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 793 • Week of May 13–19, 2017
SHOP AT AMAZON
and help support this newsletter!
If you shop at Amazon.com, would you please visit there through this link? We’ll get a small commission on your purchase(s), which helps support this newsletter. You’ll pay the exact same price as clicking directly to Amazon. Please consider bookmarking this page for your future Amazon.com purchases. Thank you!
An easy way to remember how to shop at Amazon through our link is to simply click to http://rvtravel.com/amazon .
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
In two weeks, I’m flying to New York City. My 25-year-old daughter has had enough of the Big Apple, and is returning home. I’ll join Emily in a small moving truck on a seven-day cross-country trip to Seattle.
We’ll stick to I-90, taking a week for the 2,800-mile journey. It will be good for me to see what it’s like to travel and stay in hotels. Of course, it will be delightful to have my “little” girl all to myself for a week! I plan to do some writing along the way so be sure to check this website the week of May 27–June 3.
• • •
Our Reader Surveys are back in a slightly different form. We’ll now call them Reader Polls rather than surveys. Look for the first one below. My staff and I will also include them in many articles, making it easy for you to express your thoughts and opinions about the subject matter.
• • •
I wrote an editorial this week about the KOA park in Seattle that should be an embarrassment to the company. It baffles me why this KOA is permitted in the park’s system. I reached out to KOA management with questions, including one about the 20 percent of the RVs there with expired license plates, some expired for years. Read more.
• • •
The last week of June, Gail and I will begin a journey east in our motorhome, all the way to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the giant RV show in September. We’ll pause in Indianapolis in July for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) national rally, where the motorhome club will formally announce its intentions to open its membership to owners of towable RVs (watch my video about this).
On this long, leisurely trip, Gail and I will visit dozens of RV parks to better understand their conditions and what they offer. I’ll talk with as many RVers as I can to learn their experiences, good, bad or otherwise. My goal is to take the pulse of RVing in America and how it affects — and will affect — you and me. With nearly a half million new RVs being sold every year, change (not necessarily good) is coming as more RVers vie for the same campsites, and service after the sale becomes more difficult.
I am happy to report that we are starting up or restarting some of our newsletters on a variety of RVing subjects. See the list of newsletters by clicking here. Sign up for as many or few as you wish. If you have already signed up to any of them, no problem: You will not not receive duplicate issues. The first newsletter to resume will be Great RV Accessories, a monthly, which profiles great gizmos and gadgets for RVers. Up soon thereafter will be a new monthly that addresses the specific interests of full-time RVers.
Enough for now. See you next week. Be safe, healthy and happy!
DOES YOUR RV HAVE A NAME?
Did you name your RV? If so, please let us know by clicking here and leaving its name in the comments along with the story behind it. We’ll pick the most creative three names at the end of May and award each of the RV owners a highly rated Tekton digital tire gauge.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• Marilyn Monroe, the slot machine.
• My ‘trip of a lifetime?’ No, no! Please!!!
• The evil of plastic. Beware: Photo is disturbing.
Is 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.
RVing not a ‘Baby Boomer’ industry anymore
Baby Boomers are no longer the focus of the RV industry. That was the word this week when 850 RV industry leaders met at their annual Power Breakfast in Elkhart, Indiana. Read more.
Camping World changing policy on overnight RV stays?
Over the past 15–20 years, Camping World was a reliable place where RVers could count on being granted permission to park overnight for one night. More recently, as Camping World has increased its focus on RV sales and not just accessories, parts and RV service, this has been changing. More and more Camping World stores now have fenced, gated parking lots, locked at night, and they no longer allow overnight RV stays. Read more.
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.
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.
THIS WEEK’S CONTEST!
We have a winner! No more entries this week, please. The answer is Prairie Dog.
Win this set of two Camping Adventures Chambray Towels. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Sunday. The question: What is the animal in the photo? A Prairie Dog, Woodchuck, Side Hill Gouger or Golden Mantle Squirrel? (Answer is below if you don’t know.). 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. All entries must include your mailing address and telephone number (only used for mailing if you win) or your entry will be disqualified and we’ll choose the next (correct) entry. Contest ends Sunday at noon (Pacific), at which time a winner will be selected by Random.org. We’ll let you know if you win.
Last week’s winner: Ken Gerding of Portland, Oregon. He won the MUSIC ANGEL Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.
In what sounded to many like a typical email phishing scam, 200,000 Florida State Park visitors got an email asking if they would like to have their personal information exempted from a public record search. The email purported to be from the state’s park system — and it really was. An attorney has requested a list of all Florida residents who’ve visited the state’s parks in the last five years, requesting names, addresses, email addresses and more. The state says it must provide the information, based on reservations data, but users can “opt out.” If you want to opt-out, you can phone 850-245-2157 — but you MUST opt-out by May 15.
Lake Tahoe (California/Nevada) campgrounds are getting geared up for opening soon. Tahoe Basin campgrounds like Fallen Leaf Lake will be open by press time; however, some California-side campgrounds are having a tougher go due to high snow levels. Meeks Bay will open May 19, but Kaspian and William Kent campgrounds won’t open until June 2.
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) will open on May 15 — but overnighting won’t be available until May 26 as the result of water supply issues. Rock slides have severely damaged a pipeline, and contractors will be trucking water into the park until repairs can be completed.
Buy your next RV at Costco? That’s what Frost RV, a Tucson, Ariz., dealer is counting on. Frost and Costco have cut a deal whereby Costco customers are referred to the Tucson outfit to pay a set price for a specific, new RV. The price is said to give the dealer a good profit and the buyer the “benefit” of not having to haggle over a price. Frost is Costco’s “exclusive designated RV dealer in southern Arizona.”
California State Parks has reopened North Beach Campground at Pismo Beach State Park. The campground had been shut down since January due to storm flooding. Camping is presently on a first-come, first-served basis, but will roll back to reservations only May 15 through November 30. Visit reserveamerica.com for reservation information.
Clean your RV… with beastly-good results!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
Your RV’s large surface area makes it a beast that collects more bugs, grit, grime, soot and industrial pollution than your car does. And it may have different surfaces of paint, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum. Click on the video to see Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING with Beast Wash. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Beast Wash at the Wade Maid website.
Is a “tiny house” an RV? Not in Oregon, apparently. In January the state’s Consumer and Business Services agency declined to issue any more certificates to tiny house builders for their units to be declared recreational vehicles. Now the state’s lawmakers are wrestling with the issue — potentially asking for new standards for tiny houses to be codified.
Recent floods have brought plenty of misery to Missouri, and included in that is the current closure of Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park. The entire park, including campgrounds and river access points, is shut down with no scheduled reopening date. Officials say that flooding to an extent never before seen has been visited on the public treasure. For updates, visit the park’s website here.
The city-owned Lake Elsinore, Calif., RV park, La Laguna RV Resort, has received the nod for some major upgrades. More than $400,000 will be shelled out to bring in new bathroom and shower facilities, and to provide shade-shelters at the 150-site RV park.
A man suffered first and second degree burns while trying to save his dog in a fire that broke out in their RV early Friday morning in Auburn, Wash., southeast of Seattle. After the fire was put out, firefighters found the dog’s body inside. Investigators believe the fire began from a heater being placed too close to bedding. No one else was injured. Source: komonews.com.
Officials at Glacier National Park (Montana) are between a rock and a hard place. The popularity of Apgar Campground, on the south shore of Lake McDonald, is creating a stressful situation that requires relief — in the form of a new bathroom. Trouble is, the Park Service plans for building a new biffy mean tearing down Comfort Station 234, a bathroom that hasn’t been used in 20 years. More trouble: 234 is a “distinguished example of rustic architecture,” and taking it out would be a historic no-no, according to a state historic preservation agency. Park’s folks say it’s not possible from a financial standpoint to keep the old toilet and still provide relief to the restless.
