Wednesday, September 27, 2023


News for RVers #943, Sunday edition

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Here’s the latest news about RVing and more from the editors of This newsletter, along with each of our daily online publications, is funded in part by the voluntary subscription contributions of our readers. Thanks to all of you; you know who you are.

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Sunday, April 12, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition

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Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Here’s the latest news and information about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting the RV community. We now report six days a week on the pandemic — in this Sunday newsletter and every weekday in our RV Daily Tips. (Sign up to receive them here.)


Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
The latest on Gary Bunzer’s battle with COVID-19.
Toilet paper – the softer side of the coronavirus crisis.
Views from quarantine: What’s out your window? Send us a photo!
Is your RV theft-proof? Here are some tips.
Reader poll: For self-quarantining couples: How are you getting along?
Oh, the horror! Sewer tank overflows while RVer is away.
Boondockers Welcome adds locations to host RVers overnight.
What happens when freedom is taken away from RVing nomads?
RV Electricity: Free Southwire meter kit contest this week.
RV Tire Safety: Things to do with your RV while not traveling.
Building an RV Park: We met the neighbors … again!
The Digital RVer: Looking for something to do at home? Got any old slides?
The RV Kitchen: Butterscotch Quick Bread.
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

That was the RV week that was

April 5–11, 2020

How is coronavirus affecting the supply of RV parts? If the parts you need are made or processed in China, there could be lags. As of Thursday, the folks at Fridge Defend told us their suppliers on mainland China say air freight costs have nearly tripled in the last two months. Many are turning to shipping freight by ocean carriers. But there’s only so much freight that can be shipped at a given time, and now warehouses are filling up with freight in a virtual stranglehold. Stay tuned.

A drunk driver towing a fifth wheel trailer crashed Thursday into the front entrance of a Planet Fitness store in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The driver was released after being cited for DUI. Thankfully, there were no injuries as the store was closed due to state stay-at-home orders.

Code enforcement in Roswell, New Mexico, is a little softer for a time. Roswell ordinances limit “occupation” of RVs on residential city lots to seven days, no more than three times a year. With the coronavirus issue, city officials say they’ll waive those limits to allow families to use RVs as isolation units.

If you love butterflies, you’d probably hate driving through lower Arizona about this time of year – you’ll mash dozens of the pretty creatures as they migrate across highways and imbed themselves in your radiator. But take heart! Monarch butterflies, which have been in decline, may be getting some help to stage a comeback. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Illinois-Chicago have banged out agreements with 45 energy and transportation companies and a huge number of private landowners to work together to increase Monarch habitat. Those agreeing to the arrangement will create and maintain habitat along right-of-way corridors on both public and private lands – this on an annual basis. Not only will Monarchs benefit, but the enhancements will help other pollinators as well.


If you find yourself on the interstate and happen to pull into a rest area, don’t be surprised if you see a food truck doing business. Under federal law, commercial activities are verboten in federally funded interstate rest stops, but in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Uncle Sam is relaxing the rules. Says Federal Highway Administration administrator Nichole Nason, “America’s commercial truck drivers are working day and night during this pandemic to ensure critical relief supplies are being delivered to our communities . . . It is critical to make sure truck drivers continue to have access to food services while they’re on the job serving our nation during these challenging times.” Until the end of the declared federal emergency, food trucks may do business in rest stops, filling up the stomachs of hungry long-haulers, and presumably any RVers who may happen across them.

Easily repair a tear in your RV’s awning
Left on their own, small vinyl RV awning tears can get bigger. Fixing a small tear in an area, barring a person’s physical limitations, is easy. You may already have what you need for a fix. It’s called “RV GOOP” and is made by the same outfit that developed “GOOP” for shoe repairs. Read more about it here.

Jason Morris, a 47-year-old man from Merrillville, Indiana, had returned home from doing some traveling. It’s not clear if Jason had symptoms of coronavirus, or if he was just a cautious man, but Jason self-isolated himself outside the family home in a travel trailer. On April 4, first-responders were called to the Morris residence – Jason’s travel trailer had caught fire. Sadly, he was not able to escape the fire, which authorities preliminarily suspect was caused by “equipment failure.”

