RV Travel Newsletter: December 15-21. Issue 564

For Email Marketing you can trust

Weekend of December 15, 2012

Issue 564 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!

Important for safe RVing!

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.

Editor's corner

With Chuck Woodbury

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As I've said before, I enjoy camping in public campgrounds far more than in RV parks. I like Forest Service campgrounds the best, followed by those in national and state parks and on other government lands. Any campsite with space around it and a healthy dose of scenic beauty is my ideal place to stay.

When I think of the hundreds of public campgrounds I have stayed in through the years, I often think about the sounds of those places as much as the sights.

In the morning, after I awake, I usually brew a pot of coffee. When it's ready, I pour a cup, and then may step outside to greet the day. Often, I will sit at the picnic table and simply "open" my ears. I love the sounds of birds greeting each other, singing their songs. Sometimes a gentle wind passing through the tree tops will be pleasing and soothing. On a drizzly or foggy morning, the sound of the day may instead be near-stillness, a rare moment to a city person.

One morning, in Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas (but seemingly a thousand miles away), the morning was so totally still that I could hear the "swish, swish" of a raven's wings as the magnificent bird flew past. I was in awe. (By the way, did you know that ravens mate for life and can be together more than 50 years? It's true).

If I am camped by a stream, I savor the magnificent sound of the gurgling water. Camped by a lake, the rhythm of tiny waves gently tapping the shoreline is hypnotic.

I don't need a radio or stereo in such places for my entertainment. The wonderful sounds of nature are available free of charge in a million places, if only we take the time to listen.

P.S. My prayers are with the people of Newtown, Connecticut after the unthinkable horrors of yesterday's elementary school shootings. I wish -- I'm sure like you -- that I had the ability to do something to ease the pain of the parents who lost their children, and of those who lost friends and family. I can only say from the very bottom of my sad, sad heart that I hope that one day, somehow, someway, they can resume their lives with a sense of hope and purpose so easily destroyed by something as tragic as this.

If you have a comment about this essay or this newsletter in general, please feel free to leave it at our forum.

* * *
Notice: The phone ordering department of RVbookstore.com will be closed Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.

DID YOU MISS LAST WEEK'S ISSUE? If so, read it here.

* * *
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, chuck@rvtravel.com.

"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.

Editor's comment: We post breaking RV news throughout the week at our RVtravel.com Facebook page. "Like us" at RVtravel.com/facebook

kgjFort McMurray, Alberta's Rotary Club has reconsidered its two-month eviction notice of its residents. After outrage erupted over the short notice, the club said it would give park residents a year to find new places to stay. The existing park will give way to a new golf course and housing community.

The National Park Service is building a new campground at West Virginia's New River Gorge National River. The 20-site facility in Summer County's corridor will have at least five designated RV sites. Look for an opening next fall.   

"The most famous wolf in the world," Yellowstone National Park alpha female known as 832F, has been killed. The six-year-old gray wolf, a tourist favorite, had gone outside the park and was shot by a hunter.

A former church is giving way to an RV park in Paso Robles, California. The old Harvest Bible Church site off Highway 101 is being transformed into Vines RV Resort, a 130-site RV resort set to open in January.

RV industry members feel they're "heading in the right direction" according to a survey done by GE Capital. The survey says 43 percent of respondents expect RV sales to increase in 2013 by five to 10 percent.

Gasoline prices fell nearly 10 cents in the last three weeks to the lowest level in 11 months says the latest Lundberg gas station survey. Gas prices are down almost 50 cents since September according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Residents of Sydney, Montana got vocal when the town council rolled out what some thought was an unacceptable ordinance on RV storage. After testimony, the council rolled back a law that would have banned motorhomes longer than 25 feet on private property, while trailers of any length were allowed. Now there are no length restrictions on any RV.

No new RV park in Ocean View, Delaware says the county zoning commission. Plans for a 139-site RV and water park were dropped after residents complained about traffic and lower property values. County commissioners can breathe life back into the plan if they choose to.

Hybrid Furnace!
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.

