Monday, July 4, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 937

Welcome to, the newsletter that speaks the truth. Please tell your friends about us!

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. Thanks to all of you; you know who you are!

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February 29, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury


hings happen, sometimes not good things.

A not good thing is happening to Gail and me right now. About two weeks ago we found a leak in our motorhome’s roof over the bathroom. We’re worried that water has seeped down inside the siding, perhaps rotting wood in the frame. I believe we have discovered the source of the leak and repaired it. But the damage is done. My fingers are crossed that it isn’t substantial.

We thought at first of having it repaired here in Arizona. But that could take weeks, maybe even longer, and would depend on if we could find a reputable repair shop that could take us in soon. From the inquiries we’ve made, that’s unlikely. Our extended warranty has expired, and I doubt our insurance will cover the repair. We could be forced to stay in a hotel for weeks on end at our expense.

SO WE WILL RETURN to Seattle to get the work done there. At least we have a home, so no hotel bills. If the repair takes awhile, we’ll be okay. We may not go straight home, but will likely return within a month.

We’re into our fourth month of our trip in the Southwest. Before we discovered the leak we thought we’d head next into New Mexico. Gail has never been to Santa Fe, one of my favorite Southwest cities. We’d drive some of the old Route 66 on the way, which is always fun. I thought I might treat Gail to a night in the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook. Stay there if you can. What fun!

I’ve noticed here in Quartzsite that nearly all of the RVs passing by on U.S. 95 are heading north. I think the homeward migration of snowbirds has begun. That should mean some available space in RV parks for those still in the Southwest. But I’m thinking now that won’t matter to us if we, too, end up heading north.

Boondockers are starting to pack up and head north for the spring and summer.

It’s a good thing we were not on a long trip with campground reservations booked along the way. A delay to repair our motorhome could mess up our schedule. That’s what can happen when you travel based on a rigid schedule.

We could be in for a hefty repair bill. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were $10,000 or more if there’s widespread rot. What if I had financed my RV for 20 years like so many buyers do today? What if I didn’t have enough money to pay a big repair bill? If so, I’d either find a way, borrow, or just park the RV and keep making payments for another 11 years. Or I could sell it at a big loss. Selling a defective RV like mine that was upside down on its loan could mean coming up with $25,000, $30,000 or more just to get rid of it.

This is why I preach over and over to never finance an RV for 20 years. Oh, you may think at the time you buy the RV that everything will be fine for the next two decades. “Hey, $600 a month is no big deal!” Well, I suggest it’s a really big deal if you end up with a rotted roof and maybe a wall or floor.

Gail and I will decide what to do in the next few days. I am not a happy camper right now even thinking of waiting around for a repair. And I’m not happy at what could be a big repair bill. The only good thing that will come of this is I’ll get a few stories out of the deal. I’ll let you know what we decide in next Saturday’s issue.


Part three of my series “The Dysfunctional RV Industry and You” is now posted and ready for you to read. Read it here. If you missed Parts One and Two, they’re here.

If the coronavirus continues to spread, we, along with countless other businesses, will feel some economic pain. We got our first taste this week of what may be more to come. Read about it.

We have joined with Alan Warren of the RV Show USA in helping moderate dozens of Facebook groups, each devoted to travel in a specific state. If you participate in Facebook, you may want to join one or more of these groups. We use these groups as a source of news (which we pass along to you) and we gain hundreds of new subscribers a month from participating in these groups. You’ll find a directory here.

OUR INFLUENCE GROWS: Our subscriber database has now reached 109,000 and is growing every day. As of Friday evening, we had a total of 7,578 articles posted on this website. More readers = more influence with the RV industry to serve RVers better. We now have 5,209 members — voluntary subscribers who believe what we are doing is important and worthy of their financial support.

My Roadside Journal

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

My ancient dog! No kidding!
I visited Mars last evening.

Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

New program can save you a lot of money on fuel. We tested it, and even though it sounds too good to be true, it is true!
• Part Four of editor Chuck Woodbury’s series “The Dysfunctional RV Industry and You.”
• Ford recalls 250,000 pickup trucks

PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Stolen RVs: The police need your help finding them. • Reader survey • and much more …

We appreciate your support
As you can imagine when reading this issue, putting it together along with another almost 400 newsletters each year takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Advertising helps pay some of our bills, but the generous contributions of our voluntary subscribers allow us to bring you far more important and unbiased information. If you value what we do, please join these readers by pledging your support.

Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips

Do-it-yourself RV storage organizer.
Too tired to level fore and aft? Try this trick!
Taking care of batteries high-tech style.
Does your RV bathroom need an assist device?
Why you should carry an extra hose.

Brain Teaser

A man stands on one side of a river, his dog on the other. The man calls his dog, who immediately crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did the dog do it? (Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)

Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles

RV Tire Safety – “China Bomb” tires and McDonald’s fries? What?
RV Shrink: Wife regrets giving TPMS to husband
RV Doctor: Replace anode with drain valve on water heater?
The baddest scooter in the RV park
Why I suddenly feel smaller than ever

Spring means rain. Keep it away from your RV!
Camco’s gutter spouts are the best way to keep rain off the sides of your RV. This 4-pack of extendable spouts can easily be installed in minutes and will direct rainwater away from damaging your RV’s sides, reducing dirt and black streaks. Learn more or order.

Reader Poll

If stocks continue to plummet are you worried about paying your bills?

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.

Readers tell us (What we learned about you last week)

We analyze what we learned about you and fellow RVers from our reader polls and your comments.

Full-timers, do you miss your sticks and bricks home?
Is being an RVer more or less challenging than 10 years ago?
Do you buy plastic water bottles in bulk?

Funny camping memes and photos of the week

If you’re in need of a laugh, look no further. We recently found a Facebook group called Camping Memes & Jokes. Here are a few memes we found the funniest (and most relatable) from that group.

FMCA rally set for March 26-29 in Tucson

FMCA will hold its 101st International Convention and RV Expo at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson March 26 through 29. The club, officially known as the Family Motorcoach Association, invites all RV owners to participate, even prospective owners, who can learn about RVing at approximately 100 seminars to be held throughout the event. Read more.

Photo: Sad scene after motorhome gets run off the road

This was posted on our Facebook group RV Crashes and Disasters. Oh, this is ugly. A truck was coming down hill towards the RV and something was hanging out the driver side, so the motorhome barely moved over but went off the side of the road. Very sad, but no major injuries, luckily.

Come into the light!
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 891Our favorite electricity guy, Mike Sokol, uses this Caterpillar pocket light for just about everything. He writes, “I bought one of these CAT CY1000 Pocket COB Lights a few months ago and liked it so much that I also picked up one for my dad. I’ve dropped it a bunch of times, and it still keeps working, like any of the other tough-as-nails CAT products.” It easily clips on to your belt, shirt pocket, or anything magnetic, so you can work hands-free. Chuck and Gail bought one too and love it! Learn more or order.

We recently asked you: Do you have a favorite campground or RV park? We published the results here, creating a guide for you of your fellow RVers’ favorite spots. We update this weekly, so please continue to tell us your favorite campground or RV park by commenting on this post.

New parks added this week in:
Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.


Daryl Lawrence sent this: “Here’s a picture of my set-up from January 2014. I had driven from Yuma to Quartzsite for the Quartzsite RV Show. My wife was back east so I was alone. I was going to tow the Sprinter Van only behind the MH to QZ, then return to Yuma with the van and pick up the Polaris. But at the last minute, I decided ‘What the Heck” and hooked them all together. I had a 100’ measuring tape and the total length of the 3 combined vehicles was 95’.  Just a little over the limit. Made it with no problems but sure got a lot of looks.”

Send us a photo of your loooooooong RV. Can you top this one? Send to

Warning! Don’t park in a wash!

By Nanci Dixon
We were in Quartzsite a couple of weeks ago for the Big RV Tent Show and we couldn’t find a parking space. I was driving our tow car and eyed an open area, but I immediately knew I was going to get stuck in the loose rocks and pulled out. I found another spot on an incline, but it was sandy and we couldn’t quite make it. My helpful husband said, “Move over! I will get it in.” I responded, “OK, just DON’T go down the rocky incline!” Too late. Down the hill we went. Straight into a wash with no hope of getting back up. Read the rest of the story.

A four-story tall RV…literally

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a treehouse? What about a treehouse-RV combo? Or what would it be like to live in a four-story RV? Well, whoever built this doesn’t have to wonder anymore. Check this out!

Why we chose the Pioneer RV Park in north Phoenix

This is part two by Ingrid Hubbard of her original post from last issue, “Why I miss a home base.” In this issue she explains why she chose the RV park where she now lives seasonally. Click here.

Popular articles from last week

How one RVer figured out how to never do laundry again. (Hilarious!)
The dysfunctional RV industry and you. Parts 1 & 2.
What to do if your propane tank is overfilled.
A sad day for snowbird capital Quartzsite.
Reader asks: What to do with nosy busybodies in RV parks?
Readers reveal their favorite RV mods or add-ons, Part 2.
Another crazy RV paint job. Wow!
Full-timer explains “Why I miss a home base.”
The joy of camping next to a neighbor’s electric palm tree.
RV Shrink: Obnoxious “party animals” ruin state park stay.
RV Tire Safety: Why inflate your tires to their max when parking for a long time?
RV Doctor: RV levelers raising tires off the ground – occupants queasy!
RV makers putting heat on buyers who don’t read their warranty.

50 States, 5,000 Ideas, the best book for travelers!
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.


Our Facebook and RVillage GroupsRV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV Videos plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).

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.

Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by

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.

RV Clubs
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

RVer is having (2-legged and 4-legged) pack rat problems

Dear RV Shrink:
I am having problems with a couple of pack rats in and around my RV. One of them is a furry rodent and the other one is my husband. When we first started spending winters in the Desert Southwest we noticed many other RVers using various lighting around their rigs. While on our nightly speed walk around the campground, it reminded us of the TV show “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s advice.

If you own a firearm, you must have this book!
Firearms laws guide updated for 2020

The 2020 updated edition of the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has just been published. The book is always a best-seller among RVers, many of whom carry a firearm when they travel. The annual guidebook helps ensure they stay out of trouble when crossing state lines, where the laws may be different. Learn more in this article.

Ask the RV Doctor

RV spring shakedown primer

Now that spring is almost here and memories of a long, cold winter begin to wane, many of us get antsy for that first RV excursion of the season. Time to get the RV ready for the road. Woo hoo! Here’s Gary Bunzer’s very thorough checklist.

RV Electricity

Is there anybody out there? Part 1

Dear Readers,
In order for me to get sponsorship support for my RVelectricity articles that are published here, I need your help. I’m getting conflicting reports about how many of you read my articles in this space, as well as my Just Ask Mike (JAM) sessions and my monthly RVelectricity newsletter. And the search engines don’t tell me anything about the technical level I’m writing at. So I’m asking you to complete these polls, which I’ll use to adjust how many RVelectricity articles I write per month, and at what level of technical difficulty. Read more, and thank you for participating in these polls.

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

Is my power inverter dying? A reader wants to know how to test if his power inverter is dying.

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

Be like Mike! Use this 3-light and digital voltage tester!
Mike Sokol says: “I found this nifty tester online and have been using it in a variety of voltage checking situations. It performs all of the 3-light tests for outlet polarity, open ground, open neutral, etc., as well as being a 3-digit digital voltage indicator. In addition, it performs a standard 5 mA GFCI safety test – which you should be performing on all of your GFCI outlets once a month (or at least once a camping season).” Read more about it here.

RV Tire Safety

Yes, you do need “bolt-in” metal valve stems with your TPMS

Roger Marble posted a comment he found on an RV forum to point out what can happen when you use rubber valve stems and an external TPM sensor, and to also indicate why you need to keep the TPMS turned on for it to do its job. Learn more.

