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Issue 770 • Week of Nov. 26–Dec. 2, 2016
FOR THE HOLIDAYS
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With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you had an excellent celebration and are now enjoying your leftovers. In honor of the holiday and all the turkeys that made the supreme sacrifice, I am showing you this terrific photo I took of Gail last summer sitting beneath the World’s Largest Turkey, Big Tom, in Frazee, Minnesota. I hope you get a chance to visit Big Tom, for it’s one of those life experiences you never forget (okay, maybe you will).
Changing the subject
The non-RVers that Gail and I meet these days ask us where we are headed in the months ahead. We answer that we don’t know. Most accept our answer, but I don’t think they grasp the concept of “purposeful wandering.”
They also want to know what we did with our “stuff.”
Most of my old stuff is gone, as in FOREVER! Back when I was traveling as a part-time RVer, I used to say that if my house were to burn down I’d be okay because all my important possessions were with me. Now, there is no house to burn down while I am away because my house is a motor-house, and everything I own travels with me.
I am now rid of the excess of my life. The clothes that hung in my closet at my ex-home stretched about six feet; the clothes in my motorhome take up less than two feet. I never wore two-thirds of my clothes anyway. In general, in a year’s time I never even touched 90 percent of what I owned. It was pretty easy to part with most of it.
HERE’S HOW I DID IT: It’s not necessary to get rid of all your stuff at once. You do it in waves. You start by parting with the easy stuff. For example, I bet I had two dozen coffee mugs. On my first round of purging, it was easy to get rid of a half dozen. But I couldn’t bear to part with any more. So I stopped and worked on getting rid of clothes. Then, maybe a couple of weeks later, I went back to the coffee mugs and it was easy enough to give away a few more. Then I went back to getting rid of clothes.
Some days I couldn’t part with anything. I would be locked in the packrat part of my brain. It was stressful just thinking of getting rid of stuff, especially things like the old Irish Setter-shaped bookends that I inherited (from whom, I don’t even remember). So on those days, I’d just do something else — watch TV, drive somewhere, drink coffee — do anything but get rid of stuff.
Then, maybe only a day or two later, I would wake up at 7 a.m., sit straight up, wide awake, thinking “Must get rid of stuff!” And then I would quickly take my shower, down two cups of coffee (my drug of choice), eat some Cheerios, and then begin slinging stuff left and right into cardboard boxes for Goodwill. Five more coffee mugs would go, five more shirts, more pants, more socks, more bad art from the walls. The dog bookends went. The junk drawer was almost empty — a monumental accomplishment!
It took me months, but finally everything was gone except what I really needed. Now, in my third month of full-time, purposeful wandering, I don’t miss anything. Stuff no longer owns me. I’m a lean, mean, wandering machine!
• • •
A reminder: It’s now the holiday season and that means we’ll all be buying gifts for friends and family. I’d like to remind you that if you shop through Amazon, would you please enter the site by clicking this link? If you do, we’ll get a little commission on what you purchase, which adds up and helps us pay our bills (you pay exactly the same as if you went to Amazon directly). You can always just use this address, too: http://RVtravel.com/amazon .
Have a great week! See you again next Saturday.
Roadside Journal Index: Click here.
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.
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.
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Say No to the Snow!
This year, say NO to the snow, and head south for the winter! Florida, Arizona and South Texas benefit from beautiful sunny days and gentle warm breezes. You can too! Stay a week, a month, or the whole season! Book your long-term seasonal or annual stay at one of over 80 resorts in the southeastern United States. Click here to learn more!
Forest River, Jayco and Winnebago issue recalls
Forest River is recalling certain model year 2017 Vibe trailers, as well as certain model year 2017 Salem recreational trailers, and certain model year 2017 Wildwood recreational trailers. Jayco is recalling certain model year 2017 Jay Sport camping trailers. Winnebago Industries is recalling certain model year 2017 Winnebago View and Itasca Navion motorhomes. Learn more.
RV Armor has tough skin!
