RV Travel Newsletter Issue 865

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 865 • Week of September 29 – October 5, 2018   #rvtravel

NOTE: Editor Chuck Woodbury took this week off to write a report to our members with a special announcement that he will make here later. If you are a member (voluntary subscriber) and did not receive Chuck’s report, contact him at chuck@rvtravel.com. If you wish to become a member, you can see the many options here.

Guest editorial
With Russ and Tiña De Maris    
Russ (at) RVtravel.com

NASA photo

Headline, September 11, 2018: “More Than 1 Million People Ordered To Evacuate As Hurricane Florence Approaches.” Were you or a loved one included in that vast number? If you weren’t, don’t feel left out. It seems the pace of disasters is on the rise. Maybe it won’t be a hurricane, but what about a wildfire rushing toward your home or an earthquake disrupts utility services? Some years ago our family was placed on mandatory evacuation when a fire at a nearby pesticide storage facility endangered lives for miles around. At that time, we had no RV and we spent some uncomfortable nights on air mattresses on a relative’s floor. Still, that was better than a cot in a crowded gymnasium.

It’s really not a matter of “if” some emergency will force you to evacuate, it’s more likely a matter of “when.” For RVers, having the old rig ready and available to roll down the driveway at a moment’s notice can make a huge difference in comfort, and possibly in life-safety. How ready is your RV to take on the assignment? Just what does it take to have your RV queued up as your “bug out vehicle”?

Whether you have a motorhome or a towable rig, there are common critical essentials that you can keep at hand, year-round. Keep the fuel tank on the coach or the tow vehicle full. Several RVers who have had to evacuate from disasters in the past have remarked on how long the lines at local fuel stations grew. And the more time that elapses from the notification of a pending disaster, the greater the chance that your local stations could simply run out of fuel. Having enough fuel in the tank to get at least a hundred miles or more away from your area could make a huge difference. And keep the propane tanks filled up, too.

At the same time, keeping the holding tanks empty (or close to it) when the rig is parked at home is one less thing to worry about. And what about fresh water? Obviously you won’t be able to keep the fresh water full when your nighttime temperatures fall to the freezing range, but at least one RVer commented that as soon as it’s safe where he lives, he fills up the fresh water tanks and keeps them full – just in case. Having a few cases of bottled drinking water in the house, and easily transferred to the RV, is a good safeguard.

Food? Keeping nonperishables in the RV year-round is a great idea. Freeze-dried foods may not be the tastiest things that ever rolled off the assembly line, but a few days of freeze-dried meals beats going hungry. And to make getting out of your house in a hurry easier, keep clothing for the whole family in the RV. Nothing elaborate, but enough to keep them warm and dry for a few days. What else? One “prepared” RVer had this to say on an RV forum: “Our RV is always stocked with nonperishable foods, and our water tank full and kept fresh. Full fuel. Medications, food for the dog, spare batteries for the flashlights, and morale-building scotch and vino too!”

Another seasoned RVer from hurricane country reminds us of other important items. “We have a ‘Hurricane Box,’ a portable file cabinet with all the important papers on us, house, cars, etc. It stays in the motorhome from the start of hurricane season on.” Yes, if you should come home and find no “home,” having those important insurance papers and titles are essential. And not a bad idea to have a “flash drive” with photos of all the stuff you own – it’ll make it a lot easier to file insurance claims.

clicksense on flickr.com

What about the “when and where” of an evacuation? The “when” is simple: The sooner, the better. When evacuation orders from a pending weather issue come out, “getting out of Dodge” is a lot easier right away. Imagine getting stuck in a freeway “parking lot” scenario, where traffic is bumper-to-bumper and moving along at a snail’s pace or worse. Not only will your nerves be victimized, the toll on your fuel tanks will be tremendous. The sooner you can get out of the disaster area, the better off you’ll be.

As to the “where,” local authorities will probably try to help with evacuation routes. Don’t be too complacent. In Virginia, the state’s emergency management website crashed long before Florence’s storm clouds hit the horizon, as so many residents flooded the site seeking information. Familiarize yourself with the kinds of dangers that can be expected where you live, and then make a plan, with alternatives, as to where to head to escape the danger.

