RV Travel Newsletter: April 20-26. Issue 582

For Email Marketing you can trust

Weekend of April 20, 2013

Issue 582 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

Follow RV Travel on Facebook

A warning about grilling: Danger lurks!

I wrote this article last summer for our Great RV Accessories Newsletter. I stumbled across the story the other day and it got me thinking about how this is an important topic, especially now that summer is on the way. I bet most readers of this newsletter are not aware of how they could get seriously ill or even die from accidentally swallowing a wire bristle from a grill-cleaning brush. So here again is my story.

Be careful the next time you eat a hamburger or other product cooked on an outdoor grill. There could be danger lurking in the form of undetected wire bristles left by grill-cleaning brushes. The problem is so serious that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a consumer warning.

The small wires can work their way into the hamburgers or other food being grilled, and then into you. Such ingestions happen, and the results are not only extremely painful but deadly if not treated immediately, usually with emergency surgery.

Six cases were identified at one hospital system from March, 2011, to June, 2012. All six reported outdoor residential food grilling and use of commercially available wire grill-cleaning brushes. Injuries ranged from puncture of the soft tissues of the neck, causing severe pain when swallowing, to perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Severe pain on swallowing was the chief symptom in three of the six patients. In all three of these patients, a wire bristle from a grill-cleaning brush was found in the neck. Two patients underwent emergency abdominal surgery to retrieve the foreign object and repair the intestine. In one patient, the wire had not perforated the intestine and was removed via colonoscopy.

TO PREVENT SUCH OCCURRENCES, before grilling, examine the grill surface carefully for bristles that may have dislodged from the brush and could then embed in cooked food — or perhaps find a way to clean the grill without using a wire brush.

* * *

Meet one of the newest subscribers to RV Daily Tips
His name is Hadley and he lives in England. But he is all excited about his upcoming trip to America. See why by clicking the play button on the one-minute video. After the video finishes, keep "tuned in" for more videos from RVtravel.com.


PUGET SOUND READERS: Mark your calendars for May 9. I'll be speaking at a public forum at the Edmonds Public Library (the hometown of RVtravel.com) beginning at 6:30 p.m. My topic: "A Writing Life on the Road". Seating is limited to 150 and admission is free. A full house is expected, so arrive early. I'll have complete information here next week.

Our Pot of Gold cash prize is up to $320. One reader will win it, maybe you! Just check every weekday (the link is near the bottom of this issue) to see if you live in the Zip Code of the Day (selected randomly). If you do and you're the first to tell us, you win the cash! See the contest for more information and complete rules.

Sign up for our new RV Daily Tips Newsletter. You'll learn a whole bunch about RVing every Monday through Friday. America's best-known RV experts advise you on ways to improve your RVing — about fixing and maintaining things, using your RV, modifying it, camping, saving money and much more. Sign up here for an issue reminder notice. It takes about 30 seconds.

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

Bella Terra of Gulf Shores
Opens Final Phase of Resort

One of the nation’s top RV Resorts, Bella Terra of Gulf Shores in Foley, Alabama, has opened the third and final phase of its luxury resort this spring with over 60 new waterside and woodland-facing lots. These oversized Class A-only lots provide endless customization opportunities including outdoor kitchens, gazebos, fire pits and more. Come see how we live at BellaterraRVresort.com or call the resort team at (866) 417-2416.

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

National Park Week will mean free admission to all 401 national parks, April 22 through April 26. Camping fees still apply.

Seniors shouldn't get a pass into national parks for $10. That opinion aired by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). Speire told National Park Service Chief Jonathan Jarvis that the country can't afford deals for America's seniors with the nation's parks facing a $153 million budget gap.

In New Hampshire, seniors could take it in the shorts if a bill passes that would end the free admission that older ones enjoy to state parks. Supporters say the change would generate $300,000 a year in new funds. Low-income seniors may find park access out of reach, say opponents of possible passage.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service have raided the West Knoxville, Tennessee, headquarters of Pilot Flying J. Feds are mum on what they're after but labeled the raid as a part of an "ongoing investigation." The company's nationwide travel center system remains open.

Signs in national parks that blame service cutbacks on the budget sequester will be removed. This, after Service Chief Jonathan Jarvis took heat for the signs when testifying before a congressional committee. Jarvis now calls the signs "inappropriate."

