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Issue 845 • Week of May 12–18, 2018 #rvtravel
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
Hello again, this time from Osage Beach, Missouri.
Gail and I are on our way to Elkhart, Indiana, where we will participate in the first-ever RVillage Rally beginning next Thursday. I will present a seminar program about my early life as a “roving reporter” and the changes I’ve observed in RVing in the years since.
I was invited last week to participate in an RV industry conference phone call. About 15 industry leaders participated including CEOs and general managers of RV dealerships. The goal was to get a sense of what everyone was thinking about whether RV sales would continue to boom in the coming year. In the end, I concluded that there seemed to be concern that record-breaking sales simply cannot continue for much longer.
Some things I learned during the phone call:
So far this year, motorized RV sales are down, while towable sales are way up. Inventory at dealerships is significantly higher than last year. One dealer said that when he placed his orders for RVs last September at a big RV industry gathering he was told by his manufacturer’s rep that he should stock up because there was no way he could get RVs later if he sold out. The rep said the factory was working full speed and could not increase production.
Used RVs are in big demand at dealerships. One dealer said that last year at this time, nearly half his customers who bought new RVs were trading in their current one. He said that this year it’s only 19 percent. Dealers traditionally supplement their used RV inventory by shopping at wholesale auctions. The RVs are often those repossessed by lenders. But these days, the price of these used vehicles at wholesale prices are too high for the dealer to then sell and earn a profit. Dealers say they are giving their customers better prices lately on trade-ins.
One reason that towables sales are up so high is that many more people are buying trucks and SUVs these days as their primary vehicles. The vehicles are perfectly capable of pulling a small or lightweight towable. This makes it affordable for a would-be RVer to plop down $15,000 for a travel trailer, as there’s no additional expense of buying a more powerful tow vehicle.
RV TECHNICIAN SHORTAGE
Dealers talked about how the shortage of technicians is a big problem. There are so many RVs in their shops for repairs that they do not have enough technicians to routinely repair them promptly, or even to adequately do PDIs (pre-delivery inspections) on new ones recently arrived from manufacturers. Perhaps this explains in part why so many dealers let a buyer drive off their lot before checking out his or her RV first: The customer can return later to fix things that really should have been fixed before taking possession. Of course, the RVer may be need to wait weeks or longer for those repairs. The bonus for the dealer is those repairs will be paid for under factory warranties.
On a separate phone call, a friend told me that a dealer friend had complained to him that he was so busy that his few technicians could not repair RVs fast enough, making for long wait times. “I know I’ll have some unhappy customers when I can’t get their RVs back to them before their Memorial Day vacations,” he said.
DURING THE CONFERENCE CALL I was able to weigh in with my thoughts and I spoke passionately about the need for more places for RVers to stay. If not, I said, they will give up RVing entirely. Two industry leaders later commented that what I said made sense and should be addressed.
Meanwhile, our efforts to inform RVers about RV electricity and its potential dangers is picking up steam. Mike Sokol appeared in a radio program during the last month and also as the special guest on Greg Gerber’s RV industry podcast (listen here). He was profiled last week by RV Business Magazine and Woodall’s Campground Management about his efforts about RV electrical safety. Mike is setting up speaking dates for the remainder of 2018. If you are associated with a large RV show or rally, please let me know and I will contact Mike. He may be able to appear.
Finally, do not miss part two of our series on Lemon Laws. This week we better define what a lemon RV is, and if you have one where to find a lawyer who specializes in such cases.
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• First RV trip a disaster!
