Sunday, July 25, 2021
Sunday, July 25, 2021

RV Travel Newsletter Issue 880

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!

Issue 880 • Week of January 19–25, 2019

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury | Chuck (at)

Ihope you were around for last week’s newsletter, and that you read my article Good Sam Club: Rest In Peace.

Marcus Lemonis. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

More than 130 of you have already commented on the article. Scroll about halfway down the page to see what they said. And keep your eyes open for some comments from a guy named Marcus, who just so happens to be Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of the Good Sam Club and Camping World. It was a pleasant surprise to see such a high-ranking member of the RV industry visiting with us. I hope he will share his thoughts here from time to time to help us better understand him and his plans for Good Sam.

Later, Marcus sent me his private email so I will contact him soon with my thoughts. Marcus said he would be monitoring to ensure that I’m accurate with my comments about him and his companies. No need for that, of course.

* * *
I will be spending one hour Monday evening on the phone with radio show host Alan Warren, which you can watch taped live on Facebook and YouTube from 6-7 p.m., Pacific time. Please join us during this open line segment by calling during the show or leaving a recorded message anytime before. The number is 855-296-7469 (and then press 3).

Len Wilcox

We have added three new writers to our staff in the last month, and we are pleased as punch to have them. I’ll introduce them to you soon. I’m especially happy to introduce you to Len Wilcox, a western writer and RVer. His weekly columns will also include an audio version. His initial column The Man who was America’s Emperor is about a quirky man who was one of San Francisco’s most famous residents of all time. If you would like to listen to Len read his short essay without reading the accompanying story, it’s right here. Enjoy!

And a milestone to report
: According to the prestigious traffic ranking company, we are now among the largest one percent of all websites in America, out of millions. With that growth comes influence, which we pledge to use to improve your lives as RVers. Thanks to all of you who read this website and newsletter: Without you we’d be nothing! And a special thanks to our members, whose voluntary subscriptions allow us to remain free of pressure from commercial interests to write only puff pieces.

Finally, we will soon be issuing a weekly newsletter with reports from readers about Walmart stores that no longer allow overnight RV parking. Each week, more stores post “No overnighting” signs. We’ll keep you updated with this newsletter. Sign up here.

Okay, it’s time for me to move aside so you can dig into another meaty edition of America’s longest running weekly newsletter about RVing.


My Roadside Journal

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

How “Oyster Money” and “Salmon Currency” saved the day.
Meet the real Siri, the voice of your iPhone.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

And if you’re a novice RVer be sure to read yesterday’s newsletter Beginner’s Guide to RVing Issue 3.

RV Electricity Newsletter, and more

Sign up for our RV Electricity Newsletter or any of our other newsletters, including editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal, here. Also, 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).

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.” Even a pledge of $5, $10 or $20 a year is appreciated — that’s for more than 50 weekly issues (add another 250 if you read our other newsletters)! 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.


That was the RV week that was …

The latest news about RVing from our newsroom

•Erwin Hymer of North America rocked by scandal.
•New Cummins engine coming for Dodge Ram trucks.
. . . and much more.

Time running out on Malia’s terminal cancer battle

Malia is a long-time full-time RVer who was diagnosed last spring with terminal lung cancer. She is graciously sharing her journey with us. “It seems to be time to accept that time has not stood still since I was first diagnosed in May with terminal lung cancer. My goal now is trying to reach peace and acceptance that the time is coming much faster than I originally anticipated.” Read more from our courageous, inspirational friend.

Steps to take before buying an RV

How do you buy an RV and know it’s right for you? Buying an RV sounds simple – go to RV shows, visit a dealer or search Craigslist then make a purchase. With hundreds of RVs on the market in many types and styles, it’s hard to make the right decision. Here are steps that should help you make a proper decision on buying an RV. Learn more.

