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Sunday, January 10, 2021
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The big Quartzsite RV Show is slated to open in just a few days. Scheduled dates are set for January 16th through the 24th. Look – the big tent is up, guards are already posted to keep away the questionable. Show promoters, the King family, have posted on their site, “IT’S A GO!” The question is: Will you go? Continue reading this update from Quartzsite residents Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Today’s RV review…
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Volvo VNL Sleeper Cab. He writes, “There is a large contingent of RVers who use these and other commercial truck cabs to move their rigs. There are a lot of advantages to doing so including the towing capability, of course, but they also include what you get in a tow vehicle.” Read more here.
Yesterday’s review: 2021 Little Guy MyPod Travel Trailer
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
January 3 – January 9, 2021
Will he or won’t he? That’s the question RVtravel.com staff have been posing to the office of Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World. You may recall that Marcus pledged a $250,000 reward in the search for the person responsible for the Christmas Eve RV bombing in Nashville, Tennessee. Since police used tips to help turn up the deceased bomber’s name, we’ve called to find out if Lemonis is still planning on shelling out the reward. Repeated requests for comment have led nowhere.
Visiting a Colorado State Park? You may get docked an extra buck just to enter. Six of the state’s parks, Lake Pueblo, Golden Gate Canyon, Staunton, Castlewood Canyon, Roxborough and Highline, join a growing list of “high use” parks where the state is tacking on the additional fee. They join Cherry Creek, Chatfield, Boyd Lake and Eldorado Canyon state parks, where officials say the extra fee is needed to defray higher costs with the increasing visitor load.
Responding to a call of a “suspicious vehicle” must surely bring up the stress level for law enforcement officers. A deputy with the Pueblo County, Colorado, sheriff’s office recently took such a call. What he found left his heart moved. The “suspicious vehicle” turned out to be a car, occupied by an 81-year-old homeless man who had less than $10 to live out the waning days of 2020. Deputy Sam Wolfe said, “He’s a little bit younger than what my dad is. He kind of reminded me of him, and I felt like I needed to do something and help him out and get him through at least the holiday season.” The deputy and his humanitarian-spirited crew pitched in and gifted the gent better than $200. The unnamed man said he hopes to put the money toward buying an RV to live in.
The Horry County, South Carolina, fight over the sale of two RV parks we’ve been reporting on has taken a new, but not unexpected, turn. Myrtle Beach officials have been leasing land to Pirateland and Lakewood RV parks for years. When the city declared it would sell the properties to their respective leasees, the local airport authority, which had been a beneficiary of lease payments, objected. County officials filed suit, and a circuit court judge has declared the sale is on hold until after a hearing February 1.
A Utah treasure hunter who thought he was on the trail of the infamous Forrest Fenn treasure has ran amok with federal agents. Roderick Dow Craythorn of Syracuse, Utah, has pleaded guilty to excavating or trafficking in archeological resources after he was caught digging about in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery in Yellowstone National Park. He’ll be sentenced in court on March 17. In addition to the charge already listed, he’s also pleaded guilty to injury or depredation to the United States. He could face up to 12 years in prison and nearly $300,000 in fines. Fenn’s treasure was found by a college student on June 6, 2020, in an undisclosed Wyoming location.
Has the global COVID-19 pandemic pulled the plug on government agencies getting ahead financially? One answer comes from Hesston, Pennsylvania. The Army Corps of Engineers says the Raystown Lake Seven Points Campground it operates there is a HUGE winner in what might be called the COVID camping contest. Seven Points normally takes in $625,000 a season in camp fees, but in the most recent year, which included the dreadful time of pandemic, income surged to $730,000, up 25% from 2019. It also shot Seven Points to the top of the national list of revenue-producing campgrounds in the Army Corps’ system.
