RV Travel Newsletter Issue 777

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 16th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Editor’s corner     
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com

Home Sweet Home at River Island State Park along the Colorado River in Parker, Arizona.

I’m in Parker, Arizona, along the Colorado River. It’s raining. It’s raining everywhere in the West, or so it seems. My motorhome nearly turned into a houseboat last week in Hollister, Calif. The dry stream by the RV park almost overflowed. Downstream a few miles, rescuers pulled more than 100 people from their flooded homes.

Gail and I scored two nights at the last minute in an Arizona State Park. That’s where I’m writing now. You feel like you won the lottery when you get into one of these beauty spots without reserving six months ahead.

You want to see where all the baby boomers have gone for winter? Check out Arizona (plus Florida, of course). They run around in their dinghy cars, pickups, golf carts and ATVs. In Parker, many are on three wheeler motorcycles, gramps driving, grandma behind. Highway 95 through Parker can look like a ’50s Saturday night cruise on Sunset Strip. But now, the cruisers are geezers like me.

The scene wouldn’t be so jarring to me if I had just starting RVing. I remember Parker from 30 years ago. It was a sleepy little Colorado River town with the only decent-sized market for miles. Now, there’s a giant casino plus your favorite fast food joint. Lots of RVers stay overnight at the Wal-Mart.

LAST EVENING WAS PERFECT for sitting outside in lawn chairs and sipping wine. So that’s what Gail and I did. Six campers shared a picnic table across from us, dining, laughing — having fun. A guy in a motorhome behind us was barbecuing chicken, the intoxicating smell driving us crazy.

Then the sun set and darkness descended. The group across the way had broken up. One guy remained. He pulled out an electric torch light — the kind you hang on the hood of your car while you rebuild your engine. He moved it around as he banged stuff — picking stuff up, putting stuff down. The light was blinding at times. Meanwhile, next door, the underside of the behemoth motorhome’s 15-foot slide lit up in a flashy multi-color display reminiscent of a sleazy ’60s motel.

A dead tree in our campground was trimmed and painted to look like a saguaro cactus.

This morning, I asked the owner about the lights. “I bought them at Costco,” he said. “They fit perfectly.” He said the lights were better than a regular porch light. I don’t think he had given any thought to other campers who might enjoy something at night other than his light show.

A few doors down, another RVer had lined his campsite with micro-lights. Maybe he was marking his territory.

I thought: This is what you get when you camp where there’s 30 and 50 amp power, where (some) campers say, “By God, I paid my $35 and I’ve got all this power, so I’ll darn well use it.”

A few hours later, when most campers had retired for the night, I stepped outdoors to check out the night sky. By then, the various campground light shows had ended and porch lights were extinguished. And OH MY GOODNESS —the sky was magnificent — the Milky Way and a million other stars blanketed the heavens.

I’m not whining. Really! I like to think of myself as merely observing. Camping has changed since I began RVing three decades ago, and sometimes I’m disappointed. Change can be challenging.

And, yes, Boondockers, hold your letters: I know holing up away from traditional campgrounds is how to enjoy nature in peace away from rotating, multi-colored light shows. Gail and I will do that next week for a few days and we’ll do more later. My plan is to pull up by a big ol’ saguaro, set out a couple of lawn chairs, then savor the peace and quiet. After dark, I’ll stare at the beauty of the heavens, pondering how lucky I am to be alive, and, as usual, wonder if some creature out there far away is doing the same, only looking my direction.




The NASTY BLUE BAR: Some readers have been bothered by an annoying advertisement — a blue bar — that has interfered with reading this newsletter. I believe it was mostly a problem with iPads. The blue bar should be gone now. If you are still seeing it, please let me know and we’ll go to Plan B.

I’ve started a new YouTube channel, where I can post my non-RVing video essays, musings, rants, etc. If you’re interested in keeping posted about new videos, please visit the channel and click the red subscribe button. Once the channel gets 100 subscribers I can change its name to something better than my name. Click here to visit and subscribe (free).