Foretravel debuts downsized luxury diesel motorhome

Foretravel Motorcoach, a manufacturer of luxury motorhomes, and Spartan Motors, Inc., have introduced the Foretravel Iron Colt (ic-37), a 37-foot Class A diesel motorhome. The RV is debuting at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa. It’s targeted at new RVers just entering the Class A market or other RVers who want to downsize but not lose creature comforts. Read more.

Spartan opens seasonal maintenance service in Florida

Spartan Specialty Vehicles, a business unit of Spartan Motors, has expanded its factory service availability to RV owners for winter travel with a seasonal dedicated RV service center in Clearwater, Florida. The service center provides premium Class A RV owners with convenient factory-direct service along with access to factory authorized parts. Learn more.

Reader Poll

Reader PollDid you buy a special vehicle to tow your RV or tow behind it?

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

spyWhat we learned from you last week

How did 2018 treat you? Would you use the pool in your RV park on a hot day? Do you play the lottery? Have you had formal CPR training? Are you planning on buying an RV in 2019? All this and more, right here.

Winnebago introduces wheelchair-friendly motorhomes

(click to enlarge)

Aiming to bring greater freedom and comfort to people traveling in wheelchairs or with limited mobility, Winnebago Industries has introduced three accessibility-enhanced motorhomes. The new wheelchair-friendly models are available in three standardized floor plans that include the most commonly requested options. Learn more and see more pictures here.

Don’t work in a dark cave – 120V LED daisy chain lighting

Now that Rich “The Wanderman’s” fabric “hangar” is complete and his RV and helicopter are inside (Yay!), he realized he would need heat and a good amount of light for the large space in order to do maintenance and modification tasks over the winter. But there were also some restrictions to keep in mind. After some research, he found two solutions that are working VERY well. Read more.

Forget insect spray! Just paint yourself with stripes

Here’s news about a new way to keep those bugs away! No, we’re not talking about a new bug spray, or DEET or Avon or anything else you spray or rub on your body! No, we’re talking about a new study that shows that if don’t want insects to take a liking to you, just paint yourself with stripes. Read more.

Full-timers’ dilemma: Whether to sell your home

One of the most important issues facing the prospect of full-timing is whether or not to sell what may have been your home for many years. It’s not only a financial and physical question, it also touches deeply on the heart. After all, you may have raised the kids here, cultivated friendships and seen important milestones. Much must be weighed in the balance. Read a discussion from Russ and Tiña De Maris here.

Gadget Guru interviews new Airstream CEO

In this video, Andy Pargh, the Gadget Guru, continues his conversation series with executives in the motorhome industry. This time you’ll meet Justin Humphreys, the new Chief Operating Officer of Airstream. Watch the very interesting video.

New vehicle has what? Yes, a built-in cappuccino maker!

(click to enlarge)

This is a joke, right? A vehicle with a built-in cappuccino maker? Nope, no joke! The vehicle, the Volkswagen Amarok, is currently running around Iceland on big “floaty” tires. It has a built-in generator which it can use to power up its built in – yes – cappuccino maker and “other essential gear in support of winter expeditions up north.” A cappuccino maker is essential? What a world! Read more.

New, more spacious Roadtrek is on Ford chassis

Erwin Hymer Group North America is debuting the first Ford Transit model under the Roadtrek brand at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa. The Roadtrek Haven is built on the extended 3500 Ford Transit chassis and offers two interior styling options, four different interior layout options and an exterior sport package, according to a news release. Read more.

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.

Popular articles from last week’s issue

Good Sam Club, Rest In Peace. (Wow! What a lot of comments!)
Dog accidentally changes gears, sending motorhome rolling into lake. (with video)
Would you attend this RV electricity seminar? Please tell us.
Malia Lane answers, “How does it feel to know you’re dying soon?
Will new Walmart concept kill overnight RV parking?
• RVer’s almost-new roof needs $12,000 repair. Dealer won’t help.
What we learned about you last week (January 5-11).
Carry a gun in your RV or plan to? Watch this! (with video)
Couple have heated debate on adding catalytic heater.

