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A Mother’s Day thought from editor Chuck Woodbury.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
New RV magazine ignores older RVers
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis discontinued long-time RV magazines Trailer Life and Motorhome last year. Subscribers then received a new periodical titled RV. Editor Chuck Woodbury reports that older readers may not be too keen on the new publication, which seems to focus on RVers in their 30s and 40s with only marginal content that would appeal to older RV enthusiasts. Read more.
Yellowstone adding driverless shuttles for test program this summer
If you’ve been to Yellowstone National Park in the past 10 years, you know the frustrations of bad roads, bison jams and way too many tourists. This summer, park officials are taking a tiny first step to possibly taking the pressure off a few Yellowstone roads with a unique pilot project featuring driverless vehicles. Beginning this month, Yellowstone National Park will start a shuttle service using electric-powered, low-speed automated shuttle buses. Continue reading.
City of Austin, Texas, reinstates camping ban
Austin voters decided Saturday, May 1, to reinstate a city ordinance that bans overnight camping near downtown, around the University of Texas, as well as camping in any public area not designated for camping by the Austin Parks & Recreation Department. … While the ordinance primarily targets the homeless population in Austin, it still isn’t clear the effect the rule may have on RVers who park overnight in those areas of the city. Read more.
This week’s podcast (#6)
Host Scott Linden is back with another dose of RV news, information and entertainment. Listen to it on the official RV Travel Podcast page, where you can learn what’s on tap this week, or just click the play button below.
IDEA: Play the podcast as you read this newsletter.
Today’s podcast is a little over one hour long. Enjoy!
Your letters welcome
We welcome your Letters to the Editor. What’s on your mind about RVing? Please submit your letter here. We will try to respond to as many as we can. For now, if you have a question about a technical issue, you may get a faster, even immediate, answer by posting it at our Facebook group RV Advice. Our own RVtravel.com Reader Forum is coming soon, and that will be an even better place.
In today’s preview, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the new CyberLandr™ camper for the Tesla Cybertruck2™. Tony looks at this futuristic RV and wonders if this is going to be “the hottest thing since sliced bread.” Check it out – it’s wild!
• Pearl Caravan prototype
Last week’s reviews:
• 2021 Northwood Desert Fox 27FS Toy Hauler • Coachmen Apex Nano 16T Travel Trailer • Keystone Arcadia 370RL Travel Trailer • Forest River Wildwood FSX 260RT • 2021 Coachmen Spirit 2557RB Travel Trailer
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
May 2–8, 2021
Summer fuel shortages? Bah humbug. As we published in a lengthy report last week, not everyone thinks that the fuel-delivery driver shortage will manifest itself in “out of gas” signs this summer. Driver support club AAA spokeswoman Jeanette McGee says, “With road trips expected to be popular this summer, some summer travel destinations, like beaches or mountains, may see some pumps affected. It is important to understand this is not a market-wide impact. Gas can be found at other stations within a market,” said McGee. “The U.S. is not looking at a gas supply shortage; there is ample gasoline supply across the country. It is just a matter of more frequent deliveries to stations to meet demand.” Last month’s shortages were visited on a specific chain, with a limited number of pumps affected.
New Saturday: A major pipeline that supplies 45% of the gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil consumed on the East Coast halted all pipeline operations due to a ransomware attack on Friday. Colonial Pipeline transports more than 100 million gallons a day from Texas to New Jersey. Experts say unless there is a prolonged shutdown of the pipeline (e.g., five or six days), it should not affect supply or prices.
Want to rent out your RV? What do you think you can charge? The 2021 RV Rental Price Report shows statistics for average rental rates across a wide class of rigs. The prices shown are per-day and based on 20 U.S. metropolitan markets. They break down like this: Class A motorhomes – $285. Class C motorhomes – $212. Mid-price-range travel trailers – $117. Pop ups – $89. On the low and high end of the spectrum, the lowest price rate for a pop-up was $30 per night, with the high end belonging to a Class A rig, renting for $730. Overall, the “average” RV rental rate is $178, up 8% from the same time in 2020, and only 1% up from six months ago. Source: gorvrentals.com.
