RV Travel Newsletter Issue 762

RV Travel Newsletter Issue 762


Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 16th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Issue 762 • Week of Oct. 1–7, 2016


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

I’ve written a lot lately about the poor quality of today’s RVs. Many of you have weighed in with your horror stories. What I’d like to know is, “Are there also plenty of new RVs rolling off the production lines that are well built, with relatively few problems?”

A record crowd turned out for the recent Heshey RV Show. Are the RVs they’re buying up to par?

At the huge Hershey RV show two weeks ago, I met up with a half dozen of the most influential RVers in the industry — writers for the major RV magazines, and editors and publishers of highly respected online publications. All agreed that the quality of RVs being rushed out of the factories today are too often not acceptable. And yet they all said …

So what’s new? We’ve been complaining about RV quality for 25 years!”

And, when I think about it, that’s true. But it seems to me the subject is coming up more often these days.

The number of RV Travel readers who have left comments recently about their RVs has grown to about 240. Most paint a poor picture of the RV industry. They complained about three things: the quality of their new RVs, service after the sale, plus the increasing problem of finding a desirable campsite without a reservation (a subject for another time). I urge you to read the comments. (Feel free to add your own.)

Now, I’d like to ask a favor. Would you leave a comment if your experiences with a new RV were good, not bad? Did you buy one in the last few years that has been largely problem free? How about service? Have you had satisfactory or even superb service? Please take a minute to leave a comment. Feel free to offer praise where due to the manufacturer of your RV as well as the dealer where you bought it, including any details about “service after the sale.” Take this opportunity to tell the world (or at least a bunch of other RVers) about the companies that did a good job for you.

Please help restore some of my confidence — and I’m sure that of many readers — that not all is doom and gloom in the RV industry.


video camera WPP.S. Please watch my latest video, “Buying an RV? Pay attention to its height!

And … last week, with tongue in cheek, I predicted a two-story trailer would roll off the production lines soon. I was wrong: It already has, although not exactly how I envisioned it. Read more

Also, in my Roadside Journal: The precious gift of time.

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

Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PM
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. But be sure to send it to us prior to the Saturday before the big event.

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


woman-756Is reading this newsletter
worth 10 cents to you?
Our staff works hard to bring you a valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers 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! Your contributions make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to make advertisers and RV industry big shots happy. Enter a voluntary subscription. Use a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMLaw firm seeks RVers with warranty troubles
The law firm of Savage Villoch Law, PLLC, wants to interview RV owners who have experienced problems getting their RVs fixed under warranty, according to RV Daily Report. The firm has launched an investigation after being approached by RV owners who have had warranty service claims denied or who could not get appointments to have covered items repaired, lawyer Bert Savage explained. Read more.

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™.

Reader RVs


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 last week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.

ppl-logo-1America’s Largest
RV Consignment Dealer
Buy or sell your used motorhome, diesel pusher, fifth wheel or travel trailer hassle free at PPL Motor Homes. And check our huge selection of parts! PPL is the largest RV consignment dealer in the USA, selling more than 24,000 consigned RVs since 1972. Visit the PPL website.

breaking-newsAugust saw wholesale shipments of RVs in the U.S. jump ahead, when compared with August 2015. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, towables surged ahead by 33 percent, with fifth wheels leading the pack at nearly 38 percent. Motorized rigs had a good month as well, showing a near 23 percent increase, with Class C rigs racing ahead at 50 percent more than the prior August. That sector was held down a bit by losses suffered in Class A movements — down 2 percent.

In a story reflecting on RV dealers’ and manufacturers’ attitudes toward the past recession, the Elkhart Truth finds some “truths” that should be evident to all RV manufacturers. Among them, a comment from Don Clark, president of Grand Design, an RV manufacturer. Said Clark, “Customers want a bang for their buck. They don’t just want a great price, they also expect high quality and low maintenance, because they don’t have a lot of free time and they want to spend it using the RV, not working on it.” Bang for their buck? How about an honest dollar’s worth of value for every buck they spend?

