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We hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend, and that you were able to visit a final resting place of a veteran — whether a friend, family member or simply any veteran who died while serving his or her country. Or if you couldn’t visit, then we hope you paused (or will do so) for a few moments to remember those who gave their lives so you and I could be free.
→ Today’s Contest: We’re giving away a SoftStartRV. With this “game changing device” you can run your air conditioner this summer even when hooked up to only household current or when using a small generator. See contest details below!
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Rig trouble? Beware the roadside rip-off
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It’s the stuff that could make you regret hitting the road. Here you are, in the “middle of nowhere” with your rig, and something goes wrong. Or at least that’s what someone tells you. For Devon Anderson, the bad news came from a tire man at a small gas station in southern Utah. “Oh, my gosh! You’ve got cracks in your tires!” Anderson couldn’t see any cracks, but he took the man’s word for it – after all, he was a tire specialist, right? Anderson quickly became the victim of a roadside rip-off. Could it happen to you? Continue reading this important report.
Gas prices soaring. Your wallets will feel it!
Memorial Day weekend is in progress – and if you’re out in it, prepare to open your wallet a little wider. Auto support group AAA says it anticipates this will be the most expensive Memorial Day weekend for gas prices since 2014. The outfit thinks nearly 37 million Americans will be out there traveling, and most of them by car and plane – up 60% compared to last year. All that demand will spell price jumps at the pumps. Read more.
Traveler warning: Dangerous squirrels rampant in Grand Canyon
Besides the usual common sense safety and wildlife guidelines, now there’s an increased alert for nature visitors – the finger-eating squirrels of the Grand Canyon. Park officials have issued a warning about the sharp-toothed creatures. During past busy weekends, the small mammals have sent at least 30 tourists to seek medical care for their bloodied fingers. Learn more.
This week’s RVtravel.com podcast (#9)
Host Scott Linden is back with another dose of RV news, information and entertainment.
IDEA: Play the podcast as you read this newsletter.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the Kompact Kamp Mini Mate Motorcycle Camper. Tony reports, “So how small of an RV can you get and still have it be considered an RV? Well, how about one that’s so petite and lightweight that it can be towed by a motorcycle or virtually any car on the market, including a Smart Car? Yes, it still offers much of that RV experience but a lot more freedom if you love the wind in your… well, the wind on your helmet and the bugs on your face shield.” Read about this cute little RV.
Tony reviews the 2021 Outdoors RV Back Country 20BD. He writes, “I think I’ve found the boondocking champion in the small travel trailer space.” He adds, “This trailer intrigues me so much I am putting it on my very, very short list of trailers to look at for my own camping adventures.”
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Winnebago Solis Pocket Class B RV • 2021 Wildwood FSX 190RT Toy Hauler • 2021 Cherokee Alpha Wolf 26RB-L Travel Trailer • Grand Design Imagine 3100RD Travel Trailer • Airstream Bambi 16RB Travel Trailer
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
May 23–29, 2021
A popular La Pine, Oregon, campground has been shut down in what looks like a plot line from a B-grade sci-fi movie. Officials say between 1.5 million to 150 million ANTS have invaded the campground. Get too close to their home and you’ll find yourself attacked by the feisty creatures which will not only bite, but then shoot the bite with acid, which can lead to nasty blisters. It’s a super-colony of Thatching Ants! There are some 150 individual colonies, each home to 10,000 to 1 million of the insects. Crane Prairie Campground is officially closed until June 11 while officials try and figure out a way to deal with the issue. It may reopen, allowing campers to reoccupy the occupied campground, but stay back from the ant hills.
The reintroduction of wolves to American habitats has met with mixed – and often volatile – reactions. But bringing wolves back to the landscape can have one positive impact on the safety of the driving public. A study out of Wisconsin indicates that when wolves come back, motor vehicle/deer collisions go down. A University of Wisconsin study found wolves in the environment create – for deer – “a landscape of fear.” How does this play into what has been found to be a reduction of car crashes with deer by as much as 24%? It seems the furry predators use landscape features such as pipelines, stream beds, and roadways as their own travel corridors. It doesn’t take long for the deer to wise-up to this and, as a result, the deer begin to avoid those same areas. Avoid roads, avoid collisions. That could have a big impact – financially speaking. Back in 2008, a federal study showed motor vehicle/deer collisions cost $8 billion every year – not to mention the lingering effects of injuries, and even deaths of car occupants.
