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RV Travel Newsletter: December 22-28. Issue 565
Weekend of December 22, 2012
Issue 565 of RV Travel
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its twelfth 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!)
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The nation’s newest RV Resort, The Preserve of Texas, will give away 13 free rallies in 2013 and over 5,000 in exclusive prizes! Nominate your RV club today to enter. Other prizes include free gas cards, mini getaways & even a personal spa. Voting begins in January. Enter Now!
Today, I would like to discuss with you the subject of dumping. I would like to tell you how I perform the dumping of my RV's holding tanks, and I would appreciate it if you would tell me if I am missing something relative to the process. For those of you who are new to RVing, dumping the holding tanks of an RV is how it goes potty. They cannot do it themselves. It's up to a human to do it.
Sooner or later, all RVs must dump. I believe, one day, an affordable self-dumping RV will be invented. But that could be years away. So for now, dumping is something that all RVers must do. Truth be told, it's usually guys who do it. Women cook, men dump: that's the way it is (hold your letters. . . I know there are exceptions).
Here is what I was thinking today after reading an article about some great new gloves for dumping duty. I thought about how I usually do not use gloves. Shame on me, right? Well, wait! We recently surveyed the readers of this newsletter and about 31 percent reported they also go gloveless. So I am not alone.
When I am done dumping, I immediately wash my hands. I scrub them really well, a super-scrub. I don't believe a single germ could survive. In between dumping and returning to my RV, I keep my hands to myself. I do not shake hands with any other dumpers, nor do I even use my hands to, say, blow my nose. I don't contaminate my door handle because I usually keep it cracked open for my return, so I can re-enter my RV without touching the actual handle.
BUT AFTER DUMPING ABOUT 500 TIMES in my life (at five minutes per dump that would be about 46 hours of such labor), I have observed countless guys (and women, sometimes) performing the dumping act. Some wear disposable gloves. Now, that seems like a very logical idea. Others, though, wear a pair of garden-type gloves that appear to have been used for dumping (I suspect unwashed), since the beginning of the Cold War. I ask you, how many germs are living inside those gloves? I say it's a bloody germ metropolis! Now, does that dumper think he or she is really avoiding those nasty little bacteria while performing their duty? If so, I say that person does not grasp the concept of germs.
Okay, now you know what some people may consider my very sinful dumping style. I welcome your comments at our forum to set me straight or to tell me that, you, too are a gloveless dumper. I have set up a category at the forum here.
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And, to change from silly to serious, may you have a very Merry Christmas or a wonderful holiday if you're celebrating another occasion. My prayers continue to be with the people of Newtown, who lost their children so tragically last week. As a parent, I feel their pain, but I know that what I feel is nothing compared to what they are experiencing. May we as a society unite to find a way to help prevent such horrible events from happening in the future.
Finally, if you have had trouble signing up for our new RV Daily Tips newsletter, please email me -- email@example.com -- and I will be happy to put you on the list to receive the email alert for each new issue.
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Notice: The phone ordering department of RVbookstore.com will be closed Dec. 25 through Jan. 1.
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A plan to privatize the Ohio Turnpike has been turned down by the state's governor. Proponents said the plan would bring in money for bridge and highway projects.
"Cheech and Chong" meet "Motorhome?" Actors Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston climb aboard a "huge" motorhome to transport marijuana across country in "We're the Millers" set to be released next summer.
A new 42-site RV park may take up residence next to the Bryden Canyon Golf Course in Lewiston, Idaho if grant monies from the state come through. The public golf course is withering under declining use and income.
Look for flashier GM pickups in mid-2013. New 2014 versions of Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra will have more aerodynamic styling, quieter interiors, updated steering, suspensions and brakes. GM claims better fuel economy in some models too.
Ford Motor Company says the demand for its Class A gasoline motorhome chassis has risen unexpectedly. Ford produced 4,000 chassis in 2011, and forecasted a need for 7,000 in 2012. So far this year, they have already produced 2,500 more than that, and the year is not over. What about 2013? Ford says it anticipates the need for 12,500.
Fans of the RV television program Rollin' On TV can now catch the broadcasts on KLHU in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Local airing takes off January 5.
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.
A group of Virginia residents aren't happy with the state's proposal to establish tolls on I-95 in Sussex County. The state says fuel taxes aren't enough to pay for highway needs. It notes that this is a pilot project on a highway used largely by out-of-area travelers "making long road trips."
