Friday, March 24, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 874

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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Page Contents

Issue 874 • Week of December 1–7, 2018  #rvtravel

Editor’s corner
With Chuck Woodbury

PLEASE, IF YOU ARE AN RV TRAVEL MEMBER (voluntary subscriber) who received an email from us yesterday, would you please visit here? We confused some of you and need to explain. If you are a member but did not receive the email, please let us know so we can be sure you are on our list for special content and other services.

Welcome to the 874th edition of the RV Travel Newsletter, and the first with our brand-new design. You should find the site much easier to navigate now, and it certainly looks a lot better. We still have a few bugs to find and fix. Please let us know if you find anything. Email us at

The update took us off-line for six days last week, frustrating but in the end well worth the wait. We had been working on the update for months (and are still not finished). We have many new features coming in the months ahead.

* * *
Most readers know that Gail and I recently bought a house near Seattle after two years of full-timing. We’ll travel a few months a year for awhile. When we set out on our full-time adventure, we never meant it to be forever. I needed to see how the other half lives. In two years, I did just that. It was an incredible learning experience.

A reader wrote me last week to say he sensed I had a bias toward full-time RVers. I don’t know where he got that idea, but it’s not true. Frankly, I do not even know the definition of a full-time RVer. Who is such a person?

RVIA seal
RVIA seal

First, did you know if you live full-time in an RV you really don’t live in a recreation vehicle? If your RV has a small RVIA seal outside your door (most do), then, by definition, you have an RV. Well, maybe not. . .

Here is how the RV Industry Association defines an RV: It’s “a vehicle designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use.” [Emphasis added.] Notice the word “temporary.”

A ruling just last week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also made clear that an RV is for temporary living only. It wrote: “An RV is a vehicle or vehicular structure not certified as a manufactured home, designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy.”

So if you live in an RV full-time, you don’t, by definition, live in an RV. So what is it? Beats me (we’re working on a feature story about this). I can tell you, however, that many insurance and warranty companies will not insure you or honor a claim if they discover you live year-round in your RV. Are you covered? You better check the small print in your policy!

So who is a full-time RVer?

  • Is it someone who chooses to live 365 days a year in a nice RV park or resort in, say, a fifth wheel, trailer or motorhome? Is it someone who lives in a “park model” RV year-round?
  • Is it a person or family that lives in an old RV in a seedy RV park because a home or apartment is beyond their means?
  • Is it someone who moves their RV only twice a year to follow the sun, say from Minnesota to Arizona or Vermont to Florida and then back?
  • Is it a family that lives in a fifth wheel for months on end and moves only when the breadwinner’s job relocates to a new location?
  • Is it poor people who buy a junker RV, living in it on city streets until the cops kick them out? What do they have in common with a well-off retired couple in their $350,000, 45-foot diesel pusher?
Kitchen in Jayco Eagle, as well equipped as one in most traditional homes.

I know full-timers who never move. I recall one woman I met whose husband had died and she didn’t want to keep the house. She decided to sell it and live in a fifth wheel. She bought it, then hired someone to tow it to an RV park where she would live indefinitely. Is she a full-time RVer?

Do I have a bias against full-time RVers? Absolutely not. I think it can be a fun, adventurous, rewarding life and I envy those people who make it work. But, at the other extreme, some “full-timers” live by necessity in RVs that barely function: It’s a whole lot better than sleeping in a cardboard box on a city street.

How do you lump all these lifestyles together into a single “one size fits all” term?

Who do you believe qualifies to be called a full-time RVer? Take this 15-second poll.

I’M VERY INTERESTED IN HOW we live in these modern times and how RVs will increasingly fit into our lives. The word “camping” should not be associated with anyone with an RV with an air conditioner or TV. Even a half century ago “camping” meant taking a break from how we lived in our traditional homes. RVs today, even those of modest size, have every creature comfort we have at home and often a lot more. Some even have balconies so we needn’t get our shoes dirty when we step outside.


P.S.: We have a new contact email: . Our entire staff will monitor this and whoever is most qualified to respond will do so. I have become overwhelmed with email and cannot get to it all, which makes me feel guilty (and I hate feeling guilty!).

