Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. While many of you are spending the weekend digging out from yet another winter storm, give yourself a break to sit back and plan your next camping trip. Thinking about camping might not warm your hands, but it will likely warm your heart a little. 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, February 6, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Did you miss yesterday’s edition of the RV Travel Newsletter? If so, it’s here.
Heads up! Carriers are killing off some cell service
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
As the quest for faster and faster cellular-based services continues, some changes may affect you. The three major wireless carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, are shutting down certain cell service features some have counted on for years. Will you—or someone you know—be affected? Find out here.
“Rolling homeless” problem is affecting your RV lifestyle
By Mike Gast
Campgrounds have long been an economic melting pot in the U.S. You see million-dollar Prevosts parked near a pop-up, with a tenting family just down the road. The same held true for popular boondocking spots. Everyone was there to have a good time and, for the most part, everyone got along. Lately, however, camping and RVing have taken a bit of a turn. Recreational vehicles aren’t just for recreation anymore. Continue reading.
Like everything else, campground rates going up in 2022
If you’ve already started making your 2022 summer camping plans, this isn’t going to come as a surprise. The rates you’ll pay at many private campgrounds are going up. Continue reading.
A Burt Reynolds bespoke Chevy Silverado pickup truck fetches $286,000
Pickup truck prices continue to rise, particularly customized, limited editions made as tributes to late actor Burt Reynolds. One extravagant example, a 2021 Chevy Silverado Bandit Edition, sold recently at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, for $286,000. Check it out.
Campground Crowding: “Stop selling RVs to folks under 50”
RV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. This week we hear from veteran RVers and workampers about what they’ve seen as a change in the type of people who RV, other readers with pet peeves about big RVs, and an RVer who suggests not selling RVs to anyone under 50. All that and much more here.
More advanced reservations available at Yellowstone campgrounds
Yellowstone National Park will begin taking advanced camping reservations at three additional campgrounds beginning February 14. Read more.
Plans for RV park at PA airport won’t fly with local officials
It doesn’t appear you’ll be rolling your RV up to park at the Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Airport anytime soon. The Benner Township Supervisors have rejected plans by the airport’s owner and a developer to build a 100-site campground at the airport. Learn more.
S.D. governor’s plan to expand Black Hills campground not popular
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s plan to expand camping at Custer State Park isn’t going smoothly. A panel of South Dakota lawmakers rejected her revised $5 million project Tuesday. Continue reading.
Help “reimagine” California’s oldest, and now devastated, state park
California State Parks is urging the public to get involved and to learn more about the “Reimagining Big Basin” project, a project that will memorialize the broad vision for reestablishing California’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the state’s oldest state park. The CZU Fire of August 2020 burned 97% of the iconic park in a 24-hour period, including the park’s coastal redwood forests and almost all of the park’s infrastructure. The park has been closed since then while recovery work has been underway. Learn how you can get involved here.
Today’s RV review…
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at Grand Design’s super popular Reflection 337RLS fifth wheel. He writes, “The positive feelings about these are not without warrant. The interiors are stylishly conservative and very tasteful no matter which model you choose, and this is certainly the case here.” Read more.
Yesterday’s review: More details on the Airstream eStream electric trailer
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
NEW! Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request to Tony on his new Forum on RVtravel.com.
January 30 – February 5, 2022
Ford reorganizing to make more e-vehicles. Ford Motor Company is retooling to accelerate its move into electric vehicles. Ford said it plans to spend up to $20 billion over the next five to 10 years converting factories worldwide to electric vehicle production. That number is in addition to the $30 billion Ford has already committed to EVs through 2025. Ford lured Doug Field, the former head of Apple’s car project, to lead their e-vehicle efforts. Field was also a top executive at Tesla, involved in the creation of the Tesla Model 3. Ford has tripled output of the electric Mustang Mach-E model and doubled production of the F-150 Lightning pickup. The company also is spending $11.4 billion with South Korea’s SK Innovation to build three battery factories and an EV truck plant in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Storm victims get free travel trailers. More than 200 travel trailers have been delivered to western Kentucky for use by victims of recent tornadoes. The trailers were delivered for free to families who had registered for disaster relief. The trailers were delivered to Mayfield and Pennyrile State Parks near Dawson Springs, Kentucky.
Big numbers at Oregon state parks. State parks in Oregon passed the three million mark in visitor numbers for the first time in 2021. The official number of station park visitors was 3,026,756. Most of the growth last year was along the Oregon Coast, where state parks saw an increase of 9% in camper nights over 2019. Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria alone saw 343,485 camper nights last year, far surpassing visitation for any other year.
Campground hosts needed in Montana. The Lewis & Clark National Forest near Helena, Montana, is looking for campground hosts for this summer. The campgrounds in the Logging Creek, Many Pines, Dry Wolf Campgrounds, Thain Creek Campground located in the Highwood Mountains, and Crystal Lake Campground located in the heart of the Big Snowy Mountains, are all in need of campground hosts. Hosts are required to be at the sites before Memorial Day and stay until Labor Day weekend. Call 406-547-6011 if you are interested.
Investment company starts buying campgrounds. An investment company called Halmos Capital Partners has formed a new company called Cedarline Outdoor and has begun buying campgrounds. The company’s first two park purchases were Kampgrounds of America parks in Twin Mountain and Littleton in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Daniel Adan, a Halmos partner, said this about why campgrounds are a hot investment right now: “These assets have proven their resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe the next-generation of American families have embraced this travel option,” Adan said, “creating long-term sustainable growth for the sector. We are excited to partner with investors and operators who share our vision for this dynamic asset class.”
New NPS office started for campground services. The National Park Service has created a new National Campground Office that will be responsible for improving consumer experiences at the more than 1,400 NPS campgrounds in the U.S. “This initiative is great news for RV travelers and everyone who enjoys camping in our national parks,” said Phil Ingrassia, RVDA president and past chair of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “The formation of a National Campground Office is a proactive step to enhance the visitor experience at NPS campgrounds across the country.” NPS stated the office will improve coordination across programs and facilitate technical assistance to parks and regions on campground-related issues and services.
Crescent City RV parks’ plans on hold. A proposal to revitalize two RV parks in the Crescent City, California, Harbor District can’t move forward until a relocation plan is finalized for the parks’ long-term residents. As it stands, the Bayside RV Park has 44 long-term residents, and the Redwood Harbor Village RV Park has 42 long-termers. A transition plan for the long-term residents is now being considered by the Harbor District Commission. Revitalization plans for the parks now call for upgrading landscaping and infrastructure, purchasing Airstream trailers and cabins for rent, and installing a solar power system.
Wreck closes lanes on I-10 in Mississippi. Eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 in Harrison County, Mississippi, were closed for a while last Tuesday after an RV rollover. According to Harrison County Fire & Rescue, the driver of a truck pulling a camping trailer lost control of the vehicle and rolled the RV. All lanes were reopened by Tuesday afternoon.
Move over, Bullwinkle. If you think campgrounds are crowded, just imagine how the wildlife feel. A boom in recreation on public lands throughout the U.S. has put pressure on both the lands and the wildlife that live there, according to scientists. Take a look at their findings here.
Move for new national park gaining steam. The Warren County, New Jersey, Board of Commissioners has endorsed a resolution encouraging Congress to re-designate nearly 70,000 acres of land in the state as a national park and preserve. Currently, the land is called the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The Warren County resolution said designating the recreation area as a national park “is to place this jewel of our national heritage into the crown of the national park system where it has always belonged.”
Dealership sells 10,000th RV. Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Indiana, recently sold its 10,000th unit in its 16-year history. The dealership, named among the country’s top 50 dealers by RV Business for the past 10 years, is owned by founder Ken Eckstein. The dealership started with 18 employees and has increased that number to nearly 70 workers. The dealership covers 17 acres with a 10,000-square-foot showroom. The 10,000th unit—a 2022 Newmar Kountry Star 4011—was presented to buyers Tom and Janet Higbie.
Camping World getting bigger. Camping World Holdings Inc. is acquiring Big Daddy RV in London, Kentucky. It will be Camping World’s third Kentucky location. “We continue to pursue dealership acquisitions to expand our market share,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World Holdings. “The Big Daddy RV’s acquisition fills a void in our footprint and allows us to more effectively service our customer base and is an excellent way for us to kick off 2022 with continued exceptional growth.”
New length and height limits for Seashore parks. Officials at the Gulf Islands National Seashore say they plan to begin enforcing maximum RV lengths and height limits for all campsites in the Fort Pickens Campground in Florida and the Davis Bayou Campground in Mississippi. Due to tree growth along the roadway, the new height restriction will be 12 feet for the Fort Pickens Campground Loop A. The maximum lengths at each campsite will vary depending on the size of the parking pavement. Campers can verify campsite length on www.recreation.gov.
