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Sunday, March 1, 2020
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New diesel fuel savings program really does work!
We were skeptical about a new diesel fuel savings program offered by TSD Logistics. It sounded too good to be true, but we decided to join the program to see for ourselves. Russ De Maris gave it a try on a long trip last week. Wow! It really did work, and saved him an impressive amount of money. Read Russ’s article to learn more.
Part Four: The dysfunctional RV industry and you
Editor Chuck Woodbury continues with his series about an RV industry that could be described as “dysfunctional.” In today’s installment he discusses the shortage of places to camp and offers his opinion why. It’s not just a shortage of parks, he suggests, but the change in today’s RVers from past years, and how they use their rolling homes. Plus, they are more demanding today on the type of park they will accept, which can severely limit their choices. Read today’s fourth installment of this series.
That was the RV week that was
February 23–29, 2020
An RV fatality fire in Florida once again transmits a warning about heater safety. Allan and Teresa Gower, from Kentucky, called the Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort in DeBary, Florida, their winter home. Sadly, last Monday a fire broke out in their motorhome at around four in the morning – a fire they were unable to escape, as a space heater near the only exit door caught fire. Both were taken to area hospitals, but later died. Fire officials haven’t released an “official” fire cause, but noted the couple had “multiple space heaters” along with extension cords and power strips.
The phrase “Everything’s bigger in Texas” appears to apply, among other things, to campground visits at Big Bend National Park. Staff at the park say the next couple of months will likely see “Campground Full” signs as a regular part of the scenery. Early February and onward has seen campgrounds filling up by late morning. If the park is in
your plans, be sure to have a backup plan for where to overnight.
Would you like to pay more tax on your motor fuel? That’s the suggestion of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Concerned that the country’s “once-great” highway system is rapidly going downhill from neglect, the big business organization wants to see gas and diesel fuel taxes boosted a nickle-a-gallon, every year, for the next five years – and adjusted for inflation as well. By its estimates, the Chamber figures that would pump $394 billion into highway repairs and maintenance over the next decade. Neither the president nor Congress has any currently published plans on how to handle highway repair funding issues.
Forget the bears getting into your tent – watch out for the dinosaurs! That could be the situation in Utah, as state lawmakers are pondering a proposal to hatch the newest state park: Utahraptor State Park. The reptile’s bones were first discovered in Grand County, Utah, and a bill before legislators would create the new park just west of Arches National Park. The idea is to promote the reptile, and protect bones already on the site, and would include RV camping opportunities.
RV manufacturers had a mixed bag of results in terms of the number of RVs they sent down the road to dealers in January. The first month of the year proved, overall, to be a bit better than January 2019, with 33,003 rigs shipped out, a whopping 29 percent increase. However, looking closer at the figures shows motorhome builds are on a steep decline: In January 2019, 3,917 moved out, but January 2020 saw only 3,568 shipped – a decline of nearly 9 percent. On the other hand, towables ballooned, with 29,435 new ones heading out the doors, up 36 percent from the year before. The biggest increases however, went to park model movement: Up better than 11 percent, comparing January 2020 to the same month of 2019. (Click here for a chart.) Source: RV Industry Association
The suspect in a Bend, Oregon, motorhome arson fire has been arrested. Bryan Dale Lindley (59) allegedly set fire to the RV he and his estranged wife owned back on February 9. He “lit out” from that scene in a Nissan Pathfinder, and that same vehicle was found Saturday, February 22, not far from Bend. The car rolled over in a crash, and witnesses reported spotting a man running away. Police responded, finding Lindley hiding in trees – and caught up with him after a short foot pursuit. After a quick trip to a hospital for a check on any possible injuries, Lindley was checked into the county jail on charges of first-degree arson, two counts of reckless endangering, fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) and violation of a restraining order. He’ll need $410,000 in bail to get out of the lockup.
“Tourists pay, San Diegans win!” That’s the crow from San Diego, California, Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The mayor was promoting a ballot initiative, Measure C, that locals will vote on in early March. So how does this all work? Well, under Measure C, visitors to the seaside city would be required to pay a beefed-up tax on RV parks, campgrounds, and other transient lodging. The revenues would help pay for the local convention center, road work and homeless programs. Opponents fret that the wording of the measure isn’t clear enough to keep the government from spending the tax revenues in ways other than the ones touted. Source: fox5sandiego.com.
A press release from RV Retailer, LLC crows that Motorhome Specialist of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was 2019’s “#1 seller of new motorhomes by a single dealership in the United States for the 7th consecutive year in 2019.” Quite handily, RV Retailer is the parent company of this “award recipient.”
Lake Como, in Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest, could be your home away from home if you like camp hosting. The Forest Service is taking applications for host positions at the Three Frogs Campground. In exchange for working with visitors and “area management,” you’ll get a nice RV spot and a living expense stipend. Ring up Sam Cook at the Darby Ranger Station (406-821-4298).
