RV Travel Newsletter Issue 862

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 18th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

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Issue 862 • Week of September 8-14, 2018   #rvtravel


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

Welcome to the first issue of our 18th year of continuous weekly publication. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Just out of curiosity, how long have you been reading this newsletter? Click here.

JOIN US IN HERSHEY
If you’re reading this Saturday morning, I’m likely at an airport or on a plane. Gail and I are headed from Seattle to Hershey, Pennsylvania, to the country’s largest RV show. It begins next Wednesday and continues through the weekend. If you will attend, please stop by the Power Play Room in Giant Arena at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday, for a one-hour RV Travel Meetup. Gail and I will be there along with some of our writers and favorite readers. We’d love to meet you!

Our resident RV electricity expert Mike Sokol will speak every day from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., in the Champions Room. Please consider attending. You will not only learn a lot, but I know Mike would like to meet you. He plans to extend the Q&A portion of each seminar in a closeby location in Giant Arena.

Gary Bunzer, our very favorite RV Doctor — and my Seattle neighbor — will speak every day as well, as will our good buddy filmmaker John Holod, who will show highlights from some of his most popular films including RVing Alaska and Route 66. And our loyal sponsor and friend Don Hume from Americas Mailbox will speak about establishing a domicile in South Dakota.

Download the show’s official program.
Purchase show tickets here.

OUR FORUM IS UP AND RUNNING
Our new reader forum is finally live. If you’re knowledgeable about one or more of the categories, please consider becoming a volunteer moderator. Email jessica@rvtravel.com and she will provide the details. We would love to have you join our “team.” Click here to join the forum and introduce yourself (all we require is your name and email address). 
**Since our forum is so new, we are still working out some bugs. If you are having trouble logging in or creating an account, please contact our marketing director, Jessica, at jessica@rvtravel.com, and she will help you as best she can. Thank you for your patience. 

* * *

Our Facebook Group, RV Horror Stories, is quickly picking up steam (and members!). The group, which has grown to more than 3,000 members in its first two weeks, is an online gathering place for the 20 percent of RVers who own rigs with serious problems or lemons with fatal flaws, or at least flaws they can’t get fixed. The idea is to provide these people with a place to vent their frustrations and in doing so put pressure on RV makers to do a better job. Take a few minutes to read some of their comments. You will quickly realize there’s a huge problem. You don’t need to join Facebook to read what’s posted, only if you wish to participate in the discussion.

STRAY VOLTAGE PATROL
Our army of nearly 250 readers is about to be sent marching orders to inspect RV power pedestals at RV parks and campgrounds across North America. Already, they are reporting problems. One member reported the voltage at his pedestal in a state park had dropped to 93 volts. His surge protector automatically disconnected him. But, as Mike Sokol noted, “Voltage that low can destroy your air conditioner, microwave or residential refrigerator.” He added, “The campground won’t pay you to replace them, either.” If you are not using a good surge protector, you’re asking for trouble. Here’s one we recommend, available in 30-amp or 50-amp models. RV Power Outlet also has a good selection. Funding for the Stray Voltage Patrol is from RVtravel.com members. If you would like to join, click here.

chucksignature

 

 

My Roadside Journal
(about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
• KOA advertisement: Really? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!

On my soapbox
I live in an RV park, but it should be called a mobile home park.

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cover story
RVer’s new trailer is an ongoing nightmare
It’s hard to believe something like this could happen. But according to RVer Andrew Christensen, it did and it still is. His Keystone trailer has been riddled with one defect after another, some so serious the RV could not be used. Mr. Christensen has put off travel plans as the RV sat in the shop week after week. And even when repairs were finally performed, sometimes covered by warranty, sometimes not, more problems arose. This story may make you angry. Read the story.



breaking-newsThe latest news
about RVing from our newsroom

RVer leads 5 law enforcement agencies on low-speed pursuit.
Florida arsonist arrested after fire destroys RVs worth $990,000.
Tropical storm Gordon closes Gulf Islands Nat. Seashore campgrounds.
Photographers stumble on fire burning at unattended campsite.