And a reminder: We are still looking for editorial help, but not necessarily “writers.” We’d like to find an RVer or two with solid English and Web browsing skills who’d like a part-time income. Their job will be to scour the Web, social media and YouTube looking for nuggets of news, information or technical advice that we can pass along to you or use as starters for articles. So if you spend a lot of time poking around the Web reading about RVing and want to get paid for it, please let us know at .

Finally, I am thrilled to report that my friend Greg Gerber is returning as owner and editor of RV Daily Report, an online RV trade publication that he sold in July, 2017, to inexperienced publishers who were ill-prepared for the challenges. Greg is one of the last RV journalists who freely speaks his mind, not just kiss up to industry executives. I hope he and I can work together to do more to improve the lives of you and other RVers. Read more.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Read it here | Back issues

RV ElectricityRV Electricity Newsletter

Sign up for Mike Sokol’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter or any of our other newsletters here. Next edition of the RV Electricity Newsletter arrives tomorrow!

We stick our necks out for you

We’re not too popular with RV industry bigwigs these days because we aren’t afraid to speak out honestly about things we see wrong in how they manufacture and sell their products. Our readers help make our efforts possible by becoming members with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Even a pledge of $10 or $20 a year is appreciated — that’s for more than 50 weekly issues (add another 208 if you read our RV Daily Tips Newsletter)! Many readers set up an ongoing membership, most $5 to $10 a month. But even a one-time contribution of whatever you feel is fair helps make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to please advertisers and RV industry big shots.


Cover Story

Will RV parks nix fixed prices and charge based on demand?

Is the day coming, perhaps very soon, when RV parks will no longer charge a fixed price for a campsite, but a variable price based on the demand at the moment? RV park owner Andy Zipser discusses this idea, which many park owners see as a way to increase their profits based on supply and demand. Read Andy’s article.

Almost Breaking News

The latest news about RVing from our newsroom
Armed man barricades himself in RV in 8-hour standoff with police.
NorCal’s horrific Camp Fire 100% contained, officials announce.
Colorado Springs, Berkeley, and San Diego confront homeless RV dwellers.
Winegard® DISH® Playmaker™ OS 2.1 with HDTV available now.
German RV component company Truma picks Elkhart County for its U.S. HQ.
RV shipments decline in October.

Recent recalls:
Keystone recalls trailers for tire rubbing problem.
Montana fifth wheels recalled: disc brakes could fail.
Forest River recalls RVs for driver window shade problem.

DISNEY STILL HASN’T RESPONDED to our request about a dangerous power pedestal at its Fort Wilderness RV Park. Read the story and what’s dangerous.

RV shipments expected to decline this year and next

Can it be — shipments of RVs actually declining after eight straight years of growth? According to a news release from the RV Industry Association (RVIA), analyst Richard Curtin, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center, predicts 2019 shipments will range between 439,800 and 466,000 units with the most likely total to be 453,200 units. That would represent an annual decline of 5.4 percent. Learn more.

RV dealers scam buyers by charging bogus inspection fee

Attorney Steve Lehto, who is one of America’s experts on RV lemon laws, explains how some RV dealers are charging their customers up to $2,000 to inspect the new RV they’re buying. They don’t offer it as an option, but say it’s required by law. No, it’s not. Watch the short video.

Is the Good Sam Man being retired?

Recent advertising from Camping World is sporting a new logo with a halo, but it’s no longer over the head of the iconic Good Sam Man. What’s up? Is Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of the club and Camping World, slowly retiring the Good Sam Man and just retaining his golden halo? Read more.

Learn everything about your RV, RVing woman advises

This was posted in our Facebook group RV Horror Stories by group member Charmon Kelley Poche. We thought it was so good we posted it for more RVers to see. She wrote: “If you are an RV owner, especially a lady, you need to pony up and learn how to fix things. We all know RVs are cardboard stapled together with cheap parts, so knowing that, what’s next?” Read more.

Reader Poll

Reader PollDo you carry a paper map or road atlas of where you’re traveling?

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.

What we learned about you last week

RV co-pilots, how does your driver drive? Pretty well! You usually don’t stay in one RV park for too long (maybe a month or so), you love (I mean, really love) memory foam beds, and you probably didn’t inspect your RV’s roof before you bought it. Click here to read.

How to prevent a thief from stealing your RV surge protector

If you use a surge protector when you plug in your RV (you absolutely should!), it’s a good idea to secure it so a thief can’t steal it. We hear reports at quite often from readers whose surge protectors disappeared during the night or when they were away from their RV. Here’s a way to secure it, as well as some more tips from savvy readers in the Comments below the article.

