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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).
with Chuck Woodbury
Like most of you, I am sad about the violence at our nation’s capitol on Wednesday. But, no, I am more than sad. I am disgusted. It’s now noon Friday. I have been so upset by what happened that I have been unable to write until now.
I spent virtually all day Wednesday watching and reading the news. And I know many of you did, too, as traffic at RVtravel.com was half of normal. It picked up a little on Thursday, but was still way down.
The terrible incident was the result of an ongoing campaign of misinformation, gladly promoted by news media and in social media because it attracted big audiences and lots of dollars.
Those of you who know how the media works today understands that the easiest way to make money is to be controversial. “Fair and Balanced” is a joke: few online media outlets, right or left, even try to be unbiased anymore because it’s far easier to make tons of money by lying, bending the truth or exaggerating.
I can tell you, with my above-average writing skills, if I were unethical, I could triple my income by sensationalizing what we publish on this website. It would be so easy! I’d just rag on Marcus Lemonis over and over about his business practices – that always attracts big traffic!
When we go back through our traffic statistics, the topics where we stuck our necks out drew ten times the views (views = $$$) of tamer topics. Before the Internet, the slogan “If it bleeds it leads” was the mantra of many news outlets, especially local television. “Good News” stories were always shown at the end of the program.
We recently introduced a feature in our Sunday newsletter called “Good News.” And guess how popular it is? It’s not! Nobody wants to read good news. We post it anyway. If I wanted to make big money I wouldn’t mess with “good news.” I’d just make up an article with this headline: “Rat bites woman as she sits on her RV’s toilet.”
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Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Beware of RV bumper junk
• RV Mods: Quiet that noisy water pump
• Should you balance your travel trailer tires?
• Play it safe when boondocking
• Rough Road Ahead: Four essential tips to avoid the bumps
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 Little Guy MyPod Travel Trailer. He writes, “The MyPod is a solid answer to folks who have very small vehicles but still want a trailer they can easily tow. How small a vehicle are we talkin’? The MyPod can actually be towed by some touring bikes and many trikes. Throw in things like the Prius or Mini Cooper and you’ve got a very, very towable machine.” Read more and take a tour.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
He bought an RV with $20,000 worth of damage. His warning to you…
By Randall Brink
I couldn’t have been happier on the day I took delivery of my Foretravel Grand Villa U300. I had done a lot of research and had decided on a Foretravel for its legendary quality and build. The Grand Villa had everything that a Class A RV owner could want and more (who really needs two ice makers?). I was also fortunate enough to find a Grand Villa within 100 miles of my home – another big plus. … I was soon to realize the danger in failing to look at all facets of an RV brand’s history. Read more.
More people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before. In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. This week our readers weighed in on when campsites are booked but no one shows up – how frustrating! We also compare park cancellation fees across several states (Yikes!), share some advice to snag a site, and then end on a positive note from Eric R. Read it all here.
New coast-to-coast trail lets you bike or walk across the U.S.
Forget RVing across the country – what about biking or walking cross-country? If that sounds like something you’d want to do, you’re in luck. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy began working on the Great American Rail-Trail™ in 2019. Once completed, the trail will stretch more than 3,700 miles from Washington, D.C. to the state of Washington. Now that’s one way to sightsee! Continue reading.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• First-of-its-kind self-service RV park. The wave of the future?
• RVing headed into a confusing place
• My rude, noisy neighbor. Good riddance!
• The most stolen vehicles of the year (and the states they’re stolen in)
Would you buy an RV made in China if the quality was equal to one made in the USA, but priced significantly less?
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:
Have you ever worked for one employer continuously for 20 years or more? See how almost 3,000 other RVers responded.
Are all RV ovens created equal? Do you use yours?
By Tony Barthel
We recently posted a question on our RV Advice Facebook Group. I asked, “Some of you have been reading my RV reviews over on RV Travel, and one of the things I’ve kvetched about are the small 17″ ovens in so many RVs. But I wonder – if you do have an RV with this small oven, do you use it at all and what do you use it for?” Your responses to the questions were enlightening so I thought I’d share. Continue reading for what our readers said, including some great tips.
What is it? “World’s longest truck camper” or Class C motorhome?
We stumbled upon this photo. There was no explanation of what it is, where it is, or anything else. So we’ll ask you a couple of questions: Do you know anything about this RV? If so, please tell us by leaving a comment. And how would you classify it? Check this out then vote in our poll below the post.
