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April 4, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
Iam mad, very mad. The state of Virginia has ordered that private RV parks can no longer accept short-term guests. If you are traveling along I-81 and need a place to spend a night or two along the way, forget about it. Oh, there’s always a parking lot and maybe a rest area.
But if you want to stay in a hotel, that’s fine — the state thinks that’s perfectly okay even though those who stay have no idea who slept in the bed the night before. Or who coughed and sneezed germs right onto the plastic-covered drinking cups in the bathroom — that the maid assumes are clean. Maybe you’ll watch a little TV — holding the germ-covered remote control device by the bed. Who used it last night or the night before?
And what about housekeeping, going from room to room, picking up germs along the way?
DIFFERENT STORY IN AN RV
But if you want to stay in your self-contained RV in a Virginia RV park, where you know who slept in your bed the night before (you), and who used the bathroom before you (you), and who touched the doorknobs, chairs and heating controls before (you), you cannot do it. Even though with remote check-in and prepayment, an RVer can come and go without getting anywhere near another human. That’s more dangerous than staying in a hotel? Give me a break!
READ THE ARTICLE we posted yesterday by my friend Andy Zipser who owns the Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park in Virginia. One day, everything is normal and the next he has to kick out every short-term guest and accept no new ones unless they stay 14 days or longer.
“Just like that, we teeter on the edge of insolvency,” Andy writes. “Ninety percent of our business is short-term campers, anything from over-nighters traveling the I-81 corridor to residents within a 250-mile radius looking to camp with us for a few days.”
Virginia is not the only state to adopt such a ridiculous new policy. Not only does such a rule hurt an RV park, even jeopardize its survival, but it means RVers passing through no longer have a place to stay if they need a utility hookup. Most states have already closed their state parks. Ditto campgrounds in national parks, national forests and Corps of Engineers parks.
A law like Virginia’s is hard to believe. But, alas, it’s true!
You and I are getting the shaft
We can’t stay in our RVs because some politician thinks we’ll spread our out-of-town germs to everyone else. But, at the same time, anyone can stay in a hotel, where he or she can sneeze, cough and otherwise spew microorganisms every which way in the privacy of their own room, and then drive on down the road, leaving their germs behind for the next visitor.
Read Andy’s article and where you can write to voice your opinion about this.
P.S. Thanks to those of you who pledged your support this past week with a voluntary subscription. Your thoughtfulness helps ensure we are here to stay through what is shaping up to be an incredibly difficult time ahead. And welcome to the 1,678 new subscribers who came aboard since last week.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Latest breaking news about the coronavirus and how it affects RVers.
• Comprehensive list of RV recalls for March.
• Pickup truck news: 2020 Best RVs for towing. Truck recall.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows (yeah, right) • 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.
A cowboy rides into town on Monday, stays for two days, and leaves town on Monday. How is this possible? (Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• Get a serious grip on RV condensation.
• Is a warm electrical outlet cause for concern?
• Campsite “site length” restrictions. What do they really mean?
• Level your rig like a pro – without messing up your suspension.
• Repairing dripping bathroom faucets.
Coronavirus must-haves on Amazon. Click here to see what’s available.
Is coronavirus leading to a constitutional crisis?
Full-time RVers are struggling with finding a place to stay in this difficult time of pandemic. As state and local authorities shut down RV parks, or limit guests to those who stay under long-term status, the number of full-time RVers could conceivably exceed the available supply of short-term spots. One California RV park owner says the whole matter could end up in court – as a constitutional rights issue. Read more. Civil/polite comments are welcomed.
Not using your RV? Help save an MD’s life!
ER doctor Jason Phillips sees between 100-150 patients every day. As a father of an infant and two other young children, there was no question that he should quarantine while he treated patients with COVID-19. His wife, Emily, worried every time he came home and potentially exposed herself and their children to COVID-19. He needed a place to quarantine. Emily thought, “What better place to quarantine than in an RV?” Emily made it happen.
Governor’s misguided order deals crushing blow to at least one RV park
Andy Zipser, owner of the beautiful Walnut Hills RV Park in Staunton, Virginia, writes: “Never underestimate the power of one individual to effect change – especially if that person is hysterical. Case in point: This past Monday, the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, issued a ‘temporary stay at home’ edict. Tucked into the middle of this order is the one sentence that has upended our lives, commanding the “cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all privately-owned campgrounds.” Continue reading.
