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Sunday, January 24, 2021
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Ford recalls 3 million vehicles for airbag danger
(January 21, 2021) — Ford Motor Company is recalling 3 million vehicles due to potential issues with their airbag inflators. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the automaker to issue the recall for driver-side airbag inflators, which could rupture during a crash and send potentially deadly metal fragments flying, according to a report from CNBC. Continue reading.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the Scamp Travel Trailer. Tony writes, “For more than a few reasons, Scamp has quite a following. While they’re certainly not for everybody, the iconic shape and long-lasting build make them popular within a certain group of campers.” Check out these cute little trailers here.
Yesterday’s review: 2021 Rockwood 2883WS Fifth Wheel
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
January 17–23, 2021
High winds blasting through California’s Yosemite National Park got to be just a bit too much last Tuesday. The needle on the wind gauge blew up over 100 miles per hour, dropping trees over park roadways, forcing rangers to close the park. It has since reopened. CORRECTION: The park HAS NOT reopened as of January 28.
If you don’t like wearing a face mask, here’s another reason to travel in your RV. The new White House administration has ordered mandatory masking for “interstate travelers.” That means where planes, trains, intercity buses, and airports are involved, so are face coverings.
After the disastrous motorhome explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, it could be said we’ve had enough of mixing explosives with RVs. Nevertheless, FBI agents got called out to the Candlestick RV Park in San Francisco, California, on January 15. They found an RV in the park that had chemicals used in explosives-making. RV park residents were quickly hustled out while bomb squad members cleared the nasties out of the RV. Kyle Matthew Folsom, 37, was also hustled away – and arrested – on suspicion of unlawful possession of explosives, reckless or malicious possession of a destructive device, and possession of material to make a destructive device or explosive. Authorities are calling it an “isolated incident” unrelated to other recent similar incidents.
Last fall, astonished commercial airline pilots reported seeing a man in a jetpack cruising around Los Angeles, California’s LAX airport. It would be a bit amazing to see such a vision when flying at altitudes in excess of 3,000 feet – not to mention disastrous if the high-tech Icarus flew into a jet engine intake. Authorities have been on the watch ever since, but an interesting theory has been floated, if you will. A group investigating the cases used the Freedom of Information Act to procure statements made by one of the pilots. He apparently reported that the flyer he saw was “exactly like the drone in [a] YouTube video.” Apparently there’s a remote-control drone mannequin in the video decked out in a full-camo jumpsuit and boots. While it isn’t necessarily what the pilots saw, it does give rise to speculation that some deranged droner may be the responsible party. No less endangering to flights, but definitely different.
Clarkston, Washington, cable installer Johnathan Holguin had a turn in his life. Holguin’s commuter car, an aging minivan, was on its last legs. Holguin only drove it to work, and the gas station. His fuel choice was from a Maverik station, where he used his customer loyalty card at every fill-up. In December, Holguin traded all his accumulated loyalty points on a Maverik sweepstakes entry – and won the first round. That resulted in him and three other contestants pulling the winning ticket out of a hat in Salt Lake City, Utah – and Holguin’s winning draw turned into a Ford F-350 diesel pickup and a 32-foot travel trailer. Oh, too, he and his wife could have gone to the Florida Super Bowl, but since they were concerned about COVID, they turned down the bowl package. Maverik gave them a check for $20,000 in compensation. No more worries about that gimping minivan. Holguin says he and his wife, truck and trailer will soon be making a vacation trip to Colorado.
COVID-19 pandemic concerns are apparently outweighed by the need of business promotion on Florida’s Okaloosa Island. Each year the local chamber wants to ensure that winter visitors feel cherished, needed, and welcome to come back every year. In that spirit, the 2021 Winter Guest Fest, billed as “one of the area’s best attended trade shows,” will go on as usual this year, on January 28, at the convention center. In a bow to safety, masks will be required, and temperature checks will be made as folks queue up to get “plenty of coupons, giveaways, activities and sometimes a few new friends.” And, maybe, a “novel virus”? (We hope not.)
