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Issue 761 • Week of Sept. 24–30, 2016
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
I’m feeling pretty good about my recent RV purchase. My 2011 Winnebago Adventurer (32 feet) suits me well, and my partner Gail is so happy it’s like she died and went to heaven.
As you may know, I just returned from Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of America’s largest RV show. More than 1,300 RVs were displayed. I bet I stepped inside at least 300. I saw many great features and also some head scratchers, as in “That is really stupid!”
There were big ol’ Class A motorhomes with price tags of $400,000 and others for $110,000 that looked about the same. Most RVers buy based on how pretty a coach looks and its floor plan, so if a 36- or 40-foot RV sells for only $110,000 you better figure there are lotsa production shortcuts you can’t easily see, and that it’s built with a lot of cheap, crappy parts from China.
Last week I wrote about the trend of one-and-a-half bathrooms. Two days later I received a news release from Thor bragging about its new Miramar Class A motorhome with two full baths! Yikes!
MY CRYSTAL BALL:
I predict the first RV with a built-in hot tub will roll off the production lines in late 2018. I’m also predicting that a pop-up, hard-sided two-story RV is in the works. In addition, I’m anticipating the debut within three years of an RV with telescoping leveling jacks that rise a full seven feet, so that at the push of a button, a roomy basement appears, complete with bunk beds and game room so little Jacob and Sophia need never go outdoors, just occasionally ride the elevator upstairs for a meaningful conversation with Mom and Dad.
I’m also predicting that by early 2018 the first production RV will debut with a 90-inch outdoor TV with Dolby boom box speakers that will shake not only the RV parked next door, but those a mile away.
MY WINNEBAGO is modest by luxury RV standards. It’s short — a lot of full-timers would say they couldn’t squeeze into 32 feet without eventually strangling their partner. But, no problem for Gail and me. We never — ever — talk of strangulation. We like the homey feel of our RV’s living space. Our two slideouts allow room for us to pass without whacking each other, which is a plus to a healthy relationship.
I swear, some of the interiors of the new “luxury” RVs — especially motorhomes — look like seedy Las Vegas hotel rooms. I mean, what good are wall-to-wall mirrored ceilings? Do I really care what the top of my head looks like?
I’m going on record right now as saying that by the time next year’s Hershey Show rolls around, there will be an RV with two-and-a-half baths, and one with seven slideouts, up from a few six-slider models today. I predict models with six televisions, two outdoor showers, and a Maxwell Smart-inspired Cone of Silence for family arguments.
In three weeks, Gail and I will hit the road. We’re still stuck in an RV park near Seattle waiting to finish up some dental work. Then, we’re putting away the dishes, pulling up our automatic levelers, retracting our two slides and hitting the road south, away from the rain, on the way to many thrill-packed adventures.
I’m one excited guy, and my partner is even more excited. Sometimes I want to say to her, “Gail, just calm down!”
Over and out until next time.
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
My 2008 Winnebago View is still for sale (on consignment) at Valley RV Supercenter in Kent, Washington (just south of Seattle). It was a great rig for me, just not big enough for full-timing. See the listing.
In my Roadside Journal: Want to buy an RV park? It can be yours for a mere $8.2 million. Read my short story.
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Forest River recalling some Viking trailers
Forest River, Inc., is recalling certain model year 2017 Coachmen Viking recreational trailers manufactured May 31, 2016, to August 23, 2016. The affected RVs may be missing a wire clip that retains the gas lift roof struts to the mounting bracket. Read more.
Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!
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.
Exclusive Offer: Expand Your RV Protection Education!
RV repairs are common, complex and costly! Learn how to save big and make confident RV repair decisions with our free RV Webinar series. Secure your RV education here, and pick up insider tips on protecting your life on the road, straight from the RV Warranty Experts at Wholesale Warranties.
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 this week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.
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.
Billed as America’s Largest RV Show, the big RV show in Hershey, Pa., brought in record crowds. September 14 through 18 were open to the public, and a historic number of folks attended the show — 57,692 of ’em to be precise, about 5,000 more than last year.
The expression “a sea of RVs” could be more than just poetic in Syracuse, N.Y. On Monday, as the state fairgrounds were preparing to host an RV show, an untimely rainstorm dumped enough water on the grounds that some dealer show stock was “up to the axles” in water. The show slated to begin Friday, September 23, will reportedly go on.
