Thursday, March 30, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 871

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 871 • Week of November 10-16, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) 

Darkroom in my 18-foot, 1977 motorhome.

I have told you through the years about the portable darkroom I once carried with me in my motorhome. What I didn’t tell you was how much fun it was to develop and print those photos.

I would typically set up the darkroom once or twice a week, providing I could find a dark campground. All I needed was an electric hookup. Having running water was nice, but not necessary beyond a gallon to mix with the photo chemicals and later for a quick rinse of the prints. 

I’d work into the wee hours of the morning, often marveling at how, in the middle of nowhere, I could print photos for newspapers and magazines. As I worked, I would sip cheap beer, listen to my Walkman, and sing like a giant canary. I remember being very happy. My neighbors would never have guessed what was going on next door.

Of course, with our digital cameras a darkroom is no longer necessary. 

If you are looking for a creative hobby while traveling, consider photography. An iPhone or other smartphone with a camera is all you need. A small point-and-shoot camera works, too. An instruction book on basic photography techniques will help.

I love to take photos of all things odd and funny. As I head down an unfamiliar road, my eyes are darting left, right, up, down, everywhere – on the lookout for something “different” – a funny business slogan on a sign, an unusual mailbox, or perhaps a giant statue of a steer high atop a restaurant (“Steaks served here”). In Woodland, California, I snapped a photo of City Hall along with the street sign out front, “Dead Cat Alley.”

I am always looking for strange-looking animals – most often fake ones – like the photo here of a T-Rex that appears to be intent on terrorizing a town. Actually, it was (and still is) a statue in Vernal, Utah. A small sign in front said, “Welcome to Vernal.” For my photo, I walked down the street a few hundred yards and used a telephoto lens to make the dinosaur appear large and menacing. It remains one of my very favorite roadside shots! 

World’s Largest Miner’s Hat, Kellogg, Idaho

I will drive out of my way to photograph anything that’s the “World’s Largest.” I have stopped several times in Winlock, Washington, for example, to photograph the “World’s Largest Egg.” In Brunswick, Missouri, I proudly photographed the “World’s Largest Pecan.” I photographed Gail in front of the World’s Largest Turkey in Frazee, Minnesota.

Occasionally, a photo simply presents itself, like the friendly chipmunk that showed up at my campsite in the Lassen (Calif.) National Forest. The little fellow demanded Cheez-Its. This was back when I fed wild animals (naughty me). Looking at the photo of this cute little guy peeking over my coffee mug always makes me smile.

For many years now I have taken most of my photos with my iPhone. It’s all anyone needs these days to take interesting travel photos, and the quality is so good even most magazines can publish them.

Most travelers, I have observed, photograph mostly scenery, much of which will bore their friends and have little interest to the photographer years later. My advice: Take pictures of friends, family, interesting people you meet – and maybe keep an eye out for offbeat stuff. A funny photo can make people laugh just as much as a good joke.


Nasty political comments • Quartzsite cancelled • New Facebook group • Stray Voltage Patrol • Our new improved website • Amazon page lists favorite RV products.

If you’re a veteran, Happy Veteran’s Day! Thank you for your service. You deserve this special day! Thanks to you who fought in Vietnam who returned home unappreciated. How wrong! And thanks, all you others! Thanks to my father, up there in Heaven for ten years now, who piloted a B-24 Liberator bomber 35 times over Germany during World War II, getting shot down once but coming right back after the French Underground helped smuggle him and his crew back to England! What guts! Heroes? Absolutely!

Coming soon
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™
Road & Home™’s blow out plug is essential for clearing your water lines prior to a deep freeze. Prevent cracking over the winter months by attaching the blow out plug to the city water inlet and attach an air hose. Open all faucets and valves and allow the air to push out all water. This inexpensive part can be picked up in the plumbing section of Lowe’s stores nationwide and online. 

Join our new Facebook group, RV Advice, where prospective RV buyers can ask veteran RVers what they think of an RV they’re considering buying. Click here.

