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Issue 763 • Week of Oct. 8–14, 2016
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With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
This is a photo of a new diesel motorhome from Thor called an Aria. It has three TVs (or an optional fourth if you can’t get by with three), and a king-size bed that tilts up at the headboard so you can watch TV without wasting your time propping up pillows. It has two bathrooms and a stackable washer-dryer.
“Luxury is evident with high-gloss hand-crafted Amish cabinetry and hand-laid porcelain tile floor throughout the coach,” reads the Thor news release. “Soft leatherette seating and an electric fireplace provide a warm environment to lounge or entertain guests. Solid surface countertops, decorative tile backsplash, and residential appliances in the kitchen have plenty of space to cook and make cleaning up easy.”
So, okay, this is not your average camper van.
Through the years, I’ve met people who never spent a night in an RV and never plan to. “I don’t like to camp,” they say. Now, you tell me: Traveling with this Aria — or any similar RV — is that camping? I mean, really?
MOST BUSINESSES operate with the following idea in mind: Bigger is better. In the RV industry that often means each new model year there must be more slideouts, more TVs, more bathrooms — more gadgets to be packed in. So more sales (hopefully).
When I compare the Aria with the 15-foot travel trailer I camped in when I was a youngster, I realize how far recreational vehicles have come. Every year in the decades that have passed, RV makers have added features.
That Field and Stream trailer of my youth had no bathroom, no holding tanks, no slideouts, no TV, no AC — not even a heater. My idea today of camping is based largely on my experiences with that trailer, and the tent trailer before it. Those primitive RVs were where my family and I slept and ate some of our meals. Mostly, we spent our time outdoors.
I cannot associate the Aria with the word “camping.” You do not camp in it. You live in it. The basic difference between living in a house and living in the Aria is the Aria moves.
MY THINKING ABOUT ALL OF THIS — based on the “bigger is better” idea — boils down to a question: What newfangled RVs will we travel with ten years from now? Face it, every workday, RV maker big shots are sitting around big, round conference tables dreaming up new ways to further “gadgetize” their next year’s models. Three bathrooms are on the way, I just know it. Dishwashers will be far more common.
The people who build RVs will not stop adding new features. They can’t. It’s in their DNA. And every year that passes, with each new innovation, the word “camping” becomes even less appropriate in describing what you do with these rigs. At least to me.
It’s hard for me to imagine what’s in store for us in the next ten years.
•Good RVs, bad RVs: There’s been a lot of talk lately on this website about the often bad quality of today’s RVs. More than 260 of you have commented, many with horror stories. Last week, I asked you to comment if your experience with your RV was GOOD, not bad. About 150 of you responded. So, the good news is there are plenty of quality RVs being produced today. The bad news is that there are plenty of bad ones, too. The moral of the story: Shop carefully and smartly.
•My 2008 Winnebago View motorhome is still for sale. It was a great RV for me (just too small for my new full-time RVing life). Learn more about it.
•Headed outta Dodge: It’s been six weeks since I moved out of my condo into my new motorhome. Gail and I are still in the Seattle area, wrapping up odds and ends. We will hit the road from Seattle on Oct. 16. Our first two stops, a week each, will be in Eugene and Florence, Oregon. If you know of something we shouldn’t miss, please let me know.
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
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Good Sam CEO:
“I hate motorhomes.”
Good Sam Club and Camping World CEO and Chairman Marcus Lemonis, on the day of Camping World’s IPO Friday, its first day of trading, told CNBC he “hates motorhomes.” Why? Read more.
Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!
Wish your special someone a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary and we’ll post your well-wishes and your short comment right in this newsletter. It’s super easy to leave your greeting. Just click here. Remember to send them in prior to the Saturday before the big event.
See this week’s greetings near the bottom of this newsletter.
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 the last issue of RV Travel Reader RVs.
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.
