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July 4, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
dreamed last night that I was buying a small, weekly newspaper. I think I know the newspaper, in a tiny mountain town in the Sierra Nevada. It was standard size as opposed to tabloid, and only four pages — front page, back page and two inside. So one big sheet, folded, all black and white.
The newspaper had its own printing press. It was a big offset press, the kind used by metropolitan dailies. It was taller than a one-story building, which is typical for papers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other major publications. I published my newspaper Out West on such a press. I loved watching the press run, and the papers roll off, ready to mail off to readers and newsstands.
The press was way overkill for the small town newspaper in my dream, but then dreams are seldom based on reality. I was incredibly happy about having a newspaper with its very own printing press. I looked forward to turning it into something special.
As it was, the content was boring. The editors and writers, I thought, were not too bright, and certainly not inspired. As I studied the current issue, I thought of the many ways I could make it better — exceptional, even.
In my dream, I knew that the days of successful newspapers were mostly over. I figured I would design it to look sort of old-fashioned, and write stories about history as well as current affairs. I thought that if I did a really great job, it would be so unique and interesting that people from near and far would subscribe.
I’M PRETTY SURE THE DREAM had something to do with my frustration about publishing online, and the limitations of design. Take RVtravel.com for example: more than two-thirds of those who read it do so on a phone. How creative can a publisher be when people are scrolling down with a finger, with words and photos appearing like movie credits? When I published in the print world, I liked to mix things up with photos, charts and other illustrations presented in more interesting ways. It’s hard to do that online when you know every word and photo is being viewed in the palm of someone’s hand.
But it was a good dream, and while it lasted I was about as happy as a person could be. There was no pandemic in my dream, which was a wonderful break from reality. Then I woke up, and I remembered the dream, and I was sad that I hadn’t really bought a newspaper with its very own printing press.
P.S. Welcome to the more than 1,100 new subscribers since last issue. There is an incredible demand for information about RVing these days, as so many people buy RVs to travel with rather than head off to Europe or take cruises. A lot of these folks are finding RVtravel.com, and we’re thrilled to have them!
ALSO: I was interviewed twice last week, by my friend James Raia on the podcast for his website The Weekly Driver, and by CNBC. Both were about the state of RVing these days. Here’s where to listen to a recording of James’ podcast.
FINALLY: Please wear a mask when in public. Help slow the spread of the dangerous virus that has robbed so many of us of our freedom, even our lives, and so badly hurt our economy.
WARNING: If you (or someone you’re with) are lighting off fireworks today, do not apply hand sanitizer first! If you do need to use hand sanitizer, give it at least a couple of minutes to dry before lighting anything! This is something to note if you’re BBQing or having a campfire as well…
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
The latest breaking news about RVing and RV travel that affects RVers.
• Big Bend National Park, Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River closed until further notice.
• Have you seen this stolen Coleman travel trailer?
• More canceled RV shows and rallies due to coronavirus.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
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Learn more or donate. Help us be the best we can be. Thank you!
Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Go slow at the dealership – Don’t let money burn a hole in your pocket.
• Five basic tips for safe RV trips.
• RV Education 101: Trailer hitching and unhitching safety tip.
• Manage your temperatures for a long and happy RV life.
• Urban RV driving tips.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Full-time RVing: Learning how to “just roll with it”
By Terri Nighswonger
My RV journey began nearly a year and a half ago when my husband, Todd, and I were discussing some “next steps” in our weird life. To be honest, it didn’t look like we would ever retire. You know, the payout at the end of a long and storied career. The reality looked like we would be working until we keeled over. Continue reading.
Slide-outs for your galley make storage a snap
Here are some useful tips to obtain extra and easily accessible storage in your RV galley. The sliding trays don’t even require drawer glides. Includes lots of pictures.
What you need to know before buying a motorhome – Part One
This is Part One of a three-part video series where Andy Pargh, The Gadget Guru, speaks with Steve Zeigler, the Director of Bus Shell Sales of Prevost, and Gil Johnson, a well-known motorhome inspector. While the content in this video is slanted towards Prevost motorhomes, the information will be useful to anyone shopping for a variety of motorhome brands. Watch the video here.
