Wednesday, March 29, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 842

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 842 • Week of April 21–27, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

At dinner the other night in Wichita Falls with readers John and Cathy Zinn, Cathy asked, “How’s your trip going?” The question took Gail and me by surprise. We talked about it when we returned to the motorhome.

We realized that long ago we had stopped thinking of ourselves being on a “trip.” A trip, I’ve always figured, originates from Point A to Point B and then returns to Point A. 

For about two years now, home for us has been wherever we are. There is no permanent Point A and B. “Home” keeps changing. Oh, inside our comfy little abode, little changes. The dining room table stays in its place; the couch, too. The stove and microwave have their place, and my half of our Queen bed is right where it always is. I love climbing in at night with a good book, and reading until I’m too tired to go on. This is my special, private space in my shared, 320-square-foot mini-home.

View out my window Wednesday evening.

BUT WHEN I LOOK OUT my windows, the scene is ever-changing. Three weeks ago I would watch miniature horses graze in a small pasture. In the evening, in the grove of pecan trees behind the motorhome, a herd of beautiful Axis deer grazed. Today, 200 miles or so north, I mostly see other RVs out those same windows. I watch the occupants come and go, wondering who they are and where they’re headed. This morning while still in bed, by the nearby pond, the resident Canada Geese were honking up a storm. What was ruffling their feathers? I wondered.

Every outing in our little Honda Fit is an adventure, even grocery shopping. Supermarkets come in all shapes and sizes, and you never know if bananas will cost you 49 or 79 cents a pound. It takes longer to shop because you don’t know where to find things. Gail and I are from Seattle and love fresh seafood. In most of America, good luck finding anything that isn’t farm raised. In Glasgow, Montana, the only seafood we found was at an Albertsons, seal-wrapped in plastic.

But there are exceptions: We have savored great local catfish in the South and the walleye is great in Minnesota. And the Gulf shrimp around San Antonio? Yummy! Oh, I liked the grouper in Florida, and the fried perch in Cleveland is delicious. For salmon, of course, you can’t beat Seattle.

I love being in a new place — finding out what’s there. In Wichita Falls, I found the world’s littlest skyscraper, which I wrote about last week (watch my short video). Tuesday, Gail and I explored the town’s official “falls.” But it’s not the original waterfalls that gave the city its name: A storm wiped those out years ago. The present falls are fake. If you walk to the top and look behind, you’ll see no stream feeding them, just a cemetery. Somewhere in the bowels of this local attraction is a powerful water pump that recirculates water from the Wichita River.

In conclusion, while I don’t think of myself being on a trip, maybe I am — one that never ends. There’s Point A and B and C — all the way to Point Z, and then the next stop is Point AA, and on and on.

It’s a life in motion which, to me and a lot of people — I bet you, too — is pretty darn great!




P.S. I appeared on Facebook Live last Wednesday evening with my friends Bob Zagami and John DiPietro on their program for the New England RV Dealers Association. I was able to express my views about the state of the RV industry to more than 6,000 RV industry people and other interested parties. Watch the 45-minute program.

Is RV industry president out of touch with RVers?
Is everyone who travels or lives in an RV a “camper?” That’s what the president of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association said recently. I beg to differ. Many of us do not “camp” in the sense of roughing it in the great outdoors, pleasing our inner caveman. No, we live in our RVs, not camp. So click here if you wish to take a seat by my soapbox and hear me spout off about why I believe this fellow doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

MINI-MEETUP TODAY. If you’re in the Wichita Falls, Texas, area today, please stop by the Wichita Falls RV Park between 1 and 4 p.m. for an Mini-Meetup. There’s no formal program. Let’s just hang out for awhile and talk about RVing. Chuck, Gail and our Pet Doc columnist Dr. Deanna would love to meet you. Your RVer friends are invited, too. Meet at the clubhouse by the office.

Do you have an expertise in an RV-related topic? Maybe you should be writing for us. Please contact our associate editor Deanna Tolliver and tell her about yourself. She’ll get back to you. She’s at

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

Readers speak out (Your comments are welcome – please add them below the specific article.)
Safety issue? RVer’s door locks randomly, leaving him trapped inside.
RVer concerned about overnight parking bans.
What have I learned after six months on the road?

spyWhat we learned about you last week
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? We’ve got both – but, really, the bad news isn’t real bad, just sort of bad. One question we asked was if your RV has ever been damaged by hail. You might be surprised at the results. Click here.

