Thursday, December 8, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 923


Welcome to, “Fighting for truth, justice and the North American Way.”

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!

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Week of November 23–29, 2019
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury | Chuck (at)

Ijust returned from three hours on the road in the morning rush hour — driving my daughter Emily to the Seattle airport, about 75 miles round trip — that’s an average speed of 25 miles per hour — most of it on I-5 and I-405.

Every weekday, across America. Evidence of millions of hours of wasted human life each morning and evening.

People do this every day in cities across America. What an incredible waste of one’s life! I vowed as a child to never commute like that. I had watched my father spend two hours driving from his office in Los Angeles to our suburban home 21 miles away. “I’ll never do it,” I promised myself, and I never did.

Think about this: Anyone who spends two hours a day commuting, who works five days a week for, say, 20 years, will spend, over those years, a full year and two months sitting in their car doing basically nothing.

I don’t know about you, but I bet many RV Travel readers commuted to work at least part of their life. “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.” I know…

If you want to know why so many of us are forced into this behavior, read the superb book Suburban Nation, which is subtitled “The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.” It’s an eye-opener. From its description: “For a decade, Suburban Nation has given voice to a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century’s automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning.”

In the mid-1980s, when I bought my first motorhome, I did so to explore and write about the rural American West, where the nearest traffic jam would be at least 100 miles away (or more). I recall driving U.S. 50 through Nevada (“the loneliest road in America”), listening to radio station KNX in distant Los Angeles. The traffic reporter was talking about car crashes and traffic jams. I felt like I was in another world. Back then some of those commuters were spending six hours a day in their cars driving to and from work. I bet some still do.

U.S. 50 through Nevada, “the loneliest road in America.”

But, me, out there in that wide-open sagebrush country, I would look out my motorhome’s window and often not see a single other vehicle. I could stop right on the road for five minutes or longer to snap a photo without anyone else coming near. To this day, this is where I am happiest, not in a big city with all its noise and congestion.

I BET A LOT OF RVers share my love of being away from the crowds, driving non-congested two-lane roads. And when civilization does appear, it’s a one-street town with a lone gas station, general store, one-person post office, and a cafe where the local geezers and cowboys gather each morning to talk about politics and maybe cows. if they’re young cowboys, they talk about young women and maybe cows.

The food servers in these cafes, always women, still don’t mind being called waitresses. They chew gum and call you “Hon,” and at least half them are named Betty (maybe not anymore). I wish I were in a cafe like that right now. I recall being in one in Prescott, Arizona, years ago. A guy walked in and asked the waitress if the business sold cigarettes. She said no, and then she pointed across the street. “They sell them there — at the health food store.” I am not kidding you! (Experiences like this are what make traveling so much fun!)

Those old places still exist. Alas, there are far fewer than when I first untethered myself from permanent city living a few decades ago. So, to you I say: Get out now to explore rural America before McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell run every Mom-and-Pop eatery out of business.

Once, long, long ago when I was a young roving reporter, I was having coffee and pie at the counter in a cafe in Dubois, Wyoming, population 900. A young cowgirl (about my age) with stunning blue eyes, parked herself on the stool next to me. She was really pretty and friendly, too. Sitting next to her was much better than sitting by a cowboy. We struck up a conversation and decided to meet up that evening at the steakhouse (there were three restaurants in town, and this was the classiest joint).

Mind you, I was single and traveling alone back then and hadn’t enjoyed any female companionship for quite some time. So having dinner with a pretty cowgirl was a huge treat, better than even a campsite by a trout stream. We had a swell time — lots of talk, wine, steaks (what else in Wyoming?), and the night went on and on and as I recall we shut the place down. Well, I could go on, but I think I will leave it at that.

Oh, before I forget, Gail, Archie-dog and I are headed out in our motorhome next Wednesday. We’ll start off down the incredibly beautiful Oregon coast. I’m not sure where we’ll end up, but I’m hankering to head over to Death Valley in January. We should be out for about two months. I’m looking forward to it — tired of sitting at home.

P.S. See you tomorrow in our new Sunday newsletter. You may enjoy my essay “How can you live normally in California anymore?

UPDATE FROM 5 P.M. FRIDAY: The day is done and I’m half-crazed after slinging words all day long. What has happened to my mind? I can’t turn it off! I try to explain if you want to read.

My Roadside Journal

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

Reader Letters

Thankful for RV during wildfire crisis

Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

• Are RV manufacturers finally “wising up”? New project suggests “maybe.”
• How can anyone live normally in California anymore?
• Recalls from Thor, Forest River and Gulf Stream that involve propane danger, fridge fire risk and seat backs that could collapse.
• Glimmer of hope over RV technician shortage.
: Campground news and updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV Shows • Free and Bargain camping locations • Reader survey … and lots more.

