RV Daily Tips Newsletter 1043


Issue 1043 • January 31, 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
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Overnighting at Costco?

Mtlfiredude on wikimedia commons

There have been virtual reams published on overnighting on Walmart parking lots. But what about Costco? Here’s a thought from rvblogger.com: “Can I Really Stay Overnight? Most Costco locations allow for overnight RV parking. They usually close around 8:30 PM on weekdays and a little later on the weekends so their parking lots are empty overnight. The manager or security guard will usually have an area for overnight RV parking and it’s typically in a well-lit area in the parking lot.

However, you should be aware that every Costco location is different. Only some locations allow overnight RV parking. It is up to the manager at each location to decide if overnight stays are permitted. The store managers have to consider many factors when deciding if they will permit overnight stays at their location. And sometimes, the manager doesn’t have a choice if local ordinances prohibit overnight parking.

Since every store has its own policies it’s always best to call ahead and speak to the manager to see if their particular location allows RVs to park overnight. You should also let them know if you will arrive during business hours or after they have closed. If the store is still open when you arrive, it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to the manager and security guard. Do I need a Costco membership to park overnight? No, you do not need a Costco membership to park overnight. But you do need one if you want to shop or purchase gas.”

Easy way to keep spring bar set

If you have a travel trailer and use a weight distribution hitch, once the dealer makes the proper adjustments, spray paint the chain link that you use for the proper amount of tension. This way you will always keep the spring bar tension adjusted properly. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.


Do you know how to tell the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes? Here are a few good places to start:

  • Eyes: Non-poisonous snakes have round pupils while poisonous snakes have eyes with elongated pupils (think cat eyes).
  • Body scales: Poisonous snakes have solid scales on the ventral side of the body. Non-poisonous snakes have forked scales.
  • Bite marks: Non-poisonous snakes will leave a double set of teeth marks while a poisonous snake bite will start with two distinctive punctures.
    Click here for more wilderness survival tips.

Did you see the RV that has a rooftop swimming pool? You won’t believe it! Click here to read about it.


Protect glassware – for less than koozies

Reader Erinn Mayer adds a shot to protecting glassware from road bumps. An earlier suggestion was to use can koozies, but Erinn says, “Go cheaper!” “I purchased some stretchy plastic mesh protective sleeves for bottles, and they work great to protect glassware as well. Available here at $12.99 for 25 (whereas can covers/koozies are about $5.75 for 10, and they won’t fit over an average wine or liquor bottle).” Money saving tips up your “sleeves,” eh, Erinn? 

Learn how to fix your RV – by hiring a repairman

One of the best ways to learn how to fix things on your RV is to hire a mobile RV tech when you have a problem that would normally require you to take your rig to an RV shop. One of the big advantages of using a mobile RV tech is that you get to watch what he’s doing and you can ask questions.
From – RVing: Less Hassle—More Joy: Secrets of Having More Fun with Your RV—Even on a Limited Budget

Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com


Photo by The Sleep Judge

Buy Foam!

This is your online resource for buying foam. You can thank us later. Need to replace the foam in your favorite recliner? RV couch seem a little saggy? Need a foam topper for that not-so-great RV mattress? This site is for you.

Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.

Mini dehumidifier removes moisture from RV
This mini dehumidifier from Pro Breeze quickly and efficiently removes moisture from the air. It is perfect for use in small areas like RVs. It extracts up to 9 ounces of moisture per day with a large 16-ounce capacity water tank that will automatically shut off when full. Very quiet, too. Learn more or order.


A cowboy rides into town in the wild west and shoots an artist. The sheriff asks him, “Why the heck did you do that?” The cowboy says, “I thought he was going to draw!”

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.

ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .

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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This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com


  1. Superbowl or any NFL game, you can make it what you want. I’m a vet, spent the last year of my enlistment in Viet Nam. The NFL provides entertainment for me and others who choose to follow it. Extremists on both side have politicized not the game but the atmosphere surrounding the game. For those of you on both sides of the issue, if you decide not to watch, that’s your decision, your loss. Let the rest of us who follow this and any other sport, follow the sport for enjoyment without having to listen to overblown excuses for limiting anyone’s right to protest or not. I still enjoy the game…

  2. The hint regarding painting the chain link for a load leveling hitch reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask an expert. I recently bought a Chevy Tahoe with the trailering package that has air shocks with a built in compressor that levels the load after hitching a trailer. It works great. I was advised that I no longer need to use my load leveling bars and, in general it seems to work fine. Is there any advantage to continue using the bars? Would they assist in sway control? Thanks for any comments.