ATV riders in Alabama have a new place to ride and RV. Trey McDonald, a Jacksonville resident and four-wheeler enthusiast, just opened a 15-site RV park with 100 miles of riding trails. Choccolocco Mountain Campground has opened with huge support of off-road riders.

Reports from Snowbird country show early migrations for home. Yuma, Arizona, joins the list of towns with "early leavers." "Most seasons end about mid-April or so, but a lot of them are going home now by the end of March," said one RV park owner of her patrons.

Maintenance crews working at the Anchor Inn RV Park in Port Orford, Oregon, were startled when they dug up a human body last March. Now authorities say a park resident told them when his father died in 2010, he buried him near his trailer to make it possible to continue to collect Dad's Social Security checks.

Officials have approved construction of a new 96-site RV park near Gonzales, Texas, on U.S. Highway 90a. Contractors are already gearing up for construction and hope to have work completed by the end of June.

We are THE RV Insurance Experts!
Explorer RV offers more than just standard RV insurance. As an independent insurance agent, we provide access to a wide range of RV coverages from leading insurance companies. Many aren’t available through typical agencies — such as total loss replacement, purchase price guarantee, personal effects, awning replacement, towing and more. Learn more or get a free quote.

More News

Lincolnshire County, on England's eastern coast, could make itself RV-unfriendly. The county council may soon ban overnight RV camping in car parks (parking lots) in six popular coast locales. One official says the act will lessen "the demand on local amenities like [trash] bins and toilets."

Payson, Arizona's Forest Service campgrounds have opened for spring camping. Visitors will find bear-proof garbage cans at all of them. Last year bear incidents caused campground closures in the district.

Officials at the Quinsigamond State Park in Worcester, Massachusetts, apologized after they locked the local high school rowing team up in the park. Team practice ran late — 15 minutes after the 5:30 p.m. closing time. Members found park gates locked and had to call for help.

Esperance Shire, Australia, has turned down an opportunity to become the first "RV friendly" region in Western Australia. Local tourism officials had pushed the idea, but the local council rejected the idea since it would require short-term RV parking within the town. Local RV park owners cheered the rejection.

Last year's 18,000-acre wildfire in Arizona's Tonto National Forest was started when a camper fired an incendiary shotgun shell. The shooter, Steven Shiflet, has been sentenced to two years' probation for starting the fire near Sycamore Creek.

Australian RV manufacturers are looking to a booming year producing "caravans and RVs." Nearly 21,000 RVs were built in Australia in 2012, a country dominated by Jayco, which controls nearly half the market.

Winding Roads by Joe Schmidt

On this date in history:
April 20
Compiled by Dell Bert

1862: The first pasteurization test is completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard.
1879: First mobile home (horse drawn) used in a journey from London to Cyprus.
1926: First check sent by radio facsimile transmission across Atlantic.
1935: "Your Hit Parade" begins broadcasting.
1944: NFL legalizes coaching from the bench.
1948: New York City hikes subway fare from five cents to ten cents.
1997: First major league baseball game in Hawaii (Cardinals and Padres).

Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.

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.

Topics of last week's RV Daily Tips Newsletter

Move your TV for comfort.
Take these simple steps to keep your RV fridge operating properly.

A small generator may be all you need.
A simple trick to improve your travel photos.

How to avoid trouble when driving mountain passes.
How to troubleshoot RV generator problems.

User-friendly propane bottles are here.
How to inspect your RV for water damage.

Do-it-youself dish drainer.
How to help prevent damage to your RV's electrical circuit board.

America's most-watched RV channel on YouTube
Watch hundreds of RVing videos at
the RVtravel.com Channel on YouTube

Watch helpful videos by America's best known RVing experts including RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury at the RVtravel.com YouTube Channel. The hundreds of entertaining videos have been viewed more than 2.3 million times, more than any other YouTube channel devoted to RVing!  Visit the channel to watch videos and/or to sign up to receive notices of each new one posted.

RV tires: How old is too old?
A man goes into an RV dealership, interested in a seven-year-old motorhome with 10,000 miles on the odometer. The tires on the rig have plenty of tread left on them, but on learning that they're the original tires, he wonders about them being too old to be safe. The salesman tells the customer that worrying about the age of the tire is nothing more than buying into a myth. Should the customer walk away?

Improving an RV shower's curtain rings
This will be the first in an on-and-off series of articles by Rich Miller, the Wanderman, about simple things to do to tweak an RV. One of the first things he decided when he began researching his perfect RV was the absolute want of a "dry bath" — the kind that has a separate shower and toilet. Read more.

