RV Travel Newsletter Issue 854

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 17th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

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Issue 854 • Week of July 8-14, 2018   #rvtravel

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

Another week has flown by as fast as a rocket ship.

I am back in Wisconsin, after a month in Seattle meeting with staff, having a colonoscopy (oh, that was a whole buncha fun), and busying myself with a half-dozen projects related to this website and newsletter. We’re still working to get our reader forum launched but it’s taking longer than expected.

We have a new member on our staff. Jessica Sarvis will help us improve the look and function of this website and its readability. She’ll also improve our to-date mediocre social media efforts, with a goal of getting more subscribers so we will have more influence in effecting positive change for you and other RVers. 

Mike Sokol and I are going full-steam ahead with our new Stray Voltage Patrol, where we hope at least 100 of you will join us initially to help identify miswired pedestals at RV parks across the country. Only a small percentage of parks test their pedestals themselves (most don’t know anything is wrong), so we’ll do it for them. We’ll list those parks (along with specific unsafe sites) that do not immediately fix a dangerous situation after we alert them. We do not want you plugging into an innocent-looking, but potentially dangerous electric hookup! 

And, I might remind you, we are launching the Stray Voltage Patrol with the funding of the 2,700 readers who have voluntarily subscribed, who from now on we’ll refer to as our “members.” If you made a one-time donation of $5 or $10 two or three years ago, please consider chipping in again if your budget permits. We’ll plow your money right back into important projects.

We’re launching our Stray Voltage Patrol immediately (hopefully within a month) — it’s THAT important! Gail and I almost hooked up to an unsafe pedestal at a KOA two months ago, which would have put us in jeopardy of a “hot skin condition,” as I reported in early June

And for those of you who participate in the project, there will be a financial reward for each miswired and/or dangerous pedestal you find. My personal goal is to identify at least 1,000 unsafe pedestals in 2019. That will be 1,000 fewer pedestals that could, under certain conditions, shock you or someone in your family, even fatally.

Meet Mike in Hershey
By the way, please note that Mike will be teaching an RV Electrical Safety seminar every morning from 9:30 to 11 at Pennsylvania’s big Hershey RV Show, September 12-16. Our long-time contributor and my buddy Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, will also teach classes every afternoon. I’ll be there, too, and hope to see you.

And a reminder: Please, if you have not done so already, subscribe to Mike’s RV Electricity newsletter.
* * *
We’re progressing slowly on my overnight stops project. It will take some time to launch (there is a lot of work involved), but we have several interested businessmen eager to participate. The idea: a chain of safe, inexpensive locations across the country with a 50-amp hookup where an RVer can stay a night, using an app beforehand to guarantee an available spot with only a few hours’ notice. If you would like to be involved in the project, let me know and I’ll be in touch.

Last week I had a long discussion with Jim Vernes of RV Golf Club, a membership program RVers can join, and then stay free at about 300 golf courses around the country. Jim said something to me that really stuck. He said, and I quote (loosely): “We spend the first 30 years of our life learning how to earn a living, then the next 30 years living it and then, after that, we give back.”

I realized that is what I feel now — the need to give back. To do something good.

There is a whole lot more going on here at RVtravel.com that I would love to tell you about, but space is always limited in this newsletter, and getting every reader in one meeting place would require an NBA arena: I don’t think that would give me much personal time with anyone. So I’ll continue to use this space each week (and an occasional video) to do my best to communicate with you. And to our voluntary subscribers (“members,” as we will call them in the future), we have special things ahead for you including in-depth coverage of what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s just taking time to gear up.
* * *
If you are a skilled journalist, perhaps retired, who could use some extra income, please contact me if you would like to write for us, part time to start. Please only inquire if you have substantial experience in the news business, with a solid understanding of RVing, AP style, and high journalistic standards. We badly need you. There is far too much to report that our current staff simply cannot get to in a 24-hour day.

Life is exciting for me now — so challenging, so stimulating. I feel after decades of writing to earn my living — I can now change my focus of my work to others. I mean, how much could I ever need now after 71 years of an incredible life, 35 years of it with an RV exploring this magnificent country and equally magnificent Canada!




