RV Travel Newsletter, June 25 – July 1

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 748 • Week of June 25 – July 1, 2016

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

It’s really tough downsizing from a traditional home to a 32-foot motorhome for full-time RVing. That’s what I am doing these days.

Getting started is easy — you get rid of things like shirts, pants and jackets you never wear, dishes you seldom or never use, books and DVDs you’ve read or watched, and you toss or donate most of the miscellany from closets or the garage. 

I started downsizing eight years ago after my parents died. It took me three weeks to clean out their home. They had not touched 80 percent of their belongings in a decade. I vowed then that I would not put my daughter through the same ordeal.

In the years since, I have gradually cut my possessions by half. On days when I was in a mood to toss or donate things I would sort through my possessions like a madman and then drive it all to Goodwill. I have yet to want any of it back.

I have given away or donated nearly all my books, saving only some I have not yet read for the motorhome. I bought a big DVD binder and loaded up a hundred or more movies, using a fraction of the space of keeping them in their cases. Every time I go through my clothes closet I find another half dozen shirts to donate. I am down to five pairs of shoes. I have copied all my music to my iPod and donated the CDs.

Stan and some of his 50,000 record albums in the living room of his sinking house.

But now it’s getting tough. What remains are sentimental things. My sister, daughter and nieces have taken some of it — a painting of a deer my father painted when he was 18 and a crewel embroidery my mother made years ago. I tossed an 80-year-old “Mohawk Trail” pennant of my grandfather’s. I have thrown away nearly all my parents’ slides, saving only the ones of family members, which I am now digitizing.

I HAVE DISPOSED OF all my old story files — notes, photos, etc., of people or places I wrote about or planned to write about. It was difficult, for example, to toss the notes, news clippings and photos of Stan Kilaar, the record collector in Klamath Falls, Ore., who I visited and wrote about many times. Stan’s home was sinking from the weight of his 50,000 record albums. (Watch a video I made one visit). Today, Stan is gone and his former home a parking lot.

I will keep family photo albums, although I know one day my daughter will open them and wonder who all those people are. My mother, who kept the albums, rarely identified anyone. Even I don’t know half the people. I am gradually digitizing important photos.

rocks-748There are certain things that are really hard to part with. My father’s rock collection is an example. None of the rocks are valuable. They are simply small stones he picked up, most on his RV travels. He wrote on some rocks where he found them; others he identified on masking tape which he stuck to the rock. The tape has since hardened and come loose, leaving some rocks without identification. I’ll see if I can entice a family member to take the collection, but it will be a tough sell.

I will keep my father’s hairbrush. It is one thing I will not give up. After he died, I put the brush in a Ziploc bag, and then put that bag inside another. Once a year, on my father’s birthday, I open the bags for a few seconds. I close my eyes, concentrate, and for one brief moment I can smell my father. It’s a unique, very special way to feel close to him again.

Readers have written to me advising to forget putting stuff in storage lockers. “You’ll just get rid of it later,” they say. I have taken this advice to heart and have donated some things I have stored since my college days. 

Now, sitting in my condo, knowing my closets are nearly bare, I feel free — liberated from “stuff” I don’t need. What I’ll end up taking with me in the motorhome will be what is essential to my life.

In the end, “things” don’t matter. It’s our experiences, which turn to memories, that count. It’s our family and friends we keep and treasure — and full-time RV travel does not change that.


MILESTONE: Our RV Travel Channel on YouTube has surpassed 12 million views and 40,000 subscribers. This is a great source of information about RVing and the RV lifestyle. Check it out.

DID YOU MISS last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.

NEW CONTEST: We’re giving away three copies of the book Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos. See below for details and where to enter.

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 in this newsletter. Just click hereSee this week’s greetings near the bottom of this newsletter. 

presenting-738_edited-1Featured categories
You’ll find some good reading material here.
RVing with pets.
Full-time RVing.
Diesel engines.
Interior lighting.
Recent RV and RV-related recalls.
Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal.

Military240x172Dish TV Discount Program
for Military and Veterans
DISHForMyRV.com is your partner for getting DISH HDTV in your RV. We offer the hardware solutions including a wide variety of portable satellite antenna solutions. Our specialized agents are experienced with RV setups and equipment and are knowledgeable in the DISH Pay As You Go programming options. This month we are honoring our Military Active Duty and Veterans with our new Military Discount program. Learn more.

dime-738Is reading this newsletter worth 10 cents to you?woman-748
Our staff works hard to bring you an entertaining & informative newsletter every Saturday. The readers of the newsletter help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year is 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. Enter a voluntary subscription. Use a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

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!

