Saturday, December 3, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 995


Welcome to, the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America with 143,000 registered subscribers. We support a free press and believe that it is essential to a democracy. At, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 20th year of continuous publication, is increasingly made possible by the voluntary subscription contributions of our readers.

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Page Contents

April 10, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition

This free edition of the newsletter is posted by 9 a.m. (Pacific) every Saturday (that’s noon in the East). The member edition is published earlier, at 2:30 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).

Harvest HotsSALE EXTENDED! Last chance to save $30!
Harvest Hosts’ NEW member prices are going up to $99/yr. this coming Thursday, April 15. If you buy a membership now, it’s only $67.15 a year after a 15% discount for an entire year of unlimited overnight stays. Use HHFRIENDS15 at checkout for the discounted rate and to lock it in forever, regardless of how much the membership fee increases in the future. Learn more or join.

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury

Ireminded you last week that issue number 1,000 of this Saturday newsletter was coming soon — now a mere five weeks away. I will have an announcement then about my future. To sum up, I will not fully retire, but my role after 20 years at the helm will change.

RVBusiness Magazine interviewed me earlier this week via Zoom for its Capitol Talk series. Editor Rick Kessler and publisher Sherman Goldenberg interviewed me for 18 minutes. I talked about some of my favorite topics (including the problem of campground crowding). The program is watched each week by leaders and top executives in the RV industry. I was excited to address them, hoping to motivate someone with vision (in short supply) to look beyond his or her nose at what needs to be done to keep RVing from turning into one big congested mess. Watch the short program here.

Get ready for two new newsletters from Well, they aren’t new, but they’re returning after an absence. We’re bringing back our Beginner’s Guide to RVing daily newsletter, every Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, May 3. We published 127 issues last July through December. The newsletters’ purpose is to educate brand-new RVers about the RV lifestyle. By the end of six months, they should know almost everything necessary about buying and using an RV. So, now, after a four-month break, we’re starting up again to educate more newbies and with added content. Sign up here. You can easily unsubscribe later when you’ve learned the ropes.

One of our editors busy at work.

We are also bringing back our Full-Time RVer newsletter. We’ll publish it every other week, beginning next Wednesday, April 14. We previously published it for about six years, off and on, between 2004 and 2012. If you are a full-timer or want to be some day, you will definitely benefit from reading this. Sign up here (same place as above). Oh, there is so much to write about full-timing now that wasn’t even on the radar 10 years ago.

These two newsletters are made possible in large part by our voluntary subscribers, whose financial contributions allow us to hire the staff we need to write articles that really matter, not just fluff we can get for free or cheaply from freelance writers who have never even stepped into an RV or by PR people pushing a product.

I spend every day studying about RVing, travel, and everything related to our lives as RVers to understand what is going on that impacts our RVing lives. For now, I don’t envision the record-setting sales of RVs slowing in 2021, maybe not even in 2022, and I don’t believe travelers will be heading off to Europe or other international destinations for at least a year, probably longer. That means there will be many more RVers on the road next year at this time — at least a half million of them. What does that mean for you and me? A lot! That’s what we will continue to discuss on this website and in our newsletters.

Okay, that’s a wrap for me this issue. Be safe. Get your shots. Be kind to those who see things differently than you — maybe you’ll learn something.


Did you miss our first podcast last Sunday?

If so, click here. We believe you will love it. Talk radio for the 21st century RVer, the Podcast is brought to you by, SoftStartRV™ and CarGenerator™.

Podcast #2 is coming in tomorrow’s newsletter

Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

• Are “bots” stealing your campsite? Yes, they are, and sadly, they’re getting away with it.
• National Parks seek darker skies. RV manufacturers want to light ’em up
• New RV inspection service hits RV manufacturing capitol
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” to you?, and the hundreds of newsletters about RVing we publish every year, would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary contributors. Their support helps us avoid relying on advertising, and keeps our resource-rich work unbiased and free for all RVers to enjoy. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of $20 a year comes out to less than 4 cents for each issue we publish. That’s all! And when you contribute, you’ll receive a special member-only ad-free version of this newsletter forever and ever as one way for us to say thank you. Learn more or donate.

Are you concerned that we do not spend this money wisely? Here’s an explanation that we hope will help you understand.

