Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. Seven days and counting to yet another weird and wonderful pandemic holiday! At least this Halloween you’ll likely already have easy access to a mask. There are still a wide and wild variety of special Halloween events at campgrounds around the nation. Pack up the kids (or grandkids) and sneak in one more wonderful fall trip. 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.
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Sunday, October 23, 2021
Did you miss yesterday’s edition of the RV Travel Newsletter? If so, it’s here.
With your host: Scott Linden
This week on the RVTravel.com Sirius/XM satellite radio feature: “Ommm” and other excuses for exploring beyond the campsite. Find another dimension – and possibly, your inner “you” – on your next RV trip with these easy activities.
Out & About: A one-minute radio feature from RVtravel.com. Click below to play.
[Is the RV industry blowing hot air about big RV shipments?]
By Russ De Maris
Last Sunday we published a story comparing wholesale shipment of RVs to the numbers of RVs registered. It’s a vanishing story – we’ve pulled it. The RVIA dropped us a line to question some of our information, and a review of our number crunching revealed we’d made some serious errors. We’ll revisit the matter come next Sunday. In the meantime, our apologies to all concerned.
Industry analysts warn of propane “Armageddon” this winter. Be prepared.
RVers who are still using their rigs this winter would be wise to keep a close eye on their propane levels. Propane industry analysts are already warning of an “Armageddon” in the U.S. propane market due to low supply, high demand, and the resulting rocketing prices. Learn more.
You can thank Artificial Intelligence for quickly approving your next RV loan
By Mike Gast
If you’ve purchased any sort of vehicle at a dealership in your lifetime, you’ve likely found yourself cooling your heels in a tiny office while the salesperson disappears for a “quick meeting” with the dealership’s sales manager. That “good cop/bad cop” sales dance might soon go by the wayside thanks to artificial intelligence. Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: “I never set out to ‘camp.’ I set out to travel.”
By Nanci Dixon
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, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. This week there are more suggestions for avoiding the crowded camgrounds, comments on some “free entertainment” in campgrounds, more about big RVs not being “campers,” and one RVer explaining that she never set out to camp, per se – she travels and has different goals from “campers,” although they may use the same spaces. Interesting reading.
Winnebago order backlog now tops $4 billion; buyer wait-time likely extended
RVers who are anxiously awaiting the delivery of their new Winnebago recreational vehicle might be in for a longer wait than they expected. Winnebago President and CEO Michael Happe told analysts during a conference call last week that his company’s order backlog is far larger than had been previously reported. Continue reading.
Today’s RV review…
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the AEONrv: Remarkable new overlanding machine. Tony says “it offers a lot of unique build features and a really well-designed interior to reward owners. … [T]he AEONrv is certainly a vehicle that will likely find a strong following for a lot of reasons. Read more.
2022 Highland Ridge Silverstar XLT 264RLS fifth wheel
Last week’s reviews:
• CrossRoads RV Cruiser Aire 22RBS – Big space in a medium box
• 2022 Keystone Springdale 282BH – bunk buddy
• AT Overland Aterra XL: The ultimate flatbed camper?
• Preview: Innovative Cercle Touring Bike
• Preview: Ember RV Overland Micro Series – Big news in small packages
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
October 17–23, 2021
Shoplifters force closing of 5 Walgreens stores. If you get your prescriptions from Walgreens, it might be tougher to procure a refill during your travels to the San Francisco area. Walgreens announced last week that it was closing five of its stores in San Francisco in response to a sharp increase in organized retail crime (shoplifting). Theft across all of the San Francisco store outlets has increased to five times the chain’s average in recent months. In July, Target announced it was moving up its closing times at its five San Francisco stores due to the “boost” in shoplifting. Walgreens has closed a total of 22 stores in San Francisco in the past five years.