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

Is reading this newsletter worth 10 cents to you? 
dime-738Our staff works hard to bring you a valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year is appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! Your contributions make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to make advertisers and RV industry big shots happy. Enter a voluntary subscriptionUse a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AM
Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for October
The list of latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles and/or products of interest to RVers has been released by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from Airstream, Entegra, Erwin Hymer, Forest River, Jayco, Keystone, and MANY others — plus many other vehicles commonly used by RVers. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Find out here.

cover story

One reason Consumer Reports doesn’t rate RVs
by editor Chuck Woodbury
RVers ask me all the time if there’s a “Consumer Reports” for RVs. I tell them, no, there is not. There are websites that sell reports where RVs are rated, but I do not trust them. I don’t know how you can adequately rate an RV without going to huge expense: There are so many makes and models, and within each model there are different floor plans. … Most ratings [of RVs], in fact nearly all that you read online or in magazines, are more fluff than substance, often reading more like sales brochures than legitimate reviews. Learn more.

The latest news about RVing from our newsroom

State of Emergency in L.A. & Ventura counties; Homes burning in Malibu. (Fri. p.m.)
UPDATE: California wildfires, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Friday.
Wildfire erupts in Ventura County, threatening Thousand Oaks.
Camp Fire rages toward Chico, evacuation warnings issued.

Maybe two different signs would have been better!

New fire erupts in CA’s Butte County, evacuations ordered.
Tragedy strikes Canadian couple: RV rolls over, man dies, wife in hospital.
Astoria, OR, closes free dump station saying it could overload system.
Motorhome bursts into flames on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

UPDATE: Golden Ears Park will still have first-come, first-served camping.
Salem, Virginia, firefighters contain trailer fire from spreading.
West Seattle Health Club ordered to clean up homeless RV dwellers’ trash.
Five-vehicle crash caused by motorhome sends 18 to hospital.

New data to influence San Francisco’s plans for RV dwellers.
Big changes at Parker, AZ, area state parks result in controversy.
Seattle says No-Parking signs to deter homeless RVers a “public nuisance.”
Man surrenders after threatening to blow up RV in downtown Fresno.

Recent recalls:
Grand Design recalls trailers: Mini-breaker issue could cause fire.

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.

A real shocker about campground electricity
Chuck Woodbury reports about what happened when electricity expert Mike Sokol delivered his Master Electrician License application to the testing office. Out of the blue, the woman at the desk told him something that he never expected about campground electricity. Read more.

Winter Texans increase after years of decline
The Rio Grande Valley’s Winter Texan population ticked upward last season after nearly a decade of declining numbers. That’s the good news from the latest Winter Texan Survey conducted by the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. The bad news is that household spending appears to be significantly down from the previous season, though officials are not sure why. Read more.

Visit a National Park for free on Veterans Day this weekend
Get out your map of our National Parks and if you’re anywhere near one you can visit it for FREE on Veterans Day, this Sunday. There are more than 400 national parks in the United States, and many of them are free every day, but 128 national parks normally charge a fee, except on designated free days. Learn more, and visit a National Park Sunday.

Low bridge crushes fifth-wheel’s A/C – driver continues on
video camera WPSome RVs, especially motorhomes and fifth-wheels, are quite tall, but their drivers already know that. So you wonder what they were thinking when they saw the road signs leading up to this bridge (clearance of only 11 feet 8 inches) in Durham, North Carolina, that has already claimed hundreds of trucks and other high vehicles since its inauguration about a century ago. Watch the video

Yellowstone geyser erupts, spewing debris and rubbish 30 feet into the air
A shower of debris littered the ground when Ear Spring geyser at Yellowstone National Park blew on September 15. The items found may be interesting from a historical perspective – but staff stressed this was no excuse for visitors to the park to be litterbugs. Park ranger Rebecca Roland said: ”When the vent becomes completely plugged, as it has in several springs in the park, then the spring can actually plug up to the point where it’s not a hot spring anymore and it’ll go dormant or it’ll die.” Learn more.

This week’s Reader Poll
Have you already made one or more campsite reservations for next summer?
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.

2019 edition!
If you drive a big RV you need this!
This 2019 edition of the Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas will keep you and your large RV out of trouble. Learn which routes have low bridges, and highways to avoid with length or height limitations. Even if you have a GPS, you will rely on this atlas to keep out of trouble. Best seller. Learn more or order.