Steve Walser photographed this (“Sisters 2”) Aloha, at the Mt. Baker Rally, Lynden, Wash. Sisters on the Fly is a national group of women trailer campers. See more of Steve’s photos or purchase them as prints, on tee-shirts, etc., by clicking here. Photo © Steve Walser. 

Looking to see the total solar eclipse next August 21? Reservations are now open for Illinois state parks in the August 14 through August 27 window.

Columbus Day weekend camping spots in Vermont just got a bit tighter. Moosalamoo Campground in the Green Mountain National Forest closed September 26, two weeks earlier than usual. The Forest Service shut down the campground due to camper safety concerns as a nearby timber logging operation is setting up.

Another one of the Alabama state parks which was closed under the sharp edge of the budget cutting ax has reopened. Roland Cooper State Park, near Camden, Ala., reopened after being shut down for nearly a year. An Arizona firm, Recreational Resource Management Company, has now taken over park management.

Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, joins the list of localities that limit visits by RVing friends and family. The village council voted that local residents could allow occupied RVs on their property — but for no more than four days, and no more than four times a year. Additionally, they’d need to obtain a permit, which includes a mandated inspection of the RV and property by the local fire department.


Snowbirds mean big money: With October marking the start of the RV snowbird season, South Mississippi RV park owners are warming to the idea of the cash influx. For the state, the RV industry has a $269 million annual economic impact.

Sidie Hollow campground is credited with being one of Vernon County, Wisconsin’s most frequently flooded spots. When Chad and Tracy Thelen heard that the water of the nearby river was rising in mid-month, they didn’t hesitate, but quickly moved their RV to higher ground. At least a half-dozen other campers demurred, and now their rigs have been turned into unwanted boats floating in six feet of water.

A Henryville, Pa., man, 35-year-old Chris Chmielnicki, has been honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for an extraordinary heroic act. Chmielnicki was in an office in Mount Pocono, Pa., on Sept. 18, 2015, waiting for his fiancee, when alerted to an RV on fire nearby. He rushed into the RV and rescued an unconscious woman, Brenda Jelley, 50, shortly before the RV was engulfed in flames. Both were treated for smoke inhalation. Source: Pocono Record.

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

news524(2)More News

They don’t call it “the can opener” for nothing! Otherwise known as Longview, Texas’ Green Street bridge, the clearance is 11’ 6”, and apparently not everyone pays attention to the flashing lights on the warning signs as they approach. Recently, a motorhome driver towing a Hummer tried to run the gauntlet and lost — security cam footage shows his roof air conditioner flying away after impact. Oddly enough, the driver just blissfully and/or obliviously drove on.

jerry-king-762-supermanJayco has just inked a contract with Goodyear to place that company’s USA-manufactured tires on all rigs rolling off its assembly lines. Jayco says it’s the first U.S. rig builder to make such an offer. This may be an interesting order for Goodyear — in a 2014 tire test by Consumer Reports, of the Goodyear-branded tires checked, some were made in Canada, Chile, and Germany — in addition to genuine USA manufacture.

It wasn’t raining in St. George, Utah, but some RVers had to be evacuated from a local RV park due to flooding, nonetheless. A 14-inch water main serving nearby water storage tanks broke loose in the middle of the night on September 23, causing plenty of flooding and mud flows through the Hillside Palms RV and Mobile Home Park. No word on why the main felt such pain, but nobody was hurt.

The Tiny House movement seems to borrow much from the RVing community. While accurate definition hasn’t yet been floated for a tiny house, one general acceptance is a movable house of less than 500 square feet. That’s pretty, well, tiny. To give a bit more room, Tiny Idahomes, a tiny house builder, has just rolled out a new rig with the first commercially produced slideout rooms — one each for the bedroom, lounge and dining room — giving the rig 250 square feet of space for a suggested $68,899.

