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Sunday, April 3, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Marketing study shows private campgrounds do better job of serving RVers
It seems the American Camper has become the most studied species since the gray wolf was introduced to Yellowstone National Park. Everywhere you turn, there’s a study touting the latest and greatest data on what campers love to do (or wish they could do) and what RVers really want out of their recreational time. The latest entry in the Camper Data Sweepstakes comes from the RV Industry Association, which just released its Campground Industry Market Analysis. The new report is supposedly a compilation offering details on the availability of campsites, as well as the campground amenities that are available at federal, state, municipal and private campgrounds in the U.S. Learn more.
Company wants to certify new RVs as good enough to live in during cold winter
Ever winter-camped in your RV? With below-freezing temperatures, not too many RVs on the market today prove particularly comfortable. Now an industry player is offering RV manufacturers the ability to certify just how good their rigs are for winter use. Call it the RV winterization test, and it’s now available. A kind of “Field of Dreams” question is, since they built it, will they come? Read more.
Winnebago RV order backlog in billions, continues to grow
Recreational vehicle manufacturing giant Winnebago isn’t making much progress on decreasing its massive backlog of RV orders. In October 2021, Winnebago officials announced that they had $4 billion in backlog orders as supply chain issues coupled with a massive number of new orders. The company announced in its recent 2022 second-quarter earnings report that its backlog of orders has now grown to $4.37 billion as the demand for RVs refuses to wane. Continue reading.
California RV generator rules already having impact
As we reported in December, new generator rules by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) could affect the RV industry. The ruling doesn’t ban the use of portable generators in the Golden State, but it does significantly hamper generator sales come 2024. Date aside, the RV generator industry giant, Cummins, has already frightened RV manufacturers with an announcement on the matter. Generators aren’t the only small engines to get hit by the ruling. Read more.
Starlink: And just like that – we’re roaming
Over the last two weeks, RVers and other mobile Starlink broadband users began to see the roaming indication on their Starlink app screen switch from “false” to “true,” indicating their wait for more mobile use of the system might be over. Not all users can roam away from their official Starlink “service address,” but more and more can now do so. Learn more.
Family-owned campgrounds snapped up by private investors, boosting sale prices and site rates
Owning a campground is often a family business. Dad is usually outside taking care of the grounds and the sites, while mom handles the store, reservations, and the books. The kids and grandkids grow up in the business, taking their turns at the various campground jobs before eventually taking over the entire operation. But family-owned campgrounds might be changing. Continue reading.
Half of all campers have already booked their 2022 camping trips
Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) Monthly Research Report for March says nearly two-thirds of current campers are planning to take a camping trip in 2022, and half of all campers say they have already booked at least some of their trips. Learn more.
Campground Crowding: “The campground is not the enemy”
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 our readers have more to say on snowbirds, campgrounds “double-dipping” when there are no-shows to a reserved site, and why the campground is not the enemy. Also, you may be able to get a refund if you reserved a campsite with a credit card. All that and more here.
Used RV prices suggest buyers not frightened
War in Europe. Pump prices at all-time highs. Crowded campgrounds with reservations hard to come by. One might think these factors would tend to frighten potential RV buyers. But the latest report on used RV prices at auction seems to indicate buyers aren’t letting themselves be frightened. Read more.
PUBLISHER’S ROADSIDE JOURNAL
This is camping? Are you kidding me?
This is way too funny, or maybe sad. The idea of camping, we are told by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) is that RVing is a way for families to escape their busy, dreary lives for time in the great outdoors, also known as nature. Ah, nature! So check out the photo here, supplied by the RVIA for the media to help illustrate our favorite outdoor pastime, that shows one RVing family enjoying their idea of “nature” with their pop-up trailer. See what you think.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “Today’s review of the Four Wheel Campers Hawk pop-up camper is very, very different in a lot of ways. The biggest change in this is that I got to spend ten days in the camper touring some wonderful spots on the West Coast.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
March 27–April 2, 2022
Wholesale RV values mixed for spring. Eric Lawrence of Black Book reports: “Spring has arrived in many parts of the country, and eager customers are beginning to flock to dealers’ showrooms. Motorhome values bounced back this month after three months of declines, but towables gave back some of the gains they notched last month. Inflation and gas prices remain high, and the war in Ukraine has a lot of people concerned, but the dealers we have spoken to report normal showroom traffic.”