Free Admission for readers

The inaugural New England RV and Camping Expo online begins this morning and RV Travel has arranged for your free admission. Seminar presenters include Mark Koep (Campground Views), Patrick Buchanan (RV Life), Mike and Jennifer Wendland (RV Lifestyle), Mark Polk (RV Education 101), Julie and Marc Bennett (RV Love), Janine Pettit (Girl Camper), Joel Holland (Harvest Hosts), Sarah Neely (Go RVing), and others. There will be opportunities to chat and network with speakers, vendors and other attendees. Click on this link to register.

Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters

Fungal jungle in your dishwasher? Sanitize it in 5 easy steps
A trick that’ll make dumping a whole lot more sanitary
Ways you can help “newbie” RVers – You were once one, too!

Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Keystone Outback 328RL Travel Trailer. He writes, “Essentially, this is a flat fifth-wheel trailer and has almost all the benefits of a typical fifth-wheel floor plan without the steps up to the bathroom and bedroom.” Learn more and peek inside.

Last week’s reviews:
Newmar King AireJayco Jay Flight SLX 8 264BHW & the Starcraft Autumn Ridge 26BHRunaway Campers V-Series Mini-Campers2021 Rockwood Signature 8263MBR Travel Trailer2022 Arctic Fox Camper 1150

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

COPYRIGHT 2021 by Clint Norrell

See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!

Campground Crowding: They counted, and 70% of reserved sites were empty!

crowded campgroundsMore 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 from “fanatical, maniacal” campers who are OCD when it comes to making reservations ASAP, more requests to please cancel if you book ahead and can’t use the site, lots of suggestions for campground reservation systems, and a positive spin on full-time residents in RV parks. All that and more here.

RVer’s scare: Motorhome pops out of gear in the night, starts rolling down the mountain

Talk about a scary experience. Read how this terrible scene unfolded in the middle of the night as the RVer slept in a pullout along the highway. Click here to read the story and how it ended.

RVer suspects sewer tank leak, but where is it?

A reader writes: “I suspect we have a leak in our black water system between the toilet and tank, which sits directly below the toilet. I can see the pipe that goes straight down to the tank… I cannot tell how this pipe is attached to the toilet, but that is where I suspect the leak may be.” So where might it be?

Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles

Have a good laugh: “My Self-Isolation Quarantine Diary”
Oh, the horror! Sewer tank overflows while RVer is away’s 2020 best trucks for RV towing
Products we tested – and which later failed

Reader Poll

Did you have a business as a kid?

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:
What is your favorite part of the U.S.? See where nearly 2,500 other RVers say their favorite place is.

Read other polls we’ve run through the years. There are more than a thousand. It’s fascinating reading.

Brain Teaser

They fill me up and you empty me almost every day; if you raise my arm, I work the opposite way. What am I?

(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)

Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.

We got into an accident. Here’s what we learned that may help you

By Gail Marsh
Two days. Just two days until we’d be heading back north after several months in sunny, warm Florida. Two days. I was already packing up some things that we’d take out of our fifth wheel when we got home. My husband was making a final run: diesel fuel for the truck and travel snacks for me. Then it happened. Hubby hit a parking lot post. Hard. … And just like that, our two days turned into potentially two weeks or more. Read more for tips in case this ever happens to you (hopefully not!).

Teardrop trailers: The only RVs to have seen combat!

“True” Teardrops evolved after World War II using surplus aircraft aluminum from the wings of World War II bombers. Wheels, at least some, were from Jeeps salvaged from sunken ships, some with bullet holes. These first Teardrops are perhaps the only RVs ever made that experienced actual combat. Read more.

Video: How to avoid burning food in your RV oven

Many RVers complain that their factory-installed ovens do not cook evenly. RV technician and well-known journalist Chris Dougherty has a quick tip about a simple way to help avoid hot spots in an RV’s oven that can cause what’s being cooked or baked to heat unevenly or even burn. Watch the 2-minute video here.

Video: Starlink Internet Service: The good news and the bad news

There’s good news about SpaceX’s Starlink internet’s customer portal that allows customers to edit their own service address without involving customer service, which was a hassle before. This is a major step toward making Starlink satellite internet service a much more practical solution for RVers. Watch this 7-minute video from Mobile Internet Resource Center.

