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Sunday, October 11, 2020
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What’s ahead for RVing? A glut of cheap used units next year?
Our contributing writer and industry insider Tony Barthel looks into his crystal ball to try to determine where the RV industry is headed, and where RVers are headed, too. Will the present sales boom continue? When the pandemic gets under control will many RVers unload their rigs to travel the way they did before? Here’s what Tony thinks.
RVers are voting early!
In yesterday’s poll we asked readers if they had already voted in the upcoming election. Frankly, we didn’t expect many had. But, wow! Were we ever surprised! See the results and if you didn’t vote yesterday in our poll, please do so today.
Trucks with no drivers coming soon to a road near you?
The massive trucks likely won’t pass you on the freeway. But don’t be surprised when two new driverless vehicles soon appear on the horizon. Sweden-based Einride recently released renderings of an autonomous truck it hopes to have on the roads as early as 2021. The futuristic vehicle is called the Autonomous Electric Transport. It will be available in four variants – all with the same aerodynamic silhouette. Read more.
That was the RV week that was
October 4–10, 2020
More warnings from the RV park industry: If you’re planning on getting a spot for a winter getaway, you’d better get it now. The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) reports many of its member RV parks are reporting much higher than normal “first time” user reservations. “Many of these folks are planning to continue their travels well into fall and winter because they have realized how easy it is to work remotely from their RV. This is creating more demand for RV sites than we typically see at this time of year,” says a news release. Perhaps the “missing” Canadian snowbirds won’t be missed as much as was first thought.
An RVing couple got an early and abrupt end of their vacation in Clovis, California, last Wednesday. Cruising down Highway 168, their “combo” started to jackknife out of control. It ended with the “back end” rolling over. What didn’t help was that the pickup was pulling a good-sized travel trailer – which in turn was pulling a utility trailer occupied by an ATV. Yes, we said “travel trailer,” not fifth-wheel. The set of doubles coming to grief tied up traffic for a while but, happily, no injuries.
Back in June there may have been grumbling when visitors to California’s Yosemite National Park learned they needed a “day pass” to get into the park. A day pass? With coronavirus “in the air” and crowds wanting to get away from pressure by visiting nature, park officials felt it important to limit the number of visitors in the park at any given time. Initially only 1,700 passes were issued per day but, later, the limit was changed to allow 3,600 per day. Those wanting a pass had to register to get one in advance. The Park Service now reports it will end the day pass requirement November 1. Until then, you’ll need to register online and pay $33 for a day pass, valid for seven consecutive days. Folks holding annual or lifetime admission passes still need a day pass until November 1, but the fee for them is $2.
Quick! Name the world’s biggest oil company! Did you say Exxon? Well, you would have been right, but the new top on the pyramid is Chevron, which beat out Exxon in terms of market value. The figures from October 7 stock trading show Chevron’s market capitalization at $142 billion, edging out Exxon’s $141.6 billion. And if your memory goes back far enough, you may recall that the “loser” in this race started up as Standard Oil. But that was over 100 years ago, so you might be forgiven not being there at the time.
They may be bundled up in long-sleeve wool shirts, but it’s warmer here than “back home.” That’s the message coming out of RV parks in British Columbia, as snowbirds who’d normally be populating California, Arizona, and Texas are taking up winter residence in the western-most Canadian province. With COVID-19 keeping the land-border to the U.S. closed down, the chill of winter on the Canadian prairies has sent many to Vancouver Island, where RV parks report “full up” or nearly so – this in early October. Living Forest Oceanside Campground reports it has never in its history had so many calls – and never a wait-list for winter camping. Very few of its 330 sites are left to be had. Judging from the looks of things, by the time you read this, they too could be gone.
When Colorado’s Cameron Peak Fire roared through the Roosevelt National Forest, folks wondered just how badly campgrounds were hit. The fire is still burning, but preliminary overviews show less damage than might have been expected. The fire has been burning since August 13, and earlier this week had chewed more than 128,000 acres. An assessment team accessed six campgrounds a few weeks ago and reports that at the Jack’s Gulch Campground most infrastructures were either wiped out or seriously damaged. Aspen Glen, Big South, Chambers Lake, and Sleeping Elephant campgrounds suffered little or no damage, although landscape just outside some of the campgrounds was seriously singed.
September and October are months marking the start of the Desert Southwest snowbird season.
If you’re headed to Arizona, watch out! September and October mark a an unusual sort of migration: It’s tarantula mating season, and lovesick male tarantulas may be found crossing the roads seeking romance. Guy tarantulas may travel up to 50 miles in this pursuit, while females are smart: They just hang around and wait for a suitable suitor to appear. Pity the ones that don’t meet the qualifications: Female tarantulas are known to slaughter and eat unsuccessful candidates. They may exhibit the same behavior after a tryst as well.
Bend, Oregon, has relaxed its ordinance to allow folks to live in RVs. Wildfires have left untold numbers of folks homeless, and the Bend City Council took action to stop enforcement of city codes which prevent living in an RV on private property. Bend councilors looked to nearby neighbors from Talent and Phoenix devastated by the recent infernos. Bend joins Medford and Talent in the move. However, it is only a temporary measure. Come September 10 next year, unless extended, RV living will again be verboten in Bend.
In Hermiston, Oregon, RVers can find out how power is made for the shade. A new outfit, Panelview RV Park, offers shade canopies to park under. Up top of the canopies? Solar panels. The park’s solar array will pump out 226,357 kilowatt hours of juice per year, helping to reduce the RV park’s energy costs by nearly $20,000 a year. Panelview claims it will be the first RV park of its kind.
Vehicles of the Imagination
From the mind of Steven M. Johnson
The Woodsman: This trailer is often viewed as a perfect example of American excess. Critics wonder why one would need such a large trailer.
When families “shop” for an RV park, they often weigh factors like swimming pools and playgrounds. Enter coronavirus. Now a San Diego, California, RV park, Campland on the Bay, is offering a new kind of family amenity: an open-air study hall. Throughout the school year, students can study in the shade with Wi-Fi to keep connected. No study hall teacher is provided; parents must supervise their offspring. In addition to ”headphones are required,” so too are appropriate face masks and social distancing.
Will 2020 go down in the record books for the weirdest year of the century? From coronavirus to politics, wildfires and whatever next, here’s the whatever next: Missouri officials have found a spider web “big enough to catch humans.” The web was found “out on a trail near Springfield,” by a Department of Conservation employee. Was it some sort of freak, DNA-modified spider that manufactured the frightening trap? Nah, just a common orb-weaver spider, who, at a 1/2-inch body diameter, is still something to behold, and isn’t interested in anything but bugs for a meal. Interestingly, the orb-weaver generally spins out a web in time for nighttime catches, then eats the web (with fresh dew drops) the next morning. (BTW – The web in the picture is “bigger than a dinner plate.”) Here’s a link to the original post.
With RV dealers finding their “cupboards bare” with the sudden surge in RV sales, pity the Jacksonville, Florida, dealer. Fire broke out at the Travelcamp dealership on Blanding Boulevard on October 3. By the time firefighters arrived, at least three new rigs were shooting smoke and flames high into the air. Happily, no reports of injuries, although the video shows a hot time in the old town.
Free Guide to 2021 RVs
We told you about this great deal a few weeks ago, but in case you missed seeing it here’s a very valuable resource for RV buyers, the 2021 RV Model Year Guide. If you’re in the market for a new RV or simply curious about the latest developments in recreational vehicles then this will provide good reading. The fact that it’s free, with no strings attached, makes it an especially outstanding (and rare) offer. Click here to learn more and begin reading.
How can you legally discourage RV parks from being built near your downtown or beachfront areas? Amend the local zoning ordinance that requires parks to be built on a minimum of one-and-a-half acres to a new minimum of 10. That’s the clever approach the Rogers City, Michigan, city council may soon take. The local mayor doesn’t like the idea of RVs “Driving very much downtown, or blocking the view of the lake. Closer to the highway would be better,” reports The Alpena News. Since there aren’t any tracts of 10 acres near downtown or near the lake, problem solved. City councilors say they look forward to having a park development put in, eyeballing the revenues the city could see. Just don’t bring the money to downtown or by the lake.
“The pen is mightier than the sword,” wrote Edward Bulwer-Lytton. We might add: “So, too, is the bean bag.” Proof comes from Pocatello, Idaho, where last week police were called to a disturbance near Alameda Park. Locals said a man with a sword was blocking the street. When officers turned up, the man dropped his sword and beat a hasty retreat to his motorhome, parked nearby. Minutes later, after a bit of negotiation, the man popped out of the RV – armed with yet another sword. Negotiations were apparently futile – the man was combative. An officer nailed the sword-wielder with a beanbag gun, taking the fight out of him long enough to subdue and arrest him.
Another independent RV dealership has been swallowed up. This time it’s happened at Ground Zero of the RV industry. Total Value RV, located in Elkhart, Indiana, has been “acquired” by Lazydays Holdings, Inc. The latter says its newest acquisition is “the number one motorhome dealer in Indiana.” The company will rename the dealership, Lazydays RV of Elkhart. It makes for the ninth Lazydays in the country, with locations in Indiana, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Minnesota, and Tennessee.
City councilors in Longmont, Colorado, are struggling to deal with “sleeper vehicles,” RVs, slept in overnight on city streets and rights-of-way. This week the council will hold a “study session” to consider an outright ban on the practice. Under current local law, people can sleep in RVs in the city, provided they move their rigs at least 600 feet every 48 hours. Facing a homeless population, city officials had kicked around the idea of using a county-owned lot for safe overnight parking for those needing it, but quickly learned the county had other uses for the lot. Part of the consideration: “sleeper vehicle permits” issued for short-term use, largely to residents entertaining out-of-town guests.
It doesn’t sound too promising for a proposed RV park in New Braunfels, Texas. The local planning commission is unanimously recommending the city council deny a special use permit for the park on Farm-to-Market Road 306. Neighbors brought up the usual concerns: noise, blight, traffic, environmental, and historical impacts. Unless the proponent pulls its application, the full city council will take the matter up on October 26.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Ryan Beaudoin is heartsick. His dad, a Bronze Star-holding Vietnam veteran, has worked hard for 40 years and finally reached retirement. Looking forward to travel, Ryan’s dad bought a brand-new 2020 Cougar Half-Ton Series travel trailer – and hadn’t even got it licensed. In the dark of the night of September 24, crooks ripped off the trailer from a lot at Southeast Stark and 200th in Portland, Oregon. The “new” trailer image in the composite is a stock photo; the other pictures are from security cams that caught the lousy crooks. Click the image to enlarge it. If you recognize them or know anything about this, Ryan wants you to contact him. Phone 971-seven-one-two-3371.
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.
Truck wars: Ford F-150 Raptor vs. Ram 1500 TRX
As competitive as the truck segment has become, it’s about to get more intense. Ford has announced it’s bringing back the one missing truck from its vast lineup: the 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor with a V8 engine. The announcement comes after the recent news of the pending 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. First introduced as a concept vehicle in 2016, it will be equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 with 702 horsepower. Learn more.
2021 Honda Ridgeline gets rugged new good looks
Renowned for its unibody design and unique appearance, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline will debut early next year with a pronounced redesign. It will showcase the pickup truck’s road and off-road versatility. All 2021 Honda Ridgeline trims will include a 3.5-liter, direct-injected V6 engine producing 280 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Continue reading.
Rare Jeep Honcho pickup truck was once the boss
Jeep doesn’t make a lot of pickup trucks. But for seven years beginning in 1976, the Honcho trim was offered. … It’s not the most coveted vintage truck, but it’s now often considered the rarest pickup truck ever made in the United States. Despite their scarcity, original Jeep Honchos are available on well-established vintage vehicle websites. Read more.
New to RVing or know someone who is? Sign up for our Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter. Reader Robert McG says, “Wow, really enjoy the crisp format and valuable information, thank you!” Sign up here.
Have you already made at least one campground reservation for next summer?
What do the following words have in common?
Assess, Banana, Dresser, Grammar, Potato, Revive, Uneven, Voodoo
Camping World Holdings, Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with kathy ireland® Recreation & Adventure to launch a new line of RV furniture. The products will be available exclusively at Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors retail locations and online beginning in December.
The All Inclusive Motorhome Club (AIM) was launched in March 2018 by a group of Class A motorhome owners. AIM is open to any owner of a Class A, B or C motorhome and currently includes 2,500 members – up from 1,500 this past March on its two-year anniversary. Cost of membership is $35 per year. Anyone with a motor in their RV is welcome to join.
For the first time, the Lake County, Illinois, Fairgrounds in Grayslake will be available to store boats and RVs over the winter as a way for the nonprofit that runs the site to generate revenue during the pandemic. The facility is normally busy with flea markets, antique shows, craft shows, auto parts swap meet and an annual Oktoberfest celebration which have been cancelled.
Joseph William Lawrence, 47, died in a fire in his RV on Sept. 29 in the Walmart parking lot in Morgantown, North Carolina. Investigators determined the cause of the fire was accidental and stemmed from gasoline vapors from an open gas canister in the RV igniting by an open flame.
Canadian snowbirds who can’t venture south of the border because of the pandemic are flocking to Vancouver Island to spend the winter months. RV parks there are booked up with waiting lists.
A 3-year-old suffered second-degree burns after falling into scalding hot water at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Friday. The child “took off running from the trail” before slipping and falling into a small thermal feature. He was flown to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center with burns to the lower body and back.
Forest River has announced it plans to expand two of its 10 facilities in Indiana and add up to 369 new jobs over the next two years. The company currently employs about 9,500 people across the state.
Camping World has partnered with the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body as the sponsor of the National Hot Rod Association’s premier professional series, which will be known as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. The sponsorship begins immediately.
Roger Marble (tire expert and pretty smart guy) passed along this important information about COVID-19: “We hear a lot about masks but maybe not enough about why washing hands is important. SARS-COVID-19 can survive up to 9 hours on human skin while the Influenza virus only lasts 1 to 2 hours. But BOTH are dead in 15 seconds if the skin is sanitized with 80% Ethanol.” This information is based on a study published on October 3, 2020, in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Read a compelling article about this at livescience.com here, then go wash/sanitize your hands.
Great source of information: the RV Advice Group on Facebook. Moderated by the editors of RVtravel.com
You really do wonder…
This photo was posted on our Facebook Group RV Crashes and Disasters. You have to wonder what someone is thinking when they try something like this. Stupid happens, doesn’t it?
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
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• SoftStartRV – Run an air conditioner with a small generator.
• I flooded my fifth wheel with poop! Am I covered by my warranty?
• Top 10 complaints RV park managers have about campers.
• NEW: Do you have a favorite coffee mug? Show us!
• The Digital RVer: Use a little solar battery to charge your phone.
• Casino camping not necessarily a bargain anymore.
• Meet your fellow RVtravel.com readers(including a wonderful musician).
• Pay attention to passing motorists’ warnings of trouble.
• Crowded campgrounds. RVers would rather quit than fight.
• RVelectricity: Hughes Autoformer testing – Part 2.
• Building an RV Park: We have RV storage progress, and more!
• RVelectricity: Dogbone adapter confusion cleared up – Part 2.
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of October 5, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.17 [Calif.: $3.06]
Change from week before: No change; Change from year before: Down 47 cents.
Diesel: $2.39 [Calif.: $3.25]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 66 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Most if not all RV shows for the remainder of the year are cancelled. We will restart our show directory feature as shows begin again. In the meantime, most of the shows scheduled for 2021 (earliest beginning Dec. 31, 2020, in South Carolina) are still on as of October 1, 2020. See the schedule here.
Free and bargain camping
Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.
Brain teaser answer:
If you take the first letter and move it to the rear of the word, you get the same word when read backwards.
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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