Editor’s life update May 22, 2020

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KINGMAN, ARIZONA
May 22, 2020, 3 p.m., Pacific Time

By Chuck Woodbury

It’s time to hit the road again after 2 1/2 months in Kingman, a former mining town along Route 66. Its claim to fame besides being on the Mother Road is its native son, Andy Devine, the gravelly-voiced character actor who appeared in probably a hundred early Hollywood Westerns.

Kingman is in the hills at 3,300 feet, so the daytime temperature is about 12 degrees cooler than in Quartzsite and Phoenix. The temperature is forecasted to hit 100 next week. We plan to leave by the 1st of next month. We’ll travel I-40 west and then over the Tehachapi Mountains to central California, where we’ll head north through the Central Valley, probably on state Route 99, and then join I-5 at Sacramento. We’ll stop en route for a few days at my aunt’s mini-ranch near Fresno.

That’s me typing. Gail took the photo. As you can see, my desk is tiny, and right next to my bed. But it works just fine.

The small RV park where we’ve been staying has 42 spaces, about half of which, I’d guess, are occupied by people who live and work in the area. Most of the others are like Gail and me, staying away from home from awhile to self-isolate in sparsely populated Mohave County, with few coronavirus cases (although it’s increasing). Some people in the park, I know, will leave June 1. The heat might be getting to them.

Our site is is nothing special. We’re packed in pretty tightly, but lucky for us our neighbors are quiet and pleasant. The view is not exactly scenic — two huge signs perhaps 75 yards away lite up brightly at night for a Chevron station and a Carl’s Jr. restaurant.

In the last few weeks I have noticed more overnighters in the park. I’ve talked to some, and they report they are either heading home or on a normal RV road trip (at least as normal as it can be right now).

This is the view from our living room toward our neighbors. As you can see we do not have a view of a beautiful lake or the ocean. This is pretty much standard fare for two-thirds of all RV parks these days. The good part is that we are comfortable in our motorhome and there is enough room outside for our lawns chairs, and the neighbor’s sewer disposal is maybe 20 feet away, not bad. . .

PEOPLE ARE DEFINITELY GETTING OUT more now with their RVs than a month ago. I watch the news carefully, especially anything that’s related to RVing, and I am surprised at the reports of a big spike in RV sales. I don’t know what that means for you and me and other RVers in the long term (more crowded campgrounds perhaps?). I will try to make sense about all this in the weeks and months ahead.

The popular travel writer Peter Greenberg said last week on CBS This Morning that the travel industry is dead and will be dead for at least another year. He said the RV travel industry was another story. Echoing others, he said it is poised to boom, thanks to the way RVers can travel and keep to themselves so easily.

He’s right. I suspect a lot of people who are accustomed to flying away to Europe or elsewhere are now thinking very seriously about buying an RV and traveling America (as they did in 2001 after 9-11); they can forgo being squeezed into a plane, then sleeping in a hotel and eating in restaurants where the nasty coronavirus lurks, just waiting to pounce.

* * *

That’s all for now. Just wanted to provide you with a quick update.

Be well. Be safe. Most RVtravel.com readers are of an age where they are vulnerable to serious consequences if they get the virus. Please listen to what scientists say, not politicians, and wash your hands real good with soap.

 

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Lyn

The private RV park where I live full-time on the Oregon Coast just re-opened to outside guests two weeks ago. And, what we experienced was not favorable. Against all the precautionary advice, folks freely interacted with neighboring campers with nary a face mask, pair of gloves, or protective covering of any kind within sight. Forget about social distancing!

So, I’m confused…do people think that because businesses are carefully re-opening, that must mean all is well, and no need for caution any longer? That The Before Times have returned? That the virus has disappeared? I think not, at least not as of a few moments ago, anyway.

PLEASE keep in mind that I may have a compromised immune system, I may be battling cancer, I may have grandchildren that I want to see grow up, and many more reasons for you to keep 6 feet or more away from me — while wearing a mask.

Consider this, too: I may be unknowingly carrying the virus myself, and I would be devastated if any harm came to you and yours because of my disregard for your well being. This crisis is far from over, and everyone should still be vigilant.

BTW, the owner has shut down the park again. He says he will miss the income, but his conscience tells him it’s the right thing to do for now.