Click here to see our staff’s favorite products at Amazon. 

spyWhat we learned from you last week
Another great week of learning about you! Looks like you voted last Tuesday, many of you with an absentee ballot; your favorite sport to watch is football; you’re mostly afraid of heights and spiders; you’re retired; you probably bought your first RV when you were between the ages of 60-75 (though this was a close one); and you like your Jayco Jay Flight travel trailer. Oh, also there’s a long rant about political comments from a few of you, which are not welcome on our site. Click here to read.

Fulltime RVer without physical address unable to register to vote
Are fulltimers being deprived of their right to vote because they don’t have a physical residence address? It seems so, as this fulltime RVer says. Read more, and feel free to comment below the article.

Get around in this solar-charging, belt-driven, electric pedal car
Many RVers don’t want to tow a vehicle behind their RV or drive their huge fifth-wheel-towing pickup truck for simple trips to the store, for example. A small company in Maine has come up with a middle-ground vehicle that can be used for limited sightseeing and trail exploring, or trips to the local farmers market. The Screecher, an electric pedal car, might be just right for those purposes. Learn more.

North Carolina county considers allowing tiny homes in RV resorts
North Carolina’s Brunswick County is considering allowing tiny home communities with proposed code changes for outdoor RV resorts and campgrounds. If passed, up to 40 percent of an outdoor RV resort could eliminate overnight campsites and replace them with tiny homes. Learn more.

The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user-friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi! Seven days per week sales & technical support & over 13 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.

An update on Malia
Here’s the latest news from our friend and full-time RVer Malia Lane. Many of you have been following Malia’s journey in her battle with terminal cancer. Here she discusses the pros and cons of cannabis versus opioids for pain, including an account of the tremendous amount of research she’s done. Read the post.

Paddle miles of kayak trails in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw Delta
One of the best canoe and kayak trails in the country is the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, our nation’s second largest river delta. It encompasses a vast wetland (250,000 acres, of which 100,000 are publicly owned and managed) characterized by estuarine marsh, cypress-tupelo swamp, and bottomland hardwood ecosystems. Learn more.

Rich “The Wanderman’s” last trip of the season – and it was a doozy!
A couple of weeks ago Rich “The Wanderman” embarked on his last trip of the season, hauling his helicopter to Florida with his motorhome. The trip was memorable: some good, some bad, all interesting, and generally fun. And he lost some more weight on his “No sleep, no food, all work” diet. Read more.

RVBusiness Top 50 RV dealers honored in Las Vegas
A standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Paris Las Vegas Wednesday night for the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealers Awards honoring North American RV dealers for their outstanding customer service, community involvement, and general excellence in overall operations. Who made the list and how were they chosen? Find out here.

Camping World’s third-quarter financial report disappoints investors
Investors hoped to see some sales growth for Camping World in the third-quarter financial report but results were up just 6% to $1.31 billion and weren’t good enough to satisfy even these modest expectations. Some continuing headwinds could remain for the retailer to overcome going into the end of the year. Learn more.

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.

Talk about distracted driving! Photo taken by a friend of Mike Sokol.

Popular articles from last week’s issue
Update on the Stray Voltage Patrol.
Big changes at Parker, AZ, area state parks result in controversy
Better to leave keys in toad overnight or remove them?
Motorhome and toad engulfed in flames in Pilot Flying J parking lot.
• What we learned about you last week (October 27-November 2).
How to snag a campsite in Arches NP even when “Campground Full.”

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.

From the Reader Forums

Where you store your RV
From editor Chuck Woodbury: In issue 870 of the RV Travel Newsletter we wrote about how some RVers are buying RV storage condos — and paying as much as $175,000. Most RVers who can’t store their RVs at home when not using them typically rent a storage space – for far, far less — $100 to a few hundred dollars a month is typical. Do you need to store your RV? Read how and where some of our readers store their RVs.

Trying to avoid winterizing his RV
From reader Steven Locy: As a newbie with a 17′ travel trailer in Oklahoma, I am trying to avoid winterizing my trailer as we have plans to travel to south Texas in winter. However, we do get a few days of freezing weather. Any advice or links to ways to protect the trailer without winterizing it? Comment here.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: New users register here.

