Saturday, December 10, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 875


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 875 • Week of December 8-14, 2018   #rvtravel

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury


ast week’s newsletter has been read about 45,000 times. A month from now that will have climbed to 50,000. That’s a lot of people — about the same as the combined crowds at three NBA or NHL games. Close your eyes and imagine that. Three crowds filing in and out of the arena, all RVers.

But it’s a pittance when you realize there are 20 million RVers out there!’s audience is a minnow compared to a Blue Whale. If we want to make a difference in forcing RV makers to build better RVs and lobby for more places to stay with them, we need a far larger voice. As is, the industry ignores us (and most other consumer websites) — a fly on its wall. Please (please, please, please) tell your RVer friends to sign up for our newsletter here.

I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE with our RV electricity expert Mike Sokol, who called with yet another story of an RVer who received bad advice, in this case about wiring a 50-amp hookup at her home. If she had followed the advice she could have blown all her RV’s electronics. She searched the Web high and low for information, and finally found Mike. This happens all the time.

But Mike is basically donating his time to all this. I pay him what I can each month, but frankly, he’d make more flipping burgers. The RV industry will not step forward to support him to any significant degree. Oh, some companies do pay him, but it’s for piecework. The thing is, Mike has fallen in love with RVing (he’s a sucker for road trips) and he and I get frustrated that some major RV industry company won’t step forward to fund his very important efforts. The money will come back to them in exposure and good will.

Right now Mike has been retained by a major company to test its RV air conditioners to see how they perform under low-power conditions. He’s also testing a European company’s 12-volt residential RV refrigerator to learn, when boondocking, how many batteries and/or solar panels it needs to operate compared to a standard 120-volt RV fridge. (The fridge needs no inverter to operate.) The companies will then use the information to educate their customers. In the long run, you and all RVers benefit, but only because this website and newsletter have brought Mike and his absolutely unique talents to the attention of the RV industry. We don’t need to do this. You want to know how to make big money publishing a website? It’s not the way we do it! Click here and I’ll explain

Artist’s depiction of Mike at work.

A few weeks ago Mike told me he has a plan to simulate a lightning strike to see what it will do to an RV’s electronics if it strikes close by. Nobody has ever done that! But Mike has a plan (as he always does). I told him he might want to avoid telling his neighbors about the project, which might sound like “mad-scientist” stuff to them.

I challenge you to find another source of information about RVing that does what we do — discuss important issues that affect so many of us: poor quality RVs, increasingly crowded RV parks, and how RV makers have only recently started paying attention to an RVer’s need for service in a timely manner. We started the Facebook group RV Horror Stories to allow RVers with defective RVs to share their tales with a large audience, hopefully members of industry. So far, more than 10,000 RVers have joined including several RV lemon lawyers who are now helping some members with RVs that have been in the shop for months on end, even a year or longer.

Okay, so your RV works just fine, and did from the get-go. But imagine you bought a brand-new RV that ended up being riddled with defects that were so bad you couldn’t use it. How would you feel — making payments each and every month, watching your warranty expire, and postponing your trips. I’m telling you, this happens all the time.

Oh, at we celebrate RVs and the RV lifestyle, too. But you can find happy talk and learn a hundred ways to dump your holding tanks on a thousand other RV websites and blogs. We simply devote some of our time to larger, more important issues. We save RVers’ time, money, frustration and on occasion we teach them something that ultimately saves their life or that of their child.

Maybe your RV works perfectly, and maybe where you travel there’s never a problem getting a campsite. That’s true for most of our readers. But others — far too many (me included) — have experienced trouble finding decent places to stay without reservations far ahead. Others, who bought RVs and financed them for 20 years (a terrible thing to do) ended up with defective RVs and stand by helplessly for months on end for them to be repaired, getting the runaround from both dealers and manufacturers. Read RV Horror Stories to see what I mean.

If you are not already a member of (a voluntary subscriber) please consider becoming one. Most of your money goes back into funding our projects. It helps us do more. As a member, you can claim some sense of ownership in how you and other members are making a difference. Your support helps pay Mike what he needs so he doesn’t need to move to another industry where he is more appreciated. He’s stuck it out with me for two years now and I can’t expect him to stay forever. I’m working my behind off trying to drum up sponsors for him, but it’s tough.