We reported earlier that camping at Craters of the Moon National Monument (Idaho) was shut down for campground improvements. With the work completed, camping has resumed in the unique park, and will continue until enough snow flies to shut it down for the season.
Call ’em “Smokey’s Helpers.” When an illegal campfire turned into a wildfire at Panther Meadows campground near Mount Shasta, Calif., campers jumped in to help save the day. Forming a sort of bucket brigade, a line of 25 campers used water containers and pails in concert with watered down sleeping bags to help slow the fire until paid firefighters arrived. The fire lived only about an hour and was held to a frugal tenth-acre of area.
Need a temporary home where the buffalo roam? Check out South Dakota’s Custer State Park from September 29 through October 1. Those days mark the annual buffalo roundup. The park’s herd of buffalo (OK, they really are bison), now numbering 1,300, is typically culled down to around 800. It takes cowboys, horses and, of course, spectators to make it all complete. Trouble is, as of press time, no campsites were available during the roundup, according to the state park reservation system.
News reports about RVers camping at Walmart are often peppered with feisty comments from irate RV park owners who take a dim view of “Camp Walmart.” Here’s a switch: During Pendleton, Oregon’s annual Round-Up rodeo, Walmart turns over a portion of its parking lot to a high school group to operate a “donation” RV park. Other RVers park on side streets and on vacant lots. Meanwhile, local RV park operators are forced to fork over 8 percent of their RV rental rates for a “transient tax.” Are they beefing about it? Nope. Quoted by local news media, one RV park owner said, “We just work hard, keep our heads down. We want to add to the solution, not the problem.”
Vista Hills, Ky., city council members are struggling with “a can of worms,” in the form of RV parking proposals. After years of admittedly having no complaints about RVers parking their rigs at their homes, council members now want to regulate the issue. One suggestion: Allow a rig to be parked at the residence for up to 72 hours — then it must be gone. Another proposal: Don’t allow parking at all. It appears the 72-hour proposal is gaining traction, but one councilman says he has “heartburn” thinking about what the legislation will mean for owners of small RVs who can’t afford to pay to store them off their property.
Delaware’s Cape Henlopen State Park has closed down its campground until sometime next year. The closure is to allow for renovations including new sites, additional electrical hookups and a new campground store. It’s all part of a $3.5 million three-phase project. Two phases have passed — creating new bath houses and adding a few camping cabins.
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.
Bears and buffalo? Actually it’s buffaloberries, or Shepherdia, that the bears are liking. The somewhat sour-tasting berries are drawing bears to four Canadian campgrounds – Lake Louise (Banff), Marble Canyon (Kootenay), Kicking Horse and Monarch (Yoho). To keep the bears at bay, parks officials are removing the Shepherdia bushes in the campgrounds. Fear not, the bears won’t starve — the total number of bushes removed amounts to a tiny fraction of the available crop.
Say hello, Dolly? It’s a definite maybe, at least for the Dolly Copp campground in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. With 177 campsites, Dolly Copp is the largest campground in the forest. But for a few years major renovations will be underway, so for the time being, the campground is off the reservation system and will be “first come, first served.”
A Nova Scotia national park, Kejimkujik, is getting a big financial boost: The Canadian government is pumping almost $4 million into improvements, including new fresh and waste water systems in the campground, and new and improved trails.
As of September 21, 22 fires have burned more than 62,000 acres in Yellowstone National Park, making it the highest number of acres burned since the historic 1988 fire season when approximately 800,000 acres burned. Seven fires were the result of human activity such as campfires not being put out, vehicle operations or improper cigarette disposal. Fifteen fires were caused by lightning strikes. Source: National Park Service
Got plans to visit friends in Priest River, Idaho? If you’re taking your RV, keep the visit short or else they’ll have to pay for a permit for you to stay. The city’s council voted that permits will be required for anything more than a three-day stay over starting January 1. The council was quick to point out they didn’t pass the ordinance as a money maker.
Keep insects and
bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV when they enter through its vents, interfering with air flow and causing serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Got a yen to release your inner Tarzan? Head on over to Dawsonville, Ga. Amicalola Falls State Park just opened a new “aerial adventure park,” complete with 11 zip lines and suspension bridges that will give you a whole new perspective.
