Here are your RV news highlights for the week of September 21–27, 2019.
Not all Arizona-bound RV snowbirds flock to the open deserts. Promotion organization Arizona Association for RV Parks and Campgrounds said that millions of dollars are being poured into commercial campground upgrades to be unveiled as snowbirds arrive this year. At Gold Canyon, Gold Canyon RV & Golf Resort guests will see a new pool, patio and spruced up landscaping. Other high-end resort competitors are racing to keep up, resurfacing pickleball courts, enhancing playgrounds and dog runs. From Apache Junction to Yuma, Cottonwood to Tucson, improvements and expansions are the order of the season. But somebody’s got to help finance it all – bring your credit cards!
If you discount it, will they come? That’s the question that Oregon State Parks officials have – and they’re checking it out this year. About a dozen of the Beaver State’s parks will give RVers a $7-per-night knock-off for full hookup or partial hookup sites through the end of November. Log on to reserveramerica.com and visit the Oregon State Parks area to determine which parks are in play. If you find one you like, use the discount code “FallFun19” to see a discount ranging from 20 to 29 percent off regular nightly rates.
A story out of Abilene, Texas illustrates that not everyone on the street corner with a cardboard sign deserves your help. Abilene’s police chief says his office has received reports about a seemingly “homeless” and “disabled” man in a wheelchair who appears every Saturday and Sunday on the corner of Highway 83/84 and FM 707, holding a sign that reads, “Anything helps”. Officers visited with the man to see how they could help, only to learn he’s not really disabled, nor homeless. He’s a local man who’s dropped off at his corner every weekend. He told officers he takes about $1,000 in donations each weekend, and has a home in town. The chief recommends giving your donations to charities that help those who really are homeless. Read more here.
Levee camping has become too much of a good thing for LeClaire, Iowa, officials. They claim that after an internet group that helps members find free overnight RVing spots published LeClaire’s levee as a good place to stay, an “inordinate number” of RVers began dropping in – as many as four a night during the week. The city noted that the RVers weren’t causing problems, but claimed there were a lot of complaints. One local business owner claimed the opposite – he saw his business jump with the visitors. No matter, the city council voted 4-0 in favor of a new ordinance that prohibits camping of any sort on the levee.
Two RVers were killed, two others hospitalized, after a freak head-on crash involving two RVs unfolded in Harper, Oregon, September 18. Richard Kozol (78) of Medford, Oregon, was driving his motorhome east on Oregon S.R. 20 when he crossed the centerline, plowing directly into John Haynes (72) of Palo Cedro, California, who was pulling a travel trailer with his pickup. Both Kozol and Haynes were killed on the scene. Kozol’s passenger, Barbara Kozol (73), and Hayne’s passenger, Debra Townsend (67), were both taken to hospitals.
Seattle, Washington, city council members are still struggling with the “homeless in RVs” situation. A proposed ordinance was drafted which would have effectively swept “hazardous vehicles” off the street and stopped them from being resold. When the ordinance came up for discussion, some council members feared the bill would force homeless people out of RVs and into tents – or worse. A new ordinance is in the works – this one would help people keep their RV from being towed, if they had nowhere else to go, but would punish “predatory landlords” who rent substandard RVs to street-dwellers.
Wandering about in the Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area? Here’s a quick way to get across Lake Powell in a half-hour, versus driving two-and-a-half-hours. Put yourself (and your RV) on the Charles Hall Ferry and float across the lake from Bullfrog to Halls Crossing (or vice versa!). The Utah state-operated ferry runs Thursday through Sunday starting at 8:00 a.m. and running to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time). Crossings are north to Bullfrog on even hours, and south to Halls Crossing on odd hours. Life in the outback can be unpredictable, so if your crossing is critical, call ahead to verify the ferry is operating. Here’s a link to the state’s website.
Brazen burglars in Oklahoma evidently used a travel trailer in their work of ripping off a homeowner in Harrah. On September 19, a man headed off for work found a man with a pickup truck and travel trailer backed into his driveway. The man explained he was waiting for a buddy. Two hours later, the homeowner’s wife left the house, and encountered the man with the trailer – still in the driveway. This time the explanation was that the truck was broken down and he was waiting for a tow truck. But when the couple got home from work, the house was a wreck, and $20,000 worth of their stuff was gone. The suspicious wife had taken a picture of the trailer’s license plate – but, perhaps not surprisingly – the trailer itself came back as stolen.
Is Buffalo Chip Campground a town? South Dakota‘s Supreme Court will make the call after arguments are completed which begin September 30. It’s a four-year-old drama that began in 2015 when county commissioners approved the campground’s request for a blessing to become a municipality. But the county didn’t like the idea and took the matter to court, saying that Buffalo Chip didn’t meet the requirements of having 30 registered voters and at least 100 residents. But the wannabe-town’s attorneys say a single word, “and,” makes a huge difference. He claims state law in 2015 read at least 100 residents “or” 30 voters’ were required – and that the state law was changed to read 100 residents “and” 45 voters. Seems South Dakota’s Supremes will need Solomon’s wisdom to sort it all out.
They tried, but they couldn’t do it. And since they couldn’t, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, commissioners said they would no longer try to operate a U.S. Army Corps campground at Woodcock Lake. Commissioners said county coffers were hemorrhaging $65,000 a year in expenses, even after income from the 111-site campground was accounted for. Seems that maintenance and repair costs were more than they planned for when they took over operations in the late ’90s. Users were fearful they’d seen the last of the campground, but the Corps has taken up the torch and says it will continue to operate the campground while they try to find a willing operator.
Citing a pressing need for more space for visitors to camp in North Carolina’s Catawba County, a family-relations group has broken ground on a new RV park near Maiden. Dubbed the 321 RV Park, the hillside property will boast 73 full hookup sites on Startown Road near Exit 33 of U.S. 321. No opening date has been announced.
We’ve heard of aggressive bears harassing campers, but aggressive raccoons? Tennessee’s Hamilton County Parks and Recreation folk have come under fire after killing “a number of raccoons” after their alleged “overly aggressive” activity brought complaints from guests at Chester Frost Campground. Reports wrcbtv.com, “We’ve seen them get into trash cans, we’ve seen them try and get into dumpsters,” said Tom Lamb, the Parks and Rec director for Hamilton County. Many RVers who have witnessed such behavior from these masked mammals say it hardly seems “overly aggressive.” But the critters started unzipping tents, and one unhappy camper reported, “As soon as I opened my fries, he was just right there. It scared the pee out of me!” (Perhaps the creature was concerned about the deleterious affects of fast food?) Officials swooped in and “euthanized” the pugnacious Procyonids. Juniper Russo, a wildlife rehabilitator is outraged. “I’m really disturbed that in one of the few places that should be safe for them that they are going through and killing them for evidently no reason,” she told the news outlet. But county officials aren’t backing down, citing a fear of rabies, although there was no indication the raccoons either had, or were tested for the disease.