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RV Travel Issue #329
2008-7-25 20:09:09   RV Travel
H-U-G-E
SAVINGS!

We've slashed prices on more than 100 books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com. Some of the prices are below our cost. But it's time to make room for some exciting new titles coming soon. So take advantage of these HUGE SAVINGS! But hurry: We only have one or two copies of some of the products.
Save up to 80% and even more!

REMEMBER: Free postage in the USA on orders over $49!


Editor's Corner

By Guest Contributors Ray and Ellen McKenzie

As the price of fuel continues to escalate, we as RVers are forced to make tough decisions. Do we continue on in our lifestyle as before -- a sort of "Damn the torpedoes" attitude? Do we cut back -- become so-called "staycationers," who stick close to home, but still use our RVs? Or do we take a really drastic alternative -- sell the RV and give up the lifestyle?

These are tough calls, and individual circumstances dictate so much. If only we could get an accurate read on the future.  "Experts" predict "$150 oil, $200 oil, $500 oil -- thousand dollar oil!" These so-called experts can pull figures out of the air, float them with the mainstream media, and the rest of us sit glued to our TVs, trying to figure out how we'll be able to take a trip to the doctor's office, the grocery store, and the funeral planner's -- much less a trip with our rig.

What we're not hearing much on the evening news is this: Not everyone labeled "expert" agrees with the theory that oil prices are simply going to shoot through the troposphere in an unending moonshot. Take a minute to bring up your Google news search engine and type in the words: Oil Bubble. 

There are plenty of articles, opinions, and blogs that seem to fly in the face of the never-ending-oil-price-rise scenario; for some reason these counterpoints are rarely heard in the mainstream media. Why? Probably because of the old adage, "If it bleeds, it leads."  After all, it's far more exciting to predict that oil will reach the point where all of us end up walking, rather than suggest that there really might be a point where oil stops going up, and actually does return to a lower price. 

We don't have a crystal ball. What price will we pay when we make our next big trip in July? "Don't have the foggiest notion." But we know one thing:  We're not eager to "cash it in," and liquidate our RV holdings. We're not ready to give up the lifestyle.  At this point, we're willing to do what RVing we reasonably can, maintain the rigs, and watch and see where the market eventually settles. 

If you have a comment about what the McKenzie's wrote here, please post it in our forum.

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The 2008 Trailer Life RV Road Atlas
Besides showing highways and other roads, this large-format road atlas shows more than 10,000 campgrounds, plus RV service centers, tourist attractions and 1,600 state parks, plus a special Tech Tips section. Learn more or order for only $16.95. (Cover price, $29.95)


Wal-Mart says no to truckers, but yes to RVers
When Jim Twamley looked for a place to park overnight last week in Illinois, he sought out, as he often does, a nearby Wal-Mart store. This time when he arrived he discovered a barrier to keep out trucks, but not his motorhome. Learn more and see pics of the scene and find out what other "Big Box" store Jim chose for his snooze.

RELEASED IN 2008 BY FILMMAKER JOHN HOLOD
DVD: RVing Alaska

(with Joe and Vicki Kieva)

Learn everything you need to know about traveling by RV to and from Alaska via the Alaska Highway and the Alaska ferry. Essential viewing for Alaska-bound RVers. Learn more or order.


Recent RV recalls
Each month we list the latest recalls of RVs at RVtravel.com. Here are the most recent ones: April -- March -- February -- January -- December -- November -- October -- September -- August

Get the latest news about RVing at RV News Service.


Only $7.95
RV in your Retirement

Anyone who is close to retirement or who recently retired and is planning to spend all or part of their time traveling with an RV will find much useful information "RV Retirement."  Grab this great deal now! Learn more or order.

Is your RV prepared for a natural disaster?
The recent natural disasters in Myanmar and China remind us that North America has suffered its own natural disasters in the past, and most certainly will be the victim of future ones. For instance, geologists say there's a 99 percent chance that a major earthquake will hit California in the next 30 years. This raises a critical question for RVers. Read on.

