Friday, December 8, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 855

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 855 • Week of July 21-27, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Last week, Gail and I flew back from Seattle, where I had attended to business and Gail visited with her family. Our flight stopped in Salt Lake City before continuing on to Madison, Wisconsin, where we picked up our car and drove to our motorhome near the Wisconsin Dells.

I snapped this photo from my seat looking slightly backwards over the 737 wing west of Salt Lake City. The green and red fields were bizarre. Maybe the color was exaggerated by the window glass.

I love to stare out the window when I fly. Even though I have crossed the country dozens of times, I try (but most often fail) to identify places familiar to me on the ground. Alas, it looks so different from 37,000 feet.

As I stared out the window the other day, I reflected on how much of the country Gail and I have seen in the past few years with our rolling mini-cottage. I bet we have visited at least three dozen states, as well as five or six Canadian provinces. We have been to so many places it’s impossible to retrace our tracks, much less remember what we did in what place, and then in the next and the next and. . .

Our motorhome has been a magic carpet, taking us wherever we wanted, and it’s always “home” wherever we park it for a night, a week or a month. I climb into bed — my special place — every night with a book — safe, content. When we return from a local excursion, it’s always “coming home.”

I wake up some mornings and forget where I am. “No, I’m not in Texas, or Tennessee or Maine.”  And then I stop for a moment to think and then I remember.

Cow number 1294

Today was as typical as any other day of our long, ongoing journey. Our destination was the Sauk County Fair in Baraboo. We learned after we got in town that Baraboo just so happens to be the home for many years of Al Ringling and his brothers of Ringling Brothers Circus fame. His beautiful sandstone home is still there, being restored, and lucky for us, a tour was just about to start when we stopped to look. 

BEFORE, AT THE FAIR, we visited with cows, bunnies, goats, pigs and funny looking chickens. I used the greatest of willpower to avoid eating a corn dog, which always leaves me feeling a little greasy and guilty.

I was able to resist temptation, and bypass this incredible sale, spotted on the way to the county fair.

It was just too darn hot to sit in the grandstands to watch the demolition derby. But it was delightful just observing the locals — happy kids with their parents, eating ice cream, laughing, riding the bumper cars. The young ones rode little Jumbo elephants in circles, happy as could be. Several preteen fair queens strolled about, proud of their special status — apple-pie American, Norman Rockwell subjects in motion. There is nothing like a county fair to get a quick sense of a community’s character. 

It was just a few hours until closing time and the teenage members of the 4-H club were spending their final moments with the animals they had raised, most of which would be dispatched to a slaughterhouse shortly thereafter. “You don’t want to be here at 4 when the fair closes,” one club member’s mother told me. “There’ll be a lot of tears.”

Gail and I are not accustomed to hot, humid days, and we wore down fast. But still ahead, a visit to Al Ringling’s home, now being restored by a man who once served as the train master for the circus (keeping the circus train running smoothly).

Al Ringling died in this bathtub — a little trivia for you.

The home tour costs $20, well worth it, and the home is air conditioned, too — reason enough for us to visit. It was a little eerie, though, to see Al Ringling’s bathroom and the actual bathtub where he took his final breath. 

Circus World, with real circus acts, is nearby. I was there years ago, and it’s a must-see.

Worn out by the heat for the day, Gail and I returned to our motorhome and cranked up the AC. And now, after a leisurely meal of leftovers at the shaded picnic table, I am at my mini-desk writing to you, a few feet from my bed that I’ll slip into in an hour or two.

And so another day on the road is complete — new memories stacked upon a thousand others, stacked upon a thousand others before them. And so it goes. . .


P.S. I have some updates about our various projects if you are interested to learn about them. Plus just before this issue was finished I felt I had to jump on my soapbox because I am mad and frustrated and need to vent or else my brain might just blow up. Click here

Carefree of Colorado Wireless Control for 12V Awnings
Enjoy full control of your 12V awning from as far away as 50 feet with the Carefree Connects™ Awning App. This 
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breaking-newsThe latest news
about RVing from our newsroom

New 330-site upscale RV park coming to Kalispell, Montana.
Bipartisan bill seeks $1.3 billion for deferred maintenance in National Parks.
RV builders look ahead to more electric vehicles with Tesla Semi RV camper.
Beijing RV show foretells strong growth of RVing among Chinese.
Sacramento’s homeless “shelter crisis” could enable RV camping within city.
Silicon Valley city enacts one-year pilot program for affordable RV parking.
Large fifth wheel trailer stolen from California’s Emerald Triangle.
Kentucky State Parks campgrounds offer 2-for-1 deal in September.
Prevent trail hiking issues with these tips. 
Three-hour standoff between police and camper ends without incident.
People living in RVs drawing ire from officials in this Idaho town.
Though demand is high, Texas town stalls building of new RV parks.

