Welcome to RVtravel.com, the newsletter for intelligent, open-minded RVers. If you comment on an article, do it with respect for others. If not, you will be denied posting privileges. Please tell your friends about us!
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 19th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers, plus the generous financial support of SoftStartRV, an inexpensive device every RV with an air conditioner should have.
If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!
September 5, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
Areader whose husband had recently died wrote asking for advice about what to do with her travel trailer. She knew nothing about the RV and decided her days of RVing were over.
It made us wonder what other readers would do upon the loss of a spouse. Would they continue to travel with the RV, or maybe buy a smaller one, or simply sell the RV and be done with RVing?
I have met many single men who lost their spouses, who then carried on. Some fell in love all over again, lucky them. But it seems to me it’s harder for women who lost their husbands. Yes, many want to continue RVing: they jump right in. But others are hesitant, even fearful. I usually refer them to the club RVingWomen.com, where they can meet and network with other women who have “been there.”
What would you do? We’d love to hear your thoughts. The fact is, many of us with significant others will one day face this situation.
THREE REASONS TO CELEBRATE
I am happy to report that we have now published more than 9,000 articles on this website, and we’re fast approaching 10,000. Our database of subscribers has topped 131,000 (up from 100,000 earlier this year). Also, later this month we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first issue of this newsletter. Where did the time go?
MEET YOUR FELLOW READERS
We asked you last week to tell us about yourself. We wondered who reads this newsletter. We know that thousands of you have followed us for a decade or more — and we’ve met some of you. But who else, we wonder, reads what we write week after week? We’d love to meet you. Here’s our first installment of Meet our Readers.
I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend. Stay safe! But please, no drinking and driving! Root beer is okay.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
What was the happiest day of your life?
By Chuck Woodbury
What if somebody asked you this question: “What was the happiest day of your life?” How would you answer? Can you identify one day that, among all the happy times of your life, stands at the very top? If so, would you please describe it to us in 150-250 words and explain why you put it at the top of your list? We’ll post some of your stories for other readers to enjoy. Read more.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• RV service centers and stores are out of parts. Now what?
• Does Utah law penalize motorhome owners? Is your state next?
• Tornadoes and RVs: Motorhomer dies in South Dakota.
• 190,000 Ram 1500 pickup trucks recalled.
• RV and RV-related recalls for August.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
Help us serve you better! Become a member-reader
The staff of RVtravel.com works hard to bring you honest, unbiased, valuable newsletters every day of the week. Readers help make it possible by becoming member-readers with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Even a pledge of $10 or $20 a year is appreciated! Many readers set up an ongoing membership, most $5 to $10 a month. But even a one-time contribution of whatever you can afford helps make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to please advertisers and RV industry big shots.
Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• What RV advice NOT to ask for on a forum.
• A handy TV installation idea for small RVs.
• RV weight ratings – What’s the “weakest link in the chain”?
• Making your RV grocery budget stretch.
• Extend your batteries’ life with proper care.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Losing cell service? Try these tips to reconnect or keep the signal
If you are heading out of town, into the mountains or desert or other remote areas, you might start to see your cell signal dropping off. There goes one bar, and another, and another… And you were JUST about to send that email too… Darn! Here are a few tips to reconnect if your signal seems to be fading away or if the bars keep dropping.
RV sales people: Which customer service approach wins the sale?
By Keith Ward
I’m shopping for my very first RV (gulp). That means tons of Internet research, including forums, YouTube videos, etc. It means budgeting, and not buying more RV than I can afford. It also means talking to multiple RV sales reps. And boy, they are not all the same. … I’ve been working with two reps in particular, representing the top contenders for the travel trailer I’m going to get. I’m shocked at how different the reps are, and how much better one is than the other. Read more.
Walking sticks provide surprising bonus to your exercise routine
One challenge for RV enthusiasts is how to efficiently store sometimes bulky exercise equipment. Walking sticks can be stored about anywhere. Folding bikes and collapsible kayaks help define the axiom of big things in small spaces. But there’s another likely unheralded option — walking sticks. They’re available in fixed length, adjustable styles and folding varieties and are ideal for campground walkabouts or more adventurous treks. Continue reading.
Weird and Wacky RVs for September 5th
Okay, it’s time for our latest installment of weird, wacky and maybe even wonderful (depending upon your definition of that word) recreational vehicles. We can state once again with confidence that these are all one-of-a-kinds. They didn’t roll off a production line looking like this. Check ’em out!