Feds RV recalls issued for March
The list of RV recalls isn't very long for March, but you might want to check to be sure your RV or a product you use directly related to it has not been recalled. Read more.

Planning an RV
trip this summer?

Here are some great guides to State and National Parks, Corp of Engineers campgrounds, and even places to stay for a bargain or even for free. Use for research or pack along for finding campsites along your route.
Guide to Free Campgrounds
Corps RV Camping
National Park Service Camping Guide
RV Camping in State Parks
RVer's Best Public Campgrounds
National Park Service Camping Guide & RV Camping in State Parks — Save!

Rent a motorhome for a dollar a day
Most times the manufacturer hires a "transporter," a person who drives (or tows) the unit to where it's headed and gets paid for his time. Here's a twist on the scenario. RV rental firm Apollo has a different approach: travel to the manufacturing plant on your own dime, and then pay them to let you drive the rig back to one of their rental locations in the West. The cost? As low as $1 a day for the RV, but usually more, say $10 or $29, which is still dirt cheap. Read more.

How about a central vacuum cleaning system for your motorhome?
RVing isn't always about touring the roads, enjoying nature, and kicking back. Sad to say, some of those "normal" facets of life intrude  — like vacuuming the carpets. For owners of big RVs, sometimes the way to do it is with a central vacuum unit which is installed permanently in an out-of-the-way place. When you need to clean house, just plug in! Read more.

A Class A motorhome that gets 30 miles per gallon?
So how about this — a motorhome with a turbo diesel engine, short enough to fit in your garage, but tall enough to accommodate a six-footer without stooping? With better fuel economy than many a compact car (30 miles per gallon), and — of all things — made in America. Want one? Well, you'll need to "buy used" and look hard to find this oldie but goodie RV. Read more.

Hosted by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury
Learn how to buy
an RV the right way!

from the Better Business Bureau
Learn to make the right choice when buying an RV in this 50-minute DVD from RVtravel.com and the Better Business Bureau. Host Chuck Woodbury, editor of RVtravel.com, and many of America’s other best-known RV experts show you everything you need to know to determine, then shop for the RV that’s best for you without making any costly mistakes.
Learn more or order.

This Week's
Reader Survey

Do you buy fuel for your RV or tow vehicle based mostly on brand or price?
Answer here.

Last week's question
Overall, how would you describe the performance of the WiFi in RV parks where you've stayed?
Read the survey results.

Past reader surveys and results.

Cool Photo
of the Week

How about this for your next RV?

We want this! It's not actually an RV, but if we could get our hands on it we'd do the conversion. It's more like a bus inside. This pic was taken along Route 66. Learn more at mytrain.com. This would be a very cool thing to pull into an RV park!

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.


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 $12 in an RV.

Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.50 (on April 19)

Change from week before: Down 4 cents
Diesel: $3.94 (on April 15)
Change from week before: Down 3 cents

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

RV DoctorAsk the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.

How are RV
batteries connected?

Dear Gary,
The two house batteries in my motorhome have been removed to be replaced. They were 6-volt batteries but the person who removed them does not remember if they were wired in series or parallel. The motorhome is a 2005 Cross Country. How should the house batteries be wired? —Will S., (Seminole, Okla.)

Read Gary's response.


Stop the shaking in your
parked fifth wheel or travel trailer

"This stops the shaking that wakes me up." 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.

The RV Shrink

Tailgating makes wife nervous

Dear R.V. Shrink:
My husband is a terrible driver. He tailgates so close that I am always nervous. He says he's comfortable driving close and gets  perturbed when I tell him to back away. I especially get nervous when he's close to a big truck. He has joked that he's "drafting" off it to get better gas mileage. I don't laugh and tell him he's putting us in serious danger, but he either doesn't respond or gets mad. I know how to drive our motorhome but he will hardly ever let me do it. I love my husband, he's a wonderful man, but I'm scared to death to ride with him. Do you have any idea what I might say to him to get him to back off? —Susan, Carson City, Nevada

Read the Doc's response.

Traveling to Alaska?

Hot off the press!
2013 Milepost
This is THE mile-by-mile guidebook for RV or auto travelers headed to Alaska, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. When you want to know where you'll find turnouts, gas, food, lodgings, public campgrounds and RV parks, or restrooms, or what Alaska glaciers are easy to reach by road —The Milepost tells you. Learn more or order.