More News

County commissioners in Washington have ruled no RV parks can be built along the Columbia River from East Wenatchee south to Rock Island. A petition signed by 134 people opposed a possible zoning change that would have allowed RV parks in the area.

Internet giant Amazon hired 50,000 seasonal workers this year, many of them RV "workampers." In Fernley, Nevada, Amazon employees have filled up area RV parks, and Amazon even pays the rent for the workampers on top of their $12 per hour wage.

A coordinated international law enforcement effort has taken down a scam ring that bilked U.S. residents out of $3 million by selling non-existent motorhomes and other vehicles. Six Romanians were arrested in the operation.

An Indio, California RV resort will soon display Liberty Coach rigs on a lot overlooking Motorcoach Country Club's golf course. Liberty hopes to attract attention to its rigs from other big dollar Indio resorts.

Cummins recently turned out its two-millionth Ram truck diesel engine, a milestone. This marks four decades of its engines for Dodge pickups since 1988. No "special" customer will get the engine: Cummins says it will become a display piece for a nationwide tour.

After burglars broke in and trashed 20 RVs at Lincoln Pines Resort last week, the Gowen, Michigan park has posted a $5,000 reward to round up the bad guys. According to reports, nothing was stolen.

On this date in history:
December 15
Compiled by Dell Bert

1877: Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.
1939: "Gone With the Wind" premieres in Atlanta.
1942: Massachusetts issues the first U.S. vehicular license plate tabs.
1944: U.S. Congress gives General Eisenhower his fifth star.
1964: Canada adopts the maple leaf flag.
1969: The San Francisco Fire Department replaces leather helmets with plastic ones.
2001: The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and a $27 million fix to fortify it (leaving its famous lean as is).

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.

Topics of last week's RV Daily Tips Newsletter

Add extra space to your kitchen counter.
A simple way to improve the WiFi connection in your RV.

What to do if you encounter a bear in the woods.
How to hook up a RV water pressure regulator at your campsite.

Why coyotes post a threat to your pet in campgrounds.
Is ply rating important when buying tires?

How to add extra shelf space in your RV.
How to get free, high-quality HDTV in your RV.

How to keep mice and other rodents from invading your RV.
Should you tow a vehicle behind your motorhome?

Laid Back Luxury
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.

Really? Use black-colored tire covers in the summer? You're kidding, right?
Nope, not kidding. But using black colored tire covers in the hot summer was what Russ De Maris suggested in a recent article. One reader took exception: "I can't agree with using anything black to cover the tires. Black absorbs sunlight and the extra heat is not what you want on the tires. Light transmission has nothing to do with the color of the material but the material itself." But Russ stands his ground. In this post, he tells why black is best, and he quotes authorities on the subject who agree. Read his article.

Small truck camper features two slideouts!
Arctic Fox has debuted a 2013 model truck camper with -- get this -- two slideouts! The result is a super roomy but compact camper perfect for one or two people. Learn more about this RV, and see floor plans and photos.

Women RVers:
Retired nurse loves her extended time RVing

Julianne Crane reports on Laura Taub, who is "sold on her new-found life on the road." Taub says, "My parents did full-time RVing for 28 years and I saw the joy it brought them and knew I too would love that lifestyle." Read her story.

Do you know how much it costs to go full-time RVing?
Unfortunately there isn’t one answer. Costs fluctuate wildly depending on a person’s spending habits, tastes and choice of RV. To prepare your finances for full-time RVing, here are some tips to help you get on a worry-free road to freedom.

eBook. "Instant Reading!"
So you want to be a full-time RVer?
If you’re thinking or dreaming about becoming a full-time or part-time RVer, then this is the eBook for you. In it you will find what the authors, John and Kathy Huggins learned (often the hard way) in eight years of full-time RVing. But all the information is valuable to part timers and weekenders as well. Order the eBook and be reading it in minutes. PDF format. Learn more or order.