Developers who thought their proposal to turn a former hazardous waste dump site into an RV storage yard was a shoo-in may be having second thoughts. The old oil and brine dumpsite along the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, California, had already received a blessing from the planning commission to become home to an outside RV parking and inside self-storage facility. Included in the plan is a public access trail and viewpoints over the river. But the city council has yet to rule on the matter, and now a petition has been floated by locals to urge the council to refuse permits and consider building a park there instead.
With so many RV sales events being canceled due to COVID-19, it was somewhat of a surprise when promoters went ahead with the 2021 Florida RV SuperShow, which ran January 13 to 17. Apparently, some who might have normally attended the show had second thoughts. Promoters say they figure somewhere between 20 and 25 percent fewer turned up at the gate, compared to the 2020 show. But, crows promotional material from the show, “The show went absolutely fantastic,” according to Phil Sarvari, president and CEO of Gulf Stream Coach, Inc., Nappanee, Ind. “People were really upbeat and eager to get product. It was amazing to me how cognizant the customers were relative to the shortage of inventory and their sense of urgency to purchase units.”
It could be good news for California beach campers: Santa Barbara County officials have given the go-ahead to grants to expand the Jalama Beach Campground near Lompoc, California. The grant will help with expansion of facilities, planning for a trail, beach access, and site improvements. Back in 2019 the country got a 36-acre land donation next door from the Nature Conservancy. Another grant is being sought that would help the park to install water recycling equipment, which would reduce the need for fresh water use by visitors. The 109-site county park is one of the only overnight beach access parks accessible in mid and north Lompoc County. More than 200,000 visitors flock there each year.
RVers and others may soon see changes on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands in northwest Oregon. A new proposal would increase fees on day use and camping, and add some where none have previously existed. Primitive sites would charge out at $15, and basic sites $20. Full-hookup sites will charge out at $35 per night. Day use fees will jump from the current $3 to $5, but “large vans and buses” could see day use fees of $10 to $20 – it’s not clear how RVs would fit into that day use scheme. Two new campgrounds are also proposed: a large one at Mount Hood at the Wildwood Recreation Site, and another on the Molalla River Corridor dubbed Pine Creek. BLM reps were quick to point out that there have been no fee increases in the area for a decade.
Where did you go, Joe DiMaggio? Apparently to Florida. St. Augustine, Florida, police got a call about a “suspicious RV in a restricted area” at a local sewage treatment plant on January 16. The rig’s driver, Joe DiMaggio, 54, had been on police radar after he’d earlier been accused of making a bomb threat. In this case, DiMaggio barricaded himself in his Class A, along with a younger man. It took several hours of negotiation before DiMaggio let the younger man out and, finally, the older man was arrested. In addition to false imprisonment charges, he is up on trespassing, domestic violence, and resisting arrest. And, uh, no – no relation to Mr. Coffee’s Joe, Joe, Joe.
A couple in Orange, Massachusetts, are hoping to breathe new life into an extinct RV park. Michael and Chrystal Snow have purchased the old Lakeridge Campground on Daniel Shays Highway, which closed down in the 1990s. The Snows say they’ve had their eye on the property for some time, and finally decided to jump for it. The local planning commission says they’ll open it up to a hearing once the Snows file for a permit. A new septic system will be needed, but that shouldn’t be a large problem – Michael Snow is an excavation contractor. The family hopes to open the Quabbin Pines RV Resort come April.
While some year-round Floridians have cried out in alarm that snowbirds to the Sunshine State could ace them out for COVID-19 vaccines, a new report seems to indicate otherwise. A report by the state’s health department on January 13 indicates that of all the 774,768 vaccinations given, only 29,510 were given to non-Florida residents – less than 4% of the total of those getting the jabs. That hasn’t quieted the disturbed masses, evidently. Speaking to non-Floridians, “We’re first. Get to the end of the line if they want to come,” Florida resident Judy Allen told a local NBC TV station on Friday at a vaccine clinic in Sanford, Florida, north of Orlando. Evidently state government has a similar philosophy: As of Wednesday, Seminole County vaccinators will require “proof of residency” for any seeking the shot – and other counties will do the same later. “We’re only doing for Florida, Florida residents,” the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, said. “You got to live here either full-time or at least part-time.”
