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Issue 758 • Week of Sept. 3–9, 2016
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With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
On Wednesday, I moved from my condo into a 32-foot Winnebago Adventurer motorhome which is now squeezed temporarily into a Seattle-area RV park about eight feet from neighbors on both sides. There’s a row of tall bushes in between, providing a sense of privacy. It’s very quiet. So all is good (for now).
What a challenge it has been moving from a home to an RV! I have a newfound respect for all those full-timers who have downsized before me. It’s hard getting rid of possessions. Mostly, it’s the little family stuff you fret over. “Oh, these were my grandmother’s book ends,” you think as you choose what stays and what goes. In the end, you give away what you can to relatives and friends and the rest to charity. It’s like playing the kid game “hot potato.” It’s like, “Okay, now this is yours so you figure out what to do with it when you don’t want it anymore.”
Leaving my condo was sad — so many good memories in 11 years. After my father died in Feb. 2008, I brought my 85-year-old mother to stay with me. We had five glorious months together. Her health was failing, poor thing. She’d have good days and bad days. But always, she would be her upbeat self — joking, laughing easily. One day I came home to find her lying on the living room floor. Music was playing softly on the radio. “What happened?” I asked. “I fall down and go boom,” she said, repeating one of her favorite silly expressions. She had been there a couple of hours, unable to get up. “I just listened to the nice music and waited for you.”
We had so much fun together. She was like my best buddy, who depended on me in her time of need. I came to think of her has my “little Ruthie” — more like a child than mother.
One beautiful, sunny morning in July, I left her at my place with my friend Mary, a nurse and family friend, to get away for 24 hours in my motorhome to catch up on writing. Mary was giving my mother a pedicure on the condo’s deck. At that moment, in the sun on a gorgeous Pacific Northwest day, my mother radiated happiness.
I kissed her and we said our goodbyes.
That was the last time we spoke. When I returned, she lay in bed, unresponsive. Two days later, she died in a hospital without ever waking up. My sweet girl was gone.
AND SO, TWO DAYS AGO, I stood on that very spot on the now-empty deck, reflecting upon the wonderful moment eight years earlier. Then, no more than a minute after locking the sliding glass door behind me for the last time, my phone vibrated: a text message from my real estate agent confirmed the condo sale had closed. It was no longer mine.
My new home is one-fifth the size and on wheels. Where it will take me I do not know. I do know it will be with the woman I dreamed about for decades but found only three years ago — a kind, happy, sometimes goofy travel partner who yearns like me to discover what’s around the next corner. Gail is “my missing piece.”
I don’t know how I got so lucky.
P.S. Heartland RV boasted this week of the new edition of its six-slide fifth wheel trailer. “The 3965DSS is exactly what retail customers are looking for today, innovative ways to maximize space, with open concepts and true functionality,” said Joel Eberlein, senior general manager in a news release. To which I say: “Really, six slides? Not four? Not five? Six?” To which I then think, “Six things to get stuck when you want to pack up and head out!” I’ll check out the rig in two weeks at the big RV show in Hershey and report back. Holy Moley! Six?
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
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Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Just 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.
What 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 the last issue of RV Travel Reader RVs.
RV Armor has tough skin!
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. Click the video to see our 2-day process in 6 minutes!
RV manufacturers are still riding a wave of good sales. Industry group Recreation Vehicle Industry Association reports July shipments of new RVs were up nearly 5 percent compared to July 2015. Motorhomes were up 12-plus percent; towables were up close to 4 percent. But mind the details: Class A motorhomes nosedived more than 10 percent, and sales of fifth wheels, truck campers and “pop ups” all shot down significantly. Keeping the market afloat – conventional travel trailers, Class C motorhomes, and Class B travel vans.
How many Americans own an RV? According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the number is now 8.9 million – up from 7.9 million in 2005.
The Washington State Patrol has released a dash cam video supplied by a witness to a trailer rollover accident which occurred last Saturday on Interstate 5 north of Seattle, Wash. The WSP wants to remind drivers, especially with trailers, to be extra careful this Labor Day weekend. Two people suffered minor injuries in the accident. Watch the video posted by the WSP in this article from komonews.com.
