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April 4, 2020
Non-members (advertising supported) edition
With Chuck Woodbury
II’m crazy, very angry. The state of Virginia has ordered that private RV parks can no longer accept short-term guests. If you are traveling along I-81 and need a place to spend a night or two along the way, forget it. There is always a parking space and maybe a resting place.
But if you want to stay in a hotel, that’s fine – the state thinks that’s fine although those who stay have no idea who slept in the bed the night before. Or those coughed and sneezed germs right on the plastic-covered drinking cups in the bathroom – that the maid assumes to be clean. Maybe you’ll watch a little TV – germ-covered remote control device by the bed. Who used it last night or the night before?
And what about the household, going from room to room, picking up germs along the way?
OTHER STORY IN AN RV
But if you want to stay in your self-contained RV in a Virginia RV park, where you know who slept in your bed the night before (you), and who used the bathroom before you (you), and who touched the doorknobs, chairs and heating controls before (you), you don’t do it. Although with remote check-in and prepayment, an RVer can come and go without anywhere near another human. Is that more dangerous than staying in a hotel? Give me a break!
READ THE ARTICLE we posted yesterday by my friend Andy Zipser who owns the Walnut Hills Camping and RV Park in Virginia. One day everything is normal and the next he has to kick each guest out at short notice and not accept new ones unless they stay 14 days or longer.
“Just like that, we’re teetering on the brink of insolvency,” Andy writes. “Ninety percent of our business is short-term campers, something of over-nighters traveling the I-81 corridor to residents within a 250-mile radius looking to camp with us for a few days.”
Virginia isn’t the only state that has such ridiculous new policies. Not only does such a rule hurt an RV park, even endanger its survival, but it means that RVers who come through no longer have a place to stay when they need a utility. Most states have already closed their state parks. Ditto campsites in national parks, national forests and Corps of Engineers parks.
A law like Virginia’s is hard to believe. But unfortunately, it’s true!
You and I get the shaft.
We can’t stay in our campervans because a politician thinks we’re spreading our germs out of town to everyone. But at the same time, anyone can stay in a hotel, where they can sneeze, cough and otherwise spew microorganisms into the privacy of their own room, and then drive on the road, leaving their germs for the next visitor.
Read Andy’s article and where you write to give your opinion on it.
Ps Thanks to those of you who pledged your support this past week with a voluntary subscription. Your thoughtfulness helps ensure that we are here to stay through what is shaping up to be an incredibly difficult time ahead. And welcome to the 1,678 new subscribers who have been on board since last week.
My Roadside Journal
(about what’s in my mind, not necessarily RV-related)
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Latest latest on the coronavirus and how it affects rvers.
• Comprehensive list of RV recalls for March.
• Pick-up truck news: 2020 Best campers for towing. Truck recall.
Plus: Camping updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows (Yes, right.) • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and more …
We need your support now more than ever
planetcampers.com works overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting RVers’ lives. Meanwhile, 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 volunteer subscribers. Consider making a promise today, however modest.
EDITOR UPDATE: If you are financially affected by the pandemic, take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you’re okay, we could use your help.
• Current Wildfire Report.
• National Hurricane Center.
A cowboy rides in town on Monday, stays two days, and leaves town on Monday. How is this possible? (Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)
Last week featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• Get a serious grip on RV condensation.
• Is a hot outlet cause for concern?
• Camping “camping length” restrictions. What do they really mean?
• Level your rig like a pro – without ruining your feather.
• Repair dripping bathroom faucets.
Coronavirus must-haves on Amazon. Click here to see what’s available.
Does coronavirus lead to a constitutional crisis?
Full-time RVers struggle to find a place to stay in this difficult time of pandemic. If state and local authorities shut down RV parks, or limit guests to those who stay under long-term status, the number of full-time RVers can conceivably exceed the available supply of short-term spots. A California RV park owner says the whole case could end up in court – as a constitutional rights issue. Read more. Civil/polite comments are welcome.
Don’t you use your rv? Help save the life of an MD!
ER Doctor Jason Phillips sees between 100-150 patients every day. As the father of a child and two other young children, there was no doubt that he had to be quarantined while treating patients with COVID-19. His wife, Emily, was worried every time he came home and possibly exposed himself and their children to COVID-19. He needed a place to quarantine. Emily thought, “What better place to quarantine than in a camper? Emily made it happen.
Governor misplaced order deals crushing blow for at least one RV park
Andy Zipser, owner of the beautiful Walnut Hills RV Park in Staunton, Virginia, writes, “Never underestimate the power of an individual to bring about change – especially if that person is hysterical. Case in point: Last Monday, the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, issued a ‘temporary stay at home’ edict. Tucked away in the middle of this order is the one sentence that has upended our lives, commanding the “cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all private campsites.” Read on.
Related to the above:
How a caring RV park owner acts in difficult times
If you’ve read RV park owner Andy Zipser’s essay posted April 3, then you know that the state of Virginia has banned him, and other private RV parks, from renting a site to RVers stay less than two weeks. Here’s what Andy has now posted on his late arrival board. Other RV park owners in a similar situation, please note.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• What happened to us that we are so angry? (Unfortunately, this is still very relevant.)