Adding to the shortfall of available RV park sites comes this decision from Cranbrook, British Columbia. The city owns Mount Baker RV Park, which has been operated by a private firm whose contract expires on March 31. Aside from the fact that the contractor doesn’t want to renew their agreement, city officials say the park needs major renovations to all of its utilities, to the tune of $1.3 million. The city took in about $28,000 of the $141,000 worth of revenue generated last year. Putting it all together, the city council decided to leave the gates shut at the campground, at least through 2021.
In a belated report from the National Park Service, a California man has died in an accident at Death Valley National Park. Donald Vanneman III, 63, of San Francisco, was first noticed missing by a campground host on December 20, 2020. Later that day visitors to the park’s Saline Valley Warm Springs source pool found Vanneman’s body. Normally the public is allowed to bathe in soaking tubs at the site, but these have been closed and drained due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vanneman evidently chose to use the source pool, a fatal decision. His death was reported to be an accident, but there were no further details.
Hailey, Idaho, has eyes on its first city-owned RV park. Last Monday the council approved applying for a $500,000 grant that would help them build a 33-site campground, of which 24 sites would be dedicated to RVs. It doesn’t appear that hookups are in the plans, but potable water would be available. If constructed, the city anticipates it would operate seasonally, May through October. Councilors tossed the idea of fees around and landed on $35 a night, with a 7-day limited stay.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Another storage facility ripoff victim. This time from Palatka, Florida, sometime during the weekend of January 16 to 17. This 2019 Coleman travel trailer is an 18-footer. It was bearing a Florida plate, LGCF42, and had a silver “Camping World St. Augustine” sticker immediately above the license plate. Know something? Call the Putnam County, Florida sheriff’s office at 386-329-6000, or drop an e-mail to a heartbroken owner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 24, 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.
Last week three readers claimed their $25 gift card: Dale D. of Omro, Wisconsin, Kimberly R. of Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, and Larry B. of Oswego, New York.
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.
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.
2021 Toyota Tacoma Review: Nightshade Edition shines
Sometimes it’s best not to mess with the best. But Toyota has taken its top-selling, midsize Tacoma and made it more appealing. The Tacoma debuted in the United States in 1995, and it’s among the most enduring pickup trucks available. For 2021, and joining six other Toyota cars, vans and trucks, the Tacoma is available in a Nightshade Edition. Continue reading.
Did you use your RV more than two months in 2020?
About 5% of the U.S. population – roughly 16.2 million people – has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 2.75 million people are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data updated Friday. Nearly 1.6 million vaccine doses were administered Friday, the largest one-day increase reported.
Back in May 2020, we reported on two Maine campground owners who sued Maine’s governor over restrictions placed on RV parks due to COVID-19. Owners of Little Ossipee Lake Campground & RV Park in East Waterboro, and Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough, contended that the governor’s orders were restricting people’s right to travel freely from state to state, thus in contravention of the Constitution. On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the two, and in favor of Maine.
One almost expects to see a herd of the white-suited Star Wars storm troopers. Yet another independent RV dealership has fallen to the galactic RV chain-wars. Florida-based Lazydays Holdings will soon close on its first Nevada takeover – Sprad’s RV in Reno, Nevada. This will make for the eighth state with a Lazydays store front, with Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Minnesota, Tennessee and Indiana already in the ranks.
A proposal for an RV park in Wisconsin has taken a second strike in its fight to come alive. Brian and Melissa Bocan asked Burnett County, Wisconsin, officials for permission to build a 150-site park near Big Sand Lake back in September. The request was vetoed. The couple recently returned to the county with a much-scaled-down version of the park, this time for just 50 sites. Last Monday supervisors heard from both local residents and nearby native tribes which, in the main, wanted no part of the proposed Hidden Haven Campground. Evidently so many have expressed interest in building RV parks in the county that there was a potential move under way to consider a moratorium on building them altogether.