Don’t swelter in your RV anymore!
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 an air conditioner or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
In what scenario does 8+8=4?
(Shhh. Don’t give it away. Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
How passionate are you about learning the history of your country?
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 newsletters:
Do you wear a mask in public? See how 2,500 other RVers responded.
Our secret to finding the best places in a new town
By Barry Zander
My wife, Monique, was prepared for the worst, her teeth already clenched in anticipation. She knew that I was about to make some stupid remark to the sales clerk as I tried on a funny hat and made some asinine attempt at humor. But the clerk was ready to console her. She reached over and, as she gently patted Monique’s arm, she said softly, “Don’t worry, Dearie. I’ve got one at home just like that!” Read more for Barry’s great tip.
New blog: Crowded campgrounds
RV Travel readers chime in with their stories, and we try to make sense of how to deal with the huge influx of new RVers competing for a mostly unchanging number of places to stay. Read the third installment of this weekly blog, including a letter from reader Daniel Briggs, who has some ideas not only about the overcrowding, but possible solutions.
My new favorite tool: I’ve solved so many RV issues with this gadget!
By Nanci Dixon
My new favorite tool was just delivered. It is a Digital Inspection Endoscope that allows me to see into very tight, small, dark spaces. It is two cameras at the end of a long, 16 ft. cable connected to a viewing monitor so I can see exactly what the cameras see. This thing is cool! Find out some of its many uses here.
Time to pull out your Instant Pot! Try this delicious soup recipe
By Nanci Dixon
In a recent poll, 37% of you responded that you have an Instant Pot® but don’t use it very often. Same with me! I love my Instant Pot but don’t use it nearly enough. I am not a great cook – heck, I’m not even a good cook – but almost everything I make in the Instant Pot comes out great. And it even saves on propane and keeps the RV cooler than cooking on the stove. Read more, then try the recipe and let us know how you liked it.
Two new guides to free campgrounds
Roundabout Publications has teamed with the Ultimate Public Campground Project. 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 agencies – federal, state, local, etc. Learn more about West edition or Heartland edition.
Would you eat roadkill?
In many states you can… Most counties in Washington state allow elk and deer that have been killed by motor vehicles to be salvaged and consumed. Many other states also allow this practice. Read more and then please participate in the included poll and let us know if you would eat roadkill. (Editor’s tip: This might be a good use for your Instant Pot – see above.)
7 handy uses for RV shelf liner you probably haven’t thought of
Most RVers are familiar with the cushioned shelf liners that protect our dishware when we travel and bump down the road. Beyond lining shelves to cushion and grip objects, the leftover pieces can be used for a lot of things around the RV. Learn about some of them here, then please add your tips in the comments below the article.
Airstream Touring Coaches – What you need to know – Part Four
This is Part Four of a four-part series entitled What You Need To Know About Airstream Touring Coaches. In this series, Andy Pargh, The Gadget Guru, interviews Justin Humphreys, the Vice President of Sales of Airstream, Inc. This segment includes a discussion of RV quality control issues, Airstream’s relationship with Thor Industries, is there a shortage of Sprinter chassis, and much more. Note: This is not a commercial and no payments were provided Andy for the production of this video. Watch Part Four here.
Don’t swat this wasp! It’s on a (good) mission to eat and destroy
Among the frustrations of camping is dealing with insects that like to bite us, sting us, or just annoy us. Well, here’s one little wasp you might run across that you should just leave alone. It’s on a mission, doing good. Read more.
The handiest lights you’ll ever have
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.
Popular articles from last week
• Campground Crowding. Discussion for August 29, 2020.
• The camper who did this should be thrown in jail.
• Try this easy DIY trick to trap fruit flies (watch the video, it works!).
• A sad warning about flimsy step stools.
• Thought about working the sugar beet harvest? This might convince you.
• The pandemic: The bad news, the good news, and the feel-good news.
• New TV commercial promotes RVing. What do you think?
• This video could save you from danger during a tire blowout.
• RV Tire Safety: “Cold inflation pressure” and clarification of tire terms.
• RVelectricity – Can I run my air conditioner from batteries?
• RVelectricity – Running an air conditioner from battery power – Part 2.
• What if disaster strikes and you can’t get back to your RV?