WRITERS WANTED: Are you an expert on RV solar power, tow vehicles, engine performance or any topic related to RVing that we don’t cover adequately? If so, maybe you should be writing for us. We pay. You won’t make a fortune, but we’ll do our best. Interested? Contact Deanna Tolliver at Deanna (at) RVtravel.com
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What to do if you’re stuck with a lemon RV
Last week, in the first installment of our lemon RV series, we asked if you think your RV may be a lemon. In part two this week we explain how (and where) to pursue legal action if you think you bought a lemon. For example, say that on your first trip the leveling jacks don’t operate. You take your RV back to the dealer, and the jacks are repaired, but your RV was there for three weeks. On your very next trip, the furnace quits. You make do with a space heater, but then return your RV again to the dealer, who tells you he’ll need to order parts. So your RV stays there for another two weeks. And the scene keeps repeating. . . Learn more.
The 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.
• RV industry grappling with worker shortage
• There’s no shortage of mountain goats in one national park, so they’re shipping out
• Snowbird Capital shooting leaves officer wounded, suspect dead
• Florida RV dealer facing slammer time for defrauding customers
• Dinosaur tracks in jeopardy at Utah park
• KZRV recalls trailers: Awning may fly off when RV is moving.
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.
What we learned about you last week
Wow! The survey results from last issue’s reader poll are a shocker! We were stunned at how many of you have been refused service by an RV dealer where you didn’t buy your RV. It happens a whole lot more than what we had imagined. We learned more about you in other polls during the week in our RV Daily Tips newsletter. Every week, we learn a little bit more about you, and we guess you learn more about your fellow RVers and RV Travel readers Click here.
Information you can learn from highway road signs
Do you sometimes wonder whether there is hidden, or at least not explained, information on road signs that may help you on your RV road trips? Maybe it’s information that is of value to long-haul truckers that would be good to know. Here are tips that will make your RV driving easier and safer. Watch the short video.
Check your AC outlets: Right voltage? polarity? ground? – It’s easy!
When Rich “The Wanderman” has access to 120 volt AC power, whether by using his generator or connecting a shore power cable, he ALWAYS makes sure the power he is receiving/using is up to snuff. In extreme cases, improper wiring at a campground or other power source could fry your electrical system and lots of expensive components. It’s easy to check before you connect – so why risk it? Learn more.
Statistics recommend don’t put the “pedal to the metal”
What kind of driver is more likely to kill you: a drunken driver or a speeding driver? The correct answer is: Both. Over the last decade, nearly the same number of people were killed by either impaired drivers or ones who had simply run it up over the limit. That’s the word from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But why does speeding push up the fatality rate? Find out here.
Trying to pay off your RV?
RVing should be about freedom, not monthly payments. The income you earn by renting it out could cover the cost of ownership — up to $4,250 a month for a Class A motorhome or $1,780 a month for a popup trailer. Find out how to rent your RV safely on Campanda.com.
This week’s Reader Poll
When boondocking on Federal lands, how much is west or east of the Mississippi?
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 an RV dealer refused to service your RV because you bought it elsewhere? Click here for the results.
Odors that make special appearances in extreme heat? Say goodbye!
The Unique Tank Odor Eliminator is the leader in hot weather odor elimination. If you’re tired of those disgusting smells coming from your RV bathroom in hot weather, or when you’re off the grid, say no more! These drop-in tablets work in both gray and black tanks, and will completely remove, not just mask, odors. Perfect for dry-campers who are worried about using too much water. Drop in a tablet, and flush! Learn more or order here.
Reader questions “frugal” RV relevance. What do you think?
Last week we published a story aimed at RVers looking toward a frugal lifestyle. The piece “Eat in or out – and still save some bucks” was barely on the internet when feedback came in from a reader, evidently frustrated with our topic. Read what he said and our response. If interested, there is also a poll.
Save money and time with DIY repairs
Do you dread a trip to an RV repair facility? Most do, as it is time-consuming – if they can even get you in – and will cost a lot of money. Avoiding such trips would be desirable, but maybe you feel that you don’t have the skills to perform most repairs yourself. Before you take your rig to the shop the next time, consider these steps to determine whether you might be able to do the repair – or installation – yourself. Read more.
