Winnebago extends expiration date on some RV warranties


Based on a press release

FOREST CITY, IOWA, April 2, 2020 – Winnebago announced today it will provide goodwill repairs and replacement parts for 60 days beyond the expiration of the company’s current New Vehicle Limited Warranty for those owners whose warranty expires during the months of April and May 2020. This applies to the brand’s lineup of motorhome and towable products.

The goodwill repairs and replacement parts will cover the same items that would have been covered under the Winnebago New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

“This is part of our efforts to mitigate any repairs that were impacted as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Brian Hazelton, Vice President and General Manager, Winnebago Motorhome Business. “Winnebago’s priority is the health and well-being of our customers, employees and the communities we serve.”

“Our goal is to provide added assurance to owners and dealers, that Winnebago product repairs, covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty will not be affected due to dealer availability or necessary travel constraints,” said Scott Degnan Vice President, Winnebago Towables Business.

“Winnebago continues to provide parts and technical support to dealers and customers as operations are adjusted based on local, regional and national developments regarding COVID-19. Because of the rapidly changing situation, we are strongly recommending to Winnebago owners that they call prior to all dealer visits.”





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1310


Thursday, April 2, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“There’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.” ― Stephen Chbosky

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Burrito Day!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “Finding ways to give back”

We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Chris’ story.


Tip of the Day

Is a warm electrical outlet cause for concern?

Dear Mike (Sokol),
I have a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) question about our RV. I have noticed that the GFI outlet in the bathroom was warm when we had an electric heater plugged in to another outlet. The second outlet had a GFI sticker attached to it but was not a GFI outlet. When I tripped the GFI test button on the first outlet the heater also shut off. So obviously this one GFI is protecting more than one outlet, but should it get warm? Thanks. —Tom Toomey

Read Mike’s response.

NOTE: Mike Sokol is live streaming his full Basic RVelectricity seminar tomorrow (Thursday, April 2) at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern time. See below for details.

To subscribe to Mike Sokol’s RVelectricity YouTube channel click here.

RVelectricity for FMCA Rally – Basics Part 1, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time on April 2, 2020.
Mike Sokol covers the basics of electricity for RV owners.
Part 1 includes volts, amps, watts, and how to use a digital meter to measure them for your RV.

RVelectricity for FMCA Rally – Basics Part 2, beginning at 2 p.m Eastern time on April 2, 2020.
In Part 2, Mike Sokol covers the basics of campground pedestals including the use of EMS/Total Protection surge protectors. He also covers potential sources of electrical fires in an RV with ways to prevent them.

RVelectricity for FMCA Rally – Basics Part 3, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern time on April 2, 2020.
In Part 3, Mike Sokol discusses portable generators, inverters, DC-DC charging, and lightning protection in a campground during a thunderstorm.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.



RV Mods: Power visors – inside shade easily at hand

Have you ever thought how handy it would be to have motorized visors/shades in your RV? Read this article by former long-time RVer and all-around DIYer Jim Twamley on what he purchased and how he installed his motorized visors. Learn more.

Yesterday’s featured article: Stupid RVer trick? Or is this just sad?


Reader poll


Quick Tip

Important to know when buying new tires

Need new tires for the rig? It may be best to stick with the same tire specification as the original equipment. If you do decide to change specs, make sure you always match up your tire and wheel capacity. For example, NEVER mount a 3,000-pound capacity tire on a 2,000-pound capacity wheel.



Random RV Thought

Never tie up traffic because your RV doesn’t go fast enough. Pull over and let traffic pass. But try to wait until the road is either level or sloped downhill: Gravity will help you get up to speed again and save you fuel.


Website of the day

How to organize your fridge to keep food fresher, longer (and cut your energy usage)
Here are great tips on how to store food in your refrigerator and freezer to use the appliances to their most efficient potential while helping your food last longer. We’ll bet you didn’t know a lot of these “chilling” facts!


And the Survey Says…

We’ve polled RVtravel.com readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:

• 52 percent take a shower or a bath every day
• 11 percent sleep more than nine hours a day (including naps)
• 75 percent of our readers’ parents have passed away

Recent poll: On a daily basis, how many people do you live with in “self-isolation”? Please tell us here.


ADVERTISEMENT
Be like Mike Sokol, use silicone!
Mike says: Never use any kind of petroleum-based products on rubber or plastic components in your RV, such as your trailer connector. That includes products such as Vaseline, WD40 or any other type of spray lubricating oil. Doing so will eventually break down the plastic and/or rubber components causing them to swell up and eventually disintegrate. The proper treatment is anything silicone-based. We use a lot of Heavy Duty Silicone in our shop for general connector cleaning and lubrication. It’s also useful on rubberized door sweeps and such. You can get some of your own here.


Trivia

Lobsters have clear blood but it turns blue when exposed to oxygen.

Yesterday we told you about a hilarious prank the BBC pulled off, convincing the world that ______ grew on trees. Make sure you read yesterday’s issue and watch the hilarious video to find out what it was. 


Leave here with a laugh

Day 4 of social distancing. Struck up a conversation with a spider today. Seems nice. He’s a web designer.

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, April 2, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

Did you miss reading this recent reader essay? RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “Mr. President, please open our campgrounds!

UPDATE ON OUR FRIEND Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor
Gary is battling COVID-19 in a Seattle area hospital. He has been in ICU for a week now. He is heavily sedated and on a ventilator, and continues to be in critical but stable condition. The drugs have him pretty much out of it, so he is not communicative with anyone. His family is hopeful about a good outcome. Read our story about Gary and leave him a message.

Across the country, more than 1,000 retired, former and current National Park Service employees are calling on the U.S. Department of the Interior secretary to close all national parks during the coronavirus pandemic. “No one has ever died because they were not able to see LBJ’s ranch or ancestral settlement on any given weekend,” wrote Trevor Wright, a maintenance worker at the former home of President Lyndon Johnson, now the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park in the Texas Hill Country.

The Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort east of Sacramento is closed and that includes its RV park.

Sisters, Ore., near Bend, has closed its Creekside Campground and dump station.

In addition to previously announced closures, the following services and operations, originally scheduled to open between now and May 1 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, are postponed until further notice: Price Park Campground and Picnic Area and Linville Falls Campground and Picnic Area.

In Wells, Maine, high density accommodations like hotels and other lodging facilities including campgrounds and RV parks can no longer be occupied.

Medicine Hat, Alberta, is relaxing measures for RVs within city limits to accommodate those who might be self-isolating. Typically, occupation of an RV is limited to 24 hours. But that’s now relaxed as long as RVers not block streets or sidewalks, and a suitable plan for draining tanks and hooking up water or power is in place.


SAVE A TRIP TO THE STORE!
Let Amazon deliver it: 
 ToothpasteShampooHair conditionerDeodorantLipstickVitaminsShaving creamLaundry detergentSkin creamHand soapDish detergent Fingernail brush (get rid of germs) •. CoffeeBatteries for your devices • Pet food

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial


👍 Grand Design RV recently pledged a donation of 1,000 N95 respiratory masks and many sets of protective nitrile gloves to Beacon Health System. The donation will assist many healthcare professionals and volunteers in their continuous support and care of those affected in the Elkhart County, Indiana, community by the COVID-19 virus.

RV TRAVEL reader Richard Bauer reports: “We’re currently at the Sun Life Vacation Resort in Mesa, Arizona. A sign at the entrance indicates that no over-nighters and no reservations accepted until fall. Office staff today assured me that we can remain in the park but once we check out we cannot return.” The park is a Cal-Am property, one of many in the greater Phoenix area. Read a statement from Cal-Am Properties about its new policies.

TIP: Are you self-isolating all by yourself? Lonely? How about adopting a dog or cat? They make great friends. Visit your local animal shelter and bring home some love.

Seven National Park Service campgrounds in the New River Gorge National River and one in the Gauley National Recreation Area on Tuesday became the latest West Virginia outdoor recreation amenities ordered closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In the New River Gorge National River the National Park Service operates campgrounds at Glade Creek, Grandview Sandbar, Army Camp, Stone Cliff Beach, Thayer, Brooklyn and War Ridge/Backus Mountain. The Gauley River National Recreation Area’s lone campground, Gauley Tailwaters, is also now closed.

Harbor Beach, Michigan’s, North Park Campground is closed until at least May 15.

Adams County, Wisconsin is urging people to not visit the county and reminding those that do of campground changes. If they have a permanent campsite in Adams County they will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival if they come from out of the area. The town of Rome has also suspended all camping permits until April 30.

Montana’s Flathead National Forest campgrounds are now closed.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis became one of the last few governors in the U.S. to issue a stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday. Businesses that provide daily necessities, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, pet supply stores, laundromats, hardware stores and others (we believe RV parks), will remain open.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has been receiving an influx of calls and reports of false social media posts and even robocalls claiming that hunting and fishing seasons are canceled, that valid licenses are no longer required to hunt and fish, or that park fees have been rescinded due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The reports are false.

👎 HAVING A BAD DAY: Jeff Treneff, a member of our RV Coronavirus News group at Facebook, posted this Wednesday: “Oil Creek Family Campground in Titusville PA, is cancelling my April 16 reservation until further notice due to PA state order. Got an email this morning from Summerville Lake Retreat in WV, cancelling my April 25 reservation, stating the governor ordered all WV campgrounds close immediately.”

Hot Springs National Park has closed its Gulpha Gorge campgrounds, including its restrooms and picnic area.

In the state of Arizona, the stay at home order does not restrict RVers from moving from one RV park to another. Private campgrounds are allowed to stay open with no restrictions, although some may voluntarily choose to close to help the spread of the virus.

The City of Mansfield, Ohio, announced Wednesday afternoon that its Clear Fork Reservoir campground is closed.

RV STOCKS: Yesterday’s Closing: Camping World down 17.22%, Thor down 9.55%, Winnebago down 2.01%.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT
The small staff of RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “Finding ways to give back”


CAVEAT: Comments, posts and/or tips in our newsletters are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or its staff.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is one story:

“These are trying times we all are experiencing. But, my wife and I are doing our part to help our community through it. First, we converted our Little Free Library into a food pantry for anyone who needs extra supplies. Second, my wife, Twyla, a quilter, is making masks for friends and family members to wear at home or whenever they need to go out for supplies.

“Me, I keep busy with my woodworking projects. In fact, I made levelers just the other day for our RV that sits on a slant in our driveway in case we have to use it as a quarantine room if one of us should become ill. Fortunately, we are doing fine for now. With the closure of our fitness center, we make sure we walk every day around our neighborhood and it is nice to see that many of our neighbors are doing the same thing.”

Chris Lewis


Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

##RVDT1310





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Is a warm electrical outlet cause for concern?


Dear Mike,
I have a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) question about our RV. I have noticed that the GFI outlet in the bathroom was warm when we had an electric heater plugged in to another outlet. The second outlet had a GFI sticker attached to it but was not a GFI outlet. When I tripped the GFI test button on the first outlet the heater also shut off. So obviously this one GFI is protecting more than one outlet, but should it get warm? Thanks. —Tom Toomey

Dear Tom,
Thanks for your question. Anytime you feel an outlet or wiring getting warm, that’s time for concern.

Overheated outlets

I don’t think that the outlet being a GFI has anything to do with it heating up. What you describe suggests that you might be drawing too much continuous current via your space heater. How many watts is it? If it’s rated for 1,500 watts, then that’s 12.5 amperes of near-continuous current which will probably cause the wires and outlet to heat up a bit even though it doesn’t trip the circuit breaker.

While the outlet is rated for 15 amperes, running a space heater drawing 12.5 amps for hours at a time (especially if there’s any oxidation on the contacts) can eventually cause the outlet to overheat and eventually discolor. Any sign of discoloration on an outlet is an indication that it could fail and cause a fire, so it should be immediately replaced. Home outlets are not really designed for continuous power at nearly full amperage.

Overheated extension cord

Secondly, it is also possible that the screws or stab connectors on the back of the GFI outlet have loosened up from vibration due to road travel or become corroded from moisture infiltration. So it’s a good idea to disconnect your RV from shore power, as well as any generator or inverter power, then pull out the GFI outlet from the wall box and check all the connections for tightness. If you’re not qualified to work on home wiring, I suggest you get this important maintenance performed by a licensed electrician or technician.

BTW: I think that ALL RV circuit breaker and power outlet screws should be checked for tightness every few years. However, you generally don’t have to do this for your sticks-and-bricks house since it’s not bouncing down the road at 60 mph.

Let’s play safe out there. —Mike Sokol, The No~Shock~Zone

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Join Mike’s popular and informative Facebook group.
And you don’t want to miss Mike’s webcasts on his YouTube channel.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVT780;##RVDT1310

 





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Thor recalls some motorhomes, drive shaft separation issue


If the driveshaft separates, there may be a loss of drive, increasing the risk of crash. Additionally, if the parking brake is not applied, unintended vehicle movement can occur if the transmission is left in Park, increasing the risk of injury or crash.

Ford will notify owners, and Ford or Lincoln dealers will inspect the rear axle differential fluid level and adjust it, or replace the rear axle as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 24, 2020. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000188.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

While you may not own one of these RVs, if you know someone who does be sure to tell them.

RVtravel.com posts recall notices like this as they are issued. Read them by clicking here. Or visit here to receive a monthly recap of all recalls for that month including those of common vehicles used for towing or as dinghies behind motorhomes.





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Reader asks: What does your RV insurance cover?


Reader Kevin Parker sent us an email asking for us for your help. Here’s what he wrote:

“I got hit by a full-time RVer without insurance, driving a Class C motorhome. My insurance will cover all but several thousand dollars for my replacement (I have a truck and travel trailer, the accident totaled my 2017 Ford F250 truck). I feel sorry for the other guy. As far as I know, he has no place to go and my insurance company will pursue him “to the ends of the earth” to recover their liability.

I would be interested to know what your reader’s RV insurance coverages are? Like…
• What company and type of insurance?
• Minimum state requirements?
• Liability $50k or higher?
• Uninsured motorist coverage?
• Comprehensive?
• Collision?
• Medical payments?

If you’re a full-timer, do you have a backup if your rig is totaled? What would you do?”

Can you help Kevin out? Leave a comment below and start a conversation, thanks! Any advice about RV insurance is welcomed.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1309


Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.” ― George Harrison

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is April Fools Day! It’s also National Sourdough Bread Day!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: A medical interpreter’s healthy routine

We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Claire’s story.


Tip of the Day

Campsite “site length” restrictions. What do they really mean?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Ah, those wonderful mysteries of RVing. When you’re first starting out, there must be hundreds of them to be resolved. Here’s one: “We are transitioning from tent camping to towing a travel trailer this year. We will be towing a 19.5′ travel trailer with a 19′ pickup truck, the overall length being approximately 38.5′. Does the RV length limit listed for a campground (especially national parks) include the tow vehicle and the travel trailer?” Continue reading.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.


Camco Store on Amazon has everything you need!
There isn’t much you need for your RV that Camco doesn’t have. If you think we’re kidding, then click through to the Camco store on Amazon where you’ll find some of their best-selling products — all for your RV or for you to make your RVing better. Click here and you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.


Stupid RVer trick? Or is this just sad?

This has to be high on the list of Stupid RVer tricks. In this case, it’s not actually a trick, but a misguided attempt by a couple of English guys to tow a travel trailer through a narrow alley. Watch the two minute video. Prepare to laugh (or maybe cry)!

Yesterday’s featured article: The rude couple in the campsite next door…


Reader poll


Readers tell us

What part of this newsletter do you look forward to the most? Is there something you’d like to see done differently? Suggestions? Advice? Read about your favorite parts, and leave a comment here.


The Most Scenic Drives in Americascenic767
The updated trip planner & travel guide will steer you down the most scenic road every time. From Florida’s Road to Flamingo, to British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway, to Cape Cod’s Sandy Shores, each featured road trip is pictured in stunning full color and described in vivid text, keyed to an easy-to-follow map. Whether you choose a drive on a distant road or a back road in your own state, this book is your ticket to North America’s most beautiful byways. Learn more or order.


Helpful resources

NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
LATEST RV RECALLS.

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


Here’s one of our favorite “April Fools!” day articles…

Police searching for artist who turned famous Chicago “Bean” into Airstream!

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago police are looking for the suspect who swapped out the famous “Bean” art installation for an Airstream travel trailer. Continue reading.


Quick Tip

Handy hints for using a gas oven

If your oven at home is electric, adjusting to a gas stove in the RV can be a trick. Gas ovens usually don’t heat as evenly and may have hot spots. Turn your items several times when baking to even out the cooking. And Mary Lowe suggests using a heat deflector. If you can’t find one at a kitchen supply store, take a cookie sheet, turn it wrong side up on the oven rack and place your baking dish/pan on top of it. This eliminates food burned to the bottom of the dish.


Action needed: Keep RV parks open

A message from the Escapees Club
RV parks across the country are closed/closing in response to state and local orders. Most states are allowing individual counties to dictate their own measures. We are hearing all kinds of mandates, some of which could force residents/guests to leave an RV park where they are currently sheltering. This puts fellow RVers in jeopardy.
We encourage you to take part in a grassroots effort to reach key leaders directly… Continue reading.


Random RV Thought

If you don’t need a pull-through campsite, choose one where you back in. You will usually save a few dollars.


It’s time to clean your CPAP machine!
One of our past surveys told us that 53% 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 so as to not take up too much room in your RV. If you use a CPAP, you’ll want to order this here.


Website of the day

Longhauler-USA
“Transportation trucking resources for longhaul truck drivers.” But this website is a directory of anything truck drivers, or any drivers, could ever need: road and traffic conditions by state, truck maps and routes (including restrictions), speed limit laws by state, hospital/physician search — too much to list (mind-boggling!). Check it out!


Popular articles you may have missed at RVtravel.com

• RVer Safety: What if you protect yourself but are then arrested?
• What happens when you tear off the black tank valve? Yuck!
• Why not just inflate tires to the certification label level?
#901F


Trivia

In 1957, BBC pulled off one of the most famous April Fools pranks of all time. The report showed a family in Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree”. Millions of viewers watched then contacted BBC asking how they could grow their own “spaghetti tree.” Decades later CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled.” You can watch the BBC report here

Gadsby is a 50,000-word novel written without what letter? We told you in yesterday’s trivia section.


The 2020 Rand McNally Road Atlas is better than ever!
Read more about why you should always have this with you here.


Leave here with a laugh

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Life in a Coronavirus World: A medical interpreter’s healthy routine


EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is one story:

“I know that I am one of the few beings on the planet that is not petrified of the virus, and that is probably because I am a medical interpreter who researches everything scientific to better help my reading public and assist me on onsite calls. I have been interpreting onsite and telephonically since 2010; previously I was a translator via proz (still am) and an adjunct Professor of French at Villanova 11 years, and an instructor at Berlitz for 30.

“So, needless to say, I have always found ways to survive. I have never lived in fear because I have experienced many hills and valleys in my life that taught me many important lessons. Number one is: We have intentions, He has the Plan.” Sometimes I need reminding of the same.

“I am amazed at how fast the fear factor came over this country, particularly of my elderly friends, who KNOW we conquered TB and Polio in our century; and this a virus similar to the flu. (I have heard incidentally that they now know this virus has been around for many years, so if you have had the flu in the last few years you are most probably immune.)

“This morning I changed my daily early morning hike in the mountains till later on today as I am waiting for a business call shortly. I normally get up, have my smoothie, and head to the mountain for a brief walk. Today, since I had to rearrange my schedule, I took my outside chair and last year’s new pillows out to create my little patio, next to my garden that grows in pots: flowers and veggies. I greeted the wild cats that come round every a.m. as I knitted, read, and cleaned around my entranceway: I’m looking at my bike and hope to have the energy to ride it soon (I am a cancer-surviving individual). I have gone for a few supplies of supplements and fresh veggies since this nonsense all began, as well as for CBD and other supplements. I am happy that spring is here now and await the time I can go travel again. I think God wanted me to heal up so this quiet time is just right.

“Blessings to all; my mom used to wrap us up in warm blankets and put us in the sun and bring out tea when we had a virus, and we were well by the end of the day. I take osha root tea twice a week now as a preventer. If you do get cold or flu symptoms, take it twice a day for three days only and then stop for a few days, since it is a natural penicillin.”

Claire Thomas


Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

##RVDT1309





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RV Coronavirus News Update, April 1, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

***
KOA’s system of nearly 500 campgrounds nationwide experienced 44,000 cancellations for the months of March and April. Several of its campgrounds have been forced to close due to state or local ordinances, but for the most part, campgrounds remain open. Learn more. (List updated 9:45 p.m., Mar. 31 – some additions, some deletions.)

Sheriff’s deputies surprised occupants of a northern California RV park last week looking for overnight travelers from other areas of the country. The unannounced inspection took place at Aurora RV Park in the small town of Nice, on the northern end of Clear Lake. “Deputies went door to door, questioning the occupants of each rig to ensure that they had not recently arrived,” said owner Dr. Michael Newdow. The deputies reported that everyone was in compliance with the Public Health Officer’s and the state of California’s shelter-in-place orders.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will temporarily close state park lodging April 1-30. A possible extension period may be implemented if conditions do not improve. Tent and RV camping remain available, but will be evaluated regularly.


Bored? Read a Kindle Book. Today’s special deals.


Chisolm Trail RV in Albuquerque is lending a helping hand to people by teaming up with leaders and community activists to deliver care packages throughout the state. With the help of people who work there, and those who volunteer, they are packaging upwards of 50 care boxes filled with necessities a day. Donations are accepted at the Albuquerque location or the Chisolm Trail RV location in Aztec, New Mexico.

Most of Cracker Barrel’s 664 restaurants are operating off-premise only with no dine-in service. The restaurants are very popular with RVers.

Inyo County, on the east side of the Sierra range, has closed its 15 parks and campgrounds.

Sabine Parish, Louisiana, leaders want out-of-parish visitors who are filling up rental units on Toledo Bend Reservoir to go home, at least for now. The directive includes: vacation rentals such as hotels, motels, cabins and cottages, bed and breakfast establishments, RV and trailer parks, condos or other transient public lodging. Exceptions: Long-term rentals – 30 days or longer and rental stays where guests checked in no later than March 16. There is more fine print, so check if you are headed that way.

Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is closed, its campground included. In Arizona, Navajo National Monument is closed.

The Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming began closing all campgrounds on Friday, March 27, for the health and safety of visitors and staff. SNF officials said campgrounds will be closed until at least April 30, when they will be reevaluated.

TIPSchedule virtual mealtimes with friends. This is particularly helpful if you live alone. Set times to dine with someone on video conference so you can share a conversation in addition to a meal, suggests dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix. SOURCE: CNN

La Posa LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ

ABOVE: Bureau of Land Management, Colorado River District, has issued a statement about the La Posa North, South, West, and Tyson Wash LTVAs south of Quartzsite, Arizona, and Imperial Dam LTVA in California. The areas remain open, but are currently fully occupied. New rules are coming. Learn more.

Anyone coming to Vermont from out of state must quarantine for 14 days. The governor has closed all hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, RV parks and other short-term rentals. State and local police will monitor for compliance.

The Facebook Group Displaced Nomads and Full-Time RVers Relocation Resource is matching up property owners and RVers who need a place to stay. RVtravel.com’s group RV Coronavirus News is also a good resource for finding a place to stay.

Thousand Trails is cancelling reservations through April 30 at these Southern California parks: Wilderness Lakes, Idyllwild and Palm Springs. Riverside County mandates the closures.

Residents of Great Falls, Montana, can live in RVs during the coronavirus crisis to self-isolate or as they care for family members living in a residence. The city suspended a city code that prohibits residing in an RV on private property or public right of way.

WORTH NOTING: The novel coronavirus has prompted social distancing measures around the world. One researcher believes what’s being done isn’t enough. Lydia Bourouiba, an associate professor at MIT, has researched the dynamics of exhalations (coughs and sneezes, for instance) for years and found exhalations cause gaseous clouds that can travel up to 27 feet.

The website Investorplace.com included Camping World as one of “30 stocks on a Death Wish.” Other companies included are Jack In the Box, Groupon, Norwegian Cruise Lines, SeaWorld Entertainment, Carnival Lines, Six Flags Entertainment and many casinos. Main reason for most predictions: impact of coronavirus.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, which occupies parts of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, is closed, campgrounds included.

Gold Beach (Oregon) Councilors ordered the evacuation of all overnight visitors. The ordinance defines visitors as those who are spending time in the city for pleasure, recreation or non-business reasons and are not a resident, property or business owner. Exceptions include essential workers such as doctors and nurses, etc. Long-term RVers, essential workers living in RV parks, and those whose RV is their primary residence are also exempt. Down the coast a ways, the city of Brookings issued a similar order.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
The small staff of RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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Campsite “site length” restrictions. What do they really mean?


By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Ah, those wonderful mysteries of RVing. When you’re first starting out, there must be hundreds of them to be resolved. Here’s one: “We are transitioning from tent camping to towing a travel trailer this year. We will be towing a 19.5′ travel trailer with a 19′ pickup truck, the overall length being approximately 38.5′. Does the RV length limit listed for a campground (especially national parks) include the tow vehicle and the travel trailer?”

RV scholars, how do you reply? If you’ve been on the road for long, you know this is a question that, sadly, often has more than one answer. Really, what does “site length” or “length restriction” mean in a campground or RV park listing? There’s no universal definition, but we can give you some ideas.

When “site length” is listed, it often means the number of feet for the RV unit to park in. For our questioner, his “combination” length is almost 39 feet. If the site length listed was 40 feet, surely he’d fit. But there’s more at play here. Many RV sites have a “stopping block” at the end of the parking pad that prevents the rig from backing up any farther. In many cases where we’ve traveled, there’s actually space behind the stop block. If we back our trailer right up to the stop block, we have another ten feet or so that overhangs the block, provided there aren’t trees or other obstructions behind the block.

Here’s a snippet from the campground information page at Yosemite National Park. “Many more sites exist in Yosemite Valley and elsewhere in Yosemite that can take RVs up to 35 feet or trailers up to 24 feet.” What’s the difference here? Same site, two different lengths? The differentiation might be more clearly made by saying “motorhomes up to 35 feet,” while the trailer length itself could be 24 feet, and the balance of the space is allowed for the tow unit. On the other hand, in some cases this problem applies: “Please note that many campsites have different maximum lengths for RVs and trailers. This is because many of the campsites are back-in sites with limited turning radius.”

In some cases you may find you can get a longer trailer into a site than you might think, provided you can unhitch and park your tow vehicle elsewhere in the same site, or in a different vehicle parking location.

Best advice? Call ahead wherever possible and ask just what the limitations really mean. Yosemite warns visitors, “If you reserve a site for equipment other than what you bring, and the site can’t accommodate your RV or trailer, we will not be able to find a different campsite for you.”

##RVDT1309





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Readers tell us: What part of this newsletter (RV Daily Tips) do you look forward to most?


By Emily Woodbury

Hello, friends! I just want to take a minute to thank you for voting in our reader polls. Over the years, we’ve learned an unbelievable amount about you (and not in the creepy data-collecting way) and it’s helped shape our website. Thank you!

For example… Last week, in Monday, March 23rd’s issue, we were curious to know what part of this newsletter (the RV Daily Tips Newsletter) you are most excited to read every day. We gave you a lot of options, so I’m not surprised by the many spread-out percentages. I won’t go through all of them (that’s what the poll up above is for!), but we can have a good conversation about the results.

So, it seems that most of you enjoy the tip (both the main tip and quick tip) the most, and just about a quarter of you look most forward to our daily featured article. About 18 percent of you look most forward to the reader polls (yay!), and 9 percent of you enjoy our “Leave here with a laugh” segment the most.

So, that being said, alllllllllll the other parts of this newsletter that only got 2-3 percent of votes, like the “Popular articles you may have missed…”, the random RV thought, the website of the day, “And the survey says…”, and trivia… what should we do with those? Now, of course, many of you commented saying that you love the newsletter as a whole and that you read every part of it (we’re thrilled to hear this!), so we’re not looking to take out any parts. (Honestly, we have quite a bit of fun putting this newsletter together.) But do you think there are things we should take out and replace? Is there anything you’d like to see added (either daily, weekly, etc.)?

This is where the “you’ve helped shape our website” part comes into play.

We’re listening! Tell us what you love about this newsletter (again, the RV Daily Tips Newsletter), and what you maybe don’t love as much. Suggestions? Advice? We want to know. Please leave a comment below and tell us. I, Emily, will sort through them, and we’ll hash some ideas out at our next staff meeting.

Thanks, all. Stay healthy.

Oh, and P.S., if you’re not signed up for the RV Daily Tips Newsletter (shameless plug here!), sign up here. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.





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Thor recalls Venetian, Aria motorhomes with brake caliper bolt problem


Loose brake caliper mounting bolts can reduce brake effectiveness, increasing the risk of a crash.

DTNA will notify owners, and DTNA dealers will inspect and repair the vehicles, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 19, 2020. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 or TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

While you may not own one of these RVs, if you know someone who does be sure to tell them.

RVtravel.com posts recall notices like this as they are issued. Read them by clicking here. Or visit here to receive a monthly recap of all recalls for that month including those of common vehicles used for towing or as dinghies behind motorhomes.





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Quartzsite boondocking areas full, new rules in place


The Bureau of Land Management, Colorado River District, has issued this statement about one of the most popular boondocking areas in the Southwest. LTVA’s are Long Term Visitor Areas.

Currently, the La Posa North, South, West, and Tyson Wash LTVAs south of Quartzsite, Arizona, and Imperial Dam LTVA in California, remain open to the public, but are currently at maximum capacity.  Dispersed camping areas near the LTVAs are also full.

You should look for alternative camping locations. Please call our Lake Havasu Field Office (928-505-1200) or Yuma Field Office (928-317-3200) for the latest information on potential camping areas. While the BLM has waived day-use fees to our recreation sites, overnight fees remain in effectfor the LTVAs.

La Posa LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ. File photo.

It is our intention that after April 15 the LTVAs will convert to 14-day camping areas, as they do each year.  However, after April 15, amenities such as toilets, trash removal and wastewater dumping services (both black and gray water) may no longer be provided due to contractor, staff, and supply shortages.

After April 15, you should be prepared to pack out your trash and to find alternative means of dumping wastewater, since dumping of any kind is prohibited on public lands. You should also plan to bring their own toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1308


Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Clams On The Half Shell Day!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “Mr. President, please open our campgrounds!”

We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Montgomery’s story.


Tip of the Day

Level your rig like a pro – without messing up your suspension

By Greg Illes
For most RVers leveling seems pretty straightforward. The most difficult thing seems to be getting that pesky bubble centered in the level. This is challenging when using leveling ramps or blocks, but less so when using leveling jacks.

But there are some nuances to leveling and they’re worth understanding. Leveling actually consists of two distinct components, front-to-back and side-to-side. These have very different needs and caveats. Continue reading.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.



The rude couple in the campsite next door…

From Chuck’s Roadside Journal: Sometimes you run into the perfect storm. I am not talking about running into one on the ocean, but in an RV park. It happened to me in Kingman, Arizona. Continue reading.

Yesterday’s featured article: What don’t you know about the Grand Canyon?


Reader poll


Quick Tip

Scraping bottom when exiting a parking lot?

If your RV bumper scrapes when entering or exiting a parking lot or other driveway, try taking the exit with your rig at an angle rather than straight on. Still no help? You may want to add skid wheels to the back of your trailer. Two types: bolt on and weld on. The former sometimes tear off, so the added hassle of finding a welding shop may be worth the trouble.


Hold the door open, will ya?
Reader Cliff Thomson recommended this product and we think it’s a great idea. Here’s what he wrote: “We got tired of the hook breaking on our front door and on the front cargo door on our fifth wheel. So we bought two magnetic door holders from Amazon. Last week the door stayed open in a 35 mph wind. Since the magnet is spring-loaded a push will release it.”


A good place to store earrings while on the road
Gail of RVtravel.com has a tip that will help you store and find your earrings while RVing. Watch the video


Random RV Thought

If you have a sweet tooth and are trying to cut down on calories, be sure there is no candy anywhere in your RV so you won’t be tempted.