RV Armor’s tough skin was featured recently in Trailer Life. Read the full story here. RV Armor offers a unique, liquid applied roof system that is Guaranteed for the Life of the RV! No more maintenance, seams, or headaches. Nationwide mobile service. We come to you. To learn more, call 1-855-782-7667 or click here. Click the video to see our 2-day process in 6 minutes!
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 last week’s RV Travel Reader RVs. More next week!
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!
UPDATE 12:15 Sunday: WE HAVE OUR WINNER (as picked by Random.org).
Win this absolutely wonderful Freudian Sips Coffee Mug, with the message “When you say one thing but mean your mother.” The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Sunday. The question: California has approximately 840 miles of shoreline along its coast. About how many miles of shoreline does Montana’s Fort Peck Lake have? 975 miles, 1,520 miles or 3,380 miles? See the answer below in our Trivia section. Email your answer to RVcontests (at) gmail.com. We can only ship prizes to addresses with a U.S. Zip Code. Only one entry per household. Contest ends Sunday at noon (Pacific) at which time a winner will be selected using Random.org. We’ll let you know if you win. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or forfeit the prize. After that, another potential winner will be selected until we hear from and have a winner.
Last week’s winner (correct entry #31, as picked by Random.org): Thomas Hathaway, of Lakeside, California
U.S. sales of new motorhomes continued to rise in September. Compared to September 2015, sales were up more than 12 percent, with Class A motorhomes showing better than a 3 percent uptick. But adding the most to the surge were sales of Class C units, up 22 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.
Are you a night sky watcher? Add Stephen C. Foster State Park to your list. The Georgia park recently received the designation of an “International Dark Sky Park” for having little light pollution, making a clear view of celestial phenomenon a reality.
Fiat Chrysler and Cummins say the companies will fight a class-action lawsuit brought against the truck manufacturers by some owners of 2007-2012 diesel-fired Dodge Ram pickups. The suit accuses the builders “conspired to purposefully deceive customers and regulators of illegally high levels of diesel emissions in their automobiles.” An attorney representing owners says faulty emission catalysts in some cases allowed trucks to belch out emissions at more than 10 times the lawful level.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants you to put your phone down while driving – and they’re asking carmakers to help. The agency is pushing voluntary manufacturer guidelines that would pair driver’s e-devices with vehicle “infotainment” systems, and provide simplified user controls called Driver Mode. The goal: Reduce driver distraction and lower the accident rate.
Another one bites the dust: This time it’s Thompson Family RV in Davenport, Iowa. The outfit, founded in 1959, has been in family control for three generations. Sometime in the next couple of months the Iowa dealer will fall into the hands of Camping World, which anticipates taking over the site and building a retail store.
Ever wonder what it would cost you to buy a developed RV park? Here’s a sample from Arizona. Out of Yuma, two resorts, Adobe Village and Sunset Palm, with a combined total of 235 sites, recently sold for $3 million. Spend a bit more? Leaf Verde RV Resort in Buckeye has 377 sites, a heated pool and club room. A purchaser recently plunked down $7.75 million for the place.
The year 2017 marks 150 years of confederation for Canada, and Parks Canada commemorates the occasion with a special camping season at Jasper National Park (Alberta). Wapiti and Whistlers campgrounds will open early in May and not close until October. Pocahontas and Wabasso campgrounds open in time for May’s long weekend and remain so until mid-September. Reservations can be made beginning at 8:00 a.m. on January 10 by clicking here.
In a die-off deemed unprecedented in California’s modern history, U.S. Forest Service officials are reporting that 62 million trees have died this year across state forests, mostly in the southern and central Sierra, bumping total tree mortality to 102 million since the onslaught of the region’s historic drought, the Santa Barbara Independent reported.
Statistical Surveys Inc. reports September wasn’t kind to Canadian towable RV sales. Overall, sales submarined by nearly 25 percent, compared to September 2015 sales. Travel trailers did “best,” in a comparative way, losing only 22.5 percent; fifth wheels lost nearly 29 percent; pop-ups plummeted almost 30 percent; and park models took a torpedo – losing a whopping 83 percent.
Drive there in your RV, tour there on your Evelo!