Related to above:
How a caring RV park owner acts in hard times
If you have read RV park owner Andy Zipser’s essay posted April 3, then you know the state of Virginia has banned him, and other private RV parks, from renting a site to RVers staying less than two weeks. Here is what Andy has now posted on his late arrival board. Other RV park owners in a similar situation, please take note.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• What has happened to us that we are so angry? (Sadly, this is still very relevant.)
• A new take on the offensive neighbor in the RV park
• The RV Proctologists relate an RV sewer nightmare
• Readers’ tips for picking out a campsite
‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. Learn more or order.
How comfortable are you in the space where you’re self-quarantining?
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.
• Do you take the coronavirus threat seriously, or believe its dangers have been way overblown?
• What part of this newsletter do you look forward to the most? Is there something you’d like to see done differently?
• Do you know anyone who has gotten the coronavirus, COVID-19?
EMS worker shares preventive uses for personal protective equipment
Jonathan Chaffin, an EMS worker, posted this on our Facebook group, RV Coronavirus News. “Okay, I’m going to give a rundown of masks, gloves, and various forms of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). I’ll say this first and foremost that I’m not here to argue. I’m simply offering my personal and professional experience from working EMS the past 12 years in urban and rural EMS services.” Read more.
Add another room to your RV with this brilliant mod
We came across an RV mod completed by Facebook user Joshua Torres, and we’re blown away by it! Torres had no use for the bunk beds in his Keystone RV, so he took them out (with some help) and created a laundry room and office. How’s that for adding a whole new room to your RV? Check it out!
Reader asks: What does your RV insurance cover?
Reader Kevin Parker sent us an email asking us to ask for your help. Here’s what he wrote: “I got hit by a full-time RVer without insurance, driving a Class C motorhome. My insurance will cover all but several thousand dollars for my replacement. I feel sorry for the other guy. As far as I know, he has no place to go and my insurance company will pursue him ‘to the ends of the earth’ to recover their liability. I would be interested to know what your readers’ RV insurance coverages are?” Read the rest of the question and, if you can, offer advice in the comments.
Sharing the beauty: A 600,000-photograph cross-country journey
By RonnieSue Ambrosino
It’s a very difficult time for all of us. Many people are focused on trying to navigate through this world that was turned topsy-turvy over the last month. There doesn’t seem to be an immediate break in the stress. We have been fortunate to travel the country with our cameras in hand, taking more than 600,000 photos of the beauty we’ve seen. Read more, and check out some of their spectacular photos!
Hide dirty laundry, and save space too!
Sometimes where to put those worn clothes waiting for wash day is the pits. Many hide a basket in the shower stall, but here’s another approach: Hang that dirty laundry out – not for everyone to see, but on the back of a closet door. Zippers on this one make it easy to open, and the company includes a couple of different hooks to help you hang it. Find it here for a great price.
Popular articles from last week
• Full-timers – Where can you stay during this outbreak?
• Action needed: Keep RV parks open.
• Video: Update on recent cougar attack in Colorado RV park.
• During this crisis, ask what you can do for your neighbor.
• At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems.
• All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie…
• Can your pets get, or give you, COVID-19?
• Homeless in California. An RVing family’s struggle to shelter in place.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, March 28, 2020.
• Why FMCA did not refund registration fees for cancelled rally.
• RV Shrink: Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down.
• Building an RV park: Campground, Smampground. Everything is ON HOLD!
Sta-Bil Rust Stopper stops rust and corrosion
Of the many gremlins that attack your RV, like mold, mildew, leaks and black streaks, rust is the gremlin that will attack your hand tools, spare parts, door hinges and other vulnerable metal surfaces and moving parts over time. STA-BIL® Rust Stopper prevents rust and corrosion by protecting metal surfaces with a long-lasting barrier while lubricating parts and tools to stop squeaks and sticking. Learn more in this article.
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.
Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.
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.
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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.
CAN you organize your pantry? You will!
You probably have quite a few cans in your pantry right now, right? Soup, tuna, canned veggies, canned pet food, broth, beans, etc. It all takes up space! Here are a ton of can organizers to help keep your pantry organized so you can easily find everything. These are great for the RV too, since it’ll stop everything from moving around. Look through these organizers here.
Ask the RV Shrink
What do RV park managers and pig farmers have in common?
