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Issue 798 • Week of June 17–23, 2017
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With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
Voting is closed for favorite RV names. Winners will be announced in next Saturday’s newsletter.
About a month ago we asked you to send in the name of your RV with an explanation about how it came to be. Our staff, we said, would vote to determine our favorite three and award each of the owners a prize, a Tekton digital tire gauge.
About 300 of you responded, far more than we expected. Picking the top three has proved almost impossible. In the end we picked 14 of our favorite names and hope, with your vote, you can help us determine the best three. We’ll award the prizes to the owners of those rigs. To vote, click here. You’ll see our “top 14” list plus the readers’ reasons for naming their rigs.
Please select up to three of your favorites, taking into account the creativity that went into naming them.
In my case, for the past couple decades I’ve always referred to my motorhomes as the “Mohome.” It came about when my daughter, Emily, was three. My wife, Emily and I were in Cedar City, Utah, when our motorhome broke down. We managed to limp into a repair shop. As we were walking away to a nearby motel, my daughter screamed very loudly to the technicians, “Fix the mohome, guys!”
“Mohome” stuck. I noticed that one reader’s RV came close: MoHo.
I’m not sure we selected the best names of all those submitted (it was really hard!), so please do not be offended if yours did not make it into our best 14 list. Many of you had the same names for your rigs so we had to pass on those.
We based our favorites on names we thought might actually be used — most often one word. For example, one of our writers and his wife named their motorhome “Howie.” It’s easy to imagine one of them asking the other something like “Is Howie packed,” or “Let’s head off this weekend with Howie.” Some of your RVs’ names were three or four words, more like slogans than names that would actually be used in conversation.
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In other matters, a new edition of our Great RV Accessories Newsletter will appear next Tuesday after a year off. If you haven’t signed up do so here.
Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads! I’ll be thinking about mine, who died nine years ago.
A new way to receive updates on RVtravel.com. If you’d like to receive daily updates (most days) of new articles we post to RVtravel.com, please sign up here. You’ll receive an update each morning by email of new articles we published the day before.
How old are you?
Our staff was talking the other day about the readers of this newsletter. The subject came up about their age. We concluded that most readers are 50-plus. But we’re not sure. Would you take a moment to answer a 15-second poll? After you respond, you’ll see how others responded, too. Click here.
My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Is reading this newsletter
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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.
Camp Under The Stars And Stripes With 10% Off!
Camp under the stars and stripes this summer in some of the most desirable vacation destinations. Enjoy everything you love about the great outdoors and plan your next getaway on RVontheGo.com. You’ll find the best in cabin and RV camping in more than 180 locations across the country. Click here to receive 10% off of your stay today!
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 managing editor Diane McGovern at Diane (at) RVtravel.com .
CLICK HERE to see last week’s RV Travel Reader RVs.
THIS WEEK’S CONTEST!
We have a winner! No more entries for this contest, please. The answer is Scotland.
Win this Loch Ness Monster Soup Ladle. The winner will be chosen randomly out of all correct entries received by noon (Pacific), Sunday. The question: Where would you go to search for the Loch Ness Monster? Ireland, Scotland or Greenland? 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. All entries must include your mailing address and telephone number (only used for mailing if you win) or your entry will be disqualified and we’ll choose the next (correct) entry. Contest ends Sunday at noon (Pacific), at which time a winner will be selected by Random.org. We’ll let you know if you win.
Last week’s winner: Bernie Andersen of Arlington, Wash. He won the cute Cactus Pillow.
Class A motorhome sales continue to find themselves attached to a boat anchor, according to statistics published by Statistical Surveys Inc. Sales of the big rigs plummeted 10 percent in April, compared to April 2016 sales. Class C sales did far better in comparison, up 10 percent for the same time period.
Overall towable RV sales were a mixed bag in April. While travel trailers saw a reasonable 6 percent increase, compared to April 2016, pity the pop-up and park model manufacturers: down more than 8 and 29 percent, respectively. Fifth wheel sales gained slightly, up close to 2 percent. The overall effect: towables went ahead 4.5 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.
