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Sunday, July 31, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
RV shipments still hot, but slowing
RV shipments are still rolling along, although they’re shy of their record pace of last year. Results for the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) June 2022 survey of manufacturers determined that total RV shipments ended the month with 44,793 units, a decrease of 11.7% compared to the 50,796 units shipped in June 2021. Through June, RV shipments are up 7.8% compared to the same point last year with 323,831 wholesale shipments. Learn more.
Walmart setting up mini-stores at campgrounds
A Walmart store at your campground? Are we kidding? Nope. It’s happening. But technically, we are not telling the honest-to-goodness truth. These campgrounds are not the type that most RVtravel.com readers would call RV-friendly. No question about that. See what we mean.
Campground Crowding: RVers cheat the system, use different names to book prime sites
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 more RVers who haven’t had issues finding available campsites and some tips from them which could help you. Also, we hear from an RVer who has seen campers cheat the system by reserving under different names to tie up several campsites they want. Read more.
California State Parks campground closing due to drought
California State Parks will close the campground at Portola Redwoods State Park due to lower water flows in Peters Creek, the park’s primary water source. Effective Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, the campground facilities will be closed for the remainder of the camping season (including reservation, group, and drop-in sites). Continue reading.
TAKE NOTICE, MARCUS LEMONIS: See how our readers responded to yesterday’s Reader Poll where we asked those who purchased an RV from Camping World how unhappy they were with their purchase. Yikes! There are a lot of unhappy campers out there. See the up-to-the-minute results and dozens of comments.
Here is the current 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, “Let’s face it. This rig, the Patton, is absolutely extreme in every way. From the off-road capability to the way it’s built structurally, to even the interior design. This is not your mainstream camper. But there are people who have waited in line for a machine that doesn’t have nearly the off-road prowess or build quality of this machine.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
July 24–30, 2022
After months of sky-high gas prices, the cost continues to decline. The national average for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline now stands at $4.25, according to AAA. The country’s highest prices are typically in California, which had an average price of $5.64 on July 29—down from a peak of $6.44 in June. The least expensive gas is in Texas at $3.76. The national average price is still about $1 higher than it was one year ago.
Speaking of gas prices … Shell, one of the largest oil producers in the world, on Thursday reported record earnings for the second quarter in a row as energy prices are running high and fueling inflation. In its second-quarter earnings report, the oil giant said its earnings topped a record $11.5 billion for the April–June period. The previous record, $9.1 billion, was set in the first quarter of 2022.
The trailer that appeared like magic last week on an Ohio River sandbar near Evansville, Indiana, is tentatively headed for the junkyard courtesy of the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The persons who placed it there, yet unidentified, are thought to have done it “all in good fun,” although the Corps of Engineers does not see it that way and expects to press charges against those responsible. By Friday, the sandbar was disappearing and the trailer was on its side taking on water. The Corps hoped to remove it before it filled.
Campfires or the ignition of wood, briquettes, or any fuel in fire pits, fire pans, and barbecue grills, are now banned in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and the area of North Cascades National Park located in Chelan County, Washington. This includes all National Park Service lands south and east of Cascade Pass, Park Creek Pass and Rainy Pass as well as the entire Stehekin Valley.
Ditto for Oklahoma’s Chickasaw National Recreation Area, where new fire restrictions are now in effect due to prolonged drought and dry vegetation. Wood fires, including campfires, are prohibited until further notice.
And another dry and dangerous place … Stage 1 fire restrictions began Thursday on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management Wind River/Bighorn Basin District’s Cody, Lander and Worland, Wyoming, field offices in Big Horn, Carbon, Fremont, Hot Springs, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater and Washakie counties.
Sunlight Resorts has opened its second marquee resort, Champions Run Ocala Luxury RV Resort. Located in Ocala, FL, the “Horse Capital of the World,” the resort features 482 “oversized” RV sites, a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse and park model cottages for short-term and long-term stays.
The Department of the Interior announced Friday that the National Park Service will distribute $192 million to local communities through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grant program, which enables urban communities to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities.
The unpaved portion of the Bodie Road, the 3 miles of unpaved road that connects Highway 270 to the eastern California state historic park, will be closed from tomorrow through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for major road repairs. The ghost town will remain open with its normal summer hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, access from Highway 395 will be via Highway 167, near Mono Lake and Cottonwood Canyon Road with rougher road conditions. Visitors with RVs should proceed with caution.
Flood victims in Eastern Kentucky are being housed in cabins, rooms and cottages at the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, and Buckhorn and Pine Mountain State Parks.
Wildfires erupted overnight yesterday in parts of the West. In California’s Klamath National Forest, the fast-moving McKinney fire, which started Friday, went from charring just over 1 square mile to 62 square miles by Saturday afternoon in a mostly rural area near the Oregon state line. Meanwhile, in Montana, the human-caused Elmo Fire nearly tripled in size to more than 11 square miles within a few miles of the town of Elmo. Roughly 200 miles to the south, Idaho residents remained under evacuation orders as the Moose Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest charred more than 67.5 square miles in timbered land near Salmon. If you are in any of those areas, be careful.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis announced Wednesday evening that his company will leave NASCAR at the end of the 2022 season, ending its title sponsorship of the NASCAR Truck Series as well as various other car and race sponsorships. Camping World has spent the better part of the last 15 years as one of NASCAR’s most active sponsors, serving as the main sponsor of the Truck Series since 2009 while also sponsoring more than 35 drivers and 30 races.