    • Your air shocks may keep your rig level but do nothing to transfer weight to the front axle of your Tahoe and the axle(s) of your trailer which is the purpose of the bars on a weight distributing hitch. You could be overloading your hitch receiver or your rear axle on the Tahoe depending on the tongue weight of the trailer.

  3. Personally, I find it disturbing that there is so much emphasis throughout the RV ‘World” on FREE “camping” or parking. If you can afford an RV why can’t you support / afford staying at a Campground?
    Does it reflect “cheapness” or greed?
    I’m NOT referring to the truly needy who “RV” out of necessity.

    • I am grateful for the information. It makes it easier when traveling from one place to another. There is not always campground space every night I have to stop. And just for information, I am retired military and had to save my “pennies” for 5 years in order to to get a 5 year old RV so my wife and I could do some traveling. I am not needy in anyway, bit I am also not a rich man.

    • As John Ford suggests, sometimes when the time comes, there is no campgrounds within a reasonable distance, or no spaces left there! Until this country gets out of the “NO XXXX IN MY BACKYARD” mentality I feel that more and more folks will be looking at “FREE overnighting/camping.” I feel that as the manufacturers build more glitz and bling in every unit and price them so high, the public perception is big bucks rolling, lets get our share.

    • For us it’s choice…we do what we want and where we want and how we want. It’s like shopping for what you want to buy and looking for the best price. We have drove/traveled 85,000 miles since 2012 all over the US & Canada in our RV. We have our own way of staying for free here and there. I don’t share how we do it because it’s best you get out on the road and figure out what works for you and your money.

    • I would add that in our just over 10 years of RVing (50K miles on our used Fiver), we’ve always planned our journeys, made Campground reservations, don’t arrive at night, and have stayed in campgrounds (often just one night, but usually 2-3 nights – even on our way to long term destinations) without ever “needing” a Wal-Mart, etc. So it can be done if desired.

    • The purpose of staying at a Walmart is not to camp for free, rather it gives a driver a place to catch a quick and easy place to sleep. I love the convenience of it and stay often. I don’t relish the idea of staying at a campground where I have to take time to check in and out, usually at night (so I would be disturbing other campers), and Walmart is much easier to find near the interstate. I always gas up and resupply if I need. Always ask for permission and thank them, it is their choice. Be courteous and don’t set up a camp, just come and go. Thanks for hearing me out, safe travel for all.

      • Thomas, I agree with you 100%. We make reservations at campgrounds but if any problems show up along our way it is nice to know we can park and sleep. Like when we went to California and there were several fires. Every route home to Washington had a fire. Siri rerouted into Nevada and got us lost. Everyone has different circumstances in their life.

    • As a boondocker, I don’t find rv parks very interesting or enjoyable. I like to be out in the open where I can watch the stars at night and not have to listen to other people’s conversations, smokey fires and more. I like nature but at the same time, I like the comforts of my small yet humble travel trailer.

    • IMHO, there are many things in the world to be “disturbed” about, frugality is not one of them. Perhaps that money saved is what one uses for charitable donations or more extensive travel? Is negotiating the price of an RV a reflection of cheapness or greed, using a discount coupon, or taking advantage of sale pricing when one had not planned a shopping trip?

  4. It’s easier to count the free chain links on the equalizer bars rather than paint the one you need as the paint will wear off, also it’s easier to adjust the links if you set the links before letting the jack down. I know my dealer 40 years ago showed me how to adjust the hitch after retracting the jack, when I asked him if it would be easier to hook the chains before retracting the jack he looked at me like I was crazy. My way works after the initial set up, but you still have to do it the hard way the first time.

    • That dealer is crazy… I ALWAYS link my chains before lowering onto the hitch. If full weight is already on the hitch, I don’t think you COULD cock my springs with a normal length bar. Unfortunate grade changes make it hard enough at times, even fully jacked.