This newsletter doesn’t just happen! We need you!

RV Travel Newsletter Issue 917The staff of works hard to bring you honest, unbiased newsletters seven days a week. We are now publishing almost 400 newsletters a year, all about RVing. If you pledge $15 a year to become a member of, that’s about 4 cents an issue if you read each one. Are we worth 4 cents? Whatever you can contribute — one time or monthly — helps us serve you better. And when you make a pledge, you’ll receive our special ad-free member newsletter.


Keep informed
Current Wildfire Report.
National Hurricane Center.

Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
Hanging heavy TV on inside wall of RV.
Filling your fresh water tank when boondocking.
Motorhome buying? Don’t go “upside down” with a new coach.
A case for RV driving school.
Winterizing the RV – More than just plumbing.

HAVING A BAD DAY? If so, look at this (it may make you feel better).

Uncle Sam wants to know where you live. Do you know?

While it’s still months away, April 1, 2020, will be a significant day across the U.S. Yes, we know, it’s April Fool’s Day. But more significantly, it’s also National Census Day. That once-every-ten-years event is mandated by the Constitution, and there are plenty of folks interested that the “count” goes in their favor. But where is your actual residence if you’re a snowbird or a full-timer? It’s all explained here.

10 Essential RV cleaning products

By Emily Schneider. Think automotive engineer + cars + OCD and that’s my husband. Muddy paw prints, dirty hands, sand and stomped-on Cheerios drive him crazy. The RV only amplifies his zaniness (poor guy) because the cramped quarters with five bodies gets smelly and dirty quickly. Luckily, he has developed a system for keeping the RV shining and the interior tolerable (it’s impossible with three kids). Learn how.

Weird and Wacky RV photos of the week

Face it, today’s RVs, no matter who makes them or where they’re made, look a lot alike. Well, that’s not always the case, as you will see in a new feature here at We’ll round up a handful of photos each week that should bring a smile to your face or the comment “No way!” Check out this week’s offering.

Reader Poll

Are we the only “intelligent” life in the Universe?

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 two weeks. CLICK HERE.

What we learned about you last week

True or false: Is there a person in your life you just can’t please no matter how hard you try? Has Facebook made the world a better place? Do you attend church services while on the road? If the price of gas/diesel went up by $2 a gallon, how would it affect your RVing? Do you like to dance? How important is cell service when choosing a place to camp? How well academically did you do in high school? All this and more, right here.

Sleeping around: Spend the night in a Wienermobile

Most of us are perfectly comfortable sleeping in our RVs. We don’t want a fancy hotel. Heck, we try to weasel out of invitations to stay in friends’ guest bedrooms when we visit — just give us the driveway for our rig. But every once in awhile an opportunity comes along for a night out that is just too tempting. Like how about spending the night in a genuine Oscar Meyer Wienermobile? Learn more.

Making holidays special while on the road

Being away from family and friends on holidays can be difficult, particularly when first starting to full-time or snowbird. Remembering the smell of turkey in the oven, stuffing enough to feed an army, the decorations and family gathered around the holiday table can make even the most ardent RVer sigh. … But there are ways to bring that holiday feeling home to your RV. Nanci Dixon explains here.

How to fix a sticking black tank valve

Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. While he was serving as’s technical editor, a reader asked him about the black water handle on his 2012 Entegra getting more difficult to pull. He wondered if there was any way to ease this or prevent it from getting even more difficult. Chris explains how to fix it here.

Popular articles from last week

If you own one of these trailers, do not tow it!
Couple could face jail time for living in RV in their driveway.
I want to live on vacation.
Judge issues gag order on Padre Island murder comments.
New car debuts with windshield made of air.
The Quartzsite “Crud” and other Snowbird tales.
Controversial “parks” committee shut down.
Visit Mexico in RV? Husband says “No.” Wife says “Si.
RV Doctor: Can RV be stored off-level without damaging the fridge?
What we learned about you last week (November 9-15).
Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 16, 2019.
The second most important step in buying an RV.

Handheld sewing machine is a must-have for RVers

RV Travel Newsletter Issue 922This portable sewing machine is perfect for your RV. It fits in your hand for 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.


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.

News for RVers #922, Sunday editionThe cutest ornament we’ve ever seen…
This adorable little camp stove is the perfect addition to your, or a family or friend’s, Christmas tree this year. Makes the perfect gift for an RVer, camper, hiker, fisher…well, anyone! Learn more or order here (and see some other equally cute RV-related ornaments here).

Ask the RV Shrink

Shopping for an RV? Forget the “free” hot dog

Dear RV Shrink:
We have been shopping for a new motorhome. I would like to find a nice used unit, but my husband is insisting on a brand-new one. He thinks coming straight from the factory we will have fewer problems. He says buying used we will end up with someone else’s problems. I just find RV salespeople as shady as used car salesmen. …

Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s advice. (Can you guess where a hot dog fits into this?)

