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Issue 769 • Week of Nov. 19–25, 2016
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With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
Gail and I are in Sacramento, heading south soon to my aunt’s in Lindsay, Calif. (near Fresno) for Thanksgiving.
I lived in Sacramento for 25 years. I arrived to attend college and then stayed another 20 years. As Thomas Wolfe wrote, “you can’t go home again.” I have felt that this trip more than ever. The town is twice the size when I was here. “Rush hour” lasted 20 minutes then. Now, in the evening, it’s underway at 4 p.m. and ends a few hours later.
My journalism career began at Sacramento State University, when Ronald Reagan was governor. Gail and I walked on campus yesterday. I showed her the school newspaper office where I spent most of my time. It’s now a classroom.
I peeked in the window, trying to visualize the room as it was — my desk in a corner next to the Associated Press teletype machine. I remember its bell ringing when an important story would come across. If it rang more than once, the story was especially important. One time it rang three times. Everyone in the office stopped what they were doing to gather around the machine as the story printed out, tat-a-tat-tat at typewriter speed. I can’t recall now what the story was about.
The college newspaper was published four times a week, which was my doing. As the “director of student publications” I successfully sought funding to buy state-of-the-art equipment to produce the newspaper on campus and more frequently, rather than twice a week at a commercial shop, where only a few students could participate. With the equipment, dozens could work in the “backshop” and learn valuable skills. If a friend had not talked me into taking the newspaper class for “an easy half unit” my life would have likely gone a totally different direction.
SO, MORE THAN FOUR DECADES LATER, I stood at the door of that old newsroom trying to visualize those days when I fell in love with newspapers and journalism. Images flashed in and out of my mind, but they were ghostly, barely there. Those were my glory years in journalism — being part of a team that would race to meet a deadline to put the newspaper together and then, the next morning, watch students all over campus read it. Later, writing for publications with millions of readers, I never saw anyone actually reading what I had written — far less satisfying.
Gail and I drove around town to my old haunts. Almost all had changed — restaurants with new owners and names, others gone entirely, stores leveled with big box stores in their places. My first full-blown office was gone. I became a “boy-wonder success” there at age 23 and then, through inexperience and immaturity, drove the thriving business into the ground five years later. I spent most of my 30s living in poverty, paying off debts. It was a horrible time. And, yet, through it all, I learned what I needed to one day put the pieces together to live a comfortable life.
So Sacramento represents the good, the bad and ugly of my past. I still have friends here and it brings me great happiness to be with them. That’s the good part of “coming home” — being with people you have known, who supported you through thick and thin. In my poverty years, they were always there, to help when they could and lend an ear when I was down. They are among the treasures of my life.
But the town, itself, is now a stranger — where I once paused for awhile to learn some tricks, made some mistakes, and then moved on.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
•How Main Street fought early mail order catalogs. (video)
Roadside Journal Index: Click here.
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Escapees RV Club to change pet policy
To protect guests and their pets, the Escapees RV Club will introduce a new pet policy on January 1. The policy will take place at seven Escapees parks. Read more.
“No More Sore Back!” The Strongback Chair is Your Solution.
RVTravel’s editor Chuck Woodbury is a big fan. Click the video to see his 60-second testimonial. Our patented lumbar support technology gives UNRIVALED COMFORT AND BACK SUPPORT. Enjoy your RV experience in long-lasting ergonomic comfort. Now in our new color combinations: Camo/Black and Navy/Grey. Visit the STRONGBACK website to buy your Strongback chair now.
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.
THIS WEEK’S CONTEST!
UPDATE 12:20 Sunday: WE HAVE OUR WINNER (as picked by Random.org).
Win this 2017 wall calendar of adorable Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog! The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Sunday. The question: What was the device from the mid to late 1800s, displayed in action in the 10-second video to the right, used for? Answer is below. Email your answer to RVcontests (at) gmail.com. We can only ship prizes to addresses with a U.S. Zip Code. Only one entry per household. Contest ends Sunday at noon (Pacific) at which time a winner will be selected using Random.org. We’ll let you know if you win. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or forfeit the prize. After that, another potential winner will be selected until we hear from and have a winner.
