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February 20, 2021
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).
With Chuck Woodbury
We’ve reached a milestone – 10,000 articles
Welcome to the 988th edition of this Saturday newsletter. We are now midway in our 20th year of continuous publication.
In the summer of 2017, we updated the RVtravel.com website and its newsletters in both design and function. When it debuted, the website contained about 3,000 articles. I am proud to announce that this coming Monday or Tuesday we will pass the 10,000 mark!
Our staff has grown from about a half dozen contributors to more than two dozen – many of them authorities in their fields. According to Alexa.com (the most highly respected website ranking service), RVtravel.com is now the largest single RV information website in North America, perhaps the world. Our audience often exceeds that of CampingWorld.com, with its millions of dollars of advertising and promotion. We are, you might say, the little engine that could!
And, although we are proud to take credit for our success, you are every bit as important. Without you and other readers, we’d be nothing! So, thank you!
OH, THE TERRIBLE WEATHER THIS PAST WEEK!
I know it has been a challenging week for many of you who have had to deal with record low temperatures and power outages. We had snow in Seattle that quickly melted away, and relatively mild temperatures. So I count myself lucky.
We have set up a special page where I hope you will comment about your situation – good, bad or otherwise. If the weather was extreme, how did you deal with it? Did your RV come into play in one way or another? Are you still enduring hardship? Click here to tell us about your experience, or just read the experiences of others.
FED UP WITH FACEBOOK
AND ANNOUNCING OUR NEW READER FORUM
Finally, I have had it with Facebook. We will keep a few of our groups there, as they are an important source of new subscribers to this newsletter. But I will no longer send our readers there to seek or share information and advice. For one, it’s become increasingly frustrating and time consuming dealing with all the trolls and spammers. Instead, within a month, we will debut our own reader forum, where our moderators will keep the trolls, spammers, chronic whiners and close-minded know-it-alls away, and where the discussion will be intelligent, helpful and friendly.
And, we will not track you (we never have) and invade your privacy, as Facebook does, which I find offensive. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook while at Harvard. It was called FaceMash at first. It allowed Harvard men to compare female student pictures side by side and choose which was more attractive.
And now Zuckerberg is arguably the most powerful media mogul in the world. His platform is the world’s single biggest purveyor of fake news, false information and conspiracy theories. Think about its roots — to rate the attractiveness of college girls! A great foundation for a resource that has grown so influential, right? I do not trust Zuckerberg, and choose to no longer promote his efforts. I know many readers are with me on this.
Our reader forum will be a breath of fresh air and a valuable resource to you. If you are interested in volunteering as an assistant moderator (our staff will do the heavy lifting), please let us know here.
That’s about it for now. Thanks for coming along. Keep wearing those masks. Maybe “normal” will return one day soon. Won’t that be nice?
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• 2021 travel: More money for RV park fees?
• Carbon monoxide deaths are increasing
• Fuel prices have increased, even before the Texas cold crisis
• Airstream is going into the tree-growing business
• Can “Winter Texans” get COVID-19 vaccines while in Texas? Depends on who you ask.
• Horrendous accident illustrates necessity of wearing seat belts
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
Are we worth more than “free”?
RVtravel.com, and the hundreds of 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 donate to help us be the best we can be. Now, in these challenging times, your support is needed more than ever. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of only $20 a year comes out to about 4 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.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Be kind to your differential – It’s all you have
• Trucks and RVs: Move over to the left lane – Why?
• Add this to your home departure checklist to prevent damage
• Simple ways to keep RV pipes fresh and clean
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the ProLite E-Volt All-Electric Travel Trailer. He writes, “New for 2021 is ProLite’s E-Volt Travel Trailer, which is quite a bit larger than their first foray into all-electric RVs, the 12V. This newer model carries some of the same credentials as the Palomino that I wrote about in that it’s all-electric – there is literally no propane aboard.” Read more.
Last week’s reviews:
Palomino Revolve EV-2 Travel Trailer • 2021 Leisure Travel Vans Unity FX Class C • Tiger Adventure Vehicles, The Bengal • Earth Traveler T300 – It’s made from chicken feathers. Really! • TrailManor Convertible Trailers
Run your RV air conditioner with only 20 amps. Yes, it’s possible!
