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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 16–22, 2019
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Full-time RVers wonder: “What are we doing out here? Are we simply on a never-ending vacation? Do we have goals? What’s our purpose? Are we just wandering? What happens to RVers who never need to go home?”
By Charlie Ketchum
s full-time travelers, it’s been a challenge for my wife and me to define what our purpose is. Are we just wandering? Do we want to see all 50 states? All the beaches? All the national parks? Museums? Are we living to write a blog or writing the blog about what we’re living? Is a few days too short of a stay? Is a few months too long? If we stop for six months does that mean we aren’t travelers anymore? If we only stay a night, does that mean we’re missing seeing something important?
In the two years we’ve been traveling, we have tried it all. And we’ve enjoyed it all. Until we didn’t. The problem with living on vacation is that it’s EXHAUSTING. If you vacation like we did, the point was to see as much as you can in as short of a time as you can. Because in two weeks, you are back at your desk for the next six months or more. What happens when you don’t have to go home?
If you still try to see it all wherever you go, and stay everywhere you go for only a couple of weeks, it’s like the vacation that never ends. I can’t be the only one who has been glad to go home to take a break from vacation…
Editor’s Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on his mind, not necessarily RV-related)
- The citizens of Quartzsite will kill me for this.
- A campground horror story involving water to avoid.
- Marlboro Man dies at 90, never smoked.
Stories in tomorrow’s news edition
• Top Story: Popular trailers recalled: “Don’t tow them until they’re fixed,” says manufacturer.
• Latest developments on the Padre Island murders.
• Government committee backs down. Commercialism of National Parks put on hold.
• Mississippi couple could face jail time for living in their RV in their driveway.
• New car debuts with no windshield. George Jetson would be impressed.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
Headline stories from last Sunday’s newsletter
• New pickup truck has 300,000 pound towing capacity.
• Lightning puts hole in RV’s roof. Big damage. Insurance company balks!
• Suspect in Padre Island RVers murders arrested.
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The second most important step in buying an RV
Editor’s note: Digging through old issues for long-lost but still relevant articles, we came upon this article by long-time contributor Jim Twamley. What Jim wrote here is just as relevant today. So once again, here’s why the pre-delivery inspection is critical when you purchase an RV. Important information.
Full-time RVing: Sell the house to hit the road?
One of the critical issues for those considering the full-time RV lifestyle is whether or not to sell the “landlocked” home. 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. Learn more.
Got a motorhome? Enjoy life more with a dinghy
If you intend to travel in a motorhome, think seriously about towing a transportation vehicle. … No getting around it, towing a dinghy (transportation vehicle) maximizes the freedom and convenience of traveling in a motorhome. Learn much more in this post by Jared Montgomery.
Is there someone in your life you can’t please no matter how hard you try?
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 RVers friendlier than the general public? Has water ever dripped into your RV in a bad rainstorm? Have you ever served in the military? If you play solitaire, on what device do you most often play? Do you give your pets special food on Thanksgiving? Describe your attention span. How often do you see a movie in a movie theater? All this and more, right here.
Postcard of the week: Wow, this is big! Plus a cool recipe
This postcard honors something really big in one state famous for smaller versions of it. What is it? And what is the surprising use of it that you’d never think of? Plus a recipe you have likely not seen before. Read more.
Future of RVing: Self-driving RVs getting closer
You’ve heard about self-driving cars, right? Tesla, Google and Uber have all jumped on the bandwagon and have put millions into funding for cars that have computers as the driver behind the wheel. … For the sake of our interests here, … let’s gossip about how cool-looking Hymer’s new design is for their self-driving RV. Check it out (including the video).
PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT
Handheld sewing machine is a must-have for RVers
This portable sewing machine is perfect for your RV. The machine is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, allowing great control and easy operation. Great for silks, denim, wool, leather, and to hem pants, jeans, hanging curtains and crafts, etc. It can repair drapes without taking them down, repair clothing without taking it off, and repair bedding without stripping the bed. It’s so neat you’ll want to buy one here.
The Quartzsite “Crud” and other Snowbird tales
Right now, in Quartzsite, AZ, the Snowbird Capital of America, the scene is changing. On Highway 95, shooting down from Lake Havasu and Parker, a steady stream of travel trailers, motorhomes and fifth wheels is rolling into the dusty outpost. Grocery store shelves are becoming more empty than full. The snowbirds are making their presence known. Read more from Quartzsite residents Russ and Tiña De Maris. (This was written while Russ was dealing with the Quartzsite “Crud.”)
RV SnapPad debuts new, smaller pads
Origen RV Accessories, parent company to RV SnapPad, has released its new product line, the SnapPad Mini. The new Mini collection features the company’s smallest SnapPads yet, which are made specifically for some smaller RVs. Learn more.
Popular articles from last week
• Is RVtravel.com all about bashing Camping World?
• 5 Mistaken assumptions the new full-time RVer makes.
• RV Tire Safety: Should ST tires be outlawed?
• Amazon deliveries to your National Park campsite?
• What you should know about lug nuts.
• Don’t be a sucker: Internet safety for RVers.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 8, 2019.
• RV Shrink: Are smartphones a smart investment for RVers?
• What we learned about you last week (November 2-8).
