Friday, September 22, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 869

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 18th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

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Issue 869 • Week of October 27 – November 2, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner 
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

I would like to tell you a story from many years ago that I didn’t write about. It was back in the day when I was just beginning to earn my living as a writer, before I could come upon practically any situation, like today, and feel compelled to write about it.

It happened in Needles, Calif., a desert town along Route 66 best known for its sizzling summers and Snoopy’s brother Spike. I now call my non-story “The fly swatter repairman at the Texaco station I never knew.”

I was on a car road trip to the Midwest from my home in northern California. My gas tank was low so I pulled into the Texaco station to fill up. It was unbearably hot — a day when you want nothing to do with sunshine. As folks sometimes say in and around Needles, it was so hot “you could fry an egg on the hood of your car.”

THIS WAS A LONG TIME AGO, when an attendant would pump your gas. While my tank was being filled, I stretched my legs. In those days, gas stations did not have mini-marts, only coin machines that dispensed a bottle of Coke for a quarter.

So, in telling you that I was an adult in an era when Coke was a quarter, you know that I am of a generation that is commonly referred to as “old people.”

Quarter in hand, I walked toward the machine, which was near the big window of the gas station’s greasy, cluttered office. Inside, an old man sat on a chair. I couldn’t tell what he was doing. But then on the window I spotted a handmade cardboard sign: “Fly Swatters Repaired.” Sure enough, he was repairing a fly swatter.

Old fashioned fly swatters

For you youngsters reading this, I should tell you that fly swatters were not always made of plastic. They once had a wire mesh webbing that was superb for obliterating a fly. I can’t remember now exactly how the man repaired his fly swatters because I wasn’t curious about everything then like today. But I do recall thinking that you could buy a brand-new fly swatter for less than a dollar. So how could a person earn any money repairing them? I watched the man for a minute then went back to my car, paid for my gas and drove away heading east on the Mother Road.

Ten minutes or so later, I starting thinking about the old man. I thought about turning back to talk with him, to learn more about repairing fly swatters. But as each minute passed, so did another mile, and turning around became a bigger commitment. I kept going.

I returned to Needles a few years later and stopped at the Texaco station. The man was not there, and there was no sign advertising fly swatter repair. I asked the station attendant about the man, but he said he had never heard of him. I was hugely disappointed in not learning about the man, and how and why he repaired fly swatters. Nowadays, I would never let a story like that slip by.


Coming by the end of next month
A new and improved website. Easier to navigate and more mobile-friendly.
A special members-only edition of this weekly newsletter with premium content and fewer ads. Become a member.

Winterizing 101 with Road & Home™
Prepping your RV before it sits for the winter months is an essential step to ensuring longevity and a fully functioning RV come spring. With Road & Home™’s complete collection of RV plumbing parts, you can cross off your checklist with a quick trip to your local Lowe’s store. See our recommended tips for winterizing here.

Sign up for Mike Sokol’s monthly newsletter about RV electricity or any of our other newsletters.

•Did you miss last week’s RV Travel? Read it here.
Directory of back issues.

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cover story

Ex-Flying J President heads to jail
By Editor Chuck Woodbury

Former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood is set to begin serving a 12 1/2-year sentence for cheating some customers out of millions of dollars at the pump. For years, Pilot Flying J has been a popular fueling and overnight stopping point for RVers. Good Sam Club members receive a fuel discount as part of their membership. Based on Mr. Hazelwood’s crimes (and a vulgar, racist audio recording by an FBI informant), I’m not very excited about doing business there anytime soon. Read more.

The latest RVing news from our newsroom

Great t-shirt:.”Warning: I’m retired. I know everything and have plenty of time to talk. Approach with caution!”

Nebraska Parks to raise camping fees as sites cater to luxury RVs.
Firefighters can’t save burning motorhome on Washington highway.
Residents fed up with frequent flooding of their mobile home & RV park.
Camper van goes up in flames outside a Tim Hortons in Ontario.
Owner vs. town code: Is it a tiny house or a “custom travel trailer”?
Seattle councilman proposes RV lots for homeless RV dwellers.

Missouri RVer leads deputies on high-speed chase.
New York state officials’ questionnaire invites feedback on black bears.
Body of fourth person missing from flooded Texas campground recovered.
300 pounds of pot found in motorhome after traffic stop.
Brake failure causes RV to roll over in South Dakota.
Fire possibly started by homeless RVers causes evacuation of Lowe’s store.