Building an RV Park

I went to Campground Management School!

From Machelle James: This week I’m in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for ARVC’s Campground Management School. This organization is for people like me who want to build a campground and for those who already have built a campground. … My head is spinning from this crash course in how to run a campground, run a successful camp store, how commercial insurance works, how to be a great camp host, how to have a plan or policy in place for every detail on how to run our business. Read more, including about progress on the campground itself.

Affordable tire tool will save you tons of troubleRV Travel Newsletter Issue 912
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.

The RV Kitchen

Margaritaville Salad

This meaty salad makes a no-cook meal (when you cook the meat up to two days ahead). This is a complete meal that begins by marinating turkey cutlets in tangy, non-alcoholic margarita mix. Buy it in a bottle or make up a packet of the powdered mix. Complete the meal with hot rolls, biscuits or cornbread. Get the recipe.

The Digital RVer

Put text on your photos and make the text stand out

It was a long time in coming, but Google Photos now can add text right to a photo. At least, the Android version of Google Photos can do that. It’s called the “Markup” tool and it’s pretty simple. Even if you know how to add text to photos with Google Photos, you should watch this short video because Chris Guld adds a very important little tip!

This amazing tool does so much!
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 903This 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.

Facebook Groups of Interest

Dog Missing / Pet Lost & Found Alert Group
Toy Hauler Fans
Camping memes and jokes

PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsBudget RV TravelNEW RV VideosNEWER RV Videos

Inflatable foot rest is comfortable for couch and passenger seat
Now that’s cool! Miss your favorite recliner no more! This inflatable foot rest is perfect for lounging on the couch, in the chair by the campfire, or in the passenger seat for long drives. Take it on a plane ride, or take it to the grandkids’ sports games (we know those can get long). It weighs less than 1 lb. and folds down small for travel. Learn more about this comfy foot rest here.


Since Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps arrived on the scene in 2010, the average downtown traffic speed in San Francisco has slowed to 2.5 miles per hour. —Wall Street Journal

Bumper sticker of the week

My mother-in-law had a bumper sticker on the back of her class C RV that said: “I can’t be lost. I’m already home!” —Thanks, Donna Arndt!

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

Joke of the Week

Remember as a child when air for your bike was free? Now it’s $1.50! I asked the gas station attendant why. He said, “Inflation.”

Worth Pondering

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. —Mother Teresa

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. Advertising 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. 

Are you interested in our affiliate program? Learn more.

REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. Learn more here.

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. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by

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2 years ago

margarita is so hard to find that isn’t so processed. Simple Truth is the only one that has no frills in it. Meaning it is what it is. No processed anything. Very tasty. Will try this one with either turkey or chicken. Sounds like a fun recipe. So read your ingredients before you buy.

David Stewart
2 years ago

Sorry to hear about your leak we had our first leak last fall in the corner of the rear closet. I used lap sealer around parts even though it looked ok. I went online and found a shop that did pressure testing for $300. They found the leak and fix it for $50.

Michael Haider
2 years ago

I have been getting the newsletter for many years. I just discovered I haven’t been getting the newletter for over a couple of months. Not sure why. I have been busy lately and haven’t had to check my emails.

Jessica Sarvis(@jessica)
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Haider

Hi Mike, It looks like you accidentally unsubscribed. I’ve put in a request to have you reinstated. Hopefully those will start showing up again soon!

Jessica Sarvis(@jessica)
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Haider

It looks like the subscription has been reinstated. Let us know if you still aren’t getting the emails. Thanks!

2 years ago

Sent you an Private email to Diane’s email. Get that email from her and let us know.

2 years ago


You have a ladder right? Do you guys have a toad? can you get to a Home Depot?
If so Go pick this up and, some dawn(3$), and a deck/Hand brush(7$) (22$)

From Quartzite there is a Home Depot :
42100 Jackson St, Indio, CA 92203
1489 N Dysart Rd, Avondale, AZ 85323

Tropicool is only aval at Home Depot Exclusive, Lowes does have some henrys but I dont know if it would bee the same product, the Tropicool is applicable to the RV Roof whereas the other varieties may be less viable due to not being made for wear and flex with the focus being stick n brick(no movement no flex) .
Tropicool can be applied in a WIDE temp range, even within a few hours of rain coming. Its really amazing stuff.