Recent recalls:
Forest River recalls trailers for stove top problem.
Thor recalls travel trailers: water can enter tow modules.

Avoid RVing snafus!
Prepare for your next big adventure with Road & Home’s Ready for the Road checklist. This simple, easy-to-use guide of must-have repair or replace products will keep you moving while on the road! Equip yourself with peace of mind and ensure safety and convenience when you head out. Shop the entire collection here.

Do you need a special RV driver’s license? You might!
Driving an RV proves to be easy for most RVers after they get the feel of their rig. But for RVers in 10 states, there may be more to driving or towing an RV than climbing in the driver’s seat and heading down the highway. Find out here if you need a special driver’s license.

Have fun and help California State Parks on a volunteer workday
If you do a lot of your RVing in California, you can have some fun and help out the state parks by signing up for a Park Champions workday near you, says the California State Parks Foundation. By helping with habitat rehabilitation, landscaping and park maintenance, you can help keep California’s state parks in tip-top shape. Some parks even offer free camping for registered volunteers. Learn more.

Buying an RV in a business’s name could void warranty
If you’ve considered buying your dream RV in your business’s name or plan to use it for business you might want to give it a second thought. Learn from this person’s expensive mistake.

Will “booting” of trucks in Georgia Walmart raise concerns among RVers?
If you’re passing through Perry, Georgia, and plan on spending the night in a Walmart parking lot, you might want to first confirm what the rules are. RVers are usually welcome to spend a night in Walmart parking lots and most spend money resupplying in the stores. But at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, when Perry police were called to a dispute in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot at the Perry store on St. Patricks Drive, it got us thinking about this arrangement. Read more.

How to make a living from your RV – wherever you are
Running a business out of an RV is becoming more commonplace, and the number of mobile entrepreneurs is growing. Motivated by the desire to earn a decent living without being tethered to an office, more and more people are embracing the opportunities that advances in technology and communication can offer. If you’re thinking of running an RV-based business from the road, here are some things to consider from RV Daily Report.

Popularity growing for high-end gated RV parks for fulltimers
Many retirees that have never owned an RV, or ever considered living fulltime in one, didn’t plan on starting now. But plans do change, sometimes quite dramatically. Here’s an example of one couple’s plans changing when living in an RV resort while their dream home was being built. What did they find that made them change their minds? Read more.

This week’s Reader Poll
In high school were you popular? 
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.

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

spyWhat we learned about you last week
This week we talk about throw up, being spoiled (and modest), tow vehicles, RV paint jobs and graphics, and water leaks. Exciting, right? Click here to read about what we learned. You’ll learn too!

Goodyear receiving scrutiny over misreported failures of RV tire
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has been facing scrutiny over failure of the G159 tires, which were manufactured between 1996 and 2003, and could face a $105 million fine if it failed to properly report crashes to federal regulators that involve an RV tire linked to nearly 100 injuries and deaths. The tire has had failures in as many as one-in-10 motorhomes – a failure rate that surpasses the infamous Firestone tires of the 1990s. Learn more.

Travel with a pet? Are you from California? Read this
Half of readers travel with a pet, most of them with a dog. Those who live in California and pet owners elsewhere should be aware of legislation that could have an effect on the food they feed their furry friends. Pet food companies are trying to amend regulations to permit using the term “natural” on pet food labels, packaging and advertising even when the pet food includes certain synthetic, chemical and other non-natural ingredients. Read more and get involved.

RV industry elated with new educational facility to train RV techs
Earlier this month, the RV Industry Association announced plans to launch a technical institute in Elkhart, Indiana, with two goals: first, to help solve the industry’s technician shortage; and second, to improve customer service throughout the industry. This much-needed initiative – which is being driven by a $10 million investment in the institute – comes as RV shipments are surging but technicians are becoming more scarce. Learn more.

Increased accessibility linked to increase in new campers
If you think campgrounds are fuller these days and getting a reservation is more difficult, you are right. More than 6 million new North American households have adopted the camping lifestyle since 2014, with the number of campers who camp three times or more each year – the most avid group of campers – having increased by 64 percent. Read more.

