Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. It’s been another wild week of big projections from campgrounds for increased summer traffic. The good news is that, starting August 9, you’ll be able to expand your horizons – and your camping options – by pointing your RV north and visiting Canada. Canadian officials announced the border opening for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens. The border has been closed since March 2020. As always, we at RVtravel.com appreciate your help through voluntary contributions to keep this newsletter coming your way, and be sure to check out all of our other RV-related newsletters.
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Stranded motorhomes. Is Cummins to blame?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Earlier this month we wrote about the plight of flocks of RVers sidelined or scared by their Cummins-equipped motorhomes. Imagine yourself far from your home base when your dash warning light alerts that there’s a problem with your diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system. You have 100 miles to go to get help, or your engine will progressively “derate.” That means, you’ll reach a point where your maximum speed could be as low as five miles per hour. You know your engine maker: Is Cummins to blame? Continue reading.
Good luck finding a new portable generator anytime soon
If you are in the market for a new generator for your next camping trip, get in line. Severe weather during the first few months of 2021 has caused a severe run on the sale of both whole-house and portable generators like those used in many RVs. Learn more.
Part 2: What is the best solar panel for my RV and how many do I need?
Deciding how many panels you need and how big you need them to be depends on a lot of variables. We covered some of those variables in yesterday’s segment, but here are a few more.
Campground Crowding: Good camping news, bad camping news, and one cranky reader
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 we received several positive and insightful messages from our readers about the campground situation, along with some comments from unhappy campers. We also received a very cranky message from an anonymous person who used a throwaway email address, apparently so we couldn’t identify them. That’s OK. We welcome your input, positive or negative, as long as it’s civil. You don’t need to hide. All that and more here.
Get ready to head back to Canada to camp starting Aug. 9
Break out that tarnished collection of loonies and toonies you have stuck in your RV’s junk drawer. The Canadian border is expected to be open to vaccinated U.S. citizens by August 9. Non-essential travel to Canada has been banned since March 2020 in order to stem the tide of COVID-19 infections that Canadian officials said were streaming across the border. Continue reading.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the Elusive Trailers Lo Pro Cabin travel trailer. Tony says it is completely self-sufficient and almost bridges the gap between a tiny house and a travel trailer. “Well, sort of.” He adds, “I can see this as being the ideal thing if you have some forest property.” Read more.
• 2022 Wolf Pack 27Pack10 Toy Hauler
Last week’s reviews:
• Hi-Lo Trailer
• Storyteller Overland Beast MODE 4X4 Class B
• 2022 Newmar Essex 4551 Class A Diesel Pusher
• 5 Mars Illusion Minivan Class B
• Wingamm Oasi Class C (or B+), an Italian RV
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
July 18–24, 2021
Carbon monoxide kills 3 at Michigan music festival. Boondocking RVs in ultra-close proximity can sometimes lead to tragedy. That was the case at the Faster Horses Music Festival in Woodstock Township at the Michigan International Speedway last weekend. Three men were found dead and two more are in critical condition after they were found in their travel trailer. The trailer was parked in the camping area of the festival, and was apparently very near a running generator. The five men, all in their 20s, were found at about 1:30 p.m. last Saturday by a friend who hadn’t seen them that morning. The two injured men were being treated for severe carbon monoxide poisoning. First responders noted “the importance of keeping generators away from camping areas, tents, travel trailers, etc., as well as exhaust fumes from running vehicles” to avoid inhaling carbon monoxide. Be aware of the rigs around you, and only run your generator when absolutely necessary. Country singer Luke Combs, who performed at the event, has said he’d pay the funeral expenses for the three men who died.
KOA says camping numbers will continue to grow throughout the summer. The KOA Monthly Research Report – July Edition continues to forecast more North American households are planning to camp this year. According to research conducted in July, KOA projects 53.5 million households will take a camping trip in 2021. The data, which represents projections for all camping and not just at KOA parks, suggests that a staggering 24.5 million campers will venture out in July. KOA also notes impressive growth among new campers with the new camper segment estimated to reflect 4.9 million by the end of the year. This is up from estimates of 4.3 million in May and 4.8 million in June.
Looking to summer as a whole, KOA research shows that 52% of all North American campers plan to camp even as monthly research shows campers across the U.S. and Canada are dealing with outsides forces that may affect camping behavior.
If you’ve just gotta have the next new thing. A new company called CyberLandr has come up with a pop-up camper that fits on the back of Tesla’s new Cybertruck. The camper disappears into the bed of the Tesla truck, operates with artificial intelligence and solar energy and doesn’t add one bit to the truck’s wind drag. The company already has $75 million in preorders, and estimates the eventual demand at about 100,000 units a year. Tesla founder Elon Musk has even deemed the unit “cool.” Learn more.
I’ll give you $100 for that chunk of foam. The latest supply chain shortage hitting the RV industry is a lack of foam. It’s that spongy stuff that is essential to sofas, beds, driver’s seats and a lot of other items necessary to finish all of those new RVs. Blame this shortage on the Texas power outage (remember that?), which shut down five plants in Texas and Louisiana that made the main ingredient of foam – propylene oxide. The plants were only out of production for a few days, but it’s taken weeks to get them back to 80% productivity. So, once the computer chips, door handles and other items get back into the supply chain, your new RV may still be waiting for that missing sofa.
Bear vs. camper events are getting very weird. A Tennessee family is lucky to be alive after a run-in with a black bear along I-81 in Tennessee. The bear got clipped by a car ahead of the family. The bear went airborne and landed in front of the family’s car, which was pulling a travel trailer. The bear became lodged under the trailer, which flipped over. Both the bear and the travel trailer were total losses.
RVing is like a box of chocolates. Airstream lovers who also have a fondness for Tom Hanks films can now feed both fixations. Actor Tom Hanks is selling his customized 1992 Model 34 Limited Excella Airstream trailer. It was his home away from home on numerous movie sets over the years. The trailer will go on the auction block August 13 with Bonhams during the Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California.
New campground at Avila Beach opens August 16. The Flying Flags Avila Beach Port San Luis Campground will have a soft opening August 16. “The view from the Harbor Terrace project is the most incredible view on the Central Coast of California,” said Port San Luis Harbor Manager Andrea Lueker. “You get the entire port, you can see all the way down to the Guadalupe dunes.” Lueker added, “I think the best thing that we are excited about is the availability for really anybody to be able to camp there depending on whether you have an RV or if you are bringing your tent and you want to camp on the ground.” For reservation information, go to highwaywestvacations.com.
B.C. city mayor warns tourists to plan ahead for fire season. The mayor of Osoyoos, British Columbia, isn’t likely to be too popular with the local Chamber of Commerce after encouraging prospective tourists to “do their homework” before traveling to the South Okanagan region, where a large wildfire is raging in the mountainside nearby. Mayor Sue McKortoff said while the tourism resort destination is still welcoming tourists, it urges visitors to be prepared and plan ahead. “Please make sure you do your homework. Look carefully. Decide where it is that you’re planning to go. Are you coming to a hotel or campground? Check with them before you even leave your house. Don’t come up here and assume that everything is fine, because, at this point, it’s not,” the mayor said earlier this week.
It’s your driveway, but you can’t park here. The city council in Flushing, Michigan, this week decided to continue a policy barring RV owners from parking their rigs in their own driveways for longer than 24 hours. The same goes for other recreational vehicles such as boats, snowmobiles or ATVs. All can be parked in a side yard or back yard, but the driveway is a no-no.
One killed in flash flood in Colorado. A flash flood on the Cache La Poudre River in Larimar County, Colorado, this week killed one person and left many campers scrambling to get out of the way of the water and mud. The flood was partly the result of erosion from the Cameron Peak Fire in 2020. For more, click here.
Yuma resident bit by coyote, undergoes rabies series. A woman learned the hard way that although baby wildlife might be cute and friendly, it’s never wise to pet wildlife. Multiple families trying to pet and play with a coyote pup led to a woman being bit by it on Tuesday. The bite left just minor injuries, but the woman is now going through rabies protocol.
“This case should serve as a reminder to leave baby wildlife alone and to not feed wildlife,” said Wildlife Officer Josh Melby. “The lady who got bit is going through rabies shots now, which is unpleasant and expensive.”
In these cases, wildlife is always the ultimate loser. The coyote pup was euthanized so a brain sample could be submitted to the Northeast Colorado Health Department for rabies testing. Those results are still pending.
Winnebago brings back annual Grand National Rally. Winnebago is renewing its 50-year tradition of welcoming its owner community to Forest City, Iowa, for the annual Grand National Rally. The week-long celebration this year is “Road Trip to Hawaii.” Throughout the event, guests can meet Winnebago employees, participate in educational seminars, take tours of the manufacturing facilities, receive RV service, and enjoy evening entertainment. This year’s event takes place the week of July 25 at Winnebago’s Forest City Rally Grounds. This year’s Grand National Rally will host nearly 800 RVs and more than 2,000 guests. Last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic. For more info on the event, or to register to attend, click HERE.
TRIVIA: There are more than 4,600 species of moths in Texas that provide food for birds, bats, frogs, fish and other wildlife.
Hershey RV Show is back in action. Tickets are now on sale for America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, PA, September 15-19. The show’s promotional materials say attendees can expect to see more than 1,000 new RVs on display from more than 30 manufacturers. They can also shop for RV accessories, services and decor, as well as visit booths for information on campgrounds and vacation destinations. There will also be many seminars including from RV Electricity expert Mike Sokol. Ticket prices for Wednesday through Friday are $12 in advance and $14 day-of-event for those 13 and older. Saturday tickets are $17 in advance and $19 the day of the event. Sunday tickets are $8 in advance and $10 the day of the event. Children 12 and under are free all days. You must purchase your tickets online. Twilight passes are available each day after 3 p.m., and special “Discount Day” offers for seniors over 55 as well as veterans are available on Thursday, Sept. 16. For more information, click here.
RVer loses lawsuit against Indiana manufacturer. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against an RV owner who sued Indiana manufacturer REV Recreation Group for numerous defects in his new RV. RVer Joseph Kuberski purchased a newly built REV RV from Camping World RV Sales in North Carolina. Kuberski sued REV Recreation Group, headquartered in Decatur, Indiana. Kuberski reported more than 40 defects ranging from leaks and unusable kitchen equipment to detached furniture and exterior concerns, including a broken alarm and dashboard.
As required by the warranty, which covered both the dealer and the manufacturer’s obligations, Camping World serviced the RV seven times in the next two years. But since the defects were never fixed to his satisfaction, Kuberski got fed up and demanded that the dealer either buy back the RV or give him a new one.
Instead, the dealer offered to repair the RV for no charge at its facility and offered to pay for Kuberski’s expense of transporting the RV to Indiana, as long as Kuberski could pick it up at completion. Although he accepted the offer, Kuberski didn’t bring the RV in for repairs and instead sued REV in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on a breach of warranty claim. His efforts were unsuccessful, however, when a jury ultimately ruled for REV.
Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast
Episode 17: Industry news, sales trends, new RVs, plus international RV travel, tips and advice, bucket list destinations, laughs and insider information behind the scenes at The RVers television show, this week on the RVTravel.com podcast. The team behind and in front of the camera, including The RV Geeks, are Scott Linden’s guests this week.
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.
2021 Shelby F-150: Power, beauty, bravado, $115K
Even Shelby American may have outdone itself. The high-performance vehicle manufacturer has announced a new Ford F-150. It’s customized to be the “most powerful, most refined, and most competent Shelby F-150 yet.” Continue reading.
Toyota won’t compete in Summer Olympics advertising in Japan
The Summer Olympics, a combined extravaganza of global athletic and advertising talent, is quickly losing both. While several athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus and withdrew from the competition, so too has one major advertiser, Toyota. At least in Japan. Learn more.
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 25, 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 three readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: I. Ira Hertz of Denver, Colorado, Kate Wence of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Juan Camacho of Garland, Texas.
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.
About how many nights in the last year have you spent in a rest area?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
We’ve Also Heard …
Would you like a pontoon with your Mini Winnie? Winnebago announced this week that it is expanding its outdoor footprint by purchasing Barletta Pontoon Boats for $225 million. The deal is all in the family, since one of Barletta’s owners is Don Clark, the former owner of Grand Design, which was purchased by Winnebago in 2016. Clark is still the president of Winnebago’s Grand Design Division.
The Scots will boondock anywhere. Residents living near the Lossiemouth Cemetery in Scotland were more than a little upset when they awoke to find an RV boondocking in the local cemetery. The local town council decided they needed to erect a “no overnight camping” sign to be placed in the cemetery. (Presumably, they will still accept long-term stays).
Taos making it tough for temporary “full-time” RVers. Taos, New Mexico, city officials are strictly enforcing an ordinance that restricts RV parking to 30 days in the same location. That’s crimping the style of not just the RVing homeless, but for those working outside of an office who are choosing to work from their RVs. Click HERE for more.
What happened to the Traveland RV Museum? If you can no longer find the iconic Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum during your trips to Amarillo, it has taken a little trip of its own. The Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Dealership, former home of the museum, has been gobbled up by bigger fish and is now a Gander Sports & Outdoors location. The museum – filled with the story of America’s love affair with the RV – has been relocated to 4341 Canyon Drive in Amarillo, Texas.
Indian Creek Recreation Area makes improvements. The Indian Creek Recreation Area in Woodworth, LA, has added a new pier, as well as 34 new full-service RV campsites to the park.
New videos show how they made your Fleetwood. REV Recreation Group brand Fleetwood RV has released a series of 5 videos showcasing how its luxury motorhomes are made in its 480,000-square-foot manufacturing headquarters in Decatur, Indiana. The behind-the-scenes tour looks at a few of the steps involved in manufacturing Class A motorhomes and introduces some of the engineers, managers, welders, and technicians who design and manufacture various elements of a Fleetwood RV. To view the videos, go to FleetwoodRV.com.
Yahoo Finance list 10 best camping/RVing investments. You love camping and RVing, so here’s some info to help you put your money where your lifestyle is. Take a look at some of the top RV and camping investments you can make (according to Yahoo Finance) by clicking HERE.
Camping at U.S. Forest Service sites along Poudre Canyon in Colorado is off limits through Wednesday following this week’s deadly floods. The closure includes all recreation areas operated by the U.S. Forest Service including hiking trails and day-use areas. “We need to assess whether there’s any damage to anything, any of the infrastructure,” said Reghan Cloudman, Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Forest Service.
An Indiana Dunes National Park team is looking for ways to improve amenities at the park, including potential commercial opportunities like a vending machine for firewood. Other ideas include bicycle, kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals; food and beverage options, including locally produced alcoholic beverages; hands-on instructional activities like painting, crafts and photography; tour guides for birding, local history and other treks; and inexpensive game rentals.
A ban on campfires is now in effect at Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington state. The ban is complete, and also includes fires using charcoal. The prohibition area includes the coastal areas of the National Park.
What do RVtravel.com readers think?
Last week we asked readers if they have a dash cam on their RV or tow vehicle. Our staff’s pre-poll guess at the results was way off the mark, and we were surprised as well at the number of people who simply do not want such a device. See the results.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
It’s one of the last looks the owners of this 2018 Jayco Jay Flight had of their travel trailer. On July 12 they blew a tire on I-410 in the southbound lanes near San Antonio, Texas (mile post 37). After five hours of fruitless phone calling to try and get help from a tow service, they unhitched and went looking for a motel. Next day, you guessed it, the Jay Flight had taken flight. Police report they hadn’t impounded the rig, so it looks like crooks took it. Note the two entry doors on this 287BHS model, and the rather conspicuous bike rack on the front of the rig. The bikes were Trek models. The owner reports there was damage to the siding behind the curb-side wheel wells. Know something about this? Contact the San Antonio, Texas, police department at (210) 207-7273.
* * *
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. Have you or someone you know had their rig stolen? Drop a line to Russ@rvtravel – we’ll get it listed 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
• Tiffin recalls some motorhomes for potential fuel hose leak
• Ford recalls some F-350 Super Duty trucks. Drive shaft could separate
• Jayco recalls some RVs for window failure issue
• Thor recalls many 2019-2021 RVs. Windows could fall out
• Heartland RV recalls some popular 2020-2021 travel trailers
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• This should be the summer you save your grandkids from their cell phones
• Part 1: What is the best solar panel for my RV and how many do I need?
• A sweet story of remembering what RVing is really all about
• Is expecting good customer service in the RV industry too much to ask?
• Silence your RV’s noisy air conditioner with this nifty gadget
• RVelectricity: So, does my RV use 120 or 240 volts?
• Detailed tips on how to plan for an RV trip when you’re not a planner
• Customize your RV’s interior to fit your lifestyle. Here are some examples
• Keeping your home safe while you are away
• An excellent resource: Important info to know about wildfire evacuation
• Operating an RV Park: We are officially campground owners and operators!
• Got a bad travel itch? How to deal with poison ivy
… and much more
Susan and Lisa decided to play tennis against each other. They bet $1 on each game they played. Susan won three bets and Lisa won $5. How many games did they play?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 19, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.15 [Calif.: $4.18]
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 97 cents.
Diesel: $3.34 [Calif.: $4.21]
Change from week before: No change; Change from year before: Up 91 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
Hawaiian Summer Grill Salad
by Amber Parsons from Parkersburg, WV
A fantastic summer salad that’s hearty enough for a meal. The savory chicken is on a bed of lettuce with sweet grilled pineapple. Macadamia nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese add the perfect amount of saltiness. We really liked the sweet and tangy pineapple dressing. It’s different than anything we’ve had before – in a good way. Individually the components of this grilled chicken salad are simple. But, once they’re all combined, it transforms into a scrumptious meal. You’ll be making this over and over this summer.
This sounds different and refreshing! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Jambalaya Grits Casserole? Yum! Get it here.
A hamburger gets married out of state. None of his hamburger friends back home have met his wife yet, and he can hardly wait to introduce her. One night he tells them to head to the local pub to meet her. The hamburger and his wife walk into the bar and he looks at all his friends and says, “Everyone, meat Patty.”
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.
In part two of this podcast, Steve Steele wages a legal fight for his homes
Today in History
Brain puzzle answer:
Eleven. Lisa lost three games to Susan, she had lost $3 ($1 per game). So, she had to win back that $3 with three more games, then win another five games to win $5.
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, Darian Armer, Chris Epting and Dave Solberg. 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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