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RV Travel Newsletter Issue 879

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!

Page Contents

Issue 879 • Week of January 12-18, 2019


Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury | Chuck (at) RVtravel.com

What do you want to hear first, the good news, the bad news, or the really weird news?

Okay. I will start with the really weird news: Some slimy humanoid creature or creatures out there have stolen this website. Yes, stole it! They copied the entire thing, posted it on a server in some foreign land, and then placed their own ads on the site so they could steal income from the traffic. The website looks exactly like RVtravel.com except it has a different name in the header. And, of course, we have no control over how the thieves might modify the content. PLEASE NOTE: Only the design and articles were stolen: No information about readers was stolen or exposed.

I’ll tell you, you cannot be in the business I’m in and have a weak stomach or an anger problem each time some creepy lowlife tries to cheat you! We’re doing what we can to get the bogus site removed, but it’s robbing us of time we should spend on our own projects. And we may not even succeed in the end. It’s terribly frustrating.

Okay, that’s the weird news. Now, the bad news. Actually, there is hardly any bad news except we continue to have some bugs to work out on our new website. Some of you have had trouble even clicking through to this newsletter, instead getting an error message. I think we have solved that problem (fingers crossed).

One thing you can do in case you do not get an email from us Saturday morning is sign up to receive our daily RSS feed, which provides headlines and links to our most recent newsletters and articles. Click here. It takes ten seconds.

THE GOOD NEWS is very exciting for us, and I think for you. We are now able to personalize this newsletter and website for you based on where you live or are traveling. This goes for both advertising and articles. For example, if there’s a major news story of special interest to RVers in your area but of little or no interest to others far away we can show the news to you without bothering readers far away who probably don’t care. You will still see the news from everywhere else.

Our staff hard at work!

Say you live in Arkansas, and a popular state park near Little Rock shuts down for the weekend. That might matter to you, but it won’t matter to someone in Portland, Oregon. So you’ll see the news, and readers there won’t.

We can do the same with advertising. Today, if you’re reading within 250 miles of Seattle then you’re seeing banners for the Seattle RV show. If you’re farther away, you’re seeing something else in the same position. If you’re in or near Salt Lake City you’re seeing banners for the new Aspen Grove RV Park in Tremonton. If you have an RV park, RV repair service or RV show to promote, let us know. The very affordable ads will only appear where you do business.

Gradually, we will start personalizing the news and information based on where you live, which will make this newsletter and website even more valuable to you. I don’t know of another RV website that has that ability.

* * *

Mike in action in Elkhart, Indiana

Mike Sokol and I are hoping to put together a special in-depth seminar on RV Electricity this September during the Hershey RV Show. It would run for an entire afternoon and be far more comprehensive than his brief, introductory seminars at the show itself. Mike has been overwhelmed lately with highly technical questions from readers that would take him an hour to answer properly. If the seminar in Hershey succeeds, he’ll take it on the road, perhaps somewhere near you one day.

The cost of this seminar, which would be limited to less than 50 people, would be $125. But I’m telling you, there is no other person in America as well versed on RV electricity as Mike. So, please take a moment to read Mike’s take on this and then let him know if you might want to attend.

Finally, I am very happy to report that my friend and full-time RVer Malia Lane, who is nearing the end of her battle with cancer, has finished her book, Fear Less vs Fearless: The Journey of a Lifetime. I urge you to read it. It’s available in both paperback and Kindle editions (free with Kindle Unlimited). Malia filed another report in this issue about her fight and how it feels to know you are dying soon. See below.

chucksignature

P.S. We’re restarting our Full Time RVer Newsletter after more than a year’s absence. If you are not among the nearly 16,000 subscribers already signed up please do so here. No charge, of course (and no Spam).

stray voltage patrolAlso: Our Stray Voltage Patrol of 380 volunteer readers has reported dozens of miswired or otherwise dangerous electrical pedestals in RV parks across America and have notified the park owners. Most have then repaired them. Mike Sokol will have an update in the next few weeks. Thanks to all SVP members and to our RV Travel Members for funding this project.

Writer wanted: We are looking for someone with a nose for news who can write a column twice a month about what’s going on in the RV park industry — new parks, proposed parks, current park changes, park closings, trends, etc. Contact me at chuck(at)RVtravel.com if you’re interested. This is a (very) part-time freelance position that offers modest pay. Must have news writing experience.

