Wednesday, November 29, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 852

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!

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Issue 852 • Week of June 30–July 6, 2018   #rvtravel

Guest editorial
By Mike Sokol

There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to adjust the monitor. We are controlling the transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. [Remember “The Outer Limits”?]

Hi everyone. This is Mike Sokol sitting in for Chuck this week. If you’re disappointed, don’t worry because Chuck will be back in the saddle next Saturday with his essay. But for today’s issue he’s asked me to do an update on the problem of generator noise. We both feel it’s an important and timely topic, so here I am.

So what’s all this noise about generators? 
Let’s call June “Generator Noise Month.” I’ve written several feature articles in the last few weeks about the noise levels caused by different types of generators, answered numerous comments and emails on this topic, made a video comparing the noise levels of open-frame and inverter generators, and even the RV Shrink has a column today about someone running a noisy generator all day just to power his TV set. Read it below or here. And for reference, here’s my basic article on generator noise: ABC’s of Generator Noise, and my graduate-level article including an explanation of dB SPL math: Generator Noise Pollution – Part I. 

The real question driving all these articles, emails and comments is how much noise can we tolerate from portable generators in a campground situation? I’ve shown you the math, done the measurements myself, and created a few eye-opening (ear-opening?) demonstrations. And I do happen to know a lot about noise levels from my day job as an adjunct professor teaching acoustics and music mixing, as well as running music productions of all sizes and types. 

Before I go on, watch this 20-second video for an example of the difference in sound levels between an open-frame generator at 68 dBA versus an inverter generator at 52 dBA. As you will hear, the 16 dB difference is like night and day.


It all comes down to ambient levels. That’s the basic level of something around us that we’re used to. For example, there’s always a certain amount of noise that we hear all the time, but our brains choose to ignore it. Even in your own “quiet” house there will be noise from the refrigerator running, traffic in the street, the murmur of the TV set in another room, maybe the fans on your computer. But because these are low in level and fairly constant, our brain assigns them to the “so what” category. This is a real thing that our bodies and brains do so we’re not distracted by too much information. That’s why a dripping faucet in the middle of the night is so distracting – our brain has not assigned it to the “normal” category.

As another example: You may not notice after awhile that the cut on your hand hurts, until you think about it. That constant dull pain is ignored until you whack your hand on the side of the door and then remember that it really hurts. Ouch! 

Same thing for sound, and probably why those of you with loud generators don’t think they’re too loud. Basically, by exposing your hearing to a noisy generator all the time you’ve acclimated yourself to its noise and your brain thinks of it as “normal.” But it’s not normal by any means, and the hundreds of other people who encounter your generator noise find it terribly irritating. So yes, you’re right when you say that your noisy generator doesn’t bother you, because it really doesn’t. And the rest of us are right that your generator really irritates us, because it really does. So do “the rights of  the few outweigh the rights of the many”? (Thanks, Mr. Spock.) I don’t think so. 

I would say that in a civil society we’ve agreed on certain things that make living together more tolerable, and even enjoyable. That’s why road signs and speed limits were created. While I myself might be comfortable at 100 mph on a stretch of highway, most drivers shouldn’t be driving faster than 55 mph, so the limit is set at 55 mph. And since the general ambient noise outside is in the high 40 dB SPL range, once a generator reaches the low 50 dB level from 23 feet away, it’s going to blend into the background noise of the wind and far away traffic and never be noticed. And that’s what I want when I’m outside – just the noise of the outside. 

And just because a generator says it’s “RV Ready,” or the salesman in the store tells you it’s a great generator for your camping trip, don’t believe them. In fact the National Park Service prohibits generators that are louder than 60 dBA SPL when measured from 50 feet. To pass that test they’ll need to measure 65 dBA or less at 27 feet, which is the distance that all generators are rated by their manufacturers.  

So do you have to spend big bucks to get a portable generator quiet enough to go unnoticed while camping? Not by a long shot. In fact I’ve found a great article on the top 10 generators under 65 dBA that you can consider. It shows generator dB levels, weights, run times and costs. Read it here. While a 65 dBA generator might still be too loud for many “quiet” camping situations, I think that any generator rated below 60 dBA and preferably 55 dBA should rarely be noticed.