P.S. I am sorry to report that our Pet Vet Dr. Deanna has moved on to other things and will no longer be writing for us. We wish her and her cute pups the very best.

Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on the editor’s mind, not necessarily RV-related).
Why is there a hole in the Farmer’s Almanac?

Readers speak out (Your comments are welcome – please add them below the specific article.)
RVer’s receiver hitch assembly falls off his fifth wheel.

America’s Largest RV Show returns September 12-16, 2018
See, compare, shop and buy from over 33 football fields of new RVs. Virtually every major manufacturer represented, everything from the smallest pop-up to the full-size motorhome. Visit hundreds of vendors including campgrounds, accessories, destinations, and services. Attend seminars covering subjects for beginners and seasoned RV enthusiasts. See you in Hershey, PA! Click here for more information. 

Sign up for RVtravel.com’s
new monthly newsletter about RV electricity
or any of our other newsletters.

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

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breaking-newsThe latest news about RVing from our newsroom
Our writers and editors have selected the most important, most interesting and helpful news about RVing from the past week and boiled it all down into a fast-paced digest. Click here to read it.

Recent recalls:
Keystone RV recalls 5,107 trailers for fire hazard.
Forest River recalls travel trailers for axle issue.
Thor recalls motorhomes: Loose U-bolts could cause crash.
Newmar RV recalls motorhomes for windshield wiper problem.
Grand Design recalls fifth wheels for propane leak issue.

20% off RoverPass, unlimited booking to over 6,000 campgrounds!
RoverPass Unlimited is the all-access fast pass to booking campgrounds online. It allows you to search and book at over 6,000 campgrounds and RV parks without a platform fee. You’ll also get priority booking and one-on-one access with customer service representatives. Click here to receive 20 percent off an unlimited membership. 

Which heater is best: Forced air, ceramic or catalytic?
Greg Illes, veteran RV boondocker and DIYer, wrote this very thorough article breaking down the pros and cons of ceramic vs. catalytic vs. open-flame vs. forced-air RV heaters. Whew! Let us know in the comments under his post if you have anything to add. Learn all about heaters.

Visit one of the only RV museums in America in Amarillo
When Jack Sisemore opened a Chevron station in 1963 and later added motorhome rentals followed by an RV dealership, little did he know he would soon be operating an RV museum. It all began when in 1986 he came across a 1946 Kit Road Ranger that he bought, restored and displayed along with a 1946 Ford. It was the beginning of the Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum, that now draws upwards of 150 people a day. Read more.

Salinas, California, enacts new restrictive parking ordinance for RVs
Salinas, California’s start of a new parking ordinance, which affects where RVs can park, continues to shift. Last week, Salinas joined a few other cities by passing an ordinance that prohibits the parking of over-sized vehicles (read: RVs) overnight on city streets. Enforcement seems to have options at this point, ranging from a warning to a criminal citation. Read more.

Tornado rips through RV park, destroying RVs, killing infant
A newborn baby was killed and more than two dozen people were injured when a tornado whipped through a North Dakota oil patch RV park this week, overturning RVs and demolishing more than 100 structures, officials said Tuesday. The storm moved through Watford City, in the northwestern part of the state, shortly after midnight. Learn more.

This week’s Reader Poll
Are you affected by altitude sickness?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. 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:
Do you unplug your RV from electricity during a big lightning storm? Click here for the results.

Need an RV Home Base?
Then you need Americas Mailbox! You’ll enjoy great tax advantages with your South Dakota “residency,” like no state income tax and low insurance rates (second lowest in the USA says the Insurance Information Institute). Many plans are available. Click the video where RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury talks with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes. Or click here to learn more or enroll.

spyWhat we learned from you last week
You’ll want to read this just for the great video from our electricity expert, Mike Sokol. We learn a lot from you each week, but you can learn more from Mike! In this week’s article, we talk about cheese (another reason you should read), fridge size, grills, fishing, and, ah, drinking. Join us here. 

