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Week of October 19–25, 2019
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
I took a break from writing this past week to work on long-term planning for this newsletter and website. Here is an essay I wrote nine years ago, on October 23, 2010, which I believe is still timely.
Looking out the front window of my RV I see barren, brown hills of Wyoming. A month ago, out of that same window, I saw the Statue of Liberty. And the next week I witnessed the magnificent, exploding fall colors of the Northeast.
Oh, the places I have been, the things I have seen since I left home more than two months ago! My mind is about to burst from so much stimulation.
The last few days I have done something I shouldn’t do — drive my motorhome like a car — fast, on interstates, with the sole purpose of getting home as quickly as possible. Really, to drive an RV at such a pace is as ridiculous as chugging a fine wine. But, I am doing it.
The tug of home —once you decide that is where you want to be — is very strong, like a giant magnet that pulls harder the closer you get. Traveling back roads, pausing to explore local attractions — well, they hold no interest for me when all I can think about is being home, back to all things familiar.
A friend of mine talks often about “the yin and the yang” of things. That’s me — I enjoy one life at home, the other on the road. Together, they balance me. One day, perhaps health or circumstance will keep me in one place or the other. Until then I suppose I’ll just keep coming and going.
When you are returning home from a long RV trip, do you have a similar feeling? Or not? Please leave a comment below.
P.S. More than 25,000 of you read this article the day it appeared last Saturday: “Court ruling could be “game changer” for RVers. If you missed it, here’s another opportunity.
BUSINESS NOTE: This website now has 6,324 posts and 39,892 comments from readers. In the last 30 days it was most popular with readers in these American cities (in order): New York, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Portland (Oregon) and Las Vegas.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• National Park may slash benefits to Senior Pass holders.
• Camping World RV transporters lose jobs.
• More than 10,000 Starcraft trailers recalled.
• Couple sue Forest River, claim their RV has been in repair shop for 340 days.
• Big logs dumped by curb in Oakland to keep away “homeless” RVers.
PLUS: Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV Shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and Bargain Camping locations.
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Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• Be prepared for an RV fire with practice drills.
• Be courteous when arriving late at campsite.
• Easy way to keep cupboard contents in place.
• Is a “Campground Full” sign always correct?
• 8 tips for creating a “rainy day bin” for kids and grandkids.
Popular articles you may have missed…
• RV battery disconnect switches: how, when and why.
• Think your RV is locked when you turn the key? Think again.
• We tried an RV roof coating. Here’s our six-year report.
• RV comes with big soaking bathtub.
• Adjusting trailer brake controllers.
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.
Protect yourself and others from sharp edges of RV slideouts!
Cut your head just once on the corner of a sharp RV slideout and you’ll race out to buy a set of these so it never happens again! Camco’s Slide-Out Corner Guards offer a simple solution to the danger posed by sharp corners on RV slideouts. Simply place on each corner of the slide to provide a cushion zone. Easy to install, no tools required. Learn more or order.
Video: Big win for RVers in Illinois Supreme Court
We posted an article about this last week, but here’s more on the recent landmark court decision that could be a game-changer for RVers with defective RVs. Watch a video or save bandwidth by listening to the audio only.
The weirdest RV you have ever seen?
Our bet is you have never seen an RV like this. And guess what — it’s for sale for a mere $29,000! There is no doubt you will ever stay with this at an RV park without other RVers hounding you with questions about it. Read more, see a pic, and watch a short video of it in action.
How to prepare for a roadside emergency
We all love our RVs and the lifestyle, but, on occasion, Murphy’s Law takes over. It’s inevitable. By being prepared, you can minimize the inconvenience of a breakdown and get back on the road safe and sound. Here are some ways you can prepare.
Don’t forget to take care of your RV’s frame
As advanced as today’s RVs are, one thing that seems to be overlooked by many manufacturers is the finish of the frame. But even if the RV had a great paint job on the undercarriage, it would still need some care from time to time to protect it for the long run. Learn from Chris Dougherty, Certified RV Technician, how to prevent premature failure of your RV’s frame here.
Have you ever had to move from your campsite because of a bad neighbor?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.