2019 editions of our favorite RVing books are here!

From the Reader Forums

Slow-filling propane tank

“The last few times we have gotten our on-board LP tank filled it is very slow to fill. Last time was 30 minutes for 3 gallons. Any good suggestions as to where to turn to in order to get this checked? It is on a 2007 31’ Chateau.”
Comment here.

Good Sam cancels roadside policy

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.


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.

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
Canadian shoppers: Shop at

Ask the RV Shrink

Exploring the country in an RV is not a “road race”

Dear RV Shrink:
My husband and I have always wanted to travel around the United States. We just bought a travel trailer. I was always thinking to do this it would only take a couple of months. I had no idea he was thinking it would take a whole year. I can’t imagine being away from home for an entire year. Do you think he is exaggerating? …

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

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the brand-new Book 2 in his two-book seriesDr. 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.

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.

gas-738Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 14, 2019:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.25. [Calif.: $3.16]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 31 cents.
Diesel: $2.98. [Calif.: $3.74]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 5 cents.

Be prepared if there’s a roadside emergency
Make sure you keep roadside flares on hand in case you need to stop on the side of the road for any reason – you and your RV need to be seen! You should also have traffic cones, collapsible ones like these are great for storage, and a reflective vest so you and the family stay safe too.

RV Quick Tips

Get candid reviews about RV service companies

Out on the road and up the creek with an RV problem? Don’t know which RV service facility to turn to – or away from? Here’s a searchable database of customer reviews of RV service outfits across the country. The site contains actual reviews of RV service facilities made by the RV owners themselves. You can research where to take your RV for service and what establishments you should avoid. It’s all available on

Pizza burning? Try this!

If you have trouble with pizza burning in your RV oven, give the old “inverted fry pan” system a whirl. You may fine that that good old cast iron pan will more evenly distribute the heat for a better bottom. But eat too much and it may affect yours! Thanks to campinglivez for the thought.

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

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

Work Camping

The business of work camping – Contracts for labor: What to include

Sam Suva and his wife work for pay and site, but that is not the only work out there. If you are considering light-duty work to allow for greater freedom to explore, other work exchange options are available. If you have a marketable skill, you may be able to contract at a much higher rate. Read here what should be included in your contract for labor, for your protection.

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.

Contests for RVers

Here are some contests we’ve found for RVers where you can win swell prizes.

Carefree of Colorado and Rollin’ On TV are holding a contest where you can win an RV power awning (plus free installation). Deadline to enter: March 22. Learn more.

Rec Pro is giving away a Yamaha EF2000IS Generator, a real beauty. A similar model sells for about $850 on Amazon, so this is worth trying to win. Watch a short video to learn the details and how to enter. But hurry! The contest ends in just a few days!

•Someone will win a 2019 TAB Teardrop trailer from nuCamp. Just complete the entry form by February 15, which you will find here.

Everything you need to RV with Fido:


Ask the RV Doctor

The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

Potential problems with plastic bypass valves

Dear RV Doctor:
I own a 36-foot Holiday Rambler Ambassador. The day before we left on our last trip, the temperature here dipped to about 16 degrees so I kept the heater on in the coach and placed a small space heater in the bay where all the water lines are. The morning we left all was fine. I didn’t see any sign of freezing so away we went. We stopped about six hours into the trip when I noticed ice forming underneath the bay where the water lines are. Also we had no water pressure inside the coach. …

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

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

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.


Ask BoondockBob

with Bob Difley

Use your RV’s propane tank to fuel your gas barbecue

If you’re tired of having to buy those expensive propane canisters to operate your gas barbecue, and running out half-way through the campground potluck, then this adaption is just for you. Read more.

