Here are your RV news highlights for the week of July 6–12, 2019.
Retail sales of new motorhomes saw a huge falloff for the months of January through May. Compared to the same time in 2018, overall sales were off more than 16 percent. Class A sales dropped 14 percent, while Class C sales nosedived almost 18 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.
In May we told you about an RV that was stolen and taken on a wild ride (“demolition derby”) in Los Angeles. One dog that was in the RV jumped out a broken window while the RV was traveling, and a second dog took off with the driver of the RV after she crashed it. It turned out both dogs had also been stolen, but the original owners never came forward. Happily, both dogs have now found their forever home. Jen Latham and Shawn Mooers, from Bend, Oregon, were among the thousands who applied to adopt the dogs. Since they had experience with mastiffs, and after much vetting, the couple drove 13 hours to LA to pick up their new family members, Starlet and Onyx.
Four-year-old Noah Alderson needs RV transportation from Spokane, Washington, to Boston. Noah was born with four congenital heart defects and wasn’t expected to live very long, but he has beaten the odds. He had been scheduled for his third open heart surgery, but most doctors now say he is no longer a candidate due to complications. However, a heart specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital says he is willing to try life-saving surgery on Noah if he qualifies as a candidate for the surgery. On August 15 this doctor will assess Noah to see if he is a candidate, but his parents, Tanasha and David Alderson, need to find an RV, or funds to rent one, to transport him to Boston. Doctors say he can’t fly due to his condition, and because of complications he is unable to ride in another vehicle. Read the story at khq.com and learn more about Noah the Brave on Facebook.
You might think that rattlesnake watching is as exciting as it gets in Quartzsite, Arizona, when summer rolls around. An RVing couple says, nope, riding seismic waves rates high on the list this year. When the two earthquakes hit Ridgecrest, California, on July 4 and 5, the first, more of a jolt, and the latter, a rolling wave, were keenly felt in their travel trailer parked in downtown Quartzsite, 237 miles away as the bird flies.
RVers on Canada’s Vancouver Island, beware. If two reports from Saanich, B.C., are an indicator, your rigs may not be safe. On July 3, an RVer there spotted a naked man in his yard – who then proceeded to enter the RVer’s motorhome. Police responded and found the stark-raver inside. It appeared the man had been occupying the rig for several days. About a half-hour later, police were called to another spot in Saanich. A homeowner said he’d found his truck camper door open earlier that day, so he rigged a silent alarm. Sure enough, the alarm went off and police responded. This time it required the “convincing bark” of a K-9 dog to encourage a man inside the camper to open up. Both uninvited guests were arrested and charged with break and enter.
An RVer in Coldwater, Michigan, woke up to smoke pouring out of his motorhome’s air conditioner last Sunday morning. Glen Spears tried to knock down the fire with an extinguisher, to no avail. Firemen responded to his rig at the Potawatomi Recreation Area and were able to quench the fire after it caused an estimated $1,500 damage to the rig and contents. Spears had to be sent to a hospital with breathing problems. Fire officials say the cause of the fire was a rodent’s nest in the a/c unit. Rats!
You’d think that commercial truck drivers would consider a good vacation sitting on the porch with their feet in the air. Not so for Terry Bosman, of Lynden, Washington. Now 74 years old, Bosman has logged six million miles of commercial driving (equivalent to 12 round trips to the moon), and is still making a couple of runs a week. What’s he do when it’s vacation time? He hitches up his fifth wheel RV behind a 1982 Kenworth K-100 and pulls it to – where else? – truck shows.
A gang of street-racing thugs beat up an RV dweller in San Diego, California, after he asked them to come down off his motorhome’s roof. A group of hot-rodders picked the cul-de-sac where the man was parked as a place to spin “donuts” and found is motorhome to be a great venue from which to watch other street racers. A video of the attack on June 28 shows a group of men kicking the man who was, by then, lying in the street. He was left with a brain bleed and broken back – and empty pockets, after the group robbed him. A $1,000 reward was offered for an arrest and conviction of the group, which fled in a gray Audi A4 sedan.
Like sharing history and a little bit of groundskeeping in exchange for an RV spot in Bradley, Maine? The Maine Forest and Logging Museum, also known as Leonard’s Mills, needs volunteers for this month, and is also looking to plug spots in 2020. The museum is volunteer-based, sharing Maine’s history in a living-history format. Demonstrations are an important part of the museum. Restoring machinery and renovating buildings contributes to the goal of sharing with visitors special parts of Maine’s history. Volunteer caretakers can bring their own expertise as well. Contact Sherry Davis, Executive Director, at 207-974-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RVs may soon vanish from the front yards of Orange Park, Florida, homes. Declaring RVs and boats “abhorrent” when parked out front, Town Council member Ron Raymond seemed to reflect the feelings of the council and zoning board which recently met to consider a ban on such rigs being parked in front yards around the town. The council decided to vote on a formal ordinance soon.
We’re not sure exactly what was behind the problem, but a Delaware RVer has been arrested after he reportedly tried to run over an RV dealership employee. Jacob Konikov, 65, of Dover, Delaware, after a dispute with the dealership, allegedly tried to mow down an employee of Risco RV with his motorhome. A police chase ensued and when Konikov wouldn’t stop, police were readying “stop sticks” to flatten his tires. Konikov finally hit the brakes, then himself dialed 9-1-1 to proclaim his innocence. Police talked him out of the rig and booked him on second-degree eluding and motor vehicle violations. Police say it isn’t clear that Konikov really did try to hit the dealership employee.
A family of six from Germany, who have been traveling the U.S. in their fifth-wheel for nearly a year, found both grief and friendship in an accident near Megler, Washington. Benjamin and Melanie Fischer and their children, ages 7 to 15, were near the end of their lengthy visit when they stopped beside the roadway. The ground gave way, flipping over their truck and trailer, leaving them stranded. Enter Washington State Patrol Sergeant Brad Moon, called to assist at the scene. Moon sized up the situation, and he and his wife took the stranded family in to their home and family until the Fishers could sort out their problems. “We just saw a family in need that had just lost nearly everything, and we felt that we could reach out and help them,” Moon told the media. “It’s just doing my job and helping in any way we can.” Read more here.
Details sparse, conjecture aplenty, after a Class C motorhome went for a swim in Lake Seminole in Georgia earlier this week. The Seminole County Sheriff says nobody was hurt (unless pride counts) after this mishap at Sealy’s Landing. A tow truck crew was able to pull the floating folly safely to shore.
Lawrence John Ripple, Kansas, robbed a bank last September and told police that he was hoping to get caught so he would get prison time to escape his wife. Instead, he was sentenced Tuesday to six months of home confinement after pleading guilty, the Kansas City Star reported. He had been arguing with his wife and told her that he would rather be in jail than at home. After robbing the bank he sat in the bank’s lobby to await arrest. This would be yet another reason to have an RV available at home for “emergency” use – if an ankle bracelet would allow him that far out of the house.