Monday, December 5, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 859


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 859 • Week of August 18-24, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

Excuse me for standing solidly upon my soapbox, but I have some things on my mind that if I don’t tell you I believe my head will explode. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But I do have some things to say.

It’s Friday morning. I just got off the phone with Doug Swarts of Drainmaster. Doug is the national authority on RV waste management. I called Doug to ask him about something I’d read on the Facebook group Thor Motor Coach Issues and Complaints. The owner of a Thor Ace motorhome complained about the design of her toilet. When it’s flushed, she reported, the contents don’t go straight down into the black tank, but drop “four to five inches” before abruptly taking a sharp turn sideways.

Here’s her comment:
“We have learned that we need a gallon of water and a plunger nearby. Flushing simply doesn’t work: I need to keep my foot on the pedal while pouring down the gallon bottle of water. Sometimes it only needs plunging once or twice but most times it requires the entire gallon and more than six plunges.”

Doug said the design is not uncommon. “RVs are designed with the layout in mind,” he explained. So things like holding tanks must be positioned to fit the design, often at the expense of function. With a popular floor plan — one that sells well — it may simply be impossible for a manufacturer to install the holding tank directly beneath the toilet. So the plumbing is configured, often poorly, to reach the tank somewhere else, which can require a couple of bends along the way. Those bends, said Doug, “invite disaster.”

There’s more to an RV toilet than meets your eye.

Another person commented:
“I have the exact same issue and it’s also a 2017 Thor Ace and. . . there is a . . . bend [that] has to travel all the way across to the tank at the other side of your RV. . . so you have to stop using any type of paper and flush gallons of water down to get it to work or it will spit all the contents back out onto your walls and floor! This should never ever have been designed this way at all!

And yet another comment:
“We have to use a wand inside to get it totally flushed while [my husband] is outside using the flushing system.”

TO ME, this is just one more example of poorly made RVs, where manufacturers often concoct ass-backward designs they know customers will never inspect before buying. Alas, I plead guilty: I don’t know about you, but I have never, ever checked the plumbing on an RV before buying one. (Have you ever checked? Answer a quick poll). I just assumed (a bad thing to do) that the design was efficient. I’m headed to the giant Hershey RV Show next month and I will bring along a measuring tape to see if a toilet’s contents drop straight down into a holding tank or bend along the way.

The dark side of Marcus Lemonis
For the five or six people in the audience who do not know the name Marcus Lemonis, he’s the CEO of the Good Sam Club and Camping World, plus a few dozen other businesses including Marcus, where he sells high fashion clothes to rich women. He’s also the host of the cable TV Show “The Profit.” I freely admit I’m no fan of this man; I don’t respect him. I do not believe he cares about RVers beyond what he can extract from their pocketbooks. Since he took over the Good Sam Club, it’s almost a joke, little more than a discount club for Camping World and RV parks who pay to display the Good Sam logo.

Camping World is now America’s largest RV dealer. I don’t like the company’s sales tactics and have written about it. Our survey last week revealed that almost two-thirds of our readers are not happy about buying an RV from Camping World, including 47 percent who reported they “regret buying from them.”

Inc. Magazine features a story in its current issue that I believe shows the side of Mr. Lemonis he doesn’t want revealed. The article is titled “Twenty Business Owners Claim There’s a Dark Side to Marcus Lemonis’s Reality TV Show ‘The Profit‘.” I urge you to read it.

Last issue, more than 1,300 email alerts for this newsletter were blocked along the way, most by a reader’s Internet provider. Most weeks, about 300 addresses bounce, most of them emails with full mailboxes or addresses that are no longer active. We have practically no control over what bounces, and it’s seldom the same emails over and over. Yours could easily be next. I recommend you sign up for our daily, afternoon RSS feed where every article we post that day (plus newsletters) is listed with a link. The sign up form is below. And remember, if you do not receive an email alert for a particular newsletter, you can always just go directly to and click on the current issue link.

Okay. Enough. Thanks for reading (much appreciated)!


Oh, before I forget, I wrote more today, but there is no room for it in this space. But if you click here, I have some news, updates about our projects, and more that you might find of interest. My fingers were really flying today!!

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breaking-newsThe latest news
about RVing from our newsroom

Bear incidents rising, many showing attacks on bird feeders.
Driver pulling trailer held on vehicular homicide charge.
Fire started by travel trailer electrical problem burns houses, outbuildings.
Homeless camps increasing in Seattle’s urban forest parks.
Special police unit formed to thwart RV thefts in Elkhart County, IN.
Man “attends services” by crashing motorhome into church.
Police arrest drunken man with AR-15 in PA campground.
Auburn, CA, campground visitors handle bat that tested positive for rabies.
RV Industry Association president takes long RV road trip.
High rents forcing many into fulltime RV living.
Where do you park tiny homes?
Minnesota campground open after Cryptosporidium outbreak.
Florida woman’s stolen RV found.
County in NC considers changes to tiny home park regulations.