RVers and construction contractors are feeling the frustration surrounding Steamboat Rock State Park near Electric City, Wash. Last fall, construction of 30 new campsites halted and has yet to resume. Now state park officials say they’re stuck, and have no idea as to when construction will start again. The problem hinges on an expired agreement between the state, historic preservation officials, and a Native American tribal confederation. While all concerned are trying to bang out a new agreement, nothing more happens until they do. The park is visited by a half-million people each year.
Jackson Hole, Wyo., is such a tourist mecca that city councilors have been hard-pressed to figure out where to put all the hired help. With some of the town’s workforce camping alongside city street curbs, the town pushed to build a “worker’s only” campground. But the devil is in the details, and a full-fledged campground won’t happen this year. A small pilot project was approved, making 13 electric-only sites available. Just how to ensure that only workers get the spots is yet another problem to consider.
If you’re planning on camping at an Army Corps of Engineers campground in Oklahoma, better call ahead. Severe flooding has closed many CoE campgrounds around the state, and officials say it may be weeks before some are reopened. Particularly hard hit are Grand Lake, Hudson and Fort Gibson reservoirs. Follow this link to a list of phone numbers.
This week’s Reader Poll
Where are you reading this website or newsletter? At home? On the road? Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE
Gadget Guru Andy Pargh found a great campground near Macon, Georgia — full hookups and lots of space between sites for $25 a night. He’s a little reluctant to let the rest of the world in on this secret, but if you’re curious, click here for Andy’s report along with lots of pics.
Alcohol and camping don’t mix — at least not at Illinois Beach State Park. For a while, authorities allowed alcohol at some sites in the campground there, but rowdy drinkers were too hard to control. Rangers couldn’t toss loud drinkers but could simply ask them to tone it down — often to limited success. Now alcohol is verboten throughout the campground; Violators can plead guilty and cut a check for $75 and mail it in. If they want to contest the citation, things get interesting — if they lose, fines can go up to $1,500, with the possibility of jail time up to six months.
Guests at the Conewago Campground in Menallen Township, Pa., got an unwelcome eyeful after an 18-year-old man took a bad trip — on psychedelic mushrooms. Jordan Eckard was booked on a variety of charges, including indecent exposure and assault, after he popped a few shrooms. After the “fun fungi” kicked in, Eckard kicked off his shoes — and everything else — and clobbered a couple of other campground guests with a rock.
A repeat criminal offender may learn, in the words of the prosecutor, that “crime does not pay.” Timothy Bryce, formerly of Scranton, Pa., but soon to call prison home for up to 70 months, allowed his taste for fine motorhomes to be his downfall. Bryce visited an RV dealership in Charlotte, N.C., spending time with a salesman as he “shopped” for a half-million-dollar motorhome. He secretly swapped out a key of his own for the real motorhome key, then popped back in after closing to drive away with the big rig. Crossing state lines into Georgia with the purloined RV added to his sentencing woes.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Child dies from touching the family RV
Editor Chuck Woodbury wrote this article three years ago in response to the death of a 3-year-old boy, who was electrocuted by simply touching his family’s Airstream trailer. Every year, we remind new readers about this important article. The trailer was experiencing what is known as a “hot skin” condition. It can happen to any of us and does, in fact, happen much too often (most often the shock does not kill). Read this potentially lifesaving article.
RV survival techniques: Summer weekend camping chaos
RVing in summer can be one of the more pleasant aspects of the RV lifestyle, and also one of the more stressful. As a full-timer or on an extended vacation you have to camp somewhere on busy weekends. But if you’ve ever spent a weekend in a state park campground or a popular family RV resort – if you can even get in – you know that it will be crowded and probably noisy. Here is an option.
RV comes with a big soaking bathtub!
As many RV manufacturers evolve from building RVs as vehicles to use for recreation into building them for mobile homes, we have yet another entry into the RV designers’ game: “What cool option can we feature next that nobody really needs?” Well, you can find out here.
