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Sunday, June 26, 2022
Campground Crowding: “Costs are getting prohibitive”
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 hear from an RVer who has difficulty competing with the speed of “bots” when trying to reserve campsites on her older computer; a camp host who shares a hidden gem of a campground in the state of Washington (sounds wonderful!); folks adjusting retirement plans to be able to afford the higher costs of RVing; and more RVers wondering where the crowded campgrounds are, as they’re not experiencing them. All that and more here.
New campground company adds 10 locations in first year of operation
Ali and Eric Rasmussen were looking for an exciting entrepreneurial opportunity two years ago. They figured Eric’s commercial real estate and capital markets background coupled with Ali’s marketing chops would be a powerful combination if they started their own business. They hadn’t found what they were looking for until they purchased an RV during the start of the pandemic and took their young family camping. … Learn how the couple has acquired 10 parks scattered throughout the Eastern U.S. in just one year of operation.
Airboat noise concerns sink plans for new RV park near Omaha, NE
RV park developers anxious to add more campgrounds to the inventory in the U.S. are facing local opposition from many quarters. But locals living near a proposed 100-acre, 275-RV-site park along the Platte River just west of Omaha, Nebraska, chose a unique reason to oppose the campground … airboat noise. Learn more.
Texas Corps of Engineers parks lose funding… then find it again
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground workers in East Texas were put on a roller coaster this week. Corps of Engineers staffers began notifying work campers Monday, June 20, that budget cuts were forcing them to close several East Texas campgrounds as of October 1. Continue reading.
RVers and truckers forced to share a 20-mile right lane on Arizona interstate?
A new rule by Arizona’s Department of Transportation is creating a hissy-fit among truck drivers, and could prove frightening for RVers. A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande is, at present, only two lanes in each direction. ADOT—the state’s highway agency—says too many accidents are caused by heavy trucks on that roadway. Until the stretch can be widened, trucks are now required to stay in the right lane only. How will RVers be affected? Find out here.
Video shows horrific trailer crashes in Australia. New RVers partially to blame
This news video from Australia discusses the increase in crashes of travel trailers (caravans, as they are called there) with dash camera footage showing horrific crash scenes. … Anyone who tows a trailer, or plans to, should watch this video and then make the effort to either take a driving class or research how to prevent crashes like these, which, as you will see, can be devastating. Watch this video.
Yellowstone’s southern section reopens with some wait times, but minimal issues
[June 23] Despite higher-than-normal midweek traffic at the three available gates into Yellowstone National Park, Wednesday’s reopening went smoothly. The park had been closed for the previous 10 days due to massive flooding and road damage throughout the park, but primarily in Yellowstone’s northern section. The northern section is still closed, and entry gates at Gardiner, Montana, and Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, aren’t expected to reopen this year. Continue reading.
We have a new photo contest! Submit your photos for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Each Saturday and Wednesday, we’ll post five reader-submitted photos, and our readers will vote their favorite, which will earn their photographer the $50 Amazon gift certificate. Read the rules and submit your photo here. Good luck!
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “This whole trailer shows why Grand Design has such a good reputation with buyers. The company has a reputation for being very attentive after the sale, which is a good way to measure any business.
“But so many things about this model show that the company is listening to the buyers and reacting with the product. The interior is light and airy, and the company still uses lots of windows, including windows in the doors.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
June 19–25, 2022
High gas prices got you down? Then maybe it’s time to “Wrap!” We mean “wrap your car.” If you drive your car a lot — as a commuter, for example, or for gig work — you could make $100 to $600 a month by having your vehicle wrapped in an advertising message. Carvertise pays drivers to wrap their vehicles in ads printed on adhesive-backed films known as “decals.” So far, wrapping is not available for RVs.
Campspot announced parks can now list lodging inventory on Booking.com, one of the world’s largest and most popular booking marketplaces for hotels and other lodgings. This will increase the visibility of campgrounds and bring new customers to the parks. Campspot CEO, Michael Scheinman, says this was the second most requested item from customers.
Visitor spending in communities near national parks contributed $42.5 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 322,600 local jobs. Visitors spent $490 million in the camping sector alone. The lodging sector saw the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output followed by the restaurant sector, with $4.2 billion in economic output.
