Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. Since this will be the final Sunday edition of the RVTravel.com newsletter before the holiday … Merry Christmas! There’s never been a more “active” time in RVing, and there’s a lot for RVers to monitor in order to get the most out of the lifestyle. We’re happy to play a part in keeping you informed. 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.
If you shop at Amazon.com please use this link. We get an itty bitty commission if you buy something, but they add up and help us pay our bills.
Need a last-minute gift? No problem! Find one on Amazon.
√ DID YOU KNOW? RVtravel.com is the most popular RV lifestyle website in the world! —SOURCE: ALEXA.COM
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Did you miss yesterday’s edition of the RV Travel Newsletter? If so, it’s here.
Falling on DEF ears: Exhaust fluid shortage coming to RVers?
“Limp mode” is looming. And while there’s still concern among diesel pusher and pickup owners over the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) sensor issue, it may soon pale by comparison to a shortage of the primary ingredient in DEF itself. Worldwide supply chain problems may soon make it difficult for American RVers to get the critical fluid, sidelining their rigs and travel plans. Read more from Scott Linden.
Your Verizon customer privacy is gone – unless you act now
If you’re like a lot of folks who get swamped with emails, you may have missed this one. Verizon Wireless, cellular service provider to 54% of our polled readers, recently sent a notice of a new “Verizon Custom Experience” program. We’d bet that even those who opened the email probably trashed it at this point. But hang on, your customer privacy is at risk – if you don’t take positive steps to protect it. Find out what’s up here.
Customer “experience” in demand: More amenities, more glitz and more wow! You’ll pay the price
To get a sense of where the commercial campground industry is heading, it’s helpful to know what campground owners are hearing. Like any other business owner, they want to know how to keep up with the competition. They want to stay on top of “best practices.” Most of all, they want to know what the market wants and expects. It’s instructive, therefore, to note the increasingly prominent role among campgrounds played by the Walt Disney Company – not directly, but by example. As inspiration. … Continue reading to find out why a growing number of campground owners are afflicted with a serious bout of mouse envy.
The 12 most popular spots for RVing on public lands announced. What takes #1?
If you love RVing on public lands, you aren’t alone. The Recreation.gov reservation website is reporting that there were more than 130,000 RV reservations on public lands in the U.S. in 2020 through its site. Outdoorsy, one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer RV rental companies, took a look at the Recreation.gov numbers to identify the 12 most popular spots for RVing on public lands. How many of these popular spots have you visited?
Campground Crowding: “Campground bullies” are jealous of your site. Have you experienced them?
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 we get some tips from a campground host, more observations from lifelong campers about changes in camping over the years, and one person who describes “campground bullies.” We’ll bet some of you have experienced them. Read more and let us know your thoughts and experiences here.
REV Group – Another large RV manufacturer with multi-billion-dollar backlog
It isn’t just the Big 3 (Winnebago, Thor and Forest River) who are racking up billions of dollars of RV backorders. Major manufacturer REV Group announced this week that it has amassed a record $3.1 billion order backlog in 2021. REV Group is the owner of the American Coach, Fleetwood RV, Holiday Rambler, Lance, Renegade RV and Goldshield Fiberglass brands in its Recreation Segment. Continue reading.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the Yanko Design Raptor XC German off-road trailer. He writes, “Essentially, this is a convertible trailer. But unlike a lot of the convertibles we see here in the States, this one expands outward rather than upward. If nothing else, it’s pretty interesting to see how this camper grows to almost double its original size.” It is pretty interesting indeed! Check it out.
Yesterday’s review: 2022 Jayco Jay Flight 34RSBS
Last week’s reviews:
• Grey Wolf Black Label 18RR toy hauler
• Highland Ridge RV Open Range 19BH
• Comparing three trailers: Coleman, Dutchmen, Springdale
• Rockwood Mini Lite 2514S
• The unusual Sundowner TrailBlazer 1669 travel trailer
Tony’s most popular RV Review of 2021 was…
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
NEW! RVtravel.com Forums
Most RVtravel.com writers are getting their own forums, where readers can discuss their articles with them. Please join them in conversation! Here are the first five:
• Dave Solberg (RV Repair and Maintenance)
Do you have questions for Dave about RV maintenance? Ask them here!