Wondering how the National Park Service is doing with its big 100th anniversary bash? If visits to Zion National Park are any indicator, a lot of us are joining the celebration. Year-to-date visitor numbers are up 16 percent compared to 2015, and as of July, 2.6 million visitors had poured through the gates. Managers are confident that the all-time record of 3.6 million guests will be topped by year’s end.
Traveling to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area? The Park Service says be careful with bats – recently a dead bat found at Lee’s Ferry tested positive for rabies. This was one of five dead bats in the area this year, and the first to show rabies.
California lawmakers don’t want to see the trademark name game that landed Yosemite National Park in litigation happen in their state parks. The California Senate unanimously approved a bill that would disallow concessionaires from claiming ownership of any name in a state park.
If visiting all of the country’s national monuments is on your bucket list, here’s another to add: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument came into being late in August. A land donation of 87,500 Maine acres to the government and a declaration by President Obama make it so, and this new “Maine Woods” monument already has a new park service website.
FEMA now describes the temporary housing units it ships to disaster areas as “MHUs” – manufactured housing units. As we reported last week, these aren’t RVs – more like “mobile homes.” In Louisiana more than 200 people are in line to get an MHU out of 100,000 folks who have registered with FEMA for assistance. A FEMA representative, William Nunn, compared Hurricane Katrina housing to the new MHUs this way: “In Katrina, I would say it was travel trailers, it was all hands on deck,” Nunn said. “These are federally-inspected mobile homes that we can rest assured are safe for the inhabitant.” Source: ksla.com.
RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match!
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 free shipping & returns, and 0% financing on any new EVELO.
Palisade, Colo., town officials claim heavy usage of the town’s water and sewer system is the fault of RV owners. As a result, a new ordinance says RVers can only camp on private land in the town for seven consecutive days, or up to 14 days in a year. The only exception is for RVing in approved parks. A $300 fine awaits violators, and up to 90 days in the slammer.
Tarantulas are out looking for love, and hikers in Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains are warned to watch out for the hairy spiders. Tarantula mating season has begun, and it will last through the end of October, the National Park Service said Thursday. Though they have fangs and carry poison, tarantulas are not considered a serious threat to humans. The spiders move slow enough that hikers can take pictures, but humans shouldn’t touch or otherwise harass the creatures, said Kate Kuykendall, a spokeswoman for the Santa Monica Mountains. Source: USNews.com.
Greg Gerber, editor of RV Daily Report, opened his most recent podcast with a story about his ordeal getting the oil and transmission fluid changed in his Winnebago motorhome. Oh, yes, he needed to get one of his automatic levelers unstuck as well. In the opening comments of the podcast, Greg explains the long, frustrating process of finding a place to do the work — more evidence of the lack of service facilities for RVs in America. Listen to the podcast.
If you pass a familiar-looking fellow driving a 45-foot motorhome, look close, it might be former House Speaker John Boehner, on the road campaigning for more than 20 House Republicans. States on his itinerary: Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If you thought it was getting harder to find space for your RV in public campgrounds, you may be right. Competition for space is getting greater, and California State Parks aren’t being left out of the game. To better appeal to Millennials, the state will be moving 750 “wedge cabins” into its parks over the next few years. These modern prefab cabins have a sleek, designed look, and will rent for considerably more than an RV slot.
RVers living at Sleepy Hollow RV Park in Andrade, Calif. – border town to Los Algodones, Mexico — got a rude awakening two months ago. The park’s owners gave residents until August 31 to pack up and move out. Many of them were in no position to move, so the Imperial County Board of Supervisors agreed to offer a one-time payment of $700 to each affected family to assist in moving. The Quechan tribe, which owns Sleepy Hollow, says it is selling off the property.