Snowbirds ready to flock south. Winter won’t see much of a slowdown in camping, according to Kampgrounds of America’s October Research Report. KOA says 12 million U.S. households – 31% of all active camping households – plan to snowbird camp this winter. Also, another 6.9 million camping households reported that they intend to take at least one winter camping trip before the end of the year. KOA’s data (which covers all camping, and not just at KOAs) found that 17% of all campers who have historically taken trips south plan to do so again this year. About 9% of camping households plan to try snowbirding this year for the first time. The data reports that 2.4 million active camping households will spend three or more months snowbirding this winter. Another 9.6 million will take shorter winter trips lasting one to two weeks. “Snowbird campers are an important part of our business so seeing the new interest is encouraging,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “The continued effects of COVID can have more of an impact on snowbird guests, but indicators are pointing to a healthy season for southern camping locations. We’re ending a particularly strong year of camping on a high note.”
This year, 24% of snowbirds are planning to head south before the Thanksgiving holiday. Another 24% and 23% will leave between Thanksgiving and Christmas and after Christmas, respectively. The most popular locations for snowbird travel are Florida, California and Arizona.
The Dyrt doubling its staff. The Dyrt, one of the most popular camping apps on the internet, recently raised an additional $11 million in funding, and plans to double the size of its staff to 70 workers. The Dyrt focuses on providing diverse camping information for tent campers, dispersed campers, RVers and glampers. It has crowd-sourced more than 4 million photos, reviews and tips about 44,000 campgrounds in the U.S. The company was launched in 2013 after founder Sarah Smith grew frustrated with the campground information available online. The Dyrt now claims it adds one new camper to its service every second.
In the Stupid Tourist Department, the National Parks Service says it has “made contact” with a man who was spotted hitting a baseball into the Grand Canyon. Park officials had put out a plea to its Facebook followers to help identify the man photographed near the Yavapai Geology Museum on the South Rim last Sunday. The Park Service later updated the post to say they had identified the man and been in contact with him. No word yet on what the Park Service plans for the slugger.
Winnebago commits to net-zero greenhouse emissions. Winnebago Industries announced last week that it has set a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company said it will join other UN Global Compact companies in the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Program. “Winnebago Industries cares deeply about the outdoor spaces we, and our customers, love to explore. Joining the Business Ambition for 1.5°C is an important step forward,” said Michael Happe, Winnebago Industries President and CEO. “As an outdoor lifestyle company, we are committed to doing our part to ensure that our employees enjoy livable communities and that outdoor destinations are sustained for the next generations of outdoor enthusiasts.”
Colorado Teardrop ready to debut electric RV. In previous weeks, we’ve told you all about Colorado Teardrop’s planned “The Boulder” electric RV. The company says they have “hundreds” of preorders for the units, which is a pull-behind camper that will carry EV-charging batteries in the frame. The concept would make the RV double as a charging station for electric vehicles, increasing their range. Final design updates are expected in the next few months, and the first trailers are expected to roll off assembly lines in the summer of 2022. Read a preview from Tony Barthel here.
Thief takes RV owner for a short ride. An RV owner in Summerland, British Columbia, got a rude awakening recently when a thief tried to steal his pickup truck while it was attached to his trailer – where he was sleeping. Jason Mathers was sleeping in his 5th wheel attached to the truck in order to breathe properly through his CPAP machine, while his area was in the midst of a six-hour-long planned power outage. The theft occurred at about 5:30 a.m. The thief tried to detach the trailer, but it was still attached when he pulled away. The trailer struck another vehicle before coming unhitched.
Welcome to the new “rolling office.” Some of the new campers vying for those elusive campsites aren’t even leaving the office. Supply chain tech company project44 is offering its employees access to company-provided RVs that are equipped with mobile internet and fold-out desktops. The project44 team members just select their desired dates, pick up a vehicle and hit the road to work from anywhere. The RVs are sourced through “mobile suite” producer and operator Roameo. The upscale “mobile suites” are RAM ProMaster-based RVs from Roameo, which offers rentals and sales of new and used campervans and conversions. Along with the office equipment, the vehicles used in the project44 partnership feature such amenities as a microwave, air conditioning and heat, and a hot water shower. The two companies report the response from project44 team members has been immediate and positive. Within 10 minutes of the program being announced internally, the pilot program dates were booked out.
NPS could have first Native American leader. Charles F. Sams III could soon become the first Native American to head the National Park Service in its 105-year history. Sams was nominated for the post in August. He is an enrolled member of the Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes, and has decades of experience in land management. If approved by the U.S. Senate, Sams would fill a position that has been vacant for the past four years.
Proposed Kentucky RV park hits a snag. A plan for a huge new RV park on 200 acres near Midway, Kentucky, was rejected 6-0 by the Midway City Council. The council voted not to provide water and sewer to the proposed Kentucky Bluegrass Experience Resort. The park would cover 97 acres in Woodford County and 142 acres in Scott County. Local citizens were concerned that the campground, when full, would have a larger population than the entire town of Midway, with a population of 1,700 residents. Developers were surprised by the opposition, and said they were heading back to the drawing board.
New trail on rail line proposed in S.D. A group of hiking and biking enthusiasts is asking South Dakota state regulators for permission to convert an old railroad line into a trail for cyclists, hikers and horseback riders. Friends of the Tabor to Platt Rail to Trail say the trail would improve the recreational opportunities in the area. The line was part of the old Milwaukee Road rail system. The new trail would have trailheads in Platt, Ravinia, Lake Andes and Geddes, South Dakota.
New Florida resort back on track. A settlement has been reached in a four-year court fight for a 1,100-acre resort in Pasco County, Florida. The resort, called SunWest Harbourtowne, had been held up over a dispute for control of the companies that own the land. The original plan for the resort started 15 years ago and had called for a 1,000-space RV resort.
New York snowbirds should head south fast! Snowbirds in the New York region might want to get moving. Meteorologists are saying a La Niña weather phenomenon may bring an early winter to the region. The atmospheric condition that brings colder weather to the eastern Pacific Ocean returned this month, and that always seems to affect the New York area with heavy snowfall. The effect may be intensified by an expected weakening of the polar vortex next month.
P&G stuff is going to cost a bit more. If you’re like everyone else in America, you have a lot of products made by Procter & Gamble. The company said last week that while sales are up, so are costs and they intend to pass most of those on to consumers. The company said they are even limiting how much some retailers can order in order to prevent “store hoarding.”
Yachts selling just like their land-locked cousins. It seems luxury yachts aren’t much different than RV “land yachts” lately. Boat owners say yachts are being sold as pandemic “escape pods” and are floating out of dealerships as fast as they appear. “Guys are having to buy what’s available, not what they want,” said Sean Doyle, managing broker at Ala Wai Yachts of Honolulu. “Every boat builder in the world now has a five-year waitlist.”
Colorado has a new state park. There’s a new state park in Colorado to put on your bucket list. Sweetwater Lake State Park is near the border of Garfield County and Eagle County, about 15 miles off I-70. The park is 500 acres of rugged land with access to U.S. Forest Service trails. A plan is still in the works for further development, including a new boat dock. Fair warning that there isn’t a lot of infrastructure available at the park yet, and that includes campsites. You can find out more about Colorado’s 43rd state park by clicking here.
Road & Home adds consumer electronics to its product lineup. Road & Home has announced new consumer electronics to its product line designed for the mobile home and RV industries. The company’s catalog of products includes such items as hardware, lock sets, faucets, RV hookups, and more, all of which can be found on its website. Learn more.
Michigan town split over new RV park proposal. Folks in Northport, Michigan, are taking sides over a proposal for a new 80-acre RV resort. The new park would host 334 RV sites and 15 tent sites and sit on the previous site of the old Timber Shores RV Park, which operated until the late 1980s. Northport only has 500 year-round residents, so the campground would have a huge impact on the town. Read more about it here.
Utah camping WAY up. A new report shows camping on federal public lands in Utah is way up. The occupancy of reservable campsites in Utah filled in summer jumped from 28% in 2014 to 49% in 2020, a 77% increase over the six-year period. The same report said figures for Colorado show reservable campsites filled in that state jumped from 43% in 2014 to 71% in 2020, a 64% increase.
Taiwanese company enters race for electric vehicles. Hon Hai Technology Group, the Taiwanese company that has already struck a deal to purchase Lordstown Motor’s plant near Youngstown, Ohio, is introducing its own electric vehicle models. Hon Hai also owns a large factory in southeast Wisconsin. The company, better known as Foxconn, introduced its Model C recreational vehicle, as well as a e-sedan and electric bus, during a recent 2021 launch event.
DO NOT DO THIS DEPARTMENT
These RV campers at Grand Canyon National Park are doing exactly what they should never do – feed the native elk. That’s a big “no, no,” says the Park Service, which advises: “Please do not approach elk, stay a safe distance of 100 feet away, and never water or feed them for any reason. Now is an even more crucial time of year because from August to early winter, male elk are in a period known as the rut and during this time, they become territorial and will attack if approached or threatened.”
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, October 24, 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.
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.
Do you plan to visit Alaska in the next two years with your RV?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
WHAT’S YOUR GUESS? We recently asked our readers how old they were when they first married. What percentage of them married while in their teens? 13 percent, 20 percent or 27 percent? Here’s the answer.
We’ve also heard …
RV Retailer expands to New Mexico. RV Retailer has added two new dealerships in the Albuquerque area. The company purchased the two Aloha RV dealerships in that city. With the addition of New Mexico, RV Retailer now has outlets in 25 states.
Lazydays opens Omaha dealership. Lazydays RV is adding another new dealership as it continues to expand its national footprint. The new dealership will be in Omaha, Nebraska, and is slated to be open late in 2022. It will be known as Lazydays RV of Omaha.
Don’t throw rocks at New River Gorge. It seems like one of those things that should go without saying, but officials at New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia are asking people not to throw rocks off the cliffs in the parks. Climbers in the park are reporting some near misses as folks lob stones from the top.
Out of stock and out of luck for Christmas. If you think America’s supply chain woes are only affecting big manufacturers and the empty shelves of retail outlets, think again. A new survey says online shoppers are nearly three times as likely to see an “out of stock” warning on their computer screens while Christmas shopping as they were before the pandemic. Online “out-of-stock” warnings are up 172%. Experts says it’s already too late to order many products online for holiday delivery.
The price of a gallon of self-service regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose yesterday (Saturday) for the 12th consecutive day to $4.547, it’s highest price since almost exactly 9 years ago. The average price has increased 11 cents over the past 12 days.
Lack of spare tires in Fond du Lac. The Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Police Department is on the lookout for some spare spare tires. Schiek’s RV in Fond du Lac reported that four campers on their lot had their spare tires stolen recently.
County parks limiting camping stays. The Cullman County, Alabama, Commission approved a policy change last week that sets a limit of 28 days on camping stays at Cullman County parks. The new policy also requires campers to leave the park for at least seven days between extended stays of no more than 28 days.
N.C. man wins new RV. Tim Bell of North Carolina was the big winner in RV Retailer’s Home of the Free promotion. Bell won a new 2021 Jayco Redhawk 29XK RV. RV enthusiasts attending various shows around the country were invited to enter to win during the promotion.
Making plans for Moab. If you’re planning a trip to Moab, Utah, anytime soon, you might want to take a look at this story on lonelyplanet.co that details the best times to go to see desert wildflowers and stars. Click here.
Not so sweet Halloween. If your favorite candies are SweeTarts, Laffy Taffy, Nerds, Red Hots, Lemonheads, Atomic Fireballs or Everlasting Gobstoppers, you aren’t going to be happy this Halloween season. Candy maker Ferrera announced that it was the victim of a ransomware attack on its computer system, shutting down candy production. It has slowly begun bringing candy plants back online.
On blood pressure meds? Read this. If you regulate your blood pressure with the medications Irbesartan or Hydrochlorothiazide from a company called Lupin Pharmaceuticals, you should know that the company has issued recalls on several batches of the medicines. Apparently, the med batches in question contain high levels of a cancer-causing substance. For more info click here.
Visitor’s center reopens. The visitor’s center at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas, has reopened. The center has been closed since suffering extensive damage from a flood during Halloween 2013.
Man killed while helping park trailer. A 73-year-old man was killed in a tragic accident Thursday afternoon when a fifth-wheel trailer pinned him against a fence at a home in Seattle. According to the Seattle Police Department, a driver was trying to park a fifth-wheel trailer on his property. Police said the driver realized that he struck a fence but did not realize that a family member was pinned between the truck and the fence.
Venice, FL, is best place for snowbirds to roost. Venice, Florida, was named the best destination for snowbirds by the STORAGECafé self-storage company in a recent survey of 1,000 places around the country. The survey looked at factors including temperatures, seasonal housing, median rent, cost of second home, safety, health, parking spaces, internet speeds, golf courses and proximity to beaches.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Vanished from the fairgrounds in Union, Maine. This mid-2000s Starcraft Antigua travel trailer has pop-out front and rear bed areas. Thieves had to lug the rig through the mud, so the owner is suspicious that the rig may be pretty muddy, possibly even damaged after its ordeal. Taken sometime between 10 p.m., October 16, and 10 a.m., October 17. Maine license tag at time of the theft: B617983. If you know anything to help with recovery, call the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at (207) 594-0429.
The Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate a stolen 2017 Apex Coachmen travel trailer. The RV is gray with dark patterns on the sides and has chrome wheels. It was stolen on September 25, 2021, from the U-Haul storage facility located at 24540 I-45 in Spring, Texas. The suspect left the location in an older white Ford Expedition with black aftermarket wheels. The driver of a second vehicle, a white 2-door Nissan, assisted with the theft of the travel trailer. If anyone has information on this suspect vehicle or the stolen camper, please contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 936-760-5800 or call Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867) and refer to case #21A318062.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
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
• Many Ram trucks recalled: Electrical short could cause fire
• Some Mallard travel trailers recalled for wrong weight label
• Foretravel RV recalls some motorhomes. Window adhesive could fail
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Big money investors pursue RV parks, but it’s not so easy
• Stay for free or almost free at casinos. Our popular Casino Camping column is back!
• One bit of “good” drought news: more free waterfront camping
• Young nomads follow their dreams in homemade RV. What they can teach us
• Is a mobile RV repair service right for you?
• RVelectricity: Everything you know is wrong (about circuit breakers)
• Ask Dave: What is this leaky valve under my bathroom sink?
• RV Tire Safety: It’s just a wheel. What can go wrong?
• Road Trips: Historic markers along the road: Standing where Teddy Roosevelt got inspired
• This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session: Don’t burn up your water heater element
• Take a hot shower anywhere; no fresh water tanks required!
… and much more
Who makes it, but has no need of it?
Who buys it, but has no use for it?
Who uses it, but can neither see nor feel it.
What is it?
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 October 18, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.32 [Calif.: $4.34]
Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.17.
Diesel: $3.67 [Calif.: $4.53]
Change from week before: Up 9 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.28.
Do you subscribe to our RV Daily Tips Newsletter?
Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Sign up here.
Upcoming RV shows
• Great American RV Show – Conyers (CANCELED),
November 19 – 21, Conyers, GA
• Greensboro RV Show, January 7-9, Greensboro, NC
• Gulf Coast RV Show, January 7-9, Mobile, AL
• Knoxville RV Super Show, January 7-9, Sevierville, TN
• South Carolina RV & Camping Show, January 7-9, Greenville, SC
• Ohio RV and Boat Show, January 7-16, Columbus, OH
• Indy RV Expo, January 8-16, Indianapolis, IN
• Pittsburgh RV Show, January 8-16, Pittsburgh, PA
by Ashley Dawkins from Burrillville, RI
This snack has it all – it’s sweet, salty and full of crunch and gooeyness. We loved all the textures combined. The mini-marshmallows are an unexpected surprise mixed with all the crunchy ingredients. It would be fun to set this out at a Halloween party or package in small bags as a favor.
What a fun treat! Get the recipe here.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Jack-O’-Lantern Stuffed Peppers? Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Crunchy Smoky Pork Chops
• Game Day Fire Cracker Shrimp
• Crab Cake Sandwiches
• Cheese Dip That Will Make You Famous
• Best Ever Chinese Chicken
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.
Do people ever ask you, “What inspires you to get out of bed every morning?” When people ask me that I simply look at them and say, “My bladder.”
Today in History
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, 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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