RV Travel Newsletter Issue 868

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 868 • Week of October 20-26, 2018   #rvtravel

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

Philadelphia suburban development.

You may ask “What does the photo to the right have to do with RVing?” I took it last month from the seat in my Boeing 737 as it let down in Philadelphia.

I wrote an essay a few days later that addressed that question. I had planned to share it first with our members. But then I realized what I had written was important, and could only have been written by someone who had “lived and breathed” RVing for several decades during which so much has changed in our society and with the way we use our RVs. I believed it was important to share it with the RV industry first. In my opinion, everyone who builds or sells RVs should read what I wrote and what it could mean for the future of the pastime that so many of us love.

I asked my friend Sherman Goldenberg, the publisher of RV Business Magazine, if he would publish it first. RV Business is the largest and most influential voice in the RV industry with both print and web editions. A few days later it appeared on the publication’s popular web edition. I expected a lot of comments, whether they said “Good points,” or “You’re off your rocker, buddy!”

But after three days, there was only one comment. One! If I had posted the article on RVtravel.com, there would have been dozens. How could that be? 

Do you know what I think? I think that most people in the RV industry either don’t read or they don’t give a damn about what’s happening in the industry except how many sales they made last week and can make this week. I don’t believe there’s a visionary among them except Camping World and Good Sam Club CEO Marcus Lemonis, whose greed and misguided vision have amassed him a fortune of $1.8 billion at the expense of you, me and other RVers.

Okay, here’s my story. Please leave a comment. Tell me if what I wrote makes sense or is the stupidest thing you’ve read in months. Or offer your own vision by submitting a guest commentary (send to me at chuck @ RVtravel.com). This offer is always open, by the way.

And one more thing: As I announced last week, we are putting together three days of seminars featuring a number of speakers including Mike Sokol and me, January 24-26, in Quartzsite, Arizona, at the same time as the giant RV show. Admission will be free for our members (voluntary subscribers) or for a modest fee for others. We’ll have complete information and a registration form soon. Space is limited so be sure to register early.

I am very happy and proud to report that my staff and I have now posted more than 4,500 articles on this website. About ten of us post regularly, and in a month’s time we probably add another 400 or so. We have beefed up our news coverage to the point where we are not able to include all the headlines in this Saturday newsletter. I urge you to sign up for our daily RSS feed. Each afternoon, headlines of each article we posted in the past 24 hours will be emailed to you without any advertising. I have included the signup form here:

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The EASY way to buy window shades
Carefree‘s Simply Shade Window Awning is the first cash and carry complete window awning system that can be bought off of dealer shelves and installed the same day! Simply Shade Awnings fit windows up to 36″ tall. Click here to learn more. 

Sign up for Mike Sokol’s 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

Help us do more! Support this newsletter
The staff of RVtravel.com works hard to bring you an honest, unbiased, valuable newsletter every Saturday. Readers help make it possible with their “voluntary subscriptions.” Even a pledge of $5, $10 or $20 a year is appreciated — that’s for more than 50 weekly issues (add another 208 if you read our RV Daily Tips Newsletter)! Many readers set up an ongoing subscription, most $5 to $10 a month. But even a one-time contribution of $5 or $10 helps make it possible for us to write about important matters, not just fluff to please advertisers and RV industry big shots. Enter a voluntary subscription. Use a credit card, PayPal or mail a check.

cover story

KOA: Where are the RVs?
By Chuck Woodbury
video camera WPI found this news segment by a San Diego TV station interesting. In two minutes, it says something significant about how camping has changed, and how KOA is placing increased emphasis on serving campers without RVs. In this video, the owners of a Chula Vista KOA discuss their family-owned business and how it has changed through the years. Pay attention as the camera pans 360 degrees around the park as they talk. What’s missing? RVs! Read more and watch the two-minute video.

breaking-newsThe latest news
about RVing from our newsroom

Epic floods wash over Texas, scrambling rescue personnel
With threat of wildfires, utilities cut power to CA businesses and residences.
Bend streets are not your home” spray-painted on RV.
NOAA predicts a warm, wet El Nino-fueled winter.
Camper swept away in flash flood in Joshua Tree NP.
National Weather Service warns of wildfire threats in California.
Motorhomes have become the towing industry’s biggest headache.

Oregon city to allow regulated car camping in specified parking lots.
Largest U.S. retriever competition fills Oregon campgrounds.
Complaints prompt city council to change occupied RV ordinance.
Mountain lion cub found inside El Dorado County business.
Truck pulling travel trailer overturns in collision with truck.
Watch for increased bear activity on Blue Ridge Parkway, warns NPS.

Man selling firewood in campground shoots customer.
No Halloween plans yet? Try this haunted campground.
Police recover trailer stolen from Carr Fire evacuees. Culprit in slammer.
Joshua Tree NP closures announced due to heavy rains and flooding.
High bear activity forces closure of part of Big Bend National Park.

Recent recalls:
Keystone recalls 5,236 trailers: Electric brakes may fail.
Newmar recalls motorhomes: Brake pedal may stick.

Keep gray tank odors away
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.

National Parks announces road closures for winter and construction
Many RVers enjoy fall camping in our national parks now that kids are back in school and the parks and campgrounds are quieter and not so busy. But if you are heading for a park, these notices of road closures for the winter or for construction will help you plan your trip. Read more.

video camera WPNear disaster as bus crosses bridge with weight limits
Here’s a reminder to pay attention to bridges with weight restrictions that your RV may exceed. In this case, the result could have been tragic. On Saturday, October 13, 2018, a bus crossed a one-lane bridge with a 10-ton limit near Beaver Lake north of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Watch the bridge sag as the bus crosses.

Dog scratches its way through RV door
What can we learn from the photos in this article? That some dogs will do just about anything to get out of an RV if left alone? Or do we learn that some RVs are so cheaply made, including their doors, that a dog can, with a little effort, scratch its way out to freedom? Check out the unedited photos.

Zap that filthy RV awning – with Mr. Clean’s help
For those that live or camp in the desert Southwest, dealing with dirt is a way of life. One spot the dirt seems to congregate is in the folds of a rolled-up awning. But cleaning an awning is usually such a tedious, difficult and “getting wet” job that it frequently gets put off. Here’s a method that will help you get that grungy awning cleaned up in fairly short order. Learn how.

GEICO has a couple of tips for preparing your RV for the winter
It’s been an exceptionally wet year for most of the East Coast, creating the perfect storm for a spectacular fall color fest. Cool temperatures and an array of colors are every camper’s delight. While there is plenty of time to enjoy a late fall trip, GEICO would like to remind campers to start thinking about RV maintenance and winterization now. Read more.

This week’s Reader Poll
In Three Little Pigs lingo what’s your RV made of?
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.

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.

spyWhat we learned from you last week
Do you drive or tow your RV? You told us last week, so check in for the results. Plus, how many of you plan to become full-time RVers one day? And what about carrying spare tires? How many of you do that? And now that marijuana is becoming legal in so many places, we wondered how many of you would partake of the weed in legal territory. Click here.

Traveling nurses in RVs fill health industry demands
The demand for nurses is exceeding the supply, and millennials are hitting the open road in today’s “gig” economy and becoming at least a partial solution to a workforce problem. Emergency room nurse Nathan Craft and his wife, Annie, don’t expect anything to be easy as they pull up stakes for the next two years. But like a growing number of nurses, the Crafts are answering the call of the open road. Read more

video camera WPCharge your cell phone with a campfire!
In this video from the RVtravel.com YouTube channel, Eric Brotman shows you how you can use any heat source – even a campfire – to charge your smartphone or other USB device. The device he shows you is called a Power Pot, which can double as a cooking pan. Watch the video.

RV Industry president explains effort to learn RVer buyer habits
frank HugelmeyerA message from RV Industry Association (RVIA) President Frank Hugelmeyer was recently published in the RV Industry Association newsletter RVIA News & Insights. He addresses the changing makeup of today’s consumer and the best ways for the RV industry to connect with new buyers. Read more.