Tips for best performance of your RV refrigerator
Your RV refrigerator looks and acts similar to a regular household refrigerator, except there are some differences. These tips from Chris Dougherty, Certified RV Technician, will help your RV refrigerator to perform as you would expect it to – even when it goes bounding up and down the highways. Watch the short video.
Fugitive still at large, may be in Wisconsin campground
Officials in Calumet County, Wisc., are asking campers to be on the lookout for a wanted man who could be hiding in an area campground. U.S. Marshals have been searching for 38-year-old Dallas Christel since March. Although he’s most likely in a Wisconsin campground, he has connections in Michigan and Colorado, too. Learn more.
Winnebago debuts new way to get parts for motorhomes
To make it easier for owners of Winnebago motorhomes to get parts and accessories for their RVs, Winnebago has debuted a new online service to help speed the process along. It advises on its website: “Your Winnebago dealer is your first source for genuine Winnebago parts…. If you are on the road, Winnebago dealers can even ship parts directly to you. If a dealer is not convenient, you can contact us for assistance.” Learn more.
Need mail forwarding? Choose the best!
Choose Americas Mailbox! It’s the best, endorsed by RVtravel.com 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.
Thumbs up from our readers – April 2018
Tired of so much upsetting/depressing/negative news? Want to read something positive for a change? Here are some recent “thumbs up” letters and comments we’ve received from our readers. Interesting and uplifting! Read more.
How to avoid getting a tick-borne disease
It’s a fact that you will likely encounter more ticks in the month of May than any other. Too bad that May is also the month when we want to spend more time outside – hiking, walking, visiting state parks and all the other places our RVs can take us. More ticks means more “opportunities” to contract one of the many diseases that ticks carry. Here are steps to prevent you and your family – and your pets – from getting a tick-borne disease. Learn more.
DIY: Revitalize your dinette cushions with new foam
When RV manufacturers need to save a few bucks, where do they shave? Where the rump meets the road – the quality of foam rubber in cushions. A few years of sitting down at the dinette may be an exercise where you feel you need a parachute for a soft landing. Taking the bumps out of your bum doesn’t necessarily require hiring out an upholstery professional — in many cases, you can do it for less yourself! Find out how.
The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user-friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi! Seven days per week sales & technical support & over 13 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.
Readers’ comments on recent articles
Recent popular articles that attracted high numbers of reader comments
• Let there be obnoxious lights in the RV park.
• Has a dealer refused to service your RV because you bought it elsewhere?
• RV industry publications ignore major news item.
• Retractable leashes: Dangerous for you and your dog.
• Got a Lemon RV? Help is available (sometimes).
• Feeling dumped on at the RV dump.
• Best-selling RVs – Is yours on the list?
• Letter to editor: RVer turned off by RV parks.
• Eat in or out – and still save some bucks.
More popular articles from last week’s issue
• Letters: RVs built for ‘living’ not ‘RVing’.
• Free 2018 dinghy towing guide now available.
• Refrigerator failure: Replace or repair?
• Fugitive may be hiding in campground. Seen him?
• New RV owner asks: How much inflation in my tires?
• Take a picture inside a pipe, and other places you can’t see.
• Why is no water coming out of hot water faucet?
Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at more than 590 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 RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
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.
RV 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.
Ask the RV Shrink
Why not try Murphy’s law in reverse
Dear RV Shrink:
My wife is a closet pessimist. She seems positive most of the time, but she has this irritating habit of calling tiny incidents “Murphy’s law.” It’s harmless but it drives me nuts. I always know when it’s coming. We will be driving across flat, empty Texas for hours without seeing another vehicle and just when I come to a narrow bridge I will pass a semi-trailer. I hear from the passenger seat, “Murphy’s law.” …
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.
