Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. Winter RV shows (the ones without COVID closures) are in full swing, including the granddaddy of winter shows, the Florida RV SuperShow this past week in Tampa. The big news there was the rollout of e-vehicle concept RVs by both Thor and Winnebago. It seems the big boys are staking their claim in the emerging electric RV industry. We’ll continue to keep you updated as the e-future unfolds. 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, January 23, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Did you miss yesterday’s edition of the RV Travel Newsletter? If so, it’s here.
Self-powered trailer debuts, plus zero-emission motorhomes
More and more states are jumping on the zero-emission vehicle bandwagon. California may be the first—and the cursed—but others are following suit. The RV industry can’t ignore which way the wind blows. Zero-emission RVs will at some point have to become a reality if the RV lifestyle is to continue. Continue reading.
Tornado flattens Tropicana RV Park in Fort Myers, FL
Last Sunday’s storm devastates campground. Click here.
Private park owners not happy with S.D. governor’s plan for Custer State Park
Governor Kristi Noem’s plan to add RV sites to state park isn’t going over well with private park owners. Read more.
Replacing mobile home parks with RV resorts has a human cost
Developers are targeting mobile home parks for new RV resorts, displacing many tenants. Click here.
Tampa RV Show sets new first-day record
The Florida RV SuperShow is back, and it’s setting attendance records. Click here.
Not much “luxury” yet at planned Colorado RV park
One Colorado RV park isn’t living up to the hype. Click here.
KOA sets new record for revenue growth in 2021
The 60-year-old camping franchise company set yet another record for growth. Click here.
Why a campground on the cheap is indicative of trouble on the Front Range
A story in last week’s RV Travel about half-a-dozen proposals to build RV campgrounds touched on several themes more or less common to all of them, except for one. Which campground is the exception? Find out here.
Today’s RV review… doesn’t exist!
Sorry, folks. No RV review today. Tony is at Quartzsite through the 30th busily attending to our media booth for the Quartzsite RV Show, so we gave him the weekend off. Catch up on his reviews from last week below, or reread every review he’s ever posted here. He’ll be back on Monday, so be sure you’re signed up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter to see ’em!
Last week’s reviews:
• Coachmen Chaparral 336TSIK
• Coachmen Prism 24FS
• Winnebago all-electric motorhome concept, the e-RV, just announced at the Florida RV SuperShow
• Jayco Jay Flight Octane 277
• 2022 Fleetwood Bounder 35GL
NEW! Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request to Tony at his new Forum on RVtravel.com.
January 16–22, 2022
Better hurry for public park spots in Colorado. If you were planning to camp in Colorado state parks this summer, you might already be too late. Campground reservations for national parks, national forests and Colorado state parks can now be made up to six months in advance. Campers in the know started making them in November for Memorial Day.
Online reservations OK’d for Idaho campground. The Bureau of Land Management’s Egin Lakes Campground will move online for 2022. About half of the park’s 48 campsites will be reservable on a 14-day rolling basis. The new reservation system will go live on recreation.gov on Jan. 29 at 8 a.m. The campground opens for the season April 23.
The worldwide popularity of RVing is relative. RV registrations in Poland climbed nearly 32% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Of course, that only amounted to 377 actual rigs. In all of 2021, a total of 2,242 motorhomes were registered in the country, up 92.3% over 2020.
Yes, there were a lot of folks in Yellowstone last year. It’s official. Yellowstone National Park recorded 4,860,537 recreation visits in 2021, up 28% from 3,806,306 in 2020, making it the busiest year ever. In 2021, visitations May through September were the busiest on record. Ditto for July, when first-time visitation exceeded 1 million. The list below shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years:
2021 – 4,860,537
2020* – 3,806,306
2019 – 4,020,288
2018 – 4,115,000
2017 – 4,116,524
2016 – 4,257,177
*The park was closed March 24–May 18, 2020, due to COVID-19. Two entrances were open May 18-31, and the remaining three opened on June 1.
