Wednesday, March 18, 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.
If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” ―
Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Awkward Moment Day!
Coronavirus Updates for RVers
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted this morning (Wednesday) that the United State’s border with Canada will be “temporarily closing.” Trade and commerce between Canada and the U.S. will still continue, but tourists will be banned from crossing the border. There will be some exceptions. Stay tuned.
North Carolina’s 34 state parks, four recreation areas and three natural areas have suspended public operations. Park facilities, including visitor centers and campgrounds, will close, but trails and restrooms will remain open.
The National Park Service has closed visitors centers in the Great Smoky Mountains, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, and the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
La Grande, Ore.–based RV manufacturers Northwood Manufacturing Inc. (NW) and Outdoors RV (ORV) announced in a press release that they are temporarily closing down their manufacturing facilities. More.
Tennessee State Parks remain open and entry is free. Campgrounds are open, some with full hookups. Minnesota State Park campgrounds are open, but many visitor services are closed.
Yosemite National Park, California State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday that they are shutting down walk-in traffic at visitor centers. Yosemite officials said the park would shutter visitor centers and indoor exhibits through at least March 31. All outdoor spaces remain open.
As the coronavirus panic continues to empty store shelves of toilet paper, Dirty Dick’s Crab House in Nags Head on North Carolina’s Outer Banks is advertising a “free roll of toilet paper with every entree.”
FOR THE RECORD: The nation’s supply chain of toilet paper is well supplied. So no need to hoard.
In Massachusetts, campground closures include Beartown State Forest Campground in Monterey, Mohawk Trail State Forest Campground in Charlemont, Scusset Beach State Reservation Campground in Sagamore Beach, Daughters of the American Revolution Campground in Goshen, and Savoy Mountain State Forest Campground in Florida, Mass.
The 25th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers, Florida, has been canceled. The annual event was scheduled to take place at the CenturyLink-Lee County Sports Complex March 27 to 29.
Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 employees to staff its warehouses and delivery network. It also plans to give its employees a $2-per-hour raise through April. The company told sellers and vendors on Tuesday that it was suspending shipments of all nonessential products to its warehouses until April 5 to deal with the increased workloads following the coronavirus outbreak. The change only affects shipments to Amazon’s warehouses, not the last-mile deliveries to consumers.
Some grocery stores are hiring workers to stock shelves, and work as delivery drivers and part-time cashiers. Among them: Safeway, Raleys, Albertsons, Whole Foods (Amazon), Andronico’s, Vons, H-E-B, Ralphs, Harris Teeter, Tom Thumb, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, and Pak ’N Save. Costco is also hiring. NBC 10 in Los Angeles reports that the Woodland Hills store has “an average of 1,300 people waiting outside” when it opens. Work campers may want to check with their local stores for job availabilities. Walmart says it is okay for now.
Domino’s Pizza is hiring. Check your local stores. Also, check before you head out for your next fish fry: many are being cancelled.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has announced that the Garden State’s state parks, forests, recreation areas, wildlife management areas and historic areas will remain open to the public for passive recreation, like hiking, amid the spread of the coronavirus. But restrooms, visitor centers and campgrounds will be closed until further notice.
Zion National Park has suspended its shuttle operation. The park will remain open, and visitors will be allowed to drive through and park in the limited available parking.
MGM Resorts International announced Sunday it is temporarily suspending operations at all Las Vegas properties “until further notice.” The company operates the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, Excalibur, and Park MGM.
The Harry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Washington State’s Mount Rainier National Park is closed.
FAKE NEWS: Snopes reports that text messages advising Americans that the president will order a “mandatory quarantine” or “national lockdown” within 48 to 72 hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic are bogus, the U.S. National Security Council said in a tweeted statement this week. The false messages had gone viral on social media.
New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.
If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!
Tip of the Day
RV shopping? Two “musts” you may not have considered
How do buyers decide which RV to buy? They focus on interior design and floor plans. Manufacturers know this and go to great lengths in “staging” their various models for photographs used in advertising. Potential owners likewise pick their favorites based on what they see inside and, to a lesser extent, the outside of the RVs they consider.
What’s the matter with that strategy? Find out here.
Do you have a tip? Submit it here.
Maneuvering big RVs in tight fuel stops
While having a larger motorhome or towing a bigger trailer has its share of “pluses,” along with the increased length comes what for some is a “problem set.” When it’s time to fuel up your rig, getting in and out of the fuel station can become anything between a challenge and a nightmare. What can you do to make fueling up easier? Find out in this helpful article from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Yesterday’s featured article: Find that RV dump station
The cutest camping decor we’ve ever seen…
You’ll make everyone jealous! These battery-operated mini LED Kerosene lanterns are by far the cutest piece of camping-themed decor we’ve ever seen. These string lights are perfect for both indoor and outdoor lighting. Wrap them around the trees, patio decks, door frames, or windows for a party, holiday or summer decor. We’re ordering some for ourselves here…
Readers tell us
Have you ever stayed overnight in your RV in a Cabela’s parking lot? The comments in this one make a great resource. Click here.
• NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
• ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
• WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
• CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
• LATEST RV RECALLS.
Did you buy a lemon RV? Here’s more about RV lemons and lawyers who will represent you if you need help.
Don’t scream, just fix the screen!
This roll of screen repair tape is just what you need to fix those torn or ripped screens in your home or RV. Don’t waste money on a new screen! Cut as much tape as you need, stick it over the torn patch and you’re good to go. Learn more or order here.
Keep your sink drain clean to avoid “stink”
Working in the RV galley generates all kinds of small waste particles. If they go down the sink drain, they can form a “stink generator,” and they can foul up your tank level probes. Get thee to the hardware store and obtain the appropriately sized stainless steel sink drain screen. Clean it out frequently – by tossing the contents in the trash, not down the drain.
Random RV Thought
If there were ever a zombie apocalypse (or a viral outbreak), owning an RV gives you peace of mind that you can go (almost) anywhere at any time, and have your home and all your belongings with you.
Website of the day
Parks with forts in the U.S.
If you’re like us and like visiting old, abandoned, historic military forts, this is a site for you. The National Park Service lists all parks with forts, for all your exploring pleasures! A thing that does all things!
A thing that does all things!
This large silicone pad can be used in your microwave under hot bowls to pick them up, or on top of a dish as a splatter guard, on your table as a hot plate, a drying rack, or even as a jar opener. When it gets messy just toss it in the sink for a wash, or even put it in the dishwasher. About $10 on Amazon makes it a great deal. Talk about a great multi-tasking gadget for your RV (or home) kitchen.
Popular articles you may have missed at RVtravel.com
• How not to clean a plastic RV toilet.
• RVer wants buying advice. Isn’t it obvious this RV is bad news?
• Video: Unhappy campers vent on TV about Camping World.
The next time you experience having a “brain freeze” tell those around you you’re having a “sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.” That’s the scientific name for brain freeze.
Yesterday we told you some interesting St. Patrick’s Day trivia. Read it here in the trivia section.
Leave here with a laugh
If you are buying smart water for $5 a bottle, it’s not working.
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com. UPDATED HOURLY!
Join us: Facebook • Twitter • YouTube • RVillage
Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying Advice • Northwest RV Camping • Southwest RV Camping • Free Campgrounds • NEW Budget RV Travel • NEWER RV Videos plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.
Become a Member!
This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support? Learn more or contribute.
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.
This website utilizes some advertising services. 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.
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.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com
I have a living revocable trust that spells out everything…vehicles, house, RV in the name of the trust so I technically don’t own anything. The trust is located in Montana and the vehicles are registered there.
Many thanks to the person who suggested looking at office supply stores for toilet paper. While Staples was out, a local office supply company had it. We’re now the proud owners of a case of 96 rolls! Now to find bleach.
96 rolls? Family of 8 or more?
What you did is the problem, not the solution …..
It’s 96 rolls because they’re only selling it by the case, doncha think?
I don’t think she was complaining, Ron, just stating a fact. I ordered TP the other day from Staples, and I can expect shipment of 80(!) rolls maybe by April 24. (I wasn’t informed of the delay until I finalized the order online.) (And I thought Costco packs of TP were big. 🙄 ) —Diane at RVtravel.com
Hi Diane – love your name. 🙂 I think Ron’s reply was actually to George B. and Mr. Grumpy Pants Darrel (now unsubscribed I believe and we won’t miss him).
Ha! Yeah, you have a great name as well, Diane! 😀 I think you’re correct about the commenting. I got lost in the thread. 🙄 Take care, and stay healthy! 😀 —the other Diane
Regarding wills, your state has one for you if you don’t have your own. You might check and see how that would work out for your family if you don’t provide one for yourself.
Same in Canada Thomas. The state here will take good care of you after you leave this world with no will. I’ll bet that’s a fun job, sorting things out and putting them in the appropriate slots in the government treasury.
String those lights INSIDE your rig.
The “Will” question should also include the possibility of having a Trust. We do not have a “will” but instead a “Trust” so that our kids can have our estate immediately without going through probate and paying court cost and hiring lawyers to read the “will.” A Trust is better than a will for many financial reasons, Look into it.
Totally depends on the complexity of your financial situation. Ours is simple. The estate planners reviewed our situation with this question in mind and recommended the far less expensive wills. Trusts have their place but are not “better” in every situation.
