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Sunday, May 15, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
“Enough is enough,” one state park says about “no show” campers
Officials at one state park campground in Colorado are getting serious about dealing with campers who reserve a site and never show up, which really makes other campers upset who fought for a reservation for their campsite to then see others vacant. Steamboat Lake State Park in Colorado just instituted a new policy aimed at curtailing the number of nightly “no shows” at its campground. Continue reading, then tell us what you think about this policy.
Finally! Possible DEF relief for diesel-powered RVs, trucks
Last year, untold numbers of diesel motorhome owners were stranded when their rig’s DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) systems acted up. Some sat it out for weeks—even months—waiting for unavailable repair parts. Other RVers left their motorhomes parked in their driveways because they feared their engine might act up, leaving them stuck beside the road. The problems stemmed from faulty DEF sensor readings, which caused engine computers to “derate” or severely reduce operating speeds. At the heart of the matter are pollution control regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency got an earful about these problems, and now the EPA proposes new rules on engine derating. How might you be affected by these rules? Find out in this in-depth report from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Articles from RVtravel.com are now appearing in The Villages Daily Sun, the newspaper of The Villages in central Florida. The retirement community was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States from 2010 to 2020, when it expanded from 93,000 to 130,000 residents. The Villages Daily Sun newspaper has the largest daily circulation in Florida, topping newspapers in Miami, Tampa and Orlando, with a reported 92 percent market penetration share. In yesterday’s issue, RV Travel’s Tony Barthel reviewed Winnebago’s EKKO Class B motorhome, which he described as one of the hottest new RVs on the market.
Glamping is the “gateway” to camping lifestyle for half of new camping families
Experienced RVers already know that there are a lot (and we mean A LOT) of new camping families jamming into every corner of most every campground in the U.S. Many of those families have skipped the usual evolutionary track for campers (first tents, then a pop-up, followed by a pull trailer, and then a big, motorized unit). There’s obviously a new dynamic at play when it comes to trying out the lifestyle. Inexperienced RVers abound, and that is stressing reservation systems along with more experienced folks who can’t find the sites you want. Check out these interesting statistics.
Thor asks consumers: What do you want in an electric RV?
One of the RV industries leading manufacturers, Thor Industries, recently released some details from its 2022 North American Motorized Electric RV Study. … The RV industry sees RVs with electric engines as the next big thing. Thor’s study was intended to gauge public interest in electric RVs and begin to mold their concepts into something customers might actually purchase. Find out what consumers really want here.
A competitor to Starlink’s mobile broadband? Guess who…
In the first commercial agreement aimed at beginning the launch of Amazon Project Kuiper satellites, Amazon announced in early April that it had purchased as many as 83 launches from Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance. All of the launch capacity is in aid of getting satellites into low-earth orbit for Amazon’s broadband service designed to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink. Learn more.
Campground Crowding: Travel nurses have nowhere to stay
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 readers offer more tips on getting reservations, some sage advice about RVing from a longtime camper, and the dilemma faced by traveling nurses trying to find a place to park/live since the pandemic hit. Much more here.
Outdoor recreation gets a seat at the big decision-making table… finally
For the past nine years, a movement has been slowly spreading across the U.S. that could have a significant impact on your camping future. There are now 16 states that have added governor’s-cabinet-level Offices of Outdoor Recreation or at least established task forces to coordinate efforts on behalf of outdoor recreation. … Learn what that means for outdoor recreation enthusiasts here.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “I cannot express how much I feel this is a game-changing improvement to a relatively common floor plan. If you don’t see this change finding its way into every brand of RV in the next year, I would be shocked. I think Ember is going to have a monster hit on their hands with this.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
Did you miss yesterday’s tongue-in-cheek column by our new non-human writer Johnny Robot? We asked Johnny, who does not really exist but is able to “write” via artificial intelligence, five very stupid questions about RVing. Johnny, for all “his” abilities to write a fake story that passes as legit for not-so-smart readers, does not understand when his “leg” is being pulled, like here. So his answers can be downright ridiculous. See what we mean!
May 8–14, 2022
Rare fossils dating back 251 million years were stolen from Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. The fossils were removed from a trackway sometime between August 2017 and August 2018. Park rangers became suspicious when a social media follower commented on a photo from the park saying it looked like something was missing. Officials are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information regarding the “irreplaceable” fossils.
Paying for your favorite campsite at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) popular Joe T. Fallini campground at Idaho’s Mackay Reservoir will soon be as simple as scanning a QR code. Beginning May 20, campers can opt to pay overnight camping fees at the site through the free, easy-to-use www.Recreation.gov mobile app using the “scan and pay” option. Selecting a camping site will remain first-come, first-served; they will not be reservable in advance through the website. For additional information on how to use the Recreation.gov scan and pay option please visit here.
Cortes Campers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US Lighting Group, Inc., has received an initial purchase order valued at $385,000 from B&B RV, Inc., its newest exclusive dealer in Denver, Colorado. The campers are expected to be delivered during the second half of 2022. Unlike traditional RVs, Cortes Campers builds its travel trailers with no wood in the construction, only fiberglass composites and marine coatings. The result is an RV that is immune to corrosion, rust and rot and is extremely lightweight and strong.