Working on the road. Resources. Part One
Finding ways to make money while full-time RVing may seem mysterious at first, but thankfully there are many free and subscription-based resources that provide road trippers with everything needed to make money while traveling. These work-from-the-road groups feature job listings and enthusiastic members who are willing to share their experiences while working at certain jobs. Read more.

Polk releases DVD about restoring his vintage travel trailer
Mark Polk of RV Education 101 has released a new four-DVD set that covers the seven month restoration he and his son Tyler undertook to restore a classic Yellowstone travel trailer. What they envisioned as a "fixer upper project" ended up more involved than they bargained for, as they stripped the old Yellowstone trailer back to its frame and then began restoring it to its former glory. The process is documented here, from start to finish. The DVD is available at RVbookstore.com where you can learn more.

Product claims to keep
mice out of your RV

RVtravel.com correspondent Chris Dougherty interviews Jonathan Del Grande about Mouse Free, a product that is designed to keep mice out of recreational vehicles. Watch the two minute video.

Hospital for Quartzsite, Ariz., makes "nations worst" list
Each year, tens of thousands -- maybe even hundreds of thousands of RV snowbirds -- head to Quartzsite, Arizona. If you plan to be one of them, by all means stay healthy and avoid an accident. A new report lists the 25 worst hospitals in the USA, based on performance of medical error, medication mismanagement, infection rates and patient injuries. Palo Verde Hospital in Blythe, Calif., the closest hospital to Quartzsite, ranks third worst. Read more.

Water filters: Some choices
Rich Miller, the Wanderman, takes a look at water filters this week, what they do, how they do it, and the different types. Read his article.

FMCA announces 2013 rally dates
The Family Motor Coach Association, FMCA, has announced its complete lineup of rallies for 2013. FMCA is the North America's largest group of motorhome owner enthusiasts, now celebrating its 50th year. Read more including the rally date lineup.

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

This Week's
Reader Survey

Do you mostly use a bar of soap or liquid soap in your RV's bathroom wash basin?
Answer here.

Last week's question
Do you use your RV to attend and/or camp at NASCAR races?
Read the survey results.

Past reader surveys and 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: $3.28 (on December 14)

Change from week before: Down 8 cents
Diesel: U.S. $3.99 (on December 10)
Change from week before: Down
3 cents

Save $4.95 on Wal-Mart guides!
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.

RV DoctorAsk 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.

Very little space in RV for tools. Reader asks "What should I carry?"

Dear Gary,
I so enjoy your expertise and appreciate you sharing it with so many of us. As I look at the listings of tools and supplies you suggest we carry in our RVs, I have to chuckle. I travel in a 21-foot Rialta that has very little storage, and a trunk about the size of a large duffel bag. Once my leveling blocks, water hose, your RV repair and maintenance book and a basic tool kit are in there, I am not only out of room, but pushing my weight limit. What is best for those of us to carry that have limited storage and weight capacity and that boondock? --Beth B., (SLC, UT)

Read Gary's response.


Hot off the press!
2013 Good Sam
RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

This thick directory combines the Trailer Life and Woodall's campground directories of the past into one thick, comprehensive volume, with full descriptions & details for nearly 15,000 private & public campgrounds, information on over 900,000 RV sites, RV service centers, LP gas locations & tourist attractions. It includes military park listings & more than 2,000 Good Sam discount locations. Learn more or order at low discount price.

The RV Shrink

Couple's squabbling: good entertainment? Or not?

Dear R.V. Shrink:
We recently stopped in Nashville to take in a show. We stayed at a nice RV park near the Opryland Hotel. A couple pulled up next to us pulling a 5th wheel. He was short like Little Jimmy Dickens, with a fancy entertainer style, glitzy cowboy hat. They had a thick German accent and fought like cats and dogs the whole time they were unhooking and setting up. My wife and I sat in our rig trying not to laugh too loud. They were not using their quiet voices. They were both expert at how things needed to be done but it was obvious they had taken two different RV 101 courses. The campsite across the street was giving them the stink eye, but we found it very enlightening. My question is, do we try to help in situations like this or just butt out and enjoy the show? --Foreign Policy Question in Guitartown
Read the Shrink's response.