Want a show-stopping outfit to wear on Thanksgiving? How about this hilarious hat? Or this

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. 

The RV Show USA
Listen each Wednesday evening on Facebook or YouTube for the live taping of America’s only syndicated radio program about RVing. Sponsored by Cheyenne Camping Center and PPL Motorhomes.

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

What does financing an RV for 20 years REALLY mean? 
In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.

Don’t blow out your plumbing!
Sooner or later, usually “sooner,” every RVer comes upon an RV park water hookup with pressure so high it could blow out the plumbing. None of us want that because it causes a lot of damage and is expensive to fix. The simple solution is to be sure when you hook up use a water pressure regulator, like this one that features a lead-free design to prevent lead contamination. Learn more or order

Ask the RV Shrink

Tow vehicle vanished from busy campground

Dear RV Shrink:
I learned a lot last week reading various readers’ comments to your column on securing the “toad.” You might also want to mention tow vehicles. We had our pickup stolen right out of a busy campground – locked up, no key inside, never found. …

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.

Are you handy? So is this bucket!
This “Bucket Boss” will change the way you work! Use this well-organized bucket as a toolbox (and never lose anything again), for your car and RV parts, or for garden tools. It couldn’t make things easier! We’re guessing that everyone who sees you using this will want one too! Learn more or order. 

Click here to see our staff’s favorite products at Amazon.

gas-738Latest fuel prices, November 5, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.75. [Calif.: $3.64]
Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Up 19 cents.
Diesel: $3.34. [Calif.: $4.07]
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 46 cents.

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

RV Fire Safety Tip  

extinguisher-697(3)An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 9 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

You may need to tailor your plan to accommodate a visually or hearing-impaired person. A whistle can aid a visually impaired person who needs to signal for help during an evacuation. Alarms that sound intermittently allow for an exchange of emergency information otherwise masked by the noise of a constant alarm. Continuously sounding alarms can disorient people who are auditory-dependent. Visual signaling systems are available for those who can’t hear smoke alarms. Posting emergency information on your coach’s windows can alert rescuers to the fact there’s a person with special needs inside.

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

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.

Click here to see our staff’s favorite products at Amazon.

RV Quick Tips

Getting rid of used cooking grease
Boondockers will especially appreciate this idea: Use fine sand from a creek bed or desert floor to soak up grease in frying pans after cooking. Deposit the grease-soaked sand in the trash. Discarding it outside will draw unwanted critters. Then also clean those pots and pans with sand, which is especially effective on scorched or burned-on food, since it acts as an excellent scouring powder. You will use a lot less of your precious water to clean up — but don’t use it on non-stick cookware. You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

Check your micro before moving
It’s a good idea to check inside your RV’s microwave oven before hitting the road for the day. A cup of coffee that got heated but then forgotten will certainly spill, making a mess.

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

The best book on RV electricity!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 40+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order 

Gizmos and Gadgets

Air-Dryr fights rust, mold and mildew in hidden places
Notice to RV owners: Moisture is insidious. It can hide unseen in the dark depths of cabinets and lockers. Even small amounts can cause rust, mold and mildew to set in. The result can be anything from a blemish to the complete loss of an item. Air-Dryr from Davis Instruments is an inexpensive way to stave off damaging humidity. Learn more.

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

The best phone mount for an 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

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

Winnebago ViewThis week:
Rate your Winnebago View motorhome

Click here.

ONLY RESPOND if you currently own a recent model of this vehicle. To see the current results without voting, simply click “View Results” in the bottom left corner of the poll.

Previous polls: Thor Ace motorhomeKeystone Montana Fifth WheelJayco Jay Flight trailer.

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. 

Click here to see our staff’s favorite products at Amazon.