Park your RV and use your space-saving EVELO electric bike to tour, run errands and stay in shape (by using manual mode). The EVELO is fun, economical and energy-efficient — a perfect match for RVing adventures. Save BIG during our current Black Friday sale! Watch the video, then click here for more details on the sale and how to purchase.
Forest Service officials have installed 27 bear-proof food lockers in the Colville National Forest (Washington). To keep bears at bay, when camping there you must either use a food locker, keep your food and “smell goods” in a hard-sided vehicle, or suspend the goodies at least 10 feet in the air and four feet away from the nearest tree trunk. Sorry, Yogi!
When in Rome, don’t look for a luxury RV park. At least not in Rome, Ga., where a proposal for a $2.5 million luxury RV resort has taken fire from local residents. The 22-acre site along Alabama Highway would have 81 full-hookup sites if granted a special use permit. But neighbors, citing problems from noise to sewage and crime, don’t want it. It’s up to local officials to do a thumbs up or down.
When Glencoe, Minn., city fathers plowed $100,000 into building a city campground, some may have wondered if it was a folly with funds. The campground opened in mid-summer, and city budget hawks report the campground will reel in $25,000 this year alone.
If you’re frustrated by road conditions like potholes, try out Fred Borody’s “road rage.” The Chilliwack, British Columbia, resident is boiling about how long it’s taking road construction crews to complete a project outside his home. Road crews have raised the level of his sidewalk and driveway apron – but haven’t completed the road to match. Result? When he tried backing his travel trailer in the driveway the height difference ripped two stabilizer jacks off the rig. To get the rig out of the driveway he’s had to put down two-by-fours to gap the distance. City officials say they’ve had problems with the road contractors and suggest Borody could file a claim for damages.
Aglaia Cardona is a veterinarian with a heart. To keep her pets – Arthur, the Chocolate lab, and Iris, her gray tabby – close at hand, she bought a motorhome she uses to commute to her four-day-a-week job in Modesto, Calif., along with the pets. Aglaia and Arthur came out from work one evening to find the motorhome gone – along with Iris. Panicked, she pleaded over media outlets with the motorhome thieves to drop Iris off at a shelter. Well, Iris turned up at a local shelter, delivered by a tow truck driver. Sure enough, her motorhome had been impounded – without any explanation as to why.
Seasonal camping at the Alma RV Park in Alma, Neb., is highly coveted. For $1,500, a site can be secured for six months – but who gets them? The park is owned by the Army Corp of Engineers but managed by the city. In keeping with Corps policy, the city will make the 26 sites available through a lottery process, where applicants are assigned a number and if theirs is chosen, they get the spot.
When Ted Klug looked in his barn near Maxwell, Neb., he was surprised. No horses inside, but instead, a couple of snowbirds – and their motorhome. Michigan residents Dion and Kay Chilberg were aiming to winter over in Arizona when a blown front tire forced their Class A motorhome off the road and into Klug’s barn. No injuries.
TODAY’S DEALS ON RV PARTS & ACCESSORIES AT AMAZON.COM. Click.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Light up your RV with Boogey Lights!
RV accent lighting is all the rage! Just look around the RV park! Enter Boogey Lights®! These robust, super-bright, state-of-the-art LED lights with hi-tech controller technology represent the next generation in LED lighting for RVs. The AWNING & UNDER-GLOW LIGHT KITS are specifically designed to withstand harsh operating environments. Don’t waste your money on junk! Get Boogey Lights! You can even control them with your Smart Phone! Learn more or click the video for a demonstration.
RV Quick Tips
Cover your roof top air conditioner
Is your RV going to “sit tight” in one location for awhile and not be used? Think about covering your roof top air conditioner. It will protect it against UV damage and keep debris out of the unit.
Fearful of things forgotten? Reader “jjmessy” sends this idea: Tie a string from one end of the driver’s sun visor to the other end. Now use clothes pins on the string to attach notes like, “Turn off propane,” “Raise jacks,” etc. When ready to move simply remove the notes as the task is performed, and slip the pins to the dash mat or elsewhere, keeping the notes for “next time.” Thanks, JJ!
