Here are your RV news highlights for the week of July 20–26, 2019.
Travelers on California Highway 99 near Chico were privy to a bizarre scene last Saturday involving a travel trailer that could have been lifted from an action movie. A couple had been camped out in their travel trailer near the highway when one of them had an apparent mental health issue. She jumped out of the travel trailer and took off down the highway with the car – still attached to the trailer. The man inside the trailer then crawled out onto the roof of the trailer as it sped down the highway. The woman then pulled off on the shoulder, and this time, took off on foot into traffic, the man close behind. Responding police finally caught up with the woman, took her to a mental health facility, and cleared traffic.
A 9-year-old girl visiting Yellowstone National Park last Monday is fortunate to be alive after an incident with a bison. The unnamed girl and her family were near Observation Point Trail in the Old Faithful Geyser area. Witnesses say a bison bull was in the area, and some park visitors, including the family, were very near to the bull for about 20 minutes when the bull suddenly charged. The bull caught the girl, tossing her an estimated ten feet in the air. She was treated and released from the Old Faithful Clinic at the park. Need we repeat the park safety adage: These animals are indeed wild – stay a long distance away from them.
An RVer towing a boat behind his motorhome is getting the finger of blame for flames that toasted nearly 42,000 acres of grass land in Washington state. The Cold Creek Fire broke out on State Route 24 near Cold Creek Saturday, July 19. Witnesses say the boat hitch departed its tow ball, leaving the motorhome to drag the boat by safety chains, which sparked and caught grass afire. Fire officials were able to contain the blaze by the next day, but say the costs are more than $900,000.
Being a National Park Ranger goes beyond guiding tours or rescuing lost hikers. Last year rangers made 25,000 vehicle speeding stops. And while roughly 300 human beings die in the nation’s parks each year, there are many more fatalities among the animal population, often due to vehicle/animal incidents. Rangers are doing their best to slow the cars and the carnage: Over the last three years, traffic stops in parks are up by 4 percent, despite a personnel loss of 5 percent in the same time.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Friday afternoon for much of southwest Oregon due to smoke from a wildfire in southern Douglas County, approximately one mile southeast of Canyonville. Curry, Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties are affected. This air advisory is in place through the weekend until Monday, July 29, 2019. On Monday morning, DEQ will evaluate whether to extend the advisory and in which locations.
If you live in Middletown, PA, and own an RV, we hope you’ve got a big driveway. The local borough council is drafting an ordinance that would move RVs, boats and big trucks away from street parking and force them elsewhere. Elsewhere doesn’t include parking in the yard – only in a garage or on a paved driveway. Councilors say that RVs on the streets are a safety hazard, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through. The council admits it has no idea how many residents such an ordinance would affect, and added surveying to find out would be “cumbersome.”
In a move that’s drawn mixed reactions, it appears that a majority of Bureau of Land Management employees presently posted in Washington, D.C., will be moved out West by the end of 2019. Officials with the Trump administration say the move is designed to shift power away from the nation’s capitol, and to reduce government size. Critics say moving BLM brass out of Washington will mean less of a voice when it comes to national policy and budgets directly affecting the land agency.
A man who fatally shot two RV park managers at a Lake Ozark, Missouri, campground back in 2017 has received two life sentences plus 22 years. Gary Sweet had been evicted from the Riverview RV Park and Campground, but returned a few days later, shooting through an RV and injuring a man inside, and fatally injuring Sheri and James Parker. Officers tied shotgun shells found on the scene to those later found in Sweet’s possession. The court ruled Sweet will need to serve at least 85 years before parole is considered.
Shopping for a new diesel pickup? If fuel economy is a consideration, here’s a note: Chevy’s Silverado 1500 for 2020 posts highway economy at 33 mpg, beating Ford’s F-150 by three mpg and the Dodge Ram 1500 by six mpg. However, with a maximum tow capacity of a minuscule 9,300 pounds, it’s doubtful that too many RVers will be putting this Chevy on their wish list.
An RVer in London, Kentucky, may be ready to rename the Comfort Inn Suites hotel the Uncomfortable Inn, after he attempted to drive his Class A motorhome under the hotel entry awning. Fire crews say it took about an hour to stabilize the building sufficiently to pull the errant RV out from underneath. The only injuries are presumably wounded pride on the part of the driver, earned last Sunday when the incident unfolded.
A trip through the Quaker State might be quicker if you take the Pennsylvania Turnpike – but that certainly won’t be cheaper. The state’s turnpike commission has decreed a 6 percent jump in tolls starting next January. Commissioners say the rate hike is needed to help pay for the cost of debt-service and will apply to all users, cash or E-ZPass alike.