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RV Travel Newsletter Issue 567. January 5, 2013
Weekend of January 5, 2013
Issue 567 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!)
RV Resort Opens
The Preserve RV Resort launches with limited-time owner incentives, free preview stays and exclusive rally giveaways. Located just outside of Houston, this unique 2,000 acre resort property boasts oversized RV sites, waking trails, fishing lakes and white sandy beachfront. Visit www.preserveRVresort.com to learn more.
Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm headed off on a two week RV road trip with my daughter Emily. She's flying home from her winter break from New York City where she attends college. "I want to see something besides buildings," she said to me on the phone the other day. I don't know how many more chances I'll have to get away with my now grown up "little girl," so I'm thrilled about spending two full weeks with her on the road in the motorhome.
We'll head south from Seattle to Eugene, Ore., then turn west to the gorgeous Oregon coast and then continue south almost all the way to Southern California where we will visit Hearst Castle in San Simeon, and camp at the gorgeous public campground just a short drive south. It sits high atop the coastal foothills with a sweeping, stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. Emily was last there when she was a few months old. It was one of her first trips.
I remember the campground well. My wife Rodica (now my ex-wife, but good friend) and I put Emily to bed and turned on her baby monitor. Soon, she was fast asleep. With a huge case of cabin fever from caring for our little one, we decided to take a short walk. The range of the baby monitor was only about a hundred yards. I remember when we got to its outer ranges when we were forced to turn back.
NOW THAT LITTLE GIRL IS 21 YEARS OLD. But she got hooked on RVing in her early days. By the time she was three she had visited about 30 states in our 24-foot motorhome. I never saw her cry harder than when I told her I was going to sell it. She was about 10. It had been a constant presence in her life -- we had moved 750 miles from one city to another, but that little motorhome was always "home" to her no matter what else changed. Truth be told, it was hard for me to say goodbye, too. So many memories. . .
The photos here are from two of our road trips, taken at Topaz Lake on the eastern side of the Sierra range on the California/Nevada border. In the first, Emily was just a toddler. Fast forward about 17 years, when we returned on another trip, and found the same picnic table in the exact same place, and took another photo. She had grown up (and my hair turned gray!).
Our plans this trip, weather permitting, are to visit the California redwoods, then head up to the Sierra foothills to beautiful, Victorian Nevada City where we lived until Emily was 4 when we moved to Seattle. After that, we'll motor south with a stop near Fresno to visit with my aunt on her small ranch. Then it's off to Death Valley, where I hope we will find some 70 degree days at the desert oasis of Furnace Creek. We will end up in Las Vegas where Emily will fly back to New York. I'll take a few more weeks to explore -- most likely in Arizona -- before heading home.
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The Lemon Bluff RV park on the St. John's River in Volusia County, Florida will soon be a thing of the past. County government is buying the park for $605,000 and adding fishing and boat launching facilities.
More scandal for California State Parks: State auditors say more than 200 park employees were overpaid by as much as $500,000 by rule-breaking managers. The overpayments are said to have occurred during a three-year period. Park agency representatives disagree with some of the audit findings.
RV dealers needed more than 25 percent more rigs last November than they did in November 2011. Wholesale shipment of towables was up 21.4 percent; motorhomes saw a remarkable 66.9 percent increase. Source: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.
The man who would walk from Los Angeles to New York City to raise $100,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and Make-A-Wish Foundation has been turned back. Sixty nine-year-old Mike Shaw's plans ended when his support motorhome blew a transmission, then lost all electrical power, while still in California. Shaw raised $18,000 in the attempt.
Plans for a 40-site upscale RV park on Lewiston, Idaho airport property have been shot down by the Federal Aviation Administration. FAA officials say they view RV parks as "residential" in nature, and don't support residential development on or near airports.
A new RV park in China is set to open at the end of 2013. The Chery RV campground will provide sites for 18 RVs in addition to 82 rigs permanently sited there. Located at Fengming Lake in Anhui province, the new park is at the gateway to the Huangshan Mountain range in eastern China.
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.
Canada's top five RV trends for 2012: 1. Majority of RV owners are under 55. 2. Towable RVs most sold of all RVs. 3. RV sales beat other travel sectors, up 13 percent. 4. 90 percent of RV owners say RVing is the best way to see the country. 5. Canada RV vacations are 78 percent less expensive than all other forms of travel. Source: Go RVing Canada.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, the oldest state park in North Dakota, may get a new campground. The state recently bought 300 acres adjacent to the park and want a new camp for larger RVs. It could be awhile, funding may not come until 2015.