We just revamped our will and it now includes an even more inclusive special needs trust while before it was only a real estate trust. That was done because of health issues that other family members have to insure that they don’t lose their inheritance (If we don’t succeed at spending it all!) or any medical assistance they may be receiving at the time. So I’d agree that a trust is the best for things financial , but a will takes care of so much more like who gets what family heirlooms and what I’d prefer them to do with all my collections. My wife is older and says she’s glad that she’ll likely go first and won’t have to deal with all my stuff!
People are buying up toilet paper because they believe that China manufactures all the toilet paper. Truth is the USA and Canada have their own paper producing companies who produce more than enough toilet paper to meet the need.
Nels, you are perfectly correct. But knowing it will never prevent the greedy, me, myself and I folks among us from being what they are. Ask any of them and shortly into the conversation they’re more than happy to inform you they’re normal and the rest of us are the ones with a screw lose!
Never thought I would be grateful to still be in my house. We wanted to have it sold by now, but some circumstances have kept us here. We will still sell as soon as this virus has passed. We want to full time for a year or so before settling again. Looking for places to move besides the West Coast, COW (California, Oregon, Washington). Get me out of California please!!!
Carol, who is LEFT in California?
I’ve seen comments here and in other places by people who think the shut down of public campgrounds is wrong. Here are some considerations:
Yes, fresh air and sunshine is good for you. Enjoy the day-use facilities that seem to be staying open. You might, however, want to either forego the use of the bathrooms or bring virucidal wipes and a clean towel with you to use. The wipes you should use on any handles or doors. The towel? Ever watch someone run their fingertips under water for 3 seconds and call that handwashing? Then they go and use those blowers to distribute the aerosolized germs from their hands. Wash your hands the full 20 sec and then get out and dry your hands with a clean towel.
Staying in a campground? Yes, most of us are self-contained and do not have to use the bathrooms but IF we get sick and require hospitalization the local hospitals may not be able to handle our situation. I’m not talking here about Covid-19 which most small town hospitals are ill-equipped to handle, but heart attacks, gastroenteritis requiring IV fluids, injuries, etc. All those things that have not and will not stop simply because there is a new virus. If you do require hospitalization and need to be taken by ambulance (air or road) can the person you travel with stay alone? Can you get the rig to you? (I see many wives who say they can’t drive the rig.) Where do you plan to do your food shopping while camped out? At a local store where the people who depend on that store do not have the ability to simply drive somewhere else to shop?
This is not going to last forever but if we stop looking at how it is inconveniencing us and how we can best work together to make sure it is contained and then eradicated we’ll probably do a lot better.
Sure do agree with you Lisa.
Particularly the item about waving ones hands under a running tap for three seconds and calling it a hand washing. A total waste of water.
I suspect many folks will after this is over will have learned how to properly wash their hands, and maybe get on board with other sanitary methods some of us have been attached to since our youth. Others will hopelessly go on doing what they’ve done forever.
We’ve all seen the employee at the hamburger joint (or high end restaurant) walking around the place with a wet rag wiping off table top and seat bottom with the same rag. Imagine how bloody contaminated that rag is at the end of that hopeless exercise!!!
Last but not least “the many wives who say they can’t drive the rig” scenario.
We bought a sensible sized rig easily driven by both the lady and I. We could have had something twice as large, with all the bling x’s three, as many do, but we didn’t in the name of keeping our journey’s sensible, and if need be recoverable at our hand if one of us ran into trouble.
We also share the driving, which allows either of us experience at running this thing down the roads safely. We’ve been RV’ing for over 50 years and long ago lost track of those we’ve found in a pickle when “he” had a heart attack and “she” didn’t know a fresh water fill port from a toad!
Thank you for a thoughtful information filled blog Lisa -all our best. Alvin & Geri.
Thank you. We started late (5 years ago at ages 63 and 65) but both of us made it a point to learn how to do everything inside and outside, and to drive our 33′ MH.
OK – some good points – but parks and public lands are closing all around the country. This AM Florida announced all state park closures – kicking out campers who were already secure and socially distanced, Also heard last night that we are to severely limit our domestic travel. But if we are kicked out of our campsite – where are we supposed to go??? If kicked out we have no choice but to wander the roadways. RVrs already possess the best methods for self-quarantine and social distancing. Closing parks and public lands does not help achieve C-19 virus containment efforts at all.
PS- your points about medical care if we get sick would apply no matter where we are. At least camping out in more remote locations severely reduces our chances of becoming infected in the first place.
I see your point and as full-timers we are lucky that we can go and stay with our son. OTOH, many of our fellow full-timers are also in a position of having family or friends they can stay with and there is the possibility, at least out west, to stay 2 weeks or longer on BLM lands. Many of the parks that are closing are in the east (except NM) where there are no BLM lands which means either private CG or possibly CoE. And I agree that OUR chances of getting sick are decreased as long as we practice good hygiene WHEN we have to go to town for supplies. But, unless we are staying in place we run the risk of carrying the virus from one place to the next. And what kind of tracking system do state parks have IF someone who has been staying in one tests positive? Anyone who has come through could possibly have been exposed. And this is now going to go on for months so it is a question of finding a place to hunker down. There are no easy answers but having worked as a nurse, including in a war zone, I am well aware that limiting exposure to pathogens is the first and best defense against them spreading.