Christmas vacation RVers in Queensland, Australia are paying top dollar for waterfront sites -- $400 a week without hookups. Prices don't seem to kill the interest -- some RVers book for the next year before they head for home.
RV generator manufacturer Cummins Power Generation says it will crank up prices on its generator sets and automatic transfer switches by up to three percent starting January 1. The company cites market conditions and foreign exchange rates as the cause.
The former motorhome of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is available on eBay for $427,000. The 2002 Prevost H3 Marathon Coach has 187,000 miles on it, two leather recliners, a king size bed and two plasma televisions. It also includes a surround sound system, fold down treadmill, granite countertops and a refrigerator. Actually, it includes just about everything!
Souderton, Pennsylvania RV dealer Indian Valley Camping Center says crooks stole two new fifth-wheels off their lot this week: A 2013 Keystone Fuzion FZ31513, VIN 4YDF3152XDF811032, and a 2013 Cruiser Fun Finder Xtra XT275, VIN 5RXTA272XD1024591. If you have information call Dan Keller at 215 262-7693.
Maine had a great year for state park visitors with nearly 2.5 million visits. The state also sold more than 11,000 park passes, a record.
Cory Unsworth, the owner of Idaho's Lava Hot Springs KOA, will be charged with video voyeurism according to local police who say Unsworth used his cell phone over the last four years to video up to 30 park visitors in the park's showers. Unsworth is also the chairman of the local county planning and zoning commission.
1882: First string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison.
1937: Lincoln Tunnel (NYC) opens to traffic.
1945: Diane Sawyer is born.
1963: Official 30-day mourning period for President John F. Kennedy ends.
1997: Merck baldness pill for men approved by FDA.
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
HANG ON. DAD'S GETTING UP TO MAKE COFFEE!
Stop the shaking in your parked fifth wheel or travel trailer.
This system provides the best possible movement reduction of a fifth wheel or travel trailer. And it's a breeze to set up. It mounts permanently on your trailer and works without a tripod, expensive chocks or slideout jacks! For more information click here. Or call toll-free 866-498-8754.
Topics of last week's RV Daily Tips Newsletter
Drowsy driving is a killer. How to avoid doing it.
How to tell the condition of your RV's fire extinguisher.
Clean your RV's interior with Baby Wipes.
Carry these handy gadgets along in your RV.
How to fix small roof punctures, cracks and tears.
How to control trailer sway.
How to create a secure place to hide valuables in your RV.
Getting online with WiFi on your RV trips.
Do "gas saving" products really help?
How to avoid costly water leak damage to your RV.
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.
Enjoy digital music in your RV or tow vehicle with USB flash drive
Car and RV stereo systems are turning to newer digital methods of playing music. While CDs aren't yet a thing of the past, you may find a USB flash drive connection a better way to enjoy your music. How can you bring "your" music to that flash drive port? It's easy if you have music on your computer already. Learn more.
Solution for RV memory foam mattress mildew
Do you have a memory foam mattress in your rig? If so, have you flipped it over lately? You might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find. Recently our blogger Rene Agredano purchased a RV memory foam mattress for her fifth wheel. The mattress had great construction, but she later discovered a huge problem with it: mildew growing on the bottom of the mattress. Read more.
How to make the best cup of coffee while traveling
The Wanderman, Rich Miller, like many other RVers needs his cup of java to get his day going. But he's no Instant Folgers kinda guy. He demands the best. So what's the best way to brew your coffee? As usual, Rich did some research and came up with the answer -- at least "his answer." Read what he concluded.
Winnebago - Itasca recall nearly 3,000 motorhomes
Winnebago Industries, Inc. is recalling 2,944 model year 2009-2013 Winnebago model Era, View and Via motorhomes, and 2010-2013 Itasca model Navion and Reyo motorhomes. The proper fuses were not installed for the refrigerator circuits. Without the proper fuse, heat can build which could lead to a vehicle fire. More.
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.
New RVer asks: What about cruise control and overdrive when towing?
When towing a travel trailer, can you use the cruise control? What about an overdrive transmission? These are questions that can puzzle new RVers -- and even some veterans. Here are some thoughts.
Working on the Road Resources. Part 2
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. In part two, learn about dozens of helpful resources.
. . . Did you miss Part 1 of the series? If so, it's here.
Save big money buying an RV with a "Montana LLC"? Read this first.
