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Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 19th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!
Week of November 9–15, 2019
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury | Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
wrote what’s below in this newsletter on November 17, 2002 — 17 years ago. What a reminder this is of how things have changed in how we communicate on the road. I wrote:
“I’m back from a short trip to the Oregon Coast. I spent most of my time at Fort Stevens State Park, which is just south of Astoria, about four miles from where explorers Lewis and Clark holed up one soggy winter at their makeshift Fort Clatsop. A roomy campsite at the park with a water and electric hookup (20 or 30 amp) is $17.
“For the first time ever, I brought along a cell phone that I could hook up to my Mac Powerbook to access the Internet. What an incredible feeling to be inside my motorhome, surfing the Net and slinging email. I opted for Verizon’s Wireless America’s Choice Plan, and for a few bucks extra got the Mobile Office kit. I am only able to connect to the Internet at 14.4k, which is nightmarishly slow. But “slow” is a lot better than no access at all. The service costs about $40 a month, which provides five hours of prime time talk or data access and unlimited nighttime and weekend use.
“Even though at such a slow speed it’s hard to do much on the Web, this is a very nifty setup at a very affordable price. Granted, there are many coverage “black holes” in the West, but overall, I am thrilled to be able to have the ability to connect to the Internet pretty much at will.”
Then, two issues later, we posted this item:
FAST INTERNET ACCESS FROM YOUR RV
Mambosat is the latest entry into the high-speed wireless Internet access market. With its system, you can log on to the Internet from the comfort of your RV at lightning fast speeds. The only catch: The equipment and installation costs more than $6,000. [Yipes!!]
* * *
I REMEMBER that Oregon Coast trip well because it was the very first time I could get my email without leaving my motorhome. It took forever to download a simple email, but it didn’t matter; I’d just do something else while I waited.
Everything changed after that. From then on I could stay in touch with home, my office or RV Travel readers without having to search for a cyber cafe or public WiFi, neither of which were easy to find. We’ve come a long way since then, and “camping,” at least to me, was never as “pure” or uncomplicated ever again.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
- James Dean returns from the dead to co-star in new movie.
- Have you ever buried a pet in a pet cemetery?
- Crazy excuses traffic accident victims use to explain their mishaps.
Readers speak out
Is RVtravel.com all about bashing Camping World?
By Chuck Woodbury
This was posted as a comment on this website by an RVer named Kevin Smith. I’d like to post it here, too, to share my thoughts with more readers.
Mr. Smith wrote:
I came across the bookmark today and thought I’d check in but darned if anything’s changed, still kicking Camping World around and trolls still flogging Lemonis due to their media illiteracy. Ugh. I unsubscribed and abandoned RVtravel.com a few months back as what once was such a good resource for RV news had become a single-issue banner for anti-CW and made Lemonis the butt of angry right wing commenters who seem to be your main demographic now…. Read the rest of the comment and Chuck’s response.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• New pickup truck features a whopping 300,000 pound towing capacity. Yes, that’s what the manufacturer claims! Can it be true?
• Lightning strikes RV’s roof. Big damage. Insurance company balks!
• Government considers allowing Amazon.com to make deliveries to National Park campsites. What do you think?
• Suspect in Padre Island RVers’ murder captured. Read the story; see a video of him entering jail.
ALSO: Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV Shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and Bargain Camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
PLUS: Breaking news from today
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Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• Another caulking cartridge preservation trick.
• Switch off breakers when plugging in your RV?
• Warning about LP appliances in slideout.
• Full-timing insurance shopping? It pays to be frank.
• Easier backing in – day or night.
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.
Honoring and celebrating veterans
Here’s everything you can get for free this Veterans Day
Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service! If you’re a veteran or an active military member, there are tons of things you can get for free this Veterans Day, November 11. It’s a day to celebrate you, after all! Learn more.