Can you identify this machine? Hint: it was designed for American soldiers but eventually used in stores — until the 1950s when it was banned. A link below reveals the answer.

Tailgating at a recent Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns game in Cleveland, Ohio, might have gotten a little carried away. One fan, driving a Class A motorhome decked out in paint supporting the Eagles, attempted to clear a concrete protection post at a guard booth but missed, hanging the rig up. For whatever reason, the RV’s occupants fled the scene on foot — and other fans “helped themselves” to the rig’s contents.

Earlier this year we reported on the gruesome discovery of a body stored under a pile of debris in an RV in Lake County, Mont. What made the situation creepier is that the couple charged with hiding the body in the shower continued to live in the rig for several months. Now Kassandra Seese has pleaded guilty to a share in the negligent homicide of her nephew, 18-year-old Richard Warner. It’s alleged that Seese’s husband, Stephen, whacked Warner in the head with a hammer back in February.

Police in Port Angeles, Wash., finally got their man — but only after a car and motorcycle were clobbered by his fifth wheel trailer, a chase at high rates of speed through a residential area and resultant property and tree damage. On catching up with the rig police found it a bit worse for wear. The suspect’s fifth wheel, according to media reports, was found with “the back window broken out, the left headlight was falling out, pieces of bushes were sticking from the front of the truck and the trailer was covered in dents.” Perhaps the arraigning judge described the case best this way: “This does seem to be more than your garden-variety DUI.” And the accused driver’s name? Richard Speedy of Yakima, Wash.

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

RVArmorEPSLogoRV 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 Quick Tips

Extra safety when traveling
Concerned about safety when camping? If yes, consider adding a “peephole” viewer on your entry door. Even if your door has a “re-lite” glass in it, you can install the viewer to the side of or below the glass.

How to tell if the black tank is almost full
Just before the black tank gets to the full stage, the toilet will start to sound a little different and a small burp or bubble of air will happen. This means the waste level is above the vent pipe and it’s time to dump! Thanks to Ray Burr at RV Happy Hour.

Another tip to reduce slideout marks — and a bonus!
Here’s a great tip we received from Paula and Nelson DiGennaro regarding the tip in the Sept. 24 RV Travel Newsletter titled Slideout marks on floor or carpet? “We tried the commercial Teflon slides mentioned in the article for our main slide in our 2006 Itasca Meridian and found they were too thick to allow the slide to come in. However, we improvised by going to Staples/Office Depot and buying one of their clear desk floor mats with teeth. We cut two 6”-wide strips long enough to cover the carpet area of concern. We slide them under the slide’s lip when bringing it in and all is well. Likewise, we remove and store the slide mats when the slide is out. Perfect! The mat cost around $25 and sometimes there are coupons available. We took the leftover mat piece and cut it so it sits on the carpet under my computer table and chair. Two jobs done for the price of one. Sweet!” Thanks, Paula and Nelson!

Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you might see it here!

Remove ugly black streaks
from your RV!

black-streak-762Camco’s Pro-Strength Black Streak Remover is a specially formulated cleaner & degreaser that removes stubborn black streaks caused by window & door sealants & roof coatings. Also powers through bugs & built-up tar, grease, oil & dirt, helping to restore a like-new appearance. 32-ounces. Learn more or order.

RV show shopping tips
Looking to buy an RV – or just get a feel for what’s out there? Making a trip to an RV show can broaden your horizons. It can also be an exercise in frustration because there is so much to see. Here are a few thoughts from Russ and Tiña De Maris on making your RV show sojourn a bit more useful. Learn more.

