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March 13, 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
The big news this week is that a large study of RVers has revealed that there are now a whopping 11.2 million RV-owning households in America. That’s 62 percent more than 20 years ago. Those of us who have been RVing all that time definitely have noticed. I’ll take a wild guess and say there are no more campsites today than 2001. There are likely more RV parks, but hundreds, maybe a thousand or more public campgrounds have been closed.
The new survey reveals that the age of today’s RVers is roughly split between over 55 and younger than 55. The 18-34 year old group now makes up 22 percent of the market. And here’s a little something to chew on: An astonishing 9.6 million households intend to buy an RV within the next five years.
“I did the math and that comes out to 5,260 new RVing households a day!”
I don’t know about you, but I am not looking forward to competing with all those newbies for a campsite. If you think finding an available site today without a reservation is difficult, it will seem like child’s play when those roughly 20 million people head out in search of peace and quiet, and, of course, Wi-Fi access and jumping pillows for the kids.
What really rubs me wrong about all this is that the short-sighted RV industry – the people who manufacture RVs and the association, RVIA, that promotes them – is not paying attention. What they care about is selling RVs, and who cares what the people who buy them do with them or whether they can find a place to stay? Hey, there’s always a Walmart parking lot. The RVIA must begin aggressively promoting the creation of more campgrounds and they must start now!
If you have been following me for a decade or more (many of you have), you know I have talked about this before, but more often lately. I do not know anymore what the word “camping” even means. An old definition of camping was getting away from the comforts of home to “rough it” – to be with nature, to escape the busy world. Now, with our modern RVs, the idea is to take as many comforts of home with you even when traveling with an itty, bitty teardrop trailer, many of which these days have an air conditioner, microwave, built-in stereo system and high-definition TV.
We will be writing extensively about this in the weeks and months ahead, trying to make sense of what it means to you and me and all the other RVers out there – full-timers, snowbirds, weekenders, work campers, entrepreneurs who choose to work remotely, traveling nurses, pipeline and wind machine workers, and, of course, families who simply want to “camp” in an old-fashioned way (who don’t need the internet to post their “see how much fun I’m having that you are not!” messages on Facebook).
We are beefing up our news staff (announcements coming soon), and adding a weekly podcast, where we will explore RVing in all its forms. We will continue to promote the creation of new “overnight”-only campgrounds to aid RVers who prefer to travel freely, without a strict itinerary – those like me who prefer to “go where they want, when they want,” which was possible even 10 years ago. The RV industry still promotes that slogan, but it’s a lie.
Frankly, I should be retired now that I am approaching the age of dirt, but I am fascinated by how we now live our lives – including in mobile ways (RVs). I need to stick around to explore what it means.
P.S. We will have another, more detailed story about the new study of RVers in tomorrow’s newsletter.
ALSO: I hope you will read this short essay that I stumbled upon. It’s a brief, sad story, but I hope you will read it anyway: It’s a reminder of something very important. Read it here.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• More about the new study of RVers
• The RV show doesn’t go on – and it’s not a COVID cancellation
• RV dealer provides rare insider information to RVers
• Gasoline shortages in Texas from February storms; New England may also be affected
• One city is one hearing away from banning construction of any future gas stations
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …
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Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Tax Corner: A follow-up to “Keeping track of income and expenses for a business”
• Tax Corner: Keeping track of income and expenses for a business
• RV just sitting around? Here’s how to use it more
• Do you end up paying more for less? These hints might help
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Renegade Classic Toterhome. Go big or go home with this RV, as Tony says. Check out this huge RV and take a video tour of the interior.
Last week’s reviews:
Bean Teardrop Trailers (the coolest teardrop Tony’s ever seen) • 2021 Jayco North Point 382FLRB Fifth Wheel • 2021 Cruiser Embrace EL 260 Travel Trailer • Venture Sonic Lite SL160VBH • 2021 Flagstaff 524EWS Fifth Wheel
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Campground Crowding: Missing the good ol’ days
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 continue to ponder whether RV manufacturers should build campgrounds to help alleviate some of the campground crowding; more people are, sadly, thinking of giving up RVing; a disabled veteran who had to shell out big bucks in cancellation fees due to COVID; room to spare in Florida campgrounds; and folks missing the “spontaneity” of camping enjoyed previously. Read all those comments and more here.
