Thursday, March 30, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 840

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 840 • Week of April 7–13, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Do you remember what it felt like the last day of school, when you would clean out your desk and then at the final bell bid farewell to your friends? “See you next year,” you’d say. 

Johnson Creek before the exodus.

Well, that’s what it’s like here at the Johnson Creek RV Park in Ingram, Texas. On April 1, a parade of RVers began to leave, most after spending the winter. Gail and I made friends with some, who we will miss. It’s been like living in a small town, where you know everybody (sometimes too much about them). As an unofficial cultural anthropologist studying the RV lifestyle, I have found it both comforting and fascinating.

Gail and I will leave tomorrow, April 8. We’re headed to Wichita Falls for two or three weeks and then will drift toward Elkhart, Indiana, for the RVillage Rally May 17-21, where I will speak along with several of our columnists. Learn about attending and a special discount code to save 10 percent on registration.

Johnson Creek RV Park is quiet now. The departing snowbirds are beginning their migration north — to a home, or a favorite park where they spend each summer, or to wander about the country. Many will return next November or December. Then, like school children, they will ask each other, “What did you do this summer?”

Gail and I have been here four months, the longest I have ever stayed in an RV in one place. Before fulltiming — during several decades of traveling by RV — I seldom stayed more than a few days in one place, never more than a week, and I hardly ever made a camping reservation. My RVs were small, no longer than 24 feet. Until 2015, I never towed a vehicle behind for local exploring and errands. I drove my small RVs on back roads, stopping often to explore small-town Main Streets and dine in Mom and Pop cafes, now mostly gone — victims of McDonald’s, et al.

Camping at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Until I became dependent on the Internet for my work, I almost always stayed in scenic, out-of-the-way public campgrounds. My favorites were those on the lands of the Forest Service, National Parks or Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Many were free. In the winter, I would spend a few days here and there boondocking in the Arizona desert.

I spent more time outdoors then, with many evenings by a campfire. Most often, there were no nearby neighbors, sometimes none at all.

Isolated campsite outside Tucson, Arizona

Today, my RV is essentially a “mobile home,” not a vehicle to leisurely drive back roads or escape to the great outdoors. I love my current life of RV “living,” but I enjoyed my old life of RV “traveling” more. I remember an interview I did about 25 years ago with a newspaper reporter. He asked, “What’s the biggest decision you make every day?” I replied, “First, I decide if I will stay another night. If I decide to go, I need to choose whether to turn left or right when I leave the campground.”

I did no planning. I went where I felt like going, usually on a whim. I was never lost because I never cared where I was. It was all about the journey, about what I would discover around the next bend in the road. Late afternoon on the road I’d look for a campground for a night or two, and usually just waltz in with plenty of sites to choose from.

It’s different now. It’s much more challenging to “go where you want when you want.” In 1985, when I began RVing, a total of 189,000 RVs were sold. Last year, shipments to RV dealers topped 500,000. In the years since I bought my first RV, more than 9 million new RVs have been unleashed on our highways and into our campgrounds. Many of those sales were to RVers who traded in their existing RVs for a new one. So add those second-hand units to the armada of recreational vehicles on the road.

New RVs for sale at recent Hershey RV Show. Across America, about four times the number of RVs in this photo are sold every day!

Those sales figures help explain why so many RV parks are full, and the need for many more. Readers send me emails with news of new campgrounds or an expansion of an old one — say, maybe, a gain of 100 campsites. That’s good news. But the bad news is that if you figure the number of new RVs being sold in a year, and you divide by 12 months, you realize that 1,500 new RVs are being sold every day, or about one a minute. Those 100 campsites don’t amount to much especially when some parks are closing or turning RV sites into cabins.