Used RV values at auction in September turned some interest. According to industry watcher Black Book, the motorized segment pulled a fast one, with average sale prices jumping nearly 6 percent from that of August, coming in at $42,052. Sales volume was up a whopping 34 percent. Towable RV sales maintained a steady rate, dipping a slight 4 percent in volume from August, selling at an average of $11,688, down a little more than 2 percent.
Winnebago announced Monday that it will acquire Grand Design, a manufacturer of towable RVs. Once the deal goes through, only three companies – Thor Industries, Forest River and Winnebago – will control more than 80 percent of all RV manufacturing. Read more.
Long Beach, Calif., city officials have already created ordinances to limit RV parking in certain areas of town. Now they’re working on a uniform ban on RV parking on streets throughout the city without a permit. No street or alley parking for more than 48 hours. Out-of-town RVs would be required to have a daily parking permit. The city figures it will cost more than $1 million just to put up regulatory signs.
Walmart has announced it will open fewer stores next year than in the past to focus more on online sales — so fewer new locations for RVers who sometimes stay overnight in the stores’ parking lots.
Indiana camping on your mind? Between now and November 2, you can save 20 percent at all state parks and state-parks-managed lake campgrounds, Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas, as well as Greene-Sullivan State Forest. The discount applies on Sundays through Wednesdays only. To take advantage of the offer, book at camp.IN.gov or call (866) 622-6746 and use the promo code INFALL16.
Are you an active duty military service member or a dependent? If you’re thinking about buying an RV, the Department of Defense (DoD) may be putting your purchase under the Military Lending Act. A recent DoD directive suggests that RVs may be subject to that act — but the RV industry is awaiting clarification. If it applies, then several things will come into play. Interest rates can be no more than 36 [not a typo] percent on the loan. You won’t be subject to binding arbitration, nor will you have to sign waiver-of-rights clauses.
Are you a Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) member? In case you missed our recent announcement, mark your calendar — FMCA’s 96th International Convention is slated for July 12–15, 2017. The Indiana State Fairgrounds is the location, and last time that venue hosted the show about 2,000 families turned up. Registration for the shindig will open in late winter.
For more than 100 years, the U.S. Forest Service has acted as a guardian of public lands – often with a view toward controlling access to those lands. Now the agency says it has a new goal: Increase public access to the land. On September 28, agency officials met with outfitters and recreation industry leaders to discuss changing the agency’s age-old “controlling” viewpoint to one of opening the gates to more recreationists, initially make it easier for special interest users like rafters, rock climbers, and commercial guides to get permits. How it will translate for RVers remains to be seen.
Thor Motor Coach is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Four Winds and Chateau motorhomes manufactured June 16, 2015 to April 29, 2016. The affected RVs are equipped with a spare tire bracket that may loosen and detach during vehicle operation. Learn more.
We’ve reported on the saga of “Driving Miss Norma,” 91-year-old Norma Jean Bauerschmidt who, on being diagnosed with terminal cancer a year ago and just days after the death of her husband of 67 years, didn’t take it lying down. Instead of opting for treatment, Norma’s son and daughter-in-law loaded up Miss Norma in their motorhome for an extended tour of the United States. The family documented the incredible journey on their “Driving Miss Norma” Facebook page (with almost a half-million “Likes”). We sadly add, Miss Norma passed away September 30 – in her bed and, appropriately, in the family motorhome.
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.
It’s the stuff of an RVer’s nightmares: A sleep-deprived long-haul truck driver, barreling down the freeway, headed straight for their motorhome. Well, here’s the stuff that long-haul truck drivers’ nightmares are made of: The Obama Administration has released guidelines that in the view of the truck driving industry might remove that sleep-deprived driver from the cab and replace him with a robot. Yep, now the feds are interested in autonomous 18-wheelers cruising America’s highways. Is there a droid coming to your driver’s seat?