These are some of the best gifts on Amazon. There’s something for everyone here! We couldn’t pick just one to show you, so we’ll just send you to the whole page! Click here.

Ask the RV Doctor

How to winterize an RV washer and dryer combo

Dear Gary,
Please tell me the best way to winterize a washer/dryer combo. Thanks! —Jack

Read Gary’s response.

50 States, 5,000 Ideas
This book from the experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. The book also includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.

RV Electricity

Parallel generator neutral bonding

Hello Mr. Sokol,
When pairing two inverter generators do you use a neutral/ground bonding plug on each generator or will one suffice? Thanks. —Dave Hoffmann 

Read Professor Sokol’s response.

This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:

AC meter basics. How to use a digital meter.

Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.

RV Tire Safety

Are sidewall cracks a cause of tire failure?

From Roger Marble: “I recently read an RV forum post about sidewall cracks. From the picture, it appeared the tire had what I would call Ozone or UV cosmetic cracking. The owner was concerned about the tire durability as he had suffered a couple of ‘blowouts’ previously.” Read Roger’s response, including some ways to prevent sidewall cracks and tire failure.

This bandana could save your dog’s life!
If you have a dog, they need this! This easy-fastening bandana is reflective for high visibility at night. Even the dullest of lights will reflect brightly off this bandana, so Fido will always be seen. Learn more or order.

Tax Corner

Income tax information for Canadian snowbirds

Accountant Neil Seidler answers a question about how long Canadians can stay in the U.S., and what are the income tax implications? Read it here.

Building an RV Park

When it rains, it snows!

Machelle reports on the progress of the long and involved planning and permitting process for their new campground. Find out what they did with their firewood stacked on their front porch after receiving so many very helpful comments from you folks! And why does Machelle feel like a child seeing Santa for the first time? Plus, read some of the fun activities they have planned for their visitors. All that and more here.

News for RVers #918, Sunday edition3-in-1 NOAA radio, flashlight and charger must-have for RVers
This emergency hand-crank radio is a necessity for RVers. Keep it somewhere safe, you never know when it will come in handy. The 3-in-1 radio is also a bright LED flashlight and a smartphone charger. The radio can be charged via solar charging, hand cranking or a USB plug. You’ll want to buy one here.

The RV Kitchen

Pronto Pasta Parmesan

Have this pasta dish pronto. Talk about adaptable! This one-pan meal can be made for more or fewer folks, using white or dark meat chicken from scratch, from a can, or thawed, fully cooked, unbreaded chicken bites from the freezer. Cut chicken small and add more cans of mac and cheese to feed a crowd. Get the recipe.

The Digital RVer

Listen to TV thru your smartphone with Tunity

At a local pub to watch your favorite team playing on their big screen TV but the sound is muted for your game? Or want to watch TV at home but don’t want disturb other folks in the room? Well, here’s a nifty free app that the Geeks on Tour have discovered that allows you to get the TV program sound you want on your smartphone. Learn more.

14-in-1 hammer tool is all you need for your RV’s toolbox!
This 14-in-1 hammer tool can lighten up your toolbox by a whole load! This nifty tool includes a hammer, nail claw, linesman pliers, regular pliers, 1/4 in. slotted screwdriver, 1/8 in. slotted screwdriver, #2 phillips screwdriver, 2-1/2 in. drop point blade, 2 in. serrated blade, can opener, wire cutters, wire stripper, soft file and key ring. Wow! What else could you need? Learn more or order.


The Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the oldest continuously occupied public (and municipal) building in the United States. It was built in 1610. Have you seen it?

Bumper sticker of the week

“Poor gas mileage for a vehicle, great for a home” – on the back of a motorhome.

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

Joke of the Week

There’s a new reality show where flat-earthers are trying to find the edge of the world.
They’ll be so disappointed when the finale is not a cliffhanger.

Worth Pondering

“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” —Abraham Lincoln

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

RV Travel staff


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.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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

FYI If you want to drive the wiener mobile you will need a CDL and a few years experience driving it. Also they ask for people to apply to drive for them for one year and you have to reapply to drive every year. I am over qualified to drive one of these things but something I would love to do for one year. They also have an age requirement which to me is illegal. But I plan to drive one of those things. No matter my age. Experience is what I have.

