RV Travel Newsletter: May 21-27

RV Travel Newsletter: May 21-27

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 743 • Week of May 21-27, 2016


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Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com

RVer David Bott and his friend Jay Miller took this photo on a dark night in Cortez, Colorado.

What you cannot see very well in this small photo is the amazing night sky! The “cloud” over the motorhome is not a cloud at all, but the Milky Way! If I am at home and see a photo like this, I go crazy. I want to drop everything, load up my motorhome and GO!

Most Americans seldom see the Milky Way. Some never see it. When I am home just north of Seattle, the lights of the city drown out 99.9 percent of the stars. You need to go into the country, far from lights, to see the Milky Way.

On July 13-14, 1977, New York City experienced a total electricity blackout. People were stuck on elevators. Others, at home, had nothing to do so they lit candles, got chummy and nine months later a lot of kids were born.

I remember hearing a radio interview back then with a young woman who lived in Harlem. The reporter asked her what she would remember most about that evening. “The stars,” she said, not even hesitating. She went on to say that she had spent her entire life in New York City, where lights drown out all but a few stars. On that night, with the city black, the heavens were ablaze with pinpoints of light. For the first time in this young woman’s life she saw the “cloud” — the Milky Way. It must have been an amazing sight.

Once, years ago, my then-wife and I were in a remote campground near Parachute, Colorado, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The Perseid meteor showers were expected that evening. And so, as darkness descended, with a blanket and pillows in hand, we climbed to our motorhome’s roof. We laid down on our backs and peered into the night sky. Oh my! It was incredible! The Milky Way was in its glory. And all the while, shooting stars blazed across the sky. It was better than any fireworks show!

The sky on a dark, moonless night is a sight to behold. Those of us who travel by RV, who get to spend time in remote areas, are sometimes fortunate enough to witness such a visual treat — one of nature’s most glorious gifts, a peak into the beautiful, spectacular, infinite heavens above.
chucksignature

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

How to watch YouTube videos using minimal bandwidth: This short video was recorded at standard definition to minimize data use for viewers with limited data plans. Watch the video.


Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.13.48 PMSee this little icon near the top right of this page?
Click it and you will be taken to a random article on this website. Click again and you’ll go to another. It’s fun. It’s random. It’s cool. It’s educational. It’s simply … wonderful!


Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PM
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’s super easy to leave your greeting. Just click here.

See this week’s greetings near the bottom of this newsletter. 


presenting-738_edited-1Featured categories
You’ll find some good reading material here.
RV engines — maintenance and repairs.
Storage in an RV and storing an RV.
RV Mods and upgrades.
RV chassis and suspension — maintenance.
Tips for new RVers and RV basics.
Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal.


RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match! evelo-logo-732
An 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.


Strongback-Flipped-Elite-NAVY-AND-GREY

“No More Sore Back!” The Strongback Chair is Your Solution.
RVTravel’s editor Chuck Woodbury is a big fan. Click the video to see his 60-second testimonial. Our patented lumbar support technology gives UNRIVALED COMFORT AND BACK SUPPORT. Enjoy your RV experience in long-lasting ergonomic comfort. Now in our new color combinations: Camo/Black and Navy/Grey. Visit the STRONGBACK website to buy your Strongback chair now.


Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMRV industry targeting new breed of young RVers
Forty-four percent of the 1.2 million households in North America that started camping last year were millennials ages 19 to 35, according to the 2016 North American Camping Report by Kampgrounds of America. The study found 18 percent were African-American, 11 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Asian. Millennials of those races outnumbered all other generations in each group. The RV industry sees this group as the future and is tweaking its marketing efforts accordingly. Read more.


photographer-682(2)Reader RVs
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. 


spin-win-sm-730new-742This Week’s Spin and Win Contest
It’s time for another edition of Spin and Win — the only game show for RVers! It’s short, just two minutes. You don’t need to answer at a specific time of day. Answer anytime, and then again once a day through Tuesday if you want to increase your chances of winning. GREAT PRIZES!

