Members News for RVers #964, Sunday edition

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    Sunday, September 6, 2020
    Members edition

    If you would like to read this week’s issue with the ads included, click here.


    Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for August

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

    And recalls issued in the past week …

    Heartland RV recalls some trailers. Landing legs could collapse.


    RV service centers and stores are out of parts. Now what?

    By Nanci Dixon
    cover storyA couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about RV dealers running out of RVs and service centers being jammed. There were a lot of comments. I was surprised at how many people were waiting for RV parts. Because of a shortage of those parts, either their RV was sitting in the service bay waiting for a part or they were waiting to get their RV into a service bay if the needed part came in. Read more for comments from our readers and from dealers, service centers and store managers.

    Does Utah law penalize motorhome owners? Is your state next?

    By Russ and Tiña De Maris
    Some Utah motorhome owners have been priced off the road. How? A law that came into effect last year has changed how Utah motorhome owners are billed for their motorhome registration. Does Utah penalize motorhome owners? Some feel they are being penalized. And while it may seem a “local issue,” what happens if your state takes the same approach? Learn more.

    Tornadoes and RVs: Motorhomer dies in South Dakota

    By Russ and Tiña De Maris
    Tornadoes and RVs don’t mix. This sad reminder comes from Miller, South Dakota, where an affable 73-year old motorhome driver met the end of his life when a tornado blasted his rig off the road. Read more.


    We welcome your RV warranty questions
    Do you have a question about RV warranties or extended warranties? Are you having a problem with a claim? Or do you wonder if purchasing an extended warranty is worth it? RVtravel.com is starting a new column on RV warranties, and we invite your questions. Click here to learn more or to submit a question.


    That was the RV week that was

    August 31 – September 5, 2020

    LATE BREAKING NEWS: Saturday night, Sept. 5, about 150 campers were being airlifted to safety after the Mammoth Pool campground, Calif., was surrounded by the fast-growing Creek Fire. The only road to escape was blocked by the fire, which had begun Friday evening and had burned 36,000 acres in the Sierra National Forest as of Saturday night, with no containment. Temperatures were above 100 degrees. The campers were sheltering in place at the Mammoth Pool Reservoir boat launch, and in the water, while they awaited rescue. Two of those rescued were severely injured, and another ten had moderate injuries. The balance of those being rescued had minor or no injuries. The injuries were presumably burns. As of 10:30 p.m. it was unclear if there were more campers awaiting rescue.

    It doesn’t take a tornado or a derecho storm to make your life interesting. Last Saturday (August 29), Joseph Clark says he got pretty scared when a “tiny house” flew right toward him and an RV shot 20 feet in the air, all courtesy of a wild Texas downburst wind. Clark and three other people were in a storage shed when the freakish wind blasted through the Clean Living RV Park near Briar, Texas. Fortunately, the now-demolished tiny house didn’t impact close enough to the shed to cause any injuries. Eight RVs and the tiny house were wiped out by the wind.

    It may be the Big Sky Country, but don’t let that fool you. Montana is NOT a place where you’ll easily find a place to stay in your RV – at least not in a state park. Montana officials report they’ve seen a 40% increase in visitors over “normal” times and attribute it to coronavirus. Planning on visiting a non-reservation park? Don’t expect you’ll get in easily. While high-traffic weekends like Labor Day are always busy, officials are describing the demand through the entire season as one they normally see on holiday weekends.

    nbcpalmsprings.com

    We’re betting that the insurance company of a motorhome driver who made a bad turn in Palm Desert, California, isn’t going to like this one. Last Monday a motorhome pilot smacked into a fire hydrant, which spouted off for the better part of a half-hour before firefighters could get it turned off. Meanwhile, waves of water flooded a shopping center parking lot, partially submerging a number of vehicles.

    pxfuel.com

    With the Canada/U.S. Border closed and concerns about COVID-19 drifting in the air, where will the Canadian snowbirds go this winter? Indications are at least some of them will be migrating west – not south – this winter. RV parks in the relatively warm province of British Columbia report an unusual number of calls seeking information about wintering over in B.C. A spokesman for the B.C. Lodging and Campground Association, whose members manage some 20,000 camping sites, estimates that 50,000 to 200,000 Canadians don’t have a permanent address. If a portion of those who RV turned up in B.C. this winter, there won’t be enough sites for all of them – there are 55,000 sites in the entire province, both public and private. The organization is already reaching out to hotels and motels, suggesting they allow use of their parking lots to put up RVers come winter.