Wildfire updates:
Holy Fire alleged arsonist appears in court, denies charges.
Fires in Plumas, Stanislaus and Lassen NF force campground closures.
Economy around Yosemite suffers due to Ferguson Fire.
Firefighter killed battling Mendocino Complex fire.
Extreme fire danger alert posted for Central Idaho.
America is on fire, burning 1.5 million acres in 15 states.
Is the worst yet to come for wildfire season?
Carr and Mendocino Complex fires continue to grow.
Horrifying fire tornado killed Redding firefighter.

Recent recalls:
Forest River recalls some fifth wheels: wrong weight placard.
Thor recalls motorhomes for missing reflectors.
Keystone RV recall: Propane tank could fall off trailers.
Forest River recalls trailers: Propane tank could detach.

Unique RV Overnight Experiences at 600+ Wineries, Farms and More
With a Harvest Hosts membership (just $49/year), you can stay overnight at more than 600 wineries, farms, breweries and other attractions in North America for free! Harvest Hosts offers a unique alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can meet interesting people, taste great wines, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. Learn more here.

Couple sues large Florida dealership for deceptive sales practices
An elderly couple is suing General RV in Orange Park, Florida, one of the largest RV dealerships in the country, accusing the dealership of not telling them about a recall notice on the vehicle. This is the second time in recent months that General RV has been sued, previously being accused of duping an elderly couple into buying an RV with a list of defects. Read more.

RV lemon law lawyer advises owner of defective motorhome
video camera WPTake 30-odd minutes to watch this fascinating episode of The RV Show USA syndicated radio program. RV lemon law attorney Rick Dalton helps a couple whose brand-new 2018 Jayco motorhome began falling apart after only two uses, rendering it unusable. The list of defects is almost too long to comprehend. Watch the video.

2019 Chevy Silverado introduces new Advanced Trailering System
The 2019 Chevy Silverado will be available to tow your fifth-wheel trailer, but this year with a little hi-tech pizazz to make the process easier and safer. It’s called the Advanced Trailering System (ATS), a package that comes standard on some Silverado pickups and available as an option on others. Chevy claims that a number of new features should make towing less of a pain. Hallelujah! Read more.

This week’s Reader Poll
Which cell phone service do you use?
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.

spyWhat we learned from you last week
In last Saturday’s poll regarding whether you thought a special driver’s license should be required for RVs beyond a certain length, we learned that most of you think a special license should be required for everyone’s safety, and maybe even to save marriages! Regarding other intelligent life in the universe, almost two-thirds of you believe there is, but about one-fourth said there isn’t even intelligent life here on earth! We also learned about the color of dreams, and how many of you have and use Facebook. Read the interesting details (and some humorous comments) here!

Readers talk about their Good Sam Club experiences
Why do RVers sign up for the Good Sam Club? That’s what we asked you last week and a large number of responses rolled in – more than 3,100 answers at the time of this writing. Here’s a breakdown, in order of “why” readers signed up, along with comments pro and con regarding member “benefits.” Learn more.

RVing dogs be warned: Dog food health alert
Many RVers travel with dogs, and most RVers don’t have kitchens large enough to prep pounds of homemade dog food each week. A new study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an alert about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. This article explains what DCM is, what signs to watch for, and what to do if you think your dog might have this potentially fatal disease.

BearWise program hopes to discourage bear scavenging in Florida
It’s not just irresponsible campers leaving unsecured food in campsites that lures bears, resulting in conflicts between bears and humans. Bears quickly learn that trash cans, dumpsters and bird feeders are sources of food and that these sources are also connected to humans. But in Florida, the “BearWise” program is attempting to head off the bears’ early education of identifying humans with food by securing trash cans and dumpsters. Learn more

The rise and fall of CampLite and Ford truck campers
This is the story, published at Truck, of how CampLite and Ford truck campers blazed a trail of innovation through the truck camper marketplace, and then went out in a fog of mismanagement, non-communication and confusion. Read it.

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. 

“Red tide” decimates SW Florida’s marine life
If you have been RVing along Florida’s southwestern coast you have likely noticed the toxic algae bloom known as the “red tide” that has persisted for months and is taking a deadly toll on marine wildlife. In response, Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven coastal counties affected by the algae. Learn more.