Professional photographer says this tripod is best for RVers

By Nanci Dixon
I need to preface this by saying I was a professional photographer with access to everything photographic – and I mean EVERYTHING. Every lens, camera, film (in the old days), printer, computer, strobe units and tripod ever made. When I retired, for better or worse I ditched it all. I said goodbye to my camera closet and decided to use only my cell phone. The worn phrase “The camera you use is the camera you have with you” is so true. But I’ve found the perfect tripod for RVers. Continue reading.

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, April 10, 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 three readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift certificate: Eduardo W. of Weston, Florida, Roger B. of Lebanon, Tennessee, and Andrew K. of Clinton Township, Michigan.

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

Casino Camping: 3 casino RV resorts where you’ll want to stay

Good News: Things to smile about this week, April 4, 2021
Building an RV park: Waiting for the bank; Rocks, rocks and more rocks!
Campground and RV Park News, April 3, 2021
RVelectricity – Scam Alert on Magic Air Conditioners
An easy trick that’ll make RV dumping a lot more sanitary
New (or any) RVers – There is hope! You CAN find campsites!
Trailer “tail-wagging” – Prevent this dangerous sway from happening to you
The joke’s on Volkswagen after April Fool’s prank badly backfires
Get the 411 on RV extension cords
Campground Crowding: It’s all about the journey, not the destination… right?
Ways you can help “newbie” RVers – You were once one, too!

If you’re spending time outside this spring, these will make your space so much cozier!

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win this two-pack of natural oxygen?

Use when hiking at high altitude to combat altitude sickness, or for faster recovery after workouts. Each 10-liter bottle of 95 percent natural oxygen will help you breathe and feel better. Provides more than 200 1-second inhalations. This stuff works!

Read more about it in Tony Barthel’s review here.

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 10, 2021) by 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.

Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!


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

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.

RV Clubs
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.

RV Repair and Maintenance

with Mark Polk, RV Education 101
These tips ran in our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter this past week, but for those of you who don’t subscribe (why not?), here they are again:

Get the 411 on RV extension cords
30-amp RV vs. a 50-amp RV – What’s the difference?

RV education you can trust from RV Education 101: Get instant access to RV Online Training.

Get ready for summer. Don’t swelter in your RV!
At we don’t see too many products that we go nuts over, but the SoftStartRV is a game-changer. Here’s what it can do:
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run two air conditioners (with 2 SoftStartRVs) on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run an air conditioner or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.


Shocked when touching your RV? This is a deadly serious problem. Do something!

By Mike Sokol

Spring is here, and with it I’ve received a bunch of emails and postings on my RVelectricity Facebook page about readers feeling a shock from their RV while plugged into home power using a dogbone adapter. There are a lot of guesses and wrong information floating around the internet and social platforms, so I’m going to clarify it here. Continue reading.

This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session

Can I build my own “SoftStartRV”-type controller for cheap?

Dear Mike,
I know that the SoftStartRV air conditioner controller must do what it says it does. After all, I see all the good product reviews, and really appreciate you diving into it. Even your graphs make it easy for someone like me to understand that it works. But I’ve got to believe there is a cheap way to build one myself. Isn’t it just some capacitors in a box? Will you publish the schematic and parts list so we can build these ourselves for maybe $30 or so? I understand why you may not want to publish this info, but please give us a break and draw out how to build one. —Thomas

Read Mike’s response.

RV Tire Safety

What’s the best tire pressure monitoring system? What features are important?

By Roger Marble
No, I don’t want to start a fight. Probably everyone that already has a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) will say that what they have is the best. I would prefer to identify the features that I think are important and then let the customer do the shopping because there is no way to predict what the sale price will be next week or what new brand or model TPMS will hit the market next month. Continue reading for Roger’s list of important features for a TPMS.

Recipe of the Day

Jalapeño Bacon Wonton Poppers
by Brandi Kirkpatrick from Burley, ID
These jalapeno popper wontons are so good, they all may be eaten by the time you finish frying. The outside is crisp while the inside filling is creamy and a flavor explosion. The cream cheese and Monterey jack cheese melt together and cool down the spicy jalapenos. Bacon is a delicious addition and gives a smoky, savory flavor to the poppers. A wonderful BBQ appetizer. We dipped these in ranch dressing that cools down the spiciness too.