The campground of your dreams? No way!

Oh, this is way too funny — a publicity photo from the REV Group, the third largest motorhome manufacturer in America. Maybe a little Photoshop going on here? If such a scenic campsite did exist, how much do you think it would go for? This ain’t no $60-a-night spot, that’s for sure. You won’t believe where the spectacular scene was actually shot! Good luck finding an RV anywhere near there! Check it out!

Bear rips through trailer

Something must have smelled good to a hungry grizzly bear as it passed by a travel trailer in Alaska. Actually it must have smelled very, very good because the powerful animal ripped off half the RV’s side to get to the bounty. Read more and see a bigger photo.

Using a fabric building for RV storage – Part 1

Rich “The Wanderman” isn’t covering his motorhome this winter like he usually does – he’s assembling a big fabric building to store his RV in! Find out what he bought, it’s advantages and disadvantages (so far), and how the assembly is going. Read more.

Popular “Guide to Free Campgrounds” directory updated after four years

Any RVer that has been on the road for awhile likely has a dog-eared and ragged copy of Don Wright’s “Guide to Free Campgrounds,” especially boondockers and those that seek out off-the-beaten-path locations. It’s been four years since the latest edition, and much has changed and been added. Read more, and maybe order a copy of the brand-new 832-page tome for yourself or for a Christmas gift for your RVing friends.

KOA constructing new parks

It’s no secret to most readers that it’s getting harder each year to find an available space in an RV park without a reservation days, weeks, months or even a year ahead. And so here’s some good news, at least for RVers who stay at KOA campgrounds. Learn more.

Popular articles from last issue

Nine words RV buyers must insist be written on their sales contract.
RV driver dies from tire blowout. Prevent it happening to you.
How to protect yourself from ungrounded power.
Setting tire pressure on cold days?
What we learned about you last week (November 10-16).
Concept motorhome expands with 4 slideouts and a mini fold-out tent.
Explore the Southwestern deserts – but don’t try to see everything.

From the Reader Forums

Where can I find a Dometic fridge part?

Has anyone had experience finding parts for a Dometic refrigerator with a removable freezer compartment?  If so, where can they be found? Comment here.

Need advice about buying used trailer

I have a nice home on 15 acres in a pleasant neighborhood. My adult son needs to regroup. He does better if he has space and privacy. I am at the age where I had been thinking of getting a lightweight trailer for me for weekends, etc.  I have a Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I would like to look for a used good quality trailer under $10,000 that would be decent for my son to live in with good heat and insulation. Comment here.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: New users register here.


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.

Microwave cover collapses for easy storage

micro-2-flatWhen heating your food you don’t want to spend 10 minutes later cleaning the splatters inside the microwave. Here’s the solution — perfect for RVers: It pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer! Learn more or order.

Ask the RV Shrink

Wife objects to hubby’s waste disposal tactics

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife finds it embarrassing that I haul our waste across the campground in a plastic container with wheels. She thinks we should break camp, hitch up the trailer and haul the whole rig over to the dump. We spend most of the winter in one spot without a sewer hook-up. The dump station is only 25 yards away. …

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

Click the image to play the movie’s trailer.

Perfect stocking stuffer!
Lucy and Desi go RVing

Here’s the perfect stocking stuffer – Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz go RVing! In this 1954 classic, “The Long, Long Trailer” – in gorgeous Technicolor, the famous couple (as newlyweds) hit the road in a 40-foot travel trailer. The result is hilarious! The scene in which Lucy tries to cook in the moving trailer is a classic! This DVD is a great gift for your favorite RVer! Click the DVD cover to see the movie’s trailer or order for only $11.


Latest fuel prices
on November 26, 2018

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:

Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.54. [Calif.: $3.48]
Change from week before: Down 7 cents; Change from year before: Up 1 cent.

Diesel: $3.26. [Calif.: $3.96]
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 34 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.