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

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

RV Electricity

with Mike Sokol

Stray Voltage Patrol finds neutral problem on pedestal

Even though it’s winter and not the regular camping season, there are many of you full-timing or snowbirding who still need electric power. (Don’t we all?) Here’s a Stray Voltage Patrol Report Mike Sokol just received that shows that the SVP is working, along with a happy ending from a campground manager interested in doing the right thing. A round of applause for SVP Badge #131 and Mike, the campground manager of the Twin Oaks RV Park in Elko, GA. Read more.

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 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

How to save money and time on spare tires

Roger has excellent advice on where to buy spare tires for your RV to save lots of money, and how to save time by installing them yourself, when possible. Learn more.

Astronomy for RVers

with Chris Fellows 

Travel log: Astronomers Paradise in New Mexico

Chris ran across a nifty spot in the desert of New Mexico that he thinks is worth sharing. Astronomers Paradise is a brand-new business in the bootheel of New Mexico that has a lot to offer the amateur astronomer who has always wanted his own private observatory but hasn’t had the means or location to build one. Read more.

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

The RV Kitchen

with Janet Groene

Slow Cooker Poached Pears

This is one of the tah-DAH desserts that simmers quietly in your slow cooker until you whisk off the lid and present a truly gourmet treat. Your shortcut (shhhh, don’t tell!) is caramel or butterscotch ice cream topping from a squeeze bottle. Get the recipe.

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


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.

The RoVing Naturalist

with Dennis Prichard

Tracks in the snow

It doesn’t snow very often where Dennis lives, so when it does he relishes getting out in it and seeing what all has happened in the natural world. It just takes putting on all the clothes to protect you from the cold and a bit of ambition to brave the elements to investigate who’s moving where and what they are up to. What unusual tracks did Dennis discover when he ventured onto the local golf course after a recent snowfall? Find out here.

Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!tempgun-682
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C and heater output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

Digital RVer

with Geeks on Tour

Planning an RV trip anywhere by saving places in Google Maps

Geeks on Tour love RVing and international travel. They like to be spontaneous when they travel, but they also like to research. Their compromise is to not plan their exact itinerary, but to mark the map with places that sound like somewhere they’d want to go. They use Google Maps and the Saved places feature. Find out how easy it is here.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here is their most recent webcast: #159, Google Photo Albums –  How to organize and share. Watch live or archives of past programs.

Be sure to check out the recently 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.

New for 2019 – RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks
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.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

MICKEY: Slang term used to describe a down payment loan that is arranged by the dealership. This is referred to as completing a deal in a Mickey Mouse way.

RESERVE: Sometimes thought of as a “kickback” the bank gives the dealer for setting up the loan; the income a dealership realizes on a contract in excess of the finance source’s discount rate. For example: If the bank is going to charge $600 in finance charges on a given contract and the total finance charge to the customer on this contract is $1,000, the dealership will realize $400 in “reserve money” but the customer thinks the interest is all being charged by the bank.

RULE OF 78: A mathematical formula used in figuring a rebate of unearned charges or premium, when these charges were pre-computed and prepaid. Also referred to as “78 ways we get to keep your money.”

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

Get inspired for 2019

Facebook Groups about RVing

Boondocking & free camping in the USA
Fifty and Over RV’ers – Life on the Road
RV 5TH Wheels
PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: RV Horror Stories & RV Advice

Make an omelette in seconds! 
Tired of making omelettes and dealing with the mess, cleanup and timely preparation? This microwaveable omelette maker saves the day! This handy gadget makes omelettes in just three easy steps: beat eggs and milk, add ingredients, microwave and eat! It promotes healthy eating by cutting out butter, oil and grease. Buy this breakfast-saver here. 

Free and bargain camping


FREE! Garcia River Casino, Point Arena, CA. Overnight RV Parking is allowed.
FREE! Cracker Barrel # 410, Binghampton, NY. 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

Museum of the Week

National Museum of Funeral History

Houston, TX

The Museum of Funeral History in Houston contains the largest collection of historic funeral items. You’ll read about mourning rituals, see what famous celebrities’ and presidents’ funerals were like, view a “History of Embalming” exhibit where you’ll find mummification tools, and see custom-designed resting places (one of them is in an airplane). We know you’re just dying to visit, so check out the official museum website here.