Lake Mead, in NV and AZ, has dropped to an all-time low of 28 percent of capacity. The water level was 1,044.01 feet as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, a decline of nearly 6 feet in the past month. A year ago the lake was 1,070.5 feet (above sea level). The bureau’s latest 24-month outlook released earlier this month said it is forecasting the “most probable” lake level will be 1,014.86 feet by September 2023. Should Lake Mead fall below its “dead pool” level of 895 feet, Hoover Dam would be unable to release water downriver to California, Arizona, Nevada and parts of Mexico. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the USA.
AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the upcoming holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4), an increase of 3.7% over 2021, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019. Car travel is expected to set a new record despite historically high gas prices, with 42 million people hitting the road. AAA says the worst time to travel due to congestion is between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday.
The Japanese RV market recorded a slight increase in figures of the RVs which were domestically manufactured and shipped compared to the previous year. The 2019 figures (Jan. ’19 – Dec. ’19) indicate that the number of the RVs which were domestically manufactured and shipped amounted to 6,445 vehicles, while the number of the imported RVs amounted to 636 vehicles. These numbers represent a 14.3% increase for domestics and 16.7% decrease for imports over the previous year. The number of RVs in Japan is estimated at about 119,400 units. Users between 50 and 70 account for 70% of the total RV ownership.
The U.S. Forest Service is investing more than $2 million in deferred maintenance projects in the Payette National Forest, Idaho, this year using money authorized by the Great American Outdoors Act. Among the projects is to reconstruct campgrounds in the west zone of the forest, including the Huckleberry and Cabin Creek campgrounds and the Horse Cabin Flat site.
Our contributor Andy Zipser has released a new book titled “Turning Dirt.” Anyone who dreams of owning and/or operating an RV park or who is in the process of evaluating whether to buy one or already in the process of buying one, should read this, according to RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury. “There is so much more involved than I could ever have imagined,” said Woodbury. “I learned more reading this about owning and managing a campground than I have learned in the last ten years on my own.” Turning Dirt is available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon. Andy’s first book, Renting Dirt, about his family’s eight years as owners of a Virginia RV park, is also available and also excellent.
Winnebago looks good, but… The company’s revenue for the Fiscal 2022 third quarter that ended May 28, 2022, was a record $1.5 billion, an increase of 51.8% compared to $960.7 million for the Fiscal 2021 third quarter. Gross profit was $273 million, an increase of 60.9% compared to $169.6 million for the Fiscal 2021 period. Still, the company announced plans to reduce RV production for the rest of 2022, in line with an expected broader decline in sales of RVs this year. “We have identified certain days or weeks that we will be taking off or down, especially through the summer months.” Winnebago executives also pointed to rising food prices and other goods, and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases, as reasons would-be customers have become pessimistic.
Drunk Swimming? Technically that could happen at Ponchatoula, Louisiana’s Reunion Lake RV Resort, where guests can partake (or perhaps over-partake) of a swim-up bar. The park has several pools, and a “lazy river” that will deliver you and your rubber raft where you can refresh at the Tiki Bar, while nearby a band furnishes entertainment. Ah, roughing it! Full-hookup sites start at a reasonable $39 a night.
What do you think? A recent survey by consumer electronics manufacturer Cobra revealed that 52 percent of the respondents reported when they’re passengers in a vehicle, they often find themselves wishing the driver would slow down. Sixty percent said they keep their eye on the speedometer when someone else is driving. And, perhaps not surprising, 35 percent of drivers revealed they only “sometimes,” “rarely” or “never” comply with speed limits on a road or highway.
A new 315-acre industrial park planned for the Goshen, Ind., southeast side cleared one of its final hurdles Wednesday during a special meeting of the Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety. As proposed, the project near Elkhart, the RV Capital of the World, will allow the construction of six RV-related manufacturing facilities. Brinkley RV, a new towable RV manufacturing firm, previously announced it had recently broken ground on three of those planned manufacturing facilities.
Keep your eyes open and maybe wear a hard hat if you’re headed for Noble Park in Hermosa Beach, California. Dive-bombing crows have been attacking visitors, trying to scare them away. The birds can be aggressive in May and June, when their eggs are hatching.
Dyrt PRO members will now have all camping fees waived. Campers will only pay for the $36/year membership and the campground’s nightly rate for booking—nothing else. The Dyrt’s CEO, Kevin Long, says this is the “Amazon Prime for campground reservations.” Try the Dyrt PRO for 30 days free here.