Medical professionals who need a safe place to get away from the hospital without risking their families have another supporter in Loomis, California. Lisa Evensen, who owns Lisa’s RV Rentals, says she’ll put all her rolling stock at the disposal of medical personnel who want to borrow one of her rigs. She’s not putting limits on the gesture – “I’m just lending them out indefinitely,” Evensen told CBS13, a Sacramento TV station. “I don’t know how long this is going to take; we’re in this together.”

Three people were able to escape a nasty RV fire in Washington’s Spokane Valley on April 3. One of the residents of the rig attempted to light a cigarette – unfortunately failing to notice there was a leaky propane hose. She and another occupant were able to get out of the rig using fire exits, while a third person broke out another window and bailed out. The would-be smoker suffered minor burns, the other two escaped without physical injury. Sadly, a Great Dane in the rig was not able to escape the resulting fire.

Rigby, Idaho, city councilors have put the city’s first RV park ordinance on the books. Various items in the new law outline distances, roads, and health regulations, but one particular part stands out: Customers can stay in a park for only three months in a calendar year, unless special permission is granted. The mayor says the time limit was set to avoid what he described as issues found in other area parks linked to long-term stays.

Jordee Kalk/

He may not be an RVer but still, in this crisis, he’s essential – but he’s lost his place to stay. Donald Summers, a long-term care center nurse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was concerned for his family facing coronavirus that he could “bring home” from work. So Summers pitched a tent at the Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Palo, Iowa. He thought he’d found a great arrangement – the spot had electricity for a lamp and heater. After a few days in his new retreat, Summers got an unwelcome visit – officers telling him he and everyone else in the campground would have to break camp, the governor had ordered parks closed. Summers could pitch his tent in the backyard, but he hates to disappoint his children who would be able to see daddy but not touch him.

Sidney, Nebraska, has a new ordinance with regard to RV parking on city streets. Surprise! This one doesn’t cut parking back – rather, it allows RV parking on most streets in the city from April 15 through October 15. The street must be 37’ or wider, and a few streets are not on the approved list. There is no limitation on how much time RVs may be parked on the approved streets.

If you own a firearm, you must have this book!
Firearms laws guide updated for 2020

The 2020 updated edition of the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has just been published. The book is always a best-seller among RVers, many of whom carry a firearm when they travel. The annual guidebook helps ensure they stay out of trouble when crossing state lines, where the laws may be different. Learn more in this article.

What happened in Nanaimo, British Columbia, was certainly no joke. A local resident was surprised when someone repeatedly tried to open the door of her motorhome – which she was living in. The intruder was a woman who screamed that she was coming for the occupant, and shouted something about “living rent free” in the rig. The would-be house crasher also offered to sell drugs to the RVer, who was too occupied calling for police to give much consideration to the offer. Canadian Mounties responded, finding the assailant not far from the motorhome. She was arrested and taken to a lockup “until she was deemed fit to be released,” as she was found to be under the influence of drugs. She’ll answer to the courts for trespassing and mischief.

East Palo Alto, California, city officials are up against a tough decision: What to do about the city’s RV parking lot for “homeless” people? As it stands, those who use the lot can overnight there, but must pull out and away each morning. With the coronavirus pandemic, shoving RVers back out on the streets would seem to increase the risk of spreading the virus. City officials are pondering whether to follow the lead of Oakland and San Jose, who recently determined it would be wise just to allow RVers to stay put, 24/7.

A semi-truck driver is behind bars after mowing down a man standing near an RV on South Carolina’s Interstate 26. Emmanuil G. Khmelnitskiy (17) of Inman, South Carolina, was standing alongside a fifth-wheel legally parked in the interstate’s breakdown lane. It was at that time that Kendrick Sentrell Coakley (38) either drifted or drove onto the emergency lane, hitting and killing Khmelnitskiy. Coakley fled the scene but was later stopped. Coakley has been charged with leaving the scene of a collision involving death, driving too fast for conditions, and driving while his license was under suspension. The incident happened April 3.