RV Quick Tips

RV storage ideas? Think outside the cabinet

The folks at homeiswherewetakeit came up with this unusual, but fascinating idea. “When looking for RV storage ideas, think outside the box. Can you use the end of a cabinet for something? We added this can storage to the side of our cabinet near our stove. We got ours from Walmart and it was super easy to install. Since Glynn has gone on a plant-based diet, we usually stock up with cans right before a trip. This side cabinet is perfect for the cans though, as it’s an otherwise unused space. If you don’t use cans, I could easily see using this space for shoe storage or maybe a great place for kitchen wraps/Ziplocs. If you have small kids, this would be a great place for activity containers. There’s no need to waste space when you don’t have it to waste!”

Get into the winter RV spirit

Facebook poster Renee Lastimado was at the Walmart Supercenter in Irvine, California, and posted this: “I finally found a Walmart that has the cute RV jammies. The store on Technology Drive in Irvine. Get ‘em while you can!!” Other Facebook followers immediately responded that they’d found the same sleepers in Walmart stores across the country. Don’t count on them sticking around for long!

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


Ask the RV Doctor

The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

RV’s water pump doesn’t pump

Dear RV Doctor:
I’m having my RV winterized for storage. The dealer called to tell me that the pump doesn’t work. It is located underneath the fresh water holding tank. They unhooked it from the tank to pump antifreeze into the pipes and it wouldn’t work. Is it a suction pump? Does it have to be connected to the holding tank to work? —Walter

Read Gary’s response.

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

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

RV Electricity

with Mike Sokol

KOA pedestal fix

Here’s a recent Stray Voltage Patrol report that has a happy ending. What’s great about this situation is that the campground immediately replaced the entire pedestal box (not just the circuit breaker). What did our SVP member report and where is this very responsive KOA  located? Find out here.

rv-safety-764Mike 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.

Amazon Deals of the Dayhot deals
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 Tire Safety

with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Several Q&A’s regarding buying RV tires

A motorhome owner needs to buy new RV tires and asked some questions regarding changing the ply range, UV protection, brands to steer clear of and available discounts. Read Roger’s answers.

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.

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows

Orion the Hunter – Winter’s most recognizable constellation returns

As the temperatures drop and the nights get longer, a favorite constellation dominates the night sky. Orion is one of the pictures in the sky that most people can recognize and name almost to the level of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). It’s big and very easy to find. Learn more.

Stay free on private property across America
Boondockers Welcome is a great alternative to expensive, crowded RV parks or even Walmart parking lots. With a membership you can stay free in your RV at more than 1,000 private property locations across America. And, wow, will you meet some great people! Learn more or sign up.

The RV Kitchen

with Janet Groene

Mule Kick Sausage Gravy

Not your daddy’s sausage gravy. When you have a tub of this kicky gravy in your fridge you can do anything with it for any meal of the day. Heat it to serve over biscuits or pancakes for breakfast, over baked potatoes or polenta for supper. Pep up a vegetable side dish by folding in some of this sauce. Toss it with hot pasta, top it with crisp croutons or serve the gravy over crunchy toast. Get the recipe.

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


Fix it in Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
foil-757Easy 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.

Digital RVer

with Geeks on Tour

Sharing your location using Google Maps

With these smartphone/GPS devices in our pockets all the time, there are now many different ways to share your location. Maybe you’re a full-time RVer with kids who worry about you a lot. Rather than calling or emailing them every day, you could let them see your position on a map that they could look at as often as they like. Learn how easy it is here.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Tune in tomorrow (Dec. 2) to watch the live webcast: #157, Sending photos from your phone to friends or contacts. Here is the previous webcast: #156, How to use a smartphone to scan documents and create PDF files. Watch live or archives of past programs.

Be sure to check out the just-released 2nd edition of Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos, available at

Special offer for RV Travel readers!
Visit the Geeks’ Store to buy a membership. Use the coupon code rvtravel and get a 20% discount off anything you order.

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

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

DE-HORSE: This is when you take a customer out of his trade-in and let him temporarily drive the newly purchased RV before the purchase has really been finalized on the dealer’s books. The idea is to keep the customer from shopping around and finding another deal somewhere else.

PUT TOGETHER: This means much the same as “laying someone away.” In other words, the maximum gross profit to be made on that deal was accomplished. The customer was “nailed to the wall.”

FULL BORE: To sell an RV for the full sticker price with no discount.