New SW Washington RV dealership and repair facility begins construction
Construction has begun on a new 18-acre RV sales and repair facility along Interstate 5 in Woodland, Washington. B. Young RV purchased the property in December 2016 to construct a 47,000-square-foot building with a parking lot and an inventory yard. The two-story building will have multiple service bays, sales office, storage area and administrative offices. Learn more.

Looking down at the convertible top.

Lume Traveler trailer features convertible top, rear outdoor kitchen
The Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, which calls itself “The world’s largest trade fair for motor homes and caravans,” displays some of the sleekest, most groundbreaking motorhome and caravan designs of the year. One unique design making its debut is the Lume Traveler, a rounded, convertible box trailer. European media outlets have compared the Lume Traveler to both an Airstream and a horse trailer. Learn more.

The very real danger of rain and tire grip
Rich “The Wanderman” complains that it’s been raining … a lot … in the Northeast. Pretty much every week (or day!) there’s a downpour – and this is supposed to be summer! It makes traveling more dangerous than when it’s dry outside. First, there is the obvious problem of reduced visibility. But what about your tires’ lack of traction or “grip” in the rain. Here are some tips to stay safe when driving/towing your RV on wet roads.

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
Camping World customer satisfaction poll deeply lopsided.
Good Sam membership closes in on two-million mark.
Video: RVs in Badlands National Park.
ReserveAmerica out. New efficient campsite booking system coming.
Protect your RV tires – especially when parked.
• Video and article: Best grease for lubricating trailer plug?
Wife has difficulty both “heading out” and “heading home.”

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.

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.

RV guided tours
If you’re looking for a new experience with your RV, consider a guided tour, where all the planning and details along the way are handled for you. Plus you’ll make some great friends! See what tours are coming up.

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.

Real-time interactive map of USA wildfires. (Note: Click the “x” next to “Sign In” if you don’t want to sign in.) Includes number of acres burned and percentage of containment for every wildfire (currently 89) in America. From Here from NOAA is a map of the current fire and smoke conditions in North America (click below the map for “fire” or “smoke”).  Map of Canadian wildfires. From Natural Resources Canada.

A Waterless RV Wash & Wax!
Spit Shine has more emulsifiers than other waterless washes. It traps and lifts dirt to leave a clean, scratch-free, glossy surface. Great for when you’re on the go and don’t have access to a water hose. Requires just a damp, and a dry, towel. Watch Wade clean all RV surfaces. Click here to learn more.

Ask the RV Shrink

Wife afraid of arriving at campground after dark; husband doesn’t learn

Dear RV Shrink:
When we started RVing it only took one bad experience to decide I never wanted to drive in the dark again. My husband seemed to agree, but he has a tendency to push the limits of our driving day. Recently we were headed for a county park at Anacortes, Washington. It was getting late, but we were only an hour from our destination. My husband talked me into going the rest of the way, so we arrived in total darkness. …

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

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.

gas-738Latest fuel prices, August 13, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.84 [Calif.: $3.49]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 46 cents.
Diesel: $3.22. [Calif.: $3.94]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 62 cents.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 3 of 13
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.

The more “automatic” your response is to a fire alarm in your coach, the better. To help make your response more automatic, establish a fire escape plan and have fire drills regularly. The first step to developing an effective fire plan is to make sure everyone is familiar with at least two escape routes – one in the front and one in the rear of the coach. As soon as they’re old enough, teach children to open hatches and emergency exits.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon. Here are links from for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, LP gas detectors, and combination smoke and CO detectors

Today’s Coupons at
Do you love coupons, those handy things that save you lots o’ money? Did you know Amazon publishes a whole bunch of them every day? There are pages and pages of them on food products, clothing, sundries, toys, electronics, tools, even RV accessories. So go ahead, save some money! Check ’em out.

RV Quick Tips

Bungee cord caution
Sharon Baron posts this thought for your consideration: “I am a nurse. I manage many medical cases that originated from only injuries. I have a patient who lost the sight of his eye….almost lost the entire globe if it was not for the fast reacting doctors at a specialized eye facility. This injury was not for a standard hospital ER. The injury was from a snap to the eye from a bungee cord. The injury destroyed his cornea and damaged his retina. So far five surgeries from accumulated damage. I too have almost had a disaster from a snapping bungee cord to the eye. I was SO lucky. My professional recommendation is to USE ONLY STRAPS. There are many wonderful adjustable straps you can get with various lengths. Harbor Freight has a good variety of sizes and colors. DON’T USE BUNGEE CORDS. SAVE YOUR EYES!!”

