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 20th year of continuous publication, is made possible in large part by the voluntary subscription contributions from our readers.
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!
October 3, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
Why do we do things a certain way without knowing why? Do you ever accept “truths” told to you by a parent or friend? When you ask someone why you should do something a certain way and get the response, “Because that’s the way it’s always done,” do you just accept that answer or question it?
Permit me to tell a short story: An animal researcher put four gorillas in a big cage, their new home. Beginning the next day and for each day thereafter, he lowered a bunch of bananas into the center of the cage. When the gorillas grabbed for the bananas, the researcher sprayed them all with a high-pressure hose that caused great pain. Even if only one of the animals went for the bananas, they all got hosed. Soon, the smartest gorillas began restraining those who still grabbed for the fruit. Before long, all knew to leave the bananas alone to avoid the awful punishment.
Then, the researcher removed one of the gorillas from the cage, replacing it with another one, which, of course, grabbed for the tasty bananas when offered. But the other three gorillas, knowing the painful consequences, held the new gorilla back. Soon, the new gorilla avoided the bananas, too.
One by one, each of the original gorillas was replaced with a new one. Each time, the newbie was physically restrained when grabbing for the bananas. Finally, the last original gorilla was removed from the cage leaving four gorillas that knew nothing of the powerful hose.
The last arrival, like those before him, quickly learned to avoid the fruit. And so it came to be that none of the animals went for it.
A human observing the scene at this point might wonder, “Why don’t they eat those bananas?” If the gorillas could speak, they might say, “We don’t eat them because that’s the way it must be,” with no further comment.
Ask yourself. What do you do in your daily lives “because it’s always done that way?” Think of the gorillas. You might find that you don’t have a clue, other than someone told you so.
P.S. We are looking for correspondents in Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, the U.K. and Europe. All have very active RV communities. Share with us what RVing is like where you live. If interested, contact us here.
MEET YOUR FELLOW READERS
In our search to know our readers better, we’ve asked that they tell us about themselves. We know that thousands of them have followed us for a decade or more. We’ve met a few hundred of them through the years, which has been very nice. But who else, we wonder, reads what we write week after week? So, please, tell us about yourself! Here’s our fifth installment of Meet our Readers.
The trashing of our public lands. Case in point
This message was posted September 10 in our Facebook group Crowded Campgrounds by a representative of New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. I doubt very much the readers of this newsletter would contribute to this sort of trashing of our public lands. I suggest that if you have any place to pass along this story – on your social media page, for example – please do so; perhaps it will help spread the word that this sort of behavior is unacceptable. —C Woodbury, editor. Read the disheartening/infuriating but important message here.
Are we worth two cents to you?
RVtravel.com, and the 650 newsletters about RVing we publish every year, would not be possible without the financial support of our members, those 3 percent of all readers who voluntarily subscribe. Now, in the most challenging time of our lives, your support is needed more than ever for us to be your #1 source of news, information and advice about RVing. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of only $12 a year comes out to less than 2 cents for each issue we publish! And when you become a member, you receive a special member-only ad-free version of this newsletter. Learn more or donate.
Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Preventing roof leaks – in a way you may not have considered.
• Leaving home – A checklist for successful domicile “abandonment”.
• Stay warm when camping in cold weather.
• Where do you hitch your breakaway cable?
• Tips for Interstate highway RV driving.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
RV packing on the pounds? Try these 10 steps to shed some rig weight
By Nanci Dixon
I read an article by Greg Illes about RV weight last week and decided it was time for our RV to lose some weight too. Along with us, our motorhome seemed to have gained some COVID weight — the result of too much time for too much online shopping. Continue reading.
Casino RV camping, October 3, 2020
This week our RVtravel.com readers and Facebook friends had some great advice and also a few warnings about casino camping and gambling to pass along. Read more.
Video: Notorious low underpass claims another RV
Watch what happens when an RVer towing a fifth wheel trailer ignores warning signs and even runs a red light and attempts to pass beneath what is probably America’s most infamous low bridge. It’s not pretty. Watch and weep (and then measure the height of your RV so this doesn’t happen to you).
Video: Acrobatic elk somersaults on cue
When the hormones are strong, seems like guys of every species sometimes forget common sense. Elk are no exception. Fall is here, and the elk mating season is up and running in Utah. For one hapless bull, intent on chasing his lady friend, a fence was not about to stand in his way of conquest. Read more and watch the video. (The elk doesn’t appear to have been injured in the acrobatics.)
