Week of June 29 – July 5, 2019
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 18th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!
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With Nina Soltwedel
Don’t stop at “making” memories in an RV
or many of us, owning an RV means taking extended trips, often to faraway places. Do you document such trips so that you can relive them years from now?
You may be thinking, “Yeah, but we took pictures. That’s documenting the memories.” I agree, but what I suggest is taking it one step further: Document the trip with something in addition to photos.
Recently, I decided to sort through the decades of photos, letters, cards, etc., that my hubby and I have accumulated, which were stored in our basement. I had three huge bins filled with items going back as far as when we both were babies (our respective parents saved everything), along with three smaller boxes overflowing with family photographs. I began sorting, and while doing that, I began to travel down Memory Lane … a very long lane!
Click here to read the rest of the article.
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
The challenges of publishing
By Chuck Woodbury. This website is a “survivor” despite offering unflattering commentary from time to time about the non-appreciative RV industry. I have more to stay about this. Plus, two new supporters/sponsors that need an introduction. Read more.
Also … I apologize for not responding to some of your emails. With our growth has come a lot more email and I am having a difficult time keeping up. I try to respond to everyone who writes, but sometimes I can’t because I run out of time. Please forgive me. I do try.
Write for us. Gain fame and maybe even fortune someday (relatively speaking). If you have a story that needs to bust out of you and onto the pages of this website, then this is your opportunity. Just click here to find a submission form. We typically do not pay for these initial contributions and are selective in those we publish. But when we spot talent, we will take notice and invite the writer to submit more, sometimes with pay.
Update on a new association of RVers
Three weeks ago we proposed the creation of a new organization for RVers, which we suggested be called AARVO— an acronym for the American Association of RV Owners. The idea was well received by readers — except some: those in Canada! That was a stupid oversight on our part. So we have tweaked the proposed name to NAARVO, for North American Association of RV Owners. Read more.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Become a member and receive an ad-free edition of this newsletter
The staff of RVtravel.com works hard to bring you honest, unbiased, valuable newsletters nearly every day of the month. Readers help make our efforts possible by becoming member-readers with their “voluntary subscriptions.” 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 RV industry big shots. And when you make a pledge, we’ll place you on our special member mailing list, where this weekly newsletter is ad-free.
That was the RV week that was
• Proposed bill in New York would make campgrounds quieter.
• RV parks in Minnesota are disappearing by the hundreds.
• What’s to become of Roadtrek owners’ warranties?
• RV shipments to dealers are way down from last year.
• Planning to camp at Sioux City, Iowa’s Ickey Nickel Bar & Grill? Think again.
. . . and much more.
Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA
Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.
Reader Poll – IMPORTANT!
How would you respond as a driver to a tire blowout?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded plus learn the correct thing to do if this happens to you. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.
RV shipments continue to decline
The RV Industry Association’s May survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments ended the month with 39,724 wholesale shipments, a decrease of 14.2% from the 46,322 units shipped last May. Learn more.
What we learned about you last week
How many amps do you prefer when hooking up to electricity? How much of your spendable income comes from employment? Do you own a “stick and brick” home? How often do you bet money and play games at casinos? When washing your hands, what comes first, soap or water? All this and more, right here.
Living full-time in a roomy motorcycle pop-up trailer
Don’t fall for the latest online scams
Here are two scams currently making their way around the Internet. Steer clear of these, and please tell your friends to do the same. Click to read more.
RVer dies after airborne RV crashes onto departed ferry boat
An RV driver who was killed in a horrific accident Monday is being hailed as a hero after doing everything he could to warn pedestrians of his out-of-control RV and avoiding other vehicles before the RV became airborne, flying about 30 feet and crashing onto the deck of a ferry that had just left the dock. Read more and watch the video. Viewer discretion is advised.
Are four-wheel disc brakes a must?