High tides swamp campers at Oceano Dunes. Camping continued to be a hazardous endeavor at Oceano Dunes, California. Recent high tides left water gushing through the campground. A truck towing a 35-foot fifth wheel got stuck in a tidal creek and had to be saved by a tow truck.
Dragonfly lithium-ion batteries exclusive in new Keystones. New Keystone RVs will now be equipped with Dragonfly Energy Corp’s lithium-ion battery technology. Keystone and Dragonfly entered into an exclusive agreement to provide the maintenance-free batteries. Dragonfly Energy, the U.S.-based leader in lithium-ion battery technology, offers 10 times longer lifespan, 3 times the power, 5 times the energy density and 5 times the charging speed compared to traditional lead-acid batteries that are currently standard in most RVs and travel trailers. “Keystone RV continues to lead the industry in innovation, and Dragonfly Energy is proud to be their lithium battery supplier creating more opportunities for adventurers to do what they love for longer while staying off grid with confidence,” Wade Seaburg, director of business development for Dragonfly Energy, said.
Imagine how frustrated the owners of the Stream It company must be. The company, which primarily develops artificial intelligence and software, got a lot of attention the past two years for developing an RV to fit in the bed of the much-ballyhooed Tesla Cybertruck. Stream It’s CyberLandr RV is ready to roll. Trouble is, Tesla’s entry into the electric truck market still doesn’t exist. The truck’s design was unveiled in 2019, but production has just been pushed back again, at least until 2023. Yet, Stream It says it already has $111 million in pre-orders.
New Jersey county purchasing campground. The Ocean County, New Jersey Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing on a proposal to buy the Surf & Stream Campground in Manchester, New Jersey. The sale price for the 20.1-acre park is $7.45 million. Plans had been in the works to transform the campground into 245 apartment units. The county, however, said it plans to preserve the area as a passive recreational area for residents to enjoy.
The resale prices for RV parks continues to skyrocket. The Ocala North RV Resort in Marion County, Florida, just went up for sale for an asking price of $27 million. The park includes 385 sites on 74 acres. It’s about 15 miles from the World Equestrian Center along a frontage road of I-75. About 200 of the RV sites were just added in 2021. About 50% of the sites are large pull-throughs. It also has a heated pool, recreation room, exercise center, multiple activity courts, and a dog park.
RV park manager arrested for embezzling funds. The manager of the Carolina Pines RV Resort near Conway, South Carolina, has been accused of stealing more than $867,000 from Sun Communities, which owns and operates the park. Troy Bittner, 52, was arrested January 5 and charged with three counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.
Plans for new Pasco County RV park moving forward. The Pasco County, Florida, County Planning Commission has recommended a land use change and rezoning that opens the door for a new RV park. The North Pasco RV Resort would be located on a 132-acre site bordering Interstate 75 and include 550 RV sites. The commission OK’d the plan despite several objections from residents. The proposal now goes before the full county commission for final approval.
Homeless camping isn’t for sissies during January in Missoula, Montana. The city and county of Missoula last week opened a legal campsite for people experiencing homelessness. About four of the snowy spots had been claimed within the first few hours. Officials are hoping that the legal camping area will help addresss illegal camping under bridges in the city.
Connecticut residents don’t want new RV park. A proposed 300-site RV park on 65 acres now owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is getting a thumbs down from area residents. The residents say the proposal, by Maryland-based developer Blue Water Development Corporation, would have adverse effects on nearby Avery Pond. A public hearing has been set for Feb. 15.
Arkansas RV park goes solar. The Wagon Circle RV Park in Heber Springs, Arkansas, is touting itself as the first solar-powered RV park in the state. The campground is home to a 420-panel solar array that provides 168 kilowatts of power. The system was built by Seal Solar of South Little Rock, Arkansas. The campground expects to offset 100% of its electricity load, and save about $25,000 a year.
New glamping camps having trouble too. Developers of new glamping parks are having just as much trouble as those trying to build new RV parks. Residents of Gainesville, Georgia, recently spoke out against a glamping park proposal at a county planning commission hearing, which led the commission to recommend denying the park’s application. The same occurred in Gallatin County, Montana, when a group opposed a permit for a new glamping resort along the Gallatin River called the Riverbend Glamping Resort. Opponents said the plan violated floodplain rules.
Fort Meyers RV Show back next week. After a one-year hiatus, the Fort Meyers, Florida, RV Show is back. The show runs Jan. 27-30 at the Lee Civic Center. Fifty outdoor and camping vendors will be on hand, and many free travel and RV maintenance seminars are offered. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 27-29, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 30. Admission is $10, with children under 16 free, plus free parking.
Canada back on high-risk list. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week moved Canada to the highest-risk category for travel. The world’s second-largest country by total area, Canada has seen a steep rise in cases as the Omicron variant spreads. The country recorded 294,437 new cases for the week ending January 8, according to Johns Hopkins University, its highest weekly total of the pandemic.
New Margaritaville Resort opens in Florida. The new Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Cabana Cabins in Auburndale, Florida, celebrated its grand opening last week. The new resort is located about an hour southwest of Orlando and just outside Lakeland, Florida. The park includes a tiki bar, fire pits, resort pool, entertainment stage, putting course, playground, dog parks and an arcade.
New park proposed for Connecticut farm. The owners of the Cozy Hills Campground in Bantam are planning to build a 100-site RV park on a farm property near Torrington, Connecticut. Cozy Hills Campground owners Lelah Campo and husband, Dan Mahieu, presented their plan to the local planning commission last week. The proposed park would be on 365 acres of land. The owners said the new Klug Hill Campground would be “upscale” with about 100 sites.
Great Smoky Mountains NP breaks record. Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw 14.1 million visits in 2021, topping the record from 2019 by 1.5 million. Officials say the park also set eight monthly visitation records during winter and spring months last year. Acting Superintendent Alan Sumeriski says park visitation has increased by 57% over the last decade.
Fire damages trailer in Nevada RV Park. One RV was heavily damaged by a fire at the Victorian RV Park in Sparks, Nevada. No one was in the RV when it caught fire. A propane tank was on fire but did not explode. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Is this your RV?
Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if today’s RV photo shows your rig
Every day we post a photo of an RV either submitted by its owner or by our editors as they move about the country.
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Welcome to our regular – albeit seasonal – update on the news from the RVing Capital of the World. If you’re a QZ regular, or just thinking about “dropping in to check it out,” we’ll give you ditties and dollops of what’s happening in and around Quartzsite.
We get a lot of requests from readers for information about desert scorpions. Usually these queries come from folks who’re planning their first trip to desert country. People want to know things like, how likely are we to run into them? How poisonous are they? What do you do if you get stung by a desert scorpion? How can we protect ourselves? … Read all about scorpions and more here.
VISIT RVTRAVEL.COM IN QUARTZSITE!
Please visit RVtravel.com at the giant Quartzsite RV Show, just underway. Our Tony Barthel and wife, Peggy, are holding down our booth outside the big tent, hosting the media and (hopefully) meeting many of our readers. Be sure to enter our contest where you can win swell prizes including two SoftStartRVs (a $638 total value) and a DuraLite 100-watt portable solar kit from Go Power! (a $525 value). “Be there or be square!”
Healthy cooking for two: The perfect cookbook for 2022
This healthy-eating cookbook has 175 simple and delicious recipes for two. It’s the perfect way to get healthy for the new year without sacrificing flavor. It also shows you how to shop for and plan out meals with tips on how to budget at the grocery store. Teriyaki salmon, anyone? Or how about jerk pork with mango salsa? Yuuuumy! Learn more or order.
How long have you been RVing?
TRUCKS AND TOW VEHICLES
Tesla Cybertruck: It’s back to the future again after second delay
Unveiled with bravado and flash in 2019 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Tesla Cybertruck hasn’t been manufactured and now won’t be available until at least the spring of 2023. According to multiple news and automobile watchdog online publications, Tesla has delayed the release of its futuristic machine because the electric carmaker is making improvements to the performance-oriented truck. Learn more.