Finally, if you have a small business that caters to RVers, consider advertising with us. We can now, for the first time, show your ads locally or regionally — right where you do business — say, within 100, 200 or 300 miles of your location. The ads are very reasonable, and you won’t toss away money on wasted coverage. Let me know if you’re interested (chuck @ This is a great opportunity for RV parks, RV shows, independent RV parts stores, and mobile RV technicians and repair services. If you own a small RV dealership that prides itself in doing a great job for its customers, then you are invited to participate.

I hope you having a wonderful Holiday Season. Gail and I will fly to central California to spend Christmas with two of my aunts, one now in her mid-90s, the younger sister of my late father. We’ll hop back on the road with our motorhome in the spring. I’m already dreaming about it!


P.S. Why do we host groups at Facebook? Some of you despise Facebook and write me angry letters that you want nothing to do with the site. Well, we have our reasons for associating with it. Please read this short explanation.

Also: I asked you last week for your definition of a full-time RVer. Boy, were your answers all over the place! Click here to see the responses and comments.

Finally, did you miss Mike Sokol’s RV Electricity newsletter last Sunday? If so, you can read it here.

My Roadside Journal

New RV has built-in outdoor movie system

The evolution of RVs from recreational vehicles, where someone recreates (participates in recreational activities) rather than, say, live comfortably with more gizmos and gadgets than 98.5 percent of the world’s population, continues with Keystone’s 2019 Fuzion 410 toy hauler. One of the new features is a built-in movie projector! Why?! Read more and watch the short video.

Readers speak out

RVer frustrated with Keystone trailer

We started the Facebook page RV Horror Stories to provide a way for RVers who are stuck with lemon RVs to tell their tales. Here’s an all-too-typical story from the frustrated buyer of a 2019 Keystone Impact 322 Toy Hauler. He posted this at RV Horror Stories for reasons he explains in the six-minute video which he posted on YouTube. Read more and watch the video.

New feature:

Laughs by the roadside. December 2018.

Who is this? Bet you can’t guess

Take a look at this picture of a bunch of guys. Do they look familiar? If not, then look again. If you still don’t know, take a guess. This is just for fun. No prize. And no big deal if you’re wrong. You’ll see the answer after you respond. Click here or the photo.

Help us do more! Support this newsletter

The staff of works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible by becoming members with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Won’t you join us with your contribution?


Breaking News

Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for November

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 Forest River, Grand Design,  Keystone, Thor and others — plus other vehicles commonly used by RVers. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Find out here.

Almost Breaking News

The latest news about RVing from our newsroom
This section will return.
Indiana RV dealer ordered to pay $250,000 in tax scam.

Recent recalls:
Airstream recalls some ’19 motorhomes for fuse issue.
Heartland recalls trailers. Hub bearings improperly greased.

Airstream/AT&T “enhance” your outdoor adventures?

Airstream and AT&T are pointing the advertising gun at those who want to RV and yet never feel disconnected at the internet umbilical. That’s right, buy a 2019 Airstream Classic travel trailer and you can get AT&T internet connectivity in your “connected classic” for as low as $25 a month, so you can take your office with you. (Why else would you head for the great outdoors?!) Wait until you read the fine print at the bottom. Learn more.

How much solar power do you need?

The winter, snowbird season is upon us, and a parade of RVers is now underway south, many to boondock for months on end on public lands of the desert Southwest. If that’s you, then you probably already have enough solar panels to power your RV. But if you still need to get equipped, these “Rules of Thumb” from the folks at AM Solar will give you an idea of what you may need. Read more.

You’ve heard of sleepwalking, but what about sleep-driving?

We RVers spend a lot of time driving. We’ve, sadly, gotten good at “distracted driving.” Anyone who drives knows all about this. But I’ll bet you have never heard of something a whole lot more dangerous. I’m talking about sleep-driving! Driving while asleep? Yeah, right. Not possible. Well, don’t laugh! It’s no joke. It happens, and usually to people taking Ambien, a sedative prescribed to combat insomnia. Learn more.

Reader Poll

Reader PollWill you head south with your RV this winter?

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.

Camping with the Corps of Engineers


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

What we learned about you last week

You still carry (and like using) paper maps and atlases with you on your travels; you speak one language, though a handful of you speak four (!!); you don’t take your shoes off inside your RV unless they’re really muddy; most of you were paid salary at your last full-time job; and almost half of you use coupons to save money at the store. All this and more, right here. 