A bill before the California legislature would bring more affordable camping to the Golden State coast. Assembly Bill 250 would direct state funds to add low-cost campgrounds on existing state-owned beach lands. The bill has passed the Assembly and is headed for consideration in the Senate. It is not without its detractors, some of whom argue if the bill becomes law, trash, traffic and unwelcome behavior will surely follow.
Georgetown, Ky., city officials have backtracked on their initial ruling against the new Camping World store in town. They initially turned down CW’s request to allow a 3,200-square-foot U.S. flag at the store, as it would have been what the city defined as a second commercial interstate sign on the property. Now city ordinances have been changed to sanction non-commercial flags in such situations.
Arizona’s Verde River country will soon host a new state park, outfitted with dry camping RV sites. The state bought up the Rockin’ River Ranch back in 2008, but have largely sat on the property since then. By this fall those RV sites on the 209-acre park should be open, along with access to a mile of prime river frontage. By fall 2018 the state says it will have more park-like development in place.
Diseased trees and spotted owls have forced the closure of the Cultus Lake Campground in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest. Hundreds of dead or dying trees are endangering the campground, which is also the habitat of the northern spotted owl, an endangered species. Since the owls nest in spring and summer, the cutting of the diseased trees cannot begin until fall. The Forest Service says it hopes to have the campground up and running in spring 2018.
Wisconsin’s Newport State Park has joined an elite club – there are only 48 members in the entire world. The International Dark Sky Association has designated the park a dark sky park, which officials think may lead to increased visits by professional astronomers and amateur stargazers. By the association’s definition, a dark sky park is “a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment.”
If the Washington state Legislature doesn’t come up with a budget deal by June 30, the end of the current special session, many state government operations will be shut down and at least 32,000 state employees would be temporarily laid off. State Parks would be among 29 state agencies closed as of July 1, and all prior camping reservations will be canceled. “The gates will be locked. There will be no skeleton crew. There will be nobody to provide services. There will be no electricity. There won’t be water,” said Virginia Painter with Washington State Parks. Refunds will be issued for all reservations if a shutdown occurs and Painter encourages campers to keep their existing plans until further notice. Painter says they are optimistic a deal will be reached: “We hope for the best but we plan for the worst.” Stay tuned. Source: MyNorthwest.com.
If your summer travel plans include Northern Arizona, beware: Commercial RV park owners report abnormally high reservation rates. One Flagstaff RV park owner reports being booked solid through August; others in the Williams and Winslow area likewise report higher-than-average bookings.
Here’s a security issue that may make you want to change your RV locks. Police in Pennsylvania have arrested a former RV dealership employee from Ohio who used master keys to stealthily open doors on RV dealership lots and help himself to TVs and other electronic gear. By the use of the key, or keys, William E. Jenkins of North Canton left no trace of an illegal entry, save for the missing loot.
Permanent Jack Pad Installs in Seconds – Leave on Forever!
No more crawling under your RV to set up!
View the installation video here. For Class ‘A’ and Class ‘C’ motorhomes, SnapPad Prime is a permanent jack pad that adds unparalleled stability and frees up storage space. Compatible with Power Gear and Kwikee ‘Level Best’ Jacks. Click here or visit RVSnapPad.com to learn more & buy now.
Some Northwest U.S. farmers are planning to mop up this summer. But with hay prices down they’re looking at an alternative cash source: a cash crop of RVs in the field. With the total eclipse of August 21, many farmers are turning fields into temporary RV parks. In eastern Idaho, per-night prices for dry camping are running $150 to $200 per rig. In Madras, Ore., one 65-acre site will house as many as 3,000 RVers and tent campers for the event, charging a mere $550 fee for five nights. Included in most campgrounds are such amenities as porta-potties, and the availability of bottled water – for an additional charge.
Calling the service of pumping RV holding tanks “a ticking time bomb,” officials in Moriah, N.Y., are cutting off the service at town-owned RV parks. Moriah now owns two RV parks, Bulwagga Bay in Moriah, and Champ RV Park in what used to be Port Henry. The latter village went belly-up and the Moriahites picked up management of the park. But no more pump-outs; the insurance company servicing the town’s account says it finds the hazards too steep, and would charge $14,000 more per year if the town insisted on continuing the service. You may now borrow a “blue-boy” and dump your own tanks if you like.