We are working behind the scenes to explore what can be done about this ever-crowded landscape. The solution to the crowding, if there is one, will not be easy, at least until another major recession. In May, when I am in Elkhart, I hope to enlighten some RV leaders about what’s going in the real world. Perhaps they can lend their muscle to support legislation to increase places where we can stay. I doubt they will, or even care, but miracles do happen. I plan to write about this and our ongoing behind-the-scene projects in more detail soon to our 2,300 paid subscribers through their special newsletter.


Our Amazon program: We are having some issues with Amazon about our affiliate program. I hope to have things resolved this coming week, and will explain after that. I wish I could tell you more now, but I can’t.

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

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters
Use your roof to beat the heat.
Get your rig “toad” out of trouble!
What are these NEMA outlets you speak of?
Camping versus RVing: What’s the difference?

Directory of back issues of RV Daily Tips.

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 of RV Travel

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Goodyear RV tires may have caused 95 deaths or injuries
cover storyA defect in Goodyear motorhome tires may have killed or injured up to 95 people over the past two decades, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Lawsuits and safety advocates allege the tires were designed for delivery trucks and not for motorhomes that travel faster. They allege that Goodyear kept the tire problems secret for years by settling cases and getting judges to seal records. Read more.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AM

RV Capital booming! Bonuses offered for new employees. Is a big bust ahead? 
Turn back the clock to 2009, during the last recession, when RV sales nosedived. Elkhart, Indiana, was the poster child for what was bad with the nation’s economy. Not so today. The town is booming. Nearly 10,000 jobs are unfilled. RV companies commonly offer bonuses of $500 to $1,000 to new hires if they stay 90 days. Will the boom last forever? Read more and watch a short video from the Wall Street Journal.

RV and RV-related recalls for March
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 Coach House, Entegra, Forest River, Keystone, Newmar, Thor, Triple E and Winnebago — plus other vehicles commonly used by RVers. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Find out here.

Recent recalls:
Keystone recalls trailers: Spare tire could detach.
Outside mirrors may fall off some Winnebago RVs. Recall issued.
Newmar recalls 2,139 motorhomes for power steering issue.
REV group recalls 2,055 motorhomes: Satellite dish may detach.


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.

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. 

What we learned about you last week spy
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!).

RV Mods: Nitrogen for your tires?
While “plain old air” has been used for years to fill tires, the wrinkle a few years back was to fill tires subjected to a lot of stress with nitrogen. Think race car tires, jet aircraft, etcetera. Why nitrogen? And what are the pros and cons of using nitrogen? Find out here.

Figuring out generators, CO detectors, fumes – and safety
Exhaust, generator noise, carbon monoxide detectors – Greg Illes tries to figure it all out and not get asphyxiated in the process. Read about an experience he had with his generator and CO detector, and the lessons he learned.

video camera WPFor a good sleep – don’t camp here!
You want a peaceful night’s rest? Then don’t camp by railroad tracks. If you’ve been RVing for long, you know that’s no joke. Many RV parks are located right along the rails – it’s cheap land. Read about editor Chuck Woodbury’s worst RV “train” experience and watch his short (but illustrative) video.

Prevent roof leaks: Keep an eye on your sealants
Roof membrane manufacturer Dicor offers some information about maintaining your RV’s sealants. If the sealant around your roof edges, skylights and the like is looking cracked, brittle, loose or turned up at the edges, some repair and replacement is in order. Get some helpful tips here.

This week’s Reader Poll
Do you believe RV parks should offer “No campfire” zones?
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 believe RVing will be as popular in 20 years as it is today? Click here for the results.

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

Do you balance your fifth wheel tires?
Have you ever tried to raise the subject of whether to balance your fifth wheel tires at the potluck or community campfire? Who wants to talk about it? If informal polling holds true, the majority of RVers that tow probably don’t balance their tires, thinking the expense isn’t necessary. Or is it? Find out here.

Simplify setting up your TV satellite dish
Would you like to simplify using your satellite dish? Jim Nelson has a tip about using a smartphone to make setting up your satellite dish or settings easier at your campsite. Watch the video.

