Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. We’ve passed the halfway point of October, and park owners in the north are dreaming of a few months of quiet in what has been a lucrative, but hectic, summer season. Canadians are also getting the green light November 8 to begin their southern migration. We’re still a long way from “normal,” but it seems we make a little progress every day. As always, we at RVtravel.com appreciate your help through voluntary contributions to keep this newsletter coming your way, and be sure to check out all of our other RV-related newsletters.
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Sunday, October 17, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Did you miss yesterday’s edition of the RV Travel Newsletter? If so, it’s here.
With your host: Scott Linden
Out & About: A one-minute radio feature from RVtravel.com as heard on SiriusXM radio. Click to play.
Getting medical care on the road is no longer a “given”
Planning your RV travels now has a new – and potentially deadly – factor to consider thanks to COVID-19. Will you be able to get the health care you need as you travel from state to state? While new infection numbers in many states are starting to decline, hospitals in many locations are still totally overwhelmed. What if you’re on the road, with full hospitals all around, and you need emergency care? Read one story from Montana that illustrates what a nightmare this can be.
National Parks pulling tricks out of the hat to accommodate crowds
Many U.S. National Parks are struggling to deal with massive crowds, and are trying innovative ways to control the throngs of tourists. This summer, the Park Service began selling $6 tickets to the 150-spot parking lot at the top of the Cadillac Mountain in Arcadia National Park. All were gone within minutes each day and the ticketing system seemed to work. Before the ticketing system went into effect, more than 500 cars would compete for the 150 parking spots, causing turmoil and conflicts throughout the early-morning hours. But there’s a lot more going on.
Buffalo gets head stuck in car window, violently struggles to get free
Wow! This video is evidence of why you should keep your car windows closed when driving through wild animal parks. Look what happened after this bison (buffalo) stuck its head through the passenger side window looking for a handout and then couldn’t back out. There is a lesson to be learned here.
Campground Crowding: A well-written grim look at the future, and an explanation: Why is it so bad?
RV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! In this weekly column, RVtravel.com readers discuss their experiences. This week readers reflect on the toll which crowded campgrounds is taking on the joy of camping. One full-time RVer and workamper, Tony D., paints a grim picture of the future of RVing. But there are other RVers who don’t have a problem finding a spot to camp. All that and more here.
What do our readers think of Facebook? We asked them in a recent poll. We can’t say we were surprised with the results, but they were a lot more lopsided than we expected. See for yourself.
Did you know …
… that Thor Industries manufacturers the Thor brand of RVs. But did you know the company has 17 other brands? Learn about them here.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the Ember Overland series trailers. Tony writes, “I am very intrigued by a product that seems to be overbuilt with components designed to last.” Read more.
• 2021 Cruiser RV MPG 2550RB
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
October 10–16, 2021
Bull elk won’t be carrying tire around anymore. Wildlife officers in Pine, Colorado, were able to remove an old tire from the neck of a bull elk who had been carrying the rubber encumbrance for at least two years. The officers were forced to remove the bull’s antlers to make the rescue after the bull was tranquilized. The animal was estimated to be about four years old and weighed over 600 pounds. Officers said the bull didn’t appear worse for wearing the tire, with only a bit of missing hair to show for the ordeal.
Planned Kentucky RV resort facing uphill battle. A new RV resort being planned in Midway, Kentucky, is having trouble getting the support of local citizens. The lawyer for a group of Midway residents said they fear the proposed Kentucky Bluegrass Experience Resort would “transform the town.” A vote by the Midway City Council on the future of the RV resort plan could come as early as Oct. 18.
Louisiana providing RVs for hurricane victims. The state of Louisiana has purchased 400 travel trailer units for $14 million to help house residents displaced by Hurricane Ida. The effort is intended to bridge the gap until FEMA can begin to provide mobile homes of its own, which isn’t expected to happen until mid-November. The state effort marks the first time any state has been directly involved in providing direct housing after a storm.
