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Sunday, December 29, 2019
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RV shipments continue to decline
The RV Industry Association’s November survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments ended the month with 29,644 wholesale shipments, a decrease of 10.2% from the 33,023 units shipped last November. Read more.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed: Truck camper “recipe for disaster” folds down on the street • Skip the repair shop; do it yourself with a “how-to” notebook • Do not shock thieves on purpose! • “Our favorite boondocking spots are being shut down!” • Another incredibly weird RV. Have you seen it? … plus much more!
That was the RV week that was
December 22–28, 2019
A freak accident in Crawford County, Missouri, has put one woman in the hospital with serious injuries. Glenda Goodwin (64) was attempting to tow a motorhome with a pickup truck on Interstate 44. When she braked the truck, it left the roadway and began to flip over – while the motorhome broke loose. The motorhome continued its forward momentum and ran over the overturning pickup, seriously injuring Carrie Noonan (50) who was a passenger in the truck. Reports did not indicate the size of the motorhome.
Ontario Provincial Police may have thought they’d seen it all – until they stopped a 43-year-old driving his Chevy Silverado with a trailer hitched behind. He had a slow-moving-vehicle emblem on the back of the trailer, but that wasn’t the concern. The trailer was 53′ long – and is usually pulled by a semi-truck. Interestingly, the “hitch” was a home-brew variety, allowing the fifth-wheel trailer to hook up to a ball-mount at the bumper level. An air-brake lashup was also employed, but police were still annoyed. They charged the unnamed driver with “over length vehicle.” It all played out in Ontario’s Norfolk County on December 10.
An Indianola, Utah, couple is suffering from a horrific case of deja vu, after their motorhome was destroyed by fire December 17. Keith and Hazel Warenski’s motorhome is parked in some cold country, and Keith used a propane torch to thaw out frozen pipes under the rig. He failed to notice he’d left the torch lit when he walked away, and it caught the rig afire. Ten years ago, the family’s cabin home in Mount Pleasant went up in flames. The motorhome was their replacement home, one where they could finish out their lives. Friends in the community have set up a Facebook page showing how interested people can help out.
If you’re planning on visiting White Sands National Monument – forget it. You can’t do it because it no longer exists. Rather, by an act of Congress, White Sands is now a National Park – the 62nd in the U.S. The change became official December 20 when the President signed the legislation into law. White Sands National Park “Tells more than 10,000 years of human presence, all while providing memorable recreational opportunities,” says the National Park Service.
While sales of RVs may not be stellar, Winnebago is still doing something to make its stockholders happy: blasting ahead with revenue. The company’s first Fiscal 2020 quarter (ending November 30) reported revenues of $588.5 million, up 19.2 percent in comparison to Q1-2019.
Prosecutors in Maine have decided to drop theft charges against Joseph Boldiga. The 78-year-old man was up on charges of felony theft last August. Boldiga made arrangements to buy a motorhome from a private party, but drove off without making a payment. When he didn’t return the owner’s phone calls, police were called. They found the motorhome – and Boldiga – at a highway rest stop the next day. Prosecutors decided to not pursue charges as they said they couldn’t establish that Mr. Boldiga formed “criminal intent” beyond a reasonable doubt.
When public outcry became so strong, and testimony too long, officials in Lincoln, Nebraska, tabled a decision on whether or not to approve a permit for Camp A Way. The city had previously declined to renew the RV park’s lease on city-owned land, and owners had asked for a permit for a new location not far away from their present spot. After the failed-to-decide situation on December 4, opposition groups regrouped and prepared to show their opposition by their presence at a December 18 meeting, the next opportunity for the local planning commission to take a vote. Nevertheless, the commission voted five to three to approve the permit for the 245-site park. Commission members said there was no legal way to deny the permit, as the developer met all legal requirements. The opposition says that they’ll try appealing the approval to the County Board, probably in January.
No fee jumps, but a change in the reservation system at Indiana Dunes National Park in Indiana. That’s what the National Park Service is thinking about – and taking public comments on. Under the plan all sites at the Dunewood Campground would be made available by reservation, and group camping areas for $60 per night would be developed and opened. The Service says when they opened half the sites to reservations they found much greater use of the campground – evidently people were fearful of showing up at a non-reservation campground and not finding available sites. New fees for festivals at $5 per carload are also on the docket, as are a $10 fee per person for things like bus tours. You might hear a whinny, too, as the Service would charge $25 per head for guided horse hikes. Comments? Contact INDU_Communications@nps.gov or by writing to the Superintendent at 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304. The comment period closes February 7, 2020.