NBC Universal and Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis are being sued for $30 million by the trustee of Pennsylvania design company Precise Graphix that fell into bankruptcy after being featured on Lemonis’ CNBC show The Profit. The trustee alleges NBC used producers and Lemonis to create chaos and divide the business owners and overburden the company with debt. Lemonis claimed the charges were baseless. “I will not continue to allow people to create their own narrative based on a false reality,” he said. The Precise Graphix lawsuit follows three other defamation and fraud claims filed by other companies who were also involved in the show. SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
Hearst Castle (officially Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument), along the central California coast, is open again after being closed two years following the COVID-19 pandemic and severe rainstorms that damaged its access road. Learn more about the various tours at the castle built by William Randolph Hearst, and make reservations at HearstCastle.org.
Climate change is exposing where bodies are buried, literally. Boaters and paddle boarders discovered two corpses in early May in Lake Mead, as water levels fell to their lowest point since the reservoir was filled in the 1930s. Lake Powell has also dropped to its lowest point since being filled. According to ProPublica, ongoing drought appears to be the worst in 1,200 years as reported by research recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Wildfires have already torched more than 300,000 acres near Santa Fe in northern New Mexico this year.
A “light” earthquake shook Yellowstone National Park gently Wednesday morning, but geologists say there was nothing unusual about it. According to a University of Utah seismograph station, a quake with a 4.2 magnitude was recorded just after 7:30 a.m. MDT. USGS geologists say earthquakes of this magnitude are common in the Yellowstone region, “where over 30 earthquakes of M4 or greater have occurred since 1973.” Wednesday’s earthquake took place at a depth of 8.7 miles and was the largest to occur in Yellowstone National Park since a M4.5 event on June 15, 2017.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds travelers that the seasonal Chief Mountain, Alberta, border crossing (AB Hwy 6) remains closed until further notice. The CBSA has not opened Chief Mountain since the start of the pandemic. The port of entry is located on the boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.
RV Retailer has acquired property in Surprise, Arizona, to expand the Tom’s Camperland location in that market. “This acquisition doubles our capacity to serve the Surprise community in Arizona for sales and service,” explained Brad Leach, Arizona President for RV Retailer. RVR operates six RV dealerships in the state under the Tom’s Camperland and Affinity RV retail brands. Tom’s Camperland Surprise offers a full lineup of towables from Alliance RV, Coachmen, Forest River, Keystone and nuCamp.
This RV is toast. It caught fire May 7 at the Alameda Avenue Trailer Park in Roseburg, Oregon. Firefighters arrived on scene to find heavy smoke and flames from a 1996 Sandpiper travel trailer. They were able to stop the fire from spreading to nearby structures and other trailers. Nobody was home at the time, except a dog, which was rescued. Cause of the fire: “unattended cooking appliance.” Let that be a lesson.
California will open its first new state park in 13 years. The state is acquiring 2,100 acres at the place where the San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers meet. The property, between San Jose and Modesto, is known as Dos Rios Ranch. California’s 279 state parks are visited by 68 million people per year. This new state park will offer hiking trails, fishing and river sports.
Looking for a fancy place to spend the night? Here’s an idea if you’re fat in the wallet. Rent actor Will Smith’s incredible 1,200-square-foot, two-story trailer, “The Heat.” It’s been put out to pasture at the 7744 Ranch glamping resort outside Austin, Texas, after 20 years on the road. So how much to stay a night? How about $9,000? That’s no typo!
A total lunar eclipse will grace the night skies this weekend across North and South America. The celestial action unfolds Sunday night into early Monday morning, with the Super Flower Blood Moon bathed in the reflected red and orange hues of Earth’s sunsets and sunrises for about 1 1/2 hours. It will be the first of two lunar eclipses this year. Observers in the eastern half of North America will have prime seats, weather permitting.
The Sky View Campground at Carter Lake, Colorado, will formally open May 20 with 15 campsites. The new campground includes water and electric hook-ups, a restroom, a telescope pad and a communal fire pit. It’s operated by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and intended to cater to large groups of RVers and tenters.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Utah, Henry Mountains Field Station staff will again offer free 30-to-45-minute guided tours of the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, in conjunction with excavation work. Tours will be offered the weeks of May 16 and May 23, Monday through Saturday, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., weather permitting. No tours will occur on either Sunday. For more information, please stop by the Henry Mountains Field Station in Hanksville, at 380 South 100 West, or call 435-542-3461.
COMING IN JUNE: RV TECH TALK. RVtravel.com’s tech experts will answer reader questions about RV repair and maintenance live every Saturday morning. Our subscriber-readers (those who have voluntarily subscribed) will be invited to attend the virtual, live program and ask questions.
Popular “glamping” website HipCamp has purchased Cool Camping, a UK camping company. HipCamp aims to bring its Airbnb-style “glamping” model to the UK. HipCamp currently offers more than half-a-million campsites (tent and RV sites, treehouses, yurts and more) to campers in the U.S., Canada and Australia. This is their first foray into Europe.