Travel trailers to become temporary homes to hurricane victims.
Fulltime RVer rescued from flash-flooded lake bed campsite.
Pa. State Parks adding free EV and hybrid charging stations

Recent recalls:
Keystone recalls towables for axle issue.
Hymer recalls Roadtreks for potential battery acid spill.
Winnebago recalls trailers: Missing LP clamp could cause fire.
Jayco recalls trailers: Turn signal, brake lights wired wrong.
KZRV recalls trailers: LP manifold could leak, cause fire.
Forest River recalls trailers for possible brake failure.

The EASY way to buy window shades
Carefree‘s Simply Shade Window Awning is the first cash and carry complete window awning system that can be bought off of dealer shelves and installed the same day! Simply Shade Awnings fit windows up to 36″ tall. Click here to learn more. 

Class action lawsuit filed against Camping World
The Chicago law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of Camping World Holdings, Inc. Class A common stock during the period between March 8, 2017 and August 7, 2018 (the “Class Period”). … The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding Camping World’s business, operations and financial condition. Learn more.

RV and trailer sales expected to reach record highs
RV manufacturers are recognizing the impact younger buyers are having on RV sales, especially small towables, illustrating that bigger isn’t always better. This has led to record-breaking sales growth this year as RV shipments are expected to hit their highest level ever, according to the RVIA, marking the industry’s eighth consecutive year of gains. Read more.

Motorhome selling prices at auction rise in Sept. over previous month
Black Book reported that the average selling price of motorized units at auction last month increased by nearly 9%, representing the third highest mark in history, according to RVBusiness. “One thing that caught my eye was that there was a larger than usual amount of 2018 models in the mix, perhaps being disposed of to make room for some incoming 2019s,” said Black Book’s Eric Lawrence in a press release. Read more.

Don’t look a Class B white elephant in the mouth
This is a story of a white elephant – actually a Class B motorhome – that Russ and Tiña De Maris inherited from a long-time friend. Written in Russ’ inimitable style, it tells some of the older as well as more recent history of this classy RV and where it stands now – literally. Read more, and if you have a suggestion for Russ, please post it in the comments section below the article.

RV lemon lawyer shares inside info for owners of defective RVs
Rick Dalton, a Louisiana RV lemon lawyer, talked with syndicated radio talk show host Alan Warren last week about what to do if you have a defective RV — one where no matter what you do it’s still sitting in the shop month after month. This is valuable information you won’t want to miss. Listen to the commercial-free audio podcast.

RV shipments nosedive in September following August decline
Is the RV sales boom about to bust? For the second straight month, shipments from RV manufacturers declined over the previous year. The RV Industry Association’s September survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments finished September at 30,969, representing a decrease of 29% from the 43,598 units shipped last September. Learn more.

Yellowstone National Park visitors increased 13% in September
If you are considering an RV vacation to Yellowstone National Park next summer you may want to plan ahead for unintended and unforeseen delays and limited parking in the park as visitation continues to grow and crowds increase. Park staff recently released visitation numbers for September, and the jump from September 2017 was about 13 percent, with 724,454 folks counted this September. Read more.

Homeless veteran to move into new, tiny home in a former campground
Pastor Donnie Davis’ dream is coming true – that on the 277 acres of land beyond the 65-acre lake in Franklinville, New Jersey, he can see little homes dotting the woods, housing his goal of 60 U.S. military veterans – for free. On Oct. 13, volunteers worked towards finishing a piece of that picture – its third microhouse, for 87-year-old Korean War Veteran Sigmond Ronis. Operation Safe Haven is a donation-based tiny house community for veterans struggling to get back on their feet after homelessness, struggles with PTSD, or general hardship. Read more.

It’s almost time for Quartzsite and the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous
Bob Wells is not your typical RVer. But actually, that depends on who you ask. The free-range nomads that attend his Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite in the winter call it “The Real Burning Man.” The rally consists of an assortment of nomads driving converted delivery trucks, Roadtreks, vintage RVs, “skoolies” and the odd Prius, a few thousand altogether that gather in defiance of consumerist society. Read more.

This week’s Reader Poll
Would you pay $15/night for an electric hookup site at a truck stop?
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.

