Thumbs up – November 2017

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    Positive comments about products, people and places.
    Here are some recent “thumbs up” letters or comments we’ve received from readers of RVtravel.com.

    Great KOAs
    Two KOA’s that we have found that were out of their way great—Black Bear KOA in Florida, NY and St. Marys’ KOA of North Jacksonville, FL —Jerry
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    More options for pavement overnighting
    Cabela’s on the south side of Denver has “no overnight parking” signs but I asked inside if they knew of a place to park and a manager who asked “You won’t cause any trouble will you?” and said it would be okay. He also said if the Lone Tree Police come by just to say I had a manager’s approval. We were gone by 8 AM and had a great sleep with no disturbance. As well, stayed in WalMart in Blackfoot, ID and it was one of the levellest and quietest we stayed in. In Pocatello, we parked over by the big garbage bins but be sure to stay away from where the semis back in or their complaints could cause a camping shut down there too. —George
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    Praise for electric pressure cookers
    I call this my “magic caldron”. I can make soup, stew, ribs and even cheesecake. I love it! —Dennise
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    Electric hookups at Walmart!
    Walmart in Bangor ME has free electric hookups and its a dedicated area for ~8 vehicles. Many of the Canadian shoppers stay there while doing their duty-free shopping/person annually or twice per year. They bring lots of family to maximize the goodies haul and avoid taxes, esp during Vet Day w/e sales and outlet shopping. —Terry
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    Very happy with Phoenix Cruiser
    Had a 2014 Thor Chateau. In for repairs more than not. Traded for Phoenix Cruiser 3100. Couldn’t be happier. Great engineering, great quality! Last summer 16000 miles thru Western Canada and Alaska. Not a single problem even with all the bad roads. Will never have any other than Phoenix Cruiser. —Bob
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    Better service at smaller RV dealers
    I have bought 1 pop-up, 3 travel trailers, 1 fiver, and 7 class As. All of them were bought used. All of them served our family well. We now have a Itasca, and couldn’t be happier. Another issue is service. We use a local small RV dealer. It is also where we have bought most of our RVs. Their service department is fantastic. They are fair, good, and do the service in a timely fashion. Every one there knows our names, and many know our grandsons. The mega dealers, only care about the money. —Ray
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    Good reminder
    There are now smoke alarms that have an integrated battery in them that never need changing. The built in batteries are rated to last 10 years. Great innovation. If you can’t afford a smoke alarm, contact your fire department to see if they have a program where they can supply you with one at no charge. —Gary
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    A Born Free RV fan
    Born Free RV, a family owned factory…built the best quality RV for many years. Just closed their doors, very sad. Wish they would open back up…. Best RV…I wanted a Born Free since 1999 and finally in 2011 our dream was realized. —Jan
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    A salute to all Vietnam Era Vets
    I would like to acknowledge all the Vietnam Era Vets that didn’t fight in the war but were in service during the war. I spent 2 years 9 months 15 1/2 days in service to my country. I was fortunate to not have to serve in Vietnam but I saw all the carnage that was sent to us to try to put back together both physically and mentally. I had duty in a Military Hospital that was at the epicenter of those that fought and were now in need of healthcare. There were hundreds of thousands of support personnel that never fired a shot. I’m proud to be a Vietnam Era Vet. —Frank
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    A salute to Frank (above)
    Frank, you may not have experienced the jungles of Vietnam but your service was just as vital to the war effort. After-the-fact care (after getting injured) contributed towards saving lives. You too are honored for your service. —Mike
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    Tip for surging RV generator
    If your carburetor is surging due to varnish, try B-12 Chemtool first. Be sure you have fresh fuel in the tank, then pour in the correct about of Chemtool. It will dissolve the varnish and restore smooth operation in many cases. It takes about 15 minutes, in my experience. I first learned about B-12 from The Car Guys, Tom and Ray, on NPR. They recommended it and they were right —Marmot
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    Kidde fire extinguisher recall response
    I have a total of 4 KIDDE Fire Extinguisher’s, 2 in my house and 2 in my RV. All were on the RECALL list. Contacted the KIDDE Recall Hotline and they are supposed to be sending out new ones with Metal Handles, instead of the Cheap Plastic Handles. Thank You, Kidde! —Jeff
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    Another happy Phoenix Cruiser owner
    Two years ago, I bought my first RV – a 2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2900 diesel. The previous (original) owner had taken great care of it. I flew to VA from CA, bought the RV, and drove it back home. No problems at all. In the past 2 years, I’ve had minor problems, most of them unrelated to the quality of the Phoenix Cruiser (tire losing its tread, engine AC condenser replaced). I just wish they made a Class A. —Roni
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    Interesting place names
    I’ve been thru Toadsuck, AR, many times heading up to Branson. Kind of like Bucksnort, TN. Makes you wonder who comes up with these names? —Jeff

    Place names explanation:
    A “Suck” was an old steamboat captain term for an eddy or backwater. You’d park the steamboat in one to let folks on and off. Toad was but one of a stretch of the Arkansas River named for animals. —Steve
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    Philosophical response to negative comment
    In response to a comment to never camp in a dry wash: Think about what’s stupid! Driving anywhere. Taking an airplane ride. Riding a roller coaster. Climbing a ladder. Getting in (or out) of the tub or shower. Opening your front door. Deep-frying a turkey. Even getting out of your bed! I’ll bet all of these things have probabilities of injury or death in line or higher than intelligently camping in a desert wash. Everyone takes chances every day by living, just try to be observant and careful and enjoy life as you can. Not getting out of bed is not an option. —Bob
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    Have your cake and eat it too
    [A]s for me, I love RVing. So we go everywhere in the summer and then the rest of the year we take one weekend a month to go RVing. We are not full-timers and have a nice spacious home to return to after our outings. If you can have your cake and eat it too. Then go for it. Long live RVing. —John
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    Happy snowbird
    There is no way we could snowbird as we do by using planes, trains, cars, motels, restaurants etc. The life style we have adopted, that of enjoying the northern climes during the spring, summer and fall and the beautiful southern climes for three or four months when the snow and ice hits would not be possible or practical without our RV. Say what you will but I, for one, will give up this lifestyle and my RV only when I am no longer physically able to continue. —Richard