Use a departure checklist
In my early days of RVing there was one time when I had done everything I was supposed to and was ready to pull out. When I looked in my left side mirror, I could only see the side of my RV. I couldn’t see behind it. I wondered how that mirror got knocked out of alignment. Then I realized that there was nothing wrong with the mirror. The problem was that I had not put the slide in. I was looking at the slide. From that point on I used a checklist, and like Santa Claus, I check it twice. I should have known to use a checklist. All pilots religiously use a takeoff and a landing checklist. Having a checklist (and always using it) will make your RVing safer, less stressful, and more enjoyable. From “RVing: Less Hassle—More Joy: Secrets of Having More Fun with Your RV—Even on a Limited Budget.” Available at

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

tempgun-682Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Microwave plate cover contains splatters, stows flat
How many times have you exploded something in the microwave? Figured it is time to get yourself a collapsible microwave cover? This microwave-safe cover collapses for easy storage. Multiple lid perforations allow steam to escape while keeping food moist. Learn more.

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

Inflatable foot rest is comfortable for couch and passenger seat

Now that’s cool! Missing your favorite recliner? Miss it no more! This inflatable foot rest is perfect for lounging on the couch, in the chair by the campfire, or in the passenger seat for long drives. Take it on a plane ride, or take it to the grandkids’ soccer game (we know those can get long). It weighs less than 1 lb. and folds down small for travel. Learn more about this comfy foot rest here.

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

How to figure mpg when generator and engine use same fuel tank

Dear Gary,
We have a diesel generator on our motorhome. The generator uses the same fuel and same tank as what runs the motor. How much fuel will the generator use, let’s say, in an hour? How can I figure out my gas mileage when using the generator once in awhile? —Janice F.

Read Gary’s response.

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

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

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Want to boondock in California this fire season? Go West!

Hi Bob,
Making camping location decisions has been especially hard this year with the wildfires. Can you recommend anywhere we can boondock in the West (we’d prefer to stay in California if possible) that won’t be so smoky or where we won’t be driven out by the fires? —Bud 

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.

Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best seller. Learn more or order.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Is advanced pedestal testing feasible?

Dear Mike,
It may be best to check pedestal voltage under load before plugging in. Is there an easy way to do this? —Don/Piano-tuna

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.

You loved the spray; DEET-free mosquito repellent wipes really work!

Back by popular demand, these DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent wipes really work! We had previously recommended the spray, but for those of you who don’t need it that often, or like the convenience of throwing a wipe or two in your day pack, these are perfect. Like we said before, as RVers, we’re going to need this stuff! Learn more or order here.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Internal vs. external TPMS comparison – Hot ambient temperature
Since March, Roger has been conducting comparison tests of a couple of different Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). This is the final post on the comparison of different sensor locations. There was a question raised about his previous test results as the internal system was from TST and the external sensors were from TireTraker. He needed to learn if the minor differences were due to the different brands or the different sensor locations. Read the test results and Roger’s conclusions here.

tire-guage660Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble!
gauge4An excellent 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.

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows

Great balls of fire! The globular clusters of the Milky Way
Planets are cool, nebula are fine, distant galaxies can be fun to track down and squint at for hours, but for Chris Fellows’ money there is nothing in the night sky like a globular cluster. These little islands of stars are nearly galaxies in their own right. Made up of thousands if not millions of stars and orbiting the core of the Milky Way, a globular cluster is a tightly compacted ball of strangely ancient stars that swarm around our galaxy like bees around a hive. Learn more.

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

The RV Kitchen 
with Janet Groene

Stone Print Molasses Cookies
Old-fashioned molasses cookies. This delightful old recipe makes new sense in the RV era because it’s so easy to stir up in a saucepan. The dough is then imprinted with anything from the flat bottom of a glass to a carving such as a butter press, Pennsylvania Dutch cookie press or your own design carved out of a potato. Put the kids to work on this one on a rainy day. The name comes from the day when the bottom of a stone jar was used. Get the recipe.

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


foil-757Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.

The RoVing Naturalist
with Dennis Prichard

Animals’ ages
How old do animals get? That is a good question – one that’s not easily answered. Different methods are used to tell each animal’s age, and then these methods don’t always hold true. Here is fascinating information about animals’ ages, how they are ascertained, what causes some to live longer than similar animals, and some amazing world records for animal longevity. Learn more.

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.

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (Source: Website)

RV Short Stop
with Julianne G. Crane

Louisville Slugger Museum – A hit with the kids
Louisville, Kentucky
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is all about celebrating the extraordinary role of the Louisville Slugger bat in baseball’s past, present and future. Guests of all ages enjoy seeing bats being made on every tour, every day. There are hands-on exhibits for the kids, fun stories from history, and fascinating machinery. Everyone receives a miniature souvenir bat at the end of the tour – and you can even have it personalized. Batter up! Learn more.

