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Sunday, August 23, 2020
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RV park’s reputation gets smashed after harsh treatment of campers
This week, editor Chuck Woodbury follows up on our story from three weeks ago, where we told you about a full-timing RV family that was evicted from a Colorado RV park for allegedly breaking a park rule that prohibited campers from having mail or packages delivered to the park’s address.
The uproar over this was huge — the park was bombarded with angry phone calls and negative reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor and websites that rate and review RV parks.
We’ve put all the pieces together on this highly emotional issue and even included the sheriff’s incident report. The moral of the story may be that if you operate an RV park, be careful who you mess with. If not, you could end up upsetting a high-powered social media couple like Jason Epperson and his wife, Abby, who could inadvertently, with one quick video, tarnish your reputation and ultimately cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe more. Read the story and see a new video by the couple who were the object of the park’s ill-advised eviction.
That was the RV week that was
August 16 – 22, 2020
If Marcus Lemonis and Camping World have their way, Nebraska will soon be a new RV manufacturing center for the U.S. Lemonis says his company is tired of paying so much money to foreign manufacturers for RV mattresses. His outfit is negotiating with the owner of a former Cabela’s warehouse in Sidney, Nebraska, with hopes to turn the building into a mattress plant. He won’t stop with snooze pads, either. Lemonis says he’s looking to work with an existing plastic forming company there to manufacture plastic products for Camping World.
Hot summer? You betcha! Death Valley National Park may have recorded earth’s highest temperature in almost a century. Last Sunday, August 16, at 3:41 p.m., the thermometer at Furnace Creek registered an alarming 130 degrees F. The National Weather Service will check the sensor to verify accuracy, and if it proves up, it will hit the record books.
Oh, for a fast car and a curvy road – but those dang slow-moving motorhomes! Such may have been the sentiments of two drivers on Gotthard Pass in the Swiss Alps. Seems as if a slow-poke RVer had a stack of four cars behind it. Among them, a Bugatti Chiron and a Porsche 911, both of whose drivers were apparently in a bit of a hurry. Both drivers hit the gas and pulled out to pass – only to smack into each other. The resulting impact caused them to also hit the motorhome, and a more sedate Mercedes-Benz SUV. At the end of the day (August 12) the tally was this: SUV driver seriously injured, and total damages 3.7 million francs, or more than $4 million (U.S.).
A California wildfire has hit hard in the state’s oldest State Park. Fire did serious damage to the headquarters of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, wiping out the old lodge and creating other losses. The fire hit the park in the Santa Cruz Mountains known for its seemingly ageless trees, and also chewed its way through 40,000 acres. While it’s too early to assess the effect on the ancient trees, a spokesman for the Save the Redwoods League says the majestic trees are fairly resilient.
A New Jersey mayor in hot water over traveling through Arizona and not going into quarantine on his return, is using an RV as his defense. Mayor John “Jack” DeLorenzo of Hasbrouck Heights is accused by critics of violating a state order that those who travel to states “with significant community spread” of coronavirus must quarantine for 14 days on their return to the Garden State. DeLorenzo and his family recently returned from a trip to Arizona and Montana, both of which are deemed to have “significant spread.” DeLorenzo says he and his family “were self-contained the whole time,” in a Class A motorhome.
The wolverine, a small bear-like animal, is known for a huge amount of ferocity, often taking on animals much larger than itself. Despite its reputation, the wolverine population in the Lower 48 is estimated at only 300 to 1,000. You can add three more to the list. Scientists were both shocked and ecstatic when trail cameras in Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park recently captured images of a mother wolverine and two “kits” (wolverine offspring).
And the Darwin Award goes to: The RVer in Olympia, Washington, who drove up for fuel at a local gas station. He popped the hood of his ancient Class C and attempted to fill a container inside the engine compartment. The non-approved container splashed back, igniting the fuel inside the compartment. The results were predictable: The man’s motorhome was destroyed, flames spread to the roof above the fuel island, and traffic was backed up at a busy intersection. The August 14 blunder-blaze caused an estimated $80,000 to $100,000 in damage.
There’s gotta be something a little odd about this offer: A satellite internet company says it wants to pay someone $1,000 to live in an RV for two days at any U.S. national park – provided they’ll leave all electronic technology behind for the stint. SatelliteInternet.com calls it a “digital detox”. Lest there be fears of withdrawal, after the two nights of no electronics, the company will provide the person an internet hotspot to reconnect and share their experiences. More details, and applications here.