< FISH <
3 years ago

I spent a lot of time on the road doing the commute in my 37 year career for Uncle Sam. I was assigned to a few ports of entry and border crossing assignments. The shortest commute was 45 minutes for my first year. Then the transfers and promotions came. My second assignment for a number of years had a commute of 2 hrs each way and at time more due to construction foul weather , accidents in front of me happening. Then my last assignment up to the end of my career was three hours each way…that was just crazy. So now I relax by having a shorter commute by Riving as if I get tired I just find a location to park the MH and relax. I’ll start up again when I feel it’s right. Now when we travel in the motor home we usually do 300 – 350 per day and then hold up for a day or more…retired …I’m in no hurry!

anthony novello
3 years ago
Reply to  < FISH <

chuck- you’re a stronger man than me. I top out at less than 300 miles. the more less the better.

Dan Peelman
3 years ago

Chuck, your description of traveling rural America is exactly why I became an young RV’r in the late 70’s . I have been to those little towns that don’t even have a stoplight, that only has one restaurant and the gas station is also the grocery store. People are friendly and represent true American values. We will completely retire soon and hopefully revisit those places when we are less hurried and rushing back to work.

3 years ago

We will be alone this Thanksgiving as we are park hosts at a day use park. I will roast a small turkey breast and cook all the trimmings just because we love traditional Thanksgiving dinner! As full timers we have so much to be thankful for. While Christmas will be spent with family I still decorate to a certain extent. I love the holidays and see no reason to not celebrate them as though we lived in a stick and brick house.

3 years ago

Chuck sure enjoyed your essay on congestion this morning. I agree with you completely – every word. BUT, it seem to me the way people generally (there are exceptions I know that) cram and jam themselves into campgrounds RV parks State and Provincial parks you have to think we’re in the deep minority.

The lady and I here have found the neatest little place exactly as you describe a long day away from our home in Lethbridge Alberta (in Idaho our fav state ) complete with the real “waitress” the chewing gum” the hardware store with creaky old hardwood floors, the smell to go with it, the cowboys, Street lined with ATV’s that aren’t obnoxiously loud, Ohhhh, I must not forget the small belly up pub, a fair body of water where the campsite is, and a lot of real people.

I’m not telling anyone where, It hasn’t been “discovered” yet because there is no water slides, pretentious millennials with their jacked up crew cabs and 40 foot 5th wheels, dogs, a box full of kids plastic etc etc, massive parking lots leading to strip malls, Starbucks, MacDonald’s and all that corporate crap polluting the region. It is remote, but all on perfect pavement.

These special places where you can really get away from it all, are becoming scarce, and when they’re gone so are we. We got caught up in massive freeway traffic this year west of Portland around Gresham,OR. Took us 1.5 hours to drive five miles. Boy do we ever try hard to avoid these things.

Thanks once more for an excellent piece, reminding us of a time that is getting extremely difficult to replicate in an increasingly over crowded & frantic world.

3 years ago

I recently got into a heated discussion on an RV forum and found myself in the vast minority. I believe generators should be turned off at night so people can sleep. Apparently today’s RV’er believes they are “entitled” to run their generator whenever they want. A person was asking what could be done because a camper who parked next to them put his generator under their window and ran it all night. I suggested knocking on the offender’s door and politely ask them to turn it off then take additional action as needed. The general, and one specific response was, I would find a fist in my nose. While that would be their mistake, it underscores the mentality of a significant amount of people buying campers these days. They play their music and party to the morning time. They buy cheap loud generators and run them constantly. They build a fire without care of smoke going into the their neighbor’s camper. They leave their bright lights on all night long. For this reason I only take my camper to federal parks where there are rules that can be enforced by law enforcement. I’m ready for the camping fad to be over with.

3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

I’m with you Chuck. I have been a “full-timer” for decades and don’t like seeing the current “climate change” in the newer generation’s interpretation of being a considerate neighbor.

3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

We run our generator at night because one of us has sleep apnea and need to run a dream machine! We DO NOT have bright lights or play loud music. People may need to run their generator due to medical reasons.

Mike Sokol(@mike)
3 years ago
Reply to  Evie

Even generators can fail, so battery power would be preferred if possible. I’ve only casually studied how to power CPAP machines from a 12 volt supply. At least one reader said they had an incident where the furnace blower killed the battery overnight, which caused their CPAP to fail with nearly disastrous results. So I believe a separate battery would be prudent. My educated (but not confirmed) guess is that a standard 100 amp/hour deep-cycle battery would be able to power a CPAP for 2 or 3 nights before recharging. But I have a lot more to study on this topic. I found some light reading here which is a good place to begin a study:

Gary wilson
3 years ago

Recently purchased an A class coach wondering what I should use to lubricate the exterior of the jacks I was told WD-40 ?

3 years ago
Reply to  Gary wilson

Read the manual. Some say WD40 and some say spray silicone.

anthony novello
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary

most say ATF

3 years ago

I hate having to drive 8 miles one way too work on old highway 29. On new highway 29 I see lots of traffic heading to Green Bay too work.