Welcome to RV Travel’s Daily Tips Newsletter, where you’ll find helpful RV-related tips from the pros, travel advice, product reviews and more. Thanks for joining us. Please tell your friends about us.
“The central dilemma in journalism is that you don’t know what you don’t know.” —Bob Woodward
Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!
On this day in history: 1872 – Yellowstone National Park is established as the world’s first national park.
Tip of the Day
Campground shower house tips and etiquette for the best experience
By Nanci Dixon
I will always choose to shower in our RV, but we camp in as many state, COE and regional parks as possible that don’t have water or sewer hookups. Some folks just don’t use their showers and find them better for storage than showering. That means braving whatever condition the campground shower houses are in.
After years of RVing, we do have a system. We keep backpacks in the RV and find them versatile and very handy. We use them for lunches when hiking, visiting places for a few days, and for day trips in the car. We also load one up with crayons and paper for the grandkids when exploring. Most of all, we use them for carting stuff to and from the shower house.
Towels, water sandals, wash cloths, clothes, soap, shampoo and RV keys all fit in the backpacks and can hang on a hook rather than sitting on a dubious bench.
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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook.”
My Dometic fridge won’t get below 50 degrees. Should I get a lithium battery?
I have the new Dometic 4101 refrigerator that I really am extremely disappointed with. Unfortunately, I am stuck with it as it seems to have poor performance in Texas heat and humidity. Perhaps it could be low voltage, but I am getting 12.4 and reading 8 amps in performance mode. The other settings are worthless as the temperature stays in 50 degrees range both top and bottom with those settings. I am at my wit’s end. I am going to try a 100-amp lithium battery and 10-gauge wire (20 amp) directly to fridge with a converter to maintain charge. Any recommendations before I spend another fortune for something that doesn’t work? —Kenneth
Live today: RV repair and maintenance advice
Dave, Dustin and Zach answer your questions about RV repair and maintenance
Dave, Dustin and Zach answer questions from viewers about RV repair and maintenance in this one-hour program from 4-5 p.m. PST time (7-8 in the East). Ask questions or just sit back, relax and soak up all the helpful information from these RVing experts. You will learn soooooooo much!
Watch and ask questions here. RV Travel on YouTube • RV Travel on Facebook • California RV Specialists on YouTube • RV Travel on Linkedin
Video of the day
Explore four popup truck topper camper brands
By Cheri Sicard
Pickup truck topper campers might be a good RV solution for you if a basic pickup shell is not enough but you are not quite ready for a full slide-in truck camper.
Pickup truck topper campers clamp to the rails just like regular camper shell toppers, but they offer a whole lot more.
RV extended warranties: Worth the money?
“Hi. I would like your opinion on an extended warranty for a used RV. I realize that this may not be appropriate to ask of you, and I know it is my decision to make, but as a long-term subscriber I trust your opinions. If there were any articles related to this subject, I missed them. …”
Continue reading the question, and extended warranty expert Tony Barthel’s very thorough answer here.
How often do you eat a meal at a picnic table?
• NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION
• ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION
• WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
• LATEST RV RECALLS
• DIRECTORY OF RV PARKS WITH STORM SHELTERS
• THE BEST RV TRIP PLANNER APPS AND TOOLS
Did you buy a lemon RV? Here’s more about RV lemons and lawyers who will represent you if you need help.
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?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
It “vants” to suck your… well, you’ll see. We’re embarrassed to admit we own this (see, we fall for our own ads all the time!) and have given it as a gift many times. It’s just THAT cool!
Don’t use stabilizer jacks for leveling
Don’t try to use trailer stabilizer jacks to bring your rig up into level – most are designed simply to give more stability to the rig once leveled. Using these to try and level a rig can cause damage.
On this day last year…
- Tip: RV Safety Tip: Merging into traffic… the right way
- RV Review: Heartland North Trail 21RBSS
- Ask Dave: Can I run my refrigerator on 12 volts while driving?
- Featured article: SoftStartRV—Run an air conditioner with a small generator
- Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto
Website of the day
30 Best Delis Across America
Okay, sandwich lovers! This list from Cheapism was practically written for you! Warning: You will get hungry!
Popular articles you may have missed at RVtravel.com
• Are RVers really camping? Majority says no
• Best boondocking RV coffee makers—no hookups required
• Learn from others’ RV buying mistakes
Recipe of the Day
Easy Healthy Inside-Out Burrito
by Amanda A. Becker from San Jose, CA
A flavorful guilt-free dinner. The garnishes in this recipe are a must. They bring together the whole dish. There’s a little kick from the enchilada sauce but nothing overpowering. It’s everything you love about a burrito without the tortilla. If you can’t find Trader Joe’s corn salsa, use a small can of corn and mix with your favorite salsa.
Over the last 50 years, the marriage rate in the U.S. has dropped by nearly 60%. What’s happening: Taxes and some other legal structures still give an advantage to married couples, but the formal benefits of marriage are diminishing, said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins. And the societal pressure to marry has eroded dramatically.
