Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Members News for RVers Issue 1087, Sunday edition

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Sunday, January 15, 2023
Members edition

  Featured articles  

Bad buying advice leads to RVing disaster

heavy duty trucks cracking in halfBy Russ and Tiña De Maris
Mike Pavel says the guy who sold him the truck assured him that the Ram pickup was the perfect match for a given truck camper. And for 25,000 miles across the U.S., it was. But a few miles into Mexico’s Baja country, Pavel’s Ram 3500 suffered a potentially terminal frame break, leaving the Eagle Cap camper pitched at a precarious angle. As for what the truck dealer told him? No matter. Mopar says Pavel will need to come up with the $17,000 to fix the broke-back pickup. Read more.

As wildlife moves into urban areas, people and pets at greater risk

By Andy Zipser
My recent post about the one-year anniversary of the Marshall fire in Colorado cited a U.S. Fire Administration report, issued last June, that raised the alarm about urban encroachment on undeveloped land. Titled “Wildland Urban Interface: A Look at Issues and Resolutions,” the report was an unabashed effort to “trigger a sense of urgency and motivation” about safeguarding exurban communities from wildfires. It’s a report worth reading, but given its narrow focus, only scratched the surface of an increasingly complex subject. … [W]ildlife predators increasingly are moving into fully urbanized areas, where they’re greeted with a mixture of fear and anthropomorphizing wonder that complicates an appropriate human response. Continue reading this important report.

Travel by RV predicted to boom again in 2023

If a survey by the Recreation Vehicle Industry of RVers’ travel plans holds true, you won’t be alone out there on the road this year—quite the opposite. The survey shows that 37% of American leisure travelers, representing 67 million, plan on taking an RV trip in 2023. Learn more.

Humans not needed to operate this new fully automated RV park

By Randall Brink
A fully automated RV park has opened in Tifton, Georgia. The Stafford commercial real estate firm of Atlanta says that the 34-site facility is fully automated for reservations and check-in/out. RV travelers booking reservations at Tifton Overnight are issued a gate code to enter the facility. … The “fully automated” aspect of Tifton Overnight will be interesting to watch. Is this the future wave for major interstate route overnight RV accommodations? What do you think about this?

RV manufacturer does away with luxury towables line

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A popular model of luxury towable RVs introduced in 2014 is about to go the way of the dinosaur. “Elevated inflation, higher interest rates, higher fuel prices and a weakening stock market have affected the RV industry,” a memo to employees explained. “After thorough evaluation, it is with deep sadness that we have made the decision to restructure the organization by discontinuing operation.” Continue reading.

Floating ‘glampground’ to open; sites dangle 330 feet above ground

By Emily Woodbury
Talk about a “glampground”! Dubai-based designer Ardh Architects is taking glamping to new heights with their “Floating Retreat.” The project is still in its conceptual phase but is … expected to be built in the coming years. Tents would be strung between two mountains about an hour from Dubai, and rates will start around $300 per night. The Floating Retreat will operate between November to May, when the weather has cooled. During the summer, it will be open to day guests for spa visits and sightseeing. Check this out! Would you stay here?

America’s Outdoor Recreation Act lost in budget shuffle—a missed opportunity

By Randall Brink
In late 2021, U.S. Senators Manchin of West Virginia and Barrasso of Wyoming co-sponsored “America’s Outdoor Recreation Act.” The bill made it through the U.S. Senate committee structure. In late September 2022, Sen. Manchin reported it out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with a recommendation for passage by the 117th Congress. The measure aimed to substantially enhance and improve recreation sites on federal lands, including campgrounds, and provide resources and assistance to communities adjacent to national recreation sites. Continue reading.

Dave Solberg to present seminars at Florida RV SuperShow

Our RV technical expert Dave Solberg will be a busy guy at this week’s Florida RV SuperShow coming Jan. 18-22 to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Solberg is familiar to most RVtravel.com readers for his daily advice column about RV maintenance and repair as well as for his “RV Handbook”, an essential guide he authored about maintaining and repairing a recreational vehicle. He is also a popular speaker at RV shows around the country. Learn what else he’ll be up to at the Florida show here.

Campground Crowding

RVing getting easier again; more available sites

RV sales have slowed (finally) and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? Is it easier to find a campsite now, particularly in state and national parks? Maybe so, since several of our readers this week report having no problem finding campsites. More readers advise planning ahead (always a good idea). And others have tips on saving money on camping. All that and much more here.

Commentary (with a poll)

The most ridiculous RV campsite we’ve seen

Publisher Chuck Woodbury writes that this is the worst-designed RV campsite he has seen in 21 years of publishing RVtravel.com. See if you agree. Then answer the poll about whether you could even get into this site with your RV. We’re guessing that few of you could. See a pic (try not to laugh) and answer the poll.

Yellowstone elk gets revenge on clueless, ego-impaired tourist

Don’t you sometimes wish when you observe a tourist doing something really stupid or offensive that you could somehow, magically, wish him or her some sort of payback? Maybe you don’t think that way, but publisher Chuck Woodbury admits he does (sometimes). Watch this 40-second video where one stupid Yellowstone tourist pays a price for trying to mess with the mind of a bull elk.

That was the RV week that was

January 8–14, 2023

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 16, all National Park entrance fees are waived. It’s the first free day of the year for our National Park system. In addition, Washington State Parks are free to all and Arizona State Parks are free for residents. The next free day comes in April.

Photo credit: California State Parks

Nearly 100 California State Parks are closed or partially closed due to the recent devastating, relentless storms. Heavy rains have damaged trails and flooded roads, campgrounds and visitor centers across the state. The heavy rains are expected to continue through January 21. You can find a full list of park closures here.

The atmospheric rivers that have been bringing torrential rains to California have led to the closure of at least two units of the National Park System, Pinnacles National Park and Muir Woods National Monument. The privately run campground on the east side of Pinnacles NP will remain open for now to visitors with existing reservations. Check with the parks if you are headed there to see when they will reopen.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 remote and remote-flexible workers, 80% would consider working remotely from a vacation destination as a way to extend the length of their trip. That held especially true for respondents ages 26 to 41 (83%), who made up 70% of the polling panel.

Ember Recreational Vehicles will debut two all-new floorplans, alongside its dealer partner Optimum RV, at the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow, Jan. 18 to 22 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The 21MRK, part of Ember’s new Touring Edition, and the 221MSL, winner of a 2022 innovation and Best of Show award and a floorplan in Ember’s Overland Series, will be on display in booth number 750. The Touring Edition 21MRK is a couple’s coach featuring Ember’s unique Murphy bed design in the front with extra-large countertop space throughout the kitchen.

The Quartzsite RV Show

The giant Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show begins next Saturday and runs through the 29th, in Quartzsite, Arizona. The show is different from most other RV shows, with only one official RV dealer on hand. But inside the huge tent, hundreds of vendors offer just about RV accessory or service imaginable. Admission and parking is free, and there are plenty of other activities going on within walking distance, including gem shows and giant flea markets. Virtually unlimited free camping is available on Bureau of Land Management desert lands that surround Quartzsite and the show.

A new Missouri law, effective January 1, states: “No person shall be permitted to use state-owned lands for unauthorized sleeping, camping, or the construction of long-term shelters.” This law makes unauthorized camping on state land a crime and is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and hundreds of dollars in fines. This law is aimed at the unhoused population, and will not affect authorized campsites across the state.

A bill signed into law by Congress in December will fund National Park campground upgrades and scheduled maintenance projects. The bill allows millions of dollars to be allocated towards the Great American Outdoors Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund projects. These funds will be used to upgrade facilities, reopen campgrounds, improve accessibility and make important safety repairs on roads, bridges and water systems, which are essential to RVers. In addition, the bill will invest in bringing 500 new staff members on board.

Check out the heavens above at an Arizona State Park Star Party astronomy event. Dazzling celestial objects like planets, nebulas, and stars will be within reach thanks to the telescopes and volunteers of partnering local astronomy clubs. Three state parks are scheduled to host Star Parties from January through April, including Cattail Cove State Park south of Lake Havasu, Catalina State Park in Tucson, and Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction. Learn more at AZStateParks.com/stars.

No RV camping at the 2023 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta for you (unless you were one of the lucky ones)! The website released its 1,785 camping spaces at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 11, and all sites were booked just 70 minutes later—setting a record-breaking sell-out time for the fiesta. The 2023 fiesta will be held from October 7-15. Depending on the specific area, camping costs between $50-$250 a night.

Traveling in Canada this summer? You’ll need to plan ahead as personal vehicles will not be allowed on Moraine Lake Road in Alberta, Canada. The decision by Parks Canada was due to safety concerns and negative experiences caused by 24-hour demand for parking. Access will be by Parks Canada Shuttle, Roam Transit, commercial buses and taxis. Moraine Lake and nearby Lake Louise are among the most visited destinations in Canada.