A downside to full-time RVing
video camera WPWhile most people think about the adventure of full-time RVing, there is another side to full-timing that is most often not talked about and ignored — the disconnection you may feel from family, friends and a community; it can be tough to take for some RVers. Watch this video from David Bott of Outside Our Bubble, with an accompanying article by his wife, Brenda.

yosemite-sm-762Four places to see fall colors in California
Every autumn, diminishing daylight hours and cooler temperatures send a message to California’s broadleaf trees: Unfurl those colors — it’s showtime! Fall’s show is fleeting, so timing matters. Wind along California’s roads and trails to the sampling of leaf-viewing sites listed in this article.

How to kill lingering RV refrigerator odors
Perhaps you’ve had the dubious honor of trying to clean up after finding rotten food in your RV fridge when the power was unknowingly out for awhile. Or (perish the thought) such a task may yet lie ahead in your RVing future. Clip and save this story — maybe under a refrigerator door magnet — just in case!

video camera WPWhy RV tires fail
Walter Cannon, of the RV Safety and Education Foundation, explains the number one cause of RV tire failure. Watch the brief video.

Even the simple things — giant rollable trivet and pot holder
Rich “The Wanderman” loves to cook — especially in the RV. But he hates to clean lots of pots and pans so he’s been cooking single-container meals in his convection or microwave oven. He needed something large to put these really hot dishes on and he found just the ticket — an inexpensive, multi-purpose giant trivet/pot holder that’s easy to store! Read more.

Tiffin recalls motorhomes over potential weight problem
Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc., is recalling certain model year 2015–2017 Allegro motorhomes manufactured April 1, 2015, to September 16, 2016. The affected vehicles have a tow hitch with a weight capacity sticker that may indicate an incorrect weight capacity. Approximately 1,660 vehicles are affected. Learn more.

Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for September
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,  Keystone, Outdoors RV, Tiffin, Winnebago and others — plus cars and trucks commonly used by RVers, as well as some tires, and Haul Master Trailers from Harbor Freight. Is your RV or other vehicle or equipment on the list? Read more.

damp-rid-2-761damprid-761Avoid 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.

FMCA to return to Indy next summer
Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), an international organization of motorhome owners, has announced it will return to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis for its 96th International Convention, July 12 through 15, 2017. Read more.

shock440No Shock Zone, Part Two

In this episode, learn about measuring electrical current using multimeters, and the different types of electrical connections and outlets. The information in this 12-part series has saved lives. It’s very important. Take the time to read. If you missed last week’s episode with the introduction to electricity and some quick tips to stay safe, read it here.

Mystery of the smokin’ shore power connection
When Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor, he received a question from a reader regarding a smoking power plug. The reader had been watching his ammeters closely to make sure he wasn’t exceeding the electrical usage limit, but even below the maximum allowable usage the power plug outside was smoking and melting. Chris explains the probable cause.

How old is too old (for RV tires)?
Roger Marble, RV tire expert, has been following an RV forum thread on tire age and has tried to explain why there is no strict guideline for exactly when a tire should be replaced. In this article he sums up why there is no precise answer to this question. Learn more.

tele-762See the heavens up close at this RV park
For those who want to get “up close and personal” with stars but lack a spaceship — here’s one way: Check out your favorites from an observatory in the desert Southwest. But even better than driving to and from an observatory in the middle of the night, how about just stepping out of your rig, walking a few feet and peering through a large university-grade telescope? Find out where here.

Camping on Arizona state trust lands
For active boondockers, the state of Arizona has it all: sunshine, multiple climate zones, thousands of places to explore, almost unlimited land on which to boondock and enjoy the solitude. But while boondocking on most of the lands controlled by the BLM and the USFS is free, once you get to the state-managed “trust lands” of Arizona, the rules change a bit, as described in this article by veteran boondocker Dave Helgeson.

Scuba diving into Washington state’s
abandoned Titan missile silo
Once upon a time this missile silo in rural Eastern Washington state stood ready to deliver a nuclear blowout to the nasty commies in Russia. Nowadays, the missile is long gone and what remains is largely submerged in ground water. In this photo-packed article, four divers leave their RV to submerge deep down into the silo to see what’s there. Fascinating!

micro-2-762Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
micro-2-flatWhen heating your food you don’t want to spend 10 minutes later cleaning the splatters inside the microwave. Here’s the solution — and perfect for RVers: it pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer, too! Learn more or order at Amazon.com

del-545This week in history
Week of Oct. 1–7
Compiled by Dell Bert

1890 – Yosemite National Park established.

