Sunday, May 22, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 837

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 837 • Week of March 17–23, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Two-headed goat

I spoke to an RV club last week in Bandera, Texas, which bills itself as the Cowboy Capital of the World. I don’t think it’s true, but then I wasn’t there long. Still, a lot of guys wearing cowboy hats were walking around. So who knows? 

Bandera has a small, frontier-kinda downtown with some tourist shops including one that sells Fickle Pickles, which I am telling you are the best pickles ever. I bought two jars. You can order some online. If you love pickles, do it!

There is also the excellent Frontier Times Museum, where you can see a stuffed two-headed goat. Let’s face it, when you travel around America like I do, you see a lot of two-headed cows (mostly calves), but it’s rare to see a two-headed goat. In Carlsbad, New Mexico, you can see a two-headed rattlesnake, which is especially impressive.

BUT AS I SAID, I was in Bandera to speak to an RV club, the Lone Star Scouts. About 30 members were on hand, most in their late 60s, 70s, and even 80s. They talked about the challenges of keeping the club going, as more members are dying off than are joining. The club is not alone. Others are in the same boat.

1960s-era Coachmen trailer.

ONE SUBJECT WE TOUCHED UPON WAS how when many of us started camping — often as children with our parents — we never stayed in RV parks. “There was no such thing,” one man said. We stayed in campgrounds, almost all of them public — Forest Service, State Parks, National Parks. RVs were basic — not very long, no slideouts, no bathrooms (remember pit toilets?), no built-in washer-dryers.

So who needed a sewer hookup, 50-amp service or WiFi? When I started RVing back in the early ’80s, “staying connected” meant holing up in a campground near a phone booth.

Before the late 20th century, most RVs were meant for camping, not for RV “living.”

I remember when the federal government and state governments started raising campsite prices. Those that were free went to $2, then $5, then $10 or more. Meanwhile, RVs got fancier. Their owners wanted electricity, even a sewer hookup. Public campgrounds didn’t offer such services. Some entrepreneurs saw opportunity. They could buy a cheap piece of nearby land (by railroad tracks was especially affordable), match a public campground’s price but offer hookups, nice bathrooms with showers, a coin laundry, general store and a few pay phones.

In 1962, KOA opened its first park in Billings, Montana, to cater to motorists headed cross-country to the Seattle World’s Fair. A site went for $1.75. The park was a hit. Today, there are 500 KOAs.

OTHER RV PARKS SPRANG UP, most mom-and-pop operations (still true today). RVs got longer every year, eventually adding slideouts to make them as roomy as small homes. Then cell phones and the Internet came along. Staying in primitive public parks with no power, and no cellular reception for phone calls, email or surfing the Web, became less appealing to avid RVers, who were increasingly using their RVs for months on end, even full-time…

RV park today: Big rigs, 50 amps. Comfy living, not camping.

By and by there were more RV parks. And more RVers. And more and more and more and more. And then RV parks started removing RV sites to add cabins because they’re more profitable. Walmart became America’s unofficial overnight stop.

And this year the RV industry expects to put another half-million (probably more) RVs on the road. . .

AFTER FOUR MONTHS in one RV park in the Texas Hill Country, Gail and I are off in three weeks for eight months to explore our magnificent land. Among our tasks, besides locating and photographing anything called “World’s Largest,” will be to find decent places to hole up in our 32-foot rolling palace between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when I estimate two-bazillion other RVers will be competing for the same campsites. We’re up for the challenge, but. . . sigh . . . it won’t be easy.

(to be continued in the weeks and months ahead)

What 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. You might be surprised. This is fun (and interesting!).

P.S. 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. Also on hand: Dr. Deanna, the Pet Vet, and our RV electricity editor Mike Sokol.

Mike SokolSpeaking of Mike Sokol, listen here to his 30-minute commercial-free interview last week on the syndicated radio program, the RV Show USA. Mike talked with host Alan Warren about the dangers of RV hot skin conditions and answered the question “Will my RV protect me in a lightning storm?” And more. 

