Auction sales of used RVs in December showed a lot of year-end dealer housecleaning. Industry watcher Black Book reports a high number of “poor condition” rigs went to market. The number of motorhomes sold was up 17 percent, and towables up 20 percent compared to November. Prices were relatively stable: Motorhomes were down about 1 percent to an average price of $46,135; towables were up 1.5 percent to $13,533. That compares to $41,444 and $12,610, respectively, in December 2016.
Five months after Hurricane Harvey blew through Houston, Texas, residents there can finally, legally, live in an RV on their property while making home repairs. City councilors passed an ordinance allowing it. There is a catch – the ordinance applies to the city in general, but will not override homeowner association rules to the contrary.
Mountain View, Calif., officials, who face a huge number of street-parking RV dwellers, have cooked up a pilot project to dispose of holding tank contents. The city hired a septic tank pumping firm, provided a place to park the rig, then started handing out vouchers for free disposal of waste. After two trials to see how it works, the city will consider a permanent dumping location. But it wasn’t easy to get it started – at first, no septic service wanted to bid on the offer.
Thor’s subsidiary Jayco will be expanding its Idaho manufacturing facilities at Twin Falls, adding 235,000 square feet of building and 300 more jobs, which should be on-line around the middle of this year.
South Dakota has dozens of paid seasonal positions available with the Game, Fish & Parks Department for this coming summer including park hosts, park attendants, maintenance workers, naturalists and more. Click here to see the long list of positions, the pay and other details. The closing date for the GFP seasonal positions is February 16.
Idaho’s legislature is mulling a proposal that would make it illegal to impede traffic in the left lane on interstate highways and other controlled-access highways. The bill is in committee, where it faced no debate. “We can see this happen quite often,” said the bill’s sponsor, Lance Chow. “It might be a motor home or somebody pulling a fifth wheel. They get on a hill and they don’t want to go 80 and so it takes them forever to go around them so it impedes traffic.” The measure remains to be heard publicly, then voted out of committee and onto the floor of the House.
RV industry consolidation continues as Chinook Motorcoach will be snapping up “certain assets” of towable manufacturer Riverside Travel Trailers (known since the turn of the year as Vohne Liche). The latter manufactures the RPM toy hauler line and two “loft” travel trailers, DREAM and Riverside. Chinook says it wanted to move into the towable field for some time.
Space heater uses only 200 watts!
GREAT GIFT! It’s hard to believe that an electric space heater could use a mere 200 watts — the same as a couple of light bulbs —a fraction of other space heaters. And this one really works! It’s meant to heat a nearby person, not a room (although it will keep the chill away in a small bathroom). Put it on your desk or at your feet. Perfect for the RVer who’s “always cold.” For about $20, this is a winner. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Skagway, Alaska, is trying to get ready for its annual influx of summer visitors – but there’s a big snag. City officials say the municipally owned Garden City RV Park is in danger of not being able to supply electrical power to RVers. Last December the local power utility told city officials that electrical service pedestals in the park needed to be brought up to code. Officials are now frantically trying to pull off what could amount to a miracle to keep the juice flowing to the 37-site park.
The devastating October fires of Sonoma County, Calif., left a huge blackened path behind them, but life is beginning to return, according to park officials at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park north of Kenwood. For those who’d like to see it happen, half the campsites at the park will reopen February 15, with the balance opening on April 15.
Twin Lakes Campground in northwestern Pennsylvania will remain closed this season, as Forest Service officials say they just don’t have the money to fix problems there. The campground was shut down in September last year after problems with the sewage treatment system forced the closure. The Service says it is dealing with a 12 percent reduction in funding toward its recreational budget.
The Most Scenic Drives in America
This trip planner & travel guide will steer you down the most scenic road every time. From Florida’s Road to Flamingo, to British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway, to Cape Cod’s Sandy Shores, each featured road trip is pictured in stunning full color and described in vivid text, keyed to an easy-to-follow map. Whether you choose a drive on a distant road or a back road in your own state, this book is your ticket to North America’s most beautiful byways. Learn more or order.
Plans for Douglas County, Ore., to purchase the Discovery Point RV Park at Winchester Bay have become a reality. The county wanted the park as a revenue generator, and got help with the purchase by way of a $650,000 state grant toward the total $1.64 million price tag. The 80-site park is popular among ORV riders.
An RVer in Hallandale Beach, Fla., suffered a serious injury while working on his motorhome’s leveling jack system. The 72-year-old was under his rig at the Seville Mobile Home Park when the leveling jack fell, crushing his hand and leaving him stuck under the rig. Twelve rescue units responded, finally unpinning the unfortunate man after about a 45-minute ordeal, shipping him off to an area trauma center.
Back in 2013, Rod Kelly was building an RV park in Howley, Newfoundland. Town officials denied Kelly’s request to hook up to town water, so he installed his own well which draws water from four springs. In an ironic twist, the town has declared a state of emergency – it seems the town’s water supply system has broken down, leaving citizens high and – literally – dry. Now Rod Kelly is inviting locals to come to his RV park for free hot showers until the crisis is over.
Alberta, Canada’s provincial park system is trying out a new reservation system for this summer. Reservations will be opened in waves – already group campsites are open. Come February 12, reservations for “comfort camping” in yurts and canvas wall tents open. Finally, individual campsite reservations open on February 20. Site reservations can be made up to 90 days out.
An inspirational book about RVing
“Travels with Charley in Search of America”
When you ask most RVers if there was one book that inspired them to take up RVing, it’s John Steinbeck’s classic road tale, “Travels with Charley.” The famous author set off in the early 1960s in a home-built camper with his poodle, Charley, to “find America.” And what he found makes for a delightful read. Get this for yourself or as a gift. Learn more or order.
In Burgettstown, Pa., members of a rock music band got quite a surprise – someone tried to steal their motorcoach and equipment trailer while band members were on board both. Some group members of Pröwess were loading gear onto their trailer while at least two others were on board the coach, when the rig suddenly shot off down the road, spilling instruments and gear out onto the roadway. Two members on the rig managed to shut off the key and wrest control of the coach from the thief. Others shot video as police took charge of the would-be musical crook.
RVers in Morris Township, Pa., are probably more than irked by amendments to the town’s RV ordinance. Quoted by local news media, the amendments boil down to this: “There are certain permits issued, depending on its use and purpose,” Dan Nelson, the township solicitor said. “If you tow it and park it, we want to know. If you drive it and park it, we want to know. If you keep it on your property, you have to move it or you have to tell us about it. And if you drive it, you’ve got to get it registered.” The amendment was approved on a 2-to-1 vote, with the dissenter, James Williams, saying, “I know that I’m not the problem. I’m not necessarily willing to pay a permit fee just for the township to know I have a camper. I already pay a registration fee to the state of Pennsylvania. I’m not interested.”
Oh, this is hard to report, and most RV travel readers will sympathize with the new owners of a brand-new RV who were shopping at a Hudson, Fla., Walmart store, stocking their RV for their first trip, when two shoplifting suspects stole their RV from the parking lot, eventually stopping when it slammed into a sheriff’s patrol car. The RV only sustained minor damage. The suspects are all facing charges.
Residents at a Brownsville, Texas, RV park got a nasty shock: A letter from the park owner telling them their water bill would increase to $300 a month – pay it, or it would be turned off. Ah, but the devil is in the details: Seems the owner of Rio Park hadn’t been paying the water company and it, in turn, was threatening to shut off the park’s water. On hearing of the matter, the company relented and said it will continue to supply the precious liquid as long as the park owner continues to make payments on the balance due. No word on whether residents got a “stand down” on the $300 threat.