This issue's Knowledge Quiz

One quiz on Saturday, April 20, 2013, with a swell prize.

TODAY'S PRIZE: Absolutely the best lantern ever! The K-Light is solar powered, practically indestructible, floats if dropped in water, and provides an incredible amount of light. Plus, it doubles as a powerful flashlight. Its 1.5w solar panel can be used to charge iPhones and many other electronic devices. This lantern sells for $54.95. Read more about it in last weekend's Great RV Accessories Newsletter.

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, April 20, beginning at exactly 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (noon in the East).

Official Knowledge Quiz Rules.

Internet Specials!

Dr. Rock
Roadside Geology for RVers

Geology guides for travelers

Dear Doc Rock,
Where can I find geology guidebooks to use while I'm traveling? I don't have academic or technical training in geology, but am very interested. Are there guidebooks written for the general public that would help travelers understand the landscape? —Bill DeSpain, Los Angeles, Calif.

Read Dr. Rock's answer.

"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."

TODAY'S SECRET PHRASE: Jill tired of Jack after awhile. "He's too boring," she uttered to sister Sally.

Recently published.
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.

Joke of the week
What does an astronaut use to cook Chinese food on the moon?
Answer at end of newsletter.

Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs

2013 Milepost Directory
DVD: RVing Alaska with Joe and Vicki Kieva
Traveler's Guide to Alaskan 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

Propane burner
“If you have trouble getting your propane burner to light (or stay lit) after long storage, clean the burner with a thin bottle brush to get rid of rust flakes and carbon particles that are blocking the orifice.” From Trailers and Fifth Wheels 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

Water hookup tip
Always use a water pressure regulator when connecting to a water supply at the campground, and always connect the regulator directly to the campground water source, not at the city water connector on the RV. If you make the connection at the city water connection on the RV, high campground water pressure can build up where it connects to the regulator, causing the hose to swell and burst.

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

RV DoctorTwo great resources about RV repair and maintenance!
These repair and maintenance guides by Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, are packaged together to save you $11.24 over their cover prices. The Do it Yourself RV Care DVD shows those systems and components that need regular attention and how to do it. Woodall's RV Owners Handbook is a complete, illustrated guide to preventive maintenance and repairs. The book offers great reviews of basic and generic RV systems and provides readers with a better understanding of propane, electrical, and water systems, etc. It offers all the basic information with only minimal mechanic knowledge required. Regularly $44.90, now only $29.81. Learn more or order.

RV Short Stops

Gum Wall
Seattle, WA

The Market Theater Gum Wall is a landmark in downtown Seattle, on famous Post Alley at Pike Place Market. Parts of the brick wall are covered several inches thick, 15 feet high for 50 feet, with chewed gum. The tradition began around 1993 when patrons stuck gum to the wall and placed coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up after Pike Place Market officials deemed the wall a tourist attraction. Some people create small works of art out of gum. The wall was named one of the top five germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone. A scene from the Jennifer Aniston film "Love Happens" was shot at the wall in 2008.

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 altogether. 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
"Honk if you're against noise pollution."
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com

The RV Kitchen

Crustless Pizza
Everybody loves pizza and this yummy recipe for a no-crust pizza is no exception. Makes 6 portions. 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 and 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 most popular names for girls born from 1990 to 1999 were, in order: Emily, Madison, Emma, Olivia, Hannah, Abigail, Isabella, Samantha, Elizabeth and Ashley. The most popular girl's name since then is Sophia.

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
 An excellent way to make instant friends in a campground is to walk with a cute dog (heck, even an ugly dog!). Your fellow campers will comment, which opens the door to further conversation and maybe even a new friendship.

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

Worth Pondering
"I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be new views." —President Abraham Lincoln

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

The cash prize is now $320. 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
70437, 38135, 19192, 04457, 61279. Remember, these Zip Codes can appear again at any time.

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.
Assistant publisher: Jody Allcott. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mark Polk, Janet Groene, Richard Mallery and Richard Miller. Cartoonists: Jerry King, Joe Schmidt. Warehouse operations: Eric Brotman. New York City correspondent: Emily Woodbury. ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Contact Chuck Woodbury at chuck@rvtravel.com

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 by calling 425-744-0415 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays (Pacific Time) and/or emailing Chuck.

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. Any information gathered by visiting this website is kept private and never sold or shared with outsiders.

This newsletter is copyright 2013 by RVtravel.com.

RV JOKE ANSWER: A moon wok!