Mini dehumidifier removes moisture from RV
This mini dehumidifier from Pro Breeze quickly and efficiently removes moisture from the air. It is perfect for use in small areas like RVs. It extracts up to 9 ounces of moisture per day with a large 16-ounce capacity water tank that will automatically shut off when full. Very quiet, too. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

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
Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale, January 21-24, Indio, CA
Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, January 23-27, Louisville, KY
Inland Northwest RV Show & Sale, January 24-27, Spokane, WA

Spotted in Newport, OR: 3,365 miles to Boston, MA! Thanks to Mary Ballard!

Cincinnati-Dayton RV Show, January 24-27, Dayton, OH
Atlanta Camping & RV Show, January 25-27, Atlanta, GA
Huntington RV and Boat Show, January 25-27, Huntington, WV
Northeast RV & Camping Show, January 25-27, Hartford, CT
Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show, January 31 – February 3, Fort Wayne, IN
Detroit RV & Camping Show, February 6-10, Novi, MI
Colorado Springs RV & Outdoor Show, February 7-9, Colorado Springs, CO
Seattle RV Show, February 7-10, Seattle, WA
Chicago RV & Camping Show, February 7-10, Rosemont, IL
Jacksonville RV MegaShow, February 7-10, Jacksonville, FL
Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show, February 7-10, Minneapolis, MN
Salem Spring RV Show, February 7-10, Salem, OR
Richmond Camping RV Expo, February 8-10, Richmond, VA
Ottawa RV Expo and Sale, February 8-10, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

See the complete list of upcoming RV shows.

Eliminate hose crimping at the faucet!
Sometimes it’s a real pain hooking up your hose to a faucet or to your RV. This Camco flexible hose protector is the answer. Its easy gripper makes attaching the hose effortless. It’s compliant with all federal and state low-level lead laws, too. Every RVer should have one or two of these. Super low price, tooLearn more or order.


You probably know this woman!

Who is the woman whose photo is to the right? Hint: If you have an Apple iPhone you know her well. Click here to learn her identity, and then watch the accompanying video to hear her tell you her fascinating story.

NEW: Stupid Tourist Questions

At a national wildlife refuge
“You should pick up all the bison poop because my son fell face-first in one.”

At the Grand Canyon
“Was this man made?”

At Everglades National Park
“Are the baby alligators for sale?”

Have you overheard a stupid tourist question at a National Park or other well-known tourist location? Send it to dennisprichard0(at)

Bumper sticker of the week

“Stay back… or I’ll activate your air bags.” Thanks to Don Bratton! (Is this the updated version of “I brake for tailgaters”?)

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

Joke of the Week

Who decided to call it “marijuana possession” … and not “joint custody”?

Worth Pondering

“Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.” —Buddha

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, Len Wilcox, Sam Suva, Chris Fellows, Dennis Prichard, J.M. Montigel 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 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)

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 2019 by

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2 years ago

In these days of cat fishing and identity theft, are you quite sure it’s email from the real Marcus Lemonis that you’re getting? Just sayin’…

E Richards
2 years ago

I live in SW Michigan just across the border where many RVs are made in northern Indiana & have seen them made & know people who work in the plants. So when I wanted a small 1-2 person MH I bought a low mile diesel no rust Horton ambulance from a small Detroit suburb Fire Dept. The back up ambulance. IMHO so much better, top shelf all the way & we all know how firemen take care of their equipment. Couldn’t be happier!

Mark C Schaffler
2 years ago

how about a section dedicated to RV Good News Stories? Am sure there are many as we continue to own and use our RVs….regardless…and we continue to trade them and get new/different ones…
Brick and mortar homes have there horror stories too, from bad deals when purchasing, to terrible loans, to ugly repairs and ripoffs. But people continue to buy homes, live in them and make happy memories.
So be it with RVs of all kinds. Lets have more happy stories of us making RV memories, and suggestions for others to do the same. It is a great life style, and a wonderful way to enjoy our country.