Last month it was a rabid fox. This month it’s a bear that shakes travel trailers. This hasn’t been an easy year for camping at Rose Canyon Lake near Tucson, Ariz. We reported that a young boy had been bitten by the fox, causing the closure in May. Now an RVer got a rude, 5:30 a.m. awakening when a 200-pound black bear shook his trailer. Officials say they’ve closed the campground while they decide what measures to take.
You might want to stay clear of Jackson, Wyoming’s municipal “campground.” The town council is setting up special meetings to hurry through the ordinance process that will create an ersatz 20-site “campground” behind the city’s recreation center. Permits will be sold, not to RVers, but to employers, who may then allow hirelings to overnight. Amenities? A dumpster and porta-potties. Drawbacks? In no earlier than 7 p.m. and out by 7 a.m. No disconnecting from the tow vehicle. No fires, awnings, pets, smoking or generators allowed. And not so cheap! July and August rates are $465 per month. Just make sure you’re off the premises first thing in the morning!
While a “tiny house” may be classed by some authorities as an RV, not all RV parks have a warm-and-fuzzy feeling toward them. Robin and Jenn Sheffield say they contacted management at Mill Bay, British Columbia’s Beachcomber RV Park in March to be sure the park would accept a tiny house. After receiving assurances they’d be welcome, earlier this month the Sheffields moved in. Within an hour, they were looking for a new place. While municipal officials were okay with the tiny house, the park manager gave them the bum’s rush, with no explanation. Local news media got this terse response when they asked why: “Because we don’t want them, it’s private, do you understand private?”
We don’t know for sure, but Abraham Sedillo may be thinking about the tagline of a popular cockroach remedy: “Roaches check in, but they don’t check out!” Sedillo had the misfortune of breaking into an RV stored at a Albuquerque, N.M., RV storage lot. He got in after breaking a window, but when he tried getting out through the front door, he couldn’t get it open. He eventually crawled out of the window, and into the waiting arms of local police.
Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
This week’s Reader Poll
How important is Internet access where you camp?
How much do you care if there’s Internet access where you camp? Is it very important, or not at all? Would you please take a few seconds to let us know? After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.
Read the up-to-the minute responses from last week’s poll: How often to you talk on your phone or text (or read texts) while driving? Click here for the results.
Is it time for instant hot water in RVs? Why have tankless water heaters become so popular at home, but failed to capture the RV market’s favor? One reason has been an inability to prevent temperature spikes that sometimes scald. Finally, a new hybrid mixing vessel technology in the Truma AquaGo® instant water heater has solved this concern, providing instant, constant, endless hot water. Click here to see the video and learn more.
RV Quick Tips
Brighten your taillights
Taillights can get dim from dirty contacts. Make sure there’s no power to the taillights, then pull the bulbs. Use steel wool to clean bulb contacts and base; do the same for the contacts and base of the taillight fixture.
Where to mount your new flat screen TV
Replacing on old “tube” style TV with a flat screen in your RV? Think about mounting the new flat screen on a swing-arm mount that’s attached inside the old TV’s cabinet. You can swing the TV into the cabinet any time, and out for viewing from different areas of the coach. And no need to rebuild the cabinet to accommodate the new TV, provided it fits in the hole.
GPS home security advice
A sage RVer warns to never put your “home” coordinates in your GPS. If a crook steals your GPS and keys, he knows right where to go to clean you out.
Unique RV overnight stops at wineries and farms
With membership in Harvest Hosts® you can stay overnight at more than 570 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.
Before driving RV, please engage brain
On a recent trip, Russ and Tiña De Maris observed a big Class A motorhome with a toad car driving considerably under the speed limit, at the head of a long line of traffic. There were a couple of close calls as other drivers passed it, undoubtedly leaving many to wonder why the motorhome driver didn’t use a pullout spot when they had a chance. Luckily, they didn’t cause an accident — this time! Read more.