Get Ready for
100 Days of Camping

That’s right! 100 Days of Camping have arrived this summer with the kick off of Memorial Day weekend. Woo Hoo!

Save 10% off of your RV or cabin stay at Thousand Trails Campgrounds and Encore Resorts.


Win the book Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos!

We’re giving away three copies with the winners picked at random. It’s easy to enter!  The contest ends June 28, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PDT, or when all prizes have been awarded. You can enter once, so do it now so you don’t miss out! You’ll know instantly if you win. It takes only about 20 seconds to participate. Good luck! Click here.

Didn’t win the contest? You can order the book here. It’s worth it!

Reader RVs


RV-Almasi-6-1-2016What RV do you drive or tow?
Send us a photo of your RV (and tow vehicle) with a 150-200 word description of where and how often you travel with it, and what you like or don’t like about it. Include your name(s) and hometown. We’ll post them to RVtravel.com. Send to assistant editor Diane McGovern at Diane(at)RVtravel.com .

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

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.

breaking-newsRV industry officials say the sudden (and surprising) demise of RV maker EverGreen RV may have left 287 workers in the unemployment lines, but these should soon find replacement work in the industry. Known for its I-GO travel trailer line, EverGreen had seen huge leaps in demand, but said it couldn’t secure needed financing to continue. Economic gurus in the Elkhart, Ind., area, near the company’s headquarters in Middlebury, feel that the now-closed production facility should sell soon to another RV builder and the idled workers put back to work. [As press deadline approached, it was announced that RV builder Dutchmen Manufacturing has purchased one of the former EverGreen sites and will create about 150 jobs.]

Photo: Consumer Product Safety Commission

FLASHLIGHT RECALL: Coleman Company is recalling some of their Lithium-Ion flashlights due to a fire hazard. Models CTAC20 (2000013874), CTAC40 (2000013873) and CTAC60 (2000013872) may overheat and catch fire. Remove the batteries and dispose of them at an appropriate recycling center, then return the flashlight to Coleman for a refund. Call 800-835-3278 for more information. 

Driving a diesel-fired rig? Get ready for changes in engine oil specifications, coming at you December 1. The old standard many are used to, CJ-4, will give way to a new CK-4 standard. CK-4 is said to withstand engine temperature breakdown better than its predecessor, and is fully “backwards compatible,” meaning you can use it in rigs calling for the CJ-4 standard. Another new diesel oil, FA-4, will be available for NEWER rigs, offering greater fuel economy. For the most part, these are NOT backwards compatible. All this is courtesy of government fuel efficiency standard tinkering. 

Steve Walser photographed this (“Roadmaster”) 1956 Roadmaster 21-foot Park Model. See more of Steve’s photos or purchase them as prints, on tee-shirts, etc. by clicking here. Photo © Steve Walser

The National Park Service will be installing 15 electric vehicle charge stations in California parks, thanks to a grant from the California Energy Commission. The latter granted $1.5 million to make the stations available, potentially in parks like Death Valley and Joshua Tree, where electric cars have a difficult time visiting due to a lack of plug-ins. The Park Service will consider distance, demand and other factors before settling on where the new stations will go. 

Officials with the San Juan National Forest (Colo.) say they’re up against a problem of the few ruining a good thing for the many. Closure of dispersed camping at La Plata Canyon, including La Plata City, Madden Creek and Miners Cabin, may take place because a few long-term squatters are leaving mounds of garbage and other waste behind, and the Forest Service says it can’t keep up with enforcement. It wouldn’t be a first – in 2015, several miles of dispersed camping along Lower Hermosa Road, near Durango, Colo., were shut down for the same reason. 

A Seguin, Texas, zoning commissioner got her comeuppance from local residents at a recent public zoning hearing. Pamela Centeno had put forward an ordinance that would have allowed riverfront property owners with vacant lots along the Guadalupe River to park their RVs on their lots for two weeks, up to six times per year. To keep it square, a permit would have been required. But Centeno’s move brought out the ire of flocks of folks who testified against the suggestion, some crabbing that it would take money away from local motels. Centeno’s fellow commission members shot the measure down, 5-1. 