Stay tuned for Generator Noise Pollution – Part II in my next RV Electricity Newsletter, due out the last Sunday of July. See you then. 

Let’s play quietly out there…. 

P.S. Chuck has some announcements you might find interesting. There’s some good news to announce, and an update about our inexpensive, one-night overnight RV parking project. Click here.

Editor Chuck’s Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Meet Internet celeb Lil Miquela, who’s not even a real person.

Your RV is generally your second largest physical asset. Protect it!
Home Electrical Box: 50-30-20 amp surface mount box • Breakers & receptacles included • Outdoor rated • UL listed • Pedestals also available. 30 & 50 Amp Surge Protector & Reverse Polarity: Continuously monitors & displays voltage & amp draw (RMS). Tests for & indicates: Reverse polarity • Exclusive open neutral inside the RV • Miswired pedestal • High neutral currents • Surge protector. Contact us at 800-500-2320 or

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Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMSurprise! RV shipments decline in May
Ever-increasing shipments from RV manufacturers to dealers is not news – it happens so often most of us have grown to accept it as the new norm. So news of a dip in shipments in May is big news. Get the details.

Recent recalls
Coachmen recalls trailers: LP tank may detach while moving.
Forest River motorhome recall: Loose U-bolts could cause loss of control, crash.
Jayco recalls fifth wheels: propane tank could detach when RV moves.

cover story

Photo: Washington State Patrol. Click to enlarge.

RV wipes out only 20 minutes after couple buy it
A couple’s new trailer was totaled 20 minutes after they bought it on Tuesday in Poulsbo, Wash. The couple was heading south on SR-3 in the center lane around 3 p.m. when the travel trailer began to sway behind their Jeep Cherokee, according to the Washington State Patrol. The driver said she was unable to regain control and the trailer flipped over in the left lane and landed on its top. What do they think caused it? Find out here.

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.

 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. 

“Destination trailers” catching on with RVers
Park model RVs and destination trailers are similar, although there are some key differences. Destination trailers are fully contained RVs but are generally larger – 8 1/2 feet wide – than other towable RVs and less aerodynamic since they’re not meant to be transported as frequently. However, they are designed to be pulled by consumers. And they are getting more popular all the time. Read more.

California city tries new approach to “RV homelessness”
Many big cities are wrestling with the issue of RV dwellers on their streets. Mountain View, California, is just one example. With rent prices in this Bay-area city shooting through the roof, many people don’t have fixed roofs to live under. By one account, at least 600 folks in the area call Mountain View’s streets “home” for themselves and their RVs. Read about a possible solution.

How much do you REALLY know about Independence Day?
It’s not all hot dogs and fireworks! There’s a lot of history involved, so if you’re a history buff you’ll probably ace this quiz. If you’re not, you’ll learn some new facts to amaze your friends with at the Fourth of July barbecue. Take the quiz.

Is your dog afraid of fireworks?
For many dogs, and their owners, the worst day of the year is coming up: the Fourth of July. Not because of what it represents, of course, but because of how it’s celebrated with fireworks. Many dogs (cats, not so much) are fearful of loud noises. But there’s a new medication that may offer relief. Learn more

This week’s Reader Poll
If selling your RV today, would you need to come up with money to pay off the loan? 
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:
If you belong to a local RV club is membership growing, declining or staying the same? 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.

spyWhat we learned from you last week
Are you part of an RV club? Is membership increasing or declining? How far do you travel to find sun? Do you know the height of your RV? Have you ever taken an RV factory tour (you should!)? Read what you and your fellow readers answered here

Living and dying at the Walmart parking lot
As if Walmart needed another excuse to ban overnighters, most of whom these days stay in RVs. But it should have been expected: As people are living in their vehicles in Walmart, they are also dying. It’s happening in all areas of the country. Often they are homeless, living in tents behind the store or in their cars or vans or RVs in the parking lots. Most die of natural causes; others are likely suicides. Read more.