• Mike Sokol (RV Electricity)
Do you have a question about RV electricity? Mike has all the answers!
• Tony Barthel (RV Reviews)
Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request here!
• Roger Marble (RV Tires)
Roger has years of RV tire expertise!
• Dr. Karel Carnohan (Ask the Pet Vet)
Dr. Karel is here to help answer questions about your little travel companions!
That was the RV week that was
December 12 – 18, 2021
Is outdoor recreation a “big deal” in your state? A new report from Headwaters Economics lays out precisely how much outdoor recreation contributes to the economies in each state. The report shows that earnings from outdoor rec fell a bit in 2020 due to the pandemic. Outdoor recreation remains a top sector for the U.S. economy, with about $374 billion added to the gross domestic product. That’s more than twice the contributions from motor vehicle manufacturing, fossil fuel extraction, and air transportation. You can check out an interactive version of the graph here.
Another national park adds timed reservations. Visitors to Utah’s Arches National Park will have to make reservations in order to get in line for staggered entry times starting in April. The Arches program is a temporary measure to help cut down on massive crowding at the park. Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park both instituted timed entry reservation systems earlier this year. At Arches, the number of park visitors grew from 996,312 in 2009 to 1,659,702 in pre-pandemic 2019. Beginning in April, Arches National Park visitors who book a reservation will be given a ticket with a one-hour window for entry to the park between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Officials said they plan to permit about 2,700 vehicles into the park each day during the six-month pilot program.
Shenandoah National Park is increasing camping fees. The new nightly fee for campgrounds will increase to $30 at all Shenandoah National Park campgrounds. All campgrounds with group sites will now be charging $75 for those sites.
Shawnee National Forest closes campgrounds for the winter. Shawnee National Forest Campgrounds in Illinois that will close for the winter season, starting Dec. 15, include Red Bud Campground (Bell Smith Springs), Pine Ridge Campground (Pounds Hollow), Tower Rock Campground and Johnson Creek Campground. Most campgrounds will reopen March 15, 2022. Tower Rock Campground will reopen May 1. For those who enjoy camping in all seasons, Pharaoh Campground (Garden of the Gods), Camp Cadiz, Oak Point Campground (Lake Glendale) and Pine Hills Campground are open year-round.
New campground way up north. A new campground in the Northwest Territories of Canada has completed its first stage of construction, but it will likely be 2023 before the park can welcome campers. The North Arm Territorial Park is located on the shores of Great Slave Lake. The campground will have 15 sites when completed.
Campground Virtual Tours Early Bird offering ending. Campgroundviews.com has spent 2021 quickly adding virtual video tours to its collection for campers. There are now 650 campgrounds included in the tours, which allow campers to not only virtually tour a campground, but see what sites are available and follow links to make their reservations. The subscription service has been offering an Early Bird signup special during most of 2021. That lower rate will end December 26. You still have until December 26 to take advantage of the lower rate, and Campgroundviews.com is offering an additional 12% discount for anyone signing up before that date. For more information or to sign up, go here.
Get your tickets for Glacier’s famous alpine road. If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road in 2022, plan on making reservations. The park announced they will again be using a timed ticket system for accessing the world-famous road. The park used a timed ticketing system in 2021 to spread out traffic on the mountain highway, and still managed to have more than 3 million people visit. One ticket per vehicle will be required to travel the road from the West Entrance and the new Camas Entrance from May 27 to September 11. Tickets won’t be required at the St. Mary Entrance on the east side until after the road is fully open, which usually happens in late June. Tickets will be available on the park’s website. Park officials said the ticketing system has allowed them to not entirely close the park entrance, which happened 28 times in 2020.
Pathfinder Camp Resort has expansion plans. British Columbia’s Pathfinder Ventures Inc. has announced plans to expand its Pathfinder Camp Resort in Agassiz, British Columbia. The company is purchasing a property adjacent to its existing park and plans to add an additional 25 RV campsites with full hook-ups.