If you can’t live with the rules – change ’em! We’ve reported before about the situation of Dave and Jolene Queen, who own Camp-A-Way in Lincoln, Nebraska. Well, actually, they’ve “operated” the RV park for more than 20 years because the city owns the ground on which the park sits. Some time back the city said it wouldn’t renew the park’s lease, and so the Queens set out to get a permit to build a new park in the county. We recently reported that plan was shot down after aggrieved area residents took a dislike to the Queens’ plans, which included allowing long-term stays at their proposed park. Now they’ve come up with a novel idea: Change the city ordinances to allow six-months stays in campgrounds in that jurisdiction. At this point, the couple says they’re not actively looking for a new site for their campground, but say they might consider building inside city limits. City officials have yet to schedule a hearing for the ordinance change the Queens have proposed.
Unwelcome artists made an appearance at California’s Joshua Tree National Park. No, they didn’t leave paint on canvas; rather, they splattered graffiti in Rattlesnake Canyon, the Skull Rock Natural Trail and along Geo Tour Road. The park asks anyone with information about the damage or who might be responsible to contact the park’s law enforcement ranger by email: Eric_Linaris@nps.gov.
Plans for developing a high-class RV resort, open only to Class A motorhomes in Door County, Wisconsin, have been shot down by the local planning committee. Set to be built near Sevastopol on an old quarry site, the commission gave a unanimous “no go” vote at the end of a record-setting eight-hour hearing. The bottom line, in commissioners minds, was that the developers hadn’t proved that the resort would not diminish area property values. While the proponents may file an appeal, not a single area resident testified in support of the plan, but plenty of opposition sprang up. Commissioners had a 1,400-page information packet to consider when making their decision.
In a 3-to-1 vote, council members for the Rural Municipality of Ritchot, Manitoba, have slapped down a request for a new 200-site RV park. The sole vote cast in favor of the park came from the mayor, Chris Ewen, who suggests the other council members were showing favoritism toward an existing RV park in the neighborhood. “We always want to support local and we always want our businesses that have been here forever to continue to thrive,” Ewen spoke up. “We have to look at every possible new business, every application that comes through and if it fits with the municipality, we’re not going to say ‘no’ (just) because there are current businesses that are involved in the municipality.” The stilted vote against the park, proposed for a site near Grande Point, was reported on by steinbachonline.com.
The West Chester, Ohio, RV dealer who was convicted in January of felonious assault after beating his wife’s head on pavement has received his sentence. Jeffrey Couch (52) received a sentence of 100 hours of community service, a $1,500 fine, and must observe five years of probation. Prosecutors did not ask for jail time, noting Couch’s contrition and acceptance of responsibility for his actions; his attorney noted he’d also received alcohol and anger control counseling.
Hell Creek State Park on Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir may be aptly named, because it looks like all hell may break out regarding the state’s lease of the land from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The state’s had a free lease from the feds, but it’s up for renewal and there’s a large fly in the ointment. Next door neighbor Hell Creek Marina is leased by the state to a business, and the Army Corps says that the marina isn’t in compliance with regulations, and questions how the marina is allowing RVers to dump in the marina septic system. Now the Corps says they won’t allow any more work or improvements to be done on any of the park land or the subleased marina until everything is brought into compliance. Feeling the heat, the State has come down on the marina leaseholder, Clint Thomas. Thomas now describes himself as “the poor bastard caught in the middle.” With a multi-million dollar investment, Thomas says he can’t walk away from his holding, but isn’t sure how to proceed.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Part three of Chuck Woodbury’s series “The Dysfunctional RV Industry and You”.
• Warning! Don’t park in a wash!
• RV Shrink: RVer is having (2-legged and 4-legged) pack rat problems.
• RV Doctor: RV spring shakedown primer.
• RV Electricity: Is there anybody out there? Part 1. (Polls for readers – please participate)
• RV Tire Safety: Yes, you do need “bolt-in” metal valve stems with your TPMS.
• Building an RV Park: I went to Campground Management School!
… and much more
Learn what to see and do in every U.S. state. Share tips with other RVers. Ask questions. Join as many groups as you wish.
Pickup truck news
According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of RVtravel.com readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.
Ford recalls more than 250,000 pickup trucks
Another day, another recall. This time, it’s Ford recalling more than 250,000 F-150 trucks from the model years 2018 to 2020 in the United States and Canada. Headlight defects are the reason. Read more.
Could the pending Tesla Cybertruck appeal to RVers?
The unveiling of the electric Tesla Cybertruck last November attracted as much attention as any vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Its futuristic design resembles a vehicle in a Mad Max movie, and the flashy debut was polarizing. It drew unabashed praise and laughter. Will this be a good thing for RVers?