• A new take on the offensive neighbor in the RV park
• The RV Proctologists relate to an RV sewer nightmare
• Reader tips for picking out a campsite
‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV that you like to keep in place – on a table, bedside table or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items safe in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object and then press it lightly on the surface. Later it comes clean. More information or order.
How comfortable do you feel in the space where you self-vibrate?
Let us know. After you click on your comment, you’ll see how others have reacted. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment. We will see the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.
Readers tell us (What we learned about you last week)
We analyze what we learned about you and collega RVers from our reader polls and your comments.
• Do you take the coronavirus threat seriously, or believe that the dangers are much exaggerated?
• Which part of this newsletter are you most looking forward to? Is there anything you’d want to see differently?
• Do you know anyone who has received the coronavirus COVID-19?
EMS worker shares preventive use for personal protective equipment
Jonathan Chaffin, an EMS employee, posted this on our Facebook group, RV Coronavirus News. “Okay, I’m going to give a lapse of masks, gloves, and various forms of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). I’ll say this in the first place that I’m not here to fight. I am simoffering my personal and professional experience by working EMS over the past 12 years in urban and rural EMS services.” Read more.
Add another room to your camper with this brilliant mod
We came across an RV mod completed by Facebook user Joshua Torres, and we’ve been blown away by it! Torres had no use for the bunk beds in his Keystone RV, so he took them out (with some help) and created a laundry room and office. What’s that like for adding a whole new room to your RV? Check it out!
Reader asks: What does your RV insurance cover?
Reader Kevin Parker sent us an email asking for your help. Here’s what he wrote: “I was hit by a full-time RVer without insurance, driving a Class C camper. My insurance covers all but a few thousand dollars for my replacement. I feel sorry for the other man. As far as I know, he has no place to go and my insurance company will chase him ‘to the end of the earth’ to recover their liability. I’d like to know what your readers’ RV insurance are?” Read the rest of the question and, if you do, give advice in the comments.
Sharing the beauty: A 600,000-photo cross-country trip
By RonnieSue Ambrosino
It’s a difficult time for all of us. Many people are focused on trying to navigate this world that was turned topsy-turvy in the past month. There doesn’t seem to be an immediate break in stress. We’ve been lucky enough to travel the country with our cameras in hand, taking over 600,000 photos of the beauty we’ve seen. Read more, and check out some of their spectacular photos!
Hide dirty laundry, and also save space!
Sometimes where to put those worn clothes waiting for laundry day is the pits. Many hide a basket in the shower stall, but here’s another approach: Hang out that dirty laundry – not for everyone to see, but on the back of a closet door. Zippers on these make it easy to open, and the company contains a few different hooks to help you hang. Find it here for a great price.
• Full-timers – Where do you stay during this outbreak?
• Action needed: Keep RV parks open.
• Video: Update on recent cougar attack in Colorado RV park.
• Ask during this crisis what you are doing for your neighbour.
• Finally! A toy transporter with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems.
• Completely pent up! A hilarious story from a RVing newbie…
• Can your pets get or give COVID-19?
• Homeless in California. A family’s struggle to hide.
• Camping Chatter with Janet Groene, 28 March 2020.
• Why FMCA has not refunded the registration fee for cancelled rally.
• RV Shrink: Find an RV safe haven and crave down.
• Construction of an RV park: Camping, Smampground. Everything is on hold!
Sta-Bil Rust Stopper stops rust and corrosion
Of the many gremlins that attack your RV, such as mold, mildew, leaks and black stripes, rust is the gremlin that will make your hand tools, spare parts, door hinges and other fragile metal surfaces and moving parts over time Attacks. STA-BIL® Rust Stopper prevents rust and corrosion by protecting metal surfaces with a long-lasting barrier while smearing parts and tools to stop squeaking and sticking. Learn more in this article.
Our Facebook and RVillage groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying advice • Northwest RV Camping • Southwest RV Camping • Free campsites • New Budget RV Travel • Newer RV Videos • Latest RV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping. And join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except only for RVers).
Where to complain about bad campers, dealers, service, RV parks. This is an ever-growing list of resources where you report, share or discuss your problems with RV manufacturers or dealers.
Best club for RVers: escaped. Click here for more information or join us. Endorsed by planetcampers.com.
The RV Show USA
Listen every Wednesday night on Facebook or YouTube for the live recordings 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 to write. Download the PDF.
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.
What does funding an RV really mean for 20 years?
In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.
Stuck with a lemon camper? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s chief RV lemon lawyer.
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Every Monday through Friday you will receive a short, informative email from us directly in your inbox. Within each issue you will find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, useful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and much more! If you don’t like it, you can easily opt out, but we doubt you want to. Read the issue here Friday and then sign up here.
Are you organizing your pantry? You will!
