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Sunday, November 29, 2020
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Massive truck, SUV airbag recall stuns General Motors
The faulty Takata airbag catastrophe keeps getting worse. General Motors announced it will recall about seven million pickup trucks and SUVs worldwide to replace the potentially dangerous bag inflators made by the bankrupt Japanese company. About six million of the vehicles scheduled for recall are located in the United States. Continue reading.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis to star in new TV show
CNBC will soon debut a new primetime original series Streets of Dreams with Marcus Lemonis, highlighting the stories of the entrepreneurs and the unique business cultures that define America’s most iconic streets. Among other things, Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World and the Good Sam Club. Read more.
Street-dwelling RVers now get free honey wagon service
If you live in an RV on the streets of Seattle a minor miracle has occurred. The city is now dispatching honey wagons to pump your holding tanks, free of charge. No more dumping on the streets, which has been a problem. Read more.
Today’s RV review…
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 inTech Flyer Discover Mini Toy Hauler. He writes, “This trailer really bridges the gap between the company’s popular cargo and work trailers and their RV division.” Check it out here.
Marathon Coach – The multi-million dollar motorhome
Last week’s reviews
2021 Oliver Legacy Elite II Travel Trailer • 2021 Rockwood Mini Lite 2514s Travel Trailer • 2021 Imagine XLS 24MPR Toy Hauler • 2021 Starcraft Autumn Ridge 182RB Travel Trailer • 2020 Roofnest Sparrow
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
NEW: Sign up for our new Facebook Group, RV reviews. We post a link to Tony’s reviews there every day as well as other reviews and videos.
That was the RV week that was
November 22–28, 2020
The RV Industry Association continues to crow about increases in movements from factories to retailers. In October, the total number of RVs moved jumped more than 21% compared to October 2019, moving 47,326 rigs – the second highest October in history. Towables were up nearly 23% (42,854) and motorhomes nosed up nearly 9%, moving 4,472 units. But the fine print shows a couple of pitfalls: Among towables, popup movement sank 14%, and truck campers nosedived 22%. What supported the motorized area were Class B’s, who catapulted up 115%, offsetting the misery of Class A units, which were down almost 26%.
It’s every RVer’s nightmare – watching that big old semi-truck zooming up on your tail. But for an RVer in Kentucky, it was a nightmare he couldn’t wake up from. The unnamed man, pulling his fifth wheel in Laurel County on November 19, was rear-ended by a drunken semi-driver with enough impact that the fiver’s gooseneck was broken and the fiver mashed forward into the cab of his pickup. Bohodir T. Saitokhunov (29) of Denver, Colorado, was booked for DWI. No word on the RVer’s injuries.
The specter of lockdowns is haunting the RV industry. With COVID-19 numbers spiking across the country, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) is pulling out the stops in attempting to convince both federal and state governments their operations are “essential” business. The RVIA has sent letters to all 50 states’ governors and several federal agencies stating every sector of the industry, from manufacturing to dealerships, and service centers to RV parks should be allowed to stay open. The group makes its case that RVs are critical resources for medical uses, including rolling clinics and personnel sleeping quarters. Likewise, service centers will keep these necessary rigs working, as well as helping families who need their rigs running “as a reasonable and socially distant way to spend quality time” together.
Know any weary frontline medical workers who need a break? RV rental firm El Monte is taking nominations for a healthcare hero who’ll get a week away in an RV. Included in allowable nominees are doctors, nurses, technicians, medical researchers, general hospital workers, or pharmacists from Alaska and the Lower 48. The contest will need a written storyline about your favorite healthcare hero, and a photo of them. You’ll need to personally know the nominee. The contest is open until December 13, and a winner will be known on December 16. Official rules and entry form here.
Authorities are looking for a needle-in-a-haystack of snowbirds in Arizona. New Mexico authorities suspect that Leonard Francis Kieren (60) fatally shot a woman at the San Ildefonso Pueblo on November 21. The Pueblo is 20 miles north of Santa Fe. After the shooting Kieren is said to have called 9-1-1 telling dispatchers he’d killed his girlfriend because she’d cheated on him. Cell phone pings later showed his cellphone in Arizona – and he has an address in Buckeye. He’s driving a white, 2004 Dodge dually, and may be towing a fifth wheel – unfortunately, no description on the 5er. The truck was bearing an Arizona plate, CFT9569. Check out the wanted poster for more detail – click to enlarge.
Technology isn’t always an RVer’s best friend. On November 27, Justin Howard of Oklahoma was towing his fifth wheel through Venango, Nebraska, heading home from a job in Wyoming. When he noticed his rig on fire, he pulled off the road and dialed 911 on his cell phone. Not knowing his exact location may have contributed to the issue, but cellular technology reported his mishap in three different locations. One responder said he headed to a location near his home – only to find nothing. In the end, four different agencies responded, finally locating the unfortunate RVer. Howard was able to drop the fiver and move the pickup out of harm’s way but, as might be expected, his 2018 fifth wheel was a total loss.
Firefighters in Bend, Oregon, responded to a fifth wheel fire – and the origin proved to be a bit unusual. Sadly, the November 19 fire destroyed a family of four’s home, but nobody was hurt. No smoke detectors, but when someone opened the bathroom door, they found the room ablaze. The cause? An incense stick was left burning in a wicker basket.
It didn’t take long for a TV production company on California’s northern coast to fill its needs. The outfit sent up a request for a 16’ Airstream trailer to rent. Additionally, they needed a “newer motorhome or towable trailer, for a two-day shoot – the owner would be hired as the driver. And, of course, what backwoods show set in the 1970s or 1980s would look right if it didn’t have a Jeep Wagoneer of the same vintage rolling through the footage. A newspaper sent up the plea, and almost immediately had to amend the story to indicate all three vehicles had been found. No word on what show needed the rigs, but stay glued to the tube.
A pending lawsuit may crimp plans of owners of two RV parks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Owners of Lakewood Camping Resort and Pirateland Family Camping Resort have been leasing their parks’ property from the city. Recently the city decided to sell the properties to the parks outright. That sparked a potential lawsuit from Horry County. Seems that the county gets a portion of the lease income, and county officials are up in arms that the loss of the revenue could affect the county airport. The county gets about $2.7 million each year in the current deal.
Colorado game officials need help solving a horrific poaching case. Seven elk were shot, and left unharvested, probably on November 20, about 20 miles north of Craig. If you were in the area (the intersection of Moffat County Roads 109 and 3) and have information that would help, even information on vehicles you may have seen, contact game officials at 877-265-6648. A reward is offered in connection with an arrest or citation.
Pennsylvania isn’t just a news hot spot due to the recent election – now its state parks are off-limits to out-of-staters, unless they meet some tough restrictions. Coming in from elsewhere? To visit a state park, you’ll need to bring proof of a COVID-19 test, showing negative results, within 72 hours of coming into the commonwealth. Don’t want to do that? Then you’ll need to quarantine 14 days on arrival in Pennsylvania. And, no, you can’t camp in a state park or forest as part of the quarantine regimen. Fines for violations range from $25 to $300. Read more here.
A proposed RV park on Texas’ Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County is taking some heat from local condominium owners. Last Monday county commissioners heard opponents blast the developers of Petey’s RV Resort for apparently jumping the gun on property development prior to having permits. The arguments against the 68-site park covered a litany of concerns including potential septic effluent getting into the lake, traffic, delayed emergency response times, etc. Opponents claim they have a petition with some 700 signatures from change.org. However, since change.org doesn’t require signers to indicate their address, it’s impossible to tell how many opponents are locals with a stake in the controversy. Since the development wasn’t on the agenda, commissioners could not directly comment on the issue.
Rangers at South Dakota’s Jewel Cave National Monument had a bit of fun, trotting out a photo of a turkey who evidently wanted to tour the monument’s caves. “Your chances of being hunted by a turkey are low, but never zero,” the service warned Wednesday on a Facebook posting. “Be careful out there. This Peeping ‘Tom’ was spotted at Jewel Cave National Monument.” While the incident was indeed real, it took place around Thanksgiving a few years back. Rangers apparently couldn’t help themselves from resurrecting the gobbler glare captured on film.
Residents of Hoback RV Park in Jackson, Wyoming, got an unwelcome notice last week: Their leases are canceling out December 31. The septic system at the park was failing, and technical constraints are forcing the owner to drastically curtail how many sites can be used. Stuck with trying to move over a holiday period in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents petitioned for an extension until April. A large number of those living in the park are elderly and are at high risk for COVID complications. Hoback’s owners were able to cut a deal with another area RV park to allow the residents to move there and maintain their low rental rates – through April 2021.
Scots in Perth are up in arms. Seems that some poorly behaved RVers have been dumping their toilet cassettes (smaller motorhomes are common in the country, no blackwater holding tanks) in the beautiful Loch Rannoch. To counter the problem, a local environmental group applied for a permit to install the equivalent of a dump station for toilet cassettes. Apparently locals would rather the waste be dumped in the loch. They roundly criticized the proposal, suggesting it would be unattractive, smelly, and just in the wrong place altogether. The proponents have withdrawn their request, hoping to find a dump site more to the liking of locals.
Vehicles of the Imagination
From the mind of Steven M. Johnson
Steven offers some ideas here about whimsically-designed fast food driven restaurants. Greasy hamburgers and french fries are popular fast foods. As long as architects follow local building and siting regulations, there are no rules that say drive-in restaurants can’t look silly.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
A young family who had just bought their first home got a rude welcome to the San Pedro, California, community. Tim and Ana Matson had just moved into their new home November 10, and headed off to bed. At about 5:00 in the morning, Tim heard a noise from outside and when he got to the window, watched his travel trailer going down the road – with most of their belongings inside. The white Pioneer travel trailer had a California plate, 1LT3669. Sadly, the rig was not insured. Got any information that might help? Contact the San Pedro police, Harbor Station, at 310-726-7700.
This 2016 Forest River Vibe Model # 272BHS was stolen from a fenced in storage in Springfield, MO, on November 15 at 3 p.m. We have no other information at this moment. If you think you have seen it, contact editor(at)RVtravel.com and we will track down the proper authorities to contact.
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific Standard time today, Nov. 29, 2020. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.
THIS WEEK, TWO READERS RESPONDED and each claimed a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Congratulations to Dave Adamski of Pasadena, Maryland, and Terri Chavez of Enfield, Connecticut.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.
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.
Hercules 6×6 rules massive, six-wheel pickup truck empire
The new Hercules 6×6 pickup truck from Rezvani is appropriately named. It’s been designated as the world’s most powerful six-wheel pickup truck, and costs $225,000 to start. As the bigger brother of the Rezvani Tank, the new offering from the Irvine, California-based Rezvani Motors is built from Jeep Wrangler underpinnings. It’s 20 feet long and has an extra axle, a super-long bed and six 37-inch wheels. Continue reading.
Pending Rivian EV pickup truck reaches reservation limit
The much-touted Rivian electric pickup truck has reached a milestone even before one of its new trucks has sold. The startup announced reservation slots for the futuristic-looking truck have filled. The manufacturer recently unveiled its final pricing and configurations for the first version of the R1T and R1S. … The Rivian will be available to consumers in the summer of 2021 with a starting price of $75,000. Read more.
Have you lived in an RV full-time for the last 12 months?
Previous poll: We asked readers: Would you pay an additional $10 a night for an extra wide RV campsite? Nearly 4,000 readers responded. How many do you believe would NEVER OR ALMOST NEVER pay $10 more for a roomier site — 29 percent, 18 percent or 7 percent? The answer is here.
There are five sisters who are busy in one room. Ann is reading a book, Rose is cooking, Katy is playing chess, Mary is doing the laundry. What is the fifth sister doing?
I am looking for information on how to set up an in-coach network for computers, printers, tablets, etc., that at the same time is linked to the Internet. Do you have any sources that I can reach out to? —Bruce
Chuck Woodbury has said it as plain as you can about RVs. Build them, make sure they will get through the warranty, and grab the money! I recently (Dec. 2019) bought a used Class A motorhome with 31,000 miles to take my grandkids camping. It is by far the worst job of engineering and assembly I have seen in my 55 years of RVing. If you had an hour I would tell you about it, but suffice to say they threw it together with no quality control. I have gone through it from front to rear and fixed or rebuilt most of the junk work. A lot of it was just plain dangerous. I suspect I put at least 100 hours into fixing and rebuilding what the manufacturer should have done to start with. Guess what? This manufacturer is out of business … sold to another company. Pretty much says it all. —John S.
Alas, poor quality is par for the course in the RV industry and buyers are getting stuck with lemons far too often. It’s not only the fault of manufacturers, who are more often focused on profits than quality, but the buyers of the rigs, too. They fall in love with what an RV looks like, assume everything is built well (big mistake), and then finance the rig for 10, 15 or 20 years. They end up with a nightmare that can take decades to end.
You’ll soon be able to visit a new national park in Nebraska. No, you didn’t miss any fanfare from the Department of Interior, the parent of the National Park Service. The Ioway Tribal National Park will tell the story of a people who populated a land on the Nebraska-Kansas border long before Europeans ever came on-scene. The park will overlook a 13th to 15th century trading village. While plans don’t presently include RV spots, primitive camping will be allowed on the 444-acre site. Access, at this point, will be granted by the tribe.
A fair number of northern snowbirds may still be headed state-side for winter. The Canadian Snowbird Association figures about a third of its membership will winter in the U.S. How that will translate into RVing Canadian snowbirds isn’t clear, as the association’s members also include folks that will fly to existing winter sites.
