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May 16, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Emily Woodbury
Wow! I’m both honored and terrified to have been given this space. There are a lot of you that read this… Can I make you enjoy my welcome as much as my father’s? I’ll try, but I make no promises.
Howdy, my friends! Most of you know me as Chuck’s daughter, but a few of you know me from my work here at RVtravel.com. If you’ve followed Chuck from his Out West days, you most likely saw many photos of me as a toddler: sepia-printed, strapped into the dinette of our old Tioga motorhome, Barney the TV show videos playing over and over (my poor parents). If you’ve followed my journey for that long, what the heck are you still doing here? I’m kidding. We treasure your readership and you are, without a doubt, a friend. I mean that.
I’ve been given this space this week to introduce you to our new pet feature (towards the bottom of this newsletter) called Pawsome Pets. As I wrote last week, who doesn’t want to look at pet photos during a pandemic? Is there anything that could cheer us up more? Correct answer: No.
Last weekend I asked you to submit photos of your pets. Can I pause for a moment here and tell you how much I smiled this week looking through all the photos you sent in? You made my week. Your pets are RV-travelin’, cute-as-a-button, gosh darn superstars. I’d like to hug them all. Please and thank you.
On Monday, we’ll begin featuring an RVtravel.com “Pet of the Day” in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter (which, if you’re not signed up for, you’ll absolutely want to do so here). Each issue, Monday through Friday, I’ll include one of the photos you sent me (please click here and send a photo if you haven’t already) plus the description, if you included one. Some of the descriptions of your pets made me howl, no pun intended, with laughter.
Okay, folks, that’s about as long as I’ve got to keep you here talking about dogs and cats and reptiles and amphibians. (Hey, did you see they just discovered a real-life Kermit the Frog in Costa Rica?) I look forward to sharing these photos with you. I know they’ll make you smile – and smiling, in these dark, weird times, is so important.
P.S. Speaking of pets… As I began writing this, an email popped up from my dad. This says everything you need to know about his sense of humor. I nearly spit my coffee out. Here’s a screenshot of the email. Click to enlarge.
Editor’s Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
RV park gets okay to open. Owner says “Be careful what you wish for!”
Andy Zipser’s Virginia RV park got the okay to open yesterday after being forced to close to short-term visitors by the state governor a month ago. The result: His park is almost totally booked this weekend. But, oh, the rules that come with opening up may rub some guests wrong. Read his story.
Beginning this issue we’ll ask you and other readers a question, and publish some of the most interesting responses in issues to follow. Here’s today’s question (click the link for more information). What have you done in self-isolation that you have never done before?
STAY COOL THIS SUMMER!
Now, use your air conditioner in 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.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• The latest coronavirus news as it pertains to RVers.
• Where is the RV market heading?
• Local TV broadcasts set to “vanish” from satellite TV.
• Trespasser in Yellowstone National Park gets herself into very hot water!
• Be on the lookout for a 2019 Nash 24-foot travel trailer burgled from Bozeman, MT.
• Stuck in Arizona? Watch out for aggressive honeybees!
• RoverPass, an online park directory, is setting aside $5 million to help member parks in need.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
SUPPORT QUALITY RV JOURNALISM
This newsletter, and the 400 others about RVing we publish every year, would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary subscribers, our members. Now, in the most challenging time of our lives, your help is needed more than ever for us to be your #1 source of news, information and advice about RVing. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference. Learn more or donate. Help us be the best we can be. Thank you!
Two fathers and two sons walk into a candy store. They all buy candy for 50 cents but altogether they only spend $1.50. How is this possible?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Product review: Secure your keys in HitchSafe receiver safe.
• Before disconnecting cables or wires, make a diagram and take pictures!
• RV Education 101: Portable generator safety tip.
• Don’t forget the little storage spaces.
• Understanding your propane regulator.
What are your RVing dreams?
Written by our readers, compiled by Russ and Tiña De Maris
When readers told us of their dreams of future RV travel, we were flooded with both fantasies and clearly plotted-out trips. Here are more of your contributions, which include history chasing, visiting friends, and furry companions.