Vintage postcard

1927 – Work begins on Mount Rushmore.
1947 – First presidential speech on TV (Harry Truman).
1957 – Soviet Union launches Sputnik. (Do you remember seeing it in orbit?)
1960 – CBS broadcasts the premiere episode of “Route 66.”
1962 – Johnny Carson makes debut as “Tonight Show” host.
1967 – Writer, singer and folk icon Woody Guthrie dies.
1985 – Hollywood icon Rock Hudson dies.
1990 – East and West Germany reunite after 45 years.

soap-762ON SALE. ONLY $17.95
No-touch dispenser automatically dispenses soap
Just put your hands beneath the dispenser, and presto, just the right amount of soap is dispensed. Never pump again! Hayden’s soap dispenser uses Infrared Technology to automatically detect your hand fast. Uses 3 AAA batteries. Learn more or order.

RV Club of the Week

Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too! 

Newmar Kountry Klub
An exclusive club for owners of Newmar recreational vehicles with members all over the U.S. and Canada. It offers many advantages and benefits for its members, including rallies all over North America, special events and caravans.

Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

Wash your hair without water!
If you’re trying to stretch your water supply but need to wash your hair, then here’s your easy solution: dry shampoo. The innovative “no water needed” formulation targets excess oil & grease, helping to eliminate it at the roots. A few quick sprays leaves hair feeling instantly clean, fresh & full of body & texture. So save your water! Learn more or order.

Bumper sticker of the week
Exercise is such a dirty word that I have to wash my mouth out with chocolate.

Funny/clever business slogan
“Once A Pawn A Time” —Seen on a pawnshop.

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

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 about $12! Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows
See the list of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.

Websites of the Week
Here are six websites we like that you might, too. Check ’em out. More next week.
Here’s one site we especially like: The local’s guide to the best diners across America

No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.

mice-653rodent-653Keep rodents out of your RV when stored this winter!
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. 98% biodegradable. Tested and endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.

Good reading from RV123.com 629-rv123
Discover Timberland Acres RV Park on the coast of Maine.
Don’t get caught without a power adapter for your camper.
The Coverage? App provides you with a full map of all mobile coverage in the United States.

laundry-762Collapsible laundry hamper perfect for RVers
Trips to the laundry are a part of life for many RVers. This collapsible travel hamper is terrific! It measures 14” x 22” full-size but collapses flat for easy storage. Carry detergents in handy side pocket. Two handles make carrying easy. The last we looked, the price was less $10. Learn more or order.

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

RV and dump station design dilemma
Dear RV Shrink:
We just looked at a travel trailer with a floor plan that satisfies my wife and myself. My hangup with it is the dump and freshwater filling arrangements. The way the thing is designed would make it necessary for me to dump on one side and fill water on the other. This doesn’t seem to bother my wife, but it is a deal breaker for me. She says we can deal with it, but I say we are going to have years of headaches every time we need to visit the dump station. Am I being overly concerned with this issue? We can’t seem to come to a compromise on this one aspect of RV design. —Dump Detail in Denver

Read the RV Shrink’s response.

motor-carrier-2017-752Essential 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.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Poor emissions = poor fuel economy
Poor emissions and/or a faulty oxygen sensor can cause a 40 percent reduction in fuel economy. Can you believe that? A 40 percent reduction!

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: $2.22 (on Sept. 26). Change from week before: None; Change from year before: Down 10 cents.
Diesel: $2.38 (on Sept. 26). Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 9 cents.

foil-757Fix 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.

pets-potter-9-17-2016RV 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 this week’s issue of RV Travel Reader Pets. A couple of our readers are asking for advice from fellow pet-owning RVers. Please leave a comment on the Reader Pets page if you can help them out. Thanks!