Justice was swift in the case of a BASE jumper in Zion National Park. Rangers got a tip that three people were planning to illegally BASE jump from either Cable Mountain or Great White Throne, and stake-outs were set up. Sure enough, someone bombardiered off Great White Throne in a glide suit, deploying a parachute for a safe landing. The jumper was able to initially escape rangers, but the law caught up with Marshall Miller. Miller, a “professional athlete,” says he “believes the calculation, acceptance, and management of risk fuel a life fully lived.” Apparently it also fuels court appearances, because Miller subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful BASE jumping – one for the Great White Throne stunt, the other from Lady Mountain back in 2018. The judge put a $5,000 fine into Miller’s “life calculations” and told him any subsequent convictions would lead to jail time. He’s also been banned from Zion for two years.

Tape it to the limit…
Rather than an adhesive, this type of tape fuses to itself. It makes a totally waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has all kinds of other emergency uses advertised such as a quick fix for a leaking radiator hose, so it certainly deserves a place in your RV toolbox since it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. Learn more or order.

Pickup truck news

According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.

Ford recalls pickup trucks, SUVs that may roll on their own

Cars and trucks often get recalled for airbag and accelerator issues, but it’s rarely because a vehicle can roll down the street on its own. Ford believes some of its pickup trucks may do exactly that. As the country’s best-selling vehicle, Ford has recalled nearly 68,000 model year 2020 Ford Ranger and F-150 vehicles with 10-speed automatic transmissions and certain 2020 Expedition SUVs with the police package and 10-speed automatic transmissions. Learn more.

Reader PollReader poll

How many people have you physically touched in the last two weeks? Respond here and see how others have responded.

Can’t visit a National Park? Bring the park to…your bathroom)!
We didn’t think we could love a shower curtain this much…but we do. This beautiful Yosemite shower curtain will look so nice in your RV’s bathroom! It doesn’t need a liner, and it’s machine-washable. If you scroll down, there are other designs too from other National Parks that are equally as nice. Click here to see.

News briefs

James Lonnie “J.L.” Boyette, 83, died April 7 following an extended illness. According to his obituary, for more than 40 years he owned and operated Boyette Camper Sales in Georgia.

Mountain View, California, has dedicated part of the Shoreline Amphitheatre parking lot to stay open for inhabited vehicles 24 hours a day. This removes previous requirements to leave the lot daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which deeply undercut the city’s goal of bringing oversized vehicles off of city streets, where many formed into curbside encampments.

Campground chatter

Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA

Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your (future) travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.

Take Vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy
One easy thing you can do to help keep your immune system healthy? Take Vitamin C. Find a large selection here. (We just bought these!)

RV recalls posted since our last newsletter

Ford recalls some 2020 Ranger and F-150 trucks for gear shift issue.

Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of April 6, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $1.92 [Calif.: $2.87]
Change from week before: Down 8 cents; Change from year before: Down 82 cents.
Diesel: $2.55 [Calif.: $3.37]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 55 cents.

Sign up for an email reminder for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter, published every Monday through Friday. You won’t want to miss it!

Cooking for two? It’s never been easier!
This cookbook from the beloved America’s Test Kitchen brings you 650 delicious recipes specifically designed for just two people! 150 of those recipes can be on the table within 30 minutes or less – this cookbook has it all! Look through some of the recipes, read the amazing reviews, or order here.

Upcoming RV shows

Nothing in the near future.

But for those who want to plan ahead – See the complete list of upcoming RV shows.

Brain teaser answer:

(The question appeared in yesterday’s newsletter): Corn on the cob.

Don’t miss the Sunday funny below.

Free and bargain camping


Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.

Other resources:
Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations.
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about

Sunday funny

Dealing with the boredom of self-isolation:
Heard a doctor on TV say to get through the boredom of self-isolation we should finish things we’ve started and thus have more calm in our lives. … So I looked through the house to find all the things I started but hadn’t finished. … So I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a boddel of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun scriptuns, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum. —Thanks to Margo Wood!