News briefs

RV loans aren’t alone in stretching for long terms. Automotive News reports that as of the third quarter of 2022, one-fifth of all new-car and one-tenth of all used-car borrowers were opting for 84-month loans.

RecNation Storage, a leading owner, operator and developer of specialized recreational vehicles and marine storage facilities, has announced the launch of RecNation Rental, a white-glove, peer-to-peer RV rental startup that will allow RecNation customers to rent their vehicles and earn additional income without “lifting a finger.”

According to the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, between 2022 and 2024, Florida will add at least eight new RV resorts to the state, resulting in 3,596 new campsites. The new RV resorts will be added to Camp Florida.

Another advantage to traveling with an RV than flying: Airlines are increasingly adding seats that do not recline. The idea is to save weight from reclining mechanisms, which saves fuel and minimizes arguments among passengers about reclining seats ahead invading their space.

The BLM St. George Field Office will temporarily close a portion of Red Cliffs Recreation Area starting tomorrow to Feb. 6 for recreation and cultural resource-related improvements and maintenance. The affected areas include approximately 100 acres within the Red Cliffs Recreation Area including Red Cliffs Campground..

Rough weather Thursday led to the closure of a handful of campgrounds and roads at Olympic National Park in Washington state. The campgrounds: Quinault, Queets, Kalaloch and Mora. They are expected to reopen once park staff determine that conditions are safe for visitor use.

Thinking about going electric? Tesla has reduced prices for its car models sold in the U.S. and Europe. Among the reductions include $43,990 for a Tesla Model 3, down from $46,990, and $52,990 for a Tesla Model Y, down from $65,990. In the U.S., both vehicles also now qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Maine State Parks campgrounds have experienced their third consecutive year of record-breaking attendance with more than 319,000 visitors at the state’s 12 campgrounds in 2022. Maine State Parks also reported the second-highest number of visitations (day use and campers) in 2022, with more than 3.28 million visitors.

Speaking of state parks… If you have a library card in the state of Nevada, congratulations, you now have free access to all of Nevada’s 27 state parks. Library cardholders can check out a pass for a one-week period at their local library. Each pass will cover the day-use entrance fees for one passenger vehicle holding up to eight people.

If you want to see something rare and are away from bright lights, look up in the sky just before daylight from mid- to late-January for Comet C/2022 E3, a once-in-100,000-year opportunity. It hasn’t appeared since the Neanderthals, and won’t appear here again for 50,000 years. Read here for when, where and how to spot it.

KOA has purchased Nashville RV Resort and Cabins, a 33-acre riverfront RV park in Nashville, Tennessee, for $13.7 million.

Hearst Castle, on the central California coast, was closed Monday due to severe winter weather. No tours were given at the former San Simeon luxury estate of media mogul William Randolph Hearst. Call ahead if you are headed there to see if it has reopened.

Don’t look for any Toyota commercials, including those for trucks, during the Super Bowl. For the first time since 2017, the company is not participating in the advertising frenzy and all its hype.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting Free Fishing Weekend Jan. 21-22 to share the fun and excitement of winter fishing. No fishing license or trout and salmon stamps are required. Anglers can fish state waters where there is an open season.

Stay four nights for the price of three when you book a campsite at a Louisiana State Park. Just visit ReserveLAStateParks.com and enter KICKOFF2023. This offer includes cabins, RV campsites and group camps. 


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 and writers as they move about the country.

Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.

Reader poll

Have you ever brought a rotisserie chicken at Costco?

Okay, okay. This isn’t about RVing. But, come on, we’ve conducted more than 2,000 polls of our readers through the years, and how many questions can you ask just about RVing? So let’s talk about chickens. Answer the poll here and tell us your Costco chicken stories in the comments.


