Friday, December 9, 2022


RV Daily Tips. Friday, June 25, 2021


Issue 1630
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

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” —Benjamin Franklin

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Catfish Day! So go ahead: Honor the fish by eating it (doesn’t seem like such a great honor if you’re a catfish, does it?). Or, if you’re not into eating fish today, you can celebrate National Strawberry Parfait Day.

On this day in history: 1977 – Roy C. Sullivan of Virginia is struck by lightning for the 7th time.

Actor and RVer Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey is guest on podcast

Our podcast host Scott Linden talks with Academy Award winning actor Matthew McConaughey in the latest podcast. McConaughey is not only passionate about his acting and producing, but he’s an avid RV enthusiast, having lived in his Airstream trailer for 4 years while visiting every state you can reach by land except South Dakota. In this conversation, People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” explains “what gets his juices going” about RVing. Listen to the program here.

Tip of the Day

If you are a solo RVer, please do this

Are you a solo RVer? Here’s a “stop and ponder” issue for you. Every year thousands of RVers descend on the Desert Southwest, looking forward to a great time of exploration and relaxation. And every year, reports a representative of the Quartzsite, Arizona, fire department, a body is found in the desert, usually of someone who wandered off, got disoriented, and never made it back to their RV.

It turns out, many of these folks were solo RVers, and since there wasn’t anybody “home” waiting for them, nobody put out the cry for help when that RVer vanished. Continue reading for some important lifesaving tips.

Yesterday’s tip of the day: Water dripping outside and inside my RV on dry day. Why?

Today’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews (reveals?) the new East To West Entrada 2200s Class C Motorhome. As he reports, “I do really like this model for a combination of value, floor plan design and the materials used in the construction along with the thinking that went into the overall build. I have also liked East To West’s products and often like them better than that of the competition.” Read his review here.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the Thor Palazzo 37.5 Class A Diesel Pusher? 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 time today, June 25, 2021. 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.

Last week two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Dana Eulert of Huntley, Illinois, and Jay Miller of Runnells, Iowa.

We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s RV Travel 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.

See wild burros, gunfights and a historic stretch of Route 66

From publisher Chuck Woodbury: “Do this: Drive the 22 miles or so from Oatman, Arizona, on old Route 66 east toward Kingman. It’s beautiful and has character. Drive east in late afternoon to experience the jagged Black Mountains bathed in the rich glow of the afternoon sunlight. It’s stunning. Get out of your vehicle whenever you wish for a photo; there’s little traffic.” Read more about Chuck and Gail’s interesting trip, including a 15-second video of a burro sticking its head in the car and trying to eat the windshield wiper control.

Yesterday’s featured article: Really? This fifth wheel setup is bizarre and dangerous

You may have missed these recent popular stories…

Reader poll

Do you sing in the shower?

Inquiring minds want to know. Here’s where to respond.

Quick Tip

Warning about getting repair work charges up front

A warning from a reader MGG: “We went back to a trucking firm we’ve used in the past for some basic work on our 2019 Tiffin 32SA. Even though we provided the shocks, we were treated to a $427 bill. That was for only 72 minutes in the shop — two guys at $175 an hour. Maybe this is the going rate now. So this is just a warning to others to not pull into a truck service center without asking up front about the price of the repair, even for what amounts to apprentice-level work.” (Editor’s note: The same goes for any repair facility.)

Not only are these environmentally friendly, but they’d save you A LOT of money too! Check ’em out.

Website of the day

The Best Podcasts for Your Next Road Trip
This is a great list of podcasts! Especially the first one for us RVers, The Atlas Obscura Podcast. How neat! Happy listening! (Note: This is not the same list of podcasts we linked here recently.)

(But, of course, no podcast is good as our very own podcast…)

Clubs and useful organizations
PLEASE NOTE: We may receive an affiliate commission if you join any of these.

• Harvest Hosts: Stay free at farms, wineries and other scenic and peaceful locations for free. Save 15% on membership.
AllStays: The best website for RVers! Your membership will become your RV-bible.
Boondockers Welcome: Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Modest membership fee.
Escapees: Best Club for RVers: All RVers welcome, no matter what type of RV, make or model.

Recipe of the Day

Catfish Ain’t Got Nuthin’ on Me!
by Pami Toll from Park Forest, IL
Travel anywhere in the South and you’ll see fried catfish on the menu. It’s a Southern staple. This catfish comes out nice and crisp. We loved the sweet and spicy flavor. These little guys were gobbled up quickly in the Test Kitchen.

It’s National Catfish Day! Fry some up! Get the recipe.

SEE YESTERDAY’S YUMMY RECIPE: Super Easy Grilled Chicken Teriyaki

Don’t scream, just fix the screen!
This roll of screen repair tape is just what you need to fix those torn, ripped or cracked screens in your home or RV. Don’t waste your money buying a whole new screen! Cut off as much of the tape as you need, stick it over the torn patch of the screen and voila! You’ve got a screen as good as new. It’s summer, so you’ll want to keep those windows open but those bugs out. Learn more or order here.


The first wearable eyeglasses appeared in Italy during the 13th century. Primitive glass-blown lenses were set into wooden or leather frames (or occasionally, frames made from animal horn) and then held before the face or perched on the nose. Benjamin Franklin added to the versatility of glasses by inventing the bifocals by cutting lenses in half and putting them together into one frame.