5 Mistaken assumptions the new full-time RVer makes
We’ll bet if you’re a full-time RVer you can relate to these assumptions that RVtravel.com reader Nanci Dixon made. She says, “Being almost four years into full-time RVing, I can see clearly (or at least more clearly than I previously could) the mistaken assumptions I made when starting out.” Read more and compare your experiences.
Don’t be a sucker: Internet safety for RVers
Kim Christiansen, our “IT wrangler,” explains how not to be a sucker when using the internet, i.e., how to use the internet safely and securely at home or on the road, especially if you’re a full-time RVer. Read, and heed, this important information.
Are RVers friendlier than the general public?
Please let us know what you think. 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
Snowbirds: Will you stay in one place this winter or move around? Are you planning on spending Thanksgiving in your RV or somewhere else? At night, do you prefer to sleep in a dark room or one with some light? Do you smoke, or have you ever smoked? Did you watch the World Series (plus a neat video from a baseball game in 1908!)? What were the best years of your life? If you had to choose between black or red licorice, which would you pick? All this and more, right here.
New RV design: moveable interior walls?
A ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has shed some interesting light on the future of towable trailers, at least in the mind of Thor Industries. The court ruling tosses a decision to reject a patent filed by Heartland RV (a Thor subsidiary) back at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board for reconsideration. Some background will help.
What you should know about lug nuts
Here’s an area of RV tech that few of us give much thought to — until we have a flat tire on the road. These characters play a critical role in RV safety, yet often get little more than lip service. Here’s some thoughts and tips on dealing with lug nuts. Read more.
Company enters the custom RV mattress business
U.S. mattress manufacturer and retailer Brooklyn Bedding recently launched a new category with custom-crafted mattresses specifically for RVs, travel trailers, fifth wheels and other recreational vehicles. Learn more.
National Park Service announces free admission days for 2020
The National Park Service will have five entrance-fee-free days in 2020. On each of these significant days of celebration or commemoration, all national parks will waive entrance fees. So mark your calendars now to enjoy your visits for free. Dates and more information here.
This is absolutely the cutest accessory for every RVing dog and cat
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any cuter, we stumbled across this ADORABLE trailer-shaped pet carrier online and just had to share it with you. Check this out!
Camping World’s third quarter 2019 results announced
Camping World Holdings, Inc., on November 7, reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019. Read the full report here.
No contest this week
We’re taking a break for the next few weeks
Congratulations to last week’s winner, Julie Winkelman of Durango, Colorado, who won an electric car blanket.
Popular articles from last week
• Missing RVers found dead, ruled homicide.
• “Does the propane tank have to be empty before refilling?” (Editorial on why we publish RVtravel.com)
• RV and RV-related recalls for October 2019.
• How do full-time RVers keep busy?
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 1, 2019.
• Avoid hidden fees by knowing a park’s reservation system.
• California wildfires are a warning to all of us.
• RV Doctor: How to winterize an RV using a “Schrader valve.”
• What we learned about you last week (October 26 – November 1).
• RV Shrink: Taking a gamble on free RV parking.
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.
Great gifts for RVers!
Check out the first part of our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide right here.
Ask the RV Shrink
Are smartphones a smart investment for RVers?
Dear RV Shrink:
My husband wants to keep us in the Dark Ages when it comes to phones. All we have are flip phones as the rest of the world is run on smartphones. I looked at buying a phone at Walmart and signing up for their Straight Talk plan. My husband said it probably won’t get a connection in half the places we travel. He’s an “expert” even though he has a hard enough time using his flip phone. He doesn’t even know what his own phone number is. …
Camco’s Amazon store has everything.
Ask the RV Doctor
How to winterize an ice maker
How do I winterize my ice maker? I have a Norcold refrigerator in a Fleetwood motorhome. —Larry R.
(FYI: We ran this a year ago but some readers have been asking about winterizing an ice maker so we’re running it again. We’ve left in some helpful comments from readers from last year.)
A thing that does all things!