Is it time for some new wheels?

No, not slang for a new car/vehicle, but literally new wheels. When Greg Illes was a kid, snazzy wheels were the easiest way to radically change the personality of someone’s “ride.” Problem was, for Greg’s older Winnebago/Itasca on the Workhorse P32 chassis, nice wheels have been elusive. What did he finally find that makes him and “Howie” (his RV) so happy? Find out here.

YWYD (You’re wasting your dad – pass it on)

If you missed Mike Sokol’s thought-provoking essay, YWYD, in the Road Signs section of RV Electricity Issue 13, you might want to read it. It was very popular with the subscribers to that newsletter, who posted some excellent responses. You can read Mike’s essay here. If you haven’t signed up for the RV Electricity Newsletter, you can do so here – so you don’t miss another important issue.

Using a fabric building for RV storage – Part 2

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men… (Robert Burns, John Steinbeck, et al.). Rich “The Wanderman” is assembling a fabric building to store his RV in. Last week he ended his article with, “Next week, we’ll get the covers on and everything tightened up.” Ha! Will it be done in time to store his RV this winter? Read more.

Popular articles from last week’s issue

The campground of your dreams? No way!
How to prevent a thief from stealing your RV surge protector.
Is the Good Sam Man being retired?
Will RV parks nix fixed prices and charge based on demand?
What we learned about you last week (November 24-30).
RV Electricity – KOA pedestal fix.
RV’s water pump doesn’t pump.
• Wife objects to hubby’s waste disposal tactics.

Thanks to Reader Ron Hugh for sending us photos of his beautifully decorated RV for Christmas in Yuma, AZ. Looks nice and cozy, Ron! Click to enlarge.

From the Reader Forums

Dumped by Good Sam

I had the Good Sam Roadside Assistance for almost two years. I’ve had a flat changed to my spare on my car, had my scooter towed to a service station, and my son, who has the second card, had a flat changed to a spare on his car. No RV assistance at all. Next thing I know, I’m being dropped! I received a notice saying my membership has been terminated for USING IT TOO MUCH. Isn’t that what it’s for? Anyone else have this happen?
Comment here.

Trashy campers leaving a trashy land

A lot of campgrounds on public lands look like a dump site after a long weekend. Seems like a lot of campers do not respect “You haul it in, you haul it out,” They will dump their trash in the pit toilets or just leave the trash everywhere. I overheard a comment that they did not have room to put their trash when leaving. Darn they had room to haul it in. DUH.

With the mentality of a lot of people today, you do not dare say much or they will start shooting. Seems like these folks will not be happy until CGs close because of their attitude. I have been camping in one form or another since childhood and just cannot get over the attitude and total lack of courtesy of a lot of the newer campers. 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.

Ask the RV Shrink

Wife worried she’ll be lonely as a full-time RVer

Dear RV Shrink:
We want to be full-time RVers but my wife thinks she will be lonely. We are not yet in the RV club. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy my company, she just doesn’t want to be stuck with me 24/7 without some variety of friends. I have been trying to convince her that we will meet fellow travelers and locals wherever we wander. Is this just wishful thinking on my part, or do most people find new friendships on the road? —Lonely Hearts in La Jolla

Read the RV Shrink’s advice.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new 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.


Our favorite holiday gifts for the RVer:

gas-738Latest fuel prices
on December 3, 2018

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.45. [Calif.: $3.40]
Change from week before: Down 9 cents; Change from year before: Down 5 cents.
Diesel: $3.21. [Calif.: $3.92]
Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 29 cents.

A thing that does all things!

This large silicon pad can be used in your microwave under hot bowls to pick them up, or on top of a dish as a splatter guard, on your table as a hot plate, a drying rack, or even as a jar opener. When it gets messy just toss it in the sink for a wash, or even put it in the dishwasher. About $12 on Amazon makes it a great deal. Talk about a great multi-tasking gadget for your RV (or home) kitchen.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 10 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.

For those individuals who are mentally challenged, it’s a good idea to have someone sleeping nearby that’s available and ready to help in an emergency. And for those with a physical disability, a bedside whistle, fire extinguisher, or cell phone (or all three) should be within reach.

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

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

Stained plastic sink? Try the toothpaste trick!