My Roadside Journal

(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)

Recent RV recalls

None being issued while federal government is shut down.



Help us do more! Support this newsletter

The staff of RVtravel.com works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible by becoming members with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Even a pledge of $5, $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 $10 or $20 helps make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to please advertisers and RV industry big shots.

BECOME A MEMBER NOW!


Breaking News

Jayco shuts down production of folding trailers

Jayco is stopping production of folding trailers in 2019 until further notice, RV PRO Magazine has reported. According to data from the RV Industry Association, wholesale shipments of folding camping trailers are on the decline. In 2017, shipments totaled 9,200 then decreased to 6,500 in 2018. For 2019, RVIA is predicting shipments to total 4,900. Read more.


Cover Story

Good Sam Club, Rest In Peace

marcus lemonisThe Good Sam Club was once a quality organization. Its founding mission was to not only turn a profit, as any business would do, but to do so by serving and caring about its members. On occasion, the club lobbied Congress, state legislatures and other organizations about important legislation that affected RVers. It published Highways, a quality magazine. It held wonderful rallies. It encouraged the creation of local chapters and helped the organizers better serve their members. No more.

Read more in this editorial from Chuck Woodbury.



That was the RV week that was …

The latest news about RVing from our newsroom

Read news highlights about RVing from the last week.


Plan Your Getaway to Tropical Palms Today!
Tropical Palms is a hidden gem set on 69 beautiful sun-kissed acres that are perfect for your Orlando vacation getaway. We are approximately 4 miles from Walt Disney World Resort, 11 miles from the Orange County Convention Center and within walking distance from Old Town and Fun Spot. You will find our convenient location and affordable prices provide the perfect RV resort to enjoy all that Central Florida offers. Click here to learn more.


Statement from NPS on status of National Parks during partial government shutdown

The National Park Service issued a news release on January 6, with a statement from the NPS Deputy Director on protecting National Parks while providing the American people continued access during the lapse of appropriations. Read it here.

Malia Lane answers, “How does it feel to know you’re dying soon?”

Malia is a long-time full-time, solo RVer who was diagnosed last spring with terminal lung cancer. She is graciously sharing her journey with us. “Well, technically, we’re all dying from the moment we are born. How long it takes to become aware of this fact and what we think about it after we know leads to a whole different consciousness.” Read more.

Dog accidentally changes gears, sending motorhome rolling into lake

This is an RV horror story of just about the worst kind. As a man unhooks his fishing boat from his motorhome on the boat ramp, his dog inside somehow manages to bump the RV into reverse, sending the big Class A rolling into the water. Watch the short, painful video.

Full-time RVing – Will your rig haul the weight?

Moving from a sticks-and-bricks home to an RV makes for plenty of challenges. Where will you put all your stuff? That’s a great question, but a critically important related question: Will my rig handle the weight of all my stuff? Do you know how much weight you can carry? Here’s information from the RVIA (Recreation Industry Vehicle Association).


Reader Poll

Reader PollOverall, how well did 2018 treat you?

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.




spy

What we learned about you last week

How many RVs have you owned in your lifetime? Would you rather spend a little more money and support a local store, or spend less money and shop at Walmart? Have you ever damaged a relationship because of an email or something on social media? How comfortable are you being alone for a few days? Have you ever worried your RV would blow over in a wind storm? All this and more, right here.

Plastic replaces paper for payment at some Army Corps sites

While the partial shutdown of the federal government hasn’t affected camping at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds, changes at Lake Allatoona in Georgia may have caught some winter campers off guard. At the turn of the year, folks who formerly paid cash to camp found themselves at a loss – the Corps now requires payment via credit or debit card only. Read more.

Further adventures in pleasant weight loss – Pizza. No, really!

Rich “The Wanderman” has maintained his current target weight for two years by keeping tabs on his carb intake. He had really been missing pizza, until he found a secret ingredient which allows him to enjoy his pizza guilt-free. Find out the delicious, nutritious, secret ingredient here.



Headed down Texas way? Some events you may want to attend

Here, courtesy of the 2019 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas, is a rundown of some pretty great festivals and events coming this year to the Lone Star state. Learn more.

