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Sunday, March 26, 2023
Bowlus first RV manufacturer to go all electric across product line
Bowlus, a manufacturer of luxury recreation vehicles, announced last Tuesday its move to be the first fully electric RV company. The move to all-electric follows the success of the Bowlus Volterra, the world’s first all-electric RV, which Bowlus launched in August of last year. Read more.
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act likely to pass this time
By Randall Brink
The U.S. Senate again considers America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), which aims to “modernize public campgrounds and ensure increased access to public lands.” The legislation was introduced in 2022 as the Outdoor Recreation Act but was still tied up in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee when the session ended. The bipartisan package incorporates several ground-breaking recreation bills…. Continue reading.
Oregon officials explore affordable RV park as a solution to homelessness crisis
By Randall Brink
The homelessness crisis continues to challenge communities across the nation. Redmond, Oregon, is taking an innovative approach by developing an affordable RV park as an adjunct to its Safe Parking Program. Learn more.
What do you think of this new radio commercial that promotes RVing?
The RV Industry Association, through its Go RVing marketing program, has debuted some new radio commercials that promote RVing over other ways to travel. Listen to one of the 30-second commercials and then answer our poll question about whether it would help entice someone to take up RVing. Listen here.
Up to $1,500 tax credit may be possible for e-bike purchase
By Randall Brink
If you are considering adding an electric bicycle to your RV travel fleet, there’s potentially good news in the form of a federal tax credit bill. Legislation to provide a substantial tax incentive for purchasing an electric bike, The Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act, has been reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. The measure provides a tax credit of 30 percent on the purchase of a new e-bike, up to $1,500, up from the $800 credit set forth in the original version of the act introduced in 2021. Continue reading.
RVer busted for extensive fake ID lab inside ‘stolen’ trailer
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
How many people “on the road” in an RV are using it for business? With the advent of internet communications, many people are abandoning stationary business locations and working from the road. YouTubers, visiting nurses, even writers for RVtravel.com, for heaven’s sake! But one erstwhile road-working RVer has now traded his travel trailer in for a prison cell. His mobile ID theft lab is—at least temporarily—sidelined. Read more.
Is KOA ‘single-handedly ruining camping’?
By Nanci Dixon
RV sales have slowed (finally) and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? This week one reader complains, “living and traveling in an RV can be as expensive as owning a house!” Also, one reader writes about a particular RV park: “The new owners are much more comfortable with ‘asset branding’ than ‘asset management.'” One longtime RVing couple laments that “it’s just not as fun anymore.” And one RVer complains, “KOA has almost single-handedly ruined the camping experience and culture.” Find out why those folks made those statements here.
That was the RV week that was
March 18–24, 2023
Grounded, founded by ex-Tesla and SpaceX engineers, has revealed the world’s first customizable smart electric RV, the G1. Forbes says it sets a new standard for sustainable travel with zero emissions, solar power, and Ford batteries that allow for increased travel flexibility via a nationwide charging network. The Aerodynamic Towable, a spaceship-like trailer with remote-controlled electronics and 1500 watts of solar power, will launch soon. The G1 electric RV, with a range of 108 miles, is available for purchase from April 2023 for $125,000, while the G2, with a range of 250 miles, will be available from July 2023.
Winnebago Industries revenues for the Fiscal 2023 second quarter that ended February 25, 2023, were $866.7 million, down 25.6% from $1.2 billion from Fiscal 2022, driven by unit volume decreases. Gross profit was $146.8 million, down 32.2% from $216.6 million for Fiscal 2022. Operating income was $76.8 million for the quarter, down 43.9% from the $136.8 million from the second quarter of last year. Fiscal 2023 second quarter net income was $52.8 million, down 42.1% from $91.2 million the prior year quarter.
Former owners of Fremont RV Center in South Sioux City, Nebraska, have been found guilty of defrauding more than a dozen customers. Douglas Bras, 62, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of theft by deception, while Shara Bras, 57, pleaded no contest to 11 counts. The couple also faced additional charges for bad check issuance, forgery, abuse of a senior adult, and violation of the motor vehicle certificate of title act. They sold campers on consignment but used the sales proceeds to pay their own debts instead of the owners, resulting in fraudulent activity from July 2019 to March 2022, affecting 17 victims. They face jail time and hefty fines.
According to the new KOA Monthly Research Report for March 2023, 74 percent of households that camped in 2022 have confirmed they will camp again in 2023, and most will camp during July and August. 35 percent of campers have already booked trips in July, and 33 percent have booked trips for August. 27 percent of campers say they have secured all camping reservations for the entire year. In the upcoming months, 26.1 million households are expected to go camping, a number slightly up from the 25.2 million in 2022. Read more.
Early in the evening on March 22, the first grizzly bear of 2023 was observed in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. As bears become active this spring, Bear Wise Jackson Hole reminds residents and visitors to secure attractants of any kind and be bear aware.
FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, has issued an alert to the media that scam emails may have been sent offering to sell the mailing list of attendees of its recent convention in Perry, Georgia. FMCA notes that it never sells or shares such information to outside parties, and that anyone who receives such an offer should ignore it. (Better yet, forward it to chuck @ RVtravel.com and he will pass it along to FMCA.)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has announced upgrades to two very popular Oregon Coast campgrounds. Beverly Beach State Park campgrounds will be closed from September 5 to late-May 2024 for power and water line upgrades, while Bullards Beach State Park campgrounds will be closed from October 15 to mid-March 2024 for a main sewer line upgrade. During these closures, all campground facilities at Beverly Beach will be shut, while Bullards Beach will keep its day-use area, boat ramp, lighthouse, and horse camp open.
Ford Motor Company said on Friday that its BlueOval City manufacturing plant in Tennessee will be able to produce 500,000 electric pickups a year when it comes online in 2025. So says Automotive News.
All campgrounds in Yosemite National Park will be available by reservation only. First-come, first-served camping will not be available. Reservations will be available two months and/or two weeks in advance for Camp 4, Bridalveil Creek, Crane Flat, Tamarack Flat, White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, and Porcupine Flat. Tuolumne Meadows Campground remains closed for rehabilitation. Get the details on when reservations will be available for each campground at go.nps.gov/camping. As previously announced, a reservation will not be required to visit Yosemite this year while work is underway on the Visitor Access Management Plan.
A new bill in Florida, HB 1323, is making headway in its aim to ease pressures for campground owners. The bill seeks to curb bogus and fraudulent claims against park owners and their insurers. Rep. Dean Black and the Florida RV Park and Campground Association (FRVCA) are promoting the bill, which would grant immunity to campground owners from civil liability arising from inherent camping risks. The bill aims to reduce fraudulent insurance lawsuits against RV park owners and operators in Florida, not to completely remove their liability.
North Carolina governor passes SB 53 law, which seeks to establish uniform legal standards for occupants of hotels, motels, and other temporary lodgings, including RV parks and campgrounds. This brings private campground owners and RV park operators under the same regulations that apply to other lodging options. The bill’s passage is in response to the state’s affordable housing shortage, which has led many residents to seek alternative accommodations.
BookOutdoors, an online platform for booking outdoor travel, has expanded its services to cover all 50 states in the U.S. The platform offers a variety of outdoor accommodations such as campsites, RV parks, cabins, glamping resorts, and other unique stays with no booking fees. The platform provides several benefits, including weather protection, affordable travel insurance options, Cancel For Any Reason coverage, and a loyalty program.
Several roads in Zion National Park remain closed after large rockfalls and storms severely damaged them on Wednesday. The Zion Canyon Shuttle System is operating, but some sections of the shuttle route are down to one lane. If you’re visiting the park, please note that shuttle services may be temporarily stopped or delayed as repairs are being made. Kolob Canyons Road is closed to all use at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.
Conservationists are pushing for the Venus fly trap to be South Carolina’s official carnivorous plant, joining other official items such as the state bird (Carolina Wren), state opera (Porgy and Bess) and the state snack (boiled peanuts).
The Bureau of Land Management Moab (Utah) Field Office has announced a second comment period for feedback on a proposal to limit camping to designated sites in a portion of the Labyrinth Rims/Gemini Bridges Special Recreation Management Area northwest of Moab. If approved, it would limit camping to designated campsites and would require the use of a fire pan and packed-out ash from fires, in addition to prohibiting wood-gathering, collecting, and cutting in the 187-square-mile area. The BLM will accept comments on this proposal through April 21, 2023. More.
FMCA’s bi-annual convention in Perry, Georgia, last week attracted members in 1,900 RVs, an increase of about 550 over its last rally there in 2021. Its last gathering in Perry in 2019, before the pandemic, attracted club members in 2,512 coaches.
For dog lovers: For the first time in 31 years, the U.S. has a new favorite dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. Adorable in some eyes, deplorable in others, the sturdy, push-faced, perky-eared, world-weary-looking and distinctively droll French bulldog became the nation’s most prevalent purebred dog last year, the club announced Wednesday, ousting Labrador retrievers from the top spot.
Glacier National Park in Montana has plans for major construction areas during the 2023 summer season that could impede travel. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and prepare for traffic delays at the West Entrance and closures in the North Fork due to construction.
The Wetherill Mesa area of Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado will be closed for the 2023 season to accommodate the demolition and construction of a new visitor contact station in the Wetherill area. The existing contact station was damaged by the Pony Fire in August 2000 and needs to be replaced.