You can do this yourself. We did our roof in this last fall. Its amazing. We bought the 5 Gallon and did 3 coats on a full sweep. Enjoy the rest of the season where you are. When you get home hire someone who can do the roof and you can pick up 5 gallons of this for 250$.

You dont need a shop for this.

Get a dehumidifer. If you buy a Dessicant Dehumidifer it will be much lighter on power usage than a conventional one and seems to be more effective at moisture removal as well.
This is what we run now, we have 2 of them. we went through 4 Dehumidifers before these. All conventional.

we have run these on the KW Meter, on low it runs 300 watts, on high it runs 600 Watts. THey do a GOOD job. We run one daily for 6 months until we use the AC and we have one in backstock. The dessicant also will aid in heating costs, most of the winter we dont even turn on the heater. The Dehumidifer pretty much does the job . Between the Tropicool and the Dehumidifier chances are you will be fine.

Walt Sinkhorn
2 years ago

I’m sorry to hear about your leaky roof. I had a similar situation a few years ago, after that we switched RV Insurers. When I put my Lance Trailer on my GEICO policy I questioned the agent as to why my new policy was a few hundred $’s higher than my previous insurance on my leaky Kodiak.
Besides being a more expensive unit, my agent explained the additional benefits of the new policy.
One of which was coverage for Hotel/Motel stays “if” while traveling we encounter damage or repairs to my Trailer that forces to not to be able to live in my Lance while repairs are being made. Fortunately we have not had to use this feature, but it is comforting to know that we won’t be stuck with additional temporary living expenses. Check yours and other Insurance Companies.
Good Luck!

Richard Carlson
2 years ago

I’ve got the solution to your problem. 1) Donate your rig to your business. 2) Raffle it off to one of us who could fix it, inexpensively, on our own. 3) Buy a new rig and get 25 articles out of the process.

2 years ago

I like that idea!

Liz Pies
2 years ago

If you want to head to Santa Fe, call Two Bears. They will come to your site. They are honest and reasonably priced. Let me know if you want contact info. I’ll be back at RV in a few hours.

2 years ago

Regarding Chuck’s leak, I fear that in my less-attended trailer under a foot of snow, but thought most people would notice a leak in an RV they live in too fast to get MUCH damage? I really don’t know if i’m wrong there… I know water can run inside walls and ceilings in strange ways, but if it comes out anywhere i’d hunt down where? Definitely post as this develops, Chuck!

In the mean time, as with any leak, peel panels or even poke a hole in already damaged panels and blow warm air through the cavity until it’s dry. Wood getting wet isnt a problem; letting it stay wet is (for both damage and mold).

Joe Hubach
2 years ago

Cascade Custom Coach in Sultan Washington is the best you can find for repair work. If you choose to come back to Wa . to repair your roof , Give Jeff a call! 360-793-1144

Billy Bob Thorton
2 years ago


Chin up on the pending repairs. Hopefully the repair guy sees what you do for the industry, and treats you well.

2 years ago

Chuck and Gail,

Sorry to hear about the leak. I’m hoping there’s little else needing attention. On another note, a new “self park” rv park has just opened in Missouri- check it out:

2 years ago

As you’re down south already its not going to rain much there. Enjoy your time there. Maybe buy a tarp and worry about this when you get back.

Mrs c
2 years ago

Could you also let us know where you get it repaired & if you were satisfied. We may need a new roof too. Boo hoo

2 years ago


We feel your pain…Sorry to hear that you have a problem but as you already know, RV’s are not quality products and anyone who buy’s one of these should EXPECT major expenses (and downtime) to happen.