Giant sequoia trees can live a long time – and they can burn a long time, too. California’s “Castle” wildfire started in August 2020 and burned until December, chewing its way into Sequoia National Park. This week, Park Service crews surveying fire damage were startled to spot one of the giant redwoods still smoldering as part of the fire’s aftermath. The still-burning tree is near the South Fork Campground in the Board Camp Grove. Service officials say it’s a clear reminder that the park is still tinder-dry. They say it presents no danger at this point, and they’ll be keeping an eye on it.
Is it a truck camper? Is it a slam-in pop-up? We’re not quite sure, but it’s designed to slide in the back of Tesla’s Cybertruck. An “analytics” company called Stream It has decided to get into the RV industry with their CyberLandr, which is equipped with shower, galley and bed. Top it off with a “water filtration system, voice automation, and Starlink dish for internet,” and Stream It says they’ve already taken 1,000 preorders for the entry-level RV at $40,000. Decked-out options can add another $10,000 to the final price. “We conservatively estimate demand for CyberLandr at more than 10,000 units in 2022,” Stream It’s CEO Lance King said in a report to businessinsider.com. We “conservatively wonder” if the whole idea is so much vapor-ware. Interestingly, Starlink internet service is still only available for stationary-based residential use. The equipment chews up a power-hogging 100 watts. A little more juice to take away from your Tesla’s drive time. (Read Tony Barthel’s preview here.)
Firefighters don’t normally encourage bystanders to get involved with fighting flames. But crews near Irrigon, Oregon are singing a different tune after RVers at the Green Acres RV Park turned out at four in the morning last Tuesday when fire broke out and destroyed a rig in the park. Calls came into the fire protection district, and on arriving a few minutes after the call, they found four RVers equipped with garden hoses, cooling down adjacent rigs. Fire chief Mike Hughes said, “Obviously, it made our jobs a little easier,” reported eastoregonian.com. “We don’t always encourage civilians to take that action because they’re putting themselves at risk. But they were doing what they had to do.” Nothing could be done to save the rig where the fire started, but only one other neighboring rig suffered damage.
We’ve previously reported on folks unhappy with proposed RV parks making their feelings known, but some in Ava, New York, recently got out of hand. Earlier this week the town’s planning board was set to hear a preliminary presentation by Black Women’s Blueprint, a group wanting to build a campground and retreat on a 300-acre site once used as an Air Force test site. More than 70 folks crammed into the town hall and more were waiting outside. With COVID-19 concerns in mind, the meeting was moved outside into light drizzle. It was explained that public hearings would be held in the future. But as proponents started to explain their plans, what officials described as “an unruly crowd” began to jeer and drown out the presentation. The board chairman pleaded for quiet to no avail. He finally closed the meeting – drawing curses from the crowd. No word on the next scheduled meeting.
Little Grass Valley, California, got an unwelcome visitor at the Wyandotte Campground earlier this week. The Forest Service reports something “like a microburst” roared through the campground blasting over trees that clobbered restrooms, campsites, and other infrastructure. A family of eagles nesting in the campground were, in the opinion of the Service, left miraculously unscathed. The campground would normally open for seasonal visits in mid-June. Fire crews have been tapped to try and cut through the trees blocking the roadway to determine just how much damage has been done. Meanwhile, the opening date is on hold, pending repairs. You can get the latest updates and estimates from the ranger district at (530) 534-6500.
Where do you stash your hash? Well, for one RVer, the product hadn’t been refined to that level, but he certainly had an interesting “take” on where to stash marijuana. Nebraska state troopers turned on the blue lights for a guy in a Mercedes Sprinter-based RV when he failed to signal a freeway exit maneuver on April 30. A sniffy dog said the rig was carrying drugs. An initial search turned up a plastic tote with dope, but the dope had still more dope. Stashed inside 14 automatic teller machines and a large safe, all told, 426 pounds of Mary Jane plus a duffel bag with $9,000 in cash turned up. Gilbert Fernandez (36) of Cooper City, Florida has some ‘splainin’ to do.
An Abduction Parade. The Alien Chase 5K-run. A “food truck landing zone.” Where else could you find these things – and more – but at Roswell, New Mexico’s UFO Festival? Organizers of the big July 1 to 5 event are hoping more than UFOs will touch down for the show. They’ve set aside RV spaces on an abandoned runway at a defunct airport. “Hundreds of spaces are available,” say organizers, and the rigs themselves will be organized by RV type. Special emphasis will be given to schoolies, or revamped buses, allowing visitors to ooh-ah at creative bus crafting.
RV TRIVIA – Airstream founder Wally Byam was born on July 4, 1896, in Baker City, Oregon, and as a young child traveled extensively with his grandfather, who led a mule train in Oregon. Later, as an adolescent, he worked as a shepherd while he lived in a two-wheeled shepherd’s cart outfitted with a kerosene cook stove, a sleeping bag and wash pail. In these early years, he also joined tugboats as an able-bodied seaman during summers on Astoria to Alaska trips, which fostered his independence and love of travel.
Faced with a crying need for more RV repair technicians, industry has come up with potential workers from a “captive audience.” The RV Technical Institute is working on a pilot program to train potential RV technicians from Indiana’s Westville Correctional Facility. The hands-on program teaches prisoners RV repair skills, with successful students ending up with an entry-level (RVTI Level 1] certification. Students will also learn “get a job” skills and those that will eventually help them back in real-world work environments, including workplace conflict resolution.
Garden City, Utah, is seeing the largest high-density development request in its history. Major RV park developer/management group Sun Communities, Inc., wants to snap up 110 acres of land in an area that’s largely zoned as residential. The proposed park could put 500 RVs in place, and isn’t sitting well with all locals. Sun Communities recently bought out Blue Water Beach Resort for a $9 million price tag in Garden City, less than a half-mile from the potential new RV resort.
Win an RVtravel.com coffee mug
In yesterday’s newsletter, the Secret Phrase was about Polly, and what she had. The phrase began “Polly had a ____.” So what did she have? We will send an incredibly cool RV Travel Mug to two randomly selected readers with the correct response out of the first 150 readers to email us by 10 p.m. today, Pacific Time. We can only ship to addresses in the USA and Canada (sorry to our many readers in far off lands). And remember, we guarantee that coffee tastes better in this mug! Enter the contest here.
Maine’s governor has released a $1 billion recovery plan, based on relief funds allocated to the state under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Under the proposal, the Pine Tree State’s parks won’t be neglected. A $50 million earmark will help the park system start “tackling a significant backlog of maintenance projects.” Of particular interest to RVers, this work includes increasing available electric hookups at parks, upgrades and replacements of bathhouses, and bringing campsites and trails into Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
Still need a COVID-19 “jab”? You won’t need an appointment and it should be fairly easy to find one now. Some 5,100 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations are offering the vaccinations in 49 states, plus Washington, D.C. Now there’s a new designation: In addition to “Camp Walmart” is it “Clinic Walmart”?
Willie Colón, salsa music star and RVer, has not yet recovered from injuries he received when his Class A motorhome crashed in North Carolina. As we reported last week, Colón and his wife were both hurt when their rig left the roadway. More details have surfaced, including a Tweet from the musician that counters rumors that he was doing well. He Tweeted: “My dear friends & fans. Sorry I can’t answer your beautiful words of support personally. The news of my being OK, unfortunately, is not true. I have long road to recovery to walk. Thank you for all you have given me through the years. With God’s help I will come back. God bless.” Willie was driving westbound at legal speed across the Virginia Dare Bridge (US 64) west of Monteo when he departed the lane and hit the bridge face. Over-correcting, he crossed the lanes to the other side of westbound traffic. His rig stopped at the traffic divider and took an estimated $15,000 in damage.
Avon, North Carolina, will soon be home to a 26-site RV park with full hookups. Dubbed Avon by the Sea RV Park, it could open as early as July 4, sited next door to the Avon Pier. Dare County, North Carolina, officials recently beefed up regulations regarding RV parks. The new park will be allowed to let RV owners keep their rigs on-site year-round, but they must be licensed and ready to roll, with no decks, porches, or other additions.
In 2018, Tristan Beaudette took his kids camping at California’s Malibu Creek State Park. It proved to be their last trip together, as on June 10, while sleeping in a tent next to his daughters, he was fatally shot. The suspect, Anthony Rauda, is awaiting trial on Beaudette’s murder, and that of 10 counts of attempted murder in other cases. Now the man’s widow, Erica Wu, has been given 30 days to provide additional reasons as to why her suit against the state park and county law enforcement should stand. Wu contends that both the state and county should have warned the public, as they were aware of other unsolved shootings in the area going back two years prior to Beaudette’s murder. Both the parties say they’re not responsible to warn the public about such things. The judge says that Beaudette never asked if it was safe to stay in the park.
TODAY’S SECRET PHRASE. “Melvin’s wife loved muffins.” (Remember this for tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter).
It’s “good news, bad news” in Pierre, South Dakota. Last year the city’s Griffin Park Campground saw huge demand, and officials put a cap on how long campers could stay. No more! Stay as long as you like, but pay for it! The old daily rate was $16; now you’ll pay $25 to stay on. Off-season (November through April) will stay at the conservative $10 rate, but you won’t have access to bathrooms or water service.
Duck Mountain Provincial Park in Saskatchewan will soon be able to accommodate RVers. An area of bush will become a full-hookup 100-site seasonal campground. However, traveling visitors won’t be finding much here – the sites will be leased on a year-round basis. Those who take advantage of the arrangement can leave their rig parked year-round to alleviate storage issues and cut transportation costs. Opening dates for the new campground are projected to be either late in the 2021 camping season, or in the 2022 season.
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.
No news today. But you may be interested in our story in yesterday’s newsletter: Beware the “death wobble.” It could happen to your truck.
My perfect mash-up: Which truck features would you combine?
If you could “mash-up” your favorite features from the many trucks out there, what would your perfect truck look like, and which features would you combine? Tell us here.
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 time today, May 9, 2021.
If it’s yours you’ll win the great guide RV Camping in State Parks!
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.
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.
A weekly roundup of news stories that will make you smile (and maybe shed a tear or two…). This week: some positives from quarantine, a 79-year-old (male) beauty school student (get out your tissues!), Benny + Linda = Forever, a 6-year-old piano prodigy, and, of course, cute animal videos. Click here to smile.
Will your next RV be a towable or a motorized RV?
First I am dried, then I am wet. The longer I swim, the more taste you get. What am I?
Thanks to George Bliss for submitting! Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Paul Evert, founder of Paul Evert’s RV Country in Fresno, California, has died. Evert started his business as a car dealership in 1963, then began selling RVs in the late 1980s. Evert retired from active management of the dealership chain in 2018. He was 91 years old.
In 1982, Marlin Ingram RV Center opened to customers, basing their sales on Tiffin motorhomes. The outfit has sold Tiffins since Day One, and continues to today. But there are big changes for the Montgomery, Alabama, dealership. Now RV Retailer LLC has bought up the Alabama dealership, making it one of its 50+ company-owned outlets across the country.
RVers seeking a place to stay while enjoying San Diego, California’s eternal spring-like weather have a new spot. Last Tuesday the Port of San Diego and Chula Vista and Sun Communities opened their new San Diego Bay RV Resort. The development includes a bike path and promenade. The resort sports 197 sites with on-site café and bar, gym, arcade, and pool.
Washington state’s wildfire season is on record pace already, with hundreds of blazes reported. All signs point to a long, smoky summer. Humans are responsible for most wildfires, so the flood of people heading outdoors in this second pandemic year has state officials worried.
Camping World continues to rocket ahead. A May 4 announcement indicates the company’s 2021 first quarter (ending March 31) saw a year-over-year pop-off of revenue from $530.5 million to $1.558 billion. Gross profits shot up from $217.8 million to $520.5 million.
A new, 13-site RV park will soon be developed in Quesnel, British Columbia. The city has been granted $400,000 for the project, which will also include a bike park. The city will build the riverside campground on a site formerly occupied by a public works yard near the Johnston Bridge. Officials are hopeful that the park will make for an economic boost.
The tiny, riverfront town of Cosmopolis, Washington, is excitedly reporting a July 4 opening of a new RV park along Highway 101. The 56-site River Run RV Park is near to construction’s end. The five-year construction project has been largely accomplished with local labor.
Camping World will stick its 11th “location pin” in the Minnesota map with the takeover of Hilmerson RV in Little Falls. Established in the mid-1980s, Hilmerson sells 23 different brands of RVs. The closure of the deal is anticipated for sometime this summer.
Despite local opposition, the Ellis County, Kansas, planning commission is recommending a conditional use permit for a campground and event venue. On Wednesday, with one commissioner abstaining from the vote, the commission suggested that the permit for C2T Ranch Campground be moved ahead. The campground is 14 miles north of Hays, Kansas, and would provide 12 power and water RV sites in addition to six full-hookup sites. Guests could stay in 12 primitive sites or in any of six yurts.
Convenience-store retailer Circle K is rolling out a new beverage subscription service for $5.99 a month called “Sip & Save.” According to CNBC, customers receive one free coffee, tea, slushy or fountain soda beverage of their choice per day. Circle K is testing the program at more than 100 stores in Georgia and South Carolina, and will continue and expand if it likes the results.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Here’s another “missing from storage yard” entry. Taken sometime in March from the Arminio Storage Place on Ohio Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s a 2018 Heartland Pioneer travel trailer with double entry doors. Texas plate at time of theft B285181, and a Camping World San Antonio sticker on the left rear of the rig. Equipped with a carry rack on rear bumper. Know something? Phone the Fort Worth, Texas, police at 817-392-4200, and refer to file number 2100030110.
See many more recently stolen RVs. Let’s help find these for their owners and maybe even put the crooks in the slammer. Click here.
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
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Epic dump station design failure – Gross!
• Campground Crowding: “Boondocking is as full as the campsites!”
• Work camping: Why now is the time to try it
• Danger! Check your RV’s mattress for fiberglass!
• How to rent an RV for $1 a night!
• Beware the “death wobble.” It could happen to your truck
• The best smartphone case for RVers, hands down
• Stay overnight on lava fields in Grants, New Mexico
• A big fat lie RV dealers tell RV buyers
• Goodbye. There won’t be another edition of Walmart Locator guidebook
• Shore power plug meltdown
• NEW: Phone Photography Tips
• Don’t plug a 20-amp cord into a 50-amp outlet!
• What is the “best” tire to buy for a travel trailer?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 3, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.89 [Calif.: $3.91]
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.10.
Diesel: $3.14 [Calif.: $3.98]
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Up 74 cents.
Sign up for an email reminder for our every-other-week Full-time RVer Newsletter. Whether you are currently a full-time RVer or plan to be one day, you won’t want to miss this!
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.
Recipe of the Day
Healthy Oven Fried Chicken Strips
by Marti Green from Port Orchard, WA
You’d never know these chicken fingers aren’t fried. The cereal coating gets nice and crispy while baking. You taste the simple seasonings, but nothing is too overpowering. This is a great recipe if you’re feeding a crowd – it can easily be multiplied. Your family is going to fall in love with these tenders.
These look good! And we love the healthy twist… Get the recipe here.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Scalloped Potatoes With Bacon? Get it here.
Brain teaser answer:
If Dr. Seuss were writing books today they’d be called:
The Cat in the Hazmat
Blue Gloves and Masks
How the Grinch Stole Graduation
Horton Hears the WHO
One Fish Did Wish to Distance Blue Fish
Hop on Pop’s Zoom Call
And, of course, Oh, the Places You Won’t Go!
The Perfect Scam Podcast
Every Sunday we present a podcast from AARP about scams and how crooks are stealing your money, often via telemarketing. Their efforts are often most successful with people 65 years and older who fall victim to their sophisticated techniques. Here is this week’s episode.
Today in History
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.
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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