The amazing beef stick!
Rich “The Wanderman” really likes the jerky-like so-called meat stick, especially the Slim Jim. He remembers having them when he was much younger. He’s tried different brands but always goes back to the Slim Jim – perhaps it’s just nostalgia. How could something like this be good for you? Well, it can’t. But that’s OK; every once in a while he likes to live dangerously. Do you? Rich thinks you should. Read why.

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. 

Could improving RV park safety standards prevent tornado damage?
BISMARCK, ND—In the aftermath of the deadly tornado that ripped through the Prairie View RV Park early on July 10, killing a newborn baby and injuring more than two dozen people in the heart of North Dakota’s oil patch, state and local officials are calling for increased safety standards for RV parks that often house oilfield workers and families. The tornado displaced 200 people and destroyed at least 120 structures, including recreational vehicles that served as temporary housing. Learn more.

More people downsizing, choosing to live in RVs
Getting rid of their “stuff” seems to be the motivating factor for how families are describing the seemingly more and more popular lifestyle of moving into an RV. San Antonio’s KSAT TV 12 toured one family’s new home and talked about the big change. “I got to thinking since we are downsizing, why not just get RVs?” asked Kevin Blakley. Blakley is now a retired member of the Air Force and has been living in an RV for about a year. Read more

Short-term RV rentals on private property spark debate in San Diego
“There’s a new twist to the heated debate on short-term vacation rentals in San Diego,” according to Channel 7 NBC San Diego. “Many people are now renting out their personal RVs while parked on their property.” According to the city’s municipal code, however, it’s against the law. But there are dozens of RVs available to rent on the Airbnb website with rental prices ranging from $52 to $92 per night. Learn more.

Grizzly that visited Glacier NP campground wanders off; campground reopened
Attention wildlife watchers: If seeing a grizzly bear in the wild is on your bucket list, this is your chance. Glacier National Park announced that restrictions on tent camping in the Many Glacier Campground have been lifted. Hard-sided RVs were not affected. The 150-pound grizzly that provoked the initial restrictions entered the Many Glacier Campground on June 29th and helped himself to a fresh fish dinner. He has since left, but could return for more. Read more.

New “How To” series explains how to pick the right RV and dealership
Many people dream of owning an RV for travel or for vacations. But choosing the right RV and dealership is often daunting, especially when you don’t quite know what you are looking for. Here are some tips from The Daily Sentinel on how to get started. Learn more.

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.

Popular articles from last week’s issue
RV Electricity – Hot grounds and the Stray Voltage Patrol
Which heater is best: Forced air, ceramic or catalytic?
Hubby wears same clothes for a week; what can wife do?
Is camping/boondocking permitted in National Recreation Areas?
Why is there a floor cutout below the bathtub drain?
• Can you read dog (body) language?

Wax your dirty beast with Wade Wax
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast!”
Wade Wax polishes and outlasts competitors’ Carnauba-based waxes. High-quality ingredients cross link and bond to the surface of your Beast while protective copolymers and nonabrasive cleaners deliver up to 6-months of protection. Watch the video. And click here to buy, or learn more about, Wade Wax at the Wade Maid website.

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

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

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

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.

DyersRV Parts and Accessories
Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.

Ask the RV Shrink

Annoying middle-of-the-night car alarms

Dear RV Shrink:
It is nice that most campgrounds have “no generator” zones, quiet hours posted, and in most cases a considerate population of campers. However, I am often jolted awake in the early morning hours by that most annoying of all sounds, the automobile alarm system. It is not uncommon for some camper to get up in the middle of the night to retrieve something from their car and the blasted horn alarm goes off….

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

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

1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1 1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique 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 editor Chuck Woodbury. 

Unusual Job Opportunities for RVers – New Feature 
with Russ and Tiña De Maris

RVer makes a living finding the dead
There are thousands of RVers who make a living on the road. Perhaps the largest number of positions for these “work campers” is that of campground host. Others work as traveling company representatives, some deliver RVs. But finding the dead? Yep, that’s what RVer and retired minister Len Strozier does, and you can too! Read more.

Have an unusual way you make a living while RVing? We’d love to hear about it! Drop an email to us at Russ (at) .

corps-book-748Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.

gas-738Latest fuel prices, July 16, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.87. [Calif.: $3.54]
Change from week before: Up 1 cents; Change from year before: Up 59 cents.
Diesel: $3.24. [Calif.: $3.97]
Change from week before: Up 0 cents; Change from year before: Up 75 cents.

A DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent that works! 
Well, it’s that time again (unfortunately). If you’re one of those people that mosquitoes love (we all know at least one person like this) this product is for you. This awesome DEET-free insect repellent works for mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Keep this one handy, folks. As RVers, there’s a good chance you’re probably going to need it. Learn more or order here.

RV Fire Safety Tip  

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 1 of 13
extinguisher-697(3)Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation

Most people killed by fires are actually overcome in their sleep from gas, lack of oxygen, hot air and smoke, or wake up too late or confused to escape. Flames are last on the list of killers. That’s why your best defense from a fire is properly installed and maintained smoke, LPG and carbon monoxide detectors. Test your detectors weekly to be sure the batteries have enough power and the detectors are in working condition. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Save your teeth, get that corn off the cob!
Nobody likes eating corn on the cob with a group of people, only to find out later they’ve got half the cob still stuck in their teeth. Not to mention, for some of us it’s hard to hold the whole cob, and it hurts our teeth! This easy-to-use corn stripper takes all the corn off the cob in one easy gesture – your hands and teeth will thank you! Easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Order here for a great price

RV Quick Tips

RV window rattle silencer
Some RVers complain that their horizontally sliding rig windows rattle, sometimes for a lack of cushioning, allowing the glass to flex and make noise. Auto manufacturers are ahead of the game, putting a seal around the entire window. Here’s a possible after-market fix: It’s called a “backer rod” in the trade, simply a cushiony seal you can stuff into crevices, reducing rattle and air infiltration. What to use? “Caulk saver” is a poly-foam product that comes in a variety of diameters. Cram the stuff in that empty vertical space between the movable window unit and the frame. Here is some from Amazon.

Mesh laundry bags do double duty
From reader Wendy Wolter: Mesh laundry bags for running delicates in the wash make great shower-house totes: Hold your towels, shampoo, etc., inside. Tie a ribbon on it so once back at the RV you can hang them up to dry.

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

Lightweight, waterproof, foldable backpack perfect for RVers
Ultra-light, ultra-durable, and ultra-handy for RV trips, this backpack is perfect for small-space living. Pack folds into a tiny sandwich-sized pouch, perfect for storage or for use on airplane trips. Many pockets, including two water bottle slots, make this waterproof pack great for hiking, camping, or day-trips. Learn more and view all eight colors here.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Folding stainless steel gas grill designed for the grilling enthusiast
Designed for grilling enthusiasts who don’t want to substitute quality for cost, this grill is constructed entirely of 100 percent mirror-polished stainless steel with a 9 inch x 18 inch (162 square inch) grilling surface. It features a balanced locking lid, durable all-weather stay-cool plastic handle, fold-away tabletop legs, locking side access grease tray, and convenient locking radiant plate assembly for even heat distribution. Learn more.

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

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

What to do about a leaky slideout?

Dear Gary:
We recently purchased a 2004 coach. From the moment we got it the slideout has leaked so bad that the wood trim around the interior of the slideout has all been removed due to mold, and the laminate on the dinette table is all buckled. My husband tried to put some sealant on the top of the slideout but it didn’t work. This is the first RV we have owned with a slideout and we are just beside ourselves….

Read the rest of the question and Gary’s response.

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

It 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!

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Try this when you can’t find a campground with vacancies

Hi Bob,
I read one of your Ask BoondockBob columns recently where you said some parks and campgrounds allow staying for one night even when there are no campsites available. Where do they put these people and how do we find such campgrounds? —Jerry

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.

Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble!
tire-guage660Outstanding tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. Used by the RV Travel staffLearn more or order.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Using a Non-Contact Voltage Tester

Dear Mike,
After reading your article on RV hot-skin voltage I ordered a Southwire 40126N Non-Contact Voltage Tester, but now wonder if it’s the correct tool. According to the directions it detects voltage by putting it near a hot plug. But will it also find a hot-skin voltage by putting it next to the skin of an RV? —John Baxley

Read Mike’s response and watch his short video on how to test for an RV hot-skin condition.

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.

Camco vent insulator keeps you warm…and cool!
Is your RV too hot in the summer? Too cold in the winter? Camco’s vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy – simply push the fitted foam into your skylight, reflective side up. The reflective surface blocks sunlight, preventing it from heating your RV in the hot months. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Internal vs. external TPMS temperature test results for warm weather
Previously Roger posted the test results for his comparison of internal versus external sensor TPM systems during cooler temperatures. The weather was cool (“How accurate is your TPMS – Part two”) to cold (“More on internal vs. external TPMS temperature reporting”) back in March when he reported his test results. Now he reports the results with the ambient temperature in the upper 80s. Learn more.

