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Issue 767 • Week of Nov. 5–11, 2016
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With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
My friend Dave Helgeson sent me this photograph. “Thought you might enjoy this photo of last night’s boondock,” he wrote.
Dave and his wife Cheri like to camp in the Southwest deserts in the middle of nowhere. With rare exception, they never have a next door neighbor. They bring along two ATVs and spend their days exploring slot canyons, ghost towns and the desert itself. I envy Dave and Cheri for the way they camp. But for me, it only works in moderation.
I have always enjoyed camping in or close to civilization and that often times means in RV parks, even crowded ones that may be anything but scenic. Especially with my new, bigger motorhome, where I now live full-time, my RV is a “home” and not just for camping. I’m not super picky about where I stay as long as it’s clean, quiet and close to interesting places to visit.
Rather than explore the great outdoors as Dave and Cheri do, I mostly like to visit places where humans have left their mark. I especially enjoy small towns. I like to walk the main street to see what’s there, maybe talking to a merchant or two, or locals who tell me about their lives. I enjoy dining in small town cafes, which, sad to say, are quickly disappearing. See the story I posted a few days ago about one I found this week in Jacksonville, Ore., where the floor is covered with 120,000 pennies.
And there are always public parks and other scenic and/or historic sites within easy driving distance. I never met a National Park I didn’t like.
I enjoy museums, especially small, funky pioneer museums where I search for old gizmos and gadgets. Look at the photo to the right. What do you think it is? That’s what I asked myself when I spotted it a few days ago. I’d be surprised if you can guess. I posted an 8-second video of it in action at the bottom of this essay along with the answer.
In antique stores, I browse though old postcards and photos. Often, there are piles of family photos from years past. I sometimes wonder if some from my family will one day end up in such a store. I found the photo on the left in an antique store in Florence, Oregon. Mama sure doesn’t look happy. If you recognize these people, please let me know.
I especially enjoy visiting cemeteries where there is so much history. Yesterday, Gail and I spent an hour walking around the historic Jacksonville cemetery. Oh, so many graves of children. It was not easy in the “good ol’ days.” See pics and read my story.
Now that I have a car with me (I never towed one before with previous motorhomes), I am free to explore more than ever. I plan to attend minor league baseball games, county fairs, crab feeds, spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts, festivals, high school football games, parades, and other gatherings and celebrations in small town America. Once, years ago, I attended a “So You Think You’re Tough” boxing match. Amateur boxers would pay $100 to go three rounds with another guy. At the end of the night, winners took home a chunk of the pot. Many of the fighters were hacks — you could tell they had no formal training. They’d fling their fists every which way and hope something landed. Many would give up or get knocked down before the first bell. A 100-year-old Native American woman in the seat behind me cheered wildly for a great-grandson.
ONCE, YEARS AGO, I accidentally stumbled into a high school gym during a pep rally. The band played, the cheerleaders cheered and the captain of the football team told how he and his teammates would crush their opponent that evening. It was like traveling back through time to my own high school days.
Last week, in Springfield, I learned about its city seal that’s made of items fetched from the city sewer system. Now, that was something where I needed to know “the rest of the story.”
Lucky for me, I do get to camp in the great outdoors often enough. I love boondocking in the desert — the solitude, scenic beauty and the incredible night skies. I enjoy Forest Service campgrounds, where I can savor a campfire and roast marshmallows. But after four or five days in such places I itch to get back to civilization, I suppose mostly to find stories to write (I am a write-a-holic, after all). The beauty of RVing is that we can live the kind of lives where we want, when we want, and how we want. It’s the very best!
So what is the device I showed you above? It’s an egg grading scale from 1924. Click the 8-second video to see it in action.
P.S. We have changed the way we pick winners for our contest. You’ll notice below that this week’s winner will be picked randomly from all entries received through noon (Pacific), Monday.