👍 According to Amazon’s website ranking service Alexa.com, last week RVtravel.com moved into the top 2,000 largest websites in the United States with a ranking of 1,985 in the United States. Camping World came in as the 3,535th largest site. GoRVing.com, funded by the RV industry with a multi-million dollar advertising budget, ranked only 145,807. Alexa.com ranks approximately 30 million websites worldwide.
The BLM is implementing a camping permit program that includes new developed campgrounds at Rabbit Valley in Colorado’s McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Rabbit Valley is popular for camping, off-highway vehicle riding, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The BLM will develop about 75 campsites and implement a fee system in the late winter/early spring of 2023. Once construction is complete, all camping in Rabbit Valley will be in a developed campground with fees of $20 a night. For larger capacity sites, each additional vehicle beyond two and up to five will be $10 a night.
Drivers of SUVs, pickup trucks, minivans and vans are more likely than smaller vehicles to injure or kill pedestrians when making turns, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The findings suggest the design of the larger vehicles may hinder driver visibility. Researchers at IIHS analyzed data from 14,000 fatal and non-fatal pedestrian crashes, and they found that SUVs were twice as likely as cars to be making a left turn when the crash happened. Vans and minivans had nearly three times the odds as cars, and pickup trucks were nearly four times as likely.
Travelers on Utah State Highway 95 in rural Utah are advised until further notice that fuel service will not be available in Hite, Utah. Motorists driving the 126-mile stretch of Utah State Highway 95 between Hanksville and Blanding will need sufficient fuel for their needs. The nearest towns to Hite with fuel are Hanksville, Utah (51 miles to the west) and Blanding, Utah (79 miles to the east).
For the year of 2021, Assateague Island National Seashore received a record 2,662,716 visitors to its Maryland and Virginia units. It put the number of Assateague Island visits above such iconic locations as Mount Rushmore, Bryce Canyon and Shenandoah. Summer visitation increased slightly over a record-breaking summer of 2020, but much of the increase came in the spring and fall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced new, landmark fuel economy standards. The new standards require an industry-wide fleet average of approximately 49 mpg for passenger cars and light trucks in model year 2026. The new standards will increase fuel efficiency 8% annually for model years 2024-2025 and 10% annually for model year 2026. They will also increase the estimated fleet-wide average by nearly 10 miles per gallon for model year 2026, relative to model year 2021. The new standards for model year 2024-26 will reduce fuel use over the old standards by more than 200 billion gallons through 2050.
More than a third of Pennsylvania’s state parks – 43 of 121 – opened their campgrounds for the first day of trout fishing season on Saturday, April 2. They include: Caledonia, Canoe Creek, Chapman, Clear Creek, Colonel Denning, Cook Forest, Cowans Gap, Fowlers Hollow, Frances Slocum, French Creek, Greenwood Furnace, Hickory Run, Hills Creek, Hyner Run, Kettle Creek, Keystone, Kooser, Lackawanna, Laurel Hill, Linn Run, Little Buffalo, Little Pine, Locust Lake, Lyman Run, Moraine, Nockamixon, Ohiopyle, Ole Bull, Parker Dam, Pine Grove Furnace, Poe Paddy, Poe Valley, Promised Land, Pymatuning, Raccoon Creek, Reeds Gap, Ricketts Glen, Ryerson Station, Sinnemahoning, Sizerville, Trough Creek, Tuscarora, Worlds End and Yellow Creek.