An umbrella that fits in your pocket? Yup!
You heard it here first! This lightweight umbrella folds down inside a waterproof case to fit inside your purse or pocket. Nearly the same size as your sunglasses case, this umbrella is perfect for day trips and travel. This little umbrella is only 6″ long and weighs a mere 6 oz; you’ll never get tired of carrying this around! Learn more or order here. 

Free and bargain camping

Real Canadian Superstore # 1531, Vernon, BC
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Permission not required, but please obtain it anyway as we would at any retail location. Multiple nights may be granted. Free dump station. Well-lit, mostly level, appears safe. Potable water available; fill with permission. Several dining options plus a small casino with pub and restaurant. Address: 5001 Anderson Way. GPS: 50.285335, -119.270606

Home Depot, Tehachapi, CA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Permission from the manager on duty required. Park along S edge of lot, next to displayed storage sheds. Level, well-lit and appears safe. Light traffic noise from SR 58, train noise from RR tracks. Address: 507 Mill St. GPS: 35.13722, -118.452762

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

Discovering Bigfoot
Felton, CA
Have you seen him? You thought you saw him run through the Redwoods? Was that him on the glacier atop Mt. Hood? You’re not alone. This museum, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, showcases photographs, video footage, audio files, and a map locating more than 150 sightings. Even if you don’t believe in the big, hairy guy, this museum has got to be pretty interesting. Visit the museum website here. 

vac-square-755vac-long-755Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
This Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Lightweight Bagless Stick Vacuum is compact and it works great. Plus it converts to a hand vacuum in a snap! It’s the vacuum of choice in the RV Travel motorhome. Weighs less than 4 pounds. Learn more or order for about $20.

Upcoming RV Shows

• Midwest RV Super Show, August 9-12, August 16-19, Elkhart, IN (Delayed due to rain)
Beat the Heat RV & Boat Show Sale,
August 17-18, Greenville, SC (Canceled)
• 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.
• Great American RV Show,
September 13-15, Colorado Springs, CO
• Maryland RV Show,
September 13-16, Timonium, MD
• Portland Fall RV and Van Show,
September 13-16, Portland, OR
• Georgia RV & Camper Show,
September 14-16, Atlanta, GA
• Indianapolis Fall Boat and RV Show,
September 21-23, Indianapolis, IN

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.


When Disneyland opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the distant future: 1986.

Bumper sticker of the week
I have no idea where I’m going.

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

Joke of the Week
Seeing her friend Sally wearing a new locket, Meg asks if there is a memento of some sort inside. “Yes,” says Sally, “a lock of my husband’s hair.” “But Larry’s still alive, replied Meg.” “I know, said Sally, but his hair is gone.”

Worth Pondering
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”Eleanor Roosevelt

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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.

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4 years ago

When is comes to RV toilets I use the campsites. Much easier and no hassles. When it comes to dealership I thought RV General was terrific. That was 2 years ago. This time we went with the same rep and no problems. I saw what I wanted and went out to look at it. It was when we went to buy it that we got a huge pressure sale to buy the warranty. We got ganged up on when we said no and then the first sales lady left and another showed up to really put the squeeze on us. We still said no but still was shaking our heads with disbelief that we would be ganged up on. Warranties are not necessary unless you feel you need it. We traded our old model in for a bigger one, not by much but still. Watch yourselves when you do business with RV General. Never thought we would encounter a high pressure sale to buy the warranty.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jillie

I bought an RV with a bathroom that is meant to be used, and it is with no problems. I have no need to use a campground bathrooms.

4 years ago

Since I can’t open your email on my iPad I would like to try the RSS feed.
You say to sign up below, to me that means at the end of the newsletter but I don’t find it there. Where is it?

My problem started when I updated, can’t find any solution. Won’t open South West Airlines either!

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  Harry

Sorry, Harry. In the box where it says to receive daily headlines, and then says “enter your email address,” just type in your email address and then click on the box right below it where it says, “Sign me up.” That should do it. Thanks! —Diane at

Jim collins
4 years ago

Another weekend goes by and I didn’t get the newsletter again, don’t understand it ,I get the daily ones with no problem. Luckily I can pull the missing ones up on the web site like I did this one.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jim collins

Sorry, Jim. I just checked the list and it shows you are subscribed to the weekly RV Travel Newsletter (along with several others), and that the most recent one was sent to you on Saturday at your email address. I’m not sure why you’re not receiving it. Maybe your computer has it blocked somehow because of your security settings? We’re trying to get all of our links secured, but the “big” newsletter doesn’t have them all updated yet. That’s all I can think of, but I’m certainly not computer savvy. Maybe Chuck or someone can help with this. Thanks for your patience in the meantime. —Diane at

Joanie T.
4 years ago

Some of the Winnebagos have the same poor toilet design. I have a 2016 Adventurer. The toilet room is on the passenger side and the tank is more on the drivers side. First time out we were surprised when the toilet paper built up in the tube. Of course I was blamed for using too much TP! But after cleanout we discovered the turn in the pipe. We have to fill the bowl up to almost half way to make it all go down. This is a problem when dry camping so we have to use CG restrooms. Do RV designers even camp with their families in what they design??!! If they do they would design better!

