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Today is Juneteenth, which commemorates the day when enslaved African Americans learned of their emancipation on June 19, 1865. We honor those Black Americans who suffered as slaves, and appreciate this new Federal holiday as a way to remember them and their long, hard struggle for freedom.
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Sunday, June 19, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
South section of Yellowstone NP will reopen Wednesday with entry restrictions
(UPDATED SATURDAY, JUNE 18 / 5:30 p.m. PDT) — This was supposed to be a big year for Yellowstone National Park. Thousands of eager travelers were already poised at the gates when America’s First National Park opened for business on April 15 in anticipation of its 150th anniversary year. Everything was going according to plan through May and early June, as jubilant tourists from throughout the world flooded through park gates. Then came floods of a different kind. Continue reading.
Why you can’t get a campsite at a state park
If you do any amount of RVing in state or national parks, you know what to expect: You drive in after a long day on the road, you look around and see that half of the sites are empty—but nope, nothing’s available. Everything, you’re told, has been booked. But guess what? Come back in the morning, and most of those sites are still empty. What the heck is going on? An official Colorado audit is providing some answers, which aren’t pretty. Get some insight here.
A quick lube and oil for your motorhome? Valvoline says “Yes”
You may have taken your car or pickup to an “instant oil change” station. It’s handy and fast. But when it’s time for an oil change for the motorhome, don’t count on anything as fast. Major engine oil manufacturer Valvoline is working to change all that. The company has now opened its first “heavy duty fleet service center” that can do a quick oil change on even the largest of motorhomes. Continue reading.
SpaceX and Starlink RV hit with competitor regulatory and legal actions
An array of legal and federal regulatory disputes between Starlink and its competitors, Viasat and DISH Network Corporation, have attempted to thwart the expansion of the Starlink satellite constellation and certain Starlink functionality. … Find out what’s going on and what Elon Musk has to say about it here.
Economic woes and fuel prices not scaring away campers or RV buyers
Rising fuel prices and the roller coaster economy don’t seem to be holding back campers or RV buyers this summer. Kampgrounds of America’s Monthly Research Report for June found that 21.5 million camping households are planning a Fourth of July camping trip this year. That’s an 8.6% increase in campers over the July 4th holiday results in 2021. It should be noted that the KOA research covers all campers, and not just those camping at KOA campgrounds. Learn more.
Campground Crowding: Reader shares a very humbling reminder
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 there are more complaints about the user-unfriendly reservation systems, a win-win solution to crowded campgrounds, and a dad’s sage advice and his family’s mantra to make the best of situations. Also, Diane E.’s heartfelt, and very important, reminder to be grateful for what we have, even if that includes crowded campgrounds. All that and more here.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes that this is “… a large Class A diesel pusher motorhome. For anyone who’s ever looked at these but not owned one and wondered how you can ask more than $600,000 for it, I think I have an answer to that.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
June 12–18, 2022
Some good news for a change: American motorists can expect some minor relief soon from record high gas prices with prices set for their first weekly drop in more than two months amid declining oil prices and a dip in consumer demand. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded stood at an even $5 on Friday, three days after hitting its all-time peak of nearly $5.02, according to AAA. “By the time [next] Tuesday rolls around, we could be back under $5 and even where we were the week before,” said Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for AAA before cautioning, “who knows what the weekend will bring.”
And speaking of gas prices, quit yer complaining about how high they are! In Hong Kong, you’d be paying more than $11 a gallon! On the other hand, if you were in Iran, Libya or Venezuela, you’d be paying between 8 cents and 20 cents a gallon — so says Yahoo Finance.
An all-electric Class B motorhome has completed a more than 1,300-mile all electric RV road trip with the e-RV, the first all-electric zero emission motorhome concept from a major RV manufacturer, in this case Winnebago. It was the longest continuous road trip conducted with the e-RV, and the first known trip over 1,000 miles by an all-electric RV. Read more.