Two alleged RV crooks have been indicted in the theft of two RVs worth $145,000 from an Elkins, West Virginia, dealer. Taylon Batista Garcia, 35, and Yankier Gaston Garcia, 32, are accused of bringing heavy-duty trucks from Florida into West Virginia, hitching up, and hauling away the loot. Additionally, they’re on the hook for conspiracy to commit offense against the U.S. Prosecutors say the two were part of a four-man troupe that rolled into Roy’s RV Superstore last July, each hitching up to an RV and driving away. The Garcias’ mistake was evidently failing to pay the tolls on two different toll routes in their getaway attempt. They were nailed by police on the Virginia Turnpike. And the other two crooks? Police are still looking for them – after they found the two other stolen RVs in Odd, West Virginia. If convicted, the purloining pair’s prison possibility is up to 15 years in the pen.
A new campground has been denied, and the expansion of another is in suspended animation – both decisions hale from Wisconsin. The proponent of both is one Steve Austin, who is himself a Burnett County Supervisor. He’d asked for a permit to build a 180-site RV park in Swiss, Wisconsin, and to expand his existing Oak Ridge Campground in Webb Lake by 30 sites. Both locations are in Burnett County. If Austin expected his position to gain him any traction, he was destined to see his hopes skid out. Both Swiss locals and their elected officials panned the new RV park plan, objecting that it would change the rural flavor of the area. Burnett County’s land use board sided with Swiss, and soundly rejected the request. As to the expansion of the other RV park, the board tabled the matter, claiming insufficient information from Mr. Austin. It’s not clear when the request will be revisited.
A major move in the battle of chain RV dealerships took place this week. RV Retailer, LLC, has just picked up 14 more dealerships. Family RV Group, which runs 12 dealerships in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia is turning over to RV Retailer. Additionally, Northgate RV with two dealerships in Tennessee and Georgia is likewise giving it up to RV Retailer. The sales are expected to close next month. RV Retailer will now have 52 stores in 15 states.
Gas mileage down. Air pollution up. That’s the word from a new federal report that says that the up and down figures were both spotted for the first time in five years, and was drawn from statistics for 2019 model-year vehicles. The findings put two groups at loggerheads: The EPA says the changes are proof that automakers couldn’t meet “unrealistic standards” for fuel economy and air pollution from the Obama era. Environmental groups charge that auto builders stopped marketing fuel efficient vehicles and electrics, and used loopholes, recognizing that the Trump administration would soon be rolling back both emission standards and mileage requirements.
Trying to trick your insurance company is no treat. So says Canada’s Manitoba Public Insurance, which included in its list of Top Five Fraudulent Claims of 2020, this one: An insured reports that his brand-new travel trailer was stolen right out of the front yard. The firm’s investigator does a little sniffing around, and finds the RV just six miles out of town – burnt to a crisp. Surveillance camera footage shows the RV being towed by a truck that bears a striking resemblance to the truck owned by the claimant – a man experiencing “financial difficulty.” When asked to allow his truck’s onboard computer system to be accessed to show where it was the night the trailer vanished, the man demurred – and withdrew his $37,000 claim.
RV park residents in Florida’s Lee County were hoping they wouldn’t see a repeat of New Year’s 2020. Residents at Cypress Trails RV Resort there said when revelers got excited and fired weaponry heavenward, they got the results – in the form of aerated RV roofs. “They’ve come through our motorhomes,” Susan York reported to WINK news. “Somebody found it on the pillow. Somebody found it on the living room floor.” The barrage of gun shots continued for 15 to 20 very long minutes. A nearby church has cancelled its outdoor New Year’s services, indicating that parishioners had been hit by falling projectiles. No word yet if this year’s celebrations led to lead-fall.
The issue of expanding an RV park in Currituck County, North Carolina, has taken on a bizarre “ping pong” effect as it bounces from court to court. Relatively new owners of the Outer Banks West KOA sought permission from the county to add 314 RV sites and 78 tent spots, plus a new swimming pool. Back in 2013, the county banned all new campgrounds, and when the Outer Banks’ request came in, in 2019, the county planning department shot the request down for the new sites, and dried up any plans of a new swimming pool. Outer Banks appealed to the board of adjustments, which sided with the earlier ruling and nixed the plans. Next stop: Superior Court, where the judge rejected the earlier expansion rejections of the county. In the court’s view, the county’s rejection was arbitrary. But as for the swimming pool, well, so sorry, no pool. This left neither the RV park nor the county happy. The county has taken its beef to the state Court of Appeals, and Outer Banks is appealing the pool put-down, too. Time will tell the final outcome, or if these cases will continue to ricochet around, undoubtedly making lawyers rich. Still, the county is now reconsidering its “arbitrary” policy and may start allowing new campgrounds in the county – with “limitations.”
