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Sunday, June 5, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Tennessee to make unauthorized camping on public lands a felony
Tennessee is poised to become the first state to make unauthorized camping on public lands a felony. The move is intended to decrease homeless camping on public property, including parks and highways, and included RVs. The Tennessee Senate voted 20-10 in April to advance the camping felony bill. The Tennessee House passed a version of the new law last year. Public pressure to do something about the increasing number of highly visible homeless encampments has pushed even many traditionally liberal cities in the U.S. to clear them out. Several other states have introduced similar bills, but Tennessee is the only one to make camping a felony. Read more.
DEF shortages – Could they sideline your summer travel plans?
In the last few weeks several RV publications have run stories about the current state of DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) supply in the U.S. Some have been downright alarmist, suggesting fulltime RVers may find themselves stuck and unable to move due to lack of DEF. Are DEF shortages about to throw a major crimp in your travel plans? Find out here.
Expect a lot of turnover in campground ownership this year
There’s a good chance longtime RVers will see many new faces when they check into their favorite campgrounds this summer. Campground owners are handing over the keys. Many campgrounds—just like houses—have been selling well above asking prices and sparking bidding wars among potential new owners. Seasoned campground owners are pulling the plug, cashing out, and heading to retirement or other business opportunities. So, should you sell your house, cash out your retirement accounts, and join the campground-purchasing fray? Continue reading.
New study says a third of campers want to be full-time RVers
Campers are becoming some of the most studied organisms since spotted owls. Online camping and RV marketplace Campspot recently announced that it is teaming up with social media giant Pinterest to launch the first edition of its Campspot Outdoor Almanac, which tracks camping and outdoor trends. Learn more about the recent study and the new almanac here.
Campground Crowding: Would you pay more to have access to canceled sites?
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 we hear from RVers with alternate ways to camp other than campgrounds with amenities, i.e., boondocking; more than one who have given up, or are considering giving up, on camping; problems with reservation systems and a suggestion for one which has worked well for this person; and a reasonable suggestion which would help open up reserved spots from no-shows for other campers. All that and lots more here.
Yet another tiny house village debuts at RV park
Petite Retreats has launched its sixth tiny house village, and first in Tennessee. The houses at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village are part of Natchez Trace RV Campground, located about an hour southwest of Nashville in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Petite Retreats offers tiny houses among its variety of vacation rentals like yurts, cabins, cottages, tents, and teepees, across more than 180 RV resorts and campgrounds nationwide. Learn more.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “This is a relatively small Class A motorhome at 33 feet in length but offers a lot of interior space and all the advantages of a Class A motorhome including large under-floor (basement) storage. Further, it’s fully accessible in road mode, has seatbelts for eight people including child seat mounts, and costs less than many of those Class B RVs.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
May 29 – June 4, 2022
RV wholesale values drop. The average wholesale selling price for motorized RVs was $73,350 last month, down $3,068 (4%) from the previous month. Figures from Black Book market analysts said towable RVs came in at $20,883, up $522 (2.5%) from April. A year ago, the average motorhome sold for $64,474 and the average towable RV went for $22,214.
Yellowstone’s bison-goring season off to fast start. A 25-year-old Ohio woman became the first bison goring victim of the season Monday at Yellowstone National Park. Park officials said the woman, from Grove City, Ohio, approached within 10 feet of the bison while on a boardwalk near Black Sand Basin. Witnesses said the bison tossed the woman about 10 feet into the air. She sustained a puncture injury and was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. As of Saturday, we have been unable to confirm her condition, since the latest reports we’ve been able to find are from three days ago.
Camping World has big plans. Camping World Holdings is planning to increase its sales and service network by adding at least 11 new dealerships in seven states by the end of 2022. Cities slated to get new outlets include La Mirada, CA; San Martin, CA; Kansas City, KS; Belleville, MI; Branson, MO; Scott City (Cape Girardeau), MO; Billings, MT; Sunbury (Columbus), OH; Green Bay, WI; Onalaska, WI; and Oshkosh, WI.
Campers Inn RV growing, too. Campers Inn RV, which claims to be the largest family-operated RV dealership network, says it plans to soon open three new dealerships in Collinsville, IL; Jacksonville, FL; and Washington, PA.
Space Campers has designed a new “wedge-style” camper for the Tesla Cybertruck. The camper is built from aerospace-grade materials and is built to last a lifetime. The camper is equipped with dimmable lights, electrical outlets, an induction cooktop, a portable cooler, water heater, and more.
