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Sunday, July 3, 2022
“Camping” is new code word in national debate over abortion
RVers and all camping enthusiasts may think their favorite pastime is far removed from the country’s heated debate over abortion access, but that isn’t necessarily so. Online social media posts offering to take people “camping” have suddenly become coded language for those supposedly offering aid to pregnant women seeking abortions who may live in states that ban the procedure. The posts include offers of transportation or out-of-state housing. You might wonder how in the world a seemingly innocuous word like “camping” now finds itself being bandied about the internet by those in the forefront of the contentious abortion debate. Find out here.
Essay from KOA CEO: “We’re expecting our biggest July 4th ever!”
When you want to know how things are going, sometimes it’s best to go right to the source. Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc., recently penned an essay addressing her predictions for the Fourth of July holiday weekend and how camper attitudes will likely impact the rest of the summer camping season. Read it here.
Uncle Sam ups pressure on portable generator manufacturers over carbon monoxide
Earlier this year we reported on a “poker game” going on between portable generator manufacturers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The Commission had upped the ante in the game that the two groups were playing. Back in February, with “safety of the citizenry” in mind, the CPSC put generator manufacturers on notice. CPSC said it was considering implementing mandatory rules to protect users from the hazards of carbon monoxide. For years, industry has been working under voluntary standards to reduce risks. Now Congress wants to get into the game. Learn more.
High gas prices hitting RV industry more than it wants to admit
Despite the positive spin that many RV industry manufacturers are putting on how high gas prices are theoretically not affecting RVers, stock price numbers don’t lie. Three major players in the market, Thor Industries, Winnebago, and Camping World, have seen their stock prices drop over the last several months. There’s been more trumpeting by industry over the remarkable record 2021 sales figures than in a herd of elephants, true. But hang on, the projections are that sales this year will fall a steep 8.4%. And there’s more.
SpaceX Says DISH takeover of 12 GHz band could render Starlink useless
Starlink is always in the news, and many developments directly affect Starlink RV subscribers. An example is the current “12 GHz band” dispute that RVtravel.com initially reported on concerning the rollout of 5G, the fifth-generation broadband cellular technology. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX parent Starlink, has this week escalated his response to Dish Network’s efforts and initiated actions with the Federal Communications Commission, challenging the use of the 12 GHz band by Dish Network Corporation, stating in FCC and court filings that such use would render Starlink “unusable.” Continue reading.
Lightning-devastated Big Basin Redwoods park reopens
On August 16, 2020, a huge thunderstorm blitzed through Northern California. The massive system blasted nearly 11,000 lightning bolts, starting the “CZU Lightning Complex” fires that eventually chewed through 86,000 acres of land in two counties. Included in that total is nearly all of California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, home of thousands of ancient redwood trees. The park has been closed for nearly two years, but come July 15, visitors can come and see just how resilient nature can be. Read more.
RV manufacturers set another shipment record in May
If you are one of those RVers awaiting the anticipated slowdown in RV manufacturing, you may have to wait at least a month longer. The RV Industry Association just announced that manufacturers had their best May on record this year, shipping 50,529 units from factories around the U.S. That compared to 49,241 units shipped from factories in May 2021. Learn more.
Honda debuts new Super Quiet EU Series portable generator
Honda Power Sports & Products is launching the all-new Honda EU3200i, the newest generator in the Honda Super Quiet EU Series lineup. The generator delivers more power and more convenience than the Honda EU3000i Handi generator, and in a compact, portable package. Read the press release.
Low-income people turning to RVs, while RV parks change with the times
Two unrelated developments this past week affecting two RV parks … illustrate two trends on a collision course. The first trend is that of low-income people increasingly turning to RVs for permanent housing. The second is that RV parks are now tracing the same inflationary curve as the trailer courts that preceded them. Some are shutting down, for a variety of reasons, and many more are either restricting or phasing out long-term residents altogether; almost all are increasing rents, in the most extreme cases doubling their previous rates. Read more from Andy Zipser.
Yellowstone NP north loop reopened Saturday; alternate license plate entry system suspended
Good news for RVers still headed for vacation visits to Yellowstone National Park. The flood-damaged north loop of the park reopened to all visitors Saturday, July 2. Also, the alternating license plate system for entry to the park has been suspended. Get all the details here.
RV manufacturers slow to notify owners of their rigs’ fire danger
Serious fire danger recalls have been announced for 30,000 RV owners by the federal government, but the owners of those vehicles will not receive warning letters for three weeks. This week Heartland RV and Cruiser RV issued recalls for defective LP gas fittings, and Triple E RV issued a recall for leaking stove cooktop valves. Both are deadly defect risks if fire breaks out in an RV. Other manufacturers with the same issues have already notified their owners. There’s no explanation of why Heartland and Cruiser did not issue earlier recalls as well. Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: “We camp during the week, stay in motels on the weekends”
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 readers who report how difficult it is to use ReserveAmerica and Recreation.gov, i.e., they’re not user-friendly; and some readers who aren’t having difficulty finding campsites or other places to spend the night. All that and more here.
Sun Outdoors adds selected camping discounts to “offset gas prices”
A major player in the campground industry has announced a new pricing and discount program at many of its parks it claims should help campers deal with pain at the fuel pump. Sun Outdoors, which operates more than 150 camping resorts across North America, just announced special offers on all types of camping stays that offer discounts of up to 30% off camping fees. Learn more.
Utah free campgrounds to charge up to $20 a night
Get ready to pay $10 to $20 a night to stay in 16 Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campgrounds that are currently free. Federal land managers said Friday they are moving forward with plans to charge new user fees at the current or forthcoming campgrounds all over the state, which will be implemented at the start of next year. Read more, including the campgrounds involved.
It’s here! The very first edition of our twice-a-week photo contest. See if your submitted photo made the first cut, and then vote for your favorite. Once you’ve voted, submit your own photo for consideration. Winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card. Good luck!
Voting ends tonight at midnight (Pacific time)
(And remember, this contest appears every Saturday and Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back for a new batch of photos this coming Wednesday! Sign up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter [if you’re not already]. If you are not sure, sign up again. You will still only get one issue, not two.)
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “I really like this floor plan. It offers a lot of storage and great usability in a space that’s not too large. But, even better, the little things that demonstrate attention to detail are what really make me smile.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
June 26 – July 2, 2022
These gas pains at Death Valley, California, can’t be cured with a Tums or Rolaids. We’re talking about gasoline pains. At Furnace Creek in Death Valley, the price of a gallon of unleaded Thursday was a whopping $9.22 and $9.77 for diesel. The Chevron station is located at the Furnace Creek oasis, site of the National Park’s Visitor Center and also the largest of two park’s villages with a general store, restaurants, museums, campgrounds, motel, airport and 18-hole golf course. Fuel prices here have always been among the highest in the nation.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, has finally opened for its summer season. Most of the roads, including the popular North Entrance Road and Rim Drive, are accessible. The portion of East Rim Drive between Skell Head and the Pinnacles Road is still closed. Check the park’s website before visiting to plan your trip, as some roads and popular hiking trails remain closed.
Lazy Daze, a manufacturer of low-profile Class C motorhomes based in Montclair, Calif., has shut down according to multiple reports. The company had been in business for 66 years, selling its well-respected RVs directly to consumers rather than through dealers. We’ll have the full story next Sunday.
In its report for July, vehicle appraisal guide publisher Black Book reported that wholesale prices for both motorized and towable RVs declined from the previous month. Principal analyst Eric Lawrence wrote: “The average selling price for motorized units was $68,948, which is down $4,402 (6%) from the previous month. Towables came in at $20,196, down $687 (3.2%) from last month. One year ago the average motorhome sold for $68,623 and the average towable unit brought $23,176.”
RVshare, the largest community of RV owners and renters, has partnered with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas. Make-A-Wish says RVs have become popular among their Wish kids and their families. Each Make-A-Wish family is granted a rental stipend that will allow them to use an RV on multiple adventures. If the family does not want to drive an RV, the RV will be set up at the campground of their choosing.
State parks want to attract more visitors of color, saying that 3 out of 4 visitors are white. In 2013, the NPS opened an Office of Relevancy, Diversity and Inclusion and has since developed several African American history sites. Since 2020, more state park systems have followed suit and hired diversity and inclusion coordinators and are seeking to recruit a more diverse staff and open more parks closer to urban areas. Diversity is on the agenda this September at the park director’s convention in Oregon, where Earl Hunter Jr., formerly one of the few Black executives in the RV industry, is scheduled as a keynote speaker. Hunter founded Black Folks Camp Too, a company that educates park officials in how to promote camping to Black people.
Iowa’s Lake Manawa State Park’s new-and-improved campground has reopened with all sorts of modern amenities. The new amenities include a shower house, full-hookup campsites, a gated entrance, paved walking trails connecting to the beach, a new playground and more. Lake Manawa State Park is one of the most popular outdoor recreation facilities in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The park’s 1,529 acres encompass a 753-acre natural lake and offer 40 campsites.