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
VIDEOFree ‘pre-paid’ cremation? Huh?

Roadside Journal Index: Click here.

back-768•Did you miss last week’s RV Travel? Read it here.
Directory of ALL back issues.

woman-748Is reading this newsletter worth 10 cents to you? dime-738
Our staff works hard to bring you a valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year is appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! Your contributions make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to make advertisers and RV industry big shots happy. Enter a voluntary subscription. Use a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

 Reader RVs


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.

A New Year, A More Active You
evelo-logo-732Make a resolution to make the most of your travels, and we’ll help you celebrate — with up to $200 off a new EVELO, and an Extended Winter Warranty. An EVELO ebike takes your RV adventures to the next level, making the most of your travels both near and far. Unlock this deal now!

Last week’s winner: Virginia Nehring of Beavercreek, Ohio. She won a very cool apron.

breaking-newsSiskiyou County, Calif., officials are more than alarmed as three people have died in a two-month period from carbon monoxide poisoning. Two of the deaths were RVers, both of whom perished when the deadly gas infiltrated their rigs as they ran generators outside. Officials remind RVers to have working carbon monoxide detectors in their rigs and, if using a portable generator, keep it at least 20 feet from windows and doors. 

Steve Walser photographed this (“Sparklin’ Spartan”) Spartan at the Mt. Baker Rally, Lynden, WA 2012. See a larger image of this photo or Steve’s catalog. Photo © Steve Walser

If you bought a new towable RV in November, you contributed to the good news of rising sales. Compared to November 2015, last November’s sales were up nearly 14 percent. Travel trailers lead the pack, jumping up almost 17 percent, followed by fifth wheel sales, up a little more than 7 percent. Pop-ups inflated at 3 percent, while park models sold almost 6 percent more. Statistical Surveys Inc. provided the figures. 

Great crowds visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year. A record attendance of 11,312,785 meant a 5.6 percent increase over 2015 visits. 

Sales of new Class C motorhomes were the only “bright spot” in U.S. motorhome sales in November – if you can call it bright. Class C sales sluggishly rose a mere 1 percent compared to November 2015 sales. Class A sales continued a boat-anchor trend, losing almost 7 percent. From Statistical Surveys Inc.

For RVers, traveling to Indiana to buy an RV is something of a crapshoot, at least in terms of sales tax. Right now, residents from 41 states can buy an RV there without paying Indiana’s 7 percent sales tax – they simply pay their home state’s sales tax fee on registration. But nine other states, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina, don’t have any such agreement. Buy the Indiana rig, pay the sales tax there and again to the home state. Now Indiana lawmakers are hatching a bill that would eliminate sales tax charges on out-of-staters, from all states.

Texas has fallen into the Camping World crosshairs as Marcus Lemonis continues his “march to the sea.” Already having seven “supercenters” in the Lone Star State apparently isn’t enough: Camping World announced it’s taking over three RV-Max dealerships, all in the Dallas metro area. PR reps say there’s more to come. 

Photo: KION546.com

A Pacific storm Friday brought heavy rain, wind and widespread damage to parts of the Central California Coast. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said a slide on Branciforte Drive took down three trees which crushed a parked RV and nearly sent it sliding off a hillside. No injuries were reported. Source: KION546.com

If a new law before the Wyoming legislature passes, state park fees would be set not by the legislature but by state parks managers. Under current laws, a “one size fits all” approach has the lawmakers set the fees. Under the proposed legislation, the park agency could take into account local demand and circumstances to set fees.

Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Airtab-logoJust 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.

Click here for more information about using Airtabs™.
Click here to purchase Airtabs™.

news524(2)More News

The nation’s 15th largest national park, Joshua Tree (Calif.), may get even bigger this year. The Park Service has recommended extending park boundaries to include 20,000 more acres of land, all in the Colorado Desert. If the move goes through, the new area won’t host the iconic Joshua Tree, however – the new land is lower and too hot for the ancient trees – but is good habitat for bighorn sheep and desert tortoises. 