Camp for free at more than 600 wineries and farms
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.

spyWhat we learned from you last week
In Three Little Pigs lingo, your RV is made out of bricks; you don’t usually eat frozen boxed dinners; you’ve traveled to quite a few states; you don’t order from Amazon that frequently; you like to hike, bike and, well, sit on your couch; and you don’t love your Thor Ace motorhome. All this and more, right here.

Free shuttle service into and within Bryce Canyon NP announced
It is not always easy to visit some of our national parks in an RV, where parking is often limited and traffic is heavy. But Red Canyon Transit has announced that it will resume its free scheduled bus service into and within Bryce Canyon National Park beginning April 14. The Rainbow Point Tour, a free tour to the southern end of the park that operates two times a day, will begin operating the same day. Learn more.

Huge tailgate party at Jacksonville’s RV City preps for Georgia-Florida rivalry
You’ve all heard how serious the Southeast takes their college football. One of the most intense rivalries is the Georgia-Florida game this Saturday, which also demonstrates how serious Southerners take their RVs. Loyal fans and their campers lined up days ago waiting to get a spot at RV City for Jacksonville’s most famous tailgate party, which is also called the “World’s largest outdoor cocktail party.” Read more.

Camp Verde council eyes proposal for tiny home community
Tiny home communities continue to pop up, like this proposal before the Camp Verde, AZ, Town Council for a new tiny home agri-tourism community. In August 2017, Camp Verde Community Development Director Carmen Howard and her husband, David, purchased 15 acres of land adjacent to the Yavapai-Apache Agricultural Ranch on Cloverleaf Ranch Road. Their plans for part of the land is for a community of tiny houses on wheels, vintage recreational vehicles and agri-tourism events. Learn more.

Some closures in Canada’s Jasper National Park until 2020 for upgrading
You might want to postpone visiting Canada’s Jasper National Park until May of 2020, when a “major facelift” that includes campground upgrades and removal of diseased trees is completed. Whistlers Campground’s new bypass lane at the east park gates and the removal of dead or dying trees due to the mountain pine beetle infestation are two of three major projects underway in Jasper National Park. Read more.

Remote control pop-up camper grows into a breezy cabana
On the road, the iCamp trailer from Dutch company Udo Camp rides as a flat trailer and looks like the rear-end of a sporty coupe. But in camp, the electric pop-up rises to an 8-foot tall shelter that sleeps and feeds up to four people. The iCamp’s electrically actuated roof rises in under 30 seconds at the push of a remote control button. Beyond that, setup entails dropping down the interior cabinets near the ceiling and arranging the interior furniture and cushions as desired for day or night use. Learn more.

Florida State Parks in recovery mode. How to help
By Eric Draper, Director, Florida State Parks
“On behalf of Florida State Parks, our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Michael. I know many in the Panhandle are still assessing the immense damage, but the recovery process has begun in communities and state parks throughout northwest Florida. In some parts, it will be a long journey.” Continue reading and learn how you can help.

Emergency roadside repair! – Part 2
Last week Rich “The Wanderman” began a trip he believed would be wonderful and relaxing (yeah, right!) – but then a hose ruptured. And about 500 miles from his destination the brake pedal went to the floor. What happened?!

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.

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
RVing today is a far cry from what it was a decade or two ago.
KOA: Where are the RVs?
Near disaster as bus crosses bridge with weight limits. (video)
Zap that filthy RV awning – with Mr. Clean’s help.
RV Electricity – Start me up … Generators and rooftop air conditioners.
What we learned about you last week (October 13-19).
How to get started boondocking in the Southwestern deserts.

RV Protection Deadline Approaching…
Protect your RV before it’s too late! Whether you’re chasing the sun or storing your RV this winter, NOW is the best time to safeguard against RV repair costs with a reliable RV Warranty. Pricing and Eligibility changes hit January 1, 2019, so don’t wait! Click the video or visit here to get a FREE RV Warranty Quote and roll into 2019 with peace of mind. 

From the Reader Forums

Where to get RV registered and titled?
We plan on keeping our NY state home, for now, and start traveling the country in a soon-to-be-purchased, used Class A diesel. I have found an RV that checks off almost all of our boxes. The RV is in Florida and I will be getting it inspected before making the offer. Since I live in NY, I’m trying to figure out about getting the RV titled and registered. Can anyone shed some light on the steps I should take? Will be flying back to NY on Tuesday, 10/16/18. Comment here.

