Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.
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“There is greatness in doing something you hate for the sake of someone you love.” ―
Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National White Shirt Day!
Tip of the Day
Cheap grommet can save your day – and your awning
RV principles to live by: If rain is in the offing, tilt your awning; if serious rain is in the offing, roll up your awning. Russ and Tiña De Maris relate an unfortunate experience they had during an overnight rainstorm even after tilting their awning. But here’s a quick and easy tip from long-time RVtravel.com reader Wolfe Rose, along with his video, that will save your awning.
Automatic transfer switch warning
As RVs come out of the “dark ages” and flow with the use of modern technology, it gets easier for us, including the use of an automatic transfer switch (ATS). But beware: Even with an ATS to make living with your RV generator oh-so-much easier, there are issues that you need to take care with – some that can cost you loads of money. Learn more.
Yesterday’s features article: Is your RV furnace burning your money?
How to handle speed bumps
If you take your RV across a speed bump, you may find it pops open cabinet doors. Alleviate this issue by taking on the speed bumps “dead-on” and slow, rather than hitting them at an angle. An angled approach causes more coach rocking. [Or cockroaching, if you read it too fast like the editor just did!]
Stay up to date on RV and RV-related recalls here.
Where have you been all my life?
A useful quick tip from electricity expert and long-time RVer Mike Sokol! “I used to drag out a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels to clean the inside of my windshield periodically, but unless I was home to think about and do the task right then, chances are I would forget about it until the next time I had to drive at night. My wife just gave me a pack of Windex Wipes for my truck, and now I can clean up the inside of my windshield any time it gets a film of streaky dust. Works great.” Buy them here.
Random RV Thought
If parking near other RVs in a boondocking situation, try very hard to position your RV so the exhaust from your generator does not blow into your neighbor’s RV. This could cause a very dangerous condition.
Website of the day
Polarsteps is an app that will help you document your travels. It automatically keeps track of your travels and shows where you’ve been, how you got there, and what you did there. You can follow your family and friends’ trips too.
And the Survey Says…
We’ve polled RVtravel.com readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:
• 12 percent have had water damage to their RV that cost more than $1,000 to fix
• 29 percent would describe the quality of American interstates as poor
• 51 percent of readers’ RVs have not been in the repair shop within the last year
Recent Poll: Do you have a really good, close friend? Tell us here.
This book saves you tons of money
Camp for free! Any RVer that has been on the road for awhile likely has a dog-eared and ragged copy of Don Wright’s “Guide to Free and Low-cost Campgrounds.” This is the most recent edition and you’ll want to keep it handy for the most up-to-date information. Read more about it here, and maybe order a copy of the 832-page guide here.
A popular tongue-twister, “She Sells Seashells by the Seashore,” was likely written about a female paleontologist who sold dinosaur bones in the 1800s. It’s thought that Mary Anning, a woman who ran a small fossil stand on Dorset Beach in England (an area that’s known for a plentiful amount of dinosaur bones), inspired the rhyme. Anning was responsible for finding some of the first dinosaur fossils in Britain.
What famous building in the U.S. has its own ZIP code? We told you yesterday.
Leave here with a laugh
Only in America …
• do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage
• do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight
• do we have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering
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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising 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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Re: Aiming of Generator Exhaust While Boondocking – Just recently – while parked amongst a number of RV’s out in the desert at Quartzsite – our CO detectors both started beeping away, alarming us that CO was present. This was in the early evening, when many run generators before quiet hours, but we were not that close to each other. We certainly did not smell any exhaust coming into our RV, but we did have some windows open and there was a gentle breeze. Having a good solar system, and fully charged, we were not running our own generator, but yet the front CO detector went off, and then a few minutes later the other in the bedroom also alarmed us. Both are fairly new battery powered units, unconnected to each other, and had never before gone off. We were puzzled as to what was happening because we were not using any propane for cooking or heating at that time, so did not know why they were going off. Finally determined that the only possible CO source had to be from our neighbor’s Honda generator. Even after we silenced both CO detectors they would come back on again after a few minutes. Talked to our neighbor about this and suggested he look into having a tuneup done on his generator (blocked air filter?) and we had no further alarms after he shut his generator down.