What is it with all these “special” screws?!
It seems that every time Rich “The Wanderman” needs to open up and repair anything bought within the last few years he needs some kind of special tool. (Sound familiar?) It’s getting crazy. He has about 30 single-purpose screwdriver tips that he had to buy just to be able to open the various devices. Luckily, he found some inexpensive screwdriver bit sets that cover most of the security screws he has encountered so far. Read more.

Destination: the Amana Colonies
Imagine this: a slowly meandering river lined with tall overhanging trees, a patchwork of small family farms, and gentle hills with lovely views. Quick—where are you? Iowa! Yep, it’s not all corn and soybeans. This particular landscape is what you’ll find if you visit the Amana Colonies, located along the Iowa River in the southeastern part of the state. Read more.


Waterless trap for your RV plumbing system
Make foul smelling odors a thing of the past!
Already used by major RV manufacturers, the revolutionary HepvO waterless trap is a fantastic alternative to a conventional ‘P’ trap and it won’t fail due to evaporation, movement, freezing or leakage. Its unique membrane prevents foul air from the grey water tank entering your RV and its in-line design helps create extra storage space! Learn more

Spend the night at vineyards and farms across America
A Harvest Hosts membership costs $49 per year and allows guests access to any of more than 600 campsites scattered about America for one night at a time…. In turn, RVers get to sleep at one-of-a-kind destinations, such as wineries, open-air museums, wildlife rescue facilities, lavender farms, goat and cow dairies and cider mills. Only fully self-contained vehicles are permitted as no hookups are provided. Learn more.

Street RV parking a problem in Seattle, even with a permit
If you are a construction worker staying at the job site in Seattle, you may want to think twice. Reuben Campbell, a construction superintendent on a South Park project, stays overnight in a trailer next to the job site to make sure that nothing is stolen or vandalized. Campbell purchased a $1,500 street-use permit for the trailer that is valid for three months. But what happened when he wasn’t there to show the permit to the inspector? Find out here.

Goodbye Holding Tank Odors and Clogs, Hello Convenience!
The best just got better. Now you can get the unsurpassed strength of RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment in a convenient, easy to use drop-in pod. RV Digest-It has long been known as the premier all-around tank treatment for those looking for the best in both odor elimination and waste digestion – now you can add convenience to that list. Learn more here.

Popular articles from last week’s issue

Shocking: Many RVers “upside down” on RV loans.
Do you unhook from electricity during a big lightning storm?
RV and RV-related recalls for June 2018.
Focus on “Stray Voltage.” What is it and why should you care?
Breaking News on “Stray Voltage.
Catalytic heater is a good alternative to forced air furnace.
It’s all in how you look at things

How can you end the “military” RV shower?
trumalogoYou know the routine, constantly turning off the shower to conserve hot water. That’s because most RVs have tank heaters with limited hot water. You never have to run out of hot water with a hybrid instant hot water heater. Find out how the Truma AquaGo®  gives you a real shower in your RV. Learn more here.

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.

Guided RV Tours
Have you ever taken or considered taking a guided RV tour? Here’s our new directory of upcoming tours that may be of interest to you. Click here.

Readers’ comments on the poor quality of their new RVs
RVs today are being built fast, and in way too many cases poorly. Here are some horror stories.

Did you buy a lemon RV? Here’s more about RV lemons and lawyers who will represent you if you need help.

Current wildfire information
To help with your travel planning, here is complete, up-to-the-minute wildfire information around the U.S., from Incident Information System (InciWeb), a U.S. government interagency. Click here.

Save your propane! Easily convert to electric heat!
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.

Ask the RV Shrink

Hubby wears same clothes for a week; what can wife do?

Dear RV Shrink:
Now that my husband and I are on the road full time, I have a hard time getting him to change his clothes. He says we meet so many new and different people, no one notices he has the same clothes on for a week. He doesn’t wear work clothes while he is doing his constant maintenance on our rig – he wears his good clothes for those chores because he doesn’t bother to change. I don’t mind doing laundry, even though many laundromats we stop at are the pits. …

Read the rest of the letter and the RV Shrink’s advice.

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.

