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Sunday, March 6, 2022
• We promised an update on our article last week on “Feds crack down on portable generators.” We are still working on the article and will have it for you next Sunday.
• We experienced some technical difficulties early yesterday morning that prevented some readers from reading Chuck Woodbury’s essay “Why many more Americans will choose RVs as their homes.” The problem has been corrected.
How RV parks earn more money by eliminating RV sites
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Over the last few years RVers have complained of having trouble finding RV sites. One of RVTravel.com’s most popular story series focuses on campground crowding. While the RV industry is churning out new RVs in record numbers, thus putting more stress on an already crowded system, there’s more packing the RV parks than just RVs. More and more RV parks are building “guest accommodations” and each one built represents one less RV site to rent. What are guest accommodations and what’s behind the trend? Find out here.
National Parks update mask requirements
In yet another sign that the two years of misery caused by COVID-19 is easing, the National Park Service has loosened its requirements about wearing masks in its parks. For RVers who love our parks, this is excellent news!
ADA lawsuits skyrocketing, website accessibility requirements not followed
Owning and operating a campground has never been a piece of cake. The same holds true for most small businesses, but campground owners had the added burden of dealing with weather, natural disasters, and a mostly seasonal/transient labor force. Now, you can add legal liability for their website content to the liability list, thanks to skyrocketing ADA lawsuits. Learn more.
Campground Crowding: They called one campground 121 times for a reservation
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 heard from more readers regarding campgrounds requiring full payment upfront, how some campers have learned to game the system on the 14-day limit on a campsite, and how it took one couple 121 phone calls to get through to a campground on the West Coast. All that and more here.
Video: Fire victims fight city to live in RVs on their property
On top of losing everything in Colorado’s Marshall Fire in the final days of 2021, a family in Superior now has to fight with the city over living on their property in two RVs. The city has ordered them to “move!” Is this fair? Read more and watch the video.
West Virginia lawmakers to privatize state parks, attempt to solve funding woes
Is privatizing state parks a good idea? It’s apparently an attractive concept for some state legislators. The House of Representatives in West Virginia just passed a bill that would allow widespread privatization of state parks in that state. Legislators see it as a way to get needed infrastructure and improvements added to state parks without the huge expense. Continue reading.
Video: Woman’s new RV turns into a nightmare
The thought of enjoying retirement by striking out on the open road would appeal to many people, but a central Arkansas woman said that dream turned into a nightmare. Drendia Travers located and purchased her home-on-the-go at Gander RV on August 30, a brand-new 2021 fifth-wheel trailer. And there it sat for five months. Continue reading and watch the video.
New RV shipments now projected to slow
The RV Industry Association is still bullish on the number of units it will sell in 2022, but it pulled back a bit from early projections that it would again top 600,000 shipped units. Learn more.
Camping changes underway at scenic Alabama Hills
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has begun making camping and other changes in the Alabama Hills on the east side of the Sierra near Lone Pine, just a few miles west of U.S. 395. Hundreds of Hollywood cowboy movies and TV shows were filmed in the area. Learn more.
A bike. A boat. An RV. The Z-Triton is all of these
Tony writes, “Life can be so limiting. And decisions so difficult. Imagine you have a weekend to get away but you enjoy bicycling, enjoy boating but also love RVing. But, really, there are only two days so now you’re going to have to decide which vehicle to take. Or not. Enter Latvian inventor Aigars Zausis and his Z-Triton tricycle thingamajig. This unique vehicle is a bicycle, a boat and an RV. Seriously. And it’s a real thing, kind of. The company is presently taking orders for these. I could see a lot of real-world use here.”
Tony reviewed six other RVs this week! Did you miss them? Click here to read.
Have an RV you want to see reviewed by Tony? Hop over to his forum and tell him!
February 27 – March 5, 2022
Marquette University has received a $15 million gift from Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, who graduated from the Milwaukee school in 1995. The gift will fund the renovation of the university’s Memorial Library, which will now be known as the Lemonis Center for Student Success.
The Arizona State Parks reservation system will soon undergo some changes. Beginning March 18 it will limit reservations only through October 2. At the beginning of August it will launch an updated website that will offer a new way to make reservations. Once that is live, reservations for up to a year in advance will be permitted.
The current national average price of gas was $3.84 a gallon on Friday, up 11 cents from the day before and roughly a dollar from a year ago, according to data from AAA. Gas prices have soared 18 cents since Wednesday and 29 cents since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. California’s statewide average jumped 13 cents overnight to $5.07 a gallon on Friday, making it the first state ever to have an average price above $5 a gallon.
RELATED: Will high gas prices change how RVtravel.com readers travel this coming summer? Check out the results of survey from February 26 where we asked them.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has prompted a range of western sanctions targeting Russian transportation, financial, and energy interests, and as a result, many western businesses are cutting ties with Russia, including GM, which has stated that it is suspending all vehicle exports to Russia until further notice.
As if national parks weren’t crowded enough, let’s add a few weddings. Getting married inside a national park is apparently a growing trend. The Travelandleisure.com website recently published an article discussing the trend, and detailing what’s required to pull off a park wedding. A permit for a park wedding in Yosemite, for example, runs only $150 but doesn’t cover entrance fees. There’s also interesting restrictions such as “no drones,” and your wedding bouquet likely won’t be allowed to have any non-native plants. And throwing rice? Forget about it. You can take a look at the story here.
Yellowstone Park’s “winterkeeper”. Yellowstone National Park is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. But have you ever wondered who takes care of this national treasure during the winter? A big part of the job is snow removal from roofs. Read about Steven Fuller, the “winterkeeper” at Yellowstone, here. It isn’t a job with a lot of applicants. When Fuller first got the job in 1973, he was the only applicant.
Earl Hunte, founder of Black Folks Camp Too, will discusses his mission to “Treat Everyone, Everywhere, Equally” as he encourages more Black people to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. During a webinar at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 16, Hunter will discuss how his organization is helping knock down barriers of RV ownership through education. To join the discussion (or just listen in), register here.
Happy (slightly belated) Birthday to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was established on March 1, 1872, by President Ulysses S. Grant when he signed a law creating America’s first national park. The park’s establishment was meant to preserve and protect the scenery, cultural heritage, wildlife, geologic and ecological systems and processes in their natural condition for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, the National Parks Service stated. Read more.
Cable Cove Campground in the Nantahala National Forest near Robbinsville, North Carolina, will not reopen this year due to extensive deferred maintenance needs and low occupancy rates, the U.S. Forest Service has announced. However, the Cable Cove Boat Launch will remain open year-round.
Campground fire kills man and dog. A fire at a campground in Bessemer City, North Carolina, killed a man and his dog last Sunday. The fire killed 71-year-old Steven Grigg and his pet. Police said the fire was accidental, but the exact cause has not been determined.
Arches National Park, located near Moab, Utah, is now requiring timed entry tickets to enter. Tickets go on sale three months in advance on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional tickets will be made available monthly and daily, but tickets sell out fast. Tickets cannot be purchased upon entry to the park. Here is how to reserve your spot:
1: Purchase a National Parks Pass at the NPS.gov website.
2: Reserve a timed entry ticket on Recreation.gov.
3: Bring a photo ID upon entry and be sure you have copies of your timed reservation ticket and National Parks Pass either printed or downloaded upon entry.
Bear sightings way down in Colorado. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department is reporting a marked decrease in bear sightings and conflicts in 2021. There was a total of 3,701 bear sightings and conflicts in the state in 2021, a 28% decrease from the annual average over the previous two years. Drought is being blamed for the lack of sightings, since much of a bear’s natural diet includes grasses, berries, fruits, nuts and plants that are dependent on moisture.
