answer to finding the route, most of it suitable for RVs. This is the ultimate guide for exploring the Mother Road whether you’re driving west or east. Its maps & directions are comprehensive yet easy to follow. Highly rated. Learn more or order.

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 many cases poorly. Here are some examples.

Heat your RV with Electricity, not Propane!
SAVE $$$! Until now, the standard for heating recreation vehicles of all types has been to use bottled propane (LPG). With the CheapHeat™ system there’s a better option. Now you have a choice to change the central heating system between gas and electric with the flip of a switch. When you choose to run on electric heat rather than gas, your coach will be heated by the electricity provided by the RV park. Learn more.

Ask the RV Shrink

Wife doesn’t like RV’s “Beverly Hillbillies” look

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife and I like to kayak. We both have our own kayak which I have been strapping to the roof ladder on the back of the motorhome. My wife says we look like the Beverly Hillbillies with our bikes and boats all roped on. She is constantly complaining but has no suggestions on how else we can carry all our toys. She thinks storage engineering is my department, and I think I have already found the best solution. Should I ignore her subtle jabs about my kayak configurations, change them, sell them or continue to be frustrated? —Up a creek with too many paddles in Paducah 

Read the RV Shrink’s response.

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.

Fiesta Key RV Resort & Marina is Open!
Stay in the heart of the Florida Keys, where you’ll discover lush greenery and embrace the tropical feel of our 28-acre resort located on an island all our own. We are surrounded by incredible Gulf of Mexico ocean views, have an on-site marina, and plenty of areas where you can relax and enjoy the sunset. Learn more here. 

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 Mar. 5). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 22 cents.
Diesel: $2.99 (on Mar. 5). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 41 cents.
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.

Heartworms in pets: bad news, even deadly

Dear Dr. Deanna,
What are heartworms and should I be concerned about my dog and cat having them?
Read Dr. Deanna’s reply and take a quick survey!

If you take a daily vitamin your dog should too!
Dogs need all the right vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, just like us humans. If your dog doesn’t get a wide variety of foods, consider giving Fido a daily vitamin. This 5-in-1 multivitamin chew supports your dog’s hip and joint health, heart health, skin and coat, digestive system and immune system. Keep Fido healthy, happy and energized. Learn more and order here

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Prevent spontaneous combustion
Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal. Buy charcoal fresh, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container. Rags soiled with auto wax or cleaners that contain petroleum products or other oil-based cleaning materials can also spontaneously combust if disposed of in a combustible container. Put dirty cleaning rags in a metal container with a lid. 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

See what’s behind you easier
Does your motorhome or camper van have a rear window? Do you rely on it when backing up? If so, with a Fresnel lens your view of what’s right behind you will vastly expand, helping you avoid hitting objects, even a child or other person. If your RV is about 24 feet or less with a rear window, this inexpensive device could keep you out of trouble. Learn more or order

RV Quick Tips

Dinette cushions sliding around?
Here are two possible solutions for slippery cushions. Apply “lines” of silicone caulk in a pattern across the “back” of the sliding cushy. Let the caulk dry before setting back into place – the dry caulk acts as a snubber. Or attach sticky-back hook-and-loop tape to both the cushion and the surface it should “stick” to.

Easy way to find the awning pull loop
Time to open your awning? Sometimes the awning pull loop at the end of the strap can be hard to find. Get a large, colorful carabiner like those used by climbers and sailors. The “snap lock” hardware makes it easier to find the end of the strap, and you can grab it with your awning hook. Find them at outdoor stores, ship chandleries or at

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

ITP launches new Coyote®, the ultimate desert tire
Attention desert rats, toy haulers, and all owners of ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. This may be the rugged performer tire you’ve been looking for, a performance racer-tested tire approved by the Murray Brothers team. The Carlstar Group announced on March 7 the release of the new ITP-branded Coyote tire for high horsepower UTV vehicles and SxS’s. The 32-inch, 8-ply rated radial tire is compliant with DOT testing standards and is made in the USA. Learn more.

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

Best-selling vent cover!
Keep rain out and fresh air inside your RV
Few add-ons are more enthusiastically endorsed by RVers as MaxxAir vents. This is the original and best-selling model. Install this over your RV vents, then keep them open in any weather. On rainy days, air from inside your RV can exit without a single drop of rain coming inside. Keep your vents open during storage and while driving. Learn more or order.

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

RVer wants info for DIY onboard systems diagnostic work

Hello Gary,
I was wondering if you could recommend a comprehensive technical publication for doing diagnostic work on RV refrigerators, hot water tanks and air-conditioning units? I realize there may be multiple publications involved and also may be specific to type, but I am looking for somewhat more basic tech publications, at least at first. …

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

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

fire extinguisherFire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-pack
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Available at 50% off the last we looked. Learn more or order.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

How often do you have to recertify propane tanks?

Hi Bob,
My husband and I began fulltime RVing in November 2017. We bought a 2003 Alpine Coach motorhome, having it inspected and warranted before hitting the road. We headed south from Indiana and have been to several states. We haven’t had need for propane much other than a few cold periods. Not quite knowing how much we’ll need it, we thought we should top off the tank while we were in Kentucky. But an attendant at a Pilot Truck Stop said he couldn’t fill our tank because it didn’t have an inspection sticker. …

Read the rest of the question and Bob’s (very thorough) response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: How to find great and plentiful boondocking campsites.

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

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Reducing hot-skin shocks – Are we there yet?

Dear Mike,
“The No Shock Zone may have saved my life! I never heard of a ‘hot skin condition’ until I read about it in the No Shock Zone section of RV Travel. When hooking up last year I received a slight shock when I touched my travel trailer. My rig was fairly new and I was quite alarmed. …”

Read the rest of the comment and Mike’s response.

No~Shock~Zone seminars coming to a town near you.

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.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

How would I set inflation on a smaller single axle trailer?

Question from a reader:
“Our Jayco Hummingbird came from the factory with P235/75R15SL tires. The TT GVWR is 3,750 lbs and the GAWR for the axle is 3,500 lbs. This is a single axle TT. The P-rated tires were like a pogo stick at max inflation. …” Read the rest of the question and Roger’s response.

RV History
with Al Hesselbart

Motorized RVs
From the earliest days of motor camping,” (that is camping with motorized vehicles either to drive or to pull a trailer) driven RVs were known as house cars.” Read more here

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

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Corny Crab
Sweet ‘n simple lump crab meat. Serve this saucy concoction over whatever comes to hand: cooked rice, pasta or noodles, crisp Asian noodles, steamed carrot sticks or cabbage wedges, toast, polenta, waffles,  pancakes, corn muffins. The sweetness of the corn combines with the sweetness of fresh crab meat to complete an RV feast that tastes like delivery from a gourmet restaurant. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at, including the new “The Survival Food Handbook.” Readers’ Favorite Recipes 
with Emily Woodbury

The best vegetarian lasagna (really)
OK, I’m cheating a little bit here. This isn’t one of your recipes. This is one of my favorite recipes, written by one of my favorite vegetarian bloggers. I’m only cheating because I felt like sneaking in a meat-free recipe loaded with vegetables was probably what we needed after a long winter full of lots of meat and maybe fewer vegetables. Am I right? Read more and get the recipe.


Fresh citrus? We’ll take it!
Want to spritz your salad with fresh lemon? Spray your fish tacos with fresh lime juice? Yes, please! No need to buy lemon juice from the store (because who knows how long it’s been there!) This citrus sprayer is simply pushed into any citrus fruit and voila! It’s as easy as one, two, spray! Impress your guests with this neat gadget. Learn more or order here

Digital RVer

A Chromebook may be your best travel laptop
When Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, traveled for a month thru Italy and Croatia last summer, the only computer Chris took was a Chromebook. She was asked for a report on how it worked out, and here is her rave review. Learn more.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are two recent webcasts: #137. Accounts – do you have them set up right on your phone? and #136. Editing photos with SnapseedWatch 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.

Protect your RV parts from rust and corrosion
T-9 is the RV technician’s choice for attacking corrosion, loosening rusty parts & flushing out old lubricants. It permeates metal crevices & seeps deep inside assembled components to leave a durable protective coating, lubricating without dismantling equipment. It won’t wash off in rain or mud. T-9 will not harm paint, plastic, rubber, fiberglass or vinyl. It can be used on engines, wiring, belts & is safe on electronics. Boeshield T-9 was developed by Boeing for lubrication and protection of aircraft components. Learn more or order.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Securing Your RV.
• River Vista RV Resort.
• RV Spring Cleaning with Non-Toxic Products.

‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Quakehold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or or at

Free and bargain camping

Ozona Visitors Center, Ozona, TX
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from Staff. Park in one of four marked RV spaces in lot. Level, well-lit and quiet despite nearby I-10. State Police HQ next door, staffed all night. Restrooms lighted & open 24 hours. Downtown area & local museum 3 blocks away. Address:  505 15th St. GPS: 30.70488. -101.20114

Spotlight 29 Casino, Coachella, CA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Security stated that permission is not required. Park in marked RV area. Several trash receptacles and two pet walk areas. The lot is level and well-lit, with significant traffic noise from I-10. Several eating places in Casino. Address:  46-200 Harrison St.  GPS: 33.71433, -116.184937

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

mice-653Keep rodents out of your RV!
The positive reviews on this make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets so no safety warning is required. 98% biodegradable. Used effectively by the RV Travel staff. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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
• Flint Camper & RV Show, Mar. 15-18, Flint, MI
• Springfield RV & Camping Show, Mar. 16-18, Springfield, IL
• Memphis RV Show, Mar. 16-18, Memphis, TN — POSTPONED to Aug. 10-12
• Mid-Atlantic RV Expo, Mar. 16-18, Doswell, VA
• Quebec Recreational Vehicle Show, Mar. 22-25, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
• Greater Tucson RV Show, Mar. 23-25, Tucson, AZ
• New Hampshire Camping & RV Show, Mar. 23-25, Bedford, NH
• Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show, Mar. 23-25, Traverse City, MI

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

Reduce back and leg strain with a Tailgate Ladder
The Traxion Tailgate Ladder is easy to install on pretty much any truck. It provides a nearly universal fit, deploys in a couple of seconds and greatly reduces the strain of getting into the back of a truck. When not in use the tailgate ladder folds and secures neatly against the tailgate, out of the way of valuable cargo space. Heavy-duty construction ensures durability. Learn more or order.

Club Announcements

Ramblin’ Pushers Annual Maintenance Session
The Ramblin’ Pushers annual maintenance session with more than 100 scheduled seminars is scheduled May 3 to 9 at the Elkhart Indiana County Fairgrounds. It’s focused on maintenance and operation of diesel motorhomes and is open to all REV brand diesel motorhomes (American Coach, Beaver, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, Monaco, Safari, and Renegade). For more info or to register click here

Send your get club gathering information to chuck (at) No more than 60 words, please.

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.

Duncan Hines was a real person. He was an American pioneer of restaurant ratings for travelers who also wrote a book of hotel recommendations.

Bumper sticker of the week
“The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.” Thanks to Stewart Dearing (and Mark Twain)!

Funny/clever business slogan
Billboard seen on I-10 for a towing company: “THE BEST HOOKERS IN TOWN!” Thanks to Howard Schiller!

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

Joke of the Week
I’ve just taken up speed reading. Last night I did “War and Peace” in 20 seconds. I know it’s only three words, but it’s a start.

Random RV Thought
It’s tempting to let your kids have the run of a motorhome while you are driving down the highway. But if the rig were to stop very fast, the children could be thrown violently. So make sure children (and adults, too) are buckled up at all times except when making a quick shift to a new seat.

Worth Pondering
“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.” — John Lithgow

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. 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 Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc . includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2018 by


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5 years ago

That was a great video explaining how to handle a blow-out. Thank you. It makes total sense what they say to do but I would have never thought to accelerate to maintain control. Really appreciate you sharing that video!

Billy Bob Thorton
5 years ago

Hi, like the more healthy crab recipe. More like that would be welcomed.

Joe Allen
5 years ago

We have been Passport America members for quite some time and have never had a problem like the writer encountered! Of course, considering it is located in California, well, you can assume anything! We most likely will never visit that state again. Was there in the 60’s and I can only imagine how it has evolved since then.

5 years ago
Reply to  Joe Allen

I just spent 2 months boondocking in California. Gasoline is over $1 per gallon more than in Arizona, sales tax is 8.25%, plastic bags at store checkouts that are free everywhere else cost 10 cents each. Ugh!

5 years ago
Reply to  Joe Allen

I think California has changed a little in those few years. But your more than welcome to come try it again. Yeah, some of us are nuts, but the rest of us are friendly. Come to Chico. It’s a small northern Cal. College town with a agricultural economic base. It’s pretty, green, a little to hot in the summer, a little expensive, but a great place to visit and base a lot of outside activities from. If your political the town is liberal, but the county is coservative. Yup, you can partake in wacky tobacky. Better yet come visit the Sierra Nevada Beer factory!