Three brand-new luxury RVs worth almost $2 million were stolen Tuesday night from Transwest Truck Trailer RV in Frederick, Colo. Anyone with information is asked to call Frederick Police at (720) 382-5700. Source: 9NEWS.com. Click here for larger view of RVs.
A fire at what’s listed as a paint and body shop in Garden Grove, Calif., did some serious damage to three RVs. At least 50 firefighters were called in to stop a fire at Pacific RV Paint. Reports are that the fire started outside in an RV, spread to two others, then on into a building. For a time a nearby street was closed out of concerns about possible hazardous materials at the plant. Estimated damages? $1 million.
A couple of dozen Lockport, Ill., residents are pretty annoyed with their city council. Reports are that 30 residents appeared at a recent council meeting to ask the city council to back off plans to enforce an ordinance that puts size limits on RVs parked on private residential property. “No dice,” was the answer. They basically said, “Move your big rigs out by November 1 or face fines.” All this despite the plea of the public.
The DNA of bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (N.C.) may help get them off the hook — if they aren’t the crook. Last May a tent camper woke to find a black bear biting through his calf. He managed to get free and escape, and rangers had three “suspects” in mind. However, DNA testing of bear saliva left at the “crime scene” proved none of the three was responsible. Rangers say the quick (7-hour) test result returns may save the lives of innocent bruins.
Northwest RV Sales Inc. of Salem, Ore., has shut down after an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) investigation into customer complaints. A news release from ODOT said the company agreed to pay an $8,000 fine and give up its dealer certificate for three years. Without a license, the business is effectively shut down, according to Oregon DMV spokesman David House. —Source: Statesman Journal
A new national park for Arizona? A movement is afoot to change the designation of Chiricahua National Monument to that of a national park. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to make the change. If it were to pass, the new “park” wouldn’t be any larger than it already is, nor would staff or budget be enlarged. It’d be just a bit more prestigious — and would likely attract more visitors.
Earlier this year, two wolves were shot by park rangers after they found human food in Banff National Park irresistible. Now a Canadian court has fined two men $1,000 each for keeping a messy campsite — which the judge says contributed to the deaths of the wolves. One of the men’s attorneys said it was a case of culture — the man had led a group of about 40 Asians on a camping trip, and says he admonished them to properly dispose of their leftovers. But in their culture, claimed the attorney, food ought not to be wasted, but returned to nature. Hence, food scraps were tossed about in the campsite, attracting “nature” in the form of two hungry wolves.
Excavate an edible fossil, become a junior paleontologist, or search for clues of prehistoric life in a national park on National Fossil Day on October 12. Throughout the country, the National Park Service and partner organizations will celebrate with events and programs that promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils. Learn more.
If you were at “Camp Walmart” in Fountain, Colo., on September 20, you may have witnessed an odd sight. Firemen rushed to the store parking lot in response to a police call about a “suspicious” motorhome. Police said they smelled a strange odor around the rig and asked firemen to look into it. Firemen said they heard a dog inside the rig and refused to go in. Animal control officers fished the dog out of the rig, and officials found nothing suspicious about the rig — with the exception that the plates didn’t belong to the RV. They did, however, match those owned by someone who’d shown a “history of drug use.” With nobody home but the dog, a tow company ended the spectacle by impounding the wayward wagon.
A recent survey of camping habits of British campers in the U.K. revealed that 20 percent bring their grills into their tent to cook when it rains; and 23 percent say they hold nighttime chill at bay by using a barbecue, patio heater or gas stove inside. A whopping 63 percent were unaware that deadly carbon monoxide gas is produced even after a live flame is gone. We hope their American “cousins” are smarter.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.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.
RV weight terminology you should know
When shopping for an RV, everyone has their own ideas of what’s “important,” but the weight of the rig is one thing we should all be concerned about. For rigs manufactured since 1996, the RV industry requires the manufacturer to post an information sheet inside a cabinet in every coach. Here’s a rundown on terms you need to know – and pay attention to. Learn more.
