Wednesday, February 8, 2023


RV Daily Tips. Thursday, December 10, 2020

Issue 1490
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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Today’s thought

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is the first day of Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah!

On this day in history: 1868 – The first traffic lights are installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

Write for If you have professional writing experience and/or are an expert on a topic of high interest to RVers, please consider writing for us on a freelance basis. Work from anywhere. We pay. If interested, contact Chuck Woodbury at chuck (at)

Tip of the Day

RV winterizing quick tips

By Chris Dougherty
Certified RV Technician

In much of the country, once a year it becomes “RV winterizing time.” Here are some tips if that applies to you.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.

Today’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 rpod RP-202 Travel Trailer. As he reports, “This is a 25’-long, 96”-wide trailer that features a rear kitchen with a slide out, fireplace and even a walk-around queen bed.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 26KVS MS Travel Trailer? If you missed it, you can read it here.

For previous RV reviewsclick here.

Is this your RV?

If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific Standard time today, December 10, 2020. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV here (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.

This past week three people claimed their $25 gift card: Cheri S. of Spokane, WA, Jim M. of Fort Mill, SC, and Dianne K. of Hollis, OK.

We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.

New RVers: Fifth wheel hitching is easy

If you’ve never hitched up a fifth wheel trailer, the whole thing may seem a bit mysterious.  No worries! By following a systematic approach to hitching or unhitching, you can leave those concerns behind and get the advantages that a fifth wheel trailer provides. Here are tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris. Learn more.

Yesterday’s featured article: Is your RV 10 years or older? Any problems being denied a site?

Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.

Reader poll

How often do you have nightmares?

Try and remember, then tell us over here.

Quick Tip

Dealing with merging freeway traffic

Long-time RVer and reader Snayte has a viewpoint regarding on-ramp freeway merging: “I do not change my speed when a car is coming down the ramp. You have no way of knowing if that is what they intend to do to merge. I maintain my speed and let them figure out if they want to speed up to get in front of me, or slow down to get behind. More than once I have been slowed to almost a stop while entering the freeway because a car in front of me and the car on the freeway were both slowing to let the other in. Meanwhile the car behind me is about to run into everyone because he is looking back for an opening to merge into.”

Website of the day

Technomadia and essential RV apps!
Chris and Cherie have an excellent website about life on the road, but their page (and video) on must-have RV apps for your phone is a great resource.

Fireproof bagFire-resistant bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables from a fire. Its two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material make it resist fire and heat up to 1000 ℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables won’t be harmed. Learn more or order.

And the Survey Says…

We’ve polled readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:

• 6 percent say both of their parents are still living
• 38 percent say they were younger than the age of 30 when they first dreamed of buying an RV
• 12 percent always or usually bring a musical instrument with them when they travel in their RV

Recent poll: Do you know anyone personally who has tested positive for COVID-19 at any point?


In the 1990s, the average U.S. grocery store had about 9,000 products. Today there are about 40,000 products in those same stores.

*What two sister cities have hilarious corresponding names? Yesterday’s trivia gave you the answer. 

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This is Twila, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She thinks she’s a hunting dog but all she hunts is shadows, reflections, and stuff blowing in the wind. She can entertain herself for hours doing this!” —Scott Schnelle

Send us a photo of your pet with a short description. We publish one each weekday in RV Daily Tips and in our Saturday RV Travel newsletter.

We want to be friends with someone wearing this shirt

Leave here with a laugh

A biologist, a physicist, and a chemist go to the beach for the first time. The biologist is amazed at the birds, the seaweed, the fish. He goes into the water for a closer look. Pretty soon the water is over his head. He drowns. The physicist is mesmerized by the waves. The amplitude. The periodicity. The reflections. He goes into the water for a closer look. Pretty soon the water is over his head. He drowns. The chemist is sitting on the beach making notes in his lab book. He writes, “Biologists and physicists are soluble in water.”

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 and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.

Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTube

See all of our many Facebook groups here.

Need help? Contact us.

RV Daily Tips Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Social media and special projects 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 or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by

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2 years ago

on Federal, and most limited access highways the signs say MERGE. Merge must be one of the words that isn’t taught in schools anymore or drivers Education courses either.
Merge doesn’t mean you drift lanes and driving at a speed you want to drive at. It means you speed up or slow down and blend into the flow of traffic. In addition there is a little known traffic violation known as illegally yielding the right-of-way one of which is slowing down to allow a merging vehicle to change lanes in front of you. It’s illegal in most jurisdictions because it slows down traffic unnecessarily and because it can cause a chain reaction pile up. The safe way to make room for a merging vehicle if you have room is to change lanes but you are under no obligation to do so.