The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. He’s 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 

Astronomy for RVers

M13, by Chris Fellows. Click to enlarge.

with Chris Fellows

Charles Messier: An 18th century astronomer with game
Meet my buddy, Chuck (Messier). People have been looking up at the night sky since people have been people. From cave-dwelling Neanderthals to modern man, we have increased our understanding of the universe through careful observations and collaboration with other observers. Every once in a while an individual makes an observation (or several) that sticks out and ensures they are remembered forever. Today we are going to have a look at one of those giants and his contribution to our understanding of the universe: Charles Messier. Learn more.

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.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Baked Ravioli
A new way to make ravioli. This rich, creamy,  meatless treat is thrown together in one dish. The ravioli does not have to be cooked separately. To make the ravioli plump, assemble the dish early in the day or the night before. Then pop it into the oven to bake while you relax with a sundowner. It comes out of the oven with a golden glow, each little dumpling surrounded by a halo of egg custard. Get the recipe.

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


Keep those spices organized (for once!) 
Everyone knows the spice shelf is always a mess, but it doesn’t have to be! Make others jealous with this cabinet spice holder. Each rack is fully adjustable and has an adhesive back, so it can stick to the inside of a cabinet, pantry, wall, you name it! Say goodbye to a disorganized spice shelf and hello to the simple life! Learn more or order here.

The RoVing Naturalist
with Dennis Prichard

Brilliant and remarkable hummingbirds
Almost every RV Dennis sees has a hummingbird feeder around it somewhere. These feisty creatures are a load of fun to watch, but their statistics are even more fascinating. Learn about some of them here. And let us know in the comment section below the article if you have one or more hummingbird feeders.

Make popcorn in minutes with this collapsible popcorn maker!
Virtually fat-free, no cholesterol, full of fiber and vitamins – popcorn is the best snack! Pop it in minutes in your RV with this handy collapsible popcorn maker. Simply pour the kernels in the bowl, add your favorite seasonings, microwave for a couple of minutes and the perfect bowl of popcorn will emerge! Pretty hard to resist if you ask me… Learn more or order here.

Gillette Castle, photo from Visit Connecticut

RV Short Stop
with Julianne G. Crane

Gillette Castle State Park – a great family RV Short Stop
East Haddam, Connecticut

One attraction to put on your must-see list of RV Short Stops when you’re touring New England is Connecticut’s Gillette Castle State Park. The park, with beautiful walking trails, overlooks the Connecticut River in the south central part of the Constitution State, about 45 miles east of New Haven. The focal point of the 184-acre estate is a 24-room mansion reminiscent of a medieval castle. Read more.

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.

Free and bargain camping

Bowlin’s Bluewater Outpost Travel Center, Bluewater, NM
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed for 1-2 nights. Park anywhere in upper or lower lot (both of which are level) or as directed by management. Little lighting, no apparent security concerns. Exxon Station with diesel fuel and Dairy Queen on premises. Breakfast available. Address: I-40, Exit 72. GPS: 35.264511, -107.974639

SB I-25 Parking Area, Buffalo, WY
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. The state of Wyoming prohibits overnight camping in parking areas, but allows sleeping in parked vehicles, provided the vehicle is in travel-ready condition: no levelers, slides, awnings or other items deployed. This parking area is parallel to the highway, with ramps at both ends. It is quite level but has no amenities other than a dumpster. Address: SB I-25, milepost 274. GPS: 43.9955, -106.64655

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,480 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demoWatch a video about

Museum of the Week

Popcorn MachineWyandot Popcorn Museum
Marion, OH

Pop! Pop! Pop! You can hear the pops and smell the butter, can’t you? Enter the large circus tent in Marion, Ohio, and find yourself amazed by the largest collection of old popcorn (and peanut) wagons in the world! The wagons date back to the turn of the century, and they’ve been restored to their original, and perfect, condition. Come to this museum when there’s a good movie in theaters you want to see because we’re sure that’s where you’ll end up after your visit. Go to the museum website here.

(Staff note: Emily here! If you like to make popcorn at home or in your RV, my favorite popcorn topping is this cheese powder from a small Oregon farm. It is THE BEST!)

