Friday, September 22, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter issue 841

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 841 • Week of April 14–20, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

The first thing I do when I arrive in a new town is see what’s there. I’m in Wichita Falls, Texas, now.

“World’s Littlest Skyscraper”

About 100,000 people live here. It’s pretty obvious when you explore downtown that the place has seen better days. One building after another, most brick, is boarded up. This was a prosperous town at one time with an economy based on food processing and retailing, flour milling, railroads, cattle, banking and oil. I don’t know what’s prosperous about it today, other than the economic benefits of closeby Sheppard Air Force Base. From talking to some locals, it appears Wichita Falls is in rebound mode. Like many other towns its size, its downtown was crippled by malls, Walmart and now, I suspect, Amazon.

Tornadoes in 1964 and 1979 didn’t help, wiping out homes and killing 49 people (20,000 people were left homeless in the 1979 tornado, known now as “Terrible Tuesday”).

Skyscraper comparisons. The little dot on the left is the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper”

That said, there is plenty to see and do in the area, which I will write about later. For example, I am very excited about visiting a museum in nearby Lawton to see the jail where Geronimo was imprisoned. Also, right in town is the actual Wichita Falls waterfall (but you’ll love hearing “the rest of the story”).

WHAT FIRST CAUGHT MY EYE here was the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper.” As you may know, I am always in search of the offbeat.

The building was built in 1919 by J.D. McMahon, who, it’s said, collected $200,000 from investors (about $3 million in today’s dollars). There was a critical need of office space at the time due to an oil boom. The investors signed off on the skyscraper project after seeing the plans. But what they failed to notice was that McMahon’s specs for the building were scaled in inches, not feet (the same scale as dollhouses). So instead of being 480 feet tall, the skyscraper would be 480 inches tall — a mere 40 feet! Each floor was only 120 square feet with access to the top three floors by an outside ladder. Plumbing or bathrooms? Nope.

View from the third floor.

A stairwell was added later, taking up 25 percent of the floor space! The nickname “World’s Littlest Skyscraper” was coined by Robert Ripley in the 1920s in his newspaper column Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Oh, yes, by the time investors had learned they had been scammed, J.D. McMahon had skipped town, reportedly never to be seen again, although one report said he may have tried a similar con job in Colorado.

You can visit the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper” free through the very interesting “Hello Again” consignment boutique. Jan Saville and her husband, Mike, own it. When I visited, Jan was minding the shop, and provided a delightful tour. Some of her merchandise is displayed on all four levels of the “skyscraper.” The address is 511 7th Street, Wichita Falls, Texas.


AMAZON SCARE: I was afraid for a few weeks that was about to kick us out of its affiliate program for violating one of the terms of our operating agreement. It appears now that all is okay. The fine print in our agreement states that we cannot encourage our readers to click on Amazon links “to support us.” I did not know that. I explained this detail in a special “insider” message and personal video I sent to our paid subscribers on Friday (if you are a paid subscriber and did not get it, please let me know). So please delete any bookmarks you created to visit to help support us. We won’t benefit if you click them. Clicks must come directly from our website only. This is what Amazon allows us to say: [] 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 

The park.

MINI-MEETUP — If you live in the Wichita Falls area, please join Gail and me, along with our pet vet columnist Dr. Deanna, at Wichita Falls RV Park on Saturday, April 21 between 1 and 4 p.m. We’ll have coffee and light refreshments. But mostly we’ll just mingle. I’d like to hear what you think about the current state of RVing and I’ll explain what we are doing behind the scenes to effect change. We’ll meet in the clubhouse by the office. Bring a friend if you wish. If more than 20 of you show up, I’ll present my program, “A Writing Life on the Road.” If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Gail at . 

radio announcer

Our RV electricity expert Mike Sokol is the guest on Greg Gerber’s RV industry podcast this week. You can listen anytime of day by visiting here.

I was also interviewed last week on the syndicated radio program, The RV Show USA. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.

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

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters
Screaming meemies: Black water backflow!
 Travel trailer shopping? Here’s what to look for.
Will your RV protect you from a lightning strike?
RV dress for any occasion.