Another RV show bites the dust: The Boston RV Show, which was originally set for January but rescheduled for April, is now totally off the 2021 calendar. Show organizers made the announcement Friday, but “circumstances beyond our control” caused show managers to scrub the show and refund vendor fees. The site for the show would have been the Boston Convention Center. Center officials have scrubbed all leases from April through June. It’s suggested the shut-down may have come to allow the center to be used as a COVID-19 vaccination center.
Yogi does foosball? Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort franchise in Milton, Pennsylvania, has changed hands – with new “improvements” planned. Included in the advancements are “human foosball” courts. Think of the rec-room table game changed to a life-sized outdoor game with human players instead of plastic pieces. Other “sports” for the young, or old people with too much energy, include laser tag, a gaga ball pit, and water wars games. (We’re tired out just writing about it.) The new owner is a Texas-based real estate development firm that recently got into RV parks.
Police and fire officials in Cathlamet, Washington, got a New Year’s Eve call-out from an RVer. Dispatch reported the caller said the TV in their motorhome was smoking. When first responders arrived they found the TV was, indeed, acting out of sorts. The boob-tube was sparking. Cause? Rain dripping on it, via a leaky roof. A firefighter took to the roof with a tarp to make a temporary fix. A sheriff’s deputy noted on his report that he called the local mental health department to look into temporary housing for the RVer, but none was available.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Another rig stolen at a dealership, this time in Little Falls, Minnesota. This 35′ tan and brown 2018 Rockwood travel trailer had a Minnesota plate RW25718. The rig was stolen from Hillmerson RV Marine Superstore on January 3rd, and was last spotted east of Little Falls on Highway 27, headed in the direction of Pierz, pulled by a dark-colored four-door Chevrolet truck. Know something? Call the sheriff at 320-632-9233.
Crooks have struck yet another “secure” storage facility, leaving a heartbroken family. This 2017 Keystone Outback (model 325BH) was ripped off from a storage facility in Simpsonville, South Carolina, most likely in the dark hours of January 2. While it looks like a lot of other Outbacks, it also bears “General RV” promotional decals on the rear and next to the entry door. Call the Greenville County Sheriff to share tips, 864-271-5210.
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 reigns as country’s most popular new vehicle in 2020
It comes as no surprise. Pickup trucks remained the country’s most popular new vehicles in 2020. The Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ranked first and second among the top-10 best-selling vehicles last year, according to the search engine iSeeCars.com. Continue reading.
2022 Truck Preview: No name yet, but Ford Maverick likely
It could be called the Ford Maverick, Courier or Ranchero. All are well-known vehicle names among enthusiasts of Ford offerings of yesteryear. And one is likely the name of the automaker’s return to offering a compact pickup truck. The automaker won’t reveal the name, but it has announced the new unibody vehicle. Learn more.
Used truck sales increased in 2020
Amid the pandemic, the automotive industry had solidarity. It suffered with the rest of the business world. But there were exceptions to the sales doldrums, notably the used truck market. Sales increased, lead by three best-selling used vehicles in 2020, all pickup trucks. Like its new counterpart, the Ford F-150 was the country’s top-selling used vehicle. Read more.
Do you plan on selling your RV or buying an RV in 2021?
Fill in the middle word. This word should correspond with the first and last word.
1) Street _____ Jack
2) Bird _____ Bed
3) Shopping _____ Lady
4) Orange _____ Stump
5) Stamp _____ Lock
6) Wet _____ Fill
7) Air _____ Pad
8) Pocket _____ Keeper
9) Life _____ Company
10) Wish _____ Fragment
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, Jan. 10, 2021. 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 here (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips 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.
At least one city in Florida, Panama City Beach, reports COVID-19 has definitely had an effect on snowbirds. The local senior services agency estimates that the snowbird population is down close to 60% compared to an average year. Of those who have made the city their winter port-of-call, many of those are staying home out of fear of the virus.