Congaree National Park, South Carolina, has announced the dates for the 2023 Synchronous Fireflies Viewing Event, which will take place on May 13-16 and May 19-24, 2023, and will offer the public opportunities to observe the synchronous fireflies. Passes will be required to enter the park on event nights and will be made available through a lottery hosted through https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/300008.
ExplorUS is the new contract holder for concessionaire-managed day-use sites and campgrounds in Coconino National Forest, Sedona, Arizona, resulting in slightly higher fees. Day-use site fees are now $12 per vehicle, and campground fees range from $24 to $30 per night, with group campgrounds ranging from $95 to $175 per night. Visitors can purchase an annual pass for $45 to access the sites. The Beaver Creek Day Use Picnic Site is now part of the concessionaire-managed fee sites list.
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.
Please note: This contest will end at the end of this month. It simply does not generate enough interest for our staff to continue putting their time into it. We’ve enjoyed it (and loved seeing all of your RVs!) and know those of you who have participated have, too. We apologize to those whose RVs weren’t randomly chosen out of the thousands of submissions. Now we’re off to think of another contest idea…
How would you like to win a Portable Vacuum?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (March 25, 2023) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!
Do you consider yourself an organized or disorganized person?
This should be interesting. Respond here.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Missing in Mississippi: A brand-new 2023 Flagstaff Super Lite travel trailer, 36 feet in length, is missing in Lucedale, Mississippi. Someone with a “newer model” white Dodge crew cab pickup strolled off with the rig from Dad’s Camper Outlet on Hwy. 63 South, Monday, March 13, around 4:40 a.m. The pickup had no tailgate. If you know something, give the George County Sheriff’s Office a call at (601) 947-4811.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 20, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.42 [Calif.: $4.66]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 82 cents.
Diesel: $4.19 [Calif.: $5.26]
Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Down 95 cents.
I have two bodies joined together as one. When standing still, I run and run. What am I?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday RV Travel newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Vegetable Tortellini Soup
by Debbie Kirk from Citrus Heights, CA
Whip up this vegetable tortellini soup when you’re looking to warm up on a cold day. It’s a quick and easy meal idea. Cheese tortellini makes this soup super hearty. Filled with carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, and spinach, it’s loaded with fresh veggies. With Italian herbs, garlic powder, and oregano, it definitely has more of an Italian flare. Cozy and comforting!
The Perfect Scam Podcast
Every Saturday 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.
Americans love to grill. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker, and 75 percent of them use their grill even during the winter. So says a 2020 report from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).
Laugh of the Week
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, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Jeff Clemishaw. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Artificial (AI) contributors: Johnny Robot and Milly MacWilly. Canine 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.
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What a rotten way to end an enjoyable reading experience. Chuck, Diane, et al, if you can’t edit out the political b.s. then please stop accepting comments at all. Better none than trying to skip over the ever growing number of flakes who simply must show their vast political knowledge (oxymoron intended).
Sorry, Bill. I’ve been deleting comments literally all day (while trying to do my other work). I just went in and trashed some more. I’m just more lenient than our other moderators and let more comments remain than they would allow. Sometimes it’s a very fine line between allowing people to express their opinions (i.e., freedom of speech) and deleting comments that are inappropriate for our newsletters. It’s especially difficult when some of our posts are politically based. Once readers start commenting on any topic, things can go downhill very fast. Example, a reader poll on whether or not you bought Girl Scout Cookies. I had to delete a lot of way-out-of-line comments even on that topic. Sheesh! 😲 Maybe we need a page where people can say whatever they want, and bash each other all they want, and no one else has to see that page except those people. Oh, wait. There are already other social media outlets where they can do that. Anyway, I’ll try to be tougher. Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane (the softie) at RVtravel.com
Censorship is never “tougher”! It is just plain wrong. Not to mention it is totally “contrary to the Constitution of the United States”. Bill’s opinion, is not the only opinion for you to consider! Especially when people are contributing to be able to read this newsletter and make comments. Please consider that as well.
Thank you for your comment, Ed. People’s opinions, and comments, are welcome here. We just request that they be civil and don’t bash other people or their differing opinions. Some folks’ comments are just plain rude or even filthy, so those get deleted. And since this is a private newsletter, I think it’s fair that we can decide what is suitable to include for our readers. Can’t win fer losin’, however, because if we leave them in we get in trouble, and if we take them out we get in trouble. 🙄 Have a good day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Nothing I said was either Uncivil, or filthy. I had an opinion and I stated it. It wasn’t necessarily political. I just used this weeks reporting of the Gas prices to simply point out that this administration is getting a break now that we have had to endure the super high prices of gas for over 2 years and the current prices, being compared to last years prices are just sugar coating the actual facts of high gas prices. There is nothing political about that. Just stating the facts! The prices leading up to 2020 were very low, compared to what they are currently..