Even the simple things – Rapid multiple egg cooker
Rich “The Wanderman” likes eggs, especially now that the-powers-that-be decided (again) that they aren’t bad for you. With his carb-restricted diet (he lost 46+ pounds and is keeping them off!), he stays with protein-rich foods. Eggs are incredibly versatile – he offers some ideas that are delicious and keep cleanup to a minimum. But he is eggcited that he has found a super-easy method to make them several different ways. Read more.

video camera WPRVer’s campsite railroad keeps passersby smiling
Jim Crowhurst’s garden railroad at the Thousand Trails preserve in La Conner, Washington, always puts a smile on the faces of other campers who pass by. Here’s a three-minute video tour of his layout, as told in Jim’s words.

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.

Thumbs up from our readers – March 2018
Tired of so much bad/sad news? Want to read something positive for a change? Here are some recent “thumbs up” letters and comments we’ve received from our readers. Very interesting and uplifting! Read more.

Wanted! Live campground hosts in Idaho
The U.S. Forest Service in Idaho is looking for more than just a few good folks. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests need volunteer campground hosts. There are multiple openings available in several locations. Learn more.

video camera WPEasy way to conserve water when not hooked up
Water conservation is one of the most limiting factors on the number of days you can boondock or camp without a water supply. In this short video editor Chuck Woodbury shows you a simple way to both stretch your supply of water and save a little space in your waste tanks. Watch the video.

Visit one of the West’s earliest buildings still in use
The current structure of Mission San Xavier del Bac, located south of Tucson, Ariz., was begun in 1776. It is an outstanding example of Spanish baroque architecture. Inside resides a historically priceless collection of Mexican baroque art, frescoes and wooden carvings. The Mission’s dazzling white walls have given it the name “The White Dove of the Desert.” It still serves the Tohono O’odham today with daily masses. Free docent tours are available. Read more.

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.

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Why you need a smart surge protector.
Are you a burden on the national park system?
Why I don’t boondock.
Will RVing be as popular in 20 years as it is today?
Hubby annoyed with wife’s “considerate” driving style.
Fulltime RVing – Plan ahead for “hanging up the keys.”

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Finding good boondocking campsites on long road trips.
New product detects objects in driver’s blind spot
Make Welcome Centers your first stop when you cross state lines.
What can be done for RV sidewall delamination?
No automatic levelers? No problem with LevelMatePRO.
• More on internal vs. external TPMS temperature reporting.

The EASY way to buy window shades
Carefree‘s Simply Shade Window Awning is the first cash and carry complete window awning system that can be bought off of dealer shelves and installed the same day! Simply Shade Awnings fit windows up to 36″ tall. Click here to learn more. 

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

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

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.

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

Ask the RV Shrink

A bigger RV is not necessarily better

Dear RV Shrink:
I am trying to talk my husband into trading our big diesel pusher motorhome in for something shorter. When we bought we were thinking bigger was better, but now we are reevaluating. He has hit just about everything in Kansas. …

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

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his 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.

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.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.70 (on Apr. 2). Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 34 cents. [Calif.: $3.54]
Diesel: $3.04 (on Apr. 2). Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 49 cents. [Calif.: $3.71]

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 

The RV Vet

With Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM

Is your pet’s crate a death trap?

Dear Dr. Deanna,
We have a large dog and a small dog that ride with us in the truck when we are traveling. The big dog sits in the back seat. Hank, the small dog generally sits on one of our laps. I know this probably isn’t safe, but what would be the best way to have them ride in our truck? —Cheryl M.  
Read Dr. Deanna’s reply.

