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RV Travel Newsletter: November 17-23. Issue 560
Weekend of November 17, 2012
Issue 560 of RV Travel
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its twelfth year of continuous publication, is funded through sales at RVbookstore.com and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!
AVAILABLE ONLINE FACTORY DIRECT AT A REDUCED PRICE.
With this UL certified RVIA compliant system the RV owner has the option of simply flipping a switch to use either Electric, or Gas as a source to heat their coach along with the manufacturer installed central forced air heating system. Gas or Electric at the flip of a switch. Learn more.
It was a week before Thanksgiving, 23 years ago. My wife-to-be and I were RVing in Arizona. My folks were there, too, in their motorhome. From our phone conversations it became apparent our paths would cross in the vicinity of Lake Havasu City. We decided to meet there for Thanksgiving.
They got there first and selected two adjoining campsites at Cattail Cove State Park, along the shores of Lake Havasu. My father was a very social fellow and it was common for him to know at least a half-dozen other campers within a few hours of arriving. By the time we showed up a day or two later he and my mother had already organized a Thanksgiving get-together at their campsite.
I have long forgotten the names of the people who joined us that day or who contributed what to the feast. But I do know that we all filled up on turkey and all the other traditional fare. I remember helping haul picnic tables from neighboring sites to accommodate the large crowd. By the time we were ready to sit down, the wine and beer supply was already under serious assault and, with it, ample laughter.
I wish now that I had snapped some photos of the occasion so I could remember it better. I suppose I was too busy eating, drinking and enjoying the company of my parents and the other campers, who after an hour together were acting like old friends. Who would think we could replicate a traditional family holiday gathering there in the desert with people we had just met? Yet we did.
It was one of my best Thanksgivings ever. Now, my parents gone, I wish I could have a couple of hours of that wonderful afternoon back. Thinking about that day makes me both sad and happy -- sad that my parents are no longer around, but happy that I experienced that wonderful moment in time.
If you have a comment about this essay or this newsletter in general, please feel free to leave it at our forum.
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New RVtravel.com tee-shirts
We now have an official, high quality RVtravel.com tee-shirt just in time for holiday giving. We printed them to award as prizes in our new RV Daily Tips newsletter (Sign up here). But when we showed them off on our Facebook page many people commented that they wanted one. One design, for motorhome owners, says "My home has headlights." The other, for towable owners, says "My home has wheels." We are offering them in black with white letters in men shirt sizes small, medium, large, extra large, 1XL and 2XL. To order send $15 plus $3 postage and handling ($5 to Canada) for each shirt (Washington residents please add $1.71 sales tax per shirt) to RVbookstore.com, 170 West Dayton St., Suite 103-B, Edmonds, WA 98020. Allow up to two to three weeks for delivery. If you wish to charge by credit card, call our office at 425-744-0415 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please note, our phone order department will be closed Thanksgiving Day through Sunday.
DID YOU MISS LAST WEEK'S ISSUE? If so, read it here.
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ONLY TWO WEEKS!
In two weeks, 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. Be sure to include information about the photo including who is pictured. Email them to me, email@example.com.
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.
Water at the Stanfield, Oregon Pilot RV Park and truck stop has been found to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Officials have posted a "boil water" order for park guests.
RVers who stay at the Kansas State Fairgrounds will see their overnight rates jump: Power only sites are now $25; power & water sites, $35; both up $5 each. Full-service sites climbed $3 to $38 per night. Admission prices to the fair have not changed.
With California's Fort Ord National Monument officially open, readers may be interested in a free trail map and guide, courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management. Order one while supplies last.
California/Nevada's Ivanpah Dry Lake has reopened for "wind powered" sports including land sailing, kite buggying, and "world championship disc throwing." The lake lays on the states' borders along I-15 near Prim, Nevada. Free permits are required for access. Phone 760 326-7003 for more information.
A four-wheel drive group in Lake Havasu City, Arizona recently volunteered to clean up an informal target shooting range in the town. Results? The 50 volunteers gathered up 80 cubic yards of blasted TVs and computer monitors, in addition to "hundreds of thousands of shotgun shells and casings."