What can be done about RV park overcrowding?
Forum members weigh in with their ideas. How about you? Comment here.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: New users register 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.

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

Where to complain about bad RVs, dealers, service, RV parks. This is an ever-expanding list of resources where you can report, share or discuss your problems with RV manufacturers or dealers.

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

Nobody likes a dirty beast!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
So don’t wash your RV with products designed for cars. Duratain’s Wade Maid products are RV Specific solutions specially formulated to clean and protect your RV’s fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum parts. Watch Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Wade Wax at the Wade Maid website.

Ask the RV Shrink

Already nervous RV driver led astray by expensive GPS

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife bought me a new GPS for my birthday. It’s an expensive, big rig model. It is supposed to have all the latest information to keep me from driving our 40-foot motorhome and toad into areas that are too narrow, too low, etc. Now I am more frustrated than ever. Not only are we out the money for this “special” device, but it is no more accurate than the cheap one I used prior. My wife says I may not be cut out for RVing, or that we need to downsize. …

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.

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.

gas-738Latest fuel prices, October 22, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.84. [Calif.: $3.71]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 36 cents.
Diesel: $3.38. [Calif.: $4.10]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 58 cents.

Lap desk puts your back to rest!
If you find yourself using your computer on your lap, reading your Kindle on the couch, or having a hard time holding that heavy hardback, you need this lap desk! Staff writer Emily uses this when she works and highly recommends it. The desk has eight adjustable levels and even has a stopper to hold objects upright. Great for those who have lower back pain or terrible posture (ahem, Emily). Learn more or order.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip  

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 8 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.

Your motor coach fire escape plan should incorporate the needs of all the occupants, including the young, elderly and disabled. Remove any barriers that might hinder a disabled person and install extra handles on window escape hatches. Also arrange for a family member to assist those who may need help, and have disabled or elderly people sleep close to a safe exit.

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

Keep road flares in the RV for emergency
You should always have road flares in your RV in case of an emergency. This pack of three bright, waterproof, and shatterproof LED disks are perfect to keep tucked away. These bright lights can be seen from a mile away and can be used for traffic control, as a warning light, as a rescue beacon and they can also be used for recreational activities such as camping and hiking. Learn more or order here. 

RV Quick Tips

Easier way to put on an RV cover
Jim Langley says he has a safer way to put on an RV cover: “We protect our 24′ Lazy Daze with a cloth RV cover. I was climbing a 7-foot ladder carrying the bundled cover up and tossing it onto the roof. I had to be careful or the cover would come unbundled and nearly knock me off the ladder. Then, I would have to go down the ladder, bunch it up again and try a second time.

“Finally, I figured out a better way. First I stretch the cover out on the refrigerator side of the RV (this will make sense in a moment). I make sure the cover’s front and rear ends are oriented correctly and that the cover is not inside out. Next I place the ladder next to the RV right below the refrigerator vent on the roof. I make sure that the cover is between the ladder and the RV.

“To put the cover on, I hold it in the middle by the edge of the side of the cover I want to end up on the other side of the RV. Holding one edge of the cover like this, I climb the ladder pulling part of the cover up with me, and then use two spring clips to attach that cover’s edge to the refrigerator vent on the roof. This keeps that small part of the cover in place on the roof. To finish the install, I climb the built-in rear ladder to walk on the roof. I hold the edge I attached to the vent cover and remove the spring clips.

“It’s now relatively easy to pull the cover up and over the roof. Doing it this way is easier, quicker and safer than the bunched method because you pull the cover on with it correctly oriented and you never lift more than a small part of the cover at one time. You can do this alone but it’s better to have a helper on the ground who keeps anything from getting stuck below as you pull the cover up. I would recommend not trying to put on covers on windy days with either method – you can get blown off the roof!” Thanks, Jim!

Don’t forget your TV antenna!
Whenever you are using the TV antenna on your RV, hang the keys of the RV or tow vehicle on the TV antenna handle. This way you will never leave and forget the antenna was up. One of the most common repairs to RVs is a damaged TV antenna. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.

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

Wow! This is handy!
This multifunctional tool is seven in one! This heavy-duty pen tool features a handy tablet or smartphone stylus, a sturdy screwdriver, a bubble level, a universal inch/cm ruler and a handy Phillips screwdriver flathead bit, and it’s only the size of a pen! Perfect for any weekend project, and it even makes a great stocking stuffer. Learn more or order.

