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News for RVers Issue 1047, Sunday edition

Welcome back to North America’s best source for news and information for RVers. As always, we at RVtravel.com appreciate your help through voluntary contributions to keep this newsletter coming your way. Be sure to check out all of our other RV-related newsletters.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition




 Featured articles 

Is Amazon about to become a giant headache for RV manufacturers?

Could the day come when you buy an Amazon.com-branded RV? We don’t read tea leaves, and we’ll leave that answer to the future. Nevertheless, RV manufacturers in Elkhart, Indiana, are wary. Elkhart is the manufacturing center of the RV world. RV manufacturers aren’t worried about Amazon becoming a sales competitor—rather, an employee competitor. And they may have good reason for such fears. Next year, Amazon will open a new warehouse and distribution center in Elkhart. The mega-retailer says it will need 1,000 warm bodies to fill jobs then. Will it affect RV manufacturers? Learn more.

New fuel economy standards for 2026. Will your TOAD get 49 mpg?

Imagine pulling up to the fuel pump in your motorhome’s “toad.” You fill up the tank and take a moment to check your fuel economy. Wow! 48 miles to the gallon! All this from your 2026 model-year run-about. That could be the take from last week’s headlines that announced the new federal government fuel economy standards for 2026. But hang on. Like the fine print says, “Your results may vary”—a lot! Read more.

Sad news about missing RVers: Search ends badly

An Indiana RVing couple, missing since March 27, have finally been located in the Nevada desert. Ronnie and Beverly Barker, ages 73 and 70, respectively, left Albany, Oregon, in their Forest River Sunseeker Class A motorhome. The missing RVers were headed to Tucson, Arizona, to visit friends. They never turned up, and relatives got deeply concerned when they “dropped out” of communications. The Barkers’ story reads like a novel, but sadly, there’s no happy ending. Continue reading.

GPS blamed in RVer’s death

Earlier this week we wrote about RVers Ronnie and Bev Barker (above). The Indiana couple went missing, along with their motorhome, on a trip from Oregon to Arizona. As we posted, the couple were lost and stranded in the desert hills of Nevada. Since that initial post, more details have come into focus regarding the Barker’s tragic final trip together. Now it seems the couple’s GPS is taking some of the blame for the tragic outcome. Read more.

Campground Crowding: The park told them to overbook!

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, Donald W. says if your reservation gets canceled, “Change your adventure.” Love that! Others have different ideas regarding getting campsites, and one camper reports the park suggested they book more days than they needed and then cancel some of the days later. Read more.

Just like campers, campgrounds are paying for fuel increases, too

Mike Gast was talking this past week with a campground owner who said he’d been contacted by more than one RVer who wanted to know if the owner would give them a “special lower rate” because of the increased cost of fuel. Those prospective campers obviously didn’t understand that they weren’t the only ones being hit by the high prices.



Today’s RV review…

The Eventure trailer is mind-boggling cool

Tony writes, “Today, we’re looking at one of the most unusual RVs I’ve ever come across, the Eventure trailer. Before we start, I have to encourage you to basically forget everything you assume about any RV because we’re starting fresh here.”

Read More

Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.


That was the RV week that was

April 3–9, 2022

SpaceX has created a new mapping feature for Starlink that can tell you which localities still have open capacity for new users for its satellite Internet service. The feature is available on Starlink.com, and it gives a global breakdown of which markets Starlink is currently serving. The map for North America shows SpaceX has plenty of capacity for Starlink in the U.S. Midwest. However, many populated areas in the East or along the West Coast are designated as “waitlist” zones. Type in your address to see if it’s open for new orders. Read the latest update on Starlink here.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park will begin charging parking fees and higher campsite fees starting next year. Frontcountry camping costs would be standard throughout the parks. The nightly fees for family campsites will be $30 for primitive sites and $36 for sites equipped with electric hookups. The nightly charges previously ranged from $17.50 to $25. The proposed daily parking fee is $5 per day, $15 for up to seven days, and $40 for the annual tag.