Dear RV Shrink:
We have spent the winter in the state parks of three states as well as many city and county parks. One common denominator we find in most parks we visit are nasty restroom and shower facilities. Are we too picky or is this just the norm? We are fairly new at this RV lifestyle and I have to say, I think twice before I venture into a park restroom. —Untidy in Texas
Ask the RV Doctor
Gary is currently in the hospital fighting COVID-19
For current updates about this condition, click here. We update this page every time we receive new information about our friend’s condition. Leave a get well message here if you wish. Gary’s family is reading them, and we know he will, too, once he recovers.
Hair salon closed? No problem!
Cut your own hair and save yourself tons of money in the future by getting yourself your very own hair-cutting kit. Here are a bunch to choose from. Some will trim your beard too.
Quick 30-amp outlet tester for cheap
You may have noticed that I launched my RVelectricity webcasts this week, and have been creating all sorts of YouTube videos while I’m stuck inside. Here’s a really short one for you about a simple yet effective test for 30-amp RV outlets that will cost you about $30 even if you have to buy everything. If you have some of these devices laying around, so much the better. Read more and watch the short but very useful Webcast.
RV Tire Safety
Importance of side-to-side motorhome weight balance
Roger Marble received the following question: “Hi. I have followed your postings on this forum and I own a 2017 Newmar Ventana 4002. I am trying to understand and resolve an issue with my coach where I have a 1000 lb. difference in weight on the front axle side to side. I have had the coach weighed on all 4 corners 3 times and get the same results. My understanding, and I think it may have been in one of your posts, is that the difference should never be more than 500 lbs. side to side. …”
RV Short Stop
Wildflowers bloom across Texas
During this time of COVID-19 crisis, if you are a Snowbird needing to travel through several states to get home, check the Centers for Disease Control’s advice on “Coronavirus and Travel in the United States.” If you are able to travel and your route home takes you through the Hill Country of Texas, one small upside during these challenging times is that now is the peak of spring wildflower season. With more than 5,000 species of native flowering plants, the Lone Star State is known for its breathtaking spring (now through June). Read more.
Make outdoor fabrics look brand new!
From cotton duck to modern acrylic textiles, all outdoor fabrics stain and eventually begin looking old and tired. Scrubbing with water and mild detergent may remove some of the surface dirt, but organics such as mold, mildew and algae need to be handled differently so they won’t grow back. Biodegradable Mold & Mildew Stain Remover from Iosso Products works well to rejuvenate fabric, vinyl, wood and plastic without any harsh chemicals that bleach-out colors and deteriorate materials. Read more about it here.
RV Fire Safety
Help prevent RV engine fires
A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees F. The heavy insulation in the compartment reflects the heat back to the top of the engine, and a fire can easily break out. Inspect your radiator and have any problems repaired by a qualified person as soon as possible.
Museum of the Week
The Marin Museum of Bicycling
Bicycle lovers unite! Get wheely excited for this… This volunteer-run museum in downtown Fairfax, CA, shows the 19th-century evolution of the bicycle. Visitors can watch as the bicycle advances from the early 1860s to the turn of the century. The museum also hosts the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, so if mountain biking is your thing, you’ll find the fascinating history of it here. And if you ever need a gift for a bike lover, the gift shop is where to go. Ride on over to the official museum website here.
Tape it to the limit…
Rather than an adhesive, this type of tape fuses to itself. It makes a totally waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has all kinds of other emergency uses advertised such as a quick fix for a leaking radiator hose, so it certainly deserves a place in your RV toolbox since it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. Learn more or order.
During the first quarter of the 20th century, new Americans arriving at Ellis Island were served Jell-O gelatin dessert as a treat to welcome them to America. Gelatin dessert was patented in 1845 and the Jell-O brand was created in 1897. The first flavors were strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon.
Bumper sticker of the week
“Grumpy. It’s not a mood … it’s a lifestyle!” —Thanks to Richard Bauer.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Hilarious video: Trust no one!
We can guarantee that your smile will last longer than this 6-second video, and that you’ll want to watch it more than once. Watch it here.
Going outdoors is not canceled, listening to music is not canceled, quality time with our families is not canceled, reading a book is not canceled, sharing with friends is not canceled, singing out loud is not canceled, laughing has not been canceled, sharing HOPE with others has not been canceled. Let’s EMBRACE what we have. —From Kelly’s Treehouse
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.
• George Bliss • Tom and Lois Speirs • Alan Warren • Steve Barnes • Mike Sherman + 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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