Motion-sensor light ideal for drawers, closets and bedside tables
These small, motion-sensored portable LED lights are perfect to stick in your RV’s drawers, cabinets, bedside tables or closets. The rechargeable light automatically turns on when a drawer, cabinet or door is opened, lighting up the space you need to get into. They’re incredibly handy in an RV, where small places can be dim. Learn more or order this pack of two.
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.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
Winterizing? Read these articles.
• RV winterizing quick tips
• Preparing the RV for winter storage
• RV not winterized; camping; temp dropped to 25; worried!
• How to winterize an RV washer/dryer combo
• How much does it cost to run an electric heater?
• Keeping RV water lines from freezing during cold winter use
• Our bathroom sink P-trap froze!
• Not all RV antifreeze is created equal
GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT
Monocular telescope connects to phone, wow!
This is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while! This waterproof monocular telescope connects right to your phone, so you can take photos of that bird waaaaaaay over there. You can now photograph anything up to 10x closer than before. Great for birdwatching, concerts or any sporting event. We already bought one! Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Visit Mexico in RV? Husband says “No.” Wife says “Si.”
Dear RV Shrink:
My wife wants to go to Mexico with our new motorhome this winter. I am just not comfortable with that idea, plus there is a travel warning issued by the State Department. Is it safe? Should I just put my foot down and tell her we are not going? —Nervous in Nevada
Ask the RV Doctor
Can RV be stored off-level without damaging the fridge?
I understand it is recommended that RV refrigerators be level when operating, but how far “off-level” can we keep the RV without damage to the refrigerator when the refrigerator is NOT in operation, i.e., when it’s in storage? And do you recommend it be slightly off-level for winter storage? —Pete S.
Universal lid fits all your pots and pans!
This incredibly handy universal pot and pan lid will fit [almost] every pot and pan in your RV kitchen! Works with fry pans, pots, saucepans, skillets, stockpots, woks, cast iron pans and more! Eliminate kitchen cabinet clutter with this multipurpose, compact lid. Don’t you wish you had known about this sooner? Learn more or order.
Read more about ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in Part 10 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. In this installment, find out how GFCIs work, what causes them to trip, and how to easily “upgrade” an inexpensive clamp-on ammeter to work like a very expensive one. Learn more.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
AC meter usage. Mike explains how to use digital meters.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
Basic tip about DIY emergency equipment for your RV
Roger Marble illustrates the importance of testing and confirming that your DIY “emergency” equipment will actually do what you expect on your RV, as well as the necessity of knowing how to use it. Learn more.
Our favorite tire pressure gauge. Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble. Used by the RV Travel staff. Click
Establishing a full-time RVing “home state” for taxes
Accountant Neil Seidler answers a question about where to establish a home base for full-time RVing. Read it here.
GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT
The only tool you’ll need – perfect for a stocking stuffer!
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 makes a great stocking stuffer. Learn more or order.
RV Short Stop
Numerous holiday events for Winter Texan RVers
Here are some wonderful ways to celebrate the holidays throughout Texas, whether you’re there for the winter or just passing through. Festivities include exhibits, food, a Christmas Village, food, millions of lights, entertainment … did we mention food? – in Dallas, New Braunfels (south of Austin), and Tomball (northwest of Houston). Learn more.
RV Fire Safety
Make sure your smoke detector works
Test your smoke detector(s) regularly, and make sure all travelers know what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. If you didn’t check your smoke detectors when we recently changed back to Standard Time, check them now, before you forget.
Lap desk puts your back to rest
If you use your computer on your lap, read your Kindle on the couch, or have a hard time holding that heavy hard book, you need this lap desk! Staff writer Emily uses this when she works and highly recommends it. It has 8 adjustable levels and a stopper to hold objects upright. Great for those with lower back pain or bad posture. Learn more or order.
Museum of the Week
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Just outside Santa Fe is Meow Wolf, a totally bizarre interactive museum. More than 400 artists and employees have worked together to create the museum (which is currently expanding and will soon open in both Denver and Las Vegas) which includes art forms such as architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming, performance and more! What’s it like inside? You’ll discover a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages, portals to magical worlds, and an expansive narrative amidst surreal, mesmerizing art exhibits. If it sounds bizarre, that’s because it is. Get more of an idea of what it’s like on its official website.
Come shop with us for the holidays!
RVTRAVEL.COM HAS ITS own store! We’ve hand-selected all of our favorite must-have RV items, our famous gift guide, neat kitchen gadgets, pet gear and so much more. Check it out here and get all your holiday shopping out of the way.
The first football helmet was, by some accounts, constructed in 1893 by an Annapolis shoemaker at the request of U.S. Naval Academy cadet Joseph Mason Reeves, who’d been told that one more blow to the head would end his naval career and maybe his life.
Bonus Trivia: What state’s name can be typed entirely on one row of the typewriter keyboard? If you give up, the answer is in last Monday’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter.
Bumper sticker of the week
Got stopping distance?
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
From Tom Hart
They’re back! Church Ladies With Computers. These sentences (with bloopers) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
• Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
• Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.
“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” —John Steinbeck
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.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
• Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Tom and Lois Speirs • Alan Warren • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later.
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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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