*Roosters have natural… what? Hint: It has to do with how loud they crow. Find out in yesterday’s trivia.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Chowder is an 8-year-old rescue with only three legs. He lost one rear leg right before he rescued us. He loves literally everyone, human and animal, and REALLY loves going camping. When I start loading the RV he gets very excited. On the day of this photo he had taken us to the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.” —Jane Gray
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!
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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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Shopping carts and picnic tables? Yep, two of the biggest aggravations in my life.
What a wonderful life Chowder has because of his caring Jane! So beautiful and happy!
I have been considering carrying a small pocket size can of WD-40 for use on shopping carts! They get a lot of abuse in our cold and snow laden parking lots. But it is frustrating not be able to steer it and or hang on to it as the front wheels wobble all over the place. I hadn’t heard of the wireless security system for these as Tommy M. mentioned below. That would really be frustrating – like the wheels clogged with snow or slush. Grrrr is right!
WOW! Nothing else to gripe about today than shopping carts? Glory and Hallelujah!
Also, Chowder & Jane are both lucky now!
Walmart cart needs more than wheel adjustment, they need to be hosed down and scrubbed. Every time I use one and clean it with sanitizer pads, you should see what comes off the handle. If it wasn’t the only place to shop within an hour, would be going somewhere else.
The tip regarding not using stabilizing systems to level a unit is good, but needed a bit more information. Find out if your unit has stabilizers or levelers. Some units come with levelers that ARE designed to lift your unit (within limits) to actually level it. In most instances you won’t need blocks under the tires if you have a leveling system.
I am looking at the recipe for today. There are work arounds to the corn salsa. Use the canned rotelle and mix with frozen corn. Also there is taco turkey chubs that I use and can be found in most grocery stores. Put the rice at the bottom, then top with the meat mixture and top with the veggies. Best do around for someone who has been cooking way too long.
The other issue that sometimes shows up is the theft prevention that locks up the wheels if you try to steal the carts. So when I get behind my truck, out of view of the locking theft detection thing outside of the store, the wheels lock up before I get to the door of my truck. So now I can’t move the heavy cart laden with groceries to conveniently unload it. And then you can barely drag the cart out of the way so it’s not blocking someone from parking in that spot. Sometimes it locks up when you are at the far reaches of the parking lot, and there you are, stuck in the middle of the moving lane with a cart full of goods. Grrr.
I learned something new today and it’s only 9:10 am. Never heard of this security measure before. Now I’ll be looking for it. Thanks Tommy!
At many stores that use lockup carts the control is an under ground sensor around the perimeter of the stores lot allotment that is there to discourage cart theft. If you are parked outside that perimeter in a shared use lot the cart will lock up before you get there. It is not a line of site issue .. If it were can you imagine how high up a pole it would be to beam around other large vehicles?
I asked a cart-gatherer at the Kroger in Houston we were shopping in how that worked. He pointed at a gizmo mounted on the outside of the building and said that was what detected out-of-range carts. So bill, you may be right about some store’s theft deterrent measures, but at this Kroger it was mounted up high. Just not high enough . . .
You mean you are supposed to move your cart out of the parking stall after you’ve unloaded??? I thought you just left it there next to the dirty diaper some threw out on the lot! 🙂
We travel all over the USA in our Class B and use Campground showers regularly. They definitely are like snowflakes as no 2 are alike. We look at it as just part of our adventure. We use the cloth Grocery bags as they kinda hang open when on a hook. We have our own ways of not touching things and getting the job done. Been doing it over 10 years and zero issues at all. We use our own if our travels dictate doing so.
Our local WM seems to always be ahead of the game- like corporate uses them to try different things. About a year ago they got brand new fancy shopping carts, and so far they’ve held together and are still like new. It was almost like Christmas! Also this local WM was one of the first to go mostly self-serv checkout. Quite a few years ago. At first I hated it; I’m paying so you should bag. But now I wouldn’t have it any other way. No WM employees touch my groceries. And if you ever look at some of them, you wouldn’t want them touching your stuff either. And no, don’t ask to see my receipt as I’m going out the door. Ain’t gonna happen.
I agree with David. I like to bag my own groceries. This way I know that the meat is not placed on top of the eggs and bread. I also check the prices as I am scanning as I have found pricing errors and I can have them corrected at the time and not have to go to customer service afterwards with my cart of groceries. TIP: I put EVERYTHING in a bag including bigger items such as papertowels, toilet paper and laundry detergent and I have found that I do not get asked to see my receipt as often so long as every item in my cart is in a bag.
Walmart has to have the worst shopping carts of any store. Maybe they think that fighting the carts is good exercise.
I think part of the problem is the 100 foot long trains of carts when they pick them up in the parking lot. Definitely knocks the carts out of alignment.
In addition to the front end alignment and tire rotation, the carts at Walmart and at all big box stores for that matter, also need their wheel bearings lubricated!
Exactly what I was think. Squeaky WM carts were on doubetime my last visit. Sounded like the place was raising crickets.
But Walmart has the cheapest carts I’ve ever used, with I’m sure the cheapest wheel bearings from China….