RVers almost-new roof needs $12,000 repair. Dealer won’t help

Horror Stories thumbWe established the group RV Horror Stories a few months ago and it has grown to nearly 11,000 members. The idea is to provide a forum for RVers who bought seriously defective RVs to tell their “horror” stories. Here is a recent member report.

Carry a gun in your RV or plan to? Watch this!

RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury explains how a law-abiding citizen of one state may risk getting in trouble by carrying a gun in another state, where laws differ. A survey by RVtravel.com revealed that 40 percent of RVers carry a weapon all or most of the time. RVers or others who travel with a firearm outside their own state should know the laws. Watch the short video. And if you do carry a firearm, here is a guide you should carry with you.



Popular articles from last week’s issue

Spotted in Mitchell, Indiana. Yum!

Will new Walmart concept kill overnight RV parking?
RV and RV-related recalls for December 2018.
Is a traditional or convection oven best in an RV?
Camping World, Good Sam reorganized.
Wife wants smaller RV but with bigger space – hubby needs advice.
The business of work camping. Getting started.
Camping World stock tanks again.
Stymied RVers can’t find water leaks to fix them.


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


From the RVtravel.com Reader Forums

What’s wrong? Batteries? Converter?
I’m fulltime, living in a 2005 Georgetown XL (Class A). I’m wintering in rural Texas on private land, and attached to a 50AMP circuit. The 12-volt system seems to have issues. I can’t tell if it’s the batteries (a pair of 6 volt lead-acid batteries) or the converter. Are there ways to tell? If I do replace the converter, it’s no longer in production (WFCO WF-8855). I’ve written to them to ask for the model that replaces it and I know there are many on the market. Can anyone recommend the steps to narrow down the issue?  Comment here.

Need new water pump. How much pressure can coach handle?
I need to replace my fresh water pump and am concerned which psi system I should get as it’s for a 1988 Mallard and the concern is how much water psi can the old waterlines handle? Comment here.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: New users register here.


Protect your RV “pigtail”

That 7-way connector on your travel trailer or fifth wheel is a critical component. When not plugged into your tow rig, the thing is susceptible to the onslaught of dirt, rain and even bugs. Here’s a plug cover that slips right over your precious plug and keeps out the crud. One user says, “This works perfectly to keep the plug on my RV clear. I remove it when not in use and place it in my ‘RV emergency tool kit.’ This way, it’s not knocked around when driving.” Learn more or order.


Resources

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

RV Tours
Prefer to travel with a group of RVers? There are plenty of great RV trips to choose from. Here are a few.

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.


If you shop at Amazon, would you use one of the links below to do your shopping? The link in the blue bar above also works. Thanks.

U.S. shoppers: Shop at Amazon.com
Canadian shoppers: Shop at Amazon.ca


Ask the RV Shrink

Couple have heated debate on adding catalytic heater

Dear RV Shrink:
We have a forced air furnace in our motorhome. It works fine. My husband thinks we need to add a catalytic heater. He claims the forced air furnace fan drains our batteries too fast. I don’t want another gas appliance in our small space – it doesn’t look that safe, and I doubt it will make much difference in battery drain. He is insisting we need it. I need some help in convincing him this is not a rational idea. Please help me. —Feeling the Heat in Hazelhurst

Read the RV Shrink’s advice.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.


Camco vent insulator keeps you warm…and cool!
Is your RV too hot in the summer? Too cold in the winter? Camco’s highly rated vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy – simply push the fitted foam into your skylight, reflective side up. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here.


gas-738Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 7, 2019:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.24. [Calif.: $3.18]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 29 cents.
Diesel: $3.01. [Calif.: $3.81]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 2 cents.



RV Fire Safety Tip

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 12 of 13

extinguisher-697(3)

Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation.

Your success in a fire will have a lot to do with three main factors: recognizing hazards and taking adequate preventive measures, acting intelligently at the outbreak of the fire, and taking action to limit damage. Even when you’re prepared for a motor coach fire, it’s still shocking, scary and traumatic to experience. Give yourself an edge in preventing and dealing with a fire by being prepared.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

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


Get inspired for 2019 with these books


RV Quick Tips

Slide-out floor frigid?