A proposal to build a 550-space RV resort in remote East Pasco, Florida, was approved last week by county commissioners. For nearly three years, residents have fought the development on a 132-acre parcel that fronts Interstate 75 and Lake Iola Road. They argued that the proposal would change the character of their rural neighborhood, lower property values, increase traffic and threaten bike riders who frequent the scenic roads.

Destroyed and left in the forest. Who will pay to move it?

Two burned up RVs and another, fully furnished but trashed fifth wheel trailer have been found abandoned in an otherwise beautiful mountain area near Vernon, British Columbia, a popular camping area in the summer. The destroyed vehicles are just outside the city of Vernon, which will not take the responsibility of removing them. The volunteer Okanagan Forestry Task Force, which cleans up the backcountry, is looking for financial support to help pay to get the RVs moved to a junkyard. (Saturday update): The group along with a local recycling company have agreed to clean up the mess.



Who would have thought? Gas prices are headed lower. After hitting a record average of $4.33 on March 11, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has been on a steady slide, falling to $4.14 as of Friday, the lowest in more than a month, according to AAA. Some experts say the price could drop below $4 in a week or two. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis is selling his Michigan Avenue condo for just under $5 million after an extensive makeover. He bought the home two years ago. He previously owned other Chicago properties including a Chestnut Street Condo that he sold for $3.25 million in 2018 and a pair of Lake Forest Properties that he sold for $4.65 million in 2020.

… And, in the “Not Good News About Marcus Department,” Lemonis’s Marcus clothing store in Hinsdale, Illinois, was robbed of $30,000 of handbags last week. Lemonis has three such stores in the Chicago area that have collectively been robbed or looted almost 10 times in the past 24 months. Lemonis says he’ll carry on.

RV squatters

Following a vote by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, parking enforcement of vehicle dwellings in violation of posted signage will resume on May 15 for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and parking enforcement for RVs deemed hazardous will begin immediately. Enforcement and towing of vehicle dwellings was suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 health crisis. “Residents across the city have contacted my office pleading for help addressing nuisance conditions associated with RVs,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, “including narcotic sales, fights, loud music, verbal physical threats, intimidation, dumping of wastewater in the street, blocked sightlines, suspected sex trafficking, hoarding, accumulation of trash and large pieces of furniture.”

Sunlight Resorts is now taking reservations for its newest RV resort, Champions Run Ocala Luxury RV Resort in Ocala, Florida, which will open June 1. It includes 483 RV sites as well as park model cottages for rent or purchase. Amenities includes a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, resort-style swimming pool, two hot tubs, a ballroom with stage and AV, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a variety of recreational activity such as pickleball, bocce and shuffleboard courts, plus a full-service Tiki Bar. Ah, camping!

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is seeking public comment on replacement names for geographic feature names recently declared derogatory by DOI. The DOI is accepting comments from the public through April 25. DOI Secretary Deb Haaland has already signed Secretarial Order 3404, declaring “squaw” a derogatory term and implementing procedures to remove the word from use on federal geographic features and lands. Historically, other derogatory words, including the N-word and a pejorative for “Japanese,” have been identified by past secretaries or the federal Board of Geographic Names and eliminated their use.

🐝 Buzz: The I-5 bridge over the Columbia River that connects Oregon and Washington needs major work. The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Washington, is suggesting that a toll is coming to help cover the cost. It’s happened before. The original northbound span that opened in 1917 charged a 5-cent toll until 1929 for all horses and cars. The Interstate 5 system, which incorporated the bridge, wasn’t designated until 1957 when the southbound span was under construction. It opened in 1960. Both bridges were then tolled until 1966. New tolls would not begin until 2025 or 2026.

Tiffin Motorhomes, a division of THOR Industries, has chosen KING to supply its cell phone boosters for its 2023 models. It will feature the KING Extend Pro cellular signal boosters (Model KX2000), a premium amplifier with a roof-mounted antenna and an interior booster and antenna that work to increase cell signal inside the coach. The booster improves cell voice reception and clarity, as well as internet data speed and performance.

