Issue 1028 • January 7, 2019
Welcome to another fabulous edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here, you’ll find helpful RV-related, and small-space living, tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your readership.
If you shop at Amazon, would you use one of the links below to do your shopping? The link in the blue bar above also works. Thanks.
U.S. shoppers: Shop at Amazon.com
Canadian shoppers: Shop at Amazon.ca
Need a place to put your BIG flashlight? A poster called DakotaCamper put this idea up on rv.net’s forum. “Its just an inexpensive Attwood rod holder from Wally World. It’s mounted right by the back door so I can grab when we’re loading the camper. With a black bedliner and a black camper box, it’s hard to check the clearance between the wheel wells without the flashlight. It’s handy too when camping – very accessible when you need it.” Read it here.
Use the space over your head for storage
Instagram user rvideas posted this one: “So smart – this RV owner installed a wire closet shelf above her bed and added collapsible storage bins.”
Get inspired for 2019
- National Geographic’s Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways
- Road Food: An Eater’s Guide to More Than 1,000 of the Best Local Hotspots and Hidden Gems Across America
- 50 States 5,000 Ideas
- 2019 Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas
- The Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide
- Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 Parks
- 1,000 Places to See in the U.S. & Canada Before You Die
- Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1,000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting
MORE QUICK TIPS
Another bunkhouse mod
Blogger Jen and her family travel in a 34-foot fifth wheel. Two young boys make up part of the contingent, and to accommodate them, she’s undertaken a remodel project in the bunkhouse portion of the fiver. Where there used to be double-stacked bunks, side by side across the rig, Jen removed the lower futon-style bunk from each, and turned the reclaimed area into storage units. Here’s a photo of one side of the bunkroom. Learn more about Jenn’s travels and ideas here.
Shake down your black tank
Because of the buildup of solid waste, I always put at least 10 gallons of water into my black water tank before I hit the road. This water will “slosh” around in the tank as I drive down the road beating against any solids that may be in the tank making them ready to be drained when I get to my next stop. It’s just another way to break these solids down and keeping my Black Water tank as empty of such buildup as possible. Prep the empty tank with water: Always prep your black water tank with at least 2-3 gallons of water after it is emptied, along with the necessary chemicals. You do this for two reasons: 1- you need this much water to mix with the odor control chemicals in your tanks, and 2- because these diluted chemicals will help the necessary bacteria start working and breaking down the sewage solids in your tank. –From The Ultimate RV Owners Reference.
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019
Okay, so these aren’t exactly your tame American road trips, but hey, a trip to Ireland doesn’t sound too shabby. Nat Geo tells you why 2019 is a great time to visit these amazing places and gives you the resources to book a trip! Fulfill that wanderlust, and get out there!
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
If an item costs $20 at Walmart or $23 at your neighborhood store, where will you likely buy it? Vote here.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they’re too old to do it. —Anne Bancroft
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com.
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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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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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if it were the other way around,
i’d buy from local store or like someone else mentioned, online.
it’s called competition people. Cheaper will always get my money.
Not sure why there is always China bashing. China is a strong country that is becoming the number 1 in the world. Is that such an awful thing? Not if you’re Chinese. They have reduced poverty by 90% in the last ten years while poverty in the U.S. continues to grow. You can’t remain number one forever. I say, “throw those guys a few crumbs”. Move over U.S., China is on its way.
My Wall Mart is my local store. They pay city and county sales taxes and provide employment to the town. Maybe a better question is, Would you order from Amazon or buy from your local store ?
For those of you who like putting ice in your holding tanks you should watch this:
Shopping: Malls were probably the start of putting the mom & pop stores out of business. Today’s consumer wants a large selection of merchandise at competive prices. Who else helped your hometown merchants go out of business: You did! Did you shop at? Hardware stores: Lowes & Home Depot. Shoes & Cloths: DWS Outlet & Rackroom, Kohls & many more. Sporting Goods: Bass Pro & Cabelas. Grocery stores: Kroger and many more chains. There are very few hometown car dealers left, they are owned by mega dealers who own 25/50/100+ dealerships. The local RV dealer in 10 years will be like the small town merchant there will be very few of them left. All of these mega merchants have to carry overseas merchandise to be competitive with their competition and now they are fighting online retailers such as Amazon to stay revelant to thier customers. So the circle for merchants to survive continues. Guess What? Every baby boomer has patronized all of the above and helped them to become industry giants. So all of you Walmart haters get over yourself and let the next generation decide the direction of where they want to spend their dollars.
“It’s the end of the world.”
When I want to clean the black tank (and this also works to clear buildup on the sensors), I put a few bags of ice down the toilet with a bit of water and drive. The ice sloshing around cleans the tank bottom and sensors. Let it melt and dump. It really works!
Mary, you need to watch the youtube video posted above by Drew. The ice doesn’t help, it’s the water sloshing around that does. Try it without the ice, or better yet, try a cup full of liquid laundry detergent with the water.
Local shop is best place, if you are worried about paying more just ask if they can meet the price. Most will or will discount the asking price. How do I know this? I am in retail and appreciate when given the chance to match a price or lose a sell.
I think you mean lose a sale.
re: Overhead rack in rear bedroom.
Darn good idea but my stereo speakers are in bottom of storage so it would not work.
Not sure I understand the Walmart negatives. The company has accommodated RV’ers for decades by allowing them to use their lots for overnight parking …. for free. That is changing, but mostly due to local regulations and disrespect of campers.
