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December 19, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
This free edition of the RVtravel.com 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).
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.
“New RVs sit in fields, unable to be shipped to dealers from manufacturers because of parts shortages”
By Tony Barthel
When you see RV dealer lots empty as you drive around the country it’s not that they’re going out of business. In fact, RV dealers and the industry are thriving. But they’d be doing better if it weren’t for parts shortages that make it difficult to fulfill orders.
According to some sources, there are RVs sitting in fields waiting for just a few parts before they’re considered complete and shipped off to the dealers. And for every RV that a dealer may have on order, there may be multiple people willing to put down a deposit on that RV and buy it sight unseen.
Thor, the world’s largest RV manufacturer, stated in its first-quarter fiscal results that it has $8.9 billion in back-ordered RVs worldwide, predominantly due to parts shortages. That’s like Santa promising you a toy for Christmas and you not getting it until Halloween – if you’re lucky. And it’s not substituted by Jack Skellington.
Options that may have been available to customers and dealers in the past may not be available now due to parts shortages.
“We were told there were options for 12-volt refrigerators,” said one RV dealer employee I spoke with, who noted that it used to be possible to choose between a 12-volt refrigerator or the more traditional RV gas-electric refrigerator. “Now that option is take it or leave it,” he said, referring to only being able to get the 12-volt models.
This was in reference to the shortages of the tyTpical gas/electric refrigerator that is so common in RVs. But recently, 12-volt compressor-based refrigerators are becoming increasingly popular as manufacturers scramble for parts. If there aren’t gas/electric refrigerators available, what’s the alternative?
LIFE UPDATE FROM THE RV TRAVEL EDITOR
Chuck Woodbury has a quick update on what he’s up to these days. He’s not on the road this year as he has been the last few years at this time. He explains.
Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Use self-fusing tape for weatherproof connections
• Setting up trailer light wiring
• Going solar? Be realistic about your power needs
• Five quick tips about your RV awning
• RV winterizing do’s and don’ts
Today’s RV review…
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the ARI Legacy Sleepers. It’s the ultimate big rig! You’ll want to check this out – it’s not your average truck! And, wow! Wait until you see how gorgeous these are inside! Click here to see.
Last week’s reviews
Dynamax DynaQuest XL 3400KD Super C Motorhome • 2021 Jayco Jay Feather 24BH Travel Trailer • 2021 Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser 23TWS Travel Trailer • 2021 Riverside Retro 225 Travel Trailer • Time Out Deluxe Folding Trailer
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
What are the best cars to flat tow? We review some options
By Nanci Dixon
“I have been looking for a new flat towable car for the last couple of years and I’ve read every RV article that mentions them. Yes, I can practically hear everyone chirping: ‘Jeep, Jeep, Jeep!’ Been there, done that.” Read Nanci’s review of several towable cars here, then perhaps help her decide on a new car.
Bizarre places to stay for RVers
In this first installment of a new series, we profile a very unusual place where an RVer might want to spend a night or longer. In a million years, you’d likely never expect to see an overnight accommodation on wheels like this one. This is in no ordinary RV park or campground, but on a farm where you’re almost guaranteed an unforgettable experience. Oh, watch out for the sheep. Check it out.
Campground Crowding: Should some reservations be reserved for state residents?
More people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before. This week we hear from readers about the upside of all of the newbies out there, a request for consideration for all campers no matter their location in a campground, maybe making a percentage of campsites in state campgrounds available for state residents, and more, here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• The strangest road sign we’ve ever seen…
• Police searching for artist who turned famous Chicago “Bean” into Airstream
• RV Shrink: New RV furnace failure fiasco – Factory refuses to fix
• Are RVers eco-pigs or eco-conscious?
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
What a hoot! There’s no question if you wear these you’ll make all who see you break out in laughter. Okay, see what we’re talking about.
Can you find the hidden word in the tangled Christmas lights below? We’ll show you tomorrow…
Would you pay $20 for a one-night stay with electricity in a Walmart parking lot?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
Did you see Friday’s poll, where we asked readers if they are members of the Good Sam Club? We were surprised at how many RVers were once members, but who dropped out. See the poll.