It’s a “go figure” situation with RV parking in San Jose, Calif. The municipal code prohibits living or sleeping in RVs on city streets. But the local news just turned up a dozen of the city’s police officers living in RVs in a city parking lot near police headquarters. The city blames it on a budget issue, which is forcing some officers to work 17-hour days. With those hours, and a horrific commute, some are snoozing “out back.”
This short video from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains what causes the defective Takata air bags and why millions of them have been recalled. It also tells you how to find out if your vehicle is under recall. Watch the video.
In a spot of clear thinking, the Denham Springs, La., city council has agreed to relax rules, allowing flood recovering residents to live in RVs outside their homes. The council will revisit the matter to determine how long to allow the practice to continue.
One of the most recognizable names in Class B motorhome history is returning. Chinook brand camper-vans, which ended production after 60 years in 2005 due to the bankruptcy of parent company Trail Wagons, Inc., will return to dealer lots in 2016. Chinook will debut its Countryside coach at the Sept. 14-18, Hershey, Pa. RV Show.
A single engine airplane plunged nose-first into the Rivers Edge RV Park in Sparks, Nev., Thursday, killing both people on board. Nobody on the ground was seriously hurt, although fire damaged several RVs. The park is a half-mile from a runway at Reno-Tahoe International Airport and in its flight path.
If your RV travels take you to Portland, Ore., it may be best to make sure you don’t look like you’re homeless. Police arrested Jeremy Kidwell, age 46, on “destructive device” charges after he allegedly tossed a bomb under an RV parked on a city street. Kidwell told police he was tired of homeless campers in RVs in his area. Happily, the bomb didn’t go off.
America’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.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Time to Hit the Road!
Thousand Trails Campgrounds are located in the country’s most desirable resort and vacation destinations. We offer a lifestyle of leisure and vacation activities, from quiet picturesque beauty to fun themed weekends. Most of our campsites are fully equipped with electrical, water and sewer hookups, as well as barbeque pits and picnic tables. We can accommodate a wide variety of RVs from pop-up campers to Class A motorhomes. So, get bookin’ this fall and click to receive 10% off your next RV stay!
RV Quick Tips
Important tip for novice RVers
New to RVing and buying a rig? Have the dealer give you a “walk through” and show you how everything works. Savvy buyers will videotape the demonstrations on stuff that may be difficult to remember with just a single demonstration.
Do your fridge door gaskets need replacing?
RV refrigerator doors need to seal firmly to keep the cold in. Close a sheet of paper (or a dollar bill) in the door, trapping it between the door and the seal. Now pull the paper out. If it comes out easily, the door gaskets may be dried out. Get replacement seals from the manufacturer — they’re not difficult to replace. Some slide into a groove, others are held with screws, still others glue in place.
Keep grease out of your gray water system, but just in case…
Grease buildup in your gray water system? Prevent it by not dumping grease down the drain. Work on fixing it by dumping distilled vinegar down the drain just before you hit the road — the sloshing will help cut the grease loose.
Unique 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.
Even the simple maintenance — Check your CO/propane detector!
Not only is it essential to check your smoke detector batteries, it is also critical to check your carbon monoxide and propane detector(s). With very little time and a modest monetary investment, it could very well save your life and others in your RV. Read this important reminder from Rich “The Wanderman.”
Motorhome Engine Braking 101: What’s slowing you down?
If you’re thinking about a big Class A rig, fired by a diesel engine, listen up. That great big behemoth is mighty comfortable, but once it starts rolling, it can be a challenge to slow down. Read more.
Can a tire pressure monitoring system save you money?
Daryl Lawrence of TireTraker Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems answers the question: “Will a tire pressure monitoring system save you money?” Plus, he tells you more reasons why a TPMS is a good investment. Watch the video.
Tips for slipping your rig into a narrow campsite
You will find many of the most scenic, nature-focused, and “nesty” campgrounds in national and state forests and parks. They often are the least developed, with small pads (but with lots of space), crowded by trees, rocks, bushes, or other natural objects. These campsites at times test our space perception and back-and-fill abilities. Find out in this article from Boondock Bob (Difley) how to park like a pro in a narrow campsite. Read more.
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.