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
People who are crippled by obstacles.

Letters to the editor
(your comments are welcome)
Laundry wars: The case of the angry camper. (Includes a new reader poll.)

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters
Ask the RV tech: Smart to buy a damaged RV and fix it up yourself?
Watch out for those sneaky RV weight limits.
12-volts DC can be dangerous too!
Extra! Extra! Carry an e-x-t-r-a water hose.

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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMRoom with a view
This isn’t the view most RVers dream about. But it makes for a dramatic photo. Fortunately, no one was injured in this Florida accident Thursday on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg. The RVing family was reportedly on its way to Walt Disney World when their travel trailer was rear-ended and left dangling off the overpass. Crews used a crane to get ahold of the RV while the driver of the Ford Explorer slowly pulled forward to bring it back onto the highway. St. Pete Fire and Rescue posted a notice and photo of the accident on Twitter. One person commented, “Good advertising for the hitch company.”

Recent recalls
Winnebago recalling RVs for roof rack defect.
Newmar recalls motorhomes for taillight problem.
Keystone recalls trailers for potential propane leak.
Triple E recalls motorhomes for incorrect weight labels


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.

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.

Outhouse 101: Filter out your feathered friends
Poop-poop-e-doop, there’s an owl in the soup! Nope, it’s not a lost Betty Boop ditty, but a problem that bugged biologists in Boise back in 2009. And the soup the owl was in wasn’t chicken noodle. Picture, if you will, a note on the door of a “vault toilet” in a national forest requesting users to go elsewhere, as there was an owl in the outhouse sitting on the pile of you-know-what. Read more, and find out about the “Poo-Poo Project.” Oh, my!

video camera WPHow to tell if your fire extinguisher will work
When is the last time you checked that your fire extinguisher was actually in good working condition? Mac “the Fire Guy” McCoy offers some tips on how to tell whether your RV’s fire extinguisher will work when you need it. Watch the short video.

Holiday weekends are coming – Plan ahead!
If you boondock, you most likely don’t look too far ahead for where you’ll stay, preferring to camp where your RV leads you. But if you plan to stay at a campsite in an established campground during any national holiday (e.g., Memorial Day weekend), it’s not too early to make reservations. Learn more.

Sagging slideout topper – What’s an RVer to do?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received this question from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor: “The awning over my slideout is sagging on one end, but the other end is tight as both ends should be. Is there a way to adjust the tension on the end of the awning?” Read Chris’ response.

This week’s Reader Poll
Have you ever lived in an RV during an emergency?
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:
Which TOP THREE of these amenities would you prefer most at an RV park?? Click here for the results.

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.

Don’t use the wrong math comparing fulltime to vacation RVing
If you’re pondering whether you should jump into the fulltime RV lifestyle, don’t make the mistake that some do. They think about the times they’ve taken the rig out for a vacation trip, then they do some kind of weird math in their heads and say, “Well, that’s what fulltime RVing must be like.” Not! Here are some comparisons between vacation and fulltime RVing to consider. Read more.

Portable battery packs with wireless charging – Do they work?
Recently, Rich “The Wanderman” wrote an article about wirelessly charging your devices – mostly USB (mini, micro, etc.). He has found a cool charger that gets its power from a USB cord and has a built-in charging coil for wireless devices to use. What makes it cool? It has its own built-in battery so you can use it whether it’s plugged into the RV or not. Just put your device on the battery pack/charger and it starts charging, whether there’s power going to it or not – almost like magic.  Read more.

video camera WPPrevent a water leak in your RV with this simple device
Avoiding water leaks in your RV is paramount, but what if a pipe – which is under pressure – breaks while you are gone for the day? Jim Nelson shows you a simple, inexpensive way to help ensure you don’t experience a costly water leak in your RV. Watch the short video.