There’s plenty of controversy on whether or not there really is a shortage of new RVs. Here’s the take from a Bluffton, Indiana, RV dealer. Tim Knott, who owns Knott’s RV Center told local media, “It might take two to three months if anyone wants a new camper. Right now they’re looking at August, September on some makes.” Knott says RVs themselves aren’t the only product on a shortage. He says it may take three to six months for some RV parts to show up. Source: wane.com.
This fiver-puller wasn’t too hard to spot. Rockingham County, North Carolina, officials got their suspect, Martin Calvin Cox Jr., 41. He’s being held after dispatchers received calls last Monday that people were lying along the road near the US Highway 29 bypass and North Carolina Highway 14. Sadly, they weren’t just lying there – they were dead. A third person was found injured but alive. The three had been riding on two motorcycles and were shot. Police quickly circulated photos of the red Dodge dually flatbed pickup with a fifth-wheel hitch. On Tuesday afternoon, the hard-to-mistake truck was spotted and stopped in Kentucky on I-65. But no word beyond that for now.
A speeding jaguar on the California savanna can ruin your whole day. Seems to be the story from Knights Ferry, California, on May 21. An RVer was having a gentle morning, minding his own business, when a “Jaguar sedan traveling at a high rate of speed” disturbed the reverie. The 30-foot travel trailer was smacked hard enough to roll over and play dead on Highway 108/120, creating a debris field that closed the highway in both directions for nearly two hours.
Alabama is expected to have a new law that will change the scene at RV parks troubled by bad boys. If signed, the law will make it a “duty” of law enforcement officials to immediately remove unruly guests. Those bad boys (and girls) are defined as ones who “disturb the peace,” or who possess or use controlled substances. It’s not a particularly new concept – nor law. Alabama already has a law on the books calling for guest ejection for such unwanted conduct. Trouble is, some Alabama sheriffs didn’t always want to toss out the unwelcome. The word “duty” has been added to ensure police will “86” the unwanted.
Wanna-be electric pickup truck maker Lordstown Motors may be running out of gas. Stock prices on Lordstown shares dropped like a lead balloon after company officials said their production expectations have dropped, and the company needs more money. Stocks immediately fell more than 7%; the stock is now down 50% since the start of the year. Ford Motor Company’s own electric pickup, based on the super popular F-150, is seen as part of Lordstown’s problems. No word on how this may affect Lordstown’s business relationship with Camping World, which is set to be a dealership and repair facility for the ‘lectric trucks.
Firefighters in Tillamook, Oregon, provide a sad footnote from an RV fire on May 21. Crews arrived at the Tillamook Coast RV Park four minutes after receiving a call about the fire. On arrival, they found other RVers hustling away fuel cans from the scene, and trying to hold back the flames with a garden hose. Douglas James Schoniger (40) of Tillamook died in the fire. Investigators found the cause: A 100’ extension cord was coiled up and lying under a stack of clothing and other combustibles inside the rig. The cord was being used to power an electric heater, and the heater’s demand far exceeded the ability of the cord. Additionally, there was no working smoke detector in the rig. One investigator noted that he had the power to inspect businesses for hazards like these, and help ensure corrections. In the case of private residences, he can only hope people take care of their own safety.
Wildlife biologists in California’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area got quite a start when looking for a radio-collared bobcat. Collar signals suggested that the female cat might be “denning” – establishing a place to have kittens. Using radio signals to track her, a team of biologists tracked into an area devastated by the 2018 Woolsey Fire. One recalls telling others, “I swear she’s in this tree, but I can’t find her.” The biologist was right – suddenly she spotted the bobcat peeping at her from a small hole in an oak tree. The next day, when the bobcat was away, a ladder climb led to an access point, and to the find of three bobcat kittens in a hollow in the oak. Now weighed, health-checked, and tagged with imaginative names, B-379, B-380, and B-381 are back to hanging out with their mom, B-370, in their oak aerie. Bobcats typically den at ground level, but the paucity of undergrowth after the fire apparently gave mom cat the unusual homesteading idea.
