Issue 889 • April 25, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day
When traveling it’s all too easy to find yourself focusing more on the destination than the trip. Think of all the great attractions you pass when you have the blinders on, barreling down the interstate. Slow down, check out your surroundings as you go, look for signs to local attractions, stay free from tight travel agendas, and it’s all right to suddenly change your mind and go somewhere that you hadn’t planned to.
Many of these attractions, whether scenic, historic or of unique interest, are free, and as such, do not have big advertising budgets like large commercial attractions do. So you have to either look for them or find out about them in another way.
By finding these free and low-cost attractions you can save a considerable amount of your entertainment budget.
Local chambers of commerce and visitor centers are usually loaded with brochures with free information including discount passes on nearby attractions.
Another way to find attractions is to inquire at federal agency offices (BLM, National Park Service, Forest Service, etc.) and park entry stations, or with campground hosts. Of course, a search of the Internet of local towns is also an excellent way to discover places you might otherwise miss. Asking for tips about things to do on Facebook and RVillage is also helpful.
Without a little imaginative searching, you could miss a stunning scenic view, spectacular hike to a waterfall, wildlife viewing areas, or other sites worth seeing – as well as enjoying free entertainment. And often, when you are visiting smaller attractions or local museums – where they’re glad to see all visitors – you can stay overnight in the parking lot, saving campground fees. Just ask first.
You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Read yesterday’s tip: Don’t let noise keep you awake.
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
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20% off RoverPass, unlimited booking to over 6,000 campgrounds!
RoverPass Unlimited is the all-access fast pass to booking campgrounds online. It allows you to search and book at over 6,000 campgrounds and RV parks without a platform fee. You’ll also get priority booking and one-on-one access with customer service representatives. Click here to receive 20 percent off an unlimited membership.
Extra safety when traveling
Concerned about safety when traveling (and who isn’t?)? 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.
Sewer hose supports
“We have the plastic ‘ladder’ that holds our sewer hose. We place a plastic gutter we purchased on sale on the ‘ladder’ and then put the slinky hose on top since it otherwise tends to ‘get loose.’ The gutter keeps it straight and stable into the campground tank. We also drilled holes in the gutter to allow water to drain through it, but it does pretty good on its own since it is slanted. We are seasonal so the camper is never moved and we don’t have a problem with storage. If you need it longer you can purchase a connector.” Thanks to Pastor Jon Guenther!
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
You can tell if a regular tungsten running or brake light bulb is blown by measuring it just like a fuse. First, pull it out of the socket and put it on a non-conductive surface. Then set your multi-meter to the lowest ohms scale and place a meter lead on each contact. It doesn’t matter which contact gets the red or black meter lead, and don’t worry about getting shocked. If you have a brake light bulb like an 1157 you’ll see two contacts on the bottom. You’ll need to check between the outer brass shell and each contact one at a time. A good bulb will measure around 10 to 20 ohms, while a blown bulb will measure infinity, or maybe a million ohms if your fingers get in the way.
Another way 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.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Deanna (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
RVtravel.com’s “Camper Slobs of the Week“
The largest, tiniest blanket for all your outdoor needs
Pack your beach bags and get ready for park picnics, it’s summer! OK, well, almost. What’s one thing we always need for a relaxing day outdoors? A blanket! This tiny, super lightweight travel blanket is great for RVers, campers, hikers, concert-goers and travelers. When folded up in its drawstring pouch, it fits in the palm of your hand. When unfolded, it’s a waterproof 55″x70″ two-person blanket. Be right back, we’re buying it here!
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
Google Photos is the best way to store your photos. It works best if you’re using the app on your phone, but you can use it on your computer too. Every time you take a photo on your phone, the app will automatically back it up onto Google Photos. What does this mean? Unlimited storage space for your phone photos, and if your phone gets lost/stolen/broken, your photos will be backed up on Google Photos so you won’t have lost them (accessible from the app or your web browser.) Read our full review here.
Frugal RV Travel
This great blog covers everything from full-time boondocking, to purchasing an RV, to doing repairs on the road, all while on a tight budget. If you want to learn how to do RV on the cheap (well, cheap-ish) this is the blog to follow.
Science says there’s a time we should be going to bed, depending on when we have to wake up. Something having to do with how much time you need to be in and out of REM sleep, out of light sleep, etc. This website tells you exactly when you should go to bed (it gives you three times a few hours apart) to get the right amount of sleep and wake up not feeling groggy. We think it’s pretty neat!
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
Free or cheap camping at Elk Lodges
Did you know you can stay overnight at Elk Lodge RV parks for as little as $5 a night? An annual membership in Elks costs $50 to $200 and entitles you to stay at approximately 1,000 Elks Lodges throughout the country. Sometimes it’s dry camping, but other times it can be partial or full-hookups. In this short video, Elks member Jim O’Briant of http://OvernightRVparking.com explains how Elks camping works and how easy and inexpensive it is to join.
See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.
Hands-free umbrella? Yes, please!
It might look silly, but these hat-umbrellas are very cool (not to mention handy). They’re great for outdoor garden work, taking the dog for a walk in the rain (nobody likes holding a leash, poop bag, and an umbrella) and hiking. The hats come in handy for all rainy day occasions. They’re super lightweight but sturdy and fold into a small travel-sized umbrella. Wear them on hot, sunny days to stay cool and keep out of the sun. Learn more or order here.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Important torque wrench tips
A cautionary note for those who use a click-type torque wrench: Don’t force the wrench past the point at which it clicks, or on manual pointer-style either, as this will lead to losing the calibration. Recalibration can cost as much as a cheap torque wrench. When retorquing a wheel, it’s wise to back off a wheel nut or any bolt slightly before rechecking torque or you may inadvertently over-tighten said bolt and cause failure. Wheel nuts must be torqued evenly in a criss-cross manner (as shown in owner’s or shop manuals). If not, brake rotors can be tightened unevenly causing warping, leading to shuddering brakes and possible brake failure. Thanks to Bill R. for the reminders.
Pilot light won’t ignite?
Gas appliance pilot refuses to light? Could be dust in your pilot assembly. “Canned air” is perfect for blasting those delicate parts. Don’t have a can on hand? A bendable drinking straw coupled with your own lung-power can suffice.
Need an RV Home Base?
Then you need Americas Mailbox! You’ll enjoy great tax advantages with your South Dakota “residency,” like no state income tax and low insurance rates (second lowest in the USA says the Insurance Information Institute). Many plans are available. Click the video where RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury talks with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes. Or click here to learn more or enroll.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
A young, pregnant RVer named Sally was involved in a traffic accident, but because she was riding in a sturdy motorhome, she survived, although she was left in a coma. When she awoke a few days later in the hospital she was no longer pregnant. She asked her doctor, “What happened?” He replied, “Sally, you had twins – a boy and a girl. Your brother named them for you.”
“Oh, no!” shrieked Sally. “Not my brother! His elevator doesn’t go to the top floor, if you know what I mean!” The doctor replied, “Well, Sally, your brother named your daughter Denise.” Relieved, she said, “Well, that’s not so bad. Then, hesitantly, she asked, “What’s the boy’s name?”
“Denephew,” he said.
RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .
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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