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Another unsanitary RV park utility hookup
• RV Shrink: Dealing with a nosy campground neighbor
• Will “rubber band barriers” save you from death or injury?
• Top RV dealers named by industry publication
If I am holding a bee, what do I have in my eye?
(Shhh. Don’t give it away. Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
For couples: Do you or your partner snore?
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 walk or jog regularly for exercise? See how nearly 2,500 other RVers responded.
I just spent $106 on a $3 shower replacement part…
By Nanci Dixon
It can be hard to find a part for your RV these days. With brick-and-mortar stores carrying a lot fewer items and online sales the new normal, finding a simple replacement part for an RV has gotten much harder. I just spent $106 to get a $3 plastic bracket that broke on the shower spray bar in my RV’s shower. What the heck?! Read more.
Here are the top 5 complaints to the RV park office
A variety of things make for not-so-happy campers. Have you ever wondered what campers complain about the most? Do other people share the same annoyances as you? We have answers. Here are the top five complaints the campground office gets from campers at one park.
Bronco Sport. Too bad for RVers, it can’t be flat-towed
The Ford Bronco Sport has a tough job. It needs to live up to its Bronco nameplate, and be the most off-road capable crossover in the segment. If the Sport can do that, it will surely inject some much-needed interest into the otherwise boring compact crossover class. But Motor1 has just uncovered a drawback to choosing the Sport over the regular Bronco, and it’s the inability to flat tow the vehicle. RV owners, we are sorry. Learn more.
Instant Pot Cookin’: A fresh taste on a Southern dish
By Nanci Dixon
I just plain love my Instant Pot™! I love collard greens too. If you haven’t had collard greens before, this is a flavorful, easy way to try them. Collard greens are part of the kale and broccoli family and, just like kale, contain mega-amounts of vitamin K. … And the best part is, they taste good! Read more and get the recipe.
Bumper grill means grilling where no one has grilled before
Start-up company HitchFire has introduced the Forge 15. It’s a hitch-mounted grill touted as “grilling where no one has grilled before.” A swing-away truck grill, the Forge 15 features a powder-coated steel body built atop a tubular frame. It attaches to standard 2-inch receivers. … It’s built to travel rugged backroads smoothly. Learn more.
Campground crowding. Discussion for October 3, 2020
More people than ever are taking up RVing. These newbies have determined that RVing is the safest way to travel in our pandemic times. The result is campground crowding like never before. In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. Maybe we can make some sense of this and find ways to work around the problem. Here are a few observations from our readers.
Popular articles from last week
• Boondocking gone wrong: One woman’s experience.
• The Airstream Nest failure: A closer look.
• Campground crowding. Discussion for September 26, 2020.
• Deep-clean the black tank to prevent nasty outhouse smell.
• This may look like an RV, but it’s far from it!
• New device keeps your fresh water tank clean. So simple, yet effective!
• Casino RV camping, September 26, 2020.
• Sales of new RVs continue to soar.
• 2021 Chevy Silverado: Increased towing for versatile new truck.
• RVelectricity – Hybrid inverter-powered air conditioner.
• If you don’t like the view out your window … move.
• Say what? New Hummer EV will include “Crab Mode.”
SWELL CONTEST OF THE DAY
How would you like to win this Rand McNally 2021 Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas? 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 (October 3, 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.
AllStays: The best website for RVers! Your membership will become your RV-bible.
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.
Add a cozy mood to your RV with these flameless candles
There’s nothing like a candle to add a romantic glow to your home or RV. This set of three flameless candles fits the bill perfectly. And, boy, do they look real! They’re made of genuine paraffin wax with realistic dancing LED flames that add a festive or romantic mood to any room safely, even in the presence of small children and pets. Learn more or order.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
My two favorite black tank dumpin’ gadgets
Dealing with the black tank is one of the least enjoyable parts of the RV lifestyle. When a product comes along that makes the process even a little bit friendlier, I’m in. As such, two Camco products have really made my black tank dealings less miserable and have taken some of the frustration out of parts of this process. Continue reading.
It’s a travel trailer. No, it’s a boat. No, it’s both!
