Friday, December 9, 2022


The readers write: From poop to gas, some folks came unstuck



Photo: mrwynd on

Edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris

Gaffer tape gaff?
When a gaffer tape manufacturer’s offer to give every reader a roll of its product on request didn’t work right the first week, some of our readers came unstuck.

As was noted, some disappointed folks said they were through with us. We’re adhering to your comments – even if they don’t always stick to the facts.

“Really Chuck! Some people unsubscribed and gave you crap about a roll of duct tape? Unbelievable. For all the wonderful articles you put together and the time and effort you spend on these newsletters you would think that people would be more considerate over a problem with a roll of duct tape….should of told them ‘they can go stick it!’ Keep up the great work.” — Steven

Lew adds, “The Gaffer Power folks are great. Although I was one of those who got the “out of stock” message, Customer Care rep Lorena made sure I understood that it was a temporary situation and that the company would make good on their offer of a free roll. Indeed they did, and they expedited it and followed up to make sure I got it and was satisfied. I will buy their product whenever I need heavy-duty tape. My thanks to Lorena and Marty.”

Despite the fix made, some of our readers from North of the 48 were unhappy. Bob was one of them: “Sorry Chuck but I still feel a bit ripped off. Just because I am in Canada right now, I can’t take advantage of this offer. If I was in the U.S., which I will be in 6 weeks, I could have sent to the park but as of right now, I am S**T out of luck.”

By way of explanation to our Canadian audience, Chuck writes: “I apologize. 95% of our readers are in the USA. I wish I could make offer available to Canadians. FYI, when we had our bookstore and shipped products, your Customs made it a big hassle. But, anyway, in this case, the offer was only made to USA readers by the people who were GIVING AWAY the product and it was not our decision. They were very generous to make the offer — good people.”

Poop de Grace?
Our traveling editor-in-chief-Chuck had plenty to say about eau de bovine in a recent post.  Some evidently think Chuck stepped in it, judging from the responses.

Apparently, one man’s olfactory offender is another man’s breath of fresh air. Writes Richard, “Just wanted to let you know, I’m in Welton, not far from Tacna and we sometimes get a smell of the feed yard. To me it’s like being home and a smell I almost miss. I’m from Carnation, Washington and the smell there is now gone but that smell (to me it’s a clean smell) here brings me back to Carnation. I love the extra sunshine you get down here but go back to Carnation for my summers. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. The smell you talk of is not really that bad if you just change your own mental picture of it.”

To which Chuck himself responds: “You’re right about ‘changing your mental picture.’ To me, not being accustomed to the smell, it was not pleasant. We have moved on now, so it’s just another interesting memory of one place we visited in our full-time travels.”

The boss included some mathematics in his story. Lou had this to say: “Chuck, I have to question your ability to count cows and your math. According to news reports, the capacity of the JBS/McElhaney lot at Welton is 130,000 head. The daily production per animal of 65 pounds of manure is over two-thirds water. However, 65 lbs times 130,000 head equals 8,450,000 pounds or 4,225 tons every day.”

“Yeah, my math is probably wrong. I guess I should have just said it’s a lot of poop.” – Chuck.

Another reader, William C., takes a totally different view of the post. “You evidently believe hamburger comes in frozen patties at the supermarket, and do not realize that there are feedlots. I am simply amazed at ignorance . . . it’s only in dusty backwater Arizona that has them….they aren’t in the Midwest or Texas and there were never feedlots in Chicago and South St Paul, Minnesota.”

Chuck: “No, hamburger comes from space aliens. Oh, Mr. C, lighten up. This isn’t ignorance; it’s just an attempt at humor. You didn’t get it. No problem.”

Carbon monoxide gas warnings
Our contributing writer Greg Illes shared a scary experience underscoring just how important having RV carbon monoxide detectors is. At least one of your responses raised a bit of alarm for us.

“Our detector has been replaced twice. Why? Because it goes off in the middle of the night with loud shrieking. It is enough to wake the dead and campers three sites away. And…our 3 little terriers start barking and shaking uncontrollably. It’s interesting that the smoke detector must have a slightly different sound pitch because it does not affect the dogs the same. I have sought help and nothing worked. I gave up one night and cut the wire. Now we can sleep…it may be an eternal sleep, but that device is poorly designed and a huge nuisance.