Order backlog further delays dealer lot stock recovery. It’s official. Thor Industries is now reporting a $18.07 billion (with a “b”) order backlog. The world’s largest maker of RVs has also reported three successive quarters of record sales, despite troubles with labor, cost controls and supply chain woes – none of which is going away anytime soon. Thor CEO Bob Martin also said it will likely take until early 2023 before Thor is able to adequately restock RV dealer lot inventories.
Campspot system had a big year. Campspot, one of the leading online reservation marketplaces for RV resorts, campgrounds and glamping, announced last week that it has generated $850 billion in revenues for campgrounds in 2021, a 116% year-over-year increase. Campspot is used by many campgrounds and parks to manage their bookings and grow revenues. Since January 2021, Campspot has added 700 new campgrounds to its system, increasing its park portfolio by about 20% in North America. Campground owners using Campspot reported a $25 million year-to-date increase from add-on revenue.
Merry Halloween. If you’re wondering how things are going with the clogged supply chain at U.S. ports, the answer is that they are still a bit behind. Port officials reported last week that ports are just now receiving containers loaded with Halloween goods and costumes. The good news is that the volume of containers arriving that are marked “holiday” that have arrived since Thanksgiving is up about 50% from the same time last year. Port workers are scrambling to set aside the “out of season” late goods and get your Christmas merchandise off the ships.
New entrance fee planned for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. In March, officials at Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore will begin charging entrance fees for the first time. Camping and lighthouse tour fees will also increase beginning January 1. Visitors with the America the Beautiful pass will not have to pay the additional fee. Revenues from the fee will go toward park improvements.
Commission approves new RV park for Florida. The Citrus County Commission, Florida, last week approved a new “upscale” RV park near Inverness, Florida, along State Road 44. The Preservation Point RV Resort will be a 234-acre property. The commission set a limit of no more than 1,000 RV sites for the park, which can be built over three different phases. There will also be a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse at the resort along with an up to 3,600-square-foot welcome center. Construction is slated to begin soon on Phase One of the resort project, which will include the clubhouse and/or fishing pier, picnic area, swimming pools and most bicycle and pedestrian trails.
Charges filed in Rocky Mountain National Park ranger shooting. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado has filed federal charges of assaulting a federal officer against Daron Marquel Ellis, the man accused of shooting at a park ranger Dec. 8. The ranger had stopped a vehicle that had been chased by Colorado State Patrol troopers. The ranger encountered two suspects and was shot by one. The shot hit the ranger’s bulletproof vest and he was not seriously injured. The ranger did return fire and did injure one of the suspects.
Strong winds in Colorado and S.D. flip trailers. Strong winds and a wall of dust moved through Colorado and South Dakota on Dec. 15, flipping travel trailers in its wake. A truck pulling a fifth-wheel along I-90 near New Underwood, South Dakota, flipped and blocked both eastbound lanes of the highway. A video posted on Twitter by Kevin Velazquez captures the wind flipping a fifth-wheel trailer in Pueblo, Colorado. Click here to see the video.
Camping World adds dealerships in Michigan. Camping World is taking over the Lloyd Bridges Traveland RV dealerships in Chelsea, Michigan. “We continue to pursue dealership acquisitions to expand our market share and we are excited to expand in Michigan, which has great RV demographics,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World Holdings, in the announcement. “We are honored to add an iconic family brand that has been providing exceptional customer service to RVers for over 55 years. The Lloyd Bridges acquisition strengthens our footprint and allows us to more effectively service our RV and outdoor customer base.”
New RV park gets OK in South Carolina. The Horry, South Carolina, County Council ignored the recommendation of its own Planning Commission and gave approval for rezoning that would allow construction of a new campground along S.C. 544 near Myrtle Beach. “It’s a great project,” said Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught, whose district includes the site. “It’s a small little campground. … It’ll probably handle overflow from places over at the beach that are too full.” Developer Diamond Shores has announced plans for a park with about 120 RV sites at the new location.