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 our efforts to educate and improve the lives of RVers
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 a month. But even a one-time contribution of $5 or $10 helps 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.

cover story
Park Service responds to public backlash on proposed fee hikes
It may be a case of “The people speak, and the government listens.” On April 12, the National Park Service issued a news release regarding its proposed fee changes. When the Department of the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, suggested that many parks should increase their entry fees to $75 per car, he apparently didn’t expect the public backlash. As reported by the Washington Post, the Park Service received “more than 100,000 public comments from Americans nearly unanimously opposed to the idea.” Learn more.

Recent recalls:
Newmar recalls some New Aire RVs for wheel issue.

Our news section has moved 
We’re beefing up our news coverage and we needed more room to post it all along with all our other great features. So click here to read this week’s news.

1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1With 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.

Report shows dramatic increase in Americans who camp
If there is any doubt that it’s getting more crowded out there in “Camping-land USA,” a new study sponsored by KOA shows that more than six million new American households have adopted the camping lifestyle since 2014. The total number of camping households in the United States is now more than 77 million. At the same time, 11,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day, many taking up RVing in their retirement with some living in recreational vehicles full-time. Read more.

video camera WPWhere do old RVs go when they die?
If you keep your eyes open as you drive around the USA, you’ll notice an automobile junkyard here and there. If you look closely, you’ll usually see a few junked RVs, too. But, wow! Wait until you watch this drone video from Arizona RV Salvage in Phoenix showing its massive RV junkyard! Watch this short video.

Most of our readers not fond of campfire smoke
About six out of ten readers believe RV parks should offer “No Campfire Zones” for those campers who do not enjoy the smoke or are allergic to it. See how the poll turned out, and what some readers had to say. Click here.

Prescription refills on the road: The good, the bad and the ugly
If you’re traveling for an extended period of time and can’t take all your prescribed medications with you for the whole trip, here are some tips to keep in mind if you need refills out of your home country or even in another state. Be sure to plan ahead, according to this information from Russ and Tiña De Maris.

This week’s Reader Poll
Has your RV ever been damaged by hail? 
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 RV parks should offer “No campfire” zones? Click here for the results.

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.


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)!

Is it necessary to filter my water?
Most – if not all – RVs come with a water filter installed, usually under the sink where it filters all the water running out of the faucet. But that raises the question, why filter perfectly good water? And how good is “perfectly good”? Many RVers use the water that the RV park supplies, straight from the tap. After all, that water comes from treated sources and should have no problems. Right? Well – maybe. Learn more.

video camera WPWind is your friend – use it
When RVing in the great outdoors, wind affects most of what you do, from driving to setting up camp. Here editor Chuck Woodbury has tips about how to deal with the wind while RVing, both on the highway and in the campground. Watch the video.’s “Camper Slobs of the Week”
Most RVers and other campers respect nature, the environment and other people. But check out the mess one group of slob-campers left after a weekend of camping in Arizona’s Prescott National Forest. Read more.

Nevada Highway 93 boondock jewel: Pahranagat Wildlife Refuge
There are plenty of long and lonely stretches of road Out West. Traveling north out of Las Vegas on the 2-lane blacktop of US 93, things get pretty scary for an RVer. The voices on our tape dramas begin to loll one into a (dangerous) trance-like state. Oh, it’s time to be off the road and resting up. But where? Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is a great stopping point for both migratory birds and migratory RVers – and it’s free for all. Learn more.

Nobody likes a dirty beast!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
So don’t wash your RV with products designed for cars. Duratain’s Wade Maid products are RV Specific solutions specially formulated to clean and protect your RV’s fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum parts. Watch Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Wade Wax at the Wade Maid website.

You don’t have to accept a noisy water pump
Do you hear a motor noise when running your RV water pump? Of course you do. RVers away from city water connections sometimes complain of a noise when using the RV water system,  since they may not be used to the sounds produced by the RV water pump. But there may also be times when there are genuine issues that can often be resolved to bring quiet back when running water. Here are some tips to reduce the noise.

video camera WPMust-have trailer towing accessories
There are always a bunch of little things that make your RVing experience better, and in this video Mark Polk, of RV Education 101 DIY® Project Video Series, demonstrates some “must-have” trailer towing accessories. Watch the video.

Roof sealing questions and answers
Here are some of the most frequently asked RV roof sealing questions received by Dicor Corporation, along with their answers (of course). Read more.

