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March 27, 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).
Are you afraid of renting out your RV?
By Mike Gast
or many longtime RVers, renting out your RV – your baby (tell me you didn’t give it a name) – to a novice, probable first-time RVer is a daunting thought. What if their kids pull down the curtains? Maybe they’ll spill something – then what? WHAT IF THEY WRECK IT?!
Times have changed. Renting your RV to someone else no longer has to feel like a risky back-alley drug deal. You may not personally know the person to whom you hand your keys, but there is now an entire peer-to-peer rental industry created just to provide the safeguards you need to comfortably share your RV with others – and make a pretty good profit.
The other new factor is that the explosion of use in peer-to-peer home and apartment rentals driven by Airbnb has taken the mystery out of staying in a stranger’s space. That goes for a house, an apartment and now an RV.
I’d also say right off the bat that renting your own RV to someone else isn’t for everyone. After all, “they” will be cooking in your kitchen and sleeping in your bed. You might not be able to handle that.
But, if you find that you just aren’t using your rig enough and there are a lot of nice summer days where it could be out there making you money, then read on.
OUR NEW PODCAST with Host Scott Linden is debuting a week from tomorrow (Sunday), but if you sign up for our free Podcast Insider Newsletter you’ll receive a special invitation to listen two days earlier. You will love it. Sign up for the newsletter here.
ARE WE “WASTING” OUR DONORS’ MONEY? A few readers have written us lately who were considering donating to RVtravel.com. But they were concerned that because we give away money and gift certificates in contests that we were wasting their money. They didn’t like the idea of helping support us, only to have us give the money away. We figured other readers were thinking the same thing. So here is how we can do it without it costing us even a penny.
Starlink satellite Internet coming soon? Don’t hold your breath!
By Randall Brink
Inveterate boondockers are always on the lookout for techniques and technology that help them stay out longer and enable them to stay in communication, get news and entertainment, and work remotely. Anything to do with water, waste management or internet access is of keen interest. So when I read of the development of Starlink, a satellite internet service provider under development by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, I was intrigued. Continue reading.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• RV shipments continue to soar, set new record!
• Gigi Stetler’s RV dealership goes up in flames
• Major recall from Jayco. Also, recalls from Airstream, Newmar and Sprinter
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • Plus Breaking News. . . and much more …
Are we worthy of your support?
The staff of RVtravel.com works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every day of the week. Readers help make it possible by becoming members with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Many set up an automatic monthly contribution. But even a one-time contribution of $10 or $20 helps make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to please advertisers. And when you make a pledge, you’ll receive our special ad-free member edition of this newsletter. Learn more or donate.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• 9 methods to get those stubborn bugs and guts off your RV. Yuck!
• Cleaning RV air vents: A simple, important task to breathe easy
• RV just out of storage? Check those tires
• Protect your generator from sprouting legs and leaving the campground
• Tax Corner: Tax credit for solar panels on an RV?
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Coachmen Clipper 12.0 TD MAX. He writes, “This trailer is similar to the pop-ups and teardrops you’re most likely familiar with; however, it has some unique features worth looking at. What it shares with pop-ups or teardrops is that it’s very light and low in profile, which makes it ideal for towing. In addition, though, it offers almost all the features you might want in a more traditional travel trailer.” Read more and peek inside.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Campground Crowding: Boomers vs. Newbies. The attitude battle is on!
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 we hear about Boomers vs. Newbies (i.e., whose campsites are they, anyway?!); more suggestions for getting off the grid and other options besides campgrounds; a “new breed of slumlord”; plus some encouraging comments about campgrounds. Read all that and more here.
Got your COVID shots? Will your “Immunity Passport” allow you to travel?