RVer dies in his coach at Indy 500.
Did RVer next door unintentionally poison him?
While authorities haven't made an official determination of the source of carbon monoxide that killed one man and sickened four others at last Sunday's Indy 500, another RVing couple is worried they may be to blame. RVs were packed like sardines into a race camping area and it's possible that the exhaust from an RVer's generator entered the RV parked next door, causing the tragedy. Read more.


2008 RVers Friend
This best-selling directory lists RV services at truck stops with free "camping," dumps, Internet, propane, repair services & more. Truck stops offer more to RVers than ever. Let this best selling book be your guide. Learn more or order.


A low-budget option for would-be RVers
If you're interested in RVing but can't quite afford a conventional RV yet, there's an economical option that will give you a taste of what the lifestyle has to offer. Read both these posts, then start planning your camping trip. Article 1. Article 2.

Ride for free on
the Alaska Railroad!

There is only one stipulation: You must turn 50 in the year 2009. The Alaska Railroad is offering anyone in the world who shares this birthday year with Alaska's statehood anniversary  that'll be 1959 one free day of rail travel anytime during 2009. Travel need not occur on the passenger's birthday, just during the birthday year. Learn more.

All about RV batteries
and solar battery charging
These products will make you an expert!
Managing 12 volts (book)
RVers Guide to Solar Battery Charging (book)
Deep Cycle Batteries (DVD)
The RVers Solar Primer (book)


New manufacturing materials in store for future RVs
At least one RV manufacturer has responded to environmental concerns and the high cost of fuel with a major change in the way RVs are made. Will other RV manufacturers follow suit? If they do, RV buyers of the future will benefit, and so will the environment! Details.

Ouch!
Bad scene for RV?

This looks like a very bad situation for this car and trailer. How the heck could this even happen? Well, truth be told, it wasn't by accident. To see a bigger photo and learn where you can see this RV, click here.

See many other odd and unusual RVs at the blog Weird RVs.

Wal-Mart "No Overnight Parking" Stores
Learn which Wal-Marts DO NOT ALLOW free overnight stays in RVs. This concise directory lists more than 350 such stores. Plus "rules" about staying at Wal-Mart. ONLY $3.95! Learn more or order


Wifi service expanding at RV parks
Many RVers these days use the Internet for a variety of functions on the road. If you like to be connected while you're traveling, you'll want to read about this exciting new wifi service at a growing number of RV parks. Click here.

Coachmen offering generous rebates to stimulate RV sales
Coachmen RV Group wants to help the federal tax rebate program stimulate the economy by offering its own rebate packages to stimulate sales of new RVs. RVers who purchase certain Coachmen motorhomes and trailers can grab up to a $5,000 rebate.
Learn more.

RV Rentals: what you need to know
If you plan to rent an RV, then read the advice of RV expert Brent Peterson before you do.
"Sure, you can just skip down to the local RV rental facility and pick yourself out something nice," he writes. "But I prefer a more educated approach. Remember, knowledge is power." Read his story.

FMCA:
The best club for motorhome owners
If you drive a motorhome you should join the Family Motor Coaching Association, the largest and best club exclusively for motorhome owners. Many benefits including rallies, local chapters and thick monthly magazine. Special new member price of $35. Click here to learn more or join.


RV Performance with Eric Davis
Since 1972 Eric Davis has addressed RV engine performance. This week he answers this question:

Reader wants advice about why his Ford shifts so frequently on hills.

Dear Eric,
I have a Ford V10 with a Ford transmission. It shifts down on the slightest hill. How long can I expect this transmission to last? I have synthetic transmission fluid in it. What would you suggest? -- John Oliver

Read Eric's response.