Where fulltimers go on busy summer weekends
Fulltiming without an agenda, having just a loose travel itinerary and succumbing to whim rather than a defined plan (like making campground reservations) is a wonderful lifestyle – except on summer weekends and holidays. You could just ignore the crowds, except as a fulltimer you have to camp somewhere even at those busy times. To avoid the crowds and noise at campgrounds, find boondocking spots in the national forests or on other public lands. Read more.

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.

Generators vs. solar panels: Which is best for your RV
Many RV campers enjoy the freedom to explore remote locations where hookups are often nonexistent. However, unless dry camping or boondocking stays are limited to no more than a couple of days, an ancillary electrical power supply is essential. There are really only two choices: generators and solar. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Did we intentionally bad-mouth Passport America?
Last week we ran Russ and Tiña De Maris’ story of their RV park experience from hell. There were many, many comments in response, and a few questions surfaced which Russ and Tiña address here. Very interesting!

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.

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Are you transporting alien bugs in your RV?
RV Pet Vet: Heartworms in pets: bad news, even deadly.
The RV experience from hell.
What’s most important to you when choosing an RV park?
Wife doesn’t like RV’s “Beverly Hillbillies” look.
Rats eating the wiring in your car? RV?

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Reducing hot-skin shocks – Are we there yet?
No~Shock~Zone seminars coming to a town near you.
RV and RV-related recalls for February 2018.
Keeping cool in a spring desert.
How often do you have to recertify propane tanks?
A Chromebook may be your best travel laptop.
How to safely handle an RV tire blowout. (video)
RVer wants info for DIY onboard systems diagnostic work.

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.

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.

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

RV awning causing issues for couple

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife is always insisting that I roll the awning up when we go sightseeing or shopping for the day. I have camp all set up and would rather keep things covered. We witnessed an incident last year, watching an awning blow up and over a motorhome in an unexpected storm while the occupants were away. I think it was a fluke and not staked down as well as I do. I also have a middle support pole. Could you convince her she is paranoid? I hate rolling it up and down all the time. —Pokey Roller in Pocatello 

Read the RV Shrink’s advice.

“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 Mar. 12). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 24 cents.
Diesel: $2.98 (on Mar. 12). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 41 cents.

Essential for big RVs! 
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this is for you. The truck driver’s road atlas shows all the highways 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.

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

Easter lilies in your RV? No! No!

Dear Dr. Deanna,
Every year at Easter, my mother-in-law gives us an Easter lily. I’ve heard that they are poisonous for dogs and cats, and we now have a cat. Is this true? 

Read Dr. Deanna’s reply and see what other plants are dangerous to your pets


Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best-seller and costs about $8. Learn more or order.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Check your brakes for drag and tires for “softness”
A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid. Some of the worst fires are those caused when one tire of a dual or tandem pair goes flat, scuffs and ignites long before the driver feels any change in handling. At each stop, give tires at least an eyeball check. When tires are cool, tap your duals with a club and listen for a difference in sound from one tire to the next. You can often tell if one is going soft. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

RV Quick Tips

Secure the water heater door
“While taking a walk with Josie the Beagle recently, I found a metal water heater door which apparently fell off some RV driving along. I thought about a tip: Take a small, metal key ring loop and thread it though the plastic closure which secures that door in place. This will prevent it from coming off if you hit a bump.” Thanks to Dennis Napora!

Don’t allow antenna “wings” to contact RV roof
Add this to your inspection list: Are your roof-top antenna “wings” coming in contact with the roof when in travel position? If so, they may rub against the roof with road vibration and can actually chew a hole in your rubber roof. If it looks like they are, gently bend and flex them upward enough that they lose contact with the roof.

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

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.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium + Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Generator Kit
From phones to fridges, lights to power tools, the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station is an ultra-high-capacity electric generator that provides portable, on-demand power at the push of a button. The Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase is the ultimate on-the-go solar panel setup, and totals 100 watts of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells in an easily packable form. The kit (with both items) has you covered with no noise, no fumes and big power at the push of a button. Learn more.