This issue's Knowledge Quiz

https://rvbookstore.com/shop/images/2/t/1483.jpgOne quiz on Saturday, December 15, 2012 with a swell prize.

TODAY'S PRIZE: The directory Guide to Free Campgrounds.

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, December 15 beginning at exactly 8:45 a.m., Pacific Time (11:45 a.m. in the East).

Official Knowledge Quiz Rules.

Internet Specials!

Odds and Ends

Northwest RVer
Little Coeur d'Alene is big on holiday glitz.
     "Like" the Northwest RVer Facebook page.

Florida RVer
Carefree Resorts' talent contest includes $5,000 grand prize.

Just Published!
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.

RV Short Stops
Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum
Orrtanna, Pennsylvania

If you love elephants, then here's a museum you won't want to miss. Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum displays more than 10,000 elephants and elephant-related items -- no live elephants, though. Mr. Ed's collection comes from all over the world and the elephants are made from just about every substance. There are elephants for every use, from an elephant hair dryer to an elephant potty chair. And the gift shop, with a huge collection of candy, is awesome!

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 law. Learn more or order.

Camping as a kid

RVtravel.com readers share their old family camping photos.

A reader named Laura of Anacortes, Wash., sent this old family photo with this message: "This is my brother Ron and me at Lake Kachess in Washington state, July, 1967 (he's sitting on a stump.) Our family used this tent for several years. It was roomy but you couldn't touch the inside if it was raining or it would leak."

Send your childhood camping photos to chuck@rvtravel.com.

TODAY'S SECRET PHRASE: Don's zipper was open but Babs didn't tell him.

Joke of the week
A man was waking up from anesthesia after surgery, his wife by his side. His eyes opened briefly and he said, “You're beautiful” and then he fell back to sleep. His wife had never heard him say that so she was very happy. A half hour later his eyes opened again and he said “You're cute!” The wife was disappointed because instead of “beautiful” she was now just “cute.” She asked “What happened to ‘beautiful’? He replied, “The drugs are wearing off!”

Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs

2012 Milepost Directory
DVD: RVing Alaska with Joe and Vicki Kieva
Traveler's Guide to Alaska Camping
Guide to the Alaska Highway
The World Famous Alaska Highway
DVD: Alaska By RV
More Alaska Books

Send for your FREE Alaska travel guide.

Bill's Hints

Holding Tanks
“Do not mix different types of tank deodorants and cleaners. You may create a dangerous or deadly combination.” From Trailers Made Easy


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.

Tech Tips from Mark Polk

A logical step to selling your RV

Selling a big ticket item like an RV can be a challenge, especially when the seller doesn’t have a thorough understanding of how the entire selling process works. If you still owe money on the RV there is a lien holder, there are numerous Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) rules and regulations to follow and chances are financing will need to be arranged. Other considerations include how to market and advertise the RV and how much the RV is actually worth? Read more.

Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's books, eBooks and DVDs, available -- most at a discount -- at RVbookstore.com.

Save on Mountain Directories
East & West

Driving into the mountains with your RV? Be careful, there are some nasty grades. Here, in two volumes, are the premier guides to the mountain passes and steep grades of the American East and West -- more than 700 passes all together. You save $5 when buying both these guides together. Learn more or order for only $26.90 for both volumes.

Bumper Sticker of the week
"Coffee, Chocolate and Men: Some things are better rich!"
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

Creamy seafood casserole
Use cut-up shrimp, leftover (unbreaded) cooked fish, pasteurized crabmeat or a mixture of well-drained, canned seafood. The result: Yum!

Get the recipe.

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

The average cost of a movie ticket in 1940 was 24 cents.

Campers Daily Log
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
Carry candles with you in your RV and car. In a winter-time emergency even the tiny bit of heat they produce can be a life-saver if stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Save more than 80%
On Books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com

Worth Pondering
“Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” --George Carlin

potogoldWin cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.

The cash prize is now $230.00 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
: 94129, 30828, 80801, 49610, 14544

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.