Most new RVs have disc brakes on all four wheels. Rich “The Wanderman’s” RV has discs on the front but drums on the back. Recently he had some problems that triggered a set of brake repair woes, and he wondered if it wouldn’t be better to have discs in the rear as well. He weighs the pros and cons here.
Why do RVers need so much electrical power?
This was posted on our Facebook group RV Advice. We’ll post if here for those of you who do not use Facebook. This reader wants to know: “What the heck do you people do to use so much electricity?” Read the full post, then please leave a comment.
Good Sam Club now also an “outdoor club”
In case you have not noticed, the once all-RVer Good Sam Club is now being billed as an “RV and Outdoor Club.” Read more.
Win this great backpack!
We love giving away stuff!
This vintage laptop backpack is perfect for carrying not only your laptop computer but lots of other stuff as well. Plus, with an external USB charging port and set-in charging cable, it offers a convenient way to charge your electronic device when walking.
Congratulations to last week’s winner. No contest last week so no winner.
Popular articles from last week’s issue
• All about RV electrical fires and a new way to extinguish them fast.
• Is Good Sam Club head honcho Lemonis headed to jail?
• Funny things RVers say.
• How much power is right for you? (Poll with many comments.)
• Video: Where motorhomes go to die.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, June 21, 2019.
• The myth of full-time RV life versus the reality.
• That was the RV week that was, June 15-21, 2019.
• RVer’s cremated ashes arrive: Something is not right.
• What we learned about you last week (June 15-21).
• Fuel prices plummet – $2 per gallon could come soon.
• RV Electricity – Generator grounding and bonding.
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.
Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.
Motorhomes on Fire
This is not pretty – dozens of videos of RVs burning up. But the point is to help viewers understand that RVs burn fast, and they need to practice good fire-prevention habits and practice an escape plan … just in case.
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.
Save bandwidth while watching YouTube videos
How to watch YouTube videos using very little bandwidth.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
If you shop at Amazon. . .
. . . would you please consider shopping through our affiliate program? You pay no more, but we earn a small commission on what you purchase, which helps us improve this website.
U.S. shoppers • Canadian shoppers
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 24, 2019:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.65. [Calif.: $3.61]
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 18 cents.
Diesel: $3.04. [Calif.: $3.97]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 17 cents.
RV Quick Tip
Shake, rattle and roll down the road — still the crystal vase stays put
It’s often been said that by driving or pulling our rigs down the road we expose them to earthquake-like conditions. It’s a wonder more stuff doesn’t fall and break! So, how do we secure something like a crystal vase that we want to stay in one place while we travel? The answer is found in products like Museum Gel, Museum Putty and Museum Wax.
Each of these stick-’em products has a specific recommended application. Museum Putty will secure most anything to keep it from falling and breaking. Museum Putty comes ready to use in a sheet. You just pull off a chunk and roll it in your fingers until soft, then stick it on the bottom of the item you are securing. Then you slightly twist the item with the putty onto the surface and “presto,” you’re done. It will not harm wood finishes and it can be used over and over again. You can purchase Museum Putty at Amazon.
Museum Gel (also available at Amazon) is another product that works best for anchoring crystal and glass objects because it is clear. You apply it the same as Museum Putty, but it takes about an hour to set. Museum Wax (at Amazon) is the best choice for more permanent placement of objects. It works well on wood shelves but can become more difficult to remove if objects are left in place more than one year. —Jim Twamley
Battery grease lubricants (but not from bacon)
“Most side post batteries these days are quite good at eliminating corrosion buildup, unlike the top-post type. If you are having issues with corrosion, which weakens the electrical conductivity, clean the posts then coat the entire post and clamp with grease. Axle grease works great. Bacon grease not so much. This will keep the air away from the posts and components and prevent corrosion buildup.” We’ll add that many swear by dielectric grease from an auto parts house. Far less attractive to mice looking for breakfast than bacon grease. —George Bliss
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Russ (at) RVtravel.com
Man fatally shot by rangers at California State Park
A man shooting a gun in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park was fatally shot by park rangers late Saturday [June 22], according to state park officials. This story is as scary as an approaching tornado. You go out for a walk and someone starts shooting at you? It is hard to imagine, but apparently, it does happen. So, if you take a hike, should you take a gun? Read more.
