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March 28, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
Iam frustrated by the flood of news and information coming my way since we met here last week, most of it about the pandemic — how to deal with it. It’s daunting sitting here now on Friday morning deciding how to best present everything without overwhelming you.
Like many readers, daily life for me is uncertain now. Gail and I do not want to risk returning to our home near Seattle which is only a few miles from the nursing home in Kirkland where more than 30 people have died. Yet, holing up in Arizona where we are now, we fear we could be evicted from our private RV park by government orders, as has happened elsewhere. We have a Plan B and a Plan C ready, just in case.
I am now dealing with COVID-19 in a very personal way, and am committed to help fight it every way I can. The virus took the life of a former neighbor of mine last week, and at this very moment one of my best buddies is in the hospital fighting for his life. The pandemic has become very real to me. Read more.
“WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER” MESSAGE
Perhaps the most visible RV business in North America is KOA, Kampgrounds of America. I asked Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of the company, to address the readers of this newsletter to explain what KOA is doing to adapt to these difficult times. So here she is with a short message she recorded from her home Friday morning in Billings, Montana. We plan to bring you more messages like this from industry leaders. This message, and those to follow, are not sponsored or paid for in any way. We provide them to you as a public service. Thanks to Toby for taking the time to record this just for us.
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Please take a few minutes to read the essay below by our Mike Sokol. It has a lot of good information and advice for you during this time of crisis.
During this crisis, ask what you can do for your neighbor
By Mike Sokol
These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls.
I used that quote last week, and it’s even more true by an order of magnitude this week. Just a few months ago we had little idea of what was in store for us all (the human race). But now we’ve looked into its eye, and it ain’t pretty. COVID-19 has become front and center of everything we do, changing our social lives, our work lives, even our shopping lives. But I won’t go into all the things to panic about. Instead I’m going to tell you what I’m personally doing to help with the situation and suggest you find your own positive ways to help.
“Don’t sit there and whine that you have nothing to do. Open a bottle of wine and figure out some way to help.” —Mike Sokol
Yep, my brain has been in overdrive the last few weeks finding ways I can help. So I’m going to outline a few of the things I’m currently working on, as well as suggesting some ideas you might consider to help yourself and others out. Continue reading.
If you are a member of Facebook, be sure to join our group RV Coronavirus News. You will learn a lot.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
Exhaustive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting RVers, and how they are coping.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
We need your support now more than ever
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, more than half of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.
Your essays wanted
Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrates your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these, in upcoming issues.
Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.
What four-letter word can be written forward, backward or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• How to repair a tear in an RV awning.
• Using RV locks safely – and wisely.
• Dealing with dust storms on the RV road.
• A macerator pump can resolve your sewage issues.
• Buffing out your RV finish.
Can your pets get, or give you, COVID-19?
While public health officials don’t know the exact source of COVID-19, they’re working hard to try and figure it out. What they do know, though, is that the first infections were linked to a live animal market in Wuhan, China. So if a human got the virus from an animal, why haven’t other animals continued to spread the virus to more humans? … Can your furry or feathered pet companion give you coronavirus? Can they get the virus themselves? Find out here.
Full-timers – Where can you stay during this outbreak?
The COVID-19 situation has turned us all upside down. Did you have a road trip planned? Did your plans include an RV show or other related event? It’s a good guess that your event is postponed or cancelled altogether. With many of our readers in “stay home” order areas, you’re likely glad you have a home. Or do you? For RVtravel.com readers who are full-time RVers, home may be “where you park it” – but the question is, under the current conditions, just where can you park it? Read more.
What to read during the coronavirus outbreak (Pandemic edition)
Sure, many of us are still staying busy during these scary coronavirus times. Many of us are still working, or doing all those projects around the house or RV that we’ve been saying we’ll get to. But many of us are feeling pretty isolated and bored right now too, and that’s where reading comes into play. Here’s a list of books to freak you out during this pandemic, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Video: Update on recent cougar attack in Colorado RV park
As previously posted by Russ and Tiña De Maris, things got a bit exciting at the Riverview RV Park & Campground in Loveland, Colorado, on Wednesday, March 11, when a mountain lion attacked two people. Testing later revealed the 93-pound mountain lion was infected with rabies. Click here for more, including a very brief video of the attack.