      My hitching sequence:

  5. I’ve never been a big sports fan (though I DID watch my hometown Cubbies win!). Superbowl Sunday is a great day to go shopping (just not for TV’s at Best Buy).

    I hate when these little secrets for overnight parking get spread. Now the number of folks who go to Costco to try to get permission is going to grow and will no doubt be overused and abused. Then it’ll be over. These little ‘secrets’ should be passed word of mouth, and only to trusted friends – haha.

    • We boondock on average about 325 days a year. We’re starting our 13th year of full timing/boondocking.

      We’ve seen huge changes in the availability of our favorite boondocking places because of the advent of social media….and we’re not happy about the current trends, they’re disappointing for the future of our lifestyle for so many reasons too numerous to add here.

      Be careful about what you share on social media it’s a plague; from our experience, our favorite spots that we haven’t seen anyone in for many years (we love our solitude and privacy), overnight, have become just like any RV park, anywhere, from just one posting that gets duplicated many times.

    • I agree Tommy, now yet another safe overnite spot shot to heck! My only hope is that the 3am parking lot sweepers give these folks some joy (I don’t mind them as I consider it the price of admission).

  6. Concerning the tip about snakes, if you’re close enough to look into it’s eye or to check it’s scale shape you’ll definitely be able to see the bite pattern because you will be bitten!

    • Good for you Bob. I’m with you! If these guys can’t respect the flag of the country that’s made them rich, I won’t respect them. I think they should be kicked out of the US.

      • Good for you guys, that’ll show them! You should just give up ALL sports and forms of entertainment – really teach them a lesson! How do you feel about all of the praying in sports and all of the “God thanking” , and prayer circles after the games? You need to protest all of that nonsense too! Really send them a message! It’s disrespectful and un-American!

      • Yes, it upset me also. They can ban Tim Tebow (a white Christian) for kneeling and crossing himself in honor of God, but they will do all they can to Idolize and guy for disrespecting our country. It’s all backward. Screw the Superbowl

        • That’s not why Tim Tebow is not playing in the NFL, it’s because he can’t throw the damn ball, and like many other former NFL QB’s who had the same problem, he was cut. It is part of the game. Unlike other former NFL QB’s who had the same shortcoming, he got 2 shots and now has a cushy announcing job, when he isn’t trying out for baseball.

    • In my opinion, Kaepernick kneeling for the National Anthem, shows no more disrespect than the flag that was used on the field in one of the championship games that was cut up into a map of the United States. One should not cut up the flag. Further, cheering for the fly over or the fire works during the National Anthem show just as much disrespect. An Air Force sergeant taught us that one is silent when he stands at attention.

      • As a veteran, who served 2 tours in Vietnam my service was for anyone to use their right to protest anything they feel is against oppression no matter what it is.

      • Ron. IMHO Kaepernick is a 3rd rate back at best. Look at his numbers. I do wonder about about all the people at home and if the stand for national anthem or are headed to RR and get a new load of snacks n a beer. As a vet I think it stinks what h has done but his right to protest.

    • There are at least 25 people in my circle that have givin up football most likely for life at this point.
      What’s the point- there is plenty of friend hating over politics today.
      Besides- how many times you want me to watch the N. E. P, play in a super bowl any way?

  7. Suggestion. Consider putting the login within the header or footer of every page so you don’t have to leave any page to login.

    BTW, I will not watch the Super Bowl for so many reasons. First and foremost because it’s become a political forum.

  8. Morning Chuck and Staff:
    First time writing…I’ve been following your column since purchasing my 1997 Holiday Rambled Vacationed a couple years ago. While not a traveler though I wish I were I live in it fulltime and its as much a home for this retiree as when I had a large maintenance nifhtmare.
    I enjoy your writings especially Mike Sokol and the hundred of useful tips and insights you’ve presented. I wanted to say thank you.
    R. Black

    • Thanks for your kind words, Ric! And thank you for reading our newsletters. We really enjoy what we’re doing and appreciate it when we get positive feedback from our readers. Have a great day! —Diane at RVtravel.com

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