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May 9, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
Is RVing as we have known it over for now?
Most of us, I believe, are ready for the pandemic to end. Enough is enough. The thought of it going through the summer, even into next year and beyond is almost too much to fathom. And yet that is exactly what could happen.
Everybody talks about a vaccine, but the fact is, there is no guarantee it will even happen — we don’t even a vaccine for the common cold. The 1918 pandemic ended after several years only because the virus had mutated and become weaker. People still got sick, but they didn’t die, and then they gained immunity — “all clear” to enjoy the Roaring ’20s.
RVing as we have known it is gone, in my opinion. It’s not dead, but it has already changed dramatically. I am writing now at my 2×4 foot desk in the corner of the bedroom of my 32-foot motorhome where I am self-quarantining. I’m not visiting museums, dining in little cafes along Route 66 (I’m only 50 yards away from the historic road). I’m not stopping in tourist shops searching for another jackalope to add to my collection. I’m not standing, side by side, with 300 other people watching Old Faithful erupt. I’m not the only one doing this sort of thing.
The park I’m in now has 42 spaces. Almost all are occupied by long-term guests, most self-quarantining in Kingman rather than heading home after migrating to Arizona for the winter. Nobody is camping, as in roasting marshmallows over the campfire. It’s the same across the country.
Readers of this newsletter are mostly 60 years and older. We are the virus’s most vulnerable targets. In the 1918 pandemic, the age group most affected was 20- to 29-year-olds. But now, persons that age are not nearly as likely to die as the 65+ crowd, which, by the way, was the least vulnerable group during the 1918 pandemic.
We’re lucky in one important way: Most of us are not dependent on a paycheck (only 16 percent need a job for income; most only need part-time work). More than half of us own our RVs outright. Of the others, only 4 percent reported this month that they would have a problem making their loan payment. For many of these people, life hasn’t changed much.
How many RV parks will survive the next year if they are forced to be closed, or if fewer tourists in RVs begin traveling from place to place? Millions of the Millennials who bought cheap, starter RVs in the last few years (helping set sales records for the RV industry) are now out of work. I wonder how many of them will sell their RVs, or simply walk away from their upside-down 20-year loans. What’s more important, feeding the kids, paying the electric bill, or making a loan payment on an RV bought for camping trips? How many of these people will be so deep in debt in a year or two that buying an RV will be out of the question?
When the virus runs its course, “normal” may indeed return. But it won’t be in a year, and it won’t be in two years. That’s just my opinion. I really, really, really wish that by the end of the year we’ll be on the road to fast recovery.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but it is certainly an incredibly challenging time that none of us wanted, but all of us got … and that’s just the way it is!
P.S. Here’s my journal for this week. Gail and I have stuck pretty close to home (motorhome, that is), but we have some good experiences including realizing our dog is a celebrity. Plus, we figured out a mystery in the night sky that you may not know (but will if you read this). Click here to read.
Also: Welcome to the new readers who learned about us on Friday through Forbes.com! We’re happy to have you with us on our warp-speed journey through cyberspace.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
- This makes me so mad, and I bet you, too!
- What do they call skateboards in Kingman, Arizona? You’ll get a good laugh out of this.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• RV diesel fuel discounter gets bigger savings, more retailers.
• “Flushable wipes” users try cleaning up in courtroom.
• Truck sales speed past cars for first time in industry history.
• Heartless crooks in Arizona swipe a traveling nurse’s trailer.
• Bear pounces on sleeping campers in Colorado RV park.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
SUPPORT QUALITY RV JOURNALISM
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I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness. What am I?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• What’s a good metal roof sealant for RVs?
• Full-time RVing: Do you have the right insurance?
• RV Education 101: How to tell when your RV battery needs charging.
• Easy ways to cut down on unnecessary electricity usage.
• Too many dashboard accessories?
You shared your RVing dream trips. Here they are – Part 1
By our readers, as compiled by Russ and Tiña De Maris
Earlier we asked penned-up readers to tell us about their RV dream trip. We were deluged with dreams, and now get the chance to share some of them with you. From the simple to the sublime, you all have something on your minds. We’ll share a few dreams each week for the next bit of time, and in the end, there’ll be a moral for us. Here are some of our readers’ RVing dream trips.
An RV rental horror story: “I was ripped off by an RV rental scam!”
This comment was left on our Daily Tips Newsletter by Brian Burry. Here’s Brian’s story:
“Before my wife would consider us purchasing an RV, she demanded I rent one (we rented a 31-foot Class C years ago) so I did. I went online and found an RV Share and rented a 40-foot Class A DP for 4 days at a cost of $800 with a $500 deposit up-front. … He said he would deliver to my house in central California so I could drive my wife to Pismo Beach where I rented us a nice RV park space. Then the RV owner asked if I could go ahead and pay him the $800 ahead of time, as his wife needed a minor surgery. ‘Sure,’ I said.” — Oops. Read more.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• RV Horror Story of the Week
• Dealing with noisy neighbors during campground quiet time
• How to watch YouTube videos using very little bandwidth
• “I had to shoot him” – A (graphic) encounter between a homeowner and an intruder
• Replacing the RV carpet
Have you been tested for COVID-19?
