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News for RVers Issue 1054, 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, May 29, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition

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  Featured articles  

SpaceX introduces Starlink RV internet for RVers

On Monday, May 23rd, Elon Musk’s SpaceX introduced a new high-speed internet service specifically aimed at RVers. “Starlink RV” features immediate shipment of Starlink hardware and eliminates the previously long wait time for both equipment and service. Learn more.

Chinese scientists at work on means to destroy Starlink

In what will undoubtedly be of some concern to Starlink RV subscribers, as well as other Starlink users and the rest of the country, China is working on a plan to neutralize and destroy Starlink satellites. In April, a scientific paper published in the Chinese journal Modern Defence Technology described scientific efforts to devise a way to disable or destroy Starlink. Read more.

Memorial Day camping expected to top 2021 numbers

Kampgrounds of America’s North American Camping Report for April is predicting there will be 22.2 million households camping over Memorial Day weekend (May 28-30) and the recently completed Canadian Victoria Day weekend (May 21-23) combined. That’s a 5.4% increase over the same holiday weekends in 2021. Continue reading.

Thor puts interesting spin on fuel price surveys. What’s your opinion?

Are high fuel prices a pain in your gas? RV manufacturer Thor says, “nah,” and they have the survey results to prove it. Trumpeting loudly, earlier this week Thor released its spin on a survey of 500 folks who have gone RVing in the last two years. We’ll look at the numbers, and will ask for your opinions, as it’s likely most of you never got the chance to tell Thor your own view. Read more and please participate in the polls here.

RV parks and campgrounds are already booked solid for summer

If you’ve been having a hard time finding a place to park your RV, it’s not your imagination. In what may be the first comprehensive effort to inventory the nation’s supply of campgrounds and campsites, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) released a survey May 18 which revealed that RV parks are basically full this coming camping season. No surprise, right? Yet, while the study’s conclusions are unremarkable, what’s interesting are their underlying data and the fact that it’s taken this long to assemble them. Continue reading.



Are metal license plates doomed in California?

Mounting a license plate is often awkward. Cheap frames from dealerships that didn’t ask permission to promote their businesses on your new car. Odd screws that don’t hold the plates steady or look ugly. California is attempting to resolve the issue, and it could mean a nationwide trend for RVers. Continue reading.

Campground Crowding: ‘Crowding? More like campsite hoarding!’

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 a couple of readers voice their frustration and exasperation with the Recreation.gov reservation system. (Have you encountered the problems they’ve experienced?) There were more complaints about supposedly “crowded” campgrounds but with empty sites. However, one RVer says: “Due to so many campgrounds being fully booked, we had to be really resourceful and adventurous. It made our trip more fun and memorable.” What a great attitude! Read more.


Today’s RV review…

Ember RV 201FBQ, now with twice as many wheels

Tony writes, “This is effectively a four-wheel travel trailer with a walk-around permanent queen-sized bed that also sports a slide room.”

Read more

Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.



That was the RV week that was

May 22–28, 2022

RV inventories continue to recover. Josh Winters of Bish’s RV (formerly Haylett RV) and also the star of the famous “Josh the RV Nerd” video series on YouTube, says he’s noticed that dealer inventories are continuing to recover. “Inventory volumes are recovering significantly versus last year,” Winters said. “That trend is likely going to continue slowly through the fall. At that point I expect inventory volumes to largely have normalized versus what we saw pre-COVID.”

If you’re planning a trip to Lake Mead (NV and AZ), listen up. The National Parks Service is warning those visiting the lake that vehicles may get stuck in the newly exposed shoreline. Here’s the tweet:

Camping World strikes again! America’s largest RV retailer has acquired Richardson’s RV Centers. The sales agreement covers eight locations in California and Indiana, including five current dealerships, one future dealership and two parts and service centers. This is the largest acquisition in the company’s history and makes Camping World the #1 retailer in California.

The RV Technical Institute (RVTI) will give 12 women free RV technician training in an all-female Level 1 class in partnership with the RV Women’s Alliance (RVWA) from August 1-5. Additionally, the RVWA will provide scholarships to cover hotel stays during the week of training. Ladies, if you’re interested in pursuing a career as an RV Tech, you can apply for one of the 12 spots here until June 24th.

Olympia, WA, is formally allowing permit-based RV encampment parking on a city street. For years, nearly 40 RVs have been parked along Ensign Road. Now, all their occupants have been issued a parking permit from the city that allows them to stay indefinitely, as long as they follow a set of conditions mostly involving health and safety. The city will pump the RV dwellers’ sewage tanks once a month. Multiple porta-potties and dumpsters are being made available.