The funniest sign for your RV (and a best-seller with RVtravel.com readers!). Click here to laugh.


Website of the day

Forest Service and other government agency volunteer positions
Hundreds of volunteer opportunities with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and other government agencies, including campground hosts, wilderness ranger, boat launch hosts, facility maintenance, trailhead naturalist, interpreter and educator, and tons more.


And the Survey Says…

We’ve polled RVtravel.com readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:

• 11 percent have seen a ghost
• 17 percent receive more than 50 emails a day
• 24 percent say it’s not important that a campsite have a concrete pad

Recent poll: How is the stock of inventory in your local grocery stores? Tell us here.


Trivia

In 1939, American author Ernest Vincent Wright published the 50,000-word novel Gadsby without using the letter “e” in the entire book. Not even once. It’s important to note that the letter “e” is the most commonly used letter in the English language.

How many items does the average U.S. household contain?
A.) 150,000
B.) 300,000
C.) 500,000
Hint: We told you yesterday


RV salt shakers


Leave here with a laugh

Tried calling the tinnitus helpline. No answer … just kept ringing.

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 31, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

***

Camco, a manufacturer of many RVing aftermarket products, has suspended its manufacturing and shipping operations in Guildford County, North Carolina, at least through April 16 due to stay at home restrictions.

Winnebago Industries, Inc. announced yesterday (Monday) that it will manufacture and donate medical masks to MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center. The masks are being made by employees at the company’s Stitchcraft facility in Forest City, Iowa, which produces soft goods for Winnebago motorhomes. Read more.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Monday said Vermont “strongly discourages” incoming travel from coronavirus hotspots in the Northeast, directing “non-essential” travelers from outside the state to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new order suspends the operations of lodging facilities including campgrounds and RV parks. Guests already lodged are allowed to remain there through the end of their scheduled stay.

All developed recreation sites including campgrounds in the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in eastern Oregon are temporarily closed.

Elkhart RV manufacturer Phoenix USA has suspended production and service appointments. The company makes the Phoenix Cruiser motorhomes.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced yesterday an order restricting travel to other states. The governor said all residents who leave and return to the state should quarantine for 14 days.

Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., has temporarily suspended production at select manufacturing facilities.

Maine’s Acadia National Park is closed.

Nice weather last weekend has made many West Virginians pause their social distancing to get outside and enjoy nature. Some may have enjoyed it a little too much, leading to the closure of Cathedral Falls in the town of Gauley Bridge. Mayor Bob Scott made the decision to close the park after police had to disperse large crowds more than five times on Saturday for failing to practice social distancing.

Closed campgrounds in Grand Canyon National Park: Mather, Desert View and Trailer Village. The RV and Camper Services building including the laundry, showers and food service is closed.

A notice on the Silver City, New Mexico, KOA website states that from March 24 through April 10 it’s closing the park to all but “essential RV guests only.” That includes those staying a month or longer, full-timers who need a place to shelter, and overnighters headed to another location. Healthcare workers, first responders and mine workers are also welcome.

The Florida Keys remain closed to visitors until further notice. Two traffic checkpoints at the top of the Keys are being manned around the clock to restrict non-residents’ road access to the island chain. The southbound traffic stops are located at mile marker 112.5 on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (U.S. 1), and on State Road 905 between Ocean Reef and the access point to U.S. 1 in Key Largo.

Normally, you can’t pump your own gas in Oregon. But it’s okay for now. The state’s gas station workforce is down as much as half by illness, childcare issues and safety concerns.

McDonald’s has phased out its all-day breakfast so its operators can focus on their increasingly busy evening business.

ABOVE: RVs that will be used as temporary housing for infected patients are ready for use at a beach in El Segundo in Los Angeles County.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order yesterday that will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded. “Do not go out, unless you need to go out,” he said, stressing that this is different than “wanting” to go out. Private campgrounds and beaches are closed to all activity except exercise.

Blue Ox/Automatic announced that it is temporarily suspending some production functions at facilities in Pender and Lincoln, Neb. The company will remain open to fill incoming orders, assist with customer care, sales support, distribution, and other essential activity.

The U.S. Forest Service has shut down many recreation areas in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest, including campgrounds, picnic areas and shooting ranges.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order yesterday to slow the spread of new coronavirus, barring Arizonans from leaving their residences except for food, medicine, outdoor exercise and other “essential activities.” The governor stressed that “grocery stores and pharmacies are not closing.” No mention is made of closing privately owned RV parks.

Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California is temporarily closed. In Southern California, all campgrounds in the Mojave National Preserve are also closed.

Many bait shops across the country have been forced to close – good for the fish, perhaps, but not for anglers.

Wyoming State Park overnight camping facilities, cabins, yurts, group sites and shelters, shower houses, some non-essential restrooms and playgrounds are closed until further notice.


Bored? Read a Kindle Book. Today’s special deals.


Opening dates for campgrounds in Idaho’s Payette National Forest campgrounds will be delayed. Closed at least through May 15, 2020: Mann Creek, Spring Creek, Brownlee, Big Flat, Cabin Creek, Lafferty, Cold Springs, Last Chance, Huckleberry, Poverty Flat, 4-Mile, Camp Creek, Buckhorn, Ponderosa, Secesh Horse Camp, Old East Fork, and Big Creek Campgrounds.

Cook County, Illinois, has closed all its campgrounds through May 11.

TIP: Before you head out to stock up at your local grocery store, see if you can order online and then pick up the goods later. It’s safer that way.

With so many people working from home (or their RVs) and teleconferencing, Walmart reports that in the USA there’s still a demand for work shirts, but not much for clothing below the waist. The reason: video conferencing. Whatever pants someone is wearing never shows.

ABOVE: Already, coronavirus has its own magazine. We found this in Lake Havasu, City, Arizona. Be careful if you find a copy on the newsstand: Whose hands were flipping through it before yours?

Two of the biggest tourist attractions in the Las Vegas area remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic — the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Scenic Drive and Hoover Dam.

Most KOA campgrounds are open, but some are closed. Here’s an update of what’s closed. Because of the current crisis, KOA has suspended its $10 cancellation fee through the end of April.

CREEPY PEOPLE DEPT: A 15-year-old Australian boy allegedly coughed on a ranger and then tried to spit on him. The ranger was asking his family to move from an illegal campsite. The teenager is headed to children’s court.

What stupid looks like. Heffner.

…and then there’s the 26-year-old North Carolina man who is behind bars after being arrested for being incredibly stupid. Eugene Heffner was at a Walmart near his home in Belmont when he “purposely coughed at a customer” and claimed to be infected with COVID-19.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
The small staff of RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “Mr. President, please open our campgrounds!”


EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is one story:

“Luckily, we made it home before all the madness. I heard about this on FNC in December, and whenever I was on the PC, I checked all over for any updates. We left Yuma, AZ, on January 2nd and left Tucson mid-January. We headed to TX, first near San Antonio area for two weeks, then (at that time WX) I felt the need to be home, but we had reservations in Conroe, TX, so went there.

“And then the news got, not worse exactly, but more alarming. We cut our visit short (WX again, flooding all across LA, MS, AL) and we did not want to get stuck because of either the virus or weather. Made it home mid-February. Again, the news just made it worse long before alerts or orders like ‘stay in place.’

“We made sure we had six months’ worth of essentials, which we normally do anyway, and we got more cash, in case banks closed, went to credit card use only, as I can clean it easily (who knows about money). Needless to say, our United States and the world one month later does not look anything like they did one month ago.

“I have written to the President asking him to make sure campgrounds are open since they meet the ‘distancing requirements,’ [and] they can close bathrooms since you’ve got one in your rig.

“Above all, think personal safety and all-around safety; fires, traffic, other vehicles is most important. If possible, help a trucker – they are on the front lines now along with all the medical folks.

“Wow, what 3 months does to the world!”

Montgomery Bonner


Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

##RVDT1308





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Level your rig like a pro – without messing up your suspension


By Greg Illes
For most RVers leveling seems pretty straightforward. The most difficult thing seems to be getting that pesky bubble centered in the level. This is challenging when using leveling ramps or blocks, but less so when using leveling jacks.

But there are some nuances to leveling and they’re worth the understanding. Leveling actually consists of two distinct components, front-to-back and side-to-side. These have very different needs and caveats.

Front-to-back
When you level your rig from front-to-back, the biggest concern when using jacks is raising the wheels off the ground. If you are on a significant slope, getting the rig level can require that one end rise high enough to put air under tires. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it can be horribly dangerous if you reduce or eliminate rear-wheel traction. Whether you are in “Park” and/or have your parking brake set, the only way it is effective is through the rear wheels.

My preference is to select a parking site where I have to raise the front wheels for leveling. This lets the rears stay solidly on the ground. If this isn’t possible, there are two choices: (1) chock the front wheels (risky); (2) raise the rear wheels on ramps instead of jacks. For these reasons, even though I do have leveling jacks on my RV, I like to carry ramps as well.

Side-to-side
When you level side-to-side, you must again use either jacks or ramps. But here the situation changes somewhat. Yes, you still have the same worries about the parking-brake wheels leaving the ground (don’t). But there is also a more subtle concern. When the rig tilts left or right, the suspension sway bars (front and rear) begin to be stressed while trying to level the axles with respect to the chassis.

What this means is that if you park on a significantly side-sloped site, by leveling the rig with jacks you strongly stress the sway bar bushings for many long hours instead of the brief loads they were designed for. Consequently, it’s better to level large side-to-side discrepancies by using ramps instead of jacks. The ramps will keep your axles parallel to the chassis and eliminate sway bar stress. This is another reason that I carry ramps in my jacks-equipped rig.

How good is good?
Initially, I thought that bubble had to be centered. After all (I’m an engineer), why call it level if it’s not? Well, after a while I came to realize that it’s the feel and comfort that really count. If I didn’t feel “tilted,” then the rig was level enough. Turns out, this equates to about a half-bubble on my indicator. If that elusive little critter is within a half-diameter of center, I usually feel pretty level.

Paying attention to these subtleties will pay dividends in safety — for you and your rig.

Editor’s note: Keep in mind the happiness of your RV refrigerator. If you have an older fridge, keeping the rig within a third of a bubble (as measured inside the freezer box) is the “accepted” safe range for keeping your refrigerator away from a potentially damaging condition.

Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at www.divver-city.com/blog.

##RVDT1308





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Winnebago making medical masks for Iowa hospital


(March 30, 2020) — Winnebago Industries, Inc. announced today that it will make medical masks for MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center. The masks are being manufactured by employees at the company’s Stitchcraft facility in Forest City, Iowa, which produces soft goods for Winnebago motorhomes.

The facility typically creates items such as seats, sofas, cushions, pillows, draperies, shades, valances, mattresses, bedspreads, and a host of other sewn parts. “As the health crisis has evolved, we have focused our efforts on determining how we can best use our company’s resources to provide support in overall relief efforts and specifically efforts that positively impact our local communities,” said Chris West, Vice President of Operations at Winnebago Industries.

The first shipment of masks will be delivered today with additional deliveries to continue to fill the first production run of approximately 6,000 masks.

The masks are being donated to MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center and will be used by clinical staff when treating patients.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1307


Monday, March 30, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” — Henry David Thoreau

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Virtual Vacation Day! (How fitting!)


Did you see the news? Click here to read the latest issue of the Sunday News for RVers.



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: ‘Our plans gone in an instant’

We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is one story.


Tip of the Day

RV Doctor: Repairing dripping bathroom faucets

(We are rerunning this popular article by Gary Bunzer, the ever-popular RV Doctor.)

Dear Gary:
How do you repair the bathroom faucets? I have a two-handle faucet in the bathroom that looks to be all metal and they constantly drip. How and what do I replace? —Mike R.

Dear Mike:
The most common cause of dripping faucets is debris or mineral deposits becoming stuck in the assembly, so let’s not be too quick to condemn an innocent faucet! All faucets are presumed innocent until proven faulty in a court of law! Or at least until proven faulty. Continue reading.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.



What don’t you know about the Grand Canyon

For more than a century, tourists from all over the world have visited the Grand Canyon to experience its awe-inspiring vistas. On February 26, 1919, the Grand Canyon became a national park. As we celebrate more than 100 years of protecting this special place, check out 13 great facts about this Arizona icon. Learn more.


Reader poll


Readers tell us

Do you take the coronavirus threat seriously, or believe its dangers have been way overblown? Find out what you and fellow RVers said here.


New book a must-have for state park campers!
This newly published book, “50 States: 500 State Parks,” is a must-have for all state park campers and explorers. The book is a beautiful visual journey through America’s best state parks. Whether you’re looking for stunning vistas, rare wildlife, a dose of history, or an enjoyable hike, the state parks offer an array of experiences. Learn more or order.


Helpful resources

NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
LATEST RV RECALLS.


Quick Tip

Wash out your water heater!

A lot of people overlook washing out your water heaters a minimum of once a year. It’s simple. Your Suburban water heaters usually have an anode rod. It takes a 1 1/16 socket to remove it. Your Atwood water heater only needs a plug, no anode rod.

Also, after you clean your water heater do not (do not!) turn it on right away. Make sure water is back in your heaters before you turn it on or you will burn up the motherboard. Give it about a half-hour before turning it on. If your faucets are not running well after cleaning, remove the screens on each faucet and clean them.
— Thanks to Steve Korsvall for the tip from the RVtravel.com RV Advice Facebook page

*Note: This water heater tank rinser from Camco is an RVtravel.com staff favorite. It cleans and removes sediment that collects at the bottom of your water heater, which ultimately extends the life of your heater.


Random RV Thought

If you smell your toilet when driving your motorhome down the road, it’s because the odor is being drawn into the RV and not outside via the roof vent. The solution is to get an inexpensive 360 Siphon Roof Vent. It works for all RVs even when the RV is not moving, like in a campground. Keep the stink away.


Inflatable foot rest is comfortable for couch and passenger seat
Now that’s cool! Miss your favorite recliner no more! This inflatable foot rest is perfect for lounging on the couch, in the chair by the campfire, or in the passenger seat for long drives. Take it on a plane ride, or take it to the grandkids’ sports games (we know those can get long). It weighs less than 1 lb. and folds down small for travel. Learn more about this comfy foot rest here.


Website of the day

Delicious canned tuna recipes
This might not be the most exciting website we’ve ever listed here, but we’re thinking there’s a good chance you’ve got some canned tuna in your pantry right now. Are we right? Here are 31 delicious recipes for that tuna, so get to cookin’!


How to easily see elevation gain along your route

The Geeks on Tour learned the hard way, years ago, about elevation gain and burned brakes. But now it’s super simple on Google Maps to learn about the elevation changes on a selected route. Learn how here so you don’t make the same mistake.


Popular articles you may have missed at RVtravel.com

• Don’t make these mistakes at National Parks.
• How to minimize “thermal checking” damage to your RV’s fiberglass.
• RV Shrink: Expect the unexpected when traveling.
#900-1


Trivia

The average U.S. household has 300,000 items in it. Wow! (Not us RVers, right?)


Use handy silicone lids for cooking & storage
Use on the stove or to seal containers instead of using plastic wrap or foil. They’re BPA, Phthalate and PVC free and heat resistant to 440 degrees. Press down gently in the center of lid for an airtight seal. Use to replace missing or broken lids. Use on leftovers and to keep salads and fruits fresh! Learn more or order.


Leave here with a laugh

If a cow doesn’t produce milk, is it a milk dud or an udder failure?

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 30, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

Motorists entering Florida are being directed to weigh stations by law enforcement officers who will allow them to either return to the interstate or to pull aside for further screening. The travelers will need to complete a form with each traveler’s contact information and trip details. Failure to complete the form and failure to follow any isolation or quarantine order from DOH are a violation of Florida law.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado will delay the opening of the Piñon Flats Campground from April 1 to May 1 (or later).

California State Parks announced yesterday that it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The announcement came one day after many state parks experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social distancing practices.

In Rhode Island, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo signed an order that will demand all travelers coming into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Hovenweep Campground in Hovenweep National Monument in Utah and Colorado will be closed through April or until guidance changes.

ABOVE: The manufacturers of this three-wheeled electric camper, the Tuk Tuk, are promoting it as ideal for social distancing. “What if your home had three wheels and an electric motor to move itself and you around so that you can apply the social distancing norms that are now in place?” the company asks on its website. … Okay, but we’re thinking this might be a little cramped to spend months on end. And, oh yeah, top speed is 25 mph. We’ll pass…

All campgrounds are closed in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.

In the town of Emerald Isle, Florida, nobody can rent a hotel or motel room, rental housing unit, condominium, RV campsite, primitive campsite or any other accommodation through Wednesday, April 29.

Designated campgrounds in Arkansas’ Buffalo National River Park closed today to overnight stays, temporarily transitioning to day use only, with hours of 6 a.m.–8 p.m.

Currently, BLM-managed lands in Arizona are open, including campgrounds, day-use areas and trails. Existing rules and regulations apply. Entrance and day-use fees have been waived. Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals and use of special areas will remain in effect. BLM lands remain available for dispersed camping and other outdoor recreation activities, unless otherwise prohibited.

FREE FISHING: The Missouri Department of Conservation is waiving permit requirements for residents and non-residents through April 15 for sport fishing and daily trout tags for anglers whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended. So go ahead and drop in your line. Good luck!

All of Montana’s Lolo National Forest campgrounds, rental cabins and lookouts will be temporarily closed at least through April 30. All outhouses and public restrooms located in the forest area will also be closed.


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


The BLM Vale District, Idaho, has temporarily closed its campgrounds and recreation sites until further notice. They include all developed Vale BLM campgrounds in Malheur County and on the Baker Resource Area.

Costco has expanded its hours for members ages 60 and older and for those with physical impairments to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Many or most developed campgrounds and certain other recreation sites on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests will be closed until further notice for the health and safety of visitors and staff. A full list of restricted areas is available here.

TOILET PAPER THIEVES: Campgrounds and restrooms in the Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio, Texas, known for its lake that spans the U.S.–Mexico border, had partly reopened last week. But it has closed again, including its campgrounds, in part because of people cutting padlocks off toilet paper dispensers in restrooms to steal the toilet paper, which caused extensive damage.

Iowa’s state parks have closed restrooms through April 15 and will limit camping to enclosed campers due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visitors must bring their own hand sanitizers because no soap will be provided.

Effective immediately, all Redwood National and State Parks parking areas are closed to vehicles. The parks are along or near U.S. 101 in Northern California.

Barricades are up and signs notify visitors to Alberta’s provincial parks that they are closed. Only foot traffic can enter.

Most KOA campgrounds are open, but some are closed. Here’s an update of what’s closed. Because of the unusual situation, KOA has suspended its $10 cancellation fee through the end of April.

ABOVE: With some luck you might win some toilet paper in this restroom. Thanks to John Ingebretson for providing a laugh!


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “Our plans gone in an instant”


EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is one story:

Three-year plan….postponed! We have planned our retirement trip for three years, and in an instant, it’s all postponed indefinitely and our brand-new motorhome sits in storage! Thankfully we purchased a park model in Mesa, Arizona, just two months ago. We weren’t sure why God led us to buy it at the time, but we understand now!

We’re currently in this RV resort that was beaming with activities just two weeks ago, but is now a ghost town.

We’ve been riding our Lectric eBikes every couple of days for exercise and to get outdoors. On the other days, I cook meals and take them to a neighbor who we heard about – he’s on hospice care at home and has no family here to care for him. Every other day we bring two meals to him, along with fruit and vegetables. This has given us a purpose and it’s our pleasure to help another human being in need. Someone who knows him told us our meals are the only home-cooked meals he’s had in a very long time – he normally lives on frozen ready-made meals or canned food.

God bless you, our country, the world.

— Cynthia Perrin


Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

##RVDT1307





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RV Doctor: Repairing dripping bathroom faucets


Dear Gary:
How do you repair the bathroom faucets? I have a two-handle faucet in the bathroom that looks to be all metal and they constantly drip. How and what do I replace? —Mike R.

Dear Mike:
The most common cause of dripping faucets is debris or mineral deposits becoming stuck in the assembly, so let’s not be too quick to condemn an innocent faucet! All faucets are presumed innocent until proven faulty in a court of law! Or at least until proven faulty.

In some cases, however, older faucets can suffer from worn rubber washers or a fouled cartridge. I’m assuming you’ve already tried to flush any contaminants by fully opening each faucet and letting it run for a few moments. This is best effectuated when connected to a city water source (temporarily remove the pressure regulator if so equipped). If your faucets are indeed metal, chances are they contain seat washers.

If a thorough flushing did not remove the debris and the faucets still drip, it will be necessary to disassemble the faucets and check the seat washers.

First, turn off all water sources and relieve the pressure at the lavatory faucets. Remove the Hot and Cold handles. There is usually a single screw located below each button on top of each handle. Once the handles are off, carefully remove the bonnet lock and washer. Some will just lift off and others may pop off by gently using a flat blade screwdriver. Remove each stem and bonnet assembly using an adjustable wrench or a deep-well socket. I believe you’ll find them to require a 3/4-inch socket. They are removed by turning counter-clockwise.

Now’s the time to carefully inspect each assembly as well as inside the body of the faucet for loose debris and/or mineral buildup. Brush or scrape away any residue you find. Rinse all the parts in clean water. Carefully inspect the bottom seat washer and replace it if it’s dried out, cracked, pinched or distorted in any way. A single screw holds this washer in place. For a quick test (or even a temporary fix), flip that washer over and reassemble the assembly, turn the water back on and check for drips. If the dripping goes away, you’ll know it’s the washer that needs replacing. If the faucet continues to drip periodically, you’ll have to dig further and inspect the seats inside the body of the faucet.

Some faucets have removable seats while others do not. If you see a hexagonal opening in the seats, those can be removed and replaced. Check the top surface of each seat to be sure there are no nicks or cuts. Replace the seats if you feel any sense of scratchiness or roughness. Plastic seats are more prone to damage than brass seats, so check carefully if yours are plastic.

If the faucets, however, contain washerless cartridges, they will also contain an O-ring instead of a flat seat washer. It will also have a filtering device in the body of the shank. Be sure to check the filter screen for debris before reassembling. Faucet seats, washers and O-rings are readily available at any hardware store. Take care whenever threading the seats and the stem/bonnet assemblies into the body of the faucet during reassembly. It’s quite easy to cross-thread them! Instead of a 50-cent repair, you’ll be looking at a complete faucet replacement! After reassembly, turn the water pressure back on and check your work. Faucet repair is not as daunting as some might suspect.

gary-736

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

##RVT746;##RVDT1307





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Readers tell us: Do you take the coronavirus threat seriously or believe it’s way overblown?


By Emily Woodbury

Maybe, if you’re still in some remote parts of the country, your life hasn’t been that affected by the coronavirus…at least not yet. But up here where I am in Seattle, things are different. And at my old home, New York City, where many of my closest friends are, things are much different. Life is not the same. If you’re still living your life unaffected by this thing, don’t take that for granted.

A couple of Sundays ago we asked you if you take the coronavirus threat seriously, or believe its dangers have been way overblown. The results were mixed, which I suppose both surprised me and didn’t at the same time. A significant portion of you, 38 percent, take the coronavirus threat very seriously, and another 38 percent said that you feel like it’s a big concern, but not as big as it’s being portrayed. A smaller 15 percent of you think it’s no more serious than the flu, and another small 8 percent of you aren’t taking it seriously at all, you’re livin’ life as usual.

A quick scan of the nearly 100 comments we received on this poll tells me this: Many of you are not nice to one another. Now is not the time to not be nice. I’m going to filter through a lot of these comments before I post a few below…

Actually, never mind. I’m going to skip the part where I usually post some of your comments. There isn’t much I could post without people from different backgrounds jumping on top of each other. Discussion is great, blame isn’t. I am not trying to mute your voice (your voice is important), but I don’t feel the need to start up another conversation about this. If you want to read the comments, or join in on the discussion yourself, click here and scroll down.

Please be respectful. Please be healthy.





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RV Electricity – No~Shock~Zone by Mike Sokol – Issue 29


Issue 29 • March 29, 2019

Brought to you as a public service by RVtravel.com. Support comes from our sponsors, advertisers and the contributions of readers, who believe that an educated RVer is a safe, happy RVer.

Subscribe to one of our many online newsletters (including this one) about RVing.

Read back issues of this newsletter and many other articles by Mike Sokol on RVtravel.com. Warning: There is a lot to learn here.


By Mike Sokol

These are the times that try men’s and women’s souls.

Indeed they are. But I’m not going to focus on all of the horrible things that are happening across the globe right now, bad as they are. Instead I’m going to fill you in on some of the small things I’m doing to help locally, as well as nationally and even internationally.

You see, while I can’t teach you face-to-face in seminars right now, and my university classrooms have been closed down until August, I can still reach each of you (and many thousands more) through electronic communication, specifically written articles and videos, but most importantly, through live Webinars. Read below for my new RVelectricity Live Streams that are beginning as a 20-minute Webinar this Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern time, with the 2nd and 3rd modules live streaming at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. the same day. This is completely free on YouTube, and you can watch anytime you want.

I’ll be doing this every week. The first Webinar will be my basic RV Electricity seminar broken down into three 20-minute segments. After that, I’ll begin tackling a different topic each week until I run out of things to teach about electricity (which is never). So read below how you can subscribe to my YouTube channel and keep up to date with my latest videos and webinars.

Also, I’ll show you a few ways to stay safe in a time when safety is on all of our minds. These are just simple ideas, really. But they can help keep you safe in these complicated times. Let’s all hope and pray this is over soon, but I’m planning for the long haul – like I always do.

Let’s play safe out there… 

 

P.S. If you missed my Guest Essay in yesterday’s RV Travel newsletter, “During this crisis, ask what you can do for your neighbor,” you can read it here.

P.P.S. And just a quick note that this newsletter is made possible by the voluntary pledges of the readers of RVtravel.com. We could not bring this to you without their support. If you deem what we provide to you here and at RVtravel.com to be of special value and would like to be a part of our effort, please consider pledging a voluntary subscription. More information is here. We will include you in special emails, articles and videos exclusively for our supporters.


If you haven’t yet, be sure to join my Facebook group, RV Electricity.
(More than 6,800 members and counting.)

And sign up for my new YouTube channel, where I’ll be live streaming free RVelectricity™ webinars every week.



Virtual Rallies (in a time of social distancing)

Owners Groups could be live streaming their own Virtual Rallies right now. Could this be the future of RV Rallies and Trade Shows?

While many of us are out of work or lost much of our income (I’m down by at least 50% from last month since I can’t go out on sites), think about what’s happened to our beloved RV Rallies and Trade Shows. I’m supposed to be in Tucson for the FMCA rally this weekend, which was cancelled (of course). And while I’m stepping up and offering my seminar content as free Webinar streams this week, what about the rallies themselves? How are they going to cope with the lack of member interaction and educational seminars?

I have a suggestion and maybe can help. Let’s start by doing some Virtual Rallies. That’s right, instead of everyone meeting at a campground to interact and listen to presenters speak about some aspect of RVing, everyone just needs to log into a free Zoom account and connect to their Virtual Rally Group. Read more.

Email me at mike (at) noshockzone.org with your questions.


Watch Mike’s new RVelectricityTM Webcasts starting this Thursday, April 2, at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

All you have to do is subscribe to my channel at YouTube.com/RVelectricity. While the big launch is on Thursday, I’ll be doing a soft opening starting this weekend just to test out all my gear. And yes, you can expect to see the same sort of hands-on electrical demonstrations I’ve done in front of you at rallies and shows. But in this case, it’s from my “penthouse” studio in lovely Funkstown, Maryland.

I’ve just started promoting this channel last week and it’s already up to 600+ subscribers, but I need at least 1,000 of you to subscribe so that YouTube will turn on my Analytics and give me a real name on this channel, and not a random number. But I promise this will be painless and quick, so subscribe and send an invite to all of your friends. While I can’t promise to make you a better cook or teach you yoga, like on other social groups and channels, I can promise to exercise your brain and make you much smarter (and safer) about RV electricity than you ever imagined. Subscribe HERE.


ADVERTISEMENT

Be like Mike! Use this 3-light and digital voltage tester!
Mike Sokol says: “I found this nifty tester online and have been using it in a variety of voltage checking situations. It performs all of the 3-light tests for outlet polarity, open ground, open neutral, etc., as well as being a 3-digit digital voltage indicator. In addition, it performs a standard 5 mA GFCI safety test – which you should be performing on all of your GFCI outlets once a month (or at least once a camping season).” Read more about it here.


SnapPad, SmartPlug, Southwire, CarGenerator and Xantrex are now sponsors of my RVelectricity™ publications and Webinars.

Why is this industry news? Well, I’ve been trying for the last 5 years to get any RV parts manufacturer to step in with financial support for my RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles and videos. But while their engineering departments were my best friends (seriously, engineers are my biggest fans) their marketing departments were slow to convince, wanting me to calculate their Page Views, ROI (Return on Investments), Market Reach, and all kinds of other things that I can’t possibly know about their own business models.

But now, every single one of them called me back when I left a message about live streaming my RVelectricity seminars, some within minutes of my email or voicemail. It’s like they’re sitting at home with not much to do (which may in fact be the case). So the companies listed above (plus a few additional ones as we speak) are stepping up with some monetary support for my productions. Now, it’s not a lot of money, but it’s a step in the right direction, and it allows me to focus on what I do best, which is teach.

I’m also extraordinarily grateful for my readers’ continued support via the I Like Mike donation campaign, as well as my new manufacturer sponsorship. I can’t do this without you, so for more info on I Like Mike please click HERE.


Are you interested in RVelectricity™ boondocking information?


Click on image to enlarge.

How often do you read this RVelectricity monthly newsletter?

So that’s a big WOW! Nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) of you read this newsletter every month, and 1 out of 10 (9%) read it if the teaser paragraph piques your interest. That tells me that you’re really interested in learning this stuff. Note that this survey was a month ago when COVID-19 was not directly impacting our daily lives.

Ditto.

What technology level would you like me to cover in this RVelectricity Newsletter?

Interestingly, only 2% of you want only basic RVelectricity articles, while 20% want intermediate and another 19% want advanced content. But a whopping 59% of you want a mix of all of the above, which is what I’ve been doing. So for now I’m going to stay the course and keep doing a mix of basic, intermediate and advanced articles. This also gives me direction as to content for my new RVelectricity Webinars, so stay tuned.


Don’t touch those grubby screens with your bare fingers – get a pen

I had a touchscreen stylus in my pencil box for the last two years that I never used, but I just pulled it out and tested it on the touch screen for my bank’s ATM and the convenience store’s gas pump. Now I don’t have to scrub my hands after touching those filthy touch screens. I found these in stock on Amazon as a 3-pack, which I think would make great gifts for your significant others. So keep one for yourself and give the other two away. We all need to help each other in these trying times. Learn more or order here.

It’s not just for poo anymore…

Yes, it’s a double-header this issue. I found this on another Facebook group and thought it was too great not to pass along. You know those little poo bags we carry for our dog walks so we can pick up the little gems they leave behind. (Seriously, pick up the little gems.)

Well, they also make great “gloves” for when you have to pump gasoline or pick up grocery products in a store that all kinds of other people might have touched. Just slip them over your hands and do whatever it is you need to do. Then slip them off inside-out, tie them up, and trash them. Save the nitrile gloves for the first responders and medical staff who so desperately need them. I got these on Chewy.com, but you can probably find them on Amazon as well. However, Amazon shipping is overloaded so it might take longer to get them there. Here’s what I got, although shipping may be delayed from there, also.


Last Month’s RVtravel.com Posts

These articles are rated Moderate to understand for most RVers.

Live Webinars coming soon from Funkstown, Maryland.
Is presenting RV electricity seminars online a good idea?
Guide to RV surge protectors.
Is there anybody out there? Part 1.

Last Month’s JAM (Just Ask Mike) Session posts:

These articles are rated Easy to understand for beginners.