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. Learn more or order.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Check rubber fuel lines monthly
Rubber fuel lines are commonly used to connect metal lines to the electronic fuel injection system, or to the carburetor in older coaches. Check all the lines and connections between the fuel tank and the engine on a monthly basis. If there is any sign of a leak, have the lines replaced and the entire system inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

RV Quick Tips

Brighten your taillights
Taillights dim? First, check to make sure the electrical contacts on bulbs and sockets are free of crud (use steel wool or fine sandpaper). Plastic lenses clean? One more option: Stick aluminum foil behind the bulbs to push more light out of the lens.

Pay attention to your tires and save!
Properly inflating your tires can save you as much as 11 cents per gallon on fuel. Yet only 19 percent of consumers properly inflate their tires. That means four out of five consumers are wasting money. Additional proper tire maintenance, such as rotation, balance and alignment, can help your tires last longer, which will in turn save you money. In fact, properly inflated tires can extend the average life of a tire by 4,700 miles.

Test the dual-power systems before your trip
Getting the rig ready after a winter layup? Test systems that operate on dual power. Run the refrigerator a day on electric, then a day on gas. Do the same for the water heater. That way, if there’s a problem, you’ll know about it before you hit the road.

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

Gizmos and Gadgets

Camco Folding Grill Table sets up in seconds, folds to 6 in. tall
Camco’s Deluxe Folding Grill Table is a must-have accessory for RVing, picnics, camping, sporting events and backyards. This spacious grill table has a lightweight, high strength steel frame and an aluminum table top. The table is quick and easy to set up, and folds down to 37 x 20 x 6 inches for storage. 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

Do I need a new water assembly for city water hookup?

Dear Gary:
Thanks for all your great info! I am wondering if there is a replacement backflow valve for the city water hookup. It looks like I will have to replace the entire hatch for the freshwater city and tank fill. Any suggestions? —Rick M.

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

Choosing a generator for a fifth wheel

Hi Bob,
I have a question about generators. We have a 40 ft. fifth wheel and would like to purchase a generator.  What would you suggest that would be quiet yet affordable? —Debbie S.

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Cacti Part 2: From giant saguaros to tiny fish hooks, these cacti symbolize the Sonoran Desert.

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

Don’t let high water pressure blow out your pipes!
This should be a required accessory for your RV, one that could save you thousands of dollars in repair bills. Some RV parks have water pressure so high it can blow out your system — a big, major repair bill “ouch!” Join the RV Travel staff in using this highly rated item to prevent that from happening. Learn more or order.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Deciphering the 3-light outlet tester

Dear Mike,
I recently purchased a 3-light tester like you talk about in your newsletter, but I wonder what the lights actually mean. Can I use a 30-amp to 15-amp adapter for measuring my pedestal outlet? And how do I know if an outlet is safe to plug into? I’m a newbie so I have lots of questions. —Befuddled in Brooklyn

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.

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

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

What inflation to run when changing ply rating or size?
Following a few different RV forums, Roger Marble sees a number of people that clearly do not follow his blog and have questions on what inflation to run. While many of these folks are discovering that the new Goodyear Endurance line seems to come with higher Load Range or only in larger sizes, they end up not knowing what to do about inflation. In one case the person didn’t even know they were buying a larger size. Read more.

Don’t be without this Emergency Weather Radio!
For about $18, you can rest assured that anytime severe weather threatens, you’ll be notified, even if cell service is down, the Internet is down or power fails. The staff travels with this small, handheld, battery-powered NOAA weather radio. If severe weather is on the way, the radio sounds an alert, followed by detailed information about the storm to let you know to seek shelter or move away. Get one for yourself and one for someone you care about who travels a lot. Learn more or order.

RV History
with Al Hesselbart

Fifth wheels and the Aerocar
When world champion motorcycle racer and aviation pioneer competitor of the Wright brothers Glenn Curtiss conceived an early camping trailer in 1917, he called it his “motor bungalow.” Along with his new trailer he devised an entirely new hitch based on the spare tire or “fifth wheel” of the car. 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

Creamy Green Eggs and Ham
Meal size for six, freezable for two. When you use spinach noodles, one pot makes a rich, creamy meal with a sneaked-in vegetable, thanks to inspiration from Dr. Seuss. Leftovers are easily nuked the next day. Or if it’s just the two of you, divide the recipe and  freeze some for a future RV trip. Get the recipe.