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

Diagnosing “boiling” and stinky batteries

Dear Gary,
I just bought a used coach equipped with dual auxiliary batteries. I used my voltmeter to test them and only got a reading of 8.5 volts. When I checked the cells I found they all were almost dry. I refilled them all with distilled water and plugged in my outside power cord to allow a trickle charge. I checked the battery readings every day for three days and the readings were still routinely 8.5 volts. Today when I pressed the AUX button on my panel, all five indicator lights came on to the “Full Charge” indicator. I tested the batteries again and they all registered 8.5 volts. …

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

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

gauge4Endorsed by Roger Marble of!
An 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 off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all for about $11! Learn more or order.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Leaving the comfort zone of home hard for first-time solo RVer

Hi Bob,
I’m still getting ready to go solo in my 30-foot National Sea Breeze 5th wheel. I’m staying with my son in Tucson while making the 5th wheel into a home. I need to learn everything about the 5th wheel, as well as fit my things into it. It’s been sitting in front of his house for about 3 weeks now. Just got the first complaint about it being parked there. Where do you put an RV while you’re outfitting it if you live in a housing area that frowns on them? —Debbie

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.

Keep your brain sharp and your knives sharper!
Tired of dull knives in the kitchen? This easy-to-use knife sharpener (used by staff writer, Emily) sharpens your knives with a few quick strokes. You’ll feel like a professional! The sharpener has two settings: one for fine blades, and another for coarse. Its small size is perfect for an RV, and under $6. Says Gail of “Wow! This works great!” Learn more or order here.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Tired pedestals are dangerous

Hi Mike,
We just spent a long weekend at Disney’s Fort Wilderness for our grandson’s birthday. Everyone talks about the very high prices for everything Disney, and I agree. But I was appalled to see that money not going into the most basic of upkeep and safety. This is a photo of our power pedestal there, site #505. Our RV uses the 30A, so not a problem for us. But I would not want to plug a 50A motorhome into this. —John C., Davie, FL

Read Mike’s response.

What brand portable inverter generator do you use?
Please take a moment to participate in this poll so Mike can determine the most popular brands of portable inverter generators used by our readers. Click here.

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.

Cute ornament

The cutest ornament we’ve ever seen…
Do we need to say more? This adorable little camp stove is the perfect addition to your, or a family or friend’s, Christmas tree this year. Makes the perfect gift for an RVer, camper, hiker, fisher…well, anyone! Learn more or order here (and see some other equally cute RV-related ornaments here.)

Click here to see our staff’s favorite products at Amazon.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Remember: A tire is just a tool you use to get a job done
Roger’s post this week is in response to a report of tread cracking of some traction design tires placed on a custom heavy car hauler trailer. The owner was blaming the 4-year-old tires. When there are tire problems, including actual “failure,” it’s common for some to say, “My xxx brand tires failed. I will never buy xxx tires again.” Well, Roger says there is no such thing as a “fail-proof” tire. Read more.

Dracula vants to suck your … garlic?
Mincing garlic drive you batty? This unique kitchen gadget is sure to be a great conversation starter…not to mention it makes cutting, dicing and mincing garlic as easy as can be! This Gracula garlic twist is BPA and dishwasher safe and will save you a lot of time in the kitchen. He does more than garlic too: you can chop herbs, vegetables, nuts, or whatever fits! Learn more or order here.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Sweet Potato Dumplings
Sweet ways with sweet potatoes. It’s sweet potato season and this recipe has a new twist. In Janet’s supermarket, sweet potato patties are sold in the meat department. In your area they might also be found frozen or with produce. Try this super-sweet side dish with turkey, chicken or ham. It’s a nice change from the same ol’ marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole. Get the recipe.

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


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

RV Short Stop
with Julianne G. Crane

Texas Renaissance Festival is fun RV short stop
Todd Mission (northwest of Houston), Texas

For Winter Texans – those RV Snowbirds migrating to the Gulf Coast – the Texas Renaissance Festival is a great RV short stop for those looking for lots of dress-up fun and games. The Festival, held weekends through Nov. 25, offers more than 20 stages of live entertainment of all kinds. A 200-acre camping facility with some amenities is located adjacent to the Festival site. Learn more.

Ha! These are a must-have stocking stuffer for any wine lover. Click here. 

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

SLED: Reference is quite often given to a customer’s old trade-in coach which is usually “beat up” and worth little or nothing.

PENCIL: This has two applications. First, a sales manager will pencil a salesman’s deal by crossing out the customer’s offer and penciling in the figure that he wants to get for that RV. The second application is used when a salesman or sales manager changes the selling price or trade-in allowance and covers it up with an increase in the customer’s monthly payment because of the additional cost he expects to pay for Credit Life, Accident and Health insurance.

