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Sunday, May 23, 2021
KOA camping report forecasts nearly 18 MILLION campers over Memorial Day weekend
The camping research numbers for this summer keep rolling in. They all point to a record year for camping in the U.S. A recent survey by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is projecting that 56 million camping families will hit the road this summer in an RV. On Thursday, Kampgrounds of America Inc. released results of its May KOA Monthly Research Report. It projects more than 17.8 million households will kick off the camping season over the Memorial Day weekend alone in the U.S. and Victoria Day weekend in Canada. Read more statistics here.
Get ready to share RVing with 56 million other campers
It’s official. You’re going to be sharing the road with 56 million other American RVers this summer. A recent scientific survey of American leisure travelers conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) concluded that 31% (56 million) of all 180 million leisure travelers in the U.S. are packing up an RV and hitting the road this summer. Continue reading.
KOA establishes first campground at truck stop
Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) announced last week that it has signed a franchise agreement with Love’s Travel Stops to build a new KOA campground at the Love’s location in McComb, Mississippi. Love’s Travel Stops, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has a total of 550 locations in 41 states. KOA is North America’s largest chain of family-friendly, open-to-the-public campgrounds, with 520 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The new campground will be known as the McComb KOA Journey and will be adjacent to the Love’s Travel Stop facility. Learn more.
Good news: RV Retailer adds new program to train more techs
There’s a new reason to add a little more love to RVers’ love/hate relationship with RV dealers. RV Retailer, LLC (RVR) recently announced the opening of a new RV technician training center at the dealership’s Sierra RV campus in Utah. The new RV Retailer University Training Center is a 28-acre facility that will be the home of a new Tech Mentor Program. The goal is to develop a team of “master technicians” who will be put in charge of training apprentice technicians at all 55 of RV Retailer’s outlets. Continue reading.
This week’s podcast (#8)
Host Scott Linden is back with another dose of RV news, information and entertainment. Listen to it on its official RV Travel Podcast page, where you can learn what’s up this week, or just click the play button above. Or download it here.
Episode 8 is our “odor episode”! Our noses go from propane, to black water, to that new trailer smell! We’re solving your problems, keeping you safe, and getting an in-depth look at a cool little trailer – tour conducted by the company founder!
What’s a podcast? It’s like a talk radio show except you can listen any day or time you wish!
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the 2021 Grand Design Imagine 2610ML Travel Trailer. Tony writes, “I’m still undecided about how I feel about this unit, but there are some cool features for sure.” See what he likes and doesn’t like in his review.
• 2022 Pleasure-Way RECON Class B Adventure Van
Last week’s reviews:
• 2021 Palomino Solaire Ultra Lite 202RB • K-Z Connect SE C221FKKSE Travel Trailer • 2021 Rockwood Mini Lite 2516S • Fleetwood Frontier diesel pushers • 2021 Venture SportTrek ST271VMB
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
May 16–22, 2021
Y’all be careful out there on Memorial Day weekend! That’s the warning from travel club AAA. The group says it expects the number of Americans traveling from May 27 to May 31 will be up to 37 million – a 60% jump from last year’s holiday. Even so, this year’s travel is still slim compared to 2019. Want to avoid road-trip crowds? Here’s AAA’s Top Five destinations that members have pointed to for the holiday: Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee.
An amazing survival story blows in from Lacassine, Louisiana. Keri Degeyter was living in a travel trailer while her home was being repaired from damage it took from a hurricane. Is weather spiteful? We’re not sure, but last Monday, while Keri was in the rig taking a little nap, a tornado blasted through, rolling the trailer over three times. The foul wind not only destroyed the trailer, it also smashed up Keri’s car. But the windswept Louisianan hung on, and crawled out of the demolished RV alive, along with her two dogs. All she has left at this point is her clothing. A relative has started a gofundme page to try and help her out.
Time and tide wait for no lighthouse. So seems to be the case of the second oldest lighthouse in the U.S. Built in 1823, the Ocracoke Lighthouse stands on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, but time is catching up. Seems that a rising sea level is endangering the lighthouse that has beaten Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, and Dorian. The base of the lighthouse is now just two feet above sea level – that’s up 9” since 1977. Predictions show sea levels could easily be up another 24” in just three decades. The National Park Service wants to preserve the lighthouse, and needs your illumination on the matter. Repair where it is? Raise it up and repair? Repair and relocate? You have until May 28 to give your input – more here.
It’s not often government officials back away from strongly held opinions. We reported in April that Crested Butte, Colorado, councilwoman Laura Mitchell had this odiferous comment about a local dump station: “It is insane to spend $45,000 on temporarily mitigating an RV dump. I think it should be closed. People will drive with their crap anyway.” It appeared that her fellow council members felt the same – they voted to shut down the area’s only public dump station. But Monday the council did an about-face after the fritters hit the fan in the form of outcry from both locals and other area officials. After taking – er – flack from many for their “take your tanks elsewhere” stand, the council voted unanimously to leave the dump station open for two more years, while finding a more suitable location for it to move to.
While alligators primarily dine on fish, snakes, turtles, and other unfortunate birds and small mammals, a Lehigh Acres, Florida, gator may have had other thoughts. Last Monday, police got a distress call from a Wendy’s fast food outlet: A seven-foot gator was chasing folks around the parking lot. Maybe he left his credit card elsewhere, because on not securing anything at Wendy’s, he made his way through a bank parking lot (no teller interaction) and was finally wrestled down at a nearby retirement center. Wendy’s was quick to pick up on the added publicity. “It’s no secret Wendy’s is the place to be, especially during National Hamburger Month!” a Wendy’s spokesperson told TODAY Food. “The gator must have gotten word of the new Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger and wanted to see what the buzz is all about.” We at RVtravel.com think he was a bit thirsty, but Wendy’s wasn’t able to provide the requisite Gatorade.
RVers at the Willits, California, Golden Rule RV Park took the park’s name to heart. On May 11, smoke began to billow out of a fifth wheel, and other RVers quickly responded. Having seen a man go into the trailer, they broke out windows and turned garden hoses on the fire in an attempt to help. The man surprised them all: He came out, all right, then climbed up on top of the burning rig, finally vanishing to parts unknown. Police knew the rest of the story: The man had allegedly held his wife captive in the RV for several days, drugging her after assaulting her. When she managed to get free, another RVer helped her contact police. The suspect was eventually found – hiding in the roots of a large tree. Firefighters got more action then: Cutting the roots away so police could cuff the suspect.
Families feud over moldy motorhome. A British Columbia civil resolution tribunal has ruled after two families couldn’t come to terms. Sandra Burnstad and Richard Long spotted an advertisement for a motorhome for sale. Burnstad was so excited, she texted sellers, Wilson and Amber McBride, that she’d buy it – sight unseen. The tribunal heard that the McBrides warned the buyer that the ceiling was soft from water, but Burnstad replied she was only worried about the engine running – she could fix anything else. The buyers transferred $3,000 immediately, and later turned up to claim it. Burnstad and Long soon found the motorhome was a mold-pit, and demanded the McBrides refund their money. When refused, the unhappy buyers dumped it beside a roadway, never having officially registered the rig. The sellers soon got a demand from a tow company for $700 in towing and storage fees. In the end, the tribunal found the buyers knew it was their rig (they tried to sell it to somebody else), and that they – not the sellers – were responsible for the tow bill. It also noted that bill of sale was marked “As is, where is.” Case closed.
It’s the case of Toronto’s Tell-Tale Toilet. Carol Burbridge, a Torontonian who snowbirds every winter in Florida, was shocked when she got home from the Sunshine State. Her water bill didn’t put a ray of sunshine on her face. The $5,500 bill etched a major frown. Utility officials suggested her toilet may have been running off at the mouth in her absence. She was understandably upset, as someone was supposed to have checked into her house twice a week to catch such issues. City officials can’t comment specifically on the crummy crapper conundrum, but said if Burbridge can provide proof of occupancy, evidence of repairs made, and income verification, they may be able to mop up the bill, bringing it down to a more “normal”-appearing one.
The continuing saga of Skagway, Alaska’s, campground host issues just keeps on going. The borough’s Dyea Campground needs a host to ensure visitors are paying their fees and obeying rules. When no RVers responded to the call, they built a host cabin. When still nobody responded, they suggested renting the cabin out. That met with objections from locals – including a cabin rental outfit – that claimed the borough would become unfair competition to local businesses. Now the mayor wants to build two more cabins and rent all three out. What about a host to see to it everyone plays by the rules? Well, come to find out, initially local officials only advertised the position at the town hall. Now local private campground owners are offering to provide a host – at a cost, of course.
Tourist-attracting employers in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, are crying – and it may be a reflection of the RV campground industry in general. The Dells have some 16,000 job openings – while less than 3,000 people live in the area year-round. With a tourist-based economy, many employers took on foreign students to build a work force. But COVID-19 travel restrictions have kissed most of those folk goodbye. Like some other RV park owners, there are complaints that the federal unemployment payments are just inducing other potential workers to lay around, rather than work. But RV-job-lister Workcamper News reports that many RV parks got themselves behind the eight ball by not advertising for workers until just recently. The company notes most workcampers already have jobs lined up in February. In any event, RV parks are reporting a huge increase in customers, and a huge decrease in available employees. It’s all spinning out to increased wages and benefits for campground workers.
What wears yellow stripes, produces poisonous cyanide, and lives in a national park? Meet Apheloria virginiensis, just one of the many residents of Richmond National Battlefield Park in Richmond, Virginia. While most millipedes, of which A. virginiensis is a member, simply curl up and let their hard exoskeleton shield them from predatory onslaughts, this one goes a step farther. The millipede produces toxic cyanide – that smells like cherry. It’s surmised the yellow stripes are a warning to predators that this “milli” is more than a mouthful. Not to worry, this one is harmless to humans – just wash your hands before touching your eyes should you have occasion to handle one.
RV dwellers get extension to live in Paradise. That’s the headline – but just which Paradise are they talking about? Ah! Paradise, California, scene of the fatal Camp Fire in 2018. Earlier this month, the Paradise Town Council voted 4-to-1 to allow folks living in RVs on their property to stay there until September 30. It’s a three-month extension, but after that, they’ll have to have a building permit showing their intent to rebuild a home, give proof of applying for “social programs,” or simply move out. It wasn’t a popular decision. Of all those testifying on the matter, all but two begged the council to allow the extension to run until April of 2022, often citing problems with Pacific Gas and Electric settlement payment issues.
For one RVing couple, San Antonio, Texas, may have a new nickname: Flip City. Gene and Criselda Gonzalez were resting comfortably in their rig in an RV park Tuesday, shortly after midnight. Gene reported that a sudden wind lifted the rig off the ground, turned it slightly, then flipped it on its side. Criselda needed a CT scan, and Gene a little treatment for nose lacerations, but fortunately, neither were seriously injured. The rig suffered some serious body damage in the flip-over.
Utah travelers, beware. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks rangers report they’re expecting huge crowds this Memorial Day weekend. Plan ahead, have a backup plan, and anticipate the busiest hours will be between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Referencing COVID-19, the advisory is: “People who are not fully vaccinated (less than two weeks past your final dose) must continue to wear masks inside all park buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, and other congested areas.”
Folks who spent extra for under-cover RV storage at a Canyon Lake, California, storage yard may be regretting it now. About 40 rigs were totally destroyed by fire last Wednesday on Loch Lomond Drive. Riverside County Fire sent about 75 firefighters to the scene of the inferno around 2:30 in the afternoon. It appears damage was limited to a covered storage area, while sun-baked rigs weren’t fire-baked. A cause has yet to be determined.
Have you ever been frightened when a semi-truck starts rolling into your path? The U.S. Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse tracks commercial drivers who fail drug and alcohol tests. Put in place last year, the reports from the first quarter of 2021 show a concerning set of statistics: Drivers failing tests (and subsequently being taken off the road) are at just about the same rate as last year, with more than 14,000 “fails” this year. That compares with nearly 56,000 fails for all of 2020. Will they clean it up? Combining both years’ statistics, of the nearly 65,000 drivers sidelined for failed tests, only 10,600 have passed a “go back to work” test. For an industry that’s crying out for enough employees, that’s a significant problem. And the Top Four drugs of choice? In order of usage: marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine and amphetamine, the last two running about equal in use.
Branson, Missouri, officials have been kicking around possible changes to local law that would apply to RV parking at theaters. Earlier this month, officials voted to amend local codes that would allow up to two RVs to park alongside or behind a theater on its property – all this without requiring special zoning permits. Aha! say show-going RVers. A new place to stay in Branson! Hold your horses – and your Class A’s. An additional kink was put in the new ordinance: Any RVs parked “Shall be owned or operated by the performer, entertainer, or act performing at the theater.” Dust off your Fedora and your guitar case – everyone will want to get into the act!
Things got a little hot at an Ellis County, Kansas, commission meeting on Monday. In the end, an ersatz-RV park owner was taken away in handcuffs. Cynthia and Chad Tuttle have operated a 36-site campground on their C2T Ranch north of Hays for about a year. In the eyes of the commission, they were out of line, having never secured a permit to do so. When the commission met to consider issuing a conditional use permit, plenty of opposition turned up. The usual melody of “too much traffic, what about the trash and sewage, and how about flooding” was heard – but there was a new one, too. Some folks took objection to the plan, saying that the proposed campground would interfere with hunting lease rights. In the end, the commission shot down the request and dismissed those present through the back door. Shortly thereafter, sounds of a scuffle emerged from the hearing room, and applicant Cynthia Tuttle was borne away by law enforcement in handcuffs. No news as to the whys and wherefores. Following the hearing, the Tuttles commented on their social media page, “To say we are upset is an understatement. We are taking this to the next level. We aren’t done yet. This is agro tourism. Which is in the Ellis county development plan. That is all we will say for now.”
If the Park Service has its druthers, you’ll soon be paying out a boatload more money for a visit to one of its parks. At present there is no entry fee charged at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. Under the new proposal, next year a $7 entry fee would be charged; it would more than double to $15 by 2023. Campground fees are presently $20 per night (peak season) and would go up to $25 under the new proposal. Park officials say they’re suffering a $10 million maintenance backlog, and say a study shows the increases would bring the park up to “fees consistent with other local sites.” Public comment is open on the plan until June 30.
From “barf-bagger” to blue chip. That’s the thinking of an RV park developer and renovator as he describes the two-year transformation he made of a former Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Phillip Moreau doesn’t mince words about the condition of the park he bought in 2018, mentioning garbage, questionable wiring, and sewage issues. But he liked the location and saw potential. He renamed the park Pine Lake RV Resort & Cottages. What used to be a shoe-horned 400 sites is now down to a more spacious 313 sites. The utilities have all been replaced, the roads widened, and all previously existing buildings flattened and removed. Moreau says what RVers really want is pristine privies. They have them now – six bathhouses with “six to ten private bathroom suites.” He reopened the cleaned-up campground this April.
It looks like this summer “They’ll be out there.” Some 77% of Americans who travel say they’ll travel this summer. That’s a huge jump from the COVID-fueled chill that saw only 29% planning a trip in 2020. A third of travelers have their trips already planned; another third have booked reservations. Of the latter two groups, more than half of those say they’ll be going for the first time since the pandemic broke out. Source: A Harris Poll Survey for Let’s Go There, 75 travel companies and related organizations.
While Salem, Massachusetts, has an unfounded history of burning witches at the stake, it never did. But you just might be able to burn a campfire there again soon. Campfires have been outlawed in Salem since 2019, but city officials have been asked to change the rules so Winter Island campground guests can toast their weenies over something other than propane. The anti-solid-fuel ethic dates back to 1914 when The Great Salem Fire wiped out a quarter of the city’s buildings and left 18,000 people homeless.
Last December we reported on a proposal for a 247-acre RV park east of Flagstaff, Arizona, on Interstate 40. The “Two Guns Resort” was to tie together hundreds of RV sites with cabins, yurts, and covered wagons, all under a banner of some sort of history. Developer John Gunderman was directed by county officials to consult with indigenous tribes for their input. Gunderman did consult, and made a few minor changes to his plans. Gone were tipis, hogans, and some of the Native American themes, but too much “cultural appropriation” and stereotypes remained, in the eyes of government officials. On May 12 the county’s board of supervisors unanimously voted against Gunderman’s request for a zoning change.
Hey, Ho, we won’t go! So is the rallying cry of seniors in a Knights Ferry, California, RV park who were told to pack up and leave by Saturday. A legal assistance agency says River’s Edge Campground owners did not have legal reasons to evict the residents, citing state RV park occupancy law. Many of the long-term tenants at the park have health problems, and say they have no place to go that they can afford. Apartment rents in the area average $1,400 a month. Some at the park are paying $790 to stay there. The park owner says he’s moving forward with eviction proceedings. He says the park will be turned into a short-term-only facility when all is said and done.
Watching paint dry is about as much fun as watching Illinois state government at work. At least that’s the appearance to some, since five years ago the state shut down Chippewa Campground at its Kankakee River State Park. At the time, the water supply had failed, and officials promised repairs. Finally, the state is moving forward, perhaps at a snail’s pace, saying it has approved a water supply design, has a contractor in mind, and should be issuing a work order. It’s said the campground should have water by November. It could be all this speed has been revved up when an area TV station reported that another campground, too, had been closed down in the same park, and estimated the state was losing out on $100,000 from site rentals.
A policeman-cum-advice-columnist recently got this query from a Potato State resident. The writer said he’d bought a travel trailer in Utah, and when he asked local Idaho police to check the VIN, turned out the name on the title wasn’t that of the man who sold him the trailer. What could he do? Police Chief Dan Bristol wrote back his best bet was to get the seller to turn over the proper title. Lacking that, get the seller to give your money back. He also reminded the “buyer” that if he drove in Idaho without a proper registration, he’s liable for fines over $100 for each citation. Maybe the best advice? “Just remember in the future that if a title can’t be found then don’t find money in your wallet.”
If you’ve dropped your RV off at a dealership for repairs, you’ve probably waited a l-o-n-g time to get it back. Part of the problem is a shortfall of RV repair technicians. One dealership chain, RV Retailer, LLC, thinks they have an answer – at least for their own dealerships. The company has opened a training center at its Sierra, Utah, dealership. Selected service technicians have been chosen and trained to act as mentors, overseeing the training of apprentice technicians. The three-to-four month program will advance raw apprentices to the point they meet requirements as Level 1 RV Service Technicians. The company plans to have all its technicians across its 55 store network meeting Level 1 certification (or above) by year-end.
The proposal to build a 176-site RV park in Bend, Oregon, presently looks more like a tennis match. With the volleying back and forth between city planners and the proponent, it seems to have the tennis match appearance. Larry Kine wants to develop 21 acres on Highway 97, including an enclosed storage facility. City planners want the project denied, claiming Kine’s plans don’t take into account “future” roundabouts. If approved, they say Kine should chip in nearly $300,000 toward those roundabouts. Kine counters the roundabouts are “far in the future,” and says his plans don’t put anything in the way, even if they do come. Planners say he’s too vague about how many trees will be cut for the project. Kine responds that it’s too early to tell, because utility layout would dictate how many would go. The city planner says it could be done now, saying, “It’s tedious, but it’s worth it.” We’ll report back on how the dust settles.
Two men who stole RVs from an Elkins, West Virginia, RV dealership can blame their prison sentence on toll roads, if they wish. Floridians Taylon Batista Garcia, 35, and Yankier Gaston Garcia, 32, will spend 20 months, and one year and one, day in jail, respectively, for their crimes. When the two purloined the RVs, they each passed through toll booths on the West Virginia Turnpike, but had the audacity (or was it stupidity) to not pay the tolls. Skipping out on tolls has a tendency to attract attention, which helped lead to their roundup. In addition to serving time for the thefts, they both pleaded guilty to “Conspiracy to Commit Offense against the United States,” for skipping out on the toll payments.
TRIVIA: Approximately how many RVtravel.com readers pay to store their RV when not using it? 21 percent, 34 percent or 51 percent? Find out here.
Stupid RVer Trick
Here we go again, with another installment of “Stupid RVer Tricks.” In this one, a driver in a limousine races across a stretch of desert, then aims straight for the mid-section of a Class C motorhome. Will he make it? Will he die in the process? You’ll need to watch the short video for the answer.
How do you teach Leave No Trace principles? Sometimes you use a poop balloon. Colorado’s Barr Lake State Park borrowed the poop balloon from the Barr Milton Watershed Association, which partners with the park on water quality issues. Dog poop contributes to poor water quality and the balloon encourages everyone to pick up after their pooch.
Pickup truck news
According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of RVtravel.com readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.
Consumer demand for Ford F-150 electric truck looking good
In about a week since its announcement, Ford has received nearly 50,000 reservations for its new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. Jim Farley, the CEO of the carmaker, said the manufacturer received 44,000 reservations of a refundable $100 for the truck in the first two days since its name was announced. The Lightning has been marketed as debuting in mid-2022. Read more.
WOW! It’s difficult to not be impressed with the new Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck. And talk about pep! The innovative new vehicle is targeted to go from zero to 60 mph in the mid 4-second range. It can tow up to 10,000 pounds and haul up to 2,000. Watch this four-minute promotional video. You may be amazed.
Futuristic minivan, pickup truck Canoo announces prices
Canoo, the startup electric vehicle company based in Torrance, California, manufacturing a futuristic lineup of minivans and a pickup truck, has announced prices for its pending 2022 debut. Learn more.
Lamborghini once made the “Holy Grail” of pickup trucks
Sometimes, bigger is better; sometimes, it’s not. Pickup trucks are no exception. Small, versatile pickups have their place. And there are also reasons for truck manufacturers to outdo each other with a simple motto: The more outrageous the better. Lamborghini defines handmade supercar. But the Italian performance carmaker also made a giant pickup truck, the LM002. It came standard with a 5.2-liter, V12 with 444 horsepower. But there was also the optional 7.2-liter, V12. Continue reading.
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific time today, May 23, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.
Last week 2 readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Patti Schneider of Milton, Florida, and Sumner Schachter of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.
Will you spend all or part of Memorial Day (or Victoria Day) weekend in your RV?
Shoot at me a thousand times and I may still survive. But, one scratch from me and you will find your prospects take a dive. What am I?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
A new RV park for Page, Arizona? The city council there has given a go-ahead to sell off a city-owned 40-acre tract to a potential KOA campground developer. The developer already has a five-year option to buy an additional 12 acres next door for a cool $940,000.
California’s Lassen National Park needs camp hosts. In return for the usual meet-and-greet, cleaning and maintenance, you’ll have a place to park your rig for free. Twenty-hour-per-week gigs are available at Almanor North, Cherry Hill, Domingo Springs, Elam, Potato Patch, Rocky Knoll, and Soldier Meadows campgrounds. Assignments requiring a 30-hour work week are found at the Bridge and Cave campgrounds. Contact Almanor Ranger District at 530-258-5162. For additional information go online here.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced upcoming license-free fishing days for 2021 on June 5, June 12 and July 4 – a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp or registration.
Dunn’s done it. Dunn, North Carolina, city councilors have given the go-ahead for an 87-site RV park on 50 acres just off Interstate 95. No date set for an opening.
Florida state park officials say it’s not a crock: The agency’s NEW reservation system is said to make it easier to get a crack at Everglades State Parks. Ah, but with every new thing, there’s got to be a catch, right? Tomorrow, Monday, May 24, the system will hiccup as the new system readies to unveil on Thursday, the 27th. This won’t affect existing reservations, but it may fray your nerves.
Kimball, Nebraska, won’t be having a 44-site RV park after all. The city council let the matter of a rezone request simply die without a vote last Tuesday on the 22-acre proposal. The developer promised full-hookup sites, as well as fuel bays for gas, diesel and electric vehicles. The idea didn’t sit well with locals – who were quite vocal in the objections. In the end, when the proposal came up for a vote, not one council member would even make a motion for it.
Nearly $9 million has been earmarked for design and first-stage reconstruction of the Crandell Mountain Campground and for improvements at Townsite Campground. Both are part of Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park. Crandell Mountain Campground was wiped out in a 2017 wildfire.
South Dakota bound? Some 680 campsites in the Black Hills National Forest opened last Friday, in the 30 campgrounds dotted throughout the forest. Fees range from $14 to $26 per night. Reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov. While not required, the Forest Service is recommending them, in light of high campground demand.
Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci told NBC News’ Lester Holt on Thursday that leisure bookings are “back to pre-pandemic levels,” explaining that “with the pace of vaccinations increasing, we saw a significant step-change in March. We actually for the first time achieved positive cash flow in March after 12 months of burning cash, and so things are looking more optimistic…. We believe that on the domestic leisure side, we’re pretty much 100% and for to get us back to 2019 levels, we’re forecasting to be back there by the summer of 2022.”
With the pent-up demand for getting outdoors, this is NOT a good time for closed-down campgrounds. But 90 RV sites are “closed until further notice” in Dickinson County, Michigan’s Lake Antoine Park. Officials shut down the park May 14 due to some sort of water line problems. The idea of fixing the problem and reopening on July 4 has been kicked around – but so has the idea of just staying shut down the entire season. Seems like nobody’s even sure what the problem is. Reservations for the park had been full-up through July, and are now being cancelled and refunds issued.
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HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
A few details about a stolen 2006 Trail-Cruiser travel trailer may help in tracking it down. Steinbach, Manitoba, Canadian Mounties say the 19′ rig vanished during the night of May 8 to 9 from a property in Steinbach. The rig had a Manitoba plate, C715B, but, of course, that could be changed out. The entry assist handle near the door is missing from this rig, and the awning has a large tear in it. The rig’s serial number is 4WYT02E276120616. Know something about this one? Call the Mounties at 204-326-4452, or call CrimeStoppers at 800-222-8477.
A couple of brazen crooks clobbered a Peterborough, Ontario, RV dealership Wednesday morning, May 12. At 5:21 a.m., the team in a black 2000-something Dodge Heavy Duty Mega Cab rolled into Del Mastro RV. They then turned on a cab-mounted amber flashing light and hopped out, wearing official-looking reflective vests. Within six minutes they’d hitched up to a 40-foot 2021 Keystone Residence travel trailer and rolled off down the road. Information suggests they started their morning with a healthy breakfast at McDonald’s or Tim Hortons, near the dealership. Last seen, the combo was headed east on Lansdowne in the direction of Norwood. Got info? Call the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
See many more recently stolen RVs. Let’s help find these for their owners and maybe even put the crooks in the slammer. Click here.
Campground and RV Park News
Developments in places where we stay across the USA
Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground and RV Park News” here.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
• Vanleigh RV recalls some trailers for gas leak, fire risk
• Some 2021 Coachmen Spirit trailers recalled for brake issue
• Airstream recalls some 2020-2021 trailers for potential fire issue
• Gulf Stream Coach recalls some 2021 RVs
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover Story: Electric vehicles could change the way we camp
• Campground Crowding: Millions of new RVers – Is social media ruining it all?
• What if RVers could make suggestions directly to the industry? What would you say?
• Spontaneous RV road trip in the days of campground crowding
• Did we fix our truck’s scary “death wobble”? No, but here’s more information…
• Work camping tips from the experts
• Danger! Don’t swim near boat docks that have electricity!
• RVelectricity: GoGreenRV 2021-22 study and tour announcement
• The RV workplace: Do you need an external computer monitor?
• Dog is my co-pilot: Better places to stop for RVers with pets
• Campground pet etiquette: Should you bark back?
• It’s amazing how fast an RV burns up!
• RV Tire Safety: Speed in relation to the lifespan of ST-type tires
• The Digital RVer: Google Photos will still be the best tool to manage your travel photos
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 17, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.03 [Calif.: $3.98]
Change from week before: Up 7 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.15.
Diesel: $3.25 [Calif.: $4.03]
Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Up 86 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Most of the RV shows in the early part of 2021 have been canceled. We will restart our show directory feature here as shows begin again. In the meantime, see the frequently updated schedule here.
Recipe of the Day
Our Family Crock Pot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches
by Lana Bade from Goshen, NJ
This cheesesteak recipe is super easy to prepare! Throw it in the Crock-Pot in the morning, and your house will smell amazing all day while it’s cooking. The meat is very tender and the flavor is fabulous. Great for tailgates, movie night, or an easy weeknight dinner.
This sounds great! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Best Chicken Fried Steak Ever?
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Fresh Peach & Cherry Cobbler • Quesadilla Burgers • Thai Tortellini Fritters • Blackened Chicken Breast With Fettuccine Alfredo • Pizza Casserole
Brain teaser answer:
An eight ball.
Two sesame seeds have escaped from prison and are believed to be hiding out on top of some bread. Police have described the fugitives as “on the bun.”
The Perfect Scam Podcast
Every Sunday we present a podcast from AARP about scams and how crooks are stealing your money, often via telemarketing. Their efforts are often most successful with people 65 years and older who fall victim to the scammer’s sophisticated techniques. Here is this week’s episode.
TRIVIA FROM YESTERDAY’S NEWSLETTER: ABBA is from Sweden.
TODAY’S SECRET PHRASE: Margaret’s pet frog Harry Wadsworth III croaked. Remember this to maybe win a prize in one of this coming week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters.
Today in History
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Emily Woodbury, Russ and Tiña De Maris.
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