Friday, November 9, marked the first time the Statue of Liberty was lit since Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast. Liberty's lighting system was damaged by the storm, and a private firm donated lighting equipment and generators to bring the lights back until full repairs can be made.
Arkansas' sales taxes will go up a half-cent after approval by voters. The increase is dedicated to widening 12 state highways and for major improvements on others. The tax will last for a decade.
RV manufacturer, Jayco, says it will add 77,000 square feet to its existing 62,000 square foot Entegra Coach facility in Middlebury, Indiana. By 2015 the company expects to add 65 new jobs at the plant.
on the Emerald Coast
Bella Terra of Gulf Shores is one of the top rated resorts in the country. With top of the line amenities, incredible staff and exquisite lots, this Class A-only resort is just minutes from the sugar-fine sands of the Alabama Gulf coast. Come see how they live at Bella Terra of Gulf Shores by visiting its website BellaTerraRVresort.com or by calling one of the resort representatives at (866) 417-2416.
Camping World has absorbed Hawley's Camping Center, said to be North Carolina's oldest RV dealer. The family business was located in Hope Mills and sold out to the mega-company early this month.
Hurricane Sandy has created a huge hunger for generators. Generac says it expects a 40 percent boost in sales this year from 2011 because of recent weather events. Cummins and Caterpillar, Inc., also report they've shipped hundreds of generators to the East Coast. No word on how RV generators may be affected.
Texas State Parks is on a mission to, "Engage the urban-based population and get them back to nature." A dozen new programs are in the hopper to get under-46ers to come to parks; already a Geocache Challenge has brought 18,000 visitors to the state's parks.
U.S. national parks are going green: Charge stations for electric vehicles are popping up in parks around the country. Yosemite, Zion, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks all have charge stations. While only the latter provides charging for the public, who knows what the future holds.
A number of Southern California RV parks are reporting higher-than-average reservations by winter visitors -- some saying they're already booked full. To accommodate snowbirds, trade magazine RV Business reports parks have added sites and recreational facilities.
Disabled military veterans and seniors can look to discounts on camping at Idaho Power operated parks starting this January. The three-year pilot program gives vets with a service-related disability a 50 percent break on fees; seniors will get $2 off per night during peak season.
If it's broke, call the military. California appointed Major General Anthony Jackson (Marine, retired) to command the state's park system. Jackson's work history includes oversight of finances and administration of military facilities. His appointment must be approved by the Senate.
1863: Lincoln begins first draft of his Gettysburg Address.
1925: Rock Hudson is born.
1936: Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy become an overnight success on the radio.
1940: The Green Bay Packers become first NFL team to travel by plane.
1970: Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.
2004: Kmart Corp. announces it is buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Potential Roofing Concern
For RVs Built Since 2010
Some newer TPO roofing is not compatible with common lap sealants. Using lap sealant on these TPO materials can create cosmetic damage RVers will find undesirable. Dicor Products’ new Ultra Sealant System has been developed to overcome this concern. Find out if your RV could be a concern and get more helpful information on the situation. Learn more.
Not using your diesel RV for winter? Take care with the fuel
'Gypsy Wagon' RV?
Important for safe RVing!
MONITOR YOUR TIRE PRESSURE!
Our commercial grade TIRE MONITORING SYSTEM will help ensure you travel safely without tire failure related peril. Our system is inexpensive, simple to install and fun to use. The National Transportation Safety Board says commercial grade vehicles need tire monitoring systems even more than passenger cars and trucks. We will meet or beat any advertised price on our system! Visit Truck System Technologies (TST) to learn more. Or call 770-889-9102.
Water "accessory" fittings you need
If you'll be camping in a park with "city water," that is, water from a faucet, there's some good accessories to keep in your RV storage compartment. These can make your visit easier -- even safer for your rig. Inexpensive, you'll bless yourself for having them when you need them. Read more.
A visit to the world's biggest Cabella's store
After receiving its catalog for years, Rich Miller, the Wanderman, decided to pay a visit to the largest Cabella's sporting good store. And what he found was an amazing, expansive sea -- one million square feet -- of sporting goods and related equipment. RVers are invited to stay overnight in the huge parking lot, and there's even a kennel where your dog can pass the time while you are shopping. And there is so much more. Read Rich's report.