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    Lookin’ on the bright side
    Broke down about quitting time in a Friday. We were able to take to a very nearby truck repair shop. They told us to check the other (auto) repair shops in town, and come back if the others couldn’t help us. The other shops’ doors we’re too low to enter, so back to the truck shop. They let us leave our cat in the RV while it was in the shop to rebuild the differential. We were back on the road Thursday afternoon. We took advantage of the delay to explore some places we’d always driven past in our way to our destinations. —D
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    Advantages to owning a Class B
    Husband should take a few trips first to see if you need the motorcycle. We found we don’t. Honestly, to “pull up stakes” to leave the campsite with my class B means disconnecting and storing my power plug. That’s it. And that’s only when I’m not boondocking! One of the main reasons we got the Class B was freedom to move quickly and easily. We drive the van everywhere. At 21′, I can park almost anywhere. A campsite full of paraphernalia that has to be stored and hookups (sewer, cable, water) just are not in the cards for us. We’ll hook up to water to fill the tank and sewer to dump the other tanks when we’re checking out. —Roger
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    A little sarcasm?
    A hay truck going the other way on a gravel road wiped out our windshield. So we had to order a new windshield and wait for it. Parked under this huge cottonwood tree on the bank of the Snake river in September. In southern Idaho. Near a winery. Just terrible. —Mary
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    Finding boondocking campsites
    I’ve had excellent luck locating dispersed camp areas using the website ultimatecampgrounds dot com. They have a map-graphic interface which is super-easy to use, and their database is extensive. Probably not as complete as the USFS road maps, but then it’s quickly available online. —Greg
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    Having a blast RVing
    My wife & I bought our motorhome in January 2017. We wanted to see places where there weren’t near by hotels. We also knew and were told by the RV sales people that ” …RVing is not cheaper than some alternatives… “. I don’t know how long we will last, but we have had a blast in our first year. When it is no longer fun (no one can estimate the time), we will give it up. Thanks to all who comment. I am learning much by reading about what others do/discover/think. —Jim
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    A very safe and thoughtful RV driver
    I’ve been RVing for over 30 years and have always found truckers to be very courteous to RV’s. As a consequence, I go out of my way to return the favor…i.e., flashing the headlights when they pass so they know when they are clear and can pull back in front of me, adjusting my speed and flashing the headlights or moving over to allow them to get on the highway from an on-ramp, and moving over to allow them to go by me when they can. I figure this is just normal highway etiquette, especially when I’m going slower than most of the other traffic. Yes, there is an air wake that hits the trailer when the big rigs pass, but if you’re paying attention and ready for it, there shouldn’t be any problem. —George
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    Some pluses of RVing
    RVing is a ‘way of life’ when it comes to traveling. A family in a pop-up camper soon becomes best friend with the neighbor in his luxurious RV: financial barriers are not an issue when RVing. You don’t RV to save money. Considering the up-front expense, and the traveling expenses, you do it by choice. Because I have an auto-immune disease, the last thing I want to do is breathe the recycled air of an airplane, or sleep in a bed when I don’t know who has slept in it for the last several months. In addition, I much prefer a home-cooked meal over eating out. That traveling style is definitely not for me as I care for my health. I continue to enjoy RVing, an activity my husband & I picked up in 1971. —Jeannine
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    Roadside assistance
    Had a flat tire on the pop-up in North Dakota leaving us stranded and no cell service. 4 men jumped out of a truck with a load of tools and pretty much pushed us out of the way and had that tire fixed in no time. Again had another flat with a pop-up in Maine. A service ranger came out of no where, helped us pop it up and fixed in no time. So we really waited no time in getting help. With Progressive, do not get Liberty Mutual they will not send a tow truck to help with RV. But we now have Progressive and good coverage for the trailer. Fingers crossed no more tire problems. —Jillie
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    Prompt Kidde fire extinguisher replacement
    We filled out a form on the Kidde Fire Extinguisher website when you published the recall a few weeks ago. Today we received our replacement extinguisher with instructions to return the defective unit. Thank you for keeping us safe and up-to-date —Deb
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    Excited sightseers
    My wife and I went to see the VLA [Very Large Array radio astronomy observatory] in New Mexico back in 2003. Approaching the site I stopped at the railroad crossing [they move the giant antennae on rail cars occasionally]. I stopped to take a photo. While getting the camera ready my wife hollered at me, “LOOK!” I looked up to see ALL of the giant dishes moving in a synchronized ‘ballet’ to a new position as they got ready to begin a new test. Once every twelve hours or so they re-position the giant antennae. We were very lucky to observe this event. —Pat and Tom


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    Roy Christensen
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    Roy Christensen

    Nice to hear so many positive comments about your readers RV experiences. Recently we were on our way home from visiting Prince Edward Island heading to Long Island NY. We stopped at Pond Parks Campground in Clifton, Maine located on Airline Road. Very nice and clean campground. During the morning of our departure, the power in the motorhome went out. We had full hook-ups. I checked the pedestal and it was good. I went to the camp office and explained my problem. Soon the owner came over to my campsite and began to check all the connections in my motorhome.… Read more »