Business owners and city officials on Monday broke ground on a new RV park in Parowan, Utah, that is projected to eventually accommodate more than 130 RVs. Painted Hills RV Resort is being built on a nearly 30-acre parcel located about 20 miles north of Cedar City off Interstate 15. Owners hope the first phase of 68 full-hookup sites will be completed in August.

These Yellowstone National Park roads will open for the season April 15: West Entrance to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, Norris to Canyon Village, and the North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance.



It’s the time of year where bears are coming out of hibernation, and they are hungry. Over the last few days, a bear at Weaver’s Campground and Fishing Tales Resort near Missouri’s Bennett Spring State Park has been spotted dumpster diving. “They’re coming out of hibernation and they’re very, very hungry,” said park naturalist Patricia Chambers. “If it was a human it would be the equivalent of eating over 100 Big Macs a day.”

One person was found dead in an RV after a fire broke out Tuesday at an Oakland, Calif., homeless encampment. The fire burned three RVs, two cars and a flatbed truck. The cause is unknown. A few blocks north, three RVs caught fire last month killing two dogs. An investigation by KTVU-TV found homeless encampment fires in the city of Oakland averaged one a day in 2019 then increased to three a day in 2021. Many were believed to be arson. To the south, a motorhome caught fire in a Ventura, Calif., parking lot Thursday sending one person to the hospital. The cause is unknown but police are suspicious. To the east, two people were injured last Saturday when their RV caught fire at Great Falls RV Park. The inhabitant was rescued by other park residents. “He barely escaped,” one man said. And, for the record, Seattle police have responded 449 times to fires in homeless camps from January 1 to April 3, up from 290 incidents in the same time last year.

And yet another RV fire just outside Bend, Oregon, ended with only the loss of the RV. “I think that had that happened in the middle of summer and had I not been awake, perhaps it would have been a big fire,” said nearby resident Hari Khalsa, who called the fire department. Apparently, a woman had been squatting in the RV on forest service land for months along with other illegal campers.


VERY HANDY DEVICE: As reported in our RV Daily Tips newsletter, every RV should have a Water Bandit along on their trips. This really can save the day.


You can spend the night in this. Yes, you really can!

Looking for a little break from your RV? How about spending a night in this  groovy old truck? Don’t laugh — it has two queen beds! Maybe pose your family in front and use the pic for next year’s Christmas card? “Look at our new RV!” Would your friends be impressed or what? Okay, seriously — you can rent this at the Sunbury, Columbus North KOA in Sunbury, Ohio.



News briefs

What is the best recreational trail in the USA? That’s what USA Today is asking its readers and others in a poll running through tomorrow (April 11). Even if you don’t vote, the list of nominees is impressive. Visit here to vote or maybe learn about some great trails you may wish to hike.

Iowa’s Pikes Peak State Park will undergo a major overhaul later this month including upgrading the campground’s electrical system and adding space between camp pads. Full-hookup sites will also be added with additional water-supply hydrants and two dump stations.

The opening date has now been set for a long-awaited new state park campground on Minnesota’s North Shore. The 46-site Shipwreck Creek Campground at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park will open on June 1.



The U.S. government may need more than 100,000 charging stations to support its widespread EV use, a government watchdog told a congressional hearing on Tuesday as reported by Automotive News. For now, the government has about 1,100 such charging stations. Less than 0.3 percent of the government’s 657,000 vehicles were electric as of 2020.

Shawn Zeleny, 43, is in the hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, pretty banged up. He was slammed by a travel trailer that flipped on him during a tornado last Monday. His nose and ribs were broken and his left ear had to be sewed back on. But he’s a hero: His 17-year-old stepdaughter was trapped inside the trailer. Zeleny knew he had to get her out, but he first had to rip away its steps which were jamming the door. Then a gust of wind tossed the trailer right on him. “It was a lot of pressure and then really loud in my head,” he told WFAA-TV. Thankfully, everyone will be okay. Not, the trailer, though — it’s “trailer trash.”

