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RV Travel Newsletter Issue 569. January 19, 2013
Weekend of January 19, 2013
Issue 569 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, walking trails, fishing lakes and white sandy beachfront. Visit www.preserveRVresort.com to learn more.
With many of the possessions of our lives, the expectation of acquiring the object is often more exciting than the product itself. Whether it's a new camera, dress or home sprinkler system, we dream about it and how it will enhance our life. But once acquired, the product very often becomes just another possession. That's not true with an RV, which continues to captivate most owners as long as they own it.
Perhaps it's because an RV is more than a "thing." It's a magic carpet that takes us on grand, memorable adventures. Anyone who has traveled with their small children in an RV and then had to sell the RV years later can come to tears seeing the RV drive away with its memories. An elderly couple, too frail to travel anymore, will also likely feel sad. RVs provide an ongoing source of wonder to those who own them. And unlike most of the miscellany in our lives, the passion an owner feels for an RV rarely dims.
I am now on the road with my motorhome -- a two week roadtrip with my daughter and then I'll continue a few weeks on my own. I have lost count of how many RV trips I have taken through the years. I suppose it's now more than a hundred (if I don't count weekenders which would up the number considerably). Leaving home this trip for points unknown (or to places not visited in years) was as much a thrill as my first trip a few decades ago. Even when I attend an RV show and see the new models, I am happy to return to my own RV, which is familiar and "home." No other possession of mine continues to provide me with such great pleasure and satisfaction year after year.
I'm happy to report that our YouTube channel has passed two million views. If you enjoy watching online videos about RVing, there is a wealth of information here for you, most of it concise -- right to the point. If you like the channel, subscribe (free) and request an email alert for each new video we post.
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North Carolina officials have named Hanging Rock State Park their top park of 2012. The Stokes County park, originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, celebrated its 75th anniversary last year.
Bob Dylan said, "The times, they are a changin." So it is at the Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet, California. A decade ago the resort scheduled music performances from the 1930s and '40s. Nowadays Baby Boomer RVers are getting tribute band performances on the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Buffett and the Rolling Stones.
In a move that could cause RVers gas pains, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called on government to raise the federal gas tax. Thomas Donohue says it's time to, "quit fooling around" and raise taxes to support infrastructure improvements.
In New Zealand, "Freedom Camping" means camping most anywhere without payment. Not every place welcomes Freedom Campers, and plenty of tourists get cited for violations. But local officials say "Kiwis" or New Zealand residents are the worst behaved. In 2012 officers reported being spit on, physically abused, even threatened with a knife -- mostly by Kiwis.
The year 2012 was a good one for Virginia State Parks. Officials say new visitation records were set when 8,366,179 came -- up seven-percent from 2011. Top park? First Landing State Park had more than 1.5 million come to call.
Winnebago says it will 'rocket' its way out of "survival mode" and into expansion. CEO Randy Potts told a newspaper reporter the company is planning on increasing its advertising and will also expand into building transit busses.
A Pennsylvania man who suffered a stoke, had to undergo rehabilitation, and then had no place to live has caught a break from Greenwich Township officials. A local resident offered the man an RV to live in on the site of a former garage and local officials decided to allow it until he can find another place to live.
Essential for owners of large RVs!
2013 Big Rigs
Best Bets Campground Directory
If you drive a king-sized RV, this directory is for you. The authors provide details about RV parks in 49 states and eight Canadian provinces that welcome long RVs. All parks personally visited by the authors, who even recommend best sites in each one plus nearby attractions. A must for big rig owners. Learn more or order.
St. Charles, Illinois officials are sweetening the pot to attract one of the state's largest RV dealers. Town officials are eyeballing a package of incentives worth $250,000 in sales tax rebates to U.S. Adventure RV, should the dealership locate in the city.
An RVer attempting to back up his Class C motorhome backed a bit-to-far and ended up in a canal near Dania Beach, Florida. The unidentified RVer was not hurt, but the same can't be said for the rig. See photo.
Texas State Parks officials and state legislators aren't seeing eye-to-eye. Park officials are asking lawmakers for $18.9 million on top of their budget to help maintain and improve parks. At the same time, the state's budget board is recommending a $28 million cut, along with closure of 11 of the remaining 95 state parks.
A Blairsden, California RV park has lost to the chickens: The owner of Little Bear RV Park objected when next-door-neighbors asked the county to grant a zoning variance to allow them to raise a few chickens and alpacas. Park owner cried "fowl!" when county supervisors sided with the farmers.
Columbia, Missouri will soon be home to Camping World's newest store. The 21,000 square-foot facility will be on I-70 where Lovealls RV formerly stood. Look for an opening in late spring to early summer.
1903: First regular transatlantic radio broadcast between the U.S. and England.
1922: Geological survey says the U.S. oil supply would be depleted in 20 years.
1929: Acadia National Park in Maine is established.
1937: Millionaire Howard Hughes sets transcontinental air record at seven hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
1938: General Motors begins mass production of diesel engines.
1946: Dolly Parton is born.
1955: "Scrabble" debuts on the board game market.
1991: Eastern Airlines shuts down operation.
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
Not all TPO roofing is created equal.
An easy way to lubricate the locks on your RV.
How to store a small vacuum in your RV.
Be careful when loading your RV.
Dry camping? Remember your batteries.
Make sure your RV's LP gas system is leak-free and at the right pressure.
Light up your RV with magnetic LEDs.
How to keep ants out of your RV.
How to prevent your solar panels from being stolen.
Not using your RV? Rent it.
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.
