Thumbs up – January 2018

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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.

    Asking permission sometimes equals free overnight parking
    Some of the nicest overnights we’ve enjoyed have been odd parking lots where we called and ASKED PERMISSION. For instance, one night in some small town in Kansas we were finishing doing laundry and, since no one was around, we wondered if we could just sleep over right where we were. We found a number on the wall, asked and were granted permission, and we had a wonderful quiet night. Most recently, we followed our GPS to the “nearest RV park” and found not only was it already full, but also very seedy and run down. We pulled into a grocery store lot across the street to have room to turn around, and wondered if THIS almost-empty parking lot might be available. The store was still open so I went inside and asked for the manager. It took him almost 20 minutes to show up, ut graciously granted permission, saying they almost always allowed it when RVers ASKED PERMISSION FIRST. —JimD
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    Another tip on free overnight parking
    Many times when you find a place where spending a night is questionable, the business is closed and there’s no contact phone number. Calling the local police department may…or may not…get you an answer. —PennyPA
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    Safe and fun “relaxers”
    Music is fun. Its been my Valium for decades. I often play at every campfire I can find during the warmer months. Bluegrass is the absolute best for this endeavor and anyone can do it at some level with just a few lessons. My other relaxer is ham radio and it’s also open to anyone. Try either, you’ll like them both. —Dann G.
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    Beautiful memory
    I saw a triple rainbow in the ’60s while in Colorado after a horrific storm. I was so happy that I asked our driver if he would pull off the road so we all could look at it and enjoy it. Luckily, the driver agreed and I have a wonderful memory of beauty. —Jo
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    Fun, free and friendly place to visit
    Come to Chico, California’s Saturday year round farmers market. Also we have a spring, summer, fall farmers market in downtown where they close off the street on Thursday nights. Summer concerts in the central downtown old fashioned park. It’s all free and friendly. —Buzzelectric
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    Happy with his Camping World dealer
    I could care less what charges CW adds anywhere. Just show me the bottom line. Not all CW dealers are the same. I’ve been lucky to find a good one. I’ve bought 3 units there and the next will come from there again. I could have saved $2000 by driving 1400 miles each way but then what about service? Service has been VG. —Captn John
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    High praise for RV park
    I have seen this cactus! Johnson Creek RV Resort is a hidden paradise. My husband and I were fortunate to work camp there spring/summer of 2017. The owners are very special to us. Best park in the Hill Country! —Pam S.
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    Snowbird “tour guides”
    We live in Mobile, AL, and enjoy making snowbird friends. We turn our snowbird friends into tour guides and get inside scoops for future trips up North. Canadians are always a hoot to talk to and we try to give everybody tips on good places to go and do for down here. —Joel V.
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    Solar installer in Quartzsite is a “benchmark”
    Couple years ago we visited a solar installer in Quartzsite, AZ. Complete 300 watt roof mounted system with newest panels, charge controller and installation (promised in 4 hours) totaled $1500 out the door. Their lot was crowded with low end as well as expensive rigs from as far away as Boston. All those folks were customers based on recommendations of very happy RVers they met during their travels. I recall their business name beginning with the word “discount.” For us, that business is a benchmark of surpassed expectations and old school quality. The easy peasy solar systems are fine for a couple LED lights at your mountain cabin. The most economical decision is to do it right the first time. —Rusty
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    RVer’s motto
    I forgot to mention, your article about your airline experiences reminded me of our motto: “Tis better to drive your closet than pack a suitcase!” —rag-ftw
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    Happy RVers
    I agree so much about the RV being “home”. We have only had our TT since Spring and had only one stay at a campground, but we “driveway camped” after that for months. I retired on 8/01, left work on my last day with the TT in tow headed for the campground. A perfect way to make my getaway. When we got back to our house, we decided we wanted to stay in the camper. We finally had to give up and come back in the house a few weeks ago, when it got too cold here in Upstate NY. We miss our little apartment so much!!! Even our house doesn’t feel as much like home as it did. We can’t travel till later this year and we can’t wait. We plan to join Harvest Hosts and maybe RV Golf Club to have nice places to travel. —Pat
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    Good thing he planned ahead!