RV awnings: Everything you need to know
By Tony Barthel
An awning seems so simple, especially on newer RVs where it opens at the touch of a button. There are a few basic tips to keeping your awning in top shape and looking great. There are armless awnings, manual awnings, and many other styles, but virtually all the mainstream RVs come with the power awning with the arms on the side of the coach. That’s the one I want to focus on today…. Learn all about types of awnings, care and cleaning of awnings, awning “rules,” cool upgrades, awning myths, and much more, here.
More weird, wacky and wonderful RVs
Here’s another installment of some of the oddest RVs ever built or even imagined. Most, if not all, never rolled off an assembly line. Get ready to shake your head in wonder, and probably laugh, too. Click here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Ford’s new entry-level pickup ready for under $20,000
• Coronavirus worries RVer with upcoming travel plans
• RVing: Be safe and happy every day with the 3/300 rule
• The Geezermobile and me: A widower’s journey getting back on the road
Is RVing Australia or New Zealand on your bucket list?
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:
How do you feel about paying $50 a night for an overnight stay in an RV park? See how more than 3,000 other RVers responded.
Read other polls we’ve run through the years. There are more than a thousand. It’s fascinating reading.
As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with 7 wives. Each wife had 7 sacks. In each sack were 7 cats. Each cat had 7 kittens. Kits, cats, sacks and wives – How many were going to St. Ives?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Thanks to Warren Gress for submitting! Warren wrote, “Here is a brain teaser that I remember my Dad giving me 60 years or so ago.” Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Casino Camping: Is it a cure for campground crowding?
We had been posting a weekly column about casino camping pre-COVID then stopped when the casinos began to shut down. As things are opening up and RVers are again on the move, we are adding this column back occasionally into the newsletter. This week readers list some of their favorite casinos in Nevada, Arizona and California, here. While you’re at it, please tell us your favorite(s) using the form below the article.
New technology gives 360º tours of campgrounds, pick the perfect site
CampgroundViews.com, a popular website where you can view photos of individual sites in many campgrounds across the country, has brought the process of finding a campsite into the 21st century. Using 360 videos with an augmented information layer, the company will allow campers to virtually tour a campground, see the roads, see the sites, get information on a site of interest and click to book that site. Continue reading.
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. Comes in a one- or two-pack. Learn more or order.
The 1973 Ford Explorer pickup – A wacky RV concept!
By Tony Barthel
The 1970s were an interesting time for the RV world. RV sales were starting to really take off and even the auto industry took note, culminating in GM’s introducing the GMC Motorhome in 1973. The concept Ford Explorer, which was shown at the Chicago Auto Show in 1973, had a tent as part of the design. Therefore, it could be argued that it was a nod to the RV industry. Read more.
Make-ahead foil packet meals. Warning: You’ll drool
By Gail Marsh
Okay, so that title’s a bit of a mouthful. What’s a better mouthful is eating make-ahead foil packet meals. Yummy! What I like best about foil packet meals is that you can prepare them ahead of time. Once they’re prepared, store them in the fridge, and then cook them on the grill or in your RV oven. Options, people! And did I mention yummy? You’ll want to try these easy and delicious recipes, for sure!
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, March 13, 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 one reader claimed their $25 Amazon gift card: Herb B. from 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
• The top 5 trailer towing mistakes owners make
• RV shipments set to soar, hit all-time record. Good or bad news?
• RV jacks won’t retract? Try this
• Is it safe to bring a propane tank inside an RV?
• Campground Crowding: Demand pricing is more common than we thought
• Time to de-winterize and sanitize the RV water system
• RVelectricity: A tale of solar generators and sock puppets…
• Readers say THIS is the worst kind of road to drive. We offer tips
• Tire pressure gauges lose accuracy over time. Here’s how to check them
• An important guide to getting medical help while on the road
• Campground and RV Park News, March 6, 2021
• Good News: Things to smile about this week, March 7, 2021
How would you like to win a George Foreman Removable Plate Grill?