A Barryville, New York, RV park apparently no longer paddles its own canoe. Kittatinny Canoes is a 350-site RV park along the Delaware River, started up in the 1940s. Now Kittatinny Canoes has become just a part of a fleet of RV parks owned by Northgate Resorts. The New York acquisition will make for the 12th Northgate-owned park, nine of which are Yogi Bear’s Jellystone franchisees.
For RVers passing through Ontario, Oregon, there aren’t too many choices for overnighting – Walmart is the presumed option. But a 170-site RV park could be in the works. The city’s planning commission is set to hear its proposal on February 8, and provided the matter flies, the developer could be turning dirt as early as late spring. With “wider than average” RV sites, the park would be constructed at SE Third Avenue and SE Fifth Street.
RV dealer acquisition and consolidation continues, this time as Garick RV in Oak Ridge, New Jersey, is taken over by Alpin Haus. The latter is a New York State-based RV sales and service group with three existing locations. It’s the first Alpin Haus takeover outside of the Empire State.
It’s taken months of hashing over, but the Huntsville, Texas, city council is slated to debate a request for a 141-site RV park backing up to the Sam Houston National Forest. The local planning commission has already given its blessing, but city commissioners have struggled with the arguments of locals who, among other things, fear a campground would steal business away from local hotels. We’ll report back on their decision.
Campground and RV Park News
Developments in places where we stay 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.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
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, 24 volunteers clean up almost 9,000 pounds of trash, Patches the cat’s amazing 3-year survival and reunion with family, a doctor forgives patients’ $650,000 in debt, and a dog sings to soothe a crying baby (awww). Enjoy all of these, and more, here.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Stranded on the side of the road, should you trust a stranger’s help?
• Rust: How to prevent it from damaging your RV
• Dump your holding tanks from inside your RV
• Campground Crowding: Do new RVers need some lessons in good manners?
• RVelectricity: Feel the heat – Staying warm in your RV
• Are you a hotdogger? Oscar Mayer needs you!
• This little device rids RVs of smells – Say goodbye to odor!
• Nite Ize Gear Ties – essential for your RV toolbox
• RVelectricity: Livestream event on Lithium battery charging announced
• Boondocking? This power system makes things easy
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 18, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.38 [Calif.: $3.21]
Change from week before: Up 6 cents; Change from year before: Down 16 cents.
Diesel: $2.70 [Calif.: $3.45]
Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 34 cents.
Do you subscribe to our RV Daily Tips Newsletter?
Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Sign up here.
Upcoming RV shows
Most of the RV shows in the early part of 2021 have been canceled. We will restart our show directory feature here as shows begin again. In the meantime, see the frequently updated schedule here. (Updated Jan. 21)
Free and bargain camping
Sam’s Club #6329, Tupelo, MS
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but please obtain permission from the customer service desk. Park in SE part of the lot unless directed otherwise by store; don’t obstruct traffic lanes. Level and well-lit, with moderate traffic noise. RVer observes that this lot is less crowded than the Walmart just to the north. McDonald’s, New China Buffet just north of lot; O’Charley’s across SR 145. Gas station on-site (Sam’s Club Members only); pump access and exit appears possible only for very small RVs. Click here for details.
Pilot Travel Center #504, Klamath Falls, OR
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed! Permission from the fuel desk is required. Park where directed by staff; this may be in one of 38 non-reservable back-in truck spaces, or parallel to north curb of the truck lot, or another area of the property. Small RVs that will fit in a single auto parking space may be allowed to do so. Level, well-lit, and appears safe. Likely truck noise and possible noise from nearby RR tracks. 3 dedicated RV fuel lanes. No known dump station. Bulk propane available. Showers available (fee). Public laundry on site. Premium Wi-Fi available (fee?). Subway on site; additional food available in Pilot store. Click here for details.
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.
You’ve got to watch this news story from 2014. The news anchor can’t stop laughing over the brilliant name of a pig.
Today in History
RV Travel staff
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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