This week’s show is sponsored by Evelo Electric Bicycles. Visit its website and save $100 on a purchase.

Watch in high definition (best quality)
Watch in standard definition (uses minimal bandwidth for you on-the-roaders)

LAST WEEK’S WINNER, Ray Mayfield of Mills, Wyo., who won a $25 Shell gift card.
ANSWER TO THE QUESTION: Richard Nixon was vice president during Ike’s presidency.


breaking-newsYear-over-year comparisons for towable RV registrations show more growth in March. Statistical Surveys Inc. reports the overall growth at more than 14 percent compared to 2015. Travel trailers led with a near 19 percent increase, followed by fifth wheels up 4 percent. Bucking the growth spurt – “pop ups” and park models both fell more than 7 percent.

A survey of locals in every state has revealed the satisfaction ratings for roads and highways across the country. Top three states for satisfaction? North Dakota, Wyoming and Utah. And the bottom three? Rhode Island, Michigan and Hawaii. For the record, Hawaii was the only western state in below-average satisfaction rate – all others were rated as average or above average. Source: Gallup.

Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, residents evacuated by the devastating wildfire have yet another place to park their RVs. The Alberta town of Okotoks is making evacuees feel welcome. The local Lions Club is providing 15 RV sites, free of charge, in their park. Folks who had prior reservations on the sites were phoned and asked to give them up – all graciously did so. Town officials are allowing refugees to camp in local driveways and at the town’s recreation center.

tandemlivingroom
PHOTO ABOVE: Steve Walser photographed this (Tandem Living room) living room/parlour 1950 Spartanette Tandem. See more of Steve’s photos or purchase them as prints, on tee-shirts, etc. by clicking here. Photo © Steve Walser

Campground hosts are needed in Ohio at Lake Loramie in Auglaize County. Get an RV site in exchange for 20 hours of volunteer work per week. Hosts are needed for 30- to 90-day gigs. Call Jason Whitman at 937-295-2011 or email Jason.whitman (at) dnr.state.oh.us.

Increasing pressure on British Columbia’s provincial parks’ reservation system is creating headaches – and unethical and illegal conduct. When the reservation system opened in March, many complained of not being able to reserve a site on a desirable date, even when logging on at the opening minute. Turns out some folks are getting all their friends and relatives to log on or phone to reserve a desired site and time. Some complain “site scalpers” are offering to sell reserved sites for up to ten times the original price. Source: CBC News.

Hernando County, Fla., county commissioners just can’t seem to get enough in terms of RV park controversy. Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of allowing a 151-site park to be shoehorned in between two residential developments, much to the dismay of many locals. Two weeks later, one of the “aye” voting commissioners tried to back out and asked for a new hearing. Last week the commission decided to not take up a new hearing after the developer’s attorney said to do so would violate due process.

A Walbridge, Ohio, council committee charged with recommending a new RV parking ordinance found the job too tough. Last November the city council voted 4-1 against a new law that would have stopped RV owners from parking in their front yard. Even with new council members on board, they reported they just can’t come to a consensus. Now the city says it will simply cite ugly RVs for “blight.”

Headed north, eh? Well, fine spring weather has opened Yukon’s territorial campgrounds early this year. By today, all of them are open for business, and if you’re a Yukon resident, you can camp for free through the month. Get the time in while you can – the gates swing closed come September 12.


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.


news524(2)More News

bison-calf-743
Photo: Karen Richardson on trib.com

Yellowstone National Park rangers are constantly reminding visitors, “Stay back away from the wildlife.” One can only imagine the facial expressions when rangers there found a bison calf in a visitor’s SUV. The foreign visitors found the calf alone, thought it was freezing and dying, loaded it up in their rig and drove it off to rangers. After determining where the calf was found, rangers released the beast there, and cited/fined the “rescuers.” Sadly, the calf’s mother would not accept the returned baby, and it later had to be put down.