This RV resort is going to pot — deliberately
As more and more Americans are lighting up marijuana legally, the combination of pot smoking and recreation was bound to happen. Cannabis consumers can rent vacation homes, tour and toke with fellow travelers, even whitewater raft with your reefer. But park your RV and puff the magic dragon? It appears that pipe dreams can be a reality – now there’s Smoke on the Water Campground. Read more.
How often do you stay overnight at Walmart?
Many RVers occasionally spend a night in their RV in a Walmart parking lot, for one reason or another. How about you? How often do you spend the night in a Walmart parking lot? Please respond to our poll and/or feel free to leave a comment. Read more.
Finding hard-to-locate vintage parts for RVs
If you have an “orphaned” RV, like Rich “The Wanderman,” you may have also spent many hours tweaking and improving to get everything as close to perfect for you as possible. But what do you do when you need to replace a part? Some things are very easy to find; some, not so much. After lots of trials and tribulations, Rich has come up with places to purchase just about anything you may need. Find out where here.
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.
RV Mods: Stretching your basement storage
It seems like we can never have enough “room” to carry all the stuff we find a use for. With the invention of fifth wheels and tall motorhomes, “basement” storage came into vogue. For some, it was like the luggage storage bays on a Greyhound bus! But basement storage isn’t always the most usable area for practical storage. Here are a few ideas on how to make your basement storage more useful.
Screen door mod provides better view
Greg Illes’ standard screen door on his RV was built in three sections — the same as most other screen doors. Top and bottom were screened, and the center had a blank panel and a sliding door for access to the main door handle. So? Well, he noticed after a while that the center blank panel had two issues. Find out what they were and how he cheaply and quickly upgraded the door. Learn more.
Removing and sealing RV cabover windows
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor regarding the proper way to repair a leaking cabover window. Read Chris’ response.
We tried an RV roof coating — Here’s our six-year report
To hear RV manufacturers talk, EPDM rubber roofs are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Problem is, even sliced bread eventually gets stale. After a few years in the elements, rubber roofs take the hit of weathering and exposure to UV radiation. From personal experience by Russ and Tiña De Maris, they can say that a non-maintained rubber roof is a tragedy just waiting to happen. How can you keep your rubber roof happy? Find out in this report.
Thor recalling some Venetian and Tuscany motorhomes
Thor Motor Coach is recalling certain 2016-2017 Venetian and Tuscany motorhomes equipped with Cummins ISL engines. The vehicles, built on a Freightliner chassis, have a power steering hose that may be routed incorrectly and, as a result, the hose may rub against the power stud on the starter motor, possibly causing electrical arcing and a power steering fluid leak. Electrical arcing in the presence of leaking power fluid can increase the risk of fire. Learn more.
Recall to fix trailer slideouts that may extend while towing
Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling 1,662 model year 2017-2018 Imagine travel trailers. The screws that secure the slide room mechanism columns may shear, allowing the slide room to extend while the trailer is being towed. Learn more.
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.
This week in history
Week of May 13–19
Compiled by Dell Bert
1607 — Jamestown settlers arrive.
1804 — Lewis and Clark depart to explore the Northwest.
1929 — First Academy Awards ceremony.
1965 — The FBI Laboratory weighs in on the “dirty” lyrics of “Louie Louie.”
1973 — Skylab launched.
1980 — Mount St. Helens erupts.
1982 — “Ebony and Ivory” begins a 7-week run at #1 on the pop charts.
1998 — Frank Sinatra dies.
2007 — Smart launches U.S. road show to introduce its microcar.
How can you end the “military” RV shower?
You know the routine, constantly turning off the shower to conserve hot water. That’s because most RVs have tank heaters with limited hot water. You never have to run out of hot water with a hybrid instant hot water heater. Find out how the Truma AquaGo® gives you a real shower in your RV. Learn more here.
“Translation” of personalized license plate above: “Leave a message” — as in, “We can’t take your call right now. We’re having too much fun RVing!”
Bumper sticker of the week
“Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him.” Thanks to Gary Baney!
Funny/clever business slogan
From Bobby Clark: “In the 1980s, I remember seeing a business sign on Donner Pass, 80-E, advertising for a radiator shop in Reno, Nev.: ‘The best place to take a leak in Reno.’ I still get a chuckle when I pass where the sign used to be.” Thanks, Bobby!
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:
The most amazing National Parks to visit in the spring
Here is a list of 15 National Parks that are perfect to visit in the spring — when there are fewer visitors and beautiful wildflowers in bloom, not to mention wildlife to observe. Some suggested activities as well as what to watch for are included. Time to end your winter hibernation and explore the great outdoors. From The Active Times and msn.com.
RV Park Reviews. Currently there are 288,384 (increasing daily) user-submitted reviews for 15,835 campgrounds in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The 50 most underrated attractions in every state
“Classic tourist attractions may have their charms, but they come with a huge drawback: sooo many crowds. From fascinating museums to gorgeous scenery, these destinations are just as interesting but are off-the-beaten-path, even for locals, and a guaranteed hit for your next long weekend” or RV short stop. This is not the same list as we presented earlier — most of these attractions are different from that list, which was from the U.K. From Good Housekeeping and msn.com.
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Hide your valuables where no burglar will find them!
No, we’re not selling fruit cocktail. This is really a safe. But what burglar would know that if he broke into your RV? Use this to hide cash, valuable jewelry, credit cards, even a list of your computer’s passwords. Then store the can with all your other canned foods! Learn more or order.
RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
Why some tires “explode”
Roger Marble explains, with easy-to-understand examples, why and how a tire sidewall fails due to being run without proper inflation, such as if there is a leak or if the tire was not properly inflated in the first place. Learn more.
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 syndrome, 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. Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Prepare this sweet treat before you embark on your next adventure!
• Watch how this full-time RVing family renovated the interior of their 42′ fifth wheel!
• The Florida Keys are well known for their incredible vacation destinations, unique wildlife, and laid back vibe.
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!
Ask the RV Shrink
Down in the RV dumps
Dear RV Shrink:
We have been on our first shakedown cruise with a new class C motorhome. It has been a real eye-opening, learning experience. I have always taken my waste disposal for granted. I flush the toilet and it disappears forever. Now I get to see it one more time before it goes off to the big sewage system in the great unknown. My problem is not sanitation. I am questioning dump station manners. In my opinion, so far they stink. … —Bob in Blackwater, Va.
Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: 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.
2017 Large Scale Road Atlas from Rand McNally
Give your eyes a break with this large-scale spiral-bound road atlas of the U.S. and Canada from Rand McNally. Maps are 35% larger than the standard atlas, plus there are more than 350 detailed city inset & national park maps & a comprehensive index. Road construction & conditions contact information is conveniently located above the maps. Tough spiral binding allows the atlas to lay open easily. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. If you’re carrying 40 gallons of fresh water you’ve got more than 300 pounds of additional weight to your RV. Take just enough water to get to your destination.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
PUBLISHED THIS YEAR!
Guide to the National Parks
This award-winning guide, completely updated for the 2017 edition, includes more than 450 new photographs, 160 revised maps, and 50 hiking tables, making it the only guidebook you’ll need to explore the United States National Parks. Attractions beyond the parks and suggested road trips make it even more valuable. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.37 (on May 8). Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 15 cents.
Diesel: $2.57 (on May 8). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 29 cents.
Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble!
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. Used by the RV Travel staff. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Egg-Free Fudge Cookies
Oh, fudge! Cookies without eggs.
Easier than box brownies, these drop cookies don’t call for eggs or a mixer. They are a snap to make in the RV galley. Serve them plain or sift powdered sugar over them. Make them often and change off each time. So many variations! Get the recipe.
Dish rack collapses for easy storage
Conserve space with this Collapsible Over-The-Sink Dish Rack. It’s perfect for your RV kitchen. When collapsed measures: 12.4″ x 14.5″ x 1.9″and when expanded measures: 12.4″ x 14.5″ x 5.1″. The RV Travel motorhome uses this in its kitchen. Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety Tip
Maintaining your fire extinguishers
Once you’ve determined that you have the right type of fire extinguishers, the next priority is to keep them properly maintained by checking them periodically. Check the fire extinguisher gauge to determine if there is pressure in the extinguisher. If the gauge indicates empty or needs charging, replace or recharge the extinguisher immediately. To test non-gauged extinguishers, push the plunger indicator (usually green or black) down. If it does not come back up, the extinguisher has no pressure to expel its contents. If you need help testing your fire extinguishers, check with your local fire department. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.
Plug your 30 amp RV
into a 50 amp hookup
More and more, RVers with 30 amp coaches are finding only hookups to 50 amp service at RV parks and even some state parks. Without an adapter like this, they’re out of luck. With this dogbone adapter along, you’ll be able to plug into a 50 amp hookup and enjoy the benefits of 30 amp service. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
RV Quick Tips
Easy fire starters
Want fire starters for your campfire? Get a single one of those premanufactured fire logs, cut it up in pieces, and use the pieces for fire starters.
Limited space in your RV’s bedroom? Where to keep all that “pocket junk” men have to carry? Try a small plastic tray where you can dump your keys, wallet, sunglasses, etc. Bigger stuff, like iPad, water bottle, book? Just use a bigger plastic tray.
Noisy bathroom fan?
Bathroom fan so noisy it drives you nuts? Look for a replacement fan with a 12-volt high capacity computer cooling fan. You may need to modify the mounting a bit to make it stay in the same place, but a little creativity can bring a “silent night.”
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2017 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Motorhome leans — Why, and what to do?
My new motorhome leans to the passenger side. The weight record shows that the passenger side rear is about 1,000 pounds different than the driver’s rear side. Winnebago installed a two-inch block on the rear passenger side to lift the springs and it doesn’t lean now but it drives differently. The rear end is all over the road. Was the block the proper repair or would you suggest adding leaf springs? —Peter
Who are you? Where did you come from?
With a DNA test from 23andMe, you’ll get a detailed breakdown of your global ancestry, even learn if some of your DNA comes from Neanderthals. If you choose, find & connect with relatives who share your DNA. Just provide a saliva sample & send it back. Results will arrive in about 6-8 weeks. Learn more or order.
with Bob Difley
Is finding a boondocking campsite worth the effort?
Thanks for your question-and-answer blog. I feel I can ask questions that I can’t find an answer for elsewhere. And here is one: I like the idea of boondocking but it seems that I spend a lot of time and effort finding a boondocking spot compared to just heading for a campground. I wonder sometimes if it is worth the effort? —Mike
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Cool Caravanning: A virtual RV tour of the lush English countryside.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Easy way to add water to your batteries!
Never, ever, let your automotive or RV deep cycle batteries run out off water. Here’s a simple way to keep them topped off for maximum performance and long life. Just use this syringe with distilled water. So easy. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
with Mike Sokol
Hooking up 50-amp trailer to 30-amp service at campground
If you have a 50-amp trailer and 30-amp service is the only service available at the campground post, can you show me a wiring schematic of the adapter pigtail I would use to adapt from 30-amp service to a 50-amp trailer. When we run across this situation I am always curious how this adapter can supply power to both 120-volt sides of our 50-amp trailer connections. Thank you for your comments on this subject. —Gary Reed
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. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Highly rated hand vacuum perfect for the RV
This cordless lithium hand vac from Black and Decker will be a great addition to your RV. It holds a charge for up to 18 months and the battery has no memory effect. Its Smart Charge technology uses 50% less energy than others. It’s powerful and offers outstanding performance, with no bag to clean. Learn more.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click
3-In-One Slide-Out Silicone Lube prevents sticking and squeaking
Squeaking and squealing from slide-outs, windows and doors that are sticking can ruin the calm of a campsite, but new 3-In-One RVcare Slide-Out Silicone Lube, and Window and Track Dry Lube, will restore the quiet and keep slide-outs, windows and doors moving smoothly, according to WD-40. With the launch of two new easy-to-use maintenance products, 3-In-One is taking the guesswork out of RV maintenance and helping RV owners avoid costly repairs. Read more.