We spent nearly $20k just a few months ago to have 3 slide out floors replaced, all slide seals replaced, carpet replaced, slide out roofs replaced (we still need a new $10k main roof replaced) and all end panels replaced? Why? Because the manufacturer did not properly seal everything. They brag about how they run the RV thru a wet bay (basically, a power wash bay) to see if there are leaks. Of course, unless it is obvious, nothing is done. So there begins the rot. In our case, we learned that the refrigerator vent was a MAJOR source of the problem in the kitchen slide as the manufacturer failed to caulk just inside the lower vent door. The end panels were all damaged thanks again to the manufacturer failing to seal around the frameless windows and screws. We had to rent a VRBO (similar to AirBNB) for a month as we full time. We made daily 30 minute drives to the repair center to watch the repairs and to make sure repairs were completed properly. BTW… we highly recommend Shipshewana RV Trading Places RV Repair Center. Ryan is awesome as he will walk you thru everything and listen to your suggestions for improvement if you are an engineer type. Together, we made a lot of good things happen and the manufacturer could learn a thing or two. Ryan had seen so many of other types of repairs that while the slides were out, he went ahead and took care of those repairs we never knew about as well. If you go here, just be prepared. Their main business is RV warranty work for multiple manufacturers in the area. There could be a time when they have to put you aside to complete them first but Ryan is really good about getting you done ASAP. There is an RV park on site if you have to wait until its your turn for repairs. I highly recommend this repair center based on my one-time expense. While there, I had him install an Onan 6500W generator. His skills are limitless when it comes to RVs as most of the staff previously worked at a manufacturer.

Best of luck on your repairs Chuck. We look forward to seeing you back on the road soon!

Don Baker
2 years ago

Sorry to hear of your problem. Just went through that with our 2005 Country Coach in December. Discovered that the roof was de-laminating. Roof replacement $20,000+ and we were out of the coach for three weeks. Had Good Sam ESP and they specifically exclude roofs, also filed a claim with Safeco Insurance under the Comprehensive Policy but was denied that also. The problem started with a tree limb falling on the roof in April causing unnoticed damage. Claims adjuster started out by highlighting the fraud paragraph of my policy and then said I did not perform the correct inspections on the roof. Finally twisted my account of what happened and said it was normal wear and tear.

Chuck Martin
2 years ago

I guess that everything you have been saying about RV construction has come around to bite you Chuck. Very sorry to hear about this problem. As you keep saying, “only if there were regulations on RV construction, defects like this would be less likely to happen”. I hope that the water intrusion hasn’t caused too much extensive damage.

2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Martin

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We need a grass roots effort started right away!


2 years ago

What is your opinion of the various leak testing services out there? Are they worthwhile? Would you recommend periodic testing and if so, how often?

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Not worth it. You are better off performing a visual inspection at least monthly. Note ANY changes especially around end panels of the slide outs. Loose screws can be a precursor to any major problems. Take a screw driver and try to lightly tighten the screws located at the floor line. If they turn without resistance, that is a good indicator of moisture in the floor board. To verify, go inside and pull up a corner of the carpet. Find the extent of the damage. Put a fan on it to help slow down (not stop) progress.

The problem with services are that unless they perform xray or use moisture detection equipment or drill holes to use camera equipment, they won’t see the problem any better than you can. And by then, its too late anyway.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Hi Richard: The best leak detection system in the world was created by Bluebird – they build buses with metal roofs. Ask anyone with a bus conversion if they have trouble with roofs. I dare anyone to find that person.

DJ Napora
2 years ago

If you already made a profit in your portfolio, take out 30% and put it aside, just in case stocks go down more for a while!
Good luck & don’t be greedy

2 years ago
Reply to  DJ Napora

Don’t do that!!! Seriously!!
A) you are cashing out at a definite loss
B) you are also missing the recovery yourself
C) you are driving the market even lower with panic sales and prolonging the dip

Ed D.
2 years ago
Reply to  DJ Napora

I’m gonna fish at the bottom

Bill T
2 years ago

Hi Chuck. Sorry to hear of the leak. Do you know if it was from cracked and dried calking? Was is around your sky-light or some other location? I am curious to find out so I can do a better inspection on my rig. Good luck with the repair.