Mark your calendar: Colorado’s Headless Chicken Festival
Mark your calendars for June 1 and 2 for the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita, Colo. Mike was a chicken who lived for 18 months in the mid-1940s after getting his head chopped off in preparation for his owner’s dinner. But a little bit of brain stem remained. With regular feeding with an eyedropper, Mike refused to die and, in fact, thrived. His owner, Lloyd Olson, described him as “a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.” Read more.

Too much paper! – What to do with all those manuals
Rich “The Wanderman” admits that he’s a pack rat: He saves things forever. This includes saving all manuals and instructions from whatever he buys – even if he doesn’t have it anymore. He decided to turn them into electronic data and store them in a searchable USB thumb drive. So, how do you get it done? It’s easy with your smartphone! Learn how.

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

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Should RV parks offer ‘No campfire’ zones?
smokey-only-you-RVT-745A bigger RV is not necessarily better.
RV tires may have caused 95 deaths or injuries.
RV Mods: Nitrogen for your tires?
RV capital Elkhart booming, but for how long?
Deciphering the 3-light outlet tester.
• For a good sleep – don’t camp here!

More popular articles from last week’s issue
Choosing a generator for a fifth wheel.
What we learned about you last week (Mar. 31–Apr. 6).
Thumbs up from our readers – March 2018.
Figuring out generators, CO detectors, fumes – and safety.
RV and RV-related recalls for March 2018.
Don’t miss a historical marker with these apps.

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.

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 way too many cases poorly. Here are some horror stories.

Choose the Tire Pressure Monitoring System that uses!
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.

Ask the RV Shrink

How to handle unwanted parking assistance from neighbor

Dear RV Shrink,
We are novice RV owners. We bought a large fifth wheel and my husband does all the driving. I do not care to drive it at all. My job is to help him back it into camping sites. Last week I was backing him in when a gentleman from an adjoining site came over and started giving my husband hand signals and kind of taking over my duties. I thought it was rude. He didn’t even ask me if we needed help. It was as if he was dismissing me. I felt rejected and let him park my husband into the fairly easy access site. …

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.

Join in Elkhart May 17-21
RV Travel will be a major participant at the upcoming RVillage Rally in Elkhart, Indiana, May 17-21. Join editor Chuck Woodbury, our Pet Vet Dr. Deanna, RV electricity expert Mike Sokol, tire expert Roger Marble and our RV historian Al Hesselbart — all of us presenting seminars and hanging out with RV Travel readers. Factory tours, too. Learn more, and get a special discount code to save 10 percent on registration.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.69 (on Apr. 9). Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 27 cents. [Calif.: $3.52]
Diesel: $3.04 (on Apr. 9). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 46 cents. [Calif.: $3.72]

Cozy up and pretend that it’s summer! 
While April showers are busy bringing May flowers (sigh, is it done yet?) we’re busy planning our summer road trips. What better way to do that than by watching classic movies like “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” of course! Chevy Chase’s classic role as a dad trying to plan the “perfect” family vacation is unforgettable. Give yourself a laugh and watch this one, maybe it’ll get you in that road trip spirit. Learn more or order here. (P.S. You can live stream for your computer or TV too!) 

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

Is your pet prepared for a medical emergency?

Dear Dr. Deanna,
If I’m out in the middle of nowhere or far away from our vet what things can you recommend that I should have on hand in case my pet has a medical emergency? 
Read Dr. Deanna’s reply

Give your pet a special place outdoors
This easily foldable 30-inch-high pen enables you to leave your pet securely outdoors. Perfect for campgrounds. It’s finished in a durable black e-coat, providing long-lasting protection from corrosion and rust. Transporting is simple with the fold-flat storage design. Easy set up. No tools required. Available in several sizes. Learn more or order.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

