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Sunday, June 12, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
In case you missed yesterday’s newsletter, you might want to check it out and read Chuck Woodbury’s fascinating article titled “The man who drove campers loopy!“
GOODBYE, ANGRY READERS: We have begun banning certain angry readers from commenting on articles because they are being rude and disrespectful to others. Also, all commenters who use fake email addresses are gradually being weeded out. RVtravel.com is for honest, intelligent, open-minded, respectful people — Democrats, Republicans, Independents, it does not matter — who understand that not everyone shares their opinions of every single thing in life.
8 dead, 69 hurt—Goodyear finally recalls G159 tires
LeRoy Haeger and his family were headed down Arizona’s I-10 bound for New Mexico in their motorhome. The family’s quiet ride turned anything but when the rig’s right steer tire blew, blasting the motorhome over an embankment, stopping on its side. … It all happened in 2003—nearly two decades ago—when the rig’s Goodyear G159 tire blew out. Only now, with at least 8 people dead and 69 more injured in incidents involving G159 tires, has the manufacturer recalled them. What is going on? Find out in Russ and Tiña De Maris’ thorough report here.
Musk talks (and Tweets) Starlink 2.0—new and improved. What’s in store?
By Randall Brink
SpaceX is ramping up for the implementation of Starlink v. 2.0. The new and improved Starlink will vastly expand coverage across the globe and improve internet access for RVers in remote locations. Learn more.
Campground Crowding: ‘The park was so crowded my RV was parked over someone’s fire ring’
By Nanci Dixon
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 more RVers who have given up due to the overcrowding and reluctantly sold their RVs. Plus readers have good things to say about recreation.gov. There are more complaints about bots as well as no-shows. And what happened when the RVer complained about her pullout being positioned over the neighbor’s fire ring? You won’t believe it! All that and more here.
RV parks and campgrounds designated as essential; will save RVers during disasters
Something important to RVers happened in Washington, D.C., this week that will have a major impact the next time the country shuts down due to a pandemic or other emergency. On Monday, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, officially transitioned the RV park and campground classification in the Commercial Facilities Sector from Outdoor Events to Lodging and simultaneously classified all temporary lodging, including RV parks and campgrounds, as essential. Read why this is important here.
RV shipments, sales still booming despite rising costs and fuel prices
New RV buyers apparently aren’t affected much by the price of fuel. Major RV manufacturers Thor Industries and REV Group both are reporting continued high demand for their products even as the average price of gas in the U.S. is now $5 a gallon. Continue reading this interesting update.
RV manufacturing to slow down during second half of 2022
It looks as if the Great RV Manufacturing Slowdown of 2022 is about to begin. Kathryn Thompson, CEO of Thompson Research Group, said her firm’s analysis of the current and future RV sales market shows its time for RV manufacturers to apply the brakes to new-unit production. Read about the interesting reasons why here.
RV industry’s economic impact now tops $140 billion annually
The RV industry has a lot of weight to throw around. During this week’s “RVs Move America Week” event in Washington, D.C., the RV Industry Association presented a comprehensive, state-by-state report on the RV industry’s economic impact on the U.S. The report said the RV industry now has an overall annual economic impact to the U.S. economy of $140 billion. The report said the industry supports nearly 680,000 jobs with more than $48 billion in wages. Continue reading.
Today’s RV review…
Tony says, “This is a big momma of a trailer with four slides” and it’s “a very large, very livable fifth wheel that would be very much something you could enjoy full-time. ”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
DID YOU KNOW that butter helped invent the ice chest? True. Read about it.
June 5–11, 2022
In case you didn’t know, yesterday was National Go RVing Day!
For the first time ever, a gallon of regular gas now costs $5 on average nationwide, according to yesterday’s AAA’s report. The national average stood at $4.07 when the current run of price increases began April 15. The current price reading from OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) represents 23% increase in less than two months. The U.S. national average for gasoline could be close to $6 later this summer, according to Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the OPIS.
On June 6th, the USDA announced it is investing $503 million dollars through the Great American Outdoors Act to improve outdoor recreation and conservation in National Forests. The more than half a billion dollars will improve infrastructure, increase user access, address deferred maintenance projects and support rural economies.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is recalling certain G159 tires, size 275/70R22.5 with DOT date codes 046 through 0403. The tread may separate from the tire. Tread separation can cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the tires installed on RVs free of charge and provide a $60 voucher for the cost of professionally weighing a recreational vehicle. Goodyear will offer a $500 refund for tires not installed on a vehicle. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Goodyear customer service at 1-800-592-3267 for more information. (If you missed the link above, check out this report.)