“Fools’ names, like fools’ faces, Are often seen in public places,” wrote English historian, Thomas Fuller. Bring in the Internet and it can cost you. Actress Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend, Austin Butler, carved their names on Bell Rock in Sedona, Ariz. – on public lands. She might have remained just “Vanessa” but after she posted a picture of the defacement on social media, the authorities closed in. Hudgens was cited for damaging a natural feature and fined $1,000.

pupfish-poops-743
Photo: National Park Service

Three men have been arrested in a case out of Death Valley National Park (Nevada). As we reported last week, video surveillance revealed the men had shot the lock off a gate preventing entry to an environmentally sensitive area, strewn trash and vomit, and possibly killed an endangered Pupfish. Officials have filed felony charges for “conspiracy to commit a crime, killing of an endangered species, destruction of property, trespassing, destruction of habitat [and] ex-felon possession of firearm.”

When a full-timer’s RV catches fire, at times the Red Cross steps in to render aid. This time an RV fire caused the Red Cross in Springfield, Mass., to evacuate its own center. Last Saturday at about 10:00 p.m., firefighters responded to a call of a Class A motorhome afire behind the center. Center workers cleared out as the motorhome burned to the pavement.

kuku-campers-743
Photo: kuku camper by KúKú Campers on Facebook

An Icelandic camper van rental outfit called KúKú Campers has found itself in hot water. The company, known for its rigs’ outlandish paint jobs, offered what it called “tongue in cheek” advice like this: “As a me[a]sure to keep travelers alive in Iceland, there is a law here that allows anyone to eat anything of[f] any gover[n]ment land property. You can’t take anything with you but you can eat as you want.” Some customers have taken this literally, and many have been caught fishing without permits.

Big truck drivers on Washington, D.C.’s Capital Beltway got a big surprise May 9. Maryland State Police held a surprise trucking inspection, stopping 438 big rigs for equipment checks. A whopping 25 percent of the trucks were ordered out of service for violations – one of them was 12 tons overweight. Police wrote 115 tickets and issued 251 more warnings. The biggest problem? Bad tires.

dogwalk-743Want to combine a hike with your pooch with the beauty of a national park venue? Here’s grindtv.com’s list of parks where it can legally happen: Yosemite (California): Wawona Meadow Loop offers a 3.5 to 5 mile dog-friendly loop, or stick to park roads and sidewalks. North Cascades (Washington): The entire Pacific Crest Trail is OK for dog walking. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio): The entire park is dog-friendly. Grand Canyon (Arizona): All hiking trails above the rim are pooch OK.

An Epsom, N.H., RV park manager is breathing easier – Muskrat has moved out. Muskrat, aka Rick Panzieri, moved onto the Circle 9 Ranch Campground more than a decade ago, and he says the owner gave him permission to stay permanently. So he built a log cabin attachment for his travel trailer, and after the campground was foreclosed on for back taxes, defied the new owner’s orders to move. So did 31 other tenants and it took a year and $20,000 in legal fees to get them all to move along. Muskrat, who wears animal skins and a coonskin cap, towed his trailer out of the Circle 9 a couple of weeks ago – and moved into another RV park just down the road. He left his cabin behind. 

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.


CAMPING AND HIKING SUPPLIES at Amazon.com


RV Quick Tips

rver-friend-743
Best guide to services for RVers at truck stops. Learn more.

Test the dual-power systems before your trip
Getting the rig ready after a winter lay-up? Test systems that operate on dual power. Run the refrigerator a day on electric, then a day on gas. Do the same for the water heater. That way, if there’s a problem, you’ll know about it before you hit the road.