Photo: Walter Siegmund, Wikimedia Commons

A proposal to bring cellular service to Mount Rainier National Park (Wash.) has met up with a mixed reaction. Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have asked for permission to install equipment at the Paradise Visitor Center – almost invisibly, as antennas would be installed below the center’s roofline. Park officials say they’re obliged to consider the requests, and public views range from “Having it could enhance safety” to “Keep the cellies away!”

Has “The Profit” lost this round? Camping World’s CEO Marcus Lemonis will be sitting in front of attorneys later this month as he is deposed in a lawsuit filed by an independent RV dealer. Earlier this month, plaintiff Gigi Stetler asked for a court order to compel Lemonis to be deposed, after complaining he wouldn’t settle down to a time slot for the deposition. Now documents in Florida’s 15th Circuit Court show Lemonis will be deposed starting (starring?) January 27. For more information on the suit, see this article by rvdailyreport.com.

The new publicly approved hike in Arizona’s minimum wage from $8.05 to $10 per hour is taking the blame for increases in campground fees in the state’s Coconino National Forest. Concession operator Recreation Resource Management asked the Forest Service for a hike in site fees for campgrounds they manage due to the wage change. The Service has approved increases ranging from $1 to $2 per site for individual sites; increases of up to $5 per night were approved for some group sites. 

Sleepy San Jose, Calif., RVing police officers say their situation is a circus act. Rather, the circus is running the cops out of their usual parking lot. About a dozen San Jose police officers have been living in RVs in a city-owned parking lot rather than driving miles home after 17-hour work shifts. But now Cirque du Soleil has come to town for a six-week show and is claiming pre-existing rights to the parking lot. The police chief took pity on the troops and has located another lot for the RV police to slumber.

Quick, simple, no-mess way to cook eggs
Perfect for RVing! Cook your favorite egg recipe in a breeze, mess-free with the Egg-Tastic Microwave Egg Cooker & Poacher. Crack the eggs right in the ceramic pot, add ingredients & microwave for fast, fluffy, flavorful eggs! The vented lid allows steam to escape while the ceramic pot circulates heat for even cooking! Prep, cook & enjoy your meal in the same dish. Dishwasher safe. Read a review by our blogger or click here to learn more or order for about $9

Lyme-infected ticks have been confirmed in nine northeastern national parks. Read more in this article from lymedisease.org and the Entomological Society of America, including the parks involved and how to protect yourself from this disease.

November saw another bummer month for motorhome sales in Canada. Overall, sales dropped more than 16 percent compared to November 2015. Class A registrations fell off more than 21 percent, while Class C sales sank nearly 9 percent for the same period. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc. 

Banff National Park

When the reservation lines for camping opened for Banff National Park (Canada) you had to be quick. In just four hours, 9,300 reservations were made, a 55 percent increase from the 2016 reservation opening day.

Ranked 8th busiest interstate, I-10 got ugly last weekend east of Palm Springs, Calif., when a woman driving a motorhome took police on a 70-mile tear that ended with both directions of the interstate shut down for hours. Police responded to an “erratic driver” call near Cabazon, west of Palm Springs, about 9:00 a.m. Sunday, and finally stopped the rig with stop-strips 70 miles later on the east side of Chiriaco Summit. When she refused to come out of the rig, traffic had to be shut down in both directions with huge backups resulting. Booked for reckless driving and evasion, police say they don’t think drugs or alcohol had anything to do with the woman’s wild ride.

Santa Rosa County, Fla
., fire officials say they’re amazed at a man who was struck by lightning while tent camping there. The man, who doesn’t want to be identified, told medics that lightning flared through a flap in his tent and nailed him – but left him alive and evidently uninjured. A neighbor at the Pelican Palm RV Park now suggests that if he doesn’t already do so, the survivor should take up the purchase of lottery tickets – and church-going.