OK, Ed. I’ve approved it. Let’s see where the conversation goes. I was referring to some of the comments in general as being deleted for being uncivil or filthy, not your comment. And it does sound rather political to me. If folks see it, I’m sure there will be politically focused responses. (You’re wearing out my 76-year-old brain. 😆 ) Have a good night. –Diane at RVtravel.com
That’s okay, I am in my 70’s also. So I know how you feel. 🙂
👍 Some weekends moderating literally hundreds of comments (while doing my other work) are definitely more of a “challenge” than others, all depending on what articles are published. By the time my weekend is over, I’m ready for a weekend. Just sayin’. 😆 Take care. 😀 –Diane
Good night and enjoy the upcoming week.
Thanks, Ed. You, too! (I was so focused on proofing Dave Solberg’s upcoming article that I didn’t notice your comment come in. Sorry.) 😀 –Diane
Yup, I’m gonna come back as a bear too!!
I guess these people that have rv’s stolen never heard of locks. My fiver is locked as soon as i unhitch. My utility trailer is locked. They could buy a wheel boot and keyed wheel nuts but they think? It’ll never happen to me. Well, it happens to someone, right. Sometimes I think there should be a stupidity tax.
Please, please, please. This is an RV Magazine. Enough with the politics.
“Please note: This contest will end at the end of this month.” Oh No! I enjoyed checking in every weekend. My brother even one once when his RV appeared in an issues. It can’t take that much staff time to post a picture in a format/template you have already established. Please reconsider dropping this item.
Agree…enjoy checking daily…if you don’t you might miss out!
But…I get it…almost 200 in prizes weekly plus time to save download the file, pick, and upload the winner 7 times a week could be a daunting task!
Stay tuned… 🤫 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Concerns and problems with voting for POTUS can be easily solved if the President was elected by the total popular vote from all states. The Electoral college is a hold over from slavery days and was and is designed to have the votes in some states count more toward the final election. It would be impossible to “Fix” or flip the election results at a majority of the 70,000 polling places vs flipping the vote at 3 or 4 states.as was tried by a certain person in 2020. I believe that each person’s vote should be counted and count equally and the votes of some people should not be effectively worthless because of the state they live in which is what we have today. I have worked the polls every election year since 2008 and know how the system works.
Hey Roger, that is your opinion. To use your analogy, States like California and new York would determine the President every election. Not too many of the rest of us are agreeing with you. The electoral College is a great way to make sure that doesn’t happen and to make each and every State competitive in the Elections. Judging by your comment on someone in the 2020 election, I would guess you voted for the basement dweller that didn’t even campaign and received (supposedly) more votes that Obama. YEAH, RIGHT! Enjoy your fantasy Roger, because that is exactly what it is, a fantasy.
And this is for the “real patriot”: Intelligent people know that the Gas prices are set based on domestic production. This administration has prevented the Oil Companies from drilling across the country and Alaska. They have made us solely dependent on foreign oil. Tell me again how they don’t control Gas prices?
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 20, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.42 [Calif.: $4.66]
week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 82 cents.
Diesel: $4.19 [Calif.: $5.26]
week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Down 95 cents.
2021: UP $1.13 here in N.C.
administration is now enjoying the fact that their failure in the petroleum
industry has been swept under the carpet because they are now being compared
from year to year with last years horrendous prices. So it tends to make them
look on the positive side! Intelligent people are not fooled!
If gas were that cheap.
In casa grande az right now regular is $4.09
( so glad I bought a diesel with all the pollution controls)
“Is this your RV”
I have watched to see if ours was chosen. Never was.
Why not titillate us and many more by showing photos of 10 each newsletter??
I like what Wayne said, but also have no idea how much work that feature requires. 🙂
Sorry but the camping ad is stupid. Just like a political ad where you tell people what’s wrong with the alternative (New York) more than what’s good about you.
“South Carolina’s official carnivorous plant”. Gee, I wonder which state will announce they have designated an official cloud formation.
There are no clouds in the future, we’ve been warmed.
New Mexico has an official aroma, roasting green chile
It is interesting to note that North Carolina is tightening standards for private campgrounds that should benefit campers while Florida is tightning rules that would benefit campground owners and possibly harm campers.
From a male perspective- Don’t care for hairy legs. Already live with a female Bear.
We would like to see an update on SB139 that the Governor signed in South Dakota. How is it going to affect fulltime RV’ers residency and voting??
You can still vote by mail. They are, like all red states, trying to eliminate ballot drop boxes because they think only Democrats use them. I don’t think the requirement to disallow someone to vote if they establish residency in S.D. within 45 days of an election will stand up in the courts. We established S.D. residency because of the tax benefits. They made it very easy to become a S.D. resident.
Apparently, you haven’t watched 2,000 mules by Dinesh Dsouza!
Amen to that