So when close to others – when running your generator it’s not just a matter of exhaust fumes – but of CO being released and carrying into other rigs. (we never smelled his exhaust at all!)
Oh, you talked to him and solved the problem? How unique… I hear there are people that would rather covertly cause damage to same offending piece of equipment.
Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today, WEB? 😉 —Diane at RVtravel.com
If I’m so close to my neighbor while boondocking that my exhaust can reach their RV, I’m in the wrong boondocking place.
When I click on the link to get more info on Don Wrights book, all I get is a book image and a broken second link. I’m on iPhone.
Thank you for letting us know, David! The link worked fine in WordPress Edit mode but I got the same result as you did in Preview mode. I’ve never seen that happen before. It took me about 6 or 8 attempts to fix the link, but it turned out that the image itself in our ad text was somehow interfering with the link to Amazon. I had to remove the image and replace it. I think the link will work now. (If I had any clue what I was doing it wouldn’t have taken so much trial-and-error to fix it, but I think I finally got it!) I hope it works for you now. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
What book is that? How to properly insert a potato into an annoying neighbors exhaust and disabling their generator?
Hi, WEB. Good one, sorta. He was referring to Don Wright’s “The Wright Guide to Free and Low-Cost Campgrounds.” I’m not positive, but I don’t think Don Wright the author is the same person as the Donald Wright who comments here. Maybe Donald Wright the commenter will enlighten us. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Found out many years ago easier to hit a speed bump head on than side ways even if not in a motor home or pulling a trailer
The poll should have specified whether we have guests in our RV. I’m sure some answered about RVs and some about sticks and bricks houses.
My brother immediately answered the braille ATM drive up with “it’s a matter of economics. All keyboards are the same no matter where they put them.
today’s poll results shocked me. Are most RV er’s antisocial ? Breaking bread with friends is one of our most enjoyable pastimes. We have met new RV neighbours while travelling and had dinner together. But almost every week we invite people over, if we haven’t been invited elsewhere. Its a great way to show off your cooking skills, or learn new recipes to share. Host a dinner party people, you might actually enjoy it. Bon Apetit.
I dine with friends quite often but usually not at home.
Day after day, week after week its work, friends, and family. It seems to never stop. We always have to be somewhere or going somewhere or doing something. We go camping to get away from it all. For just me and my wife (and dogs) to have some alone time together, just for us. No obligations to anyone but ourselves. We don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. Our monthly camping time is getting away time to relax and recharge.
I don’t invite folks to my home or RV for dinner… hate cooking.
Does Donald N Wright know that he can go to jail for that stuff??
Most of the time when us an ATM its a walkup style ATM, so having brail on a ATM makes sense t me. Blind people do banking and have cash just like sighted.
You could say we have guests a lot of the time. My wife and I are snowbirds parked beside her sister and hubby. One night my wife cooks, next night my sister-in-law cooks and the third night we’re on our own. Cuts costs, kitchen time and trying to figure out what to eat every night.
That’s not having guests over, that’s called family
Living So Cal and Camping year round I’ve learned it’s way easier to put awning up when done for the day. I got up too many times at 2:00am to go outside and put it and on top of that….doing it in the wind. My awning is manual old skool and it still only takes a few minutes.
Not trying to be a jerk, but putting a grommet in the middle of your awning is ridiculous. Common sense should tell one when to roll the awning “up”. Will the water not puddle under the awning? When sitting outside, one would have to avoid that area.
Totally agree. Pay attention to the forecast and roll it up. Storms coming, roll it up. If you leave camp, roll it up.
Yep awnings are for shade…not storm protection.