Many drug store shelves are empty. Make sure you’re stocked up on Tylenol. Click here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
How is the stock of inventory in your local grocery stores?
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.
Keep mice out of your RV
A best-seller! The positive reviews on this product from Earthkind make it the best bet for keeping your RV mouse-free. It’s the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 90 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets, too. 98% biodegradable. Learn more or order.
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.
• Would you like to own and operate an RV park if given the opportunity?
• How stimulating is your life?
• If you were thinking of buying a new RV soon, are you still thinking about it or would you postpone for a while?
Thoughts from a reader’s self-quarantine
By Steve Barnes: In this time of so much virus news and saturation, RVers can look on the bright side, for we have so much to be thankful for. Rushing home from Nevada to British Columbia, it was comforting to know we had our “fifth” home behind us. RVers, at least boondockers, are self-sufficient. Perhaps it is time for “full-service park RVers” to think about modifications that would make them self-sufficient. Read more.
This Douglas fir log motorhome was built in 1920 near Seattle, Washington. It was built out of a single Douglas fir log on a 1920s 3-ton Dodge Brothers chassis. Check it out!
Coronavirus is not fair. Some thoughts
Homeless in California: An RVing family’s struggle to shelter in place
RV Travel reader Kasey Yanna writes: “My husband and I decided to sell our home, buy an RV, and travel full-time. I had my fears. But I didn’t imagine something like the Coronavirus pandemic would cause a series of events that would leave us feeling abandoned and homeless three months later.” Read more.
Now is a good time to clean out your water heater!
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.
At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems
Heartland RV is offering a new concept in toy haulers – and for some of us out here in RVer land, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. With much fanfare, the Thor Industries stepchild company based in Elkhart, Indiana, is announcing its patent-pending Hidden Garage. This all-new concept makes its debut in the 2020 Cyclone 4214 toy hauler. But what’s the hidden problem? Find out here.
Action Needed: Keep RV parks open
RV parks across the country are closed/closing in response to state and local orders. Most states are allowing individual counties to dictate their own measures. We are hearing all kinds of mandates, some of which could force residents/guests to leave an RV park where they are currently sheltering. This puts fellow RVers in jeopardy. Read more and take action.
Make outdoor RV fabrics look like new
We’ve never seen your RV in person, but we know for a fact there are a few stains on its outdoor fabrics. It’s just part of the RV life. … From cotton duck to modern acrylic textiles, all outdoor fabrics collect stains and eventually begin looking old and tired. Here’s a biodegradable product that really cleans outdoor fabrics well. Learn more.
All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie…
Steve Korsvall posted this hilarious story on our RV Advice Facebook page. We’re sure you’ll chuckle as much as we did. Here’s what he wrote: “We were jetting out the holding tanks of a 5th wheel of a guy that just got this RV six months earlier. He complained it was compacted. Well, in cleaning it, all of a sudden a 6 oz. bottle comes out with the cap still on it….” Read the rest of the story.
Popular articles from last week
• MOST POPULAR: Photos: Cougar attacks two people in Colorado RV park.
• Is Good Sam finished as an active RV club?
• Video: Hilarious dog gives quarantine advice.
• KOA closing some parks by order of governments.
• Reader letter: RV park doesn’t understand the term “LP gas”.
• RV Electricity – Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.): Do I need a generator grounding rod?
• RV Travel’s guide to DIY projects and RV mods to do while you’re stuck inside.
• Funny camping photos and memes of the week.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, March 21, 2020.
• Pilot Flying J issues official statement on diesel discount debacle.
Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying Advice • Northwest RV Camping • Southwest RV Camping • Free Campgrounds • NEW Budget RV Travel • NEWER RV Videos • NEWEST RV Coronavirus News • 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.
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.
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.
Coronavirus must-haves on Amazon. Click here to see what’s available.
Ask the RV Shrink
Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down
Dear RV Shrink:
I found last week’s column very interesting. As new full-timers, we think we messed up. As the dominoes fall with this pandemic, we are constantly surprised how much it is impacting our lives. We have already been asked to leave two parks. We are now looking into your idea of federal land use. Can we be thrown out of these areas too? —Concerned in Central Arizona
Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.
Ask the RV Doctor
What can be done for a noisy RV slideout?