Mmmm! If you make these, invite us over, please! Get the recipe here.

Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters: 
• Mama’s Orange Chicken • Frito Corn SaladPiña Colada French Toast & Orange SyrupCrock Pot Spicy Cajun Chicken PastaZucchini and Basil Pesto

Penetrating oil can save the day!
It can be a bad day on the road if you break down and need to loosen a screw or bolt and it won’t budge. Here’s help: This rust eater, deep penetrating oil will penetrate rust, scale and corrosion to free parts and assemblies instantly. It will free up rusted machine screws, bolts, nuts, clamps for mufflers and tailpipes, locks and more. You need this! Learn more.

The Digital RVer

Four smartphone tech seminars for you from the FMCA Rally

The FMCA RV Club recently held its first rally since the pandemic started. At this rally Geeks on Tour presented 4 seminars, including smartphone photography; how to remember and share your travels with photos, maps, and a blog; how to organize your photos using Google Photos; and how to make your own custom Google Map. The slides and the videos are provided, as well as the “handouts” from the seminars in .pdf format. Wow! Tons of great info here.

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This is our dog ‘RV’. Yes, we named him Recreation Vehicle! RV loves to go for rides with us. His favorite thing is B A L L. RV will fervently retrieve a thrown ball – he takes and releases on command. It’s fun to watch him load the auto ball thrower, too. RV is a 4.5-year-old Coton de Tulear mix from the National Coton Rescue (Dallas, TX). The rescue/foster was in MO, so we towed our trailer there and back to MI. We originally thought his name would be “Miles”, but our niece had a dog with that name, so we named him RV, which suits him perfectly. Enjoy the ride!” —Nancy EinheuserPets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: Rowdy, Zoe and two others • Tuesday: Nilla • Wednesday: Rosie • Thursday: Remmie • Friday: Louie Otis Wolf (LOW) (see why he’s named that)

50 States, 5,000 Ideas
This book from the experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. The book also includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.

Vintage Postcard of the Week

Postcards owned by Colleen and Ed Weum, Pacific Northwest Postcard Club. Read more about their 90,000 postcard collection here


The only time Anne Frank was captured on film is in this video, where she is seen leaning out of her window on July 22, 1941, to watch as her neighbors, a bride and groom, walk down their street.

Joke of the Week

A “Gen Y wedding”

Dearest Dad,
I am coming home to get married soon. Can you help pay for a big wedding? I am presently in Australia and the boy I love lives in Scotland. We met on a dating website, became friends on Facebook, had long chats on WhatsApp. He proposed to me on Zoom, and we’ve stayed in touch through Viber. Dad, can I count on you for a big wedding? Your favorite daughter, Lilly

Dad’s response
My Dearest Lilly,

Like Wow! Really? Cool! I suggest you two get married on Twitter, have a honeymoon on Tango, buy your kids on Amazon, and pay for it all through PayPal. And when you get fed up with this new husband, sell him on eBay! Love, Dad

Leave with a song from the past

Oh, ya gotta love this — The Mamas & The Papas appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 singing California Dreamin’. Yikes! Check out their duds! Kinda scary. . .

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

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.

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, Al Winer, 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 year on April 17.

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. 

ADVERTISE WITH US: For information contact .

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 or this newsletter. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Need help? Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by

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1 year ago

I pulled into Seminole Canyon State park a while back, and guess what, it was booked. The ranger let me stay in the day use area for one night. Great ranger. When I walked around that evening, there were only a handful of campers camping in the numerous “reserved spots” . I make it a point to go on line and cancel my reservation if I am not going to show. BBNP sends campers on their way back home all the time with no spots available, “reserved” and 20% are no shows, camp site just sitting there empty, sad.

1 year ago
Reply to  dcook

I don’t know why camp grounds aren’t taking deposits. If the site isn’t canceled 24 to 48 hours prior and it’s a no show the deposit is forfeited.

1 year ago
Reply to  dcook

As Larry said, deposits are one thing. But maybe there should be a cutoff time. If you don’t arrive by X:XX pm, and haven’t called to say your delayed, your site will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Roger B
1 year ago
Reply to  John

That’s what I’ve been saying for a long time. This has been a problem for a while now not just because of covid. We’ve seen many campsites sit empty and reserved while other campers go without.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger B