Why RV?

Why RV vacations are the best

Do you want to live life on your own schedule in your own way? Do you want to be part of the landscapes you’ve only looked at in photos? Then you will love the RV lifestyle. Millions of folks have opted to live out their dreams and adventures in a recreational vehicle. Here is why you should too.

Spending time outdoors in Arches National Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 1: Convenient Travel

The RV lifestyle is exploding due to COVID. The uptick in the number of camping trips Americans and Canadians are taking is not exactly a surprise given that it allows people to change their surroundings without greatly increasing the risk of contracting COVID. One thing we’ve been reminded of is that spending time outdoors brings a world of physical and mental benefits. Medical professionals advise us to socially distance from one another and tell us that when we spend time with others, it’s preferable to do so outside rather than indoors. This advice seemed tailor-made for the RV lifestyle.

Going for a hike in Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 2: Connect With Nature

A dose of nature does wonders for one’s well being. Anyone who has ever stepped foot in the forest or dipped a toe in a lake or creek likely knows this but nature is a happy-maker. A walk outdoors is more than just a great pick-me-up. It can be a calming and regenerative exercise improving your mood and easing anxiety, stress, and depression. Go outside! Go on a scenic drive! Go to a state park! Go for a hike! And find the peace that nature provides! With an RV, the whole world is right outside your front door, ready to be explored.

Camping at Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 3: Common Bond

When you RV, you’re never alone. From families to couples to solo travelers, all RVers have one thing in common: an urge to see the world on their own terms. When you pull into a campground or RV park, you know you’ll be surrounded by likeminded people who make up one of the most tight-knit communities around.

Freightliner Club Rally © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 4: Join a Community

RV memberships and clubs provide numerous services including a community for RVers. One reason for selecting an RV club is for cost savings and discounts on various RV parks. The discounts can vary from 10 to 50 percent and have restrictions on when they are valid. The choice of RV clubs also depends on the location of the campgrounds where the discounts are available and your current and future travel plans.

Staying active while camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 5: Travel with Comfort

Your home comes with you. A comfortable bed. A full kitchen. A restroom. A shower. An entertainment center. In an RV, it’s all with you. And the open road is yours for the taking. And when you RV, you can tailor your adventures from where you go to how and where you sleep to how you keep everyone active and entertained. RVing lets you make every adventure completely your own. It’s your schedule, your wish list, your road map, and your world to explore. Hike, bike, climb, kayak, ride horses, swim, and make the world your playground.

Everything you need is here © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 6: Everything you Need is with You

A pile of books. Your favorite coffee mug. Board games and video games. A cabinet packed with snacks. RV travel allows you to bring the comforts of home anywhere you go which is a relief for people who struggle to fit the essentials into an airplane carry-on. Just be aware that packing too much stuff into your RV can be a safety hazard. Every RV has a cargo carrying capacity—you can find this number on a label typically inside a cabinet or closet. The cargo carrying capacity is the weight of everything—people and stuff—you can safely carry in your RV. Exceeding capacity is dangerous, as it can strain your brakes, axles and tires, and potentially cause an accident.

Enjoying a sunset at Two Rivers Landing, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 7: Family Togetherness

Nothing bonds families together like being together. Breathing the same air. Seeing the same sunrises and sunsets. Bringing on landscapes and campfire stories, not TV shows. RVing brings you closer to natural beauty. And to those you love.

Zip line adventure © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 8: Retire in Style

Your time. Your way. Make the road your new home. Best estimates indicate 750,000 to one million seniors call their RV home—and the ranks are growing. Go anywhere you want. Stay as long as you like. The possibilities are endless and the choices are all yours. So whether you become a full-time RVer, a snowbird, or simply travel from time to time, RVing is a great way to design your own life and your own adventures. Live your dream.

Traveling Scenic Byway 12, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reason # 9: Simply the Best Way to Travel

Anywhere the road takes you, you can go. Travel by RV allows you to fully appreciate the country around you and the people you meet on the way. If you’re not a fan of meeting people, there’s opportunity to avoid them as well. Never before has a vacation method been so affordable, yet so flexible. If you haven’t looked into RV camping you’re missing out on a great thing. RVs are simply the best way to vacation.

Worth Pondering…

No matter where we go in our motorhome, that sense of independence is satisfying. We have our own facilities, from comfortable bed to a fridge full of our favorite foods. We set the thermostat the way we like it and go to bed and get up in our usual routine.

Meet the RVs: Find the Right RV Class for Your Travel Style

Recreational vehicles take many different forms—from small and simple tow trailers to mobile mansions with king-sized beds and granite countertops

Consumer preferences have changed drastically since the start of the pandemic with travel being no exception. Thousands of Americans and Canadians have opted out of airline tickets and hotel reservations in favor of RVs, a safer method of travel that allows for self-contained excursions with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen all on-board.

Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering if the RV lifestyle is for you. Good news—it most likely is! Because RVs offer so much variety in form, function, and value there’s bound to be an RV that suits your lifestyle and travel needs. Just like families, RVs come in all shapes and sizes. From large class A motorhomes and fifth wheel trailers to compact pop-ups and camper vans, there is an RV that will fit your lifestyle. From weekend getaways to touring the great outdoors to working from the road, there’s an RV for every family and every budget.

When deciding between different types of RVs, it is important to understand the features and amenities associated with each and the pros and cons. The categories are not super difficult to grasp. Motorhomes come in Classes A, B, and C and trailers break down into fifth wheels and travel trailers. I’ll dive right into each category including its pros and cons, model details, features and amenities, and approximate cost. In today’s post we’ll focus on the three classes of motorhomes.

Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Class A Motorhomes

Class A motorhomes are built on specially designed motor vehicle chassis. This type of motorhome often includes multiple slide-out rooms. Class A motorhomes offer as many luxuries as the average house—and in some cases more! It is not uncommon for these coaches to include a king-sized bed, two bathrooms, washer and dryer, a large living area with sofas and reclining chairs, a dining table, a television, a fireplace, and a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, microwave, oven, stovetop, residential refrigerator and freezer.

Class A motorhomes are popular with those who spend considerable time on the road including snowbirds and full timers and anyone with a mobile lifestyle. Due to their size and weight, these coaches are not suitable for all travel routes. The largest class of motorhomes, they can be powered by either gas or diesel engines. Towing a car behind the motorhome is an important consideration since running errands is easier in a smaller vehicle—you will not want to pack up the entire coach simply to go do some local site-seeing or shopping.

Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Model Details

  • Length: 26-45 feet
  • Cost: $150,000-$1,000,000+
  • Sleeps: 2-8

Typical Features & Amenities

  • Ample living space and storage
  • Full-sized bathroom
  • Residential kitchen
  • Full entertainment system
  • Can tow another vehicle
Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pros:

  • Contain all living amenities on board
  • Spacious and potentially luxurious
  • Does not require a towing vehicle and can tow another vehicle
  • Lots of storage space

Cons:

  • High cost of purchase, insurance, and service
  • Poor fuel-efficiency
  • Often need to be parked offsite when not in use as many communities do not allow them in driveways or parked on residential streets
Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Class B Motorhomes

Class B motorhomes also known as camper vans feature the conveniences of a furnished motorhome. They are built using an automotive manufactured van or panel-truck shells. Class Bs are easy to drive, park, and maneuver and include standard home-like amenities including a bathroom, sleeping area, and basic kitchen. What sets them apart from regular vans is that they are equipped for camping. Class Bs are best suited for users who have a smaller budget, need a smaller vehicle, or want a mobile base for their outdoor camping activities.

Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Model Details

  • Length: 16-21 feet
  • Cost: $110,000-$200,000+
  • Sleeps: 2-4

Typical Features & Amenities

  • Bedroom
  • Kitchen
  • Shower and toilet
Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pros:

  • Easy to navigate in traffic and park
  • Fuel efficiency is high relative to other RVs
  • Lower initial cost

Cons:

  • Tight living quarters, limited storage space
  • Limited creature comforts
  • No space for features like laundry, dishwashers, and other larger appliances
Class C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Class C Motorhomes

Class C motorhomes are ideal for families and groups of friends who want the adventure and flexibility of spontaneous vacation along with the convenience and amenities of home. Built on an automotive van frame with a wider body section attached to the original cab, Class C motorhomes are easily recognizable by the over-the-cab portion that is often an optional sleeping area. Many models have slide-out rooms.

Class C motorhomes © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Model Details

  • Length: 25-35 feet
  • Cost: $110,000-$200,000+
  • Sleeps: 2-8

Typical Features & Amenities

  • Loft for extra sleeping space
  • Kitchen and bathroom facilities
  • Bedroom
Class C motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pros:

  • More affordable than Class A motorhomes
  • More spacious than Class B motorhomes
  • Reasonable fuel efficiency

Cons:

  • Less spacious than Class A motorhomes
  • Fewer amenities than Class A motorhomes
  • Less affordable than Class B motorhomes

An apology: Why no image of a Class B motorhome? After searching through my vast photo file I came up blank and having made a decision early on to avoid the use of stock photos, and for this I apologize.

Worth Pondering…

No matter where we go in our motorhome, that sense of independence is satisfying. We have our own facilities, from comfortable bed to a fridge full of our favorite foods. We set the thermostat the way we like it and go to bed and get up in our usual routine.

Getting Your RV Ready for Summer Travel

It’s finally time to pull the RV out from the garage or bring it home from winter storage

With the snow melted and the campgrounds opening, it’s tempting to jump in and head off right away. But prior to setting out, RV owners need to perform some basic and routine maintenance to ensure that their weekend getaway goes smoothly.

RV exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Exterior Inspection

The first thing to do is a visual inspection of your RV exterior. Check to see if any damage was sustained over winter, looking especially for evidence of water leaks. In particular, focus on the roof and caulking around windows, vents, air-conditioning unit, and doors. Look for cracks, holes, stains, separations, and leaks. Also, check for nests and evidence of chewing activity.

Roll out the awning and inspect it for tears. Check the fluid levels and top them up as necessary. Inspect hoses for any tears or holes, and valves for leaks.

Ensure your RV and tow vehicle/toad have had all required maintenance.

Wash the exterior in the shade with a mild soap remembering to clean the tires.

Not the way to care for tires © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tire Check

Check the age of the tires—RV tires usually age out before they wear out.

Check that all tires are properly inflated. Improperly inflated tires means more money for fuel. Under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4 percent, according to International Energy Agency. Proper inflation also reduces the incidence of tire failure and blowouts.

Clean the tires and rims and inspect them for evidence of any splits or cracks in the sidewalls or between the treads. Treat these seriously and get them repaired before you head out for your first camping trip. Don’t forget to check that your lug nuts are tightened.

If you have a travel or fifth wheel trailer you may need to pack wheel bearings.

RV exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Battery Check

Check your RVs batteries and top off cells with distilled water. Be sure to replace multiple battery banks together. If your batteries need to be cleaned, make sure they are disconnected and use a hot water and baking soda mixture to clean them. Wear safety glasses and latex gloves.

Connecting to city water © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Propane Tank Check

Check your propane tank, as seals can dry out over the winter. First, make sure you have everything turned off, you aren’t around any smoking flames or sparks, and your propane leak detector is turned on. Open the valves on your tank and smell for leaks. Check the valves and regulators by using a soapy water mix. If you find any leaks, have a professional inspect and repair them.

RV exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Generator Test

Test your generator, if you have one. Use the prime feature until your indicator light turns on for the fuel pump, run it for 20 seconds, and the generator should start more quickly. You will have to crank it until it starts otherwise, as there will likely be a lack of fuel in the lines. Let the starter rest to cool after 15 seconds of cranking. Don’t forget to check the oil and air filter.

RV utilities © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Flushing Water Lines

Remove the antifreeze from your water lines. Make sure the water heater bypass valve is in the normal position and all of your taps are closed. Turn on the cold water tap that’s closest to the water pump, and run water until it’s clear. Do this for each cold water tap, toilet, and shower.

Then repeat for the hot water taps, toilet, and shower. Open up the bypass to allow water to fill the tanks. Use a city water connection and turn on the cold and hot water faucets and run to let air escape until the water flows steadily. Inspect all faucets and pipes for leaks, as well as the water heater, drain plug, and valves. Switch the fresh water pump on; if it comes on 20 to 30 minutes later, this indicates a pressure drop or leak. If it doesn’t come on, you’re good to go.

RV interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Interior Inspection

Clean the interior of the RV and do another visual inspection. Vacuum the carpet, and clean the floors and other surfaces as necessary. Be sure to air it out. Check to ensure your appliances are working.

Test smoke alarms and CO and LP gas detectors, and replace the batteries as necessary. Check fire extinguishers, and refill first aid kit and emergency kits as needed.

RV interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Finally, you can repack your RV and stock up on all your necessities.

Worth Pondering…

A bad day cleaning the RVing—is better than a good day—working.

March 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 12 recall notices during March 2021. These recalls involved 6 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (4 recalls), Newmar (3 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Keystone (1 recall), Highland Ridge (1 recall), and Airstream (1 recall).

Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Catalina 184BHS and 184 BHS-W travel trailer recreational vehicles. The interior plates that clamp the slide-mechanism to the interior wall were installed incorrectly, which may cause the slide-room to partially detach during transit.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will reinstall the interior plates for the slide-room, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 9, 2021. Owners may contact Catalina customer service at 1-574-825-4995. Forest River’s number for this recall is 203-1300.

Pala Casino RV Resort, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Cardinal CAF345RLX, CAF366DVLE, CAF390BX and 2021 Wildcat WCF336RLS, WCF368MB vehicles. The furnace flue may become misaligned due to insufficient furnace hold screws that allow movement during travel.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will secure the furnace and align the flue, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 14, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-296-7700. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15-1302.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Cardinal and Wildcat Fifth Wheels trailers. The spare tire carrier may be installed incorrectly, allowing it to detach from the vehicle.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will secure the spare tire carrier, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 17, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-296-7700. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15-1304.

Frog City RV Park, Duson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Coachmen Viking and Clipper Travel Trailers. The cooktop may not be isolated properly from the furnace return air, which can cause the flame to become inverted.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a panel and seal it, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 21, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-269-467-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 121-1305.

Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021 Kountry Star and 2017-2021 Dutch Star motorhomes. The brake light switch may chafe against the windshield wiper mechanism, which could damage the brake light switch or it’s wiring, and cause the brake lights to not illuminate.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the brake light switch and replace it as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 18, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

Columbia River RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2020-2022 Dutch Star, King Aire, Essex, London Aire, and Mountain Aire motorhomes. The steering gear mounting bolts may become loose and back out, resulting in difficulty steering.

On behalf of Newmar, Shyft Group Inc. will coordinate the recall repair and notify owners, and dealers will replace the steering gear mounting bolts and washers, free of charge. The recall is expected to began April 19, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 21V 041.

The Barnyard RV Park, Lexington, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021 Dutch Star, New Aire, and Ventana motorhomes. The adjustable brake pedal assembly may be missing a return spring. This may cause the brake lights to stay illuminated after the brake pedal is released. Also, in certain towed vehicles, the brakes may stay engaged after the brake pedal is released.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the brake pedal assembly, and install a return spring if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 16, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 21V 108.

Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021 Jayco Embark, and Entegra Reatta Class A Motorhomes. The LP furnace hose may be routed incorrectly, which could restrict the gas flow, or cause chafing against surrounding components, resulting in a gas leak.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will remove the existing LP line, and install a new extended gas manifold, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 16, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903565.

Whispering Oaks RV Park, Weimer, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Jayco White Hawk, Jay Flight SLX, Jay Feather, and Jay Flight travel trailers equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Jayco will notify owners, and Dometic service centers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 30, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901566.

Smokiam RV Park, Soap Lake, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2021 Cougar 29MBS, 30RLS, 315RLS, 316RLS, 32BHS, 353SRX, 364BHL, and 368MBI trailers equipped with the Off the Grid (OTG) Solar package. The inverter may have been incorrectly wired, causing power to energize the shore power connection, when in use.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will test the inverter function, and rewire it if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 11, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-403.

Rapid City RV Park, Rapid City, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Highland Ridge

Highland Ridge RV (Highland Ridge) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Open Range, Mesa Ridge, Highlander, Silverstar fifth wheels, and 2019-2020 Open Range, Mesa Ridge and Silverstar travel trailers equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the O-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Highland Ridge will notify owners, and dealers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 16, 2021. Owners may contact Highland Ridge customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Highland Ridge’s number for this recall is 9904564.

Edisto Island State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2017-2020 Basecamp travel trailers. The mounting bolts that secure the air conditioner to the roof may loosen or break, allowing the air conditioner to separate from the trailer.

The remedy is currently under development. The recall is expected to begin May 18, 2021. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.

Please Note: This is the 26th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

February 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

Sunrise RV Park, Texarkana, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 10 recall notices during February 2021. These recalls involved 7 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Keystone (4 recalls), Forest River (1 recall), Jayco (1 recall), Freightliner Custom Chassis (1 recall), Bigfoot (1 recall), MCI (1 recall), and Newmar (1 recall).

Blake Ranch RV Park, Kingman, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2021 Crossroads Redwood 3401RL, 3901MB, 3901WB, 3911RL, 3951MB, 3951WB, 3981FK, 3991RD, 4001LK, 4150RD recreational trailers, built on D80 Dexter Axles. The U-bolts on these axles may have been improperly torqued, causing the bolts to loosen and the axle to slide.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will properly tighten the U-bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 26, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-394.

Pala Casino RV Park, Pala, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Impact 26V, 28V, 29V, 311, 317, 330, 332, 343, 351, 359, 367, 415, 3118, 3219 recreational trailers, equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The internal O-ring between the saddle valve and the manifold can experience a propane gas leak.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will remove the existing manifold bolts and seals and install new seals and bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 5, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-398.

Harvest Moon RV Park, Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Dutchmen Voltage 3001, 3351, 3521, 3531, 3551, 3571, 3951 and 4271 recreational trailers. The Federal Identification Tag incorrectly lists the recommended tire pressure as 110 PSI, instead of the correct tire pressure of 95 PSI. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Federal Identification Tag, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 18, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-399.

Oh! Kentucky Campground and RV Park, Berea, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2021 Dutchmen Voltage 3915 and 4225 recreational trailers. The Federal Identification Tag incorrectly lists the recommended tire pressure as 95 PSI, instead of the correct tire pressure of 110 PSI. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Federal Identification Tag, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 18, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-400.

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Wildcat Travel Trailer models WCT247RXX-OR and WCT276FKX-OR. The safety chains do not meet the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and could potentially break.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the safety chains with correctly rated safety chains, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 19, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-503-831-5410.
Forest River’s number for this recall is 22-1189.

Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021 Jayco Eagle fifth wheel vehicles. Certain vehicles were equipped with a 4 1/4 inch spring hanger instead of the proper 5 1/4 inch spring hanger, reducing the tire clearance.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will install the correct 5 1/4 spring hangers, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 15, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-617-776-0344. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901563.

Seven Feathers Casino RV Resort, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Freightliner Custom Chassis

Daimler Trucks North America, LLC (DTNA) is recalling 2021 Western Star 4700 and 5700, Freightliner Business Class M2, Cascadia, and Custom Chassis XC Chassis vehicles manufactured with a certain steering arm configuration with air disc brakes identified by the axle assembly supplier. On certain vehicles, one of the six brake caliper mounting bolts on the driver side steer axle may have been incorrectly tightened.

DTNA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 19, 2021. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712. DTNA’s number for this recall is FL-873.

Ivy Acres RV Park, Greenville, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bigfoot

Bigfoot Industries, Inc. (Bigfoot) is recalling certain 2020-2021 25b25FB, 25B25RQ, 25B21FB, and 25B21RB recreational vehicles, equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Bigfoot will notify owners, and Dometic dealers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 22, 2021. Owners may contact Bigfoot customer service at 1-250-546-2155.

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

MCI

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain 2018-2021 J4500 and 2018-2020 D45CRTLE vehicles. The power cables may have been improperly installed and routed in the vehicle battery compartment, which may result in chafing.

MCI will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and if necessary, correct the clearance for the power cables in the battery compartment, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 10, 2021. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947. MCI’s number for this recall is R21-003.

Katy Lake RV Resort, Katy, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021 Kountry Star and Ventana motorhomes. One of the six brake caliper mounting bolts on the driver side steer axle may have been incorrectly tightened.

On behalf of Newmar, DTNA will coordinate the recall repair and notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 13, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 21V-018.

Please Note: This is the 25th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

December 2020 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 21 recall notices during December 2020. These recalls involved 10 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (6 recalls), Triple E (3 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (2 recalls), Keystone (2 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), REV (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Grand Design (1 recall), and Airstream (1 recall).

Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Coachmen Chaparral and Shasta, 2019-2020 Coachmen Concord and Orion, 2020-2021 Coachmen Cross Trek and Forest River Berkshire, 2019-2021 Coachmen Freelander, Leprechaun and Prism, 2020 Coachmen Mirada, Pursuit and Sportscoach, Dynamax Force, DX3, Dynaquest XL and Isata and Forest River Wildwood and 2008 and 2020 Forest River Salem vehicles equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 2, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-4995, or Dometic customer service at 1-574-293-0681. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1259.

Palm Canyon Campground, Anza-Borrego State Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Coachmen Galleria motorhomes built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. The outer area of the brake hoses on the front and rear axles may have been damaged during production.

Forest River will notify owners, and DVUSA dealers will check the condition of the brake hoses on the front and rear axles and replace them as needed, free of charge. The recall began December 10, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-6310 or Daimler Vans customer service at 1-877-762-8267. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1263.

Jekyll Island Campground, Jekyll Island State Park, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 East to West Della Tera and Silver Lake recreational trailers. The outdoor grill may be able to be stowed away while the propane hose is still attached and while the burners are on.

Forest River will notify owners, and to prevent the condition from occurring, dealers will move the propane hose connection to the edge of the drawer slide in the outside kitchen, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 16, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-264-6664. Forest River’s number for this recall is 500-1265.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2021 XLR Boost Toy Hauler recreational vehicles. The Federal Placard and Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) label may state a lower weight than the actual weight. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 120, “Wheels and Rims-Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Forest River will notify owners and will provide a new Federal Placard and replace any damaged tires, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 18, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 79-1257.

Poches RV Park, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018-2020 RPOD travel trailers. The sewer termination bracket may fail, causing the plumbing to drag on the ground or to detach completely.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a new securement bracket, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 19, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-3119, option 2. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1265.

Columbia River RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Puma travel trailers. The outdoor cooktop may be stowed away while the propane hose is still attached and the burner is on.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a bracket to the drawer housing the outside cooktop preventing the drawer from being closed while the propane line is still attached, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 27, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0606. Forest River’s number for this recall is 425-1269.

New Green Acres RV Park, Waterboro, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Serenity S24CB, 2019-2021 Unity U24MB, U24RL, U24FX, U24CB, U24IB, U24TB, and 2019-2021 Wonder W24FTB, W24RTB, W24RL, W24MB motorhomes. An incorrect brass connector was used on the propane connection to the flared connection of the Truma water heater fitting. The connector did not have the correct bevel to seal to the Truma water heater swivel fitting.

Triple E has notified owners, and dealers will replace the incorrect brass connector with the correct brass connector (part number115-3219), free of charge. The recall began November 17, 2020. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9822-1.

Columbia Riverfront RV Park, Woodland, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Serenity S24CB, 2018-2021 Unity U24MB, U24FX, and 2020-2021 Unity U24RL motorhomes. When the vehicle is driven with the fresh water tank partially filled, the fresh water tank bracket can shift side to side, resulting in the chassis wire harness getting chafed, resulting in a loss of tail lights.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional bracket to resolve the issue, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 7, 2020. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9835-1.

Bird Basin Campground, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Unity U24RL motorhomes. The galley overhead cabinet assembly is missing a heat shield over the cooktop.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will install a repair kit, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2020. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9845-1.

Capitol City RV Park, Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Daybreak, Four Winds, Chateau, Freedom Elite, Quantum motorhomes built on a Chevrolet chassis. The BIM (Battery Isolation Manager)/BIR (Battery Isolation Relay) is not watertight when exposed to engine compartment heat.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will replace the BIM/BIR with a Trombetta solenoid, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on January 17, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000206.

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2021 Four Winds motorhomes, equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 18, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000207.

Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Cougar 22MLS, 22RBS, 25RDS, 26RBS, 26RKS, 27RES, 29BHS, 30RKD, 31MBS, 32RLI and 34TSB recreational trailers equipped with a Solar Prep or an off-the-grid “OTG” Solar Camping Package. The Solar Prep wiring to the 12VDC breakers located by the battery may not be connected to the protected side of the breaker.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the installation of the Solar Prep wiring at the circuit breaker mounted close to the battery and remount the wiring if needed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 12, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-392.

Columbia Sun RV Park, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Outback 335CG and 340BH recreational trailers. A section of the frame rail may have inadequate support where the draw bar is attached, allowing the frame rail to buckle.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will add reinforcement plates to the existing frame, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 15, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-391.

Ambassador RV Park, Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Alante, Precept, and Precept Prestige motorhomes and Entegra Vision, Vision XL motorhomes built on a Ford F-53 chassis. The engine covers may not contain sufficient heat insulation, causing the interior surface temperatures to be excessive.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional insulation insert, and a foam seal on the outer edge of the cover, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 18, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903527.

Phoenix Destiny RV Resort, Goodyear, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Fifth Wheel Northpoint 387RDFS(LZ) recreational trailers. The welds on the axle spindle may fail, causing the wheel/spindle assembly to break away from the axle tube.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin December 28, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-617-776-0344. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901526.

River Run RV Park, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021 Micro Minnie trailers. These trailers were built with undersized axles that may not support the weight of the vehicle and could break.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will replace the 2,500 lb rated axle with the correct 4,000 lb rated axle, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885.

Distant Drums RV Park, Camp Verde, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021 Revel, Vista, and Adventurer Motorhomes. The power bed motor may experience an internal gear failure, causing the bed to extend prior to the safety strap engaging.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will replace the power bed motor, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 164.

Palm Springs/Joshua Tree KOA, Desert Hot Springs, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

REV

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2021 Fleetwood Discovery, Discovery LXE, Pace Arrow, Pace Arrow LXE, Bounder, and Southwind and Holiday Rambler Armada, Endeavor, Nautica, Navigator, and Vacationer motorhomes. The primary gear of the bed lift motor may fail, allowing the bed frame to drop.

REV will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, and if necessary, replace the bed lift motor, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 12, 2021. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1-800-509-3417. REV’s number for this recall is 201109REV.

Grand Canyon Railway RV Resort, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Bay Star and Ventana, 2019 Ventana LE, 2020 Canyon Star, Dutch Star, Kountry Star and Super Star and 2021 Bay Star Sport motorhomes equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The stove’s saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 19, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 20E 071.

The Lakes and Gulf Resort, Chowchilla, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2020 Transcend recreational trailers. A gas leak may occur at the joint between the cook stove’s gas saddle valve for the burners and the manifold under the burner surface.

Grand Design will notify owners, and dealers will install a remedy kit that includes gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts and orange stickers, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 20, 2021. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910022.

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2019 International, Flying Cloud, and Classic recreational trailers, equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The stove’s saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the O-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Airstream will notify owners, and dealers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 9, 2021. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 877-596-6111 ext. 7491.

Please Note: This is the 23rd in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Best of 2020: Top 10 RVing Articles of 2020

We have our 2020 winners! See the top articles in RVing with Rex!

Time glides with undiscover’d haste

The future but a length behind the past.

—John Dryden

Hello, RVing friends! The year is turning over and another 12 months of RVing, photography, hiking, and birding has flashed by.

I’m trying to squeeze in all of the things I didn’t get to do this year into these last remaining days of 2020. Truth be told, we weren’t able to do a lot of things.

The End is almost here!

Historic Georgetown Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This is article # 704 since my first post on January 16, 2019. Okay, the end isn’t near, but the end of the year is almost here, and it’s time to think about wrap-ups as 2020 draws to a close. The end of the year is the traditional time for doing a summary and some reflection.

Looking back there were certain events and articles that kindled reader interests. Thank you for reading and returning frequently to read my latest articles. Thank you for your continuing support!

Historic Adairsville Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We can all agree this was a year like no other, at times feeling like a refugee from reality. As the year mercifully comes to a close, RVing with Rex celebrates the must reads that you loved the most over the past 12 months. I’ll start off by doing a sincere thank you so much for reading this year.

It’s always fascinating to look back and see what stories enjoyed the most readership and interest that year. The results often confound my expectations.

Lovers Key State Park, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Today, I’m delighted to bring you RVing with Rex’s Best of 2020: a collection of articles about RVing and the RV Lifestyle.

RVing with Rex readership in 2020 smashed the prior year numbers with an incredible 168,247 unique visitors and 357,560 page views. So what was the most popular article of the year?

Bartlett Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We check our readership data for several important reasons. First and foremost, I want to keep my finger on the pulse of what my readers actually want to read. While it’s tempting to assume I know what you want to read—my gut and personal preferences have some definite opinions—but the data is the reality.

This is actually a relief as it gives me a concrete direction on what types of content to focus on going forward. I can’t always provide the content that’s most wanted as I attempt to keep the blog well-rounded and offer something for all RVers—and wanna-bes—but the readership data is a fantastic guide.

Mount Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RVing with Rex would like to wish its readers a safe and happy New Years.

Here are the top 10 most read and most popular RVing with Rex posts of the year, listed in the order of their readership numbers.

And the most popular article of 2020 is…

15 Bad Camping Decisions

You don’t have to be Bear Grylls to enjoy a camping trip; there are options for every camping skill level and travel taste

Number Page Views: 63,859

Originally Posted: September 3, 2020

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top 7 Tragic Rookie RV Mistakes To Avoid

Make sure to avoid the following rookie mistakes

Number Page Views: 30,473

Originally Posted: August 24, 2020

The Grandest Drive in Arizona

Follow Highway 89A and hold on tight

Number Page Views: 23,353

Originally Posted: September 3, 2020

Roosevelt State Park, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Absolutely Best National Parks to Escape the Insanely Crazy Crowds

They rarely make Instagram but vast national monuments offer spectacular beauty and wilderness adventure

Number Page Views: 16,606

Originally Posted: November 3, 2020

The Best RV Parks for Visiting America’s National Parks

A guide to the best RV parks near the most popular national parks

Number Page Views: 13,073

Originally Posted: August 2, 2020

Peachoid, Gaffney, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The 10 Best State Parks in America

These underdogs can hold their own against the national parks any day

Number Page Views: 12,862

Originally Posted: August 8, 2020

Bucket List Trip for Your Lifetime: America’s Ultimate National Park Road Trip

Are you looking for a special bucket list destination? An inspiration for an once-in-a-lifetime trip?

Number Page Views: 11,512

Originally Posted: August 29, 2020

Corpus Christi, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Edisto Island: History, Pure Bliss & More

Edisto Island is one of the few surviving unspoiled beach communities in the U.S.

Number Page Views: 6,791

Originally Posted: February 19, 2020

Here’s the Proof that Utah is the Most Beautiful State

Soaring peaks and deep red canyons around every bend

Number Page Views: 4,690

Originally Posted: August 9, 2020

Burr Trail Scenic Byway, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Absolutely Best Road Trip from LA to the Grand Canyon

This road trips goes from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park to Prescott to Williams to the Grand Canyon to Mojave National Preserve and back to LA

Number Page Views: 4,485

Originally Posted: July 26, 2020

A Happy New Year to all my readers. Best wishes for 2021. Find what brings you joy and go there.

Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

May the months ahead be filled with great RVing experiences! Remember, the journey, and not the destination, is the joy of RVing. Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in an RV.

Happy Trails. Life is an adventure. Enjoy your journey.

Worth Pondering…

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light,

The year is dying in the night.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow,

The year is going, let him go.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

7 Driving Tips You Should Know

Tips for staying safe and alert while driving

Taking a road trip seems like an obvious choice in terms of the safest way to travel during the coronavirus pandemic. But spending hours—or days—driving can be mentally taxing. And accidents on the road are a very real concern. In fact, nearly 2 million people are injured in auto accidents each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving caused 91,000 accidents in 2017 and nodding off while driving can happen more easily than you may think when you’re on the road for long periods of time.

Driving a motorhome south of Page, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That’s why we need to find strategies to stay alert and safe when driving. Follow these safety tips to arrive safely at your destination. Here’s what you should know.

Driving a motorhome in Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Plan your itinerary

Mapping out the specifics of your road trip is the best way to eliminate stress and even avoid hazards when driving. Too many people simply plug their destination into a Navigation System without any idea about when and where they want to make pit stops. There’s nothing wrong with using GPS to give you an idea. The best way to prepare is by figuring out how long it will take you to get from point A to point B. Then, look for recreation areas, rest rooms, and fuel stops along the way. Even though planning ahead is a great idea, you shouldn’t feel unnecessarily restricted by your itinerary. It doesn’t mean that you’re deadlocked into that.

Driving a motorhome on Utah Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Eat, sleep, and hydrate well

It’s important to be well-rested before you get behind the wheel. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night (research shows that people feel their best after getting that much rest).

Snake River at Twin Falls, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Eat a good meal before starting your drive. Some prefer a protein-heavy breakfast to help feel more satisfied and alert. Keeping prepared food in a cooler is particularly helpful for people who don’t want to stop and eat at restaurants. Of course, you’ll want to find somewhere safe to enjoy your snacks and meals—like a rest area or truck stop—since eating while driving is a distraction.

Drink plenty of water throughout the trip, which yes, means more bathroom breaks. But stopping more often is better than experiencing headaches or dizziness associated with dehydration which can happen when you skimp on water.

Georgia Welcome Center © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Stop often

You might try to drive to your destination with minimal pit stops. Resist the temptation. It’s important to stop every two to three hours to stretch, use the bathroom, and do a walkabout. I try to stop about every 100-120 miles. Moving and getting my circulation going helps me stay alert during long drives. And of course, stop if you’re tired. Avoid pulling over onto the shoulder and look for a rest area or off ramp instead.

Driving in Zion National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Scan your surroundings

Constantly check your surroundings to know what is ahead. Scanning your surroundings (keeping your eyes moving) includes keeping a safe distance around your vehicle. To avoid last minute moves, scan the road 10–15 seconds ahead of your vehicle so you can see hazards early. When another driver makes a mistake, you need time to react. Give yourself this time by keeping a “space cushion” on all sides of your vehicle. This space cushion will give you room to brake or maneuver if you need the space. While keeping an eye on the road up ahead, look for animals on the side of the road, monitor your gauges, and scan the mirrors.

There are some roads to avoid in a large RV; Mokee Dugway in southern Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Get to know road signs

Understanding road signage is one of the best ways to boost your confidence about highway driving. If you train your eye to read the signs and know what the signs mean, then you can drive down the roads confidently. For example, construction signs have an orange background and will always trump other signage. Yellow signs are cautionary. You can check out the U.S. Department of Transportation for more information about road symbols and signs.

Driving Utah Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Make your vehicle road-trip-ready

Taking the time for preventative maintenance will pay big dividends down the road. Recreational vehicles require all the standard maintenance of your car plus a whole lot more (if you had your RV for more than a few months then you may have learned this the hard way). After all, an RV is more than just a vehicle. It is a home on wheels with a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Inflate tires to recommended specifications and check them often. Inspect for any imperfections before travel.

Driving Mike O’Callighan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Colorado River © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Make room for trucks

You may have felt that twinge in your gut when driving near or past large semi trucks and rightfully so, because it can be scary—those trucks are huuuuuge! It’s important to allow plenty of following room when driving behind these massive machines. Give them space. Large trucks need extra room to slow down and come to a complete stop as well as to make a turn. Don’t ride next to semis—they can’t see you. Their blind spots are humongous. You need to leave enough space so that you can see both of the truck’s side mirrors. And while you may be anxious to get in front of a slow-moving vehicle, never cut in front of large trucks. A truck traveling at highway speeds in regular conditions needs a distance of roughly two football fields to stop safely

Welcome to Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

November 2020 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

Pleasant Harbor RV Park, Lake Pleasant, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 13 recall notices during November 2020. These recalls involved 9 recreational vehicle manufacturers— Forest River (4 recalls), Lance Camper (2 recalls), REV (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), Jayco (1 recall), Keystone (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), and Triple E (1 recall).

Creekfire RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Cardinal fifth wheel trailers. The fresh air intake sleeve for the furnace is too short and does not have proper connection of the furnace to the exterior, allowing furnace exhaust to enter the trailer.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install the correct intake sleeve to allow for proper connection on the furnace, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-296-7700. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15-1245.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Palomino trailers. The antenna wing may not be properly secured to the roof, allowing it to detach from the roof while moving.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, repair or replace the antenna, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-269-432-3271. Forest River’s number for this recall is 400-1243.

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Cherokee recreational trailers. The shore cord inlet wiring insulation may not have been sufficiently stripped back, causing a poor connection with the set screw.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will remove the inlet, and rewire or replace the inlet completely if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-499-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 17D-1201.

Buccaneer State Park, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Rockport work trucks. The battery box installed on these vehicles may be inadequately welded, and could detach.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will ensure the battery boxes are properly welded, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 16, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-522-7599. Forest River’s number for this recall is 29-1252.

Hacienda RV Resort, La Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lance Camper

Lance Camper Manufacturing. Corp. (Lance Camper) is recalling certain 2018-2021 Lance Camper trailers (models 855S, 850, 960, 975, 995, 1062, and 1172) equipped with a Dometic propane gas stove, model R1731 or R2131 manufactured November 2018 or later or model S31 manufactured November 2018 or later. In certain stove serial number ranges, a gas leak may occur in the cooking stove.

Lance Camper will notify owners, and Dometic dealers will repair the affected stoves. The recall is expected to begin December 7, 2020. Owners may contact Lance Camper customer service at 1-661-949-3322.

7 Feathers Casino RV Resort, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lance Camper

Lance Camper Manufacturing. Corp. (Lance Camper) is recalling certain 2018-2021 Lance trailers (models 1995, 2185, 2285, 1475, 1575, 1685, 1985, 2295, 2375, 2445, and 2465) equipped with a Dometic propane gas stove, model R1731 or R2131 manufactured November 2018 or later or model S31 manufactured November 2018 or later. In certain stove serial number ranges, a gas leak may occur in the cooking stove.

Lance Camper will notify owners, and Dometic will repair the stoves, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 7, 2020. Owners may contact Lance Camper customer service at 1-661-949-3322.

New Green Acres RV Park, Walterboro, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

REV

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Fleetwood Flair, Bounder, Southwind and Fortis and Holiday Rambler Vacationer, Invicta, and Admiral motorhomes equipped with a Dometic propane gas stove, model R1731 or R2131 manufactured November 2018 or later or model S31 manufactured November 2018 or later. In certain stove serial number ranges, a gas leak may occur in the cooking stove.