If you and your rig are stuck in the cold country, living can be tough. One RVer stuck in an Illinois winter makes a suggestion: “Even after putting on our skirting last year, I noticed that the floors of the slides in our living area were extremely cold. There didn’t seem to be a draft, and the seals around the edges of the slides seemed fine; it was actually the floors themselves that were, according to my thermometer, a good 20 degrees colder than the rest of the room. To solve this problem, I went to Lowe’s and purchased some foam board, and we duct taped it to the bottom of each slide. This made a huge difference in the temperature of the floor and the warmth of the whole RV. If I had it to do over again, though, I would use HVAC tape instead of duct tape as it is supposed to be better in all weather and not leave residue when removed.” Learn more here.

Tangled cords? It’s a wrap!

When gshindler64 spotted Electric Guru Mike Sokol’s thinking on tangled cords, he had an idea of his own to share. “Empty toilet paper cardboard tubes make excellent, safe storage for the cords. The cords can be loosely wrapped around your hand or loosely folded at their natural folds and inserted into the tubes. (Tightly wrapping the cords will eventually damage the wires.) The tubes can be marked with a Sharpie to identify the contents.”

Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Russ (at) RVtravel.com.


“Guide to Free Campgrounds” directory updated after 4 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 gift for your RVing friends.


Work Camping

The business of work camping: Picking a location

In the second installment in our new series on work camping for full-time RVers, long-time RVer and work camper Sam Suva explains how he and his wife pick a location to work camp and how they decide the best way to get there. Learn more.


Casino CampingCasino Camping 2019 edition is here!
You’ll want to get the brand-new 2019 edition of this book if you want to discover hundreds of RV-friendly casinos across the U.S. Many of them include free parking! The book includes state maps that provide casino contact information, directions, gaming, food and entertainment, lodging and parking information and more! Learn more or order.


gary-736

Ask the RV Doctor

The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

Our bathroom sink P-trap froze!

Dear Gary,
We were recently caught in an arctic freeze. We went to ready our RV today for a trip next week and found our sink drain P-trap in the bathroom frozen shut. We had to pour hot water down the sink in order to melt what appeared to be a solid block of ice. My husband tried to take apart the P-trap at the joint, but it would not budge. …

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

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


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. 


bob-d-med399

Ask BoondockBob

with Bob Difley

Basic tips for “dry camping”

Dry camping, camping without utility hookups, requires special preparations – and that includes wise use of electricity. Here are a few basic energy-saving tips for getting you started. Read more.

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


Maintain those slide seals!
If you’ve heard a cracking or popping sound when extending your slide outs, it means your seals are sticking and/or drying out! Using a seal conditioner about every 8-12 weeks is recommended to avoid drying and cracking. Once they begin to wear and show damage, they are no longer working to their fullest capacity. We recommend using Thetford Premium RV Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner – it works like a charm.


RV Electricity

with Mike Sokol

Advanced RV Electricity Seminars

Mike recently received an email from a reader who goes into detail about how the RV technicians trying to repair his 12-volt DC problem went on an expensive and time-consuming wild goose chase. Mike blames much of this problem on a general lack of understanding of just how electricity actually works. So many RV shops just do part-swapping – plugging in random circuit boards and modules until something hopefully works. It’s what he likes to call “Spray and Pray” diagnostics. What does Mike want to do about this situation to help all of us RVers and technicians alike? Find out here. (Exciting news!)

rv-safety-764Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.


Hang up the heavy stuff!
RV walls aren’t exactly designed for having screws or nails driven into them. Enter acrylic mounting tape. This is a clear, double-sided tape that is sturdy enough to hang heavy objects and can easily be removed without doing damage to the walls. Get some on Amazon here.


RV Tire Safety

with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Did you really read your RV owner’s manual?

From Roger: “Yeah, I know that if you are like me you were given a stack of owner’s manuals with your new RV. I doubt that many have ever read every page of the 6″ to 8″ stack of papers. However, I would suggest that you at least check the section of the basic manual that covers ‘Tire Safety.'” Read why.



The RV Kitchen

with Janet Groene

Slow Cooker Chicken and Biscuits

No-fail chicken ‘n biscuits. Chicken and biscuits make the ideal comfort food but it can be tricky to make a cream sauce. Forget the long stirring when you throw everything in a slow cooker and forget it for four hours. Of course this can be served over mashed potato, rice, pasta or any starch, but Mother would have insisted on brown and crusty buttermilk biscuits. Get the recipe.

