That was the RV week that was, August 10–16, 2019

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Here are your RV news highlights for the week of August 10–16, 2019.

Excitement over the purchase of a used fifth wheel quickly gave way to revulsion and fear when the buyers made unwelcome discoveries in the rig. Robert and Carol Kohl of Mortlach, Saskatchewan, bought a 2004 Keystone Laredo from Village RV in Regina, and set off the next day for a trip. When the furnace wouldn’t heat, Robert pulled the cover off the appliance to find mouse droppings. The couple then did a more thorough search and found not only more droppings, but a mouse skeleton. Village RV gave them their money back, but the Kohls are fearful of what health issues they might unknowingly have put themselves in line for.


America’s public lands have grown by 7,300 acres, and will be up to 13,000 acres later this year. The Bureau of Land Management will take over the acres on Montana’s Lower Blackfoot River corridor, after several nonprofit groups assisted with fundraising to make the purchases possible. The agency also used funds derived from development of oil and gas beneath the Outer Continental Shelf as managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The area, northeast of Missoula, may be best known by Norman Maclean’s story collection, “A River Runs Through It.” The Blackfoot River’s waters are cold and fast with many deep spots, which makes it an ideal habitat for several trout species. The river is also a destination for many floaters, and excellent big game hunting opportunities abound in the area.

Planning a trip Back East? If you think it’s been a quiet couple of months for hurricanes, tighten up your suspenders – the season is about to begin. Generally speaking, the season runs from early June to November’s end, but the six weeks coming up are called “the season within a season,” and the National Hurricane Center in Miami warns it could be memorable. Storms this year have been slowed down by dry air from the Sahara and wind shear, courtesy of the El Niño climate. Now both factors are gone, and what officials are calling a “back-loaded” system may bring 10 to 17 named storms blasting in from the Atlantic. While these storms may dilly-dally, once they start, officials say residents and visitors through the region should pay particular attention to forecasts.

Click to enlarge. Yavapai County Sheriff photo.

Cottonwood, Arizona fire crews didn’t have much to do when called out for an RV fire at the Sheeps Crossing Campground near Verde Villages. The 6:30 p.m. call on August 8 attracted plenty of attention – campers from the nearby Thousand Trails RV Park got to the scene before the official fire crew, and using garden hoses and fire extinguishers largely put the fire out. The rig’s owner got out safely but, as might be expected, the Class C unit was a total loss.

A proposed class action lawsuit claims Camping World stockholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of misleading statements made by company executives who the suit says falsely touted the success of the RV retailer’s acquisition of Gander Mountain. Learn more.

Apparently a campground in McCammon, Idaho, isn’t good enough. Officials say they’ll shut down Goodenough Creek Campground September 3 and not reopen it until December 2 to “enhance recreational experiences for the public.” Enhancing translates to adding more sites, ones for bigger RVs, and putting a pot – er, bathroom – in closer proximity to the tent area. Other things that apparently weren’t good enough included the main access road and RV turnaround, both of which will be rebuilt. Hopefully, when the BLM is done, one thing that will still be good enough is the campground’s name.

Motorhome sales in Canada have put on the brakes. Comparing the January through June sales of 2019 to those of 2018 shows a near 13 percent decline, says Statistical Surveys Inc. Class A units dropped more than 16 percent, while Class C sales slowed more than 11 percent.

Quick! How old is Smokey Bear? As of August 9, the venerable fire-fighting mascot of the U.S. Forest Service was 75. Smokey’s “birth” came about when the Service and the Ad Council created the fictional bear to push fire prevention. In 1944, feds feared forest fires from foreign enemies as a war tactic. Smokey’s jeans and bucket were original, his shovel was a later add-on. And the real-life bear rescued after a forest fire? That was a cub found in New Mexico in 1950.

The Umatilla National Forest needs campground hosts at Bull Prairie Lake Campground from now until October – duration is dependent on user use, but no later than October 15. Greet campers, give information, and make them feel at home. Hosts will visit with campers and day-use visitors, clean and maintain restrooms, restock supplies, occasionally clean up after campers and carry out minor maintenance as needed. For more information call (541) 427-5394.

The Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally saw its share of death, some of which might have been preventable. Most recently, Daniel Baker (55) of Arnegard, North Dakota, and Donna Cuccia (58) of Turtle Lake, North Dakota, died when their trailer was inundated with carbon monoxide gas. Apparently the pair had set up a cooling fan in the enclosed trailer and parked a generator just outside the unit. An unnamed Omaha, Nebraska, man died of similar causes in his motorhome at the rally.

Rampart Creek Campground in Canada’s Banff National Park remains closed after an August 9 wolf attack. A wolf attacked a man camping there, in the presence of his family. Other campers came to lend aid, apparently frightening off the wolf. Authorities later located a wolf nearby, killed it, and are now awaiting DNA test results against fur found on the attack scene to ensure the correct wolf was killed. They say wolf-human encounters are extremely rare.

While other RV sales sectors suffer, Class B motorhome sales are showing a perk-up. Sales grew nearly 6 percent for the first six months of 2019, compared to the same months of 2018, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.

Click to enlarge. Photo: sacramento.cbslocal.com.

It was enough to make you see red. A motorhome and a semi-truck carrying fresh tomatoes tangled it up on Interstate 80 in Davis, California, last Monday at around 11:00 p.m. It took several hours of lane closures and plenty of push-broom activity to corral the mess. Happily, no spaghetti wagons wandered onto the scene.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials had to euthanize a black bear that bit a boy on his left cheek and ear on Friday, Aug. 9, at the Dewey Bridge Campground along the Colorado River. The 13-year-old victim was camping with a group and was sleeping on the ground near a riverside pavilion when the bear bit him. The teen was taken to the hospital and was treated and released. The bear was euthanized per state policy because it did not exhibit a fear of people. Since 2014, there have been a reported 255 bear incidents that required action from DWR and, of those, less than 20% resulted in euthanization. “The majority of the time, we relocate black bears when there are nuisance situations where a black bear is getting into trash or food,” DWR mammals coordinator Darren DeBloois said. Source: moabsunnews.com

A former campground host in Washington state has been sentenced to two months in jail for using a hunting dog to hunt down a cougar, and has been connected to a poaching ring. Eddy Dills (59) of Longview, Washington, had served as a campground host at Takhlakh Lake, in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which gave him access to areas not normally open to the public. A citizen complaint led to an investigation in 2017. Officials say they found more than three dozen cases of illegal poaching, with Dills implicated in at least half of them. Dills has been removed from his position, and in addition to spending time in jail, is banned from possessing a Washington hunting license for life.

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