Excellent resource about work camping
Some RVers depend on earning income while on the RV road. This can mean working at an RV park in the office or doing maintenance or working the holiday season in an Amazon warehouse. There are literally thousands of jobs available. This guidebook will help you get started, or help you brush up your present skills and/or learn about new work opportunities.
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, Jan. 9, 2021. 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.
In this past week two readers claimed their $25 gift card: Karen K. of Richfield, MN, and Frank H. of California.
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.
Cars to flat tow: Buick Encore GX AWD review
Last week Nanci Dixon wrote that she was still looking for a tow car to “wow!” her. If you’ve been following along, you know her requirements and what she’s looking for. This week, she decided to take a look at the Buick Encore GX AWD. Read her in-depth review here.
We’ve got another installment of mailbox photos that our readers spotted in their travels. Wow! How do people come up with these? If you’re ready to laugh a little, and/or simply be impressed at the creativity of these mailboxes, then you need to click here.
Fruity fact or fiction: $20 bill with a banana sticker
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Critics both outside and inside the United States have plenty to say about the country. Recently, more than one disparager has described the U.S. as “acting like a banana republic.” Could it be due to a genuine U.S. $20 bill with a banana sticker that came out of a Texas U.S. Treasury printing plant? Sound like one of those great internet fakes? Nope, it actually happened – and it’s proved to send “bill collectors” bananas. (Any numismatists reading this?) Read more.
Popular articles from last week
• Service attendant overfills propane tank, RV almost goes up in flames
• Directory of RV Reviews (too many popular posts to list individually)
• The scary truth about thousands of catalytic converter thefts
• Campground and RV Park News, January 2, 2021
• Rough Road Ahead: Four essential tips to avoid the bumps
• View your campground reservations on your map
• I broke into my own RV in minutes! Stop burglars with this easy fix
• Is it OK to drive with one flat dually tire? Nope. Here’s why
• Thor CEO reveals his RV dumping experience gone horribly wrong
• RVelectricity – How to diagnose a hot-skin voltage
• What do mice and birdseed have in common? Our mice battle continues…
• COVID-free towns to visit this summer – No pandemic worries!
The Prize: George Foreman Grill
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (January 9, 2021) by 7:00 p.m. Pacific Standard 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.
Firearms laws guide updated for 2021
The 2021 updated edition of the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has just been published. The book is always a best-seller among RVers, many of whom carry a firearm. The annual guidebook helps ensure they stay out of trouble when crossing state lines. What’s legal in one state may be a felony in another. More than 100 updates from last year. Learn more or order.
Fill in the middle word. This word should correspond with the first and last word.
1) Street _____ Jack
2) Bird _____ Bed
3) Shopping _____ Lady
4) Orange _____ Stump
5) Stamp _____ Lock
6) Wet _____ Fill
7) Air _____ Pad
8) Pocket _____ Keeper
9) Life _____ Company
10) Wish _____ Fragment
(Answers in tomorrow’s Sunday newsletter.)
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.
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.
Nifty device tells you if your RV is dangerously overweight
The CURT BetterWeigh™ is a device that hooks to your vehicle’s OBD II port and reads a combination of factors to deliver readings on vehicle weight, tongue weight, pin weight, payload and weight distribution. It appears to use sensors in the device itself to measure the vehicle’s angle (how much the springs deflect when you hook up your trailer) and combines that with information from the vehicle’s computer to achieve other measurements. All of this is delivered via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet via a proprietary app. Learn more.
John Lennon’s RV gift to his son, Julian
In 1967, the Beatles’ John Lennon gave his 4-year-old son, Julian, a caravan (the British word for travel trailer). This is hardly a typical RV, and you have to wonder why Lennon would give something like this to his small child. Too bad this video is not in color.
This is one cool puzzle!
If you’re like a majority of people, you’ve done a puzzle or two (or 10) during quarantine. If you’re in need of a new one, check this one out. A vintage car with an Airstream on the beach. Puzzles don’t get much cooler – plus the sunset is beautiful! Get one for yourself here. It’s the perfect winter activity!
What is a GFCI nuisance trip?
I’ve been posting a number of short articles on my RVelectricity Facebook Group about GFCI “nuisance” tripping when your RV’s shore power cord is plugged into a 20-amp outlet at your house. And one astute reader asked the most basic of questions: “What is a nuisance trip?” Of course, there are all kinds of possible jokes about using myself as an example of what a nuisance really is, but it is a real thing in GFCI circuits. Read more.