Considering the purchase of a high-value RV? Want to save a bit of money on sales tax and registration fees? Why not form a Montana LLC -- Limited Liability Company -- and buy your motorhome sales-tax free, and benefit from really low vehicle registration fees? A good deal? Depends. But be careful. You could get in trouble. Read more.
This Week's Reader Survey
How would you describe the tool kit in your RV?
Last week's question
Do you mostly use a bar of soap or liquid soap in your RV's bathroom wash basin?
Read the survey results.
Oh, my goodness. . . another motorhome almost too weird to be real
But it is real! Or, well, it was. You will not believe this ever traveled a highway. Check out the photo.
How to add LED lights by Dometic to your RV's exterior
In this promotional how-to video, Mark Polk with RV Education 101 demonstrates how to add LED lighting to the exterior of your RV using LED light kits by Dometic. Watch the video.
Maintain and troubleshoot fifth-wheel landing gear issues
Many fifth-wheel owners take their front landing gear for granted -- until it doesn't work right. A little preventative maintenance can stop problems before they start. Here are some maintenance suggestions, and a few trouble-shooting ideas if it's too late.
Join RVer and filmmaker John Holod as he cruises the Mother Road from Chicago to L.A. by motorhome, with stops along the way at all the classic attractions. Even though the road was bypassed by Interstates, much of it is still there, and easy to drive with an RV. If you plan to travel this historic highway or have already done so, RV Adventure: Route 66 is for you. Learn more or order at a discounted price.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 2013.
More than 2,200 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.
Latest RV Recalls
See them here, along with past recalls.
Looking for a job
while you travel?
Workamper News is the RVers' #1 choice for finding jobs about "workamping" for more than 20 years. Find full-time jobs, part-time jobs or volunteer positions. Learn more.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.24 (on December 21)
Change from week before: Down 4 cents
Diesel: $3.94 (on December 17)
Change from week before: Down 5 cents
Terrific holiday gift!
The Complete Book of Boondock RVing
Ever feel frustrated by crowded RV parks? Yearn to camp out in the wild beside a babbling mountain brook or before a remote panoramic vista? This is the complete guide to camping without hookups (aka "dry camping"). The book includes a handy list of selected boondock campgrounds that the authors know personally or have heard about from friends. Learn more or order.
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
New in 2012: 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.
How level must an RV fridge be when NOT operating?
I understand it is recommended that RV refrigerators be level when operating, but how far "off level" can we keep the RV without damage to the refrigerator when the refrigerator is NOT in operation? I notice you recommend slightly off level for winter storage. --Pete S., (Redwood City, CA)
National Park Service Camping Guide
The National Park Service Camping Guide, expanded and updated in 2013, describes nearly 450 campgrounds in more than 120 National Parks, recreation areas, monuments, and other areas managed by the National Park Service which all together are home to more than 25,000 campsites. If you love camping in National Parks, this is for you. Learn more or order.
The RV Shrink
Nearby smokers are a problem. What to do?
Dear R.V. Shrink:
Could someone share with me the proper protocol when you have neighbors who smoke? I'm allergic to smoke and for some reason, most of the smokers stand outside to smoke...I guess so their RV doesn't smell of smoke. However, it's right outside our windows and the smoke comes in. Consequently, we have to shut our windows to keep the smoke out. I realize that this is MY problem but the only solution I see is for us to move to another site...and hope another smoker doesn't park next to us. This doesn't happen very often but when it does it sets allergies in motion and we are forced to use the AC to keep cool. Thanks for any help you can give.
--Nick O. Tine
Joke of the week
A motorhome broke down along the freeway, so the driver eased it over onto the shoulder. He jumped out of his driver side door, walked around his rig and opened the door to the coach itself. Out popped two men in trench coats. The men stood behind the motorhome and immediately opened up their coats, exposing themselves to the passing traffic. The result was a terrible pile-up. Later, when questioned by an angry highway patrolman about why he put two deviates along the side of the road, the RVer replied, "I was broken down, so I just used my emergency flashers!"
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
One quiz on Saturday, December 22, 2012 with a swell prize
TODAY PRIZE: Without a doubt, the most incredible tee-shirt ever made available for RVers. Yes, we're talking about the official RVtravel.com tee-shirt. Take your pick of messages: "My home has headlights" or "My home has wheels." Available in black colored men's sizes only: S, M, L, XL, 2XL and 3XL.
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 22 beginning at exactly 9:30 a.m., Pacific Time (12:30 p.m. in the East).
MORE QUIZZES WITH PRIZES.