Margaret B
4 years ago

Well, here I am again…the widow with the 2017 THOR ACE that has spent almost its entire time on the dealer lot or service center and is still not over and I am one of the people you mentioned as I have this exact design flaw with their toilets.

I finally get to take my RV from service and off on its maiden voyage and another list of problems was appearing on a daily basis and this darn toilet was the worst along with leaking water under the sink so bad it was running into the dinette storage area.

The toilet was a pain through the whole month I was away and at first would spew contents up and out in a giant bubble onto the floor and walls and it wasn’t until I shut the water off to take a good look down that I see a sharp bend in the sewer pipe right beneath the trap and I mean right beneath it not a foot down but right there and then I did some research and read many many complaints about this same problem and that the black tank is all the way on the other side and yes mine was too. Nothing and I mean nothing other than liquids can go down those toilets unless you have gallons and gallons of water and a huge bucket nearby to flush or your asking for a major clean up which I had several times. It’s absolutely disgusting and as a retired Nurse this is unhygienic to say the least. THOR are aware of this problem but I’m still dealing with all of the issues I complained about on here before and still waiting on them making things right….but just this last week after being promised they would extend my warranty I end up getting an email from them asking me to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement that was shocking to say the least as this was very cleverly worded to where it will only be a “Limited” Warranty and before they will provide this I have to release them from any further issues, complain, repairs and ….future warranty issues and must not discuss any of this with anyone at all and release them and the dealership from all liabilities! For what monetary compensation am I being asked to sign all my rights away after they have had my brand new 2017 RV for 18 months????? NOTHING not a single penny compensation for the almost 2 years depreciation or my payments tax, insurance etc…nothing! They just want me to sign my rights away for a limited warranty and then go on to say this will release them from any further warranty issues! The saddest part is I’m not the only one being treated this way by this company there are hundreds more of us with brand new units we can’t use while they sit waiting to be repaired. I paid for a brand new undamaged RV that came with a 1 year full warranty and that’s what I should receive and here I am still fighting this battle and will not give up and I will not be signing any GAG Order and be silenced so they can go on and do this to other unsuspecting new owners as I would not wish this nightmare on anyone and want to get on with my life!

Margaret B
4 years ago
Reply to  Margaret B

I also forgot to add that as soon as I returned home I had my appointment to return the RV yet again to the service dept which I delivered last Tuesday for a long list of repairs some of which are repairs already done twice before and my RV will be there at the earliest until the end of September so I’ve had my RV for one vacation in 19 months!

4 years ago

The Discovering BigFoot Museum is in Felton, CA, as you mentioned BUT that is 1.5 SOUTH of San Francisco!!

Mark B
4 years ago

Re: Minnesota Crypto Incident…

South of the Twin Cities, there are 3 large family campgrounds. They are generally very well run; some in the same family for generations.

These campgrounds have so much demand that on a nice weekend their pools and water parks seem to be at capacity for safety and water quality. Mine is not a professional opinion, just a casual observation.

As the owner of Shades of Sherwood offered, they have approx 1.500 people on a given weekend day. Not everyone climbs in the pool, the water park or floats down the river in inner tubes. But the numbers of people are so high at these locations it is surprising how rarely they have issues.

These campgrounds are adjacent to small communities, and the Minnesota Department of Health probably has limited resources to followup during any given season.

On weekends, we didn’t allow our children to use the kiddy wading pool. With just inches of water and maybe a dozen toddlers sitting in their swim diapers we knew no good could come from that. If you don’t believe disposable swim diapers can leak feces, then I have a unicorn to sell you.

As they grew, we used to ensure they were the first in the pool (on the weekend) as that was when sanitation would be most effective.

More often though, we did our camping on the non-weekend days. Spaces were available, it was just so much more serene and we didn’t need to worry about the water.

Phil Atterbery
4 years ago

I am not an engineer, nor do I resemble one on the interweb. I do have some experience making things work that engineers dream up. I look at how things are built now. In our next coach I will look at design of function. I let the DW look at the “pretty” stuff.