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

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.

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

Why is my propane tank humming?

Dear Gary:
When I have an appliance running, I get a “hum” coming from the propane tank (2007 Class A motorhome). This occurs maybe 60% to 70% of the time. I have an “extend-a-stay” valve located between the tank and the regulator which I use for outdoor appliances and it does it when I use that also, which tells me that maybe it is not the RV regulator. Any ideas? —Dave M.

Read Gary’s response.

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

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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

How to handle water needs when boondocking

Hi Bob,
We enjoy boondocking (both dispersed and in no-hookup forest service campgrounds), but it seems that every time we go we run out of water first, and then we have to pack up and put away everything and head for the nearest waterhole, which puts a crimp into our long weekends. There must be some simple remedies that we can do to make our water last longer. Do you have any suggestions? —Curtis and Amy

Read Bob’s response.

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

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

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Generator ground rod confusion and clarification

Hi Mike,
In your efforts to make things clear, you’ve confused me. I’ve read in several of your articles where you say that grounding your RV with a ground rod doesn’t do anything to protect against hot skin, that the resistance is too high. OK, that makes sense. Then you said if you were running a generator that powers multiple RVs, that the generator should be grounded with a ground rod …. What am I missing? Thanks, as always. —Al

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

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

‘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

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

How accurate is your TPMS?

Roger has seen a number of people express concern about the accuracy of the pressure readings from their tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and wonders how they’re comparing various pressure readings reported by their TPMS. So the “engineering DNA” in Roger kicked in and he devised a plan, and a fixture, to test 12 sensors: one set of 6 external sensors from TireTraker and one set of 6 internal sensors from Truck System Technologies. Check out the results.

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows

This feature will return as soon as Chris recuperates from quadruple bypass surgery. The last we heard, he is recovering very well.


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

Charles Kuralt
In this week’s “On The Road” dispatch, Charles Kuralt travels to Tennessee in the fall, where the Smoky Mountain local folks are cutting stalks of sorghum and then turning them into molasses. This originally aired on CBS News in 1972. 

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 Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Emerald Isle One Dish Meal
Going green for St. Patty’s Day. Cook your starch and vegetable in one pot, serve it with meat from the grill and you have only one pan to wash. The checkerboard bits of green from the zucchini add a St. Patrick’s Day touch to the meal. As for the cheese, good ol’ cheddar is always a good choice but it’s fun to try different cheeses – hot, mild, blue, or even goat cheese for a change of pace. Get the recipe. Readers’ Favorite Recipes 
with Emily Woodbury

The Best Banana Bread (really!)
If you don’t like bananas, you’re weird. Just kidding. But if you don’t like banana bread you really are weird. That moist, juicy, banana-ey goodness…yum. I’ve been making this banana bread recipe for years, and I’d never make banana bread any other way. This recipe is the best. I promise. 
Banana fun facts and the recipe here. 


Make your own potato chips – easy!
Forget about buying snacks, make them! A potato-chip craving couldn’t be easier with this handy microwaveable gadget. Slice your potatoes, or any vegetable (russet potato, sweet potato, beets, etc.,) thinly, stick them in the slots, microwave for a few minutes and you’ve got crunchy chips! Experiment with your own toppings/seasonings and make your chips just how you like them. Save money and eat healthier! Learn more or order. 

RV Short stop

Basque Museum and Cultural Center 
Boise, Idaho

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise, Idaho, is the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to preserve, promote and perpetuate Basque history and culture. It provides a look into the Basque heritage through exhibits, collections and tours, and is a gathering place for events and educational opportunities. Boise was a central location where Basque immigrants first congregated after coming to the United States. Read more in Julianne G. Crane’s article.