A Telfair County, Ga., man may be rethinking mixing RVing with modern technology. Robert Hart had just returned from an RV trip and was washing down his travel trailer. To make the job easier, he was listening to some hot tunes, played courtesy of his Samsung Galaxy Note7 cell phone charging inside the rig. Hot tunes, indeed — Hart looked up from his labors to see smoke pouring from the RV, and within minutes the rig was reduced to rubble and his pickup truck, still attached, was seriously damaged. Seems the phone was under recall for a fire hazard. Samsung told Hart they’d take care of him, but Hart is waiting to see if “taking care” includes the $45,000 RV, plus the pickup truck. And — how about a new phone?
A tent-camping couple at Napa County, California’s Lake Berryessa got more excitement than they bargained for over Labor Day weekend. Erick Thompson and Adriana Castro woke to sounds of bashing at 1:30 a.m. On investigating, they found their Smart car had been badly beaten. A couple of strangers who also heard the noise and offered to assist, mentioned they’d seen a strange vehicle in the area. They tracked down the vehicle — and its owner — and crept up through the underbrush to hear the man bragging about damaging the car. Not only did they hear it — they recorded it. Police later booked the man on felony charges. Despite the outcome, authorities say they don’t recommend “do it yourself” stealth detective work.
Operating an RV park involves a lot of details. Robert Owen, who owns Lightner Creek Campground near Durango, Colo., can tell you the devil is in those details — and it could cost him $5,000 for messing them up. Colorado’s public health officials have issued a $5,000 fine against the park for failing to submit monthly sewage discharge reports. Owen is appealing the fines, asking for a reduced bill.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Buying an RV? Helpful Web resources
Experienced RVers agree: Do your homework before buying an RV. It’s 2016 and RV manufacturers are cranking out RVs faster than ever: More than 400,000 new models will be sold this year — an all-time record. In way too many cases, those RVs are leaving the production line with serious problems. Read how to make a well-informed purchase in this article from RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.
Google your way to RV repairs
In the early days when many of us were just starting our RV lifestyle, keeping our RVs repaired usually required a trip to the RV tech or mechanic, knowing it was going to take a chunk out of our wallets. Or we’d seek help from a friend or go to the library and pour over repair manuals. But that all changed with the internet age. Learn more in this article from veteran boondocker Bob Difley.
Sewer hoses: Lacking honor but we all gotta have one
Sometimes things that have “a purpose lacking honor,” such as sewer hoses, are still necessary. Read about Russ De Maris’ unfortunate (and disgusting) “learning experience” before you make your next sewer hose purchase. Read more.
Tips about maintaining RV tire pressure
Walter Cannon, of the RV Safety and Education Foundation, explains the importance of keeping RV tires properly inflated, and how to best do it. Watch the video.
Loud air conditioner next door: What to do?
We received a letter from RV Travel reader Neida Perrie asking for advice about a very loud air conditioner in the motorhome next door. What would you do in her situation? Read her letter and, if you have some advice, please leave a comment below the article.
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.
Our popular “No Shock Zone” series revisited
We’re taking another opportunity to bring your attention to our 12-part series by electrical expert Mike Sokol on RV electricity and RV electrical safety. Since we first ran this six years ago, we have received letters from readers saying that the information saved them from injury or even death. We urge you to take the time to read this. It is very important. This is Part 1; we will run one installment per week.
When your friends actually like you:
Driveway surfing with benefits
This past week Rich “The Wanderman” took a trip to see his long-time friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee. They have nearly 200 acres with amazing views and rolling fields. They supplied water and a 30-amp RV power circuit for Rich’s RV. They must agree with Rich’s assessment: “RVers make the best house guests … they bring their own house!” Read more.
Carry a spare tire on a Class A — safely and usefully
There’s one thing that many Class A motorhome owners don’t have that plenty of other RVers do have — a spare tire. And that could cause lots of problems, not to mention extra expense, for the RVer. But there may be a solution. Tow bar manufacturer Roadmaster has a spare tire carrier specifically designed for big motorhomes. Plus, the carrier has a patented hinge system to help maneuver the tire. Learn more.
How to deal with unwanted noise
In this day and age of RV parks with tightly packed campsites, unwanted noise can be irritating, or worse, keep you awake at night. Here from RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury are a few ways to get rid of unwanted noise or at least mask it. Read more.
Troubleshooting Onan genset “won’t-starts”
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received the following inquiry from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader reported she was having a dilemma with her Onan generator: It wouldn’t stay running no matter what, and no one could figure out the problem. Read Chris’ suggestions.
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.
This week in history
Week of Sept. 24–30
Compiled by Dell Bert
1889 — Wyoming legislators write first state constitution granting women right to vote.