RV thieves hit a new low around Christmas. Jill Silverthorne was heading home from Washington to New Mexico with a new-to-her 2007 Class C Gulfstream Touring Cruiser. Jill struggles with rheumatoid arthritis that largely keeps her in a wheelchair. But she’d found the RV of her dreams—the Gulfstream was outfitted with a BraunAbility wheelchair lift and adaptations to make it easy for her to drive. She’d flown to Washington to pick up the rig, and on the way home, visited friends in Woodland Hills, California. The Class C was parked outside—emphasis on was—because on waking up December 25, she looked and found the rig was gone. Gone, too, was her Jazzy wheelchair and plenty of other personal effects. Friends have started a GoFundMe to help with some of her losses. If you know anything that might help, contact Detective Ruiz with the LAPD Topanga Division at (818) 756-4820 and refer to case number 221226002690.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving—but nobody wants it. Another Christmas holiday theft, this one from South Austin, Texas. The missing unit is a 1972 Avion V-25, a restoration project stolen from right in front of the owner’s house. Derek Bryant has been working on the Avion for nearly a year, and has a huge investment in the trailer in terms of materials and time. A classic rig like this should easily stand out on its own, but Derek also put has Grandmom’s name on the rear of the rig, Mary Ann. Surveillance video shows a crook drives in and hitches around 2:30 p.m., December 26. If you know something that might help get this project back home, email derektbryant@gmail.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: A hot frog, RVtravel.com and how things change
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: RVs are: ‘holes you shovel funds into,’ ‘earthquakes on wheels,’ and ‘crap’
The numbers you should memorize as an RVer
RVer’s anxiety: Worrying is just a part of the lifestyle
RV Fact or Fiction? Outside temperatures can be too cold for an RV refrigerator to cool
Amazing 20-year dream 1935 Bowlus restoration is completed
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 9, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.26 [Calif.: $4.23]
Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 4 cents.
Diesel: $4.55 [Calif.: $5.45]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 89 cents.

Brain Teaser

Can you write down eight eights mathematically so that they add up to one thousand?

(Answer below.)

Upcoming RV shows

Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.

Recipe of the Day

Grilled Cheese Burgers

by Colleen Sowa from La Crosse, WI

Two great sandwiches in one! This is an ooey gooey hamburger everyone will love. Grilled onions and mushrooms only make the burger better. Making a buttery grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect foundation for sandwiching the burger inside. This is the ultimate comfort food that comes together quickly. Better than fast-food take-out!

Click here for the recipe

Brain teaser answer:

888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1000

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.


There are about one trillion bacteria and nearly 200 types of fungi on each of our feet. There are 26 bones in each foot (one less than in a hand), and there are about 250,000 sweat glands in our feet. Feet have nearly 8,000 nerves, many near the skin – which is why feet are so ticklish.

Sunday funny

We need a 12-step group for compulsive talkers. They could call it On Anon Anon. —Paula Poundstone

Today in History


RVtravel.com All-Star Team

rv travel logo

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, 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. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Mascots: Archie and Astor “the Disaster”

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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
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This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.

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Chris P. Bacon
2 months ago

I did the puzzler the hard(er) way:
(8888 – 888) / 8

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris P. Bacon

Wow! I’m impressed, Chris! (Love your handle, BTW! I always get a chuckle when I see it in the comments.) Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Thomas D
2 months ago

Dont people buy and use trailer hitch locks? I’ve got a lock on everything I own. Spend $40 for a superior one and r educe the chance of theft. Wheel locks are good too, where it takes a special key to remkve nut. On my motorhome i had a simple switch under the dash that shut off the starter motor. Just in case

Marilyn M
2 months ago

I feel bad for the poor guy whose frame broke with the weight of the camper but why did he not put his truck up on jacks and inspect it once-in-awhile for wear and tear as well as cracks? Should that not be considered regular maintenance when putting that much weight on your truck?

2 months ago
Reply to  Marilyn M

It’s a one ton Dodge, why worry?

Roger Marble
2 months ago
Reply to  Les

Yup. I put 70,000+ on Chevy 3500 with a camper in the bed plus pulling a 26′ enclosed trailer with a race Camaro and support tools inside.

Chris Collins
2 months ago

Near the top of this page you bemoan the failure of the “America’s Outdoor Recreation Act”, but then a few paragraphs later you applaud funding for the “Great American Outdoors Act”. What are the differences between these two similarly-named Acts?

Bill K
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris Collins

I had the same question.
And, it’s a stretch to call the Nashville RV Resort and Cabins a riverfront RV park.

Bill Semion
2 months ago

A bill signed into law by Congress in December will fund National Park campground upgrades and scheduled maintenance projects.
Congress does no such thing. It passes legislation and the prez signs them into law.
In addition, is this connected in any way to the story also posted today about a bill co-sponsored by Manchin to upgrade campgrounds?

Last edited 2 months ago by Bill Semion
Kurt Shoemaker Sr
2 months ago

I’m wondering what affect the storms in California are going to have on the camping areas.

Donald N Wright
2 months ago

compulsive talkers, there actually is a medical term for it.

2 months ago

logorrhea, AKA verbal diarrhea!