Welcome to the Sunday edition of North America’s most popular RV-themed newsletter, straight from the team at RVtravel.com. This week we’ve got an eclectic mix of stories, tips and info to enhance your RVing lifestyle. There’s a look at the growing struggles RV park developers face when looking to build, as well as news of a new, very unique collaboration between a leading RV rental company and one of the most high-end glamping companies in the U.S. We’re also thrilled to launch a new weekly feature by our RV reviewer, Tony Barthel, called Truck Trends. You won’t want to miss it! Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.
Sunday, August 1, 2021
At these campgrounds you’ll get housekeeping service and “turn down” bed service at night
Plus there’s the free champagne, a gourmet continental breakfast, yoga classes and more. It’s Camping Meets Glamping. “The traditional RV campground model is in need of a transformation to bring it into the 21st century, and we’re looking forward to unveiling these makeovers one campground at a time with a renowned player in the bespoke experiential hospitality space.” Read more.
New Verizon plans offers far more high-speed data for the buck
By Chuck Woodbury
Verizon has been stingy with its hotspot plans and it’s forced me – and other RVers – to be very conservative with the time we spend online. The new mobile hotspot plans just announced by Verizon are a huge improvement and the price is affordable. Verizon finally realized, it seems to me, that it had to do something to service the quickly expanding legions of remote workers who need good Internet access. That definitely includes many RVers who work from the road. Read more, including details of the plans.
RVs NOT WELCOME: The fight against campground bias
With the huge growth in RV sales and a booming number of new campers, everyone must see the need for more RV parks, right? Well, not if that proposed campground is in your backyard… Local county commission and zoning board fighting over new RV park construction certainly isn’t a new thing. But what is new is the sudden growth in a number of these disputes around the country. Continue reading.
A workaround to the dreaded DEF problem with diesel engines
If you’re stranded on the road, or afraid to leave home with a Cummins diesel-equipped rig, we have news. Last week we pointed out that Cummins didn’t make those diesel exhaust fluid monitoring systems that have fouled up and even stranded so many RVers, but they could help with a solution. Since then we’ve been briefed on a possible workaround that might help. Read the latest developments.
Sprinter woes continue for some RVers. How about you?
Back in 2020, the EPA and the State of California slapped the wrist of Mercedes-Benz USA and parent, Daimler AG. It seems the big automaker allegedly cheated on emissions standards on many of its diesel fired rigs – including Sprinters. While not claiming responsibility, Daimler settled out of court to the tune of a $2 billion settlement – and a recall of a quarter-million units. The recall of 2009 to 2016 model-year rigs is creating Sprinter woes for some RVers. Continue reading.
This week’s podcast (#18)
Listen to the latest RVtravel.com podcast
Episode 18: Don’t watch your rig go up in flames! This week, Scott is joined by Trey Selman of the RV Safety & Education Foundation. Trey helps us keep the shiny side up, talks weight and balance, discusses tire failure, and answers the question, “Do you really need nitrogen in your RV’s tires?” Plus, news about those crowds at your favorite RV park, a new Class B, a travel trailer recall and an uptick in new campgrounds under construction.
Here’s a 30-second clip of the podcast where Trey talks about the weight carrying capacity of RVs and how easy it is to overload them.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the CAMI Terra Wind “floaterhome.” Tony writes, “The Terra Wind is a Class A motorhome that can actually also serve as a boat. No, seriously.” Yup, this thing floats, folks. Read more about this crazy RV here.
• 2021 ATC Game Changer 2015 Toy Hauler
Last week’s reviews:
• Wayfarer “Walter” Class B van
• 2022 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 195RB Travel Trailer
• 2021 Keystone Cougar “Half-Ton” 32BHS Fifth Wheel
• Flagstaff Super Lite 524BBS
• Hower Built Truck Camper
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
July 25–31, 2021
The new rigs keep rolling, rolling, rolling. The RV Industry Association is reporting yet another record quarter for new RV factory shipments in the second quarter ending June 30. Manufacturers shipped a total of 151,760 units in the second quarter, up 2% over the first quarter of this year. In June alone, 50,706 new units were shipped, an increase of 25.3% over June 2020. The previous record for June was in June 2017, when 47,416 units were shipped.
If you are renting RV campsites at Corps lakes to third parties, the Feds are on to you. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District is restricting the commercial rental of campsites in Corps-operated campgrounds through the Reservation One Stop (R1S) reservation system. Affected are campgrounds at Corps facilities in South Arkansas, North Louisiana and most of Mississippi. A statement from the Vicksburg District said campsites at Corps-operated facilities may not be reserved by individuals or businesses for the purpose of renting a recreational vehicle (RV) or any camping unit to other parties.
Airstream and Pottery Barn have teamed up to create a very cozy RV. More nicely appointed and probably more expensive than many beach houses, the collaboration between Airstream and Pottery Barn to create a Pacific Coast Highway-inspired camper hits the mark. The special edition Airstream combines muted colors and clean lines to create an all-at-once clean and cozy modern look. Most notable Pottery Barn touches include Belgian Flax Linen bedding, comfy couch and chair from the Big Sur collection and a solid oak dining table from the Benchwright Dining Collection. Even the windows and tableware get an upgrade, featuring Emery Curtain window shades and a 16-piece Mason Stoneware Dinnerware set.
Nudist numbers are on the rise. Nudist resorts in Florida are finding they’re booked solid for the year, as more and more people, and a younger demographic, seek a place to enjoy in the buff. Lake Como, a family friendly, clothing-optional resort, invites guests to dine at the Bare Buns Cafe and enjoy karaoke at the Butt Hutt. The increase in visitors has been so great that the resort is working to get a 57-space RV park approved. Nude RVing. It’s coming our way.
Colorado campgrounds reopen. The U.S. Forest Service has reopened 11 campgrounds in the Poudre Canyon region near Fort Collins, Colorado, following the deadly Black Hollow Flood. The area was damaged last year by the Cameron Peak Fire, and heavy rains caused severe flooding in the area.
RV hits tree and flips, killing one and injuring another. Troopers said one person was killed and another hurt after their RV ran off the interstate and flipped early Wednesday in Chester County near Ridgeway, South Carolina. According to troopers, the RV was heading south on I-77 when it ran off the road, went up an embankment, hit a tree and overturned. The driver and a 65-year-old passenger were thrown from the vehicle. The driver died at the scene and the passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
National Park Service and FAA seek public input on air tourism in National Parks. The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will seek the public’s feedback on proposed air tour management plans for 24 national parks. To encourage broad public participation, the agencies will livestream the meetings on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Comments may be submitted through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website. “The purpose of the air tour plans is to ensure that park resource values, including natural sounds, wilderness character, visitor experiences, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources, are protected in national parks where air tours occur,” said Ray Sauvajot, Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science in the National Park Service.
RV Retailer acquires Blue Dog RV and adds 12 stores in 7 new states. Blue Dog RV operates 12 stores in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, California and Pennsylvania. The acquisition provides RV Retailer with expansion in the Western United States, giving it a sales and service network of 70 stores across 24 states.
RV manufacturers bring 450 jobs to Sturgis, Michigan, area. Two related RV manufacturers are moving into Sturgis, expected to bring some 450 jobs. Cruiser RV and Heartland Recreational Vehicles, both of which are based in Indiana and are owned by the same company, expect to spend $35.9 million on new plants in Sturgis. Each brand got a $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will celebrate Colorado Day on Monday, Aug. 2, with free entrance to its 42 state parks, an annual tradition. Although the state celebrates its 145th birthday on Aug. 1, state parks will only offer free entrance on Aug. 2. All other fees, including camping and reservations, will remain in effect. Oh, and even better, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers active duty military, veterans and the National Guard free admission to all state parks for the entire month.
What do RVtravel.com readers think?
Wow! You impressed us! Back in April, in the RV Travel Newsletter, we asked readers this question: “Did you have a business as a kid?” By golly, a whole bunch of you were out there earning a buck very early on. How many do you think? 71 percent, 59 percent or 42 percent? Find out.
Campground Crowding: Should boondocking sites have a reservation system? Yikes
Reader Karl A. shared his experiences with us about camping “off-grid” and how surprisingly full the area was. “Recently we were camping at a campground ‘off-the-grid.’ No hookups, all dry. It is a first-come, first-served camp. Never, in more than 25 years, had there ever been an issue in getting a spot. We got there on a Thursday afternoon and not a single one was available. So we ended up 30 miles away at another. No big deal. The next time, we showed up on Wednesday afternoon and grabbed the only one available.” What’s going on? Should boondocking sites be reservable? That and much more, here.
Coming in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
In our new RV Repair and Maintenance column with Dave Solberg, Dave answers the question: Is it better to have the front of my trailer a bit too high or a bit too low? To be sure you never miss one of Dave’s columns, sign up for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter.
NEW! Truck Trends: The latest truck news for RVers
With Tony Barthel
In this inaugural Truck Trends column, we’ll look for the latest information about trucks and tow vehicles with insider stories and tips about tow vehicles of all sorts, primarily those of interest to RVers.
Truck owners, wanters, enthusiasts… click here.
Other Truck News
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, August 1, 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 card: Donna Roye of Colonial Heights, Virginia, Steve Hansen of Nashua, New Hampshire, and Lindy Kolthoff of Pittsburg, California.
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.
A weekly roundup of news stories that will make you smile (and maybe shed a tear or two…). This week: artificial glaciers that melt to provide the necessary water for spring planting; a woman and Brody, her Saint Bernard friend; an insane reverse job; a singing husky and more. Click here to smile.
Do you favor staying in a Good Sam RV park over one that’s not affiliated?
Dining outside? What’s the best way to keep bugs off your food?
Three men are lined up behind each other. The tallest man is in the back and can see the heads of the two in front of him; the middle man can see the one man in front of him; the man in front can’t see anyone. They are blindfolded and hats are placed on their heads, picked from three black hats and two white hats. The extra two hats are hidden and the blindfolds removed. The tallest man is asked if he knows what color hat he’s wearing; he doesn’t. The middle man is asked if he knows; he doesn’t. But the man in front, who can’t see anyone, says he knows. How does he know, and what color hat is he wearing?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
We’ve also heard …
The 2022 Maine State Park Pass will go on sale on August 15. It’s good for the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022 – sixteen months for the price of twelve months! Maine residents age 65 and older are always admitted free. Here’s a list of parks and where to get your pass.
As long as the sun shines. If you find yourself traveling along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the week of August 3-7, you might want to watch for strange vehicles from the American Solar Car Challenge event. Teams of college students who designed and built the solar cars will be driving them along 900 miles of the trail, stopping at towns along the way. For more information click here.
According to a study by RVshare, almost 80 percent of RV renters in 2020 were new to the RV rental platform, and Millennials and Gen Z were at the forefront of the surge. Half of all Outdoorsy’s customers are now under 45 years old, and nearly 90% of all of the company’s growth over the last year has come from Gen Z and Millennials. Winnebago reports that this younger demographic of RVers gravitates towards off-grid overlanding RVs with boosted power systems like solar panels and lithium-ion batteries.
Don’t mess with Canada! Two travelers trying to enter Toronto the week of July 18 from the USA were each fined nearly $20,000 after providing false information related to proof of vaccination and pre-departure COVID tests, according to Canadian officials. Travel restrictions for vaccinated Americans wanting to enter Canada are set to ease in early August, but the country continues to enforce strict requirements for entry.
Here’s where the newbies are coming from. The RV Industry Association’s Go RVing ad campaign spent more than $27 million in 2020. The 23-year-old program is funded by unit fees on RV manufacturers. The series of new ads and website content has always been effective, and it obviously gets the attention of those considering an RV purchase. Online efforts, coupled with cable and broadcast, led to 1.6 billion consumer impressions last year.
The website Interstellar Orchard is shutting down. Its Millennial owner, Becky Schade, announced to her readers, “I always said I’d keep traveling full-time and sharing my experiences until I found something I wanted to do more, and, well, I’ve found something I want to do more.” She didn’t say what that was. So ends about 9 years of living on the road in small trailers, working part-time jobs and blogging about her adventures.
A little-known national park for you. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland recently set the boundaries for Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park, which encompasses regions of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The park was established in 2014 and celebrates the birthplace of the American industrial revolution.
“But Wait!” He’s gone … Ron Popeil, who some of us remember for his famous infomercials hawking the Veg-O-Matic, Mr. Microphone and the Popeil Pocket Fisherman (a nifty device carried by some RVers including our Publisher who actually caught fish with his), died on July 28 at age 86. “But wait, there’s more.” The so-called “Father of the TV Infomercial” knew he had arrived in popular culture when Dan Akroyd spoofed him with his famous “Bass-O-Matic” parody commercial.
You’re not ordering enough Amazon. The online shopping behemoth posted its third consecutive $100 billion quarter this month, but it wasn’t enough. Although most RVers likely feel they get plenty of brown boxes from Amazon, income per share in Amazon was $2 less per share than expected.
Does your toad have autopilot? Cruise control is apparently so “yesterday.” We can’t confirm the tow-ability of any of these car brands, but cars.com just did an interesting list of vehicles with autopilot features that include enhanced cruise control and lane-centering steering. Check them out here.
Traveling with a pet? If so, be aware there’s a shortage of pet food right now due to the millions of pets acquired during the COVID-19 lockdown this past year. You might want to stock up while you can. Also: The cost for pet food ingredients has climbed 8% to 20% since the pandemic began, according to U.S. industry group the Pet Food Institute, outpacing a 5.4% jump in consumer prices in the 12 months through June.
Mask sales make a comeback. We won’t get into the politics of mask wearing or indoor mask mandates here. But, it’s interesting to note that face mask sales surged 24% last week according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index. 3M, the maker of N95 masks, said it still doesn’t expect sales to reach the peak they hit in the first quarter of 2021. It all makes us appreciate the outdoors even more.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
“On Saturday, we brought our 2021 Forest River Wolf Pup camper to a tire dealer in Ramsey, Minnesota, to have new tires put on. Between Saturday evening and Monday morning, it was stolen from their parking lot. The plate is MN RW81136. We enjoyed camping in our new camper so much last year that we were already discussing plans to upgrade in a few years. This was a great first purchase for us; truly heart-broken that someone took it from us,” said the owners.
This 2016, 33-foot Forest River Flagstaff Super Light Travel Trailer was stolen last week from a storage lot in Katy, Texas. The license plate is B210140. If you see it, call 832-589-0536.
Well, not exactly an RV…
If you spot this Tamale Hut call the cops in Sequim, Washington. It was parked there being remodeled for smaller situations. “My father built this for us and someone thinks it’s theirs so help me find it,” asks owner Todd Clayburn.
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
• Eclipse recalls toy hauler trailers and fifth wheels for gas leak risk
• North Trail, Mallard trailers recalled for roof vent issue
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• NEW: Ask Dave: Are slide out stabilizers a good idea?
• RVelectricity: Please don’t bring a noisy generator to the quiet outdoors
• Academy Award winner and Airstreamer Matthew McConaughey’s exclusive interview
• RV Tire Safety: TPMS alerts driver to a broken brake system
• More rookie campers plus more bears is a dangerous combination
• Just what is “camping” nowadays?
• “Nana Camp”: 12 kids, one RV, one cabana and a whole lot of fun and games
• Backseat Bivy car hammock: A new comfort for car campers
• Reader Poll: Did you hire an RV technician or inspector to look over your RV before you bought it?
• Born in the USA: Famous things and where they started
• Roadside stop near Death Valley is an unexpected delight. (This story is delightful, too)
• If you visit this town, you’re going straight to Hell!
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 26, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.14 [Calif.: $4.17]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 96 cents.
Diesel: $3.34 [Calif.: $4.20]
Change from week before: No change; Change from year before: Up 92 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
Strawberries and Cream Cobbler
by Lisa Boger from Winston-Salem, NC
Fruit cobblers are a go-to summertime dessert and after one bite you’ll be making this strawberry one again and again. A strawberry cobbler is always wonderful with its buttery sweet cake and a dollop of whipped cream on top. This version has cubes of cream cheese baked in. The tart and sweet strawberries are delicious with the bites of cream cheese. Easy to make, this summer dessert just melts in your mouth.
If you’ve got to make a dessert soon, let this be the one! Mmm mmm mmm! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Chicken Bacon Ranch Sliders? Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• King’s Hawaiian Tuna Melt Supreme
• Grilled Steak and Veggies Tacos
• Cilantro Pesto Chicken Pizza
• Chili Dog In A Log!
• Bacon Cheeseburger Queso Dip
Brain teaser answer:
Black. The man in front knew he and the middle man aren’t both wearing white hats or the man in the back would have known he had a black hat (since there are only two white hats). The man in front also knows the middle man didn’t see him with a white hat because if he did, based on the tallest man’s answer, the middle man would have known he himself was wearing a black hat. So, the man in front knows his hat must be black.
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.
Widower loses thousands in an overseas online romance scam.
Today in History
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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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