Check radiator and heater hoses monthly
A pinhole-size leak in a radiator or heater hose can spray antifreeze on hot engine parts. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol concentrate and water. When the water boils off, the remaining ethylene glycol can self-ignite at 782 degrees F. During your monthly fire inspection, check all hoses for firmness, clamp tightness and signs of leaking. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

insect-screen-761Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at

RV Quick Tips

The best way to handle crosswinds while driving your RV
Headed into winds with your RV? You know that while tailwinds will give you better fuel economy and that headwinds will kill it, what about side- or crosswinds? These guys can be dangerous. When the winds are strong and steady, our tendency is to “correct” the steering to hold the rig on the road. But let the wind abruptly die, or you drive under an overpass, suddenly your correction becomes an over-correction. If at all possible, if winds are strong enough that you have to “correct” your steering, drop anchor and wait the winds out.
Weights of RV liquids
Weighting game: Here’s how much typical RV liquids weigh, per gallon: Fresh water – 8.3 lbs.; Gasoline – 6.1 lbs.; Diesel – 7.3 lbs.; Propane – 4.2 lbs.

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

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

Gizmos and Gadgets

Winegard announces debut of TV signal finder app
Winegard Co. announced the release of its TV Signal Finder, a new app that makes it simple for RVers to find their favorite TV shows and available channels. According to a press release, the Winegard TV Signal Finder app simplifies the over-the-air antenna or satellite setup and takes the guesswork out of aiming your TV antenna or satellite dish. Learn more.

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

Essential for big RVs! 
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this 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.

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

Why is RV battery bank leaking electrolyte?

Dear Gary,
I have a 2002, 31-foot Jayco. Why is my battery bank leaking acid? I have two batteries and two solar panels with a PWM charge controller. When we bought it, it was hooked up to power; now we keep it stored. One battery was leaking in the first two months so we replaced both batteries. Now, a month later, it’s leaking again. …

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.

It’s tornado season: Be prepared!
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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

The science (and art) of finding boondocking campsites

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the great advice on locating boondocking spots. One question though. How did you know where to stop and start exploring in the first place? Are there signs or did you do a general search of the area online or through other means before you got there? Thanks. —Bill

Read Bob’s response to this and a similar question.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Cacti Part 3: More than just pretty flowers.

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


Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Do I need an “intelligent” surge protector for 50-amp shore power?

Dear Mike,
Thanks for your recent articles on why an intelligent surge protector is needed for 30A service. But would this also apply to 50A service? I have been reading these articles and did the survey, but then realized everything you wrote has been about 30A plugs and service. —John G.

Read 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.

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 

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Is this tire cracked … or what’s going on?
Roger saw a post from an RV owner who discovered something on the upper sidewall of a tire when doing a visual inspection. He was calling it a “crack” and was looking for input from readers of that RV forum. A number of readers chimed in with a variety of opinions and advice. The good news was that many recognized the damage as “curbing,” that can occur when trying to go over a curb at a low angle. Read more.

scenic767The Most Scenic Drives in America
The newly updated trip planner & travel guide will steer you down the most scenic road every time. From Florida’s Road to Flamingo, to British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway, to Cape Cod’s Sandy Shores, each featured road trip is pictured in stunning full color and described in vivid text, keyed to an easy-to-follow map. Whether you choose a drive on a distant road or a back road in your own state, this book is your ticket to North America’s most beautiful byways. Learn more or order.

Spiral galaxy M94. Photo by Chris Fellows, March 24, 2018. (slightly cropped to fit here)

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows
(Welcome back, Chris! From all of us at

The new space race – Private companies are leading the way back to space
Let’s face it. Since the end of the Apollo missions in 1975, America has been in a space rut. Public excitement for space dropped off dramatically when we stopped sending people into the void. Chris predicts that is all about to change with the advent of private space companies and their recent successes. In this article, he discusses the three major American companies who are in the space game and their goals. Learn more.


Casino Guide includes RVer info
The highly rated 2017 American Casino Guide provides detailed information on more than 750 casino/resorts, riverboats and Indian casinos in 41 states including which have RV parks and/or allow RV overnighting for free. Includes maps and more than $1,000 in coupons. Discloses the actual slot machine payback percentages for every state’s casinos. Learn more or order.

Charles Kuralt
In this week’s episode Charles shows off some of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of mailbox photos sent by his viewers. Stick around to the end of this segment: you have never seen a mailbox like this one. We guarantee it!

