Thursday, November 30, 2023


The readers write — and bark!


Edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris

We’ve had another couple of busy weeks of reader commentary. Here are some of the hot topics where many of you wanted to “speak your piece.”

Chuck’s Defenders
Editor Chuck has taken plenty of heat about some of his pontifications of late. He decided to take up the subject head on, in “RVers not happy with editor’s essay, video.” Not only did he find out he had plenty of folks in his corner, it also spurred some other thoughts about the lifestyle.

Carolyn wrote about her concerns: “I’m brand new to the RV world. I have noticed that there is quite a bit of judgment in RV groups. I will be living in my motorhome full time soon and I’m starting to wonder if I will get along with other RVers and will I be able to live my life without someone else’s two cents?”

Some of our more-seasoned RVers were quick to respond. Here’s Sherry’s take: “I hope you don’t get discouraged by a few bad apples, Carolyn. I think negative people are more likely to complain than those of us who are busy out enjoying the wonderful outdoors. You’ll meet a few people you don’t like, but that’s the beauty of RVing. Either they or you will move on soon!”

And as to weighing all those “two cents,” Bee O’Neil puts in his/her own two cents’ worth: “Being new to RVing, you will receive a lot of ‘camp fire’ solutions to problems/issues relating to how to do things and how to make the repairs and/or systems operations. Listen/evaluate/verify with reliable sources if you are not comfortable with the information.”

Bee also had more advice for Chuck: “Fortunately, most RVers are great people enjoying their dream, and we certainly are. After retiring in ’02, I worked as an RV service tech seasonally for 10 years at eight different shops around the country. It was a great experience getting to meet people from all over the country and hear about their travels and backgrounds. I would say that 99% of RVers are great people enjoying a great lifestyle. Then there were the ‘few’ that I was glad I wouldn’t be seeing again and happy that I wasn’t their spouse! Keep the wheels turning Chuck, so the tires don’t get square!”

Bits and Pieces
Some general advice and observations also came in as feedback to Issue 791.

Regarding alternative firewood, DnJ wrote this warning: “A few years ago the company I worked for built a small storage building on the property. The mill ends left over were burned in a burn barrel, and we were fined $10,000 by the Air Resources Control Board for burning processed lumber. Check with California law before using mill ends for firewood.”

If that doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, then maybe chlorine will. Several wrote in with suggestions on how to rid your fresh water holding tank of the taste of chlorine after you dose it to kill off bacteria.

vgrandma: “Dissolving baking soda and running through the system works too. We have done that a few times.”

Bob: “Use two cups of white vinegar along with a full tank of water in your fresh water tank to neutralize the bleach scent. No need to let it soak. Just run it through the entire system for a few minutes opening all faucets. After doing this for a few minutes just drain the fresh water tank and replace with clean water. No more bleach scent and no residual vinegar scent either.”

Segregated Campgrounds?
The RV Shrink took on the plight of an RVer who felt a bit miffed when told his rig was too small for certain “choice” RV spots, and apparently the subject is a bit of a “nerve hitter” for many.

dl sees it this way: ” If someone is willing and able to pay the amount being asked for a space, they should be allowed to have that space — regardless the size of their rig. Money is money.”

Others weren’t on that same wavelength. Don sees it another way: “Size does matter! You can’t fit a 40 foot RV into a space made for a 23 foot towable. Nothing worse then traveling all day only to find that a 23 foot unit took the last large site and there is many small spots still available.”

Bill says, “In a similar vein, I don’t use handicapped parking spaces. I might be qualified, or traveling with someone who has a hang tag, but I can walk a few hundred feet if needed to a parking space. Hopefully, that leaves the handicapped spaces for those who truly need them. Same thing with hotel rooms — if I take the only handicapped accessible room just because it’s convenient, the next traveler who really needs it is out in the cold. The campgrounds should be encouraged to either have all campsites the same size for first come, first served, or have different sizes distributed throughout the campground in both the more desirable and less desirable areas.”

Puttin’ on the dog (comments)
An editorial on dogs in campgrounds got plenty of growls and yips. Here’s a sample.