Roanoke County (Va.) Fire and Rescue crews responded to a camper fire Thursday. Crews say they were able to contain the flames to the one RV and that it was caused by a lightning strike.

Troubled times for Louisiana state parks: State employees received notice that as many as half of state parks and historic sites could be closed if a possible 30 percent budget cut becomes a reality. State parks up for closure: Bogue Chitto, Grand Isle, Fairview-Riverside, Tickfaw, Lake Claiborne, North Toledo Bend, Cypremort Point, Hodges Gardens, Lake Bistineau, St. Bernard, Chemin-A-Haut and Lake Bruin. 

A former Keystone RV employee, Cheryl Lynn Everson, age 40, was recently sentenced in a theft case centered on her stealing some $600,000 from the company. Everson will spend two months in jail, seven months on electronic monitoring, and 39 months on probation, and have to pay back more than $600,000 in a plea deal that Keystone agreed with. Still, other Keystone employees told the court in Chambersburg, Penn., they feel Everson got off easy. One recalled taking less pay to help other employees during hard economic times, while Everson was getting cosmetic surgeries and buying season tickets with funds she siphoned away from their mutual employer.

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 free shipping & returns, and 0% financing on any new EVELO.

news524(2)More News

A Glocester, R.I., family got a nasty surprise when testing out their truck camper systems prior to leaving for a trip. After firing up what appeared to be the water heater, the owner walked away, only to find his rig burning later. Fire responders said they found a bee’s nest in the exhaust that had caught fire. The rig’s interior was “scorched.” 

Photo from Driving Miss Norma on Facebook.com

They’re still driving “Miss Norma.” In March we reported on the remarkable Norma Bauerschmidt who, when at the age of 90 was diagnosed with terminal cancer just two days after the death of her husband of 67 years, told the doctors to forget treatment, then joined her full-time RVing son and daughter-in-law. Now 91 and still going strong, Norma and family have logged close to 10,000 miles cruising about the country. Keep up with her remarkable story on Facebook, Driving Miss Norma.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is taking “civil asset forfeiture” to a new level. The practice, as defined by Wikipedia, is a “Controversial legal process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing.” Some of Oklahoma’s state troopers are now carrying an electronic device that allows them to seize money from prepaid credit cards. Officials say they’ll only do this on traffic stops where they feel they have “probable cause,” but State Senator Kyle Loveless says he thinks more than “probable cause” should be required. He says he’ll file a bill next year that requires a conviction before any assets can be seized – and not limiting the matter to credit cards.
An Arizona man may be suffering a form of separation anxiety after an RV crash worthy of a stunt show near Springfield, Vt. The Tombstone, Ariz., resident was driving his truck camper along Interstate 91 when he lost control, drove up an embankment, then went airborne for nearly 150 feet. On impact the truck camper stayed put, while the pickup continued on until smacking into trees. Jerry Shleis, 68, who was wearing his seat belt, was treated at an area hospital, and police cited him for driving off the roadway.
Photo: National Park Service

The George Washington Bridge – cited as the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge and which carries traffic between Manhattan and Fort Lee, N.J. – became one of the world’s slowest last Sunday. An RV traveling westbound on the bridge’s upper deck caught fire, closing all four travel lanes for a time. One wag who posted a photo showing stalled traffic with a huge plume of smoke in the background wrote, “Either the George Washington Bridge has just selected a Pope, or something is very wrong.” 

Last April, a 48-year-old man who parked his motorhome at a Billings, Mont., Walmart was brutally beaten by a gang of teenagers. Turns out, he hasn’t been the only victim of at least one of the ruffians. Johnny David LaFountain, 19, is up on charges in that case, and in four other assault cases. After posting a $30,000 bond in the Walmart case, LaFountain was recently charged with two more assault cases in Billings – and this time is sitting in jail while he figures out how to come with $80,000 more in bail. 

A few weeks back we reported on the incident of a camper who found human fingers on a picnic table at an East Grand Forks, Minn., campground. Police say they now think suspects in the case are of the feathered variety. It turns out a man was “involved in a fireworks accident” in the area several months ago. Authorities speculate that birds may have flown the fingers to the campground. They’re now checking for DNA evidence, as a fingerprint check from the dismembered digits couldn’t point the finger at anyone.