👍 The oldest active National Park ranger, Betty Reid Soskin, has retired at age 100 in California. She served as a ranger at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond for more than a decade and a half. Soskin took a temporary position working with the NPS at age 84 and became a permanent employee in 2011, making her the oldest active National Parks ranger in the United States.
More and more customers have joined lawsuits against rental giant Hertz after being arrested for allegedly stealing rental cars they had already returned. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal are questioning Hertz’s conduct amidst rising prices and diminished services for customers, according to CBS News. As of November 2021, 165 plaintiffs had filed suit against Hertz for filing police reports that led to their arrest prior to the company’s May 2020 bankruptcy filing. CBS says that number has since grown to 230.
Here’s another reminder of why you need to be careful with portable space heaters. This trailer was burned to a crisp after its owner had left it on and then went to sleep. The man woke later to find the RV on fire. He managed to get out okay but, as you can see, his RV was toast. The fire spread beyond the RV and burned up a pickup truck and semi-trailer, too. The heater was the villain. Be careful.
Mark Koep, of CampgroundViews.com reports that 35,000 campsites in 840 campgrounds and RV parks are live and viewable in the Campground Virtual Tours at CampgroundViews.com. He’s currently recording and posting another 2,000 locations for 2022 including 250 campgrounds and RV parks in Arizona at the request of Arizona Tourism. Koep’s mission is to provide a huge database of campground and RV parks that campers can “drive through” like with Google Street View. If they see a site they like, they can reserve it right on the spot. CampgroundViews.com is a sponsor of RVtravel.com.
THOR Industries Inc. has announced that it has entered into a Letter of Intent to sell a controlling interest in its digital application business, TH2Connect, LLC. The TH2Connect digital platform collectively operates as Roadpass Digital, and consists of Roadtrippers, Campendium, RVillage, Togo RV, Roadpass, and Overnight RV Parking. The price: $81 million. Stay tuned to RVtravel.com for more.
(In case you missed this yesterday.) You may have driven your RV past his famous image. You’ve probably known him since you were a child. We’re talking about Smokey Bear, the iconic character dressed in jeans and sporting that distinctive ranger’s hat. For more than 70 years, Smokey Bear has reminded campers: “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.” Learn more about Smokey and hear the famous Smokey Bear Song.
Effective yesterday, April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water.
The U.S. Forest Service has updated its guidelines to local forests about e-bike use including on hiking trails. New policies allow e-bikes to continue to operate on currently authorized roads and trails, and lays out a process to evaluate future requests for expanded access. Read more.
It now costs more for most visitors to enter Indiana Dunes National Park on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The one- to 7-day vehicle pass is now $25. Holders of federal passes in most cases can enter free.
Game Wardens do a lot more than just check hunters and anglers for their licenses. Sometimes they perform heroic acts, like here where they saved the life of a trapped dog named Maria. Read more about the amazing rescue.
A 307-site luxury RV park is being proposed off Michigan Highway 32 East near Gaylord. The plan is to break ground this summer on what will be called the Aspen Bluffs Outdoor Resort.
Patrick De Haan of Gas Buddy wrote on Twitter last week that “we’re getting closer to the point where we could see the national average gas price fall back under $4 a gallon in the weeks ahead. It’s definitely not guaranteed, but we’re in the ballpark.”
Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) is building a new corporate headquarters in Billings, MT. The nearby Billings KOA campground, the original park in its system (in the beginning at a different location), will stay put. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building is April 8.
As of yesterday, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming will accept entrance fee payments via credit card and digital payments only.
Sun Outdoors, with more than 150 resorts and campgrounds across North America, recently announced a partnership with Outdoor Afro, a national not-for-profit organization that, among other things, helps amplify “Black joy in the outdoors.”
Birdwatcher Alert: In case you didn’t hear, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife estimates there are 806 bald eagle nests in the Buckeye State, an increase of 14% from the 707 bald eagle nests in 2020.