Also: If you want to help support this newsletter, and you are an Amazon shopper, simply enter the site through this easy-to-remember page: http://rvtravel.com/amazon . Thanks.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• Roadside Journal entries from Oct. 30
• Buried in leaves • Truck too small? • Rainy Medford • One person stands out • Twin giants in Medford • Oh, did I ever dodge a bullet!
• Roadside Journal entries from Nov. 3
• Drop my pants? • Coffee-related things got my attention • Armed for flies • My home in a beautiful light • Bad dog
Roadside Journal Index: Click here.
Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.
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Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for October
The list of latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles and/or products of interest to RVers has been released by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from Entegra, Forest River, Grand Design, Jayco, Newmar, Starcraft, Winnebago and others — plus cars and trucks commonly used by RVers, as well as some tires and cargo trailers. Is your RV or other vehicle or equipment on the list? Read more.
THIS WEEK’S CONTEST!
Win a pack of these incredibly wonderful Happy Camper Cocktail Napkins! A winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Monday. The question: “How many FEET of snow does Crater Lake get each year according to the editor’s Roadside Journal? Email your answer to RVcontests (at) gmail.com. We’ll let you know if you win. We can only ship prizes to addresses with a U.S. Zip Code. Only one entry per household. Contest ends Monday at noon (Pacific) at which time a winner will be selected using Random.org. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or forfeit the prize. After that, another potential winner will be selected until we hear from and have a winner.
Last week’s winner: Dave Scheeler, of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.
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.
RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match!
An Electric Bike is the perfect, simplest and most affordable way of sorting all the ‘challenges’ of RV’ing. Get around camp effortlessly, visit the sites or town nearby without unhooking or simply enjoy a fun ride with fellow campers! Click here to discover our electric bikes and get free shipping & returns, and 0% financing on any new EVELO.
A class action lawsuit against Norcold has been settled in U.S. District Court. The case, Etter et. al. v. Norcold, awards the plaintiffs an incentive ranging between $1,580 and $7,500 each, and the attorneys 25 percent of the gross settlement. The case related to alleged fire risks involving Norcold 1200 Series, N8 Series, and N6 Series gas absorption refrigerators. Want more info? Click on this page for the settlement website and a link to the court ruling.
In honor of Veterans Day, many national parks across the country are hosting special events, displays, and ceremonies to commemorate the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces. The National Park Service will waive entrance fees on November 11. Click here for more information. Many state parks also offer free admission on Veterans Day. Check online with the state parks department in your location.
Wholesale prices for used RVs stunned market watchers in October, looking more like springtime sales, says industry watcher Black Book. Towable sales set a record-selling price, while the price of motorhomes in October rose to a point that hadn’t been seen since 2010. Motorized RV prices jumped 6 percent (compared to September) to $44,597. Towables were up nearly 10 percent to $12,808.
Time for (most of) us to set our clocks back an hour (Sat. night). That means it’s a good time to change the batteries in our smoke alarms. Consumer Reports says if a smoke detector is more than 10 years old, it’s time to get a new one because the sensors could be ineffective. Here is Consumer Reports’ CO and smoke alarm buying (and use) guide. And here is a link to combination smoke/CO alarms at Amazon.
Michigan’s state park reservation system no longer takes e-checks. Now you’ll either need a state-issued Park and Harbor electronic gift card, or “plastic” bearing a MasterCard, Visa or Discover logo.
If RV manufacturers are wondering why it’s hard to keep good help, this may be a piece of the puzzle. Winnebago says it will no longer provide health care benefits for retirees under the age of 65. It’s a cost-saving strategy that the company says will save $6 million on its long-term liabilities balance sheet.
The swallow-them-up saga continues as Camping World has “acquired” Monticello, Minn., RV dealer Quality RV. In addition to gobbling up the dealer, the corporate giant has also snapped up 14 acres of land next door to the dealership and will renovate and expand the dealership to include a retail store there – to be opened by December 2016. And on Tuesday, November 1, CW announced an agreement to acquire Dean’s RV dealership in Tulsa, Okla. Camping World anticipates closing the acquisition in November 2016, when they plan to commence operations, and then construct a state-of-the-art RV sales and service facility, including a full-service Camping World retail store, in 2017.