Bella Terra means "Beautiful Land"
and that's exactly what this RV Resort is! The Gulf Coast's first 5-star master planned RV Resort. Five minutes away from the beautiful sugar-white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, Bella Terra is poised to set the standard for outdoor RV resorts.
See for yourself.

Surprise at national park leads to workamping tip
RV workcamping expert Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak had a pleasant surprise recently at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Read about her discovery and her profile of two interesting workampers. At the end of her post, she provides a tip that will be valuable to any RVer who works a bit on the road. Click here.

Next "school" for RVers coming soon
The next stop for the "Elderhostel" for RVers is coming to Lewiston, Idaho, July 6-11. Life on Wheels is THE best place to learn about RVing -- whether the RVer is a beginner or long-time veteran. This year's LOW moves to the campus of Lewis and Clark State College. RVtravel.com and RVbookstore.com are among the sponsors of this year's event -- the #1 way to learn first-hand about all phases of RVing from the leading experts in the field. Learn more.

Big Rigs Campground Directory
now available on CD-ROM

The hugely popular Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory is now available on CD-ROM. This is the premier guidebook to RV parks that cater to long RVs. Previously only available in printed form, the publishers recently released the information in a searchable CD-ROM. Learn more.

This Week's Reader Survey

Do you use regular toilet paper in your RV or a special brand made for RVs? Answer here.

Last week's survey question
Are you financially better or worse off today than five years ago? Read the answer here.

Past reader surveys and results.


Stay free in Wal-Mart parking lots
Learn where to find Wal-Marts, most of which allow RVers to stay overnight for free in their parking lots. It's not "camping," but it's free. Get driving directions to every store in the USA. New in the
2007 edition: Stores that sell diesel fuel! Retail price $24.95.
Order Now at our Everyday Low Price of only $19.98 -- the best price anywhere!

And pack along an inexpensive guide to Wal-Marts that do NOT allow you to stay overnight.


Contest updates: Cash prizes now totals $113.
Our
Pot of Gold Contest cash prize is now $83, and the pot at our Your Name is Money contest is now $30 after yet another cash winner. Check weekdays between 8-2 (Pacific time) to see if you're a winner.


How to cook with an RV's convection oven
If you have a convection oven and would like to learn how to use it better -- and pick up some great new recipes, you will enjoy the eBook "I've Got A Convection Oven in My RV: Now What?"


Pulling a trailer in Washington? Keep this tip in mind
Here's a highway tip for RVers who tow a trailer and are planning a trip in or through Washington state. It might help get you through traffic a little faster. Perhaps this applies to other states, too. Click here.

Newlyweds with Airstream
show off ideal RV boondocking site

A honeymooning couple traveling the USA with an Airstream trailer stop to camp near Leavenworth, Wash. In this entertaining episode, Sean, the host of the video, gives a tour of the campground and explains why he thinks "boondocking" like this is pretty darn great (and we agree!). Watch the short video.

eBooks: INSTANT READING!
With eBooks you don't have to wait to read your book. Just place your order and your eBook will be delivered almost instantly to your email inbox. These eBooks are written by RV experts and delivered instantly in PDF format. 
Buying an RV the Smart Way
I Have A Convection Oven in My RV. Now What?
The ABCs of Pop Up Campers
Boondocking Tips - More Fun Without Hookups
Complete Guide to Dinghy Towing
The Woman's Guide to Solo RVing
RV Care and Maintenance
Deep Cycle Battery Care and Maintenance
The 3 Primary Systems of an RV: LP Gas, Water & Electricity
Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitchwork and Backing
RV Check-List


Ask the RV Doctor

Gary Bunzer, The RV Doctor is a well known RV author and the host of RV Roadtrips, the DIY Network cable television show. He is one of the RV industry's most sought after speakers and the host of the popular DVD Do It Yourself RV Care.

RVer has a mouse problem. "Help me!" she asks the Doc.