Airstream and REI have teamed up to make a camping trip a little greener—and we’re not talking about foliage. The two companies have joined forces to create a new REI Co-op Special Edition Basecamp travel trailer. The compact vehicle is filled with many eco-conscious upgrades designed to minimize the user’s impact on the environment. The special edition is based on Airstream’s Basecamp. It’s a smaller, two-wheel model that stretches just 16 feet from end to end. Despite its modest size, it still features a kitchenette with a two-burner range and faucet, a bathroom with a toilet and shower, plus a versatile rear living area that can be used for work, entertaining or sleeping.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Friday that the Frank Russell Campground in north-central Missouri will remain closed through the 2023 camping season. The park on Mark Twain Lake is expanding 36 sites and needs more time to finish the work.
A Bandelier National Monument attraction, Cave Kiva, has been closed because of vandalism. Kivas are sacred sites and centers for religious and social life for Pueblo People today, just as they were for their ancestors. This kiva is in one of the cavates which visitors are allowed to access by climbing a short ladder. Public access to this space has now been revoked. We reached out to the park in New Mexico yesterday about the nature of the damages but did not hear back in time to report to you here. If you have information on the incident, please call the Bandelier Crime Tip Line at 505.709.0077. Though you may remain anonymous, up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible.
Illegal RV street parking is not just a North American concern. In Cornwall, England, campervan owners are parking on a scenic sea-front road for months on end. Residents of Boscawen Road and Cliff Road in Falmouth, Cornwall, say unwanted street residents are using the bushes as toilets. Meanwhile, parents walking past vans with their children can hear people having ‘loud sex’ inside. There are no parking restrictions on the road, meaning camper van owners have been able to use it as a “free campsite.” Geoff Fuller, 88, who lives on Boscawen Road with his wife Pam, 86, told the Sun Newspaper the neighborhood has been turned into “an unofficial free camp site with no facilities.” He added, “The nearest toilets are hundreds of yards away on the beaches and it’s obvious, by the smell, that some of the van occupants don’t bother using them. They just go in the bushes or the woods.”
Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, will welcome Dr. J. “Bob” Balaram, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to help celebrate National Aviation Day on Aug. 19 and 20, 2022. Dr. Balaram is the originator of the concept that became NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, and served as its chief engineer during its development, test and operations.
Redstone RV Park will have more options than ever with the recent completion of 20 new RV pads to its existing 70 sites. It could happen as soon as this week. The park at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is open to active-duty military, retirees and DOD civilians on a first-come basis.
[In case you missed this.] We don’t know what happened here, or who snapped the photo. But what we do know is that we’re glad we weren’t taking a nap inside the trailer when the unwelcome intruder decided to pay a visit.
This is every parent’s nightmare: A 2-year-old girl went missing at a campground in Piscataquis County, Maine, after wandering away during the night. Maine wardens say Blaklyn Greenleaf was last seen sleeping in her family’s camper at 2 a.m. Thursday. When the family woke up around 7 a.m., she was gone and the camper door was open. Her family did a quick search and then called 911 for help. Game wardens, deputies, forest rangers, state police and Maine Marine Patrol all quickly arrived to help search. At about 10:45 a.m., Game Warden Tyler Leach was searching one of the camp parking areas when he spotted the toddler in her pajamas sitting on a brush pile with her blanket. Wardens said little Blaklyn reached out to him. He immediately returned her to her relieved parents.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) has released the results of its 2021 Survey of Lender’s Experiences, a nationwide survey of financial institutions about their RV lending portfolios. Among the findings, the average down payment on retail indirect loans for RV purchases was 21% with the average amount financed at $53,908 for new RV purchases and $60,044 for used RV purchases.
The Bureau of Land Management on Monday, Aug. 1, will implement seasonal fire restrictions to prevent wildfire risk on public lands managed by the Eagle Lake and Applegate field offices in Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta and Siskiyou counties in California, and in Washoe County, Nevada. These seasonal restrictions are in addition to the BLM California fire prevention order and will remain in effect until further notice.
Yellowstone National Park hosted 536,601 recreation visits in June 2022, a 43 percent decrease from June 2021 (938,845 recreation visits), which was the most-visited June on record.
Garibaldi Lake Campground is closed due to flooding. The combination of an unseasonably large snowpack and high heat has caused the lake to rise, flooding the campground, which will be closed until the lake has receded to a safe level. Garibaldi Provincial Park is about halfway between Whistler and Squamish, British Columbia.
The 2023 Maine State Park Pass will go on sale on August 15. It is a great deal because the 2023 Park Pass is good for the remainder of 2022 and all of 2023, so 16 months for the price of 12! Get your pass at a Maine State Park.