Website for three-legged dogs
Just when you think you have heard about every conceivable subject for a website, along comes another. This one, dubbed Tripawds, was created by fulltime RVers Rene Agredano and Jim Nelson after they lost their beloved dog Jerry to cancer. But before he died, Jerry enjoyed life despite having one leg amputated. It turns out there are countless other dogs with only three legs. If you own such a pet, you will find this website inspiring and very educational.
"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.
How experienced are you as an RVer (don't count camping trips as a child)? Rate zero to 5 with five being lots of experience and zero being no experience. Answer here.
Last week's question
In general, will you drive 3 miles out of your way from one service station to another (round trip) to save 5 cents a gallon on gas or diesel?
Read the survey results.
Don't get burned with
the wrong RV insurance company!
Explorer RV Insurance offers you more than just standard RV insurance for your RV such as total loss replacement, purchase price guarantees, personal effects coverage, awning replacement coverage, towing and more. Explorer RV Insurance is a full-service agency that has established partnerships with leading carriers bringing you access to a wide range of specialty RV insurance products. Learn more.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 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.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.44 (on November 16)
Change from week before: Down 3 cents
Diesel: U.S. $3.98 (on November 12)
Change from week before: Down 3 cents
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
Learn all about your RV's 120-volt electrical system in Gary's eBook The RV Doctor's Technical Guide to RV Electrical Systems. Order now and be reading it a few minutes later.
Dump valves LED lights do not turn off
I have a 2011 Carriage Carri-Lite. Both the grey water and black water electric dump valve switch lights are illuminated indicating the valves are in the open positions. They have been working fine but seem to be "stuck" in the open position. This happened once before and I cannot remember what the fix was. I checked the fuses and breakers and they seem to be fine. The actual valves are not immediately accessible and I'm not sure where they are. I believe it's an electrical issue. HELP! --J. W., (Three Rivers, TX)
RVers Best Public Campgrounds
This is a terrific guide for RVers who like to stay in public campgrounds not too far off the beaten path. It lists hundreds of such campgrounds within a 30-minute drive from an Interstate highway. They include those managed by the feds, state, county or cities. Overnight fees for most campgrounds are $19 or less. The campgrounds will accommodate most RVs. Learn more or order for only $17.95
The RV Shrink
Wants to volunteer, but too much rudeness
Dear R.V. Shrink:
I can’t understand the government volunteer system. The ranks of volunteers for the National Park and National Forest Service seem to be growing rapidly. It sounds like a win-win situation for both seniors looking to volunteer and the government in a budget crisis. I completely understand the theory of supply and demand, but I do not understand rudeness. My husband and I have submitted volunteer applications to several parks offering to do most anything they need. It’s as if the applications go into a black hole. We have come to expect no communications from the Park Service, not even a “Thanks." This attitude will to some degree kill the goose that laid the golden egg if they continue to treat this "manna from heaven" help with such disregard. Am I right or am I just becoming an old curmudgeon? Maybe I am old fashioned, but I think even a form letter letting people know where they stand in the volunteer line would be nothing less than courteous. --Out of Line in Laredo
Published in 2012!
Guide to Free Campgrounds
The 2012 edition of Guide to Free Campgrounds contains more than 12,000 public campgrounds across the USA, including those in national forests & national parks, & on lands of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) & at Corps of Engineers lakes -- 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.
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
TODAY'S PRIZE: The book RVing to Newfoundland.
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, November 17 beginning at exactly 8:45 a.m., Pacific Time (11:45 a.m. in the East).
American's Largest RV Consignment Dealer
Buy or sell your used motorhome, diesel pusher, fifth wheel, or travel trailer hassle free at PPL Motor Homes. And check our huge selection of parts! PPL is the largest RV consignment dealer in the USA, selling over 24,000 consigned RVs since 1972. Visit the PPL website.
Odds and Ends
TODAY'S SECRET WORD: Plastic
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.
