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June 27, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
Iam incredibly pleased to announce that our columnist Mike Sokol, America’s leading expert on RV electricity, has formed a non-profit organization to help educate RVers, RV technicians and campground owners on the safe use of electricity. Ultimately, what this means to you is safer power pedestals where you camp, as well as better educated technicians who, when charging you $140 an hour, can diagnose an electrical problem fast (and correctly), saving you money.
And, of course, what you learn from Mike will broaden your knowledge of RV electricity which is different from home electricity. If you have not purchased Mike’s book RV Electrical Safety, you should.
I’d like to thank Charlie Davis, of RVfinancing.com, for encouraging Mike to get his non-profit organization up and running and providing the seed money for him to fund some of his startup costs. Learn more from Mike about the organization and his plans.
RVtravel.com has supported Mike’s efforts for a decade now because we recognized his contributions were essential to the RV industry and to you and other RVers. It has taken us seemingly forever to get the industry to embrace his efforts with any financial support, rather than trying to muzzle him from saying anything that might suggest that RVs are not safe (they are, but not always).
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In other news, the giant Hershey RV Show set for late September has been canceled. This is the largest show held annually in the USA, where attendees get their first peek at the latest and greatest new model RVs. Gail and I attend every-other year to do research and visit with our RV journalist friends.
I would advise checking ahead on summer and fall RV shows in your area before heading off to attend. My guess is that most will be canceled through the end of the year. We keep our RV Show Directory up to date, so you can always check there.
And a reminder if you are planning to travel to areas of the country where tornadoes are common, then bookmark our new directory of RV Parks with Storm Shelters. If a tornado heads your way, you will have a safe place to shelter instead of being at the mercy of Mother Nature, which (take it from me) can be very scary.
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If you are a member of Facebook, I urge you to sign up for our new group RVing with a Disability. Group members exchange helpful information and provide moral support to others to get out there and enjoy the RV lifestyle even though it may be physically challenging.
I hope you are staying safe and wearing a mask in public. The coronavirus pandemic is far from over (even though most of us WANT IT OVER) and most RVtravel.com readers are of an age that makes them most susceptible to serious illness if infected. Please be careful.
Oh, lest I forget, if you appreciate our efforts, please do us a giant favor by suggesting to your RVer friends that they subscribe to this newsletter at https://rvtravel.com/subscribe
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My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Your assignment this week:
Answer this: What gives your RV trips purpose? Please click here and take some time to think about your answer.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
The latest breaking news about RVing and RV travel that affects RVers.
• And, oh … Don’t miss the photo and story of the naked man who spent 12 hours on a railroad crossing tower.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • RV crime • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
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Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Window awnings – Enjoy the shade but keep your view.
• Don’t forget the important stuff before departing campsite.
• RV Education 101: Upgrade RV water system with new shower head.
• Avoid the cordless drill blues.
• Check your water tank venting and save water.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Caption: “But Pet, if we added a third level we’d be able to carry an economy car and a float plane.”
First impressions of the SoftStartRV air conditioner device
Dave Helgeson reports on his installation of the SoftStartRV™ product and his first impressions after field testing it. The SoftStartRV allows RVers to start up and operate one or two air conditioners on their RV without overwhelming the available electrical supply. Dave reports that for a dry camper that chooses not to lug around a heavy generator, this is a game changer. Read Dave’s review here.
Internet anywhere – Satellites in the sky … or pie in the sky?
After reminiscing a bit about their early days as “traveling scribes,” when they sent paper manuscripts and 35 mm color slides via snail mail to their publishers, Russ and Tiña De Maris report on Elon Musk’s claims of upcoming internet service anywhere on the planet with no more slow speeds. Imagine download speeds approaching a gigabit per second – yes, you heard right – a gigabit! How do they claim to do it? Find out here.
Motorhome burns. See the results. Not pretty.