Space heater uses only 200 watts!
It’s hard to believe that an electric space heater could use a mere 200 watts — the same as a couple of light bulbs —a fraction of other space heaters. And this one really works! It’s meant to heat a nearby person, not a room (although it will keep the chill away in a small bathroom). Put it on your desk or at your feet. Perfect for the RVer who’s “always cold.” For about $17, this is a winner. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Snowflakes and Sand
Make a “snow job” dessert.

The filling is the snow, graham crackers are the sand and “presto” is the timing for this mystery dessert. It’s quick to mix but it does need time in the refrigerator. It’s oh, so satisfying to pull this out of the refrigerator to serve with a tah-DAH after a long day’s RV travel and a simple supper. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at Amazon.com, including the brand-new “The Survival Food Handbook.”


magnify-762magnify2-762Credit Card size magnifiers help you see the tiny type
Is your close-up vision getting worse as you age? Glasses help, but sometimes you need a little more. These thin, inexpensive magnifying lenses are the size of a credit card and multiply 3x. Put one in your wallet (and elsewhere) for those times when you need help with the tiny type. Ten pack. Learn more or order for about 70 cents each.

App of the Week

Chris-Guld-pic-for-RVTRemember where you’ve been … using Google Maps
Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, are in the San Francisco Bay area and decided to call some friends to see if they could visit. When they found out they could, the friends asked if they needed directions to get there. Nope — they had them on their phone on Google Maps, from when they had visited three years prior. To find out how to effortlessly “retrace your steps” to any location, read this easy explanation from Chris Guld.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. This weeks’ topic: “How do you get Google support?” … and 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.

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

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

How to adjust a Lippert slideout

Dear RV Doctor:
Can you explain the adjustment sequence on how far the slides go in and out with my Lippert slideout? The manual just says to adjust the jam nuts, but not which way. —Paul B. 

Read Gary’s response.

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

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

bob-d-med399Boondocking tips
with Bob Difley

Turn off the water heater at night
Campsite etiquette is not only important in campgrounds where your neighbors are within hearing distance of the noise you create, but also when boondocking in crowded places like Quartzsite or at RV rallies. A good neighbor will turn off his water heater at night so it doesn’t recycle on and off, annoying nearby campers not accustomed to the sound. It will also save propane. Relight the water heater in the morning. It only takes about ten minutes to bring the temperature back up.

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

vac-long-755vac-square-755Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
This Dirt evil 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

T Level

Level the easy way with Camco’s T Level
Camco’s T Level makes it easier and faster to level your RV when setting up camp. Much easier than checking separate levels — a front-to-back and a right-to-left. With this level, you have just one place to look to satisfy your leveling prowess  — such as on the tongue of a trailer or in a motorhome’s cockpit. Learn more.

mobile-internet-750Best guide to using the Internet on the road
This comprehensive guide to mobile internet covers cellular data, public WiFi, satellite, ham, cable/DSL, enhancing signals, installation, managing bandwidth, traveling to Canada & Mexico, entertainment options, cellular phone plans and much more. If you’re on the road a lot and need the Internet, this is the best guidebook by far about to how to use it & get the most from it. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

• 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
• Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show, Oct. 13-16, Salem, OR
• Fall RV Show & Bargain Expo, Oct. 13-16, Oklahoma City, OK
• Toronto Fall RV Show & Sales, Oct. 14-16, Mississauga, ON, Canada
• Austin RV Super Sale, Oct. 14-16, Round Rock, TX

See the list of all upcoming RV shows.

wal-mart-loc-748Walmart Locator: 
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.

laughing-man-RVT-752Naive Statements of Yesteryear

“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” —Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With the Wind.”

space-heater-762Stay warm, save money with a space heater
Most RVers carry a portable electric space heater. They save money, and the space heater provides a nice, steady heat compared to the often off-and-on pattern of a built-in propane system. If you aren’t carrying a portable space heater you’re just tossing away money on propane at RV parks when the electricity is free. Learn more or order from Amazon.com.

machine-sm-762So what is it?
Did you guess the purpose of the machine we showed you above?
Click here to find out

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PM

Buying an RV? Pay attention to its height! It matters! 
RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury explains how a tall RV can impact an RVer’s travel. Watch the video.