Do I have an electrical leak? A concerned reader asks Mike why, with the battery selector in the “off” position, he was still getting a reading of 1.4 volts at the disconnected battery cable ends.
Getting ready for the road. A soon-to-be RVer is attending Mike’s seminars, purchasing recommended equipment, and getting an RV education as he searches for an RV. Mike offers helpful tips on getting prepared for RVing.
Is there anybody out there? Part 3. Mike needs your help to receive sponsorship support and keep his invaluable articles coming. Please complete these two quick polls to help guide his future articles.
•  Is my power inverter dying? A reader wants to know how to test if his power inverter is dying.


The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 50+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order 


By Mike Sokol

What were you listening to the year you graduated from high school? This is more important than you realize…

A number of years ago I remember hearing an NPR interview about a scientist who was studying how memory works. And one of the areas of this discussion that interested me most was how many songs we know, and why we seem to remember “the good old days” with songs from our teenage years (whatever that was for each of you) being the songs that we remembered the best as well as having the most emotional impact.

His theory was that songs that we heard during our musical formative years have the deepest connection to our emotional memories. Turns out these formative years cluster right around high school and college. Yup, what you listen to when you’re, say, 14 to 24 years old, sticks with you for the rest of your life. Continue reading.

Let’s play safe out there….

 


Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.


STAFF

Editor: Mike Sokol. RVtravel.com publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we may occasionally get something wrong.  So always double check with your own technician, electrician or other professional first before undertaking projects that could involve danger if not done properly. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com..

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

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

RVtravel.com includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of RVtravel.com to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to RVtravel.com and its affiliated blogs and websites.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com.





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News for RVers #941, Sunday edition


Welcome to RVtravel.com, the only newsletter that puts its readers far ahead of commercial interests . Please tell your friends about us!

Here’s the latest news about RVing and more from the editors of RVtravel.com. This newsletter, along with each of our daily online publications, is funded in part by the voluntary subscription contributions of our readers. Thanks to all of you; you know who you are.

If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!

Sunday, March 29, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition




Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, hospitalized with COVID-19

Our very dear friend and columnist Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, is in the intensive care unit of a Seattle-area hospital in critical but stable condition fighting COVID-19. Our editor, Chuck Woodbury, a close friend of Gary’s, wrote this.


Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Here’s the latest news and information about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting the RV community. We now report six days a week on the pandemic — in this Sunday newsletter and every weekday in our RV Daily Tips. (Sign up to receive them here.)

••• READ TODAY’S CORONAVIRUS NEWS •••


Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
Can your pets get, or give you, COVID-19?
RV Shrink: Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down.
Full-timers – Where can you stay during this outbreak?
RV Electricity: Don’t build this DIY dogbone: It can kill you.
Stuck at home or inside your RV? Use Zoom online meetings for get-togethers.
Thoughts from a reader’s self-quarantine.
RV Doctor: What can be done for a noisy RV slideout?
What to read during the coronavirus outbreak (Pandemic edition).
At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems.
Building an RV park: Campground, Smampground. Everything is ON HOLD!
All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie
and much more

Read it here | Back issues


If you don’t have a first-aid kit, now is the time to buy one. Don’t be without one in your home or RV!


That was the RV week that was

March 29, 2020

It wasn’t a virus that ran RVers out of an RV park in Branson, Missouri – it was the water. Nope, not the drinking kind, but Lake Taneycomo took a run for the high ground as rain in copious quantities hit Lakeside RV Park on March 19. Adding to the lake’s overfull feelings were a water release from Table Rock Dam. City officials had seen problems at Lakeside RV before, so guests got an early heads-up and advice to be ready to disconnect and run. At 4:00 in the afternoon the call came, and the less-than-half-full campground was cleared out.

San Miguel County Sheriff

This story couldn’t help but remind one of us about their older brother as a kid. He believed everything he saw on TV and so, like Popeye, he had to have spinach. His parents obliged, bought him a can, and handed him a fork. Last time he ever ate spinach. Then there was that new “Superman” costume. One giant leap off the picnic table brought an end to his “superpowers.” Apparently the driver of a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck didn’t get the memo either. Authorities say the unidentified driver blasted down Colorado Highway 145 west of Placerville, doing close to 100 miles per hour. That highway is the main route through little towns, and leads to some nasty cliffs. Sure enough, after nearly running several drivers off the road – including a deputy sheriff – the brainless Toyota Tacoma driver took the tumble, right into an obliging stone cliff. As the picture illustrates, no amount of spinach or costuming will prevent the laws of physics from presenting their truths. The driver received critical injuries and was choppered out, after passersby put out the flames.

If you bought an RV in Florida last year, there’s a good chance you bought it at Lazydays. That conclusion stems from rankings compiled by Statistical Surveys Inc. The outfit took “First” in several sales categories, as in: number one dealer in the state, number one towable, motorized, travel trailer, fifth wheel dealer, toy hauler dealer (among fifth wheel sales), Class A and Class C motorhome dealer.

Capt’ Gorgeous on flickr.com

What to do with RVs that have outlived their usefulness? It’s a problem that many cities throughout the U.S. are coping with. The little village of Sechelt, in British Columbia, thinks it has an answer. The local government of the tiny burg – some 9,000 residents – says it has a backlog of abandoned RVs and boats sitting in its public works yard. Directors at the local government-operated landfill said they’ll try a pilot project through the end of the year. “Bring us, your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” (or words to that general effect) and we’ll take them in. Provided – and it’s a big provided – you first dismantle them into four-foot sections or smaller, strip out the recyclable materials, and empty out and sort the liquids. And book a time for dumping in advance, and come prepared to pay $265 Canadian per metric ton (roughly 2,200 pounds).



A Utah traffic incident from last July that involved a fifth-wheel and the death of a vehicle passenger has finally drawn charges. Gavin Paul Nicholson (18) of West Haven, Utah, has been charged with causing a death while driving with a measurable controlled substance, drug possession, and other drug-related charges. On July 5, Nicholson was driving on Interstate 15 near Sunset when witnesses say he swerved out of his lane, smacking into a cement barrier, bouncing off and back into traffic, where he was broadsided by a pickup towing a fifth wheel. Nicholson was knocked unconscious, and his passenger later died in a hospital. Police found cocaine in Nicholson’s car, leading to a warrant to test his blood. While no cocaine was found by the blood test, methamphetamine, THC, and ketamine were found. He’ll stay in jail until his next court date, slated for April.


Keep your immune system healthy! Here’s everything you need.


One of two “dinosaurs” will be ready for selfies. portclintonnewsherald.com

A new RV park will soon open in an area where dinosaurs once roamed. Well, that’s what the previous owners of the land promoted. Marblehead, Ohio, was formerly the home of Prehistoric Forest – a 10-acre wooded theme park based on prehistoric creatures. The dinosaurs are gone, but a feature of the park – a “mountain” with a flowing waterfall – remains even as 108 RV sites beckon a new generation of visitors. Forest RV Park is tentatively set to open April 15. While dinos may have enjoyed a dip, they didn’t have the opportunity. But RVers will find a swimming pool on the far side of the “mountain.” Firepits for weenie roasts and marshmallow incineration will be available at every site.

in pastel on flickr.com

Combining an RV sales lot with an outdoor goods store proved to be irresistible to a burglar in Dothan, Alabama. Gander RV & Outdoor employees made a “three bears”-like discovery last Sunday, when they found a man snoozing in one of the outfit’s RVs. On approach, “Goldilocks” aka Tevin Michael Coffman (29) woke up, and instead of thanking his hosts, fired up the motorhome he’d been sleeping in and drove away. The Gander store manager followed along in another vehicle, giving directions to law enforcement. When police caught up with Coffman and the purloined motorhome, they found out Goldilocks may not have liked the porridge, but evidently found the guns and crossbows that Gander stocked “just right.” Several stolen weapons were found in the motorhome. Coffman may not find the new facilities just right, as he’ll be spending time in the local lockup until he can satisfy bail on charges of first degree theft, third degree burglary, and possession of burglary tools – which he allegedly used to get inside the Gander store.

FMCA logoFMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, recently cancelled its 101st annual International Convention to be held this week in Tucson, Arizona. Much to the surprise of some members who planned to attend, the club announced that it would not provide refunds for their prepaid registration fees. Instead, citing financial hardships, it said it would instead issue certificates good for future rallies. Here is the letter FMCA sent to its members, in which it cited its reasons for not refunding registration payments, some as high as $1,000. Read more.


‘Earthquake Putty’ a favorite of RVers, 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.


Reader poll

On a daily basis, how many people do you live with in “self-isolation”? Respond here.


News briefs

A spinoff from FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, has attracted 1,500 members. AIM, the “All Inclusive Motorhome Club,” is open to any RVer who “owns an RV with a motor.” FMCA recently opened its ranks to towable owners as well as motorized, which was not welcomed by some members. An AIM membership is $35 a year. Learn more.

Xantrex has added two new solar charge controllers designed to work with popular battery chemistries including Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4). Learn more.


Big Chief

Looking for a good place to stay?

Our good friend Alan Warren, host of the radio program the RV Show USA, operates the Big Chief RV Resort in Burnet, in the Central Texas Hill Country. He reports he and his wife, Lisa, have full hookup sites available for RVers who need a place to call home during the present crisis. The park is right on the shore of Lake Buchanan, where you can fish for striped bass or catfish. There’s a boat ramp, too. Learn more or make a reservation at Big Chief’s website or call (512) 793-4746.



Campground chatter

Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA

Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.


Hide dirty laundry, and save space too!
Sometimes where to put those worn clothes waiting for wash day is the pits. Many hide a basket in the shower stall, but here’s another approach: Hang that dirty laundry out – not for everyone to see, but on the back of a closet door. Zippers on this one make it easy to open when it’s time to disgorge the dirties, and the company includes a couple of different hooks to help you hang it. You can find it on Amazon for a great price.


RV recalls posted since our last newsletter

Forest River recalls some Coachman Orion and Dynamax Rev RVs.
Thor recalls some Tellaro and Sequence motorhomes.


Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 23, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.12 [Calif.: $3.07]
Change from week before: Down 13 cents; Change from year before: Down 50 cents.
Diesel: $2.66 [Calif.: $3.55]
Change from week before: Down 7 cents; Change from year before: Down 42 cents.


Sign up for an email reminder for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter, published every Monday through Friday. Coronavirus updates for RVers daily! You won’t want to miss it!


Brain teaser answer:

(The question appeared in yesterday’s newsletter): The word NOON.


Tape it to the limit…
Rather than an adhesive, this type of tape fuses to itself. It makes a totally waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has all kinds of other emergency uses advertised such as a quick fix for a leaking radiator hose, so it certainly deserves a place in your RV toolbox since it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. Learn more or order.


Free and bargain camping

From OvernightRVparking.com

Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.

Other resources:
Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations.
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 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 demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.


RV Travel staff

CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editors: Diane McGovern, Russ and Tiña De Maris. 

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RVelectricity – Virtual Rallies (in a time of social distancing)


Owners Groups could be live streaming their own Virtual Rallies right now. Could this be the future of RV Rallies and Trade Shows?

While many of us are out of work or lost much of our income (I’m down by at least 50% from last month since I can’t go out on sites), think about what’s happened to our beloved RV Rallies and Trade Shows. I’m supposed to be in Tucson for the FMCA rally this weekend, which was cancelled (of course). And while I’m stepping up and offering my seminar content as free Webinar streams this week, what about the rallies themselves? How are they going to cope with the lack of member interaction and educational seminars?

I have a suggestion and maybe can help. Let’s start by doing some Virtual Rallies. That’s right, instead of everyone meeting at a campground to interact and listen to presenters speak about some aspect of RVing, everyone just needs to log into a free Zoom account and connect to their Virtual Rally Group.

Since I’m now teaching with Zoom for my college classes I can get this program started as the moderator and try to get you a few presenters such as Gary Bunzer, Chuck Woodbury, Bob Zagami, or even yours truly (that’s me). This is an easy gig for presenters since I can help them set it up so they can show their own seminar slides or switch to their computer camera, and they don’t even have to wear pants.

So here’s what I’m going to do to get these Virtual Rallies started. If you’re a member of an RV rally or owners group that might be interested, please talk to whoever is in charge of your regular rally and put them in contact with me as a potential Virtual Rally candidate.

And if you’re a rally or show speaker whose rallies have been displaced due to COVID-19, contact me to be on the list of presenters. I’ll try to put the two of you together and help you get it launched. I have a tiny bit of potential sponsorship so this won’t cost you anything to do or attend. I can also be available for free as an RVelectricity seminar instructor, plus I’m sure that a small stipend for your regular presenters would get this rolling since there’s no travel or hotel costs involved.

Please email mike@noshockzone.org with the subject line Virtual Rally and let me know what you think.

And finally, please take care of each other (at a distance) and let’s play safe out there….

 

 

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVe29

 





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 29, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read Friday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


Disneyland and Disney World will be closed until further notice. Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will remain closed as well. Earlier this month, Disney had announced its theme parks and hotels would remain closed only through the end of March. Universal Orlando and Legoland also extended their closures.

The Fort Wilderness RV Resort at Disney World is also closed.

REV Group has suspended normal production activities at all four RV production facilities in Indiana and California. Its RV brands: American Coach, Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Fleetwood, Renegade RV and Lance. The company’s service centers will continue to perform essential support to meet dealers’ and end-customers’ technical, warranty and parts requests.

Elkhart County, Indiana, home to the RV industry, now has 11 cases of COVID-19. The first case in the state was March 6. The statewide total as of Saturday, March 28, was 1,232.

All developed recreation sites, including campgrounds, on Bureau of Management Lands (BLM) in California are now closed to all forms of public access.

Utah State Parks is closing all its state parks Monday until further notice. Exceptions: local county residents.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is temporarily closing campgrounds, lodging and rental facilities until May 1, 2020, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming is closed to all park visitors until further notice. Also in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is closed.

Many golf courses are closed across the USA. Check your local course before heading out to play a round.

In an effort to better enforce the spirit of “Stay Home, Save Lives,” lodgings on the Southern Oregon coast are now largely off-limits to visitors, reserved instead for essential workers and vulnerable populations. The City of Brookings adopted a resolution on Thursday for motels, vacation rentals, bed & breakfasts and RV parks, closing them to anyone but those deemed essential.

Paul Bunyan and Babe at Trees of Mystery

The long-time roadside attraction Trees of Mystery along U.S. 101 in the northern California redwood country, is closed.

In an ongoing effort to discourage tourists from traveling to Galveston, Texas, during the coronavirus crisis, the city has ordered hotel guests and short-term guests in RV parks to leave the island. “It’s our intent to get tourists off the island,” explained the mayor.

Fort Collins, Colorado, is temporarily letting residents use RVs as an option for social distancing and self-quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak. People are allowed to use the RVs for working, living or sleeping purposes to promote social distancing or quarantine.

How hairstylists are staying safe!

If you have an RV and are not currently using it, consider donating it to a medical doctor for use during the pandemic. A new group has formed, RVs 4 MDs, to facilitate such arrangements. Learn more at its site on Facebook.

Bend, Oregon, is discouraging tourists from coming. The city said it might ban all “non-essential travel” if too many people — residents or visitors — don’t comply, and the problem worsens.

ODD STUFF: If you’re in Nebraska you can now get alcoholic beverages to go with your takeout order. In Washington state, marijuana shops are considered an essential businesses.

San Juan County in southeast Colorado, has evicted all short-term RVers and other tourists who are there on pleasure trips. “We wanted to send a clear message that if you’re coming here to stay in a hotel to hike and bike and do other things that aren’t necessary, you aren’t welcome,” said Kirk Benge, director of public health.

RV parks have been ordered to close in Macon County, Georgia.

Amazon has removed more than half a million listings that it believes involve price gouging. It says it is monitoring sellers to make sure they are not price gouging or making false claims related to COVID-19.

Hiking trails at Los Angeles’ Griffith Park and other hiking trails throughout Los Angeles County as well as parking lots for beaches and state parks are now closed.

Tillamook County, on the Oregon Coast, has closed all county, state and federal parks within the county as well as all parking lots and access points to beaches. Shut down: boat launches, motels, hotels, short-term vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and RV parks.


SIGNS OF THE TIMES: DATING AD
Single man with TP seeks single woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.


Mississippi State Parks are open to self-contained units. Offices, bathrooms, etc., are closed.

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), announced Friday that the department is limiting the use of campgrounds to RVs with self-contained bathrooms.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo says he will sue Rhode Island if it does not roll back a policy of stopping all cars (and RVs) with New York license plates.

Del Norte County in Northern California has closed county parks to camping except for hosts or other campers expressly authorized by the county for stays of 30 days or longer. Hotels, motels, RV parks and private campgrounds are also barred from housing anyone for less than a 30-day period, though it does make some exceptions.

OUCH!
Julianna Guy shared this on our RV Coronavirus News group at Facebook. “Stayed in Martinsburg WV last night. I swear we didn’t see the ‘no overnight parking’ signs. Woke up to a windshield boot and a $435 fine. Beware! We were parked at the Grand Home Furnishing lot of the Foxcroft Towne Center at Martinsburg. It’s a big space with lots of big box stores.”


Stuck at home? Bored?
Catch up on your reading with an eBook from Amazon. Search now and be reading in a few minutes.


HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 941


Free and inexpensive places to stay with your RV in the U.S. and Canada!

Updated weekly

When it comes to free places to stay a night in an RV, Walmart is the best bet. We estimate that about 65 percent of all its stores in the USA allow stays in self-contained RVs.

Other businesses that allow free overnight stays include Flying J Travel Centers, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel restaurants (official policy is overnight stays are NOT permitted although most stores allow the practice), Costco and Kmart. Many RVers routinely stay in shopping center or factory outlet parking lots. Many casinos allow or even encourage overnight stays in RVs.

Recent reports of free and inexpensive places to stay with an RV:

From OvernightRVParking.com

Unnamed Salome Rd Gravel Turnout, Tonopah, AZ
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Gravel turnout is a wide extension of the shoulder, not separated from the highway. Pretty level, unlit, quiet at night with very little traffic and no apparent safety issues. Long enough for one large or two small RVs; wide enough that most RVs should have room to make a U-turn to return to I-10. No amenities. Click here for details

Kaleva Village Park Campground, Kaleva, MI
Almost FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Village Park Campground has 30 campsites. Some have no hookups, some are 20/30A E/W sites. Dump station (free to registered campers, otherwise $10) on site. There are vault toilets but no showers. Fire rings, picnic tables, playground, picnic areas. 2020 rates: E/W sites $20/night; no-hookup sites $15/night. Weekly & monthly rates available. Click here for details.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 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 demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.


Please join our Facebook group, Free Campgrounds, and share your favorite free camping spots or submit free or inexpensive campground information to us here. Thanks!

See last week’s free (or almost free) locations here.


Resources
Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.
Overnight RV Parking: More than 14,000 location listings. Inexpensive membership required.
Harvest Hosts: Members can stay free overnight at farms & wineries.

AFFILIATE OFFER: Save 10% on campground fees when you join the Good Sam Club!

Helpful videos
• Video: Where to camp for free in an RV.
• Video: How to camp in an RV at Walmart for free.
• Video: Best source of free and inexpensive RV camping.
• Video: Which “Big Box” stores allow free RV camping?
• Video: RV camping for less than $1 a day. Stay months.
• Video: Okay to stay overnight at truck stops?
• Video: Camping at Elk Lodges. An amazing bargain.

Walmart Free RV Parking

Walmart’s official policy about overnight stays in RVs.
The ABCs of “camping” at Walmart.
Guidelines for overnighting in an RV at Walmart.

Good Reading
RV park owners say “Walmart campers are cheapskates.”
The appeal of boondocking in the desert.
Articles and information from RVtravel.com about boondocking.
Six safety tips for overnight RV stays at casinos.
Free camping at wildlife refuges.
Why overnight RV parking at truck stops is a bad idea
Try winter boondocking at LTVAs in AZ and CA deserts.





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Why FMCA did not refund registration fees for cancelled rally


The following letter was sent by FMCA (The Family Motor Coach Association) to its members explaining why it was not refunding their registration fees for the club’s recently cancelled Tucson international rally. Members paid anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars. Instead of refunds, the club offered certificates good for a future rally.

Questions have been raised about the certificates being given to Tucson convention attendees. This decision was agonized, discussed and debated from the moment the Board of Directors voted to cancel the event.

FMCA logo

The decision to cancel was based upon protecting the health and well-being of our members, vendors, and staff. Even if we had not decided to cancel, the decision would have been made for us. Large gatherings have been disallowed. The event could not occur this week even if we wanted it to. I commend the Executive Board on prioritizing the well-being of everyone in attendance over finances.

Based on comments in the posts, a few items need to be addressed.

FMCA does not have an insurance policy for this type of cancellation. We do have general liability for each event that is put on. It covers if someone is hurt and other incidents that can occur while the event is taking place. If we purchased insurance for every single scenario that could occur, it would be tough to offer anything at a reasonable price to our members.

Cancelling the Tucson event on such short notice resulted in a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. FMCA has six full-time employees who do nothing but plan and execute our conventions. Their salaries, benefits, and other overhead required to run the department now have no income to offset them. There are many deposits and money needed to secure services for the events such as grounds deposits, entertainment, decorating and electrical, and many others as well. Some will be able to be rolled over to future events. Others will be lost. Either scenario creates a massive cash flow issue.

Lastly, as stated in the letter from FMCA national president Jon Walker, FMCA is a non-profit organization. The budget is set to break even or make a very slight profit each year. These two events being cancelled will cost the bottom-line hundreds of thousands of dollars.

WITH A BOTTOM LINE budgeted to break even, this situation is crippling to our operations. Some companies can more easily weather the storm. For example, cruise ships are offering full refunds and future credits for cancellations. Those companies make millions of dollars in profit each year. Unfortunately, FMCA doesn’t have that luxury. Many other companies do not either, so they are offering certificates for future service as we are.

This is not an ideal situation for FMCA and nearly all the United States and Canada. With our members support and compassion, we will come out of this stronger than ever. Thank you for your understanding in these difficult times. 

We’ve had many items to sort through and we can’t thank you enough for  your support while we have worked feverishly to provide clarification in a timely manner.





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On a daily basis, how many people do you live with in “self-isolation?”


Most of us are holing up in our homes or RVs, working from home or just passing the time until better times return. If that’s you, how many people are you spending your time with? We’re not talking about the grocery clerk you see every week or so.

We’re talking about the people you see day in and day out, all staying out of public as best as possible — the people you live with.

Curious minds would like to know.

But remember, the poll may take a few seconds, so hold your horses, partner!





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RV Electricity – Road Signs: Music Therapy


By Mike Sokol

What were you listening to the year you graduated from high school? This is more important than you realize…

A number of years ago I remember hearing an NPR interview about a scientist who was studying how memory works. And one of the areas of this discussion that interested me most was how many songs we know, and why we seem to remember “the good old days” with songs from our teenage years (whatever that was for each of you) being the songs that we remembered the best as well as having the most emotional impact.

His theory was that songs that we heard during our musical formative years have the deepest connection to our emotional memories. Turns out these formative years cluster right around high school. Yup, what you listen to when you’re, say, 14 to 20 years old, sticks with you for the rest of your life.

So I thought about this a bit and tried it out on friends and family. When was the best music for me? Well, I graduated from high school in 1972, so that suggests late ’60s and early ’70s are my musical touchstones. And I do admit to loving Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Santana, Deep Purple, the Zombies, and Led Zeppelin (and I could go on with dozens more from that era). However, my child-bride Linda is 5 years younger than me and didn’t have the same musical experiences in high school that I did. Her dad was a trombone player in the Rohrersville Band, and Linda played flute and piccolo, often in concerts and marches.

So when I hear Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, I’m in heaven, but Linda just cringes and tells me it sounds like stripper music. (Hey, it’s a love song…) On the other hand, if we go to see an orchestra or marching band play Stars and Stripes, I’m complaining about that shrill little piccolo, while she’s in total rapture reliving her teenage years of playing with her dad in a marching band.

If you want to get a big conversation going just mention anything about music to Gary Bunzer (the RV Doctor) and he’ll wax poetic about his guitars and the songs he loves to play, many of them from his high school years.

Why do I mention this? Well, right now we all need some happy things. And unfortunately many of our happy things have been cut off from us. We can’t go camping, we can’t eat out in a restaurant, we can’t go shopping in a store without dressing up in a hazmat suit.

So what can we do? Well, I would suggest it’s time to queue up the greatest hits of your youth, find a good pair of headphones if you don’t want to make your significant other cringe at your music choices, and lay back for a deep listen. For example, when I first listed to Hendrix I thought he was darn good. But as a teenager I was listening to an LP on a cheap record player with a little 3″x5″ speaker. However, now I have full-tilt studio monitors and know how to tune my room so it sounds like his original recording sessions must have sounded like. And at times I literally have tears streaming down my face from the sheer beauty of the playing and production.

So what’s your favorite musical years and artists? Could be Django Reinhardt, or Blondie, or the Beatles, or Black Sabbath, or Tchaikovsky or Paul Simon, or whatever. Listen on Spotify or YouTube or whatever music streaming service you’ve got. Relive the moment you first heard Pink Floyd’s Meddle (I do, and there were recreational “enhancers” involved) or whatever floated your boat at the time. Then please tell us in the comments below about the music you love, when you learned to love it, and why you love it.

The times they are a-changin’, and we can change with them if we just keep our heads and hearts together. I look forward to reading about your favorite music in the comments below.

Let’s listen safe out there….

 

 

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

Email me at mike (at) noshockzone.org with your questions.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

 ##RVe29





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Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, March 28, 2020


The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for late-breaking news for RV travelers but it’s impossible to keep up with the rapidly changing closures, reopenings and events that are changed or canceled. Some state parks are closed to all camping and events. Others remain open for camping but not events. Some closures/cancellations are for two weeks, some for two months, some permanently until further notice.
    If you have camping reservations call to cancel and make new ones and/or check on refund policies, which vary.  
    We will all be traveling again soon. For now it’s important to check ahead directly with the campground. This column’s focus for now is on RV travel for later this summer and into the fall. Conditions can change quickly. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: March 28, 2020

FULL ALERT: These days we are seeing many news postings about  “RV parking.” Look further. This may mean day parking only or temporary dry overnight camping in a public parking lot for the homeless.

GEORGIA AG CENTER HAS RV PARKING
The Bulloch County Agricultural Complex in Statesboro is not only RV friendly, it has recently added Wi-Fi in the RV parking area for county residents who don’t have Wi-Fi at home but must work and home-school during this crisis. The RV lot has showers, bathrooms and 54 sites with hookups. Call 912-871-7265.

LOUISIANA CAMPGROUND STORY UNFOLDING
Still announcing that it will “open in 2020,” Fireside RV Resort in Ponchatoula is On Hold but bears watching for developments. As of press time I found the website (full of information) and listed phone non-responsive. The resort advertises 163 RV sites, some pull-thru and some double or triple wide. Plans are for children’s and adult swimming pools, swim-up bar, kayak rentals, a stocked fish pond, playground, cabin rentals and more for RV travelers and snowbirds.

MINNESOTA CELEBRATES SWEDISH IMMIGRANTS
It’s the Year of the Dala Horse at the Gammelgarden Immigrant Heritage Museum in Scandia, an hour north of the Twin Cities. When this outdoor museum opens this summer it will have a schedule of events, a regular farm market and sunny days outdoors where parents can introduce children to their Swedish farm heritage. Camping is nearby at William O’Brien State Park, which has more than 70 sites with electric hookup  along the banks of the St. Croix River. Hike trails through rolling hills. Fish for northerns, walleye, bass and trout. Canoe the river, which is also a flyway offering superb bird watching. Get museum information later from info (at) gammelgardenmuseum.org

ONTARIO CAMPGROUNDS OPEN EARLY
Already open for the season is the pet-friendly Willow Lake Campground, Woodstock, which opened a month earlier than usual to accommodate returning Canadian snowbirds. Upcoming events at the family-owned campground include Mother’s Day Weekend, May 10, and Victoria Day Weekend, May 16. Call  519-537-7301. Also opening early is the Saugeen Springs RV Park near Hanover. Look for other RV parks throughout Canada to follow suit.

OREGON KOA HAS NEW DIRECTION
The new owner of the Redmond/Central Oregon KOA plans improvements including 50-amp power to all sites. Wi-Fi will be improved, bathrooms remodeled and new fire pits will have grates.

WASHINGTON WATERSHED FESTIVAL IN JULY
Unless further news announces a cancellation, the Watershed Music Festival at the Gorge at George is still on for July 31-August 2. Some RV camping packages are still available online at watershedfest.com. Headliners at this highly rated music event include Keith Urban, Ashley McBryde, Blanco Brown and dozens more to fill three days with music.

WYOMING TO TAX CAMPGROUND STAYS
In 2021,  Wyoming will begin collecting a new 5% tax on overnight stays at campgrounds. In other states called a tourist tax or bed tax, the tax is often assessed by the state, county and some cities. In Wyoming the tax will go to state and county tourism promotion efforts. With existing and proposed taxes by state, county and city, the total lodging tax in the state may be as high as 12%. Cheyenne Frontier Days will be held July 17-26.

Stay Tuned

Public lands within the Lake Babine Nation, one of the largest aboriginal land holdings in British Columbia, are gradually being transferred to tribal control. It will be several years before projects are complete in the 13 parcels, but RV travelers will find improved parking, fishing ramps and other facilities. The Lake Babine Lodge is already scheduled to open.

PLAY FAIR (STATE FAIR, THAT IS)
We will travel again, but now is a good time to play fair by staying scarce and starting a bucket list for later when the world welcomes travel again. Looking  ahead to October, state fairs will be held in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Massachusetts. It’s a good bet many of these fairgrounds also offer RV camping and they all put on a whale of a show with music, midway, great food and agricultural displays.
It’s too soon to talk about earlier dates, but as the coronavirus winds down and the state fair season spools up, look for your state to have its state fair right on schedule. Also on the calendar will be county fairs, which are often held at fairgrounds that offer camping. State fairs are held almost every day of the month, so be on the watch for earlier fairs too as the travel season progresses.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-new book, “March Malice, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.

Please send us your campground news. Just fill out the form.





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Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, fighting COVID-19


By Chuck Woodbury

My neighbor in Seattle, Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, is in the intensive care unit of a local hospital in critical but stable condition with COVID-19. 

Many of you know Gary for his lifetime of writing for RV magazines and teaching seminars at RV shows and rallies across the county.

Gary told a mutual friend of ours last week that he had the coronavirus and was not feeling well. He said not to tell anybody in the industry. That’s Gary’s way, I think, not wanting people to worry about him. Our friend waited a few days to tell me because he knew I would want to know.

It wasn’t until three days ago that I learned from Gary’s wife Debbie that he was in the hospital. “He’ll get back to you when he gets home,” she said, replying to my email message to him.

Today, being terribly worried along with a few friends who know his condition, I emailed Debbie and asked her to please let me announce his condition to the RVing community so his many friends and fans could pray for him.

Gary is perhaps the best known RVer in America, and I don’t think there is a person alive who does not love the guy. I’ve known him for about 20 years now. Living close to him for so long, we’ve met for coffee on countless occasions at home and at RV shows across the country. His “office” at home is always a nearby coffee house.

So please, put Gary on your thoughts and prayers. If you wish to leave a message for him to read when he recovers, feel free to leave it below in the comments.

Come on, Gary, fight hard. . . we’re all pulling for you. . . 





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Xantrex debuts two new solar charge controllers


BASED ON A PRESS RELEASE
Xantrex has added two new solar charge controllers designed to work with popular battery chemistries including Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4).

The new 30A MPPT charge controller features dual bank output and advanced Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technology to maximize energy harvest. The dual bank output feature allows for solar to charge and maintain the house and starter batteries. The batteries may be of different chemistries as long as they have the same nominal voltage, either 12V or 24V.

Featuring an advanced multi-stage charging algorithm, the MPPT charge controller offers an industry-leading 98% energy conversion efficiency. The built-in LCD display provides easy programmability and real time data about the solar system, including volts, amps, watts and watt-hours.

