Wednesday, November 29, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 976

Welcome to, 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!

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Page Contents

November 28, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition

This free edition of the newsletter is posted at 9 a.m. (Pacific) every Saturday (that’s noon in the East). The member edition is published seven hours earlier, at 2 a.m. (Pacific). Readers who make even a one-time financial contribution to this website and newsletter automatically receive a permanent subscription to the member edition, ready for reading first thing with their morning coffee (or other beverage).

Guest essay

‘Tis the season of giving thanks, and of hope

By Nanci Dixon
In this very trying time (very, very trying time), I am reminded that this is the season of giving thanks. I will admit, in the past the meaning of Thanksgiving was usually lost under the anticipation and management of a turkey. Nope, not a favorite uncle – a real turkey. And, of course, the dressing and all the other sides. The true meaning was lost in planning the day with family, setting the table, baking the pies.

The core value of the holiday stems from the giving and teaching between the native peoples and the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The first Thanksgiving was a feast of friendship despite drastic differences, as well as a celebration of survival.

It would seem in this tremendously difficult time – with an overwhelming number of deaths from COVID and with the toll still rapidly rising – this time of division and uncertainty and, yes, even residual hatred, it would behoove us to remember that first Thanksgiving: the coming together and that time of gratitude and hope.

The times are not so different now as they were for those settlers. Over half of their group died that first winter.

I am sure they were hoping to survive what could again be a harsh and cruel winter. In a sense, we are doing the same: hoping to survive what appears to be a harsh and cruel winter… holding out hope.

Hoping to survive long enough for a vaccine, hoping for the resilience of a shattered economy, hoping for calmness and for a sense of being united once again – united with our families, our friends and our nation. United, despite our drastic differences.

So I am holding onto hope and giving thanks. In a season of great distress, the important things seem to narrow to basically health, food, shelter. My children and grandchildren, though long-distance from us, are healthy. My 97-year-old father, one of the most vulnerable, is alive and joining us for an outside, very socially distanced and mostly masked Thanksgiving dinner. And I will remember to be thankful.


We are looking for writers — to report news or write feature articles. Good pay with unlimited potential for highly motivated person who loves to write. Must have professional writing experience. If interested, tell us about yourself at editor (at) Must know RVing inside-out.

Black Friday Special Continues – SAVE 20%
Stay FREE at more than 1,400 wineries and farms
Stay overnight for free at more than 1,400 wineries, farms, breweries, etc.! Harvest Hosts is an alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can taste great wines and micro-brews, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. Now though Dec. 31, save 20% on a membership by using code HHFRIENDS20 at checkoutLearn more


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 this week’s installment of Meet our Readers.

We humbly ask for your support!, 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 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 with premium content, seven hours earlier than the free edition. Learn more or donate.

Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters

Dirty RV windshield? Here’s a quick cleaning tip
Some winter tips for winter RVing
Tow ratings are lower for 4-wheel than 2-wheel drive
Change your brake fluid for reliability and long system life
Be a full-time RVer to save money?

Marathon Coach review
Marathon Coach

Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Marathon Coach – The multi-million dollar motorhome. This incredible motorhome will make you feel like a rock star! Read about its amazing fully-customizable features here.

Last week’s reviews
2020 Black Series Classic12 Travel Trailer2021 Wildcat 368MB Mid-Bunk Fifth Wheel2021 Keystone Outback 324CG Travel TrailerPalomino Backpack HS-750 Truck Camper Boho Camper Van

For previous RV reviewsclick here.

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check which one will fit your vent. Learn more or order.

10 harsh RV realities for beginners

By Dave Helgeson
Many of us that have been RVing for years have learned the realities of RVing via direct experience (aka school of hard knocks) long before the advent of the “information super highway” aka the internet. Nowadays you can easily perform an online search for any subject and be presented with a huge choice of articles and videos. … Here’s a short video (viewed almost 1.5 million times since March 2018) depicting the “10 Harsh RV Life Realities for Beginners.” How many can you identify with?

