RV Travel Newsletter April 23-30

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 15th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Issue 739 • Week of April 23-29, 2016

Editor’s corner
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com

I was interviewed by an RV trade magazine earlier this week. The editors wanted to know about this new, improved website, but they also wanted to know what I thought of the state of the RV industry.

RV camping, sardine style, in Southern California.

As you likely know, the RV industry is beside itself with happiness because a billion or so people are buying RVs every couple of days or so. The RV makers and dealers like that, of course, because they make lots of money. RV park owners like that because more people can cram into their already packed campgrounds so they make more money, too.

More people have jobs making those RVs now, which is excellent — most of them in Elkhart, Indiana, a pretty little town that looks a lot like Mayberry. Andy, Barney and Aunt Bee could walk by and you wouldn’t bat an eyelash — unless you happened to recall they’re all dead.

Well, I told the magazine that I thought that it’s totally understandable that people in the RV industry would be very happy. Everybody likes money, right? But I said that I wasn’t all that happy myself because all those new RVers are presenting a problem to me: There are just too many of them and they are squeezing me out of the campgrounds where I like to stay. I need to make a reservation to get a spot unless I want to pay $35 for some weed-infested plot of earth that somehow qualifies as an RV park, where people like me go only when they can’t get in anywhere else and its either there or sweating like a pig in a parking lot without my blessed air conditioning.

Arizona state parks, like many public campgrounds, still offer spacious campsites. But good luck getting a space without a reservation in the prime season.

I used to say it was nice to travel with an RV because you could be spontaneous and stay where you want and not have to search out a motel room. I don’t know if that’s true anymore.

Yes, you can stay in your RV in a Walmart or Cabela’s parking lot, which truly is a lifesaver sometimes. But, really, is that a nice camping experience? Do you get to sit around the campfire at night with all your new Walmart buddies, cook hotdogs over the fire, drink a little firewater and tell ghost stories?  Well, no, you can’t do that unless you want to get booted out and then have to drive two miles to Kmart.

And the problem with a lot of these new RVers is they are buying newfangled RVs with outdoor kitchens and outdoor stereo boomboxes and my favorite — big screen TVs. Now, those things are fine for tailgating, but not, in my opinion, in RV parks where you are packed so tightly you can hear Bud and Mable next door going tinkle.

One night last summer on my trip across the USA, my very nice campsite turned into a movie theater when a family of at least 15 (actually, I think it was six) showed up. About 9 p.m., Mom and Dad exited the RV with their brood following. They sat down in various-sized lawn chairs, next to the campfire that, I might add, was blowing smoke into my RV, bringing back wonderful memories of growing up in Southern California and smog so thick I couldn’t see my backyard fence.

Anyway, the family took their seats in front of the outdoor TV, which was probably around a 50-incher, and then fired it up. And for the next two hours, the girls giggled and laughed as they savored every minute of “The Little Mermaid.” I wanted to walk out and say, “Would you turn that damn thing off?” But I love kids and they were having fun and, well, I just couldn’t be Mr. Scrooge. So I closed my windows and fired up the A/C. Ah, camping!

But enough whining. I was just going to write, “Okay, time to get serious,” then I realized I actually have been serious. But putting on my “glass half full” hat, I also must say that I am still head over heels in love with RVing. I still think it is the best way to travel in the world, especially in the off-season when you can still get a campsite without a reservation and avoid kids racing between your legs on their very cool, three-wheeled, all-plastic Hasbro tricycles.

Really, if an RVer heads out onto our public lands there are still millions and millions of acres of wide-open spaces, blue skies and fresh air — room aplenty to enjoy the great outdoors and our incredibly wonderful recreational vehicles. chucksignature

Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.

Happy birthday! Happy Anniversary! Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PM
Beginning in a week or two you can wish your special someone a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary and we’ll post your well-wishes and your short comment right in this newsletter. It’ll be swell, when your husband (say his name is Al) is reading the newsletter and he sees a message from you that says something like “Happy Birthday, Al, my hunky hubby. I still love you, even with your gas problem! Love, Babs.” It’s real easy to leave your comment. Just click here.

It’s free! Come on, don’t be bashful! We’ll run your message in the closest newsletter before your special date!

presenting-738_edited-1Featured categories
You’ll find some good reading material here.
Camping on public lands.
Using your RV.
RV heating and cooling.
Campground setup.
Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal.

RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match!
evelo-logo-732An Electric Bike is the perfect, simplest and most affordable way of sorting all the ‘challenges’ of RV’ing. Get around camp effortlessly, visit the sites or town nearby without unhooking or simply enjoy a fun ride with fellow campers! Click here to discover our electric bikes and get $100 off, free shipping & returns, and 0% financing on any new EVELO using the code RVTRAVEL during checkout!