In help-the-animals news… The popular Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail in Joshua Tree National Park, CA, is temporarily closed so the park’s bighorn sheep have access to water. Joshua Tree is currently experiencing extreme drought conditions. The Fortynine Palms Oasis is one of just a few areas in the park with access to water for wildlife. There are about 200 bighorn sheep living in Joshua Tree.
Popular camping magazine and app The Dyrt releases list of the top 10 places to camp in nine regions across the country. All campsites are on both public and private lands and are within national forests, state and county parks and more. You can view the top 10 lists on The Dyrt’s website.
Amache National Historic Site in southern Colorado, one of 10 Japanese-American internment camps in the United States, is the newest addition to the U.S. National Park System. Amache is located about 3.5 hours southeast of Denver and is free to visit.
A company called FLY2RV LLC, based in Orlando, Florida, is offering pilots of small planes a way to fly into airports near national parks, forests, beaches, resort areas and other destinations, pick up a rental RV—and head off to explore. “I know RV owners in San Diego who would like to see Idaho, but they would never drive their RV all the way there. They tell me they would rather fly in and pick up the RV,” said Jim Schivley, president and CEO of FLY2RV.
If you are traveling in the Santa Barbara area, don’t think your eyes are playing tricks if you spot a zebra. Travelers in the area have reported a zebra, apparently a friendly one, in various locations. The best guess is that it’s one owned by a local resident that enjoys roaming around the area every so often.
And speaking of wild animals, police in Erie, Colorado, are pleading with local residents to quit trying to take selfies with a moose on the loose. The department is also asking residents to keep their dogs leashed to avoid frightening the animal.
And, in the wackiest animal story of the week, a fisherman in Indiana, after catching a trophy catfish, noticed it had a big ol’ lump in its belly. Later, when cleaning the creature, in its stomach he discovered a foam ball, a partially eaten fish … and (drum roll) — a phallic adult toy (maybe a promising new fishing lure?).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for 2021. NHTSA projects that an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history. Preliminary data show that vehicle miles traveled in 2021 increased by about 325 billion miles, or about 11.2%, as compared to 2020.
Record gas prices drove inflation to 8.6% for the 12 months ending in May, higher than the pace in April, according to the latest Consumer Price Index, the government’s basic inflation measure. The typical U.S. household is spending about $460 more every month than it did last year to purchase the same goods and services, said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics. Gas prices jumped 50 percent over the last year. But energy price hikes were not limited to the record gasoline prices. Electricity prices rose 12% over the last 12 months, the biggest annual increase since 2006. And the price of natural gas being used by consumers rose 30.2%, the biggest jump since 2008.
So far in 2022, 29,050 wildfires have burned 2,083,238 acres. More than 95% were caused by people. Last year at the same time, 27,104 fires had burned 926,584 acres.
19-year-old Winslow Nichols of Columbia Falls, MT, has died after climbing Mount Brown in Glacier National Park. The circumstances leading up to Nichols’ death are still under investigation, but rangers suspect he fell while climbing. Another climber, 32-year-old Jillian Elizabeth Webster, was killed the day before while climbing Mount Shasta.
Speaking of Glacier National Park… the park has re-instituted a mask mandate inside federal buildings such as visitor centers regardless of vaccination status.
A Massachusetts gas station owner, fed up with what he considers attempts by oil companies to fleece customers with outrageously high prices, has stopped selling gas as a protest. Reynold Gladu, who has run Ren’s Mobil Service in downtown Amherst for nearly 50 years, drained his tanks earlier this month and has no plans to refill them.
Oh, not pretty. This RV is burned beyond recognition. It happened on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Nobody was in the RV, so no injuries. The cause? Unknown. But a member of the fire department speculated that “this time of year, people are pulling their trailers out of storage. Sometimes mice do get into them, chew some wires and when you turn something on or whatever, they (can catch fire).”