THE OTHER NEW CHARGE CONTROLLER is the entry-level 30A PWM charge controller with a flush-mount industrial design for a clean, aesthetic finish. It also features a built-in LCD display providing easy programmability and real time data about the solar system.

Optional accessories, including a battery temperature sensor and MPPT remote panel, are now available. The list price of 30A MPPT charge controller (part # 710-3024-01) is $299. The list price of 30A PWM charge controller (part # 709-3024-01) is $159.

Both charge controllers are in stock and available for shipping.





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RV Travel Newsletter Issue 941


Welcome to RVtravel.com, the only newsletter that puts its readers far ahead of commercial interests. Please tell your friends about us!

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 19th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thanks to all of you; you know who you are!

If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!




March 28, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition


With Chuck Woodbury

Iam frustrated by the flood of news and information coming my way since we met here last week, most of it about the pandemic — how to deal with it. It’s daunting sitting here now on Friday morning deciding how to best present everything without overwhelming you.

Like many readers, daily life for me is uncertain now. Gail and I do not want to risk returning to our home near Seattle which is only a few miles from the nursing home in Kirkland where more than 30 people have died. Yet, holing up in Arizona where we are now, we fear we could be evicted from our private RV park by government orders, as has happened elsewhere. We have a Plan B and a Plan C ready, just in case.

I am now dealing with COVID-19 in a very personal way, and am committed to help fight it every way I can. The virus took the life of a former neighbor of mine last week, and at this very moment one of my best buddies is in the hospital fighting for his life. The pandemic has become very real to me. Read more.

Toby O’Rourke

“WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER” MESSAGE
Perhaps the most visible RV business in North America is KOA, Kampgrounds of America. I asked Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of the company, to address the readers of this newsletter to explain what KOA is doing to adapt to these difficult times. So here she is with a short message she recorded from her home Friday morning in Billings, Montana. We plan to bring you more messages like this from industry leaders. This message, and those to follow, are not sponsored or paid for in any way. We provide them to you as a public service. Thanks to Toby for taking the time to record this just for us.

 

* * *
Please take a few minutes to read the essay below by our Mike Sokol. It has a lot of good information and advice for you during this time of crisis.

During this crisis, ask what you can do for your neighbor

By Mike Sokol

These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls.

I used that quote last week, and it’s even more true by an order of magnitude this week. Just a few months ago we had little idea of what was in store for us all (the human race). But now we’ve looked into its eye, and it ain’t pretty. COVID-19 has become front and center of everything we do, changing our social lives, our work lives, even our shopping lives. But I won’t go into all the things to panic about. Instead I’m going to tell you what I’m personally doing to help with the situation and suggest you find your own positive ways to help.

“Don’t sit there and whine that you have nothing to do. Open a bottle of wine and figure out some way to help.” —Mike Sokol

Yep, my brain has been in overdrive the last few weeks finding ways I can help. So I’m going to outline a few of the things I’m currently working on, as well as suggesting some ideas you might consider to help yourself and others out. Continue reading.

*****

If you are a member of Facebook, be sure to join our group RV Coronavirus News. You will learn a lot.



Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

Exhaustive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting RVers, and how they are coping.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …


We need your support now more than ever
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, more than half of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.


Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrates your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these, in upcoming issues.


Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.



Brain Teaser

What four-letter word can be written forward, backward or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)


Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips

How to repair a tear in an RV awning.
Using RV locks safely – and wisely.
Dealing with dust storms on the RV road.
A macerator pump can resolve your sewage issues.
Buffing out your RV finish.


Can your pets get, or give you, COVID-19?

While public health officials don’t know the exact source of COVID-19, they’re working hard to try and figure it out. What they do know, though, is that the first infections were linked to a live animal market in Wuhan, China. So if a human got the virus from an animal, why haven’t other animals continued to spread the virus to more humans? … Can your furry or feathered pet companion give you coronavirus? Can they get the virus themselves? Find out here.

Full-timers – Where can you stay during this outbreak?

The COVID-19 situation has turned us all upside down. Did you have a road trip planned? Did your plans include an RV show or other related event? It’s a good guess that your event is postponed or cancelled altogether. With many of our readers in “stay home” order areas, you’re likely glad you have a home. Or do you? For RVtravel.com readers who are full-time RVers, home may be “where you park it” – but the question is, under the current conditions, just where can you park it? Read more.

What to read during the coronavirus outbreak (Pandemic edition)

Sure, many of us are still staying busy during these scary coronavirus times. Many of us are still working, or doing all those projects around the house or RV that we’ve been saying we’ll get to. But many of us are feeling pretty isolated and bored right now too, and that’s where reading comes into play. Here’s a list of books to freak you out during this pandemic, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Video: Update on recent cougar attack in Colorado RV park

As previously posted by Russ and Tiña De Maris, things got a bit exciting at the Riverview RV Park & Campground in Loveland, Colorado, on Wednesday, March 11, when a mountain lion attacked two people. Testing later revealed the 93-pound mountain lion was infected with rabies. Click here for more, including a very brief video of the attack.


Many drug store shelves are empty. Make sure you’re stocked up on Tylenol. Click here


Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles

Ah, camping! Your own outdoor movie theater!
RV Shrink: Couple disagree on full-timing with cats
“Soak” up the good vibes at this RV park


How is the stock of inventory in your local grocery stores?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.


Keep mice out of your RV
A best-seller! 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.


Readers tell us (What we learned about you last week)

We analyze what we learned about you and fellow RVers from our reader polls and your comments.

Would you like to own and operate an RV park if given the opportunity?
How stimulating is your life?
If you were thinking of buying a new RV soon, are you still thinking about it or would you postpone for a while?


Thoughts from a reader’s self-quarantine

By Steve Barnes: In this time of so much virus news and saturation, RVers can look on the bright side, for we have so much to be thankful for. Rushing home from Nevada to British Columbia, it was comforting to know we had our “fifth” home behind us. RVers, at least boondockers, are self-sufficient. Perhaps it is time for “full-service park RVers” to think about modifications that would make them self-sufficient. Read more.

WOOD you own this 1920s motorhome? You’d sleep like a LOG!

This Douglas fir log motorhome was built in 1920 near Seattle, Washington. It was built out of a single Douglas fir log on a 1920s 3-ton Dodge Brothers chassis. Check it out!

Coronavirus is not fair. Some thoughts

This was posted by the Washington State Department of Health. We believe it’s worth sharing. “If you have kids, maybe you’ve had a chance to develop your version of the ‘life’s not fair’ speech. Here’s the public health version of it: There’s nothing fair about disease. Families in our state do not have equal access to medical care, or jobs, or food, or housing. And this puts some of our families at higher risk of getting sick, or losing income or even their homes as a result of a serious illness.”  Read more.

Homeless in California: An RVing family’s struggle to shelter in place

RV Travel reader Kasey Yanna writes: “My husband and I decided to sell our home, buy an RV, and travel full-time. I had my fears. But I didn’t imagine something like the Coronavirus pandemic would cause a series of events that would leave us feeling abandoned and homeless three months later.” Read more.


Now is a good time to clean out your water heater!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 910
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.


At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems

Heartland RV is offering a new concept in toy haulers – and for some of us out here in RVer land, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. With much fanfare, the Thor Industries stepchild company based in Elkhart, Indiana, is announcing its patent-pending Hidden Garage. This all-new concept makes its debut in the 2020 Cyclone 4214 toy hauler. But what’s the hidden problem? Find out here.

Action Needed: Keep RV parks open

RV parks across the country are closed/closing in response to state and local orders. Most states are allowing individual counties to dictate their own measures. We are hearing all kinds of mandates, some of which could force residents/guests to leave an RV park where they are currently sheltering. This puts fellow RVers in jeopardy. Read more and take action.

Make outdoor RV fabrics look like new

We’ve never seen your RV in person, but we know for a fact there are a few stains on its outdoor fabrics. It’s just part of the RV life. … From cotton duck to modern acrylic textiles, all outdoor fabrics collect stains and eventually begin looking old and tired. Here’s a biodegradable product that really cleans outdoor fabrics well. Learn more.

All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie…

Steve Korsvall posted this hilarious story on our RV Advice Facebook page. We’re sure you’ll chuckle as much as we did. Here’s what he wrote: “We were jetting out the holding tanks of a 5th wheel of a guy that just got this RV six months earlier. He complained it was compacted. Well, in cleaning it, all of a sudden a 6 oz. bottle comes out with the cap still on it….” Read the rest of the story.



MOST POPULAR: Photos: Cougar attacks two people in Colorado RV park.
Is Good Sam finished as an active RV club?
Video: Hilarious dog gives quarantine advice.
KOA closing some parks by order of governments.
Reader letter: RV park doesn’t understand the term “LP gas”.
RV Electricity – Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.): Do I need a generator grounding rod?
RV Travel’s guide to DIY projects and RV mods to do while you’re stuck inside.
Funny camping photos and memes of the week.
Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, March 21, 2020.
Pilot Flying J issues official statement on diesel discount debacle.


Our Facebook and RVillage GroupsRV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).

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.

The RV Show USA
Listen each Wednesday evening on Facebook or YouTube for the live taping of America’s only syndicated radio program about RVing.

The RV Death Spiral
Read the eight-part series of editorials by Greg Gerber that the RV industry never wanted written. Download the PDF.

RV Clubs
Check 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.


Coronavirus must-haves on Amazon. Click here to see what’s available.


Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down

Dear RV Shrink:
I found last week’s column very interesting. As new full-timers, we think we messed up. As the dominoes fall with this pandemic, we are constantly surprised how much it is impacting our lives. We have already been asked to leave two parks. We are now looking into your idea of federal land use. Can we be thrown out of these areas too? —Concerned in Central Arizona

Read the RV Shrink’s response.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


What can be done for a noisy RV slideout?

Dear Gary:
Our 2007 Winnebago has a living room/dinette booth slide that makes a loud groaning or growling noise when sliding. It has a little bit of a jiggle back and forth along the front edge as it comes in. It did not do that for a while when we bought it new. We have tried some cans of stuff recommended by a local RV shop here but it didn’t help. Last week we stopped by our dealer and we were told, “Well, some of them do that. It could cost a lot to have it fixed.” And they were wanting to sell us a newer model (diesel). …

Read the rest of the question and Gary’s response.


Canceled travel plans = an upset wife? Here’s the perfect gift…
If your travel plans have been canceled and the wife is upset, this earring and necklace combo is the perfect gift to cheer her up! (Or, ladies, you can just buy this adorable combo for yourself!) We think all the ladies of the RVtravel.com staff need this… Chuck? Learn more or order here (trust us, you’ll get major brownie points.).


Sign up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter.
Coronavirus news for RVers in your inbox daily!

Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Read Friday’s issue here and then sign up here.


Don’t build this DIY dogbone: It could kill you!

Mike Sokol saw this home-brew dogbone adapter on another RV Travel Facebook page the other day, and immediately stepped in to warn everyone of the dangers. The poster said, “Made me a dual 110 to 220 30 Amp adapter for my RV. I can now in emergency connect to Two separate 110 Outlets (on different poles) and go to 220 volt.” The poster removed the post, and Mike moved it to his RV Electricity Facebook group to warn folks, where he received many questions about it. Here’s Mike’s explanation of why this is so dangerous. Important information for everyone.

This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session

Do I need a generator grounding rod? A reader asks Mike if he has to ground his new generator to a ground electrode, as the manual says.

Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
And you don’t want to miss Mike’s webstreams on his YouTube channel.



Tire “reserve load” calculations

From Roger Marble: I ran across a post on tire reserve load or reserve capacity that suggested the RV owner had been given incorrect information. Read the post and Roger’s reply.


Campground, Smampground. Everything is ON HOLD!

Besides Machelle (and most of us) being overwhelmed from so much negative coronavirus news and also suffering from social withdrawal, the loan from the bank for the RV park is on hold as well as the meeting with Planning and Zoning. In addition to all of that, there are some concerned neighbors complaining to P&Z that they didn’t have a chance to attend the prior neighborhood meeting. But there is some good news mixed in with all of these major, albeit temporary, setbacks. Read Machelle’s update here.


A thing that does all things!
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 875This large silicone pad can be used in your microwave under hot bowls to pick them up, or on top of a dish as a splatter guard, on your table as a hot plate, a drying rack, or even as a jar opener. When it gets messy just toss it in the sink for a wash, or even put it in the dishwasher. About $10 on Amazon makes it a great deal. Talk about a great multi-tasking gadget for your RV (or home) kitchen.


Tortellini Salad

Pantry raid tortellini salad. This delicious one-pot meal can be made with no fresh ingredients, so it’s an ideal recipe to tuck away with your emergency supplies in the RV and at home. Stow the makings in your pantry now to pull out in a pinch or simply when you’re just too tired after a long day to cook from scratch. Plus, some great “emergency pantry” tips from Janet. Get the recipe.


Stuck at home or inside your RV? Use Zoom online meetings for get-togethers

With orders to stay at home during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, meetings are going virtual, and Zoom.us is quickly being adopted as the tool of choice for friends, families, businesses and organizations to hold online meetings. Whether you just want to get together with a few friends for happy hour, keep your Book Club going, or manage a community meeting when no one can come to the Community Center, Zoom might be your answer. (Note from editor: This is what RVtravel.com uses for online meetings.)


These socks don’t stink!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 888
If you don’t believe us when we say these compression socks really work, look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews and maybe you’ll change your mind. These socks provide instant relief to your arches and heels and work to increase blood and oxygen circulation, which helps reduce lactic acid buildup and aids muscle recovery in ankle and feet. Click here to learn more.


Funny RV WTF? (What The Fail?)
Vintage Camper Lovers
Motorhome Madness

PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS:
RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsBudget RV TravelRV Videos • RV Coronavirus News


Trivia

Enamel in teeth is the hardest substance in the human body and contains the highest percentage of minerals (at 96%), with water and organic material composing the rest. Source: Wikipedia

Bumper sticker of the week

I cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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

Joke of the Week

We are 11 days into self-isolation and it is really upsetting me to witness my wife standing at the living room window gazing aimlessly into space with tears running down her cheeks. It breaks my heart to see her like this. I have thought very hard about how I can cheer her up. I have even considered letting her in – but rules are rules. —Thanks to Tom Hart!

Worth Pondering

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” —Eleanor Roosevelt


Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues


RV Travel staff

CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Emily Woodbury, Russ and Tiña De Maris. Contributing writers: Mike Sokol, Bob Difley, Richard Mallery, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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.
• Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Tom and Lois Speirs • Alan Warren • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later. 

Are you interested in our affiliate program? Learn more.

REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on RVtravel.com in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. Learn more here.

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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com





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During this crisis, ask what you can do for your neighbor


By Mike Sokol

These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls.

I used that quote that last week, and it’s even more true by an order of magnitude this week. Just a few months ago we had little idea of what was in store for us all (the human race). But now we’ve looked into its eye, and it ain’t pretty. COVID-19 has become front and center of everything we do, changing our social lives, our work lives, even our shopping lives. But I won’t go into all the things to panic about. Instead I’m going to tell you what I’m personally doing to help with the situation and suggest you find your own positive ways to help.

“Don’t sit there and whine that you have nothing to do. Open a bottle of wine and figure out some way to help.” —Mike Sokol

Yep, my brain has been in overdrive the last few weeks finding ways I can help. So I’m going to outline a few of the things I’m currently working on, as well as suggesting some ideas you might consider to help yourself and others out.

#1) I’m launching my RVelectricity™ Webstreaming this coming Thursday, April 2, at 1 p.m. EST. What gave me the kick in the butt to do this was that I’m supposed to be in Tucson, AZ, today teaching an RVelectricity seminar for the FMCA. But it was cancelled two weeks ago and I’m all dressed up with no place to go.

So I’ve bought a pro version of Ecamm software, ironed my pretty red shirt with the atomic logo, and set up my office for livestreaming. Until we are back to normal (and probably long after that), I’ll be livestreaming a different 20-minute RVelectricity™ Webcast every week, along with a 3-minute Video Short. That way you will have a continuous stream of information on all things electrical as it relates to RV power (and maybe more).

No, I really don’t have a sponsor for this yet, but I’m sure one will come. But I’m not going to sit around and worry – I’m going to teach. So if YouTube is my classroom, then you’re all my online students. All you have to do is subscribe to my RVelectricity™ YouTube channel.

#2) I had a call from one of my best friends who’s helping a neighbor with a 3-D printer produce dozens of safety masks for medical centers in the area. Hard to believe, but we know dozens of local nurses and healthcare workers (some working in the COVID-19 area of our hospital) who still don’t have face masks.

So, when the call came in about some guy lacking clear plastic for the face shields, I helped engineer a new way to do this that saved him a bunch of assembly time, and also supplied him enough stock from my own inventory to build 300 masks. I also found a source and ordered another 300 pieces of this special stock, and I have another 300 pieces still on the shelf. So, my small contribution will help keep up to 900 health care workers safe by providing them with free face masks. If the hospitals can’t do it, then my friend and I are willing to help.

Kari Culberson at topstitchatl.com

#3) My wife has been comforting family members on the phone for the last several weeks since they’re all terrified of the Coronavirus, and she’s doing a great job of keeping them calm. And we have a few family members who may have been exposed and they’re now self-isolating.

I’ve ordered a few small comfort items for them and hung them on their door after carefully disinfecting them. Then we call them from the safety of our car and tell them their goodies are on the door. It’s not a lot, but even a box of your favorite decaffeinated breakfast tea can mean a lot when you’re stuck in the house and can’t go out.

If they need anything really important I’ve offered to do a store run while protecting myself. Yes, I used to work in a class-100 clean room back in the ’80s building missile guidance systems, so I know a good bit about avoiding contamination.

#4) One of my grown children can’t go to work right now, and since he was already taking online classes for his Master’s degree, he asked the teacher to let him work ahead. He’s spending 5 hours a day taking his next class on his computer. He loves it and has been getting 98% grades so far.

Those are some of the things I’ve been doing, so here are some other possibilities for you. Some are whimsical while others can save lives. Don’t sit there and whine, do something…

#1) Consider setting up your RV as a possible isolation room. You may find a family member has contracted COVID-19 and needs to be isolated from the rest of the household. What better place than your RV trailer in the backyard. But get your power hooked up to it now before you really need it. And no, a cheap orange extension cord doesn’t qualify. If you already have a pedestal on your house, that’s great. Or at least get the heaviest and shortest extension cord that will fit and get it hooked up.

#2) Don’t hoard things. No, we’re not going to run out of toilet paper anytime soon, so you probably only need to stock a few months ahead. I’m pretty sure nobody needs to buy a year’s supply or install a bidet adapter on their toilet right now, but that’s happening. Ugh.

#3) If you can sew, there are some sewing clubs making surgical masks for heath care workers. While what you’re sewing won’t be N95 rated, workers can wear them over top of their limited supply of N95 masks, thereby extending their life.

#4) Paint or make something pretty and give it to a friend that needs a lift. Depression is dangerous so anything that gets their mind off of this situation for a few minutes can help.

#5) Put in a garden and learn how to can vegetables. It’s better than eating processed food anyway.

From capfire.net

#6) Design something useful and start making them for sale on Etsy or give them away locally if you can. I really like this little kid’s hat with a protective face shield, but use your imagination. Don’t overprice them on Etsy, please, as many people are out of work, so be fair.

#7) Start a Facebook group and post ideas that can help keep everyone safe. Here’s one created by my colleague Nichole Wheeler called MAP – Maintenance Awareness Prevention – with ideas to keep safe and sane. I just posted about using an iPad rubber-tipped stylus to avoid touching the screen on your ATM or gas pump with your fingers. Works great. And I love the post about using doggie poo bags as quickie gloves (saves the glove supply) when you have to touch doorknobs or whatever. Really great ideas. (Editor: Here are more rubber-tipped stylus pens on Amazon.com, if you’re interested, since the one Mike mentioned is almost out of stock.)

#8) Make sure you read Chuck’s Coronavirus updates here on RVtravel.com. He’s working hard to keep you, our RVing readers, informed about RVing and staying safe in these challenging times.

#9) Move your body, for heaven’s sake. We’re mostly sitting on our couches now, so find an online program on Yoga or stretching or whatever exercise you like (or can at least tolerate) and start doing it on a regular basis. Outdoor walks are encouraged as long as you stay 6 feet from anyone. Take your dog for a walk – he or she will enjoy getting some fresh air and exercise, too.

#10) Stay healthy from other medical problems. You do not want to go the hospital right now for a broken leg, or heart attack, or anything else for that matter. So don’t take any risks (no bungee jumping or chain sawing trees) and just chill out until this all blows over. I’ve talked to a few medical industry insiders who say they expect to be fully overloaded very soon, and you don’t want to be part of the problem. And be sure to order your regular medications as far in advance as you can. Don’t expect your pill order to arrive in a week – better plan for a month or more of delivery time, or as far in advance as they let you order.

Oh, and if you have any ideas to help out, please tell us in the comments below.

I hope this helps inspire you to find something you can do to help. Finally, as I always say (and it’s even more true than ever) – Let’s play safe out there….

 

 

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

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From editor Chuck Woodbury, hiding out in Arizona


From the editor

As I noted in my essay in today’s newsletter, I know two people with the COVID-19. One has died, the other is fighting for his life. For me, the pandemic is real.

Huge changes are underway. Not to appear too negative, but it’s a difficult time for most of us.

Every RV show, every RV club rally, most every other public event that I am aware of, has been cancelled for months ahead. Half our country’s state parks have closed their campgrounds. Many national parks and national forest campgrounds have closed, too.

Millions of people have lost their jobs, and more will every day. It makes me sick to think of what these people are about to endure without money to pay their bills. I sometimes feel guilty that I still have a job. At RVtravel.com we are hanging in there, and will probably get through this if we work hard and smart. We have lost more than half our advertising, but thankfully many readers have voluntarily subscribed, which will help carry us through until better times return.

The disease is not going away until a vaccine is developed. Americans will not be packing into churches on Easter. It will take longer.

The RV industry is shutting down. Already Winnebago and Thor have closed their factories. Smaller companies have, too. I will be surprised if any other major RV manufacturer will be building RVs in two weeks. Small companies will go broke, as happened in 2008. I don’t envision the RV industry returning to any sense of normalcy for at least a year, most likely longer.

I am not smart enough to know where all this is going, but I strongly believe crisis mode will be with us for at least a few months. I am not in the mood to hear another person tell me the pandemic is not real, a hoax, fake news, or was propagated by the Chinese or a particular political party for some sort of evil agenda.

Watch your friend die, or your child, your spouse or next door neighbor … you will never again question that this is real.

Gail and I are holed up in our motorhome in Kingman, Arizona. But we’re losing our site in a few weeks. We’re not sure where we’ll go. Many snowbird parks, which would normally have vacancies now, are still filled and have waiting lists: Residents do not want to move, just stay safe, away from big cities. They can still socialize – but six feet apart.

Our daily updates about the coronavirus in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter have sent our circulation soaring. We are adding 1,700 new subscribers a week (sign up here). We welcome each of you, and ask that you tell an RVer friend of yours about us if you like what you see.

I count my blessings that I have a comfortable RV to live in during this unprecedented crisis. I sometimes can’t believe what’s happening. It’s like a bad dream that I will awaken from soon.

For now, Gail and I will spend a lot of time at our computers, doing what we do best when stuck in a small space with nowhere to go – informing RVers about how they can navigate through this awful time. Our staff is also hard at work, all in their homes, including my daughter Emily, who lives smack dab in the epicenter of the COVID-19 death zone in Washington. Lucky for her, she has always worked from home and can continue to do so.

Some good will come of this, as I have said before. If nothing else, maybe people will learn that no matter what our political beliefs we need to join together to battle a fierce enemy. I am already seeing this happen and it’s the one bright spot in all this.

While you are sitting at home, maybe it’s a good time to catch up on some reading or watch a different cable news channel for another perspective. And every day that you remain healthy, count your blessings. And, please, help others whenever you can. We are in this together. We are living in what will be one of the most historic times in America, and, in fact, world history.

Be strong, be safe! We will come through this . . .

chucksignature





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How is the stock of inventory in your local grocery store(s)?


Many grocery and big box stores across the United States have been hard hit by shoppers, many of them hoarders stocking up with food and other supplies in anticipation of shortages later. Stocks of toilet paper, rice and pasta have been completely exhausted in some stores.

Although experts say our supply of food and other essentials is excellent, it hasn’t stopped some consumers from stocking up. At Costco, lines have often been an hour long or more.

What’s it like where you live? After you answer the poll, feel free to leave a comment with details about your local situation.

The poll may take a few moments to load, so please stand by.

We have asked more than 1,500 polls at RVtravel.com through the years. Here’s a recent one that we found interesting. More than 3,500 readers responded. We asked: How stimulating is your life? Read how they responded here.





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RV Travel


This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.





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RVelectricity: Don’t build this DIY dogbone – It can kill you


By Mike Sokol

Dear Readers,
I saw this home-brew dogbone adapter on another RV Travel Facebook page the other day, and immediately stepped in to warn everyone of the dangers. The poster pulled it off the site in a few minutes, but not before I snagged a few screen shots. I’m worried that as RVers are displaced from their normal campgrounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll see more highly dangerous wiring that can either blow up your RV’s electrical system, or kill you, or both. Here’s one you DO NOT want to do, as well as why it’s a code violation.

First, he posts a picture of a DIY adapter he built with a pair of standard male 15-amp plugs. That’s feeding into a box with a TT-30 RV outlet, which is exactly what you would plug an RV’s 30-amp shore power cord into.

Looks innocent enough, doesn’t it? Well, read what he had to say about how he wired and and why he wired it this way. If he’s serious about this (and I hope he’s not), then it will be used to create a 240-volt service on an RV outlet that must be wired for 120-volts only. That’s right … it could fry every electrical component inside of your RV in seconds. So say goodbye to your converter and refrigerator. Adios to your tank monitoring system and microwave. Ciao to your entertainment system and air conditioner. It will all be toast in seconds.

So after posting this on my RV Electricity Facebook group, there were a bunch of questions about why exactly it was dangerous, how he might have wired it, and why it was a code violation. I promised an explanation to my group, so here it is. And this gives many of you newbies a chance to learn how to read a basic schematic, so follow along.

Here is how an electrical box is wired up in the good ol’ USA. As you can see, there’s a transformer on a pole (or pad) which converts the 11,000 volts or so into 240 volts. That’s further split down the middle into 120/120 volts with a neutral divider. Every home in the USA is wired exactly like this, which we call a split-phase 120/240-volt service.

If we connect a meter between either of the two poles (legs) and neutral we get more or less 120 volts. But connect a meter between both of the poles (legs) and we’ll measure 240 volts. I think what his plan entailed was connecting the two 15-amp plugs as I’ve illustrated in the first diagram. If that’s the case, and he does succeed in plugging into outlets on two different poles, then you can see that the TT-30 outlet is now connected between them and will send 240 volts into an RV electrical system only designed for 120 volts. Yes, it will be a total disaster in seconds.

Now, the second example is also dangerous, but in a different way. I’ve assumed that he’s wired this DIY adapter to combine the amperage of two different outlets into a common TT-30 outlet. If he manages to connect those plugs into outlets on the same pole (leg), then it will provide 120 volts to the TT-30 outlet. But pull out one of the 15-amp plugs, and its contacts will be energized by the plug that’s still connected. If he connects this to two outlets on different poles (legs), then it will be a direct short across the 240-volt service, and the fireworks will be spectacular.

In any event, it’s all dangerous, it’s all a code violation, and you never want to brew up something like this on your own. It will either kill someone or blow up your RV’s electrical system, or both. So DO NOT DO THIS.

BTW: My new RVelectricity Webstream is going live this Thursday, April 2, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time, with additional 20-minute modules at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. You’ll want to subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE, but I promise it will be painless. Yes, it’s free and available to watch anytime later.

See you on my RVelectricity YouTube channel this Thursday, April 2.

Let’s play safe out there….

 

 

 

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Join Mike’s popular and informative Facebook group.
And you don’t want to miss Mike’s webstreams on his YouTube channel.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVT941





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Thor pitches in on front line of coronavirus defense


As communities across the country continue to grapple with the growing pandemic, many of the RV brands owned by THOR Industries are stepping up to support healthcare workers with critical supplies and mobile units to fight the spread of the virus.

Here’s a partial listing to date of the efforts by THOR companies:

Airstream, Inc. has donated two NEST travel trailers for the Wilson Health medical team to use to conduct testing at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelby, Ohio. The site will be set up as a drive-through and a Wilson Health medical team will collect specimens from patients who have a physician order for a COVID-19 test to be performed.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles has donated critical supplies to Beacon Health System in Elkhart, Indiana—delivering two pallets of supplies to Beacon’s incident command center inclusive of 400 face masks and 700 chemical protective suits.

Jayco has donated several units as well as safety glasses, face masks and vinyl gloves to local healthcare facilities and area first responders in South Bend and Goshen, Indiana. The company gave two Seismic 4125 toy haulers to serve as additional space for pediatric immunizations outside of the clinic with the goal of keeping kids safe during the pandemic. Jayco also donated one unit to the Middlebury Fire Department to use as a quarantine space should one of the firefighters become infected.

Keystone RV Company has donated supplies throughout its local Indiana community including masks and protective suits for the Wakarusa Ambulance Department, masks for healthcare professionals in a network of nursing homes in Northern Indiana, and sets of eye protection for Goshen Hospital. The company is also supporting their Pendleton, Oregon community by providing 400 masks to St. Anthony Hospital.

K-Z Recreational Vehicles has raised funds to provide medical supplies to area hospitals. In addition, the company is partnering with Goshen General Hospital and other area businesses to produce reusable protective masks.

Thor Motor Coach has provided chemical protective suits and face masks to healthcare workers in Elkhart and Goshen, Indiana.  The company has also donated fabric for its furloughed employees to make face masks, hoping to eliminate a future shortage in the area.

“This is an unprecedented time in our history, and one that requires us to come together and help where we can,” said Thor president and CEO Bob Martin. “We are proud of our companies as they have and will continue to step up to support our communities and the healthcare professionals doing the hard work of fighting this disease. Our hope is that we can look back at this time in history and say that we all cared for one another and because of that, we came out stronger than ever.”





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Homeless in California. An RVing family’s struggle to shelter in place


By Kasey Yanna
SPECIAL TO RVtravel.com
My husband and I decided to sell our home, buy an RV, and travel full-time. I had my fears. But I didn’t imagine something like the Coronavirus pandemic would cause a series of events that would leave us feeling abandoned and homeless three months later.

But two days ago, we were kicked out of an Army Corps of Engineers campground in California. We picked the campsite in a small town to stay away from the more populated cities and practice social distancing while the virus was spreading through California. But when the shelter-in-place order was handed down by the governor, the order didn’t accommodate full-time travelers staying at state and federal parks or campsites.

When a park ranger first knocked on our RV door to tell us about the possibility of the park closing, my husband explained that we, plus our toddler and two dogs, live in our RV full-time and were trying to shelter in place, where should we go? Her response: “The Flying J allows RVs overnight.” The Flying J. A gas station? Driving from a secluded park in the hillside to sleep at a gas station with frequent visitors doesn’t sound like the responsible (or safe) thing to do in the midst of a pandemic, but okay. Thanks for that.

So I began searching for nearby BLM lands, which often offer free camping, but didn’t find a spot close to us that could fit the length of our RV (32 ft.). That’s when I turned to RV parks, which we typically avoid because we prefer staying closer to nature. I, along with my husband and brother-in-law, called more than a dozen RV parks, only to hear “We’re all booked” more than a dozen times. When I finally reached a park that had availability, a rush of relief ran through my body.

But the relief was short-lived. While completing my reservation over the phone, the RV park employee put me on hold to answer another line. When she hopped back on my line, she had her boss on speakerphone. He proceeded to share that due to an email he had just received regarding the shelter-in-place order, they could no longer accept new reservations. The efforts to make people stay home and flatten the curve were kicking us out of one park and causing us to be turned away from another. My heart sank.