Chuck Woodbury talks about state of RVing on The Weekly Driver podcast
Chuck Woodbury, editor and publisher of RVTravel.com, was a recent guest on The Weekly Driver Podcast. Now in its third year, the automotive podcast is co-hosted by James Raia and Bruce Aldrich. During the 30-minute podcast, Raia and Aldrich discuss with Woodbury how the coronavirus has affected the RV industry. Read more and listen here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Don’t stop at “making” memories in an RV
• What to do about ice on RV fridge fins
• Living full-time in a roomy motorcycle pop-up trailer
• The Business of Work Camping – Where to put the groceries in an RV? Part 1
• Husband runs out of gas in RV looking for cheapest price
What English word retains the same pronunciation, even after you take away the last four of its five letters?
(Shhh. Don’t give it away. Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Do you insure your RV on a separate policy from your other vehicles?
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:
On average, how many days a week do you have eggs for breakfast? Funny question to be our most popular poll last week, but hey, RVers like eggs! See how nearly 2,200 readers responded.
Forget buying a portable generator!
Use your car or RV engine to generate clean 110 power with a CarGenerator. It’s cheaper, more reliable, and so light even a child can lift it. Use to power your RV accessories, and recharge batteries for continued us of CPAP machines, etc. Perfect supplement to solar on cloudy days. At home, use for backup power when the power grid goes down. Learn more.
What’s better for you: Class C motorhome or Class B van conversion?
Here’s a question that some new-to-RVing wonder about: “I’ve never had an RV before, and I’ll be traveling alone with my dog. I’m intimidated by big vehicles, and I want fuel efficiency but comfort, too. What do you think about a Class B motorhome?” Here are a few things to think about.
It’s checkout time, your RV has a problem, won’t move. What to do?
By Chuck Woodbury
I have wondered what would happen if it were time to check out of my site in a packed RV park, but my motorhome had a mechanical problem and it couldn’t move. What if it were a park where every RV space was reserved for every night: somebody was due in your spot later that day? What would you do? Here is a letter I received today that got me thinking about this. Read more then let us know here.
Need the perfect place to store your RV? No problem. It costs $269,000
Keeping your motorhome clean, protected from the elements and secure may be standard practice for many owners. But would you pay $269,000 to do so? Increasingly popular around the country, specialty purpose storage units have gone upscale with developers and management companies outdoing each other to attract customers. Continue reading.
USED BY RV TECHNICIANS!
Protect your RV parts from rust and corrosion
T-9 is the RV technician’s choice for attacking corrosion, rusty parts & flushing out old lubricants. It permeates metal crevices & seeps deep inside assembled components to leave a durable protective coating, lubricating without dismantling equipment. It won’t wash off. T-9 will not harm paint, plastic, rubber, fiberglass or vinyl. It can be used on engines, wiring, belts & is safe on electronics. Learn more or order.
Readers tell why they bought their first RV – Part 2
Here’s another installment of your responses to our request for readers to tell us why they bought their first RV. This week some reasons are: yearn to travel, serendipity, seeking history up-close, and health and helpful intervention. Great stories.
This RV wouldn’t budge in a tornado!
Reader and RVtravel.com contributor Nanci Dixon sent us this photo of an incredible converted Jeep military vehicle she saw at a campground. Now that’s a weird (but totally cool) RV! Check it out.
Popular articles from last week
• Grand Design recalls more than 22,000 Reflection trailers.
• RV Tire Safety: More important info on trailer vs. truck tires.
• Motorhome burns up. See the horrible results.
• Internet anywhere – Satellites in the sky … or pie in the sky?
• Urban RV driving tips.
• SoftStartRV installation tips and first impressions.
• Can your air conditioner beat the heat?
• RV Education 101: RV black water holding tank tips.
• One reader’s very unusual pet. No one else has one!
• RVs without slideout toppers: Do they leak?
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, June 27, 2020.
• This pickup truck drives upside-down – no joke!
• Use your RV air conditioner in low-power situations.
• RV Shrink: Buying a rental RV – Good idea?
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.
SWELL CONTEST OF THE DAY
Contest now closed
This could be your lucky day! If you win, pick one of these hot-off-the press directories of free campgrounds, West edition or Heartland edition, as your prize. 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 (July 4, 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 George Foreman 2-Serving Grill: Wayne Caldwell of Belen, New Mexico. The previous week’s winner of the Coleman portable butane stove was Rosalie Magistro of Bayfield, Colorado.
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.
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.
Ask the RV Shrink
Would you advise a rental RV road trip?
Dear RV Shrink:
We are considering renting a motorhome and doing a western National Park loop with our teenagers. We usually fly somewhere and rent a car, but flying sounds unappealing to us with the virus and the reduced flights. Renting a motorhome sounds like a great adventure, but what are some of the downsides we are not aware of? Any info would be appreciated. —Novice in Novi
50 States, 5,000 Ideas
This book from the experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. The book also includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.