Ron T.
2 years ago

I took drivers ed for the insurance break after I’d had my license for six months. The instructor wouldn’t let me drive up to the speed of the traffic on the two-lane highways. It drove me nuts watching the traffic pile up behind me, Kinda like driving the motorhome now. I always try to find a place to let them get by.

As for the ramps, interstates were fairly new then and I remember them being called acceleration ramps and deceleration ramps since that’s what they were designed to give you the space to do.

Finally, as I worked in a grocery store for most of the 80s, I’d say that if you subtracted all the non-grocery items from today’s stores they be back to the same number of items. Now I can get food at the hardware store – Menards!

2 years ago

Re: lane merging. No where do I see anyone suggesting they use turn signals. When changing lanes or merging always activate your turn signal well before starting to change lanes to warn oncoming traffic. A flashing turn signal means “MAY I” not, “I’m coming over, watch out.”

Bob Weinfurt
2 years ago
Reply to  Ron

I guess you’ve never driven in the NYC area. As soon as a signal light comes on, the car just behind where you wanted to go floors it and blasts their horn to keep you from changing lanes. The only way to change lanes there is if there’s room, start your lane change the same time you turn your signal on. It’s worked for me for 40+ years. Otherwise, I’m a very courteous, considerate driver. Just when in Rome, drive as the Romans do
or get run off the road.

2 years ago
Reply to  Ron

My turn “signal “, “signals” my intention to others. It is not a request. It is an indication of my intent.

Mark B
2 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

Yes, but you cannot change lanes until it’s safe to do so. Sooooo many people think because their turn signal is on, they can just shoot over If there’s room or not.

Mario Nunez
2 years ago

The traffic light in London was gas-lit. It exploded less than a month after it was implemented, injuring its policeman operator.

Bob Weinfurt
2 years ago

Another issue I commonly run into on merging in with traffic is people are not leaving adequate space between each other, especially in metro areas.

2 years ago

I will not use self checkouts! I look at as they are taking someone’s job. If they want to give me a 10 or 15 percent for doing their work I might use them. Just my thought on self checkouts.

2 years ago
Reply to  HARLEY

Agree 100%

Rory R
2 years ago
Reply to  John

absolutely agree…

Sink Jaxon
2 years ago

Great poll today RVTravel !

2 years ago

I find the air horn perks everyone around up.
The person trying to merge at 20 miles an hour below the freeway speed wakes up and gets going. I wouldn’t drive a big rig without one after it saved me many times.

Thomas D
2 years ago

Aldi’s leaves something to desire when it comes to selection. re:soup, they only carry their brand . My daughter buys it and it’s like water, where Campbell is thicker and more fulfilling. Sometimes saving a few cents isn’t worth it. Product placement in stores costs money.where its displaced and even if costs the manufacturer.

Robert Nelson
2 years ago

When entering a freeway I look at the traffic on the road and pick the spot I will merge and match my speed before I enter. I’ve seen people reading books, talking on their phone or to there passengers. I do not slam on my brakes at 70 to let some idiot mose on at 40.

John Macatee
2 years ago

Merging is best handled by being observant, looking ahead at the on ramp, most importantly, maintaining your distance behind the vehicle in front of you, at 55mph use the 5-6 second rule adjusting for weather conditions is best.

Jeff Arthur
2 years ago

My merging plan is enter traffic at +5 mph over the posted speed limit. Always move to the left lane if possible when merging traffic appears. Most truckers are very good at letting you in .Gravel trucks seem to have the worst drivers, not to mention the broken windshields they cause.

Richard Hubert
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

Not a good idea if freeway traffic is going 30mph in a 55 zone. The ONLY way merging traffic works is for each driver to match the speed – in their on-ramp – of the highway traffic in the lane they want to merge into.

Learned long ago that the highway posted speed limit is totally meaningless when merging onto a highway from an on-ramp. The only thing that matters is what speed the traffic is moving in the lane I need to merge into. Especially here in Southern CA highway traffic could be going 10mph (typical) or 80mph, so it is totally up to the merging driver to match their speed to the highway.

Again – the speed highway posted speed limit is totally irrelevant at that point.

Jim G.
2 years ago

Lane courtesy is the practice of yielding to or moving over for faster moving traffic. When I can, I extend this courtesy to merging traffic by moving over if the next lane is open and safe to do so. Knowing some vehicles struggle to get up to speed, I try to give them a break.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jim G.

I have done this, but I am then stuck in the passing lane going 60 mph with my trailer, while everyone passes me on the right in the lane I vacated.

Phil Atterbery
2 years ago

The traffic tip is one way to handle merging traffic, even though the incoming vehicle has the responsibility to adjust to the existing flow of traffic.
I feel the overall flow of traffic is better served by changing lanes out of the right lane if possible.