Easy way to add water to your batteries!
Never, ever, let your automotive or RV deep cycle batteries run out of water. Here’s a simple way to keep them topped off for maximum performance and long life. Just use this syringe with distilled water. So easy. Learn more or order.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
Keep your cool with a stove-top meal. Bake the biscuits in the cool of the morning and you won’t have to heat up the oven later to make this supper treat. Cream cheese makes it extra creamy. Italian dressing mix makes it extra flavorful. Using a rotisserie chicken from the deli, or canned chunk chicken, makes it extra easy.  Get the recipe.

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


Make an omelette in seconds! 
Tired of making omelettes and dealing with the mess, cleanup, and timely preparation? This microwaveable omelette maker saves the day! This handy gadget makes omelettes in just three easy steps: beat eggs and milk, add ingredients, microwave and eat! It promotes healthy eating by cutting out butter, oil and grease. Buy this breakfast-saver here. 

RV Short stop

Paintings, prints and signs line the walls of McJerry’s Route 66 Gallery

Stop by this Oklahoma Route 66 gallery
“Anything that combines seeing America, RVing and art, I love, love, love,” writes Julianne Crane. That’s what the book “Route 66: EZ66 Guide for Travelers” by noted Route 66 author, artist and historian Jerry McClanahan offers. In addition, Jerry has welcomed visitors at McJerry’s Route 66 Gallery in Chandler, Oklahoma since 2008. On his website he writes, “Now that spring is upon us, I will start sticking my little OPEN sign in the yard more regularly. But if you drop by, and the gallery looks deserted, give me a call anyway.” Read more

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.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Presley’s Outing, MS.
• Featured App: the Next EXIT.
• RVing Women Driving School.


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.

Free and bargain camping

Travel Centers of America [TA] # 025, Spartanburg, SC
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Well-lit and appears generally level. Expect the usual noise level of a busy truck stop. 187 truck spaces, travel store, showers, laundry room, and Wi-Fi. Country Pride restaurant on site. Address: I-85, Exit 63 (SR 290). GPS: 34.913758, -82.109305

Hassayampa Rest Area, Morristown, AZ
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed – the state of AZ allows parking for up to 24 hours in rest areas. Rest area has a single entrance/exit driveway. Room for 5 – 6 rigs. Restrooms, drinking fountains, vending machines, pet exercise area, and picnic tables. Caretakers on-site 16 hours/day. Address: US 60, Milepost 116. GPS: 33.90907, -112.67555

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

Museum of the Week
The International Spy Museum
Washington, D.C. 
If you were one of those kids who spied on their neighbors, or who listened in on your older sister as she gossiped on the phone, then this museum is for you. Located on the museum corridor of the National Mall, this museum will teach you what you need to know to be a professional spy. Kids will love this one for hands-on exhibits, but then again, as an adult, you’ll love hands-on exhibits too … especially when they involve spy gear. Visit the museum website here. 

This isn’t corny – it’ll really hide your valuables! 
Odds are, if a burglar breaks into your home or RV, they’re going to look in the obvious places for valuables: a safe, dresser drawers, the glove compartment, but a can of corn? Nope. They probably won’t check that. This “can” is actually a hidden security container made to hold valuables such as jewelry, keys, and even up to 10k cash! Screw off the bottom (the top just looks like a regular ol’ can) and hide away! Fool those burglars and hide your valuables in plain sight. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

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
Puyallup RV Show, May 3-6, Puyallup, WA. Visit the show website.

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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.

Telephone cards first took off in Hawaii, since long distance charges to the far-flung state were higher there than anywhere else in the country.

Bumper sticker of the week
“Make yourself at home – clean my kitchen” – on an RV.

Funny/clever business slogan
Heard on the radio: “Plumbing problems? Go with the Flo: FloHawks Plumbing and Septic” – with several locations in the south Puget Sound, Washington, area.

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

Joke of the Week
A car was involved in an accident on a rural town street. As expected, a large crowd gathered. A newspaper reporter, eager to get a story, could not get through the crowd to the car. Being a clever sort, he shouted loudly, “Let me through! I’m the son of the victim!” The crowd made way for him. Lying in front of the car was a donkey.

Random RV Thought
If you want to make a friend, do this: On a cold and rainy day in a campground, if you spot a tenter or a tenting couple holed up in a tent, invite them into your cozy RV for hot chocolate or maybe even dinner. You will most likely make a new friend (or friends) and enjoy good conversation.