572-beautifuldime-738Would you pay 10 cents to read this newsletter?
Our staff works hard to bring you an entertaining and informative newsletter every Saturday. The readers of the newsletter help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year would be appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! If you care to chip in, please know we will be very appreciative. Just contribute what you think is fair. Enter a voluntary subscription.

allislandmortgageA Perfect Match . . .
RVs and Reverse Mortgages
All Island Mortgage NMLS #3740 has been serving the industry since 1989. Licensed in NY, NJ, CT, FL and MT. We are reverse mortgage specialists with in-home service to every client. A reverse mortgage is a perfect way to acquire an RV and make NO monthly payments at all. Fully secure and FHA guaranteed. Call us at 888-660-3033 or visit our website and view the video and full 27-page catalog. And, yes, I am the owner and a camper since 1998. —Bob Schiano, President.

RV owners sue Dometic for
refrigerator defect linked to explosions, fires

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AM(April 22, 2016) — A group of RV owners has filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Dometic Corporation, stating that the company sold defective gas absorption refrigerators with cooling systems that can spontaneously ignite in RVs and boats, putting consumers at risk of deadly fires, explosions, loss of property and loss of the value of their RV/boat, according to consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman. Read more.

Reader RVs

photographer-682(2)What RV do you drive or tow?
Please send us a photo of your RV with a 150-200 word description of where and how you travel with it, and what you like (or don’t like) about it. (If you want, just send us your notes and we’ll put your story together for you.) If you have a photo of it in a scenic setting, that’s great. Be sure to include your name(s) and your hometown (unless you’re a full-timer). We’ll post them to RVtravel.com. Send to assistant editor Diane McGovern at Diane(at)RVtravel.com .

CLICK HERE to see last week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.

cool-prize-headThis Week’s Contest step-739
We have a new format! Yippee! You don’t need to answer at a specific time of day. Answer anytime, and then again once a day through Tuesday.

To learn more about the contest and to enter it, click here.

This Week’s Prize: A Folding Metal Step Stool
Camco’s RV Folding Metal Step Stool is perfect for all those little jobs around the RV. It opens to 11-1/2″ tall. Its lightweight aluminum construction supports up to 200 lbs. If you don’t win the contest, you can order it here.

breaking-newsNew motorhome sales in February showed an improvement compared to February 2015. Overall, a 5-percent bump-up was noted; Class A units accounted for an increase of almost 8 percent, while Class Cs inched up 2 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.

February marked a good month for new travel trailer sales. Comparing that month to February 2015, overall towable unit sales were up 8 percent, with travel trailers showing more than a 10 percent gain. Fifth wheels barely made the grade, showing little more than a half-point gain; pop-ups deflated more than 15 percent, and park models lost almost 20 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.

Spending by a record number of National Park visitors in 2015 provided a $32 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 295,000 jobs, according to a report released on Thursday by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

sales up 739Crystal ball gazers in the RV industry say they foresee a 2-percent sales increase of new rigs this year, compared to the 2015 total of nearly 375,000 units. The prophets at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association pin their prognostication on high hopes for travel trailers and Class C motorhome sales.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, PBS will rebroadcast Ken Burns’ documentary series “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” from April 25-30. Check here to find out when it airs on your local PBS station.

Not even Escapees can escape the weather. Flooding at the popular full-time RVers’ club headquarters in Livingston, Texas, put the kibosh on the club’s phone system and killed off mail services for a day recently.

Exhibitor booths for the giant Hershey RV Show sold out in one day. This year’s edition is set to run Sept. 14-18, 2016, at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., with Industry-only Days scheduled for Sept. 12-13. Last year more than 52,000 people attended the event.

Tucson, Ariz., RV dealer Freedom RV is asking for help after two $200,000 motorhomes displayed at an area mall were stolen. One of the rigs was found – and two suspects were rounded up and charged with theft, burglary and joyriding. The other rig, a Newmar Canyon Star, is still unaccounted for.

Photo: Steve Walser photographed this “Off our rockers” trailer at the Vintage Trailer Rally at the XXX Rootbeer Drive-In, Issaquah, Wash. Home really is where you park it. See more of Steve’s photos or purchase them as prints, on tee-shirts, etc. by clicking here. Photo © Steve Walser

A Breckenridge, Colo., man took out a loan to pay off his $23,500 restitution bill, and thus avoid criminal charges, for burning down 30 acres of trees on Bureau of Land Management lands. Ryan Huff admitted to setting off fireworks on public lands last August, catching the woods on fire at Dog Island in Ruby Canyon. Several area campgrounds had to be evacuated, and century-old cottonwoods went up in smoke.

Motorhome sales in Canada continue to deflate, reports Statistical Surveys Inc. Comparing February 2016 to February 2015, overall registrations nosedived nearly 23 percent. Class A sales took a beating, down more than 28 percent; Class C sales did better, down only 17.5 percent.

KOA headquarter employees in Billings, Mont., got an unexpected break from work – as in quarantine. Mail room workers found a suspicious white powder on opening some incoming mail, and the 43 employees were isolated while emergency responders worked on the problem. Not anthrax – cocaine – were the test findings.