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
Have you ever earned more than $100,000 in a single year? See how more than 2,400 RVers responded.
MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
A cozy gift for your favorite RVer!
These adorable trailer-themed slippers are just what your favorite RVer needs to get them through the winter months. They’re ultra-soft, warm, and comfortable and have nonslip soles so you won’t slip and slide across your RV’s floors. They come in two sizes, S/M and L/XL, so every foot will be happy! Check ’em out here.
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, Dec. 19, 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 past week three people claimed their $25 gift card: Dianne K. of Hollis, OK, Rob B. of Helena, MT, and Bruce G. of Texas.
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.
Is RVtravel.com 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 unbiased news, information and advice about RVing. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of $12 a year comes out to less than 2 cents for each issue we publish that year. And when you become a member, you receive a special member-only ad-free version of this newsletter. Learn more or donate.
The rest of the inspiring “This Little Light” story by Paul Harvey
By Mike Sokol and Paul Harvey
Each of us has (or, at least, should have) some sort of holiday tradition. Of course, many of these holiday traditions will be built around your own upbringing and culture. But for every culture that I’ve ever interacted with there seems to be a common thread. The winter months seem to be the best time to reflect on our ancestors and the various faiths we were brought up in. … Continue reading, and listen to the rest of the story here.
These RVs are merry AND bright! Check out our readers’ decorated RVs
Last week we asked if you decorated your RV for the holidays, or if you had a favorite holiday tradition. We also asked you what your holidays will look like this year. Here are some of the festive responses…
Give winter RV camping a try!
With the pandemic many RVers have resigned themselves to winterizing their RV and staying home this winter rather than going south. While going south may not be in the cards for you this winter, you can still spend some quality time enjoying your RV via winter RV camping. Learn some great tips from veteran boondocker Dave Helgeson here.
More great mailboxes
RV travel readers have been keeping their eyes out for unique, unusual, wacky, weird or otherwise remarkable mailboxes along the back roads they travel. They sent a bunch of good ones in the last couple of weeks. Here they are. Be prepared to be amazed (and almost certainly amused)!
Find 12,000-year-old pictographs at this Texas campground
Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site is a magical destination just east of El Paso, Texas. It’s named for the rock depressions, the tanks, that have held life-sustaining rainwater in the high desert for thousands of years. The Tanks created an oasis for wildlife, vegetation and native peoples. Read more about this fascinating, and calorie-burning, location here.
New RVer turns his fifth wheel into an RVer’s technology dream
In this 10-minute video, a former corporate executive explains how he quit his job to live and travel full-time in a 43-foot, six-slide Jayco fifth wheel trailer. But he just didn’t buy the rig and move in. No, he outfitted it into what he calls “an RVer’s technology dream.” He discusses an excellent system for getting online that works for him. It involves some very creative ways to get reliable cell phone internet connectivity. It’s far beyond what most RVers would ever even think of. Watch the video (and learn) here.
Can you back up a trailer at 50 mph? This guy can!
It took a minute for this video to sink in. Yeah, yeah, it’s a race car driver flying backward down a track with a trailer…. Wait… What? WHAT?! Most of us can hardly back into a campsite, much less fly through a racetrack backward at 50 (we’d guess) mph! How does this guy do it? Boy, we need to polish our reverse skills… Check this out!
Lakes where you can fish without a state fishing license
We profile three RV parks around the USA where you can fish without a state fishing license. For RVing anglers who travel from state to state, it’s a hassle to fish in public waters which require a state license, and the fees can add up. But by staying at RV parks with private lakes, no license is required. Learn about three such places.
Did someone say bacon? Instant Pot bacon-wrapped turkey – Yum!
By Nanci Dixon
I know it is just a few weeks past Thanksgiving turkey, so perhaps that is why I find myself wanting more… or maybe it was just that the current turkey-breast-overstock in the stores triggered impulse buying. So, here I am with a bacon-wrapped turkey breast. Try this quick and easy recipe. We bet you’ll agree with Nanci that it’s “Delish!”