D 'n C
4 years ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

As an engineer, I must make it clear that there are many, many inputs in addition to engineering that go into every product made! To blame engineers for every product short-coming is not only unfair, but completely untrue. For a fact, I can assure you that engineering is, AT BEST, often a secondary (or even lower level) consideration. Most often, cost, profit, and/or production issues trump everything, including engineering! Not only that, but many products are produced without any engineering AT ALL! When engineering is employed, engineering is almost never allowed to continue beyond the minimum needed to just get production rolling. Management of cost, while important, has a direct impact on the extent of engineering that is ever allowed in product development.

4 years ago

I was on my maiden voyage in June visiting family in MT when my former neighbor told me about his maiden trip…The toilet backed up and there was poo in the toilet. When they got home he was mucking it out and trying to get it to flush. He stuck a stick down in it finding a small hole and hit something. He finally got his shop vac out and tried to suck out the rest of it…a soda can came out.
They had purchased the unit at an RV show. It was taken back to the shop to be readied for delivery…guess they didn’t try to flush the toilet as part of it. All they could figure out was someone at the show had stuffed the can down the toilet. The dealer finished the clean out and gave them free winterization and dewinterizing for three years plus some other free camping supplies. Don’t think he asked them to pay fo the shopvac he had to replace though.

Thomas Urso
4 years ago

Regarding the black tank and toilet problem.
Winnebago plumbs the toilet so it is right above and connected directly to the black tank so no blockage. However if not enough water is used it will pile up in tank at toilet opening.
The best thing to do is to use plenty of water when flushing like you use at home.

4 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Urso

What happens when you have a bath and a 1/2 floor plan?

Dave Telenko
4 years ago

In response to one of Dave G. concerns. That being the NEWER windows that ONLY open at the bottom. WE dry camp & even with a decent breeze, nothing comes in the darn window. I do understand their thinking as to keep the rain out! Is there a way to open them up so they actually let air in. I for sure don’t want to run an AC unit so I can have fresh air.I just measured them & they only open about 4 inches. The sliders in our other class “A” were great for letting in fresh air, but could also let in rain. I remember having a 1965 Utopia 17′ trailer that was the best for letting in air as it had those louvered windows from one end to the other, i actually miss that old gal!

Margaret B
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave Telenko

Dave I have those new frameless windows too and can’t get over how fragile they are when you open them and with only a few inches no air gets in at all. There are many complaints about them and the seals failing and the windows flying off on the freeway, I know of 2 people dealing with this right now and I that already had them repaired at the THOR factory but they are failing again.

4 years ago

bungee cords are indeed dangerous. I had one snap and smash into my face causing black eye (lucky that’s all it did to eye) cut my face and broke my glasses. I still use but not very much and never with much pressure. Use only straps when need to really secure something.

John Hiler
4 years ago

There is no law – yet- that you have to buy junk. Stores are full of junk, high profit junk. The “Cheap is Best” mentality that everyone is immersed in calls the shots…

Ron La Grassa
4 years ago

I look forward to Saturdays arrival of your newsletter.
However, I noticed something missing…..
What ever happened to “This week in history” section?

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  Ron La Grassa

Sorry, Ron. The newsletter was getting way too long so we had to pare down on some of the features that were less RV-oriented than others. Thanks for asking. —Diane at

Alan Goldberg
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane, Maybe it’s getting too long due to the ten fold increase in advertising. Just a thought.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan Goldberg

Hi, Alan,
Thanks for your comment. I really doubt it’s a ten-fold increase in advertising (Chuck would know more about that). I just know we have quite a few paid staff and freelance writers, and other bills to pay. Since a rather small percentage of our readers are voluntary (contributing) subscribers, we need to earn the money somehow. When was at its busiest (before my time here), I understand it paid for the newsletter(s) and then some. I think Chuck has mentioned that he would rather do without advertisers, if possible, but at this point it’s not possible. We do believe, however, that the newsletters are full of useful, educational and sometimes entertaining content, and trust that you feel the same — even though you obviously feel there is too much advertising. Just remember, unless you’re a contributing subscriber, you receive all of this information free. And we really, truly appreciate our contributors. —Diane at

Alan Goldberg
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Hi Diane,
Wow guess I hit a nerve. Sorry if I upset you. It’s just seems to be getting difficult to read.
After all It’s the free version that gets you the paid customers, . If your freeloaders un-scribe your advertisers may leave.
I do enjoy the newsletters. and hope you are able to navigate a proper balance and survive.
Remember us freeloaders do click to Amazon and buy from your advertisers so maybe we do contribute to the support of your fine newsletter after all.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan Goldberg