Will we be forced to sleep at a rest stop until we find a place to stay? Should we leave California and head to a state with fewer restrictions? Do we need to travel back to Texas to stay with family? We considered our options and the fact that our heater had just broken and needed to be repaired. Our solar panel system was also not working properly but the rain (and assumption that we wouldn’t be forced to leave our campsite) had kept us from troubleshooting that issue.

Thankfully, another RV park took us in. I sound like a desolate orphan that received charity, but this park actually charges 3–4 times the rate of the other parks that were all booked, plus the one that turned us away. And still, in this situation, money was almost useless. We were almost without a place to park our home.

During these unsettling times and despite our struggles to find a place to park our home, I know how fortunate we are to have food, shelter, and other necessities. Still, this is the first time I missed our old house — the one that was stationary, survived a tornado and offered a type of security that our RV does not.

##RVT941





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Action needed: Keep RV parks open


A message from the Escapees Club

RV parks across the country are closed/closing in response to state and local orders. Most states are allowing individual counties to dictate their own measures. We are hearing all kinds of mandates, some of which could force residents/guests to leave an RV park where they are currently sheltering. This puts fellow RVers in jeopardy.

We encourage you to take part in a grassroots effort to reach key leaders directly. Every day that passes, Federal and State campgrounds are closing their gates. And, with the potential for more states and counties to mandate private RV park and campground closures, we need to act now. In addition to working as an association with our political leaders and our fellow industry leaders, we feel it is time to encourage each individual to reach out to their elected officials and explain to them why is it critical that they consider RV parks as essential businesses.

We urge you to contact county officials now! Go to https://www.escapees.com/keep-rv-parks-open-during-coronavirus/ for information on who and how to contact, as well as sample letters. Our advocacy team is already reaching out to state and county officials on behalf of RVers, but we need your help to increase the power of our voices.

To make this easier, we have composed three samples to help you with ideas. You are welcome to use any of them as you wish, but it may be considered more earnest if you modify the examples to better fit your opinions and circumstances or write your own words. You will find the samples on our website.

No matter if you choose to call or write, it is always best to keep your message respectful and courteous and limit it in length. And remember, our political leaders have rarely been so busy as they are right now. To find your state and federal political leaders, visit USA GOV.

For more information on this effort, visit https://www.escapees.com/keep-rv-parks-open-during-coronavirus/.





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What to read during the coronavirus outbreak (Pandemic edition)


Sure, many of us are still staying busy during these scary coronavirus times. Many of us are still working, or doing all those projects around the house or RV that we’ve been saying we’ll get to. But many of us are feeling pretty isolated and bored right now too, and that’s where reading comes into play. Now is the perfect time to settle down with a good book and enjoy the peace and quiet of the world around us. And, what better books to enjoy than those that really freak us out about the current state of our world?

Here’s a list of some books you can read to get you through these wild, weird times.

Are you reading anything interesting? Tell us in the comments!

1.) The Plague, Albert Camus

A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror. Camus’ novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of 20th-century literature.

2.) The Stand, Stephen King

A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. 

3.) The Road, Cormac McCarthy

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.

4.) Earth Abides, George R. Stewart

A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he’d either dreaded or hoped for.

5.) Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end…

6.) Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, Laura Spinney

In this gripping narrative history, Laura Spinney traces the overlooked pandemic to reveal how the virus travelled across the globe, exposing mankind’s vulnerability and putting our ingenuity to the test. As socially significant as both world wars, the Spanish flu dramatically disrupted – and often permanently altered – global politics, race relations and family structures, while spurring innovation in medicine, religion and the arts.

##RVT941





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Building an RV park: Campground, Smampground. Everything is ON HOLD!


By Machelle James

My brain is fried. I am on Coronavirus overload. I had to turn off the news as the ups and downs with the stock market, new virus cases, unemployment, furloughs and politics are fueling anxiety that I never had before. These days life is a lot different by staying indoors, away from friends and family – and I am NOT used to being so isolated.

We found out that due to the banks being closed and everyone told to go home, our loan is at a standstill. It’s on hold with no one even looking at it anymore. I am frustrated, and I am angry. I understand it, I really do. This is not just affecting us, but many people around us as well. We are sitting here waiting to get funding, waiting to start, and everything has been put on hold.

Not only that, but our public meeting with Planning and Zoning has been put on hold as well. We were informed that they have postponed all public meetings until further notice OR until they figure out a way to hold public meetings online. I suggested Zoom meetings, as you can have up to 100 people in that meeting for free. I am not sure if that will go anywhere, but I did suggest it.

On top of all that, we have a small group of neighbors who complained to Planning and Zoning that they didn’t have a chance to come to our prior neighborhood meeting. We were advised (even though it’s not mandatory) to have another meeting via online to show a PowerPoint Presentation to the concerned neighbors.

It’s crazy how people’s minds work. They all assume the worst. The fear of a HUGE RV park being built across the street from them. Now you all know how small we really are, so this makes me laugh. They also are fighting the zoning we have. It’s unfortunate that I have to explain to them that we are the correct zoning and we are NOT asking for a zoning change. We are zoned correctly. We just need a permit to operate.

It’s comparable to us to agreeing to a more stringent set of rules and guidelines to abide by for operating an RV Park. Any of you who own or built an RV Park are very aware of the NIMBYs who simply have no argument besides, “I don’t like change and I just don’t want it here.”

On a good note, we were able to meet the only local Off Road mechanic and his wife before we were all ordered to stay home. They are Mike and Vickie, and they only opened up shop in our small town two years ago. They are super busy being the only Off Road shop up here. They were delighted to have us partner with them for when we do open and our guests have a trusted mechanic to fix their OHVs.

We also met with our insurance agent to learn about the true costs for operating an OHV-friendly campground. While they have rules that we as campground owners need to enforce, it wasn’t that bad at all. Arizona is such a HUGE off-roading state that it was not a surprise, nor rare, to ask for this type of insurance.

We are NOT renting ATVs or Side x Sides at all. That has different insurance requirements. We simply have to make sure children under 16 years old wear a helmet, and they cannot drive themselves around the inside of the campground. Mom and Dad have to drive their OHVs to outside the property or they can push their own OHVs outside our property line. We have to follow the rules, and so do our families.

In the interim of this madness, AJ and I have decided to keep working on things that we can do ourselves until the storm ends. We are digging out tree roots with our friend’s excavator, we are still cutting down the shrubs for RV storage and we will be putting up a temporary fence this weekend. I am going to nail down some sign ideas for the internal parts of the park: street signs, one-way signs, CHECK IN HERE signs, site number signs and our Clubhouse sign. I have wonderful friends who want to help with wood cutting and painting of our signs, so I am thankful for them as well!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our neighborhood meeting as well as any promising news that comes our way.

Thank you all for following our journey and, as always, See You in the Trees!

And please leave a comment.

Read previous articles here.

Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.

##RVT941





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Fulltimers-where can you stay during this outbreak?


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

The Coronavirus situation has turned us all upside down. Did you have a road trip planned? Did your plans include an RV show or other related event? It’s a good guess that your event is postponed or cancelled altogether. With many of our readers in “stay home” order areas, you’re likely glad you have a home.

Or do you?

For rvtravel.com readers who are fulltime RVers, home may be “where you park it,” but the question is, under the current conditions, just where can you park it? We wrote this piece on Friday morning, March 27. Here’s just a smattering of places you can’t call home if you’re a fulltimer:

California: All state parks and “developed” Forest Service sites are closed. Colorado: State and forest service campgrounds closed. Private parks are questionable, the state is still determining oi they are “essential” or not. Connecticut: By order of the governor, all campgrounds are shut down. Illinois: All state parks are closed; hotels and motels are open as “essential,” but the state has yet to rule on how essential private parks are.

We could go on. In some states, no restrictions have been put in place, in others, ‘no room at the inn,’ is the order of the day. This leaves fulltimers in a big pickle. For those who require utility hookups, the situation can be pretty serious. If you need electricity, for say, a residential-style refrigerator, you’re likely watching your food rot, as there’s no place to stay.

Here at rvtravel, we’re struggling to keep up with the news. The two of us joke about putting together the Sunday news column. With so much COVID-19 news, we thought for our part, we’d simply skip the topic, and let other areas of our publishing wings handle it. Yesterday, we had five total non-Coronavirus items of interest to publish. It seems like if it’s not about the virus, it isn’t happening. Chuck, our fearless publisher, is dealing almost non-stop with literally “viral” information. We’d love to put together a comprehensive list of “what’s open and what’s not” but we just don’t have the resources.

BUT, there is an internet resource that is trying to keep up with information that our fulltiming friends will need. The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) an industry support group, has created and is continually updating an internet-accessible spreadsheet of the status of both public and private campgrounds on a state-by-state basis. Here’s the link to follow to get that information.

Meanwhile, if you’re out there, you may find some private campgrounds open. We’ve heard heartbreaking stories of fulltime travelers who lament that they normally stay in lower-cost publicly operated campgrounds, like those found at county fairgrounds. One young couple say when these public campgrounds shut down, they were still able to find private campgrounds available, but the nightly costs were so high, they were out of their reach. No doubt the same is true with older RVers living on fixed incomes.

What’s to be done? We’d like to reach out to our readers who have to face these critical times on the road. How are you making do? What experiences have you had, and based on those, what advice can you share? Please drop us an e-mail to russ AT rvtravel.com, and yes, replace that AT with the typical e-mail formatted at sign. We’d like to share your experiences with our readers as we bump down this road together. Meanwhile, know that the staff here at rvtravel is concerned and cares about all of you. Do your best to stay safe, and look forward to better times.





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WOOD you own this 1920s motorhome? You’d sleep like a LOG!


If you wanted to know what RVs looked like 100 years ago, here’s your chance. (Just kidding. We don’t think all RVs were built inside Douglas fir logs!)

This Douglas fir log motorhome was built in 1920 near Seattle, Washington. It was built out of a single Douglas fir log on a 1920s 3-ton Dodge Brothers chassis. Douglas firs can grow up to 250 feet, and are the second-tallest conifer (pine, evergreen) after the majestic Redwood trees.

Would you like to own this RV? You know you’d get a good night’s sleep in that cozy bed – you’d sleep like a log!

These photos were taken in 1922. Do you know anything about this RV? If so, tell us in the comments. We’d love to learn more about it!

##RVT941





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RV Tire Safety: Tire “reserve load” calculations


with RV tire expert Roger Marble

I ran across a post on tire Reserve Load or Reserve Capacity that suggested the RV owner had been given incorrect information. Here are the post and my reply.

Post:
Personally, I’d run LTs, simply because of their higher “reserve” capacity; upwards of 30% over the stated load. Given that STs have, at best, 10% (used to be basically 0%), you’re still in ST load territory, with a much better tire. Hell, we used to run our old 1/2t trucks with massive loads and just air up to 60-65 psi and go. Yes, it wasn’t very far, or very fast, but those tires still lasted 50-60k miles, usually with steel cord showing around the edges. 🙂 We’d then take them off and put them on a disk or trailer and use them until they sun-rotted.

My reply:
I think someone misinformed you about “Reserve Load.”

All tires have a stated load capacity, for example, “2,340# Max Load” molded on the tire sidewall at a stated inflation level such as”50″ psi.

“Reserve Load” is the difference between the actual applied load and the stated load capacity and is many times stated as a percentage.

Example: A vehicle is on weight scales and we learn that a tire has 2200# load on the tire. The tire has a load capacity of 2,750#. 2,750 minus 2,200 = 550#, which is 20% of 2,750#. It doesn’t make any difference what type tire we are talking about as the math is still the same.

Now, it is true that for a given set of dimensions, e.g., 235/75R15, the stated load capacity is different depending on the type tire and inflation level. P-type and LT-type and ST-type each have different stated load capacities at their stated inflation pressure. For this discussion, let’s keep inflation differences out of the picture.

Let’s look at a P235/75R15 at 35 psi that is rated to support 2,028#. (In a trailer application P-Type must be de-rated by Load/1.1, giving 1,842# capacity.) An LT235/75R15 is rated for 1,530# @ 35 psi and an ST235/75R15 is rated to support 1,870#.

BUT the “Reserve Load” calculation is still (Tire Load Capacity/Measured scale Load).

The 10% margin for trailers is the difference between the GAWR and the total capacity of the tires on that axle at their max load. I have posted in my blog some actual margins showing that many cars have load margins of 25% to 35%, while some RVs made before Nov. 2017, when RVIA changed the “margin” to 10%, had margins of tire capacity vs. GAWR as low as 1%.

Hope this helps.

 

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

 ##RVT941

 





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Can your pets get, or give you, COVID-19?


While public health officials don’t know the exact source of COVID-19, they’re working hard to try and figure it out. What they do know, though, is that the first infections were linked to a live animal market in Wuhan, China. So if a human got the virus from an animal, why haven’t other animals continued to spread the virus to more humans? As we know, the virus quickly mutated and is now spread person-to-person.

Can your furry or feathered pet companion give you coronavirus? Can they get the virus themselves? At this time, no. There is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 and the CDC says they have not received any reports of pets (or other animals) becoming sick with COVID-19.

However, because COVID-19 was spread from animal to human initially, the CDC warns that you should still restrict contact with your pets and other animals if you become sick, or suspect that you are sick, with COVID-19. Until more information is known about the virus, it is a good idea to stay safe around your pets.

If you do become sick, the CDC recommends that another member of your household take care of your pet in a separate area. They say that you should avoid petting, snuggling, being licked by or sharing food with your pet. If you must be around your pet while you are sick, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after interactions.

You can find more information on the CDC website here.

##RVT941





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Stuck at home, or inside your RV? Use Zoom online meetings for get-togethers.


With orders to stay at home during the CoronaVirus pandemic, meetings are going virtual, and Zoom.us is quickly being adopted as the tool of choice for friends, families, businesses, and organizations to hold online meetings. Whether you just want to get together with a few friends for happy hour, keep your Book Club going, or manage a community meeting when no one can come to the Community Center, Zoom might be your answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Zoom meetings?
    It’s a website (Zoom.us) and apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS that provides tools for holding online group meetings. Meetings can include video, audio, and screen sharing by any participant.
  2. How does Zoom meetings work?
    One person sets up a meeting and “hosts” it inviting others to “join” by sending them a link with the meeting ID.
  3. How much does Zoom meetings cost?
    It is completely free to host a meeting for 100 participants up to 40 minutes. A “Pro” account costs $14.99/mo and allows meetings up to 24 hours. See Plans & Pricing for more. People who join the meeting can have a free account, or even no account at all.
  4. Does Zoom meetings really work?
    I’ve been involved with several groups who use Zoom meetings over the last few years and we have nothing but praise for how easy and effective it is. Zoom has a well-deserved reputation for having excellent video and audio quality – even in this time of unprecedented usage. The only thing we have found that degrades the experience is the quality of the Internet connection on the participants’ end.

What does a Zoom meeting look like?

Although it is truly easy to host and join a Zoom meeting, there is a lot it can do, and plenty to learn. Below is a video recording of a one hour Zoom meeting with 50 people. Everything taught here is written up in detailed notes at Episode 187, and also see the video and written notes at Episode 186,

 During the one hour meeting we offer How-To information on many topics:

  • How to mute and unmute your microphone while in a meeting
  • How to change the name displayed with your picture
  • How to view everyone in the meeting (gallery) or just the person speaking
  • How to display a virtual background rather than the messy office behind you
  • How to share your computer screen with the entire meeting

In addition to our Beginner’s Zoom lesson in Episode 186, and our Real, 50-person Zoom meeting in Episode 187, here are 4 short videos:


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do?  They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years. 





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Digital RVer: Stuck at home or in your RV? Use Zoom online meetings for get-togethers


By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour

With orders to stay at home during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, meetings are going virtual, and Zoom.us is quickly being adopted as the tool of choice for friends, families, businesses and organizations to hold online meetings. Whether you just want to get together with a few friends for happy hour, keep your Book Club going, or manage a community meeting when no one can come to the Community Center, Zoom might be your answer. (Note from editor: This is what RVtravel.com uses for online meetings.)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Zoom meetings?
    It’s a website (Zoom.us) and apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS that provide tools for holding online group meetings. Meetings can include video, audio and screen sharing by any participant.
  2. How does Zoom meetings work?
    One person sets up a meeting and “hosts” it, inviting others to “join” by sending them a link with the meeting ID.
  3. How much does Zoom meetings cost?
    It is completely free to host a meeting for 100 participants up to 40 minutes. A “Pro” account costs $14.99/mo. and allows meetings up to 24 hours. See Plans & Pricing for more. People who join the meeting can have a free account, or even no account at all.
  4. Does Zoom meetings really work?
    I’ve been involved with several groups who use Zoom meetings over the last few years and we have nothing but praise for how easy and effective it is. Zoom has a well-deserved reputation for having excellent video and audio quality – even in this time of unprecedented usage. The only thing we have found that degrades the experience is the quality of the Internet connection on the participants’ end.

What does a Zoom meeting look like?

Although it is truly easy to host and join a Zoom meeting, there is a lot it can do, and plenty to learn. Below is a video recording of a one-hour Zoom meeting with 50 people. Everything taught here is written up in detailed notes at Episode 187, and also see the video and written notes at Episode 186.

 During the one-hour meeting we offer How-To information on many topics:

  • How to mute and unmute your microphone while in a meeting
  • How to change the name displayed with your picture
  • How to view everyone in the meeting (gallery) or just the person speaking
  • How to display a virtual background rather than the messy office behind you
  • How to share your computer screen with the entire meeting

In addition to our Beginner’s Zoom lesson in Episode 186, and our Real, 50-person Zoom meeting in Episode 187, here are 4 short videos:

Stay healthy my friends.


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do?  They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years. 

##RVT941





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1306


Friday, March 27, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”Nelson Mandela

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Joe Day! If you know a Joe (or Jo), celebrate with them!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


Tip of the Day

How to repair a tear in an RV awning

Left on their own, small vinyl RV awning tears can get bigger. Fixing a small tear in an area, barring a person’s physical limitations, is easy. You may already have what you need for a fix. It’s called “RV GOOP” and is made by the same outfit that developed “GOOP” for shoe repairs.

Pick a day for the job when the weather (both rain and winds) will allow you to keep the awning unfurled for several hours. Rolling up an awning with uncured vinyl cement in place is a surefire way to ruin your whole day next time you need to deploy it. Here’s how to fix an awning tear.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.


Out-of-kilter RV slideout

Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received the following letter from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor: “I have a 2011 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel. My main slideout started coming together about four inches sooner at the top than at the bottom. It does close all the way but then tries to come off the floor on the bottom. Can it be adjusted? But the bigger question is: What caused this?” Read Chris’ response.

Yesterday’s featured article: Ernie Pyle was a pioneer road-tripper


This amazing tool does so much!
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 903This 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.


You may have missed these recent popular stories…


Reader poll


Readers tell us

If you were thinking of buying a new RV soon, are you still thinking about it or would you postpone for a while? See what fellow RVers said here.


If you own a firearm, you must have this book!
Firearms laws guide updated for 2020

The 2020 updated edition of the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has just been published. The book is always a best-seller among RVers, many of whom carry a firearm when they travel. The annual guidebook helps ensure they stay out of trouble when crossing state lines, where the laws may be different. Learn more in this article.


Helpful resources

NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
LATEST RV RECALLS.


Quick Tip

How to make sure you get the right replacement faucet

Need to replace a faucet in your RV? Best to remove the old one, then take it with you when you shop for the new one. Some RV faucets have different spacing than “house” faucets and you need to ensure the less expensive (or greater featured-filled) ones from the “big box” store will fit.


Random RV Thought

Never put wet wipes or other wipes (of any sort) down your RV’s toilet even if they say they are “septic safe.” Yes, they may be septic safe for a home septic tank, but not for your RV, where they could cause you big problems. Read our recent story about this here


Easily check the tire pressure on your inner dual tires
Do you have trouble reading the tire pressure on your RV’s inner duals? This dual head tire pressure gauge with an extension steel shaft will reach where a standard gauge won’t. Be sure you know the pressure of all your tires, or risk a potentially dangerous blowout. No batteries required. Learn more or order at a discount.


Website of the day

30 awesome DIY projects
If you’re stuck inside, here’s a great list of 30 DIY projects to keep you busy. We love the pebble hot pad. Be right back, off to the beach we go to collect stones!


Clubs and useful organizations
PLEASE NOTE: We may receive an affiliate commission if you join any of these.

• Harvest Hosts: Stay free at farms, wineries and other scenic and peaceful locations for free. Save 15% on membership.
AllStays: The best website for RVers! Your membership will become your RV-bible.
Overnight RV parking. Directory of more than 14,000 locations where you can stay for free or nearly free with your RV. Modest membership fee.
Boondockers Welcome. Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Modest membership fee.
Escapees. Best Club for RVers: All RVers welcome, no matter what type of RV, make or model.


Trivia

Each area code has 792 possible prefixes or “NXX” codes. And each “NXX” has 10,000 possible phone numbers attached to it. So, theoretically, there are 7,920,000 possible seven-digit phone numbers in each area code.

What happens when you put a grape in the microwave? Find out in yesterday’s trivia section, where we showed you an insane video of the results. 


Does your RV have slide outs? Prevent early deterioration – and necessary replacement – of the seals by treating them with a seal conditioner. Read more here.


Leave here with a laugh

My friend phoned me and asked what I was doing. I said, “Probably failing my driving test.”

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


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RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 27, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

* * *
The mayor of Port Aransas, Texas, has issued a declaration that beginning last night at midnight, RV parks within the area will be treated as a residence. That means that no RVs can be moved into any parks within the city and those that leave an RV park cannot come back.

Colorado has closed its campgrounds (including yurts and cabins) at its state parks as well as camping at State Wildlife Areas until further notice. More.

One of the donated Jayco RVs.

Jayco is donating several RVs to an Indiana health care facility and area first responders in an effort to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. The South Bend Clinic has received two Seismic 4125 toy haulers from Jayco to serve as additional space for pediatric immunizations outside of the clinic with the goal of keeping kids safe during the pandemic.

All Idaho State Park campgrounds will close at 5 p.m. today to comply with Governor Brad Little’s recent stay-at-home order. Idaho State Parks remain open for recreational usage during the day, but no new camping reservations will be accepted through May 15 at the earliest.

FMCA’s June 24-28 Northwest Area Rally has been cancelled.

Hood River, Oregon, a Columbia River Gorge travel hub, has ordered an immediate halt until April 13 to discretionary overnight stays at motels, hotels, short-term vacation rentals, hosted home shares, bed and breakfasts, RV parks and campgrounds. Viewing areas at nearby Multnomah Falls, are also closed.


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


All early season camping reservations at New York state campgrounds have been cancelled until the end of April, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said. “To reduce potential community spread of COVID-19, all campgrounds, cabins, and cottages are closed to overnight visitation through April 30. All visitors with reservations will be issued a full refund,” DEC said.

Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park closed Wednesday.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced that campgrounds, cabins and bathhouses at Virginia State Parks will be closed through April 30. Effective today, March 27, Virginia State Parks will only be open for day use and  activities such as hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and exercise.

Saddlehorn Campground in Colorado National Monument is closed.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis says he will sell up to 500,000 shares of his company’s stock to help set up a relief fund for his employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “We are in unprecedented times and we are all making sacrifices, but it is important for us all to do more and I’m reaching into my pocket to protect the team,” he explained.

Ocean Shores, Wash., Mayor Crystal Dingler issued an executive order Wednesday closing hotels, RV parks and other commercial lodging businesses and vacation rentals effective Friday at 3 p.m. Businesses are to immediately begin vacating existing guests by Friday afternoon. The order is effective through April 10.

Patrick Industries, Inc. a major manufacturer and distributor of component and building products for RVs, will suspend operations at some of its facilities.

U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds in Colorado are now temporarily closed.

Ashe County, North Carolina, has also restricted short-term rentals during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The new restrictions apply to hotels, motels, resorts, inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV parks, vacation cabins, home rentals, and other rental programs where leases are for less than 60 days in duration.

The U.S. Forest Service has closed all its developed recreation sites throughout California to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District also has closed all recreation facilities at its 10 parks and lakes, including campgrounds, visitor centers, boat launches and day-use areas to prevent the further spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19.

La Mesa RV is temporarily closing its RV dealership in Albuquerque, New Mexico. RVs that were in for service before the closure will need to remain at the facility until a planned reopening on Monday, April 13. Customers are being contacted alerting them to the closure.

Reader William Newman reports that the Fort Hall, Idaho, RV Park is closed until at least some time in April 2020.

Schreiner City Park in Junction, Texas, is closed to camping but otherwise open.

The Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service has closed developed recreation facilities — campgrounds and picnic areas in National Forests in California —  until at least April 30. The closure will affect several campgrounds in the Big Bear Lake area and along Highway 38, many of which were set to open in April.

Reader Sharon Boehmer reports: “I had an April reservation cancelled and refunded at Escapees Rainbow’s End park in Livingston, TX. I believe this is due to Polk County stay at home order.”

Thanks to Carole Wallace for passing this along to us.

Fort Collins, Colorado, is temporarily letting residents use RVs as an option for social distancing and self-quarantine. People are now allowed to occupy RVs on private property, including yards and driveways, or on a street next to the vehicle-owner’s home. They can use the RVs for working, living or sleeping purposes to promote social distancing or quarantine due to COVID-19.

Across the country, RV park owners are asking their insurance agents if their park is insured for a disruption of service due to a COVID-19 related shutdown. Here’s one agent’s answer.

Reader Jeff George reports that all Kansas City District U.S. Corps Of Engineers campgrounds and swim beaches are closed.

Mammoth Cave Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort will be temporarily closed beginning today, March 27. The owners hope to open by April 13 “if it looks to be advisable and in the interests of public health.” Meanwhile, campgrounds in Mammoth Cave National Park have closed.

ALERT FOR CHEESECAKE-AHOLICS: The Cheesecake Factory has informed its landlords that it won’t be able to make rent payments due on April 1 for any of its storefronts, according to a report from Eater Los Angeles. The restaurant company informed all of its landlords in a letter that a “severe decline” in restaurant traffic has decreased its cash flow and inflicted a tremendous financial blow to business levels.

Also: Check before you head off to your local Waffle House. Hundreds of locations are closed around the country.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


READER OBSERVATIONS

From Dee Shultz: “Can you explain why it’s fine for parks to be closed to RVers but left open for day users? Everyone should stay home but full timers have a problem getting home! And how does letting people use the park during the day protect anyone?? At least RVers stay inside their rig!”

We’re Open!
Nancy Walker of the Clarksville RV Park in Clarksville, Tennessee, reports her park is open. “We have new check-in procedures listed on our website and Facebook.”
• John Herbst, owner of the R J RV Park in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, reports that “We are open to all RV travelers who need an overnight space. We have 10 pull-throughs and some back-ins available. We’re at Exit 75 of Interstate 25 going north and south. Reservations suggested at 575-894-9777.”
• Sherry Shay of Becs RV Park says it is open. It’s on Hwy U.S. 83, 25 miles north of Uvalde, Texas, in Concan. “We do not anticipate shutting down. Becs is a Good Sam Park. Our water is so pure that you can safely drink right from the faucet. Tastes great too! 830-232-5477.”
• From Lisa A: “I work camp in Junction, Texas, at 10/83 RV Park. It’s open for overnighters. Located just off I-10.”


Stuck at home? Bored?
Catch up on your reading with an eBook from Amazon. Search now and be reading in a few minutes.


SOME GOOD NEWS (SORT OF)

VIRUS DOESN’T LIVE AS LONG AS REPORTING INDICATES
According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 can live in the air and on surfaces between several hours and several days. The study found that the virus is viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. It is also detectable in the air for three hours.

Carolyn Machamer, a professor of cell biology whose lab at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has studied the basic biology of coronaviruses for years, offered this encouraging postscript: “What’s getting presented out of context is that the virus can last on plastic for 72 hours — which sounds really scary. But what’s more important is the amount of the virus that remains. It’s less than 0.1% of the starting virus material. Infection is theoretically possible but unlikely at the levels remaining after a few days. People need to know this.”

WORTH PONDERING

Philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates believes that America needs six to 10 weeks of “extreme shutdown” of regular life to get a handle on the new coronavirus outbreak (or COVID-19), contradicting comments from President Trump. “It’s very irresponsible for somebody to suggest we can have the best of both worlds,” the Microsoft co-founder said in an interview with TED on Tuesday. “In six to 10 weeks, if things go well, then you can start opening back up.”

HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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Readers tell us: If you were in the market for a new RV, would you buy it now or postpone?


By Emily Woodbury

With uncertain times ahead, your RV buying plans may have been pushed off. And if you’re thinking of postponing your RV buy, think of all the other people that are too. What will happen to RV dealerships? There are a lot of unanswered questions right now, but as we RVers are good at doing, we’ll just have to ride this one through.

A couple of weeks ago, in our Saturday newsletter poll, we asked you this very question: If you were thinking of buying a new RV soon, are you still thinking about it, or will you postpone for a while?

The results were pretty close, as you can see from the poll above (please vote if you haven’t already!). More than half of you, 58 percent, said you’d postpone for now, but 42 percent of you said you’d go ahead and buy.

We asked you to leave a comment, so let’s scroll down and see what you had to say.

Many of you made comments similar to Bounder, who wrote: “Wait until the dealers start dropping prices which should be soon. Possibly a flood of private sales too.”

Bill commented, “We have been planning to buy a new trailer in May, and have been given a fixed price that is very attractive. If we had pulled the needed cash out of our investments when the Dow was at 29,000 or so, we would have eagerly gone ahead as planned. But the 30% decline in value of our investments means that the price of the RV has essentially gone up 30%. Not so attractive now.” And yes, many others of you mentioned similar things.

Joni Weed said, “We actually are in the market for a new RV in the coming few months. We definitely must now hold off as there is too much uncertainty in the market. All hinges upon selling a sticks and bricks, changing residence. These things may not be in the realm of reality for the next several months. I am a retired community health nurse. I saw this coming in the last month, including what it might mean. So we must content ourselves with maintaining the current RV and keeping our plans on hold.”

And Ron, who is speaking for us all, wrote, “Would not buy a new one until the manufacturers address QUALITY.” *slow clap*

Well, that’s a wrap for this one, folks! If you are looking to buy a new RV, good luck! Remember to get underneath it, on top of it, and check for outlets by the bed! And, you know, everything else too. Cheers.





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RV Doctor: What can be done for a noisy RV slideout?


Dear Gary:
Our 2007 Winnebago has a living room/dinette booth slide that makes a loud groaning or growling noise when sliding. It has a little bit of a jiggle back and forth along the front edge as it comes in. It did not do that for a while when we bought it new. We have tried some cans of stuff recommended by a local RV shop here but it didn’t help.

Last week we stopped by our dealer and we were told, “Well, some of them do that. It could cost a lot to have it fixed.” And they were wanting to sell us a newer model (diesel). We said no. This noise would wake up any close-by neighbors in an RV park if we were moving the slide in or out, and we want it nice and quiet again. The bedroom slide does not do this. It is nice and quiet. Yes, it is a smaller slide.

Any suggestions on what to do? How can we fix or troubleshoot the problem? It works fine, just is noisy. —Doug and Rose

Dear Doug and Rose:
It’s apparent your dealer isn’t too interested in helping, but I do believe your situation warrants a detailed inspection by a qualified service technician – one who is RVIA/RVDA certified. And obviously one who is truly interested in helping you!

It’s quite possible you have a couple of issues. One is a misaligned slide room. There are multiple adjustments the pro techs can do to eliminate alignment problems (see photo) but, unfortunately, most are not for the typical RV handyperson. Some even require specialty equipment.

One thing you can check: the lubrication of the slideout mechanism. Grinding or groaning noises can be attributable to either the wrong grease being used or simply not enough lubrication, or possible binding. Improper lube can attract dirt and road grime resulting in noisy operation and worn components.

A lot depends also on the type of slideout mechanism that powers that room. If you can see and access the gears, clean them thoroughly and then apply a dry lubrication. I’ve had great success with Protect All Slideout Lube. A dry lube will not attract and trap damaging contaminants.