New & interesting finds at Amazon.com
See what really cool stuff Amazon is featuring today. It’s a whole lot of fun just browsing through all these great items. The selection changes every day, so check back often. You never know what you will find, which is part of the fun of visiting here. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s just plain entertaining to explore this department at Amazon. Check it out
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.85 (on May 7). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Up 47 cents. [Calif.: $3.63]
Diesel: $3.17 (on May 7). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 61 cents. [Calif.: $3.86]
Camco Store at Amazon.com
There isn’t much you need for your RV that Camco doesn’t have. If you think we’re kidding, then click through to the Camco store on Amazon where you’ll find some of their best-selling products — all for your RV or for you to make your RVing better. Click here and you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.
The RV Vet
With Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM
Reader needs advice about cat with travel anxiety
Dear Dr. Deanna,
I was wondering if you could point me in the best direction to help our cat. He has been an inside/outside cat for his whole life. He is adjusting well to the RV space, but gets terribly upset and has bad tummy issues when we get going in the truck. …
Read the rest of the question and Dr. Deanna’s advice.
Water is y0ur RV’s enemy. Keep it away!
The Zircon Leak Alert electronic water detector will alert you if it detects water where it’s not supposed to be. Put it in your storage compartments, by the toilet, the water heater compartment — anyplace where unwanted water could appear. A loud alarm will sound when water is detected, and you can get right to work fixing the problem before the water does damage. Comes in 2, 5 or 8 packs. Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety Tip
The best fire extinguisher for your RV
Check your fire extinguisher’s markings so you’ll know what materials it will work on. Ideally, you should have an extinguisher with symbols for all classes on it. A noncorrosive designer foam extinguisher is effective on Class A and Class B fires, which make up more than 90% of all RV fires. Designer foam extinguishers are user-friendly, environmentally safe, and convenient for RV travel. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy.
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!
Get ALL your wheels aligned
Got strange tire wear issues? When was the last time you had your RV wheels aligned? Motorhomes are obvious candidates, but even towable RV wheels can need alignment. Not every corner tire shop can do it, so be prepared to make a few phone calls to find one that can.
Using the roof air while driving serves two purposes
Most big motorhome owners realize that using the dashboard air often doesn’t cut it to keep cool while driving. Firing up the generator and using the roof air keeps the rig cool easily — with an added benefit: Since generators need to be “exercised” regularly, running the roof air while underway is a great way to get in that generator maintenance time.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Deanna (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it 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
Gizmos and Gadgets
BoxKat is not a better mouse trap –
It’s Better Than a mouse trap!
Tom Sharp has been dealing with expensive, and stinky, mouse damage to his beautiful 1991 Acura NSX for 25 years. He’s tried everything available to limit the damages, none of which were totally effective. A couple of years ago he realized the only practical answer was a barrier that physically excludes mice from vehicles and RVs, so he came up with a patent-pending design to do just that. We haven’t tried it, but maybe it will work. Learn more.
Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click here.
NEW EDITION FOR 2018
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2018 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Why use synthetic blocks under tires on asphalt?
You have recommended using non-absorbing, synthetic blocks under the footprint of the tires when parked on asphalt. Would you explain why? —Don B.
Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.
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!
with Bob Difley
National Scenic Byways provide magnificent scenery and camping
We like boondocking whenever possible, especially in scenic areas. But when we’re traveling through a new area we don’t always know where to look. I’ll bet you have some good ideas you could pass on to us boondockers – without, of course, giving away your favorite secret spots. —Marcia and Dick
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
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.
with Mike Sokol
RV’s power outlets are melting. Help!
I noticed the outlet for our microwave in the motorhome had started to melt. Upon removal of the outlet I saw that the wires’ connections were not screws but pressed into a pronged connection. I replaced the outlet with a standard screw-type outlet. I checked other outlets and discovered the one to the washing machine also was burned and melted due to these press-on connections being loose and heating up. I don’t know if the RV industry still uses these but would advise people to check all their outlets, especially high-amperage appliances. —Ray
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Fire 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.
RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
How do I set inflation on my tow vehicle and RV tires?
Roger got this question from someone who reads RV forums: “Good evening. I’m looking for some professional advice. I have a 2500 HD pulling a fifth wheel, my steer axle is 4,000 lbs., drive axle is 5,380 lbs., and our trailer is 7,700 lbs. Tires on the TV are rated for 3,100 lbs. apiece at 80 psi. The RV tires are rated for 2,800 lbs. at 80 psi. …” Read the rest of the question and Roger’s easy-to-understand answer.
Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows
Where and when to look for Mars – the Red Planet
This week Chris talks about Mars and points you in the right direction to view this wondrous little neighbor. Mars has gotten a huge amount of attention from NASA over the last couple of decades and we, as informed taxpayers, should probably try to understand why. Very interesting!
Camping 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
In this week’s “On The Road” dispatch, Charles visits a small Kansas hotel and cafe where you can arrive by car, or better yet drop out of the sky in your plane. Oh, the runway is the main street, so watch out for cars as you set down.
Do you love Charles Kuralt? Order a 9-DVD set of his “On the Road” reports.
Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
When heating your food you don’t want to spend 10 minutes later cleaning the splatters inside the microwave. Here’s the solution — and perfect for RVers: it pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer, too! Learn more or order at Amazon.com
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Italian Rice Soup
Set the scene with soup. Capture the aromas of Tuscany in this savory soup. It’s just the ticket for a cold night in the campground when you’re tired after the day’s drive and hooking up. The soup can be made ahead of time for a quick warmup in the microwave. In fact, it’s so good the second day it’s a good idea to make a double or triple recipe and freeze in batches sized for your own needs. Get the recipe.
Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at Amazon.com, including “The Survival Food Handbook.”
BEST-SELLERS IN KITCHEN AND DINING AT AMAZON.COM
Answer to trivia question in the email alert for this issue.
The photo was taken in Oklahoma, on the highway to Mount Scott, one of the highest mountains in Oklahoma. The Army’s Fort Sill, north of Lawton, is nearby. It remains the only active Army installation of all the forts on the South Plains during the Indian Wars.
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.
The RoVing Naturalist
with Dennis Prichard
Leave that baby bird you find alone!
Spring is the time for babies in nature: Birds are nesting, bunnies are cavortin’, and deer fawns are dropping like last fall’s leaves. RVers may encounter some of these young animals while interacting with our wild outdoors, whether taking a serious hike or even just overnighting in a parking lot. But do you know how to deal with the inevitable “lost baby”: the bird on the ground, the fawn lying very still in tall grass, or a hutch of baby bunnies in a nearby grass clump? Our hearts tell us one thing, but we need to let reason prevail here. Learn more.
Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order
RV Short stop
Harmony Inn in Pennsylvania – a haunted historical experience
Located in a National Landmark District in rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, the historic Harmony Inn entices visitors with 30-some craft brews, a mouth-watering German-inspired lunch and dinner menu, and tales of “a little girl in a white dress roaming the upstairs.” Originally built in 1856 as an Italianate-style mansion for a prominent businessman, it then operated as a hotel and saloon, and since 1985 as one of the first craft beer bars in Butler County. Read Julianne G. Crane’s article.
Don’t let high water pressure blow out your pipes!
This should be a required accessory for your RV, one that could save you thousands of dollars in repair bills. Some RV parks have water pressure so high it can blow out your system — a big, major repair bill “ouch!” Join the RV Travel staff in using this highly rated item to prevent that from happening. Learn more or order.
Free and bargain camping
Walmart Supercenter # 2608, Miles City, MT
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Permission from customer service desk is required. Level, quiet, well-lit and appears safe. Rib/chop house, and Dairy Queen adjacent to lot. Address: 3205 Stower St. GPS: 46.4045, -105.8208
Gateway to Northeast Iowa Welcome Center, Nashua, IA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from staff on duty. Park in gravel area of the lot, without obstructing movement by other vehicles. Small lot best suited for small RVs. Level, well-lit, but possible light US 218 traffic noise. Appears safe. Address: 10 Amhearst Blvd. GPS: 42.9556, -92.54783
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 demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
Casino Guide includes RVer info
The highly rated 2018 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.