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

BEST-SELLERS IN KITCHEN AND DINING AT AMAZON.COM


Collapsible salad spinner ideal for RV kitchen
Salad spinners tend to take up a lot of precious, limited RV kitchen space. This Gourmia spinner folds down almost flat, so you can keep it nice and organized. It’s got an easy-to-use crank handle, which quickly dries lettuce or other veggies. You can use the nicely designed outer bowl as a serving dish, so you’ve got two in one! Learn more or order.


RV Short Stop

Fulton Mansion open during Hurricane Harvey restoration

with Julianne G. Crane

Fulton Mansion, an imposing three-story Victorian “iconic coastal mansion” in Rockport, Texas, has survived eight hurricanes – the most recent being Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017. The catastrophic storm resulted in the complete destruction of the mansion’s flat metal roof and chimneys, leaving “major water damage to interior collections, carpets, and plaster walls.” But the home is now open for regular visiting hours six days a week.  Read 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. 


Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

LOT RAT:  An RV that has been sitting on the the dealer lot for a long time and parts have been “cabbaged” (cannibalized) off of it for use in other RVs.

ROLL TERM: As in to Roll the Term. It means to stretch the buyer’s loan out to a longer term without telling the buyer that it is happening in order to keep the monthly payment inside the buyer’s target while still increasing the dealer’s profit in the deal.

HOME RUN: When maximum profit has been made on a deal or when the sales business manager has sold the customer all the insurance he has available.

Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.


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


Facebook Groups about RVing

Travel Trailer Life
RV Tips
Airstream Hunter
PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: RV Horror Stories & RV Advice


Free and bargain camping

From OvernightRVparking.com

FREE! Walmart Supercenter #1297, Chiefland, FL. Overnight RV Parking is allowed.
FREE! Desert Diamond Casino, Sahuarita, AZ. Overnight RV Parking is allowed.
CLICK HERE for complete details on these two locations!

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 OvernightRVparking.com.


‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.


Upcoming RV Shows

Indy RV Expo, January 5-13, Indianapolis, IN
Colorado RV Adventure & Travel Show, January 9-12, Denver, CO
Ohio RV Supershow, January 9-13, Cleveland, Ohio
Gulf Coast RV Show – Mobile, January 11-13, Mobile, AL
Lehigh Valley RV and Campgrounds Show, January 11-13, Allentown, PA
Valley RV & Camping Show, January 11-13, South Bend, IN
Washington Camping RV Expo, January 11-13, Chantilly, VA
Florida RV SuperShow, January 16-20, Tampa, FL
Mid America RV Show, January 17-20, Kansas City, MO
Tacoma RV Show, January 17-20, Tacoma, WA
Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, January 17-20, Grand Rapids, MI
Toronto RV Show and Sale, January 17-20, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Greater Chicago RV Show, January 18-20, Schaumburg, IL
Des Moines RV & Outdoor Show, January 18-20, Des Moines, Iowa
Iowa Boat, RV & Vacation Show, January 18-20, Cedar Falls, Iowa
New Jersey RV & Camping Show – Edison, January 18-20, Edison, NJ
Boston RV & Camping Show, January 18-21, Boston, MA
Quartzsite RV Show, January 19-27, Quartzsite, AZ
Pittsburgh RV Show, January 19-27, Pittsburgh PA
Seattle RV Show, February 7-10, Seattle, WA

See the complete list of upcoming RV shows.


Ammo box perfect for storage!
One RVer says, “We all have many aerosol cans we use for maintenance and cleaning, etc. I have found the best way to carry them in my motorhome basement is in a plastic ammo can. They are inexpensive and available in many big box stores. They stay in one place, are easy to access, and with the lid closed and latched nothing can leak or spray if something falls on them.” Order this one for a good price.


Trivia

During the first quarter of the 20th century, new Americans arriving at Ellis Island were served Jell-O gelatin dessert as a treat to welcome them to America. Gelatin dessert was patented in 1845 and the Jell-O brand was created in 1897. The first flavors were strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon.

Trivia Question

Answer and immediately see the correct answer.