Utah’s Gunlock State Park will be better prepared for visitors this summer than ever with the recent addition of 30 new campsites and new bathroom facilities. Previously, the park offered five primitive campsites with access to vault toilets and no potable water. Now, each new campsite features hookups for drinking water and electricity, a fire pit, a picnic table and access to a restroom building with private showers and flush toilets.
Grand Canyon National Park is hosting a free stargazing “Star Party” on the North and South Rims at 8 p.m. from June 18th to June 25th. Rangers will host constellation tours and will host unique events each night at the party. Aaron Yazzie, an engineer who helped build the Mars Rover, will give a presentation. The event is free, but attendees must still pay the National Park entrance fee.
Speaking of the Grand Canyon, because of excessive heat, hiking into it is not advised this coming week. You might also want to avoid Death Valley: It’s supposed to hit 119 degrees today at the Furnace Creek oasis.
The Inyo National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office have implemented fire restrictions on all federal lands under their jurisdiction.
Country singer Miranda Lambert will spend 20 days this summer traveling with her husband in their Airstream trailer. Next month, the couple, along with her good friend and backup singer Gwen Sebastian and her husband, will hit the road in their respective Airstreams. The trip will include stops in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana.
For park travelers who prefer having a tactile national park guide in their hands, the 3rd edition of Your Guide To The National Parks has arrived with a number of updates, now including the inclusion of four “new” national parks.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has opened the newly renovated Clear Fork Campground south of Crawford. Once a primitive campground, it now has 20 full-hookup campsites for RVs and with new full-hookup sites available for use year-round.
No more plastic! The U.S. Interior Department will phase out single-use plastic products on public lands by 2032, including in national parks.
Vermont, Washington and Michigan are offering free state park entry this weekend. Go explore (after finishing this newsletter)!
The service economy that isn’t
Andy Zipser offers some thoughts on how a shortage of workers is affecting the economy, including our own RV economy. This summer, he speculates, “If you’re an RVer or camper, expect … higher prices and less service.” Click here and he will explain.
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.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
We bet you know at least five people who need this, are we right? You’re probably included!
Trucks and Tow Vehicles
Ram has expanded its light-duty lineup with the addition of the newly equipped 2022 Ram 1500 TRX Sandblast Edition. It pushes the price of the top-line pickup truck to more than $100,000. Read what that’ll get you here.
Have you considered selling your RV because of high gas prices?
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?
Does a week go by when we don’t publish a “stolen from storage yard” tale? Looks like this week is no exception. “Stolen from the area of 93 Fisher Road in Victoria County,” says the police release. Google maps says that address lands precisely at a storage facility. ‘Nuff said. A 2015 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite travel trailer, 36 footer, is now missing. Vanished around 8:46 a.m. on Monday, June 6, in Victoria, Texas. If you have info on this theft, contact the Victoria County Sheriff’s office, 361-574-8023, extension 2267. Ask for Investigator Mitch Neal.
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 man who drove campers loopy
• Featured article: Is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19?
• Johnny Robot: Our resident non-human staff writer answers your questions
• Readers share their stories: Should you trust a stranger? (Very heartwarming.)
• Video: Motorhome ripped apart, totaled, by low bridge (Heartbreaking.)
• Around the Campfire: The many kinds of “RV travelers.” Which are you?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 6, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.88 [Calif.: $6.18]
Change from week before: Up 25 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.84.
Diesel: $5.70 [Calif.: $6.83]
Change from week before: Up 16 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.43.
What has ten letters and starts with gas?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
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 sub is super easy and yummy. The onion and beef flavors soak into the meat and create fantastic meatballs. We melted the cheese in the oven along with toasting the bun, like Nelda suggested, and they were amazing. Your friends will think you spent some time making these (it’ll be our secret about how easy they are). Between the gooey melted cheese and the caramelized onions, this is better than any sub you can buy at the store. We took some of the extra broth and served it on the side… so good. Also, we put 4 meatballs on each sub.
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.
In case you missed it, Donald Duck Day was celebrated Thursday in celebration of the Disney cartoon character’s first appearance. The first Donald Duck Day was declared in 1984 in Los Angeles by then-Mayor Tom Bradley — the 50th anniversary of Donald’s first appearance in June 9, 1934 in the animated short The Wise Little Hen. Oh, we don’t want to forget that Thursday was also National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day… just saying to be fair.
Today in History
RVtravel.com All Star Team
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, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Johnny Robot. 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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