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Sunday, October 2, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Motorhome prices drop 13% in one month, says wholesale survey
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
The Black Book wholesale price survey of RVs for August showed an astonishing motorhome price drop. As they passed under the gavel, motorized unit prices fell 13.3% compared to July 2022 figures. Towables, which had already been on a decline, fell 3.2%. What does the motorhome price drop signify? Before we get to analysis, let’s zero in more on the stats.
A Journal of Forestry study reveals perceptions of land agencies toward campers
By Randall Brink
While conducting research for recent RVtravel.com articles on urban RV encampments and “homeless RVers,” I happened upon a very interesting study pertaining to the U.S. government’s perceptions and categorizations of campers on public lands. The white paper was published in the March 2020 edition of The Journal of Forestry… There are important takeaways for RVers from this professional journal article. It is essential that RVers do all they can to mitigate negative perceptions while camping on public lands. Learn more.
Buying, selling hotels without walls
By Andy Zipser
There are lots of reasons to be wary of the institutional investors that are tripping all over themselves to get into the campground and RV park business. They drive up the cost of entry for the mom-and-pop entrepreneurs who have been the industry’s backbone. They jack up prices for campers and RVers, transforming a formerly low-cost form of recreation into an increasingly pricey one. They tend to homogenize the business overall, chasing after the economies of scale that come through cookie-cutter standardization. But perhaps the most worrisome aspect of this trend is that many of these investors don’t know what they’re buying. Continue reading.
T-Mobile, SpaceX joint venture to end cellular dead zones
By Randall Brink
In a strategic partnership aimed at providing “universal coverage” for 5G cell phones, T-Mobile is teaming with SpaceX to pair the Starlink satellite array with T-Mobile’s 5G wireless network. … T-Mobile CEO, President Mike Sievert and SpaceX CEO and Chief Engineer Elon Musk announced the partnership they call “Coverage Above and Beyond.” Learn more.
Campground Crowding: Gone are the days of campgrounds being ‘rustic getaways’
By Nanci Dixon
RV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! This week our readers share their dilemma of still not finding a place to live after being burned out of their home during the fire in Paradise, CA, in 2018. They say the campgrounds are either like living at the Ritz or in the slums, and they don’t fit either venue. A campground owner explains the necessity to rent to seasonal campers. RVers complain that the reservation system for state and federal parks are terrible. (Do you agree?) All that and much more here.
Camping World, Heartland RV accused of failure to deliver serviceable vehicles
By Randall Brink
An RV buyer has sued Heartland RV and Camping World in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. In June 2021, Plaintiff Michael L. Jones of San Antonio bought a 2021 Heartland Pioneer BH270 travel trailer from Camping World. The RV was manufactured by Heartland RV, an Indiana company wholly owned by Thor Industries, Inc. The complaint alleges defendants failed to deliver a serviceable vehicle and, once the buyer discovered mechanical discrepancies and defects, failed to repair defects and discrepancies under warranty. This is interesting.
Opinion: Don’t judge an RV, or RVer, by its cover
By Emily Woodbury
Today I’d like to ask you not to judge. I’d like to ask that you put your discriminations, your hate, and your preconceived notions aside and just read Mary’s story below. Mary sent us the following note. I urge you to read it, and as you do, think of the quote by Milan Kundera, who wrote the wonderful book, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” Kundera says, “…for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.” Read Mary’s heartfelt plea.
Hawaii park rangers urge visitors to stop littering into steam vents
As Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s busy summer season comes to a close, rangers are expressing their frustration with the disrespect shown at the park’s multiple steam vents. Visitors have consistently used these steam vents as a “wishing well” to throw large amounts of coins and debris into. It’s primarily been happening at the popular attraction Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff), atop the summit of Kīlauea. Continue reading.
Here is the current edition of our 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!
Please note: We’ve changed the rules around a little bit. Please read the updated rules here. And don’t forget to submit a photo!