RV Travel staff


Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editors: Diane McGovern, Russ and Tiña De Maris. 

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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Sue M
3 years ago

What is the best Rv water regulator

Robert C
3 years ago

Let me get this straight: A man in Idaho crashes his 5th wheel through a sporting goods type store. He gets CITED for Driving Under the Influence (of alcohol) and gets RELEASED? Are you kidding?? “ Hey, don’t do it again. Have a good night”.
Uuhhh, maybe, next time, he kills innocent people with his drunk driving?

Dave J
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert C

In some states DUI drivers are cited to appear in court to answer charges of DUI is the norm.

In some COUNTRIES one goes directly to jail and from there gets tied to a wooden post in the courtyard. (wood so the executioners bullets dont bounce off.)

Susan Smith
3 years ago

Could you please say the riddle again Sunday when you give the answer. We forget the riddle. Thank you

3 years ago

The last weekend of June last summer we were on the highway just entering Nebraska. We saw this cloud and realized it was butterflies. It was like someone was throwing handfuls of butterflies at us. When it was all said and done my jeeps front was a hood ornament for butterflies. I haven’t opened the hood lately but I did back then when I was getting gas just to see if they got inside the engine. They did. Never experienced anything like that ever.

3 years ago

Traveling along Interstate 10 through Arizona recently, Ey pulled into the Truck/RV section. A young woman sporting high heels, shorts, long legs, and a fluffy top walked in front of my truck/camper and got into a camper a few spaces down from me. A minute later the truck driver that she was talking to walked by and knocked on the door of her camper and she let him in. Ey am cracking up—Got entertainment with my coffee. Ey wonder if she belongs to Xcapers and will go to their next gathering.

Laurie Flood
3 years ago

Maybe think for a moment that the woman could be a trafficking victim.

3 years ago

Ey yi yi!

3 years ago

Wow! I was way off on the brain teaser; I was thinking ribs. Mmm…

Ardy Mattox
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary

sounds good to me!

Matt Johnson
3 years ago

Please come up with some original “joke of the day”. The last several have been on Facebook weeks ago.

Dan Kruger
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Johnson

We don’t use facebook so they good for us. Keep up the good work!!!

3 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

They have been on most of the forums too, including the iRV2 forums. And emails.

3 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane, do not skip the jokes. I don’t get facebook or any of the others. (I mean that I “just don’t GET them”.) I didn’t even know that there were any other RV sites. The only old jokes I have seen on this site are the “old Jokes” that write in on your comment section. (sorry – I don’t know how to use that tongue-in-cheek symbol). Milton Berle never told an original joke in his life and got along just fine.

3 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

If you don’t post the current jokes, there will be no old jokes in the future.

Ed Fogle
3 years ago

Food trucks allowed at rest stops. Some municipalities allowing longer stays at normally overnight only locations. At last some rational thinking from government.

Ed Fogle
3 years ago

Diesel at one Sam’s Club in Tulsa Is $1.48. Sure since my tank is full of $2.70 per gallon fuel.

3 years ago

My guess for yesterday’s brain teaser was an egg could be sorta since some people don’t like the yoke but yep corn on the cob 🌽 diesel in my part of California was $2.39 a gallon last week.

3 years ago

A ++++ huge shout out to the United States Fish and Wildlife folks in concert with the University of Illinois – Chicago for getting at it and developing/maintaining inhabitant for Monarch Butterflies. One of the most important pollinators need our help much more than most folks realize. They are very important to maintaining the balance in nature.

Great article on Vitamin C too. That Vitamin is a life saver. I take one every morning before breakfast, and/or immediately after feeling a scratchy throat or any sign a cold is coming on.

The vitamin C touted in the article is a 1600mg dosage, which would be excessive on a daily basis for my needs. We buy the Costco Kirkland brand at 400 tablets to a bottle. They’re in the chew-able 500mg size. (sweetener (sugar) makes them chew-able so if you’re sugar intolerant choose non chew-able)
I’ll take up to three daily (at one time) if a cold really comes on quick and strong. That dosage knocks the bug dead out every time.