Some older RVs are equipped with plastic sinks that just ache for stains. When they get ’em, you’re stuck trying to clean them. Ray says, “I tried various cleaners designed for kitchens and bathrooms with little luck.” Then, “I remembered I had one time used toothpaste to remove a reddish iron water stain in our porcelain toilet. It worked like a hot damn. Quickly and completely removed the stain … I grabbed a tube and gave them a good polishing and rinse and what do you know, it worked pretty well.” He notes NOT to try this on new sinks that still have a gel coat, as the tooth whitener will likely damage it; just use it on older sinks where the gel coat is already worn off. From

Light bulbs in the fixture

While running LED replacements in your “pillow” light fixtures will really save you juice, if you’re not in a position to replace bulbs consider this: It may be tempting to use an 1156 bulb (cheaper than the usual 1141), but these critters suck up a half-amp more than the more expensive 1141 bulbs. And they typically don’t last as long. Here’s an even better idea: The price of LED replacement bulbs for these fixtures has dropped to less than a buck a bulb when purchased in quantities of 20. Deep-six the incandescent bulbs altogether, don’t worry about heat, and save a ton of battery power!

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

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.” It’s been four years since the latest edition, and much has changed and been added. Read more about it here, and maybe order a copy of the brand-new 832-page guide for yourself or for a Christmas gift for your RVing friends.


Ask the RV Doctor

The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

RV not winterized; camping; temp dropped to 25; worried!

Dear Gary,
I am freaking out! The temperature got down to 25 last night and we have water in our water heater and one gallon of water and a chemical in our black tank. We did blow out the water lines. Should I be concerned about the tank and water heater freezing last night? We were not expecting the temperature to drop so fast. We are camping and I am scared I am going to find a busted tank. —Rhonda F.

Read Gary’s response.

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

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!


Ask BoondockBob

with Bob Difley

See prehistoric graffiti at Arizona’s Painted Rock Petroglyph Site

Like most historic or recreation sites managed by the BLM, they don’t get a lot of publicity and even less advertising. So you may zip on by such a location and not even know it existed, or that you’ve passed within a stone’s throw from it. Painted Rock Petroglyph Site and Campground, about 90 miles southwest of Phoenix, is typical. Read more.

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


Microwave cover collapses for easy storage

When 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.

RV Electricity

with Mike Sokol

Don’t blow your fuse!

Dear Mike,
I read in something last year that it was wise to place a “slow-blow,” 10-amp fuse inline to the water pump. Now it is time to replace my water pump. So, after ordering the new pump, I started searching for a 12-volt, 10-amp slow-blow inline fuse to install when I wire the new water pump. I have been completely unsuccessful in finding such an item. …  —James Stiner 

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

If you missed the most recent issue of RV Electricity Issue 13, you can read it here. If you haven’t signed up yet for the RV Electricity Newsletter (why not?), you can do so here – so you don’t miss another important issue.

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.

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 Tire Safety

with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Tips for better fuel economy, especially for Class A motorhomes

Roger provides information from the EPA that is supposed to help truckers select tires for better fuel economy. Will selecting one of these tires get you 20 mpg on your 40-foot diesel pusher? No, it won’t. But it might get you a 5% improvement, which could be like getting $0.15 off a gallon of fuel. Plus, he provides some quick tips for better fuel economy. Learn more.

Do your taxes in your bathrobe!
It’s that time again – can you believe it? This handy online software from H&R Block does all the hard work for you. Get your taxes done simply and quickly. You’ll get unlimited chat time with a representative, so all your questions can be answered without getting out of those cozy slippers. Click here to learn more. 

The RV Kitchen

with Janet Groene 

Holly Wreath Cheese Ring

Party time cheese ring. Why wrangle with unmolding a cheese ring when you can do it the easy way? This pretty presentation stays ready in your RV refrigerator for Happy Hour or an appetizer. Get the recipe.

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


If you really love them, you’ll buy them this…
What could be a more perfect gift than a plush foot massager? Oh, a heated plush foot massager, of course! This sore-foot saver soothes tired feet while using heat therapy to relax. If stinky feet are an issue, don’t fret! The cover is detachable and washable, so you can keep it smelling laundry-fresh. Click here to make someone really happy.