By Gail Marsh
As the nurse handed me my COVID-19 vaccination card, she looked me in the eye and said, “This is a legal form of identification. Protect it as such.” Huh? I’d just received my second dose of Moderna’s COVID vaccine. As I walked back to my car, I examined the “proof of vaccine” card and couldn’t help but wonder about it. As a legal form of identification, the “immunity passport” must have intrinsic value. But how? So you must protect your card – from whom, and why? Continue reading.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems
• Funny camping photos and memes of the week
• All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie…
• Homeless in California. An RVing family’s struggle to shelter in place
How would you describe your mental state in the last year dealing with the pandemic?
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:
Do you carry a portable grill on your RV trips? If so, what type? See how more than 4,000 other RVers responded here.
Read other polls we’ve run through the years. There are more than a thousand. It’s fascinating reading.
What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish? (Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter.)
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Not enough power to run your air conditioner? Think again!
NOW SAVE $30! When the summer heat arrives (it won’t be long!) and if your 110 power is from a small portable generator or a 20-amp household hookup you’re out of luck running your A/C. That is, unless you have a SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and makes running your A/C possible when you never could before. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, TOO! Read more.
Is your engine in good shape? Pay attention now, or pay the price later
By Kate Doherty
I grew up listening to the ’70s and ’80s Fram oil filter ads with varying messages around the tag line, “You can pay me now, or pay me later.” These ads started by reminding vehicle owners of the importance of changing the oil filter when changing the oil in their vehicle’s engine. For diesel engines, this task should be listed in the first chapter of a maintenance manual. Proper and timely maintenance and testing analysis is essential to understanding what shape your engine is in. Learn more.
How far can you drive with the low fuel light on? Find out.
When was the last time that dreaded low fuel light came on in your car? Uh-oh. Nobody likes seeing that orange glow, especially if you’re out in the middle of the boonies – no gas station in sight. It can be pretty scary. And if you’ve run out of gas before and been stranded, we imagine seeing it again might be even scarier for you. (Although, we hope you learned your lesson the first time.) Read more.
Full-timer pleads, “PLEASE don’t buy me anything!”
By Nanci Dixon
I know you love me but PLEASE don’t buy me anything. We are full-time RVers and are packing up the motorhome after five months at the same site. It is amazing how much stuff we have out and how much we have accumulated in a short amount of time. It is also quite dismaying to find my “spots” for everything overflowing with over-abundant Amazon purchases and the wonderful presents that have been graciously gifted to me. Continue reading.
‘Tis the season for tick talk
By Kate Doherty
Soon school will be out and families will be ready to break out – visiting parks, going hiking and camping in heavily wooded areas. Many state and federal parks have been closed due to the pandemic. Now that they’re reopening, there’s a chance that folks will soon be venturing where nasty ticks live…. Learn how to protect yourself and your pets, and what to do if you’re bit, here.
Fix it in Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix it in Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.
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 Daylight time today, March 27, 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.
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
• Ten safest and ten most dangerous states for driving
• Forest River plant on FIRE – Building goes up in thick, black smoke
• RVelectricity – Can I use my RV generator for emergency power in my house?
• Over the edge – Safety chains saved the day!
• Good Sam Club sues Gigi Stetler and RV Advisor
• Campground Crowding: “We camped for pleasure. Now there is none.”
• Planning way ahead is the new normal for RVing in 2021
• Owner destroys brand-new Jeep while flat towing it. You won’t believe the damage!
• A sad story of road rage. Why is everyone still so angry?
• The many useful RV applications of Google Earth – Part 2: Height clearances
• Cleaning RV air vents: A simple, important task to breathe easy
• Need more space in the RV kitchen? These will save you space, time and money
LAST CHANCE! ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT TO SAVE!
Harvest Hosts membership increasing – join now and save!
Harvest Hosts NEW member prices are going up to $99/yr. in April 2021. If you buy a membership now, it’s only $67.15 a year after our special 15% discount. This link will lock in this rate forever, regardless of how much the prices increase in the future. Use HHFRIENDS15 at checkout. Save over $30 off the new price on a whole year of unlimited overnight stays. Learn more.
How would you like to win a set of LED Road Flares/Emergency Lights?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (March 27, 2021) by 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight 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.