Gerald Stranak, of Bend, Oregon, got a rude surprise when trying to tow a cargo trailer across a railroad crossing with his motorhome. The trailer came unhitched on the crossing. Police attempted to stop train traffic to no avail; the trailer was hit while Stranak was trying to rehitch. No injuries were reported.
A new National Park campground, the Meadow Creek Campground in West Virginia's New River Gorge National River will have 20 sites with at least five for RVs with water and electric. The campground is slated to open by October 2013.
New rules and prices set to go into effect January 1 for many campgrounds under lease from the Tennessee Valley Authority, are now in limbo. An alliance has sued the TVA disagreeing with the new arrangement and a federal court has temporarily placed the changes on hold.
1836: Davy Crockett arrives in Texas, just in time for the Alamo battle.
1914: Ford Motor Company wages jump from $2.40 for a nine-hour day to $5.00 for an eight-hour day.
1931: Robert Duvall is born.
1933: Work on the Golden Gate Bridge begins on the Marin County side.
1940: FM radio is demonstrated to the FCC for the first time.
1959: Buddy Holly releases his last record "It Doesn't Matter."
1970: The Soap Opera "All My Children," premieres on ABC.
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.
Topics of last week's RV Daily Tips Newsletter
Basic tips for dry camping.
Can an RV tire pressure monitoring system be used on other vehicles?
How to keep your RV's fresh water tank fresh.
How to prevent roll away toilet paper in your RV.
How to keep on top of your sealant situation to prevent leaks.
How and why RVs catch on fire.
How to help keep your RV fridge food fresh.
Matching the right size truck with a travel trailer or fifth wheel.
Clean RV window screens without water.
Check your windshied wipers before leaving on an RV trip.
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.
Our RV tire safety expert Roger Marble writes: "I read this question on an RV forum. It was asked by someone complaining that there were no recalls of what he considered "crappy" RV tires. Other posts in the thread went on to say that complaints to the BBB or the tire importer won't accomplish much. I posted a reply pointing out that expecting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall tires when there had not been any usable complaints filed, was simply unrealistic. Read more.
tops out at 20 miles per hour
You won't get anywhere fast, and you won't carry much weight, but this recreational vehicle is all electric, so no stops at the gas station required. Just when you think you've seen everything there is to see in an RV, along comes another. See more pics and learn more here.
If you own a Newmar, Airstream or Thor RV, you better check what's going on by clicking here. Your RV might need some fixin.'
How to prevent your solar panels from being stolen
Reports from around the sunny side of the nation show that theft of solar panels is on the increase. Some brazen thieves are marching into yards and removing the precious panels from sticks and bricks homes, but RV solar panels are attractive as well. Read 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.
Get your RVing diploma in 2013
In his latest posting, Rich Miller, the Wanderman, ponders the best way to cover his motorhome for the winter. Read the story.
Video recalls Civilian Conservation Corps building projects
If you've traveled much in your RV, you've probably stayed in a state park or other facility built by the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps. Sad to say, time is outpacing many of the folks who worked on these Depression-era programs, and many younger people today have never heard of it. The video is 22 minutes.
Author Joei Carlton Hossack travels solo
Travel writer Joei Carlton Hossack of Surrey, British Columbia, has been RVing solo for more than two decades. Read more about her.
Amazing temporary jobs available for RVers with Amazon.com
When e-commerce giant Amazon built its huge new fulfillment centers, the smart and mobile RV work force was high on its list of potential employees. Where else could they find armies of able, motivated workers who wanted temporary jobs and who could bring their housing with them? CamperForce was born. Read more.
This Week's Reader Survey
How old were you when you bought your first RV?
Last week's question
On the road, when opting for a fast meal out, would you most often eat lunch at McDonald's or a nearby Mom and Pop cafe?
Read the survey results.
RVing 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.
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.
Hot off the press!
2013 RVer's Friend
The 2013 RVer's Friend lists every Travel Center (truck stop) in the U.S. and Canada about 6,600 all together -- and what services each provides to RVers. RVers can determine if a travel center welcomes them for an overnight stay, if it has a dump station, if it sells propane, and if it provides Internet access or utility hookups. It also includes an Exit Order section. And, also very important, the book lists which RV mechanical services are provided. Learn more or order.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.26 (on January 4)
Change from week before: Down 1 cent
Diesel: $3.91 (on December 31)
Change from week before: Down 1 cent
tire pressure and temperature
The TireTraker™ TT-400C is a full-time wireless electronic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) designed to monitor & display tire pressures from 0 psi up to 145 psi & also to monitor tire temperatures from 14°F to 185°F. Monitor tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle -- up to 22 tires! Low pressure is the leading cause of premature tire failure! The TireTraker™ TT-400C, with its industry-leading 3-year warranty, can provide early notice of potential problems & assist in maintaining proper pressurization. List price (four tires) $319. Our price only $219. SAVE $100! Learn more or order. Read testimonials about Tire Traker.