Featured in the most
recent RV Daily Tips Newsletters

Inexpensive mod can save expensive awning.
“Ain’t misbehavin'” – he barked.
What does a battery disconnect switch do?
Better use of space in your toy hauler.

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

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breaking-newsThe latest news about RVing from our newsroom
Our writers and editors have selected the most important, most interesting and helpful news about RVing from the past week and boiled it all down into a fast-paced digest. Click here to read it.

• “Zombie RV” finally towed away after months of complaints.
• Tragedy at Louisiana campground caused by high winds.
• Campground fees raised 300% at BLM’s Moab region.

Recent recalls:
Keystone RV recalls trailers for brake wire issue.

Plan Your Getaway to Tropical Palms Today!
Tropical Palms is a hidden gem set on 69 beautiful sun-kissed acres that are perfect for your Orlando vacation getaway. We are approximately 4 miles from Walt Disney World Resort, 11 miles from the Orange County Convention Center and within walking distance from Old Town and Fun Spot. You will find our convenient location and affordable prices provide the perfect RV resort to enjoy all that Central Florida offers. Click here to learn more. 

Need a step up when hitching up your fifth wheel? associate editor and fulltime RVer Deanna Tolliver writes: “As a vertically challenged person (i.e., short), and the owner of a fifth wheel, it’s difficult for me to reach over the bed of the truck to either hitch up or unhitch. I’ve carried a step stool and I’ve also had small side steps attached to the side of the truck. But I’ve found another, better option: the HitchMate TireStep, by Heininger.” Learn more.

video camera WPWhich repellents keep mosquitoes away best?
Summer is on the way. For many RVers and other campers that means some unpleasant encounters with mosquitoes. Heaven knows there are plenty of repellents to keep the little blood suckers away. But which ones work? Find out in this segment from the TV show “Inside Edition.”

Have an RV mod to share with the rest of us?
Calling all handymen (and handywomen)! We want to see the modifications you’ve made to your RV, and we want to share them with our readers. Learn more.

RV Mods: Don’t let appliance control boards throw you into fits
Perhaps some of the most mysterious of RV technical issues surround electronically controlled appliances. “Back in the old days” we didn’t have fancy control boards on refrigerators, furnaces and water heaters. Nowadays, the trouble is when things start getting “buggy” it can be difficult to track down the problem. When campfire talk comes around to the appliance control board problems, the name that probably gets mentioned the most is Dinosaur. Learn more.

RV industry president delights in RVing growth
With the RV (recreational vehicle) industry seeing record sales over the last three years at a double-digit growth pace, it’s no surprise to Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), that camping is seeing an uptick. “Camping obviously is what everyone in an RV is doing, and the RV industry is on a multi-year trend of growth,” said Hugelmeyer.  Read more.

This week’s Reader Poll
In the past few years have you pulled off the road with your RV due to high winds? 
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:
Has your RV ever been damaged by hail? Click here for the results.

Goodbye Holding Tank Odors and Clogs, Hello Convenience!
The best just got better. Now you can get the unsurpassed strength of RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment in a convenient, easy to use drop-in pod. RV Digest-It has long been known as the premier all-around tank treatment for those looking for the best in both odor elimination and waste digestion – now you can add convenience to that list. Learn more here.

Free public lands resources, great for planning
You’ve probably read about camping and boondocking on public lands. Bob Difley has long been an advocate of using the millions of acres of public lands that are available to everybody for many forms of outdoor recreation, including camping and boondocking, most of it free or inexpensive. Learn about some great resources here.

New FMCA magazine is disappointing
FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, which for 52 years was a “motorhome-owners-only” organization but now accepts towable owners, debuted a new monthly magazine yesterday (Friday) which it calls FamilyRVing. I have waited months to see what the organization would come up with to make it more appealing — perhaps a magic bullet to help boost membership back to its glory years when it was twice as large. Read more.

RV SnapPad announces new RV leveling product
Origen RV Accessories, parent company to RV SnapPad, announced earlier this year the development of its new EQ product. Origen has now confirmed that its permanent leveling pads for Equalizer systems, SnapPad EQ Round and Octagon, are now shipping to the public and dealerships. With the addition of the EQ product to the lineup, Origen now offers four different product lines that fit on more than two dozen different popular Class A motorhomes, Class C motorhomes and fifth wheel trailer brands. Learn more.