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
10 of the most irritating campground rules
In addition to weird RV park rules, there are some rules that are just downright irritating to campers. Sometimes they just don’t make sense to anyone except those in the campground office. Many of you left comments on last week’s article, 12 weirdest campground rules, and said that sometimes these weird rules are made because one weird person does one weird thing. Read more, then tell us in the comments under that post if we missed any park rules that irritate you.
Applications of Google Earth – Part 1: Campgrounds and RV Parks
By Dave Helgeson
This is the first installment of a series on the many useful applications of Google Earth. I have used Google Earth for years … In this installment we will review the useful applications of Google Earth when deciding what RV park or campground best suits your needs and preferences. We’ll also discuss advance navigation clues/difficulties. Learn more.
Their propane “froze”! Wait … Can propane freeze?
By Gail Marsh
This winter’s weather problems have really impacted RVers, especially those who find themselves in the path of snowstorms, ice storms, and record-breaking freezing temperatures. Friends of ours were forced to leave their RV fifth wheel last week when temperatures in Kansas dipped below zero. Frigid temps caused their propane to “freeze.” That was news to me, so I did a bit of research to find out more. Learn about what really happened here.
Video: Single vs. tandem axle trailers: Pros and cons
In this six-minute video, Josh Winters of Haylett RV explains the advantages and disadvantages of single vs. tandem axle travel trailers. There are, indeed, differences. Find out all about them here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
Were you affected by frigid temperatures or power outages last week?
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:
Where did you buy your current RV? See how nearly 2,700 other RVers responded.
Read other polls we’ve run through the years. There are more than a thousand. It’s fascinating reading.
Four cars approach an intersection with four-way stop signs simultaneously, each car coming from a different direction. After stopping, the drivers all accelerate at the same time. However, there is no accident. How is this possible?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter.)
Thanks to Michelle Konst for submitting! Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
RVer shares story of RV park bathhouse; crappy situation unfolds
Rod Andrew sent us this story and it made us smile. His accompanying email said, “I’m sitting in front of a fire in a small cabin on a frozen lake in B.C. Even with the curtailment of our activities imposed on us by COVID, life can still be good.” You’re right, Rod. Thanks for sharing your story about your bathhouse experience. Read Rod’s story here.
Campground Crowding: Is camping becoming a “luxury” item?
More people than ever are taking up RVing. … The result is campground crowding like never before. This week, RV Travel readers discuss campground fees going higher and higher (because of supply and demand … or just plain greed?). They also lament that more RV parks are turning into trailer parks, and suggest that RV manufacturers should invest in RV parks. All that and more here.
Improper trailer hitch extension – A disaster in the making
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A sharp-eyed Mike Gardner, an RVtravel.com reader, sent us this photo he’d taken. If you look closely and count, you’ll find that some enterprising(?) motorhome user had hitched together four trailer hitch extensions, and used them to pull his toad car. Used properly, a trailer hitch extension is a safe problem solver. Used incorrectly, as in this case, it’s a disaster in the making. Continue reading. (You have to see it to believe it!)
Edible or lethal? These 5 apps identify the plants around you
Did you hear about the retired guy who was greeted one morning in his garden by heavily armed DEA agents accompanied by canine assistance? Local authorities suspected the guy of growing cannabis. It turned out to be okra! Or perhaps you read about the woman who narrowly escaped death? She brewed what she thought were comfrey leaves. Turned out the leaves she brewed looked similar but were foxglove leaves instead. Continue reading about why you need to be able to identify plants, and some apps that make that easy to do here.
Inexpensive device stops dangerous RV propane leaks
As an RVer, the last thing you want is propane leaking into your RV’s living space. It can be deadly. Every year such leaks result in RV fires and, sadly, the death of RVers who breathe the deadly gas, sometimes while sleeping. The GasStop will prevent this. Continue reading about this potentially lifesaving device here.
Sta-Bil Rust Stopper stops rust and corrosion
Of the many gremlins that attack your RV, like mold, mildew, leaks and black streaks, rust is the gremlin that will attack your hand tools, spare parts, door hinges and other vulnerable metal surfaces and moving parts over time. STA-BIL® Rust Stopper prevents rust and corrosion by protecting metal surfaces with a long-lasting barrier while lubricating parts and tools to stop squeaks and sticking. Learn more in this article.