    9and10news.com

    A small Michigan village is getting new life in an old RV park – this from RVers. The small, 25-site RV park in Mancelona was up and running from 1977 and was a popular spot. But in 2016 the original owner gave up and closed the gates. RVers Doug and Stacey Hicks were moving to Mancelona, and kept driving past the ghost-ground and felt sorry for the condition they saw it in. In April they bought the park, and in July opened it as the Antrim Meadows Campground. The Hicks have already had RVing guests from places across the country. See more on the park’s Facebook page.

    If you’re a “diesel burner,” you may have noticed a quick jump in the price of the liquid fuel. The Energy Administration said by month’s end, prices had jumped an average of 1.5 cents across the country. Blame it on Hurricane Laura and its pal, Tropical Storm Marco. When they whammed the Gulf Coast, much of oil production and refining was shut down. The biggest price hike hit the Midwest, where a gallon of diesel jumped more than 2 cents per gallon.

    RV manufacturers who export their units to Canada saw extremely disappointing sales figures for the second quarter of 2020. Wholesale shipments into Canada were down nearly 66% over the period ending June 30. U.S. internal shipments weren’t off as much, and the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association chalks it up this way: Many Canadian RV dealerships were shut down due to coronavirus from March until mid-May, and orders to international manufacturers lagged as a result. The association says that based on U.S. wholesale movement figures, their third-quarter report should appear much rosier.

    Me in ME on flickr.com

    We’ve been following the story of the mom-and-pop wannabe-campground in Phippsburg, Maine. When David and Tracy Percy shut down their old general store and had it torn down, they were looking for something easier to keep up with. More than a year ago they applied to build a 9-site RV park on the land, and immediately met with a host of opposition from locals. After bending over backward to please, it looks as though the Percys may actually get their wish. The area planning board voted all in favor of allowing the RV park to go through. There is one more legal requirement to pass, but in the board’s eyes, it should be clear sailing for the persevering Percys.

    The interest in renting RVs has skyrocketed, if figures from RVshare.com are any indicator. The company acts as a middleman for RV owners and potential RV renters. The company has been operating since 2013, and in July 2019 reported one million days of rental booking. Now, just 13 months later, the two million rental days mark has been reached.

    In California, campgrounds are experiencing record crowds, with some areas seeing double or even triple the number of usual visitors. Inexperienced campers have brought trash and unsafe behavior, while the surge in visitation has contributed to a lack of supplies in small towns. Another consequence of increased visitation is the number of escaped campfires, which can become full-blown wildfires, stretching firefighting resources. The Tahoe National Forest reports that escaped fires in 2020 that required a firefighting response were more than 225% higher than the previous record set in 2018. All national forests in California are currently under campfire restrictions.

    We reported earlier on a fraud ring in the New Orleans, Louisiana, area, which had staged fake accidents to bilk trucking firms and their insurance carriers. Now a trucking firm has filed a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act lawsuit against a local attorney and two of those convicted in the “accident” ring. Southeastern Motor Freight, Inc., alleges attorney D. Patrick Keating of New Orleans conspired with two members of the ring, and paid one of them to stage at least 40 accidents involving big trucks. If the case comes to conviction, under the RICO act, the defendant could be held liable for triple damages.

    Michigan wants all to feel comfy and welcome in its state parks. Making it “easier” is a deal the state’s Department of Natural Resources made with RV rental outfits. Contact the DNR, get a list of more than 30 vendors who’ll be happy to deliver to and set up an RV at the state park of your choice. And yes, you can still bring your own RV to a Michigan park if you like.