Max, an RVing cat, has found his way home after 11 days. The Tally family was on their way to Acadia National Park when their tire blew out and their RV crashed into trees. Nobody was hurt, but Max, their beloved cat, went missing. After 11 days and preparing for the worst, the family received a call from Wayne Bouchard, of Bouchard & Sons Towing, who had towed their motorhome, saying he heard meowing from their rig and, sure enough, found Max. Max was reunited with his family in Texas after quite the adventure.
Advance notice: Beginning next January, Colorado residents can opt for a $29 Keep Colorado Wild Pass with their vehicle registration. Besides supporting the state’s outdoors and wildlife communities, the pass permits free admission to the state’s 42 state parks.
If you’re currently camping on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands, don’t plan to shoot off any fireworks tomorrow. Fireworks are prohibited on BLM-managed public lands. “During the Fourth of July holiday, we typically suppress numerous wildfires caused by the misuse of fireworks or other careless actions,” said BLM Nevada State Fire Management Officer Paul Petersen. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska.
A little scary, don’t you think? The state of Virginia knows the plate number of every vehicle that crossed a Potomac River bridge from Virginia into the District of Columbia on the day of the first Obama inauguration. It also has the plate of every vehicle that showed up at the site of a Sarah Palin rally in a D.C. suburb. In fact, as of 2013, it had eight million license plates scanned and saved in a database. But, because of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit, Fairfax County, Virginia, will have to change this policy. A Virginia circuit court this past week ruled that police can no longer scan license plates and record them in a database unless they’re related to an ongoing and specific investigation.
And just in case you missed this essential (just kidding) news: If Americans barbecuing habits are anything like Brits, then in their lifetimes they will enjoy 441 barbecues where they enjoy 970 burgers, 794 hot dogs and 838 kebabs. The survey from bakery brand Baker Street also revealed that they will consume up to 750 ribs and 882 chicken pieces. Side dishes add up to 838 portions of potato salad, 794 corn-on-the-cobs and 838 servings of crisps (or fries, as we call them). Oh, we shouldn’t forget to mention that the hosts of the barbecues typically end up with 4 uneaten sausages, 5 leftover burger patties and 5 hot dog buns.
Last year during the July 4 weekend, travelers could fill up their tanks for about $3.07 per gallon on average at stations across the United States. As of this writing, says Kelley Blue Book, gas prices remain at about $4.96 per gallon on average.
A leading automotive industry analyst has said he expects both GM and Ford to have more electric vehicle market share than current leader Tesla by mid-decade, with the majority of this anticipated growth driven by the two American automakers’ new full-size electric pickup trucks.
A massive rockslide has destroyed classic boulders in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The rockslide occurred on June 28th around 4:30 p.m. No injuries were reported, but the NPS closed all areas in Chaos Canyon, just west of Lake Haiyaha, for fear of another rockslide from all the rain.
USA Today released its 10Best list for Best State Park for RVing/Camping. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park in Middle Brook, Missouri, took first place, followed by Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. See the list of the top 10 winners: click here.
Attendance at the recent Escapees Club Escapade rally in Lebanon, Tenn., was down from previous events. More than 1,000 club members showed up in 489 RVs. Next year’s event is set for March 19-24, 2023, at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz.
Stage 2 fire restrictions have been rescinded for the entire Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Recent monsoonal activity throughout northern Arizona has significantly lowered the fire danger risk. The park will remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions, which requires that a campfire always be in a designated fire ring within a maintained campground.
The state of Delaware is getting 3.2 million dollars in federal funding to improve campgrounds at these state parks: Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, Killens Pond, Lums Pond, and Trap Pond.
We Are Airstream Chandler, based in Arizona, and the largest authorized Airstream dealership in U.S., announced Wednesday it had acquired Airstream of Santa Barbara, California, the oldest Airstream dealership on the West Coast. It will now be called We Are Airstream Santa Barbara.
RV Retailer, a RV dealer based in Fort Lauderdale, has acquired A&S RV Centers with locations in Auburn Hills and Midland, Michigan.
After early summer flooding inundated many parts of Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, the waters are receding and more areas of the park are reopening to the public. Check with the park about open and closed campgrounds if you wish to visit and stay.
According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, during the 2021 fire season, the Pacific Northwest experienced three times as many human-caused fires (3,075) compared to fires caused by lightning (1,000). A 2020 Science article noted that, “studies have shown human ignition is to blame for 84% of all wildfires in the U.S., with 97% threatening homes.”