The 5 most underrated and 5 most overrated national parks. Travel website ParkSleepFly has come up with a list of the most underrated U.S. national parks. The list includes:
- Glacier Bay NP, Alaska / 5,748 total visitors / 93% excellent reviews
- Kenai Fjords NP, Alaska / 115,882 visitors / 90% excellent reviews
- Crater Lake NP, Oregon / 670,500 visitors / 87% excellent reviews
- Redwood NP, California / 265,177 visitors / 86% excellent reviews
- Badlands NP, South Dakota / 916,932 visitors / 86% excellent reviews
The website also ranked the most overrated national parks in the U.S. That list includes:
- Indiana Dunes NP, Indiana / 2,293,106 visitors / 51% excellent reviews
- Cuyahoga Valley NP, Ohio / 2,755,628 visitors / 55% excellent reviews
- Hot Springs NP, Arkansas / 1,348,215 visitors / 62% excellent reviews
- Yosemite NP, California / 2,268,313 visitors / 80% excellent reviews
- Zion NP, Utah / 3,591,254 visitors / 81% excellent reviews
Pilot program may add fee to hike Old Rag Trail. The popularity of Virginia’s Old Rag Trail in Shenandoah National Park may lead to the inclusion of a new fee to help manage traffic at the trail. A proposed pilot program would add a fee of $1 or $2 (along with a $30 per vehicle entrance fee) to hike the trail. Park officials said the fee would provide a “ticket” that hikers would use. The ticket would help limit traffic on the trail to 800 hikers a day.
Bringing glamping to your backyard. An enterprising young lady in Wilmington, NC, is bringing the glamping experience to her customers’ back yards. Rachel Warren brings the tent, the beds, the linens and everything else that’s needed. She’ll set up the entire arrangement anywhere the customer would like it. She said some customers use the setup as a “spare room,” and some want to give glamping in their back yard a try before they venture farther afield. Read more about Campside Ventures here.
Southern California’s Alisal Fire, which earlier this week closed portions of U.S. Highway 101, was 50% contained as of Saturday morning according to fire officials. That’s an improvement from Friday morning’s 41% containment. The fire has burned about 17,200 acres since it started Monday afternoon, according to InciWeb. The closed portion of the highway has reopened. Some areas of coastal terrace are still affected, including portions of Gaviota State Park and Refugio State Beach, so call before heading there.
RVtravel.com is now part of the SiriusXM radio family. SiriusXM’s platforms reach more than 150 million listeners across all categories of digital audio – music, sports, talk, and podcasts – the largest reach of any digital audio provider in North America. Short features by our own Scott Linden can now be heard every day of the week on Rural Radio channel 147. We’ll let you know about additional channels as they are added.
Dealers are starting to feel a bit better. RV dealers may still not be too thrilled with the rigs they are currently seeing roll out of manufacturing plants, but they are starting to get a sunnier outlook on the future. The latest Baird Dealer Sentiment Index for September found that dealers are getting a bit more positive. The index, which ranks dealer sentiment on a scale of 1-100, found dealers registering an overall current conditions outlook score of 71 out of 100 in September, which was about the same level as in August. The index also found that dealers’ 3- and 5-year outlooks improved to 61 out of 100 in September, up from 56 in August and 54 in July. The index didn’t give a reason for the dealer’s increased optimism.
KOA headed for another record year. Kampgrounds of America Inc. is reporting a 36.6% increase in revenues over 2020 through the third quarter of 2020, which ended on Sept. 30. Compared to KOA’s highest-grossing year in its 59-year history in 2019, KOA is currently up more than 29%. KOA is also reporting that advanced reservation deposits are up by 43.4% from 2020. Also, KOA has added two new campground locations to its company-owned division, as well as construction contracts for four new parks and two more new KOA-owned locations. “We continue to see impressive growth as we progress through 2021,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of KOA. “The pandemic served as a catalyst for many people to try camping for the first time and we’re not only seeing a lot of these new campers continuing to enjoy camping, but we’re seeing them choose to do it at KOA. We believe the strong momentum we saw this quarter will continue through the remainder of the year and well into 2022.” KOA also signed up six new franchise campgrounds and an additional four new construction contracts for franchised parks.