Simple custom-sized trash cans
Finding suitably sized trash cans for RVing can be a hassle. Visit the plasticware section of your local discount store and pick up a plastic cereal storage container. The same bag the cashier packs it in fits great for a trash can liner. If it threatens to slide around, use double-stick Velcro tape on the bottom.
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.
FMCA announces RV Basics education program
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) will debut a program for new coach owners, but open to all RVers! Attendees at the RV Basics program will learn the ins and outs of all RV systems and their safe operation. The three key educators are Gary Bunzer (the RV Doctor), Walter Cannon, Executive Director of RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF), and Mac McCoy (Mac the Fire Guy). The event will be held March 5 and 6, 2017, ahead of FMCA’s 95th International Convention and RV Expo in Chandler, Ariz. An FMCA membership is not necessary to attend, but space is limited so sign up ASAP. Learn more.
How to prepare your RV tires for winter storage
When preparing an RV for winter storage, should an RV’s tires be winterized in addition to the plumbing system? RV tire expert Roger Marble of RV Tire Safety says yes, and tells how in this video.
Be careful: Crooks want your vehicle
Just because you own a car (or RV) doesn’t mean you can always keep it. Thieves want it, too, and every 46 seconds they steal a motor vehicle from somewhere in the USA. Learn the top 10 stolen vehicles, the states where the most vehicles are stolen and the cause of half of all car thefts. It’s all here.
Video: Tour the 2017 Winnebago View/Navion Itasca
Take a tour of the Winnebago 2017 View/Navion 24G Class C motorhomes in this video from Winnebago Industries. These RV cousins (both from Winnebago Industries), feature a unique two-slideout design on the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis. Watch the video.
USB thumb drives, hard drives and SD memory cards — Oh my!
Last week Rich “The Wanderman” wrote about deciding which type of “television” to stick with while he travels. He’s still pondering that question, but remembered that with his existing system, he can still watch video files that he downloads online. Now his question is what to store them on? Read more.
Why so few RV boondockers?
Less than 1 in 4 RVers boondock, preferring to stay in organized campgrounds. Bob Difley, aka Boondock Bob, explores why this might be so while debating the pros and cons of boondocking versus staying at a campground. What are your thoughts on the subject? Read this, then let us know.
A GREAT GIFT
No-touch dispenser automatically dispenses soap
Just put your hands beneath the dispenser, and presto, just the right amount of soap is dispensed. Never pump again! Hayden’s soap dispenser uses Infrared Technology to automatically detect your hand fast. Uses 3 AAA batteries. Learn more or order.
No Shock Zone, Part Ten
In this episode, learn about GFCI troubleshooting, and understanding and preventing RV electrical damage. 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 with a review of the previous episodes and a call for action, read it here.
Quick mod: Stop annoying water pump noise
If your water pump makes any noise other than the sound of the running motor, such as a vibration noise, it may be time to remount your pump. Learn how.
Defrosting RV fridge makes for icy relationship
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor regarding defrosting a Dometic fridge/freezer. The reader is a full-timer and so it is especially inconvenient to defrost it. The last time it was done, the husband damaged the freezer in an attempt to speed up the process. Read Chris’ advice.
Tour the 2017 Unity TB motorhome by Leisure Travel
The new European body design on a Sprinter chassis features integrated running boards, LED taillights, clean aerodynamic lines and four available paint schemes. And, with fiberglass curved baggage doors with struts and an increased baggage area opening, packing and unpacking is very convenient. Watch the video.
Prevent thieves from stealing your generator
If it’s December or thereabouts, you can be sure that there are plenty of RVers boondocking on the desert near Quartzsite. And you can also bet good money that the local police agency will be investigating reports of stolen generators from some of those boondockers. Just what can you do to keep somebody from running off with your generator? Find out here.
RV wheel covers versus wheel simulators
Looking for a new set of wheel covers or wheel simulators to dress up your motorhome? Stainless steel covers and simulators are one of the simplest things you can do to give your motorhome an extra “shine.” However, a lot of people have questions about these wheel coverings and how they work. Learn all about them in this informative article from Dicor Corporation.
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.
This week in history
Week of Nov. 26–Dec. 2
Compiled by Dell Bert
1520 – Magellan reaches the Pacific.
