Here are your RV news highlights for the week of July 27 – August 2, 2019.
Be careful where you dump your RV black water in Olympia, Washington. County sheriff’s deputies say they’re investigating the rather fateful response of an area resident who spotted, for the second time, an early-morning poop-dumper in his neighborhood. He took out a gun and shot the man who was attempting to flee in his motorhome. While the errant dumper was taken to the hospital in stable condition, the avenging shooter was taken to jail.
A spectacular fire involving an RV and other vehicles caught plenty of folks off guard in Carl Junction, Missouri, July 25. A pickup truck driver experienced a medical emergency as he drove down Highway 171, veering into the Harps convenience store. Parked under the gas pump canopies was yet another pickup, this one towing a travel trailer. All three vehicles caught fire and customers scrambled for safety as flames blasted skyward. At least one person was injured.
Plenty of RVers shop Amazon.com, looking for bargains and fast delivery. But Amazon’s promise of one-day delivery has apparently put a crimp in the company’s bottom line. In a July 25 conference call, Amazon’s chief financial officer admitted the push for faster deliveries had reduced company earnings – and will continue to do so for the rest of the year. Putting a positive spin on the news, the CFO said the promise of one-day deliveries had already urged more customers to buy. Cry not, Amazon has had nearly two years of fat profits.
RV manufacturing spin-doctors are reacting to news that movement of RVs from manufacturers to dealers has sunk more than 20 percent in the first six months of the year. Speaking to a reporter with elkharttruth.com, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association spokesman Kevin Broom chalked it up to cyclic activity. Broom told a reporter, “Over the last several years, there were record levels of production and purchasing.” He added, “And there’s less urgency for dealers to make their purchases right now, so what’s happening is the dealers are letting inventories sort of go back to normal levels.” Broom also aimed blame at the Trump Administration’s tariff policy, which has, he noted, affected more than just steel and aluminum. Broom said there’s plenty of optimism that the Millennial Generation will step up with their money to keep the good times rolling. He also pointed to a positive star in the RV manufacturing galaxy: Sales of one sector were up 30 percent. Manufacturers moved a whopping 389 park trailers to dealers.
Have you heard that there are 39 new RV sites being built at Yellowstone National Park? Don’t get too excited – most of us won’t have the luxury of staying in any of them. Fourteen of the new sites are being constructed on an abandoned loop of Canyon Campground – by and for the use of Xanterra Parks and Resorts employees. The other 25 sites will likewise be built for concessionaire employees near the Yellowstone General Stores warehouse at the park’s West Entrance.
Two police officers from the Oakley, California, Police Department are getting the credit for rescuing a man from a large outdoor blaze on July 16. Officers Cory Decker and Tyler Horn arrived on the scene of a brush fire accidentally started by a man operating an electric grinder. Decker and Horn were searching the back of a property when they found a man using a water bucket trying to save a travel trailer from the flames. Initially the man didn’t want to leave, but when nearby propane tanks began to explode, all three took cover as the fire spread and other LP tanks exploded. By this time the victim was so exhausted officers had to help carry him out – and had to take down a barb-wire fence to make an exit possible. The officers’ chief says he plans on recognizing the two men for heroism.
Sierra Vista, Arizona, joins the list of municipalities who’ve put a crimp on RV parking. Effective August 1, SV’s ordinance makes it “Unlawful for any trailer, camper, mobile home, boat, trailer house, motor home, or other recreational vehicle to be parked in a public street, alley, or other public place for more than five days within a 30-day period. To comply with the new City ordinance, the vehicle or trailer must be stored on private property, preferably in the rear or side yard, or moved to a proper storage facility. The use of a trailer at a job site is allowed, provided it is actively in use.” City council members said the law was needed to deal with public safety hazards, neighborhood aesthetics, and delivery interruptions.
Yogi and BooBoo’s kinfolks are taking it hard in Yellowstone National Park. Rangers in the Wyoming park recently killed two black bears after they were involved in separate incidents with humans. In June, a woman in a sleeping bag and tent was bitten on the thigh, the thickness of the material surrounding her body preventing anything other than bruises. Rangers suspect the bear had found food in visits to the area over the years. A decoy tent was set up, and a spy camera recorded a bear tearing up the tent. That action proved to be his demise. In July, unattended food left by backpackers attracted a bear who chowed down. The next day the bear came back, harassing other campers. Hazing failed and the bear was shot. Days later yet another bear damaged vehicles and tents at Indian Creek Campground. It was hazed away, but rangers say they’re on the lookout in case it creates a ruckus again.
Short on detail but long in emotion, a photo comes with a short story from Utah’s U.S. Highway 91 near Mile Marker 4. A motorhome pulling a utility trailer caught fire Saturday, July 27. Multiple fire agencies responded, but their efforts were limited to keeping the fire from demolishing the trailer, while the motorhome, a Class A rig, burned to the pavement. Happily, nobody was hurt.
Campers in the La Pine, Oregon, area got an unwelcome notice from local authorities: A Level 1 (“Be Ready”) evacuation notice as fire broke out in the Deschutes National Forest. The warning came last Sunday afternoon as fire broke out in forested areas and spread to 170 acres. By Tuesday, campers at McKay Crossing, Ogden and Prairie campgrounds were told to stand down from the order as containment was attained.
A British farmer was no doubt startled when police commandeered his “JCB” loader to pursue two motorhome thieves on the M55 motorway. A police helicopter spotted the purloined rig and radioed a report to ground forces. The crooked driver apparently couldn’t keep control and crashed the unit in a field. Reports say the police took over the heavy equipment to reach their quarry.