Worth Pondering
“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” —John Adams

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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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  1. I have an observation that brings up a question for Mike Sokol. The l park I am currently in has a pedestal with two 50amp receptacles . However one of them is actually wired for 30amps. Is this dangerous or just odd?

    • That’s not dangerous, and is perfectly within code as long as the receptacle is marked for “30-amps maximum”. But I’ve only seen these at houses for a low-power shore power hookup. Do you know if it actually measures 240-volts from hot-1 to hot-2? That would indicate that it was otherwise wired correctly, assuming the ground was also hooked up.

  2. Chuck, if you are visiting Lawton, Oklahoma and the Ft. Sill Museum, you must also visit Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. This park is located just a few miles north of Lawton. As you enter the park be sure to drive through the town of Medicine Park. This town has lots of history dating to the early 1900’s. This is a beautiful area you do not want to miss. I was born and raised in Lawton.

    P.S. Be sure to also visit the Apache Grave site where Geronimo was buried.

  3. I was stationed at Shepherd AFB in 1967. Have a lot of good memories from that time but was anxious to go somewhere (any where) else. Actually, it is on the list of places I want to return to, right above A Shau Valley.

    • If you were being facetious in your response, it reminds me of a story I heard when I was a kid regarding, I believe, an American POW in WWII. He was being interviewed and was asked if there was anyplace he’d rather be than where he was, and he replied, “The only place I’d rather be is in Washelli, in Washington state.” That’s a very large cemetery in Seattle. If you were being sincere that you want to revisit those places, I apologize. But no matter what, thank you for your service, Captain John. I knew (and know) a bunch of great guys who were in Vietnam the same time as you were. —Diane at

  4. “Like many other towns its size, its downtown was crippled by malls, Walmart and now, I suspect, Amazon”

    I would think with out them employing and drawing people in, it would be a ghost town.

    It appears that those that criticize the above are the first to patronize them (or encourage people to shop there, like you).

    • Sorry, don’t criticize them but have nothing to do with either. Have not been in a Walmart in nearly 40 years and can almost always find what I’m looking for elsewhere for less.

  5. can you find out why rv rate at gulf state park in alabama went up so high.Icall six times no good answer on conal sits $70.00 a night

  6. Charles Kuralt was one of my favorite and wife and I enjoyed his short segments. I put him in the class with Andy Rooney! Both will be sorely missed.
    Love the mailbox video, as I can’t remember that one and the end of that video was something else! Leave it to the American ingenuity.

  7. Enjoy your Charles Kuralt on the road videos. I remember seeing a few of them when he first did them, they are always interesting.

    • If interested in seeing his motor home the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn has it on display. You can look at it but cannot enter. I never realized it until I really looked at the history of RV travel trailers, pop ups and motor homes. Kind of exciting to see the evolution of the RV. We are keeping our s on ice until our daughter graduates from college. All our money is now tied up in the big league colleges. 3 years to go.

  8. while in Wichita Falls you should try to eat at the new restaurant Fox Hill Restaurant which is close to where you are camped. We are stationed here and have gone there three times since they opened. Farm to table….. I recommend lunch which is less expensive. Recently was filmed for the food network.

  9. Thanks for he ‘heads up’ on the way Amazon treated you and the web site, Chuck. I quit buying stuff from them a long time ago, and for ‘sure’ will ‘not’ be in the future. I never felt encouraged by the link or compelled to go there…I just ignored it.

  10. Combining your “Unwanted parking advice” with “Random thoughts” on offering shelter to tenters is amusing… Some tenters would take offense to your shelter offer much the same as you hate their parking advice. But then, these days people get offended no matter what nice thing you do…

    Some more related ponders:
    – Your mind is like a parachute — it will only function when open.
    – Some people’s minds are like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set.

  11. Hi Chuck,

    Am I assuming correctly that if I give a voluntary paid subscriber that makes me a paid subscriber? (I sent in my payment on March 17th, 2018) If so, I didn’t receive the video notice on Friday about the update on the “Amazon Scare”. I have been waiting to purchase several items for our RV until the issue with your association with Amazon had been resolved.
    I really like your weekly and associated publications and have learned a lot from them. I try to purchase everything from Amazon through your link in added support for your publications.

    Thank you,


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