Loud, unruly campers given the boot in New York state.
Two dead after shooting in New Mexico KOA.
Motorhome aims for the broad side of a barn – and hits it.
Blown tire causes motorhome crash killing two, injuring six.
San Francisco moves to ban RV dwelling homeless from city streets.

Woman, 3 dogs, killed in RV fire in Glendale, AZ.
Motorhome brake failure causes three-vehicle accident flipping one car.
Campers help clean up campground after tornado’s rampage.
Los Angeles plans to increase number of RV dump stations.
Mississippi pawn shop owner’s RV stolen from behind his shop.

Wildfire updates:
Delta Fire rages uncontrolled, homes evacuated, I-5 remains closed.
Interstate 5 closed by Delta Fire in Shasta County, CA.
Glacier NP’s Going-to-the-Sun Road reopens to limited use.
Wildfire forces campground evacuations in Tahoe NF.
Fires in Rocky Mountain NP force closure of trails and campgrounds.

Recent recalls:
Winnebago recalls a half dozen different Winnebago, Itasca motorhomes.
• Newmar motorhomes recalled: Doors may open unexpectedly.
Roadtrek Class B motorhomes recalled for brake line issue.
Forest River recall: Trailer awnings may open while RV moves.
KZRV recalls trailers: Misrouted LP line could cause fire.


RV makers continue cranking out RVs
RV makers continue to spew RVs from their factories at a record pace. The RV Industry Association’s July (2018) survey of manufacturers found RV wholesale shipments finished at 36,525, an increase of 10.9% from the 32,936 units shipped last July. Learn more.

What kind of parking pad for your RV at home?
If you’re not RVing full time, do you have a designated spot to park your RV at home? Are you considering putting one in? Here from Russ and Tiña De Maris are some thoughts and suggestions on the different types of materials and design considerations for the at-home RV parking pad. Read more.

video camera WPFamily’s RV woes inspire hilarious music video
What happens if you buy a fifth wheel trailer and it turns out to be riddled with defects? Well, if you’re a member of this family you make a highly entertaining music video about your experience. This video is going viral. We don’t think the dealer where they bought the RV will be too happy about that.

RVer shows how to live completely off the grid
In the far corner of the front yard of a large house in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, an RV rests, shaded by trees as clothing on a nearby line sways in the breeze. In this RV, National Geographic explorer Thomas Henry “T.H.” Culhane lives with his wife, Enas, almost entirely off the grid, running his RV home on solar power and food waste he and his wife produce and collect. Read more.


This week’s Reader Poll
Where do you stay most often with your RV?
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.


Keep gray tank odors away
AND MAKE MORE ROOM UNDER YOUR SINKS
HepvO is a unique self-sealing waste valve that prevents the escape of foul sewer air from waste discharge systems, and actively maintains the pressure equilibrium in soil and waste installations. As a dry sealing valve, HepvO utilizes a purpose designed membrane to create an airtight seal between the living space and the drainage system. Learn more.

spyWhat we learned about you last week
We learned that you think people would be kinder without the Internet, that many of you shop at Walmart for groceries, that you receive quite a few emails in a day, and that some of you get A LOT of sleep! Oh, also, most of you haven’t seen ghosts, but Kathleen tells a story of a time she has. All this and more right here

No fees announced for some western Montana campgrounds
Wait! Don’t leave the western Montana area to head south just yet. You can still get in some late season camping at some Montana campgrounds with a perk that will be music to RVers’ ears – NO FEES! Learn more.

video camera WPThe top ten harsh realities of RV life
A millennial couple, with two years of RVing under their belts, explain their top ten harsh realities of traveling with an RV. They do a great job explaining some of the “bad” that goes with the “good.” Watch the video.

Even the simple things – Cell phone tempered glass screen protectors
Rich “The Wanderman” has a “smart” cell phone with a fairly large screen that gets dirty all the time and is prone to scratches. For a long time he used the plastic stick-on screen protectors, which he wasn’t happy with. But since he convinced himself to try tempered glass screen protectors he has been very satisfied. Plus, he figures they’ll cost him less than $3 a year to protect his expensive screen. Learn more.