Free full-timing RV seminar from Escapees

If you’ve had the urge to jump in the old RV and leave – permanently – here’s a class you don’t want to miss out on. The Escapees RV Club, the “go-to” group for full-time RVers, is putting on a full-timing RV seminar on December 6. No need to mask up for this one – it’s an internet-carried session, and there’s no charge for participating. Learn more.

crowded campgroundsCampground Crowding: A few tips and ideas to avoid crowded areas

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. This week readers give us great tips on “camping nearby” our intended destination, work camping to be sure to have a spot, breaking into boondocking gradually and, oh, how about buying your campsite? Real these tips and more here.

Video: 2021 Airstream Interstate GT Feature Review – Part 1

By Andy Pargh
This is Part One of what I hope to be a multi-part series on getting to know the Airstream Interstate. In this video episode, I’ll focus on the exterior features and connections along with the exterior and interior storage areas. The Interstate is part of Airstream’s Touring Coach lineup and is a 24-foot Sprinter van that has been converted by Airstream into a functional motorhome. As stated in the video, I’m one who appreciates Airstream’s contemporary designs, and this model does not disappoint. Learn more.

Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles

At Wally World, some RVers are slobs
Glimmer of hope over RV technician shortage
New RVer asks: Should I carry water in my tank when traveling?
Train slams stalled motorhome on track. See the impact

Reader Poll

How often do you use a printed directory when searching for a campground?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.

The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
Which device do you use the most when reading news on the Internet? 
See how nearly 2,300 other RVers responded.

Brain Teaser

There are five sisters who are busy in one room. Ann is reading a book, Rose is cooking, Katy is playing chess, Mary is doing the laundry. What is the fifth sister doing?

(Shhh. Don’t give it away. The answer is in tomorrow’s newsletter.)

Is this your RV?

If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific Standard time today, Nov. 28, 2020. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.

THIS WEEK, TWO READERS RESPONDED and each claimed a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Congratulations to Dave Adamski of Pasadena, Maryland, and Terri Chavez of Enfield, Connecticut.

We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.

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.

Reserving a campsite for “tonight”? Maybe some help

One of the biggest frustrations facing some RVers is the inability to do a spur-of-the-moment trip. With so many RVers vying for a finite number of RV park spots, it’s nearly impossible to reserve your spot for tonight. Or is it? A new app is about to roll out that suggests you can find an RV park spot without booking it days or weeks in advance. Learn more.

Visit a ghost town with “wild” animals to feed

There’s a certain ghost town along Route 66 where wild animals roam the streets, and where the local merchants encourage tourists to feed them. Oh, they’re not so wild that people are afraid of them (but don’t stand behind and get kicked: that’s another story). Here’s a one-minute video by editor Chuck Woodbury, with a surprise ending, when one of the critters he encounters while driving out of town tries to eat part of his car. Watch the video.

LP alarm goes off even when LP tanks are closed

Chris Dougherty responded to this reader when he was’s technical editor.
Dear Chris,
My LP tanks are shut off. The LP alarm activates and will not stay off. I’ve checked for leaks (with soapy water) – no leaks at the lines. I also replaced the heavy-duty battery (although it wasn’t dead, it did test weak). The sensor indicates it should be replaced if test light is yellow, and not red. I’m getting an orange glow. Before I invest in a new sensor I would appreciate your input… I can’t find a manufacturer’s date on this unit. —Chuck
Read Chris’ response.

Mailbox of the Week

If you keep your eyes open as you travel with your RV, you’ll come across some truly creative mailboxes, like this one taken years ago near Bellingham, Wash., by RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury. Please send your mailbox photos to us. We’ll post them for the rest of our readers to enjoy. Come on! There are some great ones out there! Send to editor(at)

Popular articles from last week

Best RVs of 2021 honored in free, online magazine.
Peek inside luxury RV storage facilities and buy a unit for $366,120.
List of RV Reviews (too many popular posts to list individually).
Dirty RV windshield? Here’s a quick cleaning tip.
Video: Don’t let moose lick your RV!
RVelectricity – Cheap trick for finding a short circuit.
Holy smokes! Is this is what they mean by “crowded campgrounds”?
Building an RV park: What happens when you hit a rock shelf digging for a septic tank!
Campground Crowding: “RVs are built to be self-sustaining.
Consumer Reports skewers Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan trucks.
RV gadget review: Lippert Jack-It® Double Bike Carrier.
Really? Does your RV’s bathroom sink drain into the sewer tank? (Video and poll)

🙂 Saturday Giveaway! 🙂

The Prize: Rand McNally 2021 Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas, which every RVer with an RV taller than 10 feet should bring along on trips.