Plan Your Getaway to Tropical Palms Today!
Tropical Palms is a hidden gem set on 69 beautiful sun-kissed acres that are perfect for your Orlando vacation getaway. We are approximately 4 miles from Walt Disney World Resort, 11 miles from the Orange County Convention Center and within walking distance from Old Town and Fun Spot. You will find our convenient location and affordable prices provide the perfect RV resort to enjoy all that Central Florida offers. Click here to learn more.

gas-738Latest fuel prices, July 9, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.86. [Calif.: $3.55]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 56 cents.
Diesel: $3.24. [Calif.: $3.97]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 76 cents.

Save money! Prime Day is almost here!
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, take note: On Monday, July 16, at 12 p.m. PDT, thousands of Amazon items will go on sale. Find deals on electronics, clothing and shoes, kitchen supplies and equipment, pet supplies, camping gear and more! Click now for a sneak peek of a few items that will be on sale and don’t forget to check back on Monday (the sale goes through Tuesday) to buy items! It’s the biggest sale of the year – you won’t want to miss this! 

The RV Vet
With Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM

Can you read dog (body) language?
It sure seems that lately a lot of dog people on social media are complaining about other dog people in campgrounds. One complaint I often see is about owners letting their dogs run up to other dogs without asking the other dog’s owner if it’s okay. Even if you’re asked, the result can be negative. Continue reading.

Camco vent insulator keeps you warm…and cool!
Is your RV too hot in the summer? Too cold in the winter? Camco’s vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy – simply push the fitted foam into your skylight, reflective side up. The reflective surface blocks sunlight, preventing it from heating your RV in the hot months. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here. 

RV Quick Tips

R&T De Maris

Battery “gas pains”
RVers are rightly concerned about having enough battery power. But with batteries come dangers — some not easily recognized. Charging batteries produce hydrogen gas, a highly explosive byproduct. Hydrogen is not something to fear, but respect. To keep safe:
Always have plenty of ventilation in the battery compartment. Make sure that hydrogen gas can easily vent to the outside atmosphere.
Never operate RV batteries inside the coach. The living quarters of the rig is no place for an explosive atmosphere.
Don’t set up equipment in the battery compartment that could spark. That includes power inverters, like the one shown in the accompanying photo. 

Awning cleaning
When cleaning your awning use a commercial RV awning cleaner. Spray the cleaner thoroughly on the awning fabric, roll it up and let it sit for several minutes. This helps to distribute the cleaner over the entire surface of the awning fabric and allows the cleaner time to work. Open the awning and thoroughly rinse both sides of the fabric. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.

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

Amazon Deals of the Day!
Here are more than 1,000 special deals, just for today. And the items just keep on changing. If you can’t find a great deal here on something you want, then, well, you must not need anything. If nothing else, it sure is fun to poke around here to see the incredible array of cool stuff that’s available at this very moment at bargain prices! Click here for today’s deals!

Gizmos and Gadgets

Rhino Heavy-Duty Portable RV Tote Tank is odor- and leak-free
The Camco 39000 Rhino Heavy-Duty 15-Gallon Portable Waste Holding Tank is constructed of extremely durable blow-molded, UV-stabilized HDPE that won’t leak or deteriorate in the sun. The ready-to-use kit includes everything needed to transport waste from your RV or trailer to a dump station when you’re parked too far away for an RV sewer hose. The kit also includes accessories to clean, maintain and store the tote tank when not in use. Learn more.

Be sure to sign up for our monthly Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Click here.

The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. He’s taken his 40+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order 

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

Why is there a floor cutout below the bathtub drain?

Dear Gary:
I have a 1997 Jayco Eagle 30-foot travel trailer. I am doing a complete tear out and rebuild. I have come across replacing the bathtub and I noticed a cutout of the floor directly below the drain with a piece of aluminum below it. I’m just wondering if they cut this out in case the drain leaks? I do not want to punch a hole in the aluminum in case that leads to the holding tank. What can you tell me about this? —Joe R.

Read Gary’s response.

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

A DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent that works! 
Well, it’s that time again (unfortunately.) If you’re one of those people that mosquitoes love (we all know at least one person like this) this product is for you. This awesome DEET-free insect repellent works for mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Keep this one handy, folks. As RVers, there’s a good chance you’re probably going to need it. Learn more or order here.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Is camping/boondocking permitted in National Recreation Areas?