The readers write: No-frills RV parking on the cheap
Here are some of your comments regarding editor Chuck Woodbury’s recent suggestion that what America needs is a chain of no-frills RV overnight spots at a decent price. Also included is an interesting point brought up by a reader named Carl about what he sees as a trend of almost weekly reports of RV manufacturers issuing recalls regarding RVs being mislabeled as to their carrying capacity weights. Hmmm. Read more.
It’s hot — How to care for your roof air conditioner
This past week has been incredibly hot, especially for spring in the Northeast not to mention other areas of the country. It has been above 90 degrees for the last couple of days and it got Rich “The Wanderman” thinking about treating his A/C to some preventive maintenance sooner rather than later. With some very simple steps, you can keep your roof air conditioner working well. Find out how here.
New RV resort opens along Michigan lake
A new RV park in Ira Township, Michigan, is now open along the scenic shores of Anchor Bay, just two miles east of New Baltimore. Northpointe Shores RV Resort is ideal for guests who enjoy RVing and boating, or those who can appreciate the beautiful lake views. Read more.
Fix that leaky RV roof
Got leaks? If you’ve found your roof has a hole in it, you might drown — but don’t just pray the rain stops. Take a bit of action to stop the leaks and the resulting damage. Here are a few tips (with occasional addendum) from the Dicor Corporation.
Definition of “boondocking” stumps experts
Last month we polled readers on what constituted “boondocking.” Last week we published the full results and many comments on the subject and it’s clear that there’s no widely acceptable definition of “boondocking.” But what do RV Travel’s boondocking experts say about it — are they on the same page? Find out here.
The RV Safety and Education Foundation will hold its annual educational conference Oct. 1–5 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The event provides a positive networking opportunity for both new and veteran RVers with industry experts in classroom, roundtable and individual settings. Endorsed by RVtravel.com. Learn more or watch a two-minute video about the event.
Easily clean those
stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Full-time RVing — Will your rig haul the weight?
Moving from a sticks-and-bricks home to an RV makes for plenty of challenges. Where will you put all your stuff? That’s a great question, but a critically important related question: Will my rig handle the weight of all my stuff? Do you know how much weight you can carry? Here are some critical considerations when shopping for an RV.
Is RVer stuck with sticky black water valve?
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received this question from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor: “Pulling the black water handle on my 2012 Entegra is getting more difficult compared to the gray water side. Is there any way to ease this or prevent it from getting even more difficult?“ Read Chris’ answer.
Escapees co-founder Kay Peterson passes away
Kay Peterson, co-founder of the Escapees RV club, has died at age 90 in Livingston, Texas. She and her late husband, Joe Peterson, founded the club in 1978, and continued to serve Escapees members until 1990 when leadership of the club was passed to their daughter, Cathie Carr, and her husband, Bud. Read more.
Thor recalls some 2017 Challenger motorhomes
Thor Motor Coach is recalling certain 2017 Challenger 37YT motorhomes. The exhaust pipe for the onboard gasoline generator may be incorrectly installed or missing completely from the vehicles. Without a correctly installed generator exhaust pipe, there may be a buildup of carbon monoxide within the interior of the vehicle, increasing the risk of personal injury or death. Learn more.
Kelley Used Car Blue Book
The Consumer Edition of the Kelley Blue Book Used Car Guide includes current trade-in values, private party values, and suggested retail values on more than 10,000 models of used cars, trucks, and vans. Covering 15 model years, the book includes VINs, original list prices, easy-to-use equipment schedules with values for optional equipment, and a table of acceptable mileage ranges by year. April, 2017 edition. Learn more or order.
Gulf Stream recalls Vista Cruiser, Vintage Cruiser trailers
Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. is recalling 272 model year 2015-2017 Vista Cruisers and 2016-2018 Vintage Cruiser travel trailers. The Tire Identification Label are incorrect and may cause the user to install the wrong replacement tire, affecting the vehicle’s handling, thereby increasing the risk of a crash. Read more.
Columbia Northwest recalls some Aliner Ascape trailers
Columbia Northwest, Inc. is recalling certain 2017-2018 Aliner Ascape trailers. The trailers have liquid propane (LP) gas bottle trays that come loose from the frames due to the wrong rivets being used to attach the LP tray to the frame. The LP gas bottles may fall from the trailer during travel, increasing the risk of a crash or a fire. Learn more.
RV 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.
Readers need help
Reader seeks input about ‘Extreme’ RV siding problem
Editor Chuck Woodbury received an email from reader Kate Perrie about a serious condition with cracking paint on the exterior of her motorhome. We’re sharing it with you to see how many others have had the same experience. If this is a widespread problem, we will assign an article about it to one of our RV tech experts. Read more.
Do you have an RV-related problem that you’d like to share with other readers for their advice to help solve? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com and it could be featured here.
Are You Stinking Up The Campground?
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintain clean sensors, eliminate odors, and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order.
This week in history
Week of June 17–23
Compiled by Dell Bert
1788 — U.S. Constitution ratified.
1885 — Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor from France.
1944 — President Franklin Roosevelt signs G.I. Bill.
1965 — “Mr. Tambourine Man,” by the Byrds, begins the folk-rock revolution.
1972 — Watergate burglars (Nixon’s reelection employees) arrested.
1983 — First American woman (Dr. Sally Ride) in space.
1989 — Movie “Batman” released (RIP, Adam West — TV’s batman).
1994 — O.J. Simpson leads L.A. police on high-speed chase.
Heat your RV with Electricity, not Propane!
SAVE $$$! Until now, the standard for heating recreation vehicles of all types has been to use bottled propane (LPG). With the CheapHeat™ system there’s a better option. Now you have a choice to change the central heating system between gas and electric with the flip of a switch. When you choose to run on electric heat rather than gas, your coach will be heated by the electricity provided by the RV park. Learn more.
Bumper sticker of the week
Energizer Bunny arrested; charged with battery.
Funny/clever business slogan
When I was going to college many years ago, I worked in a gas station. We had a Jeep with a picture of a blown tire and the caption: “Invite Us To Your Next Blowout!!” —Thanks to Ralph B!
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane (at) RVtravel.com
America’s Largest RV Show runs September 13–17, 2017
See, compare and shop over 1300 new RVs from virtually every major manufacturer! Visit hundreds of vendors including campgrounds, accessories and services. Attend seminars covering subjects for the beginner to the seasoned RV enthusiast. Location is Hershey, PA. For more information, click here.
Websites of the Week
Here are three we like:
Enjoy a beautiful vacation at these 50 national parks for free
Here are 50 of the hundreds of national parks that have no entrance fees. These include many historic sites as well as natural wonders. Activities are suggest at each location. From GOBankingRates and msn.com.
Twenty eight of the best antique shows in America
Check out this coast-to-coast guide to the top spots for finding vintage treasures. From countryliving.com.
For those who travel with pets
GoPetFriendly.com is a “full-service” website for those traveling with pets. Besides helpful tips for traveling with your furry friends, they list pet-friendly campgrounds, beaches, off-leash parks, as well as veterinarians and pet supply stores, and even restaurants and wineries where your pooch is welcome to join you!
Here is our “master list” of more than 700 websites we like, which we have compiled over the years.
No overnight parking at these Walmarts
See which Walmarts in the USA do NOT allow overnight RV stays.
Best way to fill your batteries
Fill this container with distilled water, insert the nozzle into the cell of your battery, then push & hold. When the battery is at the proper level, the water will automatically stop. Then move to the next cell, etc. You won’t over- or under-fill your batteries this way, helping extend their lives. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
“Dry rot” is a misnomer regarding tires
Roger Marble saw this comment on an RV trailer forum: “My understanding is that there seems to be a belief or a known orthodoxy that despite external appearances, the inside could rot out and that tires that appear all fine and dandy on the outside, after that long are not on the inside? …” Roger explains why “dry rot” is a misnomer and how there is no single answer as to why some tires last longer than others. Learn more.
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 $10! Learn more or order.
Good reading from RV123.com
• Combining the best features of fitness and outdoor watches, the Fenix 5 is a premiere multisport training companion.
• A glass artist from Grant’s Pass, Oregon made this RV completely from scratch after taking metal-shaping classes!