*How many exams must a fairy pass before it can collect teeth? The answer is a fun one to read to the kids or grandkids! Find it in yesterday’s trivia

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This is our 8-year-old Lakeland Terrier, Charlie, after a long walk around a campground. He can’t wait to go wherever we are going.” —Dave Messner

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. No blurry photos, please! Please do not submit your photo more than once. Thanks!

Leave here with a laugh

Mr. Johnson: “I want to speak with you about your son. I discovered him playing doctor with my daughter.”
Neighbor: “Well, it’s only natural for children that age to explore their sexuality in the form of play.”
Mr. Johnson: “He took out her appendix.”

Stupid RVer Tricks! Oh, what some of them do! Watch and [maybe] weep!

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.

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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 2021 by

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1 year ago

It is a sad decline. I remember back in the 60s my motorcycle Owner’s Manual told me how to adjust the valves. Now the Owner’s Manual tells you not to drink the battery acid. I guess we just need to remove all the warning labels and the problem will solve itself.

1 year ago

I find it amazing an owner of a 2019 $250K coach would complain about a $470 labor charge. Most commercial service centers will not install customer provided parts due to liability issues. $175 an hour labor charge is not exorbitant!! Our local Freightliner service center has a big sign saying per hour labor rate is $162 and no customer provided parts will be installed. When you sign the service order these costs are fully disclosed so I do not sympathize with this owner.

Last edited 1 year ago by Engineer
Bob p
1 year ago
Reply to  Engineer

Yes but their $250K motorhome may have been financed for $1 down and a $1 a week plan by CW.

Lil John
1 year ago
Reply to  Engineer

After owning an auto repair for twenty years I am always amazed when shops say “no customer parts”. We had return customers that became family, and would occasionally put in their parts and stamp the invoice “no warranty on labor or parts supplied by customer”. I never had one problem. I did get lots of customers though, because I treated each one well, and individually. Customers pay for the amount of time you work. Same labor price unless you have to have expensive special equipment (commercial trucks, etc.) My dad always said. “No job is harder than another, some just take longer”

Don N
1 year ago
Reply to  Engineer

That bill represented 2.44 hours labor cost. That is 1.22 hours each technician. Sounds like abut the correct labor time for a big motorhome. Did the charges also include a 15% customary shop supply fee? ($70.50)

1 year ago
Reply to  Don N

Shop supplies have always burned my butt. They charge $140 per hour labor and pay the mechanic $15 as a newbie. That leaves $125 to cover their other costs plus what they mark up the parts. Shop supplies are a rip off.

1 year ago

I am surprised that this hasn’t been mentioned but the actual time it takes to do the work doesn’t matter. Automotive shops use a industry standard hours for work performed book and charge based on that. The mechanics work hard to beat that time so that they can “charge” more than 8 hours a day even though they only work 8 hours. The shop makes more and the mechanics make more.

The Lazy Q
1 year ago

You should always get an upfront cost for any work be it home, car, or RV anyway. $472 doesn’t sound bad for replacing shocks on that class A motor home, remember engineers designed them but by what I’ve seen never with future maintenance taken into account. If I don’t have the skills or physical ability to do a job myself, I gladly pay. When we pay someone to do a job for us, we are not just paying for their time ie, tools, training, certificates to be kept updated etc…let alone the frustration it saves us from attempting the job in the first place.

Also, yesterday’s trivia is zero. There are no fairy exams because there are no fairies.

Jim Thomas
1 year ago

RE: repair work charges. While it is always a good to get a written estimate before authorizing work, some shops rightfully charge a higher labor rate when using customer supplied parts. Those parts sales are a portion of the income the shop produces. I mean, you don’t bring a steak to a restaurant and ask them to cook it for you.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

There are restaurants that will cook customer supplied foods, generally seafood.

Wayne Caldwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

Jim, that is precisely what I learned in an auto class 50 years ago.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

A typical markup on parts is 40%, and for good reason. If the parts they sell fail, they have to (usually) stand behind those parts and replace them as warranty. They will probably get reimbursed by the parts supplier, but if they are doing warranty work, they’re not really making any money. There are many shops that refuse to install customer supplied parts, and if they do they should tell the customer up front. I have done that with items people found cheaper on the internet, and stressed on the bill NO WARRANTY, CUSTOMER SUPPLIED PARTS. Eventually I stopped doing it altogether.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

Exactly. If you bring your own tires into a tire shop for mounting, you will pay top dollar for the service. If you BUY your tires from them, mounting and balancing is included in the price of the tires.
Plus, if one of the shocks fails, you will then have to pay again to have it replaced. No warranty from the shop doing the work when you bring your own parts.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

No I don’t bring a steak to a restaurant, but when the parts guy tells you it’ll take 3 weeks for some manufacturer or distributor to get a part from Elkhart to you, though you are 700 miles from Elkhart, or it’s hopelessly ‘backordered’, some of them freely tell you to buy it yourself online. When it’s a fairly urgent repair, this is what a lot of people do. Let’s not blame beleagured customers for a failed supply system. Lots of us aren’t hanging around town long enough for these parts to wind their way to the shop.

Rolling Coal
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

I use a shop where the owner has no problem with me supplying parts for repairs above my skill set or when a hoist is needed; he charges me the regular shop rate. Afterwards, I ALWAYS sponsor a “safety meeting” (2 dozen adult beverages for the entire crew after work)