Full-timers:
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.


America’s favorite National Trails System hikes compiled by Google
RVers love the outdoors, and many are avid hikers as well. Unfortunately, many aren’t familiar with the National Trails System. But now the National Parks System and Google are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legislation which established it with Google compiling a list of the top 10 trending parks and trails around the country. Find out where they are here then add some to your itinerary.

Trailer with electric motor enables towing with small car
The future of electrified RV life was on display by Dethleffs at this year’s Dusseldorf Caravan Salon, the largest camper trade show in the world, where the future of RVs is revealed each year. The e.Home Coco is the first RV trailer with its own electric drive – it propels itself – and is also a mobile power station. Learn more.

Texas State Parks to allow campsite-specific reservations
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department plans to update their campground reservation system to allow campers to reserve specific campsites and has set a spring 2019 target date for the new features. The reservation system update will also allow visitors to reserve spots for day trips and buy or renew passes online. Read more.


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.


Popular articles from last week’s issue
• RV and RV-related recalls for August 2018
RVer’s horror story: RV in for repairs now for 13 months
Feeling a little insecure? Beef up your RV security.
Fed up with your defective RV? Get help!
Sand swallows van/trailer after owner parks too close to surfline.
When is a “service dog” not a service dog?
What we learned about you last week (August 25-31).


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.


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.

Where to complain about bad RVs, dealers, service, RV parks. This is an ever-expanding list of resources where you can report, share or discuss your problems with RV manufacturers or dealers. 

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.

RV guided tours
If you’re looking for a new experience with your RV, consider a guided tour, where all the planning and details along the way are handled for you. Plus you’ll make some great friends! See what tours are coming up.

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. Here is a real-time interactive map of USA wildfires. (Note: Click the “x” next to “Sign In” if you don’t want to sign in.) Includes number of acres burned and percentage of containment for every wildfire in America. From esri.com. Here from NOAA is a map of the current fire and smoke conditions in North America (click below the map for “fire” or “smoke”).  Map of Canadian wildfires. From Natural Resources Canada.


Stay overnight FREE at wineries, farms, breweries!
With a Harvest Hosts membership (just $49/year), you can stay overnight at more than 600 wineries, farms, breweries and other attractions in North America for free! Harvest Hosts offers a unique alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can meet interesting people, taste great wines, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. Learn more here and get 10% off if you join.


Ask the RV Shrink

Can full-time RVing help overcome a midlife crisis?

Dear RV Shrink:
I think my husband is having a midlife crisis. Even though he is only 49, he says he’s burned out and wants to get an RV and travel for a year or so. That’s OK with me, but there is so much involved in making a decision like this. We have the money. We could actually retire early by changing our lifestyle a bit. He has worked hard his whole life. I hate to deny him this escape plan. How should we proceed? Just take the leap? I would appreciate some advice. —Midlifer’s Wife

Read 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.


Portable iron takes up little space, is highly rated
This small, rapid heating steam iron is perfect for the RV, where space is at a minimum (and heck, how many clothes will you iron anyway?). Its 420 watts is plenty of power to remove wrinkles from almost any fabric and the anti-slip handle improves grip. And for about $20, a great deal. Learn more or order.


Latest fuel prices, September 3, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.82. [Calif.: $3.50]
Change from week before: Down 0 cents; Change from year before: Up 15 cents.
Diesel: $3.25. [Calif.: $3.96]
Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 49 cents.


corps-book-748Camping 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.


RV Quick Tips

Another way to ease new fittings onto sewer hose
Putting new fittings onto your sewer hose? We’ve all heard the idea of dipping the hose in hot water to make the fittings slip on easier. Here’s the polar opposite: Stick the new fittings into your freezer for a few minutes – they’ll contract and slip in the hose easier.