Happy Daze RV has broken ground in Ripon, Calif., on its fourth dealership. The facility will cover 40,000 square feet with a 20-bay service department, full collision center and an extensive parts department.
A 72-year-old woman from Chester, Pennsylvania, was gored by a bull-bison in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on Friday. The woman and her daughter inadvertently approached the bison as they were returning to their vehicle at the trailhead at Storm Point, causing the animal to charge. The woman was transported to a Cody, Wyoming, hospital and was okay. Two days earlier, a 34-year-old male from Colorado Springs, Colorado, was gored by a bull bison, injuring his arm, near Giant Geyser at Old Faithful.
European Union policymakers early Wednesday agreed on a deal to end sales of new combustion vehicles by 2035. The agreement leaves open a very narrow loophole for automakers to try to prove by 2026 that synthetic “carbon neutral” fuels could be developed in commercial quantities and used in hybrid vehicles.
With rising new and used car prices and a shortage of cars at dealerships, research firm S&P Global Mobility recently reported that the average age of vehicles on U.S. roadways hit a record high of 12.2 years in 2021, increasing for the fifth straight year.
The Airstream AutoCamp in Joshua Tree, Calif., is running at full capacity with 55 suites in Airstream travel trailers accommodating up to 125 to 150 people. Rates range from $175 to $475 a night. Other AutoCamp properties are in Sonoma, CA; Yosemite National Park, CA; Cape Cod, MA; and the Catskills, NY.
Roundabout Publications, in association with the Ultimate Public Campground Project, has published the first edition of “Free Van Camping in America’s National Forests.” The guidebook provides information with maps about 1,123 camping areas in 120 National Forests in 35 states. Learn more.
A court in Frankfurt, Germany, ruled earlier this month that an SUV driver who ran a red light should pay nearly twice the normal fine as someone in a smaller car due to the increased risk his vehicle posed to pedestrians.
Off Map, a South Haven, Michigan, glamping destination, has added five deluxe “glamping” tents with en suite bathrooms. The park offers 20 glamping tents, but the rest share a restroom facility. Off Map offers its campers a complimentary breakfast, hiking trails with wild fruit trees, a community fire pit, live music, s’mores and more.
Speaking of Michigan… 10 Michigan State Parks will receive $16 million to go towards improvements at historical sites, visitor centers, and park accessibility. New water, sewer and electrical distribution systems, new bathrooms, fishing piers, a modern lodge, and more are also on the list for later down the road.
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
Due to supply constraints and mainstream interest, Ford has placed a temporary pause on customer orders of the 2022 Maverick pickup. And that means that you cannot currently buy one unless you find one at a dealership, which is not easy. Those who ordered this compact pickup truck more than a year ago are still waiting for it. Some may end up with a 2023 model instead.
How often have you “boondocked” on public lands for more than a week outside a designated campground?
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?
Whitman County, Washington, law officers are looking for information on the theft of this 2017 Rockwood Ultra Lite travel trailer. Details are a bit thin, but sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on June 17, someone hitched up and took off with the rig. The RV was stolen in the Farmington, Washington, area, and bore a Washington plate, 39261AC. Contact Randy Miller at 509-397-6266 with any information you may have.
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
• Airstream trailers recalled for axle separation issue
• Some Grand Design RVs recalled for fire danger
• Toyota Tundra trucks recalled for possible axle danger
• Nissan trucks recalled for rollaway danger when shifted into park
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: We’re ruining our special places!
• Spend a night in Dolly Parton’s RV!
• Our gas was stolen! Tips for protecting against fuel theft
• The Southwire Elite Power Station provides impressive amount of power to RVers
• Johnny Robot: Our non-human staff writer answers your questions
• Camco leveling wedges don’t always ‘level up’ to other products
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 27, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.87 [Calif.: $6.14]
Change from week before: Down 9 cents; Change from year before: Up 1.78.
Diesel: NOTE: The U.S. Energy Information Administration is continuing to restore their systems. The diesel prices have not been posted since June 13.
Only one letter in the alphabet is not in any U.S. state’s name. What letter is it?
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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
Macrayla’s berry trifle is beautiful and would make a wonderful centerpiece for your dessert table. It tastes just as good as it looks. The base is a premade angel food cake that’s brushed with a tangy lemon simple syrup. In between layers of fresh blueberries and strawberries is a light and fluffy cream cheese whipped cream. Once assembled, this is a delightful summer treat. Since it’s red, white, and blue, you can enjoy this at your Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day cookout.
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.
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (we want to work there!), Americans consume about 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July.
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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