Keep bottles neatly in place in the cupboard
“To keep bottles in their place, cut a 2- to 3-inch thick piece of dense Styrofoam to fit the cupboard, trace the shape of the bottles you want to store in the cupboard on the styro, cut out and put styro in the cupboard and put bottles in their proper hole. I mark each hole so I will always know what goes where.” Thanks to Mary Theresa and Danny Rodgers for this great tip!

Clean the wiper blades before a trip to prevent scratching windshield
Keep your windshield from getting scratched up. If you store your motorhome between trips, put “clean wiper blades” on your preflight checklist. A little soapy water, a little glass cleaner and a soft rag run up and down the length of the blades can keep scratch-producing dirt off those blades.


Light up your RV with Boogey Lights!
boogie(1)RV accent lighting is all the rage! Just look around the RV park! Enter Boogey Lights®! These robust, super-bright, state-of-the-art LED lights with hi-tech controller technology represent the next generation in LED lighting for RVs. The AWNING & UNDER-GLOW LIGHT KITS are specifically designed to withstand harsh operating environments. Don’t waste your money on junk! Get Boogey Lights! You can even control them with your Smart Phone! Learn more or click the video for a demonstration.


Tire “dry rot” is a misnomer
Our RV tire blogger, Roger Marble, sees the term “dry rot” used by many in the RV community when describing old tires that have visible external cracks. Roger explains some reasons for sidewall cracking, what to watch for and what to do about it. Learn more.

How to keep your RV fridge running smoothly
Before driving off on their adventures this summer, RVers can help avoid problems on the road by properly servicing and maintaining their recreational vehicles’ refrigerators. Read more.

Even the simple things: small, watertight organizing boxes
Even though Rich “The Wanderman” doesn’t do much fishing anymore, he still looks through the fishing aisles when he shops. Recently he spotted a couple of watertight folding fishing tackle boxes on the clearance shelf. They were perfect for storing a bunch of auto fuses — they’re small, lightweight, watertight, and they float. And he has come up with a bunch of other uses for them. Read more.

Getting along — Pointers for a great RV partnership
It is said that wherever your relationship is going, traveling together in an RV will take it there sooner. Here from long-time RVer Greg Illes are some thoughts and pointers for traveling (and living) in close quarters with your loved one. Learn more.


No more roof leaks, for life, guaranteed!
Now with locations in TX, FL, MI, AZ and NC! RV Revised-RV-Roof-Logo-11-05-14FlexArmor® 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.


Why use an RVDA/RVIA
certified RV technician for repair work

This article from Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, explains the importance of using an RVDA/RVIA certified RV technician to make sure that your RV is cared for in the best way possible, and that a job will likely be done correctly the first time. Learn more.

video camera WPHow to repair an RV roof on the cheap
Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, shows how to repair an RV roof with EternaBond, and we offer a suggestion to save money on supplies. (Hint: It starts with an “A”.Learn more and watch the video.

What’s a good HDTV antenna for an RV?
An RVtravel.com reader wants to know what’s the best HDTV antenna for his class B motorhome. Chris Dougherty offers advice.

How to care for your RV slideout
Russ and Tiña De Maris, veteran RVers, explain how a little bit of maintenance and forethought will go a long way to making sure your RV experience doesn’t get unhappy when your slideout room won’t slide like it should. Read more.


del-545This week in history
Week of May 21-27
Compiled by Dell Bert

1864 Montana Territory created.
1881 American Red Cross founded.
1883 Brooklyn Bridge opens.
1901 Connecticut enacts first speed limit law.
1907 John Wayne is born.
1937 Golden Gate Bridge opens.
1961 President Kennedy asks Congress to support the space program.


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™.


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

Foretravel Motorcade Club. The Foretravel Motorcade Club, sponsored by Foretravel, Inc. and exclusively for Foretravel owners, is one of the largest and most active owners clubs with chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Club hosts, plans and directs grandventions, rallies, motorcades and special events.

Vintage Airstream Club. Is your recreational vehicle made by Airstream and 25 years or older? Are you a member of the WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International)? Then you qualify for membership in the VAC.


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.


bumper-738

Bumper sticker of the week
Increase your face value — smile!

Funny/clever business slogan
Thanks to Greg I. for sending in this sign seen in a shoe repair store in Vancouver:
We will heel you.
We will save your sole.
We will even dye for you.

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



We are THE RV Insurance Experts!

582-explorer-rvExplorer 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.


Secret phrase for Spin and Win contest: Berta told Ernie to zip his lips.


Upcoming RV Shows
See the list of upcoming RV shows for 2016.

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


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.


Good reading from RV123.com
629-rv123Enki Portable Stove
RV of the Future
Featured App: Campground Locator


cooling-towel-741Get relief from the heat with a cooling towel
Summer heat is on the way. A Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Evaporative Cooling Towel will cool you for hours. It can absorb 8 times its weight in water to provide longer evaporation times than regular towels. An internal polyester mesh reinforcing material allows it to dry you off while it cools you down. Simply moisten the towel, wring out excess, wrap it around your neck & it starts working. Available in multiple colors. Learn more or order.


Ask the RV Shrink

rvshrinkWhat to do about slow-moving leveling jacks?
I know you are not a mechanic, but we have a mechanical and mental problem combined. Our motorhome is only two years old and already we are noticing a repetitive problem with our hydraulic leveling jacks. They take forever to retract right when we are ready to leave camp. It seems one goes out every season. It doesn’t fail completely, it’s just slow to respond. We end up having a whole pot of coffee while we wait for a single jack to retract. … —Tilted in Trenton

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


bug-off-700(1)Get rid of bugs and road grime. Easy!
Here’s the final solution for removing dead bugs from your windshield or the front of your RV. Bug Off works! Just spray on and wipe or rinse off. Removes bugs, tree sap and road grime with just a spray and a wipe. You’ll be amazed! Highly rated at Amazon.com. Learn more or order.


mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

How to prevent storm damage to your awning
Never leave your RV awning out for any period of time when you are away from the campsite. A quick windstorm or thunderstorm can result in expensive repair costs to the awning and the RV. If your awning is out and it begins to rain, lower one end to allow the water to run off. Water can quickly pool in the center of the awning fabric and the weight can damage the awning. If the wind begins to pick up at the campground, put your awning in its stored position. Better safe than sorry.

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: $2.24 (on May 16). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 50 cents
Diesel: $2.30 (on May 16). Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 61 cents


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, Wal-Marts and much more. A best-seller year after year. Learn more or order.


Pets-Slack-4-30-16-close-upRV Travel Reader Pets dog and photographer - left
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 .
Click here to see this week’s pets.


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.


janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Hot Chicken Salad
Warm up a cold supper.
It’s your first night out so you plan to serve a simple supper of crackers and the chicken salad you picked up at the deli. Then a cold front snaps through the campground. You’re tired and cold, in need of a hot meal instead of the cold quickie you’d planned. This is a delicious answer. Get the recipe.

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


icecubetray(1)OXO Good Grips No-Spill Silicone Ice Cube Tray
The innovative silicone lid seals water into the tray and keeps it from leaking out — at any angle! Simply fill the tray with water, press the silicone lid over the tray and smooth the lid while pouring out any excess water — the silicone lid forms a seal. Now you can store the ice cube tray in any position, even on an angle. The lid allows for stacking multiple ice cube trays or other items on top and prevents freezer odor from permeating your cubes. Learn more or order.


Beginners’ guide to RVing 

Coyote Camping near Lake Havasu, Arizona
Coyote Camping near Lake Havasu, Arizona

QUESTION:  What does the term “boondocking” mean? How about “dry camping”?