2 years ago

Please continue the new “contests to enter” section. I entered the one for the generator, winning would be epic!!
I also love the upside down cast iron skillet idea for baking in the RV oven. I’ve never had a problem using our oven, but I did learn to keep a very close eye on foods being cooked in there. Being tiny, it heats up fast and can be hotter than a home oven very quickly. I have read of people putting pizza stones on the bottom of the oven to make heat distribution more even. But I’ve also read if those breaking in the oven. The skillet idea sounds really good.

2 years ago

Re: the propane hookup article (which does’t have a comment section…), I’ve tried a tank-pressure Tee hose (which pretends to be a 1lb cylindar at the grill regulator), and have a low-pressure (11iwc) quick connect fitting (which replaces the grill regulator). I now use NEITHER. The best method I’ve found is the refill adapter that lets you reuse your $4 1lb tanks for a quarter. You refill 19 or so little bottles from an $8 20lb. Not hard to do, no tripping on hoses, and you’re not literally tied to the camper. To me, keeping portability is important so I’m NOT grilling with potential flareups too close to the trailer and/or awning. Even once cool, I keep the grill a little distant from my rig in bear country.

RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Thanks for the tips, Wolfe. And I’ve turned on the Comments option. Sorry — I didn’t notice it was off. —Diane at

jerome friedman
2 years ago

How does one join the stray voltage patrol

Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago

Go to . You will see the info on that page.

rodney teuscher
2 years ago

Love your newsletter. I have enjoyed your RV articles for years. At one time I had planned to buy an RV and travel. I dont own an RV now but I want to buy one. I am a Good Sam Member by choice. Information gathering I call it. The factors currently preventing me from buying an RV is I dont have a place to park it. If I went full time there wouldnt be a problem. The other factors are how do I get it worked on and not knowing when the RV will be fixed. I went to Camping World in New Brunsfeld , Tx to buy a barbecue and I noticed all the keys hanging from the maintenance shops wall. There was a lot. I asked the man working there why so many keys. He told me they were RVs either being worked on and or awaiting parts. Most RVer’s he said either had toads or another means of transportation while their RV was being fixed. And if you didnt have other transportation the only other recourse would be to rent a car. Thats another pickle one gets into when you only have one vehicle. The other issue is parts. When will the part get in because the man said almost all parts had to be ordered. Maybe it would take one day, one week, one month and then they would schedule maintenance. Thats not a situation I want to get into. And while the RV warranty is ticking downwards other future warranty issues will not be covered. So I am waiting. The storage issues I face if I buy one and the problems I might face if I need my RV fixed and I have to wait for a repair.

Wade Phillips
2 years ago

With Walmart stopping overnight parking, why not use a church for overnight parking? With the large sizes of churches, which also means large parking lots, is there anything negative about using those lots?

Lee Ensminger
2 years ago
Reply to  Wade Phillips

If you ask for and receive permission to park there, great. If you don’t, however, it IS private property, and you will be trespassing. Many people, and I am NOT saying this is you, seem to think if it’s a large, uncluttered area they have the RIGHT to park there. Simply not true. If you can’t find anyone with the authority to give you permission, the right thing to do is move on.

2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Ensminger

I’ve heard many folks say they have good luck calling up churches. Don’t mention if you’re not religious, and “let slip” that you’re happy to make a modest donation. Most churches will give you free power, potable water, a quiet place to stay for insanely cheaper than commercial campsites. Be on your best behavior as their guest, park where told, clean up their parking lot better than you find it, etc, and you’ll often be welcomed.