A Seattle, Wash., RVer was startled when he drove to where he’d left his motorhome parked, only to find it gone. The RV was found over an embankment and held precariously in place by trees. Gary Ellis was able to rescue his dog, KK, from the rig, but he and his wife, DaVonne, are now left homeless. Apparently the motorhome’s parking brake failed, sending the rig to a destructive end.

Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Airtab-logoJust peel and stick Airtabs™ to the rear sides and the rear roof of your RV coach or trailer to create swirls of air that reduce aerodynamic drag, save fuel and improve stability. Airtabs™ dramatically reduce trailer ‘fish tailing’ and crosswinds pressure to RVs from passing trucks, while improving fuel efficiency 2% – 5%! Click on the video.

Click here for more information about using Airtabs™.

Click here to purchase Airtabs™.

news524(2)More News

A generous RVer may be the hero of a major traffic snarl in Utah’s Virgin River Gorge. Last Saturday, northbound traffic on the narrow stretch of I-15 was tied up for nearly an hour when a semitruck ran out of fuel on a bridge in a construction zone. The truck couldn’t be moved – no air to release its brakes – and it was a long trip out for a big tow truck. Finally a motorhomer with a diesel engine volunteered to have fuel siphoned from his rig to clear the scene. The semi-driver was cited for “unsafe vehicle.”

photo: Schodack Island State Park, nysparks.com
Photo: Schodack Island State Park, nysparks.com

New York state has swung the gate open on its latest state park – Schodack Island. RVers will find 43 of the 67 sites offer electrical hookups at the campground on the Hudson River’s eastern shore, south of Albany.

If you think Quartzsite, Ariz., is crazy during the tourist season, it doesn’t end when the snowbirds leave. Highway patrol officers chased after an erratic driver on I-10 near Quartzsite last weekend and were quite concerned when the driver refused to pull over. A man towing a trailer used his rig to help troopers in a “wedge” maneuver, finally stopping the car. Turned out the car was rented to a Japanese tourist who didn’t know what those red-and-blue lights behind her meant. Troopers used Google Translate to communicate with her, admonishing her to brush up on U.S. driving customs, and sent her on her way.

If Alabama’s former state parks chief, Charles Grimsley, has his way, money from the BP oil spill judgment won’t be paying for a rebuild of the Gulf State Park Lodge. Grimsley has filed suit against several Alabama politicians, including Governor Robert Bentley, asking a court to stop the state from “unlawfully disbursing state funds” in the matter. Grimsley says the money was never authorized for revamping the lodge.

rv peddler 739
Photo: rv peddler; rvpeddler.com

The Bakersfield, Calf., RV dealer who says “We take anything in trade” is accused of taking customers for a ride. Local news media report RV Peddler has shut down, and one customers says when he traded in his old rig, he never got the title for the new one, and that RV Peddler didn’t pay off the loan on the trade-in either. Another customer says he consigned a rig with Peddler, was told it was sold, but never got his money. A sign at the dealership directs queries to a bankruptcy attorney.

Surrey, Sutton, England, police are facing a charge of animal cruelty after the arrest – and release without charge – of a British RVer. Nathan Young was arrested outside of his motorhome and expressed concerns about the welfare of his dog, Rocco. He gave his keys to arresting officers, and they were to pass the keys along to a friend of Young’s who would look after the dog. On his release, 19 hours later, Young found his keys still packed in with his personal belongings – Rocco had been left without food and water. Surrey police officials acknowledge “a breakdown in communications.”

More than 1 million households in North America started camping last year. Of the new campers, 18 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic and 44 percent Millennials, according to the 2016 North American Camping Report, an annual independent study supported by KOA.

Moments after an RVer stepped out of his fifth wheel, it blew up. Firefighters responding to the incident in Port Hadlock, Wash., say the RVer “was extremely fortunate,” noting, “If he had been inside, he would have most likely been killed.” The brand of the blown-up fifth wheel? Fireball.


RV Quick Tips
Oven misbehaving?
RV oven burning stuff? Get an oven thermometer to verify the actual temperature and try cooking your stuff on top of a pizza stone to even out the heat. 528coffee

Better batteries for walkie-talkies
Use walkie-talkies in and around camp? Some users report rechargeable batteries just don’t seem to cut it; alkaline throwaways reportedly last longer.

Check for “flying cargo” when you arrive at camp
When arriving at camp at the end of your road day, do an inside “walk around” by carefully opening each cabinet slowly. If contents have shifted and want to jump out, you can be ready.

Revised-RV-Roof-Logo-11-05-14No more roof leaks, for life, guaranteed!

Now with locations in TX, FL, MI, AZ and NC!
RV FlexArmor® is a sprayed RV roof that is 187 mils thick, has no more caulking joints and is the proven RV roof alternative for over a decade. Guaranteed not to leak for your RV’s lifetime! “Your company gets an A+.” —Marsha G., customer. Click on our new video showing how we handle air conditioners.