As Camping World continues to do a “Sherman’s march to the sea” with RV dealerships, they have their fingers in other pies, as well. While mixing metaphors, here’s another area of the company’s interest. While already owning 25 RV consumer shows in the U.S., the outfit, through its Good Sam Enterprises division, has bought up five shows from promoter Odyssey Management. These events are in Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn.; Dayton and Columbus, Ohio; and Milwaukee, Wisc.
Do you like to camp in Washington state? Do you like to camp in the winter? Well, you’re in luck! Here is the newly released 2016-2017 Winter Schedule from Washington State Parks. More than 90 parks will remain open seven days a week, but some have restrictions so read the chart carefully.
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.
With the devastating blast of Hurricane Matthew behind them, South Carolina Department of Parks and Recreation officials were anxious to get the rebuilding of two of the state’s beachfront parks on the fast track. Officials floated a proposal to rebuild Hunting Island and Edisto Beach for a cost of $3.5 million, with 75 percent of the costs covered by the feds. The two parks are the state’s most attended, and generate funds for parks not-so-much visited. “Not so fast,” responded the state legislature. Lawmakers want the parks folks to come back with a plan for all of the state’s parks damaged by the storm before cutting loose any money.
Visit a Minnesota State Park on November 25 and save $5. Check before you head out — some parks may have deer population reduction hunts in progress which may affect entry.
A Largo, Fla., RV consignment seller is under investigation after RVers who have consigned their rigs with him say he didn’t pay off the underlying loans on the rigs. Consignment RV is being investigated by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Riding on the coattails of the Pokemon Go rage, look for an interactive game at a national forest soon. The U.S. Forest Service is partnering with Agents of Discovery to bring an interactive game program to some USFS sites, one that doesn’t require an Internet connection. Users travel along routes where content “is packaged in immersive challenges that tap into real world experiences.” So says the news release, anyway. Plans are to have some 60 sites going in the next two years.
An RVing couple in Sioux Falls, S.D., got a rude awakening at the 60th Street North Walmart. A security guard banged on the door to tell them it was illegal to overnight there. The couple was flabbergasted, as they’d stayed at the cross-town Walmart on South Louise Avenue without problems. Turns out when Walmart wanted to build another store in town, local citizens caused such a ruckus that the city formed a “handshake” agreement with Walmart that no local stores would allow overnight RVing – and the Louise Avenue store didn’t get the word. A city council member feels bad that the couple felt unwelcome in the city after being given the bum’s rush. But that’s not stopping the city from moving all area Walmarts to get in line with the “no-park” agreement.
San Diego officials want to make their waterfront a destination for RVers – with a new “first class destination” RV park. As part of the Chula Vista Bayfront master plan, a 19-acre site would bring 237 RVs at a time, plus swimming pools, hot tubs, a visitor center and more. If developers respond, the new park could open in the summer of 2019. After the new park premieres, the existing Chula Vista RV Resort on Sandpiper would be demolished and replaced with a hotel and conference center.
If you want to reserve a campsite in Oregon to view the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, read this bulletin from Oregon State Parks for important reservation information and info about the eclipse.
2016 RVer’s Friend
LEARN ABOUT SERVICES FOR RVers
This annual directory lists 6,700 U.S. & Canadian “big rig” fueling locations and the services they provide. Services include RV parking, propane availability, truck wash, scales, laundry, food, diesel and RV accessible gasoline. Locations are listed in Interstate exit order as well as alphabetically by city and state. Learn more or order.
Police in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, had a big mystery: A pop-up trailer RV, completely deployed, parked in shallow water of the Chippewa River. After publishing a photo of the mystery rig in local media, investigators got a phone call from the rig’s owner. Apparently the family had set up the trailer in a nearby low-lying campground and boisterous Chippewa waters yanked it out of the campground for a downstream ride. Case closed.