New park planned on Upper Peninsula. The town of Negaunee, Michigan, is planning to build a 71-site campground and trailhead for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles with the help of a $3.7 million competitive federal grant. The campground would provide access to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. All of the sites would include electrical and water hookups.
Host needed for Oregon recreation area. The Klamath Falls, Oregon, BLM Field Office is looking for volunteer campground hosts for its Gerber Recreation Area. The BLM is seeking volunteers to live on-site from mid-May through mid-October. The BLM will provide the selected hosts an RV camping spot, propane, and sewer. The camp host chosen will also receive a small stipend to help cover incidental expenses. If you’re interested, contact Mike Limb at 541-885-4144.
Texas entrepreneur getting into RV storage. Gary Wojtaszek, former CEO of Dallas-based data center firm CyrusOne, has started a new RV and boat storage company that he plans to take nationwide. The new company, Recreation Realty, plans to add about 75 locations a year. Wojtaszek saw the need during the pandemic when he purchased an Airstream and then couldn’t find an indoor space to store it. He’s already started purchasing RV and marine storage businesses around Texas and plans to “institutionalize” the business nationwide. He said he plans to have 70 locations up and running by the end of 2022. His properties would be unique in that they would house RVs and boats inside individual units. The largest spaces would be 13 feet by 48 feet. You can find out more here.
Mandate causes delay in Canadian delivery. A gas station in Carpio, North Dakota, has become a staging area to get RVs from factories delivered to Canadian dealerships. Staffers at the Carpio Cenex said unvaccinated truckers began leaving new RVs at the Cenex last week due to the vaccine mandate for truckers in Canada. Vaccinated truckers were scheduled to pick up the rigs last week and move them across the border to a Canadian dealership but high winds delayed their departure.
Church suing city over RV parking. A church in Pueblo, Colorado, is suing the city there, claiming city officials violated federally protected religious freedoms when they ordered that it stop allowing visiting ministers and homeless parishioners to park RVs on the church parking lot. The Christian Growth Center said they have allowed traveling ministers to use RV hookups in their lot for the past 30 years. City officials say the use of large RVs is not authorized in the district where the church is located. The city filed a code violation against the church in May.
New site for RVs along Nebraska’s Missouri River. The city of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, is planning a new riverfront park and campground that will include 17 sites for RVs. The site is along the Missouri River. Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert said the park won’t be “anything elaborate.” RVers will be able to have a place to park their RVs short-term.
Ohio Turnpike was closed to high-profile trailers. Travelers hauling high-profile RVs along the Ohio Turnpike had to come up with alternative plans last week. Officials closed the Turnpike from Wednesday to Friday due to anticipated rough winter weather and high winds.
AutoCamp opens new resort at Joshua Tree. AutoCamp’s new 25-acre facility at Joshua Tree, California, includes 47 Airstreams, along with luxury suites and tents. The camp is located just a 10-minute walk from town.
RV Retailer, LLC is opening yet another new location in Florida. The new dealership in Jacksonville will be under the RV One Superstores brand. It will have 50,000 square feet of space and sit on nine acres. RV Retailer now has 94 stores in the U.S., including eight in Florida.
Maine State Parks open for reservations Monday. You are going to have to wait a bit longer to make your 2022 camping plans in Maine. Due to the closure of Maine State Government (that snow day thing), opening day for all State Park Campgrounds has been pushed to Monday, February 7, at 9:00 a.m. This applies to both online and phone reservations. You can book camping reservations online by calling the campground reservation call center at 207-624-9950. Attendance at Maine State Parks set a record in 2021 with more than 3.3 million visitors, up 8% from the previous record of 3 million in 2020.
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.
Reader says, “Please go away”
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.
While many snowbirds have been reveling in the warm desert winter, not everyone is so pleased. We got an email from someone who calls themselves “Please Goaway”. Evidently, if “P.G.” had their way, snowbirds in Quartzsite would be about as scarce as cold tap water in the summer. We’re happy to report their “welcoming attitude” isn’t the norm. … Read more from P.G., in addition to questions about getting reservations and becoming a vendor in QZ, and the weekly statistics, all here.
Did you make buying mistakes when you purchased your current RV?
Respond here, please.
Trucks and Tow Vehicles +
2024 Chevy Silverado EV a big hit even before it’s born
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV is already a success and it won’t be available to the public for at least another year. General Motors reports more than 110,000 reservations for the pending truck and its marketed 400-mile range and 664 horsepower. Continue reading.