National parks have been and continue to be the victims of graffiti. Yosemite National Park, CA, is just the latest, and park staff are asking for your assistance to identify those responsible for painting graffiti in 30 locations on the trail to the top of Yosemite Falls. If you were there between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on May 20, and saw individuals carrying cans of spray paint, engaging in tagging or have video or photographic evidence, please let Yosemite staff know by visiting here or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling or texting 888-653-0009. Editor’s comment: What kind of sick persons would do this?
A Californian apparently setting out on foot in Death Valley National Park in need of gas for his car was found dead during the park’s recent heat wave. Visitors found the body of David W. Kelleher, 67, of Huntington Beach, California, on Tuesday. The man appeared to have walked 2 1/2 miles from Zabriskie Point toward Furnance Creek. Temps that day had reached 123. His body was found only 30 feet from California Highway 190, which was obscured from him by terrain and a mesquite tree.
ABOVE: Yellowstone National Park is still closed. This video footage shows the extensive damage to the park’s North Entrance Road between Gardiner, Mont., and Mammoth after it was obliterated by heavy floodwaters of the Gardner River.
And speaking of that, the flood that ripped through the park could be considered a “once in 500 years” event, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
RVshare, the largest online community for those renting RVs, is giving away up to $500,000 in gas ahead of the 4th of July weekend. Gas reimbursement is available to RVshare renters through August 15th. Eligible applicants will receive $25 for trips five days or fewer, and $50 for trips six days or more.
Due to recent extreme weather and unprecedented flood levels in the region, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has temporarily closed several locations in Montana. Read more.
Pick out your next tiny home, yurt, customized van or RV and more at next weekend’s The Colorado Tiny House Festival. The annual event celebrates tiny homes, DIY builders and RV enthusiasts. This would be fun to attend!
KOA has recognized its own Indianapolis KOA Holiday in Greenfield, IN, as the 2022 Campground of the Year. KOA noted the local owners’ efforts and improvements they’ve made to the park over the last 17 years have paid off. The campground was clean with updated water, sewer and power, and they’ve recently added a hybrid pool/water park feature.
AutoCamp, a popular “glampground” chain, has opened its second East Coast location in the Catskills in Upstate New York. AutoCamp Catskills features luxury tents, cabins, X Suites and Airstreams—each with memory foam king-sized beds. Learn more.
Motorists traveling in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are being urged to keep an eye out for moose and to exercise extra caution when driving after dark. Over the past week, five bull moose have been struck and killed by vehicles along portions of state route 95 and U.S Highways 141 and 41 West in Marquette and Baraga counties. “Each of these accidents occurred in areas marked with ‘moose crossing’ signs,” said John Pepin, Michigan Department of Natural Resources deputy public information officer.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Yukon Field Office staff is inviting the public to participate in a National Public Lands Day barbecue, ribbon cutting and cleanup event to celebrate the reopening of the Arctic Circle Campground from 2 to 6 p.m. on July 1 at the Arctic Circle Campground, Dalton Highway milepost 115, AK. Closed for much of last summer to undergo upgrades, the newly renovated campground now offers 19 leveled campsites including pull-through, back-in and walk-in/cycle sites.
A bear that had become accustomed to human food was humanely euthanized in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this past week. A family of five were sleeping in their tent at Elkmont Campground, TN, with their dog, when a black bear ripped into the tent where it scratched a 3-year-old girl and her mother. The father was able to scare the bear away after several attempts. The bear’s behavior appeared to be inconsistent with predatory behavior, but rather that of a food-conditioned bear, in this case attracted to dog food at the campsite.
Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina, in Utah, were temporarily closed Friday afternoon due to wildfires and related power outages. Power lines in the area were shut off, the Union Pacific Railroad shut down and Interstate 80 and State Road 102 were temporarily closed. “What might have been a tiny spark is now becoming acres and acres of wildfire as a result of the dryness and erratic winds,” said Kayli Yardley, a fire prevention specialist with the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. “We don’t call it fire season anymore. It’s our fire year.”
Because of the current high COVID-19 community level in Teton County (Wyoming), Department of Interior policy requires that masks be required for everyone entering all park buildings within Grand Teton National Park, regardless of their vaccination status. Park buildings include but aren’t limited to visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops, and restaurants in the park.