Elks Lodges provide economical nationwide camping
Did you know you can stay overnight at approximately 1,000 Elks Lodge RV parks around the country – and for as little as $5 a night for a no-hook-up spot? An annual membership in Elks costs $50 to $200, and it’s OK to join just for the RV campgrounds. Watch a short video by Elks member Jim O’Briant of Overnight RV Parking, who explains how Elks camping works and how easy and inexpensive it is to join. Watch the video.

Don’t let snakes frighten you out of RV country
Recently an RVer who contemplated trying boondocking inquired of other RVers, “What about snakes?” So, what about it? Can you go camping in your RV and still be safe? Here are some tips to keep you safe, and also recommendations from the Mayo Clinic about what to do in the very off chance that you get bitten. (Some of these may be different than what you think.) Read more.

RV education conference adds to faculty
Walter Cannon, Executive Director of the RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF), has announced the addition of Chris Dougherty to the faculty member and teaching staff for the upcoming 2018 RV Technical Education & Safety Conference. The annual event will be held September 27 through October 1 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, at the Pritchard Community Center. Learn more.

 20% off RoverPass, unlimited booking to over 6,000 campgrounds!
RoverPass Unlimited is the all-access fast pass to booking campgrounds online. It allows you to search and book at over 6,000 campgrounds and RV parks without a platform fee. You’ll also get priority booking and one-on-one access with customer service representatives. Click here to receive 20 percent off an unlimited membership. 

A very grueling but rewarding RV trip
Rich “The Wanderman” has a new toy to go along with his motorhome. He recently bought a helicopter, but he had to pick it up in Wisconsin. Time for an RV trip, although the weather didn’t cooperate at all! But he made it and he’s a very happy camper and soon-to-be flyer. Rich will be driving to events around the country with the helicopter in tow. Read about his sometimes-harrowing adventure, and how his motorhome performed under pressure.

Personal space: The raison d’être of boondocking
As campgrounds and RV resorts become more crowded and more expensive, more RVers are starting to think seriously about boondocking and whether it is something they want to tackle. The answers are not always the same for all RVers. Consider the two primary motivations why RVers boondock – and possibly a third reason. Learn more.

Put a cordless screw gun in your RV arsenal
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. While he was serving as’s technical editor he wrote an article about why one of the most useful tools you can carry in an RV is a good battery-powered screw gun. As a professional technician, he uses a DeWalt 12-volt screw gun every day and he’s never without it. Read more.

Distracted driving is deadly driving
April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Is the situation of such serious concern that it needs its own month? Consider: Every day across the U.S. about nine people die in traffic incidents related to distracted driving – that’s pushing 10 percent of the total auto incident death toll. Yep, about as serious as a heart attack. And one of the big problems is, the figures are rising. Read some disturbing statistics and some important tips to keep you from becoming a statistic. Learn more.

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. 

Readers’ comments on recent articles

Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
Prescription refills on the road: The good, the bad and the ugly.’s “Camper Slobs of the Week.”
Majority of readers not fond of campfire smoke.
Park Service responds to public backlash on proposed fee hikes.
Do I need an “intelligent” surge protector for 50-amp shore power?
Has your RV ever been damaged by hail?
How to handle unwanted parking assistance from neighbor.

More popular articles from last week’s issue
What we learned about you last week (April 7-13).
Is your pet prepared for a medical emergency?
The science (and art) of finding boondocking campsites. 
Winegard announces debut of TV signal finder app.
Why is RV battery bank leaking electrolyte?
Is this tire cracked … or what’s going on?
• Where do old RVs go when they die?

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

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

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

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

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

Ask the RV Shrink

New RVers disillusioned with New Orleans

Dear RV Shrink:
We recently spent a week in a park near New Orleans. It was mismanaged and a mosquito-infested swamp. It was our first experience with our new RV. My wife always wanted to explore New Orleans, and I thought this would be a great way to do it. As it turns out I was wrong. My wife is now turned off with RVing and New Orleans. …

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

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

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.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.75 (on Apr. 16). Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 31 cents. [Calif.: $3.55]
Diesel: $3.10 (on Apr. 16). Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Up 51 cents. [Calif.: $3.79]

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.