Tire recall could affect some 1/2-ton trucks
Compania Hulera Tornel, is recalling certain Tornel A/T-09 tires, size LT265/75R16, Load Range C. Due to improper manufacturing, the sidewall rubber may separate from the body ply cords and cause separation of the lower sidewall which could cause tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash. Tornel will notify owners, and dealers will replace the tires, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 24, 2020. Contact Tornel at 1-555-354-0204. Tornel’s number for the recall is 100.
NOTE: Due to technical difficulties we have postponed this poll to next Sunday. Our apologies.
Have you ever stayed overnight in your RV in a Cabela’s parking lot?
RVBusiness reports that Newmar has laid off 10% of its workforce. Newmar was acquired on Nov. 8 by Winnebago Industries Inc., and at that time the builder of Class A and Super C motorhomes employed 1,060 people at its manufacturing and customer service facilities in Nappanee, Indiana.
RV shipments are expected to stabilize in 2020, according to a new forecast prepared by longtime RV industry analyst, Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center. Curtin projects total RV shipments will range between 380,000 and 420,200, but most likely 410,100 units, a 1 percent increase over the 406,100 units shipped in 2019.
The North Texas Jellystone Park has opened a 260-foot long, three-story pirate ship. The ship contains 10, two-bedroom cabin suites that can each accommodate families of six to eight people. Each suite has a full kitchen, including a dishwasher and washer/dryer, and a private bathroom with a shower. The park also rents one- and two-bedroom cabins which range from rustic to luxurious as well as hotel-style bunkhouse rooms and a farmhouse. More traditional RV and tent sites are also available (lucky for us!). Thirty-foot travel trailers are also available for rent.
The National RV Training Academy has opened enrollment for the next five-week training series about becoming a certified RV technician. The next class begins April 6 in Athens, Texas, and concludes May 7, at which time students will be eligible to take a test to attain NRVTA RV technician certification. Learn more.
U.S. officials will have a better idea of how the coronavirus outbreak will impact the economy in “three or four weeks,” according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. CNBC reported that Mnuchin said it was difficult now to make strong predictions about the economic impact of the outbreak. “I think we’re going to need another three or four weeks to see how the virus reacts, until we really have good statistical data,” he said.
The developer of Mountain View Resort west of Revelstoke, British Columbia, has been ordered to immediately stop selling lots. Micheal Noseworthy, Superintendent of Real Estate, said there are serious concerns that buyers will not get what they agreed to purchase.
RV manufacturer Grand Design recently announced a program to its dealer network that will survey all buyers of new Grand Design RVs when they purchase and then six months later about their overall satisfaction with the company’s products and dealer network.
Robert Fuller, president of Fuller RV in Boylston, Mass., pleaded guilty earlier this week to two counts of filing false tax returns in U.S. District Court in Worcester, records show. According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, Fuller in 2015 cashed checks written to his business without reporting the cash on his corporate or personal tax returns. Fuller, 64, is set to be sentenced June 15. The charge of filing a false tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000.
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
• Forest River recalls 4,464 trailers. Spare tire carrier and tire could fall off.
• Triple E RV recall: Propane tubing, hoses may be twisted, kinked.
• Forest River recalls trailers. Stove installed wrong, could lead to fire.
Stolen RV Report, March 1, 2020
Have you seen any of these RVs? They were stolen recently in various parts of the United States. Authorities would like your help in locating them, so keep your eyes open.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of February 24, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.47 [Calif.: $3.36]
Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 8 cents.
Diesel: $2.88 [Calif.: $3.78]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 17 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Ocala RV Show, Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, Ocala, FL
Toronto Spring Camping RV Show, Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Rhode Island RV & Camping Show, Feb. 28 – Mar. 1, Providence, RI
Columbus RV Show, Feb. 28 – Mar. 1, Columbus, OH
Overland Park RV & Outdoor Show, Feb. 28 – Mar. 1, Overland Park, KS
Battle Creek RV & Camping Show, Mar. 5-8, Battle Creek, MI
CNY RV & Camping Show, Mar. 5-8. Syracuse, NY
Colorado RV, Sports & Travel Show, Mar. 5-8, Denver, CO
Montreal RV Show, Mar. 5-8, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Central Illinois RV Show – Peoria, Mar. 6-8, Peoria, IL
Manitoba RV Show & Sale, Mar. 12-15, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Moncton RV Show, Mar. 12-15, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Port Huron RV & Camping Show, Mar. 12-15, Port Huron, MI
Arizona Sportsmen, Boat & RV Expo, Mar. 13-15, Scottsdale, AZ
Eastern Iowa Sports Show, Mar. 13-15, Cedar Falls, IA
Brain teaser answer:
(The question appeared in yesterday’s newsletter): The river was frozen
Free and bargain camping
Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.
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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