Used car and truck prices continue to skyrocket via chip woes
The automotive industry’s struggles in the wake of the microchip shortage continues to skew prices of new and used cars and trucks. Fewer available new vehicles translates into wildly increased prices for used machines. Read more.
Tesla woes continue with faulty seat belt safety chime
Tesla has issued its second recall in a week, the most current because of a faulty seat belt warning chime in 817,143 vehicles in 2021 and 2020 model years. Learn more.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
A young couple, new to the RV lifestyle, have had their lives turned upside down. During the week of January 24, someone stole their home—a 2019 Coleman travel trailer. The rig was stolen from White Spar Campground in Yavapai County, Arizona. They’d turned to RVing when their sticks-and-bricks rent skyrocketed. Not only is the rig gone, so is their livelihood, as they’re musicians and many of their instruments were on board. Know something? Contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office at (928) 771-3260. The owners are presently “couch surfing,” and getting by. A friend has set up a GoFundMe page for them.
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
• Newmar recalls some motorhomes for valve stem issue
• Keystone recalls some fifth wheel RVs for tire issue
• Chrysler recalls up to 171,789 Ram trucks
• Grand Design recalls fifth wheel RVs for refrigerator-related fire danger
• Grand Design recalls RVs for sharp edges on cabinets, drawers
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Finding the magic in unknown places, the reason we travel
• Featured article: Is your RV stove harming you and the environment?
• “All I read about are problems! Is it even worth getting an RV?”
• Thousands enter to win “free RV.” It’s a scam, but their reasons are legit
• RV Electricity: A video discussion about upgrading your RV to lithium batteries
• Ask Dave: What can I use to level my 5th wheel besides bulky wood blocks?
… and much more
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
How sweet would it be to wake your honey up to this on Valentine’s Day?
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 31, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.37 [Calif.: $4.49]
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 96 cents.
Diesel: $3.85 [Calif.: $4.86]
Change from week before: Up 7 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.11.
How can 8 + 8 = 4?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
The best kitchen sink strainer – no more odors or clogs!
If you’re unfamiliar with the revolutionary Kitchen SinkShroom, you’ll want to introduce yourself. This popular sink strainer prevents anything from going down your kitchen sink’s drain (in your house or RV). Say goodbye to odors and clogs – the SinkShroom won’t let that happen. Read more about it and its partner, the TubShroom, here, or order one here.
Upcoming RV shows
• Tulsa Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Tulsa, OK
• Detroit RV & Camping Show, Novi, MI
• Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show, Fort Wayne, IN
• Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show – CANCELED (COVID)
• Madison Camper & RV Show & Sale, Madison, WI
• Nebraska Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Lincoln, NE
• St. Cloud Sportsmen’s Show, St. Cloud, MN
• St. Louis RV Travel Show, St. Louis, MO
Recipe of the Day
Chicken Enchiladas With Sour Cream Sauce
by Jamie McKinney from Lindale, TX
Need a hearty dinner idea? Try these easy chicken enchiladas. It’s so good even picky eaters will love it. Creamy and cheesy, it’s full of shredded chicken. There is not a lot of spice in this recipe. If you like a little spice, a bit of cumin, seasoned salt, or a can of green chilies could be added. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to slow cook in the Crock Pot.
If you make these, you must invite us over for dinner! Yummy! Get the recipe.
Want more chicken dinner ideas? Read Cheri Sicard’s article from yesterday.
Did you miss yesterday’s recipe, Broccoli Shrimp Casserole? Get it here.
Brain teaser answer:
When you think in terms of time. 8 a.m. (or 8 p.m.) + 8 hours = 4 o’clock.
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.
MAKES A GREAT VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT
This might be the funniest book ever…
In a little more than 100 pages, Dr. Alan Francis and Cindy Cashman distill years of research and thousands of interviews to reveal the most comprehensive understanding of men’s knowledge and understanding of the opposite sex in Everything Men Know About Women. But there’s a hilarious catch… the book is blank! This makes a great gift (everyone will laugh!). Learn more or order.
Gail Marsh found this photo on boredpanda.com. Too funny!
Today in History
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS
At RVtravel.com we publish more than 700 newsletters a year. Approximately 30% of our funding comes from the 4 percent of readers who support us with a voluntary subscription. It’s fine if you continue to read for free, but if you believe our hard-working staff’s efforts are worth more than “free”, we humbly ask that you chip in to help us be an ever-better resource for you and other RVers. Even $10 or $15 a year is appreciated. Donate here. All major credit cards, PayPal and checks are accepted.
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, Karel Carnohan, DVM, and Cheri Sicard. 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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