Dear RV doctor,
I have developed a mouse problem. My RV is currently parked on a seasonal site. This past winter it was winterized and all the vents covered, but mice still got it. I put out four trays of De-con about four weeks ago and all the trays are empty. What can I do to discourage the mice? Should I add mothballs, or put out more De-con? I have been told that the De-con actually invites them, but I don't want them to stay, so I figured that was the best thing to do. Please help. I have a new trailer and I don't want it ruined! --Karen Kenney

Read Gary's response.


The RV Kitchen: Fix It in Foil
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition and quick clean-up - what more could you want from a meal? This cookbook combines the best of all worlds! Featuring 51 fantastic recipes that each include instructions for cooking in an oven, over a campfire, or on an outdoor grill. Learn more or order


Trivia
Every day, you generate an average of 3.5 pounds of trash.


Best Seller!
RVers Guide to Corps of Engineers Campgrounds

This best-selling 2007 guidebook describes more than 600 Corps-managed campgrounds suitable for RVs on nearly 200 lakes around the USA. Haven't camped at a Corps of Engineers' facility? Then you've missed out!
Learn more or order.


New RVer primer: boondocking versus dry-camping
If you're fairly new to RVing, you've probably heard the terms "boondocking" and "dry-camping" but may not know exactly what they mean, especially if you usually stay at RV parks. This article explains the differences and will suggest some new RVing adventures to you. Click here.

Follow these guidelines for propane safety
If your RVing ever involves dry-camping, you know how important and versatile propane is. Imagine trying to cook or stay warm without it! But like any gas, propane must be handled carefully. Here's a review of propane safety tips.

Explorer RV Insurance
Owners of motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels and medium duty tow vehicles save up to 15% over our largest competitors by tailoring their coverage from more than a dozen options. Get a quote now.


RV is shaped like a whale!
We first showed you this video nearly two years ago. It was videotaped in 1990 by RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury who had stumped upon a man in the Southern California desert who had built an RV in the shape of the whale Moby Dick. The sound is a little weak on this dub of a VHS tape, but we still think you will enjoy this short but delightful video.

Retail price $29.95
NOW ONLY $12.95
Complete Guide to Full-time RVing
Thinking of becoming a full-time RVer? This is THE guide about how to do it. From dreaming about the lifestyle to living it, this fabulous resource has all the answers. SAVE BIG! Learn more or order!


Great Reading in our RV Travel Blogs

FEATURED BLOGS:

Celebrity RVer
More famous people are taking up the RV lifestyle. Read about the stars and their RVing lifestyles in this blog.

The RV Kitchen
Recipes, tips and techniques to help you prepare healthy meals within the confines of a small space.

Eco RVing
Greener ways to hit the road.

RVs in the News
"Concentrated RV news." Practical, useful, and fun news on recreational vehicle issues. Always be up to date.

Wheel Life
Veteran RV reporter Julianne Crane keeps you up-to-date with news and information about RVing, RVers and the RV lifestyle. Always entertaining!


Radio On The Road -- ONLY $4.95
This terrific directory lists more than 15,000 AM and FM stations in the U.S by state, city and broadcast format, plus a complete listing of National Public Radio stations. Use it when you travel to find your favorite talk show, sports team or music. Retail $16.95. Now only $4.95

Great RV Stuff
The latest neat RV stuff in this always fasincating blog. Gizmos and gadgets that might even make your RVing more enjoyable.

Working on the RV Road
Get up-to-date about news and information about earning income while RVing.

Boondocking
Do you use your RV away from utilities? Here you'll pick up tips on how to do it, and learn about some great places to boondock.

RV Short Stops
Our RVtravel.com blogger's favorite places to visit in their RVs -- Great suggestions for places to visit on your own travels.

RVing Quartzsite
"RV Snowbird Central" for the winter season, home of huge gem shows and flea markets and the land of free camping on government lands.

Casino RV Camping
Learn about casino RV parks, freebie camping, and great deals on gaming and dining for RVers who visit.