Hi Bob,
I have seen some areas on maps called National Recreation Areas and wonder whether these are places where RVers can camp. I have seen that some have campgrounds, mostly primitive, but also wonder whether boondocking is permitted.  —Grant

Read Bob’s response.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .

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

Remove ticks easily
from people or pets
This Tick Twister Remover Set will remove ticks, large and small, without squeezing it, reducing the risk of infection. It does not leave the mouthparts of the tick in the skin. It’s the safest and easiest way to remove ticks and in just a few seconds. Helps prevent Lyme Disease. Keep one of these in your RV. It’s tick season! Learn more or order.

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Hot grounds and the Stray Voltage Patrol

Dear Mike & Chuck,
I just finished reading the post regarding the note you received from Stephen Wickland and the hot-skin condition found at an RV park pedestal. I have been plugging into pedestals to support everything from pop-up trailers to a travel trailer to our current fiver for over 25 years now. I have always had a surge protector plugged in, as well, to protect our investment. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I read Mike’s article about the additional benefits of using an Electrical Management System (EMS) with Surge protection that I took the step and bought a portable EMS for my fiver….

Read the rest of the letter and Mike’s response. Also, there’s an important update (and survey) on the upcoming Stray Voltage Patrol.

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.

New & interesting finds at Amazon.com
See what really cool stuff Amazon is featuring today. It’s a whole lot of fun just browsing through all these great items. The selection changes every day, so check back often. You never know what you will find, which is part of the fun of visiting here. Check it out.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Selecting alternate or replacement tires for large, heavy trailers
Roger found a thread on a forum for folks who own large, heavy fifth wheel trailers. (This info applies to non-fivers too.) He explains why tire dimension is not the most important specification to consider when selecting new tires. Number one is to ensure any replacement tire is capable of supporting the load you are placing on your tires, plus a margin. Roger explains how to confirm your tire loading, and what to do next. Learn more.

Power tools galore!
If it’s not at Amazon.com it’s probably not easily available anywhere! Check out this huge selection of power tools — drills, saws, air compressors, impact wrenches, car vacuums, sanders, polishers, tool boxes — the list goes on! See what’s available and maybe pick up a great deal!

RV History
with Al Hesselbart


Thor Industries
Thor Industries, the world’s largest RV manufacturer, was created by Wade F.B. Thompson, a wealthy immigrant from New Zealand, and Peter Busch Orthwein, an heir to the Busch brewing fortune. In creating a name for their new holding company, Thompson supplied the TH from his name, and Orthwein provided the OR from his name. A venture, sounding like the evolution of a Greek god, was created. Continue reading.

Al Hesselbart is the author of The Dumb Things Sold … Just Like That!” – a history of the recreational vehicle industry in America.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Secret Ingredient Pancake Mix
A new take on pancakes. This is best with spice, yellow or French vanilla cake mix. For a change try strawberry, orange or lemon. [Editor: chocolate?] Homemade mixes are always a plus for RV travel because you know what’s in them, you make only the quantity you need  each time, and they save money, time and mess. Get the recipe.

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


Make your own potato chips!
Forget about buying snacks – make them! A potato-chip craving couldn’t be easier with this handy microwaveable gadget. Slice your potatoes or any vegetable (russet potato, sweet potato, beets, etc.) thinly, stick them in the slots, microwave for a few minutes and you have crunchy chips! Experiment with your own toppings/seasonings and make your chips just how you like them. Save money and eat healthier! Learn more or order.

Digital RVer

Can’t take a good picture from a moving vehicle? Sure you can!
It is difficult to take a good picture while in a moving vehicle. You can’t take the time to properly frame the shot, and when you’re bouncing around you’re bound to get things a little crooked,  but – take it anyway! It’s a piece of cake to make that picture better after the fact with just a few clicks using Google Photos editing tools. Find out how easy it is here.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are two recent webcasts: #147, Video editing and making movies with a free app and #146, How to make QR codesWatch live or archives of past programs.