    I had blue “flakes” – some the size of a dime, coming out of my old water heater, too. Ended up replacing the whole thing – was concerned it would have a catastrophic failure when we were traveling someplace inconvenient. It was the glass lining coming off – tank was pretty much “toast” – service tech said it was just about ready to split when he got it out, so glad I replaced it when I did! —ST
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    They love the “Quartzsite crawl”
    We spend all of January in Q and love it. There are music jams 7 nites a week. We dry camp out in the desert. Only traffic problem for us is backup at Chevron, my Dodge diesel prefers it. Love your newsletter. —Steve
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    Happy with Camping World service
    I’ve used my local CW service department on a couple of occasions with no problems. Their rates were comparable to others in the area and they got me in/out in two days. —Tim
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    Another happy Camping World customer
    I find this video and all of its negative comments very perplexing. I have just spent an entire afternoon at Camping World of Woodstock, Ga. receiving some great service on my travel trailer that I purchased from them six months ago. I do not feel that I have been scammed or cheated in any way. In fact, I have been treated so generously by my local Camping World that I feel indebted to them and should speak out in their defense. All of my dealings with them have been more than fair and they have gone to great lengths to make sure that I am totally satisfied. Sometimes I am inclined to think that these surveys can get a little out of hand. —G
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    Reader recommendation for solar advice
    If you are ready to invest in solar, search “Handy Bob’s Solar”. Although very opinionated and at times wordy, this gentleman lives with solar. He offers real world experience and very practical info. Read his entire blog and it will save you heartache, time and money. He knows what he is talking about. —Sharon M.
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    Inexpensive wedding dresses
    Another great place is the Unclaimed Baggage Store in Scottsboro, AL. They have about 6000 wedding dresses at all times. This is a fun place to visit. Plan on several hours. —Tom
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    Lucky fire survivors
    Had A fire in our motor coach, the ice maker line burned off and put out the fire. The coach flooded, however we are still alive. Insurance investigator spent about 2 hrs looking at the damage and the only thing he said was go buy a lottery ticket! —Mark B.
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    Ahh … the RVing life
    We are first time snowbirds in Phoenix. As I walked our dogs around our RV park, I wondered about the wanderlust that we all seem to share. In our time on the road we have met people from everywhere, families with children, giving them experiences they will remember and the ability to be comfortable anywhere. We’ve met people who travel for their jobs, and people who just have the need to travel, to see what’s beyond the curve in the road. It makes for an interesting community, a diverse community, bound together by the need to see more. I wouldn’t trade our RV experiences for any sitck and brick home anywhere. —Peggy C.
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    Solar-powered fridge
    Hey, you guys heard of solar-powered fridges. Mine runs all the time, use as a spare beer fridge when laid up at home. Just remove a few beers and load up for the next trip. Does not cost anything. Sunlight is free in New Zealand. —David M.
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    RV vs. residential fridge debate
    Good Lord Chuck- I didn’t know it was a debate. I just thought you were presenting some insight on new RVs. From what I’ve seen and heard, the residential fridge is for larger capacity- more food. Nothing more than that. Dude. (yeah, I’m chuckling) —Dave
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    More praise for the “Quartzsite crawl”
    Reminds me a LOT of Sturgis during their “rally week”. Q is a wonderful place with some of the most interesting folks I’ve ever met. We normally boondock out in LaPosa South for all season and generally enjoy the experience greatly. There’s even a 320 acre area set aside for clothing optional camping. There’s gold mining, jewelry making, ATV/UTV trails all over the area leading into the back country, a very active HAM radio club, indeed clubs of one kind or other for most interests…………Q = the Sturgis of RVers. —Dave J.
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    Sound advice for RV shopping
    Every time you change rigs you spend more money. Work real hard when and if you change rigs to find your forever rig. That means quality and “bones” over flash. —Darrel
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    Praise for Good Sam travel assist in emergency
    I have Good Sam travel assist. They will have your remains returned home. They will drive your rig home. They will bring your mate home. They will bring your pets home. They will use their concierge service to help you in a lot of ways. —Buzzelectric
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    Little car makes people smile
    2007 GEM Electric car toad. Can’t live in it but it’s cheap until you have to replace the 6 batteries at $300.00 each. Lots of fun and every body waves at you and smiles. —Buzzelectric
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    More to do in Bouse, Ariz.
    If you like target shooting the county shooting range is just out of town and if you LOVE traditional muzzleloading there is the Bouse Hills muzzleloaders that get together every 2 weeks in the winter… check the Bouse site —Francois R.
