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Saturday, July 15, 2023
Used RV market report: Towables OK, but motorhomes volatile
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’re shopping for a pre-owned RV, we have a mixed bag of news for you in the RV market report. The figures given here are for May’s wholesale auction prices, according to market watcher Black Book. Read all about the current used RV market here.
Illegal backyard RV park slum angers neighbors
Residents in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles are raising concerns about an illegal, makeshift RV park due to unsanitary conditions which includes human waste flowing between RVs and into nearby homeowners’ yards. The “park” is squeezed into the small backyard of a homeowner who claims the property is hers and she can do whatever she wants with it. Read more.
FMCA RV club cuts membership fee more than half
The Family Motor Coach Association, commonly known as FMCA, has drastically reduced the cost of a new membership. The normal fee is $60 for the first year and then $50 per year thereafter. But through the end of July, the club is offering a one-year, no strings attached membership for $24, a $36 savings, as part of its a “60th Birthday Celebration.” The deal is for new members only. Learn more and sign up for this bargain here.
LIVE THIS MORNING
Hosted by Chuck Woodbury. Among our guests: Tire Expert Roger Marble. So bring your questions about tires
Will Florida’s “radioactive roads” glow in the dark?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It might be considered a cost-saver: Last month, Florida passed a law to force the state’s highway department to conduct “demonstration projects” using phosphogypsum as a roadway material. Critics decry the idea of creating what they call “radioactive roads” with a fertilizer industry byproduct that at least one federal agency says emits radon gas. While the headline is tongue-in-check (phosphogypsum is not phosphorescent), there’s still plenty of controversy about the suggestion. Continue reading.
Resistance grows against the Bureau of Land Management’s conservation-centric public land rule
By Randall Brink
Opposition is escalating to the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to impose a sweeping new public lands management rule that undermines long-established law. The proposed “conservation” rule was announced on March 30, 2023. The BLM seeks to impose the seismic rule of its own volition without congressional legislation. Learn more.
California uses controversial ‘what3words’ location system to help the lost
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Lost in a California state park? Need to get help fast? You could use GPS coordinates to help dispatchers, or you could use just three words. No, it’s not “Send Help Fast!” The three words in question are part of a controversial geocode system called “what3words” that identifies any location on the surface of planet earth using common words. Continue reading.
KOA takes a holistic view of glamping
By Andy Zipser
It’s been a couple of months since KOA released its latest annual report on North American camping and, as usual, subsequent industry coverage was faithfully upbeat. Most stories homed in on the economic numbers, proof that camping has become a force with which to be reckoned: 58 million households camped in 2022, spending $52 billion, an $8 billion increase over 2021. … But take a closer look at the 60-page report and a few dissonant notes can be discerned. Learn more.
How absentee RVers are limiting access to boondocking campsites
By Randall Brink
A recent post on one of the Facebook pages dedicated to boondockers described seeing unoccupied RVs parked for extended periods of time on public land. Some RVers will park on a dispersed campsite and leave their rig there for days, weeks, or months at a time, despite rules on length of stay and unoccupied vehicles. … The response by the various land management agencies is often a push to close off public lands from dispersed camping. RVers who abuse or ignore reasonable rules contribute to the potential for closures. Read more.
“We don’t use the campground amenities but have to pay for them anyway!” Can you relate?
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? According to a lot of our readers, apparently not, at least in some parts of the country. This week, Nanci Dixon shares a request from a campground owner, David S., wanting your input for recommendations as he expands his campground. (We’re sure you can give him some great ideas!) Art S. complains about current campgrounds compared to what camping used to be, which included an appreciation of nature. More readers talk about the difficulty in making reservations, as well as the reserved but empty campsites. Also, Conni C. and Veronica M. mention having to pay for amenities they don’t even use when they just want a clean, safe place to park.
RV Video Tour
Tour the 2023 Fleetwood Frontier 34GT Class A diesel pusher motorhome
By Cheri Sicard
Today, Matt from Matt’s RV Reviews (one of our readers’ favorite RV YouTube channels) is going to give us a tour of what he calls a GORGEOUS Class A diesel pusher motorhome, the Fleetwood Frontier 34GT. (As a side note, if you enjoy Matt’s energetic style, be sure to watch the video at double speed, it’s a real crack-up.) I agree this is a nice-looking motorhome. I especially like the opposing slides in the living area, which really opens up the space.
July 8–14, 2023
The Dyrt, the leading app for camping information and booking, has announced its 2023 Best Places to Camp: Top 10 in the U.S. based on reviews and ratings from its vast community of campers. The top five campgrounds, in order: 1. Denali National Park Wonder Lake Campground, Alaska; 2. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota; 3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas; 4. Goblin Valley State Park, Utah; 5. Many Glacier Campground, Montana.
This year’s Independence Day marked the 45th anniversary of the Escapees RV Club. The group includes more than 70,000 people across the United States, Canada and throughout North America.
Roundabout Publications and the Ultimate Campground Project have published the first edition of “Camping in America’s County Parks.” The 192-page directory profiles 2,068 RV, van and tent camping areas at 1,408 parks in 42 states. Read more, including which states the book covers.
Central Nebraska campers can enjoy the partial opening of the expanded West Ridge Campground at Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area starting July 17. Some of the campsites at the new, 61-pad electrical campground will be available; others will open later. All campsites will have a 50/30-amp connection and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This new campground combines West Ridge Campground and Thunder Bay Campground into one large area.
U.S. Bank and Rollick have joined forces to provide U.S. Bank customers and dealerships with a streamlined RV and boat buying experience. The launch of the U.S. Bank RV and Boat Marketplace is the first of its kind provided by a U.S. financial institution, allowing RV shoppers to search dealer inventory and apply for financing for use at participating dealers nationwide. Learn more about the RV loan program.
The 2023 Fourth of July holiday results across Kampgrounds of America, Inc.’s (KOA) family of RV parks showed an increase in registration revenue of more than 12% from the record results of the previous year’s holiday. In Canada, registrations for the Canada Day holiday were up nearly 7%.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has begun a project to expand and improve the Mattole Campground near the community of Petrolia, California, at the north end of the King Range National Conservation Area. Work is expected to continue into early August. Learn more.
Curtis Coleman, a candidate for president of FMCA, will be interviewed this coming Tuesday, July 18, at 6 p.m. Pacific time, by RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury. Gary Milner, the other candidate, declined to participate in what was intended as a “Meet the Candidates” forum. Watch the one-hour show live on Facebook or YouTube. Ask Curtis questions via written chat, or just lurk and hear what he has planned for America’s largest non-profit RV club.
Grand Design will hold its 2nd annual Christmas in July toy drive to support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. The goal of the program is to send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy. The event will be held on Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) at Grand Design RV’s customer service and support center in Elkhart, Indiana.
Camping World opened two new dealerships this past week, one in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the other in Oklahoma, Jayco Oklahoma City. It also announced that it is acquiring Sonny’s RVs in Casper, Wyoming, its second store in the Cowboy State. The Sonny’s deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
A new Montana bill passed by the 2023 Legislature will soon enable spur-of-the-moment camping trips. House Bill 440 mandates that only 80% of campsites in state parks, recreational areas, and public camping grounds can be reserved. The remaining sites will be open for walk-in use. This policy change will take effect just in time for the 2024 camping season.
PayRange Inc., a mobile retail payment service provider, is expanding into the campground and RV parks sector. This service will enable easy payments for a wide range of services, including site bookings, electric hookups, charging stations, showers, etc. This will streamline operations, reduce administrative burdens, and boost profitability for park owners and operators. With the growing preference for digital payments, businesses in all sectors are recognizing the importance of embracing cashless transactions.
The Airstream above was part of a three-vehicle crash in Park City, Utah, on Thursday. Everyone was okay, but a dog named “Grandpa” was thought to have run away toward Kimball Junction. No reason was reported about the cause of the accident. But it serves as reminder why it’s never wise to allow passengers to ride in a towable RV.
Blue Compass RV completes successful brand rollout in Texas, solidifying its position as a leading player in the state’s thriving RV market. Expansion covers major cities including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and more.
BC Parks introduced a “notify me” feature for campground reservations in British Columbia, Canada. Enthusiasts can sign up for email alerts when previously booked campsites become available. Users can receive up to five alerts for specific dates and campgrounds. Real-time notifications offer a second chance at preferred spots, especially in case of cancellations.
Watch the short video above as a grizzly bear shows up on a trail in Glacier National Park, terrifying park visitors.
The Boulder Fire southeast of Mount Hood has closed several campgrounds near Boulder Lake. The fire is one of several medium-sized fires that have grown in Oregon’s hot and dry conditions. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Multiple campgrounds and nearby recreation sites, including Boulder Lake Campground, Little Boulder Lake, Bonney Meadow Campground, Badger Lake Campground, Camp Windy, and Post Camp Campground, are either under evacuation or closed.
Five burros were shot and killed earlier this week in Death Valley, and National Park Service (NPS) investigators are asking park visitors for information. The burros were found in the Lower Wildrose area. Have information? Submit a tip by calling or texting the NPS Tip Line at 888-653-0009 or visiting email@example.com. Tips may be submitted anonymously.
CampgroundViews.com now features more than 1,400 “drive through” campground opportunities plus thousands more with multiple photos. The idea is to drive campground roads using your computer or phone like Google Street View to “virtually” examine every nook and cranny to find the perfect campsite. If found, they can reserve it right on the spot. See a demonstration.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will use nearly $19 million in funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to reconstruct Lakeview Drive and repair Heintooga Ridge Road. Lakeview Drive road work will require a full closure for 90 days, starting later this summer.