Hi, Alan. No, you didn’t upset me — just trying to explain the situation. But I was thinking overnight that my answer wasn’t complete. I neglected to mention that we’ll be working on a version of the newsletter for the voluntary subscribers (those who send in donations) which will not include advertisements. Also, anyone who signs up for our daily RSS feed receives an email with links to all of our articles published in the previous 24 hours — and that also doesn’t include ads. So, we’re trying to be fair to all of our readers and still remain afloat. And yes, clicking to Amazon also helps us — and we appreciate that very much! Please bear with us while we work on all of these new plans and projects — we’re constantly striving to make things better in every respect for all of our readers. Have a great day! 😀 —Diane at

John Crawford
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

This was one of your best newsletters to date. A lot of good information and a great survey.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  John Crawford

Well, thank you very much, John! We certainly appreciate your kind comments. And we’ll do our best to continue to improve what we present to our readers and how we present it — it’s a challenge to ourselves that we gladly accept every day. Have a good night. 😀 —Diane at

4 years ago

On the Free and Bargain Camping you list The Great Canadian Superstore, Veron, B.C. There is no such city in B.C. It is actually VERNON, B.C. at the address you have on Anderson Way. Probably just a typo but pity the poor camper trying to find Veron.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  George

Thanks, George! It’s been corrected. Gold star for you today. 😀 –Diane at

4 years ago

Referring to the Camping World dilemma…people should use better judgment and stop wasting time,and money,with those crooks.Why do they call it common sense when there is so little of it? As for the poor quality in today’s RV’s…it will catch up with the fast buck corporate con artists sooner or later.

4 years ago

RV Checklist
I experimented with several formats, from note cards to various phone Apps, for the best checklist to fit our needs. Our kids introduced us to a wonderful free phone App called Our Groceries. Not only does this allow you to enter/customize/delete items from a “grocery list”, but you can also create multiple lists. I have a list for grocery shopping and three lists customized for our RV.
1) RV Prep List – includes maintenance and pre-travel reminders.
2) RV Snowbird Departure List – includes reminders for home and RV when extended trips are planned away from the sticks & bricks home.
3) RV Departure List – for daily or frequent travel such as reminders for leveling jacks, tv antennae, vehicle lights & turn signals, steps, awnings, etc.

Our grandkids enjoy helping me check off items when departing from their homes. It makes them feel like they are an important part of the process, and they certainly are.

When items are checked off on the list, the crossed-off items are displayed at the bottom of the list and can be added back at the end of the travel day to be reused again at the next departure!

This app can be networked between multiple devices (phones, laptops, etc).

When we stop, whether overnight or extended stays, I have a simple, reusable 3×5 notecard that has CHECKLIST written on it that is moved from the driver console and placed on the instrument panel as a reminder to check off necessary items prior to travel. I really appreciate the ease of adding/deleting/changing items to make each checklist fit our specific needs.

In my opinion there are Tools, and there are Cool Tools. This multi-function customizable and easy-to-use-and-reuse-App is a Cool Tool!

4 years ago
Reply to  Ray

I have to agree with everything you say about Our Groceries, we’ve been using it for years after exhaustive trying to find the perfect list app. Setup is very easy, shareable, and very easy to change.

4 years ago

I don’t know if you keep a list or there is one. I made a major mistake (will really just did not keep track of dates on a trip).
I had an open date, I had NO stay booked for the 17th.
I did not discover until I was at HIGHLAND RIDGE
EAU GALLE LAKE. The Host told me they where full for the night. He suggest a BP station in Spring Valley, and for $20 this night I had a electric and water site in a very nice space.

Dave Gobel
4 years ago

You have been writing recently about the poor quality of new rvs. I suspect you are right in your observations. We currently own a 2008 Allegro Bay by Tiffin and like our coach. But in looking to upgrade to a new(er) diesel I have noticed a couple of troubling design issues. First, a lot (not all) of he newer coaches have windows that open only at the bottom. If you like to camp with your window open instead of running the air conditioner you are out of luck. Second is the layout of the living area. If you have a mid-coach TV with a chair right next to it and then a couch, I would like to know how you are supposed to watch the TV.. Pull your chair out into the middle of the room? That kind of defeats the purpose of haven usable floor space.

4 years ago
Reply to  Dave Gobel

We are still driving our 1997 Newmar Mountainaire because of this very thing. We cannot find another motorhome with the room and features of this old girl. Yes they have lots and lots of bells and whistles, but nothing beats the quality and space of the older models. And the whistles always break and I have enough ringing in my ears, so don’t need the bells. JMO. Thinking of getting “antique” plates!