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

How to avoid hot dogs (and other hot pets)

Dear Dr. Deanna,
When the weather warms up, we worry about leaving our dog in the RV. We always set the AC to a comfortable temperature, but worry about a power failure or having a problem with the AC unit not working. We’ve seen where some people have temperature monitors in their RVs. Do you have any recommendations?
Read Dr. Deanna’s reply here.

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

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

First things first in case of RV fire
Without question, the first rule of RV firefighting is to save lives first and property second. Your priority is to get your family safely out of the RV and then, if you can do so without endangering yourself or others, use the firefighting aids available to you. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

It looks like a key, but it’s a folding knife
Wow! Could this come in handy those times you wish you had a small pocket knife along? It looks just like a regular key, but when unfolded it turns into a pocket knife. Just remember to remove it from the keychain before you hop on your plane flight. Learn more or order!

RV Quick Tips

Always retract your steps when parked temporarily!
“NEVER leave your steps extended in a public place where cars and people are moving around. I pulled into a gas station and jumped out to see if I had pulled far enough forward to reach the fuel filler with the hose. Seconds later as I came back around the RV to get in, a car was trying to squeeze in between my RV and the pumps and ran over my steps! In my hurry I had not flipped the switch to retract the steps when the door was closed.” Thanks to Jimmie Crawford for letting us learn from his painful lesson!

Sewer hose supports
“We have the plastic ‘ladder’ that holds our sewer hose. We place a plastic gutter we purchased on sale on the ‘ladder’ and then put the slinky hose on top since it otherwise tends to ‘get loose.’ The gutter keeps it straight and stable into the campground tank. We also drilled holes in the gutter to allow water to drain through it, but it does pretty good on its own since it is slanted. We are seasonal so the camper is never moved and we don’t have a problem with storage. If you need it longer you can purchase a connector.” Thanks to Pastor Jon Guenther!

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

Hands-free umbrella? Yes, please!
It might look silly, but these hat-umbrellas are way very cool (not to mention handy). They’re great for outdoor garden work, taking the dog for a walk in the rain (nobody likes holding a leash, poop bag, and an umbrella) and hiking, the hats come in handy for all rainy day occasions. They’re super lightweight but sturdy and fold into a small travel-sized umbrella. Wear them on hot, sunny days to stay cool and keep out of the sun. Learn more or order here. 

Gizmos and Gadgets

Protect your valuables with AmazonBasics Security Safe
Whether you’re a fulltimer, leaving for a long vacation, or simply heading out for the weekend, you will likely carry some valuables with you. With the AmazonBasics Security Safe you can experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your prized and important possessions are protected. The compact safe offers a 0.5-cubic-foot capacity that accommodates a wide range of items, including legal documents, passports, jewelry, cash and more. Learn more.

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

Removes black streaks, cleans tires, degreases. And more
It’s almost as easy to say what this doesn’t do than what it does do. It works great on engines, wheels, tires, diesel exhaust and for removing ugly black streaks. Spray on, wipe dry – it’s that easy. It’s water based, biodegradable and ammonia free. It’s so good it meets the standards of Boeing and Airbus. Learn more or order at a really great price.

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

Trailer breakaway switch operation, and inverter questions
Gary received a letter from a reader with several questions about the trailer breakaway switch, as well as questions about the use of an inverter and how it might affect the operation of the breakaway switch. Read the questions and answers here.

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

Get rid of unwanted sounds with noise canceling headphones
These won’t knock out everything but they’ll knock out a lot. When you want some peace and quiet, whether at home or in a noisy campground, you’ll be glad you have these along. Even air travel becomes enjoyable, as engine roar fades away. These headphones get great ratings at a very affordable price. Learn more or order.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Take a road less traveled through Central Oregon

Hi Bob,
We’ve taken various routes from our winter camps in Southern California back up to Idaho, usually following the major freeways like Interstates 5 and 84 through Oregon, but this year we would like to find a good but less-traveled route where we can boondock along the way. Do you have any suggestions? —Harry and Nancy

Read Bob’s response.

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

Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Growing up as a Sinagua.

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

Love the desert? You need a cactus pillow!
You’ll need to be crazy to rest your head on a cactus, but not this comfy cactus pillow. It’s made of breathable Spandex and filled with contouring microbeads. Not only is this pillow soft and comfy, it’s a great conversation piece when visitors drop by. If you love the desert, how can you possibly go on living without one or two of these around? Learn more or order.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Can I add an AFCI in my RV?