Folks at a campground Halloween party in Cassidy, British Columbia, would have been appropriately costumed as firemen. As last Saturday’s party at the Mountainaire Campground and RV Park was winding down an excited camper called out than an RV was on fire. After determining nobody was inside, several partygoers grabbed water hoses and fire extinguishers to combat the blaze. Despite their best efforts, the rig was destroyed, but happily there were no injuries and no other rigs caught fire.
RVers have found many uses for their rigs, but here’s one we don’t recommend – as a weapon. A Hayward, Calif., park ranger at Tennyson Park called for backup when dealing with an unruly guest last week. When police arrived, the man tried to get away in his motorhome, clobbering a row of cars in a sort of domino effect. He then drove at the officers, who responded with a volley of bullets. The driver was hit, subdued, pulled out of the rig and arrested. His bullet wounds were not life-threatening.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Even the simple things — Keep your windows fog-free!
Rich “The Wanderman” hates not being able to see out of his windshield and windows while underway (don’t we all?), or even when camped, for that matter. But he has recently discovered a simple and inexpensive item that easily takes care of the problem of foggy windows. Learn more.
Full-time RV travels — Heat with gas or electricity?
For full-timers, keeping an eye on the budget can be critical to your lifestyle. When boondocking, your heating source choices are limited – gas prevails. But if you’re calling an RV park a temporary home – or any other place where you’re paying for electricity – the question is clearly which is cheaper, gas or electric. Here are a few statistics to help you make the call. Read more.
Preventing winter freeze-ups while RVing
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor, about traveling during very cold temperatures. The readers’ RV wasn’t built for cold temps, and they asked for advice to prevent freezing pipes. Read Chris’ response.
How to use an RV microwave convection oven
In this video Nikki Wynn shares a few tips on how to use an RV microwave convection oven combo. Nikki shares how to set the oven for proper cooking including times and temperatures, and shares why a convection oven is perfect for RVers. She also includes advice about choosing the best convection oven bakeware. Watch the video.
Loss prevention in your RV
“The bigger the RV, the greater the loss.” Or, put another way: The bigger the RV, the more “stuff” we can load up, and the greater the chance of losing the stuff somewhere in the rig. So the question is this: How do you keep track of your stuff? We’ve heard the high tech, the low tech, and the laughably sublime, and we share them 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.
No Shock Zone, Part Seven
This is the seventh episode of a 12-part series about basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. In this episode, we’ll cover how wattage works and how to keep from tripping the circuit breaker. 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 how amperage draw causes voltage drop, read it here.
Little-known RV boondock land — Goldwater Air Force Range
More than four times the size of Rhode Island, the 2.7-million acre Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range (BMGR) in southwest Arizona is one of the largest unbroken land tracts left in the lower 48 states and is open to boondocking! Located near Yuma, you’ll find it a fascinating place to explore. Read more.
What color RV tire cover protects best from harmful UV rays?
In this episode of Ask the RV Expert, RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury talks with RV tire expert Roger Marble about white and black covers on tires and whether one is better than the other. Watch the video.
Why do we RV? Statistics tell a tale
Why do we RV, and who is RVing? If statistics are something you look for, here are some that might interest you. Learn more.
2017 Winnebago Paseo Class B packs in features
The 2017 Winnebago Paseo Class B motorhome is the first in its class to be built on a Ford Transit Van chassis. It features a spacious floor plan with an expansive rear dinette that converts to a 53 x 72-inch sleeping surface, equipped for cross-coach and longitudinal sleeping. The gas engine gets about 15 miles per gallon. Watch the construction and take a tour of the RV in this 10-minute video.
RV Deadline Approaching: Don’t Wait!