Easy cleanup is essential, and that’s what the removable grill plates are all about. Pop them in the dishwasher after grilling and they’ll be ready to go for your next meal.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (March 13, 2021) by 7 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.
Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Where is this?
Where is this? Do you want to guess? Hint: Not too far away you could lose your shirt, so to speak… Take a guess, then we’ll tell you instantly if you’re right or wrong, and where to find this unusual thing (whatever it is).
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 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.
RV education you can trust from RV Education 101: Get instant access to RV Online Training.
You can’t call yourself a fan of RVtravel.com if you’re not signed up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter! The Daily Tips newsletter has it all: quick tips, popular articles, polls, a website of the day, clubs and useful organizations, trivia, a pet of the day, a joke, and so much more! You don’t want to miss out! Sign up here.
RV Repair and Maintenance
5 important RV spring checks. Is your RV ready for the road?
Mark J. Polk, RV Education 101
For lots of folks around the country, spring is in the air, and that means spring checks to get the RV ready for another adventure-filled camping season. … When it comes to RV spring checks, my list is comprised of what I refer to as essential and non-essential checks. Cleaning the windows is a good idea, but it is non-essential, whereas maintenance on the RV battery is essential. Read the rest of Mark’s post and watch his very useful video.
This tip from Mark Polk ran in our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter this past week, but for those of you who don’t subscribe (why not?), here it is again:
TRAILER TOWING MISTAKES
The top 5 trailer towing mistakes owners make
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
What do you think about these? They’re either going to really hurt, or they’ll make a world of difference!
Spring has sprung, along with campground pedestal dangers
I can tell that spring has nearly sprung because I’m getting a lot of chatter on my various groups and forums about campground pedestals that are shutting off RV Advanced/EMS surge protectors. Many of you know that they’re only doing their job and protecting your RV from incorrect pedestal wiring and voltage. But they’re also there to protect you and your family from open grounds that can lead to dangerous hot-skin voltage. Here’s a quick review of what can go wrong with pedestal power, and why I believe that an Advanced/EMS Surge Protector should be used by everyone, every time. Continue reading.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Geeks having fun with arcs and sparks…
A reader asked Mike Sokol: “This is a generic question – the difference between an arc and a spark. Seems like multiple conflicting definitions.”
Just in case you don’t think that electrical geeks have fun – here are a bunch of answers to that question that were posted on my RVelectricity Facebook Group. …
Continue reading Mike’s truly fun and heavily illustrated answer here.
RV Tire Safety
Adjusting tire pressure in heated garage in cold weather
By Roger Marble
I found a chart that covers how to adjust tire pressure when you are inflating tires inside a heated garage (heated to 65° F) when the truck or RV will be moved to a very cold location. I am hoping that when you study the adjustment you will better understand what, if any, adjustment is to be made with your vehicle’s tires under these conditions. Continue reading.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Jalama and her three siblings were dropped off in a cardboard box at the Santa Barbara Humane Society at four days old. Our friend and her foster mom named the four puppies after local beaches. Since we camp regularly at our local campground, Jalama Beach, we believe we were destined to be together, especially when we’re camping!” —Diane Lawrence
3-in-1 NOAA radio, flashlight and phone charger must-have for RVers
This emergency hand-crank radio is a necessity for RVers. Keep it somewhere safe, you never know when it will come in handy. The 3-in-1 radio is also a bright LED flashlight and a smartphone charger. The radio can be charged via solar charging, hand cranking or a USB plug. You’ll want to buy one here.
French scientists have an out-of-this-world plan. At the European Space Agency’s planned Moon Village, they say astronauts can enjoy fresh seafood – farmed fish using live eggs shipped from Earth and water from the lunar surface. Scientists have determined that the fish could survive the trip, offering hope that astronauts can enjoy more appetizing meals than pre-packaged food from Earth.
Joke of the Week
What do you call a number that can’t sit still? A roamin’ numeral!
Leave with a song from the past
Here’s an oldie but goodie from 1964 – the Seekers performing their #1 hit “I’ll Never Find Another You.”
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.
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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