Thumbs up from our readers – March 2018

Thumbs up from our readers – March 2018

Positive comments about products, people and places.
Here are some recent “thumbs up” letters or comments we’ve received from readers of RVtravel.com.

High praise for Garmin InReach
Can’t say enough about the Garmin InReach. We also use it for a tracking device while we’re underway. Our kids and friends can follow us on a Garmin provided webpage map. The gizmo leaves “cookie crumbs” on the map every 10 minutes. We take it on every hike, too. —Will
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Why not clean up “a little extra”?
Spot on. Most just complain and keep on walking. They then nearly sprain an elbow patting themselves on the back noting how they’d never leave stuff behind. You’re actually doing something to improve things. Good job. —Roger
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Photo: fingerlakes.com

Beautiful region to check out
When you wind your way to the Northeast, be sure to swing thru New York’s Finger Lakes region. Not so nice right now…big winter storm. But it’s amazing during summer. Gorges and waterfalls galore. Small towns, forests, rivers, lakes, farms and lots of beautiful scenery. —Pat
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Happy fulltimer
I guess I will be the guy in two left shoes here. I’m a retired FT’er driving a 45′ DP with a toad. I have yet to find a place I didn’t have access to because of my size. I worked my butt off to get to this point, and was forced into minimalism early in my life, because of financial restraints. I’m not rich, but I’m comfortable, and I intend to be just that. This is my home on wheels. I have been to NP’s and even boondocked on the Eastern rim of the Grand Canyon, just to mention one place. According to my records for the last five yrs, lodging has cost me $20.26 a night. I do some boondocking, but the majority of my time is spent docked in a private RV park/resort, and I do my exploring and touring in my toad. Before I bought I rented a class B, a class C and a class A. I spent several weeks in each, made my decision and have never been happier. Remember the size rv for you is determined by how you plan to use it, and how /when you travel. I got lucky on the first try, most people I talk to on the road have traded up or down in size several times. Do your due diligence first, then buy, you’ll be a lot happier…….—Rory
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Bidet saves on TP and clogged tank
I installed a Biffy Bidet three years ago. Not real fancy but very effective. We use no TP. We winter in Arizona so freezing is not a problem.—Firechiefm
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Check out this new RV park
Hi, ya’ll owe it to yourselves to check out a new RV park if going to the Savannah area. It’s called Creekfire, about 4 months new. Widely spaced sites, a shuttle service into the historic city, pool with kiddie pool, gravel and paved lots, and more. —Bill S.
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A very lucky RVer!
The No Shock Zone may have saved my life! I never heard of a “ hot skin condition” until I read about it in the No Shock Zone section of RV Travel. When hooking up last year out West I received a slight shock when I touched my travel trailer. My rig was fairly new and was quite alarmed. After no avail trying to figure out what might be the problem, I was lucky enough to get a mobile RV electrician to come out the afternoon of July 3rd! After he spent significant time problem solving with my rig, and almost giving up, through his determination he found a defective ground on my 30 amp power cord. Not having one on hand I raced into town and was able to purchase a replacement just as an RV dealership was closing for the holiday. Many thanks to Mike Sokol for this life saving information and RV Travel! —Robb D.
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Interesting place to visit
Bob, If you like out of the way places, here is an interesting one. Cochise’s Stronghold has a small RV campground and is on a dirt road. One of the lesser known historic sites in Arizona. —David H.
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Words of wisdom from a fulltime RVer
I grew up in a military family and I did 22 years in the Canadian Army. I hear you, Troy.

The advantages: I can sleep anywhere at anytime; when I travel I immerse myself in the culture and food of where I am – I don’t bring my biases and cultural baggage with me; I talk to strangers; I have friends all over the world even though I seldom see them; moving and travel is an exercise in logic – not emotion – the joy is in what I see and hear all along the way; when I learn something about how people do things in one place I can take that knowledge and apply it somewhere where it has never been done. And one last thing: my startle threshold is high.

The disadvantages: no attachments – not to people (one exception), places, or things; lots of churn – starting over from scratch; sometimes I buy from the wrong store, hire the wrong tradesman, go to the wrong garage because they are all new to me – the locals all know better; sometimes gullible and naive I get taken in because I think everyone is good. But I can adapt and bad things/bad people don’t last long.

So, what is the bottom line? Life is an adventure and nothing gets old. Is it better to have had our life or to have stayed in one place? I don’t know for sure … but I’m not going to worry about it. I turned 70 last week and a couple of days ago we bought an old house in another town where we have never lived. I figure it will take me about 6 months of renovating before we can move in. No problem – we’ll just live in our trailer.

Enjoy the journey, Troy. It’s not about the destination. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never be lost. —Stuart S.
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Another spot to visit
Johnny Ringo Grave, 31.865123, -109.418684, Please close the gate when departing. —Gary
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If you get lonesome fulltiming …
Recent research as shown that socializing and listening to music stimulate the same area of the brain. I listen to KUTX radio (the University of Texas music channel) online every day. It’s a great channel which plays lots of different kinds of music (not classical) with no commercials. Just download the app from the App Store. —Marmot
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Tip for park reservations (don’t abuse it)
Several managers of National or State parks have told me they try to hold a handicap site back from reservations. So, for those of us who need it, call the park directly on day of desired arrival, to ask if one is available. —Sherry D.
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Watch for a new campground coming
Get a chance check out the fact that Ditto Landing and campground (Madison County, Huntsville, Ala.) is redoing the marina/campground. It will start out with 73 FHU sites, ?? tent/primitive sites. Plans to have approximately 134 sites when completed. No timeline on when it will be finished – the first 73 sites are under construction at this time. Great news as the present CG is prone to flooding. —Bobby L.
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Happy with Chinook Concourse
We have an ’05 Chinook Concourse. It is high end, self contained, no slides, easy to drive and park. This was our first rv after years of boating on rivers and lakes. This will be our last RV as we just love it. It is plenty for us and our pug named George who thinks it great to share his “crate” with us. We keep it serviced, stocked and ready to go. —Luanne
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Making friends while fulltiming
Traveling by yourself, you may meet as many or as few people as you choose. I have made friends with whom I email every other week and see once or twice a year for a week or two. It would be very different if I were traveling with my young children but, at this point in my retired life, I am delighted to share a campfire and some chips and dip! —Hannah
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RVer likes Mapquest
I don’t know how many people use Mapquest any more, but I always liked the way that they listed every turn that you would make to reach your destination, along with the mileage between each change. —Kenny N.
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Two more reasons to clean up after slobs
Because YOU are making the world a better place. Plus, there is nothing more irritating than a good example. —Bill
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Another reason to clean up what others left
The mindset of picking up litter has to be one of peacefulness and ‘ain’t nature grand’-ness. As soon as I start feeling resentful, the whole endeavor turns sour. I love a clean camp, and it’s usually easier to pick up litter than it is to look at it. —Nikki H.
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Great book on RV history
I bought, and read, Al’s book “The Dumb Things Sold…just like that!” A very interesting history of RVs and RVing. —George B.  [Editor: Here’s a link to it on Amazon.com. Sorry. Can’t pass up an opportunity.]
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Happy boondocker
That’s one of the great things about boondocking. While most RVers are crammed into campgrounds and complaining about the lack of more of them, I have the desert to myself! —John
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Fun with geocaching
[In reply to “Grumpy.”] If you geocache, you can’t be Grumpy. I agree with you. Geocaching opens many doors and opportunities. And it is fun to hide one you make yourself. We’ve had several chances to show this to fellow campers. It makes a wonderful day to spend a day finding caches located nearby. —Gary L.
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Happy (we think) camping memories
When I was a teenager, my family camped through Europe, England, east to west across the U.S. to Washington State then down the west coast to San Diego. In a Volkswagen bus with a Sears “pop-up” tent, five kids and two slightly crazy parents! —Carla C.
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“Refresher course” for tire blowout
The video on ‘rapid air loss’ is an annual must review, IMHO. When I had my blow out in a heavily, fast traveled road construction area, even though I barely had room to get off the highway, I knew exactly what to do! Believe me, had I not watched that video every year, I would not have known what to do. Saved my butter! Thanks for posting that clip here! Got my 2018 refresher course completed. —Birdie
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If you’re going to Europe …
We lived and worked in Germany for many years and used a small 20′ trailer. Great camping locations and a wonderful way to see Europe. —Fred G.
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One advantage to hauling sports gear
We heard a lady tell her husband loudly that “I want to go with them.” She was referring to our rig that had two short kayaks on the roof of the pickup that was pulling the fifth wheel toy hauler that has the obvious rear door. They both wanted to go with us when they found out that it held motorcycles. That was a fun conversation with strangers. Does not bother me to have our stuff hanging out there. —Gene and Carol
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Fresh salads daily
I was able to get some plastic window type planter boxes. Each spring, I fill with dirt and starters for lettuce and spinach. The boxes stay out on the picnic tables if I am in a park and go into the toy hauler garage when I move. In a short period of time, fresh salads daily! But yes, have to watch my travel plans and crossing some state borders! —Janet N.
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RVing in Europe
When my husband was posted to the American Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, we shipped a pop-up camper and RVed all over Europe. Had great experiences. Even camped with gypsies in Belgium. —Jean K.
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Good trade …
Kind of reminds me of the guy that said he got a bottle of wine for his wife. The next guy said “good trade.” —George B.

Great RVing memories
My first RV was a VW pop-up camper model! Drove 18,000 miles in 3 months! Oh, what an adventure! I was 23 years old! —Merrily
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Another early RV adventure
First RV was 1965 VW Kombi bus with Nothing in it. Added plywood bed on left side and shelves behind bench front seat. 250,000 miles, including Fairbanks to San Salvador and coast to coast. —Michael G.
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More VW van memories
Like several others, ours was a VW pop-up van. Put 125,000 miles on it. Traveled with two kids and a dog. Wish we still had it. —Jon
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“Thank you, Walmart”
Stayed 3 miles from home in a “Walk Mart” parking lot in our class A during flooding in our area, all the convenience of home. Got our meals from the store deli, and shopped for fishing equipment for when the storms let up. Walmart a very gracious host. Thank you, Walmart. —Kenneth M.
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Good neighbor/citizen
During Hurricane Katrina, temporarily set up in my GMC Motorhome, turned on Mr. Onan, power cord to home fridge and neighbor’s, turned on A/C, and TV. I have complete amateur radio system in my coach and have supported our county’s emergency operations thru nine hurricanes and other events. —Tom
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It’s good to be mobile
Since we’re full-timers we did have to move for Hurricane Mitch which, of course, was no big deal. Being mobile can really be an asset at times. —Bob G.
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Extra water for boondocking
Camping world sells a 45 gal vinyl bladder for carrying fresh water. It can be put in a car trunk or on the roof for short trip from the water source. For my set-up (fulltimer with 34ft 5th wheel) I contacted the company that makes the bladder for Camping World (New World Mfg, of Cloverdale, CA) & had them make me a custom bladder to hold 90 gal & perfectly fill the space in my truck bed in front of my hitch. It was a reasonable cost & they used 50% thicker vinyl, 30 mil. They will make any size or shape you want. I’ve used mine for 5 years & it’s still in perfect shape. —Fred
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More happy camping memories
How many folks started RV’ing with a P/U camper. We did in 1962 with a snowy mountain 8′ camper on a 1967 1/2 ton short bed Chev P/U. Had much fun with 3 small children and a 105# husky. —Bob B.
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Praise for Passport America
We’ve been full timing for over 12 years, never boondock, and use PA extensively. Our expectation when we joined was that many of the parks in PA were not what we’d want, but we cross check any projected stay with rvparkreviews.com. It’s worked well for us, and we’ve often been surprised at how nice some of the parks are. PA doesn’t review and rate parks so why do you expect them to police their listings? For less than 50 bucks you can’t beat the deal. —Keith K.
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Good words for Good Sam
We keep GS mostly for the discounts and Camping World’s free dump for members, anywhere in the country. The propane discounts are a significant 25% off, on Tu/Wed… but regular CW prices are still usually less than camps’, and CW will do partial fills where camps’ almost exclusively have a flat rate. (So far, have found 1 camp that only charges by volume.) —Terry
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Another tip for extra water for boondocking
I’m surprised no one mentioned the plastic cube livestock water tanks at farming stores, at least for pickup/TT rigs. They are light even empty, fit in half the bed of your pickup and carry several hundred gallons. Since they are higher than your RV tank, gravity fills the RV without a pump. Get a second one and a macerator, and you’ll have outgoing water handled as well. —Wolfe
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Kudos for keeping it clean
Leave your site cleaner than when you arrived, was the campers’ motto from tent days. Kudos to you both for making the effort and trying for treasures. —Terry
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More praise for Passport America
Absolutely it is difficult to find a PA park that offers the discount when you want it, BUT hey it’s 40 bucks, use it once and its paid for, PLUS it’s one more tool to find a park when you’re traveling. We found a nice park in Yuma in February that gave us a week on PA. Boom – paid for. —Ray E.
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International RVers
Our first RV experience was in 2011 when my wife and I flew from Amsterdam NL to Chicago and rented a RV to take route 66 to Santa Monica. At the time my wife was 54 and I was 59 years old. Since then we are fully hooked up to RVing. And in 2 weeks we will be doing the same trip again. Since I am retired now we will buy an RV to travel around in Europe. It will be no bigger than 20 feet since the roads in Europe are not build for huge rigs like you see in the states. Another thing is that boondocking is very difficult. But no doubt we will come to the US more often, because we’ve learned to love the US. —Dé Luiken
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Good to have a “backup” home
Not a bad emergency but a good one. Our house sold within 6 hrs of being listed. They wanted us out in 3 weeks. Making a huge profit, we agreed. The estate sale company needed us out for a week. After it was all done, we had no where to go in our small town. Everyone wanted a years lease. We moved into our RV and a store bldg. We loved it and are now FT. The store bldg is gone —Lorin
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Lucky RVers
Already full timers, we were staying in a nice park outside of Escondido, California, when all !@() broke loose. 2008 wildfires exploded all around the park. We could catch updates on local news… the devastation was sickening. Authorities decided it was better for those of us at this park, to shelter in place rather than chance moving thru the inferno to safer ground. The park was untouched, thank God, and we were able to move on after couple weeks of high winds and flair-ups. Will never under stock our necessities again! —Lisa
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Happy long-time Passport America users
We have been using Passport America for years and have saved considerable money over the years, so much we did a lifetime membership 2 yrs ago. We travel 3 months every summer and have used PA sites 98% of the time which has paid for itself many times over. If you know the rules and travel accordingly it is definitely a saving; again suspect because we head North, North East, Mid West then back South during the summer months we tend to hit PA campgrounds that use PA where as suspect those who travel South, West during Winter may have problems. Most PA is good Sunday thru Thursday only. Not for everyone but great for us. —Will
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More satisfied Passport America members
As a Passport member nearing 20 years, we stay on the discount 20-30 days per year. If you are able to stay during the “off seasons”, the savings are substantial money. The only places I seem to have problems  “getting in” are the more popular state and federal parks. —Bob L.
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Roadmaster tow bar service
I have been to rallies and, while out having fun, I have returned to find a note on my door saying that Roadmaster has come around and checked and serviced my tow bar as a courtesy. —Jon
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More praise for Roadmaster service
I have a Roadmaster tow bar and it got loose and dirty in side of itself. I sent it to Roadmaster and they rebuilt it for me at no cost. Now I use swim noodles split in half that just fit the slide out parts and keeps them clean, and now its just fine and works well. Love the bar. Not a full timer but I like it. —Robert M.
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Cleaning up campsite has numerous benefits
I can’t believe how many people have a “not my job” attitude. Of course it’s not your or my “job” to pick up after others but there will always be inconsiderate slobs amongst us and I’d rather live with a clean and tidy area rather than complain about the mess. Besides, bending over and picking stuff up is good exercise —Tusonbird
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Gain more than clean laundry at a laundromat
When I retired I decided to pursue a stress free life and have managed to do that most of the time. I take my laundry and my Kindle to the campground laundromat and plan to stay awhile. The best part is that I have met some great friends there. My advice – don’t leave your laundry. Be a good camper. —Hannah

Still has a positive attitude in spite of major setbacks
How satisfied am I with my life? Extremely satisfied. Other than loving my children more and speaking nicer, I would go through every sorrowful experience again because if I were to go back and change just one thing (my son’s suicide, failed marriages, etc., etc.) I would not be here at this moment enjoying my other three children, four fantastic grandchildren, and my bride of 30 years and the life and love we share. —Wayne C.
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High recommendation for RVsafety.com
RVSAFETY.com. Great training my husband and I received last year at this week course. I wish three years back when we bought our Airstream we would have had this course. Our first years on the road would have been less stressful. We rented for years prior to purchase but many different types of rigs. And they all have certain things to learn rig specific. Educate yourself. RVsafety.com has a time for weighing rigs, a driving and backing portion and classes over a wide variety of topic. It is a small group of passionate people who care about teaching safety in our rigs. I will be back next year to soak more in and learn more and hopefully be a better neighbor to others for it. —Karen C. [Editor: RVtravel.com also highly recommends RVsafety.com.]
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A trip back in time – cool!
While in Alaska last year we met two gentlemen from Iowa traveling in their Ford Model Ts. One towed a 1920s vintage pop-up trailer. They had equipment and skills to handle all possible maintenance issues. Now that’s RVing! —Ron T.
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Another case of a handy “backup” home
After Hurricane Irma, we were without power for a little over a week in 90+ degree weather. We were able to sleep and take warm baths thanks to our RV. 3 kids, 2 adults and an elderly lady were very comfortable! —Olga
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Campgrounds and RVers
I’m really impressed with the number of comments. I think almost every one of them rings some truth. I just want all of you to know that I’m happy to help out anyone at almost any time if they get into a bind and I think that’s the way we should conduct ourselves…I think to an extent we are all good custodians and ambassadors of the RVing and camping lifestyles. I believe Andy is a caring campground owner and makes an honest attempt at keeping his place orderly and serviceable. Like most places I’ll bet he could use extra help, especially on busy holidays…let’s be the help he needs and be good stewards of the hobby we all love. You’d be surprised how good that can make you feel. —Drew
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Praise for Mike Sokol, RV electrician extraordinaire
Thanks Mike for the detailed articles on electricity written in a simple way for us/me to understand. It makes sense when it is broken down to the laymen terms. Job well done Mike 👍. Thank You Sir….. —Ron
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Recommendation for automatic awning
If you’re in the market, the folks over at Carefree developed the Mirage that detects wind movement and automatically retracts the awning. Check it out. —Bob G.
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Another Davy Crockett fan
As a Canadian boy back in the ’50s, Davy Crockett was a hero for many of us as well. Two years ago, we had the pleasure of visiting Texas and took in the Alamo and the River Walk. The reverence that exudes from the Alamo is beautiful. The River Walk and ride were wonderful experiences as well. The true story of how Davy died was fascinating, different from what we believed for many years. BTW, keep up the great reporting… —Nelson B.
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Considerate campground neighbors
We weren’t exactly new, but really appreciated the camper next to us turned on their outside flood light. We did not ask for this kindness, but it was much appreciated. We arrived late and a storm coming made the sky dark early. Even with Sturgis SD motorcycle week, folks were courteous and helpful. —Carol
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Recommendation for product to repair rotted wood
I, personally, would try to inject “Git”-Rot into the thoroughly dried areas. “Git”-Rot is a resin that hardens harder than wood, but can be sanded, drilled, nailed and screwed into. It is made to restore dry/wet rot in wood. Most hardware stores carry it. —Albert [Editor: Here are “Git”-Rot and similar products on Amazon.com.]
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New campground opening soon!
Good news!! There is a new campground opening soon. Orchard gardens RV and tiny house campground in Manter, Kansas. Check out their website or follow them on Facebook. They will give a 20% discount to people following them. 10% off veggies and fruit also. —Pat
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Great map!
I LOVE this map (Google My Maps, article by Geeks on Tour). I live and breathe by it. I only put directions when trying to decide where I want to stay. Thanks so very much for taking the time to share and to answer questions.—Caron M.
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Good food in Wichita Falls
I read that you are headed to Wichita Falls. We’ve been there a few times passing through. Our favorite eating place is Rib Crib – good BBQ. And if you haven’t tried Braum’s ice cream, you should stop by the one on Kemp Rd and give it a try. —Alan G
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Most economical to live in the middle of the country
Our expenses are nearly the same and often less in RV living. We full-timed for 10 years. Now we half-time. We are Midwesterners and I will admit we could not survive on east coast or west coast costs of living. Then or now. The middle of the country is still very economical. —Barbara B.
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Good word for Progressive EMS products
Progressive also offers a lifetime warranty on their EMS products; if there is a product failure (this does not include damage from an electrical surge, or from the pedestal) they’ll replace it free of charge. Everyone should have one, it’s easy for me to justify the cost when I added up the $$ it would cost me to replace all of the electrical components in my RV. It would be in the thousands… —Bob H.
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Response from electrical expert Mike Sokol to last comment
Yes, from what I’ve seen Progressive does offer an outstanding warranty on their products. And you not only have to factor in out of pocket expenses if your RV’s electrical system is fried. You can lose an entire vacation season which is difficult to explain to the grandchildren ready for an adventure. —Mike Sokol
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Enjoying Charles Kuralt stories
Thanks for the Charles Kuralt video. We sure could use such upbeat stories in the news again. Too much negativity out there. What a pleasure to see him again On the Road! —Bob F.
• • •


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Related

One thought on “Thumbs up from our readers – March 2018

  1. Andy Mirdik. Aurora, Colorado

    Next week I am going to have a water leak procedure done on my 2005 class B. Pleasureway. Rig. It consists of a. Device that is put inside the cabin and it pressurizes the interior. Then the tech goes around the outside of the rig and sprays soapy water all around the vehicle to locate leaks.
    I know I have a few leaks and this seems like a good idea. It is called SEAL-TEC. MYERS RV in Albuquerque,N.M. is scheduled to do this 4/16.
    Chuck, would you be interested in my reporting. The results of this procedure? I don’t know anyone that has had this done so I thought it might be an interesting topic.

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