That brings up the third possibility, simply a worn mechanism. Again, a pro technician should be able to quickly diagnose the problem with a first-hand inspection and a few tests. A heavier-than-normal room may wear out the gears, especially if the incorrect lubrication is used.

gary-736

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

##RVT941





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All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie…


Steve Korsvall posted this hilarious story on our RV Advice Facebook page. We’re sure you’ll chuckle as much as we did.

Here’s what he wrote: “We were jetting out the holding tanks of a 5th wheel of a guy that just got this RV six months earlier. He complained it was compacted. Well, in cleaning it, all of a sudden a 6 oz. bottle comes out with the cap still on it. I said to this new-to-RV-camping person. ‘What is this bottle doing in your tank?’ He said with a straight face, ‘Well, the salesman told me to put the whole bottle into the tank.’
For you newbies out there…
Take bottle out of box. Take cap off bottle. Pour contents of bottle into tank and throw bottle into trash can…
Happy trails”

Oh dear… if the person Steve was writing about is reading this right now, we’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you (right??).





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RV Shrink: Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down


Dear RV Shrink:
I found last week’s column very interesting. As new full-timers, we think we messed up. As the dominoes fall with this pandemic, we are constantly surprised how much it is impacting our lives. We have already been asked to leave two parks. We are now looking into your idea of federal land use. Can we be thrown out of these areas too? —Concerned in Central Arizona

Dear Concerned:
Like you, we are taking it a day at a time. At this point we are in an Arizona State Park. They have not closed down, like neighboring states have, and we are hoping they do not. It really makes no sense to close state parks in areas flooded with snowbirds. I would assume the government wants to keep citizens safe. Throwing them out of safe harbors makes no sense at all, but many states have done just that.

But this is not just a state and federal response. We are members of the Escapees RV Club. We thought if all Arizona State Parks closed, and we were asked to leave here, we could go to an Escapee Park. We were just informed that our membership means nothing in that regard. They have built a moat around their parks and raised the drawbridge. They are not allowing any outsiders to enter the park, unless you own a space in the park or are members that are already there. 

This is my mindset. I am more than happy to do my part, just don’t ask me to do something stupid. As a taxpayer I consider myself a property owner. If I have no other choice I will squat on federal land as long as it takes. If someone wants to move me I will gladly listen, as long as they have a new plan. I like what Woody Guthrie said, “This land is your land, this land is my land….”

By the time you read this column, we could all be mandated by the federal government to “shelter in place.” Knowing they are seriously considering these measures, I want to make sure I have access to a safe harbor. You should be doing the same.

At this point in the great unknown, plan for the worst case scenario. You are self-contained so make sure your rig is locked and loaded. Think about where you will find water and whatever utilities you require, and hunker down for awhile. This too shall pass. We will all have stories to tell. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Life is an adventure and this is just another chapter. Think positive and act rationally. It’s not the end of the world, but it most likely will be a tectonic shift.

If it actually comes down to these extreme measures, you will not be alone. We are all in the same boat. Boondocking areas may be very crowded. RVers are known to circle the wagons (but, of course, with the added requirement of social distancing – 6 ft. apart) and help one another. Did I mention I have a motorhome full of vodka? But with social distancing I’m not sharing.

 —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including Book 2 in his two-book series: 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.

##RVT941

  





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At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – with hidden problems


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Heartland RV is offering a new concept in toy haulers – and for some of us out here in RVer land, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. With much fanfare, the Thor Industries stepchild company based in Elkhart, Indiana, is announcing its patent-pending Hidden Garage.

This all-new concept makes its debut in the 2020 Cyclone 4214 toy hauler. With 42 feet, you ought to be able to haul a lot of stuff, and just how they do it is where the hidden garage concept comes in. The Cyclone is a front living room fiver, leaving the rear-end available for the toy-hauling garage. “The unobstructed, 14-foot garage is unlike any other front living room toy hauler in the industry,” touts company spokesman Dustin Swindeman in a press release.

How do you stuff 14’ of “unobstructed” garage into a 42’ unit, that already puts a pretty large theater-seating style living room up front? By sticking the bedroom (with its king-size bed) in the rear. Wait a minute, we said that’s where that 14’ of unobstructed garage lives. Yep, it’s a garage; it’s a bedroom. It’s neither fish nor fowl, because when it’s time to roll your side-by-side (or even a small car) into the garage, you simply push a button and roll the bedroom – floor and all – up into the ceiling. Voila! Your hidden garage stands ready to receive!

We took the virtual tour of the Cyclone 4214 on the company website, trying to imagine how both garage and bedroom might be usable at the same time. In the “tour” we virtually walked down the steps into the garage. The bedroom floor, at that point, was about eye-level. That didn’t answer the question, so we looked around on YouTube and found a video tour of the Cyclone at an RV show. The properly attired hostess was apparently speechless, but in a style reminiscent of an overstuffed blue-jeans-clad Vanna White, smiled constantly and pointed to various features to jazzy music accompaniment. Vanna showed us the bedroom, but this time we walked up steps to look around the rather Spartan boudoir.

Still no answer, so we called the heartland of Heartland, right back to Indiana, and punched in the number for sales. Maybe it’s that dratted COVID-19, but nobody but the computer responded to our call. It wasn’t able to answer the question. Since the company website couldn’t provide us with a location for a dealer in Arizona, we finally broke down and Googled, getting the number for a Heartland dealer in Phoenix. The salesman at La Mesa RV told me they don’t have any of the units on their lot, and didn’t know when they’ll come in. But on looking through his information, his answer to our question was this: “When you want to use the bedroom, it looks like you’ll have to park your toys outside.”

If that’s true, all we can say is, “Great concept guys!” Choose between putting yourself in bed, or putting your junk in the garage.





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How to repair a tear in an RV awning


By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Left on their own, small vinyl RV awning tears can get bigger. Fixing a small tear in an area, barring a person’s physical limitations, is easy. You may already have what you need for a fix. It’s called “RV GOOP” and is made by the same outfit that developed “GOOP” for shoe repairs.

Pick a day for the job when weather (both rain and winds) will allow you to keep the awning unfurled for several hours. Rolling up an awning with uncured vinyl cement in place is a surefire way to ruin your whole day next time you need to deploy it.

Using a soft cloth (a cotton sock works great) and a bit of soapy water, clean an area an inch or so around the tear. Rinse away all soap and allow the area to dry. Using fine sand paper, GENTLY buff the tear and a small area around it to rough up the surface of the awning for better adhesion. Simply rough up, DON’T tear down deeply.

Apply a layer of GOOP and smooth it out over the tear and out from it an inch or so. A popsicle stick is a good tool, as you don’t want to get this stuff on your fingers if you can help it. Repeat the process so that both the top and bottom side of the awning has a layer of GOOP on it.

If you’re working with a larger tear that doesn’t stay fairly well closed on its own, you’ll want to “patch” it. Hit up the local upholstery shop for a scrap of vinyl material to match the color of the awning (it may take two colors to match both inside and out). Follow the same steps in preparing the repair site as above.

Cut the patch to extend an inch in all directions from the tear. Apply GOOP to both the awning and the back side of the patch but don’t apply the patch for two to five minutes; this time allows the GOOP to begin to air cure and will allow for better adhesion. Firmly apply the patch to the awning.

In all cases, allow plenty of time for the GOOP to cure before rolling the awning into travel mode. GOOP recommends a 24-hour set-time, but higher temperatures may help with cure time.

##RVT1306





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Make outdoor RV fabrics look like new


We’ve never seen your RV in person, but we know for a fact there are a few stains on its outdoor fabrics. It’s just part of the RV life. There’s that bird that pooped on your awning and that tree sap that dripped down on your camping chair? Not to mention all the grease that’s spattered onto fabrics from your outdoor grill…

From cotton duck to modern acrylic textiles, all outdoor fabrics collect stains and eventually begin looking old and tired. Scrubbing with water and mild detergent may remove some of the surface dirt, but organics such as mold, mildew and algae need to be handled differently so they won’t grow back. So what do we use? This biodegradable Mold & Mildew Stain Remover from Iosso Products. It works well to rejuvenate fabric, vinyl, wood and plastic without any harsh chemicals that bleach-out colors and deteriorate materials.

Mold & Mildew Stain Remover works on natural and synthetic fabrics such as boat and RV covers, tents, outdoor furniture cushions and carpeting, and awnings and umbrellas. It removes tough stains/marks such as bird and insect droppings, tree sap, blood, grease, oil, and almost all food stains.

Unlike many chemical cleaners that contain chlorine, Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is biodegradable and can be disposed of without fear of polluting. It has no strong, harsh odors and is gentle on the skin. It comes as a concentrated powder that mixes quickly with water. It’s simply sponged or sprayed on to a wet surface, allowed to set and rinsed after 15 minutes.

If you want to test it out, here’s a 12oz option. Or if you’ve got a lot of stains to take care of, here’s a 64oz option.





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Colorado closes its state park campgrounds


(March 26, 2020) — The State of Colorado has closed its playgrounds, campgrounds, camping and camping facilities (including yurts and cabins) at its state parks as well as camping at State Wildlife Areas effective today, Thursday, March 26, until further notice.

This action has been taken based on The Stay-At-Home Order from Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the advice of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CPW will notify all campers currently on-site to vacate immediately and staff will be contacting reservation holders and provide the process for either refunds or changes for those affected campers. 

Non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails, boat ramps, marinas and shorelines remain open. However, CPW managers may close areas that do not allow for social distancing. This could include picnic areas, fishing piers and other more concentrated recreation areas and will be determined by location.

Last week, CPW temporarily suspended classes and large events and has temporarily closed facilities such as visitor centers and area offices.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1305


Thursday, March 26, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” —William Shakespeare

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Spinach Day!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers. xxxxx

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


Tip of the Day

Using RV locks safely – and wisely

By Greg Illes
My RV has a LOT of locks. Cargo bay locks, water filler lock, two door locks, ignition lock. And then there’s the toad. At first blush, the way to be safe is to just lock everything up – right? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on where I am and what I am doing.

Personal safety is a delicate and contentious matter. That’s fine – everybody needs to manage their own safety. So I’ll state very clearly that these thoughts are my considerations, and yours may vary. I’m not going to suggest that you do what I do – I’ll just describe my reasoning. Read more.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.



Ernie Pyle was a pioneer road-tripper

Ernie Pyle won a Pulitzer Prize as a World War II correspondent. But what many people don’t realize is that he would never have succeeded as a war correspondent had he not polished his writing skills in the 1930s as a roving journalist exploring America. Chuck Woodbury reflects on this remarkable man.

Yesterday’s featured article: RV Mods: Upholstery foam sagging? Give it the bum’s rush!


Reader poll


Quick Tip

Easy windshield cleaning

Keep a can or bottle of good-quality window cleaner within easy reach when you stop to fuel up. Before starting to pump fuel, spray your windshield liberally with the window cleaner. Let it sit while fueling and then use the “usually” available squeegee to easily remove the bug guts. The cleaner virtually dissolves and also releases the bug guts from the glass and it saves a whole lot of scrubbing. Our thanks to George Bliss!


“50 States, 5,000 Ideas” – the best book for travelers!
This book from the experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. The book also includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.


Will ice cubes in an RV sewer tank dislodge waste buildup?
Most of us have heard that putting ice cubes down the toilet will do the job. The idea is the hard cubes will bounce around when the RV is moving, banging all that nasty buildup away. So does it work? See a demonstration.


Random RV Thought

Turn off your water when you leave your RV for the day. You will be very sorry if you don’t and then return to the RV to a broken pipe and flooded floors.


Website of the day

The oldest restaurant in every state
If you want a good adventure, make it a goal to eat at the oldest restaurant in every state. That would be fun (and delicious), wouldn’t it? Here’s a list to get you started.


And the Survey Says…

We’ve polled RVtravel.com readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:

• 2 percent sing professionally
• 48 percent say socializing at a campground is not important
• 6 percent have a personal blog


Affordable tire tool will save you tons of troubleRV Travel Newsletter Issue 912
What gives when you think your tires are “good to go” but down on air again the next day? Your valve stem valve probably isn’t tight enough. A loose, leaking valve stem can cause a tire failure due to low pressure under load at highway speeds. So do yourself and your vehicles a favor – pick up one of these very inexpensive tools and make sure your valve cores are snugly seated in the valve stem. Click here to order.


Trivia

Grapes will light on fire in the microwave. In 2011, a video of a physicist at the University of Sydney went viral after he placed a grape in the microwave and filmed the fiery aftermath. Scientists couldn’t explain the phenomenon until recently. A March 2019 study said that the fireball occurs as a result of the loose electrons and ions that cluster to form plasma when grapes get hot.

Where is the toilet paper capital of the world? Find out in yesterday’s trivia section


Leave here with a laugh

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.”

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 26, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

* * *
FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, recently cancelled its March 26-29 International Rally & RV Expo in Tucson, Arizona. Now, it says losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars is justification to deny refunds to members who prepaid their registration fees, some as much as $1,000. Instead, the club is issuing certificates good at future International Convention & RV Expos, the next one a year away in Perry, Georgia. FMCA had no event cancellation insurance on the Tucson event. We’ll have more about this in next Sunday’s newsletter.

The state of New Mexico was the first to close its state park campgrounds, through April 9. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has authorized that RV parks may operate at 50 percent capacity.

Cape May County, N.J., Health Officer Kevin Thomas is recommending that local campground owners and operators delay the opening of countywide campgrounds until May 11.

Port of Brookings (Oregon) Harbor commissioners have temporarily closed the Beachfront RV Park but kept open access to Sporthaven Beach, the boat launch and boat docks during a special meeting Tuesday morning, March 24.

The Indiana State Department of Health on Wednesday reported a fifth case of COVID-19 in Elkhart County, Indiana, where 80% of American RVs are manufactured.

The Facebook Group Displaced Nomads and Full-time RVers Relocation Resource has many postings for available RV sites on private land.

Tennessee is closing its state parks except for day use, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., until at least April10. Those that are already there have to vacate by Friday at 4:30 p.m.

As of last Sunday at New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument, Juniper and Ponderosa campgrounds are closed.

Big Bend National Park in Texas has closed all overnight camping and lodging. The park remains open for day use.

Manufacturing and distribution from Thetford Corporation have been suspended.

Missouri State Parks (MSP) will temporarily close all campgrounds and lodging March 27 to April 30. The closure includes campgrounds, park-run lodging and concessionaire-run lodging. The parks’ day-use areas will remain open to the public, including boat ramps and trails. MSP operates 91 state parks and historic sites throughout the state.

Campgrounds at Chickasaw National Recreation area in Oklahoma are temporarily closed.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is asking all out-of-state visitors who plan a two-night stay or longer to immediately self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

The South Rim Campground and Visitor Center are closed until further notice at Colorado’s Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


Coronavirus restrictions prohibiting large group gatherings have prompted most state campground associations to postpone their annual spring conventions until summer and fall, although a handful have not yet set new dates.

The Fruita campground at Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park is closed.

The Campground and Visitor Center at Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona are temporarily closed. The scenic drive, trails and selected restrooms are open.

The cavern at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is closed. Ditto the Visitor Center and other services.

The Gallo Campground at Chaco Canyon National Historical Park in New Mexico is closed until further notice.

Campers in Louisiana State Parks and historic sites are frustrated that they must leave by today (Thursday). According to the Office of State Parks, all buildings and overnight facilities will be temporally closed until April 13.

A warning/plea about being on the road right now from a truck driver: Click here.

Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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Warning/Plea from a truck driver


This was posted on our Facebook page, RV Coronavirus News by trucker Cyril Martinez.

I’m trucking across I-40 with an ice cream load for Henderson, NV. I’m parked for the night at Moriarty, NM. My full day consisted of 670 miles of driving and two fuel stops at El Rino, OK, and Tucumcari, NM.

I implore everyone to please stay home!

The Loves truck stops that I fueled today were packed with non-trucking people buying up all the packaged food, milk and coffee! Not one item was spared!

Why is the interstate packed with family travelers?! Stay home!

The worse thing is not the lack of the mentioned items. The worst thing is flooding these truck-stops with germs and creating a volatile environment where the truckers cannot perform their duties to deliver the goods we need (Medical supplies, food, water, and even fuel!).

GO HOME AND STAY HOME! This plague is spreading like wildfire and we don’t need to cripple the supply chain!





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Using RV locks safely – and wisely


By Greg Illes
My RV has a LOT of locks. Cargo bay locks, water filler lock, two door locks, ignition lock. And then there’s the toad. At first blush, the way to be safe is to just lock everything up — right? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on where I am and what I am doing.

Personal safety is a delicate and contentious matter. That’s fine — everybody needs to manage their own safety. So I’ll state very clearly that these thoughts are MY considerations, and yours may vary. I’m not going to suggest that you do what I do, I’ll just describe my reasoning.

First, the door locks. There’s a handle lock and a deadbolt. I used to lock them both, while parked or traveling, but I’ve changed that plan.

Parked
I don’t lock the deadbolt when I’m parked and inside. Reason: If I have to get out in a hurry (sleepy emergency), I’ll forget about that extra lock for too long a delay. Parked and outside? I always lock ONLY the deadbolt. Reason: It requires a key to lock the deadbolt from the outside, so I’ll be very unlikely to lock myself out.

Traveling
I don’t lock the door when I’m traveling. Reasons: I might have to get out in a hurry. Also, an accident or impact might jam the lock. Yes, there’s a risk that some evildoer might run alongside my RV and jump inside. I have decided to take that chance.

Cargo bays
I lock all the cargo bays except the ones (one on each side) with my “outdoor” fire extinguishers in them. No explanation needed. I do try to keep less-valuable items in those bays.

Ignition lock
I never leave the key in the ignition, even when I’m staying in the coach. Not for theft reasons (valid), but because it’s too easy to accidentally leave my ignition switch in the “accessory” position and drain the battery.

The toad
Four-down toads need to have the ignition key in and turned, to unlock the steering. I keep the toad alarm keyfob separate so that I can lock the toad with its ignition key in it. I lock the towbar to the hitch, because those things cost $1,000 and they’re way too easy to sell.

Spare keys
I have a full set of spare keys on the outside of the RV, in a really secret place. I’ve used them twice in three years, very gratefully.

I hope these ideas give you some food for thought. Be safe!

Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at www.divver-city.com/blog.

##RVDT1305





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Video: Update on recent cougar attack in Colorado RV park


As previously posted by Russ and Tiña De Maris, things got a bit exciting at the Riverview RV Park & Campground in Loveland, Colorado, on Wednesday, March 11, when a mountain lion attacked two people. Testing later revealed the 93-pound mountain lion was infected with rabies. The sheriff’s deputy is now being given rabies shots.

To view a very brief video showing a responding sheriff’s deputy wrestling with the big cat, click here.

##RVT941b





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Coronavirus is not fair. Some thoughts


This was posted by the Washington State Department of Health. We believe it’s worth sharing.

If you have kids, maybe you’ve had a chance to develop your version of the “life’s not fair” speech.Here’s the public health version of it: there’s nothing fair about disease. Families in our state do not have equal access to medical care, or jobs, or food, or housing. And this puts some of our families at higher risk of getting sick, or losing income or even their homes as a result of a serious illness.

Even the way we fight the spread of COVID-19 isn’t fair — some of us are able to stay home and protect ourselves and our loved ones, but some of us have to go to work to provide medical care or keep our grocery stores open. Some kids have access to online learning and leftovers in the fridge, and some kids don’t.

And some of us will get COVID-19 while others won’t. Some of us will recover, and some of us won’t. Some of us will be able to help others in need and some of us will need help. There’s nothing fair about it, but at least we know we are all in this together.

WE’VE LOVED HEARING STORIES about Washingtonians finding creative ways to help people in their communities who are in need. We’ve heard about Facebook communities connecting people who can help with people who need food or groceries delivered.

A medical supply company donated their entire supply of personal protective equipment to local hospital emergency rooms. People are sewing masks in their own homes. Chefs and restaurants are turning their restaurants into community kitchens and providing meals to folks in need and to hard working first responders. Artists are hosting virtual dance classes and live concerts online to keep us entertained.

People have found creative ways to help each other, share what they have and build community, all while staying home!





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Forest River recalls some Coachman Orion and Dynamax Rev RVs


Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2016 Coachmen Orion, 2019-2020 Lone Star Handicap Vans, and 2016-2018 Dynamax Rev vehicles. The transmission shifter cable may separate and disconnect from the transmission, causing the vehicle to not perform shifts intended by the driver and the gear shift lever position not matching the actual transmission gear.

Th driver may be unaware of the actual gear position and unintended vehicle movement can occur, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and Fiat Chrysler USA dealers will replace the transmission shift cable, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 28, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440 or Chrysler (FCA) Ram Trucks at 1-866-726-4636. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1149.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

While you may not own one of these RVs, if you know someone who does be sure to tell them.

RVtravel.com posts recall notices like this as they are issued. Read them by clicking here. Or visit here to receive a monthly recap of all recalls for that month including those of common vehicles used for towing or as dinghies behind motorhomes.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1304


Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” —Margaret Atwood

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is Manatee Appreciation Day!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


Tip of the Day

Dealing with dust storms on the RV road

By Jim Twamley

My grandfather told me about the Dust Bowl days when lack of soil conservation combined with a severe drought caused half of Texas, Oklahoma, and much of the Midwest to blow away. It wasn’t uncommon to see massive clouds of dust blowing across the land. The famous American journalist Ernie Pyle reported on these storms and how they enveloped everything, making it difficult to breathe and impossible to see more than a few feet in any direction. Continue reading.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.


WiFi endoscope lets you peep where your eyes won’t go
Ever wondered what the inside of your black water tank looked like? Is that “tank blaster” really doing the job? You can’t just eyeball the inside of the tank – or can you? With a flexible endoscope, you can run a tiny camera down for a “look around,” and get an eyeful of information on your tablet or phone. It’s pretty handy to have in the RV so check it out here.


RV Mods: Upholstery foam sagging? Give it the bum’s rush!

One area where RV manufacturers save on a few bucks is in the quality of foam rubber in cushions. After a few years, you might want to replace the foam. This doesn’t necessarily require hiring an upholstery professional — in many cases, you can do it for less yourself! Learn how here. Your tush (and your pocketbook) will thank you.

Yesterday’s featured article: Conservation: An RV dry camping key


Reader poll


Readers tell us

How stimulating is your life? Find out what you and fellow RVers said here.


ADVERTISEMENT

Be like Mike! Use this 3-light and digital voltage tester!
Mike Sokol says: “I found this nifty tester online and have been using it in a variety of voltage checking situations. It performs all of the 3-light tests for outlet polarity, open ground, open neutral, etc., as well as being a 3-digit digital voltage indicator. In addition, it performs a standard 5 mA GFCI safety test – which you should be performing on all of your GFCI outlets once a month (or at least once a camping season).” Read more about it here.


Helpful resources

NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
LATEST RV RECALLS.

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


Quick Tip

Check the drip tube in the back of your fridge

It’s a good idea to occasionally take a peek in the back of your RV refrigerator. They have a drip tube that channels off water from evaporation. Sometimes this tube leads to a drip container (often near the chimney) that evaporates off this water; others may “port” the water out of the rig harmlessly. In any event, if the tube gets loose and starts dripping water onto your RV framework, it can lead to damaging rot.


Random RV Thought

Always keep a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. They’re good for a quick snack — lots of protein.


If you don’t have a first-aid kit, now is the time to buy one. Don’t be without one in your home or RV!


Website of the day

Bon Appetit’s best comfort food recipes
We could all use a little comfort right now. Here is Bon Appetit’s list of their best comfort food recipes. Trust us, you’ll need a napkin to wipe up all the drool.


Popular articles you may have missed at RVtravel.com

• RV renovation tips to get you started.
• Changes in relationship concerning to couple now full-time RVing.
• What’s your RV’s “suit size”?
#899-1


Trivia

If you’re out of toilet paper, head to Green Bay, Washington (or don’t…please). Green Bay is known as the toilet paper capital of the world because the first “splinter-free” toilet paper was produced there in the early 1900s. By 1920, the mill was the world’s largest producer of bath tissue.

Which state consumes the most alcohol? We told you in yesterday’s issue.


For peace of mind, use a backflow preventer
Backflow happens when a fresh water system gets “cross-connected” with a source of bad water or other contaminants. You don’t want that! Prevent this from happening by using a backflow preventer. Here’s an affordable one. Use it and rest easier. (You can read more about backflow prevention here.)


Leave here with a laugh

A health tip from George Bliss, especially as we’re sheltering in place:
As seniors we need to exercise more. I started with a 5-pound potato sack in each hand, extended my arms to the side and did 10 lifts. Next I went to 10-pound potato sacks, then 20 pound, then 30 pound. After one week of doing this I put a potato in each of the sacks. —Thanks, George!

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 25, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterdays extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

* * *
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reopening indoor facilities at 23 select rest areas across Pennsylvania to all motorists, including the 13 facilities in critical locations that were reopened March 18 with portable restrooms and handwashing facilities. PennDOT’s 30 rest areas were temporarily closed statewide on March 17 in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19 to ensure that proper safety and sanitation protocols were in place. Here’s the list of open rest areas.

Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee has closed all camping, cabins, group recreation sites and restrooms due to the coronavirus pandemic and they will remain closed until at least May 15.

Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky also closed its campgrounds; the park previously had closed its visitor center and suspended cave tours.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the immediate closure of parking lots at many of California’s most popular parks and beaches in the latest restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus. The parking lot closures will affect state parks in Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma, San Diego and Los Angeles counties, according to the state park website.

Southern Oregon RV Park

Jackson County, Oregon’s park system shut down Tuesday, except for the Southern Oregon RV Park near Medford. In nearby Douglas County, county parks and campgrounds are closed. The Douglas County Fairgrounds and RV Park closed at 8 a.m. today.

Closed in Southern California: San Diego Zoo, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld San Diego, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Idaho State Parks has closed camper cabins and yurts, but RV and tent camping is still available. Visitor Centers are also closed.

New Melones Reservoir campgrounds (Calif.) are closed.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has closed state park campgrounds. Public outdoor spaces including wildlife areas, forests and nature preserves including trails, dog parks, and non-marina docks remain open.

Because of the Oregon Governor’s order, the Country Coach/Winnebago factory service center in Junction City has been closed until April 14th.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds RV Park in Grass Valley, Calif., is closed.

The National Forests in North Carolina closed all campgrounds as of Monday, March 23. This includes all concessionaire-operated campgrounds and all day-use areas associated with those campgrounds. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages of any changes affecting their reservation and will receive a full refund.

Biosphere 2 near Tucson has suspended all public activities for an undetermined time.

Found on Facebook.

Cape May County, New Jersey, is recommending private campground owners push back the opening of their locations to May 11. A number of campgrounds in the area typically open in April, or around Easter weekend. The county said the move is part of an attempt to limit the number of coronavirus infections.

Knowing that the RV industry is going to take a huge economic hit in upcoming months, even years, the industry is advocating for the use (and presumably sales) of RVs for emergency response purposes such as quarantine units, mobile medical clinics and mobile intensive care units.

From RVtravel.com reader Deborah Hopkinson: “I just got off the phone with the BLM Yuma (AZ) field office. They plan on keeping the LTVAs open (LTVA is a Long Term Visitor Area), but they could be ordered to shut down tomorrow; they don’t know. However, if all this is still going on come April 16 and they are allowed to remain open, the BLM will not be kicking anyone out who is already there. Their offices are closed to the public, including the camp hosts, but they can still help you by phone, email, and mail. I hope this helps.” EDITOR’S NOTE: It does, thanks!

Concessionaire Aramark has closed the RV park and campground at Wahweap in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Other closures in the park are Bullfrog RV and Campground, and the Halls Crossing RV Park and campground.

Late Monday, RV refrigerator maker Norcold, Inc., said it would lay off 224 of its 265 employees in Sidney, Ohio, and 120 of its 137 employees in Gettysburg, Ohio.

Acadia National Park in Maine has closed is campgrounds and restrooms, and the Bar Harbor Town Council posted a statement online asking that, “everyone stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.”


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


In Sequim, Wash., the Dungeness Recreation Area is open to day use but campground loops A and B — 66 sites in all — have closed, along with the two campground restrooms. Nearby, the 92 sites in the upper and lower campgrounds at the Salt Creek Recreation Area west of Port Angeles are closed, as well as the two restrooms and the main gate.

In Washington’s Olympic National Park, all park campgrounds are closed, including: Staircase, Heart O’ the Hills, Ozette, Mora, Hoh, Kalaloch, Queets, North Fork and Graves Creek. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, Campground and RV Park have delayed opening until April 24.

K&M Resorts in Washington are closed as “non-essential” by Gov. Inslee.

Walgreens is looking for 9,500 people to fill temporary jobs, full- and part-time. Meanwhile, CVS Health is hiring 50,000 workers and delivering bonuses to employees who are required to work on-site during the coronavirus pandemic.

ABOVE: John Brownwood sent us this photo he took in Las Vegas. “Last week was a good time to take the RV down Las Vegas Blvd. May never be like that again.” EDITOR’S NOTE: John, you’re right about that!

Vandalism, illegal camping, overcrowding, and short-staffing issues are cropping up and overtaxing some units of the National Park System due to the coronavirus pandemic. The issues are reminiscent of those that arose during the partial government shutdown of 2018-2019. While staffing problems during the government shutdown were due to furloughs, this time concerns over getting sick from park visitors and, in some cases, the need to stay home with children whose schools have closed, are leading to work force issues at some park units. Read more at National Park Traveler.

The state of New Mexico was the first to close its state park campgrounds. But now, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has authorized the parks to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

Spring Gulch RV Park in New Holland, Pennsylvania, is closed and telling seasonals to stay home.

RV parts and accessories distributor Stromberg Carlson has temporarily shut down, and will reopen on Monday, April 13, to comply with Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order closing all non-essential businesses.

All Flagler County, Florida, camping areas closed Monday morning amid concerns over COVID-19.

Latest Information about closed KOA campgrounds.

Just discovered — an excellent Facebook Group: Displaced Nomads and Full-time RVers Relocation Resource.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


RVers WELCOMED:
If you own or manage an RV park that welcomes RVers during our current crisis, please tell us about your park in 100 words or less. Or if you are a resident at such a park, please chime in. Submit here.

Crater Lake Resort is open! We are a small 13-acre resort in Fort Klamath, Oregon. We have 6 full-hookup sites and 6 partial-hookup sites. We also have a general store and standalone cabins, and are pet friendly. Fort Klamath is a rural area just south of Crater Lake in southern Oregon. We would be happy to welcome new guests.

Becci Pechin reports: “We are staying put here in Palm Desert at Emerald Desert RV Resort (near Palm Springs, CA). We see RVs coming and going. Many have left, and there are lots of open spaces for elbow room. Gorgeous weather and some golf available. No open facilities at the resort. Grocery stores and ‘to go’ food very close. We’re golfing, riding bikes, and walking. Hiking available too. We have a small group of friends who also stayed behind, so we can still have our happy hours (with distance between us, of course).”

From RVtravel.com readers Patricia Meinke: “We are fulltime RVers, but have 2 acres of land in Elko County, Nevada, where we park our motorhome during the spring/summer. We are on our way back to our property now and will be there on Wednesday, March 25th. We have full hookups there plus availability for another rig to hookup also (30-amp electric, sewer and water). If anyone needs a place to stay during this time they are welcome to contact me. We can probably have 2 more rigs dry camping also if someone needs a place. Please let people know.” If you are interested, email your contact info to editor@rvtravel.com and we will pass it along to Patricia.

Ingrid Elizabeth reports: “Pioneer RV Park at the north end of Phoenix is allowing new guests, but most of the facilities are closed.”

The Yosemite Pines RV Resort in Groveland, California, is open and welcomes new guests. RVers looking for long-term camping sites should call (209) 962-7690 to receive available discounts. The park has premium pull-thru sites with full hookups to accommodate up to 70-foot rigs, and premium back-in sites for rigs up to 45 feet. The park is three miles east of Groveland in California’s Gold Country. For more information visit yosemitepinesrv.com.