It’s editor Chuck Woodbury’s birthday. Here’s a special note to him
Well, Chuck’s birthday was on May 13, but read this interesting and touching tribute to Chuck from his daughter, Emily. You might learn more about him from her perspective than you could learn any other way. And it’s not too late to add your condolences … er … birthday wishes to him in the comments here.
Letter to the editor: “Perspective is an amazing gift”
From reader Randy Coleman
Check out this interesting info. Maybe we don’t have it that bad? It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. Read this very insightful post.
A personal tribute to Gary Bunzer
By Diane McGovern
“As all who knew Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, are aware, he was truly one of a kind. … I didn’t know him very well, but I considered him my friend.” Read a couple of stories about him that no one else can tell. Target practice, anyone?
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• RV salesman spills the beans on Camping World’s sales tactics
• Your job: Explain what you see in this photo
• Letter to the editor: Unfriendly RV towns
• Laugh of the day: Peekaboo parrot
• RV pests: How to keep them out of your RV
Are you putting off routine doctor and dentist appointments these days?
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.
• How many bumper stickers are on your RV or tow vehicle?
• Do you need full- or part-time employment to make ends meet?
• Have you cancelled camping reservations for the summer?
Propane safety made simple – Part 1
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
The old joke talks about the fellow unexpectedly hurtling toward earth after being tossed out of a plane. Struggling to figure out the rip cord on his parachute, he spots another man flying upward toward him. “Hey!” he calls out. “Do you know anything about parachutes?” “Nope!” shouts the upwardly moving character. “Do you know anything about propane stoves?” Enough silliness. Learn about propane safety here.
For good health, exercise … your generator!
From Onan Generators
It may seem strange that not using a machine could cause performance problems, but with RV generators that’s exactly the case. Regular “exercise” is an important part of keeping your generator healthy. Learn more about the best care for diesel and gas generators.
Video: Classic GMC motorhome tragedy!
If you had plenty of money, would you buy a classic GMC motorhome? Sorry, we’re drooling. There [was] one for sale in California, that creamy yellow fiberglass gelcoat singing like a Siren to a sailor. But before you jump overboard, there’s one thing you should know: They cut the heart and soul out of the interior of the motorhome and turned it (gasp!) into a car hauler. Learn more.
What making face masks has taught me about life
By Nanci Dixon
Like so many others in lockdown, quarantine or under stay-at-home orders, I have been making face masks. I have learned so much in the simple process of making dozens of them. My history, my family history: My father offered me my stepmother’s 1970’s boat-anchor-weight Kenmore sewing machine to use. As I rummaged through her sewing box, learned to thread her machine and placed my hands where her hands had gone, I got a sense of connection and appreciation that I had not had when she was alive. Continue reading.
Cleaning your RV? Get steaming mad at dirt!
By Jim Twamley
Sunshine and flowers in bloom means it’s time for some RV spring cleaning. Forget about chemicals, put away the rubber gloves and go green with steam. The Missus wanted a steam cleaner to clean and disinfect around the RV. She researched the various models on the internet and finally decided on the model she liked. Continue reading.
Video: Dueling elk trash warning sign
“The deer and the antelope play” – but in California’s Redwood National Park, the elk don’t mess around. To keep park visitors safe, rangers have posted warning signs reminding guests not to approach those “Dangerous Wild Elk.” Apparently a couple of elk decided to show just how serious the matter can be – and, in the process, demolished one of those warning signs. Watch it here.
A wonderful, nostalgic book about the history of the family road trip
Published almost a year ago, “Don’t Make Me Pull Over: The Informal History of the Family Road Trip” by Richard Ratay is a wonderful, nostalgic story of the golden age of family road trips. … This informative, fun, and hilarious family narrative perfectly captures what it’s like to have a love-hate relationship with road trips, and why they were such an important piece of American history. Read more.
Popular articles from last week
• An RV rental horror story: “I was ripped off by an RV rental scam!”
• RV Tire Safety: “Tire dressing” and “Do not use covers.” Where’s the test data?!
• Bollinger Motors unveils two futuristic electric trucks.
• RV Coronavirus News Update, May 10, 2020.
• RV diesel fuel discounter gets bigger savings, more retailers.
• Bear pounces on sleeping campers in Colorado RV park.