We run contests with prizes in every issue of our new weekday newsletter RV Daily Tips. Sign up here so you don't miss out.
Just published. Hot off the press!
2013 RV Buyers Guide
Whether you're dreaming about buying a new RV or are actively shopping, The Trailer Life/Woodall's 2013 RV Buyers Guide is your best source for learning what you need to know about virtually every new RV on the market — motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheelers, folding camping trailers, truck campers and other RVs — with complete information about construction features, dimensions, popular options and more. Learn more or order.
SECRET PHRASE. Pregnant Kathy dreamed she gave birth to a duck.
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
What is a park model RV or recreational park trailer?
Recreational Park Trailers or RPTs are designed to be used as temporary living quarters for recreation, camping, or seasonal use. In many cases these seasonal cottages are taken to a vacation spot, set-up and left there. This can be in an RV park, resort area, or a tranquil location in the mountains or on the coast, usually within a few hours drive from the owner’s residence. RPTs come in various designs but are normally one of two types. Read more.
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's many helpful books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com.
Military Campground Directory
The U.S. Military Campgrounds Directory CD-Rom runs on your Windows computer. Unlike a printed directory, this one is updated every month -- so no more arriving at a campground to learn “things are different now!” With this handy CD-Rom you do not need an Internet connection to get to the latest details on every known U.S. military campground. Learn more or order for 15% off.
RV Short Stops
The National Museum of Roller Skating
If you like to roller skate, then you should enjoy this museum where the mission is to acquire, preserve, research and interpret the history of roller skating through the collection of artifacts, photographs, archival materials and other skating memorabilia. The museum contains the largest collection of historical roller skates, dating to 1819, in the world. It's located at 4730 South Street, Suite 2 and is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m (although closed now through Jan. 1 for the holidays). Admission is free.
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.
“If camped in below freezing weather, make sure that you have a propane torch and a 'heat tape' that can be used to safely thaw pipes and fittings. An electric hair dryer works fine.”
--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
Rummy Sweet Potatoes
You’ll need 8 to 10 cups of sweet potatoes for this dish, so make them from scratch or use the equivalent in canned sweet potatoes. Large, #10 cans of sweet potatoes are found in big-box stores and some supermarkets. Use amber-colored rum, not dark nor white rum. This is a big dish, a good choice for a campground potluck.
Cookbooks for RVers: Big selection at RVbookstore.com.
Best Selling DVD
Deep Cycle Batteries
Problems with deep cycle batteries are usually because an owner did not understand how to properly maintain them. With this DVD by Mark Polk, learn how to maintain your batteries and extend their life. And when you extend their life, you extend the money in your wallet. Learn more or order.
Bumper Sticker of the week
"I love to give homemade gifts. Which of my kids would you like?"
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
Win cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.
The cash prize is now $235.00 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: 95945, 62052, 68172, 31093, 71643
In our Forum
We had the RV weighed, instead of the 80 we had the tires at, they are supposed to be at 105. No problem with the fronts or the two outer dualy tires. But, cannot get the inner back tires over 80, no matter what we do. Watched videos, made gauge to measure incoming air, bought new chuck to fill tires, no luck. So, is it best to let out all four back tires to 80 before driving to a truck tire center to see if they can inflate them, or is it OK to drive a few miles with the outer backs at 105 and the inners at 80? Does everyone have this much trouble with this seemingly simple task? Thanks for any help!!!
We just purchased our first Class A motorhome. The dealer said we should keep the LP turned ON in order to keep the frig cold while driving. We were also told that it is dangerous if not illegal to do so. Which is it? Thanks for any help.
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
The yo-yo is the second oldest toy after the doll. It has been around for more than 2,500 years and has taken on many forms in many countries. The word yo-yo means "come come" or "come back" in Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines, and was introduced to the American market when Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant, began producing and selling them in Santa Barbara, California.
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.
Mountain Directories East & West editions. Learn about steep grades ahead.
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
Periodically, check your RV's stock of flashlight batteries. And make sure you have a couple of flashlights aboard your RV. They come in handy in dark campgrounds and can be life savers in emergencies. It's also a good idea to carry a battery-powered radio. Even better is a radio that operates after it is briefly hand-cranked.
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.
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." --Mark Twain
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RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Julianne Crane, Gary Bunzer, Bob Difley, Mark Polk, Janet Groene, Richard Mallery, Roger Marble, Rene Agredano 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.
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.
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!
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).
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This newsletter is copyright 2012 by RVtravel.com