Do you mind handling snakes? If not, do we have a project for you: Help rid the Everglades of invasive Burmese pythons. The snakes have virtually no natural enemies in the Everglades and have decimated native populations of mammals, birds and other reptiles. So point your RV toward the Everglades and help round up the critters and make a little dinero. The Florida Python Challenge® begins Aug. 5 and ends Aug. 14. Prizes include $2,500 for the most pythons captured and $1,500 for the longest snake. Last year, 600 people participated. The first-prize winner captured 223 pythons, while the $1,500 winner bagged a snake that was more than 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. To register, which includes a training course, visit here.
Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments have reinstated their entrance fees to provide funding for infrastructure and maintenance. Fee collection began yesterday at Natural Bridges (UT) and today at Hovenweep (CO and UT).
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, is in State 2 Fire Restrictions. Campfires are prohibited.
ABOVE: These photos of Hoover Dam (NV) were taken behind the dam, showing a full Lake Mead in the left photo, and its now-low level. Among the many new water restrictions in Las Vegas, NV: no more new golf courses.
The former Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) campground near the base of Trout Creek Pass in Johnson Village, CO., has been rebranded as the BV Overlook Camp & Lodging by its new owners, Four Points Funding.
. . . Speaking of KOA, 100 locations around the country will soon be handing out cans of Campbell’s Camp Chunky Soup to campers as they check in.
Today is Free Fishing Day in Ohio. No state license is required. What are you waiting for?
The amount of gasoline pumped at America’s 130,000 gas stations is down 7 percent for the week ending June 11 compared to the same period last year, and down 17 percent from the same week in pre-pandemic 2019, according to OPIS data.
PPL Motorhomes, one of the largest RV consignment dealers in the United States, is set to acquire RV Swapshop in Summerfield, Fla. It’s the first acquisition for PPL outside of Texas. More are planned.
The California State Park and Recreation Commission today voted on a temporary name change of a day-use area, identified as Negro Bar within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area near Sacramento to Black Miners Bar. The site is where Black miners prospected during the Gold Rush era.
Camping World has sponsored NASCAR’s Truck Series to the tune of about $5 million a year. But the deal expires this year and CEO Marcus Lemonis, some folks think, may not want to continue. “Lots of change happening and I’m sure more coming,” he said.
Little America, WY, the only motel in America with its own Zip Code, will soon have its own RV park with 40 sites. The popular stop along I-80 also includes a 24-hour grill, motel, family-friendly sit-down dining at Lobby Bar, a playground, a heated pool, and its famous 75-cent ice cream cones. Oh, and gas prices aren’t bad: On Saturday, unleaded regular was going for $4.099 a gallon.
North Michigan Reservoir is full, stocked with fish, and open for recreation. The campground closed during construction will be open and available for reservations this summer. The state forest park stretches along the west side of the Medicine Bow Mountains and into the north end of the Never Summer Range.
The Umatilla National Forest is looking for volunteer camp hosts at its Jubilee Lake campground in northeastern Oregon for the summer.
As the high waters of Ruby Creek subside after a historic flood, the Dillon Field Office is re-opening the Ruby Creek Campground and day-use site. The Montana recreation site, seven miles south of Cameron on U.S. Highway 287, was closed June 13 due to water covering Ruby Creek Road.
Wasatch Mountain State Park, west of Heber City, Utah, intends to build a new 10-site campground. Ten trees need to be removed first.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will implement fire restrictions for public lands managed by its Arcata, Calif., Field Office in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties, beginning Tuesday. The restrictions are to help prevent wildfire and will remain in effect until further notice.
Both campgrounds in Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park are currently closed. Mazama Campground will likely open in late June, but an exact date has not been determined yet. Lost Creek Campground will be closed all year. The East Rim Drive and Pinnacles Road are currently closed to auto traffic.
If you own an off-road vehicle, it may be time to make a reservation at Lakepoint State Park in Alabama. The park launched a new off-road vehicle course located on the land that used to be the park’s golf course.
Camping World acquires Arizona’s Anthem RV in New River, AZ, furthering its West Coast expansion.