Bumper sticker of the week

Please keep back … Learning to drive a stick shift.

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

Joke of the Week

I went shopping for cherries and a portable music player yesterday.
Bought a Bing, bought a boom.

Worth Pondering

“Some people say I have an attitude — maybe I do, but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.” —Tennis star Venus Williams


RV Travel staff

CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com

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, Sam Suva, Mike Henrich and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on RVtravel.com in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com.

cw501About the RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com

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craig
2 years ago

On January 15, I tried to go to https://www.rvtravel.com using the Chrome Web Browser on windows 10 and got this message “The page you are trying to access is restricted due to a security rule. If you believe the security rule is affecting the normal operation of your website, contact your host support team and provide detailed instructions how to recreate this error.
They will be able to assist you with rectifying the problem and adjusting the security configuration if needed.”
I had to use Internet Explorer to get to the site.

Kim
2 years ago
Reply to  craig

Hi Craig, we had some security issues with our webhost provider, they were blocking some of our readers. We >>think<< we have it licked now.

Mike
2 years ago

For those licensed to carry concealed weapons in their state, http://www.uscarry.com is a great source to find those states that allow you to carry concealed there based on your state’s CCW permit. Simple interactive map on the site. They also discuss and list related firearm laws of the various states.

jillie
2 years ago

Michigan gas prices are 1.99 a gallon. Which leaves me speechless because I am use to paying almost 40 bucks a fill up. I now pay less then 30. Love it.

Lyle
2 years ago

This happened to one blogger I follow a while back. The blog may actually be costing you money because the content is still linking to all your images and being served from your server. Scott put in a hack on his website that replaced all the images with one image that told readers this content was stolen. Check out his story at https://www.hanselman.com/blog/BlockingImageHotlinkingLeechingAndEvilSploggersWithIISUrlRewrite.aspx

Rex Smith
2 years ago

Hello everyone, from Lincoln, England, sorry, not Nebraska….
I really enjoy this website and newsletter. A couple of points spring to mind, firstly the fuel prices.
In the UK , we pay up to £1.40 per litre, £7.00 per UK gallon of diesel. As I only get around 13 miles per gallon in my Winnebago Sunseeker 6.5 litre, 32′ long, you will understand me smiling if I read comments from the USA relating to ‘high’ prices.
Secondly, the availability of parking at some Wal-Mart’s, although maybe reduced now, makes me envious.
I still work as a truck driver in Europe, although I’m 71 next May, and we use our rv for an annual drive to Greece every May,and a couple of weeks in Spain in September.
Thanks again Chuck, and your staff. Best wishes to all in the USA.
Regards Rex Smith

TP
2 years ago
Reply to  Rex Smith

Well Rex, we may have the cheap fuel, but just the thought of taking a drive to Greece in the spring or Spain in the fall, sure makes me a wee bit on the jealous side. Cheers!

Rex Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  TP

Thanks for your reply TP ,we have been doing this drive for10-12 years. We used to fly to Greece before we acquired an rv. I have booked 8 weeks leave from work. My bosses are very accommodating with my request. We leave on my 71st birthday. Where are you from, may I ask?
Regards Rex

Jeff Johnson
2 years ago

Chuck – in your diatribe about Good Sam Club, you failed to mention that members get gas at a discount at Pilot and Flying J. We use both our Good Sam Club card for 5 to 6 cents off per gallon, plus our COSTCO card which gives us 4% rebate.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson, my experience is that fuel at Pilot/Flying J is very often more expensive than at other local gas stations. So big deal on the fuel discount. What’s the Costco card got to do with Good Sam?

Dan
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck, With a 180 gallon tank 40′ diesel pusher towing a car, that Pilot and Flying J card is a VERY big deal to my wife and I. The discount is only one piece of the puzzle. Access in and out, and ability to start the pump without going to the fuel desk is very nice indeed.

I detest the CEO, and hate what he has done to Camping World and Good Sam. We NEED and will KEEP that fuel card, even if means remaining Good Sam members. .

See if Flying J and Pilot will let you get the same deal and provide us the same service as a “membership” perk. I’ll gladly pay you for a membership and drop Good Sam if you pull it off.

Dennis
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Johnson

Going to stop in Yuma az. Last week for diesel at flying J.price at flying J 3.46.9. Chevron station across the street maybe 400 yards away was 2.79.9. That 6 cents does not quite make it. Dennis

Ron Swartz
2 years ago

I agree with Chuck regarding the deterioration of Good Sam/Camping World since the “Marcus” took over. My co-pilot and I first joined Good Sam after going to their “Great North American Rally” in Louisville KY. At the time we needed aux brakes for our toad and figured the rally was a good place to find them and to meet lots of fellow RV’rs. We did, and it was. We had so much fun that I wrote a letter to Sue Bray (Then Director of GS), offering to help at future Rallies. That was the beginning of an 8-year relationship. Sue was great to work with and kept the organization rolling (leading the member organization, lobbying Washington for RVr’s). The GS state chapters were a fun bunch. We helped organize their “Parade of State Flags” at each rally. We had GS Roadside Assistance which gave use good advice on a couple of occasions. All was good about the organization, then the “Marcus” came along and all began to change. He abused the volunteers at the rallies, did away with HiWays magazine and turned MotorHome and TrailerLife magazines into little more than Camping World marketing tools. Local RV dealers (they provided the display RVs) were cut out of the rallies and replaced by Camping World who’s presence in the Vendors area kept growing, cutting out the independent vendors. Our last RALLY was in Daytona Beach FL where Marcus made the entertainment nights into his own “Reality Show.”

We are on our 8th RV and won’t even buy toilet paper from Camping World. I’m glad some GS chapters are still active. The members are good people. Its unfortunate that they no-longer have a “Good Sue” to run the organization.

Ron

john paterson
2 years ago

I was unable to read your newsletters except on my android phone prior to your server change. Now no problem. Can read on PC, tablet and phone. Thank you!!

Marsha
2 years ago

We continue to enjoy your newsletter! Thank you. Regarding “personalizing” the newsletter: how will you know in what part of he country we’re currently residing? We have Wheels.

John Mooney
2 years ago

I get lots of ads for Florida RV Parks which made me wonder if there is something in my profile that indicates I am in Florida rather than Palm Springs, CA. I thought I would review my profile but for the life of me I can’t figure out if that’s even an option on this web site. Then I thought I would contact you with a question but couldn’t find a non-public way to ask a question or send you a message. If I reply to the weekly email will someone read it and respond? Maybe an add to the list of options for future consideration would be to give readers an easier way to access and manage their profile, subscriptions, etc. also adding a “Contact Us” button like most web sites have would be helpful.

As for the geographic location advertising, maybe a check in feature for those of us on the road (like RVillage has) would be helpful to this group.

Thanks for hanging in there, I enjoy reading the weekly newsletter!

Gary
2 years ago

Hi,
Sorry to hear about your website theft.
I had the same thing happen for sections of my site.

One thing you should do if you have not already is to notify Google. They may take the other site out of their search ratings. Its also important because Google does not like duplicate content and may downgrade both sites in their search listings.

Gary

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary

We have notified Google and the service that hosts the website. We’re confident it will be removed shortly.

DnJ
2 years ago

Sorry to hear about your website being stolen. Does this mean your entire member list including credit card information has now been compromised? Should we take steps to protect our identity? Please advise.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  DnJ

DnJ, No, nothing about our readers/members was stolen to my knowledge. We do not store any credit card info anyway. The only thing that could have been exposed was our forum section, but for now I do not believe that information is even included on the pirated site. If we learn otherwise, we will let you and other readers know. At this point I believe no reader personal info was exposed.

DnJ
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Thank you for your reply Chuck. I don’t use the internet much, but always worry. We had our credit card information stolen about three years ago, and that ended our use of the internet for business.

Steward Smith
2 years ago

Hi Chuck….Because of the Good Sam Club I was connected with Transamerica for Medigap insurance. This has turned out to be a wonderful purchase as, at 75, I pay only 210.00 per month for my PPO coverage. Perhaps at some point they may get back to providing great benefits to the RV community.

Al Philips
2 years ago

Chuck just a comment on this: “Say you live in Arkansas, and a popular state park near Little Rock shuts down. That might matter to you, but it won’t matter to someone in Portland, Oregon. So you’ll see the news, and readers there won’t.”
By definition RVers are mobile. Using your example, a state park in Little Rock might be very pertinent to someone in Portland, OR. Why? Because the state park in Little Rock might be on this RVers itinerary. To avoid a bad surprise, and default charges, the RVers might want to change their itinerary before arriving in Little Rock. To me, nothing more frustrating than searching for a campground after driving several hundred miles or several hours. Something to consider.

Patricia Carey
2 years ago

Great article on the Good Sam Club. We became life members years ago when we became full timers. Now I am ashamed that we did that due to what the organization has become.

KC
2 years ago

Good morning, Chuck. Thank you for your efforts in keeping this newsletter up and running. After reading your article on personalizing it, I must say, I agree with Julie on this. We travel full time, and not to just one winter spot and one summer spot. We travel all over throughout the year. We are currently in NM. In March we will go to FL, in May, SC, Jun/Jul we will go to WI and MI before heading west again to CO. I want to know what is going on all over the US, not just where my residency zip code happens to be. Will this be a mandatory personalization or will it be an option? Thank you for listening.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  KC

KC, you will get all the news, just extra, localized news wherever you happen to be. — Chuck

KC
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Oh! That’s wonderful. Thanks for responding.

Nancy
2 years ago

Yes I think Julie has a great idea as lots of us just decide to go somewhere and wondering what’s going on there
Otherwise good job!!!?

Gerry
2 years ago

Could we see a little less regarding electricity, it seems to dominate newsletter.
Maybe have one segment to locate all the related information.

Robbie
2 years ago
Reply to  Gerry

I agree. And now you say there is going to be more??

Karin S.
2 years ago
Reply to  Gerry

I disagree that Mike’s info “dominates” the newsletter. The info he provides is a VERY important topic and in my opinion more folks should understand the basics and how to keep themselves safe. A great example of his teachings is what ‘reverse polarity bootleg ground’ is, and how to test if the pedestal you are plugging into is wired that way.

mike
2 years ago
Reply to  Gerry

I’m kind of biased on this. I’m an electrician so I enjoy reading his articles. It is very important to understand your RV’s electrical system. He uses language that anyone can understand. Also, if you read this weeks news, you will see that the industry takes it seriously too. Starting in 2020, all new RV’s will be required to have built in reverse polarity detectors.

ROB KEALEY
2 years ago
Reply to  Gerry

I agree with the others. I appreciate the articles since they provide insight into my systems and have on at least one occasion enabled me to troubleshoot and resolve a problem.
Keep building the knowledge.

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  ROB KEALEY

Thanks everyone. Once Chuck and his group of data minions (sorry Jess and Kim) get all the kinks worked out of the new RVtravel site, we’ll begin working on reworking RVelectricity.com to act as a repository for all my electrical articles. And we can cross-reference them so it will be simpler to find everything I’ve written on a particular topic.

The thing about electrical knowledge is that you won’t know you need it until something really goes wrong. And then it can save your bacon.

Galeyn
2 years ago

Good Morning. I would like to occasionally leave a “plus” to someone’s comments, but the message “you must be logged in to vote” pops up. How do I “log in” so I can agree with someone else’s remarks? Thanks for your help.

Dan
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeyn

Same problem here.

Julie
2 years ago

Good Morning. I am happy you are able to personalize ads, but am really hoping you just chose an incorrect example for personalizing content! I live in an RV! On wheels! I travel. If I am, for example, in Oregon now, I may be planning a return to that small park near Little Rock. Wouldn’t it be nice if I knew it was closed. Even if I’m not headed that way right away, I can update my book of travels so I’ll remember it’s no longer open when I next plan a trip in that direction. I read every article in every newsletter, so let’s compromise! Go ahead and personalize, but give me a link to the rest of the articles that I am not seeing:)

Jeannie
2 years ago
Reply to  Julie

I totally agree with Julie. RVers are a mobile group, making news in all parts of the country of interest to many, if not everyone, no matter where they happen to be at the time.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeannie

Jeannie, you will see all the news, just extra, localized news wherever you happen to be.

Rosita Parker
2 years ago
Reply to  Julie

I agree with Julie. That was my first thought. Localize ads for where I am but not articles.

Traveler
2 years ago
Reply to  Julie

Agree!
Not only do we travel, but using Verizon gives us some interesting isps- I had to open the ad to see where Terrytown was so not working that well either.