Good news for California bookworms. Golden State residents with library cards can now check out passes that allow them free day entry at more than 200 participating state parks.

Mary’s Lake Campground in Estes Park, Colorado, is getting a makeover. The park has 121 campsites. Improvements include replacing utilities at 18 sites. In addition, six dry camping sites are getting water and electric hookups.

With few exceptions, RVers who drive to Alaska from the Lower 48, would not be caught without the Milepost: The Alaska Planner. The 656-page guidebook is packed with information on the Alaska highway and other roads, attractions, campgrounds, recreational opportunities … about anything they’d want or need to know. And good news, the 2022 edition was just published and is at big bookstores and at Amazon.

Do you love to Zipline? Well, good news if you’re in Alabama or are headed that way: Three state parks can accommodate you. They are: The Screaming Eagle Aerial Zipline at Lake Guntersville State Park, the Zipline Canopy Tour at Wind Creek State Park and the brand-new Aerial Zipline at DeSoto State Park.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Glen, New Hampshire, is adding a 50,000-square-foot water zone complete with swimming pools, 165-foot-long water slides, kiddie slides, water blasters, water cannons and a 750-gallon hydrostorm dump bucket (we confess: “What the heck is that?”). Other activities include tubing, laser tag and more. The campground opens May 13.

Bee Rock Campground in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest has partially reopened after being closed three years to repair damage from severe flooding. It offers 25 primitive campsites along the Rockcastle River. Big rigs won’t fit.



Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park, near the town of Rumsey along California Highway 16, has opened its camping season which extends to Oct. 10. The Yolo County park has 45 non-hookup campsites. Warning: Yellow jackets are common in the area, especially during late summer and early fall.

Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain State Park has added two new sleeping cabins for rent at $120 a night, each equipped with a small kitchen, dining area, bathroom and patio. The year-round park has 51 full-hookup RV campsites and 10 primitive sites.

Looking for some fun and adventure? Adventure Caravans has put together three 63-day RV tours titled “Alaska and the Calgary Stampede”, all of which begin in July. If you enjoy touring with other RVers, this might be an excellent way to spend a couple of months.

The 2022 New York Camping Guide is now available. The digital interface is mobile-friendly, and it offers insight on 120 state-operated campgrounds. Users can browse photo galleries and maps, scroll through a specific camping site’s amenities, and access information on how to book their stay. Learn more or get it here.

Want to spend a few days along the Southern California Coast this summer? Well, here’s an idea if you are fabulously wealthy and enjoy camping right along the shore. Book a “Supersite” at the Newport Dunes RV Resort for $460 a night. Oh, too much? Then perhaps a slightly smaller “Beachfront” site is right for you at only $450! If you’d like to spend a little more (actually, a lot more), try booking a site for the July 4th weekend!


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CONTEST

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.

Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.


Trucks and Tow Vehicles

Chevy Truck Month has been extended through April, with a Chevy Silverado discount totaling up to $3,000 on select configurations of the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 Limited, and up to $1,500 on select configurations of the refreshed 2022 Chevy Silverado.

General Motors, LLC (GM) is recalling certain Truck Hero Tri-fold hard and Tri-fold soft tonneau covers sold as accessories for 2019-2022 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 series trucks. The tonneau cover may become loose from the rails of the pickup bed, and detach from the vehicle while driving. Learn more.

At the beginning of March 2022, the national supply of the Chevy Colorado truck was at just nine days, reported GM Authority. The popular midsize pickup truck was running at 15 days supply as of the first week of November 2021, up from seven days in September. A 60-day supply is considered optimal in the U.S. auto industry.

A fully-electric truck that is helping change the future of Ford Motor Company was on the track at Martinsville Speedway as the 2022 F-150 Lightning made its debut as a pace vehicle for the NASCAR Cup Series on April 9. Read more.