Temperatures may be dropping, but RV repair costs are still on the rise! Whether you’re winterizing your rig or hitting the road, now is the best time to protect your home-on-wheels. RV Warranty pricing and eligibility changes hit January 1st, 2017. Take advantage of current year rates from Wholesale Warranties while you still qualify! Click Here to Get Your FREE Quote Before it’s Too Late.
This week in history
Week of Nov. 5–11
Compiled by Dell Bert
1903 – Mary Anderson patents windshield wiper.
1918 – World War I ends.
1940 – Tacoma Narrows Bridge (“Galloping Gertie”) collapses. (Watch this amazing actual film footage.
1944 – Franklin D. Roosevelt wins unprecedented fourth term.
1965 – The Great Northeast Blackout leaves 30 million people in the dark.
1975 – Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior.
1980 – Actor Steve McQueen dies.
1989 – East Germany opens the Berlin Wall.
1994 – George Foreman, age 45, becomes oldest heavyweight champ.
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.
RV Club of the Week
Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too!
Starcraft International Camper Club
With chapters throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Starcraft International Camper Club is open to all owners of Starcraft RVs. The purpose of the club is to promote family camping and to meet others with similar interests in the RV lifestyle. In addition to International rallies and tours, the club offers a variety of local and regional activities throughout the year, as well as other membership benefits.
ATTN: Starcraft owners — Be sure to check our list of Recalls for Oct. 2016.
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.
Bumper sticker of the week
Sign on the back of a septic pump truck: “Caution: Stoolbus” —Thanks to Paul Schwengel.
Funny/clever business slogan
From Lee Wilmonen a couple of years ago: In Naples, Fla., last winter I saw a sign on a chiropractic office that said: “Crawl-ins welcome.” Thanks, Lee.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
No more roof leaks, for life, guaranteed!
Now with locations in TX, FL, MS, AZ and NC!
RV FlexArmor® is a sprayed RV roof that is 187 mils thick, has no more caulking joints and is the proven RV roof alternative for over a decade. Guaranteed not to leak for your RV’s lifetime! “Your company gets an A+.” —Marsha G., customer. Click to see our new video from the FMCA family reunion in Perry, GA.
•Click here for more information at our website, or call 1-844-FLEXARMOR.
•Click here to visit our Facebook page.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the list of upcoming RV shows for 2016 and 2017.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
The Most Scenic Drives in America
GREAT GIFT! The newly updated trip planner & travel guide will steer you down the most scenic road every time. From Florida’s Road to Flamingo, to British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway, to Cape Cod’s Sandy Shores, each featured road trip is pictured in stunning full color and described in vivid text, keyed to an easy-to-follow map. Whether you choose a drive on a distant road or a back road in your own state, this book is your ticket to North America’s most beautiful byways. Learn more or order.
Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:
When you winterize your RV, you also need to prepare it for several months of storage. RVing expert Mark J. Polk tells you what needs to be done in this very thorough list. From KOA.com and Mark J. Polk.
Here are some of the best springs (out of more than 700) to visit in Florida. These are beautiful and amazing. From Southern Living and msn.com.
The 50 best small towns for antiquing
Here is a list of the best small town in every state to go antiquing like a professional. From House Beautiful and msn.com.
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.
Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can
last a year on a set of batteries
When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires & install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order at a great price) at Amazon.com.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Prepare for the unexpected with SOL Origin Survival Kit
• This new app from Google helps you plan your entire trip from one place
• This video teaches you a useful trick to keep your wiper blades lasting much longer!
Fast, inexpensive way to level your RV!
This leveler from Camco is very handy, even if you have automatic levelers. It mounts with screws or adhesive and provides front-to-back or side-to-side leveling, making it easy to get your RV leveled quickly and just right. What a great deal for less than $6! Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Campground Robo Ranger check-in problems for RVer
Dear RV Shrink:
I think I may be too old to travel. I just spent a half hour with a Robo Ranger trying to pay my camping fee at a National Recreation Area in Arizona. My eyes are still in good shape, but the plastic screen on the Robo Ranger was sun bleached and almost impossible to see through. I was on my knees, holding my hand over the screen trying to create enough shadow to read the crazy thing. Every time I reached the point where the machine wanted to charge my credit card it froze and reset itself to the beginning without charging me or issuing my stub….