5 years ago

Regarding safety belts for children and adults in the cabin of a motorhome. People should also consider stowing objects that they leave on the counter tops along with coffee/end tables, chairs, recliners and any other item not bolted down. A panic stop or crash can cause all of these thing to come flying towards the front of the coach where the driver and passenger can be the target. Not good.

John Hiler
5 years ago

Every Rv should have a ground hookup. Most power problems are because of a bad ground. A ground rod by the sewer? Actually it would be easy to install a ground detector right with the tank messenger, red for bad ground, green for good or whatever.
This is not rocket science but it may cost the manufacturer and extra 20 bucks. Money would come directly out of the pocket of the CEO so it will never fly, cheeeeep is best…

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler

John, it’s not quite that simple, but for years I’ve been proposing a built-in NCVT (Non Contact Voltage Tester) that would alarm you of any RV hot-skin condition. So far no traction, but I keep trying.

5 years ago

Bob Difley is not correct in his reply to the folks with the Alpine motorhome about their propane tank.
Propane cylinders utilized on trailers and 5th wheels must be recertified every 10 years.
Tanks used on motorhome are completely different and do not have a reinspection time line.
The supposedly qualified person filling the tank is supposed to do a visual inspection prior to filling.
There is no expiry date on tanks even though there should be in my opinion.
Cylinders and tanks are completely different in their requirements for inspections.
The filler was obviously mistaken about his understanding of the two.
If the rules have changed and I am wrong I apologize, the rules are mostly identical for the US and Canada.

Bob Difley
5 years ago
Reply to  Bruce

Yes you are correct. I was not clear on installed tanks in motorhomes. According to the RV Doctor, ” The rules for this type of propane container are governed by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). ASME tanks are not required to be re-certified since they are permanently installed. But DOT/TC cylinders, both vertical and horizontal, because they can be removed, transported and filled independently, do qualify for periodic re-certification. All propane containers, tanks and cylinders, however, should be periodically inspected, cleaned and tested for leaks. All of which should be considered preventive maintenance common sense.”

jane shure
5 years ago
Reply to  Bruce

I do not agree with this guy. How much government **** regs do we need. ****

Jean Knapper
5 years ago

I missed the poll on rving abroad. When my husband was posted to the American Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany we shipped a pop-up camper and rved all over Europe. Had great experiences. Even camped with gypsies in Belgium.

5 years ago
Reply to  Jean Knapper

Now that must have been cool! My kind of trip.

5 years ago
Reply to  Jean Knapper

Need to write a book on that one. Would love to read about the gypsy encounter. O how fun.

Ron T
5 years ago

On the beverage question, I start my day with a small bowl of oatmeal squares & skim milk, nothing separate to drink, so I guess my answer is milk, sort of.

5 years ago

The Fire Safety tip re: “Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal.” is a widely debunked Urban Myth grilling charcoal. Do a Google search on the quote above. has a readable article consistent with other sources and contains this quote.

“”The data show that the largest commercially-available bag of charcoal briquets, 9 kg (20 lb.), cannot self ignite at an ambient temperature below 394 K (121C or 250F). All tested variations: size, different formulations, addition of water or dry wood, aging, and different bag configurations, raised this critical temperature even higher. At 25C (77F ) these data show a bag of charcoal briquets would have to exceed the size of a typical house (>103 m3) to self ignite. Self ignition at ambient temperatures of bagged charcoal briquets in commercially available sizes is impossible.””

–7th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, 16-21 June, 2002 Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts titled “Size Constraints on Self Ignition of Charcoal Briquets” by P.J. Pagni, B.R. Cuzzillo, F.C. Wolters and T.R. Frost

5 years ago

Your publication is a real downer. I’m out.

5 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

To me has been for a very long time but look at it ever week something to read

5 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Its great to inform people about RV safety issues. Especially in getting the information out to the new and less informed RV buyer. I remember when I bought my first trailer, I bought it because it looked good and it served my camping needs. I had no clue of anything else. I.E. air pressure, electrical, batteries, towing requirements, weight distribution, etc. All that was after I started using the camper and learning about everything as I went along. I love your newsletter; I just wish now were I can find a good storage place for my camper.

5 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Amazing! How the writer came to this conclusion is beyond me. This such great source of rving information. Ifinite? I have told a lot of fellow rvers about this great source of usfull, even life saving information.

Nick Cliteur
5 years ago

We live in Ennismore, Ont., just outside Peterborough and about an hour and a half northeast of Toronto.

Saw a sign for a local plumbing company “If we were not here, you would have no place to go.” Pretty funny!

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