An RVer who got himself lost looking for camping buddies got more than he bargained for when he drove down the wrong driveway near Salem, N.Y. The RVer, pulling a trailer after him, mistook a driveway and encountered an angry homeowner, Brian Tschorn. Tschorn yelled for the RVer to get out of this driveway, and while the hapless RVer was trying to turn the rig around, Tschorn took a few shots at him. Both the trailer and the tow vehicle were hit, and Tschorn is up on felony reckless endangerment charges. 


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

The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi ! Seven day per week sales & technical support & over 12 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials

RV Quick Tips

Edna and Robert enjoy reading their RV Travel Newsletter every Saturday morning. “It’s the way we start our day,” said Edna. The couple met four years ago on Match.com. They like to camp along the coast, where they enjoy long walks on the beach.

Easy way to check trailer brake magnets
Not sure if your trailer brake magnets are working? Have an assistant hold an old-fashioned magnetic compass a few inches away from the hub. Step on the brake, and the needle should jump. No jump? Magnet isn’t working – neither is the brake – get help.

Only use distilled water in batteries
When topping off battery cells, NEVER use anything other than distilled water. Bottled water contains minerals (that’s why it tastes so good!). Bottled water may be good for your cells, but it’ll raise Cain with your batteries’ cells!

Easy storage and catch basins under sinks
“Plastic bins or boxes without their lids offer great storage under the kitchen or bathroom sink. Not only will they keep your jugs and bottles organized and upright, but if the plastic boxes are strategically placed under a water line joint or water filter, you have a catch basin should a leak develop. Guess how I know.” Thanks to Ken and Helen Kirkwood

RVArmorEPSLogoRV Armor has tough skin!Armor b4 after
RV Armor’s tough skin was featured recently in Trailer Life. Read the full story here. RV Armor offers a unique, liquid applied roof system that is Guaranteed for the Life of the RV! No more maintenance, seams or headaches. Nationwide mobile service. We come to you. To learn more, call 1-855-782-7667 or click here.

Why do I need a Tire Pressure Monitoring System?
Roger Marble, RV tire expert, occasionally runs into folks who say, “I check the air in my tires every morning, so I don’t need a TPMS.” Well, he strongly disagrees with that view and explains in this article not only why a TPMS is very important to have, but also the fact that it has been required by law in some vehicles since 2005. He also explains what he believes are the three main causes of tire failure in RVs. Read more.

Electric power: You pay for it — learn to read the meter
electric meterSpend any amount of time at all in a commercial RV park and you’re apt to get a power bill. But how do you know if you’re being billed for what you’ve actually used? In many parks, old-style clock-type electric meters are used, and many folks just don’t have a clue as to how to “read” them.  Here’s how to read a clock-type meter.

Scotty, we need more power — solar power, that is! — Part 2
In the second article in the series on installing new solar panels on his motorhome, Rich “The Wanderman” talks about the wiring, which is a little more complex than the original wiring since there are now six panels rather than three. Rich explains how to do it here.

A reader wonders why his RV’s batteries are boiling
A reader asked certified RV technician Chris Dougherty, while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor, whether his converter or transfer switch were bad because his batteries were boiling. Read Chris’ good news/bad news answer here.

parvshowimagelogoAmerica’s Largest RV Show runs September 14–18, 2016
See, compare and shop over 1300 new RVs from virtually every major manufacturer! Visit hundreds of vendors including campgrounds, accessories and services. Attend seminars covering subjects for the beginner to the seasoned RV enthusiast. Location is Hershey, PA. For more information, click here.

Generators: Less is more
The majority of boondockers own a generator for one reason: to keep their 12 volt batteries charged. Unfortunately, many don’t understand that bigger is not better when it comes to generators and battery charging. Owning and operating a larger generator can be a waste of space and fuel. For some advantages of a smaller generator, read this article from long-time RVer and boondocker Dave Helgeson.

How much weight can you haul on the back of a motorhome?
It is common for RVers to modify their coaches to carry various items on the back, including scooters. But it isn’t just about the GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It has to do with weights at each axle and wheel position, and what that added weight cantilevered off the back of the coach will do to the rest of the vehicle. Read more.

good-sam-roadsideDon’t get stuck along the road
Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance will come to your aid! See why half a million customers have signed on to Good Sam Roadside Assistance! Learn more.

RV “city water” connection yields no pressure. What to do?
What can you do when your RV has great water pressure and flow when pumping from the on-board storage tank, but when connected to the city water line, both the volume and pressure seem low? Find out here.