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.

Your safety while boondocking — your responsibility
One of the many joys associated with boondocking is finding those pristine backwoods campsites or forest service campgrounds that have a minimal connection with civilization — which can also mean difficult access, no cell phone signal, no TV or radio reception, and little, if any, presence of authority. Just the way we like it … until a natural emergency comes along. Find out from “Boondock Bob” Difley what boondockers can do to potentially avoid a catastrophe in case of such an emergency. Learn more.

(Road) Gators ahead!
Road gators. We’ve all seen them and often had to dodge them. Those big old, ugly chunks of tire tread lurking out there on the interstates and highways of the country. They can potentially cause accidents or serious damage to passing vehicles. So what’s the best way to deal with an unexpected road gator? Find out here.

Metal roof sealants for RVs
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor, requesting his recommendation for metal roof sealant for the reader’s leaking camper. Read Chris’ response.

RV Mods: An access door for your cat — or dog
A lot of RVers travel with cats. These furry little bed warmers can be welcome traveling companions, but they also come with their own set of issues. For one, where does one install the cat biffy? Here are some suggestions from Russ and Tiña De Maris, long-time cat-owning RVers.

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.

Newbie tips: Understanding your propane regulator
Unless your RV is a motorhome, chances are good it has an automatic changeover regulator. We say that, as motorhomes come equipped with a single propane tank; all others commonly have two removable LP cylinders. In this article from Russ and Tiña De Maris, they spell out the advantages of having two cylinders and how to operate the regulator. Learn more.

Another way cool LED Light! No, really!
A while ago Rich “The Wanderman” wrote an article about an inexpensive LED light that was so good that two of them are now affixed to the side of his RV’s metal range hood. The only drawback, he writes, is the inability to aim the light without holding it in your hand. Well, he ran across a less expensive, even brighter light you can aim! Read more.

Tombstone, Arizona: “America’s Second Amendment City”
Squatting among the sagebrush and creosote of southeastern Arizona’s desert sits Tombstone — still very much a remnant of the gun-totin’ Wild West of Wyatt Earp. Find out in this article by “Boondock Bob” Difley why Tombstone’s mayor recently signed a proclamation declaring Tombstone “America’s Second Amendment City.” Read more

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7_24_55 PMRV Parts
and Accessories

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.

Betabel RV Park in San Juan Bautista, Calif., has a very nice mailbox.

del-545This week in history
Week of January 21–27
Compiled by Dell Bert

1848 — Gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill, Calif.
1849 — First woman M.D.
1888 — National Geographic Society founded.
1935 — First canned beer (Krueger’s) goes on sale.
1957 — Toy company Wham-O produces first Frisbees.
1967 — Three astronauts die in launch pad fire in Apollo 1.
1968 — North Korea seizes USS Pueblo.
1972 — Japanese soldier found hiding on Guam (since WWII).

1Horizontal-for-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1 1Moran_Host_NC_D-RVtravel_com-72-pix-1Unique 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.

Bumper sticker of the week
Seen on the back of a small toad: “Be patient, I’m pushing a very big motorhome.” Thanks, Terry Weymouth!

Funny/clever business slogan
Giver A Yank Towing Company, Vanderhoof, British Columbia.  Submitted by Ken and Helen Kirkwood — Thanks!

Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)RVtravel.com

better-living-showerOrganize your RV’s shower!
Quit hassling with shampoo & conditioner bottles
RV showers are small! Hassling with bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap are a pain! Make it easy with this Better Living Classic 3-Chamber Dispenser. It utilizes a “patented pump technology” and comes with a lifetime warranty. The liquid is stored in three 15 oz. refillable chambers. The right amount of product is dispensed with a stroke or two of the pump. Installs in minutes without tools. Learn more or order.

No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.