How to win

We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 28, 2020) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.

Enter here

This contest has ended. Check back next Saturday for a new giveaway!

LAST WEEK’S WINNER of the Happy Camper Wine Glasses was Susan Ruzzamenti of Cedar City, Utah. The previous week’s winner of the George Foreman Grill was Jean Greves of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.


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

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.

RV Clubs
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.

Don’t buy a portable generator
Use your car’s engine instead. Save money. Save hassle. Learn more at

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

A neat trekking pole that helps light your way

When a manufacturer actually goes camping you can tell. For example, SylvanSport sent me their WayLight Multi-Functional Camping LED Light and Trekking Pole. You can tell that these folks camp. The WayLight is an LED device, among other things. Essentially this is a walking stick with two different USB-rechargeable LEDs on the top: a round ambient light and a more focused beam-style flashlight. Continue reading. (Note: Tony really loves this gadget!)

Featured video

The history of Triple E RV

In this short video, learn about the modest beginnings of Triple E RV, including the remarkable act of kindness by employees after a fire destroyed the manufacturing plant in the 1970s.

These earrings sure are… Charmin’! 
Know someone who has a good sense of humor? Here’s a perfect gift for them! These hilarious toilet paper earrings will surely bring a smile for the holidays. Find them here and see a few other fun gift ideas too. (Toilet paper ornament, anyone?)

RV Electricity

Do I need a surge protector on an inverter generator?

Dear Readers,
I’ve written a number of times about the reasons for using a Total Electrical Protection (or EMS) surge protector on your RV, even when you’re plugged into your generator. And I’ve noted that I’ve seen cheap clone generators fail and go over-voltage, but I had never seen a Honda inverter generator fail and put out too much voltage – UNTIL NOW. Continue reading.

This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session

Generator bonding basics

This article appears exclusively in the member edition of this newsletter. Become a member to receive the advertising-free edition with premium content like this.

RV Short Stop

Bald Eagle (Blackwater NWR)

Winter is awesome bald eagle watching time

Bald eagle watching is an awesome winter activity for families across much of North America. These magnificent birds mate for life and build their nests in tall trees near rivers, bays and wetland areas. The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. Many of the refuges are year-round and winter homes to these imposing migrating raptors. Learn more about where you can watch these majestic birds here.

. . . that any RVer would love as a gift. Perfect for the RVer who has everything. And for less than $13. See for yourself.

RV Tire Safety

People still erroneously blame “defective” tires for “blowouts”

This column appears exclusively in the member edition of this newsletter.
Become a member to receive the advertising-free edition with premium content, including the weekly column by our RV tire expert Roger Marble.

RV Fire Safety

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 4 of 13

Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation.

Your next step is to determine where you and your passengers would meet if a fire occurred. A preset meeting place at each destination will help to quickly determine if everyone has safely exited the coach.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Fire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-pack
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.

Photo by @experiencinglife78, Instagram

Museum of the Week

International Towing and Recovery Museum

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, TN, is the birthplace of tow trucks and is home to the largest tow truck factory. The group “Friends of Towing” built this museum to honor the town’s past and preserving its towing history. Inside you’ll find tons of old tow trucks (and they’re pretty neat looking), old hardware, historic artifacts and much more. If you’re nearby, it’s worth a stop. Visit the official museum website here.

Travel off the beaten path…
Off the Beaten Path spotlights more than 1,000 of the United States’ most overlooked must-see destinations. In a state-by-state A-to-Z format, this budget-friendly planner reveals the best-kept secret spots so that no matter where you live, you can plan an unforgettable local vacation. Revel in nature, science, art and culture, and encounter the unexpected as you explore undiscovered gems. Learn more or order.