Recalls have been coming in a bit piecemeal of late, but here is the December published list from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Defects Investigation. You may find some duplication from earlier posts, but we urge you to check the list to see if your RV is subject to recall.
Some full-timers insist on having a washer-dryer on board. Others, myself included, prefer to travel leaner. Using coin laundries, I can do two or four loads all at once. Of course there are minuses too. Here are suggestions on coping with washday whether you do it inside your RV or away.
. . . but would this ever function of the road?
If ever a unit could use a tag-axle, well, here's your candidate. But wait! Looks like this one already has one -- of sorts -- only it seems like it may be in the wrong place! See the photo. Weird!
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.
Everyone's got a junk drawer. But how about a junk rack?
When Jim Twamley and his wife Marilyn took delivery of their 5th wheel it didn’t have much in the way of towel bars, junk holders and hooks. Where, thought Jim, could he put his wallet, watch, cell phone, all-purpose tool, reading glasses and keys? He decided that he would need a “junk rack” somewhere near the entrance. Here is what he came up with (with photos).
Workamping is a great arrangement; give an employer a few hours a week of your time in exchange for no rent and maybe even a small salary. The work isn't brain surgery, but before you apply for your first workamping job, give careful consideration to the size of the employer's operation. Read more.
Now we get to the details after part one of this series. Following are instructions and screen shots of what you will see once you visit the NHTSA website.
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.
This Week's Reader Survey
How many of your phone calls are made with a cellular phone compared to a traditional phone?
Last week's question
In MOST of your RVing, how long do you generally stay in one camping place before moving to another?
Read the survey results.
Hot off the press!
2013 Next Exit
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2013 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including which brands and if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name) shopping malls, movie theaters, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas, and more. Learn more or order.
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.
Published this month!
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: $3.25 (on January 18)
Change from week before: Down 2 cents
Diesel: $3.89 (on January 14)
Change from week before: Down 2 cents
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.
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.
Growling oven! Why?
I have an Atwood RV range, a Wedgwood model. The thing that I am curious about is that the oven sometimes makes a growling sound rather than the smooth hissing sound that an oven usually makes. It seems to operate normally otherwise. Can you tell me what is causing this or if something needs to be replaced? --Jim, (New Bern, NC)
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
Abusive father in RV next door
Dear R.V. Shrink:
You have had several questions recently about annoying campground neighbors. Here is one for you to take a whack at. We just spent two days parked next to a guy that wanted the whole world to listen to his sick attempt at child rearing. It was all I could do to get my wife from going over and shoving a sock in his mouth, or at least sock him in the mouth. He was belittling his young daughter constantly. She could not do anything right according to his warped sense of logic. We could tell the young teen was embarrassed by his remarks, taunting and cruel degradation. As they packed up on the third day we gave each other a high five, but still feel sorry for the young lady that has to endure another few years of his self-inflation by way of putting her down loudly and constantly. We do not like conflict but my wife thinks we should have given him a piece of our mind. What do you say? --Itchin' for a fight in Florida
Joke of the week
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went camping. They set up their tent and fell asleep. Two hours later, Holmes woke up his friend. "Watson, look up at the sky. What do you see?" Watson replied, "I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" asked Holmes. "Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets," he responded. "Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past one. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"
Holmes shook his head, then spoke. "Watson, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent!"
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.
Roadside geology for RVers
Glacial erratics along the highway
Dear Doc Rock,
I sure hope you can help settle an argument between me and my sweetie Betty. We drove our motorhome through BC and Alberta last summer. She insisted we take a side trip to see a giant rock beside the road a little south of Calgary, Alberta. I wasn't so red hot about going out of our way to see some stupid rock, but she said she'd walk there herself if I didn't go along. She gets the funniest notions but I love her anyway. Read more including Dr. Rock's response.
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
One quiz on Saturday, January 19, 2013 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 19 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.
RV News Service
Carlsbad California resort city may restrict RV parking.
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.
Tech Tips from Mark Polk
Ten things you should never do with an RV
Here are some things you should never do with an RV. Some just involve good common sense. Some are lessons learned the hard way.
Read the warnings.
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's many helpful books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com.
Guide To The Firearm Laws of the 50 States
RVers who travel with a firearm may not know that what's legal in their home state may be a felony in another. This 2013 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.
RV Short Stops
Devil's Rope Museum
See thousands of wire specimens both common and rare contributed by collectors from the U.S., Australia and Canada. Other exhibits feature tools and devices used in fence construction and maintenance. Military collectors enjoy the Warwire Exhibit showing the vicious wires, military issue tools, and rare photographs taken from the history of entanglement wire used in warfare. Everyone enjoys seeing the "making a barbed wire" demonstration. Also included is information about Texas Route 66, the City of McLean and other nearby areas. See the restored Phillips Service Station in Texas, learn all about the McLean Prisoner of War Camp built during WWII, stay in a vintage Route 66 motel and eat at the world famous Red River Steak House. For information: (806) 779-2225.
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.
“Learn to “stagger” your electrical loads. Shift the refrigerator to gas while fixing breakfast.” --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
Lentils are light to carry, quick to cook and packed with nutrition. Serve this salad as a main dish at lunch time or as a supper side dish with steaks from the grill. Serves four.
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
Win cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.
The cash prize is now $255.00 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: 28623, not available, 23669, 47837, 28643. Remember, these Zip Codes can appear again at any time.
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
SECRET PHRASE. Henry's friend Bill, Jr., was afraid of his long shadow in the late afternoon sun.
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
A child's broom, usually sold in toy stores, can do a pretty good job of cleaning the floor of your RV, even the carpets. And it doesn't take up much space and the only energy required to operate it is your own!
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.
"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
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.
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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