Full-time RV travels: Who really is a full-time RVer?
Want to open a can of worms? Next time you’re sitting around the RV community campfire, ask your friends to define a “full-time RVer.” It’s a subject of great debate. Read more in this first article of a new biweekly series, Full-time RV travels, by Russ and Tiña De Maris.
What is RV boondocking and how to do it
DON’T MISS THIS! How would you like to camp in beautiful places in your RV for free, far from the hustle and bustle of RV parks, where you’re squeezed so close to other RVs you can hear their occupants snore at night? If so, then watch this introduction to boondocking by veteran RVer and seminar speaker Dave Helgeson.
Save money this winter — camp on an LTVA
Snowbirding is a happy time for frugal RVers since there are millions of acres of desert open for boondocking at no cost. If you are new to the desert or boondocking, a good way to try out both is to head for one of the Bureau of Land Management’s Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA). Learn more.
How about some dump station decorum?
For those who spend months camped out on government land outside of Quartzsite, Ariz., you already know most of the drill regarding the sole dump station to serve thousands of RVers at four Long Term Visitor Areas. Most folks act fairly sanely, but at times there are little altercations where somebody who couldn’t stand the wait just had to try and cut in line, or worse. Read more.
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.
No Shock Zone, Part Three
This is the third 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, learn how to test 30- and 50-amp campsite outlets. The information in this 12-part series has saved lives. It’s very important. Take the time to read. If you missed last week’s episode about multimeters and types of electrical connections and outlets, read it here.
Make the most of your countertop storage
As with most RVers, Rich “The Wanderman” is always looking for clever ways to get the most out of the limited storage in his RV. His RV doesn’t have enough kitchen counter space to leave any appliances actually on the counter, but for those who do have some deep counter space, this gadget would be perfect. Read more.
RV tire load capacity
Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com explains how tire load capacity is determined and why it is important to keep adequate pressure in your tires. Watch the short video.
Choose a Class C motorhome or Class B van conversion?
Here’s a question that some new-to-RVing wonder about: “I’ve never had an RV before. I’m intimidated by big vehicles, and I want fuel efficiency but comfort, too. What do you think about a Class B motorhome?” Here are a few things to think about when choosing between a Class C motorhome or a Class B van conversion. Learn more.
Find boondocking sites in British Columbia
Many U.S. boondockers are familiar enough with some of the alternative sources of finding boondocking sites in the Lower 48. But if you’re traveling north of the border into Canada, things can get a little sketchy. If you’re planning on visiting British Columbia, here’s info on a great website to help you find alternatives to costly and over-populated provincial campgrounds. Learn more.
Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.
Dump station “engineering” comes up short
The old joke about “Did you get your driver’s license at Walmart?” has a new variation as far as Russ and Tiña De Maris are concerned: “Did you buy your engineering license through Craigslist?” As RVers, you’ve probably had a dump station experience like theirs that leads to such a question. Read more.
Is a motorhome over 40 feet too long?
David and Brenda Bott discuss the challenges of traveling with a 45-foot motorhome. Are there roads they cannot travel? How do they know if there are low bridges ahead that would prevent them from passing through? The Botts answer these questions and many more. Good stuff! Watch the six-minute video.
How old is too old (for RV tires)? — Part 2
Last week Roger Marble, RV tire expert extraordinaire, addressed the topic of tire age. Some are still asking why there isn’t a better and clearer age limit on tires in RV use. In Part 2, Roger explains the complexities of what is involved in making the prediction. Learn more.
RV grill connection befuddlement
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. When he served as RVtravel.com’s technical editor, he received a letter from a reader regarding how to hook up his existing grill to his newly purchased RV. He was quite confused and concerned as to the apparent lack of product availability to make this possible. Read Chris’ reassuring response.
‘Best club for motorhome owners!’