Do you know who your RV park neighbors are?
When you pull into a campground around 3 p.m., maybe the campground looks full but where are all the vehicles? A few hours later, a parade of pickups and cars arrives. After a few minutes, all is quiet. But then, starting around 5 a.m., you’re wakened by the sound of diesel pickups and other vehicles driving through the campground. That lasts for a few minutes, then again, all is quiet. Your neighbors are worker bees! Read more.

Why is paint matching on RVs so difficult?
Rich “The Wanderman’s” RV was built in 1991. He has the paint codes for the color that was used and it shouldn’t be that difficult to match, but it’s kind of an off-white/beige so a close match isn’t ever close enough. Finding cans of touch-up paint has proved to be much more difficult than he ever thought possible. If you are “in the same boat” (RV?), read this – he might just save you a lot of time and frustrating effort!

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.

SmartPlug helps maintain RV electrical system
RV owners are accustomed to performing routine maintenance, but often overlook their RV’s critical shore power components. SmartPlug Systems offers an easy routine to help keep the on-board electrical system safe and trouble-free. Read how here.

Similar to stolen trailer.

Have you seen this stolen travel trailer?
RVDA of Alberta reported that a travel trailer was stolen from Carefree RV Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, on Thursday, June 28. The RV is a 2017 Forest River Salem Hemisphere 311QB. Read more.

Road & Home™ enters RV replacement parts scene
Road & Home™ has debuted a collection of repair and replacement parts for RVs and mobile homes. The new line of do-it-yourself, after-market accessories includes key items for plumbing, electrical, and hardware repairs that have been designed for do-it-yourselfers. In the past, RV and mobile homeowners had to shop for parts from many different retailers, often making modifications with parts designed for traditional homes. With Road & Home products, the essentials are all in one place. Cool! Learn more.


How can you end the “military” RV shower?
You know the routine, constantly turning off the shower to conserve hot water. That’s because most RVs have tank heaters with limited hot water. You never have to run out of hot water with a hybrid instant hot water heater. Find out how the Truma AquaGo®  gives you a real shower in your RV. Learn more here.

Popular articles from last week’s issue
RV squatters ‘camp’, beg at Walmart.
What makes a generator “RV Ready”?
Generator Noise Pollution – Part 1. (From RV Electricity Issue 8)
If you live in an RV, can you still be “homeless”?
To tow or not to tow, Part 2.
• Boondocking (and non-campground) campsites that take reservations.
Are “maintenance-free” batteries really maintenance free?

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

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.

Guided RV Tours
Have you ever taken or considered taking a guided RV tour? Here’s our new directory of upcoming tours that may be of interest to you. Click here.

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.

Did you buy a lemon RV? Here’s more about RV lemons and lawyers who will represent you if you need help.

Current wildfire information
To help with your travel planning, here is complete, up-to-the-minute wildfire information around the U.S., from Incident Information System (InciWeb), a U.S. government interagency. Click here.

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

Campground neighbor runs noisy generator more than necessary

Dear RV Shrink:
We are parked next to a guy who loves to watch TV. He thinks he has to run his generator all the time his TV is on. We have a generator but we use it very conservatively. They have their place, but not running continuously. I have tried to explain to this guy that his TV is not drawing much power. He is just clueless. … —Asphyxiated in Alpine

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

Save your propane!
Easily convert to electric heat!

SAVE $$$! Until now, the standard for heating recreation vehicles of all types has been to use bottled propane (LPG). With the CheapHeat™ system there’s a better option. Now you have a choice to change the central heating system between gas and electric with the flip of a switch. When you choose to run on electric heat rather than gas, your coach will be heated by the electricity provided by the RV park. Learn more.

gas-738Latest fuel prices (on June 25)
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.83. [Calif.: $3.56]
Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 55 cents.
Diesel: $3.22. [Calif.: $3.96]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 75 cents.

America’s Largest RV Show returns September 12-16, 2018
See, compare, shop and buy from over 33 football fields of new RVs. Virtually every major manufacturer represented, everything from the smallest pop-up to the full-size motorhome. Visit hundreds of vendors including campgrounds, accessories, destinations, and services. Attend seminars covering subjects for beginners and seasoned RV enthusiasts. See you in Hershey, PA! Click here for more information.  