There’s hundreds of brands out there,(some very pricey) take your pick. The Costco Brand we find is least expensive of all we’ve looked at and best is one a day keeps the immune system topped up- neither of us having experienced a cold in memory

I notice
3 years ago

Umm, why is the food truck in the photo covered in Russian? Should have Google searched just a tiny bit more and found a food truck in the USA. I’m sure there’s plenty of photos out there.

Ray Miller
3 years ago
Reply to  I notice

IT’s not Russian, it’s Spanish “ZATACHITAS”

Concerned reader
3 years ago

I have to *strongly* protest against your advertisement stating “One easy thing you can do to help prevent the coronavirus? Take Vitamin C”. There is ZERO PROOF that Vitamin C will protect you from COVID-19, let alone that it will “keep your immune system healthy”. Let’s not add false information to an already confusing situation. This is irresponsible. Please stop.

Skip Gimbrone
3 years ago

If you have been following the news there are numerous articles about treatments for COVID 19 involving vitamin C infusion and also vitamin C taken by mouth. I advise you to look up Dr Andrew Saul.

Kenneth Huffman
3 years ago
Reply to  Skip Gimbrone

” A number of articles” is not a scientific base for making a decision. As vitamin C is water soluble, any excess is passed out of the body.

I notice
3 years ago
Reply to  Skip Gimbrone
3 years ago

I believe the article to which you responded says nothing about viruses. Vitamin C does help your immune system, which is common knowledge.

3 years ago

Remember, it is not always the COVID-19 that does the killing, at least not by itself. A death is attributed to COVID-19 if the victim would have survived in the absence of the corona virus. That is the rule used to count corona virus deaths. The vitamin C would not prevent coronavirus but might prevent the other respiratory disease or mitigate its effect.

Karin S.
3 years ago

While I am sure we can all agree Vitamin C will not cure COVID-19, but when taken daily, it does help keep your immune system strong. Having a strong and healthy immune system is the best way to beat COVID-19. Clearly, the majority of folks getting the COVID-19, seem to have compromised immune systems and other underlying health issues.

I notice
3 years ago
Reply to  Karin S.

However the original “advertisement” by this page clearly states “prevent Covid-19”, which is absolutely false.

Keira Bianchi
3 years ago

Yes, for many years there have been a lot of “Doctors” who say that Vitamin C helps, but there is no hard scientific evidence that it works.

3 years ago
Reply to  Keira Bianchi

Let me think … scurvy or vitamin C … scurvy or vitamin C … ?? There are a bunch of dead sailors, from centuries ago, that wish they had known about vitamin C. Doctors may not know all they think they know, but the body has evidently decided that vitamin C is needed to promote health. The healthier the body, the better off it is in fighting off infection. Excuse me while I reach for my orange juice.

Timothy H VanderVeen
3 years ago

What have been RV’s experience renting used rental class C motor homes? I am contemplating getting back into RV life and have been exploring rentals from Cruise America. I don’t want to see a lot of negative content, but hope for honest opinions based on actual experience. Thank you and stay safe and well.

3 years ago

Find the right Cruise America dealer and it was a very good experience. The first dealer was not great but once we found the second one, we use them each time. They have videos and show you how to use the RV. Rates were reasonable and my family had a blast. No worries about service or storage, they do that. We have used them many times over the last 10 years and with the hopes of buying our own in the future.

3 years ago

Wouldn’t take long to pay for an RV at the cost of renting in my opinion

Keira Bianchi
3 years ago

Our experiences were great. Easy way to use an RV temporarily. Kind of expensive compared to a motel, but we went out in the boonies where there were no indoor accommodations. Nice way to RV if you travel internationally or want to camp clear across the country, and don’t want to drive your own RV. We always cleaned ours thoroughly to avoid the cleaning fee. Some rental agencies do not want you to take their rigs on dirt roads, so cleaning avoids any problems in that area.

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