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Sunday, April 17, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Crowded campgrounds: Can municipal campgrounds help?
As more and more RVers hit the road, it’s getting harder to find a place to stay. Private campgrounds are working to fill the gap, but more is needed. Municipal campgrounds are making way for RVers. How can you find them? And can more local governments be encouraged to build their own? Read about the abundance of RV parks in Seward, Alaska. Why don’t other municipalities do the same?
More RV techs on the way, but don’t expect a quick fix to long repair waits
If you’ve had the misfortune of being forced to take your RV in for service lately, you’re well aware of the impact of the ongoing shortage of RV techs. RVers requiring even routine maintenance on their rigs are reporting waits of weeks or even months on new and used RV services. It must be mind-numbing to take your brand-new RV in for a little warranty work after your first trip only to find out you’re actually kissing it goodbye for the rest of the camping season. Granted, not all the service delays can be laid at the feet of the ongoing shortage of qualified RV service technicians. Read more.
RV rental numbers still up despite fuel prices, thanks to “nearcations”
Potential RV renters are understandably concerned about rapidly rising fuel costs as they consider a recreational vehicle for their summer vacations. Parking their Prius in exchange for an eight-mile-per-gallon Class C could send them into a pump-induced coma. However, RV rental numbers continue to climb. Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: Is this the “strictest cancellation policy ever”?
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 Nanci wanted to mix it up a bit. We talk a lot about what is bad or difficult about RVing and particularly crowded campgrounds, so this week she wanted to publish a few “It’s all good” comments. Plus, read about the strictest cancellation policy this RVer has ever encountered in eight years of travel. (It’s at McChord AFB in Washington.) Read it here.
New Go RVing logo reminds campers of a lot of different things…
By Mike Gast
Last weekend, I wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek opinion article regarding the RV industry’s recent attempts to rebrand its Go RVing™ marketing program. … A big part of the hoopla over the rebranded Go RVing program was a complete refresh of the typography and logo. RVtravel.com readers had a lot of fun with the original story, giving their take on what the new Go RVing logo resembled. Read what some of their interesting interpretations were here.
The bogus nature of RV park models
A park model, as RVers who camp at commercial campgrounds probably know, is basically a cabin built on a single trailer chassis. Federal rules restrict them to less than 400 square feet, but they can be as much as 14 feet wide, which neutral observers might conclude stretches the definition of “vehicle.” Indeed, like their larger mobile home or house trailer counterparts, park models usually require a special permit to be moved and usually need specialized towing equipment. Like house trailers (aka mobile homes), they usually don’t have holding tanks and so need direct water and sewer hookups for their plumbing. And like house trailers, once they’ve been set up they’re usually there to stay, wheels and axles removed and the undercarriages surrounded by skirting. Read all about this interesting debate here.
Now that he is semi-retired, RVtravel.com founder and publisher Chuck Woodbury has more time to write in his Roadside Journal, which he began more than 30 years ago for his acclaimed “on the road newspaper” Out West. Today’s fare:
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes that this is “a unicorn, of sorts. Why do I write that? As you would imagine with 365 RV reviews a year, I love finding floor plans or ideas that are very different from what I am used to seeing. Unicorns.
“That’s just what this unit is. It’s a relatively large fifth wheel that doesn’t fit into the floor plan mold that a lot of fifth wheels fall into. Specifically, where so many fifth wheels have bedrooms up over the hitch pin, this one has a kitchen. And that is a really nice kitchen.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
April 10–16, 2022
Do you like to drive or tow big rigs — motorhomes, long fifth wheels? If so, and if you are looking for work, do we have a job for you — at Walmart! Amid an industrywide shortage of truck drivers, the retail giant and RVer favorite is raising the average starting salary for first-year drivers in its private fleet from around $88,000 to between $95,000 and $110,000. The company says that’s nearly double the average long-haul driver salary. Drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn more, based on factors like tenure and location. That’s no chickenfeed, good buddy! Read more.
There were 31,344 retail RV registrations reported for February 2022, down 17.8% from the 38,124 units in the same month last year — which was the best February ever — according to Statistical Surveys. It represents the ninth consecutive month for a decrease in year-over-year sales. Year-to-date, there have been 58,021 retail registrations, down 17.8% from the 70,579 units recorded in the same period last year. The Class B segment was the only one to show an increase for the first two months of 2022.
With an influx of construction workers living in RVs in north Alabama, the Morgan County Commission has implemented changes that include limiting residents’ stays at new RV parks to 180 days and requiring that they remain mobile. The goal is to differentiate an RV park and mobile home parks. The 180-day limit is intended to prevent RV parks from becoming permanent residences.
Route 66 RV Network has added 10 new RV dealership locations in the last several months. With more than 200 locations, it claims to be the largest network of independent RV dealers in North America. The new members are: Royal RV & Auto Center, Middlebury, IN • Campbell RV, Sarasota, FL • RV Dynasty, Bunker Hill, IN • Lerch RV, Milroy, PA • Sunshine RV, Lake Havasu City, AZ (2 locations) • Mann’s RV, Rutland, MA • McKeever RV & Marine, Sweetwater, TN • Adventure Camper Sales, Almo, KY • and Uncharted Recreation, Meridian, ID.