A crummy deal! A new 2.5-mile hard-surface walking and biking trail made from rubber crumbs from tires is now open at Tennessee’s T.O. Fuller State Park. It’s one of the longest rubber-bearing trails in the U.S. The tires, which had been illegally dumped in the area, were gathered by volunteers and local contractors, then transformed into crumbs.
Attention: Flying J fans: The popular roadside chain has debuted an exclusive women’s clothing line by Buffalo Outdoors and is now available at more than 200 participating Pilot and Flying J travel centers across North America. The clothes feature travel-ready attire including tie-dye bucket hats, jogger and pullover sets, tank tops, graphic tees and more. No RV-related stuff that we know of. Too bad.
Google Maps already allowed you to avoid toll roads when requesting driving directions, but now it can give you an estimate of how much it’ll cost if you select a route with tolls. The Google Maps app now offers the option to toggle on or off the toll fare under Settings > Navigation > See toll pass prices.
The Fairmont Hills RV Park in Fairmont, W. Va., opened for business last Monday. The 43-site park plans to cater to RVers traveling I-79.
The National Park Service is expecting high visitation at Acadia National Park, Maine, over Independence Day weekend. It advises visitors to plan their trip and expect long lines and wait times, traffic congestion and limited parking at the park’s most popular destinations. Visitors should arrive with a plan plus a backup plan in case parking is unavailable.
Booking a cabin or campsite at a Louisiana State Park is now easier than ever with a new online reservation system. So say the state parks’ PR folks.
Boulder City, Nevada’s Planning Commission has recommended plans for a 74-acre RV resort around Boulder Creek Golf Club. The resort, to be operated by Elite RV, will include 293 lots that include RV sites, cabin rentals and some spots with a combination of RV sites and cabins. It will feature a clubhouse, business center and a wellness center.
It’s okay again to have a campfire in designated campground rings in Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park campgrounds. Ditto in most of New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument.
RV Retailer LLC announced June 24th a significant expansion in Texas with the grand opening of a brand-new full-service RV dealership in Katy, Texas, near Houston. The new ExploreUSA Supercenter is RVR’s 18th store in Texas and 103rd store overall, according to a news release.
CampgroundViews.com is developing 360-degree virtual tours of up to 250 campgrounds in Arizona. The service is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Office of Tourism. The company has so far completed 45 virtual tours of campgrounds across the state, with more being added every day. Watch the virtual tours now completed.
Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it would recall 2,700 of its first mass-produced electric vehicles (EVs) for the global market because of a risk the wheels could come loose. Of the 2,700 vehicles recalled, 260 were earmarked for the United States and 10 for Canada.
The 79-site Basalt Campground and day-use area gates are now closed at California’s San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area and will remain closed for an estimated 10 years while the Sisk Dam at San Luis Reservoir undergoes construction.
The Bouse Wash Rest Area on Interstate 10 in western Arizona has reopened following a year-long renovation project.
Americans may be upset at current gas prices and blame the White House, but, as USA Today points out, prices are higher in 93 countries than they are in the USA.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking the public for help in identifying the person who illegally killed a black bear last fall at Mountain Views at Rivers Edge RV Resort south of Creede in Mineral County. If you know anything, call 719-850-6366. To provide information anonymously, the public can contact Operation Game Thief by phone at 877-265-6648 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUST PLAIN WEIRD NEWS:
Amazon’s Alexa might soon replicate the voice of family members — even dead ones. The capability, unveiled at Amazon’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas, NV, is in development and would allow the virtual assistant to mimic the voice of a specific person based on less than a minute of provided recording. In a video played by Amazon at the event, a young child asks “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” Alexa then acknowledges the request, and switches to another voice mimicking the child’s grandmother. The voice assistant then continues to read the book in that same voice.
WHAT PEOPLE WILL DO TO SET A RECORD! An Oregon man broke an unusual Guinness World Record when he found and alphabetized all 26 letters in a can of alphabet soup in 2 minutes and 8.6 seconds. AND ACROSS THE POND, a Swedish strongman broke a Guinness World Record in Italy when he threw a washing machine a distance of 14 feet, 7.2 inches.