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.
Now, use your air conditioner in low-power situations never before possible!
At RVtravel.com we don’t see too many products that we go nuts over, but the SoftStartRV is a game changer. Here’s what it can do:
• Run two air conditioners on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run a generator or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.
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.
• How much exercise are you getting now compared to before the pandemic?
• Have you, a relative or close friend lost their job in the last two months?
• Are you drinking more alcohol while in self-quarantine than before?
Need a new place to walk? Try this trail-finding trick with Google Maps
By Emily Woodbury
What’s one good thing that’s come out of quarantine for me, an avid hiker? I’ve found dozens of trails close to home that I never knew about! I thought I had walked every trail within a walk or short drive from my apartment, but boy, was I wrong. So, other than looking up “trails near Seattle” repeatedly on Google, I found a new, easier trick. Read more.
Control board not working? Replace it!
Perhaps some of the most mysterious of RV technical issues surround electronically controlled appliances. “Back in the old days,” as some of us recall, we didn’t have fancy control boards on refrigerators, furnaces and water heaters. … Nowadays, the trouble is when things start getting “buggy” it can be difficult to track down the problem. But here’s a great resource that will come to the rescue. Learn more.
Check for gas leaks often by using this!
Russ & Tiña De Maris write: “We keep our natural gas leak detector tucked in the door pocket of our tow vehicle so we can check for leaks when we reconnect an LP bottle after filling. We also use it whenever we make up a new connection on a gas line, or ‘think’ we might have a leak. Here’s one you can pick up for a good price with lots of good reviews.”
This wacky Ford pickup travels upside down: No kidding!
This is just too much – a pickup truck that travels upside down. No kidding. This is not a fake photo. It was built about five years ago by a fellow named Rick Sullivan, who owns Kathy’s Collision Center in Clinton, Illinois. We’ll take a guess and say this is the only pickup truck in America with eight tires. Check it out.
Reopenings: Bryce Canyon Hoodoos never fail to intrigue
The “Hoodoos” of Bryce Canyon are unusual rock formations found throughout many areas of the Colorado Plateau; but an exceptional “collection,” if you will, is protected at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The park is “off the beaten track” but is a real “must-see” for those who are intrigued by the forces of nature that create such unusual formations. Read more.
Popular articles from last week
• Jayco recalls some 2020 trailers for propane explosion risk.
• Use your RV air conditioner in low-power situations.
• RV Coronavirus News Update, May 3, 2020.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, May 2, 2020.
• Watch out for mice in your spring RV cleaning.
• Husband says “No” to danger; wife says, “Let’s go!”
• Rain coming? Shut off that cruise control!
• RV Shrink: To wear a mask or not to wear a mask …
• Sewer hoses: Lacking honor — but we all gotta have one.
• How to deal with unwanted noise.
• RVelectricity – What’s all the noise about generators?
• Trucks rule, but safety improvements necessary.
Save drawer space with this nifty organizer
Free up a whole drawer in your RV’s kitchen with this organizer perfect for foils, Saran wraps, wax or parchment papers or Ziploc bags. Hang it in a closet, a pantry or behind a cupboard door. Anything to free up space in an RV is a lifesaver, right? Learn more or order here.
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 • Budget RV Travel • RV Videos • 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.
Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
In case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
Hot off the press! Sign up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter!
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.
Ask the RV Shrink
RV dirty swirly – cleaning stained pipe below toilet
Dear RV Shrink:
We seem to have an appearance issue with our RV. Not the exterior, not even the interior. It seems to be below our porcelain toilet. My wife continues to be fixated on the stains she can see when the toilet is flushed. The stains are below the ball valve in the toilet. She is embarrassed that these stained plumbing pipes can be seen every time the toilet is flushed. Do other people stress about such things, or is it just my wife? …
Remove ticks easily from people or pets!
This highly rated Tick Twister Remover Set will remove ticks, large and small, without squeezing them, reducing the risk of infection. It does not leave the mouthparts of the tick in the skin. It’s the safest and easiest way to remove ticks and in just a few seconds, and it helps prevent Lyme Disease. Keep one of these in your RV. Learn more or order.
RV Education 101
RV Buying Tips: Don’t be in a rush
With Mark Polk
My number one tip when buying an RV is to avoid a hasty buying decision. What I mean is, purchasing an RV without doing any research. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Lots of folks purchase RVs at RV shows, where the excitement level is high, only to discover later it is the wrong type, too big, too small, or too expensive. Learn more.
Spring has sprung!