A hungry javelina went for a drive last week in Cornville, Arizona. The animal became trapped inside an empty Subaru after entering its open hatchback looking for Cheetos. It then bumped the car into neutral, sending it rolling down a driveway. A deputy opened the hatch, which had automatically closed, and the javelina ran off into the wilderness. Javelinas are elusive pig-like animals native to the desert. Consider yourself lucky if you spot one in the wild.
Residents of the Enchanted Trails RV Park in Albuquerque got a scare Thursday evening when a car came out of nowhere into the park at a very high speed and crashed into the back of a fifth wheel trailer. “I would guess he was going about 70 mph,” said RVtravel.com reader Dennis Burns, who reported the incident to us. “The owner of the trailer wasn’t home [but] the trailer received severe damage.” Burns reported that Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and administered an intoxication test, which the car driver failed, upon which they whisked him off to jail. “You never know what’s going to happen in an RV park, so all should maintain vigilance,” Burns advised.
Acadia National Park’s historic, island-wide trail system is now part of the National Register of Historic Places. The park’s trail system was recognized for its national historic significance and ties to the history of Mount Desert Island and the establishment of Acadia National Park. The listing recognizes 109 historic, maintained trail
The Dyrt, a leading app for camping with one of the most active online camping communities, found that it was three times more difficult to find an available campsite to book in 2021 than it was in 2019. Overall, 53 percent of all campers reported booking at least a few weeks in advance. The report found that winter is the fastest-growing camping season, up 40 percent since 2019, and that dispersed camping, or free camping on public lands, doubled in 2021.
In honor of Earth Day, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is providing the public with a free day of access to state parks on Friday, April 22, during which visitors will not need a Discover Pass for day-use parking.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing to open Trinity River campgrounds along California State Highway 299 on Friday, April 29. These campgrounds are first-come, first-served, with no reservations taken. Learn more.
Seven Oregon campgrounds administered by the U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are temporarily unavailable and may not be available until mid summer. The concessionaire’s special use permit is undergoing its renewal process and is not yet complete. Read which campgrounds are affected here.
Campgrounds across New York are busy adding new campsites and cabins, installing new amenities, and scheduling live entertainment and theme weekends in preparation for the summer camping season. Continue reading.
Race car driver Hélio Castroneves, who won his fourth Indy 500 championship last year, is continuing his partnership with American Coach. For 2022, he’ll be featured in the company’s promotional videos and social media. Castroneves owns a custom-designed American Eagle motorhome.
Private investors are building a $15 million luxury RV resort just outside West Monroe, Louisiana. It will have a lazy river, water slides, a splash pad, a kids’ pool and an area for adults.
The nationwide average price for a gallon of diesel fuel dropped 7.1 cents to $5.073 for the week of April 11 after a 4.1-cent decline the prior week—ending, at least for now, up-and-down roller-coaster prices, which remain almost $2 above the price of a year ago.
Lloyd’s RV Center in Orange, Texas, has been sold to Fun Town RV. In 2021, Fun Town ranked as the highest volume towable RV retailer in the nation. It has 12 locations in Texas, one in Oklahoma and another in Illinois, and plans to add as many as 15 locations in the next 2-3 years.
Heavy snow delayed the opening of many interior roads in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. Officials originally planned to open up select interior roads in Yellowstone to cars at 8 a.m. on Friday, but extremely heavy snow throughout the park delayed their efforts. If you’re headed to the park soon, check first for road conditions.
A Wheat Ridge, Colorado, police officer was stabbed while responding to the report of a suspicious vehicle at the Prospect RV Park early Wednesday. A suspect was taken into custody, and the officer had surgery for serious injuries and is expected to recover.
The city council of Crystal River, Florida, has voted to renew a modified planned unit development master plan for the Crystal Bay RV Resort which will become a KOA Holiday park featuring four tent sites and 68 RV pads. The park will encourage short-time stays.
Keystone RV Center, an RV dealership based in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, is now under the ownership of South Burlington, Vermont-based Pete’s RV Center.
Saskatchewan Parks (Canada) will accept reservations starting April 18 for seasonal campsites and April 19 to 26 for nightly, Camp-Easy, and group campsites. Learn more or reserve a campsite.
Saguaro National Park has reopened both the Red Hills and Rincon Mountain Visitor Centers in the West and East Districts. Information, exhibits, pass sales, and retail sales are now available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
The Mesquite (Nevada) City Council has rejected a plan for a new 48-space RV park. The proposed park was planned in a neighborhood of Mesquite generally southeast of the Casablanca Resort.
The Pearl River RV Park opened April 1 across the street from the Golden Moon Casino in Choctaw, Mississippi. It offers 45 RV spots at $75 a night and ten 400-square-foot tiny homes for $269 a night.