How to help your RV water heater run better
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, shows a simple, easy way to improve the performance of your RV water heater. Watch the video.


Random RV Thought
One of the very best things about traveling in a motorhome is that a restroom is always just a few steps away.

casino753Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos
Discover hundreds of RV-friendly casinos throughout America. Learn which ones have an RV park and which ones allow free overnight stays. 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.

Each year, on average, drivers in the United States put more than 2,969 billion miles on their tires. They are involved in nearly 11,000 tire-related crashes resulting in almost 200 deaths.


Add an outdoor water faucet to your RV!
This lead-free outdoor faucet is really handy. If you don’t have one, here’s a super inexpensive way to add one. No tools required and it installs in a minute (just screw it on). Brass T included with the plastic faucet, just as it’s shown in the product photo. Learn more or order.

Worth Pondering
“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” —Les Brown

Camco Wheel Chocks. Two Packwheel-chalks-757
Wheel chocks are one of those “must have” basic items for all RVers. Hey, who wants to go rolling outta their campsite at 3 a.m.? For trailer owners, the chocks are designed to keep your RV in place so that you can re-hitch with confidence. The chalks are constructed of durable hard plastic with UV inhibitors and are easy to use. Learn more or order.

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

Happy Birthday!
• October 1: To Lorraine from Daniel. Happy birthday to the best wandering companion a guy could have. I look forward to many more miles with you.
• October 1: To Mary & Frank from Frankieb. Love is grand when you share your birthday with your best friend and, oh yeah, spouse !
• October 3: To Kathy G from Johnny O. Happy Birthday to my wonderful full timer gal! Poppy and Mimi love you very much!

Happy (belated) Birthday!
• September 30: To Sharon from Glyn Finch. Happy to my lovely wife of 52 years. You are the light of my life.

Happy Anniversary!
• October 5: To Mary Patricia from Clarkw. You are an amazing person and without you I don’t know  where I would be. Having you in my life completes and fulfills every part of me.

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 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







14 thoughts on “RV Travel Newsletter Issue 762

  1. Kenny C

    We purchase a new 2014 Thor Hurricane. It had and has many issues. Slide had to be repaired twice, still not sealing well, exterior ladder loosens up has to be tightened occasionally, wallpaper is wrinkled at each cabinet and is pealing in many places, dash light were out when handed over to us, staple underneath dinette slide had gouged a hole in the floor, like another reader I must always carry toothpicks and glue to make repairs to cabinet hinges as wood is cheap, wrong pressure set to the propane regulator from the factory, so we lost ability to heat the coach first time out, windows rattle, water leaked into back-up lights I repaired that myself, TV connections are poor at best we get a snowy picture, front end alignment was off at delivery, plastic bathroom faucet broke, many leftover screws and sawdust found inside cabinetry, some screws not fully tightened or seated or missing altogether, toilet water supply had leak. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things. I plan to stay away from Thor in the future which may be tough as they seem to own most brands now.

  2. Jim Pettigrew

    I have a Keystone Cougar trailer that I purchased new in 2014 from Camping World, St
    Augustine, FL
    To date we have used it for about 6 months and it has been trouble free .

  3. Mumbles

    I have had good luck getting warranty items fixed at Transwest truck RV in Fredrick Colorado.

    1. Linda

      Thank you, will keep them in mind

  4. Rob Humphrey


    I have a Jayco 2015 5ver bought new and have always had great service from my dealer, Cunningham Campers outside Louisville, and the corporate office up in Elkhart County. The 2 year warranty that Jayco gives with each rig is clearly needed. Even after thorough research into build quality and design, our unit has had its issues, but both the dealer and the maker have completely backed-up its product and made it whole. Only concern I have now is how Thor may have a negative affect on Jayco as its new parent. TIme will tell. I’m seriouly thinking that if I were to do it over, I’d get a 3-5 year old unit with all the problems resolved.

  5. Smokinlen

    Purchased a 2006 Dutchman 18b at the Hershey Rv show. No issues other than the drawer glides came loose. Repaired with real glides and hangars. 2007 started looking to upgrade. A Sunline seemed like a good choice considering price and quality. However by the time I was ready they stopped manufacturing them..2009 looked at a sunset creek by sunnybrook at a local dealer. Looked to be a well built unit. The local dealer wouldn’t budge on price, so we went to the Hershey Rv show to look. Went to Ansley Rv out of Duncansville, pa , , site to get a price from them for the same unit. Without any dickering, they were 4000 dollars less. Needless to say we bought it on the spot. The sunset creek is a very solid unit, and we have had no issues whatsoever. Unfortunately they sold out to Winnebago, and their units don’t compare with the sunset creek.

  6. randy moss

    My 2014 Tiffin 36La has only had two trivial problems that the dealer repaired under warranty. otherwise it’s been a pleasure.

  7. Vic Mazzaro

    We bought a Palomino Puma in 2012 model 19RL. It has been a wonderful RV. I have only done the normal maintenance and Winterizing. No Problems, everything has worked great. I did buy an extended warrantee but have never had to use it. It is built very well and not cheaply made like some of the newer RV’s of today. I will be looking to buy a new one soon and hope that I can find one just as good as I have now, so I will look at the Palomino Puma first.

  8. Kent & Pam Halley

    Our 2013 Forest River Wildcat has had more issues than I can possibly post. We would be in the “poor house” if we hadn’t purchased an extended warranty. We aren’t talking minor issues….on August 4th we had a severe breakdown which resulted in major damage. Our maintenance records saved us as far as the insurance covering the claim but Forest River’s LACK of customer service have us still waiting for parts in order for the RV to be repaird! Our 5th wheel has been in the shop for 2 months and still waiting for parts. We will NEVER purchase another Forest River product!!

    1. Kent & Pam Halley

      By the way, we purchased it new!!

    2. Russell Hutchison

      We are thinking about getting a windjammer 3029w made by Forest River…. should I be looking some place else?

  9. kevin

    I have a Sundance by Heartland. It’s a 2014 model, purchased in 2016 (new). There are a few “little” issues. The most frustrating was the door lock. It failed in the locked position. I can’t blame the dealer or manufacturer. We will take it back to the dealer for the warranty work later this month.

  10. Mel Goddard

    I’m on my fourth towable RV now and so far:
    The first one, a new from the factory ,Star craft pop up had so many snags that I lost ten days vacation time to make it ROADWORTHY.
    And then had a problem in Gander Newfoundland requiring a fix at the camp grounds workshop.
    The second, a Hi’Lo was pretty good. Minor interior snags fixed by me, I kept it for six years.
    The third, a25′ Airstream had many issues, but the dealer, CanAm was great about it. But….
    I didn’t like the ‘East-West’ bed so..
    My fourth, a 30′ Airstream had minor interior snags, some I fixed myself, and is a very good and comfortable home away from home.
    CamAm is great at keeping me going.

  11. Dan n

    My problem with 2 rv’s we’ve owned is the cheep thin wood used inside. Cabinet doors break apart. Hinge screw holes strip out. I carry a supply of tooth picks, epoxy, screws, and wood clamps. Than once I proped up against the head board of the bed and was poked by staples poking through. I guess it’s built to be lite so everything is thin and cheep.

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