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is THE “best club, hands down, for motorhome owners.” That’s the word from RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury, who has been a member for 25 years! The group has many local and special interest clubs, national rallies, valuable member-only web content, and a wonderful monthly magazine. RV Travel readers who click this link to join save $10 off a new membership.
This week in history
Week of Oct. 8–14
Compiled by Dell Bert
1845 – U.S. Naval Academy opens in Annapolis, Md.
1871 – The Great Fire destroys much of Chicago.
1947 – U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier.
1960 – Nikita Khrushchev throws a tantrum at the UN. (Shoe, anyone?)
1975 – “Saturday Night Live” debuts.
1975 – Bruce Springsteen scores his first pop hit with “Born to Run.”
1997 – John Denver dies in an airplane accident.
2002 – Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize.
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 Club of the Week
Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too!
GMC Motorhomes International
This is a chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). It’s made up of 21 chapters and more than 1200 owners and enthusiasts of the classic GMC motorhomes produced from 1973 to 1978. Includes Vintage RVing magazine, a parts interchange, conventions and more.
Exclusive Offer: Expand Your RV Protection Education!
RV repairs are common, complex and costly! Learn how to save big and make confident RV repair decisions with our free RV Webinar series. Secure your RV education here, and pick up insider tips on protecting your life on the road, straight from the RV Warranty Experts at Wholesale Warranties.
Bumper sticker of the week
Warning: Dates in calendar are closer than they appear!
Funny/clever business slogan
On a shoe store: “So many shoes but only two feet.” —Thanks to Terry W!
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
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.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the Web’s best directory of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.
Websites of the Week
We like these websites. Check ’em out. More next week.
Here’s one site we especially like: Where to find the best view in every state
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Space heater uses only 200 watts!
It’s hard to believe that an electric space heater could use a mere 200 watts — the same as a couple of light bulbs —a fraction of other space heaters. And this one really works! It’s meant to heat a nearby person, not a room. Put it on your desk or at your feet. It’s perfect for the RVer who’s “always cold.” For about $17, this is a winner. Click the video by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury. Or order at Amazon.com.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Colorado River Oasis RV Park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy what the iconic waterway has to offer.
• This baked bean recipe has a sweet twist to it. Try it on your next camp-out!
• If you’re planning a trip to Alaska, make sure you check out this video first!
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small, inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to the condition of a battery, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Seeing through campground reservation “smoke and mirrors”
Dear RV Shrink:
We are in Yellowstone National Park and are finding our RV is too big to camp in some of the campgrounds. We tried to make a reservation today at Madison Campground and they tell us we will only fit into a 40-foot-plus site, but there are none available. They combined our total rig length (motorhome and toad) and say we cannot fit in a 30-foot site.
We purposely bought a 30-foot motorhome so we could camp in smaller primitive campgrounds, but obviously we planned wrong. It really makes me mad. This time we have to travel so much farther to see the sights because we do not meet campground size requirements. What do most people find a good length that offers them the best choices of sites? —Mad in Madison
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.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
If you ever get confused about the direction you’re traveling in the U.S., keep in mind that most odd-numbered interstate highways run north to south and even-numbered run east to west.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
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
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.25 (on Oct. 3). Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 7 cents.
Diesel: $2.39 (on Oct. 3). Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 10 cents.
Kill germs when dumping & hooking up
You can’t be too careful about picking up nasty germs when hooking up your RV or dumping its tanks. The staff of RV Travel uses a spray bottle of Lysol to kill those nasty dudes on its water hose and water faucets at every campsite and dump station. The spray kills 99.9% of germs on nonporous surfaces & is effective against more than 50 microorganisms. Learn more or order.
RV Travel Reader Pets
Do you travel with a pet? We’d love to introduce your pet(s) to fellow readers. Send a photo or two of Fido or Boots and a 150-200 word description of your furry friend(s), along with your name(s) and hometown to Diane(at)RVtravel.com .