RV Short Stop

with Julianne G. Crane

RV Holiday in Colonial Williamsburg

If you want beauty and flair this Holiday Season, one delightful place for the RV family to visit is Virginia’s Historic Triangle that includes Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. American history is brought to life in this unique area located midway between Richmond and Virginia Beach, about 150 miles south of Washington, DC. “Here you’ll find enduring traditions, charming decorations, and a season that still warms the heart.” There are two full-service RV campgrounds located near historic Colonial Williamsburg that are open year-round. Read more.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

STICKS: Reference given to the borrower’s furniture he puts up as collateral on a small loan, such as when he borrows the money for the down payment on the RV he is getting ready to buy.

WATER: This is the false equity shown on a deal that a customer is supposed to have in his trade-in. For example: Showing on the purchase order $10,000 in equity on a ’79 Winnebago when he actually only has $1,000.

RATE SHEET: The Dealer Reserve Schedule used by F & I (Finance & Insurance) salesperson to determine the amount of the kickback they will get from the bank or another lender who is going to finance the sale, in exchange for bumping the interest rate up above the minimum rate that the lender actually wants to get on the loan.

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

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.

Facebook Groups about RVing (or related)

Washington State Camping
Bearfoot’s Hiking Gear Flea Market
RVs, Campers, and Trailers for Sale in Florida
PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: RV Horror Stories and RV Advice

Free and bargain camping


Lambert’s Café, Sikeston, MO
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but obtain permission before parking overnight and park where directed. The lot is level, well-lit and quiet. It is patrolled by local police, and there is at least one restaurant employee on site at all times. Restaurant in business since 1942 & has an excellent reputation. If you park overnight here, please purchase your evening meal here (not open for breakfast). Address: 2305 E. Malone. GPS: 36.887, -89.5469

Walmart Supercenter # 1954, Roswell, NM
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but permission from the store is required. Large and spacious parking lot. The main lot entrance, at traffic signal on US 70 (Main St) has low-hanging trees. McDonald’s in store and other restaurants within a block. Address: 4500 N. Main St. GPS: 33.449023, -104.525136

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

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

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.

Protect yourself from intruders, bears and more!
The BASU eAlarm lets you explore, sleep, and adventure with confidence! This tiny device emits a 130-decibel alarm which scares away intruders, burglars, and wild animals, and will call for help if you find yourself stranded. Used by the RVTravel staff, you can count on this alarm to keep you safe. Click here to order for about $16.


Reno is farther west than Los Angeles.

Bumper sticker of the week

Honk if parts fall off.

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

Joke of the Week

I got pulled over for speeding by a woman police officer. I almost talked my way out of it by telling her she looked stunning. Then I messed up by saying, “And that’s not even the drink talking!”

Worth Pondering

Two quotes from President George H.W. Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018):

“In crucial things, unity. In important things, diversity. In all things, generosity.”

From USA Today: “At 65, it seems being president gave H.W. the courage to tell his mother that he would no longer obey her orders to eat broccoli. He spoke at a news conference about his Air Force One broccoli ban, saying: ‘I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!'”

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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3 years ago

Williamsburg KOA website states that it is open March 1 – December 31; not year round as stated in the Holiday in Williamsburg article.

4 years ago

It appears RVTravel has got me thinking this week.
It would be wonderful if there were a list provided to all RVers regarding the use of campgrounds. A list that is included with the sale of every RV, better yet permanently applied to the wall of every RV (inside a cabinet door).
Listed below is a start of what I’d like it to see listed/addressed. It would be wonderful to have other RVTravel readers to add what they would like to see listed and then RVTravel may find an article idea as it relates to the information posted.
REMEMBER – this a list for those using a campground/campsite. It is not about the ‘joys/frustrations’ of camping.

Campgrounds/Campsites, things to remember and take into account:
– It is not the same as your home – you are a guest/visitor
– Noise awareness, as it relates to others, matters

4 years ago

Is there a specific place to submit article suggestions?
The RV industry, already well below par regarding quality control, is getting ‘out of control’ by adding all the new ‘luxury’ amenities – patios, televisions (inside and out), outdoor kitchens, multiple slide-outs, etc. (and many more new features that I’m not aware of). Each time you add something you increase the opportunity for something to go wrong.

Articles I think would be helpful.
Focus on specific features/components as they relate to what goes wrong (trailer/motor home) most often and why? Yes, there are many articles about specific issues but nothing that offers consolidated information about the ‘issues’ with links to a ‘fix it site’. An article that would support this information would be some sort of rating regarding the learning/$cost curve and ‘headache’ level associated with any specific system/component starting from the ground up. A sort of ‘what you need to know about’ type of series that takes full advantage of ‘links’ that already exist so they are short and to the point.

