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RV Travel Newsletter: September 29. Issue 553
Weekend of September 29, 2012
Issue 553 of RV Travel
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its eleventh year of continuous weekly publication, is made possible through sales at RVbookstore.com, by our advertisers, and through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers (thank you!)
Headed to Alaska?
Send for the official FREE state travel guide!
Discover what makes driving North to Alaska so legendary. The roads are open and well maintained. Every route offers countless places to stop along the way to fish, hike, view wildlife, stock-up on sundries, dine, shop, camp and relax. This official guide offers planning suggestions as to where to go, how to get there, what to see, and what to do. Don't travel to Alaska without reading this first. Essential! Get your FREE North to Alaska Travel Guide.
With Chuck Woodbury
Follow me on Facebook
hen I think back to the beginning of my current RV roadtrip, now swiftly moving toward its second month, it seems like forever ago that I left my home in Edmonds, Wash. It was the morning of August 11. I drove straight through to Pendleton, Oregon, famous for its annual rodeo and Pendleton Woolen Mills. In my mind I can vividly recall the (non-picturesque) RV park I stayed in that night and the sizzling summer heat. Yet, as I recall that scene it seems like it was a year ago, not a matter of weeks.
That's the way it is when you travel, and I think especially by RV, where you experience each mile, unlike air travel where you go up and eventually come down without seeing anything along the way except a distant landscape below.
Now, more than 4,000 miles logged, I am on my way from Boston to New York City for a few days, to do a little business and explore the city with my daughter. I will camp at the Liberty Marina RV Park in Jersey City, right across the Hudson from Manhattan, a short subway ride away. Last time I stayed there I could see the Statue of Liberty from my motorhome's front window.
After I leave New York, I'll begin my long journey home. I'm looking forward to the big skies and wide-open spaces of the West.
OH, WHAT FUN THIS TRIP HAS BEEN! I have seen so many sights, met countless people, and enjoyed solitude when I wanted it. Last week I ate lobster in Maine and visited the historic Concord, Mass., Revolutionar War battlefield where the "shot [was] heard round the world." It seems like a long time ago that I visited Annie Oakley's grave in Greenville, Ohio, or passed through the magnificent Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I know that when I finally return home and stop moving I will be flooded with images from my long adventure. I suspect that happens to you, too.
America is a vast and magnificent land. I am glad that my parents showed me a good part of it when I was a child with our small travel trailer. They sparked my love of RVing and my wanderlust.
I'll arrive in New York on Sunday. I hope to post some stories and videos from there on our Facebook page. If you do not follow me there, then I will see you here next week from wherever I might be.
JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK. I am posting there about my trip throughout the week.
In mid-November, we will debut a new newsletter -- RV DAILY TIPS. Every Monday through Friday we'll post one valuable tip about RVing and one video tip from a nationally respected RV expert. To sign up, click here. It takes about 30 seconds. And check out our other newsletters while you're there.
Do you have any photos of yourself camping as a child? If so, we'd love to see them to possibly publish them in this newsletter. Just email them to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Editor comment: We post breaking RV news throughout the week at our RVtravel.com Facebook page. Click here.
"Carmageddon II" strikes Los Angeles this weekend when another stretch of Interstate 405 near Sepulveda Pass will close for construction. CALTRANS says "severe congestion" could affect freeways all around LA.
When the Space Shuttle Endeavour took its last flight (piggy-back on a jet) RVers at the Dockweiler Beach RV Park in El Segundo, California had some of the best views. The park is at the west end of Los Angeles International Airport -- the landing spot for the Endeavour and its escort.
Military folk interested in the under-construction RV park at the naval base in Port Hueneme, California will be glad to hear work will resume shortly. A new contract has been awarded to resume work left undone when an earlier builder went out of business.
The Bureau of Land Management hopes to build a new camping area east of Cedarville, California using volunteer labor. Bureau officials say this Saturday -- National Public Lands Day -- volunteers and BLM staff will set up the new campground in the Hays Mountain Range along the California-Nevada border.
Imperial County, California, faced with stringent federal regulations may ask the Bureau of Land Management to clean up its act. County officials say dust created by OHVs (off highway vehicles) must be mitigated. Imperial County is the home to dunes used by thousands of OHV enthusiasts every year.
Seward, Alaska's Air Force Recreation Camp is not closed as we erronously reported last issue according to a sharp-eyed reader. The camp has received a new lease on life, and its host a renewed contract.
America’s Largest RV Show, held last week in Hershey, Penn., reported a record crowd of 43,131, up 29 percent from last year.
Guide to Free Campgrounds
The 2012 edition of Guide to Free Campgrounds contains more than 12,000 public campgrounds across the USA, including national forests, national parks, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Corps of Engineers campsites and others, all with camping fees of $12 or less per night! This is one of RVbookstore.com's all time best sellers. Learn more or order.
San Francisco officials are banning overnight parking of RVs in some parts of the city. Approved by a 7-4 vote by the Board of Supervisors, the ban is over the objections of homeless advocates.
Custer State Park in South Dakota will hold its popular Buffalo Roundup on Friday, September 27 next year. Previously the roundup was held on the last Monday of September but organizers feel more folks will be able to come on a Friday.
A China Grove, Texas man who bought a motorhome at a San Antonio auction got more than a motorhome. Stuck away in a quiet corner was what turned out to be two kilos of heroin -- each bearing U.S. Customs and Border Protection stickers. How the dope got adrift is a mystery -- as is the name of the man who bought the RV.
A Silver Springs, Florida RV park owner was "tasered" and arrested in a dispute over a bear in her park's trash dumpster. Deborah Anderson, owner of Lake in the Forest RV Park refused to give wildlife officers her ID after they told her she needed to have bear-proof trash containers.
You may soon see people zipping through the air at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. An outside firm has contracted to build a zip line tour system in the picnic area, allowing customers to zip down cables between towers, eventually "landing" on a pier on Lake Shelby. The attraction will open next February.
Cheyenne, Wyoming RV owners may now breath: City officials have rolled back a plan that would have forced parked RVs to leave at least ten feet between themselves and the centerline of any roadway. At this point it appears RVs may be parked in front of any home in Cheyenne.
1907: Hollywood cowboy Gene Autry is born.
1936: Radio used for first time for a presidential campaign.
1950: Telephone answering machine created by Bell Laboratories.
1953: Milton Berle Show premieres.
1962: "Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show," debuts on ABC-TV.
1963: Rolling Stones first tour (opening act for Bo Diddley & Everly Brothers).
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Stop the shaking in
your parked 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer!
"Just an educated guess, but I would say STEADYfast is the best!"
Installs permanently and the set up is very easy.
For more information click here.
Or call toll-free 866-498-8754.
Digital scanning system replaces paper, frees up space in your RV
Life on the RV road should be about simplicity. Don't like the scenery? Then move. But for those who mix the RV lifestyle with business, it isn't always so simple. Where do you put all the dratted paperwork? Enter the Neat Company. Nope, they won't send out an office assistant to organize your filing cabinet. Wait a minute -- they do! Actually with NeatReceipts it's almost like having an office assistant along with you! Read more.
Don't try this with your fifth wheel trailer
We don't know how this scene ended, but if you drive a fifth wheel trailer, you might cringe when you see this photo, and think to yourself, "I sure am glad that never happened to me!" Curious what we're talking about? Then you will need to click here.
2012 Big Rigs
Best Bets Campground Directory
If you drive a king-sized RV, this directory is for you. The authors provide details about RV parks in 49 states and seven Canadian provinces that welcome long RVs. All parks personally visited by the authors, who even recommend best sites in each one plus nearby attractions. A must for big rig owners. Learn more or order.
A question about high tire pressure
Roger Marble, our RV tire expert answers this question from a reader: "If a tire is rated for 80 psi as shown on the sidewall and is aired up to 80 psi, then driven on a hot day the pressure goes up to 120 psi -- is that tire over pressure? If not, then why? If so, then what are we to do?" Read Roger's response.
No Shock Zone: Part Eight:
This is a repeat of our 12-part series about basic RV electricity by Mike Sokol. What follows is the eighth segment of a 12-part series about basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. Please read.
Door handle breaks:
Wanderman to the rescue
What do you do if your door handle breaks? That's the question Rich Miller, the Wanderman, had to ask himself when his driver side door did just that. As usual, Rich figured out how to do it, but, as usual it wasn't easy. Read his story.
Arizona state parks in trouble -- and Catch-22
A recent audit has "revealed" what many folks already knew: Arizona state parks are in deep trouble. Despite being a state with some of the greatest scenic beauty in the country, Arizona's parks rank among the lowest in terms of visitation of all states in the West. If these parks had to depend on park-generated revenue, there would be real problems. Read more.
and Roadside Assistance!
Add a roadside assistance plan today from Coach-Net and give yourself valuable peace of mind while you're on the road away from home. We've got you and your family covered. Your membership includes coverage on your RV and all other personal vehicles (including motorcycles) -- owned, rented or borrowed! Learn more about our RV plans.
New RVer asks: "How long can I keep fresh water in the tank?"
Having your RV sitting in the driveway, "ready to roll" on a spur-of-the-moment trip is one of the gifts of our lifestyle. Got propane and gas in the tanks? Holding tanks empty? If you keep a few clothes in the rig, some non-perishable food items, and grab whatever else from your house' fridge, your RV is up to an "instant getaway." Ah, but what about the fresh water tank? How long can you safely keep water in it before worrying about "bugs"? Read more.
Arctic Fox offers upgrades to celebrate 10,000th truck camper
Take 10,000 steps, you've walked about five miles. Build 10,000 truck campers, you must be Northwood Manufacturing, builder of Arctic Fox. Northwood just delivered its 10,000th truck camper, a significant achievement. To put a little more hoopla into it, the company is rolling out a limited edition of its popular Arctic Fox 990 model called the "Milestone Edition." Read more.
Stop that weeping RV water heater
Got a weeping water heater? Sometimes that dripping is enough to make you want to cry. It's not always the fault of your pressure relief valve: Water expands as it gets hotter, and if there's no room for that expanded water to go, it takes the path of least resistance out -- usually through your TPR (temperature pressure relief) valve. Read more.
Nearly 1,600 Jayco RVs recalled for electrical issue
Jayco, Inc. is recalling 2008-2009 and 2011 Greyhawk Class C motorhomes, 2008-2011 Melbourne Class C motorhomes, and 2008-2010 Octane Sport Utility travel trailers manufactured from May 21, 2007, through Sept. 10, 2010, equipped with Iota-brand transfer switches. Read more.
FREE DIRECTV & RV Satellite Kit for
(With purchase of DIRECTV home service) Take all of your favorite shows, movies and sports teams with you on the road! NFL SUNDAY TICKET is back and is included with CHOICE programming or higher! PLUS, right now, DIRECTV ON DEMAND, with thousands of shows and movies is INCLUDED! And for a limited time get FREE HBO, SHOWTIME, Starz & Cinemax for 3 mos.! Packages start at just $29.99/mo for 12 months! Offers end soon! CALL NOW for additional promotions and savings! 866-365-4372. Visit website for complete information.
LEGAL: Offers end 11/30/12. Credit card required (except in MA & PA); New approved customers only. All offers require 24-month agreement. FREE RV KIT: Requires NEW residential home service activation & purchase of ENTERTAINMENT programming or above. Additional terms and conditions apply. Call for details.
This Week's Reader Survey
Generally speaking, does your mood differ on a sunny day vs. a dark, cloudy one?
Last week's question
Has your RV's roof ever leaked since you owned it?
Read the survey results.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 2012 and 2013.
More than 2,000 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.
Latest RV Recalls
See them here, along with past recalls.
Prime Products Motorhome-Shaped Levels
White. 2 pack
List price $7.34. Now only $1.95!
Simplify your campsite set up with these terrific RV-shaped levels. No tools needed. Installs easily with adhesive backing (included). Two levels included. Limit one per customer at this incredibly low price! Learn more or order. And be sure to check out all our special offers exclusively for RVtravel.com readers only!
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.79 (on Sept. 28)
Change from week before: Down 3 cents
Diesel: $4.08 (on Sept. 24)
Change from week before: Down 5 cents
"The Most Comfortable Camping Chair!"
-- Chuck Woodbury
Superb back support!
The STRONGBACK folding camping chair was designed to provide back support; other camping chairs don't. Sit just once in a STRONGBACK chair and you'll never sit in a regular camping chair again! And the STRONGBACK is far more comfortable than any other camping chair. RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury is a big fan. Click the video to see his 60-second testimonial. Visit the STRONGBACK website for more information.
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
New this year: Gary's eBook, The RV Doctor's Technical Guide to RV Electrical Systems. Learn all about your RV's 120-volt electrical system. Order now and be reading a few minutes later.
RV shoreline cord overheats. Why?
We had to replace our 30-amp plug twice. For what reasons would the plug get hot and melt after a few days of being plugged in at a campground? --Mike, (Cleveland, TN)
Get rid of your
uncomfortable RV mattress!
Excel Distributors is a leading manufacturer of RV mattresses, pillows, sheets and mattress protectors for true “home away from home” comfort. All mattresses are designed and made in the USA, in Tualatin, Oregon. Free shipping on all orders. Jump into Fall! $100 off the Adventurer mattress (short queen 60"x74"). EXP 10/31/12 Call 888-691-6801 or visit www.exceldistributors.com. Get rid of that cheap mattress that came with your RV!
The RV Shrink
She thinks hubby's Saturns are just too much
Dear R.V. Shrink:
My husband's favorite car for towing behind our motorhome is the Saturn S series. He actually collects them. He tells me since they are not making them anymore he wants to buy several so that he always has one in the batter box warming up. That's fine with me but he just bought one from an old rock star and I think it's a lemon. He won't admit it. The salesman talked more about being the base player in a '60s band called Question Mark and the Mysterious than he did the car. Now we are replacing something every week. The one big hit the band had was "Ninety-Six Tears." Now I'm shedding 96 tears every time I write a check to another service technician. Don't you think we should just cut our losses and take our lump sum and move on. --Crying in the Rainforest's of Washington
Joke of the week
Marriage counselor to female client: "Maybe your problem is that you've been waking up grumpy in the morning." Client: "No, I always let him sleep."
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
TODAY'S PRIZE: The "Campers Daily Log."
QUIZ QUESTION WILL NOT APPEAR until the exact start time as noted below (before the actual start time you will only see previous contests).
Answer the quiz here on Saturday, September 29 beginning at exactly 9:30 a.m., Pacific Time (12:30 p.m. in the East).
Michelin RV Tires
Buy at Competitive Prices through FMCA’s Advantage Program. Learn more.
Odds and Ends
RV Quick Tips
Protect your noggin with RV cabinet corrals.
Got sand? Imperial dunes season opens soon.
RV News Service
Four out of ten RVers have experienced roof leaks on their RVs.
Meet dinosaurs at Oregon's Prehistoric Gardens.
Save $4.95 on Wal-Mart guides!
GET THE POCKET GUIDE FOR FREE
Here are two great guides to Wal-Mart stores, the "Wal-Mart Atlas" (Second edition, published 2011) and the "Wherezitat? Locate A Wal-Mart Pocket Guide" (includes stores that DO NOT allow overnight stays). You get the Wherezitat guide for FREE with the purchase of the Atlas, packaged together to save you $4.95 over purchasing separately. Get both guides for only $24.95, a $29.90 value! Learn more or order.
Tech Tips from Mark Polk
RV holding tanks 101
Your RV has what is referred to as a gray water holding tank and a black water holding tank. The gray water holding tank collects dirty water from the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower. Some larger RVs have an additional gray water holding tank. The black water holding tank is for the toilet. These tanks terminate into one main outlet used to empty the holding tanks. This is where we connect our sewer hose. Read more about the care and treatment of these tanks.
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's many helpful books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com.
Guide To The
Firearm Laws of the 50 States
RVers who travel with a firearm may not know that what's legal in their home state may be a felony in another. This 2012 guidebook explains current, specific gun laws for every state. Don't cross a state line with a gun without knowing the laws. Learn more or order.
Carhenge still a delight after 25 years
near Alliance, Nebraska
If last week's Short Stop about the Popcorn Capital of the USA grabs you enough to venture onto the two-lane back roads of north central Nebraska -- and you happen to be traveling west, consider checking out Carhenge in the northwest corner of the Corn Husker State. Carhenge, consisting of a circle of 38 cars, replicates Britain's famous Stonehenge. According to the Carhenge website, Jim Reinders, the artist, had lived in England and had studied the design and purpose of Stonehenge. "His desire to copy Stonehenge in physical size and placement came to fruition in the summer of 1987. The automobiles were placed to assume the same proportions as Stonehenge with the circle measuring approximately 96 feet in diameter. Read more.
Photo by Julianne G. Crane.
NOW HALF PRICE!
The 2012 Trailer Life Directory
The 2012 Trailer Life Directory is the most comprehensive, accurate, and reliable source for campground information available, with full descriptions and details for more than 11,700 private and public campgrounds, information on over 900,000 RV sites, RV service centers, LP gas locations and tourist attractions. Cover price: $24.95. Our bargain price now only $12.46! Learn more or order.
In our Reader Forum
"I just bought a Honda CRV to tow behind my 31 foot Tioga. Thinking about buying a Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar, and the Blue Ox Patriot brake system. Any comments or help?"
RV Insurance: Specialists in RV insurance. Explorer RV Insurance
RVs For Sale: Thousands of RVs for Sale, New, Used by Dealers & Private Sellers. RVzen.com
Extended Warranty. See why so many RVers rely on Good Sam's program.
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.
The cash prize is now $175.00 Each weekday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Pacific time) we publish a randomly selected U.S. Zip Code. If you live there and are the first to tell us, you win the money which increases every day there's no winner. Certain rules apply.
Last week's Zip Codes: 72099, 23250, 31405, 67233, 92193
Hot water is produced very quickly, so you don't normally have to keep the heater lit. Plan ahead.
-- From Motorhomes Made Easy
INSTANT READING ABOUT RVing!
With eBooks you don't have to wait to read your book. Just place your order and your eBook will be delivered almost instantly to your email inbox. These eBooks are written by RV experts and delivered in PDF format. Check out the big selection of eBooks at RVbookstore.com. Browse the RVbookstore.com eBook department.
The RV Kitchen
Free videos highlight "art" of Dutch oven cooking
If you think the "official" cooking equipment of Texas is a barbecue, think again. The humble Dutch oven can produce some mighty fine victuals, and iron pot cooking is perfect for many an RV trip. But how do you go about cooking in a Dutch oven -- and can you do more than the standard "pot o' beans"? Watch these three videos to find out.
Cookbooks for RVers: Big selection at RVbookstore.com.
New edition. Just published!
Living Aboard Your RV
Anyone who has dreamed of living on the road in an RV will find Living Aboard Your RV invaluable in planning and living the lifestyle. Author Janet Groene, with her vast experience as a full-time RVer, has put all the essential information in one volume, covering all the necessary topics from choice of RV to electronic communication, costs, banking issues and so much more. Even those who plan to travel only a few months of the year - or seasonally - should read this. Learn more or order.
Bumper Sticker of the week
"A chocolate donut in each hand. Now that's a balanced diet!"
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
These DVDs will make you a better RVer
Get these popular DVDs and others at RVbookstore.com
Tow Your 5th Wheel Trailer Like a Pro
Better Business Bureau Guide to Buying an RV
Choosing an RV: A Logical Approach (with Joe & Vicki Kieva)
Do It Yourself RV Care (with the RV Doctor)
Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
Guide to Class A Motorhomes
Guide to Class C Motorhomes
Towing Behind Your Motorhome
Guide to Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels
Guide to Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
Guide to Winterizing Your RV
More than 1,000 people have climbed Mt. Everest since it was conquered in 1953. Along with their support teams, they left behind more than 50 tons of garbage, making the mountain the world's highest garbage dump.
Best sellers at RVbookstore
•Baby picture has nothing to do with this ad. It's just a cheap trick to attract your attention.
RVers Best Public Campgrounds. Directory of public campgrounds along major roads.
Trailer Life RV Road Atlas. A best seller every year.
Mountain Directories East & West editions. Learn about steep grades ahead.
Trailer Life Campground Directory. You travel by RV? Then you need this!
DVD: Deep Cycle Batteries. Learn all about this essential RV item.
Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory. THE directory for owners of big RVs.
The Fifth Wheel Bible: The only book just about fifth wheel trailers.
Random RV Thought
If an RV maker advertises that a particular RV can sleep four, then industry guidelines say it should have four seatbelts. If it sleeps six, then it should have six seat belts. Etc.
Retire to an RV:
The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement
Are you considering the RV lifestyle? Is it for you? Can you afford to retire AND travel 365 days a year? Retire to an RV provides you with the information to help you make that decision. Learn more or order.
"Time is the subtle thief of youth." --John Milton
this newsletter. . .
. . . and on our several dozen other websites and blogs. If you have a business or represent one with a product or service aimed at RVers, you should check this out.
About the RVtravel.com editor
Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for nearly three decades. In the '90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an "on the road" writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC's Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. These days, he lives near Seattle where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD "Buying a Recreational Vehicle," the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.
Chuck on the radio
Hear Chuck on Rick Steve's travel show on National Public Radio.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Julianne Crane, Gary Bunzer, Silvanna Clark, Bob Difley, Roger Marble and Richard Miller. Office Manager: Jody Allcott. Warehouse operations: Eric Brotman. New York City correspondent: Emily Woodbury.
If you enjoy and appreciate this newsletter and would like to help it continue by making a voluntary subscription contribution, we invite you to do so here. It will be appreciated very much.
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. So be sure to check things out. At RVbookstore.com we strive for excellence in all we do. Our customers receive super fast service. Our motto is "You need it so we speed it," and no truer words were ever spoken!
All information on this website is copyrighted by RVtravel.com. Our offices are located at 170 W. Dayton Street, Suite 103, Edmonds WA 98020. Write editor Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com. Information about advertising in this newsletter and on our other websites and blogs is available at RVtravelAdvertising.com or by calling 425-744-0415 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays (Pacific time).
This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.
This newsletter is copyright 2012 by RVtravel.com
Space heater uses only 200 watts!
It's hard to believe that an electric space heater could use a mere 200 watts — the same as a couple of light bulbs, a fraction of others. But this one does, and it really works! It's meant to heat a nearby person, not a room. Put it on your desk or at your feet. It's perfect for the RVer who's "always cold." For about $17, this is a winner. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.