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.
Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best-seller and costs about $8. GREAT GIFT! Learn more or order.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
An overlooked RV weight rating
One weight rating that is often overlooked is the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This applies to any vehicle pulling a trailer or any motorhome pulling a vehicle or trailer. The GCWR is the maximum permissible weight of the tow vehicle and trailer COMBINED when both are fully loaded for travel. Look for the GCWR on weight labels or in the vehicle owner’s manual.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
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.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.23 (on Oct. 31). Change from week before: Down 1.3 cents; Change from year before: Up 0.6 cent.
Diesel: $2.48 (on Oct. 31). Change from week before: Up 0.1 cent; Change from year before: Down 0.6 cent.
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 tester, for less than $7, will alert you instantly to the condition of your batteries, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with lots of life left! Works on AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries. 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.
It’s Fall: Time to change your water filter!
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.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Slow Cooker Manicotti
Slow and easy manicotti.
No need to cook the pasta shells ahead of time — your slow cooker does all the work. And it’s surprisingly easy to stuff the uncooked manicotti tubes. Find out how and get the recipe.
Cooking with Convection
Don’t know how to cook with your RV’s convection oven? Then this book is for you. Beatrice Ojakangas, an authority on convection cooking, explains how to use your convection oven to achieve perfect results in dramatically less time than with a conventional oven – from meat to side dishes to dessert — all at the same time. GREAT GIFT! Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety Tip
Check the flue after storing RV
If you store your coach, be sure to check the flue before starting your refrigerator on propane. Birds and insects can build nests and clog the flue, causing a fire or excess carbon monoxide to enter your coach. Courtesy: MacTheFireGuy.com
Endorsed by Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. All for less than $14! Learn more or order.
RV Quick Tips
Don’t use stabilizer jacks for leveling
Don’t try to use trailer stabilizer jacks to bring your rig up into level – most are designed simply to give more stability to the rig once leveled. Using these to try and level a rig can cause damage.
Watch where you point your vents!
Got “pointable” air conditioning vents in your RV? Be careful how you point them! If you accidentally aim them at your thermostat, you may find the A/C system cycling erratically. The same is true for heater vents blasting at the thermostat.
Clean your Plexiglas shower door without scratching it
If your RV shower door is Plexiglas, it’ll scratch real easy. Here’s a recipe/directions for cleaning without scratching: To an empty spray bottle add 1 cup of water with ½ teaspoon of dish-washing detergent. Add ¼ cup of vinegar. Mix contents GENTLY. Now spray the Plexiglas with a light, thin mist. Let sit a few seconds and wipe clean with a soft, lint-free cloth. Wipe in large circles. Repeat until clean.
Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!
Liquefy solid wastes in sewer holding tanks
Happy Campers Treatment liquefies solid waste and household tissue. It’s a natural formula that’s environmentally friendly and biodegradable, with no formaldehyde or harsh chemicals. Basically, the good bacteria overtakes the bad bacteria to eliminate odor and accelerate the natural decomposition of waste. Because it is totally organic and odor free, you won’t be embarrassed by bad odors inside or when you dump. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
How do I winterize my ice maker?
How do I winterize my ice maker? I have a Norcold refrigerator in a Fleetwood motorhome. —Larry R.
Which state is best
for a full-time home base?
The full-time lifestyle gives you the unique opportunity to choose any state to call “home.” But there are many factors to consider; a state with the lowest state income tax is not always the best option. This guide provides a wealth of valuable information to help you select the state where you will benefit the most. Learn more or order.