Last week’s winner (correct entry #70, as chosen by Random.org): Chris Kallin, Seattle, Washington
Sales of towable rigs continue to rise in a year-to-year comparison reported by Statistical Surveys Inc. September saw registrations increase by nearly 8 percent, led by travel trailers shooting ahead 10 percent. Fifth wheels lagged at a nearly 2 percent increase, while pop-ups folded dropping 0.1 percent. Park model sales plummeted more than 26 percent.
Damages from Hurricane Matthew are still being tallied. The latest “loser” is the state of South Carolina, which will soon be writing more than a million dollars’ worth of refund checks. Campground reservations for Hunting Island State Park for next year are being scratched and the money sent back.
They may be small, but now they are one. Augusta RV, an Indiana luxury fifth-wheel builder, has been acquired by The RV Factory, also of Indiana. Both outfits are direct-to-the-consumer RV manufacturers.
Camping with pets is now easier in New Jersey, as the state’s park service has added nine more state parks where pets are welcome. As many as two pets are allowed in certain sites. For details, click here.
It’s up to the mayor of Los Angeles, Calif., but with his nod, sleeping in your RV on an LA street could soon prove illegal — specifically, sleeping in a vehicle near a home, park or school. The law, if approved, would have teeth: first violation, $25; second time caught, $50; all violations after, $75 each.
Planning on visiting any of North Carolina’s state parks? Wildfires have necessitated moving park staff around and, as a result, some are closed. Before you head out, click here to verify the gates of your park will be open.
After masses of complaints from the public, the British Columbia government is revamping its provincial camping reservation system. For 2017, reservations can now be made four months in advance (up from three months). Measures will be put in place to stop reservation reselling, and those restricting changing arrival dates should bring some relief to campers. Some parks will see a new stay limit of seven days during peak season, as well.
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.
Oregon State Parks started taking reservations Thursday shortly after midnight for campsites during next year’s total solar eclipse. State parks spokesman Chris Havel says they sold out in about an hour. There may be sites available at a limited number of parks where you can see a partial eclipse, and state parks might open dry camping areas. Click here to see the status of campsite availability at Oregon State Parks.
Gearhart, Ore., “is not a Walmart parking lot.” That, according to the local police chief, who is frustrated by his inability to arrest RVers sleeping in their RVs. Gearhart law prohibits the practice unless the RV is in a licensed RV park, but gives no power to police to take action without proof of a violation. Local lawmakers are mulling over putting some teeth in the paper-tiger law.
In a controversial move, the U.S. Forest Service has been given the go-ahead to change recreational fees in Colorado without the need of an advisory committee to oversee the changes. Colorado’s governor requested the exemption after the USFS hadn’t been able to get volunteers to sit on such a committee. Reaction has been swift: The Western Slope No Fee Coalition, a group fighting for no-fee access to public lands, says the move will mean a huge uptick in fee proposals. An opposing view comes from the Outdoor Recreation Industry, which says locals would have a bigger voice in suggested fee changes. Time will tell.
A plea deal involving an RV storage yard owner has been worked out in a California federal court. Kyle Vestermark pleaded guilty to illegally dumping RV sewage at the Brawley and Holtville, Calif., storage yards he owns. Vestermark says he unlawfully installed sewage leach lines at the yards and then pumped customer sewage through them. He’s already posted $200,000, which he may forfeit after his sentencing hearing set for February 17.
The MHRV Show Association, which presents the annual Seattle RV Show, is looking for a pleasant and knowledgeable person who is enthusiastic about the RV lifestyle to demonstrate a small, trendy travel trailer to millennials at events around Western Washington. Compensation to be negotiated. Learn more.
An Oregon man, Colin Scott, 23, died after he slipped and fell into a scalding Yellowstone National Park hot spring after leaving a boardwalk near Port Chop Geyser on June 7. He and his sister, Sable, were on a college graduation trip and were looking for a place to get into and soak, Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress told KULR-TV. Search and rescue rangers spotted Colin Scott’s body in the pool the day of the accident, but a lightning storm prevented recovery. By the next day, workers could not find any remains in the churning, acidic water, Veress said. “In very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving,” he added. No citations were issued.
Don’t “wakeboard” behind a motorhome on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Don’t string up a rope swing on the Corona Arch near Moab, Utah. These stunts and other illegal acts on federal lands have landed three Canadian men in U.S. hot water. The three posted their exploits on social media, drawing the attention of federal prosecutors. They’ve all been banned from many public lands, have been assessed fines, and received five years’ probation after they uploaded videos related to the “High on Life” lifestyle group.