Dear Mike,
I’m an RV Technician and enjoy reading your articles. I went to Amazon to look at the Extech CT70 and it asked me if I wanted the GFCI or the AFCI/GFCI version (CT80). Not being familiar with the AFCI, I did some light reading on arcing. So, now I’m wondering – can we use AFCI in an RV? And if so, would you recommend it on all circuits, outlets only, or some other configuration (kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms)? If we use AFCI and I connect the Neutral to the AFCI circuit breaker, and non-AFCI circuits use the Neutral bar, will this work OK? Thanks. —Derek

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

Was it belt separation or not, on a towed’s destroyed tire
Roger saw a post that started out with a claim of a belt separation on a front tire of a 2007 Jeep Sport while it was being towed behind a Class A rig. The owner posted a picture that Roger felt was suspicious as to the cause of the belt separation. Roger asked for more photos from the poster, and came to an interesting conclusion from analyzing the photos. Read more.

The largest, tiniest blanket for all your outdoor needs
Pack your beach bags and park picnics, it’s summer! OK, well, almost. What’s one thing we always need for a relaxing day outdoors? A blanket! This tiny, super lightweight travel blanket is great for RVers, campers, hikers, concert-goers and travelers. When folded up in its drawstring pouch, it fits in the palm of your hand. When unfolded, it’s a waterproof 55″x70″ two-person blanket. Be right back, we’re buying it here!

RV History
with Al Hesselbart

From slide-in to type C
In the late 1950s, slide-in pickup truck campers (identified initially as portable camp coaches) grew in popularity as an alternative to trailers or motorhomes since pickup trucks began to be accepted as family transportation and not commercial vehicles. Originally, truck campers were a box covering the bed of the truck into which a cot and a Coleman stove and cooler were placed.  The manufacturers of these basic units soon developed the concept of the cab-over bed as a feature to increase available space. Continue reading 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

Whole Wheat Icebox Cookies
A whole lotta whole wheat cookies. Do you like the idea of having fresh cookies every day from your toaster oven? For the RV cook, two things about icebox cookies bring them to standout stardom. First, you can make the dough days ahead. Second, you slice off and bake only as many cookies as you like each day. These cookies are “wicked good.” Get the recipe.

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


Honey, you still smell like dinner!
If something stinks in your 300-square-foot home on wheels…you want those odors out, fast! Cooking salmon with onion and garlic might smell good at first, but how do your hands smell two days later? Not good. This very helpful Rub-A-Way bar is the best magic trick you’ve ever seen. Use it like a bar of soap after handling anything smelly, and poof! the smell is gone. OK, so there’s some pretty neat science behind it, but we’ll stick with pretending it’s a magic trick ’cause that makes it more fun. Learn more or order here. 

Digital RVer

Street View will show you exactly where you’re going
Have you ever entered a destination in your Google Maps, and when you got there it wasn’t what you thought? How would you like to see a photograph of whatever is at that location? When Chris Guld asks Google to give her directions to an Elks Lodge where they want to park their RV for the night, for example, she likes to see a photo of that location. When she can actually see the sign for the Elks Lodge, it gives her a solid comfort feeling. Find out how easy it is to see where you’re going!

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are some recent webcasts: #138, Google Photos: including photos from computers, cameras; #139, What are Widgets?; and #140, Facebook Privacy settings, 5 action items. 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.

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.

Free and bargain camping
Walmart Supercenter # 3484, Pensacola, FL 
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Manager requires that RVers ask permission. Well-lit and level. Subway, Sonic, Chinese & Mexican restaurants, Hershey’s Ice Cream parlor across street. Gas station on site with diesel. Address: 2951 S Blue Angel Pkwy. GPS: 30.36152. -87.35995

Walmart Supercenter # 964, El Paso, TX 
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain required permission from Customer Service Desk. Level, well-lit, appears safe. There may be significant traffic noise. McDonald’s in store; Subway, Buffalo Buckets Wings in the adjacent strip mall; numerous other eating places near this intersection. Gas station on site with diesel fuel. Address: 9441 Alameda Ave. GPS: 31.68192, -106.31342

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 World of Coke
Atlanta, GA
If you find yourself in downtown Atlanta, treat yourself to a nice, cold Coke. Oh, and while you’re at it, why don’t you explore the 75,000-square-foot museum of America’s favorite soda too? Taste over 60 Coca-Cola products from around the world (yep, you heard that right, 60!!), look at old Coke memorabilia, play with interactive displays, and stand right in the middle of their bottle line to see how Coke is made. Psst. Not only do you get 60 free samples, you also get a free Coke on your way out! Scoreeeeee. Cheers! Visit the museum website here.

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.

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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.
• Tampa Bay Summer RV Show, 
June 7-10, Tampa, FL
• West Palm Beach Summer RV Show,
June 8-11, West Palm Beach, FL

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

It’s tornado season: Be prepared!
For about $18, you can rest assured that any time 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.

William Faulkner once refused a dinner invitation from President Kennedy’s White House. “Why, that’s a hundred miles away,” Faulkner explained. “That’s a long way to go just to eat.”

Bumper sticker of the week
Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

Funny/clever business slogan
Seen on an electrical service van in Sebastian, Florida: “Let Us Remove Your Shorts.” Thanks, Ed!

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

Joke of the Week
A week after Mozart died, a drunk walking by his grave heard faint, strange music. Terrified, he summoned a priest who heard the same thing. The priest summoned a local orchestra director. “Ah, yes,” the man said, recognizing that it was Mozart’s Ninth Symphony, but being played backwards. By now, a crowd had formed. “Ah, that’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backwards, too,” he said.  Then it was the Seventh … the Sixth … the Fifth …. Suddenly the music director realized what was happening and gleefully proclaimed to the crowd, “My fellow citizens, there is nothing to worry about. It’s just Mozart decomposing.”

Random RV Thought
If you absolutely cannot get your RV leveled for the night, be sure to position your RV so your head is higher than your feet. It will feel a lot better when you sleep than if your head is downhill. However, in that case you might have some interesting (or weird) dreams.

Worth Pondering
“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.”
“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.” —Barbara Bush (June 8, 1925 – April 17, 2018) 

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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.

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

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc ., is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2018 by

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M & M Kostenuk
4 years ago

I have a very strange request and have no idea how to advertise for this service. I am wondering where I can find a graffiti artist. We are going to strip down the decals on our 5th wheel and would love to have someone do a mural. nothing to large or over the top – something tasteful. We see graphics on trains and are quite sure that these are done on the down-low and they get no compensation for their work. We are willing to pay, within reason.

4 years ago

After leaving the Henry Ford museum I wondered when everyone went bigger. Meaning in the RV industry. I looked at the old style RVs and realize that one was the size we have and this famous couple lived in this 20 x 8 for the summer. As I looked at it I realized it was the same size as ours. How can anyone want to tow something much bigger then this when this size is fine with me. I mean maybe a 25 but nothing bigger. So I ask myself when did we get bigger? Was it when our weight bloomed? Who knows. All I know is I do not want anything bigger when i retire and have to live out of it or travel to new places. Mine has all the creature comforts I need. Go figure.

Kent Brown
4 years ago

I have a question for Mike. Why is it that whenever modify my 30 amp cable with a 3 prong plug adapter for use at a home with a GFI protected 15 amp or 20 amp outlet, it trips the GFI? I have to search for a plug that is not GFI protected which is often not available. Is there something I can do or something I can buy that will allow me to plug into a GFI protected outlet?

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  Kent Brown

Kent, it suggests you have something inside of your RV’s wiring that’s leaking current to the chassis. One way to troubleshoot this is to turn off all of your RV circuit breakers, then plug into a GFCI protected outlet. If it now holds and doesn’t trip, begin turning on RV circuit breakers one at a time until the GFCI trips. That’s the circuit to look at more closely. Could be something like a hot water heater with a pin-hole leak, or even a surge strip you’ve plugged into a wall outlet inside of your RV. Most people don’t realize that so-called surge strips all leak a substantial current to the ground via their MOV devices, and even two surge strips inside of your RV plugged into different outlets can be enough to trip a GFCI on the pedestal. So do your homework to identify the circuit and get back to me.

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago

I don’t think it was very responsible to ask RV’ers where they keep their valuables (or anyone to answer). You just saved a thief time in looking in the wrong places, and ideas where to look.