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.
Tapping generator fuel from motorhome's tank
Is it possible to connect a fuel line from the gas tank directly to the generator that I have added to my 23-foot Honey motorhome? Can we do it ourselves? I've been looking for any technical help for so long. Hopefully, you are the right one. --Marciano, (Savannah, GA)
to locating Wal-Mart stores
Learn where to find more than 4,100 U.S. Wal-Mart stores most of which allow free overnight stays in RVs. Get specific driving directions to each. Learn which stores sell gas and diesel. The Walmart Atlas is an RVbookstore.com best-seller. SAVE 20% off cover price. Learn more or order.
The RV Shrink
Ripped off in the campground
Dear R.V. Shrink:
Maybe I’m naive and too trusting, but when I spent $250 for a surge protector I didn’t buy the extra plastic lock box. In hindsight the $20 investment would have saved me a bundle. I had the surge protector for less than a month when it came up missing at a state park where we stayed a week. I never noticed it gone until we were packing up to leave. It could have been lifted by anyone. Do you think this is a common occurrence? Should I be suspect of every camper around me? I don’t want to be paranoid, but now I lock up everything I own. I won’t even go to the trash without locking the trailer door. Has this low life thief ruined me for my entire RV life? --Ripped Off in Richmond
Joke of the week
Two guys were in a bar, both watching the TV news. It showed a suicidal guy about to jump off a bridge. “I’ll bet you $10 he’ll jump,” said the first guy. “Bet you $10 he won’t,” said the second guy. Then, on TV, the guy threw himself off the bridge. The second guy handed the first guy the money. “I can’t take it,” said the first guy. “I cheated. The same story was on the five o’clock news.” “No, no. Take it,” said the second guy. “I saw the five o’clock news, too. I just didn’t think the guy was dumb enough to jump again!”
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
One quiz on Saturday, January 5, 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, January 5 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 2013 RV Buyers Guide created by Trailer Life, 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.
Odds and Ends
Driving and camping at Mt. Rainier this winter.
SECRET PHRASE. Deb was an ex-dental assistant who lusted for older gentlemen who still had their teeth.
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.
Tech Tips from Mark Polk
Do you have a RV emergency escape plan?
When we plan a trip in our RV we tend to think about all of the good aspects of the upcoming adventure. Where we are going, what we'll do when we get there, and all of the things we will see and experience along the way. What we don't really think about is what if something happens during the trip and everybody needs to exit the RV in a hurry. What if there is a fire? What if the entry door is blocked and you can’t get out. What’s the plan? Is there a plan? Read more.
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's many helpful books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com.
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.
RV Short Stops
International Rattlesnake Museum
Albuquerque, New Mexico
You have never seen so many rattlesnakes in one place. In fact, this is the largest collection of different kinds of rattlesnakes in the entire world! And not only can you see the live snakes and maybe even hear them hiss and rattle, but you can learn all about them. But even better, you can buy tons of souvenirs including rattlesnake tee-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, jewelry, boots and even snakebite kits. Easy RV parking is nearby and most likely a restaurant where you can dine on rattlesnake (tastes like chicken. No surprise there, eh?). Located in Old Towne.
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.
“Unless you are using your oven a lot, leave the pilot light turned off when you are not cooking. It uses a surprising amount of propane.” --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
When you need a light supper for two in a hurry, this British comfort food fills the bill for a very low cost. And, no, it is not real monkey!
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'm lost but making good time."
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
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
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.
The cash prize is now $245.00 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: 42001, 44654, 70438, 50661, 19352
Have you ever wondered how a bird finds a worm underground? Here's how: when a bird stands on the ground near a worm that is crawling underneath, it can feel the earth's vibrations with its very sensitive feet. It will also cock its head to put into operation the low frequency apparatus of its ears. Then, when it zeroes in on the worm, it pierces the earth with a sudden stab of its beak, grabs the tasty morsel and gobbles it up.
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
Random RV Thought
A sandwich eaten in your RV at a highway rest stop is ten times better than a meal at a fast-food place. There is something extra special about being able to pull over, stretch your legs, prepare your meal, and then dine at your own table. It's fun to watch all the people scurrying about in the rest area, too.
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.
"You know, Wally, shaving is just one of the outward signs of being a man. It's more important to try to be a man inside first." —Ward Cleaver
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.
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).
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.
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