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.
High fire danger on the East Coast has hit Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. For the first time in six years the Forest Service has issued fire restrictions. Already 30,000 acres have burned in nearby counties but, thus far, the site has avoided the flames.
A McAllen, Texas, RVer may prove to be a prophet. Victor John Wendell Jr. was nailed transporting 11 kilos of cocaine in his motorhome air conditioner system near Gulfport, Miss., last April. The 70-year-old Wendell told police, “Y’all got me good … I’m going to die in prison.” He could be right: A judge has sentenced him to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He could have faced life on the original charges but entered into a plea deal.
In October we reported on a Salem, Ore., RV dealer, Northwest RV Sales, Inc., which had allegedly failed to pay off RV owners who had consigned their rigs through the company. Now the dealership has turned over its assets to a third party in a legal move called an assignment for the benefit of creditors. The action is similar to a bankruptcy filing, without the benefit of a court’s oversight. Just how the many RVers who stand in line to be paid for the consignment issue will end up in the deal remains to be seen. The next “episode” in this tragic soap opera will be December 10, when some of the company’s assets will hit the auction block. Lesson? Consigning your RV is a risky undertaking that can leave you holding the bag.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Know your RV’s height. What can happen if you don’t
A lot of folks new to the RVing lifestyle are a bit daunted by the size of their rig. They figure all that length can get them into trouble —which it can. But you can’t forget about another important measurement — your rig’s height. And don’t count on the information provided by your rig manufacturer; you’ll probably need to do the measuring yourself. Here’s how to do it.
The readers always write — from washers to finding items in RV
Here’s our every-other-week compilation of highlights of comments from our readers: It all comes out in the wash, Lost in the RV, and Lost in the desert. Read more.
Should you keep your RV freezer full?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received the following question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor: “Your article about keeping the fridge full but leaving space around items was a boon to those of us who really are dumb about such things. But what about the freezer? Does the same apply — keep it full but the food spaced?” Read Chris’ response.
Surviving a tire “blowout”
Roger Marble, RVtireSafety.com, has many posts on the technology and terminology of tire failure — but no matter what the cause or what you call it, a tire failure is not fun. In this article he presents information on what to do in the event of tire failure on any RV or vehicle. Roger also offers an important tip on how to implant in your brain the correct response so that it becomes an automatic response in the case of a blowout. (Two training videos and two incident videos are included.) Learn more.
Decision time — satellite, broadcast TV, internet TV, all or something else?
Rich “The Wanderman’s” RV had a folding satellite dish already installed when he purchased it. After he bought a satellite receiver and connected it all up, it worked great for a while. Then the satellite company updated its receivers and his was no longer supported. He’s made some changes, but now has a hard decision to make. Can you help him?
Some Winnebago Views, Itasca Navions recalled
Winnebago Industries, Inc., is recalling some 2017 Winnebago View and Itasca Navion motorhomes manufactured March 21, 2016, to September 15, 2016. The affected vehicles may have loose driver and front passenger seat mounting bolts, potentially allowing the seats to detach from the mounting pedestals. More than 800 vehicles are included in the recall. Learn more.
Drive there in your RV, tour there on your Evelo!
Park your RV and use your space-saving EVELO electric bike to tour, run errands and stay in shape (by using manual mode). The EVELO is fun, economical and energy-efficient — a perfect match for RVing adventures. Save BIG during our upcoming Black Friday sale! Watch the video, then click here for more details on the sale and how to purchase.
No Shock Zone, Part Nine
This is the ninth episode of a 12-part series about basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. In this episode, we’ll have a review of what’s been covered in this series so far, and a “call for action.” 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 about GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets and breakers, read it here.
New foam car debuts: Your next dinghy?
You’ve likely never seen a car like the new electric drive Spira, which was shown at the L.A. Auto Show this past week. The enclosed three-wheel electric trike is steered with a tiller with an exterior that looks like a toy car covered in Styrofoam. It carries two passengers (but just barely). Watch the video.
Overnight with prehistoric graffiti near Phoenix
Most historic or recreation sites managed by the BLM don’t get a lot of publicity and even less advertising. So you may zip on by such a location and not even know it existed. Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, about 90 miles southwest of Phoenix, is typical. There is a primitive campground here, along with hundreds of prehistoric petroglyphs. Learn more.