Double refrigerator bars ensure nothing moves while driving
I know it’s happened to me many times – I’ve opened the fridge (even slowly) after driving down the road and a heavy jar has fallen on my toe – “OW!” – because it shifted in the fridge. Never have that happen again with these easy-to-install double refrigerator bars. These spring-loaded bars can also be placed in cupboards or in closets. Order for a good price here.

Upcoming RV Shows
Green Country RV Show, July 20-22, Tulsa, OK 
Beat the Heat Chicago RV Show, July 27-29, Schaumburg, IL 
Midwest RV Super Show, August 9-12, Elkhart, IN
Beat the Heat RV & Boat Show Sale, August 17-18, Greenville, SC 
Hampton Roads RV Super Sale, August 17-19, Hampton, VA
America’s Largest RV Show, September 12-16, Hershey PA. Seminar speakers include’s Mike Sokol and Gary Bunzer. Pre-order tickets.

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.

Chop suey is not a native Chinese dish. It is believed to have originated in a California mining camp. The cook supposedly threw together what he had called “chop suey,” a phonetic translation of a Mandarin term meaning “various things.”

Bumper sticker of the week
Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you’d like to meet him.

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

Joke of the Week
“As the hostess at the casino 
buffet showed me to my table, I asked her to keep an eye out for my 
husband, who would be joining me 
momentarily. I started to describe him: ‘He has gray hair, wears glasses, has a potbelly …’ She stopped me right there. ‘Honey,’ she said, ‘today is senior day. They all look like that.’”

Worth Pondering
“Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” — Samuel Johnson

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RV Travel staff 
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. 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. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis.

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

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

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

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

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

This newsletter is copyright 2018 by


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J Hunter (@guest_28501)
5 years ago

The red and green “fields” in your photo appear to be the settling ponds in the Great Salt Lake, used by various companies to mine minerals from the brine.

John M Mastin (@guest_28497)
5 years ago

Regarding you article about needing a special license:

Our understanding is that the laws of issuing state of the license control. For example, we are Florida residents and have Florida drivers licenses. Since Florida does not require a special license to drive our RV, is that not retroactive to the other states?

Jerry Collis (@guest_28436)
5 years ago

I wonder how many RV’res know how to handle a roadside emergency. Do they know what insurance coverages they have and what is and is not covered? Is their RV still under warranty or an extended warranty? Do they know where all of their documents are?
I recently had a breakdown (no transmission power) and was stuck part way in the road, in Canada. I remembered I had roadside assistance with Coach-Net and because I was blocking traffic (not safe), they had a flat bed out and me towed to a safe spot within an hour. They also assisted in finding me a Ford dealer who could help me mechanically and had me flatbed towed there. As I am awaiting the diagnosis and having to stay in a hotel, my extended warranty will cover some of the costs. Just gotta know what you have in case of a breakdown.

Pam (@guest_28435)
5 years ago

Can Rv travel readers help me? We are looking to purchase a portable ac unit to assist our one roof Rv unit ( which was a stupid move by the manufacturer). I would appreciate thoughts from anyone who has used one. Brand, size or if it’s a good idea. Thanks for any help!

Rob (@guest_28528)
5 years ago
Reply to  Pam

You might look at one of those “in room” ac’s with the hose that go out the window. I saw video on you tube of guy running one of those with a Honda EU1000i Gen. One commenter stated the one he bought from Lowes used only 600W.

Steve - Alaska (@guest_28419)
5 years ago

Chuck, Living in Alaska affords us the opportunity to see all kinds of motor homes, trailers and fifth wheelers come through our state observing the natural beauty Alaska offers. Along with these RVs are hundreds of rental units. A few weeks ago, as we were headed to Valdez for some “catching” (cheaper than fishing and guaranteed to result in fish) we stopped at one of our favorite RV parks (Grand View) to overnight. A rental unit from an Anchorage RV rental establishment parked next us and all night long we heard their units generator start up every couple of hours.! The next morning I got to talking with the renters (who were from China) and during the conversation, I asked why the generator ran so much the previous night since they were plugged into shore power. They stated that they did plug in but there was no power coming from the pedestal so they ran the generator so they could run the furnace. I asked if they minded if I took a look for them and it seems that they did not know to flip the breakers on the pedestal so naturally they had no shore power. They also complained that the furnace did not work either and after talking with them, they did not know they were actually trying to get the air conditioner to heat the unit. I showed them how to work the furnace and they left the park Happy Campers! I think the RV rental places need to write down instructions for their clients in order for them to know how to use the units!! The quick 10 minute run through the unit is not enough for their clients to fully understand how to camp successfully! Just sayin….

rvgrandma (@guest_28415)
5 years ago

I use the atlas to keep track of roads we have traveled using a highlighter to mark the roads we took. I use maps for our travels. I did loose the atlas from back in the 70s. My husband is from Massachusetts, we use to drive back in our car about every 2 years. I always tried to take different roads. We only had 2 weeks vacation, so it was day/night driving, little time to stop but just seeing the different countrysides was worth it.