1835 – Mark Twain is born.
1895 – Duryea Motor Wagon wins first car race in U.S.
1925 – The Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting.
1942 – “Casablanca” premieres.
1942 – Jimi Hendrix is born.
1955 – Rosa Parks ignites bus boycott.
2004 – Ken Jennings’ winning streak on “Jeopardy” ends ($2.5+ million).
Great gift for a child! A Lego RV
What a great gift for an RVer’s children or grandchildren! Check out the variety of Lego RVs at Amazon — motorhomes vans, trailers and more. The RVs include doors that open, roof compartments and lots of space inside for the little people to move around — just like in a for-real RV! Learn more or order.
RV Club of the Week
Here is an RV club we like. We hope you do, too!
Ultra Van Motor Coach Club
A club for all who are interested in Ultra Vans, this is a Chapter of the Corvair Society of America. “Ultra Van, The World’s Largest Production Corvair!” The Ultra Van is a unique motorhome that was produced in limited quantities by Ultra, Inc. of Hutchinson, Kansas, until June of 1970.
Toss your colander. This is better!
The adjustable Snap ‘n Strain silicone strainer fits nearly all pots and pans. Once snapped in, the pot can be tilted over a sink or bowl to do its magic. Leave it on the pan even while cooking! Works with heavier foods like potatoes. Super compact for storing, perfect for RVs. Dishwasher safe. Learn more or order.
Bumper sticker of the week
Watch out — The guy behind me is driving like an idiot!
Funny/clever business slogan
Spotted by reader Tom Harvey at a South Dakota muffler shop: “Our work is exhausting.”
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
Portable Military Folding Shovel and Pickax
GREAT GIFT! The first time you get stuck in the middle of nowhere and need a shovel to dig your tires out of sand or mud, you’ll wish you had this along. The shovel blade and handle are made of high-carbon steel. It includes an extension handle and can be used as a hexagonal wrench, saw, bottle opener, nail extractor, hoe, scales knife, hunting knife, emergency whistle and fire bar. Folds up for storage! Learn more or order at a discount price.
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.
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 — perfect for RVers: It pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer! Learn more or order.
Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:
The 16 best Christmas towns in America
Country Living picked 16 of the best places to celebrate the holidays in America. Lots of lights and decorations to ooh and aah over, along with memorable festivities to enjoy at locations scattered around the country. From countryliving.com and msn.com.
51 cozy slow-cooker soups
Try some of these hearty slow-cooker recipes on cold, dreary winter days to warm you up as they fill you up. Maryland-style Crab Soup, Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone, Pepperoni Pizza Soup, Autumn Pumpkin Chili — so many to choose from! And so easy to prepare while you’re out and about for the day, or even driving to your next destination. From TasteofHome.com and msn.com.
Odd phenomena that only happen in these places
From sailing stones to an eternally burning fire, MSN Weather looks at some of the most unusual phenomena that happen at these locations only — and some of which are in the U.S. Fascinating! From msn.com.
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.
Good Sam Campground Guide
PRE-ORDER NOW. Be the first to get this guide when it’s published next month. With more than 12,500 locations listed across the USA and Canada, the Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is the only print directory of RV parks and campgrounds. The 2017 edition features an expert rating system with all evaluations completed on site in the past 12 months. Park listings include amenities, services, restrictions, rates, contact info, Good Sam discount locations, hundreds of dollars’ worth of Camping World savings and pages of helpful information. Learn more or pre-order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• This new take on a timeless camping classic is pretty awesome!
• Don’t have the time or know-how to edit your smartphone videos? Magisto can help!
• Watch this video to learn some helpful tips for taking care of your RV power cables!
Give ‘keyboard waffles’ to your favorite writer
What a great gift for a writer or blogger — a waffle iron that makes waffles in the shape of a keyboard. Or get this for yourself and serve up a “waffle keyboard” to your favorite writer or anyone who spends time at a keyboard. What a great conversation piece! Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Two years to find RV’s water leak — Now what?