Click here for more information at our website, or call 1-844-FLEXARMOR.

Click here to visit our Facebook page.

How to maximize RV tire life with minimum effort
If you are new to the RV lifestyle or an old hand at it, there is one thing that is true: What you knew or learned about tires from years of car ownership probably did not prepare you for the task of maintaining the tires on your RV. In this very thorough article, RV tire expert Roger Marble offers some suggestions for years of problem-free travel with minimal maintenance of your tires. Learn more.

Another cool little LED light
Rich “The Wanderman” admits he’s a sucker for inexpensive, little and bright flashlights — he just can’t resist them. He’s found a new one to add to his collection because it fits all his criteria, plus it looks cool. These are very inexpensive and could come in very handy. Read more.

What toilet paper is best for your RV toilet?
Here’s the typical blurb used by RV toilet paper pushers: “Enjoy luxurious 2-ply comfort in an RV toilet paper that dissolves rapidly to help prevent clogs. Soft, snowy white XYZ Brand is highly absorbent and 100% biodegradable. Two-ply, yet it breaks up fast to make emptying your holding tank easier.” Just right? Yes, sounds good until you get down to the bottom line price: Roughly $2 a roll for that soft, luxurious feel that won’t clog your tank. So what’s a cheaper solution? Find out.

Discover the RV Warranty Taking the Community by Storm!

The best RV warranty coverage just got better: Introducing the Viking Protection Plan, a policy designed for maximum coverage and ease of use, all backed by the customer satisfaction guaranteed by RVer Favorite Wholesale Warranties. Ready to see what the ultimate in Peace of Mind might cost you? Get your FREE Quote for coverage today!

Read more about this exclusive coverage.

Can flea collars keep pests out of your RV?
The next time you’re buying a flea collar for your dog or cat, throw one in for your RV. It could save you from having to spend money on repairs to your rig’s propane system. Read more.

video camera WPWill ice cubes in an RV sewer tank dislodge waste buildup?
A buildup of solids in an RV sewer tank is a bad thing. Most of us have heard that putting ice cubes down the toilet will do the job. So does it work? James of the Fit RV wanted to find out. See the results in this enlightening video.

Caulk tools: A must for RVers
RV technician Chris Dougherty says these tools are essential for keeping your RV’s roof leak free. Find out what they are.

del-545This week in history
1564 William Shakespeare is born.
1968 “Hair” premieres on Broadway.
1984 President Reagan visits China.
1986 Nuclear explosion at Chernobyl.
1986 Roger Clemens strikes out 20 batters in single game.
1990 Space telescope in orbit.
1995 Ginger Rogers dies.
2004 Comcast abandons bid to buy Disney.

1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1 1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at 500 wineries, farms and attractions across North America. Harvest Hosts offers an exciting alternative to traditional overnight stops where you can meet interesting people and learn about their lifestyle. Learn more at the Harvest Hosts website, or watch an interview with the founders by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.

RV Clubs
Here are a couple of RV clubs from our extensive directory which you may be interested in:

Explorer RV Club.
The largest national Canadian RV club serving ALL RVers. Membership in the Explorer RV Club offers many benefits including: discounts on camping fees; discounts on home, auto, travel and RV insurance (in some provinces); discounts on hotel fees and on-the-road travel; discounts on emergency road service; and many more benefits.

Allegro Club.
Official membership organization of Tiffin motorhome owners.

ppl-logo-1America’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 more than 24,000 consigned RVs since 1972. Visit the PPL website.

Bumper sticker of the week
I’m not old — I’m chronologically gifted.

Funny/clever business slogan
“We curl up and dye for you,” Orchid Hair Salon, Delta, Colo.

Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com

Digital LCD Voltage Meter Use this handy flat plug meter for measuring the AC voltage in your home or RV by just plugging it into an AC 110V/220V outlet. Great for monitoring the voltage of appliances. LCD display makes it easy to read. Learn more or order.

Secret phrase for Spin and Win contest: Hillbilly Bill has a cow named Carl.

Upcoming RV Shows
See the recently updated, long list of upcoming RV shows for 2016.

Websites of the Week
We like these websites. Check ’em out. More next week.

May be required by law in some states!
Essential for hooking up to a sewer
Many states these days do not allow an RVer to simply insert a sewer hose into an RV park sewer drain without it being sealed. This soft sewer sponge ring is the answer. Simply insert your sewer hose into the sponge ring, twist it to tighten, and then insert the sponge ring into the sewer hookup for a tight seal. Learn more or order.

Good reading from RV123.com 629-rv123
Camp Gulf
Featured App: TV Food Maps
Egg and Sausage Casserole

Multipurpose Microfiber Duster
No more car wipes to dry up — this duster replaces all interior car products. The 10-inch dusting head is big enough to get your dash dust-free quickly, but small enough to leave in your glove box. The back of the duster doubles as a scrubbing sponge. Great for interior or exterior use on cars, RVs, motorcycles or in the home! Learn more or order.

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

RV stove on the fritz? Or Fritz on the RV stove?

Dear RV Shrink:

Thank you for the reminder that we should have our alarms tested periodically. After reading your column we tested all of ours and had problems with two of them. Two months later we were glad we did the testing. It wasn’t something normal like a failed gas fitting. Our stove top burner “went on the fritz” just as we went to bed one night. I smelled gas before the alarm sounded. I jumped out of bed and started investigating just as the buzzer went berserk. In the kitchen I could hear the gas hissing from the stove. I knew exactly what happened immediately. The stove didn’t go on the fritz, Fritz went on the stove. … —Thank you in Zion

Read the rest of the question and the Shrink’s response.

happy-camper-567Liquefy solid wastes in sewer holding tanks
Happy Campers Treatment liquefies solid waste and household tissue. It’s a natural formula that’s environmentally friendly and biodegradable, with no formaldehyde or harsh chemicals. Basically, the good bacteria overtakes the bad bacteria to eliminate odor and accelerate the natural decomposition of waste. Because it is totally organic and odor free, you won’t be embarrassed by bad odors inside or when you dump. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Gray tank maintenance
Over time grease and residue builds up in the gray tank and it causes a foul odor, not to mention how it is affecting the tank and valve assembly. Periodically treat the gray tank with environmentally safe holding tank chemicals to avoid odors from the tank. When the tank is empty you can also add some dishwashing liquid down the drains to help break down grease and residue buildup. Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.

youtube_logo Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel. Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.14 (on Apr. 18) Change from week before: Up 7 cents; Change from year before: Down 35 cents
Diesel: $2.17 (on Apr. 18) Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 62 cents

2016milepostHeaded to Alaska? Best resource: 2016 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. First published in 1949 as a guide about traveling along the Alaska Highway, today’s Milepost includes more than 600 pictures and more than 100 maps, and details every place travelers might eat, sleep or pull off the road for scenic viewing. Learn more or order.

RV Travel Reader Pets dog and photographer - leftPets-Newman-3-21-16-puppy
Do you travel with a pet? We’d love to introduce your pet(s) to fellow readers. Here’s what we need: a photo or two of Fido or Boots (or you with your pet) and a 150-200 word description of your furry friend(s) — name, breed, age, how long you have traveled together, what makes them special? Go ahead and brag about them if you wish! Do you have any tips for other RVing pet lovers about traveling with pets that you’ve learned along the way? Don’t forget to give us your name(s) and hometown. Send to Diane(at)RVtravel.com . (Editor: No, that’s not a stuffed toy.)

Click here to see this week’s issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.

tempgun-682Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
White Sauce Mix
Stir up a money-saving time-saver.
Basic white sauce mix is the basis for thousands of recipes, from gravy to casseroles. It’s costly to use a can of condensed cream soup and it probably has extra flavors, sodium or additives that you prefer not to use. When you have this homemade mix on hand, you’re in control of amounts, added ingredients and thickness. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at Amazon.com

slideout-seal656Protect your RV’s slideout with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.

Beginners’ Guide to RVing Type-A-motorhome-739

QUESTION: Is it hard to drive a motorhome? They look so big!

ANSWER: While some people are initially intimidated by the size of an RV, after driving one for awhile they report it isn’t much different than driving the family car. Because an RV is generally larger, there are special considerations to keep in mind — like watching for overhead branches and overhangs, using mirrors more often, and making wider turns than in the family car. A survey of RV owners by Lou Harris and Associates found that three out of four RV owners do not feel that driving or towing an RV poses any difficulty. Experienced automobile drivers already have the basic skills to drive a motorized RV. Automatic transmissions and power brakes and steering are typical. You can search online for “driving an RV” and find lots of tips, classes and YouTube videos for information.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed by Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all this for less than $13! Learn more or order.

perplexed The Dying Art of Proofreading
Did I read that sign right?

stepbraceScreen-shot-2014-10-03-at-2_46_34-PMHelp stabilize and keep your RV steps safe
The RV Save-A-Step Brace is designed to be placed under RV entry steps for safety. It stabilizes the RV steps and helps keep the coach from rocking — preventing sag and wear. The brace is made of heavy-gauge steel with a 3/4″ solid metal screw thread, 1000-pound load rating and 7-5/8″ to 14″ adjustment range. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.

rvshow-725Upcoming RV Shows
Spring Hall of Fame RV & Camping Show, April 21-24, Elkhart, IN
BC Interior RV Show, April 22-24, Penticton, B.C., Canada
Puyallup RV Show, April 28-May 1, Puyallup, WA

Complete list of upcoming shows in the USA and Canada. Click here.

water-filter-677Essential equipment for many RVers!
Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
This best-selling product reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 100-micron fiber filter. Its durable in-line, exterior mount filter has a wider body to increase flow. Use it at your campsite to keep sediment out of your RV water tank and to improve the taste and smell of your drinking water for a whole season. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a big discount.

2fishingRandom RV Thought
Bring your fishing pole with you even when traveling out of your home state. Many RV parks have ponds or small lakes where guests can fish without a state license. Some parks furnish fishing gear for campers who forgot to bring their own.

MyJoCoffeeEasily brew a cup of coffee This is great for RVers! Brew a single cup of coffee without the high cost of an expensive coffee maker with the MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker! Just fill reservoir with hot water from tea kettle, or heat water in a microwave. Assemble, place K-Cup pack in base, attach the water reservoir and pump. Watch the video for a short demonstration or learn more or order at a big discount.

You’ve probably heard the term “Getting your ducks in a row.” It means getting organized in preparation for action. Do you know the origin of the saying? It originated in bowling alleys in early America when bowling pins were called “duck pins” because bowlers thought they resembled ducks.

next-exit-723Just published for 2016
Locate services at Interstate exits
The 2016 Next Exit is the most complete USA Interstate highway exit directory ever published for every exit of major and most minor routes. Find what’s located at upcoming exits on your route — gas, food, lodging, camping, shopping, hospitals, Walmarts and much more. A best-seller year after year. Learn more or order.

Worth Pondering
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”Harriet Tubman

fridge1fridge2Keep your fridge in order when you travel Tired of stuff moving around in your RV fridge after a day of driving? Maybe a carton of milk has fallen out on the floor one too many times? Here’s the solution. Camco’s RV Double Refrigerator Bar is designed to keep order in your RV fridge during travel. It’s spring loaded to keep items in place. The bar extends from 16″ to 28″. And the good part is the price tag: about $5! (the RVtravel.com staff uses a pair of these in its RV!) Learn more or order.

Joke of the week
How many telemarketers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one, but he has to do it while you’re eating dinner.

fridge-fan651Keep your food cool with this RV fridge fan
Every RV refrigerator should have one of these!
This small refrigerator fan from Valterra Products will help keep the food in your RV fridge cool and from spoiling. It cuts down initial cool-down time by 50 percent. Runs for more than 30 days on 2 D batteries. Don’t leave home without this! Learn more or order from Amazon.com.

RV Travel staff Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Assistant editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Janet Groene, Roger Marble and Julianne Crane. Office manager: Jody Allcott.

ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com. cw501

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 book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Amazon.com. Woodbury’s 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.

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. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

Our offices are located at 610 5th Ave. S, Suite F, Edmonds, WA 98020.

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. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc . RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

This newsletter is copyright 2016 by RVtravel.com


47 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter April 23-30”

  1. Tom Boyte

    I have been reading the newsletter for several years and enjoy it. I especially like the new format. I purchased my rig new in 2007 and it just was never right from the outset. Each time I used it I would have to fork out money for something breaking and that item never seemed to be covered by the factory warranty even though it was still in effect. I decided RV’ing was not for me. I still like to keep up with whats going on though.

  2. Gary Sandberg

    Hi Chuck and Crew,
    Fantastic job putting the new website together!!
    I’ve read your newsletters for years and you have just been getting better as time goes by. It is time I send a thank you for all the enjoyment and information I’ve received through your efforts.

    Keep up the good work!!

  3. John Daynes

    If “camping” in an RV “campground” with your neighbors playing a movie on their 50″ screen tv and campfire smoke filling your rig is somewhat annoying, may I suggest a word that is foreign to many RVers – Boondocking! The only time I ever stay in an RV park is to dump my tanks, fill up on propane, and fill my water tank. I am appalled at the ridiculous prices these places charge for an experience that you can get in your own back yard at home. The mindset totally eludes me as to why anyone would shell out that kind of money for a crowded and unpleasant experience. But that’s just me – or is it?

  4. Buzzelectric

    I retired after working 41 years in my local school district as a non teaching employee. I consider myself an observational expert. There are good teachers and not so good teachers. There are good parents and not so good parents. You can take the same children and they will or won’t behave depending on who is in charge of them. Children are over the shoulder watchers. They will watch you until you aren’t watching them. Parents need to watch their children ALL of the time. The parents need to realize that they are only renting the space they are paying for. Nothing should leak out of their area! Nothing! No sound, no smells no light, no kids! Turn your TVs and radios down and off at camp curfew time. Generators off if in a powered campground. Diesels only as required. Lights off at night! Campfires out at night. Kids in THEIR campground only, always! Children will behave and follow the rules if parents enforce them. Children will grow up to be good teachers if they are taught properly. So if you have problem kids camping next to you, go slap their lazy grandparents!

  5. Jim Leibold

    Great job with the revamped newsletter Chuck, I’ve enjoyed reading it for years gleaning the information I need to someday move to the full-time RV lifestyle. I enjoyed the new format so much it reminded me to make a voluntary contribution last week :-). One thing I do not like is the pop-up subscription window showing up when pages load or I follow a link. The system must be smart enough to know I’m already a subscriber (at least I hope it is)? Thanks again, keep up the great work!

    1. RV Staff

      Jim, that pop up shouldn’t show up if you are a subscriber. And even for people who don’t sign up it should not show more than once every week (or maybe it is every two weeks, can’t remember). We’ll check to make sure this working properly. Sorry about that.

  6. Betsy Alvarez

    Really like the new format of the newsletter. Keep up the good work. Very informative. Love it.

  7. Tumbleweed

    The solution to crowded campgrounds is to boondock in the thousands of free areas available on public land. BLM land (usually deserts) and national forests offer privacy, solitude, and beauty. RVs, especially those with solar panels, enable you to camp for several weeks without needing to restock water and food. I’ve been a full-timer, traveling alone, for over 14 years and it’s not even once a year that I pay to stay in a campground. In fact, if I had to go to campgrounds I’d quit RVing! If anyone reading this ventures to go boondocking, please install solar panels first because most of us who boondock HATE the sound of generators disturbing our peace and quiet.

  8. Ron Story

    Like the new letter but where did the survey go? Keep up the good work staff and you too CHUCK

    1. RV Staff

      Ron, the survey will be back soon. — Chuck

  9. Alan Prochoroff

    When reading about the effect ice cubes have on the build-up of fecal matter in a black tank, the LAST thing I want to do is “see the results.” Just sayin’ …

  10. JR Thornton

    You sure packed a lot of content in this issue. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy the reading.

  11. Jerryou X Shea

    Good job Chuck. Interesting note. On my “Pad” I get the full newsletter, however, on my cell phone I only get the “center” no “Facebook feeds” or “Categories.”

  12. Gordon Ingram, B.C. Canada

    This new Newsletter looks great. I’m sure a lot of thought
    & work has gone into this.
    I enjoyed this one & looking forward to the next ones.
    Really appreciate the work & thoughts you & your staff
    are doing.

  13. Pat

    I agree with outside TVs and fires that invade your air

  14. susan

    how do full time RVers manage to vote in national elections?

    1. bill Massicotte

      I guess the last state that you were a resident you can vote absentee!
      Also, what if they receive Jury Duty notice?

    2. Jerry X Shea

      Absentee ballot. When you full time you have your mail sent to a special P.O. Box (US Postal office, UPS Box, or special address used for full timers) and have them send a package of your mail to the RV Park you are at.

  15. Jim Adolf

    Please bring back the survey’s

    1. RV Staff

      Jim, they will be back within a week or two.

  16. Dan Farrer

    Chuck, you need to sell us a “universal” remote control that will turn down the volume of **our neighbor’s** outdoor television. I’d buy one! Oops, was that the off button? Keep up the great work!

    1. RV Staff

      Dan, I want one of those! Would you please invent such a device? I will buy it. Please get right on it as I want it for another big trip I’m taking this summer. Thank you. — Chuck

      1. Clyde Riddle

        Chuck and all:
        Search “tv be gone”
        Amazon had it at one time.

    2. please don't use Dick

      use a DirecTV remote and program it to their type of tv and you can control their tv from inside your rv. Will drive them nuts……

  17. Steve Cordis

    Love your website and new format. As there are all types of RV’s, could you please address Truck-Campers once in awhile? I’m traveling solo full time and it’s size and maneuverability fit my needs perfectly. Us truck campers are feeling left out. lol

    1. RV Staff

      We will be posting many articles about truck campers as we bring in our many years of articles from the old RVtravel and other websites and blogs. We have a few posted already at http://rvtravel.com/category/new-rver-advice/types-of-rvs/truck-campers . The truck campers these days are incredible — some are as spacious as mid-sized motorhomes. —Chuck

  18. Jerry

    Oh my gosh Chuck, I have never seen you complain so much with respect to children, crowded campgrounds and the alike. You probably need to chill and enjoy yourself more. You apparently do not know how to find the areas that are more to your liking. I wish you luck in finding that happy place.

    1. RV Staff

      Oh, Jerry. I’m entitled to whine a little. I love kids. And campgrounds are, indeed, crowded — way too crowded and way too expensive. Public campgrounds, which were once free, are priced higher all the time, or if they are not more expensive they’re gone, closed — too expensive to operate. And, Jerry, I am in a very happy place. I love my work, I love RVing, I love more things that I have room to write about. But don’t go building a campfire six feet from my RV’s window while I’m trying to breathe normally or watch Rambo films 12 feet away on your outdoor TV. If you do that I will not be in a happy place, nope — not even close. —Chuck

      1. Bill Massicotte

        Good for you, Chuck. I am in the same frame of mind.!
        I like kids also, but I raised mine and they learned to respect other people. Some adults have never learned that and think nothing of bothering other peoples enjoyment of privacy, quiet, etc…
        Park owners are partly responsible for mixing groups in the park and not asking their preference for quiet not rowdy behavior. Some parks will give you a better spot if asked. Love your newsletter. Keep up the good and appreciated work.