How to care for aging parents
Many RVT readers are dealing with aging parents or will be soon. Here’s the essential guide to how to do it. “The bible of eldercare”—ABC World News. “An indispensable book”—AARP. “A compassionate guide of encyclopedic proportion”—The Washington PostHow to Care for Aging Parents is the bestselling book of its kind. Its author, Virginia Morris, is the go-to person on eldercare for the media, appearing on OprahTODAY, and Good Morning America, etc. Learn more or order

Good reading from 629-rv123
• RVers Online University
• Idaho Dunes RV
• Tow Tower 

Free and bargain camping

Cracker Barrel # 503, Altamonte Springs, FL
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from the store. Four designated spots are not level but with store permission, you may be able to park in a more level area behind the building. Well-lit, with some traffic noise from adjacent highway. Address: 285 Douglas Ave. GPS: 28.666132, -81.38937

Walmart Supercenter # 4479, Perrysburg, OH
Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from customer service. Maximum stay of 48 hours. Park in front of garden center (but away from the store) or in employee parking area. Well-lit and has level and non-level areas. Subway restaurant in store; many chain restaurants nearby. Address:  10400 Fremont Pike. GPS: 41.548681,-83.592065

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,480 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demoWatch a video about

The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 40+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order 

Upcoming RV Shows

The Memphis RV Show, originally scheduled for March 16-18, has been postponed to August 10-12.

• Flint Camper & RV Show, Mar. 15-18, Flint, MI
• Springfield RV & Camping Show, Mar. 16-18, Springfield, IL
• 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.

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.

More than 500 million Cadbury Creme Eggs are produced each year.

Bumper sticker of the week
Take it easy. Life is short.

Funny/clever business slogan
There is a liquor store in Fairplay, CO, called Even in the End Liquors.  Their motto is “Hangovers Installed & Serviced.” Thanks to Steve Collins!

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

Joke of the Week
Two students who were studying English went to Honolulu on holiday. Soon they began to argue about the correct way to pronounce the word “Hawaii.” One student insisted that it’s “Hawaii,” with a “w” sound. The other student said it was pronounced “Havaii,” with a “v” sound. Finally, they saw a man on the beach whom they knew had lived on the islands for many years and asked him which was correct. The old man said, “It’s Havaii.” The student who was right was very happy, and thanked the old man. The old man replied, “You’re velcome.”

Random RV Thought
To people who live in one place and seldom travel, the view out their window is much the same every day. Seasons change, the weather changes, but the scene remains mostly constant. RVers and other travelers who move often from place to place thrive on the change of scenery, waking up one day in one place and then the next day in another. For avid travelers, a change of view is necessary and addictive. For many RVers, “today” may not be as important as the anticipation of tomorrow and the surprises it may bring.

Worth Pondering
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” —Stephen W. Hawking, b. January 8, 1942 (coincidentally exactly 300 years after Galileo died) – d. March 14, 2018 (coincidentally Albert Einstein’s birthday)

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RV Travel staff 
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Chris Guld, Julianne Crane, Chris Fellows, Dr. Deanna Tolliver, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)

cw501About the editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

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4 years ago

So I wanted try some fickle pickles. They have a shipping policy of no less than 3 units. I just want to try them! If they are good then maybe 3 units is o.k.. But, if they suck I don’t want to be stuck with 2 extra yucks. Contacted the company and it’s 3 or nothing. I do love my regular pickles (Clausen). I buy a jar weekly. I’ll never know.

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

Buzzelectric — Fickle Pickles appears to be legendary in this part of Texas. It is still a family business. The pickles are not even sold in stores. The owners are not, in opinion, trying to take over the pickle world. I understand the 3 pickle requirement: they would probably lose money or barely break even on a mail order sale of only one jar. I suspect the people who order by mail are probably people like me who pass through town, buy a jar in their store and then decide when they are home 1,000 miles away that they want some more.

Sherry Dawson
4 years ago

Chuck, is there a way to make the text we type into comments black? As you’ve pointed out, many of your readers are older. . .and many of us wear glasses to use the computer. But this pale grey text is hard to see (especially on my tiny netbook screen). This is a trend all over the internet, and I don’t understand why it is done.