Gizmos and Gadgets

New Dometic RMD 10 fridge now available to consumers
First introduced in 2017 to RV manufacturers only, the cutting-edge Dometic RMD 10 refrigerator with innovations like a patented double-hinged door (it can be opened from either side), an elegantly designed controller and the best cooling performance on the market, is now available to consumers. The Dometic RMD 10 is the first model in Dometic’s new refrigerator generation for motorhomes. Learn more.

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

Rate your RV
This new poll asks readers of popular RVs to rate their vehicles.

This week:
Rate your Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel
ONLY RESPOND if you currently own a recent model of this vehicle. Click here. To see the current results without voting, simply click “View Results” in the bottom left corner of the poll.

Last week’s owner ratings: Thor Ace Motorhome. See the results.

No more sticky windows!
An reader recommended this white graphite powder as the perfect fix for sticky windows. Frames can contract in cooler weather, making things tight. He said his fix is lubricating the window tracks with a simple “puff” of white graphite powder. Why the white? “It doesn’t make a mess like the black stuff!” he explained.

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

Storing RV batteries during a harsh winter

Dear Gary:
I have a new motorhome and this will be its first winter. What is the best way to handle RV batteries during the winter? Should I leave the batteries in and keep the coach plugged in or should I take them out and store them for the winter? How about the engine battery? Some people take them out, some people leave them in. Which is best? If I take them out should they be charged once in awhile? —Gary

Read Gary’s response.

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

Collapsible containers perfect for RV kitchen
If you don’t have collapsible food containers for your RV yet, you’re missing out. This set of four is BPA free and microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. Never worry about taking up room again, these fold practically flat! These containers come with air-tight lids which keep food longer, and keep food safer. Order for a great price here. 

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Try winter boondocking at LTVAs in AZ and CA deserts

Hi Bob,
We are planning a travel trailer trip next spring to Utah and Arizona, and maybe more. Your info on BLM camping will help us a lot. Since most of the areas are without amenities, do you have info, or know where we can get it, regarding dump stations along Southwest highways? … —Deb

Read the rest of the question and Bob’s response (including several links for info on boondocking locations).

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

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

Dirty contacts? DeoxIT!
Here’s a comment from our electrical specialist, Mike Sokol: “I’ve used DeoxIT for decades on my pro-sound gear. We use it on speaker connectors, power connectors such as cam-lok and twist-lock plugs (just like RV power), volume controls, gold-plated circuit boards (like in RV refrigerator control boards), etc. There are several different versions of DeoxIT depending on if you want built-in lubricant for potentiometers, or gold contact refurbishing or simply oxidation removal.” Learn more or order.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Generator neutral bonding basics

Dear Mike,
I know your NoShockZone article on generator bonding is getting “dated” at this point, but I just wanted to say thank you for publishing it. This problem has “puzzled” me for a decade now and I’ve looked at many online articles in the past – to no avail. … I wasn’t sure what to trust, but I read this and watched your YouTube video and it made perfect sense. I made up one of your plugs this morning and tested it on my Honda 2000 Companion generator. It worked like magic. … This is a simple and cheap fix for a nagging problem. It should be a “feature” article adopted by all of the online forums. —Bill Burgess

Read Mike’s response.

Mike’s RV Electricity Newsletter Issue #12 arrives tomorrow. Sign up for it here, so you don’t miss this important information each month.

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.

Keep mice out of your RV
The positive reviews on this product from Earthkind make it the best bet for keeping your RV mouse-free. It’s the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 90 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets, too. 98% biodegradable. Learn more or order.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

More on safe driving speeds, and the finite life of tires
Some folks insist that they “have” to drive at 70 to 80 mph while pulling 15,000 pounds of trailer on old, too-small tires. On forums with those comments, Roger tries to give the best answer from the point of extending the life of your tires. Plus, as a retired professional race car driver, he doesn’t buy the “speed kills” mantra. Read more.

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.

The RV Kitchen 
with Janet Groene

Quick and Dirty, “Dirty” Rice
Soul food magic. Dirty Rice is a soul food favorite. It was once a dish prepared by the poor, who were given unwanted giblets and scraps from chickens prepared in the main kitchen. Now it’s a beloved tradition served at family get-togethers in the South and in Harlem’s famous soul food restaurants. Here is our shortcut version. Get the recipe.

