As you can tell from today’s newsletter, there is a lot of growth going on in the outdoor industry. New campgrounds are starting to pop up, and existing campgrounds are reporting record results for the year. Now, if we could all just figure out how to game the ReserveAmerica site, we’d be in business!
The numbers for just about every aspect of RVing and camping are through the roof this year. Be extra patient with the newbies out there. After all, there was a first time that you put up an awning, too. As always, we rely on, and appreciate, your support to keep producing RVtravel.com, the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. Thank you! And be sure to check out our other RV-related newsletters.
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Invest in the RV industry? Two news breakouts from this week
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Got a little extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? Feeling a little risky? Maybe it’s time to invest in the RV industry. Two news items from this week could lead you to find a place to perhaps grow your cash. One involves an easy how-to with investing in (gulp!) Camping World. The other may require a little more creativity, but has everything to do with the skyrocketing price of used RVs. Continue reading.
The FMCA – Convention recap
By Tony Barthel
As I write this I’m sitting in a conference room at the FMCA’s 103rd International Convention & RV Expo. Someone asked me what I thought of the FMCA and if I thought it was worth the membership fee and if they should join. So many of these decisions can be evaluated the same way you’d evaluate a gym membership. Should you join the gym? Not if you’re not going to go. Should you join the beer of the month club? Not if you’re not going to drink the beers. The answer of whether or not to join the FMCA or any RV club really lies in whether or not you’re going to be able to use the membership. Continue reading Tony’s recap of his convention experience and what kind of people he met there, here.
Campground Crowding: Campgrounds are splitting sites. So much for personal space!
[Editor: Due to an oversight (sorry, Nanci and readers), this was inadvertently left out of Saturday’s RV Travel Newsletter.] RV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! In this weekly blog, RVTravel.com readers discuss their experiences. This week readers report on a campground that added sites by having you split the power and water with the site next to you, unhappy campers who have been priced out of their houses and forced into RVs, encountering state parks that are full, and a complaint about our encouraging boondocking. All that and more here.
Canadian campers are itching for their first trips of the season
Canadian RVers are pretty anxious to get a taste of the camping freedom Americans have been enjoying this summer. New research just released by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) says Canadian campgrounds – shackled for months by local COVID-19 travel restrictions and the closure of the U.S./Canadian border – are still expecting to salvage the summer months. New rules for vaccinated relatives are taking shape and border closures may be over soon enough. Learn more.
This week’s podcast (#16)
Host Scott Linden shares survey results from RVTravel.com on our buying habits. Bob Wells, breakout star from the Academy Award-winning film “Nomadland,” joins host Scott in a wide-ranging and deeply moving discussion. “Just another event in a very strange life,” he says of the film. But it’s much more than that. He talks about the van life, the nomadic lifestyle, and why he serves fellow travelers. He relates an uplifting, optimistic takeaway from a movie that is stark, desolate and full of personal challenges for the characters in the film – and in life.
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY PODCAST INSIDER NEWSLETTER. You’ll be the first to know about each new podcast, plus participate in contests and other promotions that you will love.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the 2022 Salem FSX 270RTK Toy Hauler. Tony writes, “This is a trailer that can serve a lot of needs well. That’s why I like toy haulers so much, in case you missed it. I do think the interior is much nicer than toy haulers of just a few years ago.” Read more and peek inside.
Prime Time LaCrosse 3411RK Travel Trailer
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX diesel pusher
• 2021 Cherokee Arctic Wolf 3990SUITE Fifth Wheel
• Palomino Backpack SS-1251 Pop-top Truck Camper
• Thor Sanctuary 19P 4X4 Class B Van
• 2021 Safari Condo Alto F2114 Travel Trailer
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
July 11–17, 2021
Bob Tiffin’s grandson is now company president. Tiffin RV owners who have been apoplectic about the sale of one of the industry’s premier family-owned brands to Thor Industries seven months ago can breathe a little easier … maybe. It was announced this week that Leigh Tiffin, grandson of company founder and CEO Bob Tiffin, will take the company president’s position being vacated by his father, Van Tiffin. Leigh Tiffin has a lot of RV industry experience to go along with his pedigree. He’s been the general manager of Vanleigh RV, a fifth wheel manufacturer operating within the Tiffin corporation since Vanleigh RV was founded in 2014.
“It was always important to me that the legacy of this company be protected and managed by someone who understands what we have built at Tiffin and by someone who is passionate about maintaining the great Tiffin brand,” Bob Tiffin said. “Leigh is the right person for the job, and I could not be more excited about the future of the company under his direction.”
Lazydays RV has its own growth spurt. With all of the goings-on at Camping World this year, we thought it might be time to check in on another RV dealership giant – Lazydays RV. That company set records for earnings and revenue in the second quarter. Lazydays added three new locations in the second quarter, while earnings rose 51% and profits rose 26.5%.
America’s newest national park getting a lot of love. The New River Gorge in West Virginia has only been a national park for a few months, but it’s already seen an uptick in visitation since its new designation was made public in December 2020. About 53 miles of the New River – one of the oldest rivers in the world – flows through the park. And you can put on a harness and walk across a beam on the New River Gorge Bridge. Like all of the rest of the 62 U.S. national parks, plan ahead if you plan to visit. It’s pretty crowded there, too. Check it out HERE.
Georgia county allowing RVs into mobile home parks. The Mainland Planning Commission in Glynn County, Georgia, recently approved a new code that allows mobile home parks to have up to 25% of their spaces occupied by RVs. While a few members voiced concerns about “junky RVs” taking up residence, the new rules include a restriction to 180 consecutive days for RVs, and that they must be “roadworthy” at all times.
Boy Scouts selling three big campgrounds. The Boy Scouts of America is selling three Hudson Valley scout camps as part of its bankruptcy filing in order to settle. As a result of a plan submitted in April to the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Dover, Delaware, the Great Hudson Valley Boy Scouts is among the councils that will put its assets up for sale including Camp Bullowa in Rockland County, Camp Nooteeming in Dutchess County, and Durland Scout Reservation in Putnam County.
The three camps represent more than 1,900 acres of parkland, lakes and recreational facilities in the heart of the Hudson Valley owned and used by the Greater Hudson Valley Boy Scouts for over half a century. Some local towns have shown interest in purchasing the camps, but no word yet on how they will be used in the future or if there are plans to get into the RV park business.
Camping World expanding into water sports supplies. Soon, RVers who love the water will be able to purchase their water skis, wakeboards, and life jackets at Camping World stores. Those are just some of the water sports products that will be available due to a new partnership with Overton’s (parent organization is Gander Mountain, whose parent organization is Camping World) to place Nautica brands in Camping World. “We continue to listen to our customers, and they are telling and showing us that the RV is a means to support other active outdoor lifestyles such as boating, camping, hiking, biking, etc.,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World.
RVs are easy prey for catalytic converter thieves. An RV dealership in Eureka, Missouri, recently reported the theft of catalytic converters from five RVs parked on their lot. The thieves cut through a section of fence to gain access to the lot.
New campground at water park in Sioux Falls. The popular Wild Water West attraction in Sioux Falls, SD, is adding RV sites to meet the demand of travelers. The project began this year and will likely wrap up next year. The expansion is part of the attraction’s goal of becoming a play-and-stay destination. Excavation has already started on 90 full-hookup spots for RVs and 40 tent sites. The campground will be family-friendly and full service, with a campground bathhouse, gift shop, laundry and community center. The water park will offer a package for visitors who want to stay overnight and use the park. Prices have not been set yet.
Another bear visit means changes for Chapman Campground. For anyone considering an overnight visit at Chapman Campground near Aspen, Colorado, please note that they are now restricted to hard-sided RVs. The area has become a popular food source for one black bear specifically. There will also be day-use restrictions for at least two weeks to attempt to curb bear visits. “We’ve had to move to these restrictions directly because of a black bear getting food from campsites,” Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Kevin Warner said in a statement. “This is an easily preventable problem if people follow basic food storage practices that prevent bears and other wildlife from having access to food and coolers.” The moral of the story: Correctly use bear storage containers for your food, garbage and coolers to prevent unwanted visitors.
New Avila Beach campground opening soon. The new Flying Flags campground at Avila Beach, California, has been years in the making and is only about a month out from its soft opening. While there is already some coastal RV camping, the new campground will have RV sites, cabins and tent sites all overlooking the ocean and Avila Beach. Visitors can make reservations online now at the Flying Flags campground for stays starting October 1.
New $25 million campground resort coming to Waco. Northgate Resorts is in the process of building an estimated $25 million RV park between Lake Shore Drive and the Bosque River in Waco, Texas. The campground is expected to have amenities like a swimming hole, visitor center and mini-grocery store, and is scheduled to open next year. The company’s vision for the location is a camping resort spread over 100 acres with rental cabins, RV spaces and resort-style amenities.
KOA on its way to another record year. Kampgrounds of America are hosting a lot more campers (like you couldn’t tell). The company just announced a 57.3% increase in revenue growth in the second quarter of 2021. That’s even 28% better than compared to the second quarter of 2019, which was a record year in KOA’s 59-year history. KOA has added nine new franchised campgrounds in the second quarter, and an additional six new construction contracts. It doesn’t look like things will be slowing down at KOA anytime soon. Advanced deposits for reservations are up 66% at the end of the second quarter over last year.
Could you hide 74 people in two RVs? U.S. Border Patrol agents are noticing an uptick in the use of RVs to smuggle “non-citizens” across the U.S./Mexico border. On July 12, agents stopped two RVs at an immigration checkpoint on I-10 near Sierra Blanca, Texas. A K-9 inspection of the first RV triggered an alert. The second RV was also checked with dogs and with heat sensors and found to contain several concealed persons. In all, an amazing number of 74 undocumented persons and three U.S. citizens were detained.
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.
Ford tweaks pickup truck lineup again. Goodbye, F-150 diesel
The Ford F-150 diesel pickup truck, which debuted as a 2018 model year and carried the Power Stroke badge, has been discontinued. The move continues the automaker’s recent lineup tweaks. … Ford announced the reason for the cancellation of the short-lived diesel is the F-150 Hybrid. It’s called the PowerBoost. Learn more.
Rivian stalls; delivery of the EV pickup truck delayed to September
Rivian has delayed the official public delivery of its R1T electric pickup truck for the second time, pushing the release date to September. RJ Scaringe, the company’s CEO, announced the delay and also sent a letter to reservations holders. Similar to many other companies’ woes, Rivian said the “cascading impact of the pandemic” has greatly affected the production of the innovative truck. 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, July 18, 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 two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Bonnie Pascucci of Stevensville, Montana, and John Wilkins of Pilesgrove, New Jersey.
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.
Pick a bonus amenity you’d want to see at a campground or RV park…
Take a look through this list and select up to two. It may be hard to pick!
What has one head, one foot and four legs?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
We’ve Also Heard …
USA Today looks at unique places to camp around the world. If you’re tired of the “regular” camping experience in the U.S. and Canada, check out these foreign takes on accommodations. Click HERE.
Beer-drinking RVers will love this. If you’re wondering what’s the best microbrew to take on your next camping trip, the folks at Vinepair.com have come up with a handy Top 10 list to help you out. Click HERE.
New stuff you’ve just gotta have. If you’re a gadget person, you might want to check out a new list of 25 “must-have” items to enhance your RVing from themanual.com. Click HERE.
Is Connecticut camping on your bucket list? Connecticut rarely makes the list of “must goes” when it comes to RVing. But it turns out the state has a lot to offer. Check out some great ideas for Connecticut camping HERE.
Company making big RV park investments around Atlanta. Forrest Street Partners (FSP) has purchased Riverside Estates, a 307-site Manufactured Home (MH) and RV resort in Covington, Ga. This is the third RV park and first MH park the company has purchased in the Atlanta area. Riverside Estates is located in the growing Covington area, close to shopping, retail and planned developments. The park has 170 RV sites and 135 manufactured home sites, as well as a clubhouse, pool and playground.
Fort Lauderdale’s Yacht Haven Park sells for $58 million. The 20-acre Yacht Haven Park & Marina in Fort Lauderdale is poised for a makeover and additional storage after selling for $58.1 million, with the buyers scoring an $81.7 million purchase and renovation loan. Fort Lauderdale Motorcoach Resort and Yacht Club bought the marina and recreational vehicle park at 2323 and 2295 West State Road 84, according to a news release from the loan brokers.
A documentary for all of you Rivetheads. Airstream lovers who want to know more about the origins of their beloved RV company can now enjoy a new documentary that details the birth of the aluminum trailer. Click HERE to read all about it and find out how you could even host a screening.
New RV park opens in Broussard. Parkside RV Park in Broussard, LA, held its grand opening on Thursday, July 15. The RV park is located next to the Broussard Sports Complex and St. Julien Park at 651 St. Nazaire Road. With 54 full-service spots for all RV types, the park offers amenities including electricity, sewer and water hookups, high-speed WiFi and a bathhouse.
New RV park now open near Greeley, CO. If you’re looking for a new RV destination in Colorado, there’s a new park still finishing construction – but already accepting campers – near Greeley, Colorado. The park is called Rocky Mountain View RV Park. They are still working on the WiFi, but it looks to have all of the usual amenities, and appears very pet friendly. You can take a look HERE.
And when it’s safe to go north of the border again… The owners of the luxurious Elk Ridge Resort north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, have submitted a plan to build a new RV park. The owners said they decided to make the move when they saw the attendance numbers from Prince Albert National Park, and found out camping accommodations within the park weren’t handling the load.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
None to report this week.
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
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Readers have spoken: These campgrounds and RV parks have the best customer service
• Do-it-yourself inverter repair – Important to know
• I went to the Tiffin Allegro Club Rally. There wasn’t a display RV in sight
• This RVer forgot to unplug the electric cord and drove away. A reminder for all RVers
• RVelectricity: Do you always need to use a generator bonding plug?
• Alibaba’s blank canvas DIY motorhome. It’s weird, all right!
• The “other Grand Canyons” are worth a stop too. Check these out
• For baseball and history fans, this museum is not to be missed
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 12, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.13 [Calif.: $4.17]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 94 cents.
Diesel: $3.34 [Calif.: $4.19]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 90 cents.
Sign up for an email reminder for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter, published every Monday through Friday. You won’t want to miss it!
Upcoming RV shows
Most of the RV shows in 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
Take-Out Orange Chicken
by Diana Adcock from Yes, IL
Better than take-out, this orange chicken is fantastic. Seriously better than anything you’ll get at a restaurant. The sauce is slightly sweet and tangy with a kick. Fresh orange and ginger add a nice touch of freshness. A generous amount of Sriracha provides a big punch of flavor. The chicken is fried in a batter that’s crispy and light.
Orange chicken always hits the spot! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Loaded Potatoes Grill Style? Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Blueberry Peach Muffins
• Potato Salad Deviled Eggs
• AnnMarie’s Buffalo Chicken Wing Mac and Cheese
• Caprese Chicken Stacker With Reduced Balsamic
• New York Style Corn Fritters
Brain teaser answer:
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 scammers’ sophisticated techniques. Here is this week’s episode.
Steve Steele battles to save his life and finances in a case of elder abuse.
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.
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Mike Gast. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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