A shooting in Arkansas’ Hot Spring National Park has turned into a 166-month prison sentence for the shooter. Cedric Allen Wiley (30) shot another man in the back in February 2019 inside the park’s boundaries. Neither Wiley nor his victim had been active visitors or campers in the park; rather, they’d been riding together in a vehicle and came into the park, where the victim got out and was shot while being chased. Wiley admitted he was upset with the victim – who survived the incident.
According to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers from online resale platform Decluttr.com, one in five respondents say they are likely to drink and shop online during the 2020 holiday season. However, 41% admit to online holiday shopping while under the influence in prior years. And almost three in 10 (27%) respondents have purchased a holiday gift online while intoxicated and not remembered doing so until it arrived. These findings align with a pair of studies released in March 2020 which indicated 58.4 million Americans had spent $44.9 billion for online drunk purchases in the past 12 months and that, on average, Americans spent $736 per person for online drunk purchases.
Camping World continues its march to dominance, this time in Piqua, Ohio. The buyout of Paul Sherry RV now marks the fourth Camping World location in the Buckeye State.
Electric promises from GM: The big automaker says it has a breakthrough in the battery chemistry pipeline that promises electric vehicle prices on a par with gas counterparts. Don’t hold your breath – it’ll be 2025 before small, electric SUVs will be rolling onto showroom floors – at less than $30,000, says GM. Expect a range of up to 450 miles.
Rangers at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park say Wesley Brandon Stedham (48) of Warrior, Alabama, has died while attempting a photo shoot. Stedham apparently fell about 50 feet at Chimney Tops Overlook. There was no wall, guardrail or fence at the overlook, and rangers say no rules were broken in the Tuesday accident.
Is it a battle of the RV titans? RV Retailer, parent company of 36 RV dealerships in the U.S., has now taken over Sierra RV in Salt Lake City, Utah, making the showroom its first in the Beehive State. Other brands RV Retailer owns include: RV One Superstores, Motor Home Specialist, ExploreUSA, Sonny’s Camp-N-Travel, Cousins RV, Camper Clinic, Lifestyle RVs, and Tom’s Camperland. With competitor Camping World claiming more than 120 locations in the U.S., RV Retailer has a bit of catching up to do.
An Idaho business owner has announced plans to transform a former drive-in movie theater in Idaho Falls into an RV resort catering to short-term guests. Zach Teichert purchased the former Sky Vu Drive-In and expects it to reopen as an RV resort by late 2021, the Post Register reported.
Upstate New York RV park, Daggett Lake Campsites and Cottages, has changed hands – for pocket change. The 70-site seasonal RV park on 400 acres includes its own private 110-acre lake. The new owners laid out $2.8 million. Cash.
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 trailers built with wrong axle.
• Keystone trailer recall: Frame rail could buckle.
• Jayco, Entegra motorhomes recalled for engine cover issue.
• Thor recalls some Four Winds, Chateau, Freedom Elite, Quantum motorhomes.
• Big recall on 2015-2020 Sprinter vans, motorhomes.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Guest essay: ‘Tis the season of giving thanks, and of hope.
• 10 harsh RV realities for beginners.
• Meet your fellow RVtravel.com readers.
• Free full-timing RV seminar from Escapees.
• Campground Crowding: A few tips and ideas to avoid crowded areas.
• RV Electricity: Do I need a surge protector on an inverter generator?
• LP alarm goes off even when LP tanks are closed.
• RV Gizmos & Gadgets: A neat trekking pole that helps light your way.
• Reserving a campsite for “tonight”? Maybe some help.
• RV Short Stops: Winter is awesome bald eagle watching time.
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of November 23, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.10 [Calif.: $3.03]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 48 cents.
Diesel: $2.46 [Calif.: $3.25]
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 60 cents.
Do you save money as a full-timer? Will changing brake fluid extend the life of my brakes? Why do 4WD vehicles have a lower tow rating than 2WD vehicles? How should you prepare for winter RVing? How do I quickly clean my RV’s windshield? Those are just a few of the questions we answered in this week’s round of RV Daily Tips Newsletters. If you’re not subscribed, you should do so here (you won’t regret it!).
Upcoming RV shows
All RV shows for the remainder of the year are canceled. We will restart our show directory feature as shows begin again. In the meantime, most of the shows scheduled for 2021 are still on. See the schedule here.
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:
The fifth sister is playing chess with Katy!
A married couple was in a terrible accident and the woman’s face severely burned. The doctor said the best skin graft would be from the husband’s buttocks. After surgery, the woman looked more beautiful than ever! Her friends were amazed. One day the woman was overcome with emotion. ‟Dear, I just want to thank you,” she told her hubby. “There is no way I could ever repay you.” He replied, ‟My darling, think nothing of it. I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheek.”
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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