It’s a nightmare for any RVer – his or her RV catching fire. In most cases, it only takes a few minutes for the RV to be fully engulfed. In this instance, the motorhome was destroyed. See the picture of the interior: see what it looks like when an RV goes up in flames. Luckily everyone got out okay. The message here is to check your fire extinguishers often and perform regular RV maintenance, which will go a long way to prevent this from this happening to you. Read the article and see pics.
Can your air conditioner beat the heat?
Is your RV air conditioner up to the task of keeping you cool now that summer is here? A little easy maintenance can make the long, hot summer a great deal more bearable. Here are some a/c maintenance tips.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• All about RV electrical fires and a new way to extinguish them fast
• RVer dies after airborne RV crashes onto departed ferry boat
• Funny things RVers say
• Video: Where motorhomes go to die
• How much power is right for you?
Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spaces
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.
What is higher without the head than with it?
(Shhh. Don’t give it away. Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
If an RV park metered your RV electricity would you be more careful with its use?
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.
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletter:
Did you ever smoke cigarettes? See how more than 2,200 other RVers answered here.
Endorsed by Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.net!
The best tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. And all this for about $12! Learn more or order.
Video: Take a virtual drive in stunning Zion National Park
Feeling cooped up in these Pandemic times? Here’s something that will lift your spirits and, good or bad, make you yearn to pack up your RV and hit the road – in this case to magnificent Zion National Park. Check out this gorgeous 23-minute video by RVtravel.com reader Mike Fousie.
Ya wanna camp next to a guy playing drums outside his RV?
The RV Industry Association has launched a new advertising campaign called GORV! (pronounced “gorv” and not “go-rv”, BTW). It’s aimed at younger RVers, as you will see if you watch this. It opens with a young RVer outside his small camper van playing a set of drums. It runs one minute. Watch it here.
This pickup truck drives upside-down – no joke!
How about towing your RV with this thing? You’d get stopped so much you’d never make it to your destination! Check it out here, including video.
Make that dish drainer do a better job!
Here’s a quick and easy DIY tip to make your dish drainer drain better. Learn how.
Popular articles from last week
• RV park owner Andy Zipser: My park’s open, but campers are angry!
• Destruction of motorhome from horrific crash hard to believe.
• Bear enters home, lounges on couch. Sad ending to story.
• FMCA membership declining, financial losses a concern.
• Abandoned Winnebago in which Diff’rent Strokes actress died is for sale.
• Ten most popular vehicles towed behind motorhomes.
• Trailer hitch fail! Check this photo, then weep!
• Oh, DEER! This highway disaster is WILD!
• RV Electricity: Pedestal readings for 50-, 30- and 20-amp outlets.
• Building an RV park: Our beautiful state is on fire!
• Black Lives Matter as RVers too.
• Use your RV air conditioner in low-power situations.
• Deep cleaning your RV for a quick sale.
SWELL CONTEST OF THE DAY
CONTEST NOW CLOSED
How would you like to win this very cool George Foreman 2-Serving Grill? Well, this might be your lucky day! In one of this past week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters we published a secret phrase. Simply email the phrase to us at RVcontests@gmail.com . We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 27, 2020) by 11 a.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
LAST WEEK’S WINNER of the Coleman portable butane stove: Winner has not yet claimed the prize.
Our Facebook Groups: NEW RVing with Dogs • NEW Towing Behind a Motorhome • NEW RVing with a Disability • NEW RV Travel Tips • NEW Trucks for RV Towing • 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.
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.
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.
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.
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Buying a rental RV – Good idea?
Dear RV Shrink:
We are in the market for our first RV. My husband thinks we should buy a used rental Class C motorhome. I am in favor of buying used, and have studied used rental websites, but they seem to want the high dollar for the motorhomes they are culling from their fleets. Are these units a good deal? Am I missing something? I want to enjoy traveling and not have to constantly worry about repair problems. Should we be considering new instead? —Confused in Cleveland
RV Education 101
RV black water holding tank tips
One thing lots of RV owners do not do is add enough water to the black water holding tank after the tank is emptied. Water is your first line of defense against odors and maintenance problems with the black water holding tank. Learn more.