Colorado’s Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument just got bigger. The National Park Service has accepted a 280-acre donation of land that will increase the monument’s montane habitat, and give better access when fighting wildfires on the monument’s western side.
Bend, Oregon, may become home to a 185-site RV park if a developer gets his way. Described as a “luxury” park, it would also include an area of heated RV storage buildings. If the project flies, it will happen on Murphy Road near Highway 97.
Memorial Day is slated to mark the opening of a small RV park near Avon Pier in North Carolina’s Dare County. The 26-site full-hookup park was approved in late December. Look for “Avon by the Sea RV Park” come this spring.
Planning a visit to Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park? If staying on is in the planning, best add this to the planning: The park’s Colter Bay, Gros Ventre, Jenny Lake, Signal Mountain, and Lizard Creek campgrounds are all moving from first-come, first-served to “by reservation.” The changeover takes place January 26, and recreation.gov is the place to go for making reservations.
RV mega-dealer Lazydays is taking an early jump on the year to open a new outlet. This time, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is the landing point for the new dealership. The not-so-far-from-Nashville location marks the company’s second Tennessee sales-point. The company now has 11 dealerships in six states.
Raymond Poquette, an 80-year-old man with a history of vehicle-related crimes, has been charged with murder with his motorhome in Grass Valley, California. Read more about this troubled man.
Campground and RV Park News
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 and RV Park News” here.
Things to smile about this week
A weekly roundup of news stories that will make you smile (and maybe shed a tear or two…). This week, a heartwarming story about RV park quilters making beautiful and warm quilts for families in need; an astronaut who persevered to finally achieve his lifelong dream and now is helping children to reach for the stars; a pawsome paddleboard motor; a big dog meeting its new tiny puppy pal for the first time (soooo cute!); and some inspiring words about “Things to Remember When This is Over.” Enjoy all of these, and more, here.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• RV Gadgets and Gizmos: Nifty device tells you if your RV is dangerously overweight
• He bought an RV with $20,000 worth of damage. His warning to you…
• RVelectricity: What is a GFCI nuisance trip?
• Campground Crowding: Which state has highest cancellation fees?
• Are all RV ovens created equal? Do you use yours?
• More wacky, creative mailboxes along the road
• RVelectricity: JAM Session – Don’t let your connections corrode
• RV Tire Safety: Can a “sealant” to prevent flat tires cause problems?
• RV Short Stop: ‘Ma’ Rainey House & Blues Museum
• Ewwww! Watch this scene from the movie “RV” – You’ll laugh!
• What is it? “World’s longest truck camper” or Class C motorhome?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 4, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.25 [Calif.: $3.10]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 33 cents.
Diesel: $2.64 [Calif.: $3.40]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 44 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Some RV shows for the beginning of 2021 are canceled. We will restart our show directory feature as shows begin again. In the meantime, some of the shows coming in the next couple of months are still on. See the schedule here.
Free and bargain camping
Shoalwater Bay Casino, Tokeland, WA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but please obtain permission from the casino. Park at a red building in the north parking lot. We believe this to be the fireworks sales building; the casino says do not park on the grass, but there’s a gravel area that is OK. It is mostly level, well-lit, and believed to be quiet and safe. There are two-three restaurants inside the casino. Click here for details.
Walmart Supercenter #569, Columbia, KY
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed! Store stated that they officially don’t allow it, but if you arrive late in the day, stay one night only, and depart early the next morning, it “shouldn’t be a problem.” Just obtain permission from the store, and have a backup location in mind. It is mostly level but with noticeable slopes for drainage, well-lit, and appears safe. RVer reports some customer and traffic noise in the lot. Burger King, Hardees adjacent to lot, and two to three additional restaurants close by. Click here for details (and scroll down).
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.
• Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations.
• Two excellent guides to free campgrounds. The West edition and the Heartland edition.
• Harvest Hosts: Members can stay free overnight at farms & wineries.
Please join us in our Facebook group Free Campgrounds.
Brain teaser answer:
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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