Alabama state campground reopening after tornado. The campgrounds at Joe Wheeler State Park in Alabama are reopening for the first time since a tornado severely damaged the area in 2019. “It was an experience,” Park Superintendent Chad Davis said. “At first it was like a logging operation just to get rid of the trees and clear the area. And at that time, early 2020, you throw COVID in the mix which made it even more difficult.” The park has now built brand-new campgrounds with updated water lines, electricity, and bathhouses. Officials are also working to plant more than 200 new trees to fill up the empty areas of the park.
Camping World is doing just fine. Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis announced the company’s fourth quarter and full-year 2021 earnings last week. Camping World posted annual revenue of $6.9 billion, an annual increase of $1.5 billion over the previous year. Gross profit was $2.5 billion, up 44.3% from 2020. Net income was $642.1 million, an increase of $297.9 million, up 86.5%.
RVing baseball fans, your annual spring pilgrimage to Arizona or Florida for pro baseball’s Spring Training was turned into just another trip to the two sunny states recently. Talks between Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union failed to reach agreement on a new collective bargaining contract by last Monday’s deadline. So, MLB decided to continue its lockout of players and delayed the start of the 2022 regular season. Learn more.
If you happen to be heading to Saudi Arabia, you might want to book a stay at its newest travel experience in an Airstream trailer surrounded by sandstone cliffs and palm groves. Caravan by Habitas AlUla will open in March with 22 Airstream trailers in one of the oldest cities on the Arabian Peninsula. Evening entertainment will feature movies projected on a screen on rock cliffs and served with freshly made popcorn. Read more.
Ohio has new law protecting campground owners. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill last week that will help prevent frivolous lawsuits against Ohio’s family-owned campgrounds. “This legislation will help prevent frivolous lawsuits against Ohio’s family-owned small businesses while equaling the playing field for those businesses with larger state-owned facilities,” said State Rep. Shane Wilkin. The bill does not prevent campground owners and operators from being held responsible for any injuries resulting from circumstances within their control. The purpose of the legislation is to create fair laws and regulations for Ohio small businesses.
Blue Water & Sun Outdoors take over Gardiner, MT park. Blue Water, an Ocean City, Md.-based outdoor hospitality company, is working with Sun Outdoors to transition the Rocky Mountain RV Park in Gardiner, Mont., to the Sun Outdoors brand. This new addition to the Blue Water portfolio will be the company’s first property in Montana. The property will also be receiving a name change and will now be known as Sun Outdoors Yellowstone North. Find out more here.
Fun Town RV expands into Illinois. The former Tri-State RV Center in Anna, Illinois, is now the newest location for Fun Town RV. With the opening, Fun Town has 14 retail locations, including one in Oklahoma and 12 in Texas. Fun Town is the largest towable RV dealer in Texas.
The development of a new RV resort and storage facility is being discussed by the Tehachapi, Calif., Planning Commission • Kia announced it intends to build 14 different battery-electric vehicles by 2027, including two different electric pickup trucks • The 2024 Chevy Silverado EV is taking aim at impressive performance numbers, including 10,000 lbs. of maximum trailering capacity, a 1,500 pound payload and the ability to provide up to 10.2 kW of off-board power. The pickup will offer an estimated range of 400 miles on a full charge. • The Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District is seeking public input on its proposal to increase the fees at Edson Creek and Sixes River Campgrounds between Bandon and Port Orford, Oregon, from $8 to $16. • The Motley Fool is suggesting that billionaire investor Warren Buffett may be a good candidate to buy Camping World. • California’s Tahoe National Forest is soliciting interest to pilot a new business opportunity within its reservable developed campgrounds to rent and deliver camping equipment such as tents and RVs to campsites. • A new glamping resort will open in June just outside Bryce Canyon National Park. Guests will stay in luxury tents, with amenities like onsite dining, morning yoga and live music. No RVs allowed. • Way Interglobal, the industry innovator of the original 12-volt RV refrigerator, has announced a pending patent on a new fridge model featuring a dual-swing door that opens from either side.
Is this your RV?
Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if today’s RV photo shows your rig
Every day we post a photo of an RV either submitted by its owner or by our editors as they move about the country.