Ask the RV Shrink
Husband runs out of gas in RV looking for cheapest price
Dear RV Shrink:
Maybe you can shed some light on my husband’s gas problem. He is obsessed with buying the cheapest gas available and twice now our motorhome has run out of gas because he thinks it’s going to be cheaper around the next bend. He has three or four websites he is always checking for gas price postings and they are never accurate when we reach the supposedly cheapest stations. …
The Business of Work Camping
Where to put the groceries in an RV? – Part 1
From Sam Suva: Did we once think there was no place to cook or store food in an RV? We needed to think again. One of the most common questions we get is, “How do you prepare a meal in an RV? It’s such a tiny refrigerator and there is no counter space!” Well, it was a learning curve, but keep reading – the answers surprised us, too!
Ask the RV Doctor
What to do about ice on RV fridge fins
We are new full-timers and I’ve noticed our Norcold refrigerator fins inside the unit are icing up. What causes this, or is this normal? Is there any way to prevent this? —Casey D.
Alert, alert! Amazing space-saving gadget!
As RVers, we know the importance of space, especially in the kitchen. This brilliant gadget is both a knife and cutting board in one, so you can save some of that prized cabinet or drawer space. Cut, chop and slice food in seconds, and let it fall right into the pan or bowl. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Click the image to watch a quick video and order one for yourself here.
Here’s Part 3 of my 12-part series (originally posted in 2010) about basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. I’ve updated this article with the latest information on 3-phase campground power and improved shore power connections. Learn more.
• Sign up for Mike’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter. Issue #20 arrives tomorrow, June 30.
• While you’re at it, sign up for Mike’s new RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
Is there a critical do-not-exceed tire temperature?
I just read your article on sidewall strength and “blowouts.” You mentioned that if the temperature rises too high the sidewall cords may melt. … Most RVers know (or should know) to keep their tires at the proper inflation level. The one thing I haven’t seen addressed is tire/air pressure temperature. …
Pocket-sized Goo Gone is a must-have
Who doesn’t have a bottle of handy Goo Gone in their home and RV? We have several bottles in both. Now you can get this lifesaving liquid in pocket-sized pen form, so you can keep it in your purse or in the glove compartment for easy reach. Goo Gone works to get rid of anything sticky like adhesive residue, gum, stickers (like price tags) and even stains! You’ll definitely want to buy one here.
Building an RV Park
Editor: This feature is on a brief hiatus.
The story of Peg Leg and his legendary gold
It took strong wills and hearty bodies to settle the West, and a lot of our pioneering forefathers were the stuff of legends. But before the wagons rolled across the plains there were the mountain men…. Unfortunately, not all of them were men of good character; there were charlatans and crooks among them. One of the questionable ones was a man called Peg Leg Smith. Read his story or let Len Wilcox read it to you. (Let us know if you find Peg Leg’s hill of gold.)
Cook faster with an Instant Pot
This best-selling Instant Pot combines six kitchen appliances in one — pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté, steamer and warmer. It prepares dishes up to 70% faster, which is really handy when using your RV’s limited counter space. Instant pots are all the rage right now. They come in different sizes, too. Check ’em out or order.
The RV Kitchen
Chop Chop Rice Salad
A no-cook summer salad. When summer weather is sweltering and you want nothing but cold, whole-meal salads, here’s a change from the same old macaroni and tuna salad. Canned Chinese vegetables add color and variety and an Asian-style salad dressing is a low-calorie switch from mayonnaise. Get the recipe.
The RoVing Naturalist
All about banding hummingbirds – Fascinating!