REV will notify owners, and Dometic dealers will repair the affected stoves, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 4, 2020. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1-800-509-3417.

Goose Island State Park, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Milestone fifth-wheel trailers. The outriggers may bend due to loading within the rear storage area.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will reinforce the frame, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 18, 2020. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Arizona Oasis RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2012-2021 Era 170X vehicles. The weld nut was installed on the wrong side of the bracket where the shoulder belt attaches, reducing the retention strength of the seat belt.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will coordinate the inspection of affected units and the installation of a serrated flange nut in the intended weld nut location, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 21, 2020. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-800-798-2002.

Capitol City RV Park, Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021 Vision, Emblem, Vision XL, Alante, Precept, and Precept Prestige recreational vehicles, equipped with a Power Bedlift System. The bedlift motor may fail due to internal gear failure, causing the overhead bunk bed to release from the stowed position.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the bed motor, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 30, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-617-776-0344. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903525.

Sunshine Valley RV Resort, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Cougar trailers equipped with the Off the Grid (OTG) Solar package. The inverter may have been incorrectly wired, causing power to energize the shore power connection, when in use.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will test the function of the inverter and rewire it as needed, free of charge. Ther recall is expected to begin December 18, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-389.

River Run RV Park, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2010-2011 Four Winds Montecito 38D, 38E, 40J, 42B, 42C motorhomes, equipped with an Iota ITS-50R transfer switch. The transfer switch may experience a heat related failure due to being exposed to high electrical loads when used in higher ambient temperatures.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Iota ITS-50R transfer switch with a different brand of switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 3, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000205.

Fort McDowell Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Wonder W24FTB, W24RTB, and W24MB motorhomes. The Multiplex G9 electronic control center can fail if excessive voltage is applied.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will install a protection module on the G9 system, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in November 2020. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-800-447-0343. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9830-1.

Please Note: This is the 22nd in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Before You Forget: 14 Absolutely Essential Items to Pack on Your Next Road Trip

There are certain essential products that are must-haves for RVers

Packing the right items is key to the perfect road trip. In addition to necessities like your wallet, phone, clothes, and keys, you’ll be glad you brought these 14 items along for the journey.

Full hookup camping showing power cord, water and sewer hoses, and cable TV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Basic toolkit

It’s always a good idea to buy and stock a basic toolkit, just in case. The toolbox in your RV should include screw drivers, sockets, claw hammer, pliers, utility knife, tape measure, cordless drill, and adjustable and combination wrenches. Also, consider extension cords and spare fuses.

Water hose connection showing pressure regulator © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Roadside Emergency Kit

An emergency roadside assistance kit won’t break the bank but it just might save the day in the event of a breakdown or accident. Pick one up from any big-box store and bring it along for long road trips. Reflective road triangles are so effective, they are used by the Amish as electricity-free tail lights.

Dump station © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

First Aid Kit

Like a roadside emergency kit, a first aid kit is a must for road trippers. This way you’ll have essential first-aid supplies to help treat most common injuries, including cuts, scrapes, swelling, sprains, and strains. Your first aid kit should include antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, antiseptic cleansing wipes, gauze dressing pads in varied sizes, tape roll, tweezers, adhesive bandages in varied sizes, scissors, disposable vinyl gloves, and Red Cross Emergency First Aid Guide.

Use extra care with snow and ice © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bug Spray

All kinds of annoying bugs come out in the summer so make sure you’re prepared to keep them at bay and avoid itchy bites by grabbing some bug spray with DEET. 

GPS Device

Having a portable one of these helps for adventures taken outside your car, too. There have to be at least 24 satellites in a “GPS constellation” of synchronized orbits in order for your GPS device to work. That’s a lot of rocket science and delicate mathematics, so take advantage of it.

Drive with care © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Paper Atlas

An atlas you can hold in your hand is the ultimate back-up plan. If the technology seems old, that’s because it is—road maps go back as far as 5th century Rome.

USB Charger

Don’t let your gadgets die on you. Modern USB connections aren’t just faster than their predecessors—they consume less power, too.

Ambassador RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Vacuum

You’re enjoying the great outdoors—which means you’re bringing the great outdoors back into your RV with you. Staying at campsites means mud, grass, and insects—all of which can dirty up your home-on-wheels quickly. A small, cordless powerful vacuum is a must-have.

Fort Camping at Brae Island, Fort Langley, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Folding steps

Folding steps are one of those useful tools you might not think about, but they’re handy to have around. As extra seating, an added step to get into your RV, and standing on to reach things when making repairs or finding the back of a high cupboard, it’s a useful tool.

Heavy duty sewer hose and secure connection © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

High-quality sewer hose

Some things you definitely don’t want to skimp on, and your sewer hose is one of them. No one wants to be dealing with a ruptured sewer hose while on vacation. Invest in a high-end hose—your peace of mind and nasal passages will thank you.

Smokiam RV Resort, Soap Lake, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Folding tables

You can find a basic folding table in most stores—but you won’t find them in most campsites. They’re a great addition to your packing plans for meals, games, and hobbies. The benefit of a folding table is they take up a small amount of space and are generally water-resistant.

Cooler on sliding tray © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cooler

The cooler, or portable ice chest, was invented in 1951, but things have gotten a little fancier in the 67 years since. Some modern coolers can plug into your RV’s electrical outlet and use a powered fan to draw away heat and keep things even cooler.

Cash for tolls

Keep some quarters and spare paper cash so you never have to go digging.

Mitchell Corn Palace © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camera

This one is obvious, but don’t leave home without it. How else are you going to document your visit to the world’s only corn palace, located in Mitchell, South Dakota?

Worth Pondering…

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”