1901 — TV host Ed Sullivan is born.
1907 — Gene Autry, “The Singing Cowboy,” is born.
1941 — Ted Williams becomes last player to hit .400.
1955 — Actor James Dean, 24, dies in car accident.
1982 — Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six, leading to tamper-proof medicine bottles.
2008 — Screen legend Paul Newman, 83, dies.
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.
RV Club of the Week
Here is an RV club/organization we like. We hope you do, too!
Cummins Power Club
Cummins Power Club members receive 10% off parts and service for their Cummins engine or Onan generator. There is also an engine assistance phone number and a website with newsletter, promotions, engine care and maintenance guides. [Not a “social” club.]
Light up your RV with Boogey Lights!
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.
Bumper sticker of the week
“Ever stop to think and forget to start again?”
Funny/clever business slogan
“Here today, lawn tomorrow” —Oregon Turf & Tree Farms (slogan from a few years ago, but the company is still in business)
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com .
No more roof leaks, for life, guaranteed!
Now with locations in TX, FL, MS, AZ and NC!
RV FlexArmor® is a sprayed RV roof that is 187 mils thick, has no more caulking joints and is the proven RV roof alternative for over a decade. Guaranteed not to leak for your RV’s lifetime! “Your company gets an A+.” —Marsha G., customer. Click to see our new video from the FMCA family reunion in Perry, GA.
•Click here for more information at our website, or call 1-844-FLEXARMOR.
•Click here to visit our Facebook page.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the Web’s best directory 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: AAA Digest of Motor Laws.
Current wildfire information
Up-to-the-minute wildfire updates in one U.S. interagency website. Select by incident or state. There are currently 116 wildfires burning, not counting “Prescribed Fires” or “Burned Area Emergency Responses.”
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
WINTER IS COMING
Stock up on RV antifreeze at a great price!
Prestone RV Waterline Antifreeze is ideal for winterizing RVs and other types of potable water supply systems. It features burst protection to -50 degrees Fahrenheit, a non-staining dye, and a ready-to-use formula. It does not need to be diluted.
Learn more or order at a great low price.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Galveston Island RV Resort combines the relaxing vibe of a beach resort with state-of-the-art amenities.
• Since 1992, Passport America has been the original 50% Discount Camping club.
• Prepare for your next big hike by making these healthy and delicious fruit and almond bites.
Avoid moisture damage to your RV
DampRid FG50T Hi-Capacity Moisture Absorber, 4-Pound Tub eliminates musty odors in RVs and other spaces, protecting them from moisture damage for up to 60 days in areas up to 1000-square feet, and up to 6 months in a 250-square foot area. Don’t let your rig get damaged from moisture this winter. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Disillusioned new solar panel owner seeks advice
Dear RV Shrink:
We just bought two solar panels for our motorhome. My husband said it would eliminate the need for hookups. We spent almost $2,000, and now two weeks later he wants electricity.
We have been parked in Montana for two weeks in a national forest campground. Mostly it has been cloudy and rainy. I guess he didn’t plan thoroughly enough. Our batteries have slowly died until last night everything shut down. So much for solar.
Am I being too hard on him? Do most people find these sun catchers sometimes helpful? —Mostly upset with a slight chance of forgiveness in Lincoln
Extend the life of
your wiper blades!
Over time, pressure on your wiper blades during storage can cause them to break down and crack. Camco’s Wiper Stand-off Wedges lift the wipers and remove the pressure, helping to extend the life of your blades. Perfect for RVs in storage. Simple to use. Learn more or order at a great low price.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Be cautious with your drinking water
You never know the condition or quality of potable water at various campgrounds. Always use a water filtration system to filter the drinking water in your RV, or take bottled water with you for drinking.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
RV Travel’s favorite
Waste Digester & Odor Eliminator
Pure Power Blue has long been the favorite toilet treatment in the RV Travel motorhome. Just add a mere two ounces of the biological enzyme/bacterial formula per 40 gallon black or gray water tank treatment. Accepted at all campgrounds and enhances septic tanks. Highly recommended. Learn more or order.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.23 (on Sept. 19). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 10 cents.
Diesel: $2.39 (on Sept. 19). Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 10 cents.
Essential for big RVs!
2017 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.
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. (New issue next week.)
Prevent hose crimping and strain
. . . and extend RV hose life
This 90-Degree Hose Elbow eliminates unnecessary stress and strain on all RV water intake hose fittings. The elbow, with an easy-grip connector, is made of brass and is lead-free. Learn more or order for a great price!