Bob and Cathie Lane

We are East Coasters in Virginia but like to head to Utah as often as possible to visit the grandkids. We have been at our daughter’s house in Virginia for the past 6 months waiting for a window to open to head to Florida to pick up our current RV before heading to Niagara Falls to trade in for our new RV. It is probably not the most ideal time to head south (our part of VA has just moved into Phase 1 with tentative preliminary openings happening this weekend). But we need to complete the delivery of our new home and start enjoying it soon on the road. We have been very cautious and plan to continue to be very careful as we head south, although we are still having significant numbers popping up along our route. It was encouraging to learn that Walnut Hills Campground (one of our favorites) in Staunton, VA on I-81 is opening up. That’s a good sign. We will let you know how our trip goes. We will definitely have a good view of how the country is faring on this side of the country by the time we return. Safe travels to everyone!

Susan F

To your statement about a spike in RV sales, we had our new coach at the dealership (North Trail RV in Ft Myers, FL) this past week for warranty repairs. Happened to run into our salesman. During the course of our conversation, he stated (unsolicited) that they have been selling units like crazy to new RVers the past few weeks. Specifically he said that people don’t want to fly or stay in hotels for their vacation travel. He also said that the majority of the sales they were seeing were for their smaller & entry level units. So, that’s one example that supports the trend. The question I have is how many of these new RVers will stick with it?

Carol and Dan O'Brien

I am not sure but I think we were next to you for a few nights in Kingman last month, April 9 and 10. There was a couple next to us in a Winnebago with Washington plates and a little dog. If it was you, small world. Wish we had known. Take care, stay healthy and safe journey home.

rvgrandma

The RV park in Richland, WA has had people coming over from Seattle since the first of the month, many in groups that hang out together. This weekend I think we are almost full in the transient sites. I hope they don’t bring the virus over here – we are still battling it but thankfully deaths have slowed way down – maybe one a day or two.

Safe travels home. Have friends that arrived home a couple weeks ago to Graham after spending the weekend in Yuma. Yuma is a hot spot for the virus now. Guess it does like heat!

jim Antt

Remember the Central Valley will be 105 this coming week. If you need the free layover in Bakersfield we have a great spot for you and Gail for a day or more
jim

Morrie J Estrada

Chuck, you will be in my neighborhood when you pass Fresno. Madera that is. Enjoy because it’s going to get hot.

Bill Semion

Hi, i hope you and others could develop a story on the attitudes RVers encounter in various states when on the road during the pandemic. How about a poll? How many have experienced negative reactions when seeing an out-of-state plate on an RV? We are contemplating a road trip to see kids in Colorado, and continue to wonder what our reception would be in other states. These days of course, one can’t be too sure but it would be interesting to see results, both now, and possibly in summer when people brave the roads in this brave new world.

Mark Evenson

Ah yes, RV travel is a great social separator. News story the other night was that RV rentals are at an all time high. What better way to travel and also be 6 ft away. Social distancing. Funny thing is that so many states have closed the state parks to RV camping. Does that make any sense? Instead of closing camping areas they should be creating more! And while they are at it make each RV spot at least 40 ft away from it’s neighbor and plant some nice bushes for a sense of privacy.
Happy Trails.

PAHsmith

So nice to know you are heading back to this fine state. Weather has been perfect for us. Have a new RV (Winnebago) and wasn’t able to use it since Feb when we bought it. Except we did at a local park on Mothers Day? Wow what a weekend. Now our weather will be perfect for you and gang when you return

Linda

Y’all be safe in your travels! We don’t head out til July for our first trip of 2020, we had to cancel our trip that was planned for June.

Michael

Hey Chuck! Not wanting to split hairs, but Kingman is our gas stop when we travel from Mesa, AZ to Las Vegas. If you can make it to Phoenix in 90 minutes, you need to share your route. It takes us about 3 hours. I would love to save an hour and a half (lol)!

John M

Safe Travels to you both! Archie too.

Don

Good news, Chuck. Glad to hear you’re headed home. Travel safe. We’re thinking about where we might go in our rig this Summer. Our planned 7-month trip to the East Coast & Canada was terminated in mid-March. (You carried our story – The Adventure from Hell – a few weeks back, right after we got home).
If you’re ever in the Gig Harbor area, please look us up. Would love to meet you and swap Sea Stories about RV travel.

Donald N Wright

I hope you have a wonderful trip home. Thank you for providing the stories I have always wondered about, the “snowbirds” who visit the states on the edge for the winter, how do they think and feel about their experiences. Yes, it has been in the mid-nineties in Dallas fort Worth, and folks are ready to go home.