How to prevent RV rollover accidents
Here is important information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on why rollovers happen and how to prevent them. Learn more.
Cold weather RV battery tips
Before you know it, the cold weather will be here (sorry). For RVers, when it’s cold out it can have a definite effect on our rig’s batteries. Cold batteries can result in more than just frustration — in some cases it can lead to a serious hit on the pocketbook. Read these great tips from Russ and Tiña De Maris on how to take care of your RV’s batteries during the cold weather.
What can be done about uneven heating in a fifth wheel?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question from one of our readers while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor regarding uneven heating in a fifth wheel. The furnace kept the bedroom and bathroom toasty, but the living area was cold. Read Chris’ response.
Dish 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.
Jayco recalls some RVs for defective shower curtains
Jayco is recalling certain model year 2013-2017 Redhawk motorhomes. The affected vehicles are equipped with shower curtains that may not adequately resist catching fire in the presence of an ignition source. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 302, “Flammability of Interior Materials.” Read more.
Heartland recalling travel trailers for fire hazard
Heartland Recreational Vehicles is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Wilderness and Mallard travel trailers, 2015-2017 Elkridge fifth wheel travel trailers, and 2017 Sundance and Torque travel trailers. The affected vehicles have an LED light on the front cap of the camper that may short circuit and overheat. Learn more.
Forest River recalls trailers over clearance issue
Forest River is recalling certain model year 2017 Cherokee travel trailers. The affected vehicles may have insufficient clearance between the bottom of the trailer and the top of the tire and, during use, the tire may make contact, possibly damaging the tire. Read more.
Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for August
The latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles and/or products of interest to RVers have been released by U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from Forest River (lots!), Heartland, Jayco, Keystone, Newmar, Thor, Tiffin, Winnebago and others — plus cars and trucks commonly used by RVers, as well as some tires. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Read more.
This week in history
Week of Sept. 3–9
Compiled by Dell Bert
1847 — Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond after two years.
1850 — California becomes the 31st state.
1936 — Buddy Holly is born.
1957 — “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac is published.
1997 — 2.5 billion TV viewers watch Princess Diana’s funeral.
2014 — Comedy legend Joan Rivers dies.
SnapPad – World’s only permanently attached jack pad for RVs
Install it just once, then leave it on — forever!
No more crawling under your RV to set up! SnapPad XTRA installs in seconds and will not retain any standing water. Widens your jack’s footprint on any terrain, yet dampens vibrations when you move inside your RV, giving a feel that’s solid, but soft. Compatible with LCI’s ‘Level Up & Ground Control 3.0’ leveling systems. Learn more here.
Here is an RV club/organization from our extensive directory which you may be interested in:
The fastest growing social network for RVers and RV wannabes. “RVillage provides a wonderful opportunity for RVers to connect, share and enjoy the RVing lifestyle.” —Kim and Don Greene, Harvest Hosts. “RVillage makes it super simple to connect with fellow RVers and schedule events as we travel. We LOVE RVillage!” —Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks On Tour.
Keep rodents out of your RV!
The overwhelmingly positive reviews on this make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets so no safety warning is required. 98% biodegradable. Tested and endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.
Bumper sticker of the week
On the back window of an SUV was a drawing of a dinosaur with four little dinosaurs, with the caption: “Your Stick People Were Delicious!” —Thanks to Gary Willey!
Funny/clever business slogan
“Your pane is our pleasure” —Hogan’s Window Cleaning,” Lake Havasu City, Ariz. [from a few years ago]
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com
RV 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 nation. This 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.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the list of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.
Websites of the Week
We like these websites. Check ’em out. More next week.
Here’s a sample: National Parks as seen from space
Current wildfire information
Up-to-the-minute wildfire updates in one U.S. interagency website. Select by incident or state.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Endorsed 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.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Evergreen Park RV Resort has offered some of the best luxury camping in Ohio since 2005.
• This camping recipe adds an exciting kick to a classic favorite!
• In this video, a veteran RVer demonstrates how to avoid making silly mistakes while you’re on the road.