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

Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order.

Digital RVer

Don’t miss a historical marker with these apps
If you’re like Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, you enjoy learning about historical locations as you travel around the country. It’s not always possible to stop whenever you see a road sign that says “Historical Marker Ahead” – but there are apps for that! They will notify you when there is a historical marker, and you can either read the text of the marker on your phone or have the app read it to you. Learn more.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here is their most recent webcast: #138, Google Photos, How to include pictures from your computer, hard drives, and camera cards. This Sunday the topic will be Widgets: What are they and how to use them on iPhone and Android. It will be live on their YouTube channel at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, April 8. 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
• Portal RV Resort, UT
Van Conversion On A Budget

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.

Free and bargain camping

US 87 Roadside Picnic Area, Clayton, NM
Overnight parking is allowed. The state of NM allows parking for a maximum of 24 hours in any 3-day period. Long enough for 3-4 rigs. 2 sheltered picnic tables, trash barrels, historical marker. Address: On NE side of US 87, ~ 5.0 mi SE of jct with US 56 in Clayton, NM 0r ~ 5.8 mi NW of NM/TX state line. GPS: 36.411474, -103.116761

Walmart Supercenter # 1104, Inverness, FL
Overnight parking is allowed. Lot has signage, “No Truck or Trailer Parking,” but this does not apply to RVs with store permission. Well-lit, with a manageable slope. McDonald’s in store; Wendy’s adjacent to the lot; Ruby Tuesday, Olive Garden, Golden Corral within a moderate walk. Address: 2461 E Gulf To Lakes Hwy. GPS: 28.856157, -82.391815

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

Upcoming RV Shows

• Kitchener RV Show and Sale, Apr. 6-8, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Good Sam Indy RV Super Show, Apr. 12-15, Indianapolis, IN
Acadiana RV, Sport & Boat Show, Apr. 13-15, Lafayette, LA
Washington State Evergreen RV Show, Apr. 13-15, Monroe, WA 
SuperSaver RV Show, Apr. 20-22, Fort Myers, FL
Spring Hall of Fame RV Show, Apr. 26-29, Elkhart, IN

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.

Although the word “earthling” today conjures visions of science fiction stories, it is actually the Old English word for a farmer.

Bumper sticker of the week
“Poor Gas Mileage for a Vehicle, Great for a Home” – on the back of a motorhome.

Funny/clever business slogan
From Gary Viggiano: Company van in southeastern Florida: USA Air Conditioning Services, “We are air when you need us!!!” Thanks, Gary!

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

Joke of the Week
The police officer sees a car weaving back and forth down the highway and takes off after it. He pulls up alongside and sees the driver is a woman, knitting as she drives. He can’t believe it, and yells at her, “Pull over! Pull over!” And she yells back, “No, it’s a scarf!”

Random RV Thought
If you dream of spending all or a good part of your life traveling with an RV but keep finding excuses why you can’t do it, then quit making excuses. The time will never be right. Meanwhile, time is passing. You could get sick or your spouse could get sick, and “bye, bye dream.” And don’t listen to your kids if they say, “Stay home.” Just tell them you will keep in contact and that you will swing by when you’re in their neighborhood.

Worth Pondering
“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” —Henry David Thoreau

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RV Travel staff 
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Associate editor: Deanna Tolliver. 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, 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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Bonnie Bowers
4 years ago

We have read about alot of ghost towns that we would like to explore. Are you allowed to boondock at ghost towns to be able to explore?

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Bonnie Bowers

I think you probably can on many of them, at least those in the West. I would use Google Maps or Google Earth to look at the places, and then do some research about the ownership of the land. If it’s on government land, BLM, Forest Service . . . it’s entirely possible you could stay. I will forward this comment off to one of our boondocking experts for his advice.