Save money – Before hitting the store check these out
by Jerry Minchey
Make it a habit to check eBay and Craigslist before you buy almost anything. Buying used (and sometimes new) items using eBay and Craigslist can easily save you 50% or more on most items. I buy items on Amazon, too, but I usually find new items on Amazon and used items on eBay and Craigslist. I bought new shocks for my motorhome on Amazon and I bought a used Progressive Industries portable electrical management system (a little box to protect against electrical surges, open ground wires, low voltage, etc.) through eBay for about half of the retail price. From “Secrets of RVing on Social Security: How to Enjoy the Motorhome and RV Lifestyle While Living on Your Social Security Income.” Available on Amazon.com.

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

Camco water filter reduces poor water source problems
If you’re planning to visit the Southwestern deserts this winter you know how bad and full of grit the water can be. So even if you have a water filter under your sink for your drinking water, it would also help to have a filter to pre-filter the water coming into your rig before it gets into and clogs the rest of the system. This is where the Camco water filter can be a useful addition to your system. Learn more.

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


West Coast RV Camping Guide
It’s hard to beat a Moon Handbook. Camp with your RV anywhere from near San Diego to Orcas Island near the Canadian border. The thick guidebook includes a variety of RV parks and campgrounds from scenic state parks to convenient roadside stopovers, including dog-friendly and wheelchair-accessible options. Plus maps, and guides to what to do in each area. Published July 2018. Learn more or order.


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

Sanitizing the RV’s fresh water system

Dear Gary,
I saw an RV seminar on YouTube that suggested using hydrogen peroxide to sanitize the fresh water system since bleach can damage the rubber seals. Any comments? Thanks! —Ed C.

Read Gary’s response.

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


mice-653Keep mice out of your RV!
The positive reviews on this product from Earthkind make it a best bet for keeping your RV mouse-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 90 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. Learn more or order


bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Reduce annual campground fees by camp hosting and volunteering

Hi Bob,
We’ve been boondocking in the Midwest for a couple years and are going fulltime in the spring of 2019. Other than visiting parts of the country that we have never been to, we would also like to balance boondocking (where possible) with other inexpensive choices in order to keep our operating expenses within our budget. What is a good approach to achieve this balance? —Alice and Doug

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.


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 Electricity
with Mike Sokol

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hear Mike on this week’s radio program, The RV Show USA as it was recorded live on YouTube or download it as a podcast.

Low voltage report
Since the Stray Voltage Patrol is already generating some interesting reports, Mike uses one of them to discuss the problem of low voltage in campgrounds, especially state owned and operated parks. He explains how and why this occurs, how bad the situation can be for your ACs and appliances, and what can be done about it. Learn more, and comment below his article if you’ve encountered low voltage in any campgrounds.

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.


sponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_Easily clean 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.


RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

The science of trailer tire inflation and failures
“WARNING – Super Technical Post” —Roger
Roger laments that some folks want to replace science with what they term “common sense.” So, for those of you who believe the Earth is flat, or the moon landing was a hoax, or that tires explode “magically” because the tire pressure was “fine” yesterday, here is a technical article about the science behind tires in trailer applications. It explains what causes trailer tire failures and what is needed to help prevent them. Learn more.


“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2018 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.


RV History
with Al Hesselbart

The evolution of Coachmen
In 1964, three brothers with varied backgrounds decided to start a trailer company. Tom, Keith and Claude Corson each had experience that was needed to put together a successful venture. Tom was an accountant working as a “Friendly Bob Adams” for the Associates Finance Company, Keith was an engineer, and Claude was a manager for a successful RV manufacturer. Calling themselves the “coach men,” the Corson brothers founded Coachmen Industries, which was destined to grow into one of the largest RV manufacturers in the country. Continue reading.


State, Regional, City and U.S. maps
A GPS is great, but there’s nothing like a folded map to plan a trip or guide you where you’re going once you’re underway. Just about every folded map you would ever need is here. Most sell from about $2 to $6. Check ’em out or order.


The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene
Condensed Cream of Whatever Soup
Make your own condensed soups. How many camping recipes call for a couple of cans of cream of mushroom soup? Condensed soups are wonderful time and space savers, but they are very high in sodium and probably also contain ingredients you want to banish from your  diet. Here’s how to make your own condensed soup using pure creamery butter, organic ingredients and only as much salt as you choose to use. Get the recipe.