RV Education 101

RV educators Dawn and Mark Polk, with RV Education 101, were away from their home in Bladen County, North Carolina, when Florence hit. They ended up hunkering down in a campground until getting the all-clear to go home. Even then, the trip had a nightmarish quality about it, as road closures, downed bridges and other hazards made the usual use of a GPS nearly impossible. Mark writes, “One of our friends told us to download a GPS navigation App called Waze. The Waze App plans a route to avoid any road closures and gives traffic updates, construction and accident reports in real-time.” Now would be a good time to check out that or similar apps. You can read about the Polks’ experiences here.

Obviously, there won’t be a lot of time to plan for a “landing point” in the case of a fast-encroaching disaster. From Florence, going back to Katrina, many RVers have commented on how finding a place to stay can be difficult. Again, leaving as soon as you can will make it easier to find a cooperative RV park or campground to stay in. But what if you can’t find a place with electrical hookups? For many, our RVs are truly “self-contained” and with enough water and LP, we’re set for pavement camping. Some have raised concerns about those with “residential” refrigerators in their rigs.

How long can you hang out without an electrical hookup? RV writers Jason and Nikki Wynn, Gone With the Wynns, did a hands-on field test of just how much power a typical residential RV refrigerator chews up. The Wynns’ Sanyo refrigerator, fired from batteries through an inverter, called for 200 amp-hours in an 11-hour period. Actual kilowatts used by the fridge itself ran 1.53 – yes, there’s a loss through the inverter and other parasitic loads. In a separate test, using shore power and keeping the inside air temp in their coach down to 74 degrees, the fridge claimed nearly 2.4 kwh in a 24-hour period. Any way you slice it, residential refrigerators chew up a lot of power. You can’t always depend on Old Sol to be bright and shiny where you evacuate to; hence, if depending on a residential refrigerator, better have a generator and plenty of fuel.

Finally, a note on your emotions. One scientific study showed that people displaced from their homes due to emergencies were much more likely to face issues of depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. While the study didn’t go into the cause factors, the link was surely there. It seems logical enough that people who are chased out of their homes would indeed be stressed. Having the fall-back position of a familiar “place” like their RV would go a long way to reducing these problems. So keep your RV ready to roll, and your chin up.

* * *
Are you signed up for Mike Sokol’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter? If not, you can sign up here. The next issue is tomorrow (Sunday). So don’t wait!

Are you Ready for the Fall and Winter Road?
With the cool weather starting to set in, keep your road readiness kit well stocked! Shop Road & Home™ today for the essentials to keep the journey going. Shop now.

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cover story

Good Sam hits 2 million members: Lemonis plays it up, his own way
The Good Sam Club, once a thriving RV club with active local chapters, a superb magazine, national rallies, and a staff that did more than just sell things, has hit two million members. In this celebratory video Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis touts the occasion as only he can. Read more in this editorial from Chuck Woodbury.

breaking-newsThe latest news
about RVing from our newsroom

Tennessee State Parks named best in nation.
Camp free at Nevada state parks on Public Lands Day, Sept. 29.
Rincon Mountains east of Tucson will be on fire in mid-October.
Durango, CO, will no longer issue citations to homeless campers.
Thieves steal more than 100 batteries from trailers in winter storage. (Alberta)
Good idea? Allow camping in city parks for special events. (B.C.)

Woman arrested after looting North Carolina campground.
Secretary Zinke in Zion to highlight infrastructure needs.
Bring your ark, Noah. It’s needed in the Northeast.
Campground remains closed as homeless advocate and town mayor feud. (Langford, B.C.)
Seasonal shutdown coming Oct. 16 to Grand Canyon NP.
Man shot inside RV in Portland, OR.

Coachella Valley, CA, approach to solving homelessness has proven results.
Solutions to homeless RV dwellers require tough decisions. (San Francisco)
No warning, but in a flash, the Medina River overflowed, RVs washed away. (LaCoste,TX)
San Gabriel River in Texas overflows banks, floods RV park. (Georgetown, TX)
Dog attacks man in Seattle’s SoDo RV encampment, second in 5 days. (Sept. 27)
Woman attacked by homeless RVer’s dogs meets with city council. (with news video) (Sept. 25)
Seattle woman walking dog attacked by dogs from RV dweller. (Sept. 22)

Recent recalls:
Jayco recalls RVs: Leveling hoses may leak, cause fire.
Thor recalls motorhomes: 12-volt short could cause fire.

Need mail forwarding? Choose the best!
Choose Americas Mailbox! It’s the best, endorsed by RVtravel.com which has toured its South Dakota facility and interviewed its very customer-oriented owner. Many plans available. Learn more. Or view the video interview RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury conducted with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes.

Wanted: Your experiences with road service providers
We’re doing research for an upcoming story on emergency road service programs. We’d like to talk with RVers who have had their road service program provide them with tires, batteries or other parts in connection with a breakdown. Read more.

RVIA reports August sales of RVs declines 3rd time in 4 months
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association on Tuesday released its RVIA August survey finding units shipped to retailers have declined in three of the last four months. All towable RV shipments decreased, along with motorhomes. Year-to-date, though, wholesale shipments are up. Details here.

How to stay safe from hackers on public WiFi when on the road
For international World Tourism Day on September 27, NordVPN’s digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson reminded travelers that hackers and fraudsters are out there attempting to steal your private information when you use public WiFi networks. He provides some tips on how to stay safe on public, hotel and campground networks when traveling. Learn more.

video camera WPTrailer-towing nightmares revealed
This heart-stopping video shows a travel trailer swaying along a busy New Jersey highway before crossing lanes of traffic and flipping over. The video is one of many that show how dangerous it can be to improperly attach a trailer or camper to a vehicle. If you pull a trailer or tow any other vehicle, please take two-and-a-half minutes to watch this video. You may save a life – yours or someone else’s.

Bears are learning where and how to get food – Is hunting them the answer?
Bear encounters escalate as bears are getting smarter on where food is and how to get to it. Bears have been encroaching on humans in record numbers this year in Connecticut, which has seen increases in the black bear population like other nearby states, and is the only state that does not allow bear hunting. Should hunting be allowed to help solve the problem? Learn more.

Wendlands publish new book about boondocking
Mike and Jennifer Wendland, whose RV Lifestyle videos, podcast and blog celebrate the joys of traveling across North America in an RV, have just published a new 65-page e-book called the “Beginner’s Guide to Boondocking.” Aimed at those who are just starting out in off-the-grid, no-hookup camping, the guide covers all aspects of RV boondocking, no matter whether in a motorhome, towable or camper. Learn more.

This week’s Reader Poll
How many years are left to pay off your RV loan?
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.

The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user-friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi! Seven days per week sales & technical support & over 13 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.

spyWhat we learned from you last week
This week we talk about full-timing (and not), Chuck’s favorite planet, Mars, about security cameras, about medications (you take a lot of them), and we discuss slide out fails. Plus, there’s a great movie and book recommendation you won’t want to miss. Click here to read. 

Elkhart schools offer classes in RV construction to help fill employee shortage
Elkhart, Indiana, the “RV capital of the world,” boasts a 2% unemployment rate. Because of the great demand for RVs and a shortage of workers to build them, Thor Industries is teaming up with 18 schools in the Elkhart area to begin teaching students the skills needed for these jobs. They hope to reach 5,000 students this year, from fifth grade to high school. Read more.

The sticky stuff – Tape and its myriad of uses
For years Rich “The Wanderman” was gently correcting folks who called “duct” tape, “duck” tape. Not anymore. Over the years this stuff has become one of the most useful and versatile things on the planet. He always keeps a few different types around the RV because it comes in handy … a lot! Find out its history and some of its many uses in this article.

Tiny houses gain popularity but are illegal in many areas
Like many innovative ideas, tiny homes are gaining popularity for a lot of good reasons. They’re less expensive than full-size homes. They take up less space, which usually leads to lower land cost and fewer possessions. They allow for minimalist living. They often have wheels, so you can tow them like a travel trailer and easily move. Yet they can still run afoul of local ordinances. Read more.

NH politician faces eviction from own property for living in RV
New Hampshire State Representative Michael Sylvia lives in an RV and garage on his own property in Belmont, but city officials hope to evict him for not complying with building and occupancy permits. Sylvia has refused to talk publicly about his conflict with the town that is taking him to court, but letters he has written to a town official and the town’s attorney make clear the lawmaker believes what he does on his property is his business and not the town’s. Read more.

Clean your RV… with beastly-good results!
Your RV’s not your car, it’s your “beast.”
Your RV’s large surface area makes it a beast that collects more bugs, grit, grime, soot and industrial pollution than your car does. And it may have different surfaces of paint, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum. Click on the video to see Wade clean, shine and protect EVERYTHING with Beast Wash. Click here to buy, or learn more about, Beast Wash at the Wade Maid website.

Proceeds from online art and photo gallery donated to National Parks
The “Art Rangers” are trying to save our National Parks through an online, nonprofit art gallery that sells national park-inspired works of art where 100% of the proceeds are donated to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of the National Park Service. Read more.

Jayco adds residential shower to some high-end RVs
Moving ever forward into building RVs that are more like mobile homes, Jayco has announced the introduction of oversized, residential walk-in showers for its luxury fifth-wheel lines. A first for towable RVs, the residential, oversized walk-in shower is aimed for consumers who enjoy a lifestyle of travel but don’t wish to forgo the luxuries of home. Check it out.

Canadian campground eliminates first-come, first-served camping
A decision by B.C. Parks eliminates the possibility of first-come, first-served camping at the popular Golden Ears Provincial Park, that will be made 100% online reservable, with no more drive-up bookings, for the 2019 camping season. Over the past year there were 350 reservable campsites at Golden Ears out of 409 in total, but soon the entire campsite will be reservations only. Learn more.

17-foot Karmann Danny 530 camper van debuts with rear bath, sleeps 4
The all-new 17-foot Karmann Danny 530 debuts as a compact, Fiat Talento-based camper van complete with rear bathroom. Karmann uses some clever strategies to seat and sleep four people while still providing a full kitchen, dining area and wet bath with toilet, sink and shower. You should see this.

DyersRV 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.

Popular articles from last week’s issue
It’s a mad, mad, out-of-control RV world.
Desperate RVer with lemon RV gets help from TV consumer reporter
Tolerate a noisy neighbor when boondocking, or not?
RV Electricity – Can I add a second surge protector?
Not “good vibrations” in the RV campsite.
• Do’s and don’ts for storing your RV.
What we learned about you last week (September 15-21).

Stinky holding tank odors? Here’s the solution
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 maintains clean sensors, eliminates 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.

From the RVtravel.com Reader Forum

Switching tires: Advice wanted
I have had it with these trailer tires. Just had belts break in a Goodyear Marathon ST 225/75R15 Load Range D, 2540 Lbs 65 PSI. About 3 years old. Now I can feel another one is shaking. I heard many are using LT truck tires. Can I get any recommendations and suggestions? What have you found to be reliable brands? Comment here.

Unhooking 5th wheel issue
I find when unhooking our 5th wheel on uneven ground that the Andersen Ball pops out of the kingpin receiver. I am looking for a solution to this problem please. Comment here.

And from the Facebook Group
National RV Lemon Law Needed

One year anniversary!
“WHOO HOO…One year ago today I dropped off my new two-month-old fifth wheel for warranty service. A year later the only thing I have is anxiety, huge bills for living expenses (my RV is my home), an attorney, a lawsuit filed, and no idea where the trailer that hasn’t been completely repaired is. And Forest River wonders why I’m not happy!” 

Save electricity heating your RV this winter
Mr. Heater indoor-safe propane heaters come in several sizes, and are perfect for keeping your RV cozy warm in cold weather without using your batteries. They’re almost required equipment for winter boondockers. With their low-oxygen shut-off and tip-over safety shut-off systems, these portable radiant heaters provide safe, reliable heat anytime, anywhere. Several models cost less than $100. Learn more or order.

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

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

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.

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

Wife wants to explore outdoors; Hubby wants to channel surf

Dear RV Shrink:
I am married to a couch potato. When we retired and bought our fifth wheel trailer I thought we were headed off to explore the country. I love to walk and I make sure we camp near hiking or biking trails or scenic areas where we can explore on foot. My husband is in good physical shape but has no interest in hiking in these areas we visit. He just wants to watch his stupid TV. The most exercise he gets is adjusting his satellite dish. He could do that at home. How do I get him off the couch? —NASCAR widow in Wyoming

Read the RV Shrink’s advice.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his 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.

Eliminate hose crimping at the faucet!
Sometimes it’s a real pain hooking up your hose to a faucet or to your RV. This Camco flexible hose protector is the answer. Its easy gripper makes attaching the hose effortless. It’s compliant with all federal and state low-level lead laws, too. Every RVer should have one or two of these. Super low price, too. Learn more or order.

gas-738Latest fuel prices, September 24, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.84. [Calif.: $3.53]
Change from week before: Up 0 cents; Change from year before: Up 26 cents.
Diesel: $3.27. [Calif.: $3.99]
Change from week before: Up 0 cents; Change from year before: Up 48 cents.


Common terms used by RV salespeople

: A salesman who can sell anything to anyone. One who is able to tackle a tough customer and climb all over them.
•FLIP: This is to convert a buyer from financing his RV through his own bank or credit union to financing through the dealership.
•HIGH PENNY: To adjust a customer’s monthly payment. For example: from $1,401.13 to $1,440.93. It is safe to assume that if the customer will pay $1,401.13 for an RV payment, he will pay $1,440.93 without giving it a second thought.

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

warming-770Keep warm this winter with a 12-volt warming blanket
Here’s a way to keep warm in your RV without wasting propane to run your heater. Just snuggle up with a warming blanket! This one operates on 12-volt, perfect for RV use. Stitched from 100-percent polyester fleece, the blanket is comfortable, functional, safe and gentle on your RV’s battery. Put it on your bed before turning in to warm your sheets! Learn more or order from Amazon.

RV Fire Safety Tip  

extinguisher-697(3)An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 6 of 13
Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation

To begin your fire drill, start with everyone seated with seat belts on. From this position, discuss the different ways you could exit the coach without using the main entrance door.  Next have everyone get into their sleeping quarters. Sound the “alarm” using the test button on a detector, a safety whistle or a shout.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Editor’s note: Choose from a wide selection of fire extinguishers at Amazon. Here are links from Amazon.com for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, LP gas detectors, and combination smoke and CO detectors

hot dealsAmazon 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!

RV Quick Tips

What kind of parking pad for your RV at home?
Gary Reed responded to a story on RV parking at home. We suggested various materials, and he responded with his idea. “I use concrete turf stone pavers. They’re about six inches thick and measure about 10 inches wide by 18 inches long. They have a honeycomb design and have good drainage. I fill the honeycomb holes with pea gravel. The turf pavers are laid out so they are under the entire length of the trailer including the tongue. You can drive over them as well.” Thanks Gary! In Gary’s jurisdiction, those turf pavers don’t require a building permit for installation, nor do they pump up property taxes. Check with local authorities for your own situation.

Get ALL your wheels aligned
Got strange tire wear issues? When was the last time you had your RV wheels aligned? Motorhomes are obvious candidates, but even towable RV wheels can need alignment. Not every corner tire shop can do it, so be prepared to make a few phone calls to find a shop that can.

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

Keep your dog warm this winter!
Humans wear coats. Shouldn’t dogs? Don’t let your pooch get chilled this winter season. Amazon has a big selection of pet jackets for other critters, too (like cats). Whether your dog is big or small, there’s a jacket that fits just right! Click here.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Accident or breakdown: You’ll wish you had these road flares
You might think that some road safety equipment is not that important, especially when you are trying to reduce the amount of stuff you carry around with you. And you may not need some safety equipment – until you do. And then you REALLY need it. These Heliar LED Road Flares will cost you around $20, but it could be one of the best $20 expenditures you make for your safety in the event of an accident or mechanical breakdown. Learn more.

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

damp-rid-2-761damprid-761Avoid moisture damage to your RV
DampRid FG50T Hi-Capacity Moisture Absorber, 4-Pound Tub eliminates musty odors in RVs and other spaces, protecting them from moisture damage for up to 60 days in areas up to 1000 square feet, and up to 6 months in a 250-square-foot area. Don’t let your rig get damaged from moisture this winter. Learn more or order

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

Preparing the RV for winter storage
For many RVers who live in northern regions where freeze warnings, wind chill and snow will soon become a common topic on the local weather forecasts, late October and early November typically signal the end of the RV travel season. That means it’ll very soon be time to prepare the RV for possible harsh winter weather. Here are steps you should take to winterize your coach and protect all of its vital systems so the vehicle is ready to roll once the trees start budding out again. Learn more. (Tons of info!)

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

Afraid of water damage in your RV? You need this!
This essential water damage tool helps home and RV owners measure moisture content in wood, concrete drywall, and subflooring. Use the pin sensors to find the moisture content in your home. The easy-to-read LCD display will help you know if you need to dry the existing materials or replace with brand-new ones, and can be used as a water leak detector after flood damage. You’ll want to buy this here. 

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

Opportunities for nudist campers to boondock on public lands

Hi Bob,
My wife and I are nudists and we are joining the (winter) seasonal RV crowd. We have a home at a nudist resort and stay there during the summer. What are some of the opportunities for nudist campers to boondock on public lands? Are there designated areas for nudist campers in the BLM or LTVA dispersed camping areas? We have camped at nude campground resorts in our RV, but they are typically double the rate of a “textile” RV campground. —Ken

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.

Motorhome and RV Retirement Living
This highly regarded book by Jerry Minchey reveals how full-time RVers make their lifestyle work in retirement. Minchey lives full time in his motorhome. His honest descriptions of the RV lifestyle will answer your most pressing questions as well as those you probably never even thought to ask. Learn more or order

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Use 50-amp to 30-amp adapter in a pinch?

Dear Mike,
I read this on the RV forum I am a member of: “I talked to support at Progressive Industries. His suggestion is to use the 50A outlet whenever possible. The thinking is that often the pedestals are corroded which causes high resistance and heat if drawing high loads. The 50A outlet has heavier wire, bigger contact area on blades, so in theory less heat. It’s worth a try – use the 50A outlet with your own adapter.”

I wondered what your thoughts are on this, Mike. The main topic was about a member’s 30A plugin on his cord melting due to a loose connection at the pedestal. —Karin S.

Read Mike’s response.

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40+ years in the industry. Be sure to sign up for his monthly RV Electricity Newsletter. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed by RV tire expert Roger Marble!
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 $11. Learn more or order.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Are “ST”-type tires required on trailers?
An RVer had a concern after many blowouts of ST-type tires on his 2012 Airstream Classic, and particularly the damage to his trailer caused by the blowouts. After comparing his experience with ST tires to LT tires, he asked: “If trailer tires are so good and must be installed on a trailer when truck tires wear so much better, what is the rationale for requiring the STs on a trailer? … I am sorry to say that I do not agree with the idea that ST tires for trailers is the safest and best option.” Read the rest of the question and Roger’s response.

foil-757Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick clean-up! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Chocolate Smoothie Pie
Some crust! Chocolate pie. Unlike “impossible” blender pies, this one has a real crust. Now that so many of us have blenders and Bullets in our RVs for making smoothies, this pie is a snap. It can also be made in a food processor. Serve it ala mode or with whipped topping or whipped cream, or turn it into a Black Forest treat by saucing it with cherry pie filling. Get the recipe.

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


Protect yourself from intruders, bears and more!
The BASU eAlarm lets you explore, sleep, and adventure with confidence! This tiny device emits a 130-decibel alarm which scares away intruders, burglars and wild animals, and will call for help if you find yourself stranded. Used by the RVTravel staff, you can count on this alarm to keep you safe. Click the video to learn more or click here to order for about $16.

RV Short Stop
with Julianne G. Crane

Explosion of art exhibits in Snowbird Country 
Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; St. Petersburg, Florida

RVing Snowbirds may leave their chilly hometowns in the winter, but they don’t leave behind their thirst for culture and art. Lucky for us, there are numerous exemplary art museums and galleries scattered across America’s Sun Belt. Here are just a few.

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

Facebook Groups about RVing

Thor Outlaw Discussion.

RV Bloggers and Journalists

Montana RV Owners Group.



Free and bargain camping
From OvernightRVparking.com

Lions Park, Vermillion, SD
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. City park has five back-in RV sites on gravel, dirt and grass, with 20/30A E hookups. Park accommodates rigs of all sizes and there are restrooms and a dump station. Open Mar. – Oct. No reservations, first-come, first-served. Address: 603 Princeton St. GPS: 42.7859, -96.93825

Walmart Supercenter # 3394, Atlantic, IA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission from the customer service desk. Level, well-lit and relatively quiet. Subway restaurant and gas station on site with diesel. Address: 1905 E. 7th St. GPS: 41.40317, -94.985

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.

Lap desk puts your back to rest!
If you find yourself using your computer on your lap, reading your Kindle on the couch, or having a hard time holding that heavy hardback, you need this lap desk! Staff writer Emily uses this when she works and highly recommends it. The desk has eight adjustable levels and even has a stopper to hold objects upright. Great for those who have lower back pain or terrible posture (ahem, Emily). Learn more or order.

Upcoming RV Shows

Evergreen Fall RV Show, September 28-30, Monroe, WA
Austin RV Supershow, September 28-30, Round Rock, TX 
New York State RV Show, September 28-30, Syracuse, NY
Detroit Fall Camper & RV Show, October 3-7, Novi, MI
Tacoma RV Show, October 4-7, Tacoma, WA
California RV Show, October 5-14, Pomona, CA
Jacksonville Fall RV Show, October 11-14, Jacksonville, FL
Salem Fall RV Show, October 11-14, Salem, OR
Toronto Fall RV  Show and Sale, October 12-14, Toronto, ON
Panhandle RV Show, October 18-21, Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Pittsburgh RV Liquidation Supersale, October 19-21, Pittsburgh, PA

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

Monocular telescope connects to phone, wow!
This is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while! This waterproof monocular telescope connects right to your phone, so you can take photos of that bird waaaaaaay over there. You can now photograph anything up to 10x closer than before. Great for birdwatching, concerts or shows, fishing, boating, or any sporting event; you’ll get the best shot and impress everyone! We already bought one! Learn more or order.

The world’s largest RV manufacturer, Thor Industries, got its name from its founders, Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein.

Bumper sticker of the week
World peace begins with using your turn signals.

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

Joke of the Week
I have a bumper sticker that says, “Honk if you think I’m sexy.” When I’m feeling down, I just sit at a green light until I feel good about myself.

Worth Pondering
“A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control.” —Robert Foster Bennett

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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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

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This newsletter is copyright 2018 by RVtravel.com


17 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter Issue 865”

  1. Floyd Beatty

    Loved the newsletter since about 2011, donated last year or two, tried to register for the forum, got message that my “email address was reserved for future use” I guess that’s because you already distribute to that address. So how do I register for the forum? Thanks, Floyd Beatty, fbeatty@pobox.com, 207-837-5710.

  2. Peter J Nyvall

    Come to the Hill country of Texas, no floods, no hurricanes, no earthquakes, very little rain, no snow or sleet, avg temps are 70 degrees, most RV parks are high and dry, no traffic, just peace and quiet.

  3. jillie

    I have grown up camping by tent then pop up and now a TT. When you are camping by tent you learn a lot about survival of the fittest. You really have no refrigerator, heat, ac or anything microwave. Unless you started tent camping you folks have absolutely no clue as to what survival is. And reading the above about preparing for the apocalypse is absolutely funny. None of you could live without knowing that your camper is going to be probably be the last means of defense if you have to leave your house for more then a month. I know what wild plants are edible and what foods to buy when I walk into a store and see people buying foods that will spoil within 24 hours after buying. So the next time you walk into a store? Might want to really think about what you really need if the what if does happen. And it won’t be a matter of if. But when. I am already pretty stocked for the what if and when. Are you? I highly doubt it.

  4. Sene Kela

    We all have to do online banking or pay the rent/taxes even while on the road, so using a VPN while visiting some countries is a must, IMO. Of course, it costs some money, but don’t you think security is definitely the thing to invest money on? I don’t know about others services, but I use NordVPN and have their discount code SURF2Y that reduces the price by 66%.

  5. nwtraveler

    HI Chuck. I can’t login to the RV Forum and can’t reset my password. Anything happening on your end?


  6. Tony King

    Living in So Cal our 2 Motorhomes are always stocked and full of water. It’s not so much we have to leave our home but in the event of a catastrophic earthquake that severely damages our house we have somewhere to live if the house is unlivable etc.

  7. Janet Miller

    May I share the reference to the Wendlands article on “Beginners Guide to Boondocking?” I am hosting a rally in January in Quartzsite, AZ, where our rally group, RVing Women, will dry camp for several days. I’d like to alert them to this resource for their planning, should they wish! I have copied the article to send to registrants, but wish to request permission to do so. Thank you.

  8. Anthony Vinson

    I work in the Gulf of Mexico on a lengthy schedule. We have a step by step checklist if my family has to leave before I can make it home. Keeping your rigs tires, wheel bearings, and seals in top order is a must. Our truck is always sitting on go, along with our generator. Escape routes A, B, and C have to be understood along with loss of communication locations. Carry a chainsaw, odds are you’ll have to cut your way back in. Have cash, firearms, and a stern situational awareness when dealing with a mass exodus. If your not trained or equipped, leave rescue to professionals, don’t become another victim.

  9. Kevin Coughlin

    Whenever and wherever camping, it is a great idea to have an “escape” plan for a hasty evacuation. Consider at a minimum what you must do and then what you can do depending on the time available for evacuation. With Florence the officials knew about it and were warning folks for nearly three (yes 3) weeks. Yet a day before landfall people were just starting to get on the road.
    If you get to the point when you think about evacuation, that is the time to go!
    As an Emergency Management Professional I urge you to get out of harm’s way if you can. That reduces the stress of dramatic rescues and keeps roads open for response and resupply vehicles.
    Want to be better informed and prepared for a disaster? Take a first Aid and CPR course. Check with locate Emergency Management agencies for a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training class. (Being prepared is not just for scouts anymore!)

    1. RV Staff

      Thanks for all the important info, Kevin! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

  10. Wolfe Rose

    Regarding taking photos before a hurricane, an even better option is to take a full video at least once a year, walking through your home and inventorying everything you see -when you bought it, what you paid for it, serial numbers Etc… After a full loss you would go crazy trying to reconstruct the data that you could have quickly filmed. Then send your video offsite/outside likely disaster areas to avoid situations like I discussed a few weeks back (keeping computer backups at the same site that burned) .

  11. Karin S.

    Regarding the question from “roboclock3”:

    The Goodyear Marathon’s are HORRIBLE tires. After only one season with them on our unit, I switched them out due to all the failure stories I was reading about them. We switched to the Sailun ST235/85R16. It is a 14 ply tire and very very stout. What an amazing difference from the Marathons. The PSI rating is 110psi, so your wheels do need to be able to handle that psi. Mine did. I am on another RV forum and many on that forum have switched to these. You will also need to switch to metal stems due to the higher psi potential. The tire folks should know to do that. We have a heavy unit, a 5th Wheel Arctic Fox, and per the tire manufacturer table, I run my psi down at 70.

    1. John T

      No radial tire has 14 plies. They all have 1, 2 or 3. The “14” is the “ply rating”, which means that the tire’s load bearing capacity is equal to that of a bias-ply tire with 14 plies. The ply rating was a way of categorizing radial tires prior to the use of the lettered load rating (C, D, E etc.).

  12. Tommy Molnar

    The big problem with Waze is that it is a battery sucker. It will kill your phone in short order making it mandatory that you leave your phone plugged in all the time. But, in today’s world, don’t all vehicles have multiple plugs anyway?

  13. Willie

    Waze is a good application for navigation, but it’s prone to errors like any other nav program. When we travel, we run both Waze and Google Map in tandem on two devices, one on ATT and one on Verizon. It’s saved us a lot of heartache.

    Last Wednesday we were appoaching I-15 from US395 when both programs started sending us alerts about a brushfire that had just shut down the freeway on Cajon Pass. Rather than continue and get stuck on the freeway for hours, or worse, we immediately pulled over and planned an alternative route on SR18 through Big Bear before thousands of others did the same thing. It cost us a couple of hours of travel, but we didn’t get stuck on the freeway!

  14. Tom

    Get an Amateur Radio license. Get (at the very least) an inexpensive handheld radio and leave it in the coach. Many of these radios are capable of monitoring the NOAA weather forecasts.
    Learn to use it and to program it. Panic time is not the time to break out the manual.
    Join a club and support your local repeater.

  15. Dan

    My wife and I live on the beach in SC and were in the mandatory evacuation zone. We left the morning of the evacuation and got out before the crowds in our RV. That was on a Tuesday and we went to the Tampa area in Florida and stayed at a KOA. We returned the following Monday before the rivers overflowed and were able to get home. Most of the roads flooded later that week and it took some people many hours and detours to get back. Having the RV and planning correctly made our hurricane Florence experience a piece of cake.

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