Campgroundviews.com has 550 locations. Campers can now virtually visit 550 campground locations on Campgroundviews.com. The membership-based service offers users high-tech, drive-by videos of sites on participating campgrounds, and shows users which sites are available for rent. RVers can virtually visit the campground, see the roads, see the sites, click on sites for more details, and book a reservation for a specific site. Click here for more information.
Outdoorsy partners with Martha Stewart to feed campers. The folks at Outdoorsy have done it again. This time, they are partnering with Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon to offer 40 different pre-planned meals for delivery to a camper’s doorstep prior to their trip. Meal kit recipes range from vegetable enchiladas to red lentil curry soup, and from beef tamale pie to a S’mores cake. The recipes come in stovetop and microwavable “Ready to Heat” versions, allowing travelers the convenience needed to stop sacrificing great-tasting meals on the road. Meal kit options rotate each week, offering more variety than any other meal kit delivery service on the market, and are designed to be made in under 30-40 minutes with quality ingredients. Outdoorsy and Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon customers will get access to special discounts and perks, including up to 15% off an Outdoorsy RV rental, and $40 off and free shipping on the first Marley Spoon meal kit, as well as $20 off each of their next four boxes.
Run your RV air conditioner with only a small portable generator. Yes, it’s true!
Win a free National Park pass. BFGoodrich is giving away five America the Beautiful National Park Passes this month. The America the Beautiful Pass offers one year of entry to all national parks and federal recreation sites, totaling more than 2,000 locations, for a vehicle full of passengers or, where entrance is charged per person, up to 4 adults (children 15 and under are free). To enter to win, you’ll need an Instagram account, a pet, and some luck. Snap a picture of you and your pet on an outdoor adventure and post it to your Instagram account tagging @BFGoodrichTires and using #BFGTrailsandTails and #Sweepstakes and you’ll be entered. See all of the rules and instructions here.
The Canadians are coming November 8! In case you missed the announcement, Canadians who have been fully vaccinated will be able to again stream across the U.S./Canada land border and ferry ports beginning November 8. The U.S. government announced the specific date on October 15. Canada has allowed vaccinated U.S. citizens to cross the border since August.
Michigan couple fined for duping glampers. A Michigan couple’s plan to open a high-end camping resort ended with convictions for multiple counts of larceny and orders to pay restitution to dozens of victims who were duped into paying deposits on services never received. Bradley and Sandra Carlson didn’t get any jail time but were ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution and serve two years of probation. The couple’s plan called for building a glamping resort in Antrim County. The park was never built, but the couple took advanced deposits for honeymoons, bachelorette parties, and family vacations from victims. The campground would have been called “Bella Solviva.”
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The ghost town of Bodie, California, preserved as a California State Park, experienced subfreezing temperatures last Monday with 25-30 mph winds and about 4 inches of snow. The aftermath on Tuesday was spectacular. The James Stuart Cain House, shown here, was painted with snow and dripping with icicles. It was about 14 degrees in the morning – minus 2 degrees with windchill. There is no camping in Bodie. Try a search around nearby Bridgeport. Photo from Hillary Colyer, California State Parks, Sierra District
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, October 17, 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 three readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift card: Deborah Butler of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Jacob Southward of Runnells, Iowa, and Randal Neubauer of Apple Valley, Minnesota.
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.
A roundup of news stories that will make you smile (and maybe shed a tear or two…). This week: a giant beach ball brings a town together; heart to heart – the gift of life (this will likely make you tear up); and, of course, some adorable animal videos and pictures. Click here to smile (but have the Kleenex handy).