LIAR LOAN: This is where the dealer alters the buyer’s credit application income or expense data without the customer knowing about it and then submits the falsified application data to a third party lender for loan approval; may also include telling the lender that the vehicle being sold has optional equipment on it that it actually does not have in order to increase the appearance of the vehicle’s value as collateral for the loan.

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

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.

Facebook Groups about RVing

Airstream Addicts
Vintage campers and glampers for sale
RV Horror Stories


Free and bargain camping

Somervell County Picnic Area, McCarney, TX
Overnight parking is allowed. Maximum stay: 24 hours. This picnic area is a double loop, off and separated from the highway, with entrances at both ends. There are sheltered picnic tables, BBQ grills, and trash receptacles on site but no other known amenities. Location: On NW side of US 67, ~ 2.1 mi NE of jct with SR 220, or ~ 9.2 mi SW of jct with SR 220, east of Stephenville, TX. GPS: 32.169170, -97.894436

Walmart Supercenter # 2888, Palmyra, PA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but must obtain permission from the customer service desk. Quiet, appears level and safe. Pizza Hut, Arby’s, Sonic, Texas Roadhouse are all within walking distance. Address: 100 N Londonderry Square. GPS: 40.3216, -76.5611

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

Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RVsponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.

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

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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.

In captivity, ravens can learn to talk better than some parrots. They also mimic other noises, like car engines, toilets flushing, and animal and bird calls. Ravens have been known to imitate wolves or foxes to attract them to carcasses that the raven isn’t capable of breaking open. From

Bumper sticker of the week
I’m retired. Go around me.

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

Joke of the Week
I’m not sure I believe all this stuff about genetically modified food being bad for you. I feel fine and I just had a really tasty leg of salmon.

Worth Pondering
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” —Abraham Lincoln

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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, Dennis Prichard, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: 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


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Terry Monos
4 years ago

You missed the RV Show in Cleveland mid January.

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Terry Monos

Oops. Sorry we missed that. As soon as our IT folks get everything transferred to our new/improved website and give us the “all clear” signal (Tuesday?), I’ll go in and add that show to the list. Thanks, Terry. 😀 —Diane at

Steven J. Scheinin
4 years ago

Now full timing for 3 years, I keep those memories, as well as letting my family and friends know where I am located, by writing a daily blog. Photos are posted using my Nikon camera.

Lois Thurston
4 years ago

Hi, I sent a donation and my email address and never heard back about the special emails, can you check that my email is correct?


Ron Schmitz
4 years ago

It would be good to explain to RV owners that emergencies happen at a moments notice. I was in Paradise CA last Thursday when we had little to no warning to evacuate from fast moving fire. Numerous RV’ers were ready with MH, 5th wheels, & TT. But 2 weren’t. 1 DP was stuck on road with someone trying to jump generator. I guess chassis batteries not ready for road. Then another older MH crashed into fence blocking road. Don’t know if brakes failed or someone cut him off. I live in TX (luckily I was at my 90yr old mom’s house that day) & try to have MH ready to go for Hurricanes & other such events. Keeping up with batteries, engine, & having some supplies. Never know when might need that parked RV.

Charles Yaker
4 years ago


It would be nice to follow comments and be notified if someone reply’s

Larry L. Votaw
4 years ago

I tried to make a one-time donation by Credit Card to the newsletter and it defaulted to Paypal. I don’t use Paypal and I’m not interested. I’m sorry I’m not able to help.

Charles Yaker
4 years ago
Reply to  Larry L. Votaw

Larry PayPal has always permitted me to use my credit card as a guest although if you object to PayPal that’s another story.

Mary Ihla
4 years ago

In your article about travel photography, you wrote that the world’s largest turkey is in “Freeze” Minnesota. It gets mighty cold there, but the town is actually Frazee. I grew up not too far from there. http://WWW.FRAZEECITY.COM

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Mary Ihla

Oops! Thanks, Mary. I should have caught that (my brain totally ignored it last night). It’s been corrected. 😀 —Diane at

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

And who will guard the guards? (The spelling guards, that is…)

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Our astute readers, obviously. Can’t get anything past them. 😯 —Diane at

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I could have said “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” but my latin is too rusty….