From Greg Elwell (who works in the office): “Del Pueblo RV Resort in Yuma, Arizona, is open and taking reservations. Call (928) 341-2100 and we’d be happy to help!”

Jack Harris reports: “Town and Country RV Park in Roswell, NM, called and canceled our reservation next week because their governor is limiting private RV Parks to 50% occupancy and they no longer have room for short-term stays.”

Big Chief RV Park on Lake Buchanan in the Central Texas Hill County, owned and operated by RV radio host Alan Warren, is open.

Branson, Missouri, has many RV parks and most have many spaces open. From owner Susan Roth Rauschl: “I own Branson Shenanigans RV Park and Campground and most of our vacationers have cancelled for March and now April is getting cancellations. We have a small park on the edge of town in a quiet corner but still close to grocery stores and medical. We have a deeply discounted temporary rate for monthlies during this corona chapter. We have full hookups, free WiFi and cable. Email shenanigansrv@gmail.com.”

John Meikle reports: “We are at Branson Shenanigans RV Park, Branson, Missouri. Nice wooded scenery, full service park. Coronavirus special $616 per month 50 amp, including electricity. Nice quiet place to hang out to practice social distancing.”

Herbert J. Bidwell reported: “Schulenberg RV Park in Schulenburg, Texas, is open and accepting new guests. I-10 exit 674.”

From Mac McWilliams: “Campers Holiday in Brooksville, Florida, is open. A quiet community. Pretty cheap too.”

READER REQUEST
I am a traveling nurse, I have a contract in northern Vermont through the end of August. We have a 25′ trailer that we will be living in for the summer. We have a local campground that will host us BUT with the trending closures we’re concerned this could be an issue. However, if we stayed at someone’s private residence this wouldn’t be an issue. Essentially we need electric and water, sewer would be a huge bonus. We, of course, will be happy to pay! Maybe someone could help out a healthcare provider in need of a spot to live near Berlin, Vermont; May 15th through Aug. 29th.  —BreAnne and Stan Lanahl

Can you help? Send your name and email to editor@rvtravel.com and we’ll pass it along to BreAnne and Stan. EDITOR’S NOTE: Help a nurse! We need them now more than ever!


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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Dealing with dust storms on the RV road


By Jim Twamley

My grandfather told me about the Dust Bowl days when lack of soil conservation combined with a severe drought caused half of Texas, Oklahoma, and much of the Midwest to blow away. It wasn’t uncommon to see massive clouds of dust blowing across the land. The famous American journalist Ernie Pyle reported on these storms and how they enveloped everything, making it difficult to breathe and impossible to see more than a few feet in any direction.

These days dust storms are not as large or severe, but they still happen. Driving my RV across the country I’ve encountered many of these small dust storms. Normally you can see them five or ten miles ahead as you drive. Most of these storms are mild and I just drive through them. Mrs. Professor doesn’t like it because dust gets into the coach. However, if it looks like visibility will be severely impaired, pull over and wait. It is preferable to use a rest area or a wide spot off the side of the road. It is important to get as far off the road as possible. When visibility is reduced other vehicles could crash into you.

I grew up in the California San Joaquin Valley where we have thick tule fog in the late fall and winter, and every year we have traffic pileups from people stopping on the road when the fog is too dense. So, if you have to stop, get as far off the road as possible. Turn off your engine to prevent your air filter from getting clogged. Make sure all the windows are closed and wait it out.

Drive defensively and stay alert for changing road conditions.

Editor’s note: Authorities in dust-storm-prone areas also advise, when pulling over in a dust storm, TURN OFF all your lights and do not use your emergency flashers or step on your brake pedal. Drivers behind “lit up” vehicles may mistake them for a vehicle still under way and plow right into them.

##RVDT1304





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Readers tell us: How stimulating is your life?


By Emily Woodbury

Well, this was probably the wrong time to ask a poll question like: How stimulating is your life? Like we did a couple of Wednesdays ago. Little did we know…Humph.

Not much stimulation going on these days, hmm? We’re all pretty much stuck inside our homes and/or RVs, with a few local walks here and there keeping us sane. Maybe you’re doing more than that, and maybe your life is still as stimulating as it could possibly be, considering the circumstances, but I’m thinking there’s a good chance that the stimulation levels have dropped…dramatically.

Anyway, as you can see from the results up above, just about a quarter of you think your normal life (not this coronavirus-life) is very stimulating. That’s great! The majority of you told us that your life can definitely be stimulating, but most of the time it’s just routine. Another 13 percent said your life is mostly routine stuff, not much stimulation at all; and 2 percent said that your life is boring.

Perhaps you’re like our reader, Wolfe, who commented: “There is supposedly an old Chinese curse, ‘May you have an interesting life.’ After fires, divorces, poverty, explosions, wealth, surgeries, deaths, accidents, lawsuits, etc. etc. etc…. I could really appreciate a bit of nice calm boredom!!”

Just like I hope those of you who want more stimulation find more stimulation from life, I hope you, Wolfe, and others like you, find calm in the storm. Cheers.





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Thor recalls some Tellaro and Sequence motorhomes


Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling 227 model year 2020-2021 Tellaro 20AT and 20LT, and 2020 Sequence 20A, 20K, and 20L motorhomes. The transmission shifter cable may separate and disconnect from the transmission, causing the vehicle to not perform shifts intended by the driver and the gear shift lever position not matching the actual transmission gear.

The driver may be unaware of the actual gear position and unintended vehicle movement can occur, increasing the risk of a crash.

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the transmission shift cable, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 16, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000185.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

While you may not own one of these RVs, if you know someone who does be sure to tell them.

RVtravel.com posts recall notices like this as they are issued. Read them by clicking here. Or visit here to receive a monthly recap of all recalls for that month including those of common vehicles used for towing or as dinghies behind motorhomes.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1303


Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.” — Audrey Niffenegger

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day!



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


Tip of the Day

A macerator pump can resolve your sewage issues

Shanghaied by sewer problems? What’s that? Want to stay on a relative’s property in the comfort of your RV but can’t because your holding tanks won’t let you? Want to stay at a pristine campground for more than a few days but can’t because your holding tanks won’t let you? Perhaps it’s time you purchased a macerator. Read more.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.



Conservation: An RV dry camping key

Dry camp longer than a night or two or spend a weekend in a non-hookup campsite and you may need to think “conservation” and “frugal.” The secret to effective and enjoyable extended boondocking is the wise use and conservation of resources — electricity and water — and reduction of black and gray water into your waste tanks. Learn more in this article from Boondock Bob Difley.

Yesterday’s featured article: You dirty rat! Do mice REALLY hate soap?


Reader poll


Quick Tip

Don’t put anything extra down toilets

What’s safe to put down the RV toilet so as not to create damage or dumping problems? Other than toilet paper, if you didn’t eat it or drink it first, don’t put it down there.


The best road atlas for kids!
Give this National Geographic Atlas to your kids or grandkids before they hit the road. It features simplified yet real road maps of all 50 states, and interesting information on each place and route. There are even themed maps on nature, population, energy, climate, and more, that delve deeper into key issues. It makes a great gift! Learn more or order.


Random RV Thought

If you have a hard time forcing yourself to exercise, get a dog. He or she will force you to get outside at least a few times a day and will be a best friend to boot!


Website of the day

Get out in nature…via live stream!
See some grizzly bears…from your couch! Here’s a list from Forbes of amazing nature live streams. Some of these are more exciting than action movies!


And the Survey Says…

We’ve polled RVtravel.com readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:

• 44 percent drink their coffee black
• 31 percent mostly read their email on their phone
• 18 percent do not lock their RV when taking a walk around the campground

Recent poll: If asked to voluntarily isolate yourself, will it be in traditional home or an RV? Please tell us here.


These are the most-sold RV-related products online. Click here to see what other RVers are buying.


Trivia

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, New Hampshire residents drank 4.76 gallons of alcohol per capita in 2016, more than any other state. For comparison, the national average was 2.35 gallons per capita that year.

Arizona’s Meteor Crater is named after what?
A) The local football mascot
B) A post office
C) The way it looks

We told you yesterday.


Leave here with a laugh

An elderly couple who’d recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary were sitting on the sofa in their Airstream when the wife asked, “Dear, do you remember how you used to sit close to me?” He moved over and sat close to her. “Dear,” she continued, “do you remember how you used to hold me tight?” He reached over and held her tight.

“And,” she went on, “do you remember how you used to hug me and kiss me and nibble on my ear?” With that, her husband got up and started to walk toward the rear of the trailer.

“Where are you going?” she asked. “Well,” he answered, “I have to get my teeth.”

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday News for RVers, make sure to catch up here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 24, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel Readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterdays extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

Winnebago Industries Inc. announced Monday that it will temporarily suspend most production activities at the company’s Winnebago, Grand Design RV, Newmar Corp., and Chris-Craft (boating) facilities. More.

Thor Industries Inc. announced Monday that it will temporarily suspend all production of RVs in North America and in Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came on the heels of Winnebago Industries announcing the temporary stop of its RV production. More.

FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, has cancelled its planned 102nd International Convention and RV Expo, scheduled for August 26 to 29 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Earlier this month, the club cancelled its 101st annual rally scheduled for March 26 to 29 in Tucson, Arizona. More.


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


Skyline Champion has suspended operations at 18 of its plants to comply with orders in the states of California, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kentucky and New York. In addition, Skyline Champion is closing its five Canadian manufacturing facilities. Among other products, it manufacturers park model RVs.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed its campgrounds, picnic areas and restrooms through April 30.

Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park is closed through April 18th. Late April reservations are subject to change as new guidance develops.

Canada is experiencing a significant increase in Covid-19 cases, especially in its largest provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Most recent data collected from each province indicates at least 2,000 cases with 23 deaths. On Monday alone, new cases spiked by nearly a third.

Delaware State Park campgrounds will close today and all campground reservations scheduled through May 15th will be cancelled. Full refunds will be issued for reservations scheduled during that time.

Hiking trails in Los Angeles County have been closed due to overcrowding.

Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys has closed the campground and the campground restroom on Garden Key until further notice.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee issued a new order Monday night that requires residents to stay at home for the next two weeks except to purchase groceries or pick up medical supplies. In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted Monday that all New Mexicans are instructed to stay at home except for outings essential to health, safety and welfare. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has issued a new executive order that requires residents to stay home whenever possible. Nonessential businesses must also close immediately, including gyms, malls, spas, clubs and salons.

The latest in fashionable jewelry. You could wear these earrings to a party and impress everyone. But, too bad, parties are not allowed these days.

Goldman Sachs predicts a shocking 2.25 million Americans will have filed for their first week of unemployment benefits this week — the highest level on record. The hotel industry expects 44% of all U.S. hotel employees (about four million people) could lose their jobs as the coronavirus outbreak dries up demand.

Washington state’s Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area campgrounds and vault and flush restrooms will be closed until further notice.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


KOA has been forced to close some of its campgrounds. Here’s an updated list from Monday evening of locations that are closed.

The National Park Service (NPS) announced that campgrounds at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild & Scenic River in Tennessee will be closed effective Wednesday, March 25, at noon, through April 1. Reservations made through www.recreation.gov will be cancelled. The trails of both places will remain open.


TIP: From Bill Cantrell on our RV Coronavirus News Facebook Group: “Passing on an awesome tip — use biodegradable doggie poop bags at the pump and save the glove supply. No shortage of poop bags out there, despite what you might think when people don’t pick up after their dogs.”


Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued a stay-at-home order, which goes into effect just before midnight Tuesday and lasts until April 6. The order calls for all Indiana residents to stay home unless they’re doing an essential activity such as getting food or medical supplies. Like other states that have issued these orders, some workers deemed essential like grocery store and gas station employees and medical professionals are exempt from the order.

New York State has closed all campgrounds, cabins and cottages to overnight visitation through April 30. All visitors with reservations will be issued a full refund.

Pacific County (Washington) Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager has ordered the closure of all beach approaches and hospitality lodging businesses in the coastal county. The order applies to campgrounds and RV parks.


RVers welcomed:
From RV Travel reader Patricia Leeb – “The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in northern FL (in Live Oak, between Tallahassee and Jacksonville) is welcoming RVers. They have hundreds of sites ranging from 50-amp FHU to boondocking, all located in a beautiful natural setting. We were there for the RVillage Rally in February and it’s gorgeous.”

From reader Fred Fanning: “I have a farm in upstate NY near Lake Ontario. With the shelter in place rule I am wondering if someone would like to rent an RV spot for the summer. This is a farm, there will be no other people here.” (If interested, email editor@rvtravel.com and we will send you Fred’s contact info.)


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. It’s more important than ever that our readers help us actively pursue the important RV news of the day by becoming a voluntary subscriber, no matter how modest their contribution. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use some help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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A macerator pump can resolve your sewage issues


By Jim Twamley

Shanghaied by sewer problems? What’s that? Want to stay on a relative’s property in the comfort of your RV but can’t because your holding tanks won’t let you? Want to stay at a pristine campground for more than a few days but can’t because your holding tanks won’t let you? Perhaps it’s time you purchased a macerator.

Macerator pump

A macerator pump connects to your RV sewer drain. You open the drain valve and turn on the macerator. It chews up the sewage with blades (kind of like a blender) and then sends the small particles out a garden hose. These characters are versatile — I’ve used mine as far as 150 feet up a small incline. I use it to empty both the black water and grey water tanks. This allows us to stay at campgrounds that do not have full hook-ups for longer periods of time.

Using a macerator pump isn’t as convenient as full hook-ups, but it is much faster and more efficient than using a blue boy. The trick is to park close enough to the dump station to do this. I’ve also run the hose into a bathroom window and down into the toilet — it works great! Most of these units operate on 12 volts DC.

Editor’s note: Check out the selection of RV macerators on Amazon.

##RVDT1303





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FMCA cancels August International Rally


(March 23, 2020) — FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, has cancelled its planned 102nd International Convention and RV Expo, scheduled for August 26 to 29 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Earlier this month, the club cancelled its 101st annual rally in Tucson, Arizona.

The rallies normally attract about 4,000 members.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in North America – in particular, how long it might last, FMCA’s leadership made the complex and agonizing decision to cancel this event,” said FMCA president Jon Walker. “For the health of our members and the association, it was the most sensible and appropriate thing to do.

“Hopefully this pandemic will be under control by next spring and we can gather for our next convention scheduled for March 10-13, 2021, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. Until then, please follow the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help stop the spread of COVID-19. AnD travel safely.”

FMCA’s staff is currently working from home rather than at its Cincinnati headquarters. “Due to the COVID-19 virus and a ‘Stay at Home’ order issued by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, FMCA’s business operations will not be operating at full capacity until at least April 6, 2020. We will do our best to service you in a timely manner, but could be delayed in responding. Additionally, we will not be mailing or shipping any items while the ‘Stay At Home’ order is in effect.”





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Thor suspends production of RVs


(March 23, 2020) — Thor Industries Inc. announced today that it will temporarily suspend all production of its RVs in North America and in Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes on the heels of Winnebago Industries announcing the temporary stop of its RV production.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, Thor remains focused on the safety of its employees, their families, and all of the communities in which we operate,” said Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries.

“The concern for the safety of our people is always paramount but the situation of today is unique and calls for action. As state governments, including Indiana and Ohio where a substantial number of our production facilities exist, declare statewide emergencies requiring their citizens to stay at home except for limited circumstances, Thor is today announcing the temporary suspension of all of its production in North America. Additionally, a substantial portion of our production in Europe is temporarily suspended as well.

“We believe the long-term RV market will be robust once again, and when that time comes, we will take advantage of our flexible business model to quickly resume production to meet dealer orders. As we look to the future when we are past the coronavirus pandemic, we remain optimistic about the long-term outlook for both Thor and the RV industry,” said Martin.





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Winnebago halts production of RVs


(Monday, March 23, 2020) — Winnebago Industries Inc. announced today it will temporarily suspend most production activities at the company’s Winnebago, Grand Design RV, Newmar Corp., and Chris-Craft (boating) facilities. It’s the first major RV manufacturer to halt its production lines.

Winnebago Industries Inc. announced it will be temporarily suspending most production activities at the company’s Winnebago, Grand Design RV, Newmar Corp., and Chris-Craft facilities.

According to a release, this action is in response to the national spread of the coronavirus, the national emergency associated with the virus, and unforeseeable change in business circumstances that have accompanied it. These steps are designed to lower the probability of coronavirus exposure to employees and adjust future production output relative to a fast-changing demand landscape for the company’s products.

Winnebago Industries and its businesses will remain open and perform essential activities for its dealers and end customers, including remote retail support for dealers, along with technical care, warranty administration and parts fulfillment. Each of the company’s businesses will suspend production during the week of March 23 and based on present conditions, the manufacturing suspension is currently anticipated to last through April 12.

“As this global situation continues to rapidly evolve, our top priority is the health and well-being of our employees, business partners, customers and communities,” said Winnebago Industries President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Happe. “We are also seeing demand for our products shift dramatically as the nation takes appropriate action to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This decision is not an easy one, but we are confident it is in the best interests of all our stakeholders. During this time, we will remain flexible with operations that can provide products related to the support of mobile health care, command centers and other logistical needs that local, state and Federal resources may require during this crisis.”

To support employees and their families affected by this temporary production suspension, the company is providing base pay and benefits for the first two weeks.

“As we take precautionary measures in the best interest of both our employees’ health and our long-term business prospects, we remain confident in the strength of our balance sheet and in our cash position to allow us to provide the appropriate pay and benefits to our employees and weather a period of business interruption from this health crisis,” Happe continued.

Winnebago Industries will continue to monitor this situation very closely and is committed to executing contingency plans that ensure a safe work environment for employees and disciplined production strategies that benefit the company and its channel partners before resuming full operations.

its production lines.

The action is in response to the national spread of the coronavirus, the national emergency associated with the virus, and unforeseeable change in business circumstances that have accompanied it. These steps are designed to lower the probability of coronavirus exposure to employees and adjust future production output relative to a fast-changing demand landscape for the company’s products.

Winnebago Industries and its businesses will remain open and perform essential activities for its dealers and end customers, including remote retail support for dealers, along with technical care, warranty administration and parts fulfillment. Each of the company’s businesses will suspend production during the week of March 23 and based on present conditions, the manufacturing suspension is currently anticipated to last through April 12.

“As this global situation continues to rapidly evolve, our top priority is the health and well-being of our employees, business partners, customers and communities,” said Winnebago Industries President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Happe. “We are also seeing demand for our products shift dramatically as the nation takes appropriate action to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This decision is not an easy one, but we are confident it is in the best interests of all our stakeholders. During this time, we will remain flexible with operations that can provide products related to the support of mobile health care, command centers and other logistical needs that local, state and Federal resources may require during this crisis.”

To support employees and their families affected by this temporary production suspension, the company is providing base pay and benefits for the first two weeks.

“As we take precautionary measures in the best interest of both our employees’ health and our long-term business prospects, we remain confident in the strength of our balance sheet and in our cash position to allow us to provide the appropriate pay and benefits to our employees and weather a period of business interruption from this health crisis,” Happe continued.





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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1302


Monday, March 23, 2020
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

If you shop on Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!



Today’s thought

“To slow down is to be taken into the soul of things.” —Terry Tempest Williams

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Puppy Day!


Did you see the news? Click here to read the latest issue of the Sunday News for RVers.



Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Because so much is happening, and so fast, we are separating our daily coronavirus news updates into its own file.

There is so much interest now on how the virus is impacting our lives as RVers, our staff is devoting more time to keeping you informed of critical matters that affect how you use and travel with your RV.

Read today’s coronavirus news updates for RVers.

New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Learn about park closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Your input requested.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!


Tip of the Day

Buffing out your RV finish

By Fred Burns
One of the bigger projects in maintaining your RV is keeping the outer shell clean and shiny. This involves frequent application of a good wax. It also means using a buffing compound and buffer after a few years when the finish starts to fade or get chalky. Is your RV at the point where it needs rejuvenating? Read how to do it here.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.


RV Electricity – This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session

Do I need a generator grounding rod? A reader asks Mike if he has to ground his new generator to a ground electrode, as the manual says.

Sign up for Mike’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter.
• While you’re at it, be sure to join his popular Facebook group, RV Electricity.
• Read more of Mike’s articles here.



You dirty rat! Do mice really hate soap?

Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader had a tip about keeping mice out of RVs, and it’s a good one. Chris weighs in on the topic.


Reader poll


Readers tell us

Would you like to own and operate an RV park if given the opportunity? See what fellow RVers said here.


‘Earthquake Putty’ a favorite of RVers, 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.


Helpful resources

NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
LATEST RV RECALLS.


Quick Tip

Keep your powder-type fire extinguisher contents loose

Every month turn your RV’s “powder type” fire extinguisher upside down and shake it hard, even tap the bottom of it with a screwdriver handle. The constant shaking and rattling of going down the road can compact the dry chemical in the device, and you need to loosen it up to ensure it comes out when you need it.


Random RV Thought

Having a campfire is worth it if you can cook over it. Throw some salmon in tin foil and cook it. Hot dogs? Yup. Skewered veggies? Delicious. It’s a fun way to cook dinner.


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


Website of the day

Virtually tour museums!
If you’re stuck at home or in your RV, now might be a good time to virtually tour a world-famous museum. Here’s a list of 12 museums you can walk through from your couch.


Popular articles you may have missed at RVtravel.com

• Wife critiques every campsite, driving hubby nuts.
• Another RV Horror Story, again about Camping World.
• The future of RVing is not necessarily pretty.
#899-1


TOILET PAPER: If you can’t find it locally, you might want to try here.


Trivia

Many people believe that Arizona’s Meteor Crater was misnamed and should instead be called “Meteorite Crater.” However, the site actually isn’t named for the object that created it. The crater was named after the closest nearby post office, Meteor Post Office.


Leave here with a laugh

I spotted an albino dalmatian yesterday. It was the least I could do.

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY!


Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV VideosNEWEST RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.


Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 23, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel Readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast organizing this update that we did not have time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterdays extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

RV manufacturers have offered to donate RVs to help hospital and other providers combat the growing pandemic. The RV Industry Association (RVIA) says it will donate RVs for use in the most critical health care settings in the country. “Now, when our national needs are great, RV Industry Association members, in conjunction with the RV Dealers Association, plan to proactively donate RVs to the most critical health care settings in the country,” said RVIA president Craig Kirby.

California’s Joshua Tree National Park officials announced on Saturday that all park roads will be closed to vehicles. Campgrounds will also be closed indefinitely. The park will remain open to bicyclists and hikers.

Oregon governor Kate Brown is imploring Oregonians to stop crowding public spaces, including beaches, during spring break because of concerns about spreading the novel coronavirus. Tillamook Mayor Suzanne Weber echoes the governor’s message. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not just an opportunity for a traveling vacation,” she said in a video message. “It’s a threat to our very lives.”

UPDATE: Later, after throngs of people flocked to trails and beaches this weekend despite Gov. Brown’s repeated calls for residents to stay at home, the entire Oregon State Parks system is closing to the public. Starting at 5 p.m. today (Monday), visitors will no longer be able to access day-use areas, which includes parking areas and restrooms. The closure is expected to last until at least May 8.

State-owned campgrounds across Washington state will close starting today and remain closed through April 30, the state announced Sunday. No new campers will be allowed into Parks, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, or DNR lands beginning Monday, March 23. Current campers will be phased out following instructions from land officials. Day-use areas and trails remain open, despite heavy crowds all weekend long.

ABOVE: We spotted this on the Maine Good Sam Facebook group. Good idea, but too bad it won’t work! Not sure who posted this, but thanks for the laugh.

Florida State Parks released an updated list of closures on Saturday, including all of the state’s beach parks. Following the Governor’s direction and CDC guidance, the department is closing state beach parks as crowds continue to gather in large groups along the beaches of Florida. While these beach parks will be closed, there are many other state parks currently open for day-use recreation, including hiking and biking. Check the status of individual Florida State Parks.

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will temporarily suspend the collection of all entrance fees until further notice. Updates about the BLM response to the coronavirus will be posted on www.blm.gov.

Thousand Trails has waived some of its restrictions on how long some of its members can stay at one park before moving to another.

From Brian Gant on our RV Coronavirus Facebook Group: “Warrenton, Oregon, has shut down all transient lodging, including RV parks (private and public). Tillamook County has done the same, exempting people with 30+ days reservations.”

BC Parks (British Columbia) is closing all its campgrounds until at least the end of April. Most of the parks will be open for day hikes and recreation, although washrooms and day-use facilities, along with some other services, will be shuttered.


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


National Guard troops have been activated in the three states hit hardest with the coronavirus — New York, California and Washington. So don’t be surprised if you see troops there. They will assist in stopping the virus, but the deployment of the National Guard is not “martial law.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has suspended campground operations at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, effective immediately. A reopening date has not been determined.

All visitor centers and campgrounds in the Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District are temporarily closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The campgrounds, which include both Lake Ouachita and DeGray Lake, will close today.

The Northwest Florida Water Management District is closing all its designated campgrounds on the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system for a minimum of 30 days beginning today, March 23, at 10 a.m. Also, permits for camping after Monday, March 23. will be canceled. On areas where it is currently allowed, dispersed wilderness camping (camping outside of designated campgrounds or where no permit is required) will continue to be allowed, but only for groups of less than 10 people.

The Francis Marion National Forest in South Carolina will close its campgrounds and several recreation areas, effective immediately. The Elmwood and Honey Hill campgrounds are also shut down to the public.

REMINDER: Beginning today, the Florida Keys is now off limits to RV visits. Ditto all campgrounds in Yosemite National Park.


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, some of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. It’s more important than ever that our readers help us with their financial pledges, no matter how modest. Won’t you please support our efforts by becoming a voluntary subscriber? UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by what’s going on, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are okay, we could use some help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!





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Readers tell us: Would you like to own and operate an RV park if given the opportunity?


By Emily Woodbury

Howdy, folks! Jeez, I sure hope you’re all staying healthy – what a weird time, huh? Anyway, let’s get your mind off the news for a few minutes and focus on a whole “‘nother” RV subject: RV parks.

On Tuesday, March 10th, we asked you: If given the opportunity, would you like to own and operate an RV park? This must be a hot topic because more than 3,600 of you voted! Wow! As you can see from the results above, the majority of you, 73 percent, would not, while another 23 percent of you would like that opportunity.

I think I’d like to operate a park…if it were in the deep forest, near a waterfall, with nobody else around…including customers…wait. OK. So maybe I actually wouldn’t like to operate one…

Anyway, as usual, let’s see what you had to say in the comments:

Reader Bill brings up a good point. He writes, “Definitely NO on owning and operating a campground. Just like any other business catering to the public … when would you get the time to go RVing or camping yourself?” Mhm.

Rammer commented, “I answered yes to the question of campground ownership. We had the privilege of owning, improving and developing a campground. After ten years of owning we received an offer we couldn’t refuse so sold to the bidder. It was a great 10 years. If you control the property, select who you allow to camp and limit length of stay, etc., it can be a very rewarding business. Sorry we sold the campground/RV park and constantly dream of having it back!”

Oh, hey! I should’ve read the comments first. Turns out that M. Will feels the same way I do. They wrote, “Would love to be rich enough so that I could buy an RV park and have no campers at all staying in it. Everything except the people and their vehicles.” Exactly, M. Will, exactly.

Russel J. Hutchison writes, “No thanks on owning a camp ground. Too many crazy campers . !!!!!! lol” Another good point…

And lastly, TravelingMan… C’mon, man. You’ve got it all here. Just open the darned park already! He commented a very lengthy description of exactly what his park would look like. I highly recommend you read his comment, which you can find by scrolling down here.

##RVDT1302





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RV Electricity – Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.): Do I need a generator grounding rod?


By Mike Sokol

Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) noshockzone.org with the subject line – JAM.


Dear Mike,

I am about to go boondocking with my new pop-up for the first time and I have a new inverter generator to try out. Its manual says to be sure to ground it (the generator) to a ground electrode buried in the ground. What? I need an electrode and another cable? There is a “ground terminal” on the control surface. Please advise, as I’m new to this and not so savvy with the electrical side of things. Thanks. —Feral

Dear Feral,
The topic of RV generator grounding is something I’ve covered many times before, but don’t feel bad about your question because even electricians and some generator manufacturers don’t seem to understand how it works. So here’s the quick answer followed by a few links to deeper articles.

First off, the big answer is NO. You do not need to drive in any kind of ground rod for any single RV powered from either a portable or onboard generator. While it’s true that you would need a ground rod if you had a large generator that could power several RVs connected to it at the same time, you simply don’t need one for your situation. What you have created with a single RV running from a generator is something called a local ground plane, which means your entire RV and tow vehicle is its own ground, and doesn’t need to be connected to the earth.

But what about when you plug your EMS/TEP (Total Electrical Protection) surge protector into an inverter generator and it shows a “ground” code or error. Well, what that really means is that you have no Neutral/Ground Bond, which doesn’t have anything to do with being “grounded” to the earth at all. It’s an electrical condition where the generator (or pedestal) needs to provide power with the neutral and ground wires at nearly the same voltage (not floating).

If you get that no-ground error, all you need to do is get a simple Neutral/Ground Bonding plug I invented about 10 years ago. Looks like a plug without a wire, and it provides an internal jumper between the neutral and ground screws to create a local neutral bonding point. Just plug it into any unused 15- or 20-amp outlet on the generator (NOT in the RV) and you’re good to go.

Finally, NEVER drive any grounding rod in the earth without getting a proper inspection from your local Miss Utility (call before you dig – 811). Remember, there are all kinds of buried water pipes and electrical wires at any campground, and many homes also have buried natural gas pipes. You don’t want to punch through any of those pipes with an 8-ft. grounding rod. The results can be a deadly shock or explosion. So you don’t need a ground rod, and you’re not allowed to drive one anyway. Make sense?

For more information on this please watch the Webcast Video I did last year on it HERE.

And here’s an article where I cover this topic in great detail, just in case your local inspector tries to require you to drive a ground rod. Read it HERE.

This is where you can purchase an approved Neutral/Ground bonding plug from Amazon. Yes, it’s the one I designed.

OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.

Let’s play safe out there….

 

 

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVDT1302;##RVT941





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Buffing out your RV finish


By Fred Burns

One of the bigger projects in maintaining your RV is keeping the outer shell clean and shiny. This involves frequent application of a good wax. It also means using a buffing compound and buffer after a few years when the finish starts to fade or get chalky. Is your RV at the point where it needs rejuvenating?

There are a number of good buffing compounds available, but applying them with a buffing wheel does create some potential problems — which I realized when I buffed out my 34-foot fifth wheel. I used a 7-inch wool buffing pad on a variable speed buffing wheel. Doing that made the job bearable without destroying arms and shoulders. But there are some potential problems that need to be dealt with:

• If you apply too much pressure to the buffer or too much speed you will burn the fiberglass clear coat, which leaves a permanent yellow stain on the white surface.

• If you run the buffer over anything metal it picks up black from the metal and transfers it to the fiberglass finish, which takes extra work to remove.

• If you use the buffer on any plastic parts like slide-out fascia corners, outlet covers, microwave outside vent cover, etc., the buffer can damage the plastic and leave a heavy compound deposit on it that is hard to remove.

• The buffer, at higher speeds, will damage the rubber seals on your slide-outs and leave that same heavy buffing compound deposit that is hard to remove.

• Dark-colored vinyl graphics will transfer color to the buffing pad, which then transfers it to the white fiberglass walls. You’ll then have to switch pads or clean the original before proceeding.

With all the above reasons, it’s best to rub out plastic parts, graphics and the areas next to sensitive parts by hand — not with the buffer.

Another safety tip: Do not use the buffer around any loose pieces or exposed cabling, as the high-speed wheel can rip the pieces off or snap the wiring in a split second if it gets caught in the fast-turning wheel.

As you work, the buffing wheel will likely damage some of the caulking around the seams, as the high speed and pressure tends to heat up the caulk, shrink it, and cause it to pull away from the edge that it is protecting. So plan to remove and replace any caulking that comes loose.