Scott Davis (@guest_28400)
5 years ago

If you are interested in identifying locations while flying (I’m a geo nerd, too), there’s a great App available in the App Store called “Flyover Country.” Its free. You can load your route before taking off and it geo located you and you can get as much or as little information about what you’re seeing out the window.
– Dr. Scott

John T (@guest_28500)
5 years ago
Reply to  Scott Davis

When I used to fly a lot (accumulated 400,000 frequent flyer miles), I used a Rand McNally road atlas with a page for each state. I could follow highways, and identify towns from the angles that the various roads came out.

Sherry Dawson (@guest_28395)
5 years ago

As always, another useful and educational newsletter. Thanks!

I have one small request. As you are setting standards for new freelance writers (and veterans), could you require that when they mention a park, a campground, or a place of interest that they at least include the state abbreviation? It will only require 2 more characters, but would be of great help to those of us who might want to go there, but don’t know where it is.

Linda (@guest_28549)
5 years ago
Reply to  Sherry Dawson

I agree!

bob cravens (@guest_28394)
5 years ago


I loved the Editor’s corner in the July 21st issue. It was like I was hearing Charles Kuralt back writing pieces for “On the Road” again.
It reminded me how lucky my wife and I are to have created so many new adventures along the way to our 50th in January of next year.

Greg Nelson (@guest_28390)
5 years ago

Dear Chuck,

I enjoyed your article on Baraboo, Wisconsin. It brought back a flood of delightful childhood memories. I grew-up in Northern Illinois. My parents were both teachers, and nearly every year (from the early 60s to the early 70s) as a child we (and a group of other teacher and friend families) would spend a week prior to the start of the school year (when we weren’t off on an adventure) there near Baraboo, Wisconsin at Devil’s Lake State Park swimming, hiking, and taking in the sites. We started first with a canvas wall tent, and then graduated to an early Apache brand tent trailer (which we used to travel throughout the United States and western Canada). Those experiences imprinted upon me a love of travel and camping…that has carried forward to today.

It also was those experiences that led me to migrate to the Pacific Northwest nearly 45 years ago as a young man.

Keep-up the good work,

Greg Nelson

Ed Killgore (@guest_28386)
5 years ago

Retracing my steps or remembering where all I’ve been gets harder and more difficult the longer I’m on the road. When it all started years ago I started keeping a diary in which I recorded where I was going, how far, what was at the end of the journey, where I stayed, site #, price, weather, where to eat and where not to, and what I found of interest. Today, my wife and I will discuss events and I don’t lose as many arguments by referring to the diary., LOL. I also keep detailed maintenance records on both our camper and tow vehicle.

Pat (@guest_28384)
5 years ago

I find that there are more and more advertisements being tucked in between the stories. I understand the need for ad income, but it just seems like there are so many more now than a year ago when I first found the newsletter.

Sharon B (@guest_28375)
5 years ago

Hallelujah !
It’s about time something is in the works in some states making it a law to have a special drivers license for those with owning big Class A’s. It is inconceivable that a RV that big can be sold to anyone without proving to have the proper knowledge of driving those rigs.
It is an outrage there is not a mandatory license needed from the moment you pull out of the lot. I am not referring to a quickie course from the dealership…. I mean a real intensive course with a pass and fail just like truck professional drivers are suppose to have.
To add fuel to the fire, I agree that anyone that has a rig whether it is a Class A, large Class C or a large trailer should have a special license indicating they have been tested and proven they can drive those rigs. Rules and regulations help us from being hurt if not killed. We must have a driver’s license to drive. Why not have a special license to haul these rigs?? It does not make sense.
Just take a look at the clips on YouTube. The accidents are outrageous caused by lack of knowledge and stupidity.
I recently witnessed a jerk in his huge Class A driving on an Expressway well over 75 mph. He missed his exit then suddenly drove over the grass hill to the exit almost hitting a legally exiting moving vehicle. The driver of that rig probably would not have done that if he or she had the sense and knowledge from a having a special license proving that a course was taken in how to handle rigs. It should also include a session of bloody images and overturned RVs to show what can happen.
Our roads would be a lot safer…and maybe our insurance would be lower.