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
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.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Lippert Flow Max 40-volt portable power cleaner
If you didn’t know, your modern RV has Lippert-made parts in it. A lot of them. Lippert is a huge supplier of parts to the RV world. But they’ve also started building stuff for the aftermarket. You know, things we might find useful in our daily lives or even with our RVs. … The Lippert Flow Max 40-volt portable power cleaner is a battery-powered water pressure cleaner. It offers six spray settings from the included nozzle and sports a 25-ounce soap bottle on the head. Power comes from a 40-volt battery and two of these plus a charger are included with the package. … Read some of the many uses for RVers which Tony envisions for this gadget here.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
While this is meant to be handy (and it is!), we think we’d probably just spend too much time having fun with this…
Cool trailer plug storage option
I saw this trailer plug storage option on another forum last week and thought it was such a good idea that I found a source for this gadget and I’m posting it here. Yes, indeed… That 7-way trailer plug connecting your RV to your tow vehicle leads a sad life. It’s nearly always hanging out in the weather, often sitting in the dirt, and rarely maintained with contact cleaner. And yet, when they need to work, they REALLY need to work. In fact, running a close second to shore power connector questions that are emailed to me are questions about troubleshooting and hooking up 7-way trailer plugs. Continue reading.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Scam Alert: Is there really an electricity “cleaner”?
I keep seeing advertisements for these “clean power” products, even in your articles. Do you promote them? Have you ever used anything like this? And the most important question is: “Do they work?” —Sanford R.
Read Mike’s response (which also explains some of the odd and/or possibly deceptive ads you may see on RVtravel.com).
If you missed Mike’s “Ask the Expert” live stream on Tuesday, March 23, with Danny Rahner from SoftStartRV, where they discussed Danny’s easy 6-step, no-splice install of the SoftStartRV, you can watch it here.
RV Tire Safety
Do you have, or even need, a spare RV tire?
By Roger Marble
Do you have, or even need, a spare RV tire? That’s a reasonable question. I have previously published some information on having a spare, but for those that want a quick answer, read on …
The RV Kitchen
Eggs ‘n Bacon Spaghetti
Spaghetti for breakfast? Everyone loves spaghetti. Almost everyone loves bacon and eggs. Let’s join forces with Eggs ‘n Bacon Spaghetti! Serve this taste treat for any meal of the day. Precooked bacon is a time- and space-saver, and it contains enough fat to stir-fry the garlic. Get the recipe.
The Digital RVer
Boondockers Welcome has a new App
By Chris Guld, GeeksOnTour.com
Do you like to boondock? Do you avoid crowded campgrounds? Like to meet new people? If so, you should be a member of Boondockers Welcome. … Now is a great time to join this service for RVers as it has a new smartphone app for iPhone or Android. Also, news reports say we’re coming up on a very busy summer for RVers, so the app will come in very handy. Learn more.
The handiest lights you’ll ever have
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.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Our Scout loves camping … and is more than willing to drive if necessary.” —Bobby Semon
Sixty-year-old actor George Clooney told AARP Magazine in its current issue that he has cut his own hair for the past 25 years.
Laugh of the Week
Death isn’t normally a funny subject, but it’s hard not to laugh at this headstone in the Goldfield, Nevada, cemetery.
Leave with a song from the past
You will love this. Be sure to stick around after the song to watch Eleanor Powell perform the most amazing rope tricks and dance you have ever seen. How did she do it? And notice how few edits there are, very few. Now enjoy “So Long Sarah Jane” from the 1943 movie “I Dood It.”
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Do you have a story for us?
We welcome your submissions, whether an article, short tip, news item, press release, poem, or an idea for a topic you believe is just perfect for this website. Or, if you would like to submit a complete article (up to 700 words) please do so, and attach a photo if you wish. We’ll look it over. Hey, you may find a home with us as a regular (paid) contributor or columnist. Learn more.
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, Mike Gast, 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 last April. Oh, do we miss him!
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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