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “The unit I saw is a prototype so not everything is settled just yet. What they showed is truly impressive, indeed. It’s not just the specs, per se, but the attention to detail in things people will come to appreciate over time.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
September 25 – October 1, 2022
Ford has broken ground at BlueOval City, less than a year after the company and SK On announced a $5.6 billion investment in west Tennessee. BlueOval City will bring Ford – America’s No. 2 electric vehicle brand – closer to its target of reaching a 2 million electric vehicle annual run rate globally by late 2026, creating approximately 6,000 jobs, building an all-new, revolutionary electric truck and advanced batteries to power future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles. It’s on track to open in 2025. Already, crews have moved more than 4.6 million cubic yards of soil, enough to fill about 34,500 backyard swimming pools.
The RV industry continues to undergo a market correction following the huge numbers it produced during the first years of the pandemic. The RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) August 2022 survey of manufacturers determined that total RV shipments ended the month with 33,783 units, a decrease of 36% compared to the 52,819 units shipped in August 2022.
Margaritaville has announced that the Bolivar Beach Club & RV Resort located on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast near Galveston is set to become Camp Margaritaville RV Resort Crystal Beach by winter 2022. The Bolivar Beach Club is currently undergoing renovations. Camp Margaritaville RV Resorts combine the comfort of an RV with the amenities and state of mind of Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts. Across the U.S., these destinations offer luxury RV sites, upscale lodging, cabins, glamping spots and treehouses.
National Park System units in Florida on Friday were recovering from Hurricane Ian’s impacts and slowly reopening. National Park Service officials advised visitors to the state’s national park units to exercise caution due to the possibility of unidentified hazards on land and in park waters. Marine waters continue to be open in all locations. Current status is available on each park’s website under “Alerts.” You also can find some information at the Park Service’s “Hurricane and Severe Weather Response” website.
Pennsylvania will spend $45 million to add three new state parks. The new parks are Susquehanna Riverlands in York County, Vosburg Neck in Wyoming County, and Big Elk Creek in Chester County. The names are all temporary. These are the first new state parks in the state since 2005.
Speaking of new state parks, Tennessee is getting its own: Savage Gulf State Park in Grundy and Sequatchie counties. The park includes the 19,000-acre Savage Gulf State Natural Area, which is also a National Natural Landmark. It contains old growth forests, incredible vistas, waterfalls and jaw-dropping cliffs.
According to an Arches National Park spokesperson, those planning to visit the beautiful Utah park should “pack their patience.” The national park is ending its ticketed, timed-entry pilot program, which launched in April. Beginning Tuesday, October 3rd, visitors should expect long lines at the park entrance. Those hoping to avoid crowds should arrive before 7 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
Additionally, Yosemite National Park’s temporary peak-hours reservation system concluded yesterday. An entry reservation is no longer required to enter or drive through the park; entrance fees still apply.
An overnight fee for some heavily trafficked parts of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen, Colorado, has been approved by the U.S. National Forest. The new fee program is designed to help officials better manage the popular area, which spans nearly 182,000 acres and is home to 26 trailheads. Overnight use of the wilderness area has quadrupled since 2006, which has resulted in overcrowding, user conflicts, environmental damage and excessive trash. The permit would cost $10 per person per night from May 1 through October 31st.
National Indoor RV Centers opened their doors to RVers who had to evacuate from Hurricane Ian. In a message posted to Facebook, NIRVC founder and president Brett Davis wrote, “If you don’t mind it getting a little cramped, it’s mi casa, su casa at our facility in Atlanta. And, please don’t offend us by trying to pay. This one is on National Indoor RV Centers. Affected RVers are urged to contact the lifestyle center at 770-979-4051 to let them know they’re on their way.”
Prefer cabins to RVs? You’re in luck. As we’ve previously mentioned, Thousand Trails, one of the largest networks of campgrounds and RV resorts, is launching a “Cabin Pass.” The pass permits its members to stay in vacation rental accommodations across the country for as long as seven nights at a time, with at least two weeks in between. The pass includes accommodations in cabins, cottages, yurts, and tiny houses. The pass costs $1,495 per year.
One of the most endangered fish species on the planet, one that calls a tiny water-filled cave home, has undergone a population boom. National Park Service biologists recently surveyed the Devils Hole pupfish colony at Death Valley National Park, and counted 263 individuals, the greatest number recorded in 19 years. Before the 1990s, the population was around 400-500 pupfish in the fall. However, pupfish numbers have been especially low during the last two decades, averaging only 90 fish. No, don’t bring your fishing pole. The fish are about the size of a small goldfish.