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.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Last week, we asked RVtravel.com readers if they own their RV outright or if they make payments. What percent do you think own their RV outright, with no payments to make? About 70 percent, 49 percent or 32 percent? Find out here.
Trucks and Tow Vehicles
James Bond wannabe? Tow your RV with an Aston Martin SUV
Tow an RV with an Aston Martin? Someone has to do it, right? The famed British carmaker, its legacy solidified by its sports cars driven by James Bond in the long-running movie series, recently announced the production of the 2023 Aston Martin DBX707. It’s the world’s most powerful sport utility vehicle and will soon be shipped to more than 50 countries. Learn more.
DID YOU MISS OUR WRITER JOHNNY ROBOT’S column yesterday? Johnny is an unusual writer because, well … he doesn’t even exist in real life! Confused? Read his column posted yesterday.
How likely would it be for you to stay in a campground that involves a 3-mile drive on a dirt road?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
DID YOU SEE THE RESULTS OF THIS RECENT POLL YET: “Are you a procrastinator?” Or maybe you put it off. The results are interesting.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVS?
Full-timer loses home when thief swipes it. A sad story from Eddy, Texas. This 1998 Starcraft Sportsman travel trailer is gone, with all of the RVer’s possessions. Taken May 14, the rig was missing the rear window and the front stone guard. The dining table and one of the dinette seats was also taken out earlier, in case you see the inside of this unit. Bearing Texas license plate 5US-364 at the time of the theft. Know something? Phone the Falls County, Texas, Sherriff’s office at (254) 803-2912 or the owner, JR Wall at (254) 654-3304.
Gone missing—This 24′ Outdoors Timber Ridge travel trailer vanished sometime between 1 and 5 a.m. on June 22 in Thurston County, Washington. Last seen wearing Washington license plate 3762AC. Know something? Contact the Thurston County Sheriff’s office at (360) 786-5500.
Looted in Livingston, Texas. This Rockwood 2902WS travel trailer was stolen from the Escapees Care Center. As you may know, the facility is dedicated to helping out older Escapees’ members dealing with health issues, so what a nasty burn. The 2018 rig was taken June 20, and, sadly, the license plate had just been received so was still inside the rig. The VIN, however, is 4X4TRLE28JZ149858. If you have anything to help with this case, contact the Polk County, Texas, Sheriff’s office at 936-327-6810, and refer to case S2200913.
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: My exhausting car/hotel trip (by Chuck Woodbury)
• OPINION: State park officials could teach the private sector a thing or two
• The campground was crowded, noisy, smoky… and wonderful
• Camping World’s “Design Centers”: Where you do the work
• Know Your RV: 7 tips for a happy RV toilet
• RV boo-boos: RVer wakes up to demolished motorhome
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
No updated info for the week of June 20. From the U.S. Energy Information Administration, June 22 (and current as of June 25): “Several U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) product releases scheduled for the week of June 20, 2022, will be delayed as a result of systems issues. Our experts are working on a solution to restore the affected systems.”
You are standing on the top of one of two solid metal pillars. They are both exactly one kilometer apart from each other and they both stand one kilometer high. There is absolutely nothing around these pillars, but you have one small twig, one small rock and an unlimited supply of rope. Using only the materials named, how can you get from the top of the pillar that you are on to the top of the other pillar?
Upcoming RV shows
Most shows have finished for the season. But if you want to plan ahead, click here for upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Fluffy and creamy, these green chile cheese bars are perfect any time of the day. With the texture of a breakfast casserole, the flavor reminds us of a spicy cornbread. Enjoy them for brunch, a snack, or even an appetizer.
Brain teaser answer:
The twig and the rock were simply distractions used to divert you from the real answer. Forget I ever mentioned them. All you need to do is fill the space between you with enough rope that it makes a pile so big that you can walk across it to the other pillar. (Remember, I said you had an unlimited supply of rope.)
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.
The tallest planetary mountain, Olympus Mons, is located on Mars. The mountain rises an astounding 13 miles above the Martian sea level and 13.6 miles off the dry sea beds. Even without the extra elevation from the sea bed, Olympus Mons is two and a half times as tall as Earth’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest.
WHERE ARE THE RVers in the photo above? South Africa, that’s where!
FORD TRUCK? It’s a 1951 Ford F-1.
Today in History
RVtravel.com All Star Team
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Johnny Robot. 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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