What we learned about you last week
Are you a neat freak or a slob? How often do you eat off paper plates while RVing (we were surprised). Have you ever broken a bone? Men, how often do you wear a necktie? Should the penny stick around? As a child did you read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books? What device do you use to take most of your photos? All this and more, right here.
13 surprising ways to use Windex
What else can you use Windex for besides cleaning mirrors and windows? Well, it turns out that neon-blue spray is useful for many things around the house or RV. We asked you, our favorite readers, what you use it for. Here’s what you said.
Next issue: What are some unique or unusual ways you use toothpaste? If you’d to share your technique here’s where to do it.
Eight tips for creating a “rainy day bin” for kids
RV parents, grandparents and guardians know that scattered rain showers in the forecast mean it will rain on their campsite. Creating a rainy day bin is a great way to keep the kiddos occupied without spending the entire day on their tablets or other electronics. Read more.
Save money with these reusable silicone bags
Never waste money on plastic bags again! This 4-pack of reusable silicone food bags have an airtight seal and are leak-proof, keeping food fresh for longer. Easily freeze the bags, and even run them through the dishwasher once you’re done using them. This plastic bag alternative won’t harm the environment, and instead provides a solution that you can wash, rinse and reuse to your heart’s content! Learn more or order.
Video: Taking the Iridium electric-powered motorhome for a spin
Last month we talked about Iridium, a “coming soon” electric motorhome to be released to the European marketplace next year. We were a bit concerned about the top-of-the-line Iridium which promises 249 miles between charges. A YouTube.com release shows a bit more about this interesting rig, including a walk-through view of the rig and a test drive. The video speaks for itself…. However, one thing that came out in the video is the matter of charge times. Learn more.
Winnebago’s amazing flying motorhomes
STORY AND VIDEO: In 1976, Orlando Helicopter Airways in cooperation with Winnebago Industries marketed the Winnebago Heli-home, built on a Sikorsky S-55 or S-58 helicopter. Gas powered, these helicopters were well suited to become the flying carpets for the RV set, even though few could afford the $300,000 price tag. Learn more.
Be kind to your RV batteries this winter … or else!
Special care is needed in the winter to keep your RV batteries in shape. If mistreated, they could be ruined – and that’s not good, not to mention costly. Here’s advice about how to care for your batteries this winter.
Winnebago pumps big investment in e-vehicle developer
While European RVers will soon have the ability to buy electric-driven motorhomes, no U.S. manufacturers have successfully moved to market. But there is a glimmer of light – Winnebago and GMAG Holdings Corporation recently pumped a $60 million investment in funding to Motive Power Systems, a California-based company that builds all-electric chassis for mid-sized commercial vehicles. Learn more.
No contest this issue.
But we’ll be back next week.
Congratulations to last week’s winner, Skip Gimbrone of Yuma, Arizona, who won a very cool mini drone.
Popular articles from last week’s issue
• Illinois lemon RV ruling may be a game-changer.
• Camping World flag flap finished.
• Washing your RV when on the road.
• RV winterizing quick tips.
• The RV Shrink: Co-op discombobulation: To invest or not to invest in an RV lot.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, October 11, 2019.
• What we learned about you last week (October 5-11).
• Your navigation system should tell you more than just “Turn right here”.
• RV Electricity: Space heater warning – 2019.
• RVers awarded $500,000 in Winnebago “lemon” lawsuit.
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.
The RV Death Spiral
Read the eight-part series of editorials by Greg Gerber that the RV industry never wanted written. Download the PDF.
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.
The complete guide to all National Parks: Plan your visits to all 59 parks. Click.
California Camping: Moon Handbook guide profiles 1,400 campgrounds. Updated 2019.
Arizona and The Grand Canyon: Plan your perfect Arizona trip. Click here.
Southwest Road Trip: Explore the beauty of the Southwest with the 2019 Moon guide.
Ask the RV Shrink
Teamwork important during “senior moments”
Dear RV Shrink:
I’m starting to worry about my co-pilot. After going over our departure checklist she sat down in her seat and seemed ready to roll. The problem was the slides were still out and the jacks were still down. It bothered her more than me that she forgot. I usually do the outside chores while she readies the inside. Do you think I should take over all the departure duties? I’m hoping it was just a senior moment. —Forgot to Remember in Freeport
Fire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-pack
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
Do’s and don’ts for storing your RV
Fall is here, with memories of our summer RVing excursions still lingering in our minds. But with the coming chill also comes the thought of putting our RV into storage mode. Though seemingly a mundane task, there are certain steps to get your coach ready for any period of non-use, especially if you are contemplating utilizing one of the available private or public storage facilities. Certain precautions, correctly applied, will guarantee your coach will stand a better chance of surviving its secluded hibernation. (Yes, we’ve published this before – but it’s great information for those storing their RVs for the first time, or as a reminder for veteran RVers.) Learn more.
Don’t buy an RV before joining The RV Advisor.
Read all about ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in Part 8 of Mike’s 12-part series on basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. In addition, this series could protect your RV’s appliances, entertainment systems and computers from going up in smoke. Find out what GFCIs are, how they work and why they are absolutely essential. Learn more.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
Leggo my WAGO… Mike explains why the WAGO 221 lever-action splicing block could be the greatest innovation in wire splicing technology since the invention of the wire nut.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 50+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order.
Huge selection of RV tires at terrific prices. Click.
RV Tire Safety
Run-flat tire device information
Starting in 1972 Roger Marble worked on a number of different “Advance Tire” projects. Some were looking at an “aftermarket” device that could be placed inside a tire to offer some “run-flat” capability. Roger explains various systems and their drawbacks here.
RV Short Stop
Gettysburg is definitely worth a visit
If Gettysburg, PA, is on your Bucket List – GO. It will not be a disappointment. Thanks to the forethought of early Gettysburg residents, most of the battlefield and surrounding area have been preserved in much of their 1863 configuration. It is a powerful experience when one remembers that the Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. The film “A New Birth of Freedom” and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War can’t be missed. Read Julianne Crane’s post and start planning your trip.
Where to camp for free or less than $20. Thick guidebook from Don Wright lists thousands of locations.
RV Fire Safety
Educate your guests, just in case
Show travelers (guests) how to unhook electricity (screw-on cords can be tricky) and how to close propane valves, in case either of these measures is called for.
Refrigerator bars ensure nothing moves while driving
It’s happened to most RVers – you open the fridge (even slowly) after a day of driving and a heavy jar falls on your toe – “Ouch!” Never have that happen again with these easy-to-install spring-loaded refrigerator bars. They’re also useful in cupboards and closets. Order for a good price.
The world’s largest…
Get your teeth cleaned at the world’s largest truck stop
At Iowa 80 in Walcott, Iowa, you can fill up on gas, get yourself a bite to eat, view some show trucks, see a movie, get your hair cut, get a back and neck adjustment from a chiropractor and, yes, even get your teeth cleaned. Read more about the world’s largest truck stop right here.
Museum of the Week
Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum
Boulder City, Nevada
For Monster Museum owner Tom Devlin, it’s Halloween year-round. Tom has been working as a special effects artist for horror and sci-fi films since 2001 (he’s behind the magic in more than 100 feature films!) and opened his museum in an abandoned building in Boulder City to show off his work … and his love for monsters. The museum is part gallery, part hall-of-fame, part haunted house (we made that up, but that’s what we assume it would be like) – and everything in it has been created by Tom himself. If you’re in Nevada, eat drink and be scary and visit the Monster Museum today. Visit the official museum website here.
Collapsible items are the best way to save space in your RV
Here are a few we recommend:
• Drying Rack • Electric Kettle • Colander • Food Storage Containers • Water Bottle • Cooking Pots • Laundry Basket • Pet Food & Water Bowls • Salad Spinner
Costco sold 91 million $4.99 rotisserie chickens last year, more than double the number from ten years ago. According to the USDA and the National Chicken Council, the average American consumes about 95 pounds of chicken per year, compared to 57 pounds of beef, 52 pounds of pork and 16 pounds of turkey.
Bumper sticker of the week
This bumper sticker intentionally left blank.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Every morning for the past six months, I’ve announced loudly to my family that I’m going for a jog, and then I haven’t. … It’s a running joke.
Every path has a few puddles. —Anon.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris, Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Mike Sokol, Bob Difley, Richard Mallery, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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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