• Understanding your propane regulator.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, May 9, 2020.
• This wacky Ford pickup travels upside down: No kidding!
• Need a new place to walk? Try this trail-finding trick with Google Maps.
• Use your RV air conditioner in low-power situations.
• “Flushable wipes” users try cleaning up in courtroom.
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.
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
NEED RV PARTS? Anything you might need is here at Amazon.
Ask the RV Shrink
RV migration during a pandemic
Dear RV Shrink:
You said a couple of weeks ago you were headed home shortly. If you have already left, could you give us some idea of what you experienced traveling cross-country during this pandemic shutdown? We have been antsy to get on the road also but are concerned it is not a smart time to travel. It has been so hot in the Southwest the last couple of weeks we are chomping at the bit to head north. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. —Itching to Move in Mojave
RV Education 101
RV Buying Tips: What size RV is best for you?
By Mark Polk
After you determine the best type of RV for you, consider what size RV works best for you. When I sold RVs, it was common for folks who never owned one to be a little intimidated by the size of RVs. The thought of towing a 30-foot trailer can be intimidating, so people decide on a 22-foot model instead, only to realize it is too small. Learn more.
Neat! Monocular telescope connects to phone
This is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while! This waterproof monocular telescope connects right to your phone so you can take photos of that bird waaaaaaay over there. You can now photograph anything up to 12x closer than before. Great for birdwatching, concerts or any sporting event. We already bought one! Learn more or order.
A portable ECG that could save your life
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a very interesting portable ECG (or EKG if you’re in Germany) test device, and said that it could possibly save your life. That’s because of normally having to wait for an ECG and maybe only having one every year or so. With this device you can take your own ECG every day if you like, compile the results, and send them to your cardiologist for interpretation. Learn more.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
How to meter a fuse. A reader asks Mike how to tell if a fuse is good or bad by measuring it with a meter.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
Was your “blowout” caused by parking at Quartzsite two years ago?
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
This is a bit of a continuation on the topic of “tire dressing” from last week’s post. I do wonder how many people that complain of sidewall cracking or less-than-desirable tire durability make the effort to protect their tires from the heat and UV degradation from direct sun exposure. While there might be some benefit from applying something such as “dressing” or “shine” or other “stuff” to the tire sidewall for UV shielding, no dressing will protect a tire from the accelerated aging process due to being “baked” by the sun’s heat. 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.”
RV Fire Safety
First things first in case of RV fire
Without question, the most important rule of RV firefighting is to save lives first and property second. Your priority is to get your family safely out of the RV and then, if you can do so without endangering yourself or others, use the firefighting aids available to you.
Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best seller and costs about $9. Learn more or order.
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.
Pets in the news, May 15, 2020
Oh, for the love of pets! Sometimes they do things you’re proud of, other times they do things that embarrass you. Sometimes, they even do things that end up getting themselves in the news! Here are a few headlines from this round of pet news. Click here. Inside: Learn how cats can give other cats COVID-19.
• The ABCs of camping with pets
• Facebook group: Camping and RVing with pets
• Mosquito repellent spray for dogs and cats is a must for camping. Click here.
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.
Museum of the Week
The Ernest Warther Museum
Reader Harold Kohl sent this in: “I recommend the Ernest Warther Museum in Dover, OH. They let us overnight in our RV in their lower parking lot.” The museum is dedicated to former Dover resident Ernest “Mooney” Warther and his family. The museum houses many of Warther’s intricate wooden works, crafted in ebony or walnut, that trace the history of the locomotive. Each train is made from thousands of individual pieces. In fact, it is said that Warther cut more than 750,000 pieces of wood over the years. You’ve got to see it for yourself. Plan your museum visit here.
In the U.S., 90% of the population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store or Sam’s Club. — SOURCE: Walmart.com
Bumper sticker of the week
John Rakoci had this sticker on his last 5er: “I don’t need Google, my wife knows everything.”
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Many RVers will identify with these “laws of nature”:
“OLD” is when your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you’re barefoot.
“OLD” is when a sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.
“OLD” is when you are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.
“OLD” is when “getting lucky” means you find your car in the parking lot.
A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.
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, 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.
FOREVER IN OUR MEMORIES — OUR STAFF MEMBER IN HEAVEN, Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor.
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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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This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com.
Dude….calm down. Thanks for your angry opinion, but you offer nothing.
What would YOU like to see in an RV magazine, Mr. 70%?
Wow! Tom! So sorry you have such a bitter outlook on life. My sympathy for you not knowing the love and total devotion from a cat or dog.
I hope life treats you kind.
Way to go Emily, keep going.
Yes, there is a small percentage of the population who are afraid of pets. Pet owners need to respect that, and not let their pets run up to strangers. However, photos and stories of pets do not need to be feared. Photos do not bite. Just like all the ads in this newsletter, you can skip over the articles that are not interesting to you.
I have been discussed with RV ers many times that are dumb enough to think we are not in ours and then don’t pick up after their mutts in full view of our windows.
We have also seen areas at very nice casinos that the land scraping is covered in dog 💩 poo.
Dog owners will ruin the free parking for all of us.
Sorry. I love dogs but some irresponsible owners dogs …have them perfectly trained.
I have found that it is much easier to just pick up other people’s dog poop than it is to get them to pick it up. Takes just a few seconds, and I always have bags in my pocket.
We choose not to have pets however I depend on others for my pet therapy. I have befriended so many dogs over the years as we work as volunteer campground hosts. I am extremely allergic to cats though. So even if only 30% or your readers have pets, there are many more of us out there that love them. I will enjoy the pictures!
Same here, Mary. We lost our last pet only a couple of months ago, so all the pet talk is a bit raw for me still. But we decided, as we prepare for our future of full-timing, that pet ownership right now would not be wise…for us.
However, I love LOVE animals and pets, as well as enjoying others’ pet videos and photos, and reading about their happy adventures with their quirky little family members. This new feature may well be my first RV Tips visit every day!
Pets make it easy to see what what their owners love about them…their honesty, loyalty, and undivided love.
We don’t see many cats or birds or turtles, never pet fish, while out walking. But dogs? I know dogs. I always ask first if I may pet other people’s dogs… and then I can love on them like they’re my own, and then comfortably walk away.
The time will come when we’re likely ready again, and we’ll find that special little love. Until then, I’m quite happy about the new pet column, and I’ll be happy to live the pet life vicariously for awhile!
Thanks, RV Travel!
So, don’t read the articles or look at the pictures. There are articles in all publications I subscribe to that aren’t my cup of tea. I only unsubscribe when the majority of the articles don’t meet my interests.
You forgot one. OLD is when an all-nighter means sleeping through the night with out getting up once to go to the bathroom.
Yep, David. We have a few more, but I just didn’t put them all in at once. 😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Great job Emily….dad should be happy and proud.
What’s wrong did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
Concerning the bumper sticker: Is John still alive?
Funny you should ask, Jeb. Here’s what I had included when I put the bumper sticker in the newsletter, but Chuck pulled it because it wasn’t actually part of the bumper sticker: “He is thinking he may need a new one for his current RV, ‘But then again, maybe not!'” 😆 So I’m assuming he’s still alive. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Tom Smithbrother, please, unsubscribe. RVtravel.com is apparently not for you. Hey, only 30% of our audience has motorhomes; most have towables (my estimates). So we should not bother to write about motorhomes, right? And only 20 percent have auto levelers? So not write about them either? And only 20 percent of our readers are interested in boondocking? So don’t write about that? What would you do differently if you were in charge of this newsletter?
YOU MUST BE A VERY LONELY PERSON……………
next time use spell check.
Will love your pet pics. They bring smiles to everyone’s face. My pups make everyone smile. Great to have the new feature. It will make the newsletter even more positive.
Just don’t read about pets. Just scroll on down and read the articles that do interest you
Tom I suggest you do one of two things…stop reading this publication or cancel
Ever consider that pets don’t like you either.
Warning: stay clear of horses…they can sense when you don’t like them and are afraid of them and will treat you accordingly…it will not end well.
Answer to today riddle ;
There was a grandfather, a father and a son.
I think we are not supposed to publish the answers to the riddles so that others can work on them, too.
Yikes! What is that…thing?
Mole or vole. I can never keep them straight.
Never saw a hairless one.