Be extra careful when using a buffer on a ladder because as the pressure from the buffer on the surface changes or when catching on an edge or protruding part, it can lead to a sudden jerk that can easily throw you off the ladder. It might be easier to buff the top foot or two of the side walls by lying on the roof and working the buffer from above.

WHEN IT COMES TO ROAD TAR, buffing compound doesn’t do a good job of making it go away. You can buff them out, true, but this requires applying a lot of pressure which then runs the risk of burning the surface. If you pick at a small tar speck with your fingernail to break it up, then the buffer removes it easily. If you have a lot of road tar, use a good tar remover before buffing.

Work one small area at a time and buff the compound out before it dries. And the last strokes over the area should be with light pressure to enhance the shine.

In the end, all the effort will be worth it as your RV, which was starting to get a slightly faded look, will come out looking like new.

##RVDT1302





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News for RVers #940, Sunday edition


Welcome to RVtravel.com, the newsletter that cares. Please tell your friends about us!

Here’s the latest news about RVing and more from the editors of RVtravel.com. This newsletter, along with each of our daily online publications, is funded in part by the voluntary subscription contributions of our readers. Thanks to all of you; you know who you are.

If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!

Sunday, March 22, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition




Has a nail been driven into the Good Sam Club’s coffin?

The new logo. What happened to the Good Sam man?

The Good Sam Club, the largest organization of RVers, is over as an active social club for RVers. All social gatherings have been banned due to coronavirus concerns, which is understandable. But what surprised the club’s state and provincial chapter leaders was the line in a letter they received yesterday. “To keep you and your family safe, as well as continuing to follow the CDC guidelines, the difficult decision has been made to pause the Good Sam State/Provincial Director program, effective immediately.” Bottom line, this means the social element of the club is finished — the club’s two million members are now essentially members of a Camping World loyalty and discount program. Even the little Good Sam man is missing from recent logos. Read more.


Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Here’s the latest news and information about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting the RV community. We now report six days a week on the pandemic — in this Sunday newsletter and every weekday in our RV Daily Tips. (Sign up to receive them here.)

••• READ TODAY’S CORONAVIRUS NEWS •••


HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.


Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
Editor Chuck Woodbury expounds on the current pandemic and the”new normal.”
RV Travel’s guide to DIY projects and RV mods to do while you’re stuck inside.
RV values decline in January.
Live RV Electricity Webinars coming soon from Funkstown, Maryland.
Reader letter: RV park staff doesn’t understand the term “LP gas.
Funny camping photos and memes of the week.
Planning ahead: Travel guides for wacky, odd and fascinating RV Short Stops.
RV Tire Safety: More information and warnings on tire inflation.
and much more

Read it here | Back issues


That was the RV week that was

March 15–21, 2020

Spring has sprung in Yellowstone National Park. On March 7, biologists doing an aerial survey spotted the first known grizzly out of hibernation near Grand Prismatic Spring. Last year’s first sighting came on March 6, so it wasn’t a big surprise. Grizzlies commonly pop out of their winter snoozes in March, led by males, while females and cubs usually wait until April to make an appearance. The entire park is considered bear country, so rangers advise guests to be on the lookout and take precautions so as to not invite unwanted bruin company to the picnic.

westernmassnews.com

An RVer, attempting to charge up his motorhome’s dead battery, got a lot more than he bargained for: A visit from the fire department and no more motorhome. Adam Sullivan said he’d hooked up his battery charger and was inside the Class C rig when something “sparked and lit up.” Westfield, Massachusetts, fire fighters were able to prevent his stick-frame home from catching fire, but there was nothing left of the RV after the March 11 fire.



Grab a bite at your favorite truck stop while traveling? If the “bite” means carry-out food, things are looking good. If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, the closest sit-down will likely be your own RV – at least in the nation’s three largest truck stop chains. Pilot Flying J reports plenty of prepackaged hot food, but dining rooms are shut down. Clean up? Sure, showers are still available. TA and Petro stops will have fuel and showers; state mandates will govern whether or not you’ll get a dining room seat, but all fitness centers and driver lounges are shut down. Love’s says you can get drive-through and carry-out foods, but no dine-in foods are available.

A $12.5 million settlement by Camping World settles a lawsuit with company stock shareholders. The company, current and former executives on the one side, settled with a class of plaintiffs that included four state pension fund operations. The suit alleged that Camping World lied to artificially inflate stock prices. The company went public in October 2016, and later had two other stock offerings in 2017. The initial share price was $22, which reached a high of $40, and today is less than $10. Camping World denies all allegations made against it in the suit, which included that it and its officers “made false and misleading statements regarding the [c]ompany’s financial performance, the effectiveness of internal controls to ensure accurate financial reporting and the success and profitability of the integration and rollout of Gander Mountain stores that the [c]ompany had recently acquired out of bankruptcy.”

An RV park manager in Toutle, Washington, has kudos for one of his guests, but isn’t too happy with the legal system. Greg Drew, who owns Drew’s RV Park, says he heard shouting, then a gun shot around midnight on March 12. Turns out, somebody had broken into a trailer parked at the park and in the process woke up the owner, who was sleeping inside. The RVer grabbed a gun and blasted a shot off into the ground, likely loosening the burglar’s bowels. Drew apparently thinks he knows who the bad guy is and, describing the man as a “meth head” and “a jailbird,” he says he’s filed trespassing charges against him multiple times.A tornado in West Texas has stirred up a lot of trouble in Orla, Texas. The twister turned over rigs at the Orla RV Park Friday the 13th. Early reports indicated no deaths, but some injuries. One guest called it “Fifteen seconds of pure drama,” as he and the family were caught in their rig as it was turned over by the blast.

A new city-constructed RV park may be the answer to increasing revenue for Winnsboro, Louisiana. The city says it’s planning on investing $400,000 – half of that from a grant – and some city-employee time to build a 20-site RV park in an industrial park. By their fiscal prognostication, city officials figure the park could pump out more than $5,000 a month when fully-booked; and after deducting costs, the monthly net haul could amount to more than $3,500. Who would guests be? Situated on State Highway 15, right next door to an equestrian center, the city hopes horse lovers would see it as attractive. As well, the mayor figures pipeline workers who “always bring their RVs” will also want space in the future park.

A fire did damage to a motorhome in a Yuma, Arizona, RV park last Thursday. Firefighters were sent to the Palms RV Resort where the fire broke out. After knocking down the fire, investigators surmised that the fire broke out “in the area of the refrigerator.”

A man who wants to build an RV park near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, is smarting from comments made by a borough council member. Jake Arner’s proposal to build a 270-site RV, tent, and cabin encampment as an “accessory” to his winery was blown out of the water when the council said his winery was so small, it was more of an accessory to the proposed RV park. Arner has been trying to develop his property since early 2005, but the economy derailed his initial plans for housing. Apparently his plans are too much in a state of flux for some councilors. One told him, “I think your issue is you need to pick a plan and go with it. I don’t know what you want to do. I’ll support just about anything, but I can’t keep all your plans straight and I doubt council can either.” Arner says the matter just may land in court.


Don’t be stuck in the dark!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 913
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.


It’s not all peaceful at the Peace Arch RV Park. At least one resident at the Surrey, British Columbia, park claims snowbirds returning from the U.S. are not all following self-isolation protocols mandated by the B.C. government. Asking to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, the tenant said some returnees aren’t staying in their rigs, but carrying on party-like with other residents. This same person claims a fight broke out in the park laundromat over concerns about coronavirus. Media asked for comments from park management and it boils down to a “he said, she said” situation. Managers said signs posted around the campground emphasized COVID-19 safety protocols, but admitted they did not specify that returnees to Canada had to self-quarantine.

Police called by a Cherokee County, Oklahoma, RV owner got more than they bargained for – but their “guest” got it in spades. An RVer called 9-1-1 on March 12, reporting a man either drunk or high had broken into his travel trailer. A sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene, in time to spot a man crawling up out of a ditch. Jessie Cole Markcum motioned to the deputy in a “bring it on” fashion, advancing on the deputy despite the officer’s commands for him to stop. The officer pulled out his Taser, and noted in his report, “This Taser deployment caused Mr. Markcum temporary neurological incapacitation resulting in his body stiffening and falling to the ground.” At the booking office, officers deemed it necessary to Taze Markcum again, and he responding by spitting in one of their faces. While the RVer didn’t want to press charges, figuring Markcum was drunk and not really intending to cause harm to the rig, he’s still on the hook for public intoxication, resisting arrest and “placing bodily fluids onto an officer.”

After angering RVers and allegedly being accountable for the closure of a motorhome factory, the U.K. government has backed away from a controversial tax on new motorhomes that shot prices up on the new rigs exponentially. The Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) jumped taxes on new motorhomes by 705 percent. It was ironic, as the government had been pitching for lower greenhouse gas emissions, and the newest motorhomes produce less of them. The VED has been in place for six months, and buyers who have yet to take delivery of their new rigs will see the tax rate rolled back. However, those who took delivery of rigs since the VED was put in place won’t see a refund. It’s a financial pain worth $2,200 U.S.

BILL LACKEY/STAFF via springfieldnewssun.com

We’ve heard of some odd crashes involving RVs before, but this one is for the record book. Whoever owned this Outback travel trailer must have had quite a shock when they saw the result of a Porsche driver who went “left of center” near Springfield, Ohio, last Monday. It wasn’t a political choice; rather, the Porsche pilot went left of the center line and kept on going left off the roadway. Along the way, he took out sections of a fence, a few mailboxes, a couple of cars, and finally burying his hot car in the parked travel trailer. Fortunately, it appears nobody was home at the time and the driver escaped unscathed.

Wondering how coronavirus may affect your RV trip? Imagine the family in China, who while on the road in their motorhome, suddenly were quarantined in place. Zhang Qi’s family spent two wonderful days on the coast of the Fujian province and were ready to head home. The local authorities suddenly shut down all tourist support facilities, and the Qi family was stuck in their rig, almost out of fuel, in cold weather. They spent nights shivering under seat cushions, waiting for their two-week enforced quarantine. Finally, they called social services and they responded with blankets, water and arrangements for electricity. And they also brought food to help the family that was by then down to a few instant noodles. After the quarantine period was over, the family still couldn’t receive permission to travel, so Zhang volunteered at a health center, while the rest of the family made friends with neighbors. After a rather protracted vacation that was supposed to last a few days, the Qi family, after 40 days, got to go back home – to Wuhan.


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 916You don’t know how dirty your headlights are…
When was the last time you gave those headlights a good scrub? It’s been a while, huh? Get yourself this 4-piece headlight restorer kit from Turtle Wax for less than $6, and have your headlights looking as good as new in less than 5 minutes. It can be used on all lenses, plexiglass and plastic surfaces, and will restore all dull, yellowed headlights. Learn more or order here.


Pickup truck news

According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of RVtravel.com readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.

Ford dominates list of best used trucks for $10,000
You’ve got an RV to tow, but only have $10,000 to spend on a suitable truck. Is that feasible? Chris Flynn, a writer for HotCars.com, has compiled an interesting list featuring used trucks from 1999 to 2018 – all in the affordable $10,000 price range. See them here.

Honda Ridgeline leads trucks capable of reaching 200,000 miles
Competition is intense in the car and truck industries, with the price of new vehicles providing a pause for buyers. What is the best choice: new or used? For as many buyers as there are, there are also likely as many reasons for consumers to buy new or used trucks to tow their RVs. Longevity is one strong criterion. For truck buyers seeking a used pickup to tow their RV there’s good news. Read it here.


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


Reader poll

How is the federal government handling the coronavirus pandemic? Respond here.


News briefs

RV sales in Rhode Island are booming. Residents are buying them in case a family member needs to be isolated, or as a safe way to travel. On a normal busy week, Arlington RV would deliver between 12 to15 RVs, but this week they have delivered 24 so far and the calls keep keep coming in.

Campers at Lakeside RV Park along Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Missouri, were evacuated on Thursday due to the rising water level. About 50 of the approximately 130 campsites were occupied when city officials began evacuating the park at about 4 p.m. The rainfall, water run-off, and high water releases from Table Rock Dam contributed to the flooding. The park has a history of flooding.



Campground chatter

Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA

Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.


RV recalls posted since our last newsletter

Some Silverado and Sierra pickups recalled. Hood could open unexpectedly.


ADVERTISEMENT
Be like Mike Sokol, use silicone!
Mike says: Never use any kind of petroleum-based products on rubber or plastic components in your RV, such as your trailer connector. That includes products such as Vaseline, WD40 or any other type of spray lubricating oil. Doing so will eventually break down the plastic and/or rubber components causing them to swell up and eventually disintegrate. The proper treatment is anything silicone-based. We use a lot of Heavy Duty Silicone in our shop for general connector cleaning and lubrication. It’s also useful on rubberized door sweeps and such. You can get some of your own here.


Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 16, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.25 [Calif.: $3.22]
Change from week before: Down 13 cents; Change from year before: Down 30 cents.
Diesel: $2.73 [Calif.: $3.63]
Change from week before: Down 8 cents; Change from year before: Down 34 cents.


Sign up for an email reminder for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter, published every Monday through Friday. You won’t want to miss it!


Upcoming RV shows

All immediately upcoming shows have been canceled (or will be if not already canceled).


Brain teaser answer:

(The question appeared in yesterday’s newsletter): Fog (or darkness).


Easily hang heavy objects in your RV
RV walls aren’t exactly designed for having screws or nails driven into them. Enter acrylic mounting tape. This is a clear, double-sided tape that is sturdy enough to hang heavy objects and can easily be removed without doing damage to the walls. Get some here.


Free and bargain camping

From OvernightRVparking.com

Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.

Other resources:
Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations.
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 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 demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.


RV Travel staff

CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editors: Diane McGovern, Russ and Tiña De Maris. 

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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 2020 by RVtravel.com





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RV Coronavirus News Update, March 22, 2020


Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel Readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast organizing this update that we did not have time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Many RV park owners were thrown into limbo on Friday (March 20) as the states of New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Connecticut were ordered to close their campgrounds for being “non-essential.” Through the efforts of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) the four states have reversed their bans, allowing the parks to remain open — good news for RVers.

On Saturday, Elkhart County, Indiana, where 80 percent of all RVs are manufactured, reported its first case of coronavirus. The total cases in the state is 126.

KOA has been forced to close a few of its campgrounds. Here’s a list and more information. KOA reports that reservations are up 11 percent for the summer over last year.

RVillage has temporarily put all get-togethers on hold until it is safe to have in-person meetings again.

If you’re thinking of visiting Grand Canyon National Park, maybe reconsider. The South Rim is open but restaurants are closed, services are limited and a pipeline break has disrupted water service to Mather Campground. The Grand Canyon Railroad has cancelled its excursions for now. Other Arizona park closures include Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument.

The Beaver Ambassador Club has cancelled its Spring International Rally scheduled for April 22-26 in Kerrville, Texas. All rallies scheduled in April are also cancelled.

Yellowstone National Park is open, but its campgrounds (except for Mammoth), as they are every year, are still closed for the season.

Winnebago Industries has suspended all factory tours; Thor, too.

West Virginia’s 10 state park lodges, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails system, and the seven campgrounds operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at flood control reservoirs across the state were ordered closed on Friday in an effort to check the spread of COVID-19. Campgrounds at Corps of Engineers Beech Fork Lake, Stonewall Jackson Lake and Tygart Lake are operated by the state parks system, and remain open.

All New Jersey State Park campgrounds are closed.

All regional gatherings of the S.M.A.R.T RV Club scheduled during April and May have been cancelled or rescheduled. Most local chapter activities during this time period also have been cancelled. Scheduled events after May will be re-examined as the situation develops.

Rocky Mountain National Park became Colorado’s first national park to close to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The park hosted a record 4.67 million visitors in 2019.

As you travel the highways and byways, rest assured that most truck stops will be open for business. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation said truck stops now qualify as an essential business, meaning they are viewed as too vital to shut down. The businesses are making adjustments for the pandemic. Pilot Flying J, for example has stopped providing self-serve food and others have closed restaurants.

Riverside County, Calif., RV parks are closed and have cancelled reservations.

No new reservations are being accepted until May 15 at the Corps of Engineers Parks at Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Lake, both in Texas in the Belton area.

Montana State Parks visitor centers are closed. Parks are open.

Two more RV manufacturers have suspended operations, Pennsylvania-based Aliner and Little Guy Trailers. Little Guy shared this message: “Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the closure of all non-life-sustaining business as of 8 p.m., March 19th. Unfortunately, this means that our factory located in Somerset, Pennsylvania, will be closed immediately.”

All Nevada State Park campgrounds are closed. Only day use permitted.

Some Military campgrounds are closed or only available to active military members. Here’s an unofficial list of parks not taking reservations, or already closed.

Cummins Inc., Columbus, Ind., has suspended production at its midrange engine plant in Walesboro, Ind., for two weeks in response to the decision by its customer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to shutdown pickup truck assembly until at least the end of March.

The giant Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, is closed until at least March 31. The mall’s parking lot has traditionally been off-limits to overnight RV parking.

Heard in the RV park today (one RVer’s solution for ending the coronavirus pandemic): “They should send anyone infected to an island, like they did with people who got leprosy.” Oh, my!

Florida RV parks remain open for business except in the Florida Keys, where there has been a temporary order for hotels, private campgrounds and RV parks to close for their short-term guests, meaning those staying under 28 days.

RVC Outdoor Destinations is seeing an uptick in reservation requests from traveling nurses, many of whom use their RVs as their self-contained home while they are on temporary assignment at hospitals and other medical facilities across the country. RVC Outdoors owns and operates nine resorts in nine states.

All hotels and RV parks in Brewster County, Texas, are now closed.

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has reached an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to direct overflow campers to nearby campgrounds using the listings on GoCampingAmerica.com. “This is a great opportunity for campgrounds and parks to help those that need a place to stay and boost their business,” the association wrote on its Facebook page.

ABOVE: These St. Bernards are equipped with TP. Brandy casks are not as important these days. Difficult times require creative solutions.

DID YOU SEE OUR SURVEY IN YESTERDAY’S NEWSLETTER? We asked: If asked to voluntarily isolate yourself, will it be in a traditional home or an RV? See what are readers plan to do (and answer the poll if you wish).

The BC Interior RV Show, set for Penticton, British Columbia, for April 3-5, has been cancelled. Ditto for The Vancouver Island RV Show and Sale, which was scheduled to start April 11.

Pismo Coast Village in Pismo Beach, California, is now closed until April 17 or until further notice.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will accommodate current overnight guests through April 2nd. Reservations for all state parks from April 3rd to and including May 8th will be cancelled and site fees refunded. Before May 8th, the department will review the state park campground closure to decide whether it should be extended. The decision affects all individual and group overnight facilities including campsites, yurts, cabins, tepees, and services operated by concessionaires.

All campgrounds and visitor centers will be closed at Point Reyes National Seashore (Calif.) until at least April 7, 2020.

Spain has shut down all its lodging including campgrounds.

In Connecticut, the opening of camping season at state parks and forests has been postponed until Memorial Day weekend in May, unless a further delay is deemed necessary. All campground reservations made for stays prior to Memorial Day weekend will automatically be cancelled and refunds will be processed.

A LITTLE HUMOR: From RVtravel.com reader Patricia Gerald: “Tonight I am having a quarantine party. . . None of you are invited.”

The city of Galveston closed beach park facilities Thursday. The order applies to Stewart Beach, East Beach, Seawall Urban Park, Seawolf Park and Dellanera RV Park, all managed by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has canceled campground reservations in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The cancellations do not affect anyone who is currently in the campground. Reservations after May 15 will be reevaluated at a later date.

Breaking coronavirus RV news from last week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter.
FridayThursdayWednesdayTuesdayMondaySunday (RV Travel edition)


WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, some of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. It’s more important than ever that our readers help us with their financial support. Won’t you please support our efforts by becoming a voluntary subscriber?

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s being affected by the virus. Please submit it here. Thank you!

##RVT940b





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How is the federal government handling the coronavirus pandemic?


Life in America, and the world, is far different than it was even a month ago. The coronavirus pandemic is seemingly out of control. Nobody knows how long it will be before our lives return to normal.

Our question today is how do you think our federal government is responding to this crisis? We welcome your comments but, be warned, we will delete any that are mean-spirited or ignorant. This is a tough time. We’re all in this together. Let’s be courteous to our fellow man and woman.

The poll may take a moment to load, so please stand by.

Now, go wash your hands!!





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Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 940


Free and inexpensive places to stay with your RV in the U.S. and Canada!

Updated weekly

When it comes to free places to stay a night in an RV, Walmart is the best bet. We estimate that about 65 percent of all its stores in the USA allow stays in self-contained RVs.

Other businesses that allow free overnight stays include Flying J Travel Centers, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel restaurants (official policy is overnight stays are NOT permitted although most stores allow the practice), Costco and Kmart. Many RVers routinely stay in shopping center or factory outlet parking lots. Many casinos allow or even encourage overnight stays in RVs.

Recent reports of free and inexpensive places to stay with an RV:

From OvernightRVParking.com

Cracker Barrel #267, Titusville, FL
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but permission from the manager is required. Park in one of 6 marked Bus/RV spaces behind the building. RVs that won’t fit in those spaces may receive permission to park along one edge of the lot. Small rigs that will fit in a single auto parking space may receive permission to do so. Level, well lit, but can be noisy. If you park overnight here, please purchase your evening meal and/or breakfast here. Click here for details.

City Park Campground, Pioche, NV
Almost FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. City Park has 10 back-in W/S RV spaces on gravel. No electric hookups. Water pressure is high; pressure regulator recommended. Basically level, with ambient lighting from street lights. Open all year. No reservations. Max stay: 7 days. 2020 rate: Donation requested. Click here for details.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 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 demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.


Please join our Facebook group, Free Campgrounds, and share your favorite free camping spots or submit free or inexpensive campground information to us here. Thanks!

See last week’s free (or almost free) locations here.


Resources
Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.
Overnight RV Parking: More than 14,000 location listings. Inexpensive membership required.
Harvest Hosts: Members can stay free overnight at farms & wineries.

AFFILIATE OFFER: Save 10% on campground fees when you join the Good Sam Club!

Helpful videos
• Video: Where to camp for free in an RV.
• Video: How to camp in an RV at Walmart for free.
• Video: Best source of free and inexpensive RV camping.
• Video: Which “Big Box” stores allow free RV camping?
• Video: RV camping for less than $1 a day. Stay months.
• Video: Okay to stay overnight at truck stops?
• Video: Camping at Elk Lodges. An amazing bargain.

Walmart Free RV Parking

Walmart’s official policy about overnight stays in RVs.
The ABCs of “camping” at Walmart.
Guidelines for overnighting in an RV at Walmart.

Good Reading
RV park owners say “Walmart campers are cheapskates.”
The appeal of boondocking in the desert.
Articles and information from RVtravel.com about boondocking.
Six safety tips for overnight RV stays at casinos.
Free camping at wildlife refuges.
Why overnight RV parking at truck stops is a bad idea
Try winter boondocking at LTVAs in AZ and CA deserts.





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Is Good Sam finished as an active RV club?


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

The Good Sam organization changed on Friday. Earlier, customers of affiliate Camping World received a letter from the company explaining just what actions it was taking to protect the health and well-being of customers and employees alike. But Friday, the letters that went out weren’t for customers – rather, they were addressed to State and Provincial Good Sam Directors.

As might be expected, the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the proverbial monkey wrench into the works of social gatherings. Good Sam, not surprisingly, ordered all state and provincial rallies canceled, as well as smaller, individual chapter meetings. But what surprised and dismayed many was this line: “To keep you and your family safe, as well as continuing to follow the CDC guidelines, the difficult decision has been made to pause the Good Sam State/Provincial Director program, effective immediately.”

It was easy to understand the cancellation or postponement of rallies and other gatherings. But to suddenly sack the directors of the state and provincial organizations was quite another. We turned to an industry insider as to just why this might have taken place. Here are a few gleanings from what we heard.

First, to some, this wasn’t a complete surprise. The handwriting may have been on the wall – or on the company logo – as long as a year ago. Good Sam Enterprises, the holding company that oversees the club, redesigned the company logotype. The old logo featured the Good Sam Club – but in the new iteration, the word “Club” suddenly vanished, and Good Sam is flanked now by Camping World and Gander pointers. It would seem that Good Sam Enterprises was, at that point, far more interested in retail operations and in “subscription-based products, services and publications” than in the social activities on which the original organization was solidly based.

For now-former state and provincial directors, what does this all mean? In terms of finance, not much. A few directors got a stipend; all received repayment of their expenses, and when it came time to buy a new RV, directors could get a discount – provided they marched down and bought one off the lot at Camping World. But many of these directors and, quite often, their spouses, had made the Good Sam Club their heart and soul. Two of those, Martin and Diane Qualey, have invested years in helping Maine chapters of the club push ahead in what they feel is the real Good Sam spirit. Martin was the director of the Maine organization – until Friday.

Martin picked no bones about the sudden change. “I will grant Good Sam leeway in the need to limit liability during the pandemic,” Martin told us by telephone. “For them to completely dissolve was an overstep.” He feels that, contrary to the spirit of the Good Sam Club founders, money has become the principal thing for management. Speaking of the chapters he and his wife helped to oversee, Martin said, “I think that [Marcus] Lemonis and others would like to see [state organizations] go ‘bye-bye.’ We’re an insignificant number – 350 to 500 members in Maine, as opposed to one to two million ‘members’” in the overall scheme of things. In Martin’s thinking, the present-day company is far more interested in their database of members and its potential for money-making than in the social network that Good Sam once was.

The thought was echoed by our insider. To this person, the word “pause” in Friday’s declaration as it relates to these directorships means a complete and final termination. If the company database has two million names, then the small participation rates by chapters, probably somewhere around 1 percent of the total, is a trivial thing to company higher-ups, and not worth the financial investment. In fact, the insider said he was surprised that Marcus Lemonis hadn’t made the move much earlier, and that the COVID-19 crisis simply provided an excuse to shut down the system.

What does the company decision mean to chapter loyalists? It means they have no official standing, and no liability backing if they were to proceed with a rally or other gathering. Does that spell the end of the social activities and gatherings of Good Sammers? Not if you ask Martin and Diane Qualey. Martin has already spoken with local chapter presidents in Maine. Many are determined to press ahead and form a new organization. Martin may no longer be a “director,” but in the new group he’ll be re-titled as the “manager.” The old state treasurer will become the “accountant” and chapter presidents, “fiscal advisers.” An area RV dealer – Lee’s Family Trailer – has already stepped up and said it will help support the new group, even as it already supported the old Good Sam group, despite the company’s having no affiliation with Camping World.

Titles aside, Martin sees a bright future for what used to be Maine Good Sam chapters. He and Diane see their organization, not in terms of dollars and cents, but rather in service. In the past the Good Sams in Maine have been heavily supportive of charitable causes. Good idea or not, at one rally Martin challenged the club members who showed up in 70 RVs to come up with $1,000 for a good cause. He didn’t dream that they’d be able to do it, but just for an incentive, he told the group he’d dye his hair pink if they could make the money. Members put together $1,500 – and Martin had a new hair color. On other occasions, club members have worked tirelessly at Special Olympics events, manning stopwatches to time athletes, and booths handing out T-shirts and trinkets. In the minds of the Qualeys, Good Sams have their roots in the Biblical illustration of the Good Samaritan – serving others.

Will the same be true of other states’ chapters of the Good Sam Club? Time will tell. But like Martin says, “Maine Good Sam is dead. But the Samaritans are still alive.”

##RVT940b





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KOA closing some parks by order of governments


Below is an updated list of KOA campgrounds that are closed due to local government orders. We will continue to update this list as we learn of new closures. Most KOA parks remain open.

Campgrounds, like communities across the U.S. and Canada, are changing processes and procedures daily. Due to the rapidness of change, check your KOA’s landing page at KOA.com for updates and alerts about their campground. Most KOAs are still open and operating, taking new reservations and using recommendations by the CDC and their local government to ensure the best safety measures possible.

CLOSED OR CLOSING SOON

  • Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA Holiday, CA
  • Moab KOA Holiday, UT
  • Cape Hatteras KOA Resort, NC
  • Tulsa NE / Will Rogers Downs KOA Journey, OK
  • Las Vegas KOA Journey at Sam’s Town, NV
  • Richmond North / Kings Dominion KOA, VA





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Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, March 21, 2020


The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for late-breaking news for RV travelers but it’s impossible to keep up with the rapidly changing closures, reopenings and events that are changed or canceled. Some state parks are closed to all camping and events. Others remain open for camping but not events. Some closures/cancellations are for two weeks, some for two months, some permanently until further notice. The Kentucky Derby will be run in September!
    If you have camping reservations call to cancel and make new ones and/or check on refund policies, which vary.  
    We will all be traveling again soon. For now it’s important to check ahead directly with the campground. This column’s focus for now is on RV travel for later this summer and into the fall. Conditions can change quickly. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: March 21, 2020

FLORIDA STATE PARKS OPEN FOR GEOCACHING
The ultimate social distancing, outdoor family sport is geocaching. Florida’s Operation Recreation GeoTour, hosted by Geocaching.com, stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 Florida State Parks and Trails. Go to stateparks.org. to get started with the money-saving, one year, unlimited state park entry. Kids on board? Check out the Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. For information on geocaching in other states go to geocaching.com .

INDIANA CAMPGROUND MAKES A SPLASH
Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort in Santa Claus has $2 million in new facilities including a water playground, water park and furnished cabanas. The pet policy now extends to some cabins including one wheelchair-accessible cabin. A pet fee may apply to rental RV and cabins. The pet park is filled with structures to make playtime more interesting. Also new are golf cart rentals. As of press time the season opening date is May 1, but call ahead for current information. Call too for information about dates for this campground’s famous summer job fair.

OHIO CELEBRATES THE CULTURE OF INDIA
This is the third year for the popular India Festival to be held in September in Columbus, where the Ohio Expo Center has two campgrounds available for most events from April 1 to November 1. See, taste, hear while learning about the nation’s cuisine, fashions, health care, visual and performing arts, cosmetic tips, jewelry and much more. Admission will be $15.   Depending on the event, reservations may be available or camping may be on a first-come basis. For camping information call  866-510-9838.

THESE OKLAHOMA CAMPGROUNDS NOW ON AUTOPILOT
The Eufaula Lake campgrounds near Tulsa are now self-service areas. Class A area campsites can all be reserved online through recreation.gov. Each site will also have a QR code, which can be scanned using a smart device.
Areas now accepting reservations are:
• Belle Starr
• Brooken Cove
• Highway 9 Landing
• Gentry Creek
• Porum Landing
• Ladybird Landing
• All Kerr Parks

Class C parks on Eufaula Elm Point, Mill Creek, Oak Ridge, and Dam Site E are first-come, first-served. Pay for any open spot using pay.gov via QR codes on the site. Reservations are not available for these sites. Payments for all day-use areas such as boat ramps and swim beaches will be through pay.gov. The pay.gov site will accept electronic transfers from bank accounts, credit card payments, Amazon Pay, and PayPal. Those who hold an annual pass will still be issued a hang-tag for their vehicles. Honor vaults will no longer be used. The only cash accepted will be by gate attendants when they are on duty.

NEW MEXICO CAMPGROUNDS CLOSED
Due to New Mexico officials banning public gatherings in response to the coronavirus, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) has closed its state parks to  overnight camping. Visitors with overnight camping reservations will be issued a full refund. (877) 478-3657.

PENNSYLVANIA OPEN FOR MUD SALES
Summer and early fall are a wonderful time for RV travelers to meander Lancaster County, where among the most unique things to do are Mud Sales. Because little communities throughout Amish country are served by volunteer fire departments, these sales of folk goods and smorgasboard meals are fundraisers for the cause.
Here are some dates to put on your to-do list.
August 7 – 8 – Gap Relief Auction; Benefits Mennonite Central Committee, Solanco Fairgrounds, 172 S. Lime Street, Quarryville, PA 17566; August 15 – 16 – Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction, Intercourse Fire Company