Fulltime RVer
If you're a fulltime RVer or plan to be someday, then stop by for the latest news and information about fulltiming.

See the complete lineup of RV Travel blogs


Recently published!
Find Rest Areas, Welcome Centers & more
With the new 2008 Interstate Travel Guide you will quickly and easily locate rest areas, welcome centers, scenic turnouts, including a list of Flying J Travel Plaza locations popular with RVers. Learn more.

Looking for new recipes? Check out www.RVcookBooks.com
Largest selection of RV cookbooks anywhere!

SAVE on
directories of Free Campgrounds

The most comprehensive guides to free and inexpensive campgrounds in the East and West -- "must-haves" for budget-minded RVers. Save more than $5 by buying both East and West editions together. Learn more or order.

High Island is a special stop for birding fans
RVer birding fans, don't miss this top birding spot the next time you take a trip in the Lone Star state. For a description of this special place, as well as some great photos, click here.

Gas prices got you down? Learn how to trim those bills
No doubt about it -- it hurts these days to fill up the ol' RV fuel tank. But there are some steps you can take to minimize the damage to your pocketbook. Brent Peterson has some suggestions.


Save 10% at most RV parks
Just join the Good Sam Club. Many great benefits including free subscription to Highways Magazine. Meet other RVers. National Rally. Learn more.
Boondocking Tip
By Russ and Tina De Maris

Are golf cart batteries better for your RV?
Many RVers swear by the use of golf cart batteries over conventional RV deep cycle batteries when boondocking. There are some good things to be said for the golf cart batteries, but they are only six volts each, so you'll need a bigger footprint to equal one useable battery for your RV. So are golf cart batteries right for you? Here's a discussion that might help you find the answer.

--Russ and Tina De Maris are the authors of RV Boondocking Basics.


Best Seller!
2008 Next Exit Directory

Essential guide! Learn what you will find at every Interstate highway exit: gas/diesel, campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, stores, malls, hospitals, factory outlet stores, parks and more. Learn more.

Winnebago debuts 2009 motorhomes
Winnebago Industries, Inc., celebrated its 50th anniversary by introducing new 2009 Winnebago, Itasca and ERA brand motor homes during the company's recent Dealer Days event. The company displayed 50 motorhomes, 46 percent of which are new or redesigned for 2009.
Read more.

New casino camping facility coming to Indiana

Fans of casino camping -- and horse racing -- will soon have an exciting new option in Indiana. If you live in the state or will be traveling through it on a trip, read on for more information.


Find Free RV Campgrounds
"Don't pay to stay!" Visit FreeCampgrounds.com and find nearly 2,000 free and inexpensive places to stay in the USA in an RV. Stretch your RVing budget by staying overnight at these freebie locations.
Check out our RV Travel Forum discussions

Toilet questions
Ok, I've bought a used gooseneck (84 Prowler) and I know next to nothing about them. My first question: where do you store the chemical that you pump into the toilet each time it's used? I looked all around the toilet and can't find anything. Also, do you start out with a little water in the holding tank? Has anyone used the water-powered jet pump type of dump system?

Water pump switch or the pump?
I purchased a 25' travel trailer this month and had to get a new 12 volt battery to have lights, since the old one on the trailer was dead. This is the first time I've owned a travel trailer and I'm a single woman. My question is regarding the water pump. Today I was ready to clean the dust from the AZ desert off the cabinets and brought a gallon of water. I saw the water pump switch on the wall and flicked the switch just to see if it started up. The water tank is completely empty. Nothing happened. No noise; nothing. My question is this: Do I need a new water pump? Does the pump not go on unless there is water in the tank? Could this just be a fuse problem? Do I need to pull the trailer to a RV repair shop to have it worked on and perhaps a new water pump installed? Or could this be a simple problem?

Phoenix to Seattle
My next assignment is Seattle. I have a tentative itinerary but welcome any and all suggestions: Night one somewhere near Joshua Tree National Forest. Night two Watsonville, California. To meet up with a friend. Night three Sparks, Nevada to meet up with family. Night four Salem, Oregon. Night five Seattle. There are a few no travel days in here but would welcome any suggestions.

Over the cab section NOT connected to the cab: WHY?
It might sound silly but I'm a newbie in RVs and have no clue. I've just recently purchased a 1997 Fleetwood Chevy class C 23-foot motorhome. My concern is that I've noticed that the overhead bunkbed is NOT connected to the main body over the driver's head. It is just hanging there over the cab and when I drive around, it twists and turns. Is this how it's supposed to be? Is there some aftermarket support or something to make it stronger or reinforce it? Or can I just put a rubber block inside the space and screw it down in place?

RV lifestyle and visiting relatives
I hope this issue isn't too off the wall. Do any of you have to deal with relatives you visit who don't want you to stay in your RV and think it's silly?


Coachmen offering huge rebates!
If you're in the market for a new RV, it's a  buyer's market. And you should see the whopper rebates you can get right now on the purchase of a new Coachmen motorhome or trailer -- up to $5,000. Check out the special Coachmenomic Stimulus Rebate and how you can pick up an amazing deal - and then get a big fat rebate check to boot! Learn more.

Bill's Hints
If you get any kind of shock or "tingle" when you grab the door handle of your RV while standing on the ground, UNPLUG your power cable. On rare occasions campground power is found to be improperly wired. In wet weather, it could prove fatal. -- From Motorhomes Made Easy


NEW!
On the Go? Microwave-Convection Oven Cooking

This terrific spiral bound microwave-convection cookbook explains
what combination modes mean, cooking utensils, racks, preheating and much more. The recipes are simple and have minimal ingredients making this the perfect cookbook for RVers and those at home who are also on-the-go. Learn more or order for only $9.98.
Blogger can handle a camera as well as the keyboard
RV romance blogger Bess McBride is a wonderful photographer as well as a writer, and her beautiful photos (all taken during her RVing excursions) always enliven her posts. If you haven't been following her posts, you're missing some striking scenes. As an example, take a look at the neat shots here.

An RVer ponders values on a pier
Skiing, hiking, golf, swimming, hunting -- whatever hobby you enjoy, an RV probably can take you to an area where you can engage in it. But most hobbies cost money. Are they worth it? Read blogger Jim Twamley's thoughts about the price of one of his favorite hobbies. Click here.


FREE SHIPPING
at RVbookstore.com

Order $49 or more and choose to pay absolutely no postage (USA addresses only). Nearly ALL orders ship same day. Our motto is "You need it so we speed it."
See Europe the fun way -- in an RV
Thinking about a vacation in Europe? Skip the crowded trains and buses and do your traveling there in an RV! For a link to information on RV and car camping in Europe, click here.


Dog Friendly's Campground and RV Park Guide

This is a jam-packed, well-researched directory of campgrounds, filled with detailed information, about where you can camp with a dog in the USA and Canada. Learn more or order.

Bumper Snicker
I'm still a hot babe, but now it it comes in flashes.
Read other funny bumper stickers or buy them.

Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos
This directory is the best casino guide for RVers. Learn which casinos have RV parks or offer free overnight stays. Plus get tips and information about other casino benefits for RVers. Learn more or order.
2008 RV Show Schedule
Learn about RV shows through the spring of 2008. Check in here to learn when shows will be held in your area.

Books and DVDs about Full-time RVing
Largest selection in the World.


Quiet military campground awaits RVers
Military or military-qualified RVers traveling in Texas may not know about this quiet but pleasant naval air station campground. It has lots to offer and is well worth a look. Read more.

Advice about how to buy a used RV. Click here

Worth Pondering
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.
-- Clive James
RVs for sale at NewRVer.com. See them here.
Read back issues of the RV Travel newsletter. Click here.
Visit Camping World for RV supplies and accessories