Reader poll

Are you known as someone who “arrives on time”?

Respond here (and please feel free to leave a comment).

POLL FROM THE PAST: Has your RV ever been damaged by hail? How many readers, do you think, have experienced at least some damage? Is it close to a quarter of our readers or slightly more than half? Find out.


HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?

Somebody stole a legend in Williams Lake, B.C. No, the legend in question wasn’t a story, but, rather, it’s a 2001 Vanguard Legend travel trailer. The missing rig is white with blue decalls, bearing license plate WJW96C. Last seen—and security camera recorded—3:30 a.m., Monday, April 4. Somebody driving a single-cab Ford pickup backed up, hitched up, and made off with the Legend, where it was parked behind “Total Pet.” Know something? Please call (250) 398-2946.

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

Keystone Cougar trailers recalled for tire damage concern
Keystone RV recall: Some trailers built with wrong axles and tires
Keystone RV trailers recalled for fire danger from wiring issue
Jayco recalls some trailers. Loose wiring could cause fire
Grand Design trailers recalled for power inlet danger
Lance truck campers recalled for fire danger
Forest River recalls some trailers for potential carbon monoxide danger
Recall: F-150 Ford pickups, transmission could unexpectedly shift into neutral
Keystone RV recall: Trailers could separate when towed
Puma trailers, fifth wheels recalled for outdoor kitchen danger


Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
Featured article: New RV industry ad campaign ignores baby boomers
5 qualities of highly successful RVers
Around the Campfire: RVers discuss downsides to workamping
Warning: RVers are very prone to dangerous DVT, deep vein thrombosis
and much more

Read it here | Back issues


Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of April 4, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.17 [Calif.: $5.71]
Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.31.
Diesel: $5.14 [Calif.: $6.29]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.00.


?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This is one of those products that really will make your life easier. Even if you’re the Incredible Hulk! We promise!


Brain Teaser

What runs but never walks, often murmurs but never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?

(Answer below.)


Upcoming RV shows

Most shows have finished for the season. But if you want to plan ahead, click here for upcoming shows.



Help wanted

The BLM Pocatello Field Office is looking for volunteer campground hosts at Blackfoot Reservoir Campground from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The campground is about 16 miles north of Soda Springs, Idaho, on Highway 34. Hosts live on site in their own RVs. A stipend of $30 a day is offered. Interested? Contact Chuck Patterson at 208-478-6362 or cpatterson@blm.gov

RVtravel.com is looking for a book reviewer. Contact editor@rvtravel.com if interested.


Recipe of the Day

Homemade Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
by Megan Flores from Chicago, IL

Take your homemade scalloped potatoes to a whole new level by adding ham. It adds savoriness to the potatoes and makes this hearty dish even better. These scalloped potatoes and ham can be eaten as a main dish, for brunch, or a heavier side dish. The homemade sauce is creamy, buttery, and melts into the cheese. So good! This recipe calls for ham steaks. If you have leftover holiday ham, that would work too.

Click here for the recipe


Brain teaser answer:

A river


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.


Trivia

Lake Itasca in Minnesota is the source of the Mississippi River. The rainfall that occurs here over a period of three months, flows down the river to the Gulf of Mexico on a 2,320-mile journey. Some of that rainfall even ends up in the Atlantic Ocean! The Mississippi River is the largest drainage system in North America and drains through 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Appalachian and Rocky mountains.



Sunday funny


Today in History



RVtravel.com Staff

rv travel logoPublisher: 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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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Michael
1 month ago

Amazon building a giant warehouse is not the problem. the incentive to go faster produces a cheap product. I know firsthand with screw coming loose, handles breaking, and staple installed where screws should be. It is a shame that quantity is held in such high regard in production and engineering. paying some one for speed over quality never produces a great product.

Joe Goomba
1 month ago

“proposal to build a 550-space RV resort in remote East Pasco, Florida”

That’s actually a Dade City, FL address.