Sink, I have Southern friends that were amazed to find out that we use our awning in the Northwest, where rain is normal. The awning needs to be able to tilt, so we don’t build up the pool of water. The “automatic” awnings appear to be designed for shade, vs the old style manual ones that allow us to camp. (rain is just part of the beauty of camping around here)
Interesting perspective…if able (there), willing (not sheltering stuff), and conscious (not 3am or forgetful) then sure, roll it up! This is for the other 99% of the time… 😉
Puddle? No… it runs away. Avoid? 1 square foot out of 300sf? I like comfortably grilling/ sitting/prepping toys in the rain…
Hi, for cleaning windows, mirrors, counters and such: a 50/50 solution of vinegar and alcohol in a dollar store spray bottle is all you need. I learned this while doing media work for a professional walleye tournament. I asked one entrant how he kept his boat and motor free of water marks, and he told me that secret. it works great, and it’s inexpensive.
Concerning random thoughts and the exhaust from your generator, please remember many of us when camping to escape and avoid running engines., noise and exhaust. You might get potatoed in the night, have things stuffed in your exhaust pipe, or find the hatch to your generator open with wire connections missing…
Do stuff like that and you will be hurt
Maybe YOU need to move somewhere else where you will be a little safer!
Are you truly advocating that you would damage someones gear to satisfy your need for quiet? Get up off your lazy bottom and go ask them to turn it off POLITELY and you know what? I bet they shut it off. But wait, if you asked them and they do shut it off. you wouldn’t have anything to complain about.
A potato in the exhaust pipe will stop an engine but will do no harm to it. It will run just fine when you take the potato out.
You should get a name change to Wrong.
Wow Run, don’t walk and get yourself some anger management help.
Why are a lot of you assuming this is something Donald would do himself? Maybe he’s just trying to warn folks about what someone else might do. –Diane at RVtravel.com
So RV Staff allows posts about damaging other peoples rigs – then DEFENDS that post?????? Incredible!
I’m not defending the “activity” mentioned in the post, Darrel. I’m defending the commenter’s right to warn people that there are some people out there who might take that action. At least, that was my intention. (I’ve heard of potatoes in tailpipes before.) I’m sorry you interpreted it way differently than what I had intended. I do not defend or condone those actions, and I do not believe that the writer meant he would do anything of that sort or that he condoned it. Why are you jumping on me for defending someone’s right to post a warning? —Diane at RVtravel.com
Why do I buy hot dogs in packages of 10. Because I eat 2 cold while grilling 8.
We always seem to have one hotdog “abandon ship” from the grill (dog gets it) so it works out having the dog:bun ratio skewed towards the meat.
Use 2 keilbasa… cut into 4 each, they fill the 8 buns and taste better than pink slime.
If you insist on slime dogs, there are larger ones like redhots sold in octets.
The Braille lettering on drive up ATMs is the perfect example of government regulations that require handicap access to everything with no regard to common sense. Of course I guess a blind person could get a sighted person to drive them to an ATM, then crawl over the driver to access the ATM. COMMON SENSE?
Mayby they use the same machine at drive-ups as they use at walk-in and the mfg doesn’t know for sure where the machine will be used thus puts on all machines. COMMON SENSE?
Well put, Bob. Actually, I think all ATM’s are the same whether they are installed in a ‘walk-up’ or a ‘drive-up’. Just guessing . . .
Another ATM example that irks me is having to choose between English or Spanish. America should be the “melting pot”. Human nature pulls on all of us. Change does not occur until the pain of staying the same is too great. In this case, catering too much spanish will lengthen the process of learning english.
I sure was happy when i used an ATM in Italy last year that I did need to learn Italian.
Is selecting a language so inconvenient?
What’s cheaper and easier, 1- manufacture two sets of buttons. one with braille, and one without, accompanied by the associated costs of storing and keeping track of two sets of buttons, and keeping straight which buttons get shipped where, along with the end user having to keep two different inventories of spares, or 2- have only one set of dies/machinery to produce all the buttons the same way and have them work universally?
A lot of ATM machines are walk ups where blind people can easily use them. Its easier and probably cheaper to make all of them with Braille lettering than two separate ones.
I don’t think Bob put a lot of thought into his reply.
Read my brothers answer. Has nothing to do with GOV’T regs. Economics.