• Building an RV park: Stress and more stress, but Max brightens our days.
• Reader letter: Worried about crowded campgrounds this summer.
• Masks required in 34 states. Are people wearing them?
• Amazon CamperForce: Quick cash, tough work.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, August 29, 2020.
… and much more.
SWELL CONTEST OF THE DAY
How would you like to win this Open Fire Popcorn Set? 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 (September 5, 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.
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.
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.
A wonderful alternative to crowded RV parks
Stay overnight for free at more than 1,040 wineries, farms, breweries, etc.! Harvest Hosts members can taste great wines and micro-brews, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings far from the crowds. Save 15 percent on a membership by using code HHFRIENDS15 at checkout. Learn more
RVelectricity Facebook group hits 10,000 members … and more great news!
Just a few nights ago my RVelectricity Facebook group hit 10,000 members. Woo hoo! And that means we have a winner for the Southwire meter kit giveaway, which I’ll announce shortly. Yes, I know a lot of you don’t use or like Facebook due to security concerns, but for my RV electricity projects it’s still a great way to communicate with a lot of RVers quickly. …
Read how you can learn from the RVelectricity group even if you don’t want to join Facebook. And what’s that thing hanging out of Mike’s mouth? Oh, and what’s the new book he’s writing? Find out all of that and more here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session: Be prepared for a converter/charger failure
I’m stuck at a campground and can’t get my hydraulic levelers to work or my slides to retract. Also the lights inside of the RV are really dim and my monitor panel says the battery is dead. How can that be since I’ve been plugged into shore power for days? —Stuck in Duck (NC)
Read Part 1 of Mike’s series on Boondocking Power Requirements, sponsored by CarGenerator™, here. NOTE: CarGenerator will keep your household essentials running for up to 70 hours when your power is out due to any blackout, natural or otherwise.
New to RVing or know someone who is? Sign up for our Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter. Reader Robert McG says, “Wow. Really enjoy the crisp format and valuable information, thank you!” Sign up here.
RV Tire Safety
Tires are more than just round black things
By Roger Marble
A question came up about the maximum speed recommendation as published by Goodyear, Michelin, and Bridgestone for tires in RV use. To help clarify: Many times the “application” or use of an item results in it having additional or different limitations or ratings. Learn all about them here.
RV Short Stop
“Chihuly Garden and Glass” sparkles in Seattle Center
“Chihuly Garden and Glass” sits in the shadow of the Space Needle in the Seattle Center. Since 2012, this long-term exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s work has featured gallery spaces, a sculpture garden and a glasshouse designed by the artist. Many of the works are in open areas and are outdoors. (A review on TripAdvisor says it’s worth going to Seattle just to see this.) Read more.
Time for a new water filter?
Walk around any RV park and you’ll see this inexpensive blue water filter attached to the fresh water hose on seemingly every other RV. They are THAT popular! The filter will reduce bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment. It filters out bacteria and is low-lead certified. It comes with a very handy flexible hose protector. This is the most popular RV water filter on the market. Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety
Steps to extinguish a fire
There is a simple way to remember the steps to using your extinguisher to fight a fire — it’s called the P.A.S.S. procedure. These are the four steps to follow:
- Pull the pin: This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the contents of the extinguisher.
- Aim low: Point the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever above the handle: This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge.
- Sweep from side to side: Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until flames appear to be out.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Museum of the Week
National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
A somber visit to the National Civil Rights Museum will take you right to the place beloved Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the Lorraine Motel. The museum is built around the motel, with exhibits taking you through the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s life. Watch more than 40 short films, listen to audio tapes and recordings, and see photos that tell a story of an era that’s feeling all-too familiar. Visit the museum website here to plan your visit.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Our boy, Ramsay, is one of the biggest reasons we purchased our 5th wheel, so he can always come with us – as you can see on the back of the rig!” — Pam MacDonald
Make sure to have this Fire Extinguishing Aerosol in your RV
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Learn more or order.
Every 15 minutes, one person in the U.S. dies because of an infection that antibiotics can no longer treat effectively.
Laugh of the Week
Watch this video (two or three times) of a dog who is VERY excited for fall. There’s no way you won’t smile.
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, Roger Marble, Nanci Dixon, Barry and Monique Zander, Keith Ward, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Social media and special projects 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 • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later.
REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on RVtravel.com in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. Learn more here.
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.
RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com.