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


Say goodbye to goop!
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water-tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.

RV Short Stop
with Julianne G. Crane

Autumn-winter historic scenic train rides
There’s something magical about riding trains. Why not plan a few hours from your RV journeys to experience the autumn color from a historic rail car. There are dozens of restored scenic railroads across the country. Here are just a few.

The best phone mount for RV
Endorsed by the RVtravel staff!
This phone mount suctions, or clips to your dashboard or windshield, and is a sturdy, safe place to keep your phone while driving. Perfect for using the GPS while going down the road. The mount is cushioned for a wobble-free phone and can rotate 360 degrees. We highly recommend this one! Learn more or order. 

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

BIRD DOG: One who refers prospective customers to a particular dealership or salesman for a given fee or compensation.

DIP: This is when the customer needs additional or all of his cash down advanced by a finance company.

ROLL BACK: To work a deal backward. Instead of working with the purchase price and trying to determine a monthly payment, you would start with a known monthly payment and try to determine a selling price. It also means to “roll back” the odometer on an RV to make it worth more money – highly illegal.

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

Fire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-packfire extinguisher
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Learn more or order.

Facebook Groups about RVing

RV Storage Ideas
Tin Can Tourists
Adventures in RV Travel Nursing

Free and bargain camping

Love’s Travel Stop # 272, Kingman, AZ
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from staff or manager on duty. Rigs that will fit in a single auto space may be allowed to park in front area by auto pumps, away from trucks. Longer rigs park either in two end-to-end auto spaces beside auto pumps, or in back with trucks, as directed. Fairly level with a dump station on site. Showers and WiFi available. Subway and Chester’s Chicken on site. Address: 6035 E. Minerva Lane. GPS: 35.19884, -113.90421

Cabela’s, # 067, Ringgold, GA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Store stated permission not required. Park in one of five marked long-vehicle spaces. If these are full, park in NE corner of lot, farthest from store. Level, well-lit and appears safe. Dump station on site. Costco south of lot. Address: 350 Cobb Parkway. GPS: 34.97073, -85.19644

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

Casino Guide includes RVer info and coupons!
The highly rated 2018 American Casino Guide provides detailed information on more than 750 casino/resorts, riverboats and Indian casinos in 41 states including which have RV parks and/or allow RV overnighting for free. Includes maps and more than $1,000 in coupons. Discloses the actual slot machine payback percentages for every state’s casinos. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

Tampa Bay Fall RV Show, November 8-11, Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach Fall RV Show, November 8-11, West Palm Beach, FL
Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale, December 6-9, Indio, CA
Quartzsite RV Show, January 19-27, 2019, Quartzsite, AZ

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

Where have you been all my life?
Another useful quick tip from Mike Sokol! “I used to drag out a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels to clean the inside of my windshield periodically, but unless I was home to think about and do the task right then, chances are I would forget about it until the next time I had to drive at night. My wife just gave me a pack of Windex Wipes for my truck, and now I can clean up the inside of my windshield any time it gets a film of streaky dust. Works great.” Buy them here.

The oldest known living tree in America is a Great Basin bristlecone pine (unnamed) in the White Mountains in eastern California. It is more than 5,000 years old, meaning it was more than 400 years old when the Great Pyramid of Giza was completed! The next-oldest known living tree in America is also a Great Basin bristlecone pine living high in the White Mountains. It is estimated to be about 4,850 years old and is known as Methuselah.

Bumper sticker of the week
Using your turn signal is not “Giving information to the enemy.”

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

Joke of the Week
The oldest computer can be traced to Adam and Eve. Yes, it was an Apple. But with an extremely limited memory. Just one byte. Then everything crashed.

Worth Pondering
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” —Mark Caine

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. Administrative Assistant: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. 

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 newsletter is copyright 2018 by


  1. We are heading to Escalante/Bryce Canyon next July. We found a tour place called Bryce Canyon Scenic Tours. They are doing a special 6 hour tour for us and it is priced inexpensively. I won’t say because your tour might be different. But they are doing a tour exclusively for us. I can’t wait. We are staying at the KOA in Cannonville Utah because it is on the rim of Bryce Canon. Otherwise I can’t wait until July. Even if there are free deals into certain places? I do recommend the tour guides because they can get you into places you can’t get into on your own. Happened with us in Yellowstone. Happy travels.