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This is Kacey watching for his camping buddies. He is a 5 yr. old Coton de Tulear rescue. We really were lucky to find him. Camping in the Hitchhiker is his favorite thing to do.” —Kim Lewis

Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: Josh & Honey • Tuesday: Frankie & Rusty • Wednesday: Bella & Sushi Thursday: Emma • Friday: Gypsy & Baby


When was the last time you ate something at McDonald’s? Can you guess how much the fast food giant makes in a day? OK, fine, we’ll tell you. Every year McDonald’s takes in about $27.45 billion, which breaks down to $75.21 million each day. Wow! That’s a lot of Big Macs…

Laugh of the Week

From comedian George Carlin:

Is your RV just sitting around most of the time?
If so, consider renting it out for a part-time or even a full-time income. Learn more.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

RV Travel staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Barry and Monique Zander, J.M. Montigel, Clint Norrell, and Andrew Robinson. Social media and special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. 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 • Tom Hart + others who we will add later. 

REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. For information contact .

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 or this newsletter. 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 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 help? Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


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David Fisher (@guest_104343)
3 years ago

Reading Nanci’s editorial is cause to stop and give thanks for all that we have and for those who gave it to us. However, the emphasis on the current pandemic is partial misplaced. Yes, it is terrible disease and I too am looking forward to a vaccine to help prevent it. The thing I take issue with is the constant erroneous reporting of the number of deaths. The often stated so called fact that “hundreds of thousands” have died from Covid-19 is untrue! What is true is that this huge number people died WITH the disease but according the CDC, NOT FROM the disease. The CDC reports the death rate from Covid-19 is around .02-.03 percent. The vast majority of these deaths are because of
other health issues, i.e., heart disease, diabetes, etc., even car accidents and yes gun shot wounds.
I have had family members contract Covid-19 so I am aware of how serious it is. I respect it but I will not live in fear of it even though at 84 years old I am in the “most at risk” category.

Dennis (@guest_104377)
3 years ago
Reply to  David Fisher

Well said Mr, Fisher. Common sense has disappeared in the world these days.

Chuck (@guest_104408)
3 years ago
Reply to  David Fisher

Also agree Mr Fisher, well said

Steve (@guest_104252)
3 years ago

Are you telling me that first you delay the release of the newsletter to be “non-members” to “twist” an arm or two. Understandable.
And now you’re ditching the Tire column to “non-members”. I guess the previous twist wasn’t hard enough. What’s next? Especially since the tire column is a SAFETY issue. Kind of low if you ask me.

Charles (@guest_104259)
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

I thought the same thing! I was going to read about the tires, but found out it was a members only section. Just went to my email to unsubscribe. Really enjoyed this newsletter when it first started, but now if you don’t agree with something you’re a troublemaker.

Dennis (@guest_104379)
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles

I agree, I sold my last motorhome because I no longer felt comfortable driving it any longer but I used to really enjoy this publication every Saturday morning, even after the motorhome was gone.
Recently though I’ve felt the content has deteriorated.

Don (@guest_104260)
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s not just the tire columns they’ve withheld for “members only” it is several articles they are holding back. The JAM (just ask Mike) are articles on RV electrical safety which are now, for “MEMBERS ONLY” Here’s the best part, their reasoning behind these “changes” are due to some “mean spirited comments” about an interracial article done several weeks ago. What a farce, I mean really this is a script you would expect to see from Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul……..good riddens RV Travel, lost another faithful reader

Dale (@guest_104273)
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Hmmm. I thought I was a member. I thought there was a glitch with the article. Who knows?

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Dale

Hi, Dale. I just checked the records based on your comment and I don’t see you listed as a donor/member. Did you donate at some point and our records are messed up? If so, please let us know at editor(at), or write to me personally at diane(at), and we/I will check into this. Have a good night. 🙂 —Diane at

Tom B (@guest_104245)
3 years ago

Laugh of the Week quote is by George Carlin

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom B

Thanks, Tom! Emily put that in and I forgot it was from George Carlin – one of my all-time favorite comedians. I’ve added the source. Have a great day, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

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