Why you need to know
the height of your RV
This is why you need to know the exact height of your RV. In this case, the owner apparently didn’t, or he missed the sign noting the height of the overpass. It hurts to watch this. Don’t let this happen to you! Click the video to play (it’s short).
Liquefy 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.
Ask the RV Shrink
How to fix unknown (furnace?) squeak
Dear RV Shrink:
We have a squeak that is making me crazy. My husband has a hearing problem and does not hear high-pitched noise. I think it might be something to do with the furnace because that is when I hear it. Should we try to fix the furnace or my husband? —Annoyed in Annapolis
Locate services at Interstate exits
The 2016 Next Exit is the most complete USA Interstate highway exit directory ever published for every exit of major and most minor routes. Find what’s located at upcoming exits on your route — gas, food, lodging, camping, shopping, hospitals, Walmarts and much more. A best-seller year after year. Learn more or order.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
How much weight can we safely tow?
Your motorhome has a weight rating referred to as the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This is the maximum combined weight of the fully loaded motorhome and the fully loaded tow vehicle when weighed together. You never want to exceed this or any other weight rating. Another consideration is the amount of weight the hitch receiver on the back of the motorhome is rated for. The motorhome itself might have a tow rating of 7,000 pounds, but if the receiver is only rated for 3,500 that’s the most you can tow.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.24 (on Aug. 29). Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 27 cents.
Diesel: $2.41 (on Aug. 29). Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 11 cents.
and keep your RV steps safe
The RV Save-A-Step Brace is designed to be placed under RV entry steps for safety. It stabilizes the RV steps and helps keep the coach from rocking — preventing sag and wear. The brace is made of heavy-gauge steel with a 3/4″ solid metal screw thread, 1000-pound load rating and 7-5/8″ to 14″ adjustment range. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
RV Travel Reader Pets
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.
Keep robbers out of your storage compartments!
Did you know that many if not most keys to RV storage compartments are exactly the same — a key for your coach will open the storage compartment doors of others? So how do you keep your compartments secure from bad guys? Easy. Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, shows you how. Watch the video for a demonstation or order at Amazon.com.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
24-carrot condiment jewel.
This recipe makes a big batch, which makes it an ages-old potluck classic. However, it keeps for up to a month in the fridge so it’s also an ideal condiment to last through an entire RV trip for anyone. Cooked, fresh carrots are best but if you’re in a rush, open 3 or 4 cans of sliced carrots. Get the recipe.
‘Best club for motorhome owners!’
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is THE “best club, hands down, for motorhome owners.” That’s the word from RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury, who has been a member for 25 years! The group has many local and special interest clubs, national rallies, valuable member-only web content, and a wonderful monthly magazine. A normal first-year membership is $50 per family, but FMCA is offering a special rate of $40 to RV Travel readers who click this link to join.
App of the Week
Your own map of visited states
Would you like to have your very own map of visited states? Many travelers include this as part of their email signature, or in their blog posts or on Facebook. It’s easy and free. Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour explains how to do it.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. This Sunday’s topic is how to use voice dictation to type, dictate commands or requests, or create emails, texts or full documents; 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.
Find stores for shopping and overnight stays
This is an invaluable aid for RVers who occasionally spend a night in a Walmart parking lot. State maps identify where the stores are located in the USA. Detailed information includes city or town where each store is located, type of store (Walmart or Supercenter), availability of gas and diesel fuel, distance from Interstate if within 10 miles, and more. Published 2016. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
What to do about a leaky RV slideout
We purchased a 2004 coach three months ago. From the moment we got it the slideout has leaked. It has leaked so bad that the wood trim around the interior of the slideout has all been removed due to mold and the laminate on the dinette table is all buckled. My husband tried to put some sealant on the top of the slideout but it did not work. This is the first RV we have owned with a slideout and we are just beside ourselves. … —Chris A.
Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.
with Bob Difley
Barbecuing makes sense — especially when boondocking
You don’t need to be told to barbecue more in the summer. But it makes sense especially if you are boondocking, as barbecuing uses fewer cooking tools — no pots or pans to clean. You can also cook most vegetables on the grill. If you don’t have a wire veggie cooker, make a cooking pouch for the veggies from aluminum foil and throw on the grill. With a little practice you will find which veggies cook faster or slower. Also, for succulent, juicy corn-on-the-cob, wrap the husked ears in aluminum foil with spices and a tablespoon of water — turn often. Yellow and red bell peppers can be sliced lengthwise and cooked directly on the grill. Same with onions, sliced in half.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
This Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Lightweight Bagless Stick Vacuum is compact and it works great. Plus it converts to a hand vacuum in a snap! It’s the vacuum of choice in the RV Travel motorhome. Weighs less than 4 pounds. Learn more or order for about $20.
Gadgets and Gizmos
Dometic 12-volt fan-powered vent
The Dometic Group announced that it will show its new 1400 model 12-volt fan-powered vent, among other new products, at their 2016 Elkhart Open House Sept. 19 in Elkhart, Indiana. Using three amps or less of energy, its ceiling fan operation, lightweight design and increased structural support make it not only durable but also easy to service. Read more.
Protect 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.
Stupid quotes from yesteryear
“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” —Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist in his project to drill for oil in 1859.
Easy 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!
Videos you’ll like
Okay to mix tire brands on an RV?
So, is it all right to mix tire brands on an RV? RV tire expert Roger Marble offers his advice. Watch the video.
Can a generator be used while an RV is moving?
A webcast viewer asks Gary Bunzer, The RV Doctor, if it’s okay to use her generator to run her air conditioner while she’s traveling in her motorhome. Watch the video.
HOW TO WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEOS USING VERY LITTLE BANDWIDTH.
Random RV Thought
If you prefer quiet RV parks, when calling ahead for reservations ask if there are any railroad tracks close by. Same with busy streets. Many RV parks are on inexpensive land, and sometimes the reason is that they are near a busy street or railroad track. If trains run often, it can be difficult to sleep. Also, check out the location on Google Earth and get a bird’s-eye view of the area.
Keep burglars away with fake TV
The next time you leave your home or RV, turn on this fake TV to scare intruders away. At night, when burglars like to strike, from outside your home or RV the light mimics someone inside watching a 40-inch LCD TV, while using very little power. This is enough to scare most would-be intruders off. Learn more or order.
The original recipe of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s blend of 11 herbs and spices handwritten by Colonel Harland David Sanders in 1940 is locked up in a digital safe that’s encased in two feet of concrete. It’s monitored 24 hours a day by video and a motion detection surveillance system.
Keep your fridge in order when you travel
Tired of stuff moving around in your RV fridge after a day of driving? Maybe a carton of milk has fallen out on the floor one too many times? Camco’s RV Double Refrigerator Bar is designed to keep everything in place. It’s spring loaded to keep items secure. The bar extends from 16″ to 28″. And the good part is the price tag: around $5! (The RVtravel.com staff uses a pair of these in its RV!) The bars work great in your cabinet shelves, too. Learn more or order.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime.” —Mark Twain
Protect 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.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• September 7: To Bernie from Jim, Karen, Barni and Charlituna. Happy “70th” on September 7th up there in Virginia from your buds in central Florida!
• September 3: To Johanna from Steve. 65 years has gone too fast. It’s been a wonderful trip!
• September 3: To Kenny from Your partner and wife Candy. Thank you for 36 wonderful years of travel and seeing the world together. Here’s to many many more!! I love you more every day!
• September 7: To Janice from Bon [Editor: maybe Bob?]. Happy 48th Anniversary Jan. I Love You!!!!!!!
• September 8: To Patty from Ricky. Happy 26th Anniversary to my Best Friend and Camping Princess !!!!
• September 8: To Dan from Carol. Happy Anniversary to my best friend, my soul mate and my traveling buddy. What a long strange trip it has been for the 21 years we have been hitched. I love you.
Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting. (25-word maximum) Be sure to send it to us anytime prior to the Saturday before the big event.
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.
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.
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