Trucks and Tow Vehicles
Wanna drive a car, SUV or truck 200,000 miles? Toyota is the best bet
Vehicle buyers seeking a purchase with longevity in mind have the best odds of driving it 200,000 miles if they choose a car, truck or SUV made by Toyota. A new study by iseecars.com, the online automotive search engine and research website, reveals the manufacturer accounts for six of the top 10 vehicles, with Land Cruiser and Sequoia dominating the competition. Continue reading.
Ford pauses F-150 production again as semiconductor woes remain
The semiconductor shortage continues to plague the automotive industry, resulting in Ford stopping production of the country’s best-selling trucks—the F-150 series. A global crisis in multiple industries, the temporary shutting down of the Ford plant in Claycomo, Missouri, will be the second pause in production for Ford this month. Learn more.
Battery of new steroid-enhanced Hummer weighs more than a car!
For full disclosure, the following is a trick question: What do the 2022 Chevrolet Spark, 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 2022 Nissan Versa and 2022 Toyota Corolla have in common? Find out here.
2023 Ford Everest ready for new, tougher treks, except in the U.S.
The third-generation Ford Everest, with three engine lineups depending upon geographic markets, will debut later this year as a three-row SUV with upgrades for on-road and off-road driving. There’s one caveat: It will be available globally but not in the United States. Continue reading.
2022 Volvo XC60: Rock solid, rock steady wagon
Now in its early teens, the Volvo XC60 is the Swedish manufacturer’s best-selling vehicle in the United States and globally. The luxury compact sport utility vehicle reached its tenure-best last year, with sales of about 41,500 in this country. Continue reading.
New Radar all-terrain tires aimed at SUVs and light trucks
Radar Tires announced the launch of its next generation all-terrain RENEGADE A/T PRO tires, which are specifically designed for SUV and light truck use off- and on-road. The tire offers a 50,000 mile treadwear arranty and a road hazard warranty for all sizes, and a UTQG rating of 540 A A – 540 A B. Read more.
Do you carry a portable generator with you in your RV?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
No reports of stolen RVs this past week.
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.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover Story, by Chuck Woodbury: Why many more Americans will choose RVs as permanent homes
• Crowds, noise, trash force these work campers to “retire”
• Will rising RVing costs force RVers off the road?
• RVelectricity: Powering your house from a portable generator
• RV Tire Safety: Will your tire blow up if you inflate it above its “Max PSI”?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of February 28, 2022.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.61 [Calif.: $4.67]
Change from week before: Up 8 cents; Change from year before: Up 90 cents.
Diesel: $4.10 [Calif.: $5.08]
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.03.
Find a number less than 100 that is increased by one-fifth of its value when its digits are reversed.
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Upcoming RV shows
• Mid-America RV Show, March 10-13, Kansas City, MO
• Port Huron RV & Camping Show, March 10-13, Port Huron, MI
• Sioux Empire Sportsmen’s Camping & Vacation Show, March 10-13, Sioux Falls, SD
• Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show, March 11-13, Rothschild, WI
• Eastern Iowa Sportshow, March 11-13, Cedar Falls, IA
• Sportsmen’s Boat & RV Show, March 11-13, Bakersfield, CA
• Springfield RV Mega Show, March 11-13, Springfield, MO
• Virginia RV Expo – Hampton, March 11-13, Hampton, VA
• York RV Show, March 11-13, York, PA
Recipe of the Day
I wasn’t sure if I’d really taste the citrus in this easy recipe with only a 1/2 teaspoon of citrus. The flavor is subtle, but you do taste it. The citrus, mixed with the honey and mustard, is a delicious coating for the ham steak. You could even use the glaze as a dipping sauce for the ham once it’s cooked… or use it as a sandwich spread for a ham sandwich. This is a great holiday ham recipe if you’re cooking for a few people.
Brain teaser answer:
45 (1/5 of 45 = 9, 9 + 45 = 54)
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.
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, Scott Linden, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, Karel Carnohan, DVM, and Cheri Sicard. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady, Mark Gorrie. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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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