Click here to see the last issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.
Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Onion Dip Biscuits
Super quick, super tasty.
We’ve probably all tried the old recipe for refrigerator biscuits dipped in onion soup mix. This one is almost as easy, twice as good, and 100% homemade in looks, texture and taste. Serve them hot with butter, herb butter, cream cheese or Cheez Whiz. Just add a mug of soup and supper is served. Get the recipe.
Extend your 12-volt power source
Sometimes you need to use a 12-volt device, but the plug is too far away. For less than $8, this is the answer. This extension cord plugs into your cigarette lighter or 12-volt socket to easily extend your reach. Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety Tip
Have any wiring in your coach done by a capable electrician, and use common sense in using any electrical aid. Check all 12-volt connections before and after every trip. Most coach fires are caused by a 12-volt short. Courtesy: MacTheFireGuy.com
Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.
RV Travel’s favorite
Waste Digester & Odor Eliminator
Pure Power Blue has long been the favorite toilet treatment in the RV Travel motorhome. Just add a mere two ounces of the biological enzyme/bacterial formula per 40 gallon black or gray water tank treatment. Accepted at all campgrounds and enhances septic tanks. Highly recommended. Learn more or order.
RV Quick Tips
Prepare more complicated meals when you have full hookups. It’s easy to clean up afterwards because you have plenty of water and no worry about filling up holding tanks. Consider making a double portion and freeze half for a future meal. When boondocking, keep recipes simple, and use paper plates which you can burn later to start your campfire.
Boondocking solar light tip
In order to save our batteries, we use solar lights which you find in lawn and garden centers. We have a couple of pots of petunias outside with a solar light and we bring them in at night and put one in each room. The flowers make our camper smell so nice! A couple of solar lights without the stake can be placed on the table to play cards by or you can put one in the bathroom and one wherever you need a night light. Thanks to Ray Burr at RV Happy Hour.
Freshen your fridge
As a follow-up to our recent Kill lingering RV refrigerator smells article, here are a couple more tips for removing smells from the fridge, such as when you forget to leave your fridge doors open when in lay-up. You may be able to chase that “stale odor” by leaving a small saucer or dish of vanilla on a reefer shelf with the door closed, but don’t forget to dump the vanilla before you travel! Buzzelectric also suggests: “Straight vanilla extract wiped onto the plastic walls of the refrigerator. I’ve been doing this for over 50 years to ice chests.” Thanks, Buzz!
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
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.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Maintaining the RV heating system
All too often Gary receives frenetic correspondence from coach owners suffering from a malfunctioning furnace, stuck in the midst of their travel, relying perhaps on a small, inefficient space heater, shivering under a heating blanket, wondering what they might do. At that point, his sage but simple advice would be to add another blanket! However, with a little forethought and a few preventive steps (performed now, before Old Man Winter awakens from his respite), you can enjoy those crisp mornings and evenings in comfy warmth, year after year. Learn how in Gary’s article.
JUST PUBLISHED! Essential for big RVs!
2017 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Tiny Matador sack converts to day pack
A backpack, like similar products, takes up valuable storage space when not in use — yet, when you need one, nothing else will suffice. Matador has come up with a pint-size product that performs like a full-size model. This weatherproof 16-liter backpack is ideal for day trips and excursions, with expandable space. When not in use, the 4.1-ounce backpack packs up to the size of an apple. Learn more.
Easy way to level your RV!
The RVtravel.com motorhome packs along two of these and, boy, are they handy! Camco’s RV Yellow Tri-Levelers are designed to raise the RV up to 3-7/8″ on any tire for a more level position. The lightweight levelers are durable and have a resin non-slip surface with a load capacity of 3,500 pounds. Learn more or order for a great price!