Oh, my! Motorhome towing a trailer and a boat — 122 feet altogether!
How would you like to drive down the highway in a motorhome, towing both a long trailer and a boat behind you — 122 feet long altogether? Well, that’s exactly what this man is doing. Watch the short video!
Full-time RV travel — How to get 50-amp service
Parking your RV at a friend’s or relative’s house? What happens if you keep blowing fuses because your RV pulls more amps than the 15-amp circuit can supply? Do not despair: Help is as near as your local hardware store (and probably your local electrician). Learn more.
Gettin’ your groceries in Quartzsite
If you’re planning your first visit to Quartzsite, or perhaps are already there, it may take a little time to “get the lay of the land.” Quartzsite is definitely an “original,” and it is decidedly a small town. But where do you buy your groceries? Quartzsite residents Russ and Tiña De Maris sort out the offerings in and near Quartzsite. Read more.
RV Deadline Approaching: Don’t Wait!
Temperatures may be dropping, but RV repair costs are still on the rise! Whether you’re winterizing your rig or hitting the road, now is the best time to protect your home-on-wheels. RV Warranty pricing and eligibility changes hit January 1st, 2017. Take advantage of current year rates from Wholesale Warranties while you still qualify!
This week in history
Week of Nov. 19–25
Compiled by Dell Bert
1863 – President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
1950 – “Storm of the century” hits the eastern U.S., killing more than 160 people.
1963 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
1971 – Hijacker “D.B. Cooper” parachutes into thunderstorm.
1976 – “Rocky” premieres.
1980 – Millions tune in to find out who shot J.R. (“Dallas”).
1993 – Robin Williams stars in “Mrs. Doubtfire.”
2012 – Actor Larry Hagman dies.
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.
RV Club of the Week
Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too!
Sun Seekers RV Club
One of six chapters of the Alfa Owner’s Club. “Alfa and non-Alfa owners are encouraged to join. Non-Alfa owners do need to be sponsored by a current member however. Our motto is: ‘Getting to know you better.’ Our purpose is to promote good fellowship and fun.” This chapter covers the Northwest, but there are also members in Idaho, Montana, Arizona and Florida.
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.
Bumper sticker of the week
“Poor gas mileage for a vehicle — Great for a home!” —on the back of a motorhome.
Funny/clever business slogan
Sign at a windshield replacement business: “Because you didn’t deserve a break today.”
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 list of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Camco Wheel Chocks. Two Pack
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.
Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:
Eight great American winter road trips
Here are some incredible iconic drives around the country to experience this winter, when there is less traffic and the top national parks are usually crowd-free. From usnews.com and msn.com.
Taste the states: 50 iconic American desserts
Baked Alaska from … Alaska, of course. Meyer lemon cake from California. Blueberry pie from Maine. Key lime pie from Florida. Boston cream pie from … Massachusetts. Mississippi mud pie. New York cheesecake. Pot candy from Colorado … huh? From PopSugar and msn.com.
Funny town names you won’t believe are real
This list is certainly not Boring (OR). In fact, some names may Surprise (AZ) you, while others may Embarrass (MN) you. It’s Okay (OK) if a town has No Name (CO), or if it is Nothing (AZ), or if they’re Uncertain (TX). Why (AZ) do we bring you this list, Sweet Lips (TN)? Whynot (NC)? From Reader’s Digest and msn.com.
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.
Portable heater is super effective for RVs!
The Vornado VH10 space heater heats an entire room, not just part of it. Using special ‘Vortex Action’, the VH10 creates a twisting current of air that flows fast, warm & gentle, circulating the heat throughout the entire room using walls & ceilings as pathways. The heater does not get hot to touch & has many safety features. 5 year guarantee! Click the video for a demonstration. Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• De Leon Springs State Park in DeLand, Florida offers year-round swimming, great food, and unique Floridian nature and wildlife.
• Bok Tower Gardens is a 250 acre bird sanctuary and botanical garden in Lake Wales, Florida.
• Stop manhandling those bulky backyard beasts, and show off the Coleman Camping Grill.
Keep your food cool with this RV fridge fan
Every RV refrigerator should have one of these!
This small refrigerator fan from Valterra Products will help keep the food in your RV fridge cool and from spoiling. It cuts down initial cool-down time by 50 percent. Runs for more than 30 days on 2 D batteries. Don’t leave home without this! Learn more or order from Amazon.com.
Ask the RV Shrink
Is TPMS adversely affected by balance beads?
Dear RV Shrink:
I have heard that owning a motorhome or a boat has been compared to throwing money into a black hole. We have been experiencing that lately. We bought six new tires a couple of years ago at the cost of almost $4,000. Recently, we decided to add a tire pressure monitoring system that we see advertised in RVtravel.com (TireTraker). What we didn’t realize is there is a possibility of problems if our tires have balance beads in them. We never even thought about this when we purchased tires. We now see on our tire invoice that our tires were balanced with beads instead of weights…. —Tired in Tucson
Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new eBook: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.
Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
GREAT STOCKING STUFFER! Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
How much LP gas does an RV hold?
Determining this can be a bit confusing. People often refer to LP gas in gallons and/or pounds. You may have heard somebody say that the gas cylinders on their travel trailer are 30 lb. cylinders, or they may say their cylinders hold seven gallons apiece. One gallon of LP gas weighs 4.26 pounds. The typical BBQ grill uses a 20 lb. cylinder, so at 80 percent full it would hold 3.75 gallons of LP gas. All LP gas cylinders and tanks are only filled to 80 percent of their capacity to allow for expansion when the temperature around the container rises.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums
If you love vintage cars, you’ll love the Roadster Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums & Attractions. Whether it’s Model Ts, the “tail fin” era, muscle cars, early race cars, and so much more, fans of classic cars will find all their favorites in one place in this comprehensive 340-page guide to more than 250 places, packed with more than 60 photos. 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: $2.18 (on Nov. 14). Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 0.6 cent.
Diesel: $2.44 (on Nov. 14). Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 4 cents.
Give gift cards to your
favorite stores and restaurants
You can’t go wrong giving a gift card for the holidays — or any other occasion. Here’s where to order most of America’s most popular gift cards.
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.
Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best-seller and costs about $8. GREAT GIFT! Learn more or order.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Lemon Herb Scones
Romancing the scone.
Just add a mug of cream of tomato soup and a quick, hot supper is ready within a half hour after you hook up at the campsite. To save even more time, measure the dry ingredients into a bag ahead of time. These crusty, flavorful scones will fly off the table. This makes a large batch, enough to freeze for another day. Get the recipe.
Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
GREAT GIFT! When 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
RV Fire Safety Tip
Don’t drive with propane on
Driving with propane on can add to the danger if you are involved in an accident or have a fire. Most refrigerators will keep food cold or frozen for eight hours without running while you travel. Shut the propane off at the tank.Courtesy: MacTheFireGuy.com
Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.
Cooking with Convection
Don’t know how to cook with your RV’s convection oven? Then this book is for you. Beatrice Ojakangas, an authority on convection cooking, explains how to use your convection oven to achieve perfect results in dramatically less time than with a conventional oven – from meat to side dishes to dessert — all at the same time. GREAT GIFT! Learn more or order.
RV Quick Tips
Keep your keyholes clear
Some bugs like to lay eggs in little spots — like in the keyholes of locks on RV storage compartments. Once in there, the stuff’s like glue. If your locks are steel, get small disc magnets from the hardware store and “stick” one over each lock.
Read your manuals
Got a new RV? Take the time to sit down with all those manuals and read them through. Use a highlighter as you go to “accent” those tiny maintenance suggestions and requirements. Then go back and build your own logically ordered notebook — and give reference points back to the original manual.
Keep your awning shut while traveling
Worried your awning might open while traveling? Put the awning in “transport” position, then carefully bore through the closed awning arms, installing a snap lock safety pin. It’ll prevent the arms from opening up without first being removed.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
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.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Trail-Lite RV has pump and electrical issues
Dear RV Doctor:
I recently purchased a 2007 R-Vision Trail-Lite RV. I live in Iowa and am trying to winterize it but when I put the RV antifreeze in, I can’t get it to circulate throughout the system. Am I doing something wrong or do you think I have a bad pump? The owner’s manual has very sparse information. I also have a couple of plug-ins that don’t have any juice. Do you happen to know where I can get an electrical diagram for this camper? Thanks! —Bill A.
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.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Never get lost with Avenza maps — Use even offline
Imagine being out in the boonies somewhere and you find yourself just a little lost. So you open your smartphone to get directions and — no Internet connection. Also imagine that you had already downloaded the Avenza Systems map for your area through its free app, and voila! There is your map! The Avenza Maps app is an all-inclusive mapping platform for mobile devices. Consumers can download the app for free, get geo-referenced maps from the Avenza Map Store, and use them completely offline with a variety of tools. Learn more.
Protect your RV’s finish with long handle neoprene sleeve
Accidentally scratching the paint on an RV with a metal handle while washing it is a thing of the past with Shurhold Industries’ new Handle Mate PFD. It protects RV surfaces from scratches, dings and other blemishes that can be caused by unintentional slips. Read more.
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.
with Mike Sokol
I have a 50 amp outlet I had put in, and from either hot to the neutral it reads 120 volts, but measuring between both hots it reads 240 volts. Is this outlet wired correctly? —Craig
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com.
Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
GREAT GIFT! 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.
RV Short Stop
Wildlife Safari is a 600-acre drive-through wild animal park that serves a crucial function in conservation and protection of endangered species “while educating the public about them and their important roles in the fragile ecosystem.” Visitors can view more than 76 species from their cars including tigers, giraffes, zebras, lions, elephants, bison, elk and bears. There are also personal “animal encounters” available, as well as a walk-through area with more than 300 animals. An RV campground is on the property.
Heated hose keeps your water flowing in the cold
Camco’s Heated Water Hose provides safe drinking water in freezing temperatures by combining a drinking-water-safe hose with a self-regulating heat source encapsulated in an all-weather, PVC coating. Operates on 120VAC/1.3 AMPs. Made in the USA. Learn more or order at Amazon.
Joke of the Week
An RVer in a motorhome got hopelessly bogged down in an unexpected muddy hole along a dirt road. After a few minutes, a passing farmer drove by on his tractor and offered to pull him out for a mere $20. After the motorhome was back on dry ground, the RVer said to the farmer, “At only $20, I bet you’re pulling vehicles out of this mud day and night.” “Can’t,” replied the farmer. “At night I haul water for the hole.”
Riding the rails! Tourist Trains Guidebook
Do you like to ride tourist railroads on your travels? If so, you’ll love this guidebook. It thoroughly describes at least 500 excursion trains and railroad museums in the USA and Canada. About 200 of the most popular sites are presented in full-page reviews written by a Trains magazine editor or correspondent. Reviewers offer advice on what to see, when to go, and how to get there. Learn more or order.
Videos you’ll like
• Coach Review: 2016 American Coach Eagle motorhome
Gary Bunzer takes you for a spin in the 45-foot 2016 American Eagle 45N. In this 10-minute video, he shows you the interior, exterior and the coach’s drivability. Watch the video.
• Cars of the future from 1948
What a hoot! Here’s what cars of the future would look like as envisioned in 1948. Watch the video.
• Coach Review: 2017 Newmar King Aire Luxury Motor Coach
Newmar shows you its King Aire luxury motor coach for 2017. Watch the video.
Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!
Random RV Thought
On a cold and rainy day, it is satisfying to camp with an RV, even though some people may think it’s best in warm, tamer weather. When the weather is foul, it’s a nice feeling to be inside, sheltered from the storm, warm and cozy, maybe with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate and/or your special someone.
WHAT IS IT?
Answer to contest question
This item, found in a museum in Sacramento, Calif., and displayed in action above in the 5-second video, was used to squeeze juice from fruit.
Reno is farther west than Los Angeles.
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 it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. All for less than $12! Learn more or order.
“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” —Bill Gates, Microsoft
Stay warm with this 12-volt Warming Blanket!
Here’s a way to keep warm in your RV without wasting propane to run your heater. Just snuggle up with a warming blanket! This one has an 8-foot cord and operates on 12-volt, perfect for RV use. Stitched from 100 percent polyester fleece, the blanket is comfortable, functional, safe and gentle on your RV’s battery. Put it on your bed before turning in to warm your sheets! Learn more or order from Amazon.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• November 21: To Nathan from Elliot. Happy Birthday, Nathan. Enjoy your new camper. Many happy years of camping ahead of you.
• November 22: To Dixie from Russell Hutchison. It has been a great 55 years!!!! Loved every minute of it….
• November 25: To Linda from Chuck. How about a preceremonial honeymoon to London? They have a good Playboy Club. Top Dog.
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.
TODAY’S DEALS AT AMAZON.COM. Click.
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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