You’ll love this British video from the mid-1950s. It’s one man’s idea of how to improve on the run-of-the-mill travel trailer (“caravan” in British lingo). Why limit yourself to camping on land when rivers are nearby?
Don’t buy a portable generator
Use your car’s engine instead. Save money. Save hassle. Learn more at CarGenerator.com.
Avoid space heater danger: What you need to know
This is a special two-part article on a topic that’s not only seasonal, it’s very important to your safety, both in your home and your RV. This is about electric space heaters and how dangerous they can be if not used correctly. Be sure to answer the poll at the bottom of the story where we ask about whether you do or do not use a space heater in your RV. Continue reading.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Dogbone adapter confusion cleared up – Part 1
I’ve had several postings this week over on my RVelectricity Facebook group about dogbone adapters. No, these are not the bones that you actually feed your dog. … In the RV world these are AC power adapters that allow you to plug your 50-amp shore power RV into a 30- or 15-amp pedestal outlet. Or you can go the other way ’round and plug your 30-amp shore power RV into a 50-amp pedestal outlet. Read more.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
What tire inflation should I run? It depends…
By Roger Marble
The question as asked is simple but, of course, I have to make the answer complex. Not really. However, there are two different answers. One is for “motorized vehicles”: Class A, Class B, Class C and tow vehicles. The answer for trailers, be they teardrop or triple-axle 5th wheel trailers, has some minor but important differences. This post will address the motorized vehicles so I don’t have to keep switching back and forth. Continue reading.
RV Short Stop
New Orleans: So much to see and do – even during pandemic
New Orleans is more than just Bourbon Street. There is so much to see and do in New Orleans, even during the pandemic, that it makes one’s head spin. New Orleans City Park is one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful urban parks in the United States. Read about these great suggestions from Julianne G. Crane, and then plan your trip.
RV Fire Safety
Only fight small fires on your own
Always leave large fires to the fire department, and only fight small fires that are contained, within reach, and that you can fight with your back toward a safe escape. If you have the slightest doubt if you should fight the fire, don’t attempt it! Instead, get out and away fast. —Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Fire-resistant 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
Museum of Clean
Well, if you were worried about visiting a museum right now because of COVID, worry no more. What better place to go than to the Museum of Clean? This 75,000-square-foot museum is all about being clean. Owner Don Aslett, the “King of Clean,” says the museum’s goal is to teach visitors how to be clean and how to want to be clean. This includes having “clean language” and “clean minds.” You’ll learn how to clean your home and car, yourself, and other physical things, as well as what it means to live in a “clean world.” You’ll also find a very impressive vacuum collection inside. People love this place! Check out the website here.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“‘I’m ready to head out!’ This is Diesel. She is about 6 months old. San Felipe, Baja California.” —Marilyn Maxwell
This lint-roller works like a vacuum
Used by the RVtravel.com staff!
We can’t recommend this lint-roller enough. This eco-friendly, reusable (no wasteful sticky tape!) lint-roller sucks up lint and pet hair like a vacuum. Simply roll back and forth over your clothing, on your furniture, or even on carpets or rugs. The lint and pet hair collects inside a small compartment that you empty once full. It works like a charm and it will save you money in the long run! Learn more or order here.
Trivia: A Halloween favorite treat!
35 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year. The sweet candy dates back to the 1880s, where workers would cook sugar, corn syrup, marshmallow and other ingredients in large kettles. They’d then pour the mixture by hand into trays imprinted with the famous kernel shape. The Goelitz Confectionery Company, now Jelly Belly Candy Company, began selling it to the public in 1900. And do you know why it’s called candy corn? Check out the photo to the left. Did you know it looked like an ear of corn?
Laugh of the Week
This hilarious DIY face-mask-tutorial-gone-wrong will surely give you a chuckle. Watch it here, then click through and watch the rest of the videos on Kay’s channel. She’s great!
Leave with a song from the past
A song for everyone dealing with wildfires
Here’s a familiar song from 1957 that we hope a lot of people affected by wildfires are soon able to sing.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Emily Woodbury, Russ and Tiña De Maris. Contributing writers: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Nanci Dixon, Barry and Monique Zander, J.M. Montigel, Tony Barthel, Clint Norrell, 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, who was taken from us by the coronavirus.
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. For details, write Chuck Woodbury at chuck (at) RVtravel.com .
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.
Need assistance? Contact us.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com.