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

Taking pets to Canada

Dear Dr. Deanna,
We’re planning a trip to Canada this summer and are wondering if we need any kind of permits to bring our pets (our dog Sissy and cat Murphy) with us. Thank you.—Grace H.
Read Dr. Deanna’s reply.

The pet-owners emergency Bible
When you think you have a pet emergency, you want a reference that is easy to access and concise. This little pocket guide fits that description. It’s spiral bound and small enough to fit in your First Aid Kit (you have one…right?). Features include color-coded and illustrated sections, with checklists and inventory lists for creating your own kit, toxic food lists and a section on other small pets and rodents. Learn more or order. 

RV Quick Tips

Easy “leak down” test 
Not sure if you may have a leak in your towable RV LP system? Here’s a simple, inexpensive way to ensure you don’t. With your LP cylinder valves open (and gas in at least one of them), shut off all appliances and pilot lights. Now shut off the valves of your LP cylinders. If you come back in an hour and the “flag” that shows your LP has run out indicates you’re out of LP, you’ve got a leak somewhere. Leave the gas valves shut and find that leak  and fix it without delay.

Clean-up tips for stove parts
“I manage a 175-unit apartment complex and have cleaned more stove parts than you can imagine. Here’s a tip that I use all the time. Simply put all your stove parts including the oven grills in a large garbage bag. Then spray the contents with oven cleaner or sudsy ammonia (avoid the fumes, of course), close up the bag and let them sit overnight. A quick scrub with an SOS pad or steel wool and everything will look like brand-new.” Thanks to Steve Prendergast.

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

Amazon Deals of the Day!
Here are more than 1,000 special deals, just for today. And the items just keep on changing. If you can’t find a great deal here on something you want, then, well, you must not need anything. If nothing else, it sure is fun to poke around here to see the incredible array of cool stuff that’s available at this very moment at bargain prices! Click here for today’s deals!

Gizmos and Gadgets

Improve your vehicle’s response with Pedal Commander
Pedal Commander is a throttle response controller that removes response delays on your electronic accelerator pedal. It allows your engine to respond faster so your vehicle can accelerate faster! You paid lots of money for a serious vehicle; when you press your gas pedal, it shouldn’t feel like you are pressing a sponge. Haven’t you ever noticed that older cars tend to be more responsive, before digital pedals? Pedal Commander gives you that response back! Learn more.

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

Folding rocking chair is super comfy
What a life — sitting by the campfire, relaxing in your rocking chair! With its patented Spring-Action Rocking Technology, the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camp chair delivers a smooth rocking action on any surface. Watch the video to see it in action. Order at a great price on Amazon.

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

Why does the windshield pop out of the seal on my Class A?

Dear Gary,
I have a 2001, 35-foot Class A that has a two-piece windshield. I am having problems with the windshield coming out of the seal when I take it on a trip and the motorhome gets torqued a little. This has occurred three times. Are there any solutions to this problem, such as a different seal? Any suggestions? I’m going broke resealing the windshield! —Jeff L.

Read Gary’s response.

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

Camping with the Corps of Engineerscorps-book-748
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.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Most wildfires are human caused: Keep your campfire manageable

Hi Bob,
We are coming from the New England area for a two-month-long camping trip to the West and are concerned about what we read about the dry, highly combustible forest lands we intend to visit. Never having to be too concerned about wildfires, we feel that we are not properly prepared for such dry conditions, and especially when we build a campfire (which we really look forward to). Can you give us some helpful hints on campfire safety? Thanks. —Colleen and  Frank  

Read Bob’s response.

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

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

New & interesting finds at
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. Check it out.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

ABCs of generator noise

Dear Mike,
I really learned a lot from your RV Electricity article on generators last Sunday. But do you have a more basic version of it without all the math, sort of like generator noise pollution for dummies? —Lost in the numbers

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.

Tell the world you’re on a road trip!
Not everybody gets to be on the road, traveling from place to place like we RVers! So go ahead and brag, and drive those unfortunate folks stuck in one place crazy with envy! Many different road trip designs on the tee-shirts, which are available in men’s and women’s sizes, even kid sizes. Learn more or order.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

TPMS temperature readings: Important or not?
As a tire engineer, Roger sees little reason to present the temperature of the tire pressure monitoring system’s (TPMS) sensor. He explains why this extra information has some problems here.

Best-selling small-space organizers
It can be hard keeping everything organized in a small space like an RV, right? Here’s Amazon’s list of best small-space organizers so you can keep everything in check. You’ll find everything from under-the-sink kitchen organizers, to clothing and closet organizers, to tiny little bookcases. Explore these helpful items here.

RV History
with Al Hesselbart

Hall of Fame leaders
Since 1972, The RV/MH (Manufactured Housing) Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, has recognized many of the giants who have led the RV industry through the years. Click here to read about these important people. 

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

Spicy oven-fried chicken
Old spice, new chicken. Dipping chicken in drippy egg can be messy. Another way to make the crumbs stick so you’ll have a crispy fistful of “fried” chicken is to “butter” the chicken first with a spread such as Janet’s mixture of mayo and mustard. Your secret spices here are ground cloves for heat and powdered ranch dressing mix. Get the recipe.

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


Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
micro-2-flatmicro-2-762When 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

Digital RVer

Smartphone helps with time zone confusion when traveling
Traveling across time zones can be so confusing when you need to call someone, or get to an online meeting at the right time. After 14 years of RVing, Chris Guld knows she should have it figured out … but she still doesn’t! So here are some easy ways to find out what time it is in a different time zone. Learn how.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are two recent webcasts: #145, Google Photos Questions Answered, and #146, How to make QR Codes. 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 # 1544, Clarksburg, WV
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from the store. Well-lit and level with slopes for drainage. Subway in store and Burger King, Applebee’s, Heavenly Ham, and Arby’s within walking distance. Sam’s Club nearby. Address: 550 Emily Dr.  GPS: 39.26297, -80.28782

Cracker Barrel # 318, Milford, CT
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from the store before parking overnight. Well-lit, not level but manageable. Reported as safe and quiet. If you park overnight here, please purchase your evening meal and/or breakfast here. Address: 30 Research Dr., GPS: 41.238225, -73.01966

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

Remove ticks easily
from people or pets!
This Tick Twister Remover Set will remove ticks, large and small, without squeezing it, reducing the risk of infection. It does not leave the mouthparts of the tick in the skin. It’s the safest and easiest way to remove ticks and in just a few seconds. Helps prevent Lyme Disease. Keep one of these in your RV. It’s tick season! Learn more or order

Upcoming RV Shows

Green Country RV Show, July 20-22, Tulsa, OK 
Midwest RV Super Show, August 9-12, Elkhart, IN
Hampton Roads RV Super Sale, August 17-19, Hampton, VA
America’s Largest RV Show, September 12-16, Hershey PA

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

sponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order

Hawaiian Punch was originally developed as a tropical flavored ice cream topping.

Bumper sticker of the week
Stupidity is not a handicap … Park somewhere else!

Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to Gail (at)

Joke of the Week
There were three restaurants on the same block. One day one of them put up a sign that said: “The Best Restaurant in the City.” The next day, the largest restaurant on the block put up a larger sign that said: “The Best Restaurant in the World.” On the third day, the smallest restaurant put up a small sign that said: “The Best Restaurant on this Block.”

Worth Pondering
Give a man health and a course to steer, and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not. —George Bernard Shaw

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RV Travel staff 
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Associate editor: Deanna Tolliver. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Chris Guld, Julianne Crane, Chris Fellows, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)

cw501About the editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter.

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TP (@guest_27583)
5 years ago

As I end up forgetting to start a sentence with a capital Y. lol

TP (@guest_27584)
5 years ago
Reply to  TP

OK, I quit.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  TP

If you’re referring to capitalization and punctuation, I get all queasy inside when I see the lack of it in media. This is largely due to my 12 years of parochial school education starting in the ’60s where nuns would smack you with a ruler when you got punctuation wrong. I’m hoping that Diane (our editor) doesn’t get a ruler because it really hurts!!!

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff


Joel Vinson (@guest_27444)
5 years ago

I’m in disbelief that an open frame Champion was on this list and the dually 3400, or 3500 wasn’t. I bought the dually 34, run it for it’s 50 hours (serviced) and pressed it into service for our trip from AL. to Newfoundland. This generator is super nice and decently quiet. I have mine in the bed of the truck with a front bedroom and it’s just fine in my book. Mine runs the 15K AC and general electrics without any issues. I have to moderate the microwave.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Joel Vinson

If you’re referring to the top 10 list of generators under 65 dBA SPL, I would guess that the Dually 3400 or 3500 you refer to were both louder than 65 dBA. The open frame Champion was a hybrid inverter-generator so it could throttle down the engine RPMs when it didn’t need to make full power.

Note that this list isn’t about how much power a generator can supply or if it can start an air conditioner. It’s only about sound level, which was the point of my lead article. And personal feelings about how loud a generator is or isn’t doesn’t help my scientific analysis. If it’s over 65 dBA SPL at 23 feet, then it won’t be allowed in some parks. I’m doing more research for Part II on this article next month, but at first blush I don’t see a lot of open-frame/non-inverter generators in the 3kW range that will meet the 65 dBA SPL threshold.

Ref power, at some point I may do static and dynamic load tests on a number of generators, but I have ZERO budget for that kind of experiment right now. I would certainly love to do that kind of study, and I have the experience to design and run such a test. But for now, at least, I’ll need to stick with the things I can test for on a budget, and one for which I’m very qualified to do, deciBel levels.

Joel Vinson (@guest_27812)
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

“Note” this inverter generator is advertised at 58 dBA and that’s the reason for my disbelief. It offers another level of flexibility, runs 6+ RV useable hours, and all I’m saying is that it should of made the show. I am, in no way trying to discredit your PhD of dBA expertise, so I’m “guessing” that y’all just missed it.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Joel Vinson

Joel, what’s the brand and model of the inverter-generator you’re referring to? And remember, the article I linked to about generators under 65 dBA SPL wasn’t an exhaustive list, just the top 10 ones found by the author. So let me know and I’ll respond about it here.


So I guessed that when you said dually 3500 what you’re referring to is the Champion 3500 dual-fuel inverter generator. Please, for anyone asking about a particular piece of gear please tell me the actual manufacturer and model number. I have literally thousands of pieces of gear swimming around in my head, so don’t assume I also have your generator, inventer or electronic controller in my brain-bank. But I’m glad to look anything up and add it to my knowledge base as long as I have enough info to search on. So much technology, so little time. ? NEVER ask me about microphones as I have over 200 in my personal mic locker, and have probably used twice that over the last 50 years.

So here’s what I think you’re referring to which is indeed a Champion 3500 watt, dual-fuel (propane/gasoline), enclosed, inverter-generator rated at 59 dBA SPL at 23 feet. So, it could have easily made it on the under-65 dBA list. Again, I didn’t compile this list and it was in no way an exhaustive study. But the Champion 3500 dual-fuel inverter-generator certainly seems like a nice quiet unit. Champion has offered to send me samples of any of their generators for testing and review, so I’ll ask them to add this one into my mix.

Jillie (@guest_27433)
5 years ago

Camping World has a lot of pet stuff and if I remember correctly a lot of pet medical books as well. Or just keep a journal and complete medical kit for humans and dogs alike.

Bob Martin (@guest_27362)
5 years ago

Destination trailer just another way to take away space for the RV’er who likes to travel and see our great country. Maybe some one will build parks just for Park models and destination trailers.

Wyndy (@guest_27309)
5 years ago

In the last month or so someone suggested a place online to buy eyeglasses or buy a backup pair. Is it possible that you have or remember that website? Thanks

Russ and Tiña De Maris
5 years ago
Reply to  Wyndy

Wyndy: We’ve used a few times and were happy with their work. Only issue: When the glasses come by mail, they really need to be adjusted to your face. Zenni includes directions on how to do that, but I guess we’re too clumsy. Invariably end up in an optician’s place asking for them to adjust them. We offer to pay for the adjustments, but none have taken us up on the offer.
Russ and Tiña De Maris staff

Frank Teale (@guest_27281)
5 years ago

Another example of people not hearing their generators is barking dogs. I’m convinced that owners never hear their dogs but us non owners sure do. Just as annoying as a loud generator!

Marmot (@guest_27277)
5 years ago

The Honda generator and, to a lesser extent, the Yamaha, has a reputation as a long-lasting, trouble-free machine. It has earned this reputation over many decades. The other, Chinese-made machines, are quiet but are also question marks regarding longevity and reliability. They are very unlikely to be as trouble-free as the Honda or, maybe, Yamaha. If you are going to use your generator frequently, and need to rely on it, invest in the Honda.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Marmot

Just about every professional sound engineer and food vendor I know either has purchased, rents, or really wants a Honda inverter generator. My dad gave me his vintage Honda EX1000 (non-inverter) generator that he hadn’t started in 10 years and left gas in that turned into varnish. I just pulled the carb apart and cleaned it with gum-out, changed the oil, put in fresh gasoline, and it started on the second pull with a little choke. I also have a Honda EU3000iS which I use for medium-size concerts, and my dad has an EU7000iS which we use for a house backup generator since he’s out in the country without natural gas, and mom is afraid of having a big propane tank which she calls a “bomb”. All our Honda generators work great, and have never let us down when we really needed them to work. Some of my sound crew have inexpensive knock-off’s (Chinese, I think), which have hardly lasted a year. While more expensive than many, the Honda generator is an investment that should last the rest of your RVing years with only routine maintenance.

Jay French (@guest_27270)
5 years ago

Thanks for the portable small tail-gater type generators. I will be making a purchase shortly as my other 2 are a commercial portable diesel & an 8000 gas Troy-Bilt which is significantly large & noisy.
I did somewhat reduce the noise on my generators by removing their mufflers, installing a flexible extension tube & an adapter to which I added a stock motorcycle muffler which are easy to obtain from buddies who buy a new Harley & immediately change out the stock muffler.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay French

You’re welcome, and thanks for thinking about upgrading to a quieter generator. In fact, all our ears thank you…

JIM BRUCE (@guest_27223)
5 years ago


Charles Sandhage (@guest_27249)
5 years ago
Reply to  JIM BRUCE

Honda generator is the most annoying in my opinion because on the very high frequency noise, plus brings much pain to my ears. Give me a Briggs any day, music to my ears and can go right to sleep.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago

Maybe you’re hearing the high-frequency noise of the inverter/chopper. I’m not sure of the frequency, but it’s probably above the 15.625 kHz of old CRT televisions. What I’ll do is run an RTA spectrum analysis on a few generators next week to see if that’s a real issue. In any event, your brain may have acclimated itself to your Briggs engine, but I’m guessing not everyone around you sleeps like a baby. Are you running it all night?

Charles Sandhage (@guest_27307)
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Don’t have a generator of any kind. Solar takes care of our needs. Yes some TV’s bother me also years ago. Still don’t like Hondas.
Guess I’m one of those people. Don’t have a Honda lawnmower for the same reason. ??

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  JIM BRUCE

Jim, in the future, please do not type in ALL CAPS.

BuzzElectric (@guest_27298)
5 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck. Does it hurt your ears? Lol. Who made the stupid rule that says all caps means you are yelling? Oh yeah, DONALD. No need to reply as I don’t go back and read the replies. Keep up the good work.

Linda (@guest_27405)
5 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Why is that Chuck? I’m sure some people find it easier to read.

TP (@guest_27582)
5 years ago
Reply to  Linda

I find it harder to read. you can’t tell where a sentence stops and starts.

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Linda, typing in all CAPS it’s considered SCREAMING. And a million studies have shown that anything written in all capital letters is more difficult to read that the traditional upper/lower style.

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  JIM BRUCE

Jim, please do not type WITH ALL CAPS. It’s considered screaming.

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