If it would be a simple to change to make this text black for better readability, I would be very grateful.

Also, we all make typos, and they are hard to see in this pale text. In my comment above, when I typed my name to identify my comment, I accidentally typed it in the middle of my comment! I didn’t see that until I posted it. Can you give us the ability to edit our comments, as I can see that others make mistakes they don’t notice until it’s too late, also. I had to proofread this comment 3 times to catch all my typos as it requires more concentration to read in this pale grey. And I probably missed something anyway. . .

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
4 years ago
Reply to  Sherry Dawson

Sherry, let me see if I have the ability to change that type to black. Not sure. Will try.

Richard P Ashe
4 years ago

Hello Roger, really enjoy reading your newsletter! I find in very interesting about your comments about full timers using all the RV Parks; is that not what you are doing???? Just find it funny. Keep up the good work. Lots of great information.
Rich Ashe

Dave B.
4 years ago

It would be handy if you would place at the end of your Newsletter, a link to the middle of your Newsletter where there is a break-a-way to the Breaking News section … to enable quicker access to that section of the newsletter rather than having to scroll back to it.

As well, a link at the bottom of the Breaking News section to take readers back to the Newsletter without having to likewise scroll around.

Just a thought !!

4 years ago

We have been RVing for 30years. First was a tiny Coleman Aspen tent trailer, then 20 years in Lance truck campers, and now a Winnebago Adventurer 32h. Gone are the days of just “hitting the open road” without reservations. There are just too many RVs out there!

My question is, what do you think of RV club memberships like Coast to Coast, etc.?

4 years ago

As newbies we just recently began reading this newsletter. We are members of the Bernard Astronomical Society locally and got involved with them by accidentally attending a Star Party at a TN State Park, Fall Creek Falls about an hour drive from our home. The article Chris Fellows writes is what caught our attention to your magazine in the first place.

We sincerely wish him a speedy recovery and will miss reading about the stars until he is well.

John Hiler
4 years ago

Of course we can have public camp grounds. Just divert some of that money going into Corporate Welfare toward the citizens of the Republic. A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you have a funded Forest Service and Park service… Easy…

Albert Panzer
4 years ago

I am not happy with the purchase of this Tow Dolly. I cannot recommend it.

4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Happy st. Patrick’s Day!
Just finished watching my beloved Kentucky Wildcats move on to the Sweet 16 .
So I opened up my RV travel started reading and I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen what happened on this date posted for a while I miss it !!

Sherry Dawson
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Check out This Day in History:

You can subscribe if you wish and get daily emails, or just check it occasionally.

There are other similar sites if you want a weekly or monthly digest, or only historical events, or filtered events.


4 years ago

Mac “The Fire Guy” Mc Coy needs to talk to Roger Marble and learn about TPMS. Thumping the tires is very difficult to do when going down the highway at 60mph.

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

Mac says that thumping tires as a way to determine if pressure is okay is not effective. Of course he would not recommend it when an RV is moving. What made you even think that?

4 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Mac also needs to talk to the guy locking his heater door closed… Could be a fire risk if you can’t get in quickly. No keychain, wire, or zipties either. Fix the normal latch if it’s worn out.

Ralph P
4 years ago

I hope to someday meet Chris Fellows, the Astronomer, and wish him a speedy and full recovery. The stars will wait for your return…

Spanky Goodin
4 years ago

The world’s highest hydraulic lift lock is in located in Peterborough Ontario. It’s a 65 foot vertical lift and completed in 1904 on the Trent Canal system.
Also in Peterborough, you’ll find the worlds largest canoe collection with over 600 vessels from around the world.

4 years ago
Reply to  Spanky Goodin

I was thinking Three Gorges was the world’s largest at 370′ vertical lift, but it does it in 5 connected locks or one “Archmedes elevator” (more complex than simple flooding, but darn clever).