Bill Massicotte
2 years ago
Reply to  Wade Phillips

That sounds feasible. What do you think @ChuckWoodbury

Judith Grayson
2 years ago

Please do an article about traveling with cats. Outdoor portable enclosures for large cats.
Thank you

2 years ago
Reply to  Judith Grayson

Great idea! Looking forward to it.

John Hiler
2 years ago

As much corporate welfare as is paid to support Wal-Mart you should be allowed to park inside the store.

Ronnie Bolling
2 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler


2 years ago

Noted that new link to rvparkreviews. Thanks. Concerned that when I checked a specific RV Park in Nephi, UT that it gave the park a 3.5 star rating. This is consistent with other sites that rate/review and/or list this particular park. The problem is that we stayed there one night while moving between destinations and found it was terrible and should not even be listed by Good Sam and/or any site as acceptable. Too many messy permanent RVs, reeks of cat, plumbing issues, no host at arrival or departure, etc. May have been a good RV park once upon a time but it is not maintained. We checked the satellite view and it looked fine but even that is misleading. A 3 star should be considered an OK+ facility. It appears the ratings are either ‘loaded’ or very much out of date. Per RVTravels concerns about the RV experience, this ‘rating’ system should be discussed as well as the ‘review’ system. The park I am referring to may have been a 3.5 at one time, could be again. But the environment pushes it to unacceptable.

Lee Ensminger
2 years ago
Reply to  JBC

So, did you write a current, updated review?

Kevin Lohrey
2 years ago

I love to read your articles but there is one issue I have a slight problem that hearing your audio program. I am deaf. If you can provide closed caption or something close to it as we deaf camper would enjoy it.

2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Lohrey

I 2nd this motion…. Older we get, typically less we hear!

Cindy Baldwin
2 years ago

Wonderful !

Anthony Joel Vinson
2 years ago

I for one am so glad that your newsletter is “striking a nerve” with the big industry. Once we’ve ironed out THE MANY issues with our Keystone, it has turned into a good TT. The axles are lightweight garbage, our floor had to be replaced a year and half after purchase, the bumper can barely hold the spare, Chinese tires are an accident waiting to happen, and RV warranties are just a piece of paper. Our dealership turned out to be crap, dealing with Keystone is almost worthless, and fixing it yourself becomes essential. Your newsletter is sharing with everyone EXACTLY how it is. Thank you. Stay the course and keep RV principles at the cornerstone of you journalism. Please, don’t be bullied by the industrialists.

2 years ago

I have written a personal Email to Chuck Woodbury concerning the comments of Marcus Lemonis and the fact that he will be monitoring RV Travel. To me, that sounds like a BIT of a threat and we should all be careful what we say about Good Sams Club and Camping World and Mr. Lemonis.

Remember Billionaires only care about their bottom line and if they can make something go away, Like RV Travel Newsletter, then he will protect his Bottom Line!

I’ve been down this road before with an RV Manufacturer years ago, who sent me a Cease and Desist request. My website was seriously hurting their Sales and I was threatened with a Law Suit. So, I took the website down and made sure to tell future RVers via “Word of Mouth” instead publicly posting online.

Fortunately, nothing happened and I wasn’t Sued!

Be Careful what you say on the Internet, since it is out there forever!

Take Care,


2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

That’s what happened with Greg Gerber of RV Daily Report when Forest River threatened legal action after his series of reports on the RV industry. Shortly thereafter, he sold RV Daily Report. I realize he now owns RV Daily again but I’d bet it was a rough couple of years for Mr. Gerber.
A little fish in this big polluted pond of RV sharks can become easily bankrupted from lawsuits defending oneself from a slander lawsuit. One may be 100% correct in what they are saying but it might cost you everything you own to prove you are right.

Jeffrey Torsrud
2 years ago
Reply to  carl

Carl: What I found out when the letter said they were losing sales because of my Website Comments, I found out that it was actually other owners of the RV My Wife and I owned who complained to the company. I guess they feared the Company would go out of business and leave them stranded. Well, my intent way back when was to inform people of all the problems I was having with my RV and steer them away from buying from that Manufacturer. Apparently the manufacturer didn’t like my TRUTHFUL comments.