RV Education 101
Keep holding tank odors out of the RV
RV holding tanks are designed with a vent pipe going from the top of the holding tank to the roof of the RV, to vent the tank and the tank odors. The problem is, holding tank odors accumulate in the tank and can’t really be vented outside because there is no air pressure in the tank to force the gases up and out of the vent pipe. Read more.
SoftStartRV update – Yes, it really works, and here’s proof…
By Mike Sokol
Since I published my initial peak starting current data last month comparing SoftStartRV technology to stock starting capacitors, I’ve had hundreds of questions about how well it works. So let’s get them out of the way first. Yes, I did gather this data myself. Yes, SoftStartRV seems to work exactly as advertised. No, a $10 hard-start capacitor is not the same thing at all. … [So, to test how this product works, Mike built a piece of test gear for $200 which would normally cost $100,000, to capture thousands of pieces of data in a fraction of a second. WOW!] Learn more.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Electric Shock Drowning Warning. Three people recently drowned in a backyard above-ground swimming pool. This prompted Mike to write again about the potential for electric shock drownings and how to avoid them.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
Run your RV air conditioner with a small generator
When the temperature heats up and you’re boondocking with only a small portable generator for power, you’re out of luck running an air conditioner. That is, unless you have a SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and makes running your A/C possible. Learn more or order at a special discount.
RV Tire Safety
What valve stem to use with a TPMS – Part 1
Here’s Roger Marble’s opinion on the ongoing discussion regarding what valve stem to use with an external tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor. Included are (very short) video examples, and a 5-minute video of how easy it is to install steel valve stems. Learn more.
Building an RV Park
We met with the Board of Supervisors – Good news!
By Machelle James
(June 23) Here we are in Holbrook, waiting to speak at our Final Approval hearing with the Navajo County Board of Supervisors. We are last on the agenda and my nerves are building and I feel queasy. My mind tells me we are going to be approved, but my heart worries. The “what ifs” are overwhelming and the unknown is pure torture. Continue reading for what’s next for AJ’s RV Getaway Park.
The RV Kitchen
Sunday Dinner Chicken
It’s easy to throw this casserole together using rice from a packet and cooked chicken bites from the supermarket. It can also be made with canned chicken or diced meat cut from a rotisserie bird. Includes a vegetarian variation. Make it your own recipe by adding a special topping. The recipe is easily doubled and it can be made ahead. Get the recipe.
The Digital RVer
How to use Google’s new Photo Map
If you use Google Photos on an Android or iOS device, you now have a cool new feature, a photo map. Just open Google Photos, tap the Search/magnifying glass icon at the bottom and you’ll see “Explore Map.” If you have any photos where Google can identify the photo’s location, it will be placed on the map. Read how Chris Guld uses this feature here. You’ll probably start using it, too.
SAVE $100 Garmin RV GPS Summer Sale at TechnoRV.
Hurry! Sale ends TODAY, July 4. Click.
Facebook Groups of Interest
PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: NEW RV Parks where you can fish without a license • NEW RVing Fulltime • 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
Bars ensure nothing moves while driving
It’s happened to most RVers – you open the fridge (even slowly) after a day of driving and a heavy jar falls on your toe – “Ouch!” Never have that happen again with these easy-to-install spring-loaded refrigerator bars. They’re also useful in cupboards and closets. Order for a good price.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is “Cam”, our 3-year-old kitty. She loves to go “RVing” with us and her favorite spot is riding on the dash of our 2016 Winnebago Adventurer. So, she is a true “Dash-Cam”!” — Art & Sheila Mullis, Brandon, FL
Let’s talk about poop!
Let’s be honest here, poop isn’t generally a topic we hear discussed around the campfire unless maybe you need advice on your backed-up black tank. But, if you have a pet, you pick it up multiple times a day. Well, you’re supposed to pick it up multiple times a day. Click here to read interesting (and gross) facts about dog poop!
In 1919, 781,178 people visited America’s National Parks. One hundred years later, in 2019, 327,516,619 people visited.
Bumper sticker of the week
Exercise is such a dirty word that I have to wash my mouth out with chocolate.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Masks are the new bra: They’re uncomfortable, you only wear them in public, and when you don’t wear one … everyone notices! —Thanks to Tom Hart!
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” —Marcus Aurelius
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, Terri Nighswonger, 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, lost to COVID-19 in April, 2020.
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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