Popular articles from last week
• RVing and autopsy tables
• List of RV Reviews (too many popular posts to list individually).
• Diesel truck owners know how to cheat – big time
• Neither snow, nor rain, nor progress should stop the mail truck
• 7 tips for keeping a happy marriage while RVing
• Goodbye letter from reader. RVtravel.com has grown too impersonal
• Slow movement in RVing couple’s homicide
• RVelectricity: Short video on easily finding a short circuit
• True or false? Popular vehicle myths explained
• Campground News with Janet Groene, December 12, 2020
• Want to camp for free? All it takes is a little work…
The Prize: A pair of Motorola Walkie Talkie radios!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 19, 2020) by 7:00 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Click here to enter and see last week’s winner!
NEW! RV App Review
Roadside America – Don’t miss a thing!
Have you ever come home from a journey and told friends about your prior destination and they then turned around and asked if you had seen a certain landmark or tourist trap that they knew you would love? It stinks missing some of these unusual places that make travel to other localities so special. How do you make sure not to miss these attractions? One of the ways is with this week’s app, “Roadside America.” Learn more here.
Stolen RVs — Help us recover these stolen RVs. The more eyes we have searching for them, the better chance of getting them back to their rightful owners, and maybe putting the crooks who stole them in the slammer! See the stolen RVs.
NEW: Check out all our favorite websites of the day! We compiled a list of (almost) all the websites we’ve ever posted, and we’ll continue to update it.
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.
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.
This is the cutest little micro trailer you’ve ever seen…
And you can buy it for $13! (It would make a great gift too!) See it here.
RVing in 1964
See what RVing was like 56 years ago. A group of friends head off in their RVs to an Oklahoma campground, where they park their RVs around in a circle, covered wagon style. The announcer notes there are a half-a-million such RVs in 1964, but it will be double in 1967. Notice there are no hookups, and no mention is made of Wi-Fi, cell phones or anything electronic beyond a portable TV the kids watch as Mom prepares dinner.
Readers’ top 5 questions on running an air conditioner from batteries
By Mike Sokol
Today I’m going to reach into my mailbag to answer the top 5 questions I’ve received in the last month about running an air conditioner from an inverter in your RV. You can watch me on video by clicking the screenshot, or read a transcription of my Q&A’s here. Also included are advantages of using a SoftStartRV™ controller.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
Building an RV Park
SBA loan delays, videos of elk fighting over pumpkins
By Machelle James
As Christmas music plays in the background, hot tea in hand, I truly have no idea what to write about as AJ and I sit here, waiting … and I mean, WAITING … for our GC (General Contractor) to get the final checklist to our bank. When you apply for an SBA Loan, the checklist alone will make you want to give up. Continue reading and check out their BIG visitors.
The RV Kitchen
Stack-Up Skillet Pie
This tasty skillet pie really stacks up. To make this campfire skillet meal you’ll need a skillet the same size as the tortillas (10 inches). … Garnishes in addition to the scallions might include lime wedges, diced tomato, sour cream or more salsa. For a change try mango, pineapple or black bean salsa. Get the recipe.
MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
An ornament for the National Park lover!
Choose from a selection of beautiful National Park ornaments for the National Park lover in your life. Aren’t these so neat? We want them all! See more here.
Facebook Groups of Interest
• Camping Recipes and Cookouts
• Stealth camper van living
• Inflatable Boats
Plus, join us in our own groups HERE.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Last year’s decorations, spending this year at home.” —Sue Baker
Editor’s note: Sue submitted this to us through our holiday decorating submission form, but we thought these two beautiful dogs deserved to be featured here instead!
Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: Gizmo & Ellie • Tuesday: Bonnie • Wednesday: Anaya • Thursday: Brimley
• Friday: Deja
If you drink wine, and you are an RVer, it is simply not right that you do not have one or more of these. See if you agree.
