May 23, 2019
Welcome to another 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.
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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.
A Benchmark Atlas may change your view of the road
The Benchmark series of atlases have long been favorites with wanderers, and with good reason. Covering the 11 Western states, these tabloid-sized books are a wealth of information and far richer than the typical road atlas. Each one covers one state, and the information is generally provided as two sets of maps: recreation view and landscape.
The recreation maps are large-scale, grand-view depictions of terrain and land use, with major highways and arterial roads. Landscape maps are topo-style, smaller-scale, with secondary roads, campgrounds, contour lines for elevation, and so forth – exactly the kind of detail needed for serious exploration (or for finding that great out-of-the-way campground).
The recreational maps are especially useful for locating public lands. They cover, in excellent detail and accuracy, parks, monuments, BLM lands, national forests, and state lands. Easily find roadways, dirt roads, and even trails. The road markings are remarkably clear, and it’s easy to tell the difference between a motorhome-capable dirt road and a rough 4WD track. Of course, local conditions and weather can change these things, but the maps are still a great place to start.
In addition to the pure cartographic information, the atlases also provide a fair-sized listing of points-of-interest such as campgrounds, historical places, parks, museums and such. On several occasions, I’ve found a great place that I didn’t know I was going to – until I read about it in the atlas.
The big pages and clear detail of these giant books (11″ x 16″) make for easy orientation – the “big picture.” Despite being dedicated electronic aficionados, we find ourselves making extensive use of the atlases over our iPad and Droid maps. In fact, our several-year-old atlas copies are well-worn and dog-eared. Atlases list for about $25 on the Benchmark website, but they are routinely discounted at retailers and Amazon pricing runs about $13 to $25. —Greg Illes
If you will be near Hagerstown, MD, on June 8 you might want to consider taking one or both of Mike Sokol’s classes on RV electricity. The details are here.
Come into the light!
Our favorite electricity guy, Mike Sokol, uses this Caterpillar pocket light for just about everything. He writes, “I bought one of these CAT CY1000 Pocket COB Lights a few months ago and liked it so much that I also picked up one for my dad. I’ve dropped it a bunch of times, and it still keeps working, like any of the other tough-as-nails CAT products.” It easily clips on to your belt, shirt pocket, or anything magnetic, so you can work hands-free. Learn more or order.
DID YOU KNOW
The Panama Canal isn’t the only body of water that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. At Parting of the Waters, deep in the Wyoming Teton wilderness, you’ll find a stream that splits in two and does, indeed, connect the Atlantic to the Pacific. Read more about it here.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Don’t pass the gas – valve!
Loyal reader, Jeff, considers a critical safety factor in RVing is traveling with the LP gas valves closed. To help him remember, he’s had a special “red flag” tag designed, which he hangs in his rig’s electrical power center. Thanks, Jeff, for the tip!
Save money when buying something – look here first
Make it a habit to check eBay and Craigslist before you buy almost anything. Buying used (and sometimes new) items using eBay and Craigslist can easily save you 50% or more on most items. I buy items on Amazon, too, but I usually find new items on Amazon and used items on eBay and Craigslist. I bought new shocks for my motorhome on Amazon and I bought a used Progressive Industries portable electrical management system (a little box to protect against electrical surges, open ground wires, low voltage, etc.) through eBay for about half of the retail price. —From Secrets of RVing on Social Security: How to Enjoy the Motorhome and RV Lifestyle While Living on Your Social Security Income
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
If you don’t own a convertible, rent one! These beautiful drives sure would be nice with the top down…
WiFi endoscope lets you peep where your eyes won’t go
Ever wondered what the inside of your black water tank looked like? Is that “tank blaster” really doing the job? You can’t just eyeball the inside of the tank – or can you? With a flexible endoscope, you can run a tiny camera down for a “look around,” and get an eyeful of information on your tablet or phone. It’s pretty handy to have in the RV so check it out here.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
I was walking down the street today when a tow truck driver pulled up alongside me and said, “Excuse me, I’m looking for the accident site involving a truck carrying a load of cutlery.”
“Oh, I saw them a way back,” I said. “Go straight down this road for one mile, then take the first left, and when you get to the fork in the road you’re there.”
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Emily Woodbury. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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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