You probably have quite a few cans in your pantry right now, right? Soup, tuna, canned vegetables, canned pet food, broth, beans, etc. It all takes up space! Here are a ton of can organizers to help keep your pantry organized so you can easily find everything. These are also great for the CAMPER, as it will stop everything from moving. Look at these organizers here.
What do RV park managers and pig farmers have in common?
Best RV Shrink:
We spent the winter in the state parks of three states, as well as many city and county parks. A common denominator we find in most parks we visit are annoying toilet and shower facilities. Are we too picky or is this just the norm? We are pretty new to this RV lifestyle and I have to say, I think twice before I venture into a park toilet. —Sloppy in Texas
Read the advice of the RV Shrink.
Gary is currently in hospital fighting COVID-19
Click here for up-to-date updates on this condition. We update this page every time we receive new information about our friend’s condition. Leave a message here. Gary’s family reads them, and we know he will, too, when he recovers.
Hair salon closed? No problem!
Cut your own hair and save yourself tons of money in the future by getting yourself your own hair-cutting kit. Here are a lot to choose from. Some will trim your beard too.
Fast 30-amp outlet tester for cheap
You may have noticed that I launched my RVelectricity webcasts this week, and are creating all sorts of YouTube videos while I’m stuck inside. Here’s a really short one for you about a simple but effective test for 30 amp RV outlets that will cost you about $30 even if you buy everything. If you have some of these devices laying around, so much the better. Read more and watch the short but very useful Webcast.
Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity Group on Facebook.
And you don’t want to miss Mike’s webcasts about his new YouTube channel.
Importance of the weight balance of the camper
Roger Marble was asked the following question: “Hi. I’ve followed your postings on this forum and I have a 2017 Newmar Ventana 4002. I try to understand and solve a problem with my coach where I have a 1000 pound difference in weight on the front axle from left to right. I’ve weighed the coach on all 4 corners 3 times and get the same results. My understanding, and I think it may have been in one of your posts, is that the difference should never be more than 500 pounds from left to right. …”
Read the rest of the question and Roger’s answer.
Wildflowers bloom across Texas
In this time of COVID-19 crisis, if you need a Snowbird to travel through several states to get home, check the Centers for Disease Control’s advice on “Coronavirus and Travel in the United States.” AIf you are able to travel and take your route home you take through the Hill Country of Texas, a small upside during these challenging times is that now is the highlight of spring wildflower season. With more than 5,000 species of native flowering plants, the Lone Star State is known for its breathtaking spring (now through June). Read more.
Make outdoor fabrics look brand new!
From cotton duck to modern acrylic textiles, all outer fabric stains and eventually start to look old and tired. Scrubbing with water and mild detergent may remove some of the surface dirt, but organic compounds such as mold, mildew and algae should be treated differently so that they do not grow back. Biodegradable Mold & Mildew Stain Remover of Iosso Products works well to rejuvenate dust, vinyl, wood and plastic without harsh chemicals that bleach colors and materials. Read more about it here.
Help prevent RV engine fires
A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees F. The heavy insulation in the compartment reflects the heat back to the top of the engine, and a fire can easily break out. Inspect your radiator and have any problems repaired by a qualified person as soon as possible.
Museum of the Week
The Marin Museum of Bicycles
Bike lovers unite! Add Wheely excited for this… This volunteer-run museum in downtown Fairfax, CA, showcases the 19th-century evolution of the bike. Visitors can watch the bike progress from the early 1860s to the turn of the century. The museum also houses the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, so if mountain biking is your thing, you’ll find its fascinating history here. And if you ever need a gift for a bike lover, the gift shop is where you need to go. Drive to the official museum website here.
Tape it to the limit …
Instead of a glue, this kind of tape merges to itself. It makes a fully waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has advertised all sorts of other emergencies, such as a quick fix for a leaky radiator hose, so it definitely deserves a place in your RV toolbox because it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. More information or order.
During the first quarter of the 20th century, new Americans arriving on Ellis Island were served Jell-O gelatin dessert as a treat to welcome them to America. Gelatin dessert was patented in 1845 and the Jell-O brand was founded in 1897. The first flavors were strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon.
Bumper sticker of the week
“Grumpy. It’s not a vote… it’s a lifestyle!” —Credit Richard Bauer.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)planetcampers.com
Joke of the Week
Hilarious video: Don’t trust anyone!
We can guarantee that your smile lasts longer than this 6-second video, and that you want to watch it more than once. Check it out here.
Going outside is not cancelled, listening to music is not cancelled, quality time with our families is not cancelled, reading a book is not cancelled, sharing with friends is not cancelled, singing out loud is not cancelled, laughter is not cancelled, sharing HOPE with others is not cancelled. Let’s embrace what we have. —By Kelly’s Treehouse
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Read it here | Back problems
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US on [email protected]
Editor and publisher: Chuck Woodbury. 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 Green, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Jessica Sarvis. Director of financial affairs: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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Everything in this newsletter is true as far as we know. But every once in a while, we’re wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said that, or fixing something according to what we proposed (contact 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 opinion of planetcampers.com or this newsletter.
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