Rob, who signs himself, “Hoping to rest in peace,” makes his thoughts clear: “I am not a Dog lover, but neither do I dislike dogs. They are smarter than their owners realize. My ‘beef’ is with the dog owners. Most owners think their dog’s bark is the cutest thing and how can anybody not like it? But if you do not own a dog the persistent barking is like Chinese water torture. Owners are also too lazy to take the time to train the dog not to bark. I did not pay a park camping fee to come and hear dogs barking. Pet Owners need to realize that. If I played music to loud I would sure hear about it real fast, the same should apply to barking dogs.”

Aside from dog barking, dog walking also came up. Lindana pointed to something she thought odd: “We actually see folks ‘walking’ their dogs in doggie strollers. If this isn’t the height of idiocy, I don’t know what is! I would understand if the pet is crippled or otherwise incapacitated, but this is not the case with these animals. We don’t have a pet because we think it is unkind to keep them penned up while we travel six to eight hours.”

Corely had to yelp back on that one: “On dog strollers: You don’t know the dog’s needs, so don’t criticize. I’ve had several dogs that were aging or had medical problems. One had Cushing’s disease and couldn’t walk more than a couple hundred feet, so he needed a ride. Right now I have a 13-year-old that can’t walk far due to hind-quarter weakness, and out came the ten year old stroller. Another one had knee surgery. The stronger dog gets a walk, and the weaker one gets fresh air and watches the smokers sit outside their rigs.”

We could go on, but really, somebody has to have the last bark. If you’d like to ‘paws’ and add your thoughts, please do so.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Bob (@guest_6987)
6 years ago

My wife and I have only been camping for 37 years. We never had inconsiderate people years ago. We were at 1 campground that when 1 dog barked all dogs would bark this went on all night long every 1/2 Hr, we did not get any sleep that night.
I pulled in to our camp site and when I tried to hook up our electric the neighbors pit bull dog was on a leash but able to get past the electric post. The dog was growling and it hair standing on its back when I tried to hook up the electric. I went and got a big stick and yelled at it just so I could hook up our electric. We had friends traveling with us from Germany and they had a baby with them and we pulled in at 2:00 pm so the baby could sleep. But the dog barked until its owners came back at 6:00 pm. I told them how the dog acted when I tried to hook up the electric and it barked all day. They said our dog don’t bit and the dog don’t bark much. That night they sat 2′ from our camper and talked and had music till 2:00am when I went over again and said we are trying to sleep and there is a quite time of 12:00. They weren’t happy but they did get more quite till 4:00. I have seen people love their dogs run loose and get in fights with dogs that are on a tight chain by their owners camper.
I like dogs I have had a dog and other animals my whole life except the last 4 years. I would like to see campgrounds have spots just for dogs all in one location. I like boon-docking for this reason

Kate (@guest_6821)
6 years ago

My beef is about people not cleaning up after their dogs. Just this last weekend I cleaned up five dog piles that people left beside my rig on the grassy spot where I take my dogs. I clean them up both because I don’t want my dogs or me to walk in them and because they are so close to my rig, it looks like I’m the culprit. I have three dogs and I clean up after them.

Barb Gleason (@guest_6942)
6 years ago
Reply to  Kate

I agree with you. I always carry a couple poop bags when I take my little Chihuahua mix out for a quick walk. She usually uses our backyard when we are at home and I pick that up also. But I will use the other bags I carry to pick up other poop in the RV park. It is in the rules to clean up after your pet (but evidently these people don’t know how to read either) and recommends using the pet park if you can. I don’t know how some people think leaving their dog droppings somewhere is okay. Of course these are usually the people who think it’s okay to leave their dogs out in a pet pen beside their RV so you can listen to them bark or listen to their outside speakers playing music probably to keep the dogs from barking? I guess consideration for your neighbors is not taught anymore. “It’s all about ME” is the new motto of many people.

Sue Conant (@guest_6738)
6 years ago

Rob, you took the words right out of my mouth about barking dogs and untrained dogs in RV pks. I love dogs, have done puppy raising for guide dogs. But, my dogs are trained. I think some people are so afraid of hurting their dog that they won’t train them, especially if they are small. A dog needs a leader, just like children. If you let them run the show, they will

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