Outhouse News: Montana’s Hill County Commission has voted to spend $10,200 to build a concrete outhouse at Marden Campground. Where else would you read such important news except at RVtravel.com?
Spot2Nite today announced a new integration with RoverPass. Spot2Nite is an innovative marketplace that allows RVers to discover and book RV campsites in real-time. RoverPass provides RV parks with software to manage their affairs.
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.
Trucks and Tow Vehicles
New Ford F-150 pickup set for summer 2022 debut
The enduring Ford F-150 pickup family will soon expand when the long-anticipated Lightning debuts this summer with its just-announced Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification and manufacturer revealed charge range. Depending upon engine configuration, the 2022 F-150 Lightning will have a range of 230 to 320 miles. Towing capacity is 7,700 pounds. Continue reading.
Rivian R1T electric pickup arrives as fastest truck in history
With the delivery of Rivian pickup trucks slowly and steadily increasing, the electric vehicle startup’s fact figures are again in the spotlight. The innovative company is an industry phenomenon. It was the first electric truck on the market, beating Ford, GM and Tesla with the Rivian R1T. The company plans to debut its SUV in early 2023. With the delivery of fewer than 1,500 vehicles to date, Rivian has also assumed a new title. It’s the fastest truck ever made. Find out how fast it is here.
Truck News Briefs
GM Authority is reporting that GM intends to buy back certain Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD units from customers due to apparent quality issues with the 6.6L L5P V8 Duramax turbo-diesel engine. This includes vehicles that have already been delivered to customers. It’s currently unclear what issues affected the engines.
The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 has added three new exterior colors to its palette: Dark Ash Metallic, Sand Dune Metallic, and Glacier Blue Metallic. The Glacier Blue Metallic color is an extra-cost item that adds an additional $395 to the vehicle’s price.
Are you an “RVer” if you live in a park model RV that stays in one place?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
With mom set to have brain surgery in July, an Akron, Ohio, family was looking forward to a couple of trips in their RV. That is, until nasty daylight crooks rolled up, cut off the hitch lock, and took the travel trailer away. The 2011 Gulf Stream trailer vanished from Kingz Auto Sales on South Main Street. Security footage shows a white, four-door, short-bed pickup as a likely suspect, rolling into the business at 6:53 p.m. last Sunday. A reward is offered in connection with locating the crummy crooks who took the RV. Call (330) 753-5664 if you have information.
Crooked RV cat-thief is out of business. A Weld County, Colorado, deputy eyeballed a “suspicious” car—a Nissan Altima—in a motel parking lot. On closer inspection he could see “saws-all” blades, bolt cutters, and a license plate that didn’t belong to the car lying on the floorboards. Not much later the deputy dropped by a nearby RV dealership. The dealer reported someone had stolen catalytic converters from motorhomes on the lot—and they’d recorded the activity on video. The deputy, joking, asked if the suspect was driving a Nissan Altima. He was! A little later, warrant in hand, sawed off catalytic converters were found in the trunk of that car at the motel. Austin Brumfield of Wyoming is spending a little time in the county lockup, on suspicion of theft.
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
No significant RV recalls to report this week.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• RV design makes mice infestation easy
• New wave of RV influencers spreading misleading, false information online
• RVer’s death could have been prevented with a satellite messenger
• RVelectriciity: Can I power my 50-amp RV from an F-150 PowerBoost generator?
• RV Gadgets and Gizmos: SylvanSport Privy Bivy: Reining in Tony’s toilet posts
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of April 11, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.09 [Calif.: $5.62]
Change from week before: Down 8 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.24.
Diesel: $5.07 [Calif.: $6.22]
Change from week before: Down 7 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.94.
It’s a true Easter egg hunt! Well, except here you’re looking for the hidden bingo ball (which has the number 11 on it, by the way). It’s eggstremely hard, but we believe you can find it! Click the image to enlarge it.
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Not that you necessarily want these hangin’ around your RV, but ya gotta admit… this is just adorable. (If nothing else, you’ll get a chuckle out of reading the description in About This Item on that page. But it is a very cute item.)
Upcoming RV shows
Most shows have finished for the season. But if you want to plan ahead, click here for upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Avocado deviled eggs are a nice twist on the traditional recipe. If you love avocados, you’ll love these deviled eggs. The yolks and avocado blend together nice and smooth. Adding a bit of lime juice is the perfect zing. Very versatile, these are party perfect.
Brain teaser answer:
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.
Some Easter trivia: A recent survey revealed that 81 percent of Americans say the thought of PEEPS marshmallow chicks and bunnies remind them of Easter, while 57 percent associate the candies with the onset of spring. And when asked whether they crack open a package of PEEPS to allow them to age gracefully before they’re eaten, 88 percent of Americans opt for a fresh chick or bunny for its soft, pillowy texture. And FYI, 64 percent of Americans prefer chicks over bunnies.
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, 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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