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

Free and bargain camping


Isleta Casino & Resort, Albuquerque, NM
FREE! Multiple night stays allowed and permission is not required. Lot is sloped but manageable. Quiet, well-lit and appears safe. Park closest to resort for best Wi-Fi signal. There are several restaurants in the casino. Address: 11000 Broadway SE. GPS: 34.934922, -106.663677

Sam’s Club # 8220, Roanoke, VA
FREE! Overnight RV Parking is allowed but permission from the store is required. Level, well-lit and appears safe. Lot and traffic noise drops after 8 p.m. and it is quieter than the nearby Walmart, despite the adjacent airport. Address: 1455 Town Square Blvd NW, GPS:37.32034,  -79.96703

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 demo. Watch 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.

Museum of the Week

Coral Castle Museum
Miami, FL

Coral CastleTo this day, no one knows how Edward Leedskalnin created the Coral Castle. Ed would only say that he knew “the secret of the pyramids.” When he died, his secrets died with him, and to this day scientists and thinkers still debate Ed’s methods. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock at night and in secret, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments. “You are about to see an engineering marvel that has been compared with Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Egypt,” touts an information sheet available at the site. Visit the museum website here to plan your visit.

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.

Upcoming RV Shows

Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale, December 6-9, Indio, CA. POSTPONED UNTIL FEB. 21-24, 2019

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

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.


After an online vote in 2011, Toyota announced that the official plural of Prius was Prii. The choices were: “Prius,” “Priuses,” “Prii,” “Priem,” or “Pri.” “Prii” received 25%.

Bumper sticker of the week

I’m not suffering from insanity – I’m enjoying every minute of it! —Thanks to Rita Black

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

Joke of the Week

The English language is pretty strange and confusing. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.

Worth Pondering

“The less you talk, the more you’re listened to.” —Pauline Phillips

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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, 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. Email:

This newsletter is copyright 2018 by


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Becky Wadley
4 years ago

Thanks for the link back! We have a super small camper and space is at a premium, even for weekend trips (which we do A LOT!). 🙂

Jim Schrankel
4 years ago

Yea, the new format is great, aside from a few glitches, but my biggest gripe is the faint type. The Escapees magazine went to the same type recently as well. Problem is your readership demographic is probably 50+ and our eyes are not as efficient as they used to be!

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Schrankel

Hi Jim, We’re mostly over 50 as well 🙂 That’s great feedback. The typeface we’re using is one that is supposed to be “accessible” – but those definitions are probably made by younger folk as well. And as I type this it’s clear to see that the response box has a grey type color, and not solid black.

We’ll get on this and see what we can do about making it easier to read. It may take a bit to determine what font and sizes go where (we have mobile, desktop and tablet users) but I’ve added it to our bug list and we’ll work on it for sure!

4 years ago

The new site is very nice on my Android phone. However, that said, I hate change! I always like the old no matter how bad it may be. I always figure a way around the bad. I will get use to the new and will hate when you want to improve it. LOL.

4 years ago

“motorHOME” is the industry term. Thus a home. I have lived in a stick built house my entire life thus far. In the very near future, my wife and I will be full-time RVers and still working ‘normal’ jobs. Not camping, but living/traveling with all our wants and needs with us. OCD suited living. Let it be!

Kevin in MN
4 years ago

While camping our way through the southwest U.S. this past year, staying at National Parks and Forest facilities (reserved months in advance while planning our trip) we encountered MANY folks in
various “RV’s” that were well worn at best, often dilapidated and seemingly non-road-worthy. Stopping at Walmart’s for re-supply we were often approached by van-dwellers panhandling and appealing to our sense of being part of their nomadic tribe. I’ve since learned there are thousands of these “nomads” (just search RV nomads on YouTube) who travel in packs and consider themselves “full-time RV’ers”. I’ve got no more in common with these moochers who live off the welfare of those they can exploit to support their “freedom” and I’m finding that friends and acquaintances now associate my desire to spend retirement in my RV as me joining these beggars who leave any area they inhabit worse than when they found it. Can we at least agree that they are NOT “full time RV’ers”?

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago

I have been “full timing” for 3 years now. That is, I live in my RV 365 days a year, traveling all over the continent. I am insured with GEICO, who insures full timers. My understanding is that the reason all RV’s are classified as recreational vehicles, 3 seasons, is that if you classified them as full time you have to building them according to the building code.

John Hiler
4 years ago

Why would you even think that full time travel is a modern phenomena? It is one of man’s oldest traits. Cave men moved all the time. The gypsies of Europe still travel the countries. In Mongolia it is a way of life. In the Americas many of the tribes, especially in the west were always moving with the seasons, the food supply, the need for new gossip and just to be moving. Some folks just have it in their genes, and itchy feet…

4 years ago

I like the new format but I really hate having to read stories by either opening up a new window or being taken to the article. Any chance some of the smaller items can be added to the core of the newsletter or as I have seen elsewhere a down arrow that opens / expands the article in same page that you are on? A couple of items today opened in new windows while others replaced the newsletter and had to use the back button to return to the newsletter. Since I read this on a computer, I prefer a new window.
Thanks for all the info that you provide


Ralph Terry
4 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

I right click on the link and a menu opens. I click on “Open Link in New Tab.” You can also “Open Link in New Window.”

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

I agree with Dennis. The first thing I do when I open the newsletter is to go to reader view to take away a lot of the clutter.

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago

Hi Steven, I use reader view myself when I’m trying to read a lot of text. It’s really useful. For those that don’t know about this feature of your browser, in the address box (or right next to it) there is usually an icon that shows up that looks like a page with text on it. Clicking that gives you a clear view of the page and makes the text larger! Great for us folks with three sets of glasses!

4 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

I agree. Mildly inconvenient.

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

Hi Dennis,
Typically, links will open in the same window and take you to another section of our website. Everything is organized by categories and tags, so depending on the story, our newsletter typically links you to the page on our site and opens that page in the same window. Sometime’s we’ll open a link in a new window (it’s an option) but usually that’s a link to an external site, not Things are a little mixed up at the moment, this is a huge project for our small team, so maybe we’re missing something.
I do like the idea of being able to open stories with an arrow, I’ll add that to our feature list and we’ll take a look at how that might work… just as soon we squash all of the bugs we have right now.

4 years ago

I like the new design but I do not like the constant pop up of another item (which I have already read) on the right side. Very annoying. Also when I click on “read the story here” type of link, I wish it would open in a new tab, although it is not difficult to go back to the main page, I just forget I have to do it. Otherwise, I’m still enjoying reading this newsletter each week and also the daily blurbs too. Keep on keepin’ on! Hope all y’all have a great, happy holiday season!

Dave B.
4 years ago
Reply to  Linda

That “continuing” pop-up is extremely annoying, to say the least.
Otherwise, your new design newsletter is right-on !!

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Hi Linda,
Yes, it WAS annoying. It’s out of here! We were hoping to give you a little more access to stories related to the one you were reading. But that said, it wasn’t supposed to comeback once you closed it.

We’ll figure out a better way to do that without irritating our readers (and ourselves when we’re working on a story).

Sometimes the best intentions meet up with technology that doesn’t quite cut it.

Frank Busalacchi
4 years ago

Chuck and Staff, Looks great, feels great. The kinks will work themselves out over time. Love it.

Charles Berg
4 years ago

I really like the new format, I usually read it on my Kindle and it fit perfectly.

Pat H. Smith
4 years ago

Welcome back to the great state of Washington. We live in Anacortes. Early in my life I traveled with my husband for work all around the USA. With 2children. You miss a home base. An RV is not a home ,but a temporary residence. Glad you had a great time. You did learn a lot and will have a better prospective now and both scenarios. We have a Winnebago, and love moving most every month with 400 miles.

4 years ago

Like your work on the new site and newsletter….. but… the pop ups will drive me away! Please take them away, they’re annoying. Also consider returning your “read more” links to opening a new tab so the base newsletter is always available without needing to hit a back link.

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Don

Hi Don,

We’ve turned off that annoying “More” pop up on the lower right – it didn’t quite work as advertised to say the least.

The pop up that asks you to join our newsletter should stay off once you close it. Are still seeing that after you close it once? And if you’re on our mailing list already, it should have set a cookie telling our site not to annoy you with newsletter pop ups after that.

Please let us know either here in the comments, in the forums or by email,, if you’re still seeing newsletter or other pop-ups and we’ll help you track down why.

4 years ago

I like the new format and that it doesn’t open up new tabs every time I click a link. I like to be able to just hit the back button to go back to where I left off. Thank you.

Ron Lane
4 years ago
Reply to  Brian

I agree with Brian and disagree with Dr4Film (what kind of name is that anyway). Hitting the back arrow is much more convenient than closing a tab.