Here are some articles from the archives relating to this beautiful time of year:
State of the virtual RV rally – This is exciting news!
This is a great time to fill you in on one of the interesting things that has been happening in the last few months. While I did have a number of live seminars scheduled around the country for the summer and fall, right now the only one that hasn’t been cancelled is the Hershey Show scheduled for September 16-20, and that’s still not definite.
But all is not lost, since webinars at RV Virtual Rallies are ramping up quickly, and I believe they could be the future of RV seminar training. Why so, you ask? Well, it’s a numbers game… Continue reading Mike Sokol’s exciting news.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
Electrical connector maintenance. How to clean contacts in electrical connections.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
Dirty contacts? DeoxIT!
Here’s a comment from our electrical specialist, Mike Sokol: “I’ve used DeoxIT for decades on my pro-sound gear. We use it on speaker connectors, power connectors such as cam-lok and twist-lock plugs (just like RV power), volume controls, gold-plated circuit boards (like in RV refrigerator control boards), etc. There are several different versions of DeoxIT depending on if you want built-in lubricant for potentiometers, or gold contact refurbishing or simply oxidation removal.” Learn more or order.
RV Tire Safety
“Tire dressing” and “Do not use covers.” Where’s the test data?!
Roger Marble has been following a long thread on an RV Forum on the topic of “tire dressing” aka tire treatment or “tire shine.” The good news is that most posters knew to not use any product that contains petroleum distillate. Too bad some RV dealers don’t follow the guidelines on this. Read about tire dressing and whether or not to use tire covers here.
Building an RV Park
It’s an emotional roller coaster!
By Machelle James
I think I have had more stress in the last two weeks than I care to admit. We have had many back and forth emails between us, Planning and Zoning and our Engineer. We had a deadline of May 1st to have all of the items they needed to be on the May Planning and Zoning Agenda. What happened was there were emails coming in from all departments and we missed some items, as in: What are the locations and sizes of our water lines? Where are our parking and handicap parking spaces going to be? Continue reading.
The RV Kitchen
Meat Stretcher Shepherd’s Pie
Almost meatless shepherd’s pie. Just a half pound of ground beef or turkey adds substance and flavor to this lentil dish. Traditionally, shepherd’s pie is baked in the oven to put a golden glow on the mashed potato topping, but this can also be made in a skillet. Get the recipe.
The Digital RVer
Showing old photo albums on TV fills your home with memories
Chris Guld, of Geeks on Tour, shows you how to get old photo albums into Google Photos, make albums and then add them to Google Home “ambient” mode, which acts like a screensaver for the TV. Their house is filled with their travels because their travel photos are displayed on TVs and other photo frame devices in every room. Chris explains how easy it is to do here.
Camco’s Fridge Airator keeps fridge cooler in warm temps
This compact high-volume air circulator helps the food in your RV stay fresh longer, while also maintaining the temperature of your fridge. It also helps absorb smells. The airator runs on batteries, so you can put it in the fridge, leave it on, and forget it’s there. No hassle. If you’re going to be in hot temperatures this summer, you’ll want this to keep your fridge cool. Learn more or order.
Need a place to store your RV or belongings? Rent available space on private property near you at Neighbor.com. Save money over commercial facilities. It’s like the AirBnB of storage. Learn more.
According to an RVtravel.com poll, 30 percent of you travel with at least one pet, and another 16 percent of you travel with at least two.
Why do dogs want to lick your face?
By Chuck Woodbury
My dog, Archie, likes to lick my face. I try to avoid letting him do that knowing where his face has been, specifically his mouth. This morning, for example, he brought me a body part of a dead rabbit. He wasn’t actually bringing it to me, but for himself. Not sure what he would do with it. Continue reading.
Do you have a pet? Send us a photo!
With Emily Woodbury
Do you have a pet? What are they like? What are their quirks? What do they do that makes you laugh? Please send a photo of your pet and a short description. We’ll feature only the cute pets. No, I’m kidding. We’ll feature as many of your pets as we can each week. Who doesn’t want to look at adorable pet photos during a pandemic? Continue reading and see where to send your photo.
Keep your pets safe in an emergency
Do you worry about what would happen to your pets if you had an emergency and couldn’t get home to them? This Pet Alert sticker, wallet card, and keychain set is a necessity for all pet owners. The kit allows first responders to know that you have pets at home. On the sticker, check off how many cats and dogs you have and stick it on your car or RV window. Also included is a keychain and wallet cards, in case you are hurt and unable to tell responders where your pets are. Keep your pets protected and buy this life-saving kit here.
Facebook Groups of Interest
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
The speed of sound in water is approximately 1,450 meters per second – more than four times faster than the speed of sound in air (343 meters per second).
Bumper sticker of the week
If you object to logging … try using plastic toilet paper.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
“We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
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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, Richard Mallery, Roger Marble, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Bob Difley, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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