• Watch this video to see a double decker bus magically transformed into a luxury RV. So cool!
Guide to Over 900 Aircraft Museums, USA & Canada
The 27th edition of this popular guidebook contains names, addresses, phone numbers, web addresses, admission prices, hours of operation and many more details for 857 U.S. and 69 Canadian aircraft museums. More than 10,500 aircraft are listed alphabetically. If you love to visit air museums, this is the best resource. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Shrink
Handling “needy” RV campground neighbors
Dear RV Shrink:
We have been full-time RVing for about seven years. We have met many wonderful people. However, occasionally we meet a stalker. It is usually a single person, perhaps lonely. The latest example happened in the Everglades National Park at Flamingo Campground. I called him “Ears.” My husband could not step foot out of our motorhome before this fellow camper was “Johnny on the spot.” He had to be sitting at his trailer window watching for my husband to exit. It was almost funny, if not so annoying. … —An Earful in Florida
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.
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2017 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Is it easier to back a shorter trailer than a longer trailer? No. A shorter trailer reacts much quicker to steering movements than a longer trailer because the trailer’s axles are the pivot point and on a shorter trailer the axles are closer to the hitch ball mount on the tow vehicle. When backing a pop-up or short travel trailer it will require slower reactions and movements in the steering wheel than a longer trailer will.
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: $2.37 (on June 12). Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Down 3 cents.
Diesel: $2.52 (on June 12). Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 9 cents.
Organize your bath with a shower caddy
This waterproof hanging shower caddy has 6 durable mesh pockets — 3 generously sized pockets with holes for holding bottles upside down and 3 smaller accessory pockets to store loofahs, bar soaps, razors and more. It has rust-proof grommets and is made of quick-drying breathable mesh — wipe with a damp cloth or wash by hand. Just hang using your existing shower curtain rings or hooks. Great for the RV! Learn more or order.
The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
Slow cooker, slow lane, fast meals.
Play the day away while this exotic, flavorful curry cooks carefree in the slow cooker. Leftovers are even better the second day and are easily warmed up in the microwave. This can also be frozen in smaller batches. Get the recipe.
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.
App of the Week
Internet while traveling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, have been using Internet while traveling for 14 years. Most of that has been traveling by RV in the U.S., but this past month they had some new experiences while traveling in Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. Whether they need to find a campground in Arkansas, or rent a kayak in Venice, an Internet connection makes it possible! Chris explains the good, the bad and the ugly regarding using Internet around the world, and what you might be able to do about the “bad” and the “ugly” aspects of it. Learn more.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are two popular webcasts: #69, Managing your phone’s battery and #81, How to use Location Services on your smartphone. Watch live or archives of past programs.
Special offer for RV Travel readers!
Visit the Geeks’ Store to buy a membership. Use the coupon code rvtravel and get a 20% discount off anything you order.
Keep rodents out of your RV!
The overwhelmingly positive reviews on this make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets so no safety warning is required. 98% biodegradable. Tested and endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.
Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions
Replacing RV awning — roller tube question
I need to replace the awning fabric on my 18-foot awning. All of the aftermarket replacements I find are two pieces, a main awning and a valance. I am having trouble visualizing how the two are joined together in the single slot on the roller tube. Please advise how this is done. —Ron T.
Record RVing memories in this Camping Journal
Remember all your journeys with this easy-to-fill-in format. Each journal page is complete with thoughtful prompts including: Location, Date(s), Weather, People I (We) camped with or met, What I (We) did, and Things I (We) enjoyed most. RVing is an adventure: Write it down & treasure the memory forever! Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
with Bob Difley
Furnace gobbles electricity when boondocking: Try this instead
Our RV’s furnace, though powerful and keeps us warm, uses a lot of electricity while booondocking. Is there a better way to stay warm? —Karen and Thelma
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
Read the most recent BoondockBob Blog post: Use Battery electricity when boondocking as if it was finite (because it is).
You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.
Protect 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.
with Mike Sokol
RVer wonders if shock from RV is due to reversed polarity
I replaced the valve on my black water flush-out system today and noticed that when I touched any metal part of the frame of my trailer, I could feel an electrical current running through it! Not enough to really shock me, but certainly enough to cause some discomfort. It doesn’t matter where on the frame I touch, either — it feels the same. What is going on? Could reversed polarity on the battery or shore power plug be causing this? I have a 2010 Rockwood Roo 23 RS. —Gus
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. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Handy travel drinking mug for Fido
This is very handy mug for your dog (and for you)! Gently squeeze the bottle and water will fill the bowl. Release your squeeze and the water returns to the bottle. Adjustable Velcro strap makes it easy to carry while on the go. Fits in standard car cup holder. And, important, made in the USA! Learn more or order.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Sneakerboot Hybrid from Ridgemont Outfitters fits RV lifestyle
One of the dilemmas RVers face is paring down what we carry around in our home-on-wheels, frequently choosing items that we can utilize for more than one use. One place to pare down is in the number of pairs of shoes we carry. Ridgemont Outfitters has come up with a boot that, because it serves several purposes, neatly fits the RV lifestyle. You can wear it as a light and comfortable hiking boot, a casual shoe for daytime use about town, or a stylish shoe you could wear to informal dinners. Learn more.
Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click here.
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
Joke of the Week
Traffic cop: “Your eyes are red. Have you been drinking?” Driver: “Your eyes are glazed. Have you been eating doughnuts?”
Bet you didn’t know!
• Due to flash floods, one of the biggest dangers in the desert is drowning.
• Red lipstick boosts waitresses’ tips from male customers, but not from females.
• Only 28 percent of people know when they’re being flirted with.
From 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.
JUST PUBLISHED! Essential for big RVs!
2018 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.
Free and bargain camping
Allegheny County Rest Area
FREE: Heading northbound exit I-79 at milepost 50. Maximum stay is 24 hours. Level, well-lit, appears safe. GPS: 40.331720, -80.137490
Walmart Supercenter #5244
Little Rock, Arkansas
FREE. Get permission from store. Park parallel to far west edge of lot, without obstructing traffic lanes. Lighted, appears safe. Get off I-430 at exit 9, then west on SR 10. In upscale area. Located 19301 Cantrell Rd. GPS: 34.808734, -92.488323
Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,520 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
Two hilarious RV movies!
Here are two of the funniest RV movies ever! “Lost in America” is about a middle-aged couple who sell everything and hit the road in a motorhome. What happens next is hilarious. “RV,” with Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels, is equally funny — an RV movie classic! Order, rent or watch the trailer of “RV.” • Order, rent or watch the trailer of “Lost in America.“
Videos you’ll like
This is a truck camper? No way! Yes, it is!
Take a tour of Host Camper’s Mammoth 11.5. Once inside, it’s hard to comprehend that this spacious unit is on the back of a pickup truck! Watch the video.
How to organize and declutter your RV while camping
Mike Wendland shows you some tricks he used to organize his Class B motorhome. Watch the video.
Random RV Thought
When camping in the desert or forest, do not leave your small pet leashed and alone outside. This is especially true at night. Coyotes love to dine on poodles and other small critters. If you leave Spot or Fifi outside overnight, you may end up with only a leash and collar in the morning.
Don’t come up short
of power at the RV park
This 50 amp extension cord can save the day! Sometimes your RV’s power cord just won’t extend far enough to reach an RV park’s hookup pedestal. Here’s the solution: a 15-foot extension cord. Using a wimpy cord that isn’t rated high enough can ruin appliances and even cause a fire. Do it right with this! Learn more or order at a big discount. Need a 30-amp extension? Click here.
Some species of snails may have more than 20,000 teeth. From factsaboutsnails.com
Haynes Repair Manuals
No matter what model car, truck or motorcycle you own, there’s a Haynes Repair Manual to guide you through its care as well as troubleshooting and fixing problems. Each manual contains easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions linked to hundreds of photographs and illustrations. Learn more or order.
“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” —Coco Chanel
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Mark Polk, Roger Marble, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld and Andrew Robinson. Administrative Assistant: Emily Woodbury.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com.
About the RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Amazon.com. Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. 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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This newsletter is copyright 2017 by RVtravel.com
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