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Almond Sticky Cake
Sweet nothing: Easiest gourmet dessert yet.
Part cake, part candy, part cookie — this sticky quickie dessert whisks together in minutes. It’s rich; a little goes a long way. Get the recipe. (Editor: Yes, it’s as quick and delicious as Janet says.)
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.
RV Fire Safety Tip
Fuel safety tips
Gasoline and propane can pose an immediate, explosive danger. Though diesel fuel is less volatile, it dissipates more slowly, so it remains a danger longer. Deal at once with any leaks or spills, and use all fuels in adequately vented areas. Courtesy: MacTheFireGuy.com
Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.
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, inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to the condition of a battery, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
RV Quick Tips
Be careful storing valuables
in outside storage compartments
Always lock your RV when you’re not physically at the campsite. Do not store valuable equipment in outside storage compartments. Believe it or not, many RVs use the exact same key as yours for outside storage compartments. If you store valuables like golf clubs, fishing gear or tools in the outside compartments you may want to have the storage compartment locks changed.
Slideout marks on floor or carpet?
We received this slick tip from long-time RV Travel reader Tim Slack.
“We started getting wear marks in the living room carpet from our slideout. I didn’t want it to wear a groove in the carpet. While at an RV service center, I was offered two strips of Teflon about 5″ x 32″ x 1/4″ thick. Each has nonskid backing. Now before I bring in that slide, I place the strips on the carpet where the marks were beginning to show. The slide glides in along the Teflon strip and then rests on it while we travel. When we’re setting up again, push the button, the slide glides back out and I stash the thin strips until next time. No more marks. My Teflon strips cost about $25-$30 total. And they’re thin enough to not disturb the adjustment of the slide. Problem solved.” Thanks, Tim!
Save money outfitting your RV kitchen
Do you need pots, pans, dishes or silverware for your RV? You have several choices. The most common way is to stock up at your nearest big box store. The second is to borrow from your supply at home (few RVers do this). The third choice, which will save you a lot of money, is to visit Goodwill or another thrift store to buy what you need. It’s easy to supply a kitchen this way and you’ll pay a fraction of what you’d pay buying “new” — and your purchases will support a worthy cause.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com .
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
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
RV shower stall leaks — What to do?
Dear RV Doctor:
We have a 2007 Damon RV with a leaking “hex” shower stall. It is leaking somewhere in the glass section framing or where the shower sides, glass and plastic connect to the bottom section. The water appears at the bottom of the glass framing where it connects to the plastic shower stall, which is nearly inaccessible. I have half a tube of silicone caulk spread over and through the connection points on the inside, but it is still leaking. Would it be beneficial and easy to take the framing out and really caulk the areas? —John W.
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.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Winegard introduces high-performance WiFi extender
The Winegard ConnecT is a long-range, high-performance RV Internet WiFi extender allowing users to get WiFi where others can’t. Designed for the mobile environment, this WiFi extender increases the range of existing WiFi hot spots. It improves the overall customer experience by connecting from the comfort of your own vehicle. Setup is easy on any mobile device, and this unit provides a secure personal, and fast, connection. Learn more.
Ceramic RV salt and pepper shaker set
OK, so this salt and pepper shaker set won’t improve your camping trip much, they won’t fix a drippy dump valve or find the leak in your roof. They’re just, simply put, cute (and functional), and will at least bring a smile to visitors’ faces — and hopefully your own as well. Read more.
Happy Camper Mug
Why would you ever want to drink your coffee from an ordinary ceramic mug when you could drink from this one? It’s beyond cool. It’s super cool! Be the envy of the RV park with this incredibly wonderful ceramic mug from Amazon.com.
Upcoming RV Shows
• Snowbird RV Show and Sale, Sept. 22-25, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
• Georgia RV & Camper Show, Sept. 23-25, Atlanta, GA
• Indianapolis Fall Boat & RV Show, Sept. 23-25, Indianapolis, IN
• New York State RV Show, Sept. 23-25, Syracuse, NY
• Great American RV Show, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Colorado Springs, CO
• Panhandle RV Show, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Ft. Walton Beach, FL
• Washington State Evergreen Fall RV Show, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Monroe, WA
• Detroit Fall Camper & RV Show, Oct. 5-9, Novi, MI
• St. John’s Fall RV Show, Oct. 6-9, Elkton, FL
• Tacoma Fall RV Show, Oct., 6-9, Tacoma, WA
• North Carolina RV Dealers Association RV Show, Oct. 7-9, Greensboro, NC
• California RV Show, Oct. 7-16, Pomona, CA
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!