    Matt Decker via myguidon.com

    Military families in Missouri now have a new place to stay with their RVs. A new Department of Defense RV park has opened at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The 12-site park offers full hookups, and at an attractive price: $25 per day, or $160 per week. The campground was originally slated to open in May, but COVID-19 turned the schedule on its ear. Those with DOD-issued identification qualify to stay at the campground.

    The Point Mallard Campground in Decatur, Alabama, is changing some policies. The city park is proposing to create a short-term area, where stays are limited to 14 days. The limit would end a near-monopoly on campsites leased for years at a time. City Council President Paige Bibbee said the city will also begin enforcing an existing ordinance that limits the length of stay on all campsites to 179 days. The 25-acre campground has 233 full-hookup sites. Fifty-three sites have had the same tenants for one year or more, including eight for five years or longer, 13 for three to five years and 32 for one to three years. “Long-term campers filled up the campground to the point where there’s no space for out-of-town visitors who want to come to Point Mallard,” Parks and Recreation Director Jason Lake said.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a staff recommendation to adopt the so-called Low Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Omnibus Regulation that will increase the cost of motorhome engines significantly starting with the 2024 model year, particularly those motorhomes with diesel engines. CARB estimates that by 2031 the regulation will result in the lifetime cost of ownership increasing $8,841 for heavy-duty diesel engines and $5,814 for medium-duty diesel engines. Gasoline engines are expected to see an increase of $411. Read more.


    Patent Depending: Vehicles

    A FEATURE IN EACH SUNDAY’S RVTRAVEL.COM NEWSLETTER
    By Steven M. Johnson

    Biodiesel diner

    A constant diet of greasy foods may lead to a clogging of the arteries. But for those who fuel their vehicle with biodiesel, a roadside cafe that offers French fries with a fill-up is a winning combination.


    HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?

    Here’s a missing travel trailer that should be easy to spot – from the rear. This 17′ 2008 Taylor Coach Nik-Nat comes with an unusual feature: A rear-entry door. Vanished sometime between 10 p.m. August 12 and 7 a.m. the next day. If you spot it, call the Ontario Provincial Police at 888-310-1122.

    This custom-painted Terry travel trailer was stolen September 4 from the Vancouver Heights neighborhood of Vancouver, Washington. It shouldn’t be hard to spot with its unique paint job. If you see it, contact the Vancouver Police Department at (360) 487-7400.


    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.

    New Ram pickup truck recall dilemma: faulty floor mats

    Vehicles get recalled for many reasons, but faulty floor mats? Fiat Chrysler announced the issue – the potential of all-weather floor mats to cause the accelerator to get stuck – and it has voluntarily recalled about 190,000 Ram 1500 pickup trucks from 2019 and 2020. Learn more.

    LA Auto Show – showcase for new cars, trucks, RVs – postponed

    The LA Auto Show is annually held in November, but it’s the first major national showcase for new models of cars, trucks and sometimes campers and motorhomes. The show must go on, but it won’t this year as originally planned for Nov. 20-29. Like auctions, motorsports events and various regional auto shows, LA Auto organizers have rescheduled the event to 2021. Read more.


    Reader poll

    Is the ongoing pandemic weighing on you emotionally?

    Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE


    Brain teaser

    In what scenario does 8+8=4?

    (Answer below.)


    News briefs

    COVID-19 has sounded a death knell for many American malls. Coresight Research, which focuses on disruptions between physical and digital retail, is predicting that up to 25,000 stores will close by the end of 2020 and that more than half of those closures will happen in malls. Within five years, this trend will spell an end for as many as 300 of the 1,200 malls currently in operation in the United States.

    Google Maps has added a new feature to its app: traffic lights at intersections in a number of U.S. cities. The new road icons are visible in the app at intersections throughout U.S. cities on both Android and iOS. The company said the Google Maps redesign also will include re-drawings of sidewalks and pedestrian islands for better navigation viewing.

    The Wish Poosh Campground in Washington state’s Cle Elum Ranger District is temporarily closed due to campers’ close encounters with bears this summer. Authorities say people who aren’t experienced campers or practice bad camping habits aren’t stowing away food and garbage properly, which is attracting the bears.

    Daily passes are once again available to Wisconsin state park-goers for single-day visits instead of requiring the purchase of a more-expensive annual pass. The passes are available for purchase at electronic pay stations, self-registration stations or at a drive-up window, depending on the park.

    Walmart will launch a membership program called Walmart+ on Sept. 15. It will offer unlimited free delivery (on orders of $35 or more), gasoline discounts of up to 5 cents a gallon and access to the chain’s Scan & Go app which allows shoppers to avoid checkout lines by scanning items in the store and checkout using Walmart Pay. The new program will cost $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, with a 15-day free trial period.

    The Bureau of Land Management Junction City Campground, about 50 miles west of Redding, California, along State Route 299, is temporarily closed to public for use as an incident base for fire crews battling the nearby Hobo Fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.


    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.


    Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

    If so, stories you missed:
    Losing cell service? Try these tips to reconnect or keep the signal.
    RV sales people: Which customer service approach wins the sale?
    Walking sticks provide surprising bonus to your exercise routine.
    RVelectricity Facebook group hits 10,000 members … and more exciting news!
    Weird and Wacky RVs for September 5th.
    Our secret to finding the best places in a new town.
    New blog: Crowded campgrounds – Installment 3.
    My new favorite tool: I’ve solved so many RV issues with this gadget!
    Would you eat roadkill?
    Tires are more than just round black things.
    Time to pull out your Instant Pot! Try this delicious soup recipe.
    and much more

    Read it here | Back issues


    Latest fuel prices

    Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of August 31, 2020:
    Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.22 [Calif.: $3.10]
    Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 34 cents.
    Diesel: $2.44 [Calif.: $3.28]
    Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 54 cents.


    You can’t call yourself a fan of RVtravel.com if you’re not signed up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter! The Daily Tips newsletter has it all: quick tips, popular articles, polls, a website of the day, clubs and useful organizations, trivia, a pet of the day, a joke, and so much more! Check out Friday’s issue, then sign up here.


    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

    From OvernightRVparking.com

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

    Other resources:
    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.


    Help wanted
    RVtravel.com needs editors, writers (some paid positions, others volunteer) and moderators of our Facebook groups. We also need RV industry insiders to provide us with information about the inner workings of the RV industry — the good, the bad, the ugly — so we can serve our readers with the best information possible. Learn more.


    Brain teaser answer:

    If you’re thinking in terms of time: 8 a.m. plus 8 more hours equals 4 p.m.


    Sunday funny

    What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet? “Supplies!”

    Did you miss yesterday’s “funny?” You’ll want to click here to watch a hilarious video.



    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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    22 Comments
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    John T
    9 days ago

    There is no shortage of campsites in Montana. I was touring western Montana and eastern Idaho for the whole of June, July and August, never booked more than 2 weeks in advance, and never saw a full campground or RV park.

    Bisonwings
    12 days ago

    Just my already,“lame”, option but if the daily humor gets any “lamer” it’s condition will move to “comatose” and will require someone to make the decision of whether to put in a feeding tube or just let the patient go peacefully. I would opt for the peaceful solution. That’s what I would want anyway. IHO only 🙂

    rvgrandma
    13 days ago

    If you google the brain teaser you get numerous answers.

    Cheryl
    13 days ago

    New campers! I know it is extra work, but inexpensive, for a flyer to be included in checking in packet with rules of camping. Number 1 rule is NO walking through campsites. Our July site by a lake is right by the food and store. The manager has landscaped the site to discourage people from using the site as access to the store. Even when stopping people while we are outside, they would not stop walking through. Such a simple rule.

    jim
    13 days ago

    8 cups and 8 cups equal 16 cups. 4 cups in a quart. 16 cups equal 4 quarts.