4 years ago

Nice format to the NEW newsletter. However, please inform your IT web site manager that when there is a Hot Link, it should open up in another TAB, not in the same tab. Very inconvenient the way it has been programmed now. Thank you!

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

Hi DR4Film,
Opening links into a new tab is usually reserved for links that take you off of our site. We can open in a new window or in a tab. But links inside of our site have always opened into the existing tab/window as that is the industry standard.

You can always right click and say “open in new tab”. I often do that when I’m perusing a site with several stories I want to read. I don’t think there is a way to convince your browser to do that, but if you’re using Chrome or Firefox, you may want to see if someone has an extension that does that for you.

4 years ago

Keith, I respectfully have to disagree however you are wrong on this point. Go back to issue 869 and click on EVERY hot link under the Almost Breaking News. Every article opens up in a NEW TAB. It has nothing to do with whatever browser one is using. That feature is embedded in the coding.

4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

OK, Diane. I guess that is called “progress” which can only move forward never backward. Thanks for the clarification.

4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

CTRL+Click and the link will always open in a new tab. I use these almost all the time and on nearly every site.

4 years ago

Chuck – Like the new site except the ‘more stories’ keeps popping up in the bottom right hand corner. Anyway to disable this with 1 click?

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Hi Steve, we hear you loud and clear. It’s gone!

Sharon Mathie
4 years ago

Nice job on the Newsletter upgrade. Used on my iPad mini without problems!

4 years ago

The text of the newsletter this week is very faint and difficult to read, especially with my old eyes.

Ky. Hiker Tom
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeannie

I like the new setup, but bolder/larger print would really help. Keep up the good work

Dave Telenko
4 years ago
Reply to  Ky. Hiker Tom

Yes I would totally agree with Tom, as having at least blacker print would help these old tired eyes!
Thanks for this great new newsletter format!
For some reason I think the format used to be kinda like this!?

Ralph Terry
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave Telenko

If you use Windows10, Go to “Settings” then “Ease of Access.” You can make test bigger, change the contrast, and other helpful things.

Ralph Terry
4 years ago
Reply to  Ky. Hiker Tom

You can use the zoom feature on your browser. Windows also has settings to use a magnifier.

Lee Wenk
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeannie

I have the same issue with almost every web site I visit. I use Google Chrome as my main browser, but I’m not certain what you force if any. There is an attachment that allows me to increase the contrast, change colors or a number of other things. I’m going to try this site in an Edge browser and a Firefox browser to see whether the dim text is a browser issue. Keep up the good work.

Lee Wenk
4 years ago
Reply to  Lee Wenk

OK, I tested with Firefox and Edge. Firefox had the same ‘dim’ text as Google Chrome. Edge had the same ‘dim’ text but it displayed in a much larger font on my system. This made reading much easier without changing the contrast. YMMV

Gord B.
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeannie

The font needs to be darker for sure.
The suggestions that users zoom or fiddle settings on their browsers or OS is a denial of the graphical design or typographical short coming.
Should hundreds have to make changes or compensate endlessly instead of the one person correcting the readability mistake?
Accept the feedback and facilitate for all to easily and thoroughly read this fine newsletter.

4 years ago
Reply to  Gord B.

I agree concerning the greyed-out type style. It reduces the contrast for no good reason, and makes the page difficult to read. Against a glaring white background, it becomes very hard on the eyes. Truth is, this is a very simple CSS (style sheet) option that the web designer can change. C’mon, Chuck… aren’t your eyes getting old under that “grey” hair we’re all sporting?

Kim Christiansen
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeannie

Hi Jeannie (and everyone else on this thread)!
We’ve heard this a few times now, and we’re going to be looking into this as soon as we can. The font we’re using is supposed to be accessible – that means easy to read for everyone.

But the type here in the comment replies is not black, and that can make it really hard to read. In addition, the type itself could be slightly larger. We also have to take into account different devices, mobile versus laptop versus desktop, and different monitor resolutions.

And since the site was designed with this type, we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves a little bit and get some more work done. But for those of us with readers, computer and driving glasses, a more readable type will be most welcome!

It’s on our bug list now and we’ll be looking into it this week for sure. Ideally we’ll find a good solution before next newsletter!

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