10 Best-selling products from Amazon on RVtravel.com in September
Here at RVtravel.com we recommend a lot of products to you. If we know something works for our RV or someone else’s RV, we tell you about it. Just about every Amazon ad you see on our website has been tested by one of our staff members or someone we know. If we think something doesn’t work, is poorly made, or is just boring, we won’t recommend it. We like cool stuff, exciting stuff, neat stuff! Here are the top 10 best-selling products on RVtravel.com from Amazon for September.
Do you think much about giving up RVing?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
We’ve also heard …
Places to get naked in AZ. No judgments here. We really don’t care if you like to bare it all. We just figured some of our readers might want to know where to find a Naked 5K road race, a nude beach, a nude campground, and some naked hiking. Here’s a hint. They’re all in Arizona. Read all about it here.
RV Retailer expands in Texas. RV Retailer LLC is acquiring Sherrod RV Center with two locations in Beaumont, Texas. RV Retailer is also opening a state-of-the-art sales and service facility in Tyler, Texas, with more than 20 service bays. The new locations bring the total of RV Retailer locations in Texas to 16.
Winnebago using only Goodyear tires on travel trailers. Winnebago Industries has decided that it will be switching to nothing but Goodyear tires on all Winnebago travel trailers. The company said the move was made to increase the “value exchange” on Winnebago trailers and help improve the owner experience. Continue reading.
Davie, FL, RV park sold. A Chicago-based industrial real estate firm has acquired the Twin Lakes Travel RV Park n Davie for $64 million. The RV park, which has operated since 1975, was put on the market earlier this year. The new owners – Industrial Outdoor Ventures and Stockbridge Real Estate – will likely develop the site into warehouses and outdoor storage centers.
Tired of U.S. national parks? Try China. On Tuesday, China officially designated its first group of five national parks in a new park system designed to help protect delicate ecosystems and endangered wildlife. There were 10 “pilot national parks” in the initial group designated for study in 2015. The pilot parks are home to nearly 30% of the key wildlife species found in China.
At least one RV was carried downstream and another was partially turned onto it side Thursday at the River Ranch RV Resort in New Braunfels, Texas. Resort owner Jim Smith told FOX 7 Austin that early morning flooding from the Guadalupe River destroyed 15 of 53 RVs in the park. The rain caused the river to rise from 9 feet to more than 15 feet within an hour. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.
SXSW invites Outdoorsy to present. Peer-to-peer RV rental company Outdoorsy is teaming with RVIA’s Go RVing marketing campaign to present a session at the popular South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas, March 11-20, 2022. The session is titled “Why Revenge Travel Is Here To Stay,” and will be presented by Outdoorsy CEO Jeff Cavins and Go RVing VP of Brand Marketing Karen Redfern. The talk will focus on the challenges the outdoor sector is facing to maintain its popularity, and “the grit it will take to innovate an industry that’s evolving daily,” Outdoorsy said in a press release.
Visits to Grand Teton National Park in September were the second busiest on record for the month with an estimated 570,584 recreation visits. It was a 10% increase from September 2019 and a 5.5% decrease from September 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Camping in the park increased 25% in September 2021 (74,348 overnight stays) compared to September 2019 (59,340 overnight stays).
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVS?
Bill and Debbie may be “newlyweds,” married 11 years. They were thrilled when they found the “perfect” RV for themselves and their two “Doxies.” Their very first purchase, a 2018 Forest River Wildwood Xlite, bought at the end of August, vanished October 3. Some nasty person or persons took their rig from the Sundial Mobile Home Park in Salem, Oregon. The couple hadn’t had enough time to do anything “special” about the outside of the rig. However, Bill says there was a dent above the midline on the rig’s diamond plate – driver’s side. If you know anything that will help get this rig back, contact Salem Police at (503) 588-6123. Refer to report number 21021528.
The bad guys popped in, and popped out, this time with a popup! Stolen from Pacific Grove, California, a 2004 Jayco Eagle tent trailer. At the time of loss, it was wearing a California tag, 4FG9176. Thieves made the take on Asilomar Boulevard between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on October 6 or 7th. Quite noticeable on this rig, some damage to a storage access door on the unit’s right front corner. As well, the owner had just started to install a new wiring harness and terminal connection box. The lid wasn’t on the box yet, while the actual terminal box is mounted to the frame. If you know something, please contact the Pacific Grove Police at 831-648-3143. Refer to case PG210114.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
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.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
• Sewer holding tank in Puma could explode from trapped methane gas
• Forest River recalls some Entrada RVs for brake line issue
• Motorhomes with a Spartan chassis recalled for suspension issue
• Tiffin Phaeton motorhomes recalled for electrical issue
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This could be a lot of fun for you and your special someone. Check it out – it’s a great idea!
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, here are some stories you missed:
• Is the RV lifestyle doomed?
• “Did I get scammed? I bought an RV sight-unseen and it had problems!” A precautionary tale for buyers.
• Do you prefer to read about RVing from real RVers or “content creators” who write by formula?
• Five important things to ask before you buy your next RV.
• How to be an RVer YouTube celebrity.
• Ask Dave: Can you run your A/C on solar?
• Should you upgrade to lithium batteries?
… and much more
You throw away the outside and cook the inside. You eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of October 11, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.27 [Calif.: $4.27]
Change from week before: Up 8 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.10.
Diesel: $3.59 [Calif.: $4.43]
Change from week before: Up 11 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.19.
Keep mice out of your RV
The positive reviews on this product from Earthkind make it the best bet for keeping your RV mouse-free. It’s the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 90 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets, too. 98% biodegradable. Learn more or order.
Upcoming RV shows
• Toronto Fall RV Show and Sale (CANCELED)
October 15- 17, Toronto, Ontario
• Great American RV Show – Conyers (CANCELED)
November 19 – 21, Conyers, GA
• Greensboro RV Show, January 7-9, Greensboro, NC
• Gulf Coast RV Show, January 7-9, Mobile, AL
• Knoxville RV Super Show, January 7-9, Sevierville, TN
• NCRVDA Greensboro RV Show, January 7-9, Greensboro, NC
• South Carolina RV & Camping Show, January 7-9, Greenville, SC
• Ohio RV and Boat Show, January 7-16, Columbus, OH
• Indy RV Expo, January 8-16, Indianapolis, IN
Recipe of the Day
What a tasty appetizer! These spicy little meatballs are very interesting. The balls are full of Mexican spices. Added corn meal totally gives them the flavor and texture of tamales. While these meatballs cook, they soak up the flavors of the sauce. Serve these alone or on a bun like Stacey suggests. We could see serving these tamale balls with Mexican rice too.
Oh, boy. Give us a bunch of these on a plate and we’ll be happy! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Spaghetti Alla Carbonara? Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche
• Homemade shrimp gumbo from scratch
• Pork Loin Stuffed with Dried Figs and Apricots
• Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
• “Souper” Potatoes Au Gratin
At last! A directory of where to camp on public lands!
The Bureau of Land Management Camping book describes 1,142 camping areas managed by the BLM in 11 Western states. Details for each camping area include the number of campsites, amenities, facilities, fees, reservation information, GPS coordinates, and more. You’ll want this book if you camp or are interested on camping on BLM land. Learn more or order.
Brain teaser answer:
Corn on the cob!
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 scammers’ sophisticated techniques. Here is this week’s episode.
In part 2 of this podcast, Isabella teams up with law officials to take down Robert Asante for his crimes
Eliminate hose crimping at the faucet!
Sometimes it’s a real pain hooking up your hose to a faucet or to your RV. This Camco flexible hose protector is the answer. Its easy gripper makes attaching the hose effortless. It’s compliant with all federal and state low-level lead laws, too. Every RVer should have one or two of these. Super low price, too. Learn more or order.
Hear about the lawyer that got lost on a camping trip with one of his clients? He was found with criminal in-tent.
Today in History
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Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, and Sharon Still. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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