What they say versus what you see is often quite different. In our Sunday Newsletter, Issue 1001, under the headline, “From ‘barf-bagger’ to blue chip,” we noted the changes made to a used-to-be Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. New owner Phillip Moreau was noted as being quite proud of the improvements he’d made prior to reopening as Pine Lake Resort & Cottages. The report led RVtravel.com reader Richard Hildebrand to steer his motorhome over to the refurbished resort. Richard got a high-end premium pull-through site and on pulling in, the problems started. Perhaps concerned about keeping things sanitary, park management gave a wide separation between the fresh water tap and the sewage drop. So wide, that Richard’s 25-foot sewer hose wouldn’t make the needed trip between the rig and the drop unless he kept his motorhome backed up so far his toad car blocked the roadway. He then spent a frustrating hour trying to get his TV cable to give him a picture – all to no avail. Next day, a helpful park worker pointed to a black “X” on the site’s electrical box. That meant the cable didn’t work. Management gave him a $10 refund on his $62 site fee, but it certainly left a bad taste. We’ve apologized to Richard for the trouble he had, but can only comment: It’s impossible for us to physically check out every RV park or attraction we report on here. We appreciate all readers who have direct experience when they give us feedback.
How’s your tire pressure monitoring system? That may be the question asked after this motorhome went up in smoke in a remote section of Utah, east of West Wendover. The motorhome lost a tire, the hub subsequently overheated, and the result was a total loss. Happily the driver was able to get out of the rig safely. It happened last Sunday afternoon.
When a suicide bomber blasted his RV to bits in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, last December, 911 service shut down in a wide area. Now a new report details just what happened. According to the findings of the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, the system failed because backup batteries ran down and could not be serviced because technicians couldn’t access the building with an alternative power supply. Backup generators, which would have automatically started up, were damaged by the blast. Authorities refused access for two reasons. First, they weren’t sure if the building was safe to enter and, second, it was in an “active crime scene.”
Trying to be a good neighbor to wildlife has landed an Alaska woman in the hospital with multiple injuries. Crystal Cook (51) of Nikiski, Alaska, spotted a newborn moose calf on the ground between her RV and a fence. On the other side of the fence, the moose-mama. When the calf cried out a moose mayday call, Cook moved toward it, apparently in an attempt to get it to move off toward its mother. Mama moose would have nothing of it – she leaped over the fence, knocked Crystal Cook to the ground, and began trampling her. Cook was medevacked to an Anchorage hospital for treatment of multiple injuries. Moose baby and mama have not been seen since.
Low flow rates from the water well in an Alaska campground are drawing jokes, reminiscent of certain health problems suffered by elderly men. Starrigavan Campground near Sitka, Alaska, has a natural free-flowing artesian well. When first established in 1993, the well gushed out 60 gallons of water a minute. In 2015, the well was having trouble, and Forest Service rangers reamed the pipes out and recorded a flow rate of eight gallons a minute. Today, folks filling water jugs are frustrated by the third-of-a-gallon flow in a minute. Rumors circulated, like the one that Sitka city officials were somehow throttling the flow rate, maybe even adding chlorine and fluoride. Nonsense! say rangers. A urologist – er – plumbing specialist was called in who ran a scope down the well. All looks good – it’s just an accumulation of gunk around the piping that’s creating the slow flow. Rangers say they’ll try a roto-rooter-like treatment. If that fails, they may need to drive a new well casing into the existing – and healthy – artesian supply down below.
A civil engineering professor likens the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge, which runs over the Mississippi River connecting Arkansas and Tennessee, as a heart in the midst of critical highway arteries. With the bridge closed due to a structural crack, Adel Abdelnaby says, “You cut the heart of the country, it’s like you are giving the country a heart attack by shutting down the I-40 bridge because that is what connects the east and the west to the rest of the U.S.” So how long will the U.S. suffer from this latest “heart attack” in a major transportation route? Phase 1 of the project, stabilizing the bridge enough for workers to get onto, is completed. Stage 2, the actual repair and replacement process, may well take months.
RVers staying at a Jacksonville, Florida, RV park got a rude awakening: Anyone encamped at Thompson Mill RV Park must be moved out by June 1. The notice came from the park owner, who points the finger at the city’s fire marshal, writing that he will have power shut off at the park because of a lack of fire hydrants. But Chief Keith Powers pushed back. He says the park has been hit with multiple fire code violations, and park owners have been doing illegal electrical work. He points out that the park owner had been given two-months’ notice, and most recently met with city officials on May 5, when the deadline was reiterated. Too bad for RVers – they just got the word this week.
A proposed RV park in Galloway Township, New Jersey, has drawn sharp opposition, and a petition drive to stop it. Risely RV Resort would be a 57-site park on a tad less than four acres. When the zoning board told the developer it would need a variance, it was an opening for locals to vent. A petition with 38 signatures provides a veritable smorgasbord of objections: “irrevocable damage to property values,” the park won’t “provide goods and services to our community,” and no “full-time employment of consequence.” Petition signers envision a parade of 45’ RVs blocking a coastal evacuation route. “Raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, possum and an occasional turtle,” would no doubt be disturbed by the park. And, of course, “the presence of transients/renters as opposed to homeowners is very undesirable.” The issue could come back to the zoning board in July – and the locals say they’ll be even better prepared to fight when it does.
An Oklahoma couple are recovering from injuries they received when their fifth-wheel blasted apart in Eufaula, Oklahoma, last Monday. They’d just been preparing a meal when a propane fuel leak exploded, blowing out the rig’s slide-out. Darren Duvall was blown out with the slide-out, while Jo Lea Ford was blasted through the entry door. Both were taken to a burn center; Duvall has been released. Jo Lea’s injuries are more severe, with extensive burns on her feet and calves, and she will face a long road to recovery.
BUMPER STICKER WISDOM. Spotted this week near Logan, Utah. “FACEBOOK: Share pointless stuff with friends you don’t know.”
Police in Daphne, Alabama, have cleared up the theft of a travel trailer stolen on May 7. The rig vanished from an area storage lot. Security cameras caught images of a Toyota Tundra that was in the area when the rig disappeared. On May 18, a deputy spotted that same truck parked on a street. When he checked up on the driver, Randall Kenrick, Jr. (29), was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Since his truck matched the one potentially associated with the stolen RV, interviewers questioned Kenrick – and in the end, arrested him for the theft. The RV was recovered in Pensacola. No word on the RV’s condition.
The RV Industry Association reported last week that U.S. national parks could attract an all-time high number of visitors this summer. Consider the eye-popping park attendance figures for late 2020: Yellowstone, already one of the most-visited national parks, doubled its average number of arrivals last October, while from June to December, Great Smoky Mountains National Park had 2.3 million more tourists than it typically has during that period. Even visits to remote Big Bend National Park in Texas were 49 percent above average last year between October and December. Parks such as Yosemite and Rocky Mountains are requiring reservations just to enter this summer, while Glacier National Park’s passes for driving the famed Going to the Sun Road sold out in minutes for the entire month of June.
Camp hosts needed in Oregon’s Umatilla National Forest. Both Jubilee Lake and Bull Prairie Lake campgrounds need folks to meet and greet, clean up, restock, and do minor maintenance. Bring your own RV, get a site in exchange, and you’ll also get a food allowance and reimbursement for vehicle mileage used in hosting work. Jubilee Lake is 12 miles northeast of Tollgate, sporting 53 sites and four picnic areas. Hosts needed from early July through mid-September. Contact Kiyoshi Fujishin at 509-522-6277 or Kiyoshi.firstname.lastname@example.org. Bull Prairie Lake is 36 miles south of Heppner, a 30-site campground – with fishing docks! Hosts usually needed from Memorial Day through mid-October. Contact Janel Lacey at email@example.com.
Special Memorial Day Weekend Giveaway!
You could win this SoftStartRV!
With this installed on your RV (an easy process you can do yourself), you’ll stay cool this summer in your RV by being able to run your air conditioner with only household current or a small generator. This is a “game changer,” according to RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury. The retail price is $329. If you don’t win the contest, you can save $30 by ordering a SoftStartRV with a special RVtravel.com discount.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive by 7 p.m. Pacific time, Monday, May 31, 2021. You may enter the contest once per day (but no more than that or you will be disqualified). If you win, we will notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com and you will have 24 hours to respond or we’ll award the prize to someone else.
Enter again tomorrow (last chance) in the Monday RV Daily Tips Newsletter. Not signed up to receive an email reminder for the daily issues? Do it here.
When wildfires devastated the Detroit, Oregon, area last Labor Day, folks wondered if things would ever return to normal. In a move to bring normalcy, many campgrounds and parks in the area have reopened. Detroit Lake State Park opened up last month. Now the Forest Service has reopened a number of other camping spots in the area. Now open are: Santiam Flats Campground, Cove Creek Campground, Hoover Campground, Southshore Campground, Whispering Falls, and Riverside Campground. Big Meadows and Marion Forks campgrounds will open this summer, date to be announced.
Councilors are cracking down on RV parking in Hawkesbury, Ontario. Used to be, you could park an RV on a town street for up to 72 hours, no trouble. Now the town council “finds it very good” to ticket any RV parked on a street. One councilor apparently felt a bit squeamish, asking if first-time offenders might not be let off with a warning, rather than a fine. Apparently there’s wiggle-room in the bylaw, and discretion is left with the bylaw enforcement officer. And no, you can’t pull off the street and overnight on private property – that’s already a violation of town bylaws. Hawkesbury has the dubious distinction of being on the list of “The Ten Worst Cities to Live In,” published by Canadian Mortgages Inc.
Helpful book for camping areas managed by the NPS
This recently published book from The Ultimate Public Campground Project describes 2,241 camping areas across the United States that are managed by the National Park Service. If you’re looking for new places to camp, this is the book for you. The project has been growing since 2008 and now has a website and an app too. Learn more or order.
Would $5 per gallon of gas or diesel affect your RVing?
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Now THIS is the perfect way to kickstart summer…
Pickup truck news
According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of RVtravel.com readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.
Ford Lightning bolt hits: $10,000 premium for 300-mile range trim
The Ford F-150 Lightning, the manufacturer’s recently announced electric truck, will be priced at just under $50,000 with its optional extended-range battery. Ford previously released a base price of $39,974 for the 2022 pickup truck. The newly announced detail has exactly a $10,000 premium for the trim with an estimated 300-mile range. Continue reading.
Pickup truck history honored in Hershey (Chocolate World!) exhibit
The origin of the term “pickup truck” is unknown, but long-defunct car manufacturer Studebaker was a pioneer using the terminology in advertising in the early 1900s. Studebaker and other manufacturers first sold modified commercial automobiles. Soon the term “pickup” became synonymous with a cab-forward vehicle with an open cargo area, low sides and a rear tailgate. Now increasingly popular with gas, hybrid and electric engines, lightweight pickup trucks are no longer strictly so-called “workhorse vehicles.” … The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will celebrate the iconic American original through the end of October with its exhibit, “Keep On Truckin.” Keep on readin’ here.
Review: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat a beast of power
Being the biggest, fastest or most powerful means a lot in the automotive industry. The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is the most powerful sport utility vehicle ever made. It has a few horsepower nod over the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. What’s difficult to determine is why the designations are important. Read more.
If you’re in the market for a small pickup truck, pay attention. The all-new 2022 Ford Maverick pickup is set to debut in a couple of weeks and offers shoppers an affordable light-duty truck option, something smaller than the current Ranger.
Be like Mike! Use this 3-light and digital voltage tester!
Mike Sokol says: “I found this nifty tester online and have been using it in a variety of voltage checking situations. It performs all of the 3-light tests for outlet polarity, open ground, open neutral, etc., as well as being a 3-digit digital voltage indicator. In addition, it performs a standard 5 mA GFCI safety test – which you should be performing on all of your GFCI outlets once a month (or at least once a camping season).” Read more about it here.
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific time today, May 30, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.
Last week 2 readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Chris Collins of Thousand Oaks, California, and Herb Baldwin of Livingston, Texas.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.
By Nanci Dixon
While we were going to shelve the “Good News” column for a while, we heard and we listened to you. We had so many people commenting and emailing that they liked the Good News section so much that we decided to bring it back, albeit every other week rather than weekly. Click here to read this week’s good news, and, of course, watch cute animal videos.
Wow! This is so handy!
What a great idea! Hook on your steering wheel and you’ll have an instant ergonomic desk. It’s very light, but sturdy enough to support a laptop, lunch or notepad. It mounts quickly on the steering wheel and is easily stowed in the back seat pocket. We love this! Learn more or order.
I have four wings, but cannot fly. I never laugh and never cry. On the same spot I’m always found, toiling away with little sound. What am I?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Time to cool off!
This compact, battery-powered, highly rated (the highest rated one on Amazon!), low-noise fan is just what you need to stay cool in your RV this summer. The rechargeable battery charges quickly with a USB and will keep you cool for up to six hours at a time. Clip it to your table, bedside, driver or passenger seat or by your chair outside to stay cool. Learn more or order.
Hot spots among national parks: Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks had record-breaking visitation in April. Some 19,000 more folks flooded into Yellowstone than in April 2019 – a 40% jump. Grand Teton admitted more than 87,700 visitors – a 48% increase from 2019 – highest-ever record for the month.
Pennsylvania State Parks attendance rose from 37 million in 2019 to 47 million last year and is increasing again this year. March visitation was up 20% over last year, and April visitation is up 8.1% over last April’s record visits. This week the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources began posting overcrowding alerts for state parks and forest recreation areas and offering recommended alternatives.
If purchases of outdoor gear are an indicator of how much folks will be hitting the great outdoors, stand back. A study produced by Pattern, a data analysis group, tracked market demand for outdoor and camping gear from 2019 through March of this year. Monthly demand for tents, lanterns, camp stoves, and backpacks is up 25% compared to the same time in 2020. Compared to 2019, demand is up 86%.
While some communities react with vitriol when a new RV park is proposed, the same can’t be said for New Madrid, Missouri. The city was hit with flooding in 2019, and has spent $2 million in recovery efforts. Now the city is building a new RV park as part of the restoration. The idea is to attract more visitors to the city – bringing their wallets with them. Officials hope to have the new park open by the end of the year.
Previously independent campground Johnny’s RV Resort in Theodore, Alabama, has now moved to the side of big-business owned. Forrest Street Partners of Roswell, Georgia, has taken over Johnny’s. The former describes itself as a “a boutique real estate investment firm” that “repositions” and operates RV parks and manufactured home communities in the Southeast. This marks Forrest Street’s second RV park in the Cotton State. They plan on expanding the present 165-site RV park with an additional 15 RV sites, and add five more cabins, giving itself a full dozen.
Looking for a site in a Florida State Park? The Sunshine State rolled out a new reservation system this week. As of Friday, it appeared to be up and running. Those who made reservations prior to the changeover are assured, “Your pre-existing reservations are secure.” Access the site here, or phone in at 800-326-3521, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time.
Admission is free Monday, Memorial Day, at Calif. State Parks for vets and current military California State Parks is honoring the service of veterans, active and reserve military members, by offering them free admission to participating parks on Memorial Day – Monday, May 31, 2021. A total of 134 park units will honor the free admission this year, including State Vehicular Recreation Areas and the California State Railroad Museum. Continue reading.
General Motors has begun buying back certain 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt electric cars from customers after it was discovered the vehicle’s batteries are prone to catching fire without warning.
RV park developers in Montrose, Colorado, scored a hit with county commissioners last week. A special use permit was cleared that will allow for a 21-site full-hookup RV campground, with a future 21-site tenting area behind an existing garden nursery. Utility work will be completed on the site by year-end.
Maryland State Parks has surpassed visitation records the past two years, and 2021 is on track to meet or exceed previous attendance. The sheer number of visitors, compounded with many newcomers inexperienced with outdoor, resource-based recreation has led to substantial increases in litter, trail damage, parking issues, user conflicts and other resource impacts.
The nationwide average cost for a gallon of regular gas is now $3.04, according to AAA, essentially matching the seven-year high set earlier this month, and up 58% from a year ago. And it might get worse! The average price of a gallon of gas in California right now is $4.17! Ouch!
Don’t head off to Yosemite National Park without a reservation. You’ll need one just to enter the park through September 30. Even if you have a National Park annual or lifetime pass, you still need a reservation. Reasons: Crowding and COVID.
NEW Our favorite RV camping guidebooks. Our staff uses these excellent books for research and on our trips.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
There’s not much to go on as to the stolen travel trailer, but security camera images may help with the crook. Elkhart, Indiana, police say a fellow with a Chevy Tahoe with black rims and fender trim made off with a Salem travel trailer. It took place Sunday, May 16, on Wyland Drive at 7 p.m. The driver was wearing a hat, a light-colored face mask, and dark clothing. Got information? Call the Elkhart Police at 574-295-7070 or Detective Runyan, #389, at 574-389-4731.
See many more recently stolen RVs. Let’s help find these for their owners and maybe even put the crooks in the slammer. Click here.
Campground and RV Park News
Developments in places where we stay across the USA
Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground and RV Park News” here
Two of the best black tank dumpin’ gadgets
Tony Barthel writes: “Dealing with the black tank is one of the least enjoyable parts of the RV lifestyle. When a product comes along that makes the process even a little bit friendlier, I’m in. As such, two Camco products have really made my black tank dealings less miserable and have taken some of the frustration out of parts of this process.” Read more about these two helpful products here.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
• Some Sprinter vehicles recalled for door hinge issue.
• Ford recalls some F-350 and F-450 trucks. RV could detach when being towed
• Forest River recalls some 5th wheel trailers: Dining chairs could detach
• Big recall of Grand Design 2016-2021 trailers for potential fire hazard
• Forest River recalls some RVs. Floor could detach from chassis
• Montana 5th wheel trailers recalled. Slideouts not mounted properly
• Roadtrek recall: Generator could damage RV batteries, cause fire
Make sure your pets are safe in an emergency.
This Pet Alert sticker, wallet card and keychain will inform first responders if you have a pet at home or inside during an emergency. All pet owners need this.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
→ The future of RVing as many know it is doomed
• Campground Crowding: “We hate crowds; that’s why we RV!” Is that a quote of the past?
• Reader says this popular TP caused problems in RV. Which brand is best?
• Thinking of buying an RV? Think again!
• Celebrate National Trails Day with the top 10 best hiking trails in the U.S.
• Black couple follow their dreams, build brand-new RV resort
• At last, a guidebook to National Forest Campgrounds debuts
• 6 stories of RVers who got kicked out of campgrounds. Was it fair?
• Beware! Mirror glaze finish attracts wild birds. They dented and scratched our RV!
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 24, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.04 [California: $4.17] (AAA figures)
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up $1.06.
Diesel: $3.25 [Calif.: $4.05]
Change from week before: No change; Change from year before: Up 86 cents.
100 Drives, 5,000 Ideas. Adventure awaits…
If you like to explore off the beaten path, this book is for you. Inside are 100 epic journeys through all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces offering thousands of sites and roadside attractions along the way. There’s something here to satisfy every passenger. Filled with expert tips, tons of activities, and plenty to see and do as you drive, you’ll want to order a copy for yourself here.
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Upcoming RV shows
Most of the RV shows in the early part of 2021 have been canceled. We will restart our show directory feature here as shows begin again. In the meantime, see the frequently updated schedule here.
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Recipe of the Day
Bacon BBQ Grilled Cheese Sandwich
by Christine Schnepp from Sarasota, FL
If you love BBQ and bacon (and who doesn’t) you will love this sandwich. The sweetness of the BBQ sauce and the savory bacon go really well together and smoked provolone is a great addition. This is a quick, easy and yummy lunch or dinner and a nice change from a plain grilled cheese. The whole crew couldn’t get enough of this!
We know what we’re making for lunch! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Crock Pot BBQ Chicken? Get it here.
Monocular telescope connects to phone, wow!
This is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while! This waterproof monocular telescope connects right to your phone, so you can take photos of that bird waaaaaaay over there. You can now photograph anything up to 10x closer than before. Great for birdwatching, concerts or any sporting event. We already bought one! Learn more or order.
Brain teaser answer:
Q. What is the biggest lie in the entire universe?
A. “I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions.”
The Perfect Scam Podcast
Every Sunday we present a podcast from AARP about scams and how crooks are stealing your money, often via telemarketing. Their efforts are often most successful with people 65 years and older who fall victim to the scammer’s sophisticated techniques. Here is this week’s episode.
Today in History
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RV Travel staff
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. • Editor: Emily Woodbury • Sunday edition editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris • Managing editor: Diane McGovern.
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