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Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, hospitalized with COVID-19
Our very dear friend and columnist Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, is in the intensive care unit of a Seattle-area hospital in critical but stable condition fighting COVID-19. Our editor, Chuck Woodbury, a close friend of Gary’s, wrote this.
Coronavirus Updates for RVers
Here’s the latest news and information about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting the RV community. We now report six days a week on the pandemic — in this Sunday newsletter and every weekday in our RV Daily Tips. (Sign up to receive them here.)
••• READ TODAY’S CORONAVIRUS NEWS •••
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Can your pets get, or give you, COVID-19?
• RV Shrink: Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down.
• Full-timers – Where can you stay during this outbreak?
• RV Electricity: Don’t build this DIY dogbone: It can kill you.
• Stuck at home or inside your RV? Use Zoom online meetings for get-togethers.
• Thoughts from a reader’s self-quarantine.
• RV Doctor: What can be done for a noisy RV slideout?
• What to read during the coronavirus outbreak (Pandemic edition).
• At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems.
• Building an RV park: Campground, Smampground. Everything is ON HOLD!
• All bottled up! A hilarious story of an RVing newbie…
… and much more
That was the RV week that was
March 29, 2020
It wasn’t a virus that ran RVers out of an RV park in Branson, Missouri – it was the water. Nope, not the drinking kind, but Lake Taneycomo took a run for the high ground as rain in copious quantities hit Lakeside RV Park on March 19. Adding to the lake’s overfull feelings were a water release from Table Rock Dam. City officials had seen problems at Lakeside RV before, so guests got an early heads-up and advice to be ready to disconnect and run. At 4:00 in the afternoon the call came, and the less-than-half-full campground was cleared out.
This story couldn’t help but remind one of us about their older brother as a kid. He believed everything he saw on TV and so, like Popeye, he had to have spinach. His parents obliged, bought him a can, and handed him a fork. Last time he ever ate spinach. Then there was that new “Superman” costume. One giant leap off the picnic table brought an end to his “superpowers.” Apparently the driver of a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck didn’t get the memo either. Authorities say the unidentified driver blasted down Colorado Highway 145 west of Placerville, doing close to 100 miles per hour. That highway is the main route through little towns, and leads to some nasty cliffs. Sure enough, after nearly running several drivers off the road – including a deputy sheriff – the brainless Toyota Tacoma driver took the tumble, right into an obliging stone cliff. As the picture illustrates, no amount of spinach or costuming will prevent the laws of physics from presenting their truths. The driver received critical injuries and was choppered out, after passersby put out the flames.
If you bought an RV in Florida last year, there’s a good chance you bought it at Lazydays. That conclusion stems from rankings compiled by Statistical Surveys Inc. The outfit took “First” in several sales categories, as in: number one dealer in the state, number one towable, motorized, travel trailer, fifth wheel dealer, toy hauler dealer (among fifth wheel sales), Class A and Class C motorhome dealer.
What to do with RVs that have outlived their usefulness? It’s a problem that many cities throughout the U.S. are coping with. The little village of Sechelt, in British Columbia, thinks it has an answer. The local government of the tiny burg – some 9,000 residents – says it has a backlog of abandoned RVs and boats sitting in its public works yard. Directors at the local government-operated landfill said they’ll try a pilot project through the end of the year. “Bring us, your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” (or words to that general effect) and we’ll take them in. Provided – and it’s a big provided – you first dismantle them into four-foot sections or smaller, strip out the recyclable materials, and empty out and sort the liquids. And book a time for dumping in advance, and come prepared to pay $265 Canadian per metric ton (roughly 2,200 pounds).
A Utah traffic incident from last July that involved a fifth-wheel and the death of a vehicle passenger has finally drawn charges. Gavin Paul Nicholson (18) of West Haven, Utah, has been charged with causing a death while driving with a measurable controlled substance, drug possession, and other drug-related charges. On July 5, Nicholson was driving on Interstate 15 near Sunset when witnesses say he swerved out of his lane, smacking into a cement barrier, bouncing off and back into traffic, where he was broadsided by a pickup towing a fifth wheel. Nicholson was knocked unconscious, and his passenger later died in a hospital. Police found cocaine in Nicholson’s car, leading to a warrant to test his blood. While no cocaine was found by the blood test, methamphetamine, THC, and ketamine were found. He’ll stay in jail until his next court date, slated for April.
A new RV park will soon open in an area where dinosaurs once roamed. Well, that’s what the previous owners of the land promoted. Marblehead, Ohio, was formerly the home of Prehistoric Forest – a 10-acre wooded theme park based on prehistoric creatures. The dinosaurs are gone, but a feature of the park – a “mountain” with a flowing waterfall – remains even as 108 RV sites beckon a new generation of visitors. Forest RV Park is tentatively set to open April 15. While dinos may have enjoyed a dip, they didn’t have the opportunity. But RVers will find a swimming pool on the far side of the “mountain.” Firepits for weenie roasts and marshmallow incineration will be available at every site.
Combining an RV sales lot with an outdoor goods store proved to be irresistible to a burglar in Dothan, Alabama. Gander RV & Outdoor employees made a “three bears”-like discovery last Sunday, when they found a man snoozing in one of the outfit’s RVs. On approach, “Goldilocks” aka Tevin Michael Coffman (29) woke up, and instead of thanking his hosts, fired up the motorhome he’d been sleeping in and drove away. The Gander store manager followed along in another vehicle, giving directions to law enforcement. When police caught up with Coffman and the purloined motorhome, they found out Goldilocks may not have liked the porridge, but evidently found the guns and crossbows that Gander stocked “just right.” Several stolen weapons were found in the motorhome. Coffman may not find the new facilities just right, as he’ll be spending time in the local lockup until he can satisfy bail on charges of first degree theft, third degree burglary, and possession of burglary tools – which he allegedly used to get inside the Gander store.
FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, recently cancelled its 101st annual International Convention to be held this week in Tucson, Arizona. Much to the surprise of some members who planned to attend, the club announced that it would not provide refunds for their prepaid registration fees. Instead, citing financial hardships, it said it would instead issue certificates good for future rallies. Here is the letter FMCA sent to its members, in which it cited its reasons for not refunding registration payments, some as high as $1,000. Read more.
On a daily basis, how many people do you live with in “self-isolation”? Respond here.
A spinoff from FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, has attracted 1,500 members. AIM, the “All Inclusive Motorhome Club,” is open to any RVer who “owns an RV with a motor.” FMCA recently opened its ranks to towable owners as well as motorized, which was not welcomed by some members. An AIM membership is $35 a year. Learn more.
Xantrex has added two new solar charge controllers designed to work with popular battery chemistries including Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4). Learn more.
Looking for a good place to stay?
Our good friend Alan Warren, host of the radio program the RV Show USA, operates the Big Chief RV Resort in Burnet, in the Central Texas Hill Country. He reports he and his wife, Lisa, have full hookup sites available for RVers who need a place to call home during the present crisis. The park is right on the shore of Lake Buchanan, where you can fish for striped bass or catfish. There’s a boat ramp, too. Learn more or make a reservation at Big Chief’s website or call (512) 793-4746.
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 March 23, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.12 [Calif.: $3.07]
Change from week before: Down 13 cents; Change from year before: Down 50 cents.
Diesel: $2.66 [Calif.: $3.55]
Change from week before: Down 7 cents; Change from year before: Down 42 cents.
Sign up for an email reminder for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter, published every Monday through Friday. Coronavirus updates for RVers daily! You won’t want to miss it!
Brain teaser answer:
(The question appeared in yesterday’s newsletter): The word NOON.
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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