RV Clubs
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

Websites of the Week
Here are two we like:

The best U.S. cities to escape the snow
Are you new to the snowbird lifestyle and haven’t yet picked out your favorite winter retreat? Here are some perfect locations to choose from. Some are best known for their sunshine and beaches, and others for their outdoor recreation opportunities. From The Active Times and msn.com.

Top 93 road food spots in the West
Here, sorted by category — burgers, vegetarian, seafood, Mexican, Asian, Italian, International, gourmet, comfort, sweet treats, you get the idea — are the 93 best places for road food along Western highways. From Sunset.com and msn.com.

Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.

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.

bob-d-med399Ask Boondock Bob 
with Bob Difley

Make water last longer when boondocking

Dear Bob,
I find that I run out of water too quickly when boondocking. How can I either carry more water or conserve better? —Mike P.

Read Bob’s response.

You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.

Good reading from RV123.com 629-rv123
This campfire treat looks absolutely to die for.
Located just outside Houston, Katy Lake RV Resort is a quiet getaway from the busyness of city life.
A reliable camping hatchet is an essential component of any experienced adventurer’s gear.

vac-long-755vac-square-755Lightweight vacuum perfect for RVs
This Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Lightweight Bagless Stick Vacuum is compact and it works great. Plus it converts to a hand vacuum in a snap! It’s the vacuum of choice in the RV Travel motorhome. Weighs less than 4 pounds. Learn more or order for about $20.

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink

Enlightened way to keep rodents at bay

Dear RV Shrink:
My wife thinks I should be an exterminator. We have a fifth-wheel and she is always hearing noises. She says she hears mice scurrying around, gnawing and thumping, and our cat is always on point. I never hear anything. Then she started seeing other people in the campground putting lights under and around their rigs at night. … —Mickey Mouse ideas in Mesa

Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s response.

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.

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 (although it will keep the chill off a small bathroom). Put it on your desk or at your feet. It’s perfect for the RVer who’s “always cold.” Click the video by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury. Or order at Amazon.com.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk

Campsite sizes
Don’t let campground “size limits” scare you away. Check at the registration booth and see just how the size is determined, and if there are longer sites available. Can you unhitch your tow vehicle and park it next to your trailer or in an overflow site? At times, size limitations are based on park roads that may be too tight for longer rigs — best to check before driving in for a look-see.

Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.

Good Sam Campground Guide
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 order. 

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.36 (on Jan. 16). Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 44 cents.
Diesel: $2.59 (on Jan. 16). Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 47 cents.

Multipurpose Microfiber Duster
No more car wipes to dry up — this duster replaces all interior car products. The 10-inch dusting head is big enough to get your dash dust-free quickly, but small enough to leave in your glove box. The back of the duster doubles as a scrubbing sponge. Great for interior or exterior use on cars, RVs, motorcycles or in the home! Learn more or order.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Curried Fruit 
Curry up a sassy sauce.
The complex, compelling mixture that is curry powder has sweetness, heat and mysterious overtones that make a simple camping menu taste like you labored over a hot stove all day. Choose your brand and amounts carefully because some are too hot, some too mild. One secret to bringing out its witchery is to stir it into hot oil or butter first, then proceed with the recipe. Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet . . . and her many books at Amazon.com, including the brand-new “The Survival Food Handbook.”


micro-2-762Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
micro-2-flatWhen 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.

extinguisher-697(3)RV Fire Safety Tip 

Help prevent RV engine fires
A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees F. The heavy insulation in the compartment reflects the heat back to the top of the engine, and a fire can easily break out. Inspect your radiator and have any problems repaired by a qualified person as soon as possible. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed 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 $15! Learn more or order.

RV Quick Tips


Check roof vents in case of stinky holding tanks
Stinky holding tanks driving you bats? It’s smart to occasionally check your roof vents to make sure they aren’t blocked with debris, bird nests, etc. Many RVers find vent caps such as the 360 Siphon roof vent to help “raise the stink” out of the tanks are really helpful.