How to coil and store an extension cord
VIDEO: How many times have you struggled with untangling an extension cord? Most of us had that experience at one time (or many times), and many likely still do. Some of us eventually figured out ways to coil a cord using a device we bought to organize the process. But not all work well… The folks at the TV program “This Old House” show a couple of excellent ways to coil an extension cord. Continue reading and watch the short video for a “neat” tip here.
She’s collected 90,000 postcards. These trailer postcards will make you smile
By Colleen Weum
When you visit that national park gift shop, the souvenir store, the little grocery stop while on your RV adventure, do you notice the rack of postcards? Maybe you even buy a couple to mail or keep as a memento. … Some folks, like myself, have taken it a bit further and collect postcards, including vintage postcards. Read all about the hobby of deltiology and check out some really cool vintage travel trailer postcards here.
RVers can’t even escape mice at 22,000-foot elevation!
Nope, you can’t escape them. Mice are everywhere. … RV owners dread mice – and with good reason. They make a mess of things, carry disease and are, well, just creepy. So… when you thought you might be able to escape an RVer’s worst nightmare – mice – by escaping to the highest of heights, think again! Scientists have discovered these mousey-mammals at the top of one of the highest volcanoes in the world: Llullaillaco, at the 22,000-foot elevation. Learn more.
Video: Walk through the 2021 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 44S motorhome
In this promotional video from Fleetwood, after examining the exterior features of the 2021 Discovery LXE 44S motorhome, you’ll tour the interior. Take the tour 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, February 20, 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.
Last week two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Bob B. of Eloy, Arizona, and Sylvia E. of Livingston, 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.
Popular articles from last week
Propane shortages. Skyrocketing prices. Problems ahead?
• Simple ways to keep RV pipes fresh and clean
• RVSuperbag: A cozy solution for making those tricky RV beds
• 12 of the weirdest campground rules – You won’t believe these!
• RVelectricity: How to keep warm in a cold RV
• “You can’t fix stupid with duct tape.” Funny sign will make you laugh
• Campground Crowding: Thousand Trails? More like “Zero Trails”!
• Wisconsin truck driver miracle! He survives 70-foot fall
• Climate change moves Interior Department to action
• OMG! These jaw-dropping vehicles will shock you. How can they drive?
• Campground and RV Park News, February 13, 2021
• Is it time to re-level your RV? Here are some signs to look for
• Good News: Things to smile about this week, February 14, 2021
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
We’re not pulling your foot, er, leg with this one. This is really footy, er, handy! See what we’re talking about here.
How would you like to win a pair of Motorola Walkie-Talkie Radios?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 20, 2021) by 7 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.
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.
RV education you can trust from RV Education 101: Get instant access to RV Online Training.
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 update it weekly.
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.
Book is a must-have for state park campers!
This book, “50 States: 500 State Parks,” is a must-have for all state park campers and explorers. The book is a beautiful visual journey through America’s best state parks. Whether you’re looking for stunning vistas, rare wildlife, a dose of history, or an enjoyable hike, the state parks offer an array of experiences. Learn more or order.
RV Repair and Maintenance
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
With Tony Barthel
Power to the people! Portable power inverter for camping
As the world becomes more dependent on “shore power,” it becomes more obvious when we go off-grid entirely that we’re sacrificing something… sometimes. Ryobi has made a step towards making that less so with their new 18-volt One+ 150-watt power inverter.
Ryobi’s One+ line of tools all run from a set of batteries that have been available for many years. The tools I bought years ago run on the latest batteries in the One+ series and the batteries themselves, like all batteries, just keep getting better and better. Learn more.
Fireproof bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables in case of a fire. It’s made with two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material, making it 100% fireproof. It can stand up to fire and heat up to 1000 ℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables will not be harmed. Learn more or order.
Ask the Expert webcast on SoftStartRV, and future webcasts
I’ve tried this type of webcast two times already, and they’ve been a huge success with the manufacturers and you (the readers). What are they? Well, I’m calling them Ask the Expert, since I’m doing hour-long live webcasts with industry experts in each of their fields. So you no longer have to listen to just me yammer on about electrical stuff. Nope, you can get the intel direct from the horse’s mouth, as it were….