New NPS chief sworn in. Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III was officially sworn in last week as the new director of the National Park Service. He took the oath from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Sams is the first Tribal citizen to lead the agency, which has been without a Senate-confirmed leader for five years.
Winnebago backlogs continue to grow too. Winnebago Industries announced last week that its profit margins are growing, but so is the size of its order backlog. Winnebago reported a record $1.2 billion in fiscal first-quarter revenues, up 45.7% from the same period in 2020. But its order backlog increased in both its towable and motorhome segments. Towable revenues were $651 million in the first quarter, up 43.1%. The order backlog for towables grew to a record $1.9 billion, up 116.6% over 2020 and up 10% over the past immediate quarter. Motorhome revenues were $421.5 million in the first quarter, up 30.7% from 2020, but with an order backlog of $2.4 billion, up 41.2% over the first quarter of 2020 and yet another record. “We will continue to meet these challenges head on and work closely with our dealer partners to replenish their inventories, in a disciplined manner,” Happe said. “Overall, we see a meaningful runway for further profitable growth across our portfolio, as Winnebago Industries is well-positioned to continue to capitalize on the secular demand shift of consumers embracing the outdoor lifestyle, and provide significant value to our end consumers, dealers, employees and shareholders.”
RV fire claims the life of one family dog. An RV that was home for two people and two dogs burned last Wednesday at an RV park at Rohnert Park north of San Francisco. The people living in the RV were not home at the time of the fire, but one of their dogs perished in the blaze.
California rec area still closed to traffic. The closure of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area was extended last week by California State Parks. Storm activity and the increased flow of Arroyo Grande Creek into the Pacific Ocean were cited as reasons for the closure. Pismo State Beach may also be closed to vehicles periodically until at least Dec. 28.
Is this your RV?
Win a prize if its yours!
We are continuing this feature by popular demand! We just moved it to its own page. Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.
How much time in total do you think you’ll spend RVing in 2022?
Count up your trips then tell us here.
New! The Quartzsite Report
The Quartzsite show schedule, and QZ statistics
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Welcome to our regular – albeit seasonal – update on the news from the RVing Capital of the World. If you’re a QZ regular, or just thinking about “dropping in to check it out,” we’ll give you ditties and dollops of what’s happening in and around Quartzsite.
As December rolls past mid-month, we’re getting closer to the “really big shows!” Here’s a list of some of the most popular Quartzsite shows. Plus, read the latest statistics from Quartzsite, including local fuel costs, internet speeds, COVID patient counts, face mask counts, and more. Who else but Russ and Tiña De Maris, and RVtravel.com, give you such in-depth reporting on Quartzsite? All that and more here.
We’ve also heard …
Junkyard has two rare Airstreams. A junkyard somewhere in Texas is home to two extremely rare antique Airstream trailers. The two trailers, both Airstream Wee Wind models, were among just 60 reportedly produced by Airstream between 1948 and 1949. Only about a dozen are still known to exist. No word on exactly where the junkyard is, or if the units are for sale. Find out more here.
National Park Foundation releases Gift Guide. The National Park Foundation has released its 2021 gift guide, featuring gift ideas that also support national parks. The Guide includes everything from baby onesies and scented candles to a limited edition North American Alpiner Quartz timepiece. Check out the entire Gift Guide here.
RV Expo returning to Austin. The 2022 Austin RV Expo will be returning to the Austin, Texas, Convention Center in February. The event will take place Feb. 17-20, and feature more than 200,000-square-feet of RVs and RVing accessories. There will also be seminars and live music. Seven local Austin RV dealerships will showcase units at the event.
New RV park planned near Klamath Falls. A Washington state developer is purchasing more than 40 acres of land near Klamath Falls, Oregon, in order to build a 120-space, high-end RV park. The announcement was made by the Klamath County Economic Development Association.