Where to find replacement RV window glass
How do you repair an RV window when the window maker is out of business? Here are a couple of suggestions from Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician. Learn more.

del-545This week in history
Week of June 25 – July 1
Compiled by Dell Bert

1953 — First Corvette built in Flint, Mich.
1967 — Actress Jayne Mansfield dies in car crash.
1985 — Route 66 decertified (although 85 percent is still usable).
1995 — U.S. space shuttle docks with Russian space station.
2003 — Katherine Hepburn dies at age 96.
2005 — Last Ford Thunderbird produced.

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

Put out your campfires — all the way out — folks. If not, they can come back to life, and that can cause forest fires!

Here are some RV clubs from our extensive directory which you may be interested in:

Lazy Daze Caravan Club
The Lazy Daze Caravan Club is a separate legal entity from Laze Daze, Inc. The only requirements for membership in the Caravan Club are to be an owner of a Lazy Daze motorhome and to have attended a caravan. There are no fees or annual dues required for caravan membership.

RVing Accessibility Group
Vision Statement: “To provide published and factual resource information to all people with disabilities, who are interested in, and capable of, enjoying recreational travel, discover accessible outdoor recreational facilities, including but not limited to the campground industry, that foster an overall environment conducive to dignity and independence.”

National Camping Travelers
The Masonic Family Camping Club of the National Camping Travelers is an organization dedicated to bringing Masonic families together for fun and fellowship. There are 61 chapters in the U.S. and one in Canada.

Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7_24_55 PMRV Parts
and Accessories

Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.

Bumper sticker of the week
Seen outside a pub in Kirkland, Wash.: “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” Thanks, Betty!

Funny/clever business slogan
Sign advertising a bar in Great Falls, Mont.: “Topless women, Free beer, False advertising.” Thanks to Ray and June Morgan!

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

30-amp-655Every RVer with 30-amp service should have this on board
Don’t use a wimpy extension cord! Get this!
Don’t be caught short when you hook up to power. And don’t use a wimpy extension cord that could get overloaded and damage your appliances or, worse yet, cause a fire. Camco’s RV 25-foot, 10-gauge, STW 30 AMP PowerGrip Electrical Powercord with handle is perfect for RV use. If your coach is wired for 30 amps, you need this. Learn more or order at a big discount.

Is your coach wired for 50 amps? Then here’s your cord.

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.

RV Safety
Why a young boy died by simply touching the family RV.
. . . and how to prevent it happening to you or your loved ones. Click.


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.

Good reading from RV123.com 629-rv123
There’s nothing better than a hot stew after a long day outdoors
Learn some useful storage tips to help keep your RV organized (video)
Discover a tropical paradise at Bluewater Key RV resort

Essential for big RVs!
2016 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

Hubby wants to repaint fading RV decals. Wife worried!

Dear RV Shrink:
I need help quick! My husband thinks he’s Rembrandt. Our motorhome decals have started to fade and crack. He got a bid last year in Arizona to have them removed and replaced for just under $4,000. With sticker shock in his eyes he began surfing the web for other options. All I have heard for months are methods others have used to fix the problem. … —Painted Lady in Lordsburg

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

battery-charger-655SAVE MONEY!
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small tester, for less than $7, will alert you instantly to the condition of your batteries, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with lots of life left! Works on AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries. Learn more or order.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Easy wiper blade tip
To assist in keeping your wiper blades clean and in top operating condition periodically clean them with some windshield washer fluid.

Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.35 (on June 20). Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Down 46 cents.
Diesel: $2.43 (on June 20). Change from week before: Down 1/2 cent (Well, at least it wasn’t Up!); Change from year before: Down 43 cents.

wal-mart-loc-748Walmart Locator: 
Find stores in the USA and Canada

This is an invaluable aid for RVers who occasionally spend a night in a Walmart parking lot. State maps identify where stores are located in the USA & Canada. Detailed information includes city or town where each is located, type of store (Walmart or Supercenter), availability of gas & diesel fuel, distance from Interstate if within 10 miles, & more. Published 2016. Learn more or order.

RV Travel Reader Pets dog and photographer - left
Do you travel with a pet? We’d love to introduce your pet(s) to fellow readers. Send a photo or two of Fido or Boots and a 150-200 word description of your furry friend(s), along with your name(s) and hometown to Diane(at)RVtravel.com .

Click here to see the last issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.

water-filter-677It’s Spring: Time to change your water filter!
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.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Molasses Mollies
Cookies to count on.

RV cooks can make this huge batch of homemade dough any time, at home or on the go. Then bake cookies as needed in the oven or toaster oven. They are good plain or with frosting. Make them in a dainty size to serve with tea, or make whoppers to turn into whoopie pies. Crumble cookies over chunky applesauce, nuke until warm and you have a cobbler. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at Amazon.com, including “The Survival Food Handbook,” available July 1!


leveler-698Easy way to level your RV!
The RVtravel.com motorhome packs along two of these and, boy, are they handy! Camco’s RV Yellow Tri-Levelers are designed to raise the RV up to 3-7/8″ on any tire for a more level position. The lightweight levelers are durable and have a resin non-slip surface with a load capacity of 3,500 pounds. Learn more or order for a great price!

App of the Week


Live stream your vacation with your Facebook friends
Have you tried Facebook’s new Live Streaming feature yet? It is so incredibly easy! Instead of just posting a photo of your vacation day, you use your phone’s Facebook app and tap the button that reads “Live Streaming.” Instantly, you’re able to talk to your friends and they’ll see the beautiful mountain behind you and the stream running by your feet. Or live stream to your RV technician as you try to repair something while the technician is telling you what to do. Learn more in this article from Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. This Sunday’s topic is “Freeing up space on your Smartphone,” plus more. Watch live or archives of past programs.

The special offer for RV Travel readers is back!
Become a member of Geeks on Tour and get a 20% discount. Click here.

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.

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

Where to connect fresh water filter

Dear Gary,
I am new to the RV world and have a question. Should our water filter go between the faucet and the hose, or between the hose and the RV? Or, does it not matter? Thanks. —Debi

Read Gary’s response.

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

water-pressure-655Protect your RV from damage
from high water pressure!
It’s hard to imagine any RVer not carrying one of these along on a trip to protect against damage from a high-pressure water hookup at an RV park. It happens often! And the damage can cost thousands to repair! This inexpensive, highly rated Valterra lead-free water regulator will allow 15 to 20 percent more flow than standard regulators. The orange plastic grip allows easy, screw-on installation and removal. Learn more or order.

bob-d-med399Boondocking tips
with Bob Difley

Look for clues about campsite security
When searching out a boondocking campsite, if security is your primary concern it is not enough to just choose a maintained access road, level site, firm surface to park on, adequate turnaround space, and no low overhanging A/C-whacking branches. Look also at your immediate surroundings: Is there evidence of the area being used as a hangout for the local party crowd (beer cans, trash), are there shady-looking squatters nearby, and is there another decent-looking camper nearby in case of emergency? If you don’t like what you see, move to a different campsite.

You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.

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.

Gadgets and Gizmos

Dashboard coverProtect your RV’s dash from damaging sun
Summer is here, and if you haven’t thought about it, the rays of that bright sun burning in your RV’s front windows are wreaking havoc on the materials that cover your seats and dash. Action Awnings & Upholstery has recently introduced an expansive line of custom dash covers to prevent damage to this vulnerable part of your motorhome. But what does a dash cover actually do? Find out here.

Seal Design's new Seal-Tite Corner Seal tape

Stop water leaks
with Seal-Tite Corner Seal
Water leaks into your RV are not something to be ignored as the potential damage can be expensive and time-consuming. It is important to stop leaks immediately upon discovery. There is a way to stop these leaks at the vulnerable corners where panels meet. Learn more.

2016 Traveler’s Guide
to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States
Learn how to prepare, carry & transport your weapons during travel in all 50 states, Canada & Mexico. Includes state breakdowns of firearms ownership, semi-auto gun ownership, castle doctrine, right to protect, open carry, concealed carry, state and national parks, permit reciprocity, loaded vs. unloaded, interstate transport restrictions, traffic stops, universal restricted areas, motorhome and RV issues, preemptive local laws & more. Learn more or order.

laugh-667Joke of the week 
A police recruit was asked during the exam, “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?” He answered, “Call for backup.” Thanks to Pete D.!

diesel-707Improve performance
of your diesel engine
Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost is a highly rated, technologically advanced, diesel engine performance improver that cleans injectors, boosts cetane and lubricates fuel injection components. The maximum horsepower formula restores lost power, smooths rough-running engines and improves fuel economy up to 8 percent. Learn more or order.

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PM

Where to camp for free with your RV
RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury discusses the most popular places. Watch the video.

How to choose a generator for RV camping
Here’s a good discussion from the folks at Long, Long Honeymoon. Watch the video

How to avoid the number one RV accident
Mark Polk shows you how to avoid the most common RV accident. Watch the video.


Random RV Thought
When using a public shower, like in a state park, always turn on the hot water before getting undressed. Sometimes, there will be no hot water. And if it’s a cold morning or evening, you will feel pretty stupid standing there naked with nowhere to go. Of course, if you are brave and have the cold tolerance of a polar bear, jump right in. Brrrrrrr. Good luck!

corps-book-748RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers manages more than 12 million acres of land and water nationwide. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the USA. This popular book will guide you to more than 600 Corps-managed campgrounds with sites suitable for RV camping on nearly 200 lakes around the country. Many RVers believe Corps campgrounds are among the best out there! Learn more or order.

There are 206 bones in the adult human body. Over half of these bones are in the hands, which have 54 bones, and the feet, which have 52 bones.


Which state is best
for a full-time home base?
The full-time lifestyle gives you the unique opportunity to choose any state to call “home.” But there are many factors to consider; a state with the lowest state income tax is not always the best option. This guide provides a wealth of valuable information to help you select the state where you will benefit the most. Learn more or order.

Worth Pondering
“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”Indira Gandhi

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 $12! Learn more or order.

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

Happy Birthday!
• June 25: To Barb from Larry. Happy Birthday. 65 years young and 46 years married. Love you, Larry
• June 27: To Marbeth from Pat. Happy birthday love for 69 more years.  Love, Pat
• June 28: To Jackie from Tom. Happy Birthday! 
June 30: To Charles from Nancy. I love you.  Have a happy, happy day!!!
June 30: To Jim Gene Uhl from Sandy. May the Lord continue to bless you with many more Happy, Healthy Birthdays. I’ll love you forever.

Happy Anniversary!
• June 30: To Sandy from Kenneth. Thank you Lord for 37 wonderful years  of marriage and RVing with my very special wife, Sandy. Happy Anniversary! 1 Corinthians 13:4–8
• July 1: To Connie from Jim. Happy 49th to my bride. Love you.

Happy (belated) Anniversary!
• June 20: To Betty from Brad. Another year with an angel! I love you!
June 24: To Donna from David. This makes our 27th year of marriage. Happy Anniversary, and hopefully many more to come.

Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting. (20-word maximum)

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. 

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



22 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter, June 25 – July 1”

  1. Martine

    The more you own the less free you are!

  2. Tom Boyte

    Good luck on the downsizing and life change. My wife and I made that move back in 2007. We sold our home in Sonoma County Calif. and hit the road. After 5 years of traveling around and constantly having to get our new Keystone 5th wheel repaired nearly each time we used it we gave up the full time life.
    We bought a home in a RV/Golf resort in El Mirage AZ. so we have lots of RV friends around but also the convenience of a full size home. I found it easier and cheaper to stay in motels when traveling. The 5th wheel is “moored” in Door County, Wis. for visits to family.

  3. James McLarty

    I have not been reading the news letter lately to bissy . I enjoyed trying your contest to test my knowledge but can’t any more as I live in Canada I am disappointed do love the reading rv travel and am a subscriber for several years .

  4. Ron

    Hi Chuck . . . Downsizing was extremely difficult for us. We started in early 2014, got rid of much of our stuff and put the “keepers” in storage. Then we sold our house and hit the road. After seven months, we returned, bought a smaller house, took our stuff out of storage and re-purchased most of what we gave away a year earlier. We experienced “full-timing” but it didn’t work for us. We still travel a lot in our Winnebago but missed our house, attachment to the community and our local friends and family. I’m sure you’ll do better than we did.

  5. John Zurflueh

    Excellent piece Chuck on clearing out for full time rv’ing. That was exactly our experience except for Dad’s hair brush; good idea. Proof positive that most everyone has too much clutter!

  6. Ed Meyer

    Sure would like to see the “Weekly Poll” resurrected. It was interesting seeing how I stacked up with my fellow RVers. Otherwise, great reading and informative. Look forward to Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee and reading the weekly RV Travel Newsletter.

  7. Drew

    Hi Chuck, I’m still looking forward to seeing those polls back in RV Travel again!



  8. Jeff Johnson

    A while back I saw a video about safety and lightening strikes in RV’s. The gentleman giving the advice said that a metal RV is safer than a fiberglass one and he is comfortable in his Airstream trailer. My question: How safe is a metal framed motorhome with a fiberglass outer shell?

  9. Tom GIamanco/Jordan

    Chuck, love the downsizing post! We went through the same kind of situations with all our stuff! We did a video about it: https://youtu.be/eSii7WH_nR4 We’re still in our first year on the road and still finding stuff we just don’t need! 🙂

    Thanks for the weekly GOOD STUFF!

    Tom and Lori

  10. Jeff McClintick

    Three items{
    The first is that the double arrow at the top right of the page is not truly random. On my computer, the arrows always point to “RV Travel Reader Travel RVs, June 25, 2016.
    Second item is that the advertisement for Guide to Free Campsites is hiding the left hand side of articles on the screen with no way to get rid of the pop-up?.
    Finally, reading the newsletter is the first thing I do after breakfast. Can’t wait for Chuck’s editorial, the week’s news is always entertaining and sometimes helpful and searching for archived articles is great.

    thank you.
    Jeff McClintick

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Jeff, is that the long, skinny ad for the book Guide to Free Campgrounds? If so, that is not designed to be a pop up and should be causing no problem. I suspect it is something else. If there is anyway to tell me more about the ad — its url or even better yet a screen shot, that would help me get rid of it. On what device are you reading the newsletter — computer, tablet, phone, etc.? If it’s a computer, you should try using a different browser. Sorry about the hassle. — Chuck

      1. Lynn Hudgens

        Same thing on my view. Will send you a picture of the page via your email.

  11. Pete linn

    Chuck, excellent post on downsizing, very heartfelt and full of good ideas, based on experience. While we don’t think we’ll be fulltiming anytime soon if at all, my wife and I are attempting the hard start of getting rid of stuff. I commend you on a job well done! Pete

  12. Curtis King

    Hi Chuck……..I also sent you a check for $150 as a contribution a few months ago but have never gotten anything from you indicating receipt……it was an electronic on line check so all I see is the deduction in my account but no canceled check or that you actually received it and cashed it.
    Curtis King

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Hummm. . . I’ll need to check, Curtis. That was very generous of you. I should have noticed. Maybe it came in when I was traveling, but even so I would have been notified (most people give $5 to $10, so this would have stood out to my staff). I’ll check our records when I get to the office. Thank you so much for your generosity!


      1. Curtis King

        I looked back and it was on 3/17/16 that it should have gotten to you. I have been subscribed to your newsletter since before we went full time going on four years now, so divide the $150 over say five years…..we are in an 08 American Eagle diesel pusher…..42C, and have gotten good value from your publication.
        Curtis King

        1. Chuck Woodbury

          Thanks, Curtis. I’ll go back through our records when I get to the office. But, again, thank you sooooooooo much for your generosity! — Chuck

          1. Ted Miller

            As I read your downsizing article and I said, “That’s us!”‘ Our story is to long but we can relate so much. We are in the process of selling my business, and prepping the home of 31 years for sale, and getting rid of almost all our “prized” stuff. We are looking at pulling the RV up in front of the house and packing what we think we need for a vacation. 73 years of paper photos will be minimized and put on digital media. Then it’s estate sale time followed by Goodwill. You see, we are out’a time an got’a go. Thanks for the great article.

          2. Chuck Woodbury

            Ted — good luck. We are just about done with unloading our “stuff.” Hope to see you on the road. — Chuck

  13. Ed Dmochowski

    Good morning Chuck,

    I sent another contribution in this year and again received no confirmation that you received it. Please confirm you did. I am not looking for a thank you. Just wanted to make sure that it got to you. I will continue to donate each year, as your column provides a wealth of information for the new, as well as the experienced rv’ers.. Thanks for keeping us informed!

    Ed & Robin

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Hi Ed and/or Robin. I will check and let you know. We try to send out thank you letters to everyone, but I know we miss some people sometimes (mostly due my not being the most organized person in the World!). Thanks very much for thinking of us with your support. We appreciate it! — Chuck

    2. Chuck Woodbury

      Ed, I couldn’t find any evidence that we received a “voluntary subscription” from you this year. Did you by any chance send it by check? If so, it may take me awhile to find it. However, if you did, I would assume it would show up in your checking account register. Please let me know how you paid — Paypal, credit card, check. That will help me track this down. I’m at chuck (at) RVtravel.com .

Comments are closed.