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

BEST-SELLERS IN KITCHEN AND DINING AT AMAZON.COM


WOMEN: Be a super hero in your kitchen. Your hubby will love this, and your kids and grandkids will think you’re super cool! Your RV park neighbors will go “Wow!” Eat your heart out Martha Stewart! Learn more.


Digital RVer
with Geeks on Tour

Trip planning tools
Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, have traveled by RV for more than 14 years now. They think every traveler has a different way of planning their trips. Chris has concluded that trip planning has 5 parts, and she’s listed her favorite tool for each part. Learn more, and let us know in the comments below the article if you have other favorites.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here is a recent webcast: #151, Trip planning with RoadTrippers, RVParky, Google My Maps and more. Watch live Sunday, Sept. 9, 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.


Facebook Groups about RVing

Full-time RV motorcyclists
Jayco Pinnacle RV Club.
Free Camping, Boondocking, and Public Lands.
PLUS OUR OWN GROUP: RV Horror Stories.


insect-screen-761Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. This Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.


Free and bargain camping
From OvernightRVparking.com

Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde, OR
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Go to casino security to register for RV parking. Park in one of ~ 65-70 marked pull-thru spaces. No hookups. Dump station & potable water fill, free. Maximum stay is 72 hours; longer stays granted if you are gambling at least $200/day. Security patrols 24/7. Possible noise from RV generators or from idling trucks parked here. Address: 27100 SW Salmon River Highway. GPS: 45.05801,-123.578

Pine Plaza Mall, Grande Cache, Alberta
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Permission not required. Park in the large lot behind the mall, away from stores. The mall includes a Walmart, Safeway and liquor store. Well-lit, slightly off level, and appears safe. Address: 1701 Pine Plaza. GPS: 53.8896, -119.118 7

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.


Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order.


Upcoming RV Shows

America’s Largest RV Show, September 12-16, Hershey, PA. Seminar speakers include RVtravel.com’s Mike Sokol and Gary Bunzer. Order tickets here.
• Great American RV Show,
September 13-15, Colorado Springs, CO
• Southwest RV Supershow, September 13-16, Dallas, TX
• Maryland RV Show,
September 13-16, Timonium, MD
• Portland Fall RV and Van Show,
September 13-16, Portland, OR
• Georgia RV & Camper Show,
September 14-16, Atlanta, GA
• Indianapolis Fall Boat and RV Show,
September 21-23, Indianapolis, IN
Austin RV Supershow, September 28-30, Round Rock, TX 
New York State RV Show, September 28-30, Syracuse, NY

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.


‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.


Trivia
The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666 (the “Number of the Beast”). When people avoid anything relating to the number 666, it is called “hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.” However, in China, “666” can mean “everything goes smoothly.”

528coffeeBumper sticker of the week
“If I’ve gone missing, I’ve gone camping.” Thanks to Margo Wood!

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

Joke of the Week
Wife: Do you want dinner?
Husband: Sure, what are my choices?
Wife: Yes and no.

Worth Pondering
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” —Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)


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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.

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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29 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter Issue 862”

  1. bloom144

    We were camping this past weekend with our son, his wife and some friends. We were discussing how long we’ve all been subscribed to RVtravel. Is there any way to find out when got our first issue?

  2. Dennis R

    Why is it that we used to have Forest Fires but in the last couple of years they have become Wildfires? Seems to me like everything is being embellished by the media, this publication included, to put the rear of god into the population at large. Does Money enter into this equation anywhere? Just asking………

    1. RV Staff

      Dennis — To me, anyway, it seems that wildfires burn everything in their path, including forests, fields, neighborhoods, etc., and forest fires refer to forests burning. Maybe that’s an over-simplification, but it seems pretty straightforward. —Diane at RVtravel.com

  3. Mike Griffin

    Chuck, I keep seeing you refer to the Hershey as the largest RV show in the country. Actually, it’s not. The Tampa RV Supershow has more acreage, more RVs, more vendors and more attendees. I understand that the Hershey Show has used that tag line for quite a while, but it’s really no longer accurate.