Thank you, Lisa. Good points! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Very surprising you have not mentioned Mexico and the rvers that are here who will be returning to their respective countries both through the Mexico/ U.S. border. There are issues with the many border crossing between Mexico and the U.S.
Last week at Organ Pipes Cactus NM we met 2 couples from Canada who are returning to Mexico rather than trying to find places in the US or go back to the cold north.
If I cannot remember what I was about to say, how can I possibly remember “sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.”
Not that kind of brain freeze…but the kind you get from eating ice cream too fast.
Your random RV thought of the day is really you can only go as far as the next fuel stop, no fuel no go.
Keeping the sink drain clean . . . we wipe our plates, utensils, etc. with a paper towel; crumbs get wiped into trash, pots and pans get emptied and wiped, towels go into trash. then all get washed and dried. No food particles go down our drains, ever! Easy peasy.
Same as at home on a septic tank.
We do the same!! We also use the Geo Method for our tanks, which surprisingly keeps the odors in the black tank at bay. I only mention the black tank smell, as our grey tanks have never smelled since we wipe down our dishes and NEVER put food particles down the drain.
Yes, my wife and I have wills, advance medical directives, Designation of Agent for Disposition of Remains, HIPAA documents, and Power of Attorneys. A will is important, but it’s just the starting point to ease the burden on those who will step in both before and after that difficult time. Finally, IMHO, spiritual fitness and readiness of all concerned is just as important, now more than ever.
“If you are buying smart water for $5 a bottle, it’s not working.”
Does anyone know why so many people are buying TP? Maybe the warning of an impending TP shortage was only posted on the “loony bin” deep dark conspiracy web. I do note that there are many items at the normal stock level in the stores. If someone is telling you that the stores are all going to close shouldn’t you also be buying light bulbs in case quantity and ziplock bags by the bushel?
Stay home if at all possible and be safe for a couple of weeks. Help “bend the curve”. Both China and S.Korea have seen the rate of infection slowed. All we need to do if follow their lead.
Here is what S Korea has done https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/coronavirus-cases-have-dropped-sharply-south-korea-whats-secret-its-success
I suspect that some people are genuinely concerned that there will be a much stricter quarantine coming, and they will not have access to toilet tissue. Honestly, there are few things that I would rather run out of, but there are minor shortages of bottled water and canned goods as well in stores.
I also suspect that people are following the herd out of general anxiety. Whether because of overwrought news reports of simply that everyone else is doing it, no one wants to be short.
Roger, TP is the least, or at least among the least of our worries. I told another guy who said he had a fair quantity horded that I have enough old event T-shirts, to last through any epidemic or pandemic I could imagine. What a way to dispose of old memories eh?
Toilet paper is running short because every time someone sneezes, 10 people poop their pants.
Yes, I have a Will. But I am not planning on using it any-time soon.
“sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia” . . . I’ll try to remember that.
Your tax dollars at work. Governments that want you to practice social separation are closing campgrounds where you could actually accomplish that separation.
Yeah I have been wondering why close the campgrounds. Being outside in the sun is helpful from what I understand.
I used to work for the federal government, for 5 years only cause I could not take the ridiculous waste and supervisors that made brainless decisions. In the federal government if you have a useless employee and want to get rid of them you can not fire them you promote them out, do you see where this is leading…………
And yet they’re keeping the Day Use areas open!
Go in the bathrooms some of the most popular public campgrounds and you might get a clue. It’s not the fresh air and space, which is beneficial but can also be found in most places where people with RVs live, (except us Full Timers) it’s the use of the facilities. It’s also, to a lesser extent the fact that the hospitals in many of the areas near public campgrounds are not equipped to handle many emergencies-if any. If you were to get sick and need treatment are you prepared to be transported by ambulance perhaps hundreds of miles? Is there a way to get your rig to you? Many wives do not drive big rigs. Can the person you travel with handle living alone in the rig for what could be weeks?
It’s not the closing of the campground proper they are shutting down – it is knowing that a very large percentage of the population have such horrible sanitary habits they can’t take a chance on someone getting a bug from a tap contaminated by a walking petri dish, completely oblivious to his bad habits.
Sun and wind in ones face will not hurt anyone, a contaminated water tap likely will.
That’s an example of whats behind these closures.
I have seen a couple of posts explaining that the employees can’t get personal protective equipment (PPE) so if they can’t protect their workers why would they keep the parks open?