Ocean City, Maryland-based outdoor hospitality specialist Blue Water is continuing its rapid expansion with the acquisition of Badlands/White River KOA Holiday, Interior, SD.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reopened Maquoketa Caves State Park Thursday, after three family members were killed inside the campground the previous Friday. However, the campground will be closed until further notice.
Park rangers responded to an emergency in Great Smoky National Park’s Elkmont Campground at approximately 12:30 a.m. on July 27, after a tree fell on a tent and resulted in the death of a 7-year-old girl from Georgia. The other family members, including father and two siblings, were not injured.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has launched the long-awaited greater roadrunner conservation license plate. The plate will raise money to help support and expand wildlife viewing programs and habitat conservation work. The public was invited to vote for their favorite design for the new roadrunner license plate last April.
With the continued fire danger in southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park has gone into a full fire ban which means, among other things, no campfires.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas) is reopening the Dog Canyon developed area on Monday including the Dog Canyon Campground. The campground has nine tent sites and four RV sites.
Yosemite’s Wawona Campground, CA, will remain closed until further notice. At this time, there is not an estimated opening date.
Staffing shortages throughout the Sisters Ranger District (Oregon) has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to temporarily halt campground reservations within the Three Creek Lake area in the Deschutes National Forest. Until campground hosts are hired, Three Creek Lake, Driftwood and Three Creek Meadows campgrounds will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
As a thank you to U.S. military members, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will provide free admission to its state parks to active duty military, veterans and the National Guard for the month of August. Get the pass beginning August 1 at any Colorado state park or CPW office by showing proof of service.
Jackson County, Florida, officials are looking into bringing a new campground to Blue Springs. The county is only in the beginning stages of developing a plan for the facility.
The respected state-run Polish Academy of Sciences Polish has classified domestic cats as an “invasive alien species,” citing the damage they cause to birds and other wildlife. Some cat lovers have reacted emotionally to this month’s decision and put the key scientist behind it on the defensive. The criteria for including the cat among alien invasive species “are 100% met by the cat,” said biologist Wojciech Solarz.
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
Ford Pro has launched America’s first electric pickup truck purpose-built for police: the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Special Service Vehicle. “We’re proud to offer America’s first electric police pickup truck to local government customers who can use the truck’s game-changing technology to help improve their productivity,” said Nate Oscarson, Ford Pro national government sales manager. “Pro Power Onboard can serve as a mobile power source to light up evening accident scenes on the highway, the electric powertrain helps to potentially reduce costs associated with fuel and scheduled maintenance needs and the Mega Power Frunk provides extra lockable storage on top of purpose-built police additions our customers have come to expect from the leader in police vehicles.”
Is your life boring, stimulating or somewhere in between?
Curious minds want to know this. Let’s see how stimulated our readers are. Respond to the poll here.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Amherst County, Virginia, law enforcement is on the lookout for a stolen 2004 Keystone travel trailer. Again, short on details, but what we do know is the rig was purloined on the 900 block of Buffalo Springs Turnpike in Amherst County, sometime between June 30 and July 1. A vehicle of interest, possibly towing away the rig, was a 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500. The truck was described as metallic blue, and having an extended cab. Know something about this one? Call Investigator Persons at 434-946-9373, extension 7.
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: Goodbye homes; hello “mobile” homes
• How far would you go to get your perfect RV? These RVers went far…
• When hate enters the campground, I wonder who we’ve become
• RVelectricity: Why you need a multimeter for your RV
• RV “Gremlins”: Part 6: The final chapter—water leaks
• Video of the day: RV oven features and tips even experienced RVers don’t know
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 25, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.33 [Calif.: $5.57]
Change from week before: Down 16 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.19.
Diesel: $5.27 [Calif.: $6.39]
Change from week before: Down 16 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.93.
The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Upcoming RV shows
It won’t be long before RV show season gets underway. Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
If you’ve taken a trip to Miami or The Keys, you’ve probably enjoyed a Cuban sandwich. When you can’t travel and want a taste of warmer weather, try this sandwich at home. Roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and dill pickle are sandwiched between bread and pressed. The final result is a terrifically tasty and warm sandwich that will fit the bill for lunch or supper!
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.
You’d think the Lava Lamp was invented by a hippie with a lot of LSD in their system, but that’s not true. One day, a British accountant, Edward Craven Walker, was sitting in a bar and noticed an employee’s makeshift cooking timer: a hunk of wax in a cocktail shaker. When the heat of the food on the nearby stove was warm enough, the wax melted and he knew the food was ready. Walker set about re-creating the hypnotizing effect, only this time the wax was being warmed by a lightbulb. The Lava Lamp we know today is almost entirely unchanged from Walker’s original design.
Did you ever own a lava lamp?
Answer our “Pop Poll.”
Two muffins were in an oven. One turned to the other and said, “Wow, it’s pretty hot in here.” The other one shouted, “Wow, a talking muffin!”
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, 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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