ANSWER: “Boondocking” means camping outside a campground, usually for free, and relying on on-board water supplies and 12-volt DC power systems. Many RVers boondock for weeks and even months on end during the winter on public lands in the Southwest. They charge their rigs’ deep cycle batteries with solar panels or by cranking up the generator now and then. By conserving water and liquid waste, they can minimize trips to the dump stations. In some popular desert boondocking spots, a “Honey Wagon” will come by to empty the waste tanks for a reasonable fee. Sometimes it’s referred to as “coyote camping.”

“Dry camping” is used interchangeably with “boondocking” by some RVers, while others distinguish dry camping as any time you spend the night without hookups, and boondocking as dry camping in the “boonies,” i.e., away from campgrounds, parking lots and rest areas.


freshwater2-707Sanitize your fresh water tank in 60 seconds!
Fresh Water Tank Sanitizer from Thetford kills 99% of harmful bacteria within 60 seconds — Staph, E-coli, Listeria and other micro-organisms! Non-additive — sanitizes inside of tank and plumbing, not the water. Free of bleach and chlorine. Leaves no smell or taste. EPA registered in all 50 states! This was the first registered sanitizer for fresh water tanks and hoses. Learn more or order.


extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip
Testing do’s and don’ts
Do not pull the pin and expel the contents to test your powder extinguisher. If you use a portion of the powder extinguisher, have it refilled or replaced immediately. When you have a fire extinguisher refilled, ask to shoot off the charge first (most refill stations have a special place where this can be done safely). This lets you see how far it shoots and how long a charge lasts. Courtesy: MacTheFireGuy.com

Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.


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 $10! Learn more or order.


RV Short Stop
Shore Acres State Park blooms year-round
Near Coos Bay, Oregon

ShoreAcresSP-aerial-RVT-743
Aerial view of Shore Acres State Park. (Oregon State Parks)

Shore Acres State Park is a jewel in the crown of the Oregon State Park system. Each year more than a quarter-million visitors drive 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay to visit the former palatial estate of timber baron Louis J. Simpson. The 745-acre park features five acres of formal gardens, including a rose-testing plot and Japanese Lily Pond.

ShoreAcres-SP-garden-RVT-743
Lily Pond, Shore Acres Garden. (Julianne G. Crane)

“During autumn, winter and spring, visitors gather on the tall sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean for storm watching and observation of the gray whale migration,” say park officials. Shore Acres is also an amazing place for kids because it includes a small beach on a secluded cove where they can watch elephant seals haul out to molt.

Read more in Julianne G. Crane’s article.


plug-700Split your 12-volt plug
. . . and get two USB chargers!
This incredibly handy device is specially made for power-hungry devices. Convert and increase your car cigarette lighter or RV 12 volt plug from 1 to 2 sockets plus get 2 USB ports, too! Wow, will this ever come in handy! Learn more or order at a discount.


gary-736Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

How to fix a broken RV window

Dear RV Doctor:
My living room window was broken when our deck table fell through it during a storm. Do you have to take the whole window out to fix it? It was the bottom window portion that broke. —Gail, Sebring, Fla.

Read Gary’s response.

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.


2016 The 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, 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 Gadgets and Gizmos

Protect your campsite from mosquitoes, other insects Burgess Insect Fogger
Here is a portable, lightweight, propane-powered fogger which kills mosquitoes, biting flies and other flying insects in minutes. The fog floats and penetrates deep into landscaped and brushy areas where mosquitoes hide – killing them on contact and creating a “mosquito-free” zone for up to six hours. This is the same effective system used by professionals to kill mosquitoes that may carry the Zika virus or West Nile virus. Learn more

Clean up messy spills with SpillFixClean up messy oil spills with SpillFix organic absorbent
Do you carry kitty litter in your motorhome to clean up spills from changing the oil, engine coolant or any other difficult-to-clean-up spill? Now there’s SpillFix Organic Absorbent. It absorbs much more than an equal amount of kitty litter and cleans right down to the floor. It is non-hazardous, can be disposed of in the trash, and is good for Mother Earth. Read more.

Read about lots more Gadgets and Gizmos.


bathroomcarrytote(1)Quick-Dry Hanging Toiletry and Bath Organizer
Keep all of your toiletries organized! The Carry All is perfect for the RV! It features 8 pockets to hold your accessories with a comfy handle and is made of durable mesh. Also great for the gym and school dorm. Learn more or order.


perplexed The Dying Art of Proofreading
In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS.


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.


Random RV Thought
Always be extra sensitive to the moods of your RV traveling partner. It’s good to count to 10 to calm yourself before responding to a remark that might make you angry. Living quarters are usually tight in an RV, so there is often no place to escape to when emotions flare … so be nice.


Easily brew a single 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.


libraTrivia
Libra is the only zodiac sign represented by an inanimate object.


slide-out-covers-655slide-out-guards-655Protect yourself and others
from sharp edges of RV slideouts!
Cut your head just once on the corner of a sharp RV slideout and you’ll race out to buy a set of these so it never happens again! Camco’s Black RV Slide-Out Corner Guards offer a simple solution to the danger posed by sharp corners on RV slideouts. Simply place them on each exterior corner of the slide to provide a cushion zone. They’re made of advanced UV-stabilized resin for long life. Easy to install and no tools are required. Learn more or order.


Worth Pondering
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” —Mark Twain


Trunk Organizer
Keep your car, SUV or RV organized with this handy organizer. Multiple compartments allow you to separate food, drinks, sports objects, tools, gadgets and work-related stuff, all stored in the same trunk yet separated. Four mesh pockets allow you to see through and easily access the frequently needed objects by making them quick to find. Folds flat to only a few inches, occupying very little space. Learn more or order.


Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PMReaders’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings

Happy Birthday!
•May 21: To Cindy from Joe. Thanks for helping make our “dream” come true. Can’t wait to get to RVing with you. Love you!
•May 22: To Erin La Grassa from Ron La Grassa. Best wishes on this very special day. Happy Birthday, Erin. Love, Ron & Sue
•May 27: To Ann from Tucker. Happy Birthday, Ma! Love ya! Let’s go camping.

Happy (belated) Birthday
•May 14: To Katlin Grapentine from Ellio. Happy birthday, sweetheart. Have a great, wonderful day and enjoy.
•May 20: To Sharon from Donald. Happy birthday with all my love.
•May 20: To Debra Murphy from Rob Murphy. Happy Birthday to my lovely RVing wife Deb.  May we have many more years of great camping and fun.


Happy Anniversary!
•May 22: To my sweetie Carol from your hubby Roy. Here we are 45 years later, I couldn’t be with anyone greater!

Happy (belated) Anniversary
•May 7: To Arthur from Diane. Happy Anniversary!!
•May 19: To Ana from Scott. Happy anniversary to my beautiful wife. Life with you is a great adventure.
•May 19: To Cathy from Mel. Honey, what a great ride for 54 years. Love you.

Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting.




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. RVtravel.com includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of RVtravel.com to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to RVtravel.com and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2016 by RVtravel.com

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4 thoughts on “RV Travel Newsletter: May 21-27

  1. Sue Whitten

    I like your information.

    1. RV Staff

      We like your comment, Sue. Thank you. 😀

  2. Robert T.

    On the subject of slow retracting leveling jacks. Was a good article and glad it was touched on. I replaced all 8 springs for my 4 jacks thinking that would be the cure. It wasn’t. Now I carry a hydraulic floor jack to aid in speeding the process as needed. Once I do that the jack goes home much quicker, nuts it annoying to have to do and sometime embarrassing.

  3. Ralph T Peti

    LOVE this weeks essay. My wife and I are amateur astronomers, stark-gazers if you will. We got into Class A RV-ing because we go to star parties and decided we are getting too old to sleep in a tent. The south and south-west are on our “bucket list” for full retirement so that we can see the sky as it was meant to be seen–no lights.

Comments are closed.