General RV Center will open another RV Supercenter with 34 service bays this July at 187 Merts Drive in Mount Joy Township, PA, near Elizabethtown. The location will sell both new and used RVs, as well as service RVs. General RV Center will host upcoming hiring events and offer sign-on bonuses. Their other location in the Harrisburg area will close once the new location opens.



As of May 27, and through September 11, all vehicles entering Glacier National Park need reservations for the Going-to-the-Sun Road and the North Fork area of the park. 24-hour advance reservations will be released at 8 a.m. MDT the day before the effective date on recreation.gov. All 120-day advanced vehicle reservations for the 2022 season have already been released.

Summer recreation sites along the Dalton Highway are open for the summer season, including the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center (AIVC) in Coldfoot and the Yukon River Contact Station at the Yukon River Bridge, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported. In addition, the Five Mile, Arctic Circle, and Marion Creek campgrounds are now open. The northernmost campground at Galbraith Lake is still melting out after winter but is expected to be open for camping the first week of June.

If you have a favorite state park, vote for it in USA Today’s 10Best contest. The contest will list the top 10 state parks for camping. You can vote for your favorite park (of the ones listed) once a day until voting ends Monday, June 20th, at 12 p.m ET. The top 10 winners will be announced on Friday, July 1. See which parks are nominated and cast your vote here.

Speaking of state parks—California State Parks is honoring the service of veterans, active and reserve military members, by offering them free admission to participating parks on Memorial Day, May 30.

Developer planning new KOA. A land developer has submitted plans for a new 176-site Kampgrounds of America park in Morgan County, West Virginia. The owner of the property is listed as Two Rivers Land Co. LLC of Berkeley Springs, and the developer of record is Scenic LLC, also of Berkeley Springs. The 48-acre site includes plans for 60 back-in RV sites, 85 pull-through RV sites, 16 cabins, eight yurts and four tents. The developer said the park will take about eight months to construct once plans are approved by the county.

Celebrating Yellowstone’s 150th birthday this summer? If you’re planning to make this the year you visit Yellowstone National Park, the Park Service has a few things to keep in mind. Learn more here.



The LA Police Department Assistant Chief Robert Marino says they can’t tow RVs off the streets because there is no place to store them. The only police garage that is large enough to store RVs is already at full capacity. Marino said even if they had a place to store the RVs, there are only a few facilities that would break them down—not enough to keep up with demand. The city has been looking for solutions after lifting the pandemic-era ban on towing more than a month ago.

National Park police union advises visitors to stay away from some of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations this Memorial Day weekend. Leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police United States Park Police Labor Committee say there are not enough staff members to adequately protect the city’s beaches, parks and attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge. There will be 32 officers patrolling this large area, when there should be 83. There will only be three officers patrolling an area roughly from west of the popular Fisherman’s Wharf along the coast including Baker and China Beaches, and then south along Ocean Beach.

Because of hot and dry weather conditions and increased risk for wildfire activity, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has implemented Stage 2 fire restrictions in three of its four Arizona districts. BLM-managed public lands in the Phoenix District, Colorado River District and Gila District are affected. More.

Also: Grand Canyon National Park has also implemented Stage 2 fire restrictions for the South Rim, North Rim and Inner Canyon, which began May 26, 2022. The restriction encompasses the entire park including all campgrounds.

No camping in Central Oregon forest. Officials at the Deschutes National Forest said late-season snow and cold temperatures have left much of the forest under snow. That means 22 campgrounds won’t be operating for Memorial Day weekend, although there’s a chance two could open in time if hazard tree removal was completed by May 27.

The BLM has opened its campgrounds on the southern Oregon Coast. They include Smith River Falls, Vincent Creek, Fawn Creek, and East Shore in the Reedsport area; Park Creek east of Coquille; and Sixes River and Edson Creek near Port Orford. All campgrounds except East Shore, Sixes River and Edson Creek are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.



National Park Service officials say a raccoon has tested positive and several others are showing symptoms for canine distemper near Bayside Campground at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland and Virginia. The highly contagious virus doesn’t affect humans, but dogs and other small mammals can become infected. The virus is transmitted through urine, feces, saliva, and respiratory secretions. Officials are warning campers to make sure their dog’s vaccines are up-to-date and are kept on a leash at all times.

Vacation costs are forcing more “nearcations.” Leading RV rental company Outdoorsy’s latest research shows nearly six in 10 survey respondents (58%) said they plan to vacation closer to home this summer to beat out inflation and rising gas prices. For those who may have had to dip into their vacation budget just to make ends meet elsewhere (72%), a “nearcation” is the perfect option for a vacation that offers the feeling of a getaway without the blow to your wallet. More on that here.