Upcoming RV Shows
• 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.
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com. UPDATED HOURLY.
While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. —National Geographic
Bumper sticker of the week
Free range humans and a couple of dogs. —On Pete Doddato’s RV. Thanks, Pete!
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to Gail (at) RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Fred Brown is on his deathbed, the end near. His nurse, wife, daughter and two sons are at his side. He asks for two witnesses as he records his last wishes. “My son Bernie, you take the Mayfair houses. My daughter Sybil, you take the apartments in the East End. Jamie, my son, you take the offices at City Center. Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings along the river.” The nurse and witnesses are blown away by the man’s words. The nurse says, “Mrs. Brown, your husband must have been a brilliant businessman to have accumulated all that property.” The wife replies, “Property? Oh, no … he has a paper route!”
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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.
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About the RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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Regarding replacing dinet foam : my DW says place the foam inside a plastic bag which will grately facilitate the placing of the foam into the cover ,then tear the bag out of the case! Hope that helps!!
Too few techs can repair anything. If not too tough most can replace a part. It is a rare tech that can conceive a mod to improve or work around a problem. Just reading some forums it is easily seen some owners should never own an RV, a car, or have a drivers license.
I was informed by my Ford dealer that you can not replace standard brake, stop and turn signal bulbs with LED bulbs I would like to know if this is true. The bulbs are listed as replacements.
Tried using LED in 2003 Nissan Frontier. Brake and signal worked fine but cruise control quit working. Went back to standard bulbs and cruise worked. Difference in resistance I believe.
Yes, it’s a resistance thing. My Sprinter van will shut down its cruise control if a brake light bulb burns out, or a different type of bulb is installed. That’s because the ECM (Engine Control Module) scans for bad-bulb messages from the various lighting assemblies in the vehicle. That’s why there’s a class of LED replacement bulbs that include a load resistor to make them measure like the original tungsten bulbs.
Seems a little crazy to waste the electricity you’re potentially saving upgrading to LED’s, but that’s how it works. But while you’ll need LED bulbs with load resistors for turn signal and brake lights, you don’t want them for interior 12-volt lights you’re upgrading to LEDs. That’s because they can get really hot, possibly hot enough to melt the plastic in the light socket.
I’m doing some experiments on this topic for a future seminar and No~Shock~Zone article, but that’s all the info I have for now.
I wanted to try RVing and bought a very old rig 1995 Georgie Boy Pursuit.
I am a building mechanic by trade.
I threw new tires on it first year and got it to pass inspection.
Cost, about $3000.00 after all was said and done to at least get it road worthy.
Paid $4500.00 for the rig as is.
Since then every year I have invested at least $1000.00 in parts and done all the labor myself sometimes with help from a neighbor that works for DOT as a mechanic.
In four years I have replaced many things, mostly stuff that wears out with time.
But after looking at new rigs at two different dealers.
We decided to keep old teller.
We entered no less than 10 rigs on those lots and the least amount of items wrong or broken in any one rig was four.
I’m a working stiff, and I enjoy RVing, but would rather shell out thousand dollar increments than thousands and still end up having to repair things.
Least with the old rig I know where I stand.
I really have to disagree with you here on getting that RV fixed. If you do your homework you can find someone reasonable to fix the RV within a month or less. If you know you need your RV fixed by what I have been told is to make arrangements in the winter when most people do not go camping. This applies to the northern states. But also can apply to other states that do not have winter. Reason being is most people are too broke after Xmas to go on any more vacations until Memorial Day. So do your homework and call around. I disagree with Chuck. There are RV technicians but some don’t work at ones who do not do a great job or over book campers just for the money. General RV and Camping World have done a great job with ours. But I want the bathtub out and a shower installed. But from what I am seeing keeping the tub is worthwhile since I have two dogs that get into everything. So do your homework and happy camping. We will miss it this year.