An ordinance that would have effectively shut down RV parking on most residential streets in Mountain View, California, has hit a setback. The ordinance was passed in October, but a petition campaign gathered enough valid signatures to force the city council to do one of two things: either strike the ordinance altogether, or put the matter to the vote of city residents. The deadline for matters to be brought before voters at the next election – slated for March – has passed. Should the council decide to pass it along to voters, the earliest it could appear on a ballot would be November 2020.
An ancient rock art panel, dating back between 3,000 and 6,000 years, along the Colorado River is temporarily off limits – if you please. The Descending Sheep Petroglyph Panel lies between Glen Canyon Dam and Lees Ferry in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area of Arizona/Utah. Officials are asking people not to visit the panels during the months of January and February as they try to increase public awareness of how vandalism damages ancient resources, and to show respect for Native American beliefs. The closure is voluntary – fines and citations will not be issued to those who do visit the site.
Port Lavaca, Texas, has a host on the hook. Local police have arrested Lighthouse Beach and RV Park camp host Deborah Harris (59) after other hosts sounded the alarm of potential theft of receipts. By comparing security cam footage that showed at least 30 more cars entering the park during a four-hour period than there were receipts during Harris’ watch, police deduced she had possibly pocketed $150. A further investigation turned up a discrepancy of 138 transactions in a three-day period. Others may be involved in a potential theft case, but city officials are mum on the matter, citing on ongoing investigation.
Police in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, don’t have a whole lot to go on in the case of the woman who may have acted out her sweatshirt slogan. Last Monday fire crews were called out to a motorhome fire. They learned that minutes earlier a woman had arrived at the RV, gone inside, then came out – just prior to flames breaking out. Security cam footage shows a white female, about 5′ tall with long brown hair, on the thin side. She wore brown boots, black pants, and a sweatshirt which read, “ACT CRAZY.”
Unruly RV park guests in New York State can now be sent packing under a recently signed law that clarifies rights and responsibilities. “Long-term guests,” defined as anyone staying at a park for more than a week, who create disruptions like disturbing or threatening guests, possess alcohol or drugs illegally, or violate rules or laws, can now be given a written warning. Should they infract again, they can be immediately cited for trespassing and removed. In that situation, the guest would have a right to be refunded the balance of their paid campground fees, less any damages.
A family hit by hard times has taken yet another hit, this time in Inverness, Florida. Chad Erb said his family had taken in a single mom and her four kids, citing cold weather and Christmas as factors involved. The woman got a motorhome to live in, and Erb gave them permission to park it in the driveway. The young family was taking meals with Erb and his wife, but for some reason, wanted to use the stove. Last Monday, the Erbs heard a “boom,” that signaled the explosion of the motorhome and start of a fire that wiped out about a quarter of the Erb’s house. The mother, a visitor, and some of the kids made it out, and Erb ran inside the burning RV to pull the last child to safety. The young family suffered minor injuries; their visitor was seriously hurt.
Get into trouble in Death Valley National Park and need help? Forget your cell phone – cellular service is largely non-existent throughout most of the California park. When a motorcycling visitor smashed up his bike December 14 in the Panamint Mountains – a tough, backcountry, 4-wheel-drive area – park rangers got word of the predicament via a satellite text messaging system. While rangers headed out in trucks, the navy base at China Lake flew out a chopper, taking the injured man to a hospital.
“There’s too much confusion,” say Crescent City, California, officials, with reference to the city-owned Shoreline RV Campground. Recreation officials learned that another RV park with the same name was just 80 miles away, and people making reservations based on internet searches had “booked at the wrong place.” The fix is in: The city is now redubbing the city-owned park to “Lighthouse Shores.” Changing the name should help that booking confusion, and it could help the park’s reputation. Apparently on-line reviews from years ago were dragging down the park’s ratings, which city officials don’t think are justly deserved because the city has made major changes since it took control of the park back from a private entity in 2015.
Jacob Nicholas got his wish through Legacy RV and Make-A-Wish. The 5-year-old boy has Down Syndrome and got a 2018 diagnosis of leukemia. With treatment, Jacob has apparently beat the leukemia into remission, and now his family wants to see Jacob have a lifetime of memories while RVing. The RV dealer handed over the keys to a Keystone Hideout 262 LHS to Jacob’s folks, Jed and Shawna Nichols, in Dunlap, Illinois, earlier this month.
A multi-vehicle pileup in Texas on Friday was partially captured in a dramatic 40-second video (below) of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer slamming into the accident scene, luckily avoiding a direct hit on the trailer. The accident began as a two-car crash on foggy Highway 84 in Lubbock County. The truck hit a Texas state trooper and pinned another driver inside a pickup truck. A Lubbock Fire Department rescue team extricated the driver from the pickup truck. Both the driver and the trooper were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and are expected to survive. SOURCE: KCBD-TV
The popular radio program The RV Show USA has added KDIZ, 1570 AM, in Minneapolis to its coast-to-coast lineup of syndicated stations. The show airs on KDIZ on Saturday mornings from 7 to 8 a.m. Learn more about the radio show and its live Wednesday show broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.
The creators of RV Family Travel Atlas (RVFTA) website/blog and hosts of the RV Atlas and Campground of the Week podcasts, Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi, have written their second book on the RV lifestyle. Available by pre-order on Amazon.com now and in bookstores nationwide on March 5, 2020, “See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors” is written for families looking to create lasting memories while RVing.
Serious safety violations found at Winnebago in Middlebury, Ind., resulted in $15,000 in proposed penalties.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the Indiana Department of Labor inspected the facility at 201 14th St. on Nov. 6. The inspector found three serious violations and one non-serious violation, according to an order issued on Dec. 11.
RVtravel.com electrical columnist Mike Sokol will be speaking at the Boston RV & Camping Expo January 24-26. This is a rare opportunity to see the nation’s premier authority on RV electricity in person for the price of a show admission.
The owners of Hilton Head National Golf Club announced last week that construction is underway for a planned “luxury RV resort” alongside the existing golf course off Bluffton Parkway. The resort will occupy 97 acres in the northwest corner of the 300-acre property. It will feature 300 rental-only spots that a news release said is “intended to complement” the adjacent 18-hole course that was built in 1989. It should open in about 18 months.
Gander Outdoors in West Manchester Township, Pa., has officially closed. In September, Gander Outdoors’ parent company Camping World approved a plan to shift away from store locations “where the company does not have the ability or where it is not feasible to sell and/or service RVs.” At the time, it estimated as many as 37 of its 156 stores would close.
New data has proven that Americans really love their pickup trucks more than ever. Specifically, they love buying new ones, and have been doing so at an increased rate throughout the 2010s. Motor Trending reported that this continued loyalty comes despite the substantial increase in the popularity of SUVs, plus the ever-growing prices of new pickup trucks. The statistical research, undertaken by JATO Dynamics, found that 13.1% of vehicles sold in the United States in 2010 were pickup trucks. In 2019, the rate rose to 16.8%.
Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA
Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of December 23, 2019:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.53 [Calif.: $3.46]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 21 cents.
Diesel: $3.04 [Calif.: $3.87]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 4 cents.
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Upcoming RV shows
Arizona RV Super Show, Jan. 2-5, Glendale, AZ
South Texas RV Supersale, Jan. 2-5, 2020, San Antonio, TX
Tarrant County RV Show, Jan. 2-5, Fort Worth, TX
Austin Boat & Travel Trailer Show, Jan. 3-5, Austin, TX
South Carolina RV & Camping Show – Greenville, Jan. 3-5, Greenville, SC
Wichita RV Show, Jan. 3-5, Wichita, KS
Indy RV Expo, Jan. 4-12, Indianapolis, IN
Ohio RV Super Show, Jan. 8-12, Cleveland, OH
Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show, Jan. 9-11, Denver, CO
Gulf Coast RV Show – Mobile, Jan. 9-11, Mobile, AL
Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, Jan. 9-12, Grand Rapids, MI
Knoxville RV Show, Jan. 10-12, Sevierville, TN
58th Annual RV & Campgrounds Show, Jan. 10-12, Allentown, PA
Washington Camping RV Expo, Jan. 10-12, Chantilly, VA
Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport and RV Show, Jan. 10-12, Houma, LA
Ohio RV & Boat Show, Jan. 10-19, Columbus, OH
Pittsburgh RV Show, Jan. 11-19, Pittsburgh, PA
Manufacturers’ RV Show, Jan. 11-20, Pleasanton, CA
Free and bargain camping
Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.
• Walmarts that do not allow overnight RV stays.
• Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations
• Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.
Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editors: Diane McGovern, Russ and Tiña De Maris.
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