Upcoming RV Shows
• Detroit Fall Camper & RV Show, Oct. 5-9, Novi, MI
• St. John’s Fall RV Show,
Oct. 6-9, Elkton, FL (POSTPONED due to Hurricane Matthew)
• Tacoma Fall RV Show, Oct. 6-9, Tacoma, WA
• North Carolina RV Dealers Association RV Show, Oct. 7-9, Greensboro, NC
• California RV Show, Oct. 7-16, Pomona, CA
• Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show, Oct. 13-16, Salem, OR
• Fall RV Show & Bargain Expo, Oct. 13-16, Oklahoma City, OK
• Toronto Fall RV Show & Sales, Oct. 14-16, Mississauga, ON, Canada
• Austin RV Super Sale, Oct. 14-16, Round Rock, TX
• Oregon State Eugene Fall RV Show, Oct. 21-23, Eugene, OR
Essential equipment for many RVers!
Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
This best-selling product reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 100 micron fiber filter. Its durable in-line, exterior mount filter has a wider body to increase flow. Use it at your campsite to keep sediment out of your RV water tank and to improve the taste and smell of your drinking water for a whole season. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a big discount.
RV Short Stop
Heceta Head Lighthouse
With ghostly things on our minds this Halloween season, here’s an idea about a place to experience your very own haunting. At the Heceta Head Lighthouse in Florence, Oregon, guests can stay at the old lighthouse keeper’s quarters, now a B&B, where they could meet Rue, the wife of 1890s lighthouse keeper Frank DeRoy. As the story goes, Rue’s daughter met a tragic death there. Guests have reported the scent of flowers or rose perfume out of the blue, or seeing an imprint on their bed that seemed to have just happened. Some call the lighthouse one of the most haunted in the U.S.; others just call it spirited. Photo by Melissa Campbell, courtesy Oregon Tourism
Keep insects and
bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Joke of the Week
Joe and Ed, both from Duluth, Minnesota, were standing in the shallow end of a swimming pool while wintering at the Fountain of Youth RV park at California’s Salton Sea, discussing how happy they were to be in sunny California rather than being back in frigid Minnesota. As they were talking, Ed noticed something funny about his friend’s ear. “Joe,” he said, “do you know you’ve got a suppository in your left ear?” Startled, Joe replied, “Did you say I have a suppository in my ear???” “That’s right,” said Ed, “you have a suppository in your ear.” Joe immediately pulled it out, then said, “Thanks, buddy. I’m glad you saw this. Now I know where I put my hearing aid.”
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!
Videos you’ll like
•How to install an adjustable water heater thermostat
Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, shows you how to get complete control over the temperature of the water delivered to the hot faucets in a motorhome. Many RVers complain that their water is too hot. Watch the video.
•Make sure you know this when buying a tire warranty
RV tire safety expert Roger Marble offers advice about one very important thing to know when buying a tire warranty, whether for a car or RV. Your warranty could prove worthless if you don’t pay attention to this. Watch the video.
Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!
Random RV Thought
Hang the keys to your RV or tow vehicle on the TV ceiling crank when the antenna is up. The next morning before you drive away, you will find the keys there — a reminder to retract the antenna.
Natural blond hair is rare in adults, with reports stating that only 2 percent of the world’s population is naturally blond and is most commonly found in persons of European ancestry.
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends. The mind can never break off from the journey.” —Pat Conroy
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• October 12: To Nancy from Bruce Richardson. Happy Birthday my Love, thank you for being my life these 45+ years. My travel partner to cover the miles we have covered and the miles to yet come. May you have a great great day and enjoy your twin lobsters. I love you Hon.
• October 8: To Linda from Wayne Moss. Happy 50th anniversary, honey … Hope to enjoy many more with you. Love, Wayne
• October 10: To Marie from Ken Lailer. Happy 40th Anniversary to my wife & best friend. Love Always, Ken
Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting (25-word maximum) Be sure to send them in prior to the Saturday before the big event — early is fine.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Assistant editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Janet Groene, Roger Marble and Julianne Crane.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com.
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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