How About Some Q&A?

 Posted by at 12:43 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 072018

I get a lot of questions from blog readers, and while I try to answer all of them individually, occasionally I like to share some with the folks here. It’s been a while, but here are some of the latest.

Q. A friend told me something about diesel fuel with red dye in it and to avoid it or we could get in trouble. Do you have any idea what he was talking about and how we avoid a problem when we are buying fuel?

A. This is diesel fuel with a special red dye added to identify it from standard diesel. The red dye means the fuel is to be used in vehicles not driven on public streets or highways, such as farm and construction vehicles, since it is taxed at a lower rate than highway fuel. But don’t worry, any of the gas stations or truck stops where you would buy fuel for your RV will not have dyed fuel at their pumps.

Q. A long while back, I read something in your blog about changing the zip code for your satellite whenever you moved. You had to contact Dish to let them know about the move and you had a phrase saved that you cut and pasted with the new zip code so you didn’t have to call all the time. Could you send it to me?

A. Here is a quick and easy way to have Dish to change your service location every time you arrive at a new location. Log onto and set up an online account if you don’t already have one. From then on, log into and choose Chat Now. The wait is usually less than five minutes. I have a paragraph typed up and saved on my computer that I just paste in when the rep comes on the line, with the local address substituted. Here it is: Hello. We have your DISH service in our motorhome and have traveled to a new location. I need to have you change our service address to 1703 12th Ave, Seaside, OR 97138 (insert your present address) so we can get the local channels, please. This is a change of service address only, the billing address will remain the same.

Q. The headliner in our motorhome is starting to come loose and sag. Any ideas on how to make it stay up?

A. We used 3M 38808 Headliner and Fabric Adhesive headliner spray adhesive from Amazon for the same problem and it worked great.

Q. We were at an RV show this past weekend and found a fifth wheel trailer we really liked. The salesman hammered us to buy right then and there, saying the show price was only good that weekend. We needed time to think it over and would not commit. But after a lot of talking we have decided it is the right unit for our needs. Do you think the dealer will negotiate down to anywhere near the show price, or did we lose out on a good deal?

A. You didn’t lose a thing. I have no doubt that if you offer them the same amount they had the trailer advertised for at the show, they will be happy to make you a deal. “Show prices” are a myth, and are sometimes actually inflated just for the show so they can have more room to “negotiate” and make you think you are getting a deal. Offer to purchase it for less than the show price and see what happens. What have you got to lose?

Q. We want to go to Alaska this summer and my brother is urging us to go with an RV caravan because he said RVers traveling alone can have all kinds of problems like mechanical issues, bad roads, and a lack of places to camp. But we are not joiners by nature and like to fly by the seat of our pants, so we would prefer to go it alone. Are we asking for trouble?

A. An RV caravan can be a great experience. Your guides will be able to show you things you might miss traveling alone, and it is a good opportunity to meet new like-minded friends. That being said, there are thousands of RVers who travel to Alaska on their own every year and have a wonderful time. As for mechanical issues and bad roads, being on a caravan doesn’t suddenly make those kind of potential problems disappear. And don’t worry about campgrounds, there are plenty of places to boondock everywhere you go if the campgrounds are full. Go and have an adventure.

Q. I tore up the crank up batwing antenna on our motorhome by forgetting to lower it when we left a campsite and hit a tree limb. I don’t have the tools to replace it myself until we get back home and I’m too cheap to pay a tech to do the job. Can you recommend a temporary fix that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

A. Try a 1byone Digital TV Antenna from Amazon. I think it will work for your needs, and it’s only $25.

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Thought For The Day – Unless one pretends to be stupid and deaf, it is difficult to be a mother-in-law or father-in-law. – Chinese proverb

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “How About Some Q&A?”

  1. I am definitely NOT a caravaner. On our Alaska trip, we never had trouble finding fuel or an RV park. We tried to stop around 3:00 in the afternoon and always found hookups. Boon docking isn’t allowed in as many places as previously due to people dumping too much trash, but there are still plenty of places to stay. All-Stays Camp and RV app is a great one to use.

    The roads aren’t bad either. Yes, there are sections of gravel where they are replacing the pavement, but if you just go slow, there’s no problem. Watch for signs on the road warning of frost heaves.

  2. We have the same deal with DirecTV – call in to state the new zipcode for our location so we can get channels 1-201 for our new area. But it’s much less cut and dried than Dish’s procedure. If we call DTV customer service (AT&T answers because they own DTV) to do thus, the person handling the call usually knows nothing about RVs and their special permissions to move their receiver and dish around the country.

    Once I reach the right person, it usually goes like clockwork, but getting to that person can be a struggle since the customer service folks are hardwired to think that satellite dishes stay in one spot. One day I asked that person for a better number to reach them directly, and they quoted me 1-800-288-8094. We keep this number on our fridge’s white board.

  3. And give those Lyndon 18-wheelers lots of room. They kick up lots of gravel!

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