Our 2007 Winnebago has a living room/dinette booth slide that makes a loud groaning or growling noise when sliding. It has a little bit of a jiggle back and forth along the front edge as it comes in. It did not do that for a while when we bought it new. We have tried some cans of stuff recommended by a local RV shop here but it didn’t help. Last week we stopped by our dealer and we were told, “Well, some of them do that. It could cost a lot to have it fixed.” And they were wanting to sell us a newer model (diesel). …
Canceled travel plans = an upset wife? Here’s the perfect gift…
If your travel plans have been canceled and the wife is upset, this earring and necklace combo is the perfect gift to cheer her up! (Or, ladies, you can just buy this adorable combo for yourself!) We think all the ladies of the RVtravel.com staff need this… Chuck? Learn more or order here (trust us, you’ll get major brownie points.).
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Coronavirus news for RVers in your inbox daily!
Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Read Friday’s issue here and then sign up here.
Don’t build this DIY dogbone: It could kill you!
Mike Sokol saw this home-brew dogbone adapter on another RV Travel Facebook page the other day, and immediately stepped in to warn everyone of the dangers. The poster said, “Made me a dual 110 to 220 30 Amp adapter for my RV. I can now in emergency connect to Two separate 110 Outlets (on different poles) and go to 220 volt.” The poster removed the post, and Mike moved it to his RV Electricity Facebook group to warn folks, where he received many questions about it. Here’s Mike’s explanation of why this is so dangerous. Important information for everyone.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Do I need a generator grounding rod? A reader asks Mike if he has to ground his new generator to a ground electrode, as the manual says.
RV Tire Safety
Tire “reserve load” calculations
From Roger Marble: I ran across a post on tire reserve load or reserve capacity that suggested the RV owner had been given incorrect information. Read the post and Roger’s reply.
Building an RV Park
Campground, Smampground. Everything is ON HOLD!
Besides Machelle (and most of us) being overwhelmed from so much negative coronavirus news and also suffering from social withdrawal, the loan from the bank for the RV park is on hold as well as the meeting with Planning and Zoning. In addition to all of that, there are some concerned neighbors complaining to P&Z that they didn’t have a chance to attend the prior neighborhood meeting. But there is some good news mixed in with all of these major, albeit temporary, setbacks. Read Machelle’s update here.
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.
The RV Kitchen
Pantry raid tortellini salad. This delicious one-pot meal can be made with no fresh ingredients, so it’s an ideal recipe to tuck away with your emergency supplies in the RV and at home. Stow the makings in your pantry now to pull out in a pinch or simply when you’re just too tired after a long day to cook from scratch. Plus, some great “emergency pantry” tips from Janet. Get the recipe.
The Digital RVer
Stuck at home or inside your RV? Use Zoom online meetings for get-togethers
With orders to stay at home during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, meetings are going virtual, and Zoom.us is quickly being adopted as the tool of choice for friends, families, businesses and organizations to hold online meetings. Whether you just want to get together with a few friends for happy hour, keep your Book Club going, or manage a community meeting when no one can come to the Community Center, Zoom might be your answer. (Note from editor: This is what RVtravel.com uses for online meetings.)
These socks don’t stink!
If you don’t believe us when we say these compression socks really work, look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews and maybe you’ll change your mind. These socks provide instant relief to your arches and heels and work to increase blood and oxygen circulation, which helps reduce lactic acid buildup and aids muscle recovery in ankle and feet. Click here to learn more.
Facebook Groups of Interest
• Funny RV WTF? (What The Fail?)
• Vintage Camper Lovers
• Motorhome Madness
PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying Advice • Northwest RV Camping • Southwest RV Camping • Free Campgrounds • Budget RV Travel • RV Videos • RV Coronavirus News
Enamel in teeth is the hardest substance in the human body and contains the highest percentage of minerals (at 96%), with water and organic material composing the rest. Source: Wikipedia
Bumper sticker of the week
I cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
We are 11 days into self-isolation and it is really upsetting me to witness my wife standing at the living room window gazing aimlessly into space with tears running down her cheeks. It breaks my heart to see her like this. I have thought very hard about how I can cheer her up. I have even considered letting her in – but rules are rules. —Thanks to Tom Hart!
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” —Eleanor Roosevelt
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: 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.
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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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