In the post are the links to the first two Ask the Expert webcasts, with experts from Progressive Dynamics and SoftStartRV. There’s also a poll which Mike would like you to answer to help him decide which of his many expert contacts in the industry you would like him to interview. Keep in mind that you will be able to text your questions to them during the live webcast. Learn more and please participate in the poll.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
How to fix an open ground problem with a generator
We have a 2500 inverter generator and when we plug the surge protector into the generator it gives an open ground code. Do I need to use the surge protector with the inverter generator and, if not, can that open ground fry components in my RV? Also, is there a way to ground the generator? Thanks. —Leslie
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RVelectricity group on Facebook.
Temperature gun is “essential equipment” for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.
RV Tire Safety
Could the information on your tire sidewalls be worth free tires?
By Roger Marble
I bet that few of you have ever bothered to read and record the important information provided on your tire sidewalls. There are a number of reasons for you to spend the few minutes it will take to do that. Having the facts might even be worth a free set of tires! Find out what Roger is talking about here.
Have a tire question? Sign up for Roger Marble’s new Facebook Group: RV tire news, information and discussion, hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.
Building an RV Park
The RV pads are graded!
Read about Machelle and AJ’s trip to visit their son and his family in Florida, and returning home just hours before the devastating storms hit the U.S. While they were gone, Tractor Tim had cleared two roads and made approximately 20 RV pull-through spaces in the campground. And learn about the new twist in their campground financing situation. All that and much more here.
RV Short Stop
Travel books that highlight weird and wacky RV short stops
By Julianne G. Crane
The National Park Foundation is right when they say almost everyone is happier when planning a trip. I know my husband, Jimmy, and I are. We have made a number of reservations on Recreation.gov for the upcoming RV camping season. Even after a dozen years criss-crossing America, we remain fascinated with the weird and wacky RV short stops. Continue reading for recommendations of books that will give you lots of great ideas of places to visit once we can get on the road again.
Be like Mike Sokol, use silicone!
Mike says: Never use any kind of petroleum-based products on rubber or plastic components in your RV, such as your trailer connector. Doing so will break down the plastic and/or rubber components causing them to swell up and eventually disintegrate. The proper treatment is silicone-based. We use a lot of Heavy Duty Silicone in our shop for general connector cleaning and lubrication. It’s also useful on rubberized door sweeps and such. You can get some of your own here.
RV Fire Safety
An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 10 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 those individuals who are mentally challenged, it’s a good idea to have someone sleeping nearby that’s available and ready to help in an emergency. And for those with a physical disability, a bedside whistle, fire extinguisher, or cell phone should be within reach.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Museum of the Week
Buffalo, New York
Dr. Chris Cohan, curator of the Brain Museum, says, “This is probably the biggest display of brains you’ll ever see.” If that doesn’t intrigue you, what will? The museum displays brain after brain after brain on neat shelves with excellent brain-examining lighting. See how the nervous system works by examining 90 different brains and their internal structures. The museum is on the South Campus of the University of Buffalo in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, so you’ll surely feel like a brainiac. Visit the museum website here to plan your visit.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Bear is a rescue off the streets of Bakersfield. He is 5 and he came into our life as a puppy. Named after Yogi Berra, as we got him the day Yogi died. He is all about the destination. He makes us laugh daily and is the happiest dog we have ever owned. He wants to greet everyone he meets with many kisses!” —Steven Evans
WARNING: Chip bags, kibble bags, plastic mailing envelopes, etc., can be a suffocating hazard for your dog! Read this heartbreaking story and don’t leave your dog unattended with these items!
Kansas has been scientifically proven to be flatter than a pancake. Mathematically, the value 1.000 indicates perfect, platonic flatness. A pancake was purchased from IHOP and was compared to Kansas’ terrain. The pancake had a flatness of 0.957, and Kansas measures 0.9997… just about as close to flat as flat gets. Sorry, Kansas!
Laugh of the Week
In a Laundromat: NOTICE ON WASHING MACHINES: “PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT” (And when the light comes back on you are sure to attract a lot of attention!)
Click here to see what one of our writers, Kate Doherty, found on this funny parking garage sign. Yikes!! Also, did you see her article last week about what she saw on a septic truck? You’ll laugh out loud at the photo and story! Click here.
Leave with a song from the past
Every older guy or gal with some “young guy” or “young gal” left in them will smile when listening to this oldie but goodie, The Ballad of Davy Crockett. This version is by Tennessee Ernie Ford. If you still have a coonskin cap around, you might want to put it on!
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, Kate Doherty, Gail Marsh, J.M. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink 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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