“Campers did without those things for years, so I guess we’ll be rolling the dice until a manufacturer makes one that will work properly and has a pitch that doesn’t affect our dogs. By the way, we checked for the source of the CO and could find absolutely none. My only remaining guess is that our batteries possibly put off some form of CO (their within 4 feet of the detector underneath the RV). And, to add insult, the CO “reset” button has never worked on any of the ones installed. I have to kill the power to the RV before it will shut off (all three we had). Safety should not be a design nuisance!” — Lynn

We posted this response directly, but want to share it with all.

“‘First generation’ CO detectors were often known to give false alarms. However, fire department officials indicate that false alarms from newer detectors are EXTREMELY RARE. I don’t know how old your detector is, but they need to be changed out every five years — they have a limited life span. If yours is a relatively new detector, there’s a very strong chance you really DO have a carbon monoxide leak into your rig. It’s not something worth risking your life over. Get a new detector, preferably one that has a digital display that shows you exactly how much CO is in your rig.

“We have a detector in our rig, and from time to time it has gone off. We finally tracked down the source — fumes from our water heater, when the wind blows up against the heater, were getting back into the rig. You don’t smell, see, or taste carbon monoxide, but as you so succinctly put it, an eternal sleep could resolve the disturbing nature of the alarm.”

Reader Cindy had her own tale to share. “Several years ago we were camped in close quarters next to a motorhome whose exhaust was below our fiver bedroom. Our CO detector went off. We had to vacate the camper and stay up quite a bit later than planned because even upon politely informing them, our less-than-considerate neighbors wouldn’t check their generator until they were done watching TV. Be considerate of others even when you’re within the guidelines of the generator rules.”



Did you enjoy this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

I’m the guy who posted the “disconnected CO detector” (which still remains disconnected). Guys, when you respond to something that is a significant safety issue, please recommend an alternative product that might work. I cannot afford to purchase every one on the market to “test” to see if it actually works. If you feel you cannot suggest a model that works in the newsletter, how about sending an email with a recommendation? (BTW, I did not received a direct response from the newsletter…no biggy, but thought you might want to know.)

5 years ago

Our carbon monoxide detector would also go off in the middle of the night occasionally. Got a new detector (the old one had a replacement date after 5 yrs.). It still happened. We discovered that if the voltage dropped to 12.2 in the rig the alarm went off. Our solution was to leave the heat off (when not hooked up to electric) overnight so the furnace doesn’t come on and draw the battery down causing the voltage to drop. We now upon wakening, turn the heat on and unplug our detector. And then plug it back in when the rig starts to warm up (solar panels bring the voltage back up). Even with temps dropping to high 20’sF at night we stay warm under our many comforters and foil in the windows plus an insulated curtain (sewed a $20 WalMt. bed comforter to side facing cab) between cab and back. Added bonus is the heater fan doesnt wake us up anymore. Ikea sells a cheap comforter for $20 that we fold over to make it double if needed on top of our regular bedding.

5 years ago

My sister-in-law was house sitting for us and the CO detector went off at 1 AM. She called the fire department who came and the readings they took just kept climbing. Turns out the fire dept truck parked in the driveway and left running added to the initial false reading.

John Sparks
5 years ago

I do not understand people. You do a service, Gaffer Tape, and and Gaffer runs out of the product. All of a sudden this is your fault, what the hell are people thinking. You have no control over the “out of stock”, and do your best to remedy the situation.

Well done, and my apologizes for all the rude comments you had to endure.

Keep up the great work you do, I look forward to Saturday mornings and my rvtravel magazine.

Calvin Rittenhouse
5 years ago

I was one of the “lucky” ones who received the gaffer tape promptly. I’ve only used it once so far. I’m a little underwhelmed. It’s like duct tape but doesn’t stick as well.

About the smell of large livestock operations: I spent my youth in an area with dairy, sheep, and poultry farms. We called that smell “fresh country air,” and yes, that’s sarcasm. It’s one more thing I don’t miss about farm-country life, but what you experienced could be worse. Either sheep or poultry stink even more.