As for Walmart killing small businesses, it depends on your perspective. Customers shopping habits are what dictates success. People tend to buy where the bargains are and Walmart lowers cost of living for those on budgets. I live in a small rural ski resort and locals were elated when a small K-Mart store opened. It saved them trips to the City and gave options to the overpriced small businesses that catered to tourists instead of locals.
The survey needs more options – I wouldn’t drive the extra miles for $3, but I probably have a better chance of finding what I want – and more open parking – at Walmart!
I think it’s more important to BE American than to BUY American. BEING American means exercising the liberty of choice in purchasing goods and services.
What? If you are an American, Act like one. Yes, you can’t buy everything local or “american” but you should try to.
Why not? —Diane at RVtravel.com
Because I don’t want to pay more than what the product is worth.
Oh. That makes sense. (I was being facetious. Sorry. I should know better. 😮 ) Have a good night. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Amazon with free shipping would be my first choice. Otherwise local. Never Walmart.
Could not answer the survey question as it implies I’m in ‘my’ neighborhood which also implies a Walmart is there too (though it may be a further drive than the ‘local’ store). Appears this is a question for full time RVers who live in a non-permanent/temporary neighborhood. Seems they would have a vehicle other than their RV for running errands, etc. which is not a gas guzzler. Anyhow, point is, I’d plan my trip to Walmart to meet multiple needs (including the $20 item). If I needed the item immediately and Walmart was miles away (5+) I would buy the item ($23) at my neighborhood store.
Many times the survey question is difficult as not sure who your audience is; full-timers, part-timers, recreation-timers: A class, C class, towing trailers, etc.
Where we have our home base, any town is 5-10 miles away. The city where Walmart and the other big box stores are at is 30 miles away.
Not worth the 60 mile round trip.
I use Walmart mostly for just my prescriptions, mostly because any town large enough to have a stoplight will have one with a pharmacy within ten miles (give or take). That can come in handy (and did once) when I’m on the road and need my prescriptions filled while away from home. I also get my truck batteries from them so, if one fails while I’m out of town, I can get it replaced under warranty. Otherwise, Wally World is too unreliable about keeping things in stock and is notorious for switching brands.
My experiences with batteries from Walmart is that half of them have been sitting around for so long, they’re weak and half shot when you buy them. I’ve even seen new lawnmower batteries dead and full of corrosion when you open the box. I buy a good name brand battery and with proper care and maintenance, get many years of service out of it instead of having to replace it often.
Always check out the manufactured date code on the battery you are purchasing no mater where you are buying it. Looking at the “name brand” on the item most always still has the product made elsewhere than the US. Craftsman tools used to be a great name before they started to be made outside the US. We’ll see now that Lowe’s has purchased the name if this changes anything. Sears had been changing their lifetime replacement policy the last few years now, If you don’t use your tools everyday such as making a living with them, might as well go to Harbor Freight, buy a non USA made tool, for a lot less and with a replacement policy. I’am all for buying made in the USA, but with a small fixed income every dollar counts and I know there are a lot of others like me out there in the same boat with a small seeping leak!
As for Walmart…the same can apply to target or any other Chinese junk outlet.How did Sam Walton turn his small store in Bentonville,Arkansas into a giant ripoff Chinese outlet..by ruthless business practices.I avoid Walmart and Sam’s like the plague.Make America Great Again..shop local.
Booneyrat, then what you’re saying is the item at the local store is not Chinese and better built. If that is so, then I will opt for the local business because cost aside it will ” last” longer and be a better overall deal. Yay for the little guy.
A couple of thoughts…
a. I think Sam Walton died
b. Often I find same manufacturer in small stores and Walmart. Only thing is Walmart buys in larger quantities and then the price point is lower. If I see American quality I will opt to buy there often.
c. Booneyrat. I honor you for your time in country.
When Sam Walton was alive Walmart was a different store, he insisted buy American if it was available, since he died his children don’t have his ethics, now it’s buy foreign first and if they can’t buy that they don’t carry it.
I avoid walmart like the plague! Personally, I believe WM is responsible for the demise of various industries and loss of jobs in the USA. A prime example is the textile industry. After the old man passed away, his kids changed the focus to procure and sell the cheapest items possible and, of course, American wages are considerably more than those in China, India, etc. so they bought from those countries and destroyed the American textile industry. I personally observed how WM destroyed the main street of a small town in southern Alabama over a couple of years. Before WM, the small town main street was the social and commercial center of the area but within two years of a WM opening on the outskirts of the town, the small stores were shuttered and the only businesses left were a bank and hardware store. Obviously my example is a simplistic microcosm of our once gigantic and varied economy but consider the various items available at a WM and where they are made now compared to 10 or 20 years ago. (Besides, the “quality” of WM items is generally very poor requiring frequent replacement so are you really saving money on many of those items?) As long as I can I will continue to pay a bit more to support my local stores and businesses. Besides, I can’t take it with me right! 🙂 Just my 2 cents. Happy trails!
Walmart always drums up interesting comments. I am a firm believer that people like cheap. Walmart didn’t become the giant it is today on its own. Rvers love shopping and staying at Walmart and I don’t have a problem with that. Even Walmart here in Mexico is the go-to place for most Mexicans who in the past shopped or still do at mom and pop shops. Lots of chatter about minimum wage and local purchasing but how many of us, retired or not, have mutual funds that are vested in the Walmarts of the world including Starbucks, MacDonalds, etc? I doubt anyone would pay more for a product “just because”.
If I need the item right away I will get it at the neighborhood store. Otherwise, I add it to the Wal-Mart list when we make the trip to them.
I only go to Walmart to shop for very specific items and then stock up on them. It would cost me more than the $3 just to drive there and back. Otherwise for everything else the local stores receive my business.