Sherry Dawson (@guest_28408)
5 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

I agree, but I’ve wanted required training and licenses for operators of recreational boats for decades–not happening! So I don’t see RV licenses coming until more deaths pile up–if ever.

Magee (@guest_28420)
5 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Not sure a license of any kind would stop an {bleeped} like that. Probably lucky it didn’t roll.

Pennie Hahn (@guest_28569)
5 years ago
Reply to  Magee

My thoughts exactly!

Bob Godfrey (@guest_28482)
5 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

After having traveled to all 49 continental US states and 9 Canadian Provinces I can attest that there are far more idiotic 4 wheelers out there than RV drivers. You would not believe the stupid things that automobile drivers do in front of an RV every day of the week. So, how about better and stronger driver’s license exams?

Phyllis Avella (@guest_28531)
5 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

A special driver’s license does not fix stupid. I don’t care how big the vehicle is, that self-made exit was a stupid thing to do.

David Kydd (@guest_28374)
5 years ago

British Columbia, Canada also requires a special drivers licence to pull a trailer over 10,000 lbs

Mel Sebastian (@guest_28379)
5 years ago
Reply to  David Kydd

So does Saskatchewan

Gisele (@guest_28380)
5 years ago
Reply to  Mel Sebastian

New Brunswick too – air brake endorsement.

hank hoyt (@guest_28367)
5 years ago

Chuck, Howdy;

As a weekly reader (remember that from grade school?), I find that you shift things around from time to time and this is NOT a gripe nor a complaint, just an observation so please bear with me.
The “Almost Breaking news section is a favorite of mine to slowly scroll through and sip my morning coffee. Awhile back, year or so ago it became a click the link to open a new tab to read it. Like most folks the more involved it becomes to get to a destination the less likely we are to go there. I kept going after the initial few weeks of acclamation, something critters do is acclimate. Now this morning I find that the 1 click link is gone and your readers that like to scroll through and read the articles one by one or disregard and read the next are required to click each individually, to see if it’s what they may or may not want to pursue, then click to exit so they can then click the next to repeat the entire process again and again and again …
What was so wrong with the original method where one could simply scroll down (it’s about pages on a computer), to read the stories or dismiss this one in favor of that one etc.
The more folks HAVE to do to get to where they are going is a deterrent to the voyager. After all this is supposed to be geared for readability & ease of usage by the reader, yes/no?

Pat (@guest_28382)
5 years ago
Reply to  hank hoyt

I agree with this. I’d love to see the breaking news return to the original format.

Linda (@guest_28550)
5 years ago
Reply to  Pat

I agree. With limited/slow internet the more links I have to click the less I get to read.

Roger Spencer (@guest_28366)
5 years ago

You wrote about checking for wildfires through Inciweb. In some states, fires are not reported or listed on that website. Calfire has their own website, and I’ve seen some Oregon fires not listed {may be listed at Oregon Dept. of Forestry) I don’t have information on other states. Thanks for the newsletter!

RV Staff
5 years ago
Reply to  Roger Spencer

Thanks for the note, Roger. Here’s what it says on the InciWeb (Incident Information System) website:
“InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:
Provide the public a single source of incident related information
Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community
A number of supporting systems automate the delivery of incident information to remote sources. This ensures that the information regarding active incidents is consistent, and the delivery is timely.
Disclaimer: Information posted on this website is for information purposes only. For official information, contact the Wildfire Agency in the local area.”

They then have links to 10 different regions for more specific information on each area. —Diane at

Greg Rennier (@guest_28359)
5 years ago

Last week I donated $36 one time, plan on doing it annually. I was under the impression I would start receiving daily emails as a member, but have not. Please advise

Allan Colgan (@guest_28356)
5 years ago

When we first started RVing in 2012, I naturally bought a Rand McNally map so we wouldn’t get lost. Then I got a marker pen and every night as we stay in a campsite I mark the map with the marker pen showing the route(s) we drove that day. 45 states and 7 provinces are recorded in this manner so far and when I look at it, it brings back memories.

Steve Barnes, Kamloops, BC (@guest_28412)
5 years ago
Reply to  Allan Colgan

Re: Hank Hoyt’s “”Almost Breaking News” comment above, at 07:37 this morning.
I agree, the current format of makes it less likely I will to go to articles that may in fact be of interest. I don’t mind skimming through everything.

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