What to be cautious about regarding ‘add-on features’ that get your attention (sales pitch) but distract you from those things (roof, plumbing) that really matter and that far too many buyers do not research well enough nor ask the ‘right questions’ about. It would be good to have specific information that is not included in the sales spin (omitted on purpose) associated with these features, i.e., you will need a costly antenna for that entertainment system to work effectively, the full understanding of slide-outs (interior and exterior). etc.

4 years ago

A subject I’d like to see covered is interior lighting – specifically the switching of interior ‘old’ light bulbs/systems for new more efficient, cooler LED bulbs (today’s article and many lighting articles touch on the what but not on the how). I’d like to understand my system and how to upgrade (visual examples). Right now, I’m under the impression that this is not just a ‘buy new bulbs, switch out the old ones and job done’. Getting it wrong could be catastrophic. Help with this kind of upgrade would be appreciated.
New site is wonderful. Any bugs will get worked out as users provide feedback. Thanks

Steve Barnes, Kamloops, BC
4 years ago

In your editorial today you link us to your explanation “How to make money from a website or blog” (loosely quoted). Excellent, I hope those who did not read it will go back now and do so.

Although it is specific to webs and blogs generally, and to specifically, if one didn’t know better they might think your comment was political.

I really, really liked how at the end of your article you provided a link directly back to the newsletter. That answers “Ron’s” comment today, the 5th one below

Appreciate your ethics. Without them we have no worth. Your opinions are credible.

Terry Brown
4 years ago

It sure would be nice to be able to D/L’d serial articles as PDF files for later viewing or printing.

Steven Scheinin
4 years ago

You claim 10,000 have complained about their lemon RV. If each of those 10,000 people hired one of the lawyers that advertise, no recovery, no fee, I think that would have an effect on the industry.

Brian & Joyce Burry
4 years ago

We do not use Facebook and will not use Facebook, but how do we participate and comments on the “RV horror stories” should not just be on Facebook,
and if it’s on your website, could you please tell us how we can participate in such discussions? thank you very much

John Hiler
4 years ago

You write a lot about the need for more technicians for RV’s. Better pay and working conditions might help to solve that problem. Training at tech schools will help too. Investment by the industry in technical training would make the work more sought after. More women in the trade would help. The major complaint that I hear a lot is simply working conditions. Being forced to work faster and not better is huge factor. Do some articles from that end. I find that locally, my independent dealer does a great job as long as I don’t push for something to be done instantly. I have no complaints.

4 years ago

Love the new layout scheme; however, I do have one complaint. When ever I click on a “go here” button to read another interesting subject… returning to the newsletter requires me to hit the back button which puts me back at the very beginning of your newsletter. I then have to scroll down to where I initially left off. After doing this a dozen times, it become very frustrating. Maybe going back to the old method of opening a new tab would be better.

Eric Meslin
4 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Be patient. I found that if I wait for it (about 5 seconds) my browser will take me back to where I was. If I start scrolling this doesn’t happen. Hope this helps.

4 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Not to pick on you specifically but I find it interesting about the complaints of having to use the back button instead of articles opening in a new tab. Years ago, the “back” button was the most used feature of a web browser. Web developers were told to not create links that open in a new window or tab because people would become confused and not know how to return to the original page they came from.

Dave Kaiser
4 years ago
Reply to  Ron

I right click on the link and select “open in new tab”. Hope it works for you.

Richard Snyder
4 years ago

Two comments on the newsletter format, Chuck: it would be helpful if a new tab would open automatically when clicking to read an article (I believe that used to happen); when clicking on “read more” on my Samsung tablet, nothing happens. Otherwise, I think it’s terriffic.

Laurel A Deveso
4 years ago

I always hear you talk about problems finding RV spaces on the go. I’m not going to argue with you about that, but if you are the type of RVer to take the road less traveled, and aren’t expecting much in the way of amenities, spaces abound in all sorts of wonderful areas! After Thanksgiving, my husband and I took the scenic backroads from Prescott down to Yuma, and saw park after park more empty than full. Our park in Yuma is only half-filled. We have a good group here, and we have potlucks and outings, but no pool or sporting type stuff. Suits us just fine. It’s not hopeless for all, maybe just the KOAs and parks like that.