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December 4, 2021Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
The cowboy spirit lives on in RVers
A generation of elders have become nomads. “They do not spend their days sitting on their porches in their rocking chairs or baking cookies in hope their grandchildren will drop by. Instead they’re out roaming the blue highways, sleeping in truck stops, parking in the desert for months at a time.”
By Andy Zipser
or some inexplicable reason, I have for years retained an image of Kirk Douglas as a horse-riding cowboy with a pair of wire cutters, snipping his way through one barbed-wire fence after another as he flees the law, following a misplaced noble impulse gone awry. The vignette is from the 1962 movie “Lonely Are the Brave,” set in modern times and based on a book by the misanthropic Edward Abbey. It is, in essence, a parable about the clash between stiff-necked individualism and the growing strictures of modern society, as succinctly captured in this exchange:
Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas): “A westerner likes open country. That means he’s got to hate fences. And the more fences there are, the more he hates them.”Jerry Bondi (Gena Rowlands): “I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life.”Jack Burns: It’s true though. Have you ever noticed how many fences there’re getting to be? And the signs they got on them: no hunting, no hiking, no admission, no trespassing, private property, closed area, start moving, go away, get lost, drop dead! Do you know what I mean?”
SIXTY YEARS LATER, the fences are still there and the horses are mostly gone. But the cowboy spirit lives on, and as often as not it’s bound up with a segment of the RVing public that prizes independence, mobility and freedom from restrictions. These are the RVers, often (but not always) full-timers, who embrace boondocking and camping self-sufficiency, take pride in living off the grid and extol the virtues of rugged individualism. They are as American as apple pie, and their values are deeply ingrained within the national character.
Continue reading this intriguingly accurate depiction of the spirit of the cowboys living on in many RVers. Can you relate?
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• RV dealers aren’t happy with manufacturer relationships. They’re trying to improve, manufacturers are not• RV industry “Power Breakfast” has some interesting insights for RVers• Campground Crowding: Is it too early to book for 2023? Campgrounds offer “Early Bird Special”• The Quartzsite Report: Quartzsite questions answered• Cops bust prolific RV “cat” burglar
And all the latest news that affects RVers.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
Our Great RV Accessories Newsletter is returning: Learn about great gizmos and gadgets for your RV and your RV lifestyle! Sign up if you haven’t already…
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Getting creative: How to cook like normal in small RV kitchens• Give your RV’s medicine cabinet a makeover with these easy tips• RV covers – Are they a good thing?• Keep warm RVing in winter with these 17 cold weather tips• Pet safety during the holidays: Don’t let the Grinch steal your pet’s Christmas!
Today’s RV review…
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2022 Thor Magnitude RS36 – a bigger and better bunk Super C. He writes that this is “a Super C that we’ve touched on in the past which has received a fairly major update. It also sports the ability to sleep up to eight individuals, but doesn’t compromise usability as a couples’ camper if nobody else wants to go.” Read more.
Last week’s reviews:• 2022 Aliner “Family” A-frame – the right choice?• Coachmen RV Nova 20RB – a top notch Class B• 2022 Dynamax Europa 31SS Super C• 2022 Jayco Redhawk 24B. What’s the difference compared to Entegra Odyssey?• 2022 Entegra Coach Odyssey 26M Class C – a nice balance
Be sure to check out Tony’s new RV Review Forum here. Ask him questions about RVs, add comments, suggest an RV for him to review, whatever.
NEW! RVtravel.com Forums
Most RVtravel.com writers are getting their own forums, where readers can discuss their articles with them. Here are five you can visit now.
• Dave Solberg (RV Repair and Maintenance)• Mike Sokol (RV Electricity)• Tony Barthel (RV Reviews)• Roger Marble (RV Tires)• Dr. Karel Carnohan (Ask the Pet Vet)
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINTSee some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful.
What’s in store for RVers in 2022? We break down all the variables and decide what they mean
By Mike GastI know we’ve just arrived in December 2021, but with the weirdness of the past 12 months, it’s not too early to roll out the crystal ball and try to start making educated guesses as to what may be in store for RVers in 2022. … Here’s a look at a few things to consider for the future. It’s likely not a totally comprehensive list, and my predictions could be way off base. … If you’re someone who got into RVing because you could “go where you want, when you want,” you likely aren’t going to like many of the changes you see next year. Learn more, then please share your thoughts below the article in the comments section.
The Best RV Trip Planner Apps and Tools
RV trip planners can save money, save time and take the stress out of RV trip planning. Campgrounds are crowded, more people are traveling by RV and looking for places to stay and go. Trip planning apps and websites not only help find that elusive campsite, but they can also provide a safe, obstacle-free route, calculate miles, costs, and suggest travel adventures. Learn all about the best RV trip planning apps and tools in this comprehensive guide.
Casino Camping: Consider a casino campground; these are nice!
Casino camping can be a great alternative to private and state campgrounds, many of which are experiencing severe crowding. “Camping” at casinos can range from basic pavement parking to full-fledged RV resorts. Here are some great suggestions from our readers, including casinos in Nevada, Michigan, Oregon, Alabama and New York.
Have RVs become too complicated?
By Dave Helgeson“I was lborn into the RV industry as my dad managed my grandparents’ RV dealership which was established in 1937. Of course, back then the term “RV” hadn’t been coined yet… My current 2010 model travel trailer operates pretty much as the three that preceded it. With all the recent advancements in the name of convenience, I am concerned the trailer that replaces it will likely be too complicated for what I want, understand, or possess the ability to repair. Am I the only RVer who feels this way or are there others?” Read more, including some of the more than 180 comments Dave received when he posed this question on social media.
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
Save money: Recertify propane cylinders
By Russ and Tiña De MarisDo you remember the story we ran about motorhome owners getting the runaround when trying to fill their propane tanks? Many wrote in and shared how they had been told by propane pump jockeys that their tanks were “out of date” and couldn’t be filled. We also heard from plenty of towable RVers who told us their horror stories about trying to get their LP cylinders refilled. There’s plenty of misinformation out there, and we’ll try to clear it up. You can save money if you recertify propane cylinders, instead of buying new. Learn more.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Snow bike kit expands e-bike function – Fun and practical!• Video: Terrifying collision between snowplow and truck• Are toxic chemicals in your RV making you sick?• Should you grease up the hitch ball?
If you accidentally dropped your wallet into an outhouse toilet, would you try to retrieve it?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
Did you miss yesterday’s poll? If you have an outdoor TV, how often to you watch it?
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:Do you read in bed when you retire for the night?See how nearly 1,800 RVers answered.
Speaking of reading! We recently asked you if you have a favorite book. If you do, please tell us what it is here. Thanks!
The kindness of strangers in a small town, and a hard lesson learned (for now, again)
By Rod AndrewA few weeks ago I wrote a story about a time when I lost a wallet. I told of having the good fortune to have it found, and returned to me, by a person who needed the money more than I did. I wish I had learned a lesson from that incident, but, unfortunately, I have a history of wallet carelessness. Here’s another account of what can happen while traveling far from home and losing that very important item. … Continue reading this heartwarming story here.
Part four of the saga: What I did wrong and right, what I’m grateful for, and products that worked
By Karel Carnohan, DVMLast week I wrote about how I was thinking about giving up my RV… already. If you didn’t read that installment in this series, start here before you continue reading. So, seriously, should I sell it? After the stress of the past month, I am considering it. I could sell it and wait for the pandemic craziness to subside and buy another… I will share what I did wrong but also what I did right. It is a lesson I continue to learn from. … Continue reading Dr. Karel’s ongoing saga here.
My holiday shopping list for myself and other RVers
By Dale WadeIt is that time of year when we frantically try to figure out that perfect holiday gift for the RVer. Here are some useful items on my list that are sure to please anyone. And, in case no one gifts these to you, remember, you can be your own Santa. HO! HO! HO! Check out this list for some great gift ideas.
Hilarious safety tips for driving in the snow
Winter driving is no easy task. It can be tiring having to concentrate so hard on slick, icy roads, especially for long amounts of time and especially if it’s snowing out. No thank you! We recently saw this meme online and laughed out loud. These are, without a doubt, the best safety tips for driving in the snow that we’ve ever seen. We think you’ll agree.
Gift ideas for owners of small trailers. Click here.
Roadside dining: Bring on the robots!
By Chuck WoodburyROADSIDE JOURNALOne of my very favorite things to do on a road trip is to dine at roadside eateries – mom-and-pop cafes that have been around for decades…. Sadly, it’s increasingly difficult to even find these old places. So we’re stuck with the same ol’ franchises wherever we go. Most are self-service – place your order at a counter, wait a few minutes, and then take it to a table. Some restaurants, like Denny’s, still have servers. But, maybe not for long. Enter robots! Learn more.
Video: What if vehicles had different horns for different things? This guy created just that
By Sandi SturmMy husband, Wayne, does all the driving, so far, of the motorhome. On more than one occasion over the years he mentioned how he would like to have a special button to push on the horn to blast people into consciousness. Well, he used different words, but you know what I mean. This engineer came up with some great alterations for car horns. Each horn means something different, and they’re actually, dare I say, polite? Check this out.
Holiday decorations for the RVer: These fit into a shoebox!
I have been searching the internet to get some ideas for holiday decorations for the RVer. I saw page after page of lights and trees and pillows and rugs and … and … and ….The truth is, I have no dedicated space to put holiday decorations, especially for multiple holidays. There may be space for a very small box, such as a plastic shoe container, in our “garage” storage area. That is all the space I am willing to give up. So that is my challenge. …Read Sandi Sturm’s solution to the holiday decoration storage dilemma here. We bet you have some great tips to offer in the comment section, as well.
Roadside attractions: “Big Things Small Town” is a big adventure!
Casey, Illinois, is a very small town of about 2,700 people making a very big effort to attract people from the freeway a few miles away. It is the official home to 12 World’s Largest Attractions. The town itself is a grand example of small town America that seems to have survived the tough past couple of decades that boarded up many small town shops around the U.S. Read all about this small town with a big heart here, and swing by sometime to enjoy this one-of-a-kind big adventure.
Is this your RV?
Win a prize if its yours!We are continuing this feature by popular demand! We just moved it to its own page.
Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.
Popular articles from last week
MOST POPULAR:• Campground Crowding: Reader says some campers should lose campground privileges… for life!
PLUS:• Time to downsize? Here’s how to find a smaller RV that works best for you• Tesla’s new headquarters find home in Austin. 10,000 new workers stress already tight housing market. RVs to the rescue• I’m in love with my new Lectric eBike. It is practically made for RVers!• Disasters – Round Three: The saga of the newbie continues. I’m thinking about giving up…already!!• Opinions wanted: What do record manufacturing results really mean for RVing future?• Video: Take a look inside these 10 luxurious celebrity motorhomes• RV Tire Safety: Adjusting tire pressure because it’s cold outside• The top 5 regrets people had as they were dying. What can we learn from these?• RVelectricity™ – A deadly “RV hot-skin condition” can spread to other RVs• Wacky RVs: Are these extra toppings included in the price?• It’s getting harder and harder to be tolerant of intolerance!• RV Consumer Support: Tiffin comes through – even after buyout
Transport full LP tanks properly
George Bliss passes along this LP cylinder safety reminder: Portable propane cylinders are equipped with a safety valve that allows excess pressure to be “blown off” relatively harmlessly. Trouble is, some RVers want to transport full cylinders lying down – not upright. The safety valve is designed to vent gaseous LP – not liquid. If the tank should develop excess pressure while on its side, the safety valve may be blocked by the liquid LP, and instead of venting, the pressure may continue to build to the point of a potential explosion. ALWAYS transport LP cylinders in the same orientation as they were designed to be used – vertical tanks upright and those rare horizontal tanks lying down. Thanks, George.
Be careful with your Hitch-Grip!
Traveler Mel G. writes this cautionary note: “Be careful when using your ‘Hitch-Grip’ [hitch lifting and coupling tool] on a rotating ball hitch; it can spin off and drop the hitch-head on your toes. REESE has one such ball (that I have), and if it should rotate in the hitch-grip, it will fall off, straight down. Missed my toes by two inches!” Thanks for the warning, Mel!
SoftStartRV makes the perfect gift for RVers!Run two air conditioners on 30 amps* – Wow!When the temperature really gets sizzling and your 50-amp rig is stuck with a 30-amp hookup, you’re out of luck if you want to run two air conditioners. That is, unless you have a state-of-the-art SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and works just as promised. Don’t miss watching the short video by RV electricity expert Mike Sokol. Learn more or order.
How would you like to win a Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle?
How to winWe’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 4, 2021) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email from RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!
“RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from RVtravel.com which lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.
RV Show Directory: See if a show is coming soon to your area.
Stolen RVs — Help us recover these stolen RVs. The more eyes we have searching for them, the better chance of getting them back to their rightful owners, and maybe putting the crooks who stole them in the slammer! See the stolen RVs.
Great websites. Check out our favorite websites of the day! We compiled a list of (almost) all the websites we’ve ever posted, and we update it weekly.
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.
Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.
Directory of RV parks with storm sheltersIn case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.
RV ClubsCheck out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.
What does financing an RV for 20 years REALLY mean?In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
Our top 5 best-selling products last month:
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
Should I cover my RV’s gas tanks for the winter?
Dear Dave,I’m using a cover to protect my travel trailer for the winter. Is it okay to cover the gas tanks too? —Jennifer
Read Dave’s reply.
Other questions Dave answered this week:• Why won’t my Kwikee Level Best hydraulic jacks lift?• Can I just replace my house battery with lithium?• What’s the weird clicking in RV’s roof AC when furnace starts?• My RV’s entrance steps only work intermittently. What’s the problem?• Gross! Why did the black water flush valve erupt?
NEW! Visit Dave’s new forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????This is absolutely, utterly RIDICULOUS! And by that we mean this is absolutely, utterly AMAZING! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…
with Mike Sokol
What is this mystery amperage draw?
Dear Readers,I just had an RVelectricity group reader ask about what appeared to be a mysterious current draw of 20 to 40 amps on his GFCI branch circuit. It disappeared whenever he turned off the circuit breaker or hit the test button on the GFCI. And there was a 30-second delay after he turned the breaker back on or reset the circuit breaker before the extra current draw would come back on. Everything is unplugged from the outlets that are on the GFCI branch circuit, and all lights and appliances seem to be working properly. …
Continue reading about this perplexing problem, and how quickly Mike was able to diagnose and resolve the issue over the phone, here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
How much energy does is take to make pork and sauerkraut in a slow cooker?
Dear Mike,We’re planning on boondocking this summer because finding a campground with available spots is a nightmare. I love the idea of boondocking without using a generator, but I wonder if this would be practical for my wife’s cooking style? She loves her slow cooker (not an Instant Pot), and so we would like to know just how much battery power one would need to do this. Can I power it from one of those portable battery boxes? How about adding more solar panels to my RV? Hey, I’m serious about good food while boondocking. Any ideas on how to make this work? —Sam and Edna
Read Mike’s response.
Speaking of Mike’s J.A.M. Session, did you miss his jam-packed monthly RVelectricity™ Newsletter on Thursday? If so, you can read it here.
NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.
Holding Tank Horrors
True stories from the RV Proctologist Steve KorsvallSteve responds to a clogged RV holding tankAn RVer called for help to unclog an RV sewer holding tank. The problem was no surprise to Steve: he’s seen it before. The problem dated back to when the RV was built: someone on the production line got lazy! Read more.
MAKES A GREAT GIFT!There’s no way you won’t laugh at this! If you haven’t seen the video of the grandmother reading her grandson the hilarious book “The Wonky Donky,” watch it here. You’ll laugh through the whole thing, we promise! If you want a copy for yourself, or your kids, grandkids, or your favorite campground neighbor, you can buy it here for a great price.
RV Tire Safety
RVer thinks 65 psi in TT tires is too much; asks for advice
“65 psi is too much” was the opinion posted on an RV Tips social media page by Tom. He said: “OK, I can’t find any info here so one last time. The tire pressure says 65 psi cold on the sidewall of the tires on my travel trailer. That sounds like a lot to me. What tire pressure do you run your camper at?” Read tire expert Roger Marble’s explanation.
NEW: Visit Roger’s new RV Tires Forum on RVtravel.com here.
Operating an RV Park
We have walls!
By Machelle JamesAs we continue to build our check-in area and store, we have progress! The concrete truck came out and poured our slab for the actual building at our RV park, and also poured the footers for our retaining wall. This was was done over the last two weeks. AJ has been working every single day on measuring, cutting and installing the frame of the building. Continue reading about the campground’s progress, and what’s left to be done before next camping season.
Recipe of the Day
Seared Cod with Cilantro Lime Riceby John Barnes from Fredericksburg, TX
I’m definitely adding this cilantro lime rice to my menu, it’s delicious. It has a fresh flavor that’s perfect for summer and complements the Southwestern flavors in the rest of the recipe. If you love seafood, you’ll love this fresh recipe.
It may not be summer, but this sounds light, refreshing and delicious! We’ll make it! Get the recipe.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:• Cheesy Parmesan Potato Pancakes• Colorado Cowboy Casserole• Chicken Parmigiana• Pepper Steak on Rice• Stuffed Green Peppers
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Bella is our furry child Maltese. She is such a little love bug. Bella is on the right next to her friends, Rosie and Zoey. ‘We need another chair, Dad!'” —Carl Patterson
Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:• Minnie • Bailey • Carly • Harvey • Holly
Vintage Postcard of the Week
Postcards owned by Colleen and Ed Weum, Pacific Northwest Postcard Club. Read more about their 90,000 postcard collection here.
An elevator is on the ground floor. There are four people in the elevator including me. When the elevator reaches the first floor, one person gets out and three people get in. It goes up to the second floor, 2 people get out and 6 people get in. It then goes to the next floor up, no one gets out but 12 people get in. Halfway up to the next floor the elevator cable snaps and it crashes to the floor. Everyone else dies in the elevator. How did I survive?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
What’s the medical term for when a part of your body “falls asleep”? It’s called Paresthesia. A limb falling asleep, also sometimes called “pins and needles,” happens when a person pinches a nerve by sitting in an odd way that puts pressure on that point. Once you move out of that position, your body sends signals back up to the brain saying, “Back to normal!” and the sensation will soon fade. The word Paresthesia is derived from the Greek roots para (“beside” or “abnormal”) and aisthesia (“sensation”).
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
Garage. “A garage originally was a place to moor a boat, not park a car. Garage is an early-19th-century French word meaning ‘a place where one docks.’ The French began to use garage for ‘a place to keep a vehicle in’ when the automobile became popular early in the 20th century and the English soon borrowed the word from them.”
Laugh of the Week
At a couple’s counseling session, the therapist said that couples these days are so disconnected that 85 percent of all husbands don’t know what their wife’s favorite flower is. The husband in the session turned to his wife and whispered, “It’s self-rising, isn’t it?”
SAVE MONEY!Don’t toss away good batteries!Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it “to be sure.” This small, inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant a battery’s condition, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
Leave with a song from the past
Who can forget this? Whether you’re 74 or 34, you’ve likely heard this many times. From 1957, here’s Buddy Holly and the Crickets singing “Peggy Sue.”
HELP WANTED AT RVTRAVEL.COM• NEWS WRITERS: If you love to report the news, we’d like to hear from you at email@example.com. This is a paid, freelance position.• IF YOU HAVE AN RV-themed website or blog, we may be interested in reprinting some of your articles. It’s an excellent way way for you to earn good money for no extra work.
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Read it here | Back issues
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Sandi Sturm, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Andy Zipser, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, and Karel Carnohan, DVM. Podcast and our SiriusXM producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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