    In 2016 (latest figures available) Hershey had 57,600 in attendance compared to Tampa’s 70,500 (in 2017). Hershey has over 21 acres of RVs, Tampa is over 26 acres. Hershey has 243 vendors (not RV sales), Tampa has 450. For 2017, Hershey claimed it would have “more than 1,300 RVs”, while Tampa had 1550.

    Just want to set the record straight.

    1. Kelly R

      Thanks Mike. We have been going to the Tampa show since it started, and have done all of our research there before buying. Seeing pictures of the Hershey show, I could not believe that it could be larger than the Tampa show.

  4. BobC

    I can’t figure out how to sign in to the new Forum! Duh! It tells me I must be logged in to post. How do I log in? Thanks.

    1. Quick links for the forum:

      Here’s the link to the registration page: https://rvtravel.com/registration/

      Here’s a link to the login page: https://rvtravel.com/log-in/

  5. marty chambers

    Have you guys read about the RV Tech who put out pictures of how a “RV tech” at Camping World put a screw into the roof of a Casita TT from the inside?

    He used some old screw right through the roof! I am attempting to send a copy of the picture because it is just unbelievable that this is the work they do a CW!

    If you want a copy of this picture send me an e-mail I can send it to.

    1. RV Staff

      Hey, Marty. You can send it to me at diane (at) rvtravel.com . Not sure what we’ll do with it, if anything, but it sounds interesting. Thanks! —Diane at RVtravel.com

    2. Gregg

      Just because there is one idiot working at CW, doesn’t mean that all their Tech’s are.

  6. Chuck Dunn

    I have a few financial and a few personal accounts that need a password. It is easier to get into them than into your forum. I Can’t say it is not worth the effort but I just quit Trying. Who would want to write for me anyway?

    1. Sorry about the trouble Chuck! Try a password with one capital letter, one number and one special symbol. If that still doesn’t work try adding one more character.

  7. Aktravler

    Tried to join your forum but it takes a “medium” password. Tried numbers, @#$&, caps… etc and couldn’t get past “weak”. So we lost interest.

    1. I apologize for the frustration! Try a password with one capital letter, one number and one special symbol. If that still doesn’t work try adding one more character.

  8. Glen Scofield

    Am I the only one who is concerned that the “save money, save propane, heat with the campground’s electricity” advertisement is a supremely bad idea? If I were the manager of a campground, one of the first things on my list would be to increase the cost of camping to cover for the folks who are seriously gullible enough to buy that yarn. Anyway, I don’t think that propane is all that expensive that the increase in camping fees is worth the risk.

    1. rm

      I’ve been collecting interesting information and it is very simple and quite useful. I created a simple spreadsheet in Excel containing a column for a meter reading, another for cost of Kilowatt Hour (KWH), and the formulas that provide the cost per day (24 hours). You can find the cost of electricity by state with an online search. RV parks will tell you what they charge per KWH, and if at home, that information is on your electricsl bill. Whenever or wherever I have our motorhome plugged in I read and record the meter reading and set an alarm for 4pm every day to read the meter again. This has allowed me to aporoximate the costs per day for electricity with/without air conditioning, the cost of operating an electrical heater, and the cost of propane heated appliances versus electrically operated. It also informs me of the approximate cost of electricity I will use, and how much to reimburse friends or family if parked and plugged in when visiting at their home. Sometimes an appropriately priced much needed or desired gift arrives on their doorstep within a few days of our departure as a special way of saying thank you instead of cash. A simple spreadsheet is fun to create, easy to populate with accurate information, and helps you to know and choose your best options.

      1. RV Staff

        Oh, you are sooooo organized, rm! Great job, and thanks for the info. —Diane at RVtravel.com

    2. Benny Smith

      You are not alone. This kind of advertising rings of the same kind of iresponsibile marketing this publication rightfully points out about Camping World. Just because it sells does not mean it should be sold. There is no free rides. Someone pays. If we are concerened ( and I believe the staff here at rv travel are) about the number of RV sites, then we should be concerned about supporting products that support removing the incentive to run an RV park. First and for most any business needs a goal to that make a profit.