Amazon continues its unrelenting growth. Retail giant Amazon spent 2021 quietly creating 30 new mega warehouses in rural and “super rural” areas of the U.S. Amazon’s move to expand is driven by its desire to take more of the package delivery share away from UPS and the U.S. Postal Service and handle its own deliveries all of the way to the end customer.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Here’s a stolen motorhome with some very distinctive features. The 2006 Four Winds 31C Fun Mover was stolen in Encino, California, on December 13. Features setting it apart you’ll find both front and rear. The rear area is fitted as a garage with a rollup door, and the rear bumper is fitted with two folding ramps. Up front, you’ll find a distinctive curled up front bumper. At the time of the theft, a sticker on a front window declared, “Good girls drive bichen’ toyz,” while a bevy of HD shop stickers festoon the metal around the rollup door. Custom chrome handles are on either side of the rollup door. A broken driver’s window is another giveaway. Contact the Los Angeles Police if you have any information at (877) 275-5273. Refer to incident report #211213-0581 or police report file #21-10-15565.
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 is on a brief break.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
• Winnebago recalls some EKKO motorhomes for fire risk
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Can your burning eyes, coughing or worse be blamed on the RV supply chain crisis?
• The Frugal RVer, part one: Save on food, fuel and fire
• Our readers’ favorite books, part two
• RVelectricity: What you missed about electrical troubleshooting last week…
• Planning on boarding your pet during the holidays? You may want to think again…
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of December 13, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.32 [Calif.: $4.51]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.16.
Diesel: $3.65 [Calif.: $4.78]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.09.
A boy is walking around in a carnival and he sees a single man in a booth. He walks up to the man and asks what the booth is for. “Well,” says the man. “I can write your exact weight on this slip of paper. If I get it wrong, I pay you $20. If I get it right, you pay me $20.” The boy looks around and, seeing no scales, agrees. Five minutes later, the man has gotten $20 from the boy. How?
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
• 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
• NCRVDA Greensboro RV Show, January 7-9, Greensboro, NC
• 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
• Quartzsite RV Show, January 22-30, Quartzsite, AZ
• Seattle RV Show, February 17-20, Seattle, WA
See the list of upcoming RV shows.
Recipe of the Day
Peppermint Eggnog Punch
by Dolores Furman from Boone, NC
Pour yourself a glass of this eggnog punch and you’ll enjoy the ultimate flavors of Christmas. It’ll transport you to the North Pole. The eggnog is fizzy mixed with the ginger ale. Melted peppermint ice cream swirls throughout the punch. Super yummy! Take a big gulp and you’ll end up with peppermint foam on your nose… it’ll make you feel like a kid again. It’s a delightful punch that kids big and small will enjoy.
‘Tis the season for eggnog and punch, fa la la la laaaaa…. Get the recipe. Cheers!
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Roasted Pistachio Salmon With Maple Whiskey Sauce? Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Baked Chicken Fajitas
• Eggnog French Toast
• Crock Pot Christmas Crack
• Orange Coca Cola Ham
• Roasted Garlic Mushrooms
Brain teaser answer:
The man wrote “your exact weight” on a piece of paper.
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.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late-November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl. We should have known… ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
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. 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, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting and Karel Carnohan, DVM. 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.
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.
RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.
Editorial (all but news): firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial (news): email@example.com
Help desk: Contact us.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This newsletter is copyright 2021 by RV Travel LLC.
Loved the Sunday Funny! 🤣
Hope everyone here has a great Holiday Season! Mask up – Stay Safe – Get your Booster shot!
A big thanks for the Verizon warning. I was already opted out of most of the sharing, but I found a few items that had slipped in.
As a “Fender finder”, I rarely see Airstreams in wrecking yards near highways. Must be a FM road.
Brain teaser reminds me of new orleans where this guy comes up to you and says” for a dollar I’ll bet you i can tell you where you got dem shoes: Answer’ ” you got dem right here in new orleans. Guess he wasn’t wrong,but
Yup, lost a dollar in San Francisco many years ago.
Merry Christmas to all, 2022 here we come !
Another great informative newsletter, thank you and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
My wife got a huge laugh about the female reindeer, the fat man in the red suit being drug all over the world without getting lost. Lol
Same here, To Cha!
Loved it too
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas