Members News for RVers #929, Sunday edition

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    Sunday, January 5, 2020
    Members edition

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    Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

    If so, stories you missed: RVtravel.com’s Top 30 Posts from 2019 • RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury explains why RVing is headed into what he calls “Wacko Land” • The “wildest” RV we’ve ever “spotted”! • Short-term solution to prevent holding tanks from freezing • Can I charge a battery at 80 amps from a 20-amp outlet? … and much more!

    Read it here | Back issues


    Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for December

    The list of latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles of interest to RVers has been released by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from Entegra, Forest River (many), Jayco, Keystone, Newmar, Thor and others – plus many other vehicles commonly used by RVers. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Find out here.

    And recalls issued in the past week . . .

    Forest River recall: Motorhome cooling fan could seize, cause fire.
    Airstream recalls some Interstate motorhomes.
    Oliver trailers recalled for improperly tightened axle bolts.
    Forest River recalls Dynamax RVs: Slideout could extend unexpectedly.


    That was the RV week that was

    December 29, 2019 – January 4, 2020

    If your travels take you to California, don’t be surprised if you encounter a “ghost driver” on the highway. California has approved the use and testing of “light-duty autonomous delivery vehicles.” Passenger cars, mid-size pickups and cargo vans, providing they scale in at less than 10,001 pounds, can be used, with or without a safety driver by companies to deliver goods.

    Idaho State Police photo

    How often did Mama tell you, “Wear your seatbelt!” It may seem that driving a 26,000-pound motorhome will make you invincible, but wearing a seatbelt may have saved many pains for a Melba, Idaho, RVer who tussled with a pickup truck in Nampa, Idaho, last Thursday. The 67-year-old man, whose name authorities have not released, had stopped at an intersection, then pulled out – directly into the path of a pickup pulling a utility trailer. The motorhome driver was ejected out of his rig, and had to be airlifted to a hospital, the extent of his injuries unknown. Police noted he was not wearing a seatbelt.

    Three cougars were shot to death by Arizona Game and Fish officials after they were found munching on human remains. The shooting took place last Wednesday when they were found near Pima Canyon Trail in Pima County. The officials don’t believe the cats killed the unidentified person, but were acting abnormally, as cougars generally do not scavenge, but prefer a live kill. To that end, officials felt the animals were a safety threat in an area popular with hikers and near a residential area. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death of the human, whose name has not been released.

    Fears that a changeover from high-sulfur bunker oil to low-sulfur diesel for maritime ships would blow the lid off diesel prices for domestic use appear to have evaporated. On January 1, an international mandate forced ships to stop burning bunker oil, or to add expensive “scrubber” systems. Also, worries the increased demand for diesel might drive up road-use diesel prices have been alleviated by construction of more low-sulfur diesel refineries and by stockpiling large quantities of diesel around the globe. Ship fuel must now have less than 5,000 parts per million sulfur; previously the limit was 35,000 parts per million.

    A Christmas-week storm hit California’s Joshua Tree National Park with a vengeance. All dirt roads in the park have been closed down, reducing access to much of the park’s campgrounds. The storm, which brought snow and slush, initially shut down the entire park, but the gates and visitor centers have reopened. If you’re planning a visit to the park anytime soon, check for conditions in advance.

    The Lebanon, Oregon, woman who used an axe to bash the windows out of a motorhome then used the blunt side of the same instrument to smack the face of its occupant, has pleaded no contest. Whitney Rene Montgomery (33) will hear her sentence January 13 as related to the late-November 2019 attack in Waterloo, Oregon. Montgomery was peeved with the motorhomer because she, Montgomery, had paid the electric bill at the home of her father, then discovered the motorhoming guest was hooked up to the home’s electricity. On the 13th, Montgomery will meet her Waterloo.

    Portland Fire & Rescue

    It’s the time of year to remind folks that using extension cords for the wrong application can lead to unhappy results. Case in point: Portland, Oregon, firefighters responded to a travel trailer fire last Tuesday morning to what one witness described as “Big, big, fire, roaring.” The trailer’s occupant, an older person, was sent to hospital with burns and inhalation injuries, said to be life-threatening. Investigators said the fire was started by a “low-grade extension cord” that had been wrapped around something. They took time to remind everyone that extension cords should never be used to supply power to heaters, and to not allow space heaters to become “space invaders” by keeping anything that might burn at least three feet from a space heater.