RV Short Stop
Autumn festivals are popular and fun RV family destinations
Autumn, with its cooler weather and bursts of color, plays host to hundreds of local harvest festivals. Pick out one of your favorites, pack the RV and have a fun-filled family weekend. Here are more than 20 autumn festivals — from “Trailing of the Sheep” in Idaho, to “World Championship Punkin Chunkin” in Delaware, to “Sonoma County Harvest Fair” in California, to “Wellfleet Oyster Fest” in Massachusetts, just to mention a few. You’ll find lots of fun for fall in this article from Joanne G. Crane.
Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos
Discover hundreds of RV-friendly casinos throughout America. Learn which casinos have an RV park and which ones allow free overnight parking. RV parks at casinos are popular because they offer modern, upscale facilities at reasonable rates (and often free!). Boondockers seek casinos for a quiet, safe place to park. Learn more or order.
Joke of the Week
Three smelly, unkempt outlaw bikers stop at a roadside cafe. They decide to have some fun with an RVer dining at the counter. They approach him. The first biker sips the RVer’s coffee. “This is lousy,” he says. The second one samples his soup. “This is lousy,” he says. The last one pokes his finger in the RVer’s hamburger. “This is lousy,” he says. All three are laughing. The RVer quietly gets up, pays his bill and walks out. A minute or so later one biker says to the waitress, “That guy ain’t much of a man, is he?” The waitress pauses and deadpans, “He ain’t much of a driver, either. He just backed over three motorcycles.”
Don’t come up short!
Sometimes your 50 amp power cord is not quite long enough! That’s when this 15-foot extension cord will come in very handy. Sure, you can use a wimpy orange extension cord with an adapter, but don’t try using much power (like your air conditioner) or you’ll burn up the cord or maybe even your rig! Carry this cord along and you’ll be all set. Learn more or order.
Videos you’ll like
What you should know about RV LP regulators
Propane pressure regulators accept the fluctuating high pressure inside the propane container, and reduce that pressure down to the acceptable rate that propane appliances are designed to burn at their respective burners. Learn more about these essential devices from the RV Doc, Gary Bunzer.
Winterizing RV water lines with an air compressor
The RV Geeks explain how to keep your water pipes from freezing using compressed air. Watch the video.
Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!
Random RV Thought
If you keep your RV on your property and you have kids, then you probably know how much those kids love to play with their friends in the RV. It’s like their private clubhouse. So, if you yearn for a little peace and quiet around the house, dispatch the kids out into the RV with some snacks and a board game or two. They’ll be happy and you’ll have peace.
About 89 million plastic bags are used in the United States each year and make up 9 percent of the debris found on the U.S. coast.
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.
“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” —Henry David Thoreau
TODAY’S DEALS ON RV PARTS & ACCESSORIES AT AMAZON.COM. Click.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• September 24: To Phoenix Phun Phinders Good Sam Camping Chapter from Chapter President Doug Roberts. Congratulations on 45 years of camping. 1st Honorary Honors Chapter for 2015. With a 23 rig roster let’s keep having Phun.
• September 25: To Connie from Fred Peters. Thanks for giving RVing a try! Happy Birthday! I love You!
• September 28: To Scott from Veva. Happy 65th Birthday to my best friend, traveling & hiking partner, and wonderful husband for 33 years. I love you!
• September 29: To Mahdokht from Ronald. Roses are red, violets are blue, there is nothing better than RVing with you. Happy birthday, darling.
• September 30: To Sharon from Glyn. Happy birthday to the love of my life.
• September 25: To Harold from Susan. Happy 40th Anniversary, Harold! I can’t believe we have been married for 40 years, the time has flown by!!! Hoping we share many more years together. I love You! Susan
• September 26: To John from Hazel. 46 years…love you more than ever. Thank you to my best friend, husband, lover and companion. Here’s to many more years of exploring, adventure and quiet times.
• September 27: To Diana from Roger D. Alder. WOW, it’s hard to believe it has been 47 years. I love you just as much now as I did when we met.
• September 28: To Becky from William Barnett. Where did the time go? Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife.
Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting (25-word maximum) Be sure to send them in prior to the Saturday before the big event — early is fine.
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, Julianne Crane and Chris Guld.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com.
About the RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for 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. 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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