Canadian RV shipments booming. The Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association is reporting that RV wholesale shipments into Canada during the first quarter of 2022 were up nearly 30% from last year. RV shipments into Canada during the first quarter of 2022 totaled 17,964 units, compared to 13,852 in 2021. In comparison, America’s RV Industry Association reported 57,043 units shipped in April, up 11.5% compared to the 51,813 units shipped in April 2021.
Free tech training for women. The RV Technical Institute, based in Elkhart, Indiana, is teaming up with the RV Women’s Alliance to offer free RV technician training to the first all-female Level 1 Technician class. The partnership will provide 12 free training scholarships for a class that will be held in August 2022. The scholarships will also cover the cost of hotel stays for students during the training. Any woman in the RV industry who is interested in a career as an RV technician is encouraged to apply for one of the twelve spots available in the class. Applications will be accepted until June 24, 2022, and selected applicants will be notified by July 1, 2022. This in-person training will take place August 1-5 at RVTI in Elkhart, Indiana. Travel to Elkhart will not be covered by the scholarships.
Planned park in Bend on hold. A new 176-site RV park that had been planned in Bend, Oregon, is now on the back burner. Property owner Larry Kine had planned to start construction on the south Bend facility this spring. Kine says the RV park project is delayed because a review of the project’s construction drawings remains incomplete. The project would be built on a portion of a 29.3-acre property. “We are hopeful that we will have it up and running in the spring of 2023,” said Kine. With at least 176 RV spaces, the park, which has not been named yet, will be one of the largest private RV parks in Bend. Another large RV park in Bend, Crown Villa RV Resort, has 123 RV sites.
Starlink-ready Class B announced. Just days after SpaceX announced its RV-ready Starlink service, German RV manufacturer Alphavan announced that it is the first manufacturer to roll out Starlink-ready RVs. Last week, SpaceX took the next step toward better RV service when it launched Starlink for RVs, a version of the service that offers a more flexible, RV/travel-friendly structure that can be paused and unpaused. The RV service provides access to high-speed, low-latency internet at any destination that’s part of Starlink’s active coverage area. Alphavan will offer an optional Starlink adapter package that is ready to connect to the satellite internet hardware and service. Alphavan’s campers will be plug-and-play with Starlink.
Campers killed by falling tree. The Price County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Department has released the names of two people killed on May 29 after they were struck by a tree while camping. Investigators said Sandy Michael Langseth II, 39, and April Sheldahl, 45, were at a campsite along the North Fork of the Flambeau River in the township of Lake. The location is in the northwestern corner of the county. Langseth and Sheldahl were seated at a picnic table when the tree fell. Two other people at the campsite were uninjured. The victims were from White Bear, Minnesota.
Tennessee waives RV registration fees. The state of Tennessee has decided to waive its portion of RV and motorcycle registration fees from July 1 until the end of June 2023. The fee for class B vehicles, including RVs or other heavy vehicles weighing more than 13 tons, will be cut by $23.75.
Snow forces campers to abandon RVs. About 40 RVers became stranded by a Memorial Day weekend snowstorm at the M-K Campground in the Custer Gallatin National Forest near Red Lodge, Montana. The campers were forced to abandon their RVs and spent the last week trying to retrieve the units.
Forest River hit with class action lawsuit. A proposed class action lawsuit alleges 2002 through 2022 model year Forest River 5th wheels are equipped with unsafe wiring systems. The 50-page lawsuit claims that Berkshire Hathaway-owned Forest River manufactured the RVs at issue without safely insulating and protecting wires between the towing vehicle’s seven-way junction box and an RV’s battery, which increases the risk of a short and creates a hazardous condition. According to the proposed lawsuit, Forest River manufactured the RVs without installing a fuse or circuit breaker to protect the wiring system. If a short occurs in the wiring between a seven-way junction box and an RV’s battery, the unprotected wire will overheat, creating a fire risk, the lawsuit filing states. Read more at classaction.org.
As housing prices skyrocket around the USA and Canada, finding a place to rent or buy can be impossible for those struggling financially. In response, a listing on Craigslist in Vancouver, B.C., offers a small travel trailer for rent for $650 a month. The post advertises it has a “private bedroom,” and promises the tenant would have access to the kitchen, bathroom and laundry machines inside the adjacent home.
More Mendocino NF campgrounds closed. Forest officials announced on Friday that additional campgrounds within the Mendocino National Forest, including Letts Lake, Mill Valley and Masterson campgrounds, are closing due to ongoing safety hazards. These campgrounds are in addition to several other campgrounds and trailheads that were previously closed, according to forest officials. “Forest crews have already removed several dead and dying trees that pose a safety risk in these campgrounds, but officials have since identified additional trees that will need to be removed before the campgrounds can be safely reopened,” read a release issued by the Forest Service.
Now this is getting ridiculous!
Did you ever think you would see fuel prices like this? This photo was taken last week at a Los Angeles Chevron station — more than $8 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline and more than $9 for diesel. Is $10-a-gallon fuel on the way?
KOA sued for camper’s wild ride in portable toilet. A South Carolina man has filed a lawsuit against Kampgrounds of America Inc. and a porta potty rental company after he claims he was trapped inside a portable toilet stall for nearly an hour. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that in February of 2020 he was using a portable shower trailer/toilet stall located in a KOA park in Charleston when he felt it move, trapping him inside. The portable shower trailer was owned and operated by Nature’s Calling Inc., a subsidiary of United Site Services (USS). Both companies are named in the lawsuit. According to the suit, an employee for Nature’s Calling Inc. loaded the shower trailer onto a truck without inspecting the inside of the trailer and transported it about forty-five minutes away from the campground. The plaintiff claims he was “tossed around inside the toilet stall of the trailer along with feces, urine, and other bodily fluids for the duration of the trip.” He said he was unable to exit the trailer until it was unloaded and emerged “covered in waste matter.”
Fire restrictions are now in effect in southeastern Utah. Affected areas for fire bans include Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monuments and state lands, unincorporated private lands, and BLM Moab and Monticello field office areas. No wood or charcoal fires are allowed, no smoking, no metal cutting, welding or grinding, and no use of fireworks. Read more regarding restrictions in southwest Utah and northern Arizona.
Families of three men who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while camping at the 2021 Faster Horses Festival are suing event promoter Live Nation Worldwide and Michigan International Speedway, alleging the campground was overcrowded, unsafe and improperly monitored and inspected. The lawsuit alleges that Nation and MIS failed to “plan for and allow sufficient space between campsites to prevent overcrowding and the opportunity for the accumulation of carbon monoxide.” The deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling or exposure to exhaust fumes from a portable generator, according to autopsy reports. A detective found a carbon monoxide alarm in the victims’ trailer, but it did not appear to be functional, according to the police report.
Fishing for BEES? A California Appeals Court has ruled that four species of bees are fish. Yes, that’s right. The issue was whether the bumble bee, a terrestrial invertebrate, falls within the definition of fish – a division in the list of endangered species and threatened species in the California Endangered Species Act. The act identifies the protected species, in separate divisions, as “bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, or plant.” The lawsuit specifically set out to determine whether the commission exceeded its authority when it designated four bumble bee species as endangered species – the Crotch bumble bee, the Franklin bumble bee, the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee and the Western bumble bee – calling them invertebrates, therefore falling under CESA’s definition of fish. Read the actual court document here.
Washington State Parks is offering three days of free access in June. No entry fee will be required on June 11th, June 12th (which is also free fishing day), or June 19th.
In the week ending this past Saturday, the amount of gas pumped at U.S. gas stations declined 5 percent compared to the same week a year ago, according to OPIS, which tracks gasoline prices and consumption data.
Yosemite Conservancy is investing $14 million in Yosemite National Park. The money will support more than 60 grants for important projects and programs within the park.
The Summer 2022 RV RoadSigns issue, a quarterly forecast prepared by ITR Economics for the RV Industry Association (RVIA), projects RV wholesale shipments to top 549,900 units by the end of 2022. The new forecast estimates shipments to range between 537,800 and 561,900 units with a most likely year-end total of 549,900 units, an 8.4 percent decline from last year.
RV-related towing equipment manufacturer Blue Ox will be the title sponsor for FMCA’s August 24-27 International Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. Blue Ox maintains its headquarters in Pender, Nebraska, and has a facility in Lincoln.
The Sparks, Nevada Police Department is looking for information after a body was discovered in a burned RV at the Victorian RV Park. The cause of death is under investigation, but both the death and fire are suspicious. Got info? Call the police at 775-353-2231.
National Guard troops will set up camp in Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado for the next few years to tackle deferred maintenance projects in the park.
If you’re camping in Michigan State Parks, make sure you don’t arrive before the 3 p.m. check-in time. Staffing shortages mean staff needs the full two-hour window to prepare campsites for the next visitors. Michigan State Parks will says it will strictly enforce the check-in time.
Don’t be alarmed if you see a wildfire in Merced County, California, on Monday. State Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan to conduct a 222-acre prescribed burn in Great Valley Grasslands State Park. The park preserves one of the few intact examples of native grasslands in the San Joaquin Valley. The burn may be delayed if weather conditions are not right.
The 30-mile highway through Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California has opened to through traffic a bit earlier than normal. A lower-than-average snowpack accelerated snow clearing operations in the park. Intermittent closures are possible due to repair work or inclement weather.
Elon Musk is cutting 10 percent of Tesla’s workforce. Serious braking issue complaints may be a factor. According to Bloomberg‘s reporting, federal regulators have Tesla in their crosshairs after receiving 758 complaints about the electric cars’ brakes suddenly engaging at high speeds, a phenomenon referred to as “phantom braking.”
Ford has announced it will add 6,200 factory jobs in the United States, and elevate another 3,000 temporary manufacturing workers to full-time union employees as part of its $50 billion, five-year electric vehicle ramp up.
Our Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter is returning tomorrow! 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.
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
Ford F-Series pickup trucks top catalytic converter theft list
Mandated for all U.S. cars and trucks in 1975, catalytic converters convert harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they’ve left the exhaust system. Platinum, palladium, rhodium or gold are used as the catalyst. Thieves can sell converters to metal recyclers for $20-$200. The recyclers extract the metal and resell it for thousands of dollars per ounce. … Pickup trucks are the most likely targets. Continue reading for a list of the top-10 vehicle catalytic converter thefts.
Which do you normally choose, a drive-through campsite or a back-in?
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Storage swiped: From Jersey Village, Houston, Texas, this 2017 Jayco White Hawk has some pretty distinguishing marks to look for. There’s a cat door/drawer on the curb side bay. It also has a Renogy charge controller mounted in the curbside basement storage area that services four panels mounted up topside. Slideout toppers, too. There was a wheel lock on the curb side when the thief tried to tow it, so there could be wheel-well or tire damage. This model 27DSRL bore the Texas plate B23-1691, and vanished May 16. Know something? Contact Officer Guzman at the Jersey Village PD. Call 713-466-5824 and refer to Case Number 2022-00005847.
Somebody ripped off this 2013 Jayco Jay Flight Swift in New Orleans. The theft took place around April 27, but it was likely broken into a couple of days earlier. It was last seen near St. Charles and 7th Street in the 11th Ward. Owner has canvassed salvaged yards and tow companies to no avail. The interior has very distinctive pink paint accent work on cabinetry. The owner is offering a $300 reward. Know something? Contact NOLA police at (504) 821-2222.
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
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: The great outdoors is not a “personal plaything”
• Safely carry LP cylinders in your pickup with this clever mod
• Majority of RVtravel.com readers would like to own an RV park. Former campground owner says ‘stay away’
• Ask Dave: How can I charge my engine battery when connected to shore power?
• Gadgets and Gizmos: Lippert LP tank level monitor. Every RV should come with this
• RVelectricity: Ford F-150 Lightning towing range with Hi-Lo trailer
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 30, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.62 [Calif.: $5.99]
Change from week before: Up 3 cents.
Change from year before: Up $1.60.
Diesel: $5.54 [Calif.: $6.54]
Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.28.
Nate finds that by wearing different combinations of the jackets, shirts, and pairs of pants that he owns, he can create ninety different outfits. If he owns five jackets and three pairs of pants, how many shirts does he own?
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Okay, we know it’s not really the season for this anymore, but we HAD to show this to you. How did we not know this existed? How does ANY camper or RVer live without this?!
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
This is sure to be a hit on your summer menu! It’s light and flavorful. This would be wonderful as a salad or an easy appetizer.
Brain teaser answer:
Six. For every pair of pants, Nate can wear five different jackets, giving five different combinations for each pair of pants, or 3 × 15 = 15 different combinations of pants and jackets. With each of these combinations, he can wear any of his different shirts.
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.
If you want to visit the world’s largest national park, you’ll have to leave the country. Northeast Greenland National Park in Greenland is the largest national park in the world, covering the entire northeast quadrant of the country at 375,000 square miles. It encompasses nearly 45 percent of the entire landmass of Greenland. It’s also the most northern national park.
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, Karel Carnohan, DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin Simpson 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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