    T. Helms
    13 days ago

    I live in NW Montana 75 miles North of Glacier Park. The RV and tourists this year has been absolutely ridiculous!!! You can’t go anywhere with out tripping over some out of stater…. Some follow the rules others think they are special. We have seen an uptick in Covid, but the state coffers are fuller. As far finding a place to camp, there aren’t enough RV parks in a non Covid year let alone now. People have just been pulling over in parking where ever they please.
    We have stayed home rather than go out into the Masses… Hopefully things will mellow out in the next year or so that we can enjoy our own back yard. And we can go visit all these people home state…

    Tim Slack
    13 days ago

    8+8=16, and the square root of 16=4

    Montgomery Bonner
    13 days ago

    Main Article – No Parts, This is an excellent example of what happens to a “partial supply chain” which is allowed to shut down plants here which make parts, and move to China or other places. The pandemic impacted every country on this planet. If those plants were still here in the USA, the shortages would not be as severe. Now some plants are still here, but the raw components are again, made in China, again, showing how impractical that is for one industry. If we don’t bring home all those plants/parts materials/drugs/textiles, we are going to be at China’s mercy.

    If you have not been paying attention, they released the COVID onto the world, most likely aware of it, (some estimates say possibly in 2018 or late summer of 2019) knew how bad it was, and said NOT ONE THING to the rest of humanity. So if you think they have your best interest at heart, you are not paying attention. Sad, our nation used to make lots of stuff and sent those things around the world, now we are not.

    Kimberly
    13 days ago

    Have you done any research on this issue? Do you know why manufacturing was moved to China (and many other developing nations)??? If all of the parts were manufactured in the U.S., almost no one would be able to afford to buy an RV. The companies that manufacture the parts are in business to make money. If they can pay an employee less than $2 per hour to make the part, then that’s what they are going to do. That is why most manufacturing moved out of the U.S. – it was too expensive to make here because it cost too much to pay the workers. So, please, save your sympathy for ‘our nation’ because ‘our nation’ didn’t send those jobs overseas, the companies that manufacture the parts did.

    ron
    13 days ago

    The American consumers demand for lower prices have driven the greedy corporations to seek lower manufacturing costs, aka China. So we are to blame.

    Jack L
    12 days ago

    I would challenge you to find one product that went down in price when the manufacturer moved their production from the U.S. to China (or any other low wage country). The only advantage to moving production out of our country goes to the companies, and their CEO’s who who became billionaires.

    Sink Jaxon
    12 days ago

    Bonner, do you have evidence China released COVID ‘onto’ the world? The answer is NO. And I HAVE been paying attention.

    steve
    13 days ago

    8+8=16, 16 is 4pm in military time.

    Tom
    13 days ago

    Think building conversions for the big closed malls. Anchor business being government offices. Plenty of parking. Food Court. Giant public spaces.

    Donald N Wright
    13 days ago

    Maybe we should buy a closed shopping center and turn it into a RV campground.

    James Beirlein
    13 days ago

    That would address two problems as there seem to be an abundance of vacant shopping centers.

    James O'Briant
    13 days ago
    Reply to  James Beirlein

    RV Park in the parking lot — and indoor RV storage in the large anchor stores….

    Gman
    13 days ago

    Don’t believe the city or county where these malls are located would be zoned for this type activity.

    Tommy Molnar
    13 days ago
    Reply to  Gman

    They will quickly re-zone if the prospect of re-opening any of these large chunks of former tax revenue looks to never happen.

    Last edited 13 days ago by Tommy Molnar
    PennyPA
    13 days ago
    Reply to  Gman

    They can change the zoning. I used to be a zoning officer and there is (usually, not counting NIMBY) no problem.

    James Beirlein
    13 days ago

    For today’s brain teaser, if you’re thinking money, 8 quarters plus 8 quarters equals $4.

    Sink Jaxon
    12 days ago
    Reply to  James Beirlein

    Excellent James! I was on the track of something like, 8 tires plus 8 tires equals 4 axles. My DW came up with the time thing!