4 years ago

Well Chuck, the next recession will ‘thin the herd’ somewhat, but the following recovery will bring back manufacturing, sales, and use. There is room for everyone in the industry to step up their game. A good start would be lemon law protection and enforceable repair protection.
Another good step is for campground/RV Park franchisers to seriously enforce standards in their parks. It works for the fast food and restaurant industry and can work here. It will be spendy and require aggressive oversight, but short term pain will equal long term gain and insure consistency across the brand.
Finally, (Thank God he’s going to shut up!) it’s no secret that many rural areas of this country are suffering economically. Many of these areas have a lot to offer to the RVer if developed. Some out of the box thinking and willingness to make things work could lead to more places for us to go and economic development in those areas.

John Hiler
4 years ago

Oh, lament, how we thrive on Cheeeeep goods. Cheap is best is the national motto. Cheap goods drives out more dear…And land values soar as population rises. The exploitation of other nations for cheap imports by corporations drives frantic immigrants to our shore’s.

Eric Eltinge
4 years ago

Best campgrounds now are Good Sam 10/10/10 or military. Last 2 NASCAR campgrounds I paid a lot of money to be sandwiched next to inconsiderate poor white trash. In Las Vegas I moved to camp for free between Bass Pro Shops and Cracker Barrel. CA campgrounds filling up with marijuana growers employees, homeless, and illegal aliens. We need more National Guard.

Matthew Colie
4 years ago

Chuck, While I agree that the chains have stifled the Mom&Pop cafes, there are still plenty out there. We plan many of our excursions to exclude interstates (Charles Kuralt was correct). We may not get someplace as fast as we might, but we often are not real sure what the destination is for that day. It may be an antique, but it is a self contained coach.


4 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Colie

Yes, yes, yes Matthew. Over the years I have drug my wife into great little joints, cafes, and hole-in-the-wall places with good food and wonderful service that she would have automatically passed on as Ptomaine Tony’s.
Don’t be afraid to get a little ways off the main drag, and ask the locals where they eat.

Kevin kelly
4 years ago

Well just stick your heads in the sand If you don’t wish to hear The Facts about campground overcrowding, no spots to stay in on a rv vacation, and poor quality rv manufacturing. I do recommend your just play like these problems are nonexistent. These problems are real and I applaud Chuck for writing about them. FMCA and Motor home certainly do not address these issues. They rely on advertising from RV manufacturing and even campgrounds.
Chuck keep up the excellent reporting.

Ken VS
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin kelly

There are those who want everyone to have eternal rose colored glasses, there are those who no matter how good something is there’s always a bug in their lemonade and then their are those who make observations and speak from a balanced perspective based on the observations made. The good is good, the bad is still there but an equal amount of attention is paid to each end of the observable spectrum. Sometimes there is more good observed, other times more bad in the week. If there is notable improvement of a past bad observation, I’m sure that it will be noted in the column. Keep being realistic and reporting your observations Chuck!

John Snell
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin kelly

We have been RVing in thev SW for two years now with our pull behind. Jan. and Feb. We have only once called to Reserve a spot more than one day in advance. We have been told many times there are only one or two sites available. After arriving we’ve found numerous open sites (designed for trailers like ours) that sit vacant for the entire time we are there. It’s always risky painting with a broad brush. To your other point, I would never buy a motor home ie; friends who own them, constant problems, and would only buy a used pull behind if we were to upgrade. I tore into my own for repairs and found stripped screws, put in at an ungodly angles. Strip the glitz and the problems are obvious.

F Brent Betenson
4 years ago

I think Mr Adams hit the nail on the head. I’ve been thinking the same thing for months now.
I’ll keep reading, but change the topic.

Richard Brandt
4 years ago

Chuck, Would you be willing to give up your nomading (sp) lifestyle to open up a campground; from scratch?
If so, where would you build it?

4 years ago

Need to let everyone know that nation wide per Progressive Insurance which we just cancelled our RV insurance on because we can’t afford college payments and this, RV insurance is going up substantially. It has not had a system wide rate hike in 6 years. So be prepared to pay more for your RV this year once the policy renews. Ours went up 40 dollars and again, need to save money for college and this is a luxury we can no longer afford. So no camping trips until she is done with college. Happy camping everyone.

John Snell
4 years ago
Reply to  Jillie

We have progressive for our pull behind , (reasonabe) it’s the cheapest I have found. I’m assuming you have a motor home and I totally agree with you. Insurance for anything is outrageous. Sorry you have to make that choice.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jillie

Check out Amica Insurance. MUCH cheaper!

James Eversoll
4 years ago

How about a column about new campgrounds opening.
When we were rving in the UK we stayed at a farm where the farmer laid out a heavy electric cord in his cow pasture. Water was available at a common spigot . He also had a dump station that was just a 4″ pipe.

4 years ago

Your article heading is strange, of course they want live folks! LOL!

Wanted! Live campground hosts in Idaho
The U.S. Forest Service in Idaho is looking for more than just a few good folks. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests need volunteer campground hosts. There are multiple openings available in several locations.

Mr Adams
4 years ago

Sooo tired of the same doom and gloom lamenting of times past. Ok! We get it, the rv manufacturers dont care, they only care about money/sales. big friggin surprise . We already know it, we don’t like it either and you are preaching to the choir. Just stop. The headline this week, reads something about tire issues, great! Finally a different topic ,,,,, nope! the first thing Inread ( every {bleeped} week!) is about the overcrowding, too many rigs being sold, camp grounds full. ‘I can’t do what I used to do when the world was innocent…..everyone ( manufacturers AND the bloggers alike) did such a great job promoting the RV lifesyle ( and making money at it) that many others like us caught the bug and joined in. Im done with this sooo sick of it. either go (quietly)lobby the park owners to build or cities to permit or convince owners to sell/not use their rigs. you know what -never mind. im tired of this and not going to write about it anymore. you should too.
Im cancelling

4 years ago
Reply to  Mr Adams

Agreed with this post. If you don’t like Camping World so be it. Others do. RV General and other other RV places do do repairs on campers. You need to do your homework if you are going to do major renovations on your rig. Otherwise, buyer beware. Take it back to where you bought it and have them do the work. Happy camping everyone.

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Mr Adams

Mr. Adams,

Yup, I understand. But problems exist that did not exist 20 years ago — it’s not that they were “the good ol’ days,” nobody is preaching that. It’s just that the industry is still preaching “go where you want, when you want,” and that needs to stop because it is increasingly untrue. What we are writing about is a big subject — too complex to cover in one issue (or even 20) of a newsletter. We’re sorry to see you go, but from our perspective, while you unsubscribed yesterday, more than 100 new people subscribed, so we know while there are likely plenty of people who share your views, there are others eager to learn more, both the good, the bad and the ugly. We are not simply preaching to the choir.

We will not stop talking about bad quality of RVs and crowded RV parks, and the many, many other issues that deserve to be discussed. You will find plenty of RV websites that offer simple same ol’ same ol’ writing — some of it paid for in disguise — that makes RVing look so perfect. It’s still a wonderful thing, just different than when most of us signed on, and not always “good” different. We are simply doing what we can to make a difference in the RVing experience of our relatively small audience and the half-million new people who buy an RV each year.

We’re sorry to see you go, but we understand, and wish you well.


Scott Gitlin
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

RVing was a thought after viewing YouTube videos. But your newsletters opened my eyes to the real world out there. And the reason the same issues come up again and again is . . . no progress. If you keep being a thorn in the industry’s backside, perhaps something will happen.

I donated to the site and appreciate the honest reportage.

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