    From the “Interesting Statistics” department: The fifth most-expensive item sold on eBay in 2019 is this: A 2014 Newmar King Aire Motorhome that sold for $280,000. Topping it in dollar order, for $349,800, a 2015 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. In 3rd most expensive place, a Michael Jordan 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems card. Gone for an easy $350,100. In second spot, a Tom Brady 2000 autographed Playoff Contenders Championship ticket trading card, which set eBay’s highest record for a football card at $400,100. And in top spot? Lunch with Warren Buffet in a charity auction that netted $4,567,888. If you’d have bought it, perhaps you could have brought up the subject of improving RV quality control on Buffet’s line, Forest River.

    Missouri Highway Patrol via newsmaven.io

    Don’t know if anybody was “home” at the time, but if they were, residents of a motorhome in Seneca, Missouri, got a rude awakening New Year’s Eve. Seems an SUV blasted through a stop sign, traveled through an intersection, then went airborne. On “landing” the unfortunate four-wheeler hit a fence, then a pole, and clobbered a Class A motorhome in a metal building. The driver was the only human casualty, ending up with “moderate” injuries.

    Folks living in a Surrey, British Columbia, RV park who’d been given notice to move out in six months got a piece of welcome news. The Peace Arch RV Park had claimed they had essentially been forced by city officials to evict long-term residents because they were in violation of a city bylaw. City officials claimed they had not strong-armed the park, writing that the issue was “between the property owner and his tenants.” Did the city’s denial cause park managers to back down? Hard to say; but in any event, a letter to residents says they don’t need to move at this point.

    A legal tussle between a New Hampshire state representative and the town of Belmont, New Hampshire, has been settled by a judge in a one-day trial. Belmont officials charged Representative Michael Sylvia (R) with unlawfully occupying an RV and a garage in violation of local and state laws. Sylvia had been living in a motorhome on his driveway since at least 2012. Sylvia says the town was using local laws in an effort to punish him for a budget that he, Sylvia, had helped pass earlier that had affected Belmont. A Superior Court judge sided with the town, officially barring Sylvia from living in either the motorhome or the garage until he gets the necessary permits. Town officials also wanted the court to order Sylvia to pay a fine of $275 per day, for every day he unlawfully occupied the property since August of 2017. The judge said he’d hold that in abeyance, but did find the town is entitled to having Sylvia fork over its legal costs.

    How much is an RV park worth? The realtor’s mantra: Location, Location, Location. The Trailer Inns RV Park in Bellevue, Washington, recently sold for $13.8 million.

    Morrisville Borough PA police photo

    We reported on a woman who allegedly lit a motorhome afire while wearing a slogan shirt that read, “Act Crazy.” The Morrisville Borough, Pennsylvania, police report they’ve arrested Kimberly Zimmerman (32) and charged her with arson and criminal mischief. The fire was set December 23, and Zimmerman was booked into jail December 27.

    A suspect in the theft of two RVs and a utility trailer from a Decatur, Alabama, storage facility has been arrested. Charles Jackson is accused of the December theft from iStorage, which posted security cam photos on social media. Folks who saw the posting later spotted Jackson and called police. Jackson is being held pending a $90,000 bail payment.


    Reader poll


    News briefs

    [UPDATE: The stolen RV was found in Idaho this weekend, according to a tweet from Puget Sound ATTF on Saturday. No other details were available.] A Fleetwood Expedition Class A motorhome with Colorado license plates (before stolen) was stolen from a storage facility in Kent, Washington, probably on New Year’s Eve. It belongs to a military family which just moved to the area. If you see it, please call the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force at 253-329-2442 or email AutoTheftTips@wsp.wa.gov.

    It’s a sad day for the many RVers who have enjoyed a good laugh through the years thanks to the Hershey Company’s fleet of Kissmobiles. Visitors to the annual Hershey, Pennsylvania RV Show — the largest such show in America — have likely spotted this unusual vehicle. Read more.

    Mix fog and “speed too fast for conditions” on a Texas highway and the results can be more than spectacular. Texas highway troopers had responded to a crash on Highway 94 near Slaton (southeast of Lubbock) when a semi-truck came onto the scene a bit too fast. Watch the video (yes, it was also in last Sunday’s News for RVers) and read more details.


    Campground chatter

    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.


    Latest fuel prices

    Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of December 30, 2019:
    Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.57 [Calif.: $3.44]
    Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 31 cents.
    Diesel: $3.07 [Calif.: $3.90]
    Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 2 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
    Valley RV & Camping Show, Jan. 9-12, South Bend, IN
    New York State RV Super Show and Sale, Jan. 9-19, Syracuse, NY
    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
    Florida RV Super Show, Jan. 15-19, Tampa, FL
    Mid-America RV Show, Jan. 16-19, Kansas City, MO
    Tacoma RV Show, Jan. 16-19, Tacoma, WA
    Toronto RV Show and Sale, Jan. 16-19, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    New Jersey RV & Camping Show – Edison,Jan. 17-19, Edison, NJ
    Greater Chicago RV Show, Jan. 17-19, Schaumburg, IL
    Des Moines RV & Boat Show, Jan. 17-19, Des Moines, IA
    Middle Tennessee RV Show, Jan. 17-20, Lebanon, TN
    Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, Jan. 18-26, Quartzsite, AZ
    Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Jan. 22-26, Louisville, KY
    Ft. Myers RV Show, Jan. 23-26, Ft. Myers, FL
    Atlanta Camping & RV Show, Jan. 24-26, Atlanta, GA
    Boston RV & Camping Expo, Jan. 24-26, Boston, MA – Free seminars with RV electricity expert Mike Sokol. Visit website.
    East Texas Boat and RV Show, Jan. 24-26, Longview, TX

    See the complete list of upcoming RV shows.


    Free and bargain camping

    From OvernightRVparking.com

    Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.

    Other resources:
    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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    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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    7 Comments
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    alan smith
    8 months ago

    I really like the “News “ it’s interesting and entertaining. Thank You

    Bill Semion
    8 months ago

    Hi all, just fyi, after I saw you used a photo of the coal-burning SS Badger with auto and RV service between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, WI to illustrate a story about ships that use bunker oil, I had to write and let you know of this minor faux pas. The Badger received special dispensation and is the only coal-burning ferry, I believe, left in the U.S. and perhaps North America. I believe it removes its coal ash each round trip, but you’d have to ask the folks at LMC, standing for Lake Michigan Carferry about that. It used to dump it directly into the lake, and was in danger of closing until they figured a work-around. I also believe it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. There is another ferry between I believe Muskegon and Milwaukee, a younger, high-speed super catamaran that also takes vehicles. The Badger takes about 4 hours or so one way and operates from around mid-May to mid-October. Used to be a train ferry. I first took it around 1972 and have used it several times.

    Donald N Wright
    8 months ago

    Wandering around the RV storage facility, I remain amazed how many RV’s never move. Folks pay $100.00 a month just to let them rot on the asphalt. “oh, we are going to fix it someday”.

    Tommy Molnar
    8 months ago

    This is why I don’t think the RV ‘crisis’ is as bad as it could be. RV storage lots are brimming with little-used units, both trailers and motorhomes. Our trailer sits next to our house and we used it a lot. Our friend’s trailer sits in a storage lot many miles away and they take one or two planned trips a year. They even admit they’d use it more if it wasn’t such a hassle to get to it, get it home, and load it. Frankly, I like that. It means more room for us whenever we go anywhere (even boondocking!).

    Steve C
    8 months ago

    The facility I use stores a Winnebago Tour who’s owner died. His estate continues to pay the monthly rent. It hasn’t budged since his death 10 years ago. What was a beautiful paint job is peeling in are the sun hits it. I want to be on site when someone tries to move it to see all 6 tires shred at the same time.

    chris p hemstead
    8 months ago

    there should be a glut of used RVs on the market soon.