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2 years ago

I’ll admit I get a little turned off by frequent complaints about how hard it is to find campgrounds and how many RVs are sold. One thing that would help is when you talk about how full campgrounds are is to talk about how you can manage that. You may have done this some but to provide options. We have always avoided popular places when they are busy and so far have never had a problem. That isn’t always possible but if you plan ahead when needed and don’t get upset when places are full you will do better. If campgrounds were always 1/2 full and easy to get into many of them would probably close. If they don’t make money they won’t stay open. I know of a campground in WA that was recently sold and they are planning an expansion. They are always full during the peak season and expensive, but they need that as in the winter they are rarely full.

2 years ago
Reply to  mike

I’m with you Mike! I too am tired of always hearing about all the RV’s being sold. Unfortunately, most of the RV’s that are shipped from the manufacturer are not always sold right away. Many just sit on Dealers lots and some of them for years before being sold! You see it all the time driving down the interstate, hundreds of RV’s sitting. Planning ahead for your RV Stay, like My Wife and I do, is a must. Stay away from the crowded BIG Attraction areas.

Don Callahan
2 years ago


How about a “tips” column about clever ways to improve the livability of a RV.? Print note worthy submissions.

Tom Rooney
2 years ago

Chuck, you comment on worthless extended warranties, then have advirtisments for them , Does this mean you endorse the quality of anything that is advirtised in the newsletter? Or are we just susposed to know you need the money and we are susposed to know which items are junk or worthless?

Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Rooney

Hi Tom. I don’t recall saying they were worthless. I have advised not paying $8,000 for one at Camping World (then financing it for 15 or 20 years). Our surveys on this subject have always resulted in a mixed bag — those who swear by an extended warranty and those who do not like them. Interestingly, Gail and I have filed three claims on an extended warranty (in the last six months) we inherited when we bought our used motorhome two years ago. It has paid for a new water heater, sway bar and two rear jacks. We had to pay $100 each time for the deductible, but the rest was paid for by the extended warranty company. So I am personally not for or against them. If our present extended warranty advertiser didn’t like something we said and dropped its advertising, the loss of the income would make very little difference to us. The name of our extended warranty company is Portfolio,

Fred Burns
2 years ago

Chuck, this may not be a game changing idea, but there are two things that current rvers, especially fulltimers, need to make their lives & travels easier. We have reliable data bases & web sites for campgrounds, dump sites, Walmarts, & all other kinds of shopping or service needs except two of the most important ones. We don’t have a good source of info on laundromats or propane refill locations.
The laundromat locations in the typical gps are unreliable & are frequently out of business or are in poor condition with many broken machines. The internet Yellow pages isn’t much more reliable.
My gps & the Yellow pages also don’t show many of the propane locations. I’ll check my gps & the internet before travelling thru a town & find nothing. Then when I travel thru the town I notice 3 or 4 locations, but many are closed if it’s late or on a weekend.
The rv community needs a good source of info on propane & laundromat locations, just like the current ones on boondocking & dump stations.
The laundromat list needs to have info on:
-how many machines, front or top load
-operating hours
-cleanliness rating

The propane info needs to include operating hours, but probably not pricing as it changes too often. This list should also specify if this is a tank exchange only location, since most rvers want a refill, not an exchange.
Hopefully someone out there will develop these info databases.

2 years ago

Chuck, I really enjoy the way you write your News Letters…”off the cuff”. It’s like you’re talking directly to me, not scripted. I know you can’t please everybody ‘all’ the time, but just being yourself is the best way to do it. You ain’t Ann Landers by a long shot, but keep up the good work, man. I still have my ’88 Dolphin but don’t go RV’ing anymore, but really envy everyone out there every time I see a rig going down the road.
I’ll get back out there again, one day soon.

Larry j welsh
2 years ago

I can’t figure out how to use this newsletter prompts to donate. This newsletter is so good I feel guilty reading it and not giving to keep it going.

2 years ago

For a lot of these comments and questions about general RVing issues and things like setting up setting up, how to do this, how to do that, etc. can be found on the numerous forums on the internet. If you started trying to keep up with all that kind of stuff, your newsletter would be 10 pages long. Maybe some readers aren’t aware of the RV forums out there. Maybe you could touch on this one of these days…

2 years ago

Chuck- you are so right-on about millenial YouTubers. I just recently started watching RV videos, and they seem to be more about themselves than what their subject matter is, i.e. camping, and trying to make money without working. It’s usually 90% their own face time with no valuable info. I commented about that on one of their videos, and they got mad at me, so I just look and don’t comment. I also don’t “like” or “subscribe”.

Barbara Hagen
2 years ago

I’m on a number of Facebook groups that feature articles about RVing. Many of them feature posta about going fulltime. They proudly say they have sold their house and going out on the road. They have no clue what they are getting into they are only looking at the glory of being an RVr. Would like to see an article about the real life of a fulltimer What we have gone thru.. what is required and the good the bad and the ugly.

2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Hagen

Glory? What glory, this is everyday life with ups and downs. They may be some that are different, but they are still ups and downs. Don’t misunderstand, I love it, and have no plans to give it up, but glory?

2 years ago

Chuck, keep being blunt and honest about things. You say things that many of us think but are afraid to say. That is how Trump was elected – he spoke for the average guy. You speak for the average RVer. Does everything in your newsletter apply to me? No, I read what does or interest me and skip what doesn’t. We do the same with newspapers, magazines, etc. so how is your newsletter any different?

As for the guy whose floor is sagging – I would check into the disability act (forget their formal name) and see what they can offer as far as help now and to make the RV manufactures stick to a code when building one claiming to be wheelchair safe. But I guess it only said wheelchair accessible not safe. That will be their escape clause.

As for poor quality coming out – they rush through manufacturing to maximize profits. Until companies – manufacturers and dealers demand better quality, it won’t change.

2 years ago

I have to let you know that I wanted to answer the survey for the ‘Let there be obnoxious lights in the RV park’ article, but my answer was not available. If I would have had a place to leave a write in vote, here is how I would have responded:
I am bothered by the obnoxious lights, but I can’t get my husband to turn them off.

Mark Evenson
2 years ago

Chuck, good day to you and your staff.
In your editorial today you are asking yourself how to make the newsletter better? I am not sure that you want suggestions from your readers, but , in case you do.
I believe that there may be a group of RVers that you are not reaching. I may be wrong. I bet you have your own stats.
I have been subscribed to this newsletter for about a year, I look forward to all it has to offer, especially your editorial.
I own and use a Casita travel trailer. I also consider it an RV. Perhaps there is an unwritten definition of RV that limits it to a motor driven vehicle unitized with living space. I believe all Travel Trailers are in fact Recreational Vehicles. I use mine the same as class A, B or C units. I stay in the same parks, and enjoy some of the same comforts, albeit on a smaller scale.
I am not alone. There are thousands of folks who tow their recreational vehicles. Is it that folks that tow don’t want to be associated with the term RV, or is it that those who own motor driven unitized recreational vehicles, don’t want to be associated with towable trailer folks?
There are rallys all across this country and Canada filled with folks who use Travel trailers. There are similar problems with construction of a majority of stick and metal trailers, ( glad mine is fiberglass).
May not be a major benefit for you to teach out and include travel trailers in your RV magazine, but from what I see, it would be a unique approach, not taken by any other recreational vehicle mag, except as seen this month in Trailer Life, a rare article about Oliver travel trailers.
As a final personal observation, when I walk around the RV park of choice, all the folks greet me the same, no matter what kind of rig they stepped out of.


Bo Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Evenson

Well Mark, I agree that a vehicle used to camp in, is a recreation vehicle (RV). I respect all up-right campers and their RVs. Hey, I wave and I’ll talk to you.

Several times he has and does indeed speak of travel trailers, 5th wheels (which is a travel trailer), truck campers, class Bs, Class As, tent trailers and tents and sometimes a homemade rig.

I love it when Chuck mentions something in my area of the USA.

Paul Terry
2 years ago

Until there is some oversight of RVs by an independent source I would not look to see much improvement in quality. Before you buy check it out or have someone who has the knowledge give you an opinion. The obvious trend is less regulation.

2 years ago

What to write about?
There are dozens of new products for RV’s coming out all the time. But because of the good old boy system in Elkhart it takes years before we see them installed or offered by the OEM’s (if ever). I would suggest that someone like RV Travel provide and in depth review of these products in the weekly newsletter. Many of these products have been out for years but because of big business politics the average RV owner never hears about them.
This would help RV owners educate themselves as to the latest advances in technology and hopefully if enough people start requesting the products from there local dealers. It may help to push the OEMs to bring them out sooner rather than later. The sad news it that many good ideas never make it pass their initial offering because of big business politics.

Mountain Man
2 years ago

I don’t know about anyone else, but as I opened this mornings newsletter I was struck by the lack of ANY advertisements or side bars. As I read Chuck’s opening letter, I thought maybe that was on purpose as he talked about “a big ol’ game changing idea.” Was this it, or am I wrong?

2 years ago

Chuck, I have a rant that no one has addressed before and I’m not sure why. So here goes. And this is but one example.
Traveling down the road in or towing, you have a flat or worse, a blowout. No ones hurt and you safely get to the side of the road. After surveying the damage you notice there is also a age to the inner fender well and some wires or pipes (blue or red) are hanging out. Now, an untrained mind can tell this is not just about the tire (which still needs to be repaired), but what about all that other damage? Joe the tire guy ain’t gonna fix that. So, here you are, waiting for the tire to be repaired or replaced, and your mind has now picked up on the “other” things that also need repaired.
Will the water work?
What about those wires hanging down? What do they go to?
Will the camp or RV spot know of a repairman who may be able to help?
So, you call your “Bumper to Bumper” Warranty only to find out it has to be inspected by one of their Company’s Agents before they can approve any or all those repairs of hanging wires and red and blue PVC lines. (All the while, Spot-the dog, your beautiful wife, and two teenagers and their friends, are patiently waiting for this whole situation to be over with).
My issue is “what now?” What do we do? Do we fix the flat and turn tail to home? What?
Who can I call to help me decide? It’s not like there’s “A Good Neighbor” when your stuck on the side of the road.

2 years ago
Reply to  John

We had a similar experience – but no warranty. You have touched on an important fact with this post. When a tire blows it is incredibly powerful and will likely take out something else under the RV, i.e., wiring, mud flap, other. Our experience – headed to the nearest tire shop, sat in the waiting room for two hours, with our kitten in a bag, while they replaced the tire. New tire but torn wire that took out the electrical – go home or go camping. We went camping, had a great time, took RV to shop for repair after we got home. So lessons learned – 1. If there is any doubt that the rig is not driving quite ‘right’. Get to a tire dealer asap and have the tires checked; 2. If a tire blows, it will likely damage something else on the rig as there is lots of exposed stuff under there; 3. Hope your wait for help is not long, that you can keep calm and that, even if things are not quite normal, you are safe and able to proceed as best meets your need.

David Boland
2 years ago

I love what you do and love how you do it! Thank you for the effort you put in for everyone’s benefit

Greg Kanne
2 years ago

Relative to this week’s essay about you getting a job… I just wouldn’t associate you with this George Thorogood song.

2 years ago

Good morning – RV Travel is an incredible resource and people need to understand the level of effort it took to create and the enormous effort it takes to maintain. Joe Hewitt has some good thoughts and suggestions. BUT I’m not sure he is aware of just how much work each requires to become a reality, let alone the enormous effort to manage/maintain each. That said, how can RV Travel be the very best in a few areas that really matter to Chuck? Yes, it is for ‘the RV people’ but if you do not enjoy doing it, well, you know how that goes – you will lose interest. OK that’s my soapbox rant.
I get your comment about company surveys but what really rankles me is that many are geared to the ‘neutral’ response that the companies report as ‘glowing’ acceptance. How can I rate a service/company before I’ve had an ‘issue’ that tests the service/company response. Ask me about my experience AFTER the water pump leaked during my first outing following the purchase of the rig. How was the situation handled by the company, service people, etc. Yes, we need better surveys, that really expose the good/bad/ugly.
Back to your letter today. I’m interested in campsite/campground reviews from people that really use them – cost, amenities that matter (environment, electric, water, other), noise levels/courtesy level (generator use), etc. Reviews should include every type of campsite. Free: overnight stop overs, State/National parks, city parks, fairgrounds, private campgrounds, etc. RV Travel has been touching on these but it would be nice to see them organized under each State’s name.
I’m also interested in a group that reports real ‘tips & tricks” that make RVing easier and better. From rig info to lifestyle info to current & new products (i.e., bike racks, etc). The RV Travel group that helps with issues RVing poses is terrific. I’ve used it a number of times and it’s really helpful. There is a need to separate Tips & Tricks and Help/Support into two distinct groups.
And, yes, it would be nice to find a way to hold the RV industry accountable. We should all take some responsibility to support this effort. The challenge: a method to gather information that is not too complicated and the results are real, focused, and meaningful. Could be a real can of worms.
RV Travel videos are invaluable, electricity newsletter is invaluable, web suggestions are invaluable, actually there is nothing that is not of value. BUT you can do just so much with the resources you have and what you, yourself, can/want to manage. So, I come back to this question, what matters to you?

2 years ago
Reply to  JBC

Look at Campendium for reviews. They also have an iPhone app.

2 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Thanks Linda

Jerry Collis
2 years ago

I have been reading your articles for awhile now and find most things applicable . However, what I haven’t seen is tips on setting up you RV properly. I do not to belittle a seasoned RVer, but I’ve seen many RV’s parked with wheels of the ground. I’m sure there has not been one sales center that, during the walk through, has mentioned that this is not how to steady your rig. Those jacks may be powerful enough to lift your rig, but they were never meant to hold it up for days.
Maybe it’s time to remind all of those campers how to level their rigs.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Collis

I have seen that too. When I say something their reply is: it is only for overnight!

Our MH is lower in the front so often we have to put boards under the front tires to get level. Right now the park we are in, we have 4 2×6 boards under the front which meant putting the block under the front jacks, raising the front as high as possible, put boards under tires, lower and repeat again to get level because our site is higher in the back than the front. But we will never leave the tire up in the air. If I can turn it then it needs to go down or up and put another board under it.

Bo Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  rvgrandma

If the rear tires on most motor homes are off the ground, there is no brake or park securing it to the site.

My motor home was lower in the front also. I replaced the coil springs with heavier coil springs along with shock absorbers. It helped a lot. the front sits higher and it drives better.