No doubt you have heard of bird banding – that activity biologists do to determine where birds go, how fast they get there and how long they live. It takes a lot of training and patience to be able to band birds, and there are relatively few people who take on this tiny task that means so much. Learn more.
Be like Mike Sokol, use silicone!
Mike says: Never use any kind of petroleum-based products on rubber or plastic components in your RV, such as your trailer connector. That includes products such as Vaseline, WD40 or any other type of spray lubricating oil. Doing so will eventually break down the plastic and/or rubber components causing them to swell up and eventually disintegrate. The proper treatment is anything silicone-based. We use a lot of Heavy Duty Silicone in our shop for general connector cleaning and lubrication. It’s also useful on rubberized door sweeps and such. You can get some of your own here.
RV Short Stop
Summer festivals for family fun in South Carolina, Vermont and Idaho
If you’re anywhere near Gilbert, S.C., on the 4th of July, head to the 60th Annual Lexington County Peach Festival – tons of activities and it’s FREE. In August, Franklin County Field Days in Highgate, VT, has been popular for 40 years and there’s something for everyone to love. And Idaho’s Festival at Sandpoint, going strong since 1983, will host Jackson Browne and Kool & the Gang, among other big-name groups. Learn more.
• The Importance of Motorhome Checklists – from Andy Pargh, The Gadget Guru.
RVtravel.com is interested in hosting your blog. Increase your audience hugely in most cases. No need to abandon your current blog: Just post highlights with us (and watch traffic to your existing blog soar). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Cheap tire tool will save you tons of trouble
What gives when you think your tires are “good to go” but down on air again the next day? Your valve stem valve probably isn’t tight enough. A loose, leaking valve stem can cause a tire failure due to low pressure under load at highway speeds. So do yourself and your vehicles a favor – pick up one of these very inexpensive tools and make sure your valve cores are snugly seated in the valve stem. Click here to order.
Facebook Groups of Interest
Free and bargain camping
Travel Centers of America #75, Breezewood, PA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed and permission is not required. Park in one of nine back-in Bus/RV spaces (three of them are short) in the auto lot, on the west side of the main building. Propane, showers, public laundry, dump station, restaurant, and Wi-Fi are all available on-site. Click here for more details.
IGA Supermarket, Fort Nelson, B.C.
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but permission from the store is required. Multiple nights possible with manager permission. Park on the south side of the building away from Hwy 97. The small lot is best suited to smaller rigs. It is level, well-lit, quiet, and appears safe. There is a laundromat next door. Click here for more details.
Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 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.
Amazing tool does so much!
This multifunctional tool is seven in one! This heavy-duty pen tool features a handy tablet or smartphone stylus, a sturdy screwdriver, a bubble level, a universal inch/cm ruler and a handy Phillips screwdriver flathead bit, and it’s only the size of a pen! Perfect for any weekend project, and it even makes a great gift. Learn more or order.
Upcoming RV Shows
• Green Country RV Show, July 19-21, Tulsa, OK
• Enumclaw RV Show (near Seattle), Aug. 1-4.
• America’s Largest RV Show, Sept. 12-15, Hershey, PA
Austin, the state capital of Texas, was originally called Waterloo. The site, settled in the 1830s, was picked as the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839 and renamed in honor of Stephen Austin.
Silly Tourist Questions
From Jerry Clausen, who spent a college summer working at Mt. Rushmore (1966):
A woman got off the tour bus and was standing with her back to the 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows framing the Memorial. She asked, “Is there anything special to see at this stop?”
Have you overheard a silly tourist question at a National Park or other well-known tourist location? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Bumper sticker of the week
I don’t brake for tornadoes … but I yield to flying cows.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
My twin brother called me from prison.
He said, “So, you know how we finish each other’s sentences?”
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Dave Helgeson, Dennis Prichard, Len Wilcox, Sam Suva, Mike Sherman, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Emily Woodbury. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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 Emily Woodbury at advertising(at)RVtravel.com .
About 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.
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