  2. Ah yes the good old days, when I was a kid, soda was according to brand and the size of the bottle (no cans then) was either 5, 6 or 7 cents. Coke & 7-up were 5 cents, there were in 6 % 7 oz bottles, Nehi (which had about 8 different flavors) & Barq’s Root Beer were in 12 oz bottles and was 6 cents, Big Giant Cola (yes that was the name) was in a 16 oz bottle and was 7 cents. Boy I surprised myself even remembering all that. So I said all that just to say Chuck, you are not so old after all…….

  3. Chuck, i grew up in Connecticut delivering the Hartford current. On Saturdays and Sundays during collection I would stop at the soda jerk in a drugstore and for $.25 I could get a vanilla soda and a bag of chips and I was part of my greatest treat

  4. Question – Knowing that Chuck is “opinionated” 🙂 about some RV-related vendors, does the inclusion of an advertisement mean any sort of endorsement on his part? I am referring specifically to the RV extended warranty advertisement in this issue.


  5. My brake lines on my old Georgie boy had split so often I took to carrying the fittings a small vice and section of brake hose my size so I could make one on the fly.

  6. When I was a kid growing up in northern Pa soda was a nickle with a 2 cent deposit. So as long as you drank at the Mom n Pop store you only needed the nickle. As kids we would scour the roadsides for bottles, it only took 3 and a penny left over candy. Ah the good old days.

  7. Your story on the Flying J president struck a cord with me. About six years ago, when we were following the Mother Road west, I thought to use my Good Sam card at Flying J’s. Imagine my surprise when even with the 6 cent discount at Flying J, I could buy less expensive gas at just about any other station in America! Needless to say, to me, Good Sam fueling discounts are more scam than savings.

  8. Hey Chuck, about those two bit cokes you’ve gotten at the gas station. Hmmm I remember them being 5 cents & no deposit required. That when i was a paper delivery boy & made 7 cents a week from each customer back on the East coast. Those were the days! I was really lucky as I had 2 customers that had apple orchards & they always gave me free apples even if they didn’t know it.

  9. Spend all your time looking at your phone or driving hard to the next place to see something not worth seeing in a cement canyon and you miss a lot of good stuff. Get off on the back road and stop at the next fruit stand…The guy selling oranges with the big pet parrot…


    The answer to the question about the Needles flyswatter repair is needles.

    Before the disposable society and Dollar Tree, people used to fix things. Today, you can still find a few tailors that are experts in reweaving fabric, whether a couch, an expensive suit or coat with a moth hole, cigarette burn or some tear. Two methods would have been used for repair of flyswatter: 1st, you could just sew the tear or 2nd, you could weave mesh thread to replace what was missing. See the wikiHow article method 2.

    At 25 cents for a repair, deftly done in 5 minutes, that person would have been earning decent spare change in their quiet time.

    This mystery could be “unraveled” by an inquiring mind even decades later.

  11. Up to now, Pilot/Flying-J has been one of my go-to fuel stops — lots of space for pull-throughs, very decent pricing, a great convenience store and rest rooms.

    Mark Hazelwood is clearly a sleazebag and a bigot, and nobody I’d want to have anything to do with…. But he and 14 other greedy jerks are going to jail, and will be out of the company. Good riddance.

    Going forward, I’d only be punishing myself, not Hazelwood, by boycotting Pilot.

    Oh BTW — that 12-year sentence does seem big for a purely financial crime. I’m no armchair-lawyer, but I wonder if it’ll get changed on appeal.

  12. Maybe you were never really in Needles California, maybe you drove into the twilight zone and all of that was a figment of your imagination. Just a thought.

  13. Great story about the fly swatter guy! Don’t let opportunities to learn get away! I’ve stopped for gas in Needles myself, and heat is an understatement!

  14. Fly swatter repair….

    Chuck, that great story should remind us all that some golden opportunities arise in our lives, and will never be presented again.

    On a whim, I did a web search (I refuse to say “Googled”) for “fly swatter repair”, and got thousands of hits on how to fix an electronic fly swatter. Bob Dylan was right: “The times, they are a-changin'” — every year of our existence.

    • G’day, recent article about RV deliveries taking a nosedive and another right behind it about RV record sales. That’s not oxymoronic is it?


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