Be sure to check out the just-released 2nd edition of Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos, available at Amazon.com.

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.

Fridge Airator keeps fridge cold, saves food!
This compact high air circulator from Camco helps the food in your RV stay fresh longer while also maintaining the temperature of your fridge. The airator runs on batteries, so you can put it in the fridge, leave it on, and forget it’s there. No hassle. If you’ll be in hot temperatures this summer, you’ll want this in your fridge. Learn more or order. 

Free and bargain camping
From OvernightRVparking.com

Walmart Supercenter #4377, Craig, CO
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from store. Lot is large, spacious, level, well-lit and quiet with no apparent security concerns. Numerous eating places nearby. Address: 2000 W Victory Way, GPS: 40.51293, -107.57055

Flying J Travel Plaza #493, Saint George, SC
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from staff on duty. Auto-sized RVs may park in auto spaces in auto area; larger rigs must park in back with trucks. Well-lit and appears level. Expect the usual noise level of a truck stop. Dump station and non-potable rinse water at RV pumps ($10). Propane available. Denny’s on site; breakfast/hot soup bar in Flying J store. Address: 113 Motel Dr. GPS: 33.192365, -80.603364

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 13,480 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 demoWatch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.

Save your teeth, get that corn off the cob!
Nobody likes eating corn on the cob with a group of people, only to find out later they’ve got half the cob still stuck in their teeth. Not to mention, for some of us it’s hard to hold the whole cob, and it hurts our teeth! This easy-to-use corn stripper takes all the corn off the cob in one easy gesture; your hands and teeth will thank you! Easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Order here for a great price

Upcoming RV Shows

Green Country RV Show, July 20-22, Tulsa, OK 
Midwest RV Super Show, August 9-12, Elkhart, IN
Hampton Roads RV Super Sale, August 17-19, Hampton, VA
America’s Largest RV Show, September 12-16, Hershey PA

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

Best-selling small-space organizers
It can be hard keeping everything organized in a small space like an RV, right? Here’s Amazon’s list of best small-space organizers so you can keep everything in check. You’ll find everything from under-the-sink kitchen organizers, to clothing and closet organizers, to tiny little bookcases. Explore these helpful items here.

We found this on Facebook. Alas, we don’t know the source.

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. In 2014, 99.7 percent of U.S. companies had 500 or fewer employees, according to census data. SOURCE: American Express

Bumper sticker of the week
Ma and Pa’s mobile mansion.

Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to Gail (at) RVtravel.com

Joke of the Week
Thomas Edison walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, “Okay, I’ll serve you a beer. Just don’t get any ideas.”

Worth Pondering
Bacon and eggs for breakfast – A day’s work for the chicken, a lifetime commitment for the pig. Thanks, George B.!

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RV Travel staff 
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ De Maris. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Chris Guld, Julianne Crane, Chris Fellows, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis.

ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com.

cw501About 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.

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27 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter Issue 854”


    Related to the Hot Skin/Pedestal Issue;

    I researched RVing for years, getting ready to go Full Timing! Bought my motorhome. Went to local RV park in WI for the initial test run. Plugged into 50 amp. It was hot so I turned on my two 15 amp A/C’s. After several hours I noticed that the MH electrical was acting funny. I went to the RV Park office to ask “if they are having electrical problems as my 50 amp was acting up”. They said “we do not have 50 amp, only 30 amp.” I said “well I’m plugged into 50 amp”. They said “we do that for people who do not have the correct adapter”. So my onboard EMS saved my butt that day. From then on I ALLWAYS check the pedestal to make sure they have 50 amp. It’s OK for the park to do that, but they should let you know. This place did not!

    1. So was this a single leg of 30-amp/120-volt power jumped to both legs of the 50-amp outlet? Or was it two separate legs of 30-amp/120-volt power which adds up to 60-amps total? I’m guessing just a single leg of 30-amp power which is 3,600 watts of power compared to the 12,000 watts of power available from a true 50-amp outlet wired as two legs of 120/240-volts with 50-amps on each leg.

  2. livingboondockingmexico

    Reading the letter from the RV Shrink regarding the husband who didn’t change clothes brought to mind a small beef I’ve had for years. Rvers who don’t bathe regularly.

    We talk about our experiences of meeting new people and that we may not see them again or not meet up for some time to come. Then why on Earth wouldn’t someone bathe regularly? It is your first impression and maybe your last with those new found friends.

    Besides that, there is nothing worse than standing behind someone at a museum display who has sour hair and sharp body odor.

    Get up, take a shower (even boondockers and get a quick rinse) comb your hair, put on a little makeup and make yourself presentable. Leave a lasting first impression.

  3. Bob K

    I hate it when a story is linked to a newspaper article and the paper wants you to subscribe “ pay” to read it. Such as the museum article about the Sisemores.

    1. RV Staff

      Me too! But some online news sources limit the number of free articles you can read and then they require you to pay to subscribe to read any more. If you haven’t reached your limit of free articles, however, sometimes you can just click anywhere on the page outside of the popup box and it will take you back to the article. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

      1. JC

        I was very sorry to read that Dr. Deanna Tolliver would no longer be contributing articles on pet care/issues and other topics. Her articles were always very well-written, informative, and timely; she will definitely be missed.

  4. Teresa

    I must say that We have found The Pet Vet Dr. Deanna’s articles information and useful to us as we travel with pets. I will miss her articles very much. I wish her well.

    With that said….can we find a replacement? Just hoping…..

    1. Jillie

      I am not a vet but have been thru almost everything with dogs for the past 25 years. Name it been there. If I don’t know? I can find out or ask readers to submit their experiences. Just a thought.

  5. John Hiler

    Just insist that all RV’s have the right-wrong, Green-Red signal on the water-sewer console for correct plug in power. Not even a big deal in todays electronic world.
    And yes, you should be able to stay at Wal Mart free. Local taxpayers subsidise every single Wal Mart and the Billionair + walton family with local property taxes that pay for employee health care, housing, food stamps, child care, school lunches…Yes they owe it to the taxpayers…

    1. BD2

      Sorry John, I have to disagree with the Walmart statement. People have abused parking in many locations to the point that everybody paid the price with NO PARKING occurring. Beside the truly ugly messes, they squat for periods of time [, awnings out, grills on like they do in fact own the place]. If we want to keep using Walmart. After all it is a business sight built for profit and not a free RV park.

    2. Sherman Johnson

      Excellent post John! You’re absolutely correct about Walmart sucking up the corporate welfare.

      I agree that under the circumstances Walmart should allow RVers to park overnight, but I also agree with “BD2” that those who do so should abide by any reasonable rules and guidelines Walmart might have.

      In short, it’s a 2-way street.

    3. Bob Pulliam

      No private property owner OWES YOU anything, that would be like saying because I have a permanent parking place in my backyard and also 50 amp service at the front of my garage for when we are loading/unloading the RV that your are entitled to use my hook ups.

  6. Dave bartram

    I love your idea of free campsites when on the road. I was wandering though why you chose 50 amp supplies. Isn’t 30 amp more common? And 50 amp can be reduced down for an overnight.
    Please keep up the great work

  7. Judy

    I have questions about the Stray Voltage Patrol. Are these people specifically trained certified electricians and qualified to test campground pedestals and possess the proper equipment? Do they just come to a park and start testing or do they alert the park of their presence and intent? Are they going to inform the park owners of their findings or just publish a list without notifying the park? Do these people realize the damage they could do to a park’s business by reporting false readings and making them public? We do our own

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Judy, nobody will touch anything to test. With a non-contact voltage tester you only need to be close to an unsafe pedestal or an RV with a “hot skin condition.” We have things figured out pretty well, nobody will be messing with any equipment and we won’t publicize a dangerous situation at a campground until we are confident that there is a problem.– Chuck

    2. Judy, not to fear. I’m working out a protocol that will protect campgrounds from false positives, as well as only allow trained professionals to do deep testing with the campground owner’s permission. At the basic and intermediate levels you’ll only be allowed to test your own pedestal with a meter and other pedestals with a Non-Contact Voltage Tester, which means you don’t even have to TOUCH the RV with a probe to find a stray voltage. And yes, the first thing all SVP members will be required to do is notify the park of the problem. We’ll check back with the park in a week to see if the problem was actually resolved. I’m writing up an SOP (standard operating procedure) of this Protocol just like I used to do when I tested nuclear missile guidance systems in the 80’s. So don’t worry that we’re going willy-nilly with this project. Chuck and I are discussing every aspect of it as it relates to safety as well as bad publicity. We don’t want to wreck anyone’s business, just get poorly wired pedestals fixed. That’s the end game. Please feel free to send me an email to mike@noshockzone.org and we’ll make sure we address everyone’s concerns before we launch.

      1. Sherman Johnson

        Hi Mike,

        There is no reason for you to remember, but we met several years ago at Sun Motor Company during SprinterFest East (yes I have the t-shirt and coincidentally I’m currently wearing it!) I helped you load up your van (OK, I might have watched you load it) and we talked some about your gig teaching people to operate PA equipment.

        I’m very interested in the Stray Voltage Patrol project. I’ve actually found a few wiring issues along the way. One was a 120V outlet with the hot and neutral reversed. I can’t recall the park, but they fixed it very soon after I reported it. Others have been issues with residential wiring at the homes of friends and family.

        I’d like to see the SOP as soon as you have it finalized.

        My email (if it is not available to you) is my name with the middle initial “a” (no spaces) at Gmail.

        I’m glad to see you and Chuck doing this.

        1. Sherman Johnson, yes I do remember you. Didn’t you win a Fluke VoltAlert from me?

    3. Roy Ellithorpe

      Judy, you should read (and comprehend) the article before responding! It was VERY clear about permissions and publishing.

  8. Richard Warnke

    Concerning the article: “Make your own potato chips!”

    Did you read the reviews on Amazon? All three (when I checked) sure make it sound like the product is not worth the cost or worthwhile in general.

  9. Larry Pate

    I really like the app idea, we run into that problem all the time. That’s one we would pay for. We have been on road so many times trying to either get in a Walmart because camps are full.
    Larry and Tammy Pate

  10. Greg Rennier

    Chuck, I’m intrigued by your plans to open RV parks. What type of help are you wanting? I have marketing experience and good general problem solving skills.

  11. Tom Wilson

    I read your newsletter every week and sincerely appreciate all the good info you and your staff pass along. I know the newsletter supports and benefits from Amazon.com and yes I do have my shortcut to Amazon linked to the news letter. You always have a paragraph telling folks about Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” and thought I would tell you about something even better. After you click on that link, there is another link of sub categories of deals and one of them is “Warehouse Deals” The items here are all open box, mostly returned items. They are usually 30% to 50% off because of the open box. All items are tested and inspected by Amazon. I have been ordering from the Warehouse Deals for a few months now and have never been disappointed. You can search for items within the Deals page or you can go to categories. If you go to the Automotive category, there is a sub category just for RV supplies. I looked at it today and there are approx. 2000 items just in RV supplies.
    Thanks for all you do,
    Tom Wilson

  12. Ray

    I have been a reader of your great online magazine for many years. As of yet I have not subscribed. As I was reading this weeks issue I decided to send in my volunteer subscription but something I never experienced before started happening. The advertisements on the sides started popping into the way of the artical I was trying to read, this became very annoying. I hope this is not something that will continue.
    I enjoy reading your articals very much and think you provide a great service to the RVing public. I especially like Mike Sokols articals. I’m looking forward to sending my volunteer subscription, but for now I want to see the pop up ads disappear.

  13. Terry Besterfeldt

    If still in Wisconsin and have time, check out The House on the Rock. A bit off the beaten path but well worth the stop. You can look at their website, but it doesn’t begin to describe the variety of this attraction. You can spend hours inside and still not see everything. In fact, if you go, plan on spending several hours. I believe I spent more time here than in any of the Smithsonian museums. Highly, highly recommend.

    1. Tom Fitch

      Better yet, visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Taliesin” home near Spring Green. Not too far from House on the Rock.

    2. Robert N. Cordy

      X2! The “House” is the most unique place we have visited in over 50 years of US and overseas traveling!

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