Gizmos and Gadgets
RV stove top cover provides more work space
Enhance and complement your RV kitchen decor with the Camco RV Universal Fit Black Stove Top Cover that protects and hides burners while adding counter space in your RV. Cover is hinged for easy access to the front burners and acts as a splash guard between the burners and the wall when it is folded back. Read more.
Sidekick grill attaches to RV for easy use
Fleming Sales has released a new 11,000 BTU LP gas grill designed to be used on a tabletop or attached to the side of a recreation vehicle with a foldable mounting bracket. The RVAD400 Sidekick grill offers 214 square inches of cooking surface plus a 66-square inch warming surface. Learn more.
HELPS PREVENT UGLY BLACK STREAKS
Keep rainwater away from your RV
These inexpensive Camco Gutter Spouts with extensions divert water away from your RV, helping to keep damaging water out and prevent ugly black streaks. They are made of durable UV stabilized resin for years of use. Set of four installs easily in just a few minutes. Learn more order.
RV Short Stop
Dramatic geology at Red Rock Canyon State Park
25 miles northeast of Mojave, Calif.
The 50-site campground at Red Rock Canyon State Park is tucked into the base of colorful desert cliffs. The area is rich in history, and the cliffs, caves and narrow canyons behind the campground are fun to explore and offer great views from the top. The park is 25 miles northeast of the town of Mojave on Route 14 near Cantil, Calif. The no-reservation, no-hook-up campground has water and pit toilets but no dump station.
Read more in this article from “Boondock Bob” Difley, including an unforgettable experience he had at Red Rock Canyon State Park!
Cutest pet ‘bedroom” ever!
Your pet will love this comfy puppy bed and bed mat and you’ll get a good laugh every time little Fido or Boots emerges from the shark’s mouth. What a great birthday or holiday gift! Perfect for dog or cat up to 20 pounds. Washable. Learn more or order.
Joke of the Week
A motorhome broke down along the freeway one day, so the driver eased it over onto the shoulder of the busy road. He jumped out of his driver side door, walked around his rig and opened the side door to the coach. Out popped two men in trench coats. The men stood behind the motorhome and immediately opened up their coats, exposing themselves to the passing traffic. The result was one of the worst pile-ups in the road’s history. Later, when questioned by an angry highway patrolman why he put two deviates along the side of the road, the RVer replied, “I was broken down, so I just used my emergency flashers!”
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.
Videos you’ll like
How to repair an RV’s rubber roof
Stew Oleson and Bill Gehr show you an easy way to repair a tear in an RV’s rubber roof. Watch the video.
Man lived in this 1947 trailer for 66 years!
RVtravel.com correspondent Sandy Burns talks with RV historian Al Hesselbart about a 1947 Westcraft travel trailer, the home to Navy veteran John Culp for 66 years. Culp would pick up and move after about two weeks in one place. Watch the video.
Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!
Random RV Thought
Always know the location where you are camping. Write down important information on a post-it note and paste onto your RV fridge. Include the address and phone number of your RV park, or the specific name of a public campground with information on closest road, highway or GPS coordinates. You might need this information in an emergency.
In 1958, newsman Larry King smashed into John F. Kennedy’s car. JFK said he’d forget the whole thing if King promised to vote for him when he ran for president.
Join the largest club for motorhome owners, the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). Special rate for RV Travel readers. Save $10 on first year membership. Click to learn more.
“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.” —Elie Wiesel
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Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• November 7: To Bruce from Kathy. Happy 63rd Birthday! 3 more until it’s full time RVing.
• November 8: To Mrs. Geek, Chris Guld, from Mr. Geek, Jim Guld. Another orbit around Sol completed. I love you. This could be the best year yet.
Happy (belated) Birthday!
• November 3: To Topcat from Debbie. Happy 70th to a long-time RVer Tom C., or who we know as Topcat.
• November 9: To Sparky from Fred. Thanks for a GREAT 31 years – my copilot on the bus and in life!
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, Julianne Crane and Chris Guld.
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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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