Just north of Duluth, Minn., off Highway 53, Red Pine Campground has added 10 new sites this year, with power and water hookups, “that are more rustic and private,” its owners say.
Temperatures in Death Valley National Park may reach 130 F this weekend. It may not be the best time to visit. Ditto for RV Snowbird Capital Quartzsite, Ariz., which is expected to hit 114 and 115. According to the National Weather Service, between Saturday and Sunday, 45 record-high temperatures are forecast in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Oregon and Idaho.
Record rains and flooding have devastated parts of Vermont. Click here for a list of which parks are still open and which are closed. In some cases only parts of parks are affected.
Seattle, Washington’s long-awaited safe parking lot for RVers, the city’s first and only, is set to open in August, more than a year after the $1.9 million funding was allocated and eight months past the original projected opening date. The site will hold 26 RVs and have 9 tiny homes. Everyone living here must agree to give up their vehicles and eventually move into permanent housing. The site arrives as safe lots are gaining traction throughout King County.
Due to protecting nesting bald eagles, July campers with reservations at California’s Sunset-Union Valley Campground in El Dorado National Forest will need to make new plans. Campsites 1-56 will remain closed until July 31. Recreation.gov sent an email to affected reservation holders, notifying them of the closure. The reservoir is a popular camping destination, often booked months in advance as an alternative to nearby Lake Tahoe.
Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2019-2023 Bay Star, 2020-2023 Bay Star Sport and 2022-2023 Super Star motorhomes. The seat belt brackets for the RVs’ dinette seat belts were modified to avoid interference with the vehicle slide-out rollers in the floor. Learn more.
And, lastly, our favorite Tweet from the National Park Service this week:
Weird News Department
Now that’s a real CHEESEburger!
Don’t ask for this cheeseburger at your favorite Burger King, unless you’re in Thailand, where the burger is available. This cheeseburger is just that – all cheese, 20 slices of American Cheese slapped inside a bun. It’s called the “Real Cheeseburger.” One customer said, “I could only finish half of it. This is an insane amount of cheese added into one burger. Food is good when things are at the right combination.”
“Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger…” Do you remember the famous skit from season 3 of Saturday Night Live? This will make you howl with laughter all over again.
And what, exactly, are they showing to the gorillas?
Visitors to the Toronto Zoo are being asked to quit showing videos on their phones to gorillas. “Some content can be upsetting and affect their relationships and behavior within their family,” signs caution. “We just want the gorillas to be able to be gorillas,” said one zookeeper. A gorilla named Nassir shows a particular interest in the videos on visitors’ phones which has caused him to be distracted and not interact with the other gorillas. The gorillas are allowed to watch some videos including nature documentaries.
How would you like to win this portable, rechargeable neck fan?
Hang this around your neck and stay cool all day!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 15, 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.
How old are you?
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
The old “How many X does it take to change a lightbulb” seems to take on new meaning in Frederick, Maryland. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office reports that while it may take only one psychiatrist to change a light bulb (but the bulb must really WANT to change), it apparently took five guys to steal a travel trailer. On June 25, five seemingly inept fellows backed up a Toyota Tundra to a new Grand Design Transcend 261BH trailer and drove off. One of these characters must have either been aware of surveillance video, or else he was being coy, because he covered his head with a T-shirt. If you can help identify these goofballs, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 301-600-2071 and mention Case # 23-070884.
This one may take a bit of doing to resolve. A stale report to police of a travel trailer stolen back in “the early part of 2023” has led to the Tangipahoa Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office asking for help. The 2019 Open Range travel trailer at one time bore an Indiana plate R745JF. It vanished from a residence on East Pleasant Ridge Road in Hammond, Louisiana. Contact Detective Wylie Foster at 985-902-2035.
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 July 10, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.55
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.10.
Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.76.
For fuel prices for specific states, go to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness. 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
by Janet Crow from Quinwood, WV
The flavors in this cauliflower potato salad recipe remind us of a mustard potato salad (which is a favorite). We like the idea of using cauliflower instead of potatoes. You can tell you’re not eating a traditional potato salad, but this is just as good. It’s a great low-carb option for your cookout. Super yummy!
New Mexico’s state question is “Red or green?” This is a question commonly heard at restaurants. Waiters are asking which kind of sauce the customer wants served with their meal, red sauce (red chiles) or green sauce (green chiles). If you order “Christmas style” you’ll get a plate with half red and half green sauce.
Laugh of the Week
We suggest you don’t take your RV to Dave’s…
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, Cheri Sicard, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade and Paul Lacitinola. Moderator: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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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