I also discovered there is a HUGE AMOUNT of GUILT in the RV World. Some RV Owners will never admit that they spent so much money, in some cases their life savings, to BUY a Piece of Junk, which they are now stuck with and can’t get rid of. This guilt and THEIR ANGER are usually from people in their 60’s and 70’s. I am not afraid to admit a mistake, as I have made plenty of them. We have had good RV’s and some really Crappy ones. But, it’s funny how people will attack me, when they themselves have an exact copy of the piece of junk, I was talking about. Just Funny and Sad!

Patrick Granahan
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff, You have it right….but…not a bit of a threat but a major threat….Lemonis
is not our friend…he is a ruthless businessman and he will drag RVTravel into
court looking for big settlement bucks !
Chuck….watch your back !

2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

You are so right !
The billionaire will try to take control of this site.
He has no interest in complaints on Good Sam , Camping World , and now his Gander failure purchase.
Watch for more denials on claims to Good Sam
I have had more than enough of the fraud.
Can’t wait to watch the house of cards fail. It’s coming just watch ,

Harris Guilmette
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Let’s not overreact. The fact that Marcus is reading and “monitoring” this newsletter is fantastic and I wish others did also. Unlike the White House, I’m not interested in the current “if your not with me, you’re against me” philosophy that predominates today’s world.

Every story has two sides. I may not like or agree with someone else’s opinion, but I like to make up my own mind. I might even learn something!

I think it would be wonderful if ALL the dealers were on here. (in some cases it might be the only time you’d have their attention).

Greg Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

The last time I checked, the United States Constitution has an amendment guarantying freedom of speech. As I remember, the amendment was important enough that it was… oh lets see… THE FIRST ONE in the document.

2 years ago
Reply to  Greg Thompson

I don’t disagree with your comment. I, in fact have a copy of the US Constitution sitting on my Desk. You are correct the 1st amendment was put their first for the reason you describe. Unfortunately, the times we live in doesn’t always consider Freedom of Speech as the most important issue to our Freedom. You see it everyday! Plus when you consider the US Court System the way it is, you really don’t want to get into a Law Suit with anyone, Especially with someone who has a WHOLE LOT More Money! Most people (a large percentage) DON’T have Thousands of Dollars on hand to defend against a Law Suit, even though they may be right! Another Bullet of Truth is around 75 to 80 percent of Americans Don’t have $1000 in savings or can’t even raise that much in an emergency.

So, while it might be the Wimpy way to do things, it is better to hold your tongue, before you say something you will regret later.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Wow, Jeff, so sorry to hear that the act of simply and truthfully reporting your experience can be punished by a lawsuit.

Goes to show that maybe we are not so much a Constitutional Democracy as a Constitutional Oligarchy.

The ACLU has a history of assisting those being bullied by larger moneyed interests. Or, they might be able to help you find relatively less expensive assistance. Maybe a “cease and desist” letter back at them for attempting to curtail your civil rights might be in order. Bullies need not be tolerated simply because they have more money, but I thoroughly understand if you don’t want the hassle.

Jeffrey Torsrud
2 years ago
Reply to  Kamwick

I’m just getting too OLD to have to deal with people anymore. My Wife and I enjoy RVing, which is what this Newsletter is all about. Talking about negative all the time, gets really depressing.

The people that are described in this comment section will get their JUSTICE one day! I can only hope that it is totally devastating to them!

Anyway, I keep thinking good thoughts and hope that the RVing life style will continue in good form.

2 years ago

Amen! (…and I doubt many of these legal beagles are lawyers!)

2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

If Mr. Lemonis ever threaten to sue this Newsletter I will remember the days of bra / draft card burning and publicly burn my Good Sam membership card and swear never ever buy anything from a company he is involved in. All a need is a whisper of a threat.

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