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    Partying RVers
    We are Real Louisiana Cajuns, means camping to us is a Party. We have bonfires, outdoor cookouts, music & beer drinking. We are extremely friendly, always make new friends & encourage them to join us. We decorate the outdoors & have sometimes multiple canopy’s plus large electric fans. That being said – we avoid KOA’s like the plague —Jay F.
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    Happy with KOA
    We love KOA campgrounds. We have never found an old one, or a dirty one, or one with bad customer service. Maybe we’ve been lucky but I do know that we have stayed in some Good Sam parks that would be comfortable in a third world country. Yes they are expensive but no more than some of the horrible places we have stayed in. We know they’re clean and nice. And no, I don’t work for KOA, we’re retired and fulltime, but we like KOA. —Peggy C.

    How about thanking Walmart?
    Has anyone considered writing WalMart and thanking them for allowing overnight RV parking and saying you appreciate the convenience and you do shop at those stores? I have. WalMart head office address is: 702 SW 8th St., Bentonville, AR 72716. Isn’t an overnight parking spot worth the price of a stamp? —George B.
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    High praise (one of many) for former KOA
    I have stayed at Andy’s campground multiple times over the years. The staff have been very friendly and helpful. The campground and amenities are well maintained. My family and I enjoy camping there and will continue hopefully for many more years to come. This is our favorite campground. Thank you Andy for not destroying the campground by putting in too many cramped sites and taking the family atmosphere out of it. —Danny S. (Editor: The campground is now Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park in Staunton, Va.)
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    Lots to do in Texas Hill Country
    Great article on Harvey [Gann]! Met him last winter at the Trade Days too. Hill Country is a great area. While you are there and you like classic (think Bob Mills) country music, be sure to check out Albert Ice House on Wednesday nights. The band ‘Lost Sounds of Texas Honky Tonks’ plays every Wednesday and is worth the drive. It is mostly a ‘local’ hangout – not like Luckenbach. Great fiddle music. Love your website and newsletter. Thank you for what you do! —Tonya B.
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    Fairgrounds camping
    We have found fairgrounds to be great places to stay, usually found on the spur of the moment. One in WA was SO far out of the way, I thought we were lost! But we found it, and it was a well kept, nicely set up area. Our choice of whether we wanted full hookups, partial, or NO hookups. —Tommy M.
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    A visit to Borrego Springs, Calif., metal art
    One of our favorite places to visit! In fact, will be back there in about 3 weeks for another adventure. It can get warm there, so be sure and have water with you and watch out for rattlesnakes. —Luke and Sue
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    Assistance in case of a death while on the road
    I thought about this for awhile then went to a MASA presentation, which after more thought, I joined paying the full price. I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but if there is any doubt look up MASA. They will airlift, or use a wheeled ambulance, from anywhere in the world if the needs arise. And your belongings will be taken care of, as well as you. All you have to do is tell them where you want your belongings, including an RV, and your body to be sent and they will see to it. Check them out, they are bona fide. —JB
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    Don’t miss Luckenbach, Texas
    While in San Antonio area don’t miss Luckenbach just outside of Fredericksburg. Old Time country and some of the more recent. —Steve
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    A great fairgrounds camping experience
    We stayed at Danville, In, Hendricks County fairgrounds last summer for a couple of nights, Very nice place. Fair price for hookups. The PowWow was going on that weekend and made the stay into a great experience. —Roger
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    An alternative to fairgrounds camping
    Have stayed in a number or Fairgrounds, just a few months ago we were in Churchill County NV fairgrounds for a few days. Another place we’ve stayed: Race tracks (like dirt tracks… cars or motorcycles). We’ve stayed at 9 or 10 tracks in different states and have never been charged. Some even had electric and let me fill my water tanks! Of course you have to be there around their race schedule. The disadvantage might be the noise, the advantage is an evening activity! —ScottA
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    Jim

    Thetford customer service- THUMBS UP! I recently purchased a Thetford Titan sewer kit from a local dealer. While I deployed the hose it malfunctioned and collapsed on itself. I looked at some reviews and noticed some similar issues with frustrated results being the main outcome- by that I mean the user tossed it due to already used conditions and grumbled over the situation. 1. I decided to contact THETFORD at their Customer Service number 2. A real (NICE) person answered and listened to my issue AND asked for further PROOF (pictures that I was able to send her) 3. She… Read more »