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago

Steven, we didn’t ask the name or address of those who responded or where they were at that moment. So how the heck could a crook figure out where to find those people’s valuables? And, I really doubt that many burglars are reading this newsletter for tips on how to rob our readers. So I don’t believe we were irresponsible at all.

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Thank you, Chuck, for your prompt answer. I was not referring to those specific people, but I would think many RV’ers hide things in the same places.
Anything on the internet is there forever and available to anyone. I would think doing a google search will come up with this thread.

Thank you. I do enjoy reading your newsletter.

4 years ago

Re. Fuel prices …. Thanks Chuck and RV staff for posting California prices (thought we wouldn’t notice! …) Now all planning to visit will know how much to budget. (Just visited Hawaii and their prices aren’t much different than Ca….)

Bill Moran
4 years ago

I find your editorials very interesting each week, but this week’s more so. My wife and I joined the ranks of full timers last November when we sold our house and hit the road. A question that we get all the time is “where are you from”. Since we were both military brats and I spent over 30 years in the military, neither of us feel from anywhere. Our birth states are just that. I have started to answer the question with “we are from America “. Which always brings on a curious look and more questions. We enjoy our new life style and the adventures it brings. Thank you for rvtravel. I find it interesting and informative and I always recommend it to our old and new friends we meet as we travel. Hope to see you along our travels should our paths cross.

Elaine Ashton
4 years ago

Chuck … not exactly the correct place for my question but I can’t find any place more appropriate … many months ago you talked about these little “creatures” that are on our eyelashes/eyelids … I had to assume that they created a problem for your eyes. I’d like to know the symptoms and what was done to bring those little buggers under control as I’m pretty sure you can’t completely eliminate them. What advice can you give me?

Walter Kreppein
4 years ago

We spent 6 weeks in North Myrtle SC this winter and we were amazed by the size of the 5th wheels and Class A”s occupied by only 2 people. It appears that folks need everything they have at home and more to be comfortable.

4 years ago

Those people should have asked ‘how is your adventure going’ vs travels. When you do what you are doing, every day is a new adventure.

John Hiler
4 years ago

You’ve never said who pays your way as you vagabond around the country. It’s not cheap to do what you are doing. A few columns on affordability would certainly separate the haves from the have-nots in perspective.

Judy Reed
4 years ago

Don’t believe Glasgow moved to North Dakota but thanks for mentioning my state. Any free plug we can get is appreciated!

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Judy Reed

Oops! Montana. I’ll change that.

4 years ago

In response to survey: we have a lock box which is anchored to the floor under the bed.

jackie kieler
4 years ago

What if the unexpected happens? We recently were in an accident(would love to send you a picture) and our RV was totaled 1000 miles from home. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. What to do? Is this a topic that you have written about? If not I would like to share our story so others may be prepared in case the unexpected occurs.

Chuck woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  jackie kieler

Jackie, yes please tell us and send a pic or two. Chuck

Glen Scofield
4 years ago

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed your Saturday newsletter. Your even-handed advocacy for RVrs is welcome and appreciated. That’s why I was sad to see you characterize the Moab, Utah fee increase as “$300” in a headline. While that is accurate, a $15 raise to $20 per night is not exhorbitant, nor is it unusual. While I realize that RVrs are often cheap, any price that allows the state and national park managers to maintain their properties should be welcomed and not sensationalized.

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  Glen Scofield

Glen, We said the fees went up 300 percent, not dollars. I don’t think that’s out of line for a headline. Little by little the government is raising its fees, and I think it’s something we should share with our readers when it happens, especially in an area as popular as Moab.

4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

I agree,look at the recent flap over Zinke’s idea to jack up National Park fees.Good thing many of us have the Access card.

4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

We know the problems with camping in the BLM campgrounds in Moab. We’ve been campground hosts for both BLM on the Colorado River (128) and at Arches NP…..there are numerous problems including lack of government funding, campers not paying, litter, and just the shear number of campers who want trash service, toilets, law enforcement, trail signs, parking etc.

Basically, Moab has been overrun because of the advent of technology and the entitled ones who don’t care to be responsible….we’ve seen it first-hand.

The raise in cost has been predictable and warranted.

Mike Sherman
4 years ago
Reply to  Glen Scofield

It is hard to ever defend a price increase when the evidence is clear….fees go up yet the maintenance declines….especially at California State Parks.

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