Last call – Mike needs your assistance
If you didn’t already answer the poll regarding “Have you ever plugged your RV shore power cord into a GFCI outlet and had it nuisance trip?” would you please vote now. Mike is gathering information for a research project he’s working on (possible correlation between the GFCI and potential hot-skin condition) aimed at RVers’ safety. The poll is included in the above post. Thank you!
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
Don’t let your connections corrode
I’ve received a number of emails and Facebook comments this week about 30-amp RV extension cord plugs overheating and melting. Now, these particular failures aren’t where the shore power cordset is plugged into the pedestal or the RV itself. These meltdowns seem to occur where a 25-ft. extension cord is plugged into the RV’s shore power cordset. And, yes, many times it’s the connector that’s laying on the ground. Continue reading.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RVelectricity group on Facebook.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This is one of those things you’d probably love to give to someone you don’t really like… Their reaction would be hilarious! Check it out.
RV Tire Safety
Can a “sealant” to prevent flat tires cause problems?
By Roger Marble
I just read a tale of woe about from a motorhome owner who appears to have been sold a tire sealant that caused nothing but problems. Names have been changed to protect the “innocent.” Read what the problems were, and please let us know if you’ve encountered similar problems with your tires.
RV Short Stop
‘Ma’ Rainey House & Blues Museum
With the recent premiere of the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey is introduced to a new generation. Often referred to as the “Mother of the Blues,” she was a musical revolutionary, incorporating various styles of blues, jazz, and her own personal flair. Continue reading about this exceptional woman.
Check back here next week for the latest regarding Building an RV Park. You won’t believe Machelle James’ terrible news! (Good thing she’s a self-proclaimed “Warrior.”)
If I go to a dealer and order my new 5th wheel, do I lose my bargaining power? —Rick M.
I guess if you sign on the dotted line that you will accept the RV, then I think yes, you would lose some bargaining power. My advice, though, is to never buy an RV sight-unseen. For many buyers who do it, things work out. For others it can have ugly consequences. So are you a gambler? My advice is talk to a lawyer before signing any paperwork if you’ll be buying sight-unseen. —Chuck Woodbury, editor
Don’t let winter keep you in the dark!
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.
RV Fire Safety
An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 7 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.
For your fire drill, start by rolling out of bed and crawling low on the floor where the air is clearer. Proceed immediately to your pre-determined safe meeting place and make sure no one is missing. If you are worried about a pet, know your animal’s instinct will be to escape the fire. Although it may seem callous to think through how you’d react if your pet were trapped inside your burning coach, make a decision now whether your pet’s life is worth risking your own.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
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.
Museum of the Week
Centers for Disease Control Museum
If you want to visit the CDC in Atlanta, GA, you might as well visit their museum, at their headquarters, as well. Fun fact: The CDC is headquartered in Atlanta because their original job, in 1946, was to fight malaria. Atlanta had a terrible malaria problem at the time, so that’s where they placed their headquarters. The CDC’s museum isn’t exactly one of the most pleasant museums – you’ll learn about every outbreak and public health horror that has happened throughout the last several decades. However, it sure is fascinating. It’s currently closed due to COVID, but as soon as it opens again, we suggest you check it out. In the meantime, they have online exhibitions for you to enjoy.
Make your phone screen quadruple in size!
This phone screen magnifier amplifies your phone screen 3 to 4 times its size. Using HD zoom optical technology, this lightweight projector is perfect for when you don’t have access to a TV and want to watch videos on your phone. It doesn’t need a power supply, so you never have to charge it. Check it out here.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is Tinker Belle. She loves to sit on the dash of the motorhome and see the highway sites. Sometimes we refer to her as ‘Stinker Belle’ as she permeates the atmosphere.” —David Ozanne
Hungry for a sandwich? You’re not the only one! About 49 percent of American adults eat a sandwich every day.
Laugh of the Week
Have you ever seen the 2006 comedy “RV”? There’s one scene in it that is utterly disgusting, but laugh-out-loud hilarious. We hope this never happens to any of you! Watch the short clip here.
Leave with a song from the past
This song from Tennessee Ernie Ford was a huge hit back in 1955. Enjoy “Sixteen Tons.”
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.
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 information contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
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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