Perhaps this could be the silver lining to the high cost of gasoline: Auto club AAA says that while people won’t kill off summer travel plans, they may be scaling them back. Less traveling could mean more available spaces to park your RV when you travel. For number crunchers, a gallon of regular is up 58 cents more than this time last year. Gas accounts for about 7 percent of the average family’s income, and that’s 1.5 percent more than last summer.
Mariposa Grove – the “garden” of Earth’s oldest Sequoia trees – has reopened in California’s Yosemite National Park. The grove was closed three years ago to allow renovation work that would protect the giant trees from danger of being “loved to death.” This is not a case of not recognizing the forest for the trees; it’s some of the “modern” stuff like asphalt too close to the trees that’s now gone. Stream and wetland restoration also ensures a higher degree of safety to the ancient ones.
Thor Industries’ stock started to nosedive after it warned that tariff costs could create problems for the company. It didn’t take long for the company CEO to trot out a new message: Essentially “Relax, we’ve got a plan to minimize the issue.” Those measures include cutting raw costs and “de-contenting.” What’s that? Take some of the bling out of high-end rigs to reduce costs.
The shutdown of Colorado’s San Juan National Forest due to fire concerns is being augmented. Next door neighbor Mancos State Park has closed down camping in areas adjacent to the forest. Camping is still “on” at the park’s main campground. The park is 30 miles west of Durango.
A retired British RVer got the shock of his life when he ordered some hinges for his motorhome’s refrigerator door. He spotted what he needed on Amazon, about $40, and he happily ordered them. But when he saw his bank statement he flipped – Amazon charged him nearly $1,014 – $40 for the hinges, and the balance for shipping from the U.S. Michael Ord said he tried repeatedly phoning the Internet retail giant, but could only get a computer. His emails likewise brought no results. Mr. Ord said he despaired that he’d ever get his money back, but finally Amazon refunded $975, saying the huge bill was simply a “system error.”
Looking to learn how to make a living while RVing? The seventh annual Workcamper Rendezvous is set for October 15 to 19 in Heber Springs, Arkansas. The event will bring industry folks and experienced “workcampers” together, along with those who want to learn more. More information? Click here.
It looks like a key, but it’s a folding knife
Wow! Could this come in handy those times you wish you had a small pocket knife along? It looks just like a regular key, but when unfolded it turns into a pocket knife. Just remember to remove it from the keychain before you hop on your plane flight. Learn more or order!
As U.S. wildfire danger shuts down some National Forests, including one in Colorado, that state’s private campground owners are shouting from the rooftops: “We’re still open!” “While all of this is intense and it’s emotionally painful to us, most campgrounds are open,” said Mary Arlington, representing the Colorado Campground & Lodging Owners Association. “Campground owners spent all winter preparing to provide incredible camping experiences for their 2018 guests. Sadly, all of the fire coverage has caused many of those guests to cancel their plans, most without due cause.”
The Motley Fool, a financial advice company, isn’t putting a lot of stock in investing in two big RV heavyweights. Last week the outfit pointed out that Winnebago stock is down 25 percent this year, and that Winnie says it will probably struggle with expenses in its motorhome arena for several more quarters. The financial advisors also took a shot at Thor, suggesting that investors be on the lookout for a rocky road ahead, based on the company’s own cautions that “rising interest rates and increasing cost pressures” could have a negative impact on company growth.
Shasta-Trinity National Forest (California) Service officials are mulling over shutting down overnight camping at the Philpot Campground (near Hayfork) and the Big Bar Campground (west of Weaverville). The Service says low visitor use prompts their move, and may change them to day use only. Questions? Contact Sally Cousins with the Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Moss got a “speed camera” ticket for his car, but there was something odd about it. The ticket was issued in a city 1,000 miles away from where his car was at the time – parked in his driveway. The Melbourne, Australia, resident apparently was the victim of a new crime trick: Cloned license plates. Sold on the internet, bad guys put them on stolen cars, or on their own rigs if they feel they might need to go undercover. In the U.S. the FBI says call your local police if you think that your plate may have been cloned.
Eliminate gray water
tank odors for less than $8
Gray water tanks can produce nasty odors, too. Using the latest technology in quick dissolving biodegradable tablets, Elemonate deodorizes your gray tank, freshens sink and drain lines and dissolves grease and organic sludge buildup in the drain lines of your sink and gray tank. Learn more or order.
An RVer was killed in Rowan County, North Carolina, when he was apparently pinned between his fifth wheel king pin and truck bed. Arthur Burrow, of Salisbury, was attempting to hitch up his rig and asked his wife to move the truck slightly. At that point, the rig dropped onto him, pinning him for about 10 minutes. A tractor was pressed into service to lift the fifth wheel, and CPR was administered, to no avail.
Think you’ve got it tough on your job? Imagine being Dan Wenk. He’s the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. Wenk has been a Park Service employee for decades, and in his most recent posting since 2011. But seniority doesn’t seem to matter – Wenk had no clue he was about to get the axe until he saw a press release announcing it, and shortly thereafter, a tweet by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke crowing about his replacement. Wenk says he has called higher-ups asking how long before he needs to clear his desk – and as of June 15, nobody has bothered to call him back.
It’s not unusual for RVers to rub elbows with European visitors. American RV rental agencies just love foreign customers. But get ready – the wave from Asia is growing. Chinese visitors have “discovered” the joys of renting RVs and touring Western countries. RV rentals are available in China, but the rigs are much smaller, and RV parks are, in the words of one Chinese national, “works in progress.” So the turn to RV touring in the West is on the rise; some Australian RV parks now post information in both English and Chinese, and America is not far behind in popularity.
In Northern Arizona fuel prices may be high, and forest fires may be burning, but that hasn’t put off RVers. The state’s campground promotion group says member campgrounds are reporting higher-than-normal reservation rates, and that getting a reservation in a park for an extended block of time is nearly impossible.
The Vulcans have approved an RV park just south of the Bow River. No, the “green-blooded thumbs out” approval wasn’t on a campground review site, but rather, the Vulcan County, Alberta, planning commission approval means Harry Turner can move ahead with developing a five-site RV park and retail store.
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.
The state of Massachusetts has purchased an existing RV park in Wellfleet in a “friendly eminent domain” action. A family-owned operation since the 1950s, current owner, Robert “Buddy” Paine said he just got tired of fighting with the neighbors over title issues (and after spending a million dollars in court costs) and finally sold the 155-site park to the state. The government will continue to operate the campground as a state park.
Official opening of the Mamquam River Campground in Squamish, British Columbia, is now history. With a June 15 ribbon cutting behind, stewards of the nonprofit campground on seven acres of government land are welcoming campers to a “rustic” campground with low site fees. RVers (and others who drive in) pay just $15 per night; they’ll supply outhouses and garbage service, you bring your own water and electric. Great venues for kayakers. More info here.
A family of six in Tulare County, California, had their RV trip rudely interrupted when a man wedged a sedan under their travel trailer, just behind their pickup – while motoring down the highway. A California Highway Patrol officer had attempted to pull the offending driver over for speeding, but he took off on a short – and abruptly ending – escape. It took less than a minute before he plowed under the travel trailer. Turns out the fleeing car was stolen. Nobody but the crook was injured.
Some Benson, Arizona, RV parks have joined a bandwagon of support asking the city to force the Union Pacific Railroad to create quiet zones at three area grade crossings. The Good Sam RV Park Directory recently lowered its rating of Butterfield RV Resort & Observatory because of train noise. A quiet zone means train horns aren’t routinely sounded, and typically require installation of crossing gates and other improvements – at the railroad’s expense.
Canadian Mounties have a head-scratching case in Enderby, British Columbia. On June 12, lawmen were called to Hidden Lake to investigate a motorhome which had hit a tree and burst into flames. Police couldn’t find the rig’s driver, and a search dog had no success either. In a tight-lipped statement, officials said: “The North Okanagan RCMP is working closely with the family of the registered owner of the motor home, however the collision remains under investigation and no further details will be released at this time.”
[Revision notes: We have properly restored Wellfleet from Maine to Massachusetts, thanks to sharp-eyed readers.]
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