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

And my high school training in Russian 55 years ago wouldn’t have helped me to translate your Latin. But here’s one for you: Barba non facit philosophum. 😉 —Diane at

4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

You had a brain freeze? 😉

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Snayte

Either that or a “senior moment” — which I definitely qualify for. Have a great day, Snayte. 😀 —Diane at

4 years ago

Apparently, there is no evidence that Abraham Lincoln made the statement in ‘Worth Pondering’. Since I thought it was a quote from Mark Twain, I searched on the phrase. Here is what I found:

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Thanks, Michael. No matter where it came from originally, it’s still makes a good point. 😀 —Diane at

Captn John
4 years ago

This will age me~~ when I returned from SE Asia I started taking pics heavily. Darkroom too. I hated doing weddings due to the pressure of not knowing how or if a pic Thought digital would be great and invested heavily ~ took fewer pics. Then on my iPhone ~~ rarely used. Just not the same!

Ron Story
4 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

I spent countless hours in my Dark Room also. I take pictures of what ever is of interest to me. I have sold to magazines and have wrote the articles to cover the pictures also . It is so handy to have a snap an shoot with at all times(phone) with you.

Wolfe Rose
4 years ago

“I know, Chuck! Let’s have a poll on generators and tell people to add comments in the comment section, and then REMOVE the comment section! It will be fun driving people crazy until someone notices!”
– surely NOT Dianne

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe Rose

Yep, it was me. 😯 So sorry, everyone! I thought the comment section was the default on these forms and neglected to double-check it. (I set up very few of these and am still learning.) I’ve gone back in and checked that box. Shame on me!! 🙁 —Diane at

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe Rose

Diane and I sit around and think of ways to drive our readers crazy. Or so it seems, sometimes….

Richard Schroeder
4 years ago

Chuck, when we bought our.first RV in Aug. ‘17 – a 31 ft 1999 (with only 34,000 miles on the engine)
Four Winds motorhome- we wanted to take some road trips besides camping in the Midwest area where we live. But I wanted to keep track of our travels lest we forget where we’ve been and lose the memories. I thought I would write a journal, diary, or something, but when I mentioned this to my wife she suggested scrapbooking!!
It turned out to be a great idea as it’s given me another hobby and I’ve discovered I have some creativity after all. So I’m wondering if other RVers enjoy this as well. Would you be interesting in asking your readers if they scrapbook their camping trips?

4 years ago

Absolutely Richard, that way you have all those memories to look back at and the comments so you know where you were and mark every occasion.

4 years ago

Getting rid of used cooking grease!

Bacon grease on a paper plate stacked in the refrigerator makes a great campfire starter.

4 years ago
Reply to  Robbie

We don’t butter pans… cured bacon grease is kept in a stoveside can and reused.

Ralph Pinney
4 years ago

I was not happy when I read your article about the poor condition of the pedestal at Fort Wilderness Disney campground. We have plans to be there in February.
We won’t change our plans, but will be extra careful. I’m already geared up and have started testing when we arrive at camp sites.
Disney makes more money than many countries. Come on. Cough up some $$ for safety.
Keep up the great work guys!

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Pinney

Please take pictures of anything you find there and email them to me. I’m in Maryland so I can’t easily make it there to take a look.

4 years ago

How do I get signed up for the special members-only edition for being a monthly contributor?

Chuck Woodbury
4 years ago
Reply to  LindaH

Linda, you will automatically be on the list. — Chuck

Barry Brown
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

I am a voluntary contributor as well but don’t see anything other than the Monday-Thursday shorts and the Saturday weekly. Can you check since I contribute through PayPal I don’t know if you have my email address.

Joe Allen
4 years ago

Thank you, Chuck, for the wonderful memories of the darkroom! Our dad was a photographer in WWII and when he returned, he had a darkroom for years and produced some great photos. I remember as a kid going down there and the darkness and the smells were enticing as well as the miracle that was produced by chemicals. Those memories paved the way for my love of photography and searching for that shot of a lifetime!

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