EdisonFuture pickup truck: Big engine, solar panels. Really?
Another startup manufacturer wants to capitalize on the trending array of electric lightweight pickup trucks. EdisonFuture, a California-based startup, has plans for several pickups and a van with a range of battery and motor options. Included in the pending lineup is an EF1-T trim with a 450-mile battery pack and a three-motor configuration good for a reported 700 combined horsepower. Continue reading.
New Toyota Capstone pickup truck aimed at luxury buyers
Toyota’s newest entry in the luxury truck market should hit dealerships this spring. Click here.
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices — flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes we can’t tell how much life a battery has LEFT so we toss it. This inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to a battery’s condition, saving you money from tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
You spend years preparing for retirement. You put your money in your rig. Then some clown comes and takes it all away. It’s happened again, this time in Aiken, South Carolina. A retired couple had stored their 2018 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 174BH at Storage Sense. Sometime around December 23, crooks took it away. This single-axle rig has a power tongue jack, and a bike hitch on the bumper. Last seen with South Carolina tag 50632. Know something? Please contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 642-1761.
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.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: RV Travel Tech Talks: Be a part of a new concept coming soon
• Featured article: Let’s make Synfuel. It’s time for Americans to adopt and produce this fuel
• The #1 MOST important thing to do BEFORE starting an RV remodel
• Ask Dave: Video—Can my RV battery overcharge with solar?
• RVelectricity: How to check 30-amp outlet polarity
• Ghost Town Trails: Ballarat, California
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 17, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.31 [Calif.: $4.50]
Change from week before: Up 1 cent; Change from year before: Up 93 cents.
Diesel: $3.73 [Calif.: $4.79]
Change from week before: Up 7x cents; Change from year before: Up $1.03.
Penetrating oil can save the day!
It can be a bad day on the road if you break down and need to loosen a screw or bolt and it won’t budge. Here’s help: This rust eater, deep penetrating oil will penetrate rust, scale and corrosion to free parts and assemblies instantly. It will free up rusted machine screws, bolts, nuts, clamps for mufflers and tailpipes, locks and more. You need this! Learn more.
The number 8,549,176,320 is a unique number. What is so special about it?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Upcoming RV shows
• Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, VISIT SHOW WEBSITE, January 22-30, Quartzsite, AZ
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THESE SHOWS
• Florida RV SuperShow, Tampa, FL
• Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, Grand Rapids, MI
• Inland NW RV Show, Spokane, WA
• Tacoma RV Show, Tacoma, WA
• NCRVDA Charlotte RV Show, Charlotte, NC (Featuring seminars by RVtravel.com tech expert Dave Solberg)
• Cincinnati-Dayton RV Show, Dayton, OH
• Nashville RV Super Show, Nashville, TN
• Lehigh Valley RV Show, Allentown, PA
• Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport & RV Show, Houma, LA
More shows ahead. See the list.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
We love this! We can almost imagine standing right in the spot looking at this! Oh, we wish!
Recipe of the Day
Fresh, crispy and creamy! Imagine all the yumminess of chicken Caesar salad but with the added goodness of pasta, bacon and tomatoes.
We can imagine the yumminess, all right! Get the recipe.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Pasta and Pancetta and Peas in a Gorgonzola Sauce? Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
• Orange Cream Cheese Bread
• Bacon Bleu Brussels Sprouts With Mustard Sauce
• Cindy’s Turkey Bacon Feta Wraps
• Orzo and Spinach Salad
Brain teaser answer:
It’s the only number including every digit arranged in alphabetical order.
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.
50 States, 5,000 Ideas, the best book!
This National Geographic book showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts to ensure a great vacation. Also includes Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.
Today in History
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, Andy Zipser, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Scott Linden, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting and Karel Carnohan, DVM. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady, Mark Gorrie. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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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