A man with a Class A motorhome is the focus of a 40-acre wildfire in Bend, Oregon, that caused hundreds of evacuations – and destroyed hundreds of cars. The fire broke out August 15 after the man set up camp in a grassy area, and his rig’s exhaust system caught the grass on fire. The fire completely demolished his motorhome, but then spread through a lot filled with parked cars, melting them down. Fortunately, the lot was an auto wrecking yard, but that didn’t make neighbors feel any better when they were shooshed out of their homes because of the danger. Several mobile home parks and hundreds of stick-built homes were considered in danger before the fire was fully contained.
A sad story out of the Yukon. A 30-year-old emaciated grizzly bear has reached the end of the road. His end came after he set a record for breaking into cabins and RVs, evidently searching for food. The final straw was when he broke into a cabin in Marsh Lake – unfortunately there was someone inside when he made the burglary. The resident ran out the back door and sheltered in a travel trailer, the bear abandoning his search when a car drove up. But that wasn’t the end – last weekend he broke his way into yet another occupied cabin, but one of the folks inside was armed and made sure the bruin’s would-be meal was his last one.
A fast-moving wildfire in Colorado’s Larimer County changed plans for RVers in the Roosevelt National Forest on August 13. At a campground near Chambers Lake, the campground host told guests they should be prepared to evacuate. But a short time later, as fire crested a ridge near the lake, the host frantically sped through the campground telling everyone to leave immediately. Local residents got an alert that told them to evacuate, and not to stop to take anything with them. The Cameron Peak Fire, which on the 13th was some 1,500 acres, had reached more than 17,000 acres on Saturday, with zero containment.
When David Welch told his parents he and his wife were expecting their first child, they were ecstatic. Since David lived in Virginia, and his parents in California, there was a bit of distance between them. But grandparents-to-be knew something had to be done. First they bought airline tickets, but as the event drew closer, COVID-19 loomed up. Canceling the tickets, they instead bought an RV in Sacramento and hit the road to make a 2,400-mile journey to Virginia. Along the way, something happened: Moshe Immanuel Welch made his way into the world. Still, grandma and grandpa arrived in time to attend the boy’s naming ceremony. And lest there be worries about spreading coronavirus, both grandparents had kept themselves in isolation since March.
RV Crime News
A reverse phony-RV-sales scam caught the attention of police in Portugal earlier this week. Instead of someone seeing an RV for sale on the Internet, and losing their money, in this case, it was the seller that was scammed. A businessman in Portugal had put a sale ad up on the Internet for a motorhome he had. On receiving “confirmation” of a bank transfer for more than $33,000, he sent the motorhome on its way to the new owners. But two days later, his bank told him the money never really had been transferred. Portuguese police contacted their counterparts in Spain, and sure enough, the motorhome and two crooks were caught near Melilla.
A rash of motorhome and “caravan” (travel trailer) thefts in Britain has caused police in the northwest county of Cheshire to urge RV owners to equip their rigs with VIN CHIPs. The electronic identification chips are standard equipment in many newer rigs, but older ones can be fitted with them. When a police officer spots an RV, he can use a small scanner to read the VIN CHIP, and learn if the rig has been reported stolen – this at speeds up to 60 mph. RVers in the U.S. may not have VIN CHIPS, but some are equipping their units with GPS trackers.
Double header: Police in Cowley County, Kansas, got a report of a stolen travel trailer on the morning of August 13. Not long afterward, sheriff’s deputies successfully tracked down the ripped-off RV. It was evidently hitched up to yet a different stolen vehicle. Two characters, Jonathan Coy and William Buck, both got a ride to the county lockup in connection with the thefts.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
This unique 1977 restored Airstream land yacht was stolen August 13 from downtown Los Angeles. It has 14 ft. bi-folded door and is empty inside. If you have seen it. contact RVtravel.com at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let the proper authorities know.
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 F-150 gets surprising dubious title: most dangerous vehicle
The most popular pickup truck in the United States is also the country’s most dangerous vehicle. At least that’s the result of a new report released by a Lending Tree website, ValuePenguin.com. According to the analysis, which ranked the 25 Deadliest Vehicles in the United States, the Ford F-150 was involved in 10,845 fatal crashes in the past five years. Learn more.