    3. Chuck Woodbury

      Glen,
      I see your point, and it’s come up in the past. We surveyed our readers awhile back, and 87 percent of the 1,200 people who responded said they used a space heater “often” or “once in awhile.” Only 12 percent said they never used one. I know in my motorhome, we use an electric heat pump furnace, so we hardly ever use propane for heat. And with RVs now often coming with residential fridges, washer/dryers and electric fireplaces, I just wonder if the CheapHeat system makes much difference. CheapHeat has advertised us for at least 10 years, and we seldom get a letter of objection from our readers. While I understand your position, I simply cannot deny the owner the right to advertise. RVers, too, who pay by the month typically pay for their electricity.

      1. Just like you run an air conditioner in the summer to cool your RV, you should be able to run an electric heater to heat your RV in the winter if you wish to. But portable space heaters can be VERY dangerous due to overloaded RV electrical outlets, pets knocking them over, etc….

        So if you ARE going to run an electric heater in your RV, it needs to be safe. And the only truly safe way I know to do this with is with a hardwired unit, not a portable space heater. Fewer things are more scary than a fire in an RV.

        Now, there will be campgrounds where this type of load will stress their power distribution system a bit more and potentially cause voltage drops. But that’s really the problem of the campgrounds running sub-standard wiring.

    4. Kevin

      It’s already happening in my area. One campground bans electric heat. If they catch you, they tell you to leave. Others are installing electric meters at each campsite. You get so many kilowatts free, usually around 300. After that you are charged by the kilowatt.

  9. Dale Watkins

    Chuck. We too are concerned about growing no vacancies at the rv Parks. Me thinks nothing will change without government involvement and I hate that. RV parks are in the business of making money. I suspect most will never change as long as cash flows whether from short or long term rents. My suggestion.
    1. If owners would limit stays to say 90 days then a move is required even if within the park. No more rotting tires or weed growing underneath. Or
    2. Government requires a move say every 5 months or they have to start paying property taxes.
    That should get the pot stirred.
    What think ye?

  10. Sherry

    Regarding surge protectors: Some of RVTravel newsletter readers have van campers, so we need a surge protector for the 20 amp outlet. I have thoroughly searched the internet for such an item and can’t find one. What do we do to protect our smaller RVs?

    1. The only way I know to do it is use a 30-amp surge protector with 20-to-30-amp and 30-to-20-amp adapters. Since there’s so few RVs being manufactured with 20-amp shore power connections I’m sure that nobody’s going to build a 20-amp only unit. I’ll see if I can post a video about this next week.

  11. Michael J West

    in your article “STRAY VOLTAGE PATROL” you cite a website “RV Power Outlet” as a place to find good systems. That link doesn’t work at all.

    1. RV Staff

      Sorry you’re having trouble with the link, Michael. It worked when I checked it last night, and it worked when I just now checked it. Here’s the link, if you want to try it from here: https://rvpoweroutlet.com/?source=rvtravel.com If you’re still having trouble, it might be something in your computer’s settings. I hope it works for you. —Diane at RVtravel.com

  12. Fred Peters

    I noticed in this issue above, the offer of a 10% discount to join Harvest Hosts. When attempting to join the enrollment asked for a discount code. Can you let us know what that code is? Thanks

    1. RV Staff

      Hi, Fred. At the top of the Harvest Hosts page, it says to use the code HHFRIENDS at checkout to get the discount. Thanks for asking. —Diane at RVtravel.com

  13. STEPHEN P MALOCHLEB

    Chuck, believe it or not I just had time to read last weeks issue. When someone doesn’t like the truth, they call it whining. I call it speaking up to be heard. What’s the famous saying,(the squeaky wheel gets the oil). I read your newsletter because I want to KNOW. I want to know the best extended warrantys out there, the best cleaners, mouse repellants, power pole protection and so on. This is achieved through investigation as well as readers sharing their good and bad stories. I work in the auto industry and see the crap they build. It’s frustrating. But these days people are happy with just complaining to family and friends about their issues. Please keep being the voice for the ones that have not been lucky enough to get(a good one). And keep informing us of the good and bad products out there. Happy motoring. Steve

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