National Bison Range
Quinn's Hot Springs
Even in the winter, the National Bison Range near Ravalli, Mont., is a great place to view a wide variety of indigenous Northwest wildlife and native grassland species -- as well as one of the largest bison herds in the United States. It's administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System and is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the nation. Nearby is a wonderful place for a dip in hot springs. Quinn's Hot Springs Resort has six mineral pools open to both lodge guests and day users. The water contains Silica, Sulfate, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and Iron for soaking and swimming. Read more.
Travelers 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 book 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.
Joke of the week
A car was involved in an accident on a rural town street. As expected a large crowd gathered. A newspaper reporter, eager to get a story could not get through the crowd to the car. Being a clever sort, he shouted loudly, "Let me through! I'm the son of the victim." The crowd made way for him. Lying in front of the car was a donkey.
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
“Before retracting the slideout, check for dew, snow, tree leaves, or other debris on the slideout roof. Remember that the roof will be inside your vehicle when it is retracted.”
From Trailers 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. There's no shipping or handling and no tax to pay, making these a bargain over printed books. 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.
A rundown of GPS units designed especially for RVers
GPS technology made finding travel destinations easy for automobile owners, but RV owners still had real-world concerns about using this technology. RVs are longer, taller and heavier than your average automobile, and a GPS designed for automobiles could get the RV owner in some challenging predicaments. Driving or towing an RV can be a white knuckle experience when the GPS leads you to an overpass that is too low, a bridge not rated for the weight or a residential neighborhood with low hanging tree branches. Several years ago I remember searching for a GPS that was compatible with larger and heavier RVs. That search lead me to a GPS designed for professional truck drivers. It did a good job, but was still missing features. Eventually I started seeing some GPS units designed specifically for use with RVs and decided it was time to upgrade my truck driving GPS model. Read more, including specific information about GPS units designed especially for RVers.
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.
In our Reader Forum
Discount Camping Clubs: All comments are negative
The list of dissatisfied customers who joined the RV Super Pages or the Ultimate RV camping clubs continues to grow. Both "clubs" are advertised heavily on the Web and promise half price camping. We have yet to see one positive comment from RVtravel.com readers about either club. Based on this response, we urge RVers considering a membership to read these comments first.
Sign up for our forum. A great way to exchange information and get your RV-related questions answered.
Great Holiday Gift!
Campground and Park Guide
This is a jam-packed, well-researched directory of campgrounds, filled with detailed information, about where you can camp with a dog in the USA and Canada. Learn more or order.
Bumper Sticker of the week
"Hire a teenager while they still know it all."
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
"Like" RV Travel on Facebook
Don't wait until Saturday for your next dose of RV Travel. Join us on Facebook for breaking news, valuable RVing information and advice -- most of which never appears in this newsletter. "Like Us."
The RV Kitchen
These easy, toothsome wraps are just right for a ride on the range or a quick lunch at the roadside.
Cookbooks for RVers: Big selection at RVbookstore.com.
These DVDs will make you a better RVer
Get these popular DVDs and others at RVbookstore.com
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
Tow Your 5th Wheel Trailer Like a Pro
Before Columbus' arrival, no native American had type B blood.
Keep track of 45 different daily activities including fuel, mileage, expenses, weather and activities with this compact, 7" x 4 1/2" vinyl loose leaf journal. This is a favorite record-keeping journal for RVers year in and year out. Learn more or order.
Random RV Thought
It's not a bad idea to carry a small water purifier device in your RV just in case of an emergency when you have no access to fresh water. It's unlikely this will ever happen, but it's always possible that your RV could end up as your fulltime home due to a natural disaster. In that case, such a device might become essential to daily life.
SPECIALS & CLOSEOUTS!
Save more than 80%
On Books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com
"You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you." --Ruth Smeltzer
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.
Win cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
The cash prize is now $210.00 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: Not available, 17821, 81071, 30253, 34135
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 he 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. Nowadays, 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.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Julianne Crane, Gary Bunzer, Dave Helgeson, Roger Marble, Mark Polk, Janet Groene, and Richard Miller. Cartoonist: Jerry King. 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-B, 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.
Keep rodents out of your RV!
The positive reviews on Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a "woodsy" scent that's pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It's safe around kids and pets. 98% biodegradable. Endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.