RVers lend their experience to help those in need of housing
Volunteering is something RVers do, and for the past two weeks, Bob Hammer and Tony Laird have been at the site of Habitat for Humanity of the North Carolina Sandhills Women Build, completing some of the more complex portions of a home for a family in need of housing. They are part of a group of elders who travel around the country in RVs, volunteering their years of construction experience to help those in need of housing. Learn more.

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.

“The RVers” new PBS TV series coming in 2019
PBS will launch a new television series in 2019 called “The RVers” that will feature RV celebrity hosts taking an in-depth look at every aspect of the world of RVing. “The RVers” will cater to traditional RVers such as Baby Boomers and retirees, as well as contemporary and new RVers. The show will cover every kind of RV from the tiniest teardrops to the most luxurious motorhomes. Learn more.

video camera WPBear easily opens car doors. Hard to believe!
Here’s a reminder to lock your car doors even when you’re in the middle of nowhere. In this 90-second video, watch as a mysterious bear opens three doors of a parked car in West Boulder, Colorado. Watch the video.

Chausson creates “Swiss Army knife” motorhome
France’s Chausson converts the Ford Transit-based Flash 634 into the Swiss Army knife of motorhomes for the absolute most livability out of its small footprint using smart, space-optimizing design. … At 21 feet long, it is a compact semi-integrated motorhome … [which] seats and sleeps up to five while also offering a roomy layout with a stretched rear lounge, two sets of tables and chairs, a bike garage and a bathroom. Check it out!

What you need to know about smoking pot in Canadian campgrounds
Cannabis became legal on October 17 in laid-back Canada. On October 15, Parks Canada said that individuals are allowed to use cannabis when camping at registered sites across the country. But as usual with any new law, there is a lot of misunderstanding about where you can use it. Learn more.

Emergency roadside repair! – Part 1
Rich “The Wanderman” is traveling to Florida from New York with his helicopter in tow. Unfortunately, the trip hasn’t gone well, mechanically speaking.  Find out why.


How can you end the “military” RV shower?
You 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

Popular articles from last week’s issue
RVers lament being upside down with their loans.
New system helps you snag popular campground spots
Rid your RV of ants and keep them out.
RV fridge repair company sued for cheating customers in 40 states.
• Guide to maintaining the RV heating system.
Casinos offer RVers secure overnight camping, games, cheap buffets.
What we learned about you last week (October 6-12).

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.

From the RVtravel.com Reader Forums
Establishing home base in Washington state?
I grew up in Washington and now that I am retired, I thought it would be a good place to establish a home base to RV from. I really like the idea of purchasing a lot in a 55+ community and possibly renting it out while I am away.  Or, purchasing a small home or casita with an RV garage in a community designed for RVers. I see many places like that in Florida and Arizona. However, I would prefer some place cooler and income tax friendly like Western Washington. The only places like that seem to be in rural areas of Eastern Washington. Is this type of community not popular in the Pacific Northwest? Comment here.

Themed RV parks?
A few years ago I read somewhere that there was a trend for RV parks to adopt a theme. I find that very appealing, but I don’t see it happening to any great extent. I know there are a lot of Western themed parks, a few railroad themed parks, and of course Disney, and a few others, but for the most part parks I stay at are mostly just places to park. Maybe it’s not a great idea or a good business mode. Or, maybe there are more than I know about. I would love to have a directory where you could search by theme! Does anyone know? Comment here.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: New users register 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.

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. 

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

Check your smoke
alarm the right way!

This is the best way to test your smoke alarm, whether in your RV or home. Just provide a quick shot of this aerosol spray toward your smoke alarm. The spray mimics smoke. If the alarm does not sound, install a new battery. The spray will dissipate quickly. Learn more or order.

Ask the RV Shrink

Couple disagree on how to solve wobbly toad problem

Dear RV Shrink:
We are towing a small sedan behind our motorhome. The car started acting strange – it developed a wobble at slow speeds. At first we thought it was the roads we were driving on, but it turns out to be an issue with the car. My husband hates to deal with businesses on the road he is not familiar with. He studies any problem for hours before he acts. In this case he finally decided we had a tire issue. He went and had two new tires put on and the tire dealer told him he also had a bent wheel. …

Read the rest of the question 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.

Wow! Is this handy!
This multifunctional tool is seven in one! This heavy-duty pen tool features a handy tablet or smartphone stylus, a sturdy screwdriver, a bubble level, a universal inch/cm ruler and a handy Phillips screwdriver flathead bit, and it’s only the size of a pen! Perfect for any weekend project, and it even makes a great gift. Learn more or order.

gas-738Latest fuel prices as of October 15, 2018
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.88. [Calif.: $3.71]
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 39 cents.
Diesel: $3.39. [Calif.: $4.11]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 61 cents.

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.

RV Quick Tips

With unraveling paper rolls, there’s never a “last word”
Some paper towel manufacturers would have you believe their products come on never-ending rolls. Well, it appears there’s a never-ending supply of advice on how to keep those never-ending rolls from uncoiling. Here’s another bit from John R. Rose: “I keep reading how people have solved the paper towel problem with rubber bands, pins, paper clips and many, many other possibilities. I’ve never had that problem since I started RVing approximately 15 years ago. I have always bought Viva paper towels. They stick to each other very lightly and never unroll unless I want them to. I put over a hundred thousand miles on my motorhome and never have I had them unroll. Almost every Grocery Outlet has Viva paper towels. Try them once and you’ll use them for the rest of your RVing career.”  —Thanks, John!

Check the battery’s water level before charging
Need to charge your batteries but the “water level” is low? Wait until after you’ve charged them, then fill. Exception: If the level is below the top of the plates, fill to just cover the plates, then charge. After charging, complete the “fill up.”

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

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! Bring this lightweight, single-hand focusing telescope with you everywhere. We already bought one! Learn more or order.

Gizmos and Gadgets

Keep your starter battery charged this winter with Battery Tender
This is the time of year when RVers are either storing their rig for the winter or thinking about warm, sunny campgrounds and boondocking locations. Whatever you do, if you plan on parking your rig for a month or more, you might want to consider a battery tender to keep your starter battery fully charged. You can harness the power of the sun with this Battery Tender 10-Watt Solar Panel Charger and Maintainer. It’s 100% portable and is ideal for storage space without power access. (Other sizes are also available.) Learn more.

Rate your RV
This new poll asks readers of popular RVs to rate their vehicles.

This week:
Rate your Thor Ace motorhome
ONLY RESPOND if you currently own a recent model of this vehicle. Click here. To see the current results without voting, simply click “View Results” in the bottom left corner of the poll.

No more sticky windows!
An RVtravel.com reader recommended this white graphite powder as the perfect fix for sticky windows. Frames can contract in cooler weather, making things tight. He said his fix is lubricating the window tracks with a simple “puff” of white graphite powder. Why the white? “It doesn’t make a mess like the black stuff!” he explained.

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

Tips for RVing comfortably in the cold and snow
Winter RVing is not only doable but also encouraged! Take the necessary precautions, such as staying tuned to a reliable weather forecasting source and make sure all your safety devices have been tested and verified, and you should be able to enjoy your RV in even the chilliest winter weather. Here is some useful information to help make that wintry trek comfortable.

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

Say goodbye to goop!
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water-tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.

bob-d-med399Ask BoondockBob
with Bob Difley

How to get started boondocking in the Southwestern deserts

Hi Bob,
We’re from the Midwest and are leaving after Christmas for our first trip to the desert. We hope to spend a few months and do a lot of boondocking but don’t know where to start. Can you point us in the right direction where we’re not too isolated (we’re not that confident yet)? Thanks. —Warren and Bernice 

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.

Collapsible containers for RV kitchen
If you don’t have collapsible food containers for your RV yet, you’re missing out. This set of four is BPA free and microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. Never worry about taking up room again, these fold practically flat! These containers come with air-tight lids which keep food longer, and keep food safer. Order for a great price here. 

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Start me up … Generators and rooftop air conditioners
Here’s a topic that I’ve pondered for years but never had a good reason to look at more deeply than a howdy-do: hard (or soft) start capacitors for air conditioners. Briefly, rooftop air conditioners on RVs draw a LOT of peak current when the compressor kicks in. … [T]he real problem is when you’re using a small generator like a Honda EU2000i to run your RV’s rooftop air conditioner.

Read about the new product Mike is testing.

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.

Keep your brain sharp and your knives sharper!
Tired of dull knives in the kitchen? This easy-to-use knife sharpener (used by staff writer, Emily) sharpens your knives with a few quick strokes. You’ll feel like a professional! The sharpener has two settings: one for fine blades, and another for coarse. Its small size is perfect for an RV, and under $6. Says Gail of RVtravel.com. “Wow! This works great!” Learn more or order here.

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Do RV owners know about tire age?
There are many posts on how to learn the calendar age of tires by reading the DOT serial number and “decoding” the last four digits to learn the week and year a tire was made. But just knowing the calendar age doesn’t tell you the useful life of a tire. We recently took a poll which asked: “Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Tires age out before they wear out?'” Read the results.

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 insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here.

Astronomy for RVers
with Chris Fellows

The Big Picture (Part 2) – Nature’s power houses: the stars
In The Big Picture (Part 1), Chris talked about the smallest bits of the universe: the comets, asteroids, planets and other detritus that make up solar systems. This time he discusses the stars themselves. Stars are the dynamos of our universe and provide the temperature gradients and light sources that make the cosmos an interesting place. Learn more.

Don’t blow out your plumbing!
Sooner or later, usually “sooner,” every RVer comes upon an RV park water hookup with pressure so high it could blow out the plumbing. None of us want that because it causes a lot of damage and is expensive to fix. The simple solution is to be sure when you hook up use a water pressure regulator, like this one that features a lead-free design to prevent lead contamination. Learn more or order

The RV Kitchen   
with Janet Groene

Lamb ‘n’ Lentils
Lamb love long, slow camp cooking. A relative of a classic cassoulet, this elegant comfort food is ideal for the cook pot, instant pot or pressure cooker. Cook it long and slow over the campfire or quickly under pressure. Either way it should be fall-apart tender. Spoon it up, accompanied by crusty French bread. Get the recipe.

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


Make popcorn in minutes with this collapsible popcorn maker!
Virtually fat-free, no cholesterol, full of fiber and vitamins; popcorn is the best snack! Pop it in minutes in your RV with this handy collapsible popcorn maker. Simply pour the kernels in the bowl, add your favorite seasonings, microwave for a couple of minutes and the perfect bowl of popcorn will emerge! Pretty hard to resist if you ask me… Learn more or order here.

The RoVing Naturalist
with Dennis Prichard

Immerse yourself in nature … Volunteer!
Now that Dennis has retired from his career with the National Park Service and similar agencies, what will he and his wife do? Volunteer at the same types of places where he worked (i.e., the great outdoors). All kinds of positions in all types of locations are available. A lot of places have RV pads, and many only require three days’ work for free hookups. Learn all about the benefits of volunteering, and find out what Dennis, the National Park Service and intarsia have in common. (Way to go Dennis!) (And just what is “intarsia”?) Find out here.

Keep mice out of your RV
The positive reviews on this product from Earthkind make it the best bet for keeping your RV mouse-free. It’s 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, too. 98% biodegradable. Learn more or order.

Digital RVer
with Geeks on Tour

How to boost your cellphone Internet speeds
Some people notice beautiful trees and want to camp near them. Chris and Jim Guld notice cell towers and want to camp near them! As they travel, they are sometimes in range of strong Internet signal from a cell tower, and sometimes not. When you are in low signal areas, is there a way to boost that signal? Yes. Find out how.

Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here is a recent webcast: #154, Cellular boosters and antennas – Do they work? Watch 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.

Common terms used by RV salespeople

BUY RATE: This is the interest rate that banks or financing institutions will charge on all contracts being financed. It is a “secret” number between the lender and the dealer which is the real amount of the interest rate that the loan starts out at before the dealer increases it for its own extra profit.

DE-HORSE: This is when you take a customer out of his trade-in and let him temporarily drive the newly purchased RV before the purchase has really been finalized on the dealer’s books. The idea is to keep the customer from shopping around and finding another deal somewhere else.

ETHER: Is a slang term used in association with its actual application. For example, putting someone in the ether. This is usually done in a closing situation and the customer is not completely aware of what is happening.

More next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

‘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.

Facebook Groups about RVing

The RV Bunch
Winter RVing – Let’s stay warm together!
How to RV for newbies

Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble!
tire-guage660Outstanding 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 it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. Used by the RV Travel staffLearn more or order.

Free and bargain camping
From OvernightRVparking.com

K-Mart  # 3842, Oakdale, CA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Obtain permission at customer service desk. Lot is level, generally quiet, and appears safe. Many eating places nearby. Address: 175 S Maag Ave. GPS: 37.77194, -120.83048

Sam’s Club # 6503, Hattiesburg, MS
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed in the lot shared by Walmart and Sam’s Club. Obtain permission from the customer service desk. Lot is level, well-lit, secure and reasonably quiet. Many other stores and restaurants nearby, including a large shopping mall. Gas station on site but no diesel. Address: 6080 U.S. Hwy 98. GPS: 31.32028, -89.38069

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.

Keep road flares in the RV for emergency
You should always have road flares in your RV in case of an emergency. This pack of three bright, waterproof, and shatterproof LED disks are perfect to keep tucked away. These bright lights can be seen from a mile away and can be used for traffic control, as a warning light, as a rescue beacon and they can also be used for recreational activities such as camping and hiking. Learn more or order here.

Museum of the Week

Photo courtesy of the USDA

The New England Maple Museum
Pittsford, VT

No trip to Vermont would be complete without maple syrup! The New England Maple Museum, tucked at the base of the beautiful Green Mountains, is sure to please your sweet tooth. The museum covers more than 200 years of maple sugaring history. History not your thing? Maybe the sweet samples scattered about the museum will interest you. Learn all about the process to make the syrup and then, of course, purchase some to take home with you. Visit the museum website here to plan your visit. 

It’s time to clean your CPAP machine!
A recent survey revealed that 51% of you (or your partner) use a CPAP machine. Wow! When was the last time your machine was cleaned thoroughly? They get very dirty! This highly rated cleaning kit will get out all those yucky germs and bacteria. The extendable brush will expand to 7 feet, but folds up into a small plastic bag as to not take up too much room in your RV. If you use a CPAP, you’ll want this.

Upcoming RV Shows

Panhandle RV Show, October 18-21, Ft. Walton Beach, FL  – CANCELLED
Pittsburgh RV Liquidation Supersale, October 19-21, Pittsburgh, PA
Tampa Bay Fall RV Show, November 8-11, Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach Fall RV Show, November 8-11, West Palm Beach, FL
Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale, December 6-9, Indio, CA
Quartzsite RV Show, January 19-27, 2019, Quartzsite, AZ

See the complete list of all upcoming RV shows.

An umbrella that fits in your pocket? Yup!
You heard it here first! This lightweight umbrella folds down inside a waterproof case to fit inside your purse or pocket. Nearly the same size as your sunglasses case, this umbrella is perfect for day trips and travel. This little umbrella is only 6″ long and weighs a mere 6oz; you’ll never get tired of carrying this around! Learn more or order here.

New York has the most salad shops (per square root of population) in the USA, 0.2510, which is 42.5 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.0059. —WalletHub.com

Bumper sticker of the week
Answer my prayer – steal this RV.

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

Joke of the Week
A heavily pregnant woman hobbles painfully into the hospital with one hand on her back. A nurse comes over to her and asks her what’s wrong, but the woman just shouts, “Shouldn’t! Wouldn’t! Didn’t!” The nurse shakes her head and says, “Sorry, I don’t understand.” The woman screams, “Can’t! Won’t! Don’t!” The nurse is terribly confused and turns to a doctor, who says, “Admit her. She’s having contractions.”

Worth Pondering
“You look at things you enjoy in your life, but much more important is what you can do to make the world a better place.” —Paul Allen (Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist), 1/21/1953 – 10/15/2018

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. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

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.

This newsletter is copyright 2018 by RVtravel.com


11 Thoughts to “RV Travel Newsletter Issue 868”

  1. jillie

    I have to agree with the state of RV Parks and State Parks. More and more people are getting lazier and lazier and don’t want to hassle with an RV. They want easy and simple. So more and more cabins are being built to suit their lifestyle. Yeah its expensive but yeah its worth not having to deal with backing the mother load into a tight squeeze even though you probably have more room then expected. I remember one park that had 20 RV spots and the rest cabins. I know for a fact Cedar Point is getting rid of their RV parks for cabins. Which is like so sad because it was a really nice place to camp and go do the rides. Now? You are paying twice the amount for a weekend spot if not more for a week. Which is like a house payment. Seriously we gave up with Cedar Point because of its price. Kings Island got rid of their RV park due to vandalism and crime. Great Wolf lodge now sits on that property. If you want to camp near Kings Island? Forget it. You have to drive like 20 minutes thru traffic just to get there. Hotels are your only option. Sucks but it has come down to lazy. Pure and simple. IMO Now as for charging your cell phone over an fire? What are you guys thinking. Lets put the things away and enjoy a smore not how to smoke your phone. O and one more thing. The next person to remind me to winterize my RV? Will get hit with a bottle of that pink stuff. Michigan weather is not cooperating. Now go smoke the phone and let me know how it fares.

  2. Michael Butts

    I have noticed the “mega-dealers” near me have inventory stacked to the rafters. It’s no wonder that monthly shipments from the manufacturers are down.

  3. John Karlson

    Re clap cleaning, use cider vinegar and water solution in reservoir to clean out mineral buildup. Works like a charm, but be sure you rinse all solution prior to nightly use.

  4. Rick

    I enjoyed reading your state of the industry past and present. Very interesting analogy of urban sprawl to RV sales. What I see is different is with the urban sprawl you have large corporations/franchisers coming in to support or provide additional services. You don’t see that with the RV industry. Maybe it is evolving to RV park memberships ie 1000 Trails; or ownership in a park (which I personally don’t understand). Not sure what a new RV park would cost, but the amount of space/acreage is at a premium, not to mention the infrastructure required. And as you mentioned permitting is no easy task these days. The RV industry(correct me if I’m wrong) but I don’t see much in the way of developers. Maybe the return on investment is just not there. But you’d think with the sales #’s the way they are going, someone would want to support all those RV’s on the road with quality parks.
    Anyway enjoy reading your articles, and your perspective on the industry, from someone who has contributed to your cause.

  5. Bob wilson

    Your recent piece on the current status of rving sounds like remember the good old days. Just remember someday today will be the good old days.

  6. Scott

    Traveling out West this Fall , I came across some history from the small, but great museum in Lander Wyoming. It chronicles the settlement of the West and that area in particular. First came the Mountain Men who trapped and scouted the area for a number of years overcoming many hazards. As those risks became less, more and more settlers moved in. There is a quote by one of the Mountain Men who complains about how “crowded” the area has become. Some of the Mountain Men figured “if you can’t beat em,join em” and settled permanently in the area. Others decided to move further into the Frontier.
    So in some respects Chuck what u write about is not a new phenomenon. It just seems like “new Frontiers” are much harder to find and it is a long way to the Yukon….

  7. BirdsGo2

    I agree with your analysis. The RV industry is more interested in how many RVs they can sell, not what they’re doing to the purpose of getting an RV in the first place.

    Your analogy of building and building houses is also accurate. There are empty houses sitting everywhere from foreclosures, or just from homeowners who didn’t wait to move into a new house, but contractors keep building new houses. To them, it’s just business.

    How long does ANY business think they can beat last year’s numbers and not eventually peak out and crash?

  8. Richard Gougeon

    Here is something I keep asking myself and I would love to hear from you what is best to do.
    When they forecast poring rain and a huge storm ahead, is it better to bring the slides in during the storm to prevent the risk of water leaking in?

    1. John Crawford

      Move out of the area to one with no storms.

  9. Bob C.

    RE: Campground availability
    Chuck, you are accurate in your assessment, and your housing tract analogy is apt. Why no response from the industry? I can only guess (of course) but I suspect the industry business leaders are just too busy going to the bank. These same leaders are likely older, not far from retirement and thus not seriously looking to the future of their industry. It is a “me” world nowadays.

    1. Booneyrat

      Agreed. The days of Lawrence Welk and Archie Bunker are long gone.

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