Dear RV Shrink:
It’s jump or swim around here. I need your help. I feel like I am married to Jacques Cousteau. We have had a water leak for almost two years. My husband refuses to have someone else solve his problems. … Yesterday he came in with a big grin on his face and said, “Eureka, I found the leak!” I felt relief until I realized that now he is on to the discovery phase of the fix. You might say he is fixated. …—Donna in Dripping Springs
Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new eBook: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.
12-volt warming blanket
is perfect for winter!
Here’s a way to keep warm in your RV without wasting propane to run your heater. Just snuggle up with a warming blanket! This one operates on 12-volt, perfect for RV use. Stitched from 100-percent polyester fleece, the blanket is comfortable, functional, safe and gentle on your RV’s battery. Put it on your bed before turning in to warm your sheets! Learn more or order from Amazon.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
RV refrigerators: “They’re different!”
RV refrigerators are much different than the one in your house. They don’t have compressors and they work off the principle of absorption. You should turn the RV refrigerator on several hours before putting food in it. It is best to leave it on overnight and put your food in it just prior to leaving. Always keep a small thermometer in your RV refrigerator so you can monitor the temperature. Food can begin to go bad at about 40 degrees.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.16 (on Nov. 21). Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 6 cents.
Diesel: $2.42 (on Nov. 21). Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 2 cents.
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.
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
A spread for the party.
It’s party time in the campground. Center this spread on a big platter and surround it with crackers or chips. If the food police are patrolling, use fruit and vegetable slices instead of high-carb snacks. Get the recipe.
Perfect stocking stuffer!
Lucy and Desi go RVing
Now, here’s the perfect stocking stuffer — Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz go RVing! In this 1954 classic — in gorgeous Technicolor — the famous couple (as newlyweds) invest in a 40-foot travel trailer and hit the road. The result is hilarious! The scene in which Lucy tries to make beef stew, a Caesar salad and cake in the wobbling, moving trailer is a classic! This DVD is a great gift for your favorite RVer! Learn more or order for only $5.97.
App of the Week
Dash cam apps to document your travels
Would you like to have an automatic recording of the road you traveled? Think of the beauty you could capture driving through the mountains. Or when that jerk pulled out in front of you, how would you like to capture that license plate? Maybe it’s not important enough for you to buy a dash cam, but did you know you could use that tablet that’s just been gathering dust? Learn how in this article from Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. Here are the last two episodes: #100: Using OneDrive on Mobile and #101: Setting up a New Smartphone. Check ’em out! Watch live or archives of past programs.
The special offer for RV Travel readers is back!
Become a member of Geeks on Tour and get a 20% discount. Click here.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
How to winterize an RV washer/dryer combo
Dear RV Doctor:
Please tell me the best way to winterize a washer/dryer combo. Thanks! —Jack
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 off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all this for about $12! Learn more or order.
with Bob Difley
A few items can save the day
A few indispensable items in your emergency kit can save the day when supplies and services are miles away. Keep these items on board and separate from your regular supplies — and make sure you replace them immediately if you use them up. Feel free to add some favorites of your own to the following: duct tape, extra filled water jug, wood matches, a loud whistle or crank siren, toilet paper, wind-up flashlight and radio. I would also add peanut butter.
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Collapsible laundry hamper perfect for RVers
Trips to the laundry are a part of life for many RVers. This collapsible travel hamper is terrific! It measures 14” x 22” full-size but collapses flat for easy storage. Carry detergents in handy side pocket. Two handles make carrying easy. The last we looked, the price was less $10. Learn more or order.
Gadgets and Gizmos
Sportneer’s compact and cozy sleeping bag
Even for RVers, there may come a time when a sleeping bag would be handy — like when guests spend the night or if you go on an overnighter with the grandkids. Sportneer has come up with a lightweight sleeping bag that is wind and water resistant and can handle temperatures down to 20 F. The side unzips from the top or bottom, and the bag is equipped with an interior pocket to hold a phone or cash. A plus for RVers, it easily rolls into a compact bundle that fits in its nylon case for easy storage. Read more.
Truma’s decalcification tablets solve water heater problems
Truma’s AquaGo hybrid instant water heater has set a new level of excellence in terms of technology, operating ease, safety and design, the company announced. Truma’s new decalcification tablets were developed to extend the life of the AquaGo water heater and to maintain its performance … just like the day it was purchased. The decalcification process is simple and semi-automatic. Learn more.
Space heater uses only 200 watts!
GREAT GIFT! 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 (although it will keep the chill away in a small bathroom). Put it on your desk or at your feet. Perfect for the RVer who’s “always cold.” For about $17, this is a winner. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
with Mike Sokol
Is surge protector’s reading sufficient to be safe from “hot skin”?
Thank you so much for your discussion of “hot skin.” I recently got a shock touching my small trailer and found out I had a bad extension cord. A question: I use a surge protector between shore power and my trailer. The protector claims to detect lack of power, reversed polarity, open neutral and open ground conditions (using a series of green and red lights). I sometimes plug into a friend’s “garage” power outlet while camped in their driveway. Can I assume if the protector says I have power, correct polarity, no open neutral and no open ground that I am good regarding hot skin? Or is it still prudent to do your test? Thanks. —Lou
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.
Easily brew a single cup of coffee
This is great for RVers! Brew a single cup of coffee without the high cost of an expensive coffee maker with the MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker! Just fill reservoir with hot water from tea kettle, or heat water in a microwave. Assemble, place K-Cup pack in base, attach the water reservoir and pump. Watch the video for a short demonstration or learn more or order at a big discount.
Stupid Statements of Yesteryear
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
—H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
Add an outdoor water faucet to your RV!
This lead-free outdoor faucet is really handy. If you don’t have one, here’s a super inexpensive way to add one. No tools required and it installs in a minute (just screw it on). Brass T included with the plastic faucet, just as it’s shown in the product photo. Learn more or order.
Videos you’ll like
Three ways to open a lock
If one day you can’t open a padlock because you lost a key or a key won’t work, here are three creative ways that might do it. Watch the video
Worst car in the world to drive
In this hilarious video, see a demonstration of one of the all-time worst designed cars and how nearly impossible it is to drive. FYI: “F” word used at the end if that might offend you. Watch the video.
Random RV Thought
Unless your motorhome or tow vehicle is “headlights always on,” always switch to your parking lights when driving in a campground after dark. Your neighbors will appreciate it.
Be prepared for a roadside emergency!
Forget messing around with flares.
You’ll be thankful to have this set of three emergency flashers along with you if you’re forced to the side of a busy highway with a flat tire, mechanical or other issue. One FlareAlert™ provides about 20 hours of safety before a battery change (three AAAs in each). You’d need to strike 80 incendiary flares, one after another, to achieve the same thing. Learn more or order.
California has approximately 840 miles of shoreline along its coast. But that pales in comparison to Montana’s Fort Peck Lake. With its irregular shoreline it has approximately 1,520 miles.
Give gift cards to your
favorite stores and restaurants
You can’t go wrong giving a gift card for the holidays — or any other occasion. Here’s where to order most of America’s most popular gift cards.
GENE AUTRY’S COWBOY CODE
The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
He must always tell the truth.
He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
He must help people in distress.
He must be a good worker.
He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
The Cowboy is a patriot.
The Most Scenic Drives in America
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.
Readers’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings
• November 27: To Dean-o from Wifey. Happy 65th birthday!! Thank you for the wonderful life and love you have given and continue to give me. Here’s to many, many more, traveling with our Bentley.
• November 29: To Marty from Bill. Thanks for being my travel mate. You read the maps when you had to — until you bought our GPS. Happy birthday!
• November 29: To Jim (RetDAVUSA) from Karen. 1942 was a “good year”. For six months you’re as “old as me” (almost 3/4 century). Happy Birthday to my Silent Hunter (Cherokee name) from Shining Water. Happy Birthday to Daddy from Barnibear the Pom and Charlituna the 4th (big yellow cat). We love you.
• November 28: To John from Lana. Happy Anniversary, My Love! I look forward to many more RVing years with you!
• November 30: To Chuck and Bea Kenyon from Bea Kenyon. Happy 48th Year Anniversary!
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.
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 nearly 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. Nowadays, he lives near Seattle, where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine. 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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