As we enter fall, bears begin to prepare for hibernation and experience a period of increased hunger and feeding known as hyperphagia, when they can gain up to 3 pounds per day as they gain fat that will be utilized during winter hibernation. Fall food sources include bison and elk carcasses, sweet cicely root, clover, yampa, globe huckleberry, grouse whortleberry, buffaloberry and ants. If you see a bear, please remember to keep at least 100 yards from it at all times and never approach it to take a photo. While driving, do not stop your vehicle in the road. Instead, observe the bear from a pullout. If a pullout is unavailable and you are able to safely pull over, be sure to park with all four tires fully to the right of the white line. Happy bear viewing!
Thor Motor Coach debuted five new motorhome brands at last week’s (Sept. 26-28) Elkhart RV Open House — the Resonate, Twist, Indigo, Dazzle and Luminate. The company continues to refine its current models with an array of new floor plans. Among the new living-space configurations the Elkhart, Ind.-based motorized manufacturer debuted are described here.
Launching at last week’s Elkhart RV Open House in partnership with Suburban, an Airxcel brand, Heartland RV is rolling out an exclusive line of the industry’s first air fryer ranges in new Heartland models with a 17-inch range as standard equipment. Air frying uses convection heat to create crisp, crunchy foods without oil or deep frying, and has been gaining popularity over the last several years.
Beginning October 1 the Going-to-the-Sun Road will be closed on the west side of Glacier National Park from the four-way intersection at Apgar to Logan Pass. The road will remain open from St. Mary to Logan Pass until October 16, weather permitting.
Camping in Louisiana? Stay 4 nights and only pay for 3 at a Louisiana State Park when you book at www.ReserveLaStateParks.com and enter the promo code 𝗞𝗜𝗖𝗞𝗢𝗙𝗙𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮. Also, looking for family friendly Halloween events? The state’s parks and historic sites are hosting events throughout the month of of October.
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.
Is your RV “out of action” because you are waiting for repairs?
RECENT POPULAR POLL
We asked: Did you camp with a tent before taking up RVing?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
When thieves prowled a Prowler travel trailer in Willis, Texas, they probably got more than they bargained for. Grandma is along for the ride. However, since Grandma died in 2016, it’s only her ashes that were inside the rig when it was stolen on September 15. The family that owns the rig lived in the RV, and was away for a couple of days when the trailer suffered an electrical problem. When they came back to the lot where the rig had been parked, no RV. Someone reported two goons came by with a truck and told them the owner wanted the RV moved, and then did so. The family is heartbroken, and the granddaughter wants Grandma’s ashes back more than anything else. We have few details on a description, but if you know something, please contact Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
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.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
- Cover story: Happy Birthday to us. And an invitation to join RVing experts live
- Featured article: Rant, Part 2: Making Ford’s F-53 chassis safer to drive
- RV Manufacturer Warranty, Part 4: My honest, open letter to the manufacturers
- Ever wonder what a $198-a-night RV site looks like?
- RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Lots and lots (and lots) of nightmares this week
- Around the Campfire: Which to purchase first, the truck or the RV?
- My Weirdest Moment: Werewolf shows up after dark at campsite. Scary!
- … and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of September 26, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.71 [Calif.: $5.62]
Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Up 54 cents.
Diesel: $4.89 [Calif.: $6.11]
Change from week before: Down 8 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.48.
There’s a girl walking down the road with three friends. One friend is vegetation, another a mineral and the third an animal. What’s her name?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
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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
by Lisa Myrick from Wilmington, NC
What a delicious way to prepare cornbread! If you’re not team sweet for cornbread, you may not like this though. Nice and fluffy, the cornbread is super tender and almost has a cake-like texture. The bread itself is slightly sweet and has bits of sweet potato in every bite. Topped with the honey butter, it’s almost like a dessert that’s not too sweet. Yum!
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.
The point on Earth’s surface farthest from its center is located in Chimborazo, Ecuador. Even though the dormant stratovolcano, Chimborazo, isn’t the highest peak measured from sea level, because of the “equatorial bulge” phenomenon, where the equator bulges slightly outwards because of the centrifugal forces generated by the rotation of the planet, the mountains get a boost, making Chimborazo the farthest point from the center of the Earth.
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Mike Gast, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola, Jeff Clemishaw and Johnny Robot. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. 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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