High-torque Brush Hero powers through cleanups
Boondock Bob reviewed Brush Hero, a device that attaches to the end of a garden hose that can be used to clean “virtually anything” (you’ll be surprised!), as the packaging states. He was skeptical – until he tried it. Read this very favorable review by Bob about this handy gadget and what a great job it did on his truck with almost no effort on his part. Learn more.
Multipurpose Microfiber Duster
No more car wipes to dry up. This duster replaces all interior car products. The 10-inch dusting head is big enough to get your dash dust-free quickly, but small enough for your glove box. The back doubles as a scrubbing sponge. Great for interior or exterior use on cars, RVs or home! Learn more or order.
RV Short Stop
Chantilly Farm in Blue Ridge Mountains
near Floyd, Virginia
One visit to this area, especially over a weekend, and you’ll understand why this region in southwest Virginia is so popular. If you’re traveling in an RV, check out the beautiful Chantilly Farm campground six miles from downtown Floyd and convenient to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail. Opened in 2011, Chantilly Farm, with acres of grassy fields, woodlands and abundant wildlife, has evolved into one of the region’s premiere outdoor venues for camping and special events. They provide everything from full hookups to rustic tent camping. Read more in this article from Julianne G. Crane.
Lap top desk provides cushion and support
VERY HANDY! Whether you’re working on your laptop or writing with a pen and paper, this soft, fleece covered cushion with a sturdy surface is perfect for when you’re not at a desk. Take it with you wherever you go. Great for a child for coloring or playing a game. It has a built-in drink and pen holder and a flexible battery-powered light. This would be very useful to many RVers. Learn more or order.
Stupid Statements of Yesteryear
“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” —Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.
Bet you didn’t know!
• Pigeons don’t bob their heads when they’re walking on a treadmill.
• It is illegal in New York City to take a selfie with a tiger.
• The answer to a true-false question is most likely to be true.
From 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.
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.
Free and bargain camping
College Place, Washington
FREE: Get permission from store and park where directed. Level, quiet, well-lit, no apparent security concerns. Located 2.4 miles off of state route 125 at 1700 SE Meadowbrook Blvd, close to Washington/Oregon border. GPS: 46.034395°, -118.383670°
Gas City, Indiana
FREE. Must obtain permission from store. Park in one of four spaces marked Bus/RV. Lighted, appears level. Located: Exit 59 off I-69 at 4984 South Kay-Bee Dr. GPS: 40.481320°, -85.547000°
Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,480 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
ANSWER TO CONTEST: It’s a Prairie Dog (there is no such thing as a Side Hill Gouger)
Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
Videos you’ll like
• Homer Simpson buys a motorhome
You’ll love this. Get ready to laugh! Watch the video.
• Walk through a restored 1957 Flexible motorhome
Andy Pargh, the Gadget Guru, shows off this gorgeous RV. Watch the video.
Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!
Random RV Thought
Here are a few reasons why RVing is a good way to travel: (1) There are no long lines at airport security checkpoints. (2) You do not need to pack and unpack your bags. (3) You can leave home or your destination according to your own schedule. (4) You do not have to use public restrooms. (5) No bedbugs to worry about. (6) You can eat your own healthy food.
Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.
The only fish that can blink with both eyes are sharks. Also, sharks have a mirror-like layer in the back of the eye which enhances the eye’s sensitivity to light (ten times more sensitive than humans’ eyes) so they can see better in murky water.
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.
“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” —Mark Twain
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Mark Polk, Roger Marble, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld and Andrew Robinson. Advertising: Eric Brotman.
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.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way #265, 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.
This newsletter is copyright 2017 by RVtravel.com