2021 Ram 1500 TRX will boast it’s the “fastest truck ever”
Performance means a lot to many truck and RV owners, and now Fiat Chrysler has boasting honors. The manufacturer has announced its 702-horsepower 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. It’s expected to be the fastest accelerating pickup truck ever sold by any major automaker. Fasten your seat belt and learn more here.
Giant wooden spool attacks pickup truck then disappears
It’s the stuff of make-believe and fairy tales. But when Jeff Smith looked at his smashed 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and the giant spool next to it, he knew it was true. As Smith said, “Hit-and-run spool, really.” What happened defines bizarre. Smith left work in Omaha, Nebraska, one recent afternoon and discovered his truck was heavily damaged. A large wooden spool was positioned next to his Tacoma. Read more.
Ford is recalling certain 2020 F-150 trucks. An incorrect attachment nut may have been used to attach the battery positive (B+) power supply cable to the starter motor, possibly affecting the electrical conductivity, resulting in excess heat and electrical arcing. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S40.
How important to you are online rankings of an RV park when making a reservation?
The number 8,549,176,320 is a unique number. What is so special about it?
Thanks to a partnership between California State Parks and Google Maps, you can now visit many of our beautiful parks right from your computer, tablet or smartphone. A total of 110 state park destinations have been filmed using Google Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera that provides 360 degree footage. Go ahead – take a virtual hike.
Not all RV parks are booked solid these days. In Abilene, Texas, the Double D RV Park is almost empty. It’s oil country in these parts, and oil and gas layoffs have meant fewer customers for the park. “You know, we used to get a lot of long-term oil workers, pipeline workers, those type of people, but all the jobs have stopped because of the coronavirus,” said park manager Michael York.
RVers traveling toward Carmel, Indiana – head’s up. You may be driving in a lot of circles since the city is the “Roundabout Capital of the World.” Jim Brainard, the city’s long-time mayor, has been fascinated by roundabouts since he was a graduate student at Oxford University in England. He has overseen the building of 132 roundabouts in the 47-square-mile city. Read more.
California is burning up, wildfires are out of control throughout the state. Fires have already torched an area larger than Rhode Island and another round of dry lightning storms may arrive starting today (very bad news). Here is where to keep informed about the fires and their status.
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
• Winnebago recalls some 2021 Revel motorhomes.
• Forest River recalls some Sprinter motorhomes. Swivel seats could malfunction.
• More than 58,000 Ram trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokees recalled.
• Jayco recalls some Sprinter-based motorhomes.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• As RVers are we “getting away from it all” or is the lifestyle “getting away from us”?
• RVers and experts weigh in: What are the best days to travel?
• Tips for Wi-Fi and cell data on the road.
• RV Electricity: Can I get shocked from a GFCI?
• Deer flies a problem? Try this easy (and fun) trick.
• Boondocking in a coronavirus world. Part 5: Here’s a big variety of things to see and do.
• Knowing this hidden key trick could save you a road service call.
• Storytelling: A pleasant RV spot, a mysterious gray van, and a whole lotta cops…
• RV Tire Safety: More on tire cold inflation vs. “set pressure.”
• RV Short Stop: To view very colorful history, visit Las Vegas’ outdoor “Neon Boneyard”
• Have you been to America’s “folksy-est” place?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of August 17, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.17 [Calif.: $3.07]
Change from week before: No change; Change from year before: Down 43 cents.
Diesel: $2.43 [Calif.: $3.26]
Change from week before: No change; Change from year before: Down 57 cents.
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Upcoming RV shows
Most if not all RV shows for the remainder of the year are cancelled. We will restart this feature as RV shows begin again.
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.
Brain teaser answer:
This is the only number that includes all the digits arranged in alphabetical order.
There were two frogs sitting on a lily pad, when all of a sudden, a fly came along. One frog put out his tongue, ate the fly, and started laughing hysterically. Soon the other frog joined in the laughter. Later in the day, the other frog ate a fly and the two frogs burst out in laughter. As time went on, the frogs enjoyed the flies so much that the sight of a fly would cause them to laugh hysterically. A third frog hopped up to the first two and asked what was so funny. The first frog answered “Time.” “Huh?” responded the frog. The second frog explained, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies!”
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Emily Woodbury, 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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