In reply to the Shrink’s “Murphy’s law?” this week. Have you heard of Smiths law? Murphy was an optimist
Issue 845 – Splendid
Well, we are sitting here at the Tiffin Service Center in Red Bay, AL getting a few minor repairs on our 2011. We are hearing all kinds of horror stories of 2018s coming off the line with major problems, like roofs sagging, door flying open, countertops off by 2”, etc. Lots of paint repairs. It makes me very sad. I guess Bob Tiffin had stepped away for a while and the sons took over. Supposedly, he is back now. We bought Tiffin because of the good rep and reviews. There is a couple who has been here for 4 weeks and they are walking through the plant every step of the way while there new one is being built. I’d hate to have to do that, but I would if I was fortunate enough to buy a new one. Very sad.
I have questions (Poll?) for other subscribers:
How do you heat water in your RV? Tankless or Tank?
Those who have Tankless on-demand systems, what is your experience with your product?
I am currently researching the Truma Comfort system and am not finding a reliable source of actual customer feedback.
I have the tankless on-demand system and it has worked perfectly from day one since I bought this unit back in Aug 2013.
Is that the Truma you have or another? I thought Truma just came out a year or so ago.
Thank you for the reply Ron.
Is there really such a thing in the RV world as “Factory Trained Technicians”? Which “factories” invite repair folks to bring them up to speed? I’m thinking (afraid!) most technicians have learned the trade with OJT. Some are really good – and the rest – well.
Do Not MISS the REDHEAD LAKESIDE GRILL at Osage. Last week the Chicken Tenders and Mac & Lobster Apps some best ever had. A real treat , road to was a little steep. But a stop that should not be missed.
The highest point in Oklahoma is Black Mesa, located in the very NW corner of the panhandle.
One of the hobbies I have started in retirement is visiting state high points. I currently have 32 under my belt, one being Black Mesa. Love getting the letter every week!
Wait until you get to California or Alaska !!!
Good morning Chuck. Here in Saskatchewan we have a government vehicle insurance. Your insurance comes with your annual licence. You can then top it up with a package policy either from SGI or private.
Currently on SGI’s salvage site where they sell off weekly written off vehicles there are 10 written off RV’s due to rodent infestations.
For an RV owner this can be a terrible experience.
My daughters trailer is a “Cruiser” fifth wheel. It may as well have a big sign on it saying mice and squirrels welcome. Come on in. We have done some preventive measures but have not been able to stem the tide.
The industry needs to start to address this issue at factory.
I have read here of the shortage of qualified rv repair persons. So where do they go to be trained? We have a large auto mechanic training facility at our local junior college but I doubt they train any for rv repair. We have a definite shortage of repair facilities in my area. I know places like Wyo-Tec don’t train them either. They also don’t train for older vehicles. What should be done to change this?
One of the problems with any repair is there are no mechanics anymore. Sure we have highly trained technicians who can plug a vehicle into a diagnostic computer but they can’t “think” for themselves. It’s the older people who can take a problem, analyze it in their head and make the required fix.
George, we had a problem with our Dodge truck in that it would start sucking back every so often as we were traveling down the highway . Spent about $1500 in New York to repair this problem but it continued. Spent another $500 along our route south to repair the problem but it continued. Finally, at D&J Auto in Checotah Oklahoma, someone realized the problem would be solved by merely rerouting a wire so it didn’t continually short out. Cost – nothing! Give me those ‘good ole boys’ who know how to look at a problem…and solve it! Unfortunately, with all the computerized systems going into a vehicle nowadays, the ‘good ole boys’ don’t stand a chance.
BINGO.I used to be a diesel mechanic and in those days we rebuilt starters,alternators,water pumps and just about anything that was rebuild-able. Today’s so called “mechanics” couldn’t fix a kids tricycle.Blame the EPA,auto industry or whatever…but common sense went out with Ozzie and Harriet.