The eyes of a fly are made up of thousands of tiny lenses called ommatidia. These compound eyes allow flies to see 360 degrees at once. Flies are excellent at calculating the angle of a swatting hand, newspaper or swatter and creating a flight plan to avoid it. When they see a threat coming, they are able to leap backward within 100 milliseconds by using their hind legs to avoid the hit.
Just for fun
If you have watched much commercial TV you’ve seen Lilly on AT&T commercials. But her name is not Lilly, but Milana Vayntrub, and she has a fascinating history including coming to the United States from the Soviet Union as a refugee due to religious persecution. Watch the short video.
Joke of the Week
A revelation about shampoo and weight gain
“I don’t know why I didn’t figure this out sooner. I use shampoo in the shower. It runs down all over my body. Very clearly on the label it says ‘For extra body and volume.’ No wonder I have been gaining weight! Well, I am going to start showering instead with Dawn dishwashing soap. Its label reads “Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove!”
Leave with a [Christmas] song from the past
Hogan’s Heroes stars Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz (Werner Klemperer and John Banner) sing Silent Night (Stille Nacht) in German, the language in which it was first performed in 1818. And after that another Hogan’s Heroes star, Robert Clary (Corporal Louis LeBeau), sings a French carol.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
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.
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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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I loved Hogans Heroes and never knew they did this. Thanks for the memories.
RE: Paying $20 to stay at Walmart –
Totally against that as:
(1) it negates much of the reason for stopping there. (No cost & convenient) Besides we usually spend far more than that on groceries when we do stop at a Walmart.
(2) Turns Walmart into an RV park? Which means – reservations & management issues. Such as – who do I contact if the electric is out? Can I call someone to complain about a neighbor making nose or being a slob? It means that Walmart has to assign someone to then manage paid stays. Who is tracking who should be there -or not? Means having employees walking the lot to see.
We use Walmart for quick overnight stays which are almost always convenient to major highways. We like that we can pull in – find a spot, check with mgmt, do some shopping, and then be gone on our way early next AM. We do not need any hookups – just a legal spot to park for the night. Have always greatly appreciated Walmart for allowing this.
Dealers can’t get RVs ??
Doesn’t seem that way in western South Dakota. The bigger dealers there have in the area of 100 or more and seemingly more coming in. That said the salesmen are confident in moving them.
We are enroute to Q. Should be at Nellis AFB Famcamp tomorrow evening.
Safe travels to all.
Dave n Joyce J.
Need help finding an item. I am looking for hard plastic placards approx 3″x3″ or 4″x4″. One with some kind of electrical logo (lightning bolt, plug or switch), one with a plumbing logo (faucet, etc.) and one with a sewer logo (dump station logo or a toilet, etc.) I want to place these over my speedometer whenever I hook up that item. Then when I leave, no way I can forget to disconnect. We stayed at a friends before Thanksgiving. Only hooked up electric and we were only in the RV to sleep. I came close to forgetting to unplug. Luckily my friend reminded me before we got in for the last time, to drive off. Anyone know where I can order or find something like this?
Until you find something permanent, 3×5 index cards marked with a colored sharpie could fill in.
Here is what I use: Camco RV Steering Wheel Check Bands. They go around the steering wheel and you can’t miss them when you are ready to go.
when I’m all set to leave the campground startup the engine then get out and take one last walk around the motorhome also check that the site is clean or cleaner than when I pulled in. The trick is whenever you start the engine always do the walkaround even when you’re not leaving. Works great.
And a biggie, while doing the walk around have your lights on and your 4 ways flashing so you can check all your driving lights before you roll.
Safe travels to all.
Good point Dave, and I’ll add, have the co-pilot pump the brake pedal to check brake lights.
My co-pilot does the light check. : )
thanks all for the tips. I already have one of the plastic ones for the antenna. They’re designed to attach to the crank handle, but I find that gets in the way. So I lay it blocking the speedometer and has worked great for me. That’s why I thought of similar for the other items. But the steering wheel bands give a few extra. Normally I do a walk around. But in this one instance, parked in the driveway, I know in my head I was about to get in and drive off, but was lucky my friend mentioned it.
may not be wise to buy a new rv built in 2020 or 2021