Reminder: Planning to visit or drive through Yosemite this summer? Be sure you have a reservation if you’re arriving from May 20 through September 30, when reservations are required to drive into or through the park from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thirty percent of peak-hours reservations are available seven days in advance, at 8 a.m. PDT.
For more than a decade, The New York Times published a blog called Wheels about cars and the auto industry. But the feature is officially gone. It’s final edition was posted on Wednesday.
Lake Michigan’s scenic coastline and other areas throughout northern Lower Michigan will become more accessible for electric vehicle users this summer with the installation of 30 electric vehicle charging stations at select Michigan state parks.
RVers and others headed into Zion National Park last Sunday were stuck on State Route 6 for awhile after a rotting, two-foot diameter cottonwood tree fell across the road and blocked it. Luckily, nobody was close by when it came crashing town.
Hyundai said it wants to build a new assembly plant dedicated to building electric vehicles in the United States. Reuters reported the South Korean group — proprietor of the Hyundai and Kia brands — has talked with officials in Georgia, where Hyundai-Kia already has factories.
Looking for a good-paying seasonal job? Work as an Assistant Manager at Vermont’s Burton Island State Park. Housing is provided on-island. Pay is $855/week. The position runs through late September. Apply here.
Farther south, Louisiana State Parks has job openings available across the state for campground hosts. Follow this link to view available positions and to apply.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to again remain vigilant and avoid burning as fire danger remains very high across most of Wisconsin. With continuing dry conditions and high winds, the DNR is anticipating possible power line fires and others resulting from unintended sparks. Other news: Free Fishing Weekend in Wisconsin is coming June 4-5, 2022. No license required.
Starting Saturday, May 28, the National Park Service will offer shuttle bus service between Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center and the gateway community of Tusayan, Arizona. The Tusayan Route will run at 20-minute intervals between 8 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. daily through September 9, 2022.
The 2022‑23 Travel Oregon Visitor Guide is now available. If you’re headed to the land of the Banana Slug (and incredible beauty), be sure to order a copy (and request a free state highway map, too).
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
Cadillac goes bigger with industry’s most powerful SUV
Cadillac has introduced what it claims is the industry’s most powerful sport utility vehicle, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V. It’s the latest of the jumbo-sized SUV series the manufacturer debuted in 2004. The new offering, which has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds, features a 6.2-liter V-8 with 682 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Continue reading.
Do you lock your RV when you take a 10-minute walk around your campground?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Stolen near New Braunfels, Texas, this 1981 Airstream 28′ Excella motorhome will likely show damage on right side of front bumper. Crooks must be lousy drivers, as they hung the rig up on a “collateral damage” trailer while making their escape. When stolen it was equipped with Texas tag KXR094. The rig was ripped off sometime in early April and is listed with Comal County Crime Stoppers. If you know something, you could be in line for a reward of up to $3,500. Phone your tips to 830-620-8477.
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
• Up to 34,021 Grand Design RVs recalled for fire risk
• Jayco recalls some motorhomes. Storage compartment could melt
• Tiffin recalls some Cahaba motorhomes for fire danger
• Highland Ridge RV is recalling some towables for LP gas issue
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Make RV life easier with these 396 tips using everyday items
• From the publisher: Why our new robot writer frightens me
• Featured article: Campground owners discuss campsite waitlists. Are they worth it or too hard to manage?
• RV toolbox essentials – Don’t leave home without them!
• RVtravel.com offers much more than just newsletters. Check this out
• RVelectricity: Can I put a generator in the back of my EV to charge it while driving?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 9, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.33 [Calif.: $5.65]
Change from week before: Up 15 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.37.
Diesel: $5.62 [Calif.: $6.46]
Change from week before: Up 11 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.44.
A word I know, six letters it contains, remove one letter and 12 remains. What is it?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
If you’re an RV owner, you’ve absolutely got to own a set of these. I mean, really, how could you not?!
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
We love pork tenderloin because it’s an easy weeknight meal. The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for the pork to marinate in a mixture of coffee, bourbon, vinegar, and other goodies. Once grilled, the pork is delicious with a tangy and sweet flavor. We grilled the pork tenderloins on both a gas and charcoal grill. Both were super tender, but we thought the charcoal was slightly tastier.
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.
Do you know where the saying “When it rains it pours!” comes from? Today, we use the phrase to indicate that bad things tend to flood into our lives all at once. But the phrase was originally an incredibly smart marketing slogan. Historically, in humid climates, or on rainy days, table salt poured very poorly because the humidity caused the salt to clump together. Back in the early 20th century, the Morton Salt Company introduced magnesium carbonate to their table salt. Including this anti-caking agent resulted in salt that would pour out freely, despite the humid weather. “When it rains it pours” became the company’s new marketing slogan (still a registered trademark of the company!). Still today, the Morton Salt label features a girl walking under an umbrella with a container of salt pouring out freely.
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 and Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard and Dale Wade. 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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