Dinosaur tracks from 112 million years ago near Moab, Utah, have been damaged by heavy machinery used to rebuild a boardwalk. In addition, an area where a prehistoric crocodile crossed a mud flat appeared to have been driven over multiple times by a backhoe, causing fracturing.
Two camprounds closed after the 2018 Carr Fire in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Northern California have reopened — Brandy Creek and Sheep Camp (both primitive). Some trails have opened again, as well.
A new and unique RV park could soon be coming to Columbia Falls, Mont., along the Highway 2 strip. Clark W. Griz and Tawnya Bingham have submitted a proposal for what they call the Urban Woods RV Park. The 10-site campground is unique in that guests rent retro-styled RVs permanently onsite. They don’t bring their own.
A campground featuring treehouses and glamping facilities could be coming to Ellsworth, Maine. The prospective owners have presented the city Planning Board with a proposal for a business which would include 12 treehouses, 6 tents and up to 4 sites for an RV or tiny home.
Visitors to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recreation sites in northwest Oregon will see new and increased fees this 2022 season. The changes, the first in more than ten years, will take effect in April at 22 sites across the region. Read more.
A new campground has opened at Prairie Lake Recreation Area south of Juniata, Nebraska. The fee with electricity goes for $20 a night. Camping on a site without electricity is free.
A recently opened two-mile trail that connects Kentucky’s Cherokee State Park and Kenlake State Resort Park is much more than simply a new place to hike. The trail commemorates an important place in American history. Learn more.
Pete’s RV Center of South Burlington, Vt., has acquired Keystone RV Center of Greencastle, Penn. The acquisition represents Pete’s seventh location in six states.
Johnny’s RV Park just off I-10 in Theodore, Alabama, is now Mobile West RV Resort. The park, with 170 sites, was recently purchased and improved by Forrest Street Partners.
Two of Texas’ Big Bend National Park campgrounds, Chisos Basin and Rio Grande Village, will be closed for major road repairs and resurfacing. Chisos Basin will close April 1 to 24, and Rio Grande Village Campground April 1 to 17. All trails will remain open.
If you’re headed to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula soon, avoid Marquette’s Peter White Drive in Presque Isle Park from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily until April 15. Road barricades are in place to protect the migration of blue-spotted salamanders. In the past, hundreds of the creatures crossing the road were smashed by passing vehicles.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced an extended 2022 season for its Roseburg, Oregon District campgrounds. Read about them here.
A woman struck and killed a man with a motorhome in North Escambia, Florida, Wednesday afternoon in their driveway. The 76-year old woman was moving the RV forward in the driveway. A 78-year old man was between the motorhome and a parked Lincoln SUV at the time and was pinned between the two vehicles.
Mark your calendar: Entrance fees to National Parks will be waived on April 16 to kick off National Park Week and encourage everyone to enjoy their national parks.
Reminder: Scotty’s Castle at Death Valley National Park is still closed after damages from a 2015 storm. The earliest it is expected to open is April 2023.
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.
Do more RVtravel.com travel with gas or diesel-powered vehicles? That was our Reader Poll yesterday. See how they responded.
Trucks and Tow Vehicles
Pickup truck prices continue to rise in supply chain crisis
New car inventory continues to decline and new vehicle prices, including pickup truck options, continue to rise via supply chain issues. A new analysis by iseecars.com details the dilemma, with the average new vehicle priced at nearly 10 percent above the Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP). Read more.
New Ford F-150 on the off-road horizon: 2023 Rattler
Ford has announced another participant in its seemingly ever-expanding lineup of F Series pickup trucks. It’s the off-road-oriented 2023 F-150 Rattler. The entry-level truck doesn’t have a launch date or sticker price, but it’s predicted to be offered near Ford’s current 2022 F-150’s entry-level XL trim, $31,685. It’s also expected to be available in the fall of 2022. Check it out.
RVs and EVs: To tow or not to be towed?