2 years ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

This is fine when there are more than 2 lanes; in cities it always pays to stay in the middle lane and avoid the mergers.

But on standard four-lanes, many times there is a posted rule to stay in the right lane except to pass, and the inside lane is often full of aggressive speeders. If the traffic flow is light enough to allow my moving into the inside lane, it’s also light enough for the mergers to figure out how to get onto the road. I’m not going to add a hundred lane changes to my driving day, it’s just adding more hazards. For one thing the ‘whip-around’ effect; the speeder whose lane you pulled into often wants to whip around passing you on the right, just as you are trying to get back in the right lane.

2 years ago

I look for activity in the vicinity of the on ramp as I’m approaching the associated off ramp. If I see vehicles entering the on ramp I move to the left lane if possible. If I cannot safely move to the left lane, the cars that are in front of me as they are going down the ramp are free to enter in front of me. The cars behind me that are on the ramp can fall in behind. Once in a great while, someone pulls along side me on the ramp. They can either brake or ride along the shoulder. When I have an opportunity to move to the left lane, I will.

Christine DeAbi
2 years ago

I don’t drive our motorhome, but as the passenger, I understand the merging issue. I think a quick toot on the horn lets the car know that we are first. Also I think moving a bit to the right lets the car know he should go first. Of course, nothing is foolproof!

2 years ago

I must be a fool… I do not understand what you are saying here. How does tooting and/or moving a bit convey a correct message to the other driver?

Bob P
2 years ago

The inability to merge lies with the drivers license examiner. When they are testing a new driver they never ask “do you know how to merge into traffic?” As a ex trucker I have actually seen people stop on an entrance ramp and wait for a big enough space they could leisurely enter the road. Also some teachers that don’t do there jobs by defining key words kids need to know.

Ron H.
2 years ago

Too many drivers failed the Merging 101 course or are distracted by something they’re doing while driving. A smooth merge is a thing of beauty.

2 years ago
Reply to  Ron H.

So true. Speed up and get ahead of the cars or slow down and get between or behind. Pay attention. It’s just not that hard.

2 years ago
Reply to  Ron H.

Your right Ron. Driver’s ed has always taught to pick your space and match your speed for a smooth merge. Drivers on the road just maintain a consistent speed. Shouldn’t be that hard, but a lot of drivers must have been sick that day. Seems like a lot of people think the one merging has the right of way and you better slow down for them. NOT! I’ll get off my soapbox now.

2 years ago
Reply to  Tom

You learned to merge in drivers ed? I hadn’t seen an interstate until I was in my mid-20s, and by then I had been driving since I was 14 – gravel roads in a pick-up truck.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  KellyR

Hi, Kelly. That reminds me of when one of my sons was in a driver’s ed class just north of Seattle — near I-5. Three students and the teacher were in the car practicing driving in the neighborhood. One student asked if they were going to practice driving on the freeway. “Oh, you want to do that?” The teacher wasn’t even going to include that in the class(!) — and that’s the way most people get around here. You’d think that would be a requirement. OY! —Diane at

2 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

There are interstates all over down here in Tampa. Where I-75, I-275, and
I-4 meet is called Malfunction Junction. I stay down on the street level.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  KellyR

Malfunction Junction. 😯 I’m glad I don’t have to drive anywhere near there! If anyone around Seattle wants to go anywhere other than their immediate neighborhood, they take either I-5 or I-405, so I just can’t understand why freeway driving wasn’t mandatory in driver’s ed. Maybe that has changed since my sons learned how to drive — hopefully! Thanks, Kelly. Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane at

2 years ago
Reply to  KellyR

OK, so drivers ed in the mid sixties was still a novelty. But common sense should come into play. Oh wait, common sense for some of them? Never mind.

2 years ago

Grocery stores can be over stocked. I like Aldi’s. We do not need 15 different cans of tomato soup, just one or two, please.

2 years ago
Reply to  Tom

We shop at Aldi’s more and more each week. most items are the same, as good as, or better than the “regular” grocery stores. And they always cost a little less. There’s just a handful of items we prefer from elsewhere, but Aldi’s gets most of our shopping dollar. Best of all the stores are usually less crowded with families out for their recreational shopping day.

2 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Can’t say I find any saving in Aldi’s at all and their soups are worse than other store brands. On the northeast coast we have Market Basket most store brand is good and overall the cost is less on check out. I think it depends where you live on cost. Also like that Market Basket has continued without the {bleeped} self check outs. I like a cashier, a personal touch I think of class.

2 years ago
Reply to  Tom

I don’t need over stocked soup brands either, UNTIL people rush the stores before a hurricane or Covid.