Avoid burning food in the gas oven
As a follow-up to our tip last week to turn your items in the gas oven several times when baking to even out the cooking, here’s another suggestion for using gas RV ovens. Mary Lowe suggests using a heat deflector. If you can’t find one at a kitchen supply store, take a cookie sheet, turn it wrong side up on the oven rack and place your baking dish/pan on top of it. This eliminates food burned to the bottom of the dish. Thanks, Mary!

Some possible financial help to buy an RV
In the market for an RV but aren’t sure you can afford it? Check with your tax consultant – you may be able to write off the loan interest on your tax return. The money you save there might be the edge you need if you’re getting an RV loan.

Do you have a Quick Tip? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and you just might see it here!

Camco Wheel Chocks. Two Packwheel-chalks-757
Wheel chocks are one of those “must have” basic items for all RVers. Hey, who wants to go rolling outta their campsite at 3 a.m.? For trailer owners, the chocks are designed to keep your RV in place so that you can re-hitch with confidence. The chalks are constructed of durable hard plastic with UV inhibitors and are easy to use. Learn more or order.

gary-736Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

How to find hidden fresh water leaks

Dear Gary,
Unfortunately, my husband did not properly winterize our Southwind. When we fill the fresh water tank we have no problems, but when the pump goes on the leaks start. When we roll under the RV the leaks are not around any plumbing pipes. There are leaks by the storage bins and around some electrical wires. There are no leaks under the kitchen sink and no leaks under the shower or toilet or bathroom sinks. How do we fix the leaks if we can’t find where they are? Where should we look for leaks and how do we get there? —Jacque

Read Gary’s response.

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

2017 Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the 50 States
JUST PUBLISHED: Learn how to prepare, carry & transport your firearm during travel in all 50 states, Canada & Mexico. Includes state breakdowns of firearms ownership, semi-auto gun ownership, castle doctrine, right to protect, open carry, concealed carry, state & national parks, permit reciprocity, loaded vs. unloaded, interstate transport restrictions, traffic stops, universal restricted areas, motorhome & RV issues, preemptive local laws & more. Learn more or order.

RV Waste Management
With Doug Swarts, Drainmaster.com

Proper handling of sewer hoses

Dear Doug,
We see a lot of people dumping their holding tanks at RV parks and it seems there are a number of ways to do it. We all seem to know we dump the Black first and the Gray second. My question is: What is the proper procedure for connecting and disconnecting the hose? —Mel S.

Read Doug’s response.

slideout-seal656Protect your RV’s slideout
with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.

Gizmos and Gadgets

FlagPole Buddy announces new under tire flag mount
If you’ve been to RV rallies or group campouts, you know how much RVers like flying flags, especially boondockers at Quartzsite. Now flying flags has gotten even easier with the patent pending Under Tire Mount (UTM) from FlagPole Buddy. It’s the only sturdy under tire mount that can be placed and removed without moving the vehicle. Learn more.

Replace old outlet cover plate with Guidelight LED night lights
No more stumbling around your darkened RV headed to the bathroom in the dead of night. The SnapPower Guidelight is a plug-and-play replacement for standard plug-in night lights and hardwired lights. It installs within seconds and requires only a screwdriver to take off and replace the cover plate — no wires or batteries. Read more.

damp-rid-2-761damprid-761Avoid 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 Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Dear Mike,
I’m about to have a 50-amp RV outlet installed at my home. Great job on showing the 30- amp diagram — how about those of us with a 50-amp service, please? I’ll have the 50 amp installed or purchase a 50 to 15 and run an extension to the garage. The 15 amp would probably be fine as the only reason desired is to charge the batteries overnight. Worst case would be to run 15 amps from one of the two outlets in my 2016 F250. Thank you. —John