… All major and niche car manufacturers—Chevrolet to Ford, Tesla to Lucid—have electric cars and trucks or are preparing an alternative fuel or electric vehicle, otherwise known as EVs. The automotive future is now, accelerated in California by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order announced in September 2020. The state will require by 2035 that all new car and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles. Continue reading.
Built-in shower option in new GMC pickup. Do you believe it?
Did you read the article last week about the new, 2023 GMC pickup with a built-in, foldable shower? We did, and boy, did we almost make fools of ourselves later. See why.
Still-proud USPS agrees to make more new trucks EVs
The United States Postal Service (USPS), still defiant against criticism for its pending new fleet of delivery trucks, has re-evaluated. It has diplomatically announced an increase in orders for electric mail trucks among its massive new truck agreement. Read more.
How did you discover this issue of the RVtravel.com newsletter?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Clallam County, Washington, sheriff’s deputies say they need your help to figure out what became of a 30′ Forest River Wildcat travel trailer. The out-of-area owner reported the theft of the trailer on March 29, but the actual date of the rip-off isn’t clear. Whoever did the deed may have used the trailer owner’s 1999 maroon Ford F-250 pickup, because that rig too, was missing. The missing rigs were stolen from the 14000 block of Highway 112 near Sekiu [that’s “see-que” to you non-Washingtonians]. If you know something about this, give the sheriff’s office a call at (360) 417-2262.
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
• Big Ford truck and SUV recall: Brakes could fail
• Alliance RV recalls some trailers for improper wiring issue
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: National Parks aren’t as crowded as they appear online. This will give you hope
• Featured article: Around the Campfire: Who advocates for RVers?
• Yep, another neat RV toilet: Camco Travel Toilet review
• Ask Dave: Can I use mineral oil to lubricate my RV’s dump valve?
• Life lessons in cleaning toilets. What years as a work camper have taught me…
• RVelectricity: Should RV parks meter power? Part 2
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 28, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.23 [Calif.: $5.76]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Up $1.38.
Diesel: $5.19 [Calif.: $6.29]
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.02.
Which caterpillar has a UNIQUE PATTERN? (Which one doesn’t have a match?) [Hint: The tail color counts in the pattern, too.]
Bonus points if you can find the caterpillar with the biggest smile! Hint: He’s not the one without a match, though!
Upcoming RV shows
• Evergreen RV Show. Ends today in Monroe, WA
• Spring Hall of Fame RV Show, April 28 – May 1, Elkhart, IN
• Puyallup RV Show, May 5-8, Puyallup, WA
• DFW RV Party, May 20-23, Arlington, TX
California State Parks is hiring for part-time/seasonal openings throughout its systems. Apply as a Park Aide, Park Interpretive Specialist, Maintenance Aide, Environmental Services Intern or Forestry Aide. More.
RVtravel.com is looking for a book reviewer. Contact email@example.com if interested.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
The day could come where this could save your life. We are absolutely not kidding! Every RVer should have this with them on their trips.
Recipe of the Day
Skip buying a chicken sandwich at that popular chain and make one at home with this spicy chicken sandwich recipe. It’s so good. The coating has the perfect blend of spices. Once fried, the coating is crunchy. This sandwich is juicy and spicy. Add a little mayo, lettuce, and tomato for the perfect chicken sandwich.
Brain teaser answer:
Have you been getting spam texts recently from what appears to be your own cell number? If so, you’re not alone. The text may include fake messages from your cell phone carrier about a paid bill. But many victims report that it comes from a Russian news outlet, perhaps part of a Russian propaganda campaign as it continues its invasion of Ukraine. As with all spam, never click included links unless you know and trust the sender. For more information on how to deal with and report phishing and spam texts, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer advice website.
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.
Today in History
TRIVIA ANSWER FROM ABOVE
According to rangers at Yellowstone National Park, the horns of a bighorn sheep ram can weigh as much as all the bones in its body. That’s up to 30 pounds of headgear! Their horns, along with other internal adaptations like enlarged sinuses, serve to protect the brain by absorbing the impact of clashes.
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, 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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