Henry Ayers, a 12-year-old Boy Scout, was attacked by a black bear during a camping trip in upstate New York at Harriman State Park. The bear broke into the boy’s tent looking for food around 1:30 a.m. The boy said the bear grabbed him through his sleeping bag, but his screaming and movements scared the bear and made it flee. Fortunately, the Scout only had a few scratches on his leg. The bear was later captured in the park and was humanely euthanized. Ayers had nine rabies shots over four days, but recovered fine. He admitted to being sad that the bear was euthanized.

Gas prices are painfully high this Memorial Day weekend. The $4.60-a-gallon average price for regular gas is at an all-time high. Pump prices are also very elevated on an inflation-adjusted basis. Real (that is, inflation-adjusted) gas prices haven’t been this high heading into Memorial Day weekend since 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

China is seeing a camping boom, too. What was once a small, niche hobby for a few has become one of the leading choices for travel during the May Day holiday. Chinese travel agency Ctrip said that searches for the keyword camping increased by 90% week after week leading up to and during the May Day holiday. Additionally, data from Xiaohongshu, a Chinese social media company, revealed that camping-related topics on the platform surged by 587% in 2021 compared to a year earlier.

The Lost Lake fire. Photo credit: Jessica Everett-Ellerman

A wildfire near Blythe, Calif., had burned at least 4,758 acres as of early Friday afternoon and remained a threat to the Lost Lake RV Resort north of Blythe, near the Arizona border. It was 0% contained as of about 1 p.m. Fire authorities evacuated an RV park Thursday when the fire was at about 400 acres. Portions of U.S. Route 95 north of Blythe are closed.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM, has implemented additional fire restrictions. Due to extreme fire danger risk, Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness area and all backcountry day-use areas are closed. Open flames and cooking stoves are prohibited. If planning a visit, check online first to make sure roads, trails and sites are open. On May 20th, 14 new fires were reported. Nine major fires are currently active.

Does the burger you order from Wendy’s and McDonald’s look a little too small? The two companies are the latest to be hit with a proposed class action lawsuit claiming they misleadingly advertise the size of the patties and toppings that come with their burgers. According to the case, the burgers shown in advertisements are only seared on the outside or otherwise undercooked. Because meat generally shrinks 25 percent when cooked, the suit says, the advertised burgers look 15 to 20 percent bigger than what customers actually receive.

In observance of World Migratory Bird Day (May 14th), Zion National Park in Utah announced crews are installing new technology on all windows in the park that will prevent birds from flying into them. The technology has small, plastic circles that are transparent to humans, but reflect ultraviolet light, making them visible to flying birds. As of now, 40 percent of all windows in the park have been treated, with more on the way. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says nearly 1 billion birds collide with glass in the U.S. each year.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is making the outdoors accessible to all at their state parks by introducing free-to-use track chairs, off-road, electric-powered chairs that can go on trails not suited for regular wheelchairs. Learn more.



News briefs

Think RV rental companies only rent out motorhomes? Wrong! A recent RV Rental Association (RVRA) study found that 81% of RV rental dealers also rent trailers, not just motorhomes.

City officials have filed an application for a federal grant to fund the construction of a 1,900-square-foot storm shelter at the Lake Mitchell Campground in Mitchell, SD. The storm shelter would be capable of holding 158 people in case of a severe storm. As of now, Mitchell does not have such a a storm shelter.

On July 1, Tennessee will be the first state to make camping on public lands such as in parks a felony. The law requires violators to receive at least 24-hours’ notice but the charge is punishable by up to six years in prison.

Starting this weekend, all New Jersey State Parks, forests and recreation areas are free to enter—and not just for New Jersey residents! If you’ve already purchased an annual state park pass, you will receive an automatic refund.

Garry Douglas Seaman, a 63-year-old Montana man, has been arrested after a shooting that left one man dead and a woman injured at the Alexander Creek Campground along Montana’s Kootenai River at about 2:45 p.m. last Saturday. He has been charged with deliberate homicide.

Wisconsin lake cabin owners are not happy. The explosion of new campgrounds in the lake country of Wisconsin is causing some problems for owners of established summer cabins on the lakes. Click here to hear the latest.

Speaking of Wisconsin, all Wisconsin State Parks will be free next weekend during their Free Fun Weekend, June 4-5. Camping fees still apply.

With the threat of the Cerro Pelado wildfire reaching Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico reduced, the park planned to reopen on Friday. It had been closed since April 30 due to the fire. However, due to ongoing extreme fire danger, all campgrounds, wilderness areas and backcountry trails at Bandelier National Monument are closed. Open trails include Pueblo Loop, Frey, Tyuonyi Overlook, Falls Trail to the Upper Falls and the Tsankawi Trail. Smoking is allowed inside vehicles only.

Wildfires are currently burning in 18 states, with the most dire situations in New Mexico, where five fires have burned more than 700,000 acres, and Texas, where one fire has burned more than 400,000 acres. It was determined by the U.S. Forest Service on Friday that the largest fire in New Mexico history was caused by a prescribed burn which had concluded in January but which flared up again in April as the Calf Canyon Fire. Strong winds on April 22 then caused the fire to spread, and it merged with the Hermits Peak Fire, also an escaped prescribed burn. As of Friday, May 28, the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires had burned more than 314,000 acres.


Our Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter is returning on June 6th! If you’re a beginning RVer or know someone who is, sign up for this daily newsletter, where you’ll learn all the RVing basics (and much more!). If you don’t enjoy it or feel it’s not for you, you can always unsubscribe.


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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

2022 pickup truck sales intensify among Ford, Ram, Chevrolet

Competition among pickup truck manufacturers is always intense. Ford still reigns, as it has for nearly 50 years. But just looking at the past five years, the statistics in the following interactive chart reveal changing trends. Continue reading.

New Ford Maverick is a price, fuel-efficiency hit. Good luck getting one

The 2022 Ford Maverick has proven a success, although many buyers who placed orders for the new offering in the manufacturer’s extensive array of lightweight trucks haven’t received their vehicle and likely won’t soon. The Maverick combines affordability and fuel efficiency, and it’s also backlogged with many other cars and trucks and many other products in the supply chain fiasco. Learn more.



Reader poll

Do you have a “go-to” RV shop or technician who you trust for repair work?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.

Tell us here


HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?

A conspiracy of crooks boldly rolled off with not just one, but two RVs from a Texas storage facility. The Brazos County Sheriff reports early on May 4, two men cut the fence at Karstens RV Resort and storage facility in College Station. Once inside, they used two pickups, a white extended cab with a long bed, and a black Dodge dually to abscond with two travel trailers. One was a 2020 Grand Premier, the other a 2021 Sundance. Know something? Call the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office at 979-361-4900 and speak to a detective.

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

(Nothing significant to report this week.)


Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
Cover story: In honor of Memorial Day: Heartwarming old TV clip will bring tears to your eyes
Featured article: Big-time magazine mangles the RV park story, misses the mark
New RV shopping tips from a former RV salesperson
Hold down summertime holding tank stink
All aboard! The Orient Express vintage trailer is a sight to behold
Everything you should do to prepare for an extended RV trip
and much more

Read it here | Back issues


????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
OMG! These are too funny! This comes with 200 but we bet you could use up all 200 in a week… we know we could!


Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 23, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.59 [Calif.: $5.90]
Change from week before: Up 10 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.57.
Diesel: $5.57 [Calif.: $6.50]
Change from week before: Up 4 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.32.


Brain Teaser

What can’t be burned in a fire nor drowned in the water?

(Answer below.)



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

Elmer’s Bar-B-Que Sauce & Char-Grilled Chicken
by Jamie Beecham from Nashville, NC

Jamie’s dad would be proud. She has perfected his BBQ sauce and chicken. This homemade BBQ sauce is slightly sweet, tangy, and has a slight kick. After grilling, it has fantastic caramelization. The skin is crispy and tasty. Have a batch of his barbecue sauce handy this summer during grilling season.

Click here for the recipe


Brain teaser answer:

Ice.


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

Historians estimate that about 300 of the original 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail remain untouched. The rest has been lost to time or development. In many places, roads and highways were built directly over the popular route. However, many of the pioneers’ wagon ruts remain intact. In most places, you can walk or hike along them (but be respectful). Here’s a good guide to traveling today’s Oregon Trail.



Sunday funny

Three dinosaurs were out hunting for food when they came across a shiny lamp. One of them rubs it and a blue genie appears. “Hello, I am a genie! You each get one wish. What can I grant you?” “I wish for a large piece of meat, I’m hungry!” The first dinosaur says. And so a large piece of meat materialized. “I wish for an entire shower of meat!” The second dinosaur says. And the genie makes all different sorts of meat rain down from a small cloud about the dinosaur’s head. Not wanting to be outdone by his friends, the third dinosaur tries to think of something better. “I wish for a meatier shower!” And that, ladies and gentlemen, explains it all.


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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, 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, 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.

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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jillie
1 month ago

You folks do not want to know what I spent traveling, towing from Michigan to Maine. But I did hear Michigan is hovering around 5 a gallon and in Maine where I am at now is 469 a gallon. I would be very interested in those round circles to keep birds from flying into windows. I had a bird at my car window for over half hour. I was like dude go find a playmate or something. I love Zion natl. Beautiful place.

Kathryn
1 month ago

Another answer to trivia question: the Sun!