Here are your RV news highlights for the week of June 29 – July 5, 2019.
A cheeky RV thief left its owner in tears as he fled the scene inside a stolen Class B motorhome. Helen and Andrew Perks had returned from a trip in their rig to their home in Shifnal, UK. Noises caught their attention in the middle of the night, and they wrestled open their front door. Helen reports, “He was crawling alongside the campervan when me and my husband were trying to unlock our door. When he saw me he stood up, winked at me, blew me a kiss and jumped into the passenger seat before someone drove it off.” Police have offered a reward.
Malheur County, Oregon, has joined the list of locations banning RVs as dwelling places. Two hearings on the matter saw two sides pitted against one another. One argued the county’s homeless population needed RVs as a living option, the other pointing to sanitation and debris as a reason to shut it down. County court officials closed the matter to comments, and within a few minutes, determined no one may live in an RV in the county, with a few exceptions: Use during home construction, short-term visits by guests, those in approved parks, medical hardship cases, and in emergency cases (by permit) – firefighters, construction workers and volunteers.
A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate, if passed, would require all new heavy trucks to be equipped with speed limiters that would stop them from going faster than 65 mph. The bipartisan bill is not the first attempt to put limiters on big rigs – the first of such bills debuted in 2011, but all – so far – have run out of gas.
Heading to Alaska to cool off? Best take your chill packs with you. On June 29, Juneau broke a 110-year-old record when the thermometer hit 83 degrees. Anchorage hit 90 degrees on July 4. The heat is bad enough, but forest fires near Anchorage have folks walking the streets covering their faces with masks. Fires in Fairbanks have led to some evacuation orders.
A stock market analyst says now is a good time to get out of RV industry investments. Writing under the moniker The Shock Exchange, the analyst notes that RV shipments are down 22 percent from the last year, and that the RV industry tends to be a bellwether for the overall economy, leading him to suggest another recession could be on the way. He specifically suggests avoiding investing in RV component manufacturers Patrick Industries and Lippert Components, and retailer Camping World. More here.
An RVer piloting his motorhome got quite a nasty surprise when he attempted to pass a slow moving car near Sagle, Idaho. The unidentified RVer said he attempted to pass a car driven by Michael William Santino on a 4-lane stretch of U.S. 95, and apparently Santino didn’t like it. The car driver reportedly sped up, and the motorhome fell in behind. It was at that point that Santino allegedly reached down, grabbed a pistol, brought it up to the level of his head rest, and pointed it at the motorhome. The RVer called 9-1-1, and police arrested Santino, charging him with felony assault.
Lane County, Oregon, park officials are cogitating how to increase space for campers at their popular Armitage Park, north of Eugene. Three possible plans are shaping up. One would add 9 new RV sites; another would increase them by 19; the last option adds 46 new RV sites. Cost estimates range from $295,000 to as high as $1,500,000. Officials are asking the public for their input on the matter.
Canadian weather wizards have confirmed that tornadoes are responsible for the roll-over-and-play-dead reaction of RVs at the Meadow Lake Provincial Park near Goodsoil, Saskatchewan, Tuesday, June 25. Three people were injured when winds estimated to be between 83 and 108 mph blasted through the park, but fortunately nobody was killed. In addition to tumbled trailers, trees and sheds were likewise blasted, and golf-ball-size hail added to the misery.
If last year was a horrific fire season for California, expect more of the same – only double. That’s the word reported by CBS, who says fire control exports say that wildfires in grasslands could easily double in size compared to 2018 fires. They predict the highest months of danger will be between October and December. Read more.
Fans of “off the beaten track” campgrounds may be dismayed to learn that winter damage has closed the campground at Devils Postpile National Monument at Mammoth Lakes, California. There are five Forest Service campgrounds in the vicinity that can take up the slack of the 20 sites that will be out of service for the year. The tiny monument is overrun with 150,000 visitors per year, and officials say the campground’s closure will make it easier for day-use visitors.
An Interstate 75 rest area near Piqua, Ohio, was shut down for four hours last Tuesday as police investigated a travel trailer that hadn’t been moved in a couple of days. Highway Patrol officials say when they opened the door they found a 75-year-old RVer, Arthur Joseph Redmond of Livingston, Texas, dead in his bed. Relatives say Redmond was on his way from Texas to Canada for a visit; troopers say that Redmond’s death appears to be from natural causes.
The Washington Post reported that $2.5 million was diverted from the National Park Service to cover the costs associated with President Trump’s Independence Day celebration. The funds were raised from entrance and recreation fees and were originally intended to help revamp parks across the country.
American RVers are full of stories about horrible roadside assistance programs. Two British RVers have their own story. Tracy Salmon, her mother, and her dog were traveling in their motorhome on Saturday, June 24, when the rig broke down near Corby, 86 miles from home. They immediately called the RAC – the U.K.’s premier road service agency – and were told because of a high volumes of calls, they’d have to wait four hours. Far after the deadline, at 10:30 that night they slept in the rig. On Sunday a mechanic appeared, who advised the rig would need to be seen in a shop. At 3:00 pm, the RAC said, “Only four hours more,” until a tow came and hauled them only a short distance. Four tows and 48 hours after the breakdown, they made it home to Suffolk. Tracy, who had to take extra holiday leave due to the snafu, is not a happy camper.
Illinois residents may be annoyed when they file for titles for newly purchased motorhomes. On July 1, fee hikes for titles jumped due to a newly activated law to fund transportation and road improvement projects. While fees for titling new automobiles and motorhomes were $95, for cars the fee is now $150, while a motorhome title has jumped to a whopping $250.
Tuzigoot National Monument in Arizona will observe its 80th anniversary on July 25th. The monument preserves a pueblo ruin just east of Clarkdale. On that Friday a special presentation will run from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. featuring the park’s archaeologist who will give a presentation on present research and projects at Tuzigoot. The museum will transform for the evening and feature temporary exhibits from Jerome State Park, the Arizona Copper Art Museum, the Clarkdale Historical Museum, the Yavapai-Apache Cultural Center, and the Verde Valley Archaeology Center. The event is free of charge.