Two new guides to free campgrounds
Roundabout Publications has teamed up with the Ultimate Public Campground Project on these two new guides. Discover thousands of designated camping areas in the West and in America’s Heartland – real places – not big box store parking lots. Included are areas managed by various governmental agencies. Learn more about the West edition or Heartland edition.
New non-profit RV electricity association
A few weeks ago I announced the incorporation of No~Shock~Zone as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation so I can take my RVelectricity training to the next level. And I also hinted of a seed grant I’ve already received from a reader to get the process started, whose identity I can now reveal. It’s Charles (Charlie) Davis from RVfinancing.com. Read more!
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
Pedestal readings for 50-, 30- and 20-amp outlets. Mike explains voltages on a pedestal, and includes a diagram you can print out for easy reference.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
More important info on trailer vs. truck tires
Roger found this question on a 5th wheel RV forum he follows: “Searched this forum for any info on using LT (truck) tires instead of ‘trailer’ tires on a 5th wheel. Nope, didn’t find anything. So, any problems with using 6- or 10-ply LT tires on my ’99’ trailer instead of the replacement tires for trailers?” Learn all about weight ratings, how to improve your reserve load and much more in Roger’s very thorough response.
RV Fire Safety
The best fire extinguisher for your RV
Check your fire extinguisher’s markings so you’ll know what materials it will work on. Ideally, you should have an extinguisher with symbols for all classes on it. A noncorrosive designer foam extinguisher is effective on Class A and Class B fires, which make up over 90% of all RV fires. Designer foam extinguishers are user-friendly, environmentally safe and convenient for RV travel. —Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Fireproof bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables from a fire. Its two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material make it resist fire and heat up to 1000 ℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables won’t be harmed. Learn more or order.
Museum of the Week
Erwin Hymer Museum
Bad Waldsee, Germany
How do you add to a vacation in the Alps after visiting the centuries-old Ettal Abbey (and brewery), touring the Oberammergau Passion Play Theater, and all without traffic jams? You head over to the Erwin Hymer Museum in Bad Waldsee, Germany! Continue reading about this neat museum here.
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.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Here’s our Trooper learning to drive.” — Guy M. Mazzarella
Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: Kayla & Cassie • Tuesday: Juju • Wednesday: Chase • Thursday: Duke
• Friday: Gizmo
One reader’s very unusual pet. No one else has one!
When asking you, our readers, to send in photos of your pets, we got an unusual submission from reader Dan Kooienga. Dan wrote, “This is our pet, COVID. He is a result of the lock-down. It all started when I broke my shovel…” Read the rest of the story.
RV Pet Vet: How to avoid hot dogs (and other hot pets)
Dear RV Vet: When the weather warms up, we worry about leaving our dog in the RV. We always set the AC to a comfortable temperature, but worry about a power failure or having a problem with the AC unit not working. We’ve seen where some people have temperature monitors in their RVs. Do you have any recommendations? —Ellie S. Read Dr. Deanna’s response.
• If your pup overheats easily, check out all these products to help keep them cool.
• Mosquito repellent spray for dogs and cats is a must for camping. Click here.
Portland, Oregon, was named by a coin toss between two early landowners in 1845. Asa Lovejoy was from Massachusetts and wanted to name the new town Boston. Francis Pettygrove was from Maine and wanted to name it Portland. Pettygrove won the coin toss two out of three times and the rest, as they say, is history. From PdxHistory.com
Bumper sticker of the week
I drive me RV; my wife drives me dinghy.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
A little gray hair is a small price to pay for all of this wisdom!
Do you remember, before the Internet, that people thought the cause of stupidity was the lack of access to information? We now know it wasn’t that.
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, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Bob Difley, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Social media 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.
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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This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com.
Worth pondering. Maybe it lack of
I read everyday andcant find secret phrase to enter contest. Oh well