This large silicone pad can be used in your microwave under hot bowls to pick them up, or on top of a dish as a splatter guard, on your table as a hot plate, a drying rack, or even as a jar opener. When it gets messy just toss it in the sink for a wash, or even put it in the dishwasher. About $10 on Amazon makes it a great deal. Talk about a great multi-tasking gadget for your RV (or home) kitchen.
How infrared temp guns work
Infrared temperature guns are ideal for finding overheated shore power plugs, dragging brakes, hot wheel bearings, etc. Here Mike explains how they work, and what they can and cannot do. And what’s this about the hot springs at Yellowstone? Learn more.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
50-amp test plug. A reader asks where to purchase a test plug with 50 amp to a Y with 15-amp outlets on each side so he can test that L1 goes to one side of the Y and L2 goes to the other side.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
Should ST tires be outlawed?
A post on an RV forum caught Roger Marble’s attention:
“In 2014, when I bought my RV trailer, I immediately went to Discount Tire for 6 Michelin XPS Rib truck tires. I don’t baby them, I barely pay any attention to them, they’ve never been at 80 psi, and they have been wearing fine for 5 years. Been all over the U.S. with no issues. Yet I see new trailers coming into the dealership where I work with blown tires just coming from Indiana. Chinese bombs need to be outlawed.” Read Roger’s response.
Building an RV Park
We learned at the RV park industry conference!
After acquiring a tremendous amount of information on running a successful campground while at the ARVC Conference this week, Machelle and AJ are revising their campground plans – so they are grateful they didn’t have time to get them submitted to Planning & Zoning before they left on their trip. Machelle relates some of her favorites of what they learned, which has her “hair on fire.” (I guess that’s a good thing, right?) Read more.
New 2020 Casino Guide includes RVer info and coupons!
The 2020 American Casino Guide provides detailed information on more than 750 casino/resorts, riverboats and Indian casinos in 41 states including which have RV parks and/or allow RV overnighting for free. Includes maps and more than $1,000 in coupons. Discloses the actual slot machine payback percentages for every state’s casinos. Learn more or order.
The RV Kitchen
Risi e Bisi
A main dish to make meaty, vegetarian or vegan. Shortcuts such as instant rice and broth in a carton make this colorful Italian classic a snap for RV travel. One advantage to instant rice in a small RV with only one to three burners is that it cooks off the burner, freeing up the stove for cooking other courses. This is delicious comfort food any way you make it. Get the recipe.
Don’t buy an RV before joining The RV Advisor.
The Digital RVer
Let friends know when you’ll get there – using Google Maps
There were several times during their RV travels this year when Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, made arrangements to meet up with friends. When plans changed for one reason or another, such as heavy traffic, they’d have to keep updating their friends by text or phone. But if Chris and Jim shared their location via Google Maps, their friends could see exactly where they were and knew exactly when to expect them. Here’s how easy it is.
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.
The world’s largest …
You never know when you’re traveling from town to town when you’ll run into something really big! For example, what if you were to turn a corner and come upon a big ol’ prairie chicken? We’re talking the world’s largest prairie chicken! If you did, you’d be in Rothsay, Minnesota. Read more.
Heated hose keeps your water flowing in the cold
Camco’s Heated Water Hose provides safe drinking water in freezing temperatures by combining a drinking-water-safe hose with a self-regulating heat source encapsulated in an all-weather, PVC coating. Operates on 120VAC/1.3 AMPs. Made in the USA. Learn more or order.
Although Charles Schulz loved drawing Charlie Brown and his pals, he hated the name Peanuts, which was chosen by United Features Syndicate despite his objections.
Bumper sticker of the week
I’m planning to be spontaneous.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
I just got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows and nuts. I won’t lie … it was a Rocky Road.
We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. —Will Rogers (Nov. 4, 1879 – Aug. 15, 1935)
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
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Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Emily Woodbury, Russ and Tiña De Maris. 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.
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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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