Read Mike’s response

rv-safety-764Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

cord-753Don’t come up short!
Sometimes your 50-amp power cord is not quite long enough! That’s when this 15-foot extension cord will come in very handy. Sure, you can use a wimpy orange extension cord with an adapter, but don’t try using much power (like your air conditioner) or you’ll burn up the cord or maybe even your rig! Carry this cord along and you’ll be all set. Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

• Florida RV SuperShow, January 18-22, Tampa, FL
• Inland Northwest RV Show & Sale, January 19-22, Spokane, WA
• Tacoma RV Show, January 19-22, Tacoma, WA
• Austin Boat & Travel Trailer Show, January 19-22, Austin, TX
• Toronto RV Show & Sale, January 19-22, Toronto, ON, Canada
• Georgia RV & Camper Show, January 20-22, Atlanta, GA
• Iowa Boat, RV and Vacation Show, January 20-22, Cedar Falls, IA
• Northeast RV and Camping Show, January 20-22, Hartford, CT
• Chattanooga RV Show, January 20-22, Chattanooga, TN
• New Jersey RV & Camping Show, January 20-22, Edison, NJ
• Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport & RV Show, January 20-22, Houma, LA
Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, January 21-29, Quartzsite, AZ
• Louisville Boat, RV Sport Show, January 25-29, Louisville , KY
• Fort Myers RV Show, January 26-29, Fort Myers, FL
• Atlanta Camping & RV Show, January 27-29, Atlanta, GA
Seattle RV Show, February 9-12, Seattle, WA

See the list of all upcoming RV shows.

Avoid nasty germs when dumping!
These disposable nitrile medical gloves are superior to latex. Most RVers wear gloves when they dump their holding tanks. But some are better than others at preventing infection from nasty germs. These come in a pack of 100. They’ll serve you well for a long time. Learn more or order.

RVer Jimmy Smith checks out alligators on trail. (Julianne G. Crane)

RV Short Stop

Brazos Bend State Park
Needville, Texas

Less than an hour from downtown Houston is one of America’s top state parks, according to National Geographic Traveler. Brazos Bend State Park’s gators, trails, and star gazing make for an amazing family RV Short Stop. The 5,000-acre park includes more than 35 miles of multi-use trails to explore on foot, bike or horseback (some trails are wheelchair accessible). You can also fish, picnic or geocache; and stop by the Nature Center to learn about the park and its residents. And don’t forget the George Observatory. Campsites are available with or without hookups.

Learn more in this article from Julianne G. Crane.

90-degree-hosePrevent 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!

laughing-man-RVT-752Stupid Statements of Yesteryear
“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” —Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies (now with 400 locations worldwide).


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.

Videos you’ll like

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 1.18.19 PM Ways to keep your RV fridge running smoothly
Mark Polk of RV Education 101 offers tips about helping keep your refrigerator working more efficiently. Watch the video.

• Second year of full-timing in a Tiffin 45LP Allegro bus
David and Brenda Bott discuss the first two years of full-time living in their 2014 Tiffin Allegro Bus 45LP. Watch the video.


youtube_logoVisit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!

Random RV Thought
In the winter when the wind is howling, be careful when opening the door of your RV. A sudden gust can grab the door and rip it from your hand, thrusting it against the side of your rig, sometimes denting the siding or even smashing a window.

In honor of RV Travel Newsletter Issue 777: Boeing’s Everett, Wash., site has the largest manufacturing building in the world, producing the 777, 747, 767 and 787 airplanes. Originally built in 1967 to manufacture the 747, the main assembly building has grown to enclose 472 million cubic feet of space over 98.3 acres. Public tours are offered seven days a week. 

motor-carrier-2017-752Essential 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.

Worth Pondering
“A quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” —Albert Einstein


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. cw501

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.

Our offices are located at 610 5th Ave. S, Suite F, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc . RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

RVtravel.com includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of RVtravel.com to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to RVtravel.com and its affiliated blogs.

This newsletter is copyright 2017 by RVtravel.com



19 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter Issue 777”

  1. Donn Hornberger

    I support Chuck’s RV’ing magazine and I appreciate the fact that it arrives here all the time. I’m sending
    $$ to help keep it coming.

    1. RV Staff

      Thank you very much, Donn. We appreciate your kind words and your generous support, so that we can keep on doing (and improving on) what we love to do — putting together an informative and enjoyable newsletter for our readers! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

  2. Pat smith

    I am always dismayed about all your advertising for lights on RVs . I hate being next to a RV that has all its lights on at night and you can’t enjoy natural light in the sky

  3. Andy Mirdik

    Blue bar is gone from my I-pad. Thank you for a qiuick response!

  4. Don

    1st time no blue bar on my IPad. Thank you. Totally agree some people go nuts with all the party lights–sometimes you think you set-up on the Vegas strip or in Times Square. Please people, it’s “camping” so leave the neon displays at home. Enjoy the beauty of natural light.

  5. livingboondockingmexico.blogspot.com

    What is this fascination with light? I just don’t get it. I like nature’s light. Besides, it’s free and at night, wow, what a show.

  6. john & lana Stahl

    I see your travels have taken you from Oregon to California to Arizona. Keep coming east and south and you will soon be in Texas. When you get to Houston come by and visit. We love company. And we have some inexpensive and beautiful state parks in the southern and eastern park of Texas.

  7. john & lana Stahl

    We have trouble with our satellite every time we go RVing. Is there a better way to get reception than with satellite? My wife spends most of her time on trips trying to get it to work and talking on the phone with the DISH people. Every stop we make on trips my wife has to struggle to get the satellite to work. Is there a better system? Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Darrel

      Get the phone app “Dishpointer Pro”. Pick a campsite with clear shot to the satellites.

  8. Rod Stieg

    You commented on parking next to a saguaro. Just thought I’d mention that with the recent high winds, several saguaro’s in folks driveways have toppled and crushed their vehicles. I’m sure they were already showing signs of trouble, but something to be aware of when you park close.

  9. tom allen

    People in the desert put lights around the campsite to keep the snakes away

  10. Terry

    No blue bar on my iPad. Thank you.

  11. Wayne Dyer

    I don’t see any blue bar on here

  12. NBarnes

    No blue bar on my iPad. Thanks!

  13. Jim

    We have been full timing for over 8 years now and spend a lot of time each year boondocking. The news I have for you is those locations, too, are becoming overrun. There is no shortage of inconsiderate campers.

    Enjoy the garbage, clay pigeons and used ammunition even when there aren’t noisy campers to contend with.

    That said, boondocking is still the better option.

  14. kate

    I’m reading on an iPad Air and the blue bar has not shown up.

  15. Gregory Illes

    Just a personal note to emphasize the carbon-monoxide (CO) risk we all must deal with.

    We use (rarely) a portable generator, and one rainy day we ran it at the rear of the motorhome, underneath the overhanging tail. The exhaust was pointed away from the rig, and the wind was blowing in the same direction, taking the exhaust away.

    Within about 10 minutes, our CO alarm went off, even though we couldn’t smell anything and had no symptoms at all. No headache or smarting eyes, no odor of any kind. Needless to say, we moved the generator away from the rig, but it took another 10-15 minutes for the CO to clear out and all to be well again.

    CO is about the same density as air (which is mostly N2), and so neither rises nor falls in an enclosure. But since it’s in exhaust gas, which is warm, it will initially rise. That’s how it got into our motorhome.

    ALWAYS have a CO detector, and make sure it’s working. NEVER run our generator underneath our rig. (Note: If the wind is blowing wrong, you might even have issues with a built-in generator, with wind blowing the exhaust back under the rig.)

  16. Iab McMillan

    Yes! The BLUE BAR is still there.your message here …And thanks for a great newsletter

    1. BBadWolfe

      Blue Bar still there. Just so you know.
      (device: PC, Windows 10, Firefox)

Comments are closed.