Ohio’s oldest campground is for sale. Long Lake Park Campground in Lakeville, Ohio, offers 283 RV sites, three cabins, and two single-family homes, and is serviced by private utilities. All serious offers will be considered until June 30th. Learn more.
Shipwreck Creek Campground, at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Minnesota, is now open, with 46 electric sites. But don’t pack up your RV and head over there or expect to get a reservation soon: The park is booked solid except for a few isolated weekday openings well into September.
The average monthly car payment in May hit $712, according to Moody’s Analytics, thanks to inflation, inventory shortages and increased demand. Ouch!
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
2022 Toyota Highlander: Versatile, dependable, maturing well
The Toyota Highlander turned age 22 in 2022 and it retains its status as a respected midsize sport utility vehicle. Its consistency and versatility have provided long-haul clout. Last year, the Highlander had its best sales year since the three-row family hauler’s debut. … Now in the thick of its fourth generation, the Highlander is available in six trims, including the reviewed top-line Platinum edition. … The towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. Continue reading.
New VW Amarok pickup truck as elusive in U.S. as its namesake
The Volkswagen Amarok, a mid-size pickup truck sold internationally (but not in the United States) since 2010, will be revealed July 7 for its potential availability in this country. Sharing a platform with the upcoming Ford Ranger, the Amarok has been “teased” recently on various automotive outlets as well as from the manufacturer. Learn more.
Do you agree with this statement: “With an RV you can go where you want when you want”?
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?
It may be a first for us. While it may not meet the strictest sense of “recreational vehicle,” here it goes. A North Fort Myers, Florida, man says someone stole a new tiny house from his lot on U.S. Highway 41. The crook or crooks absconded with the little brown tiny house on Tuesday, June 7. By 5:30 that evening, someone spotted it on Bayshore Road near the Love’s Travel Center. The unit is similar to the one in the photo. The owner, Richard Dunmire, is a 90-year-old Korean War veteran who enjoys building tiny houses. He spent a year building this tiny house. A $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect is being offered. Know something? Contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com.
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
Our resident non-human staff writer answers your questions
Johnny’s column usually appears on Saturday. But he was at a convention last week of RV website content creators, teaching them how to write articles that appear to be real but are designed to fool readers into thinking they were written by knowledgeable human beings instead of artificial intelligence. Here are his questions and answers for this week.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Will drought, fire danger, send Californians on mass exodus?
• Your input on RV quality wanted for upcoming panel discussion
• How to choose the right RV storage facility
• RV boo-boos: Day ruiner—Things you don’t want to happen to you
• NEW! RV “Gremlins” “But it worked yesterday!” Part 1: Lead-acid batteries
• NEW! Know Your RV: One simple trick for a happy generator
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 13, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $5.01 [Calif.: $6.27]
Change from week before: Up 13 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.94.
Diesel: $5.72 [Calif.: $6.89]
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.43.
(You’ll laugh if you read this one out loud!)
If a hen and a half lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs will half a dozen hens lay in half a dozen days?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
If you had this you’d wake up to your partner making you bacon every morning! Now doesn’t that smell, er, sound nice?
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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
Take your homemade scalloped potatoes to a whole new level by adding ham. It adds savoriness to the potatoes and makes this heartier dish even better. These scalloped potatoes and ham can be eaten as a main dish, for brunch, or a heavier side dish. The homemade sauce is creamy, buttery, and melts into the cheese. So good! This recipe calls for ham steaks. If you have leftover holiday ham, that would work too.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Let the sun do your cooking with a solar oven.
Brain teaser answer:
Two dozen. If you increase both the number of hens and the amount of time available four-fold, the number of eggs increases 16 times. 16 x 1.5 = 24
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.
Sixty-eight percent of men studied in a recent poll taken by Omaha Steaks say they feel more like their father with every passing year starting at age 37. Twenty-two percent mute commercials on TV because of their father, one in four grunt when getting off the couch now, and another one in four say they fall asleep on the couch with the game on, just like Dad did. American men with living fathers say they reach out to them on average six times a week,
Dads just being dads! This compilation video will surely make you smile, whether you’re a dad or not! (Note: I loved it, and I’m not a dad. Just sayin’. —Diane)
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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