  19. Jann

    I have not found any errors yet. Information is great. I am sure I will find my way around the new format eventually. So much information here that you don’t know where to start. The one thing I could not find is Chuck’s weekly letter.

  20. Thomas Palmer

    You have expressed my opinion exactly. Seems the campsite demand has exceeded the supply. We recently tried for 3 days to book a site for March 2017 at Gamble Rogers FL state park. After these 3 fauled attempts, we call Reserve America and learned they had received over 300 per day booking requests. We will now delay the start of our RV season and focus more out west and Canada.
    Tom Palmer

  21. Janet Nackay

    I enjoy your newsletter . Really liked your article about ducks in a row and duck pins. Very hard to find a bowling alley with duck pins any more. They are short fat pins and you use a small Bowling ball about the size of a softball. Collins Bowladrome in North Billerica MA. Is one we stop at when traveling they that area.

  22. Patti Lounsbury

    Good morning ! What a great way to start the day, a cup of coffee and my favorite rv newsletter. I really like the new format. Getting all of this info on a Saturday morning is perfect because I could never keep up with the dailies. Now it’s all in one place at the perfect time. Thanks!

  23. DIck and Sandy

    What happened to the QUESTION OF THE WEEK?

  24. Bruce Howard Pedersen

    Did you stop the daily newsletter (which I enjoyed) or did you mention that it was not going to be continued?

    1. RV Staff

      Yes, we stopped it a few weeks ago. We needed more time to do the Saturday newsletter. The daily was taking a lot of resources and, in the end, was costing us money. The new RVtravel.com and its weekly newsletter (which has always been our biggest one) will be bigger and better, and more valuable to readers. We had run a notice in the daily newsletter for a week before stopping it, alerting readers that we’d be stopping. You must have missed that. — Chuck

  25. Mike Roberts

    “The dying art of proofreading” This is something I believe is not done anymore. Let the readers do the proofreading. I read your ad for the 2106 issue of The Milepost, your proofreader missed it.

    1. RV Staff

      Not sure what you mean by “let your readers do the proofreading,” Mike. We do our best, and not much bad spelling or grammar gets by us. But please don’t expect us to be perfect. With the amount of information we put out in a month’s time and our small staff, it’s simply impossible to be 100% on everything. — Chuck

      1. Anne

        Thanks for all the great information you pass along to us all

      2. Evelyn

        Considering the amount of information you and your staff dispense to your loyal readers, I’m amazed by the lack of errors in the newsletters…this coming from a retired Copy Editor at newspapers and magazines. You’re doing a great service for those of us who are occasional campers or full-timers (I happen to be one of the latter). Just keep doing what you’re doing & we’ll be right there along for the ride!

    2. Anne

      Haha, got it! 2106 instead of 2016, lol

  26. Richard Brandt

    `millions and millions of acres of wide-open spaces, blue skies and fresh air’ Gee it must be nice living west of the Mississippi! The only time I have fresh air in a campground is in Florida in January when they don’t allow campfires.

    1. benny

      I agree with you Richard, I loved campfires when I could still breathe ok. But now that I am old and so are my lungs which have asthma and copd. It would be nice if more campgrounds offered no fires. And the ones that did allow them leave a section for people that did not want to be around fires. Then it would be fair for all. My wife and I have full timed for 18 years, but are being forced of the road because of campground fires. Most times people will start their fire sit for a while then go inside or leave the area and let the fire smolder all day or night. One day these fire bugs may get old and can hardly breathe, then they will understand. thanks

  27. Richard Davidson

    Like the new format. Thanks for continuing to provide a great service. Hope to meet you some day.

  28. Brandon Rutherford

    Just wanted to say I really enjoy the newsletter. Thank you

  29. Rick Williams

    Hi Chuck. I’m a long time reader but first time responder 🙂 Always enjoy what you have to say. The most memorable was the story of campsites requiring folks to bring in their own TP because vandals trash the bathrooms with camps stash. SMH. This one will also be memorable. Love your candor. I’m sure you could have said a lot more and kinds wish you did. Camping sure has changed and not all for the best but if it makes memories then i guess let’s go watch a TV on the side of our $100K RV. Keep it up!

  30. Dennis Napora

    I love the new newsletter format, and I will be sending in a small contribution to enhance your continuation!
    I read the article about led flashlights and had to share this hack with your readers.
    Last year, when I came in late to a site, I thought that it was too difficult to see with Rosie just holding the regular flashlight, when backing up.
    So I thought that I would get a big led floodlight wired to the 12v, until I saw the prices. So I bought a small rechargeable led handheld flashlight with a wide beam, and just rubber band it to our ladder on the back of the Class A when needed. The height and angle are easily changed, and boy does it work well!

Comments are closed.