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Sunday, July 10, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
SUNDAY BREAKING NEWS
Long-time RVtravel.com reader Alan Wolfe of Maple Valley, WA, reached out to us on Sunday, July 10, to ask if we could help find his missing daughter, 37-year-old Melissa Wolfe of nearby Renton. “She is in the company of a known fugitive (Joshua Bouchard) and driving a stolen black 2021 Ford Transit camper van,” he said. “They were last spotted July 4 traveling south on Highway 101, at the Giant Redwood RV Park in Myers Flat, California.” Learn more.
RV prices dropping, inventories up. Trouble for dealers?
There is more evidence of late that the shortage of new RVs is beginning to shift. That’s good news for consumers ready to buy, but could spell trouble for RV dealers and manufacturers. More than a quarter of RV dealers said they were “too heavy” on inventory at their stores—the highest reading in four years. Mike Gast reports.
KOA direction is “luxury and rustic camping”—Really?
By Andy Zipser
KOA is marking its 60th anniversary this summer, long enough to become the camping industry’s big dog. Over those six decades it has grown from a string of mom-and-pop campgrounds in the country’s northern tier into a web of 540 RV parks, campgrounds and glamping parks across the United States and Canada, 40 of which are company-owned and the rest owned by franchisees. KOA is big enough and has been around long enough, in other words, that when it speaks about the state of the industry, others lean in to listen. Listen in here.
IN YESTERDAY’S POLL WE ASKED READERS: Are you finding more available campsites in the last few weeks? Read the up-to-the-minute tally.
Florida RV resort owner charged with discriminating against transgender woman
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press statement on July 5, 2022, announcing that it is charging a Davenport, Florida, RV park owner with discriminating against a former tenant who is a transgender woman. Randall Brink has more.
Phantom driver totals RV. This could happen to you!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
By all accounts it was a great day in Southeast Oklahoma. A good day for motoring down the road with your RV. That’s exactly what was happening for David C., an RVtravel.com reader. Towing what he describes as “Our fourth rig, and our favorite of them all,” it was probably a picture-perfect moment. Perfect, that is, until he crested a hill on the two-lane blacktop and found a logging truck in his lane, headed straight for him. “Nowhere to go but into the ditch,” recalls David. When the silence finally settled in, David’s travel trailer lay on its side, a total loss. The family was the victim of a phantom driver—the log truck was long gone. [Includes video of “North American Car Driving Fails.” Ouch!] Continue reading for very important information.
Campground Crowding: ‘Every nook and cranny of the woods is full!’
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, RVtravel.com readers discuss their experiences. This week we hear from more readers who are boondocking instead of dealing with crowded campgrounds and reservation difficulties, a mom who explains why she and her daughter need an RV site for tent camping, and a longtime RVer who is frustrated that even far-off places are crowded. Also, some advice from a camp host, and more, here.
Yellowstone National Park is latest to add new indoor masking mandate
If you are planning a trip to a national park, you’d better pack a mask. Many national parks in the U.S. are now requiring that face masks be worn in all indoor facilities due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Yellowstone National Park was the latest to institute an indoor mask mandate this week. Continue reading.
Here’s this weekend’s edition of our twice-a-week photo contest. See if your submitted photo made the first cut, and then vote for your favorite. Once you’ve voted, submit your own photo for consideration. Winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card. Good luck!
Voting ends tonight at midnight (Pacific time).
(And remember, this contest appears every Saturday and Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back for a new batch of photos this coming Wednesday! Sign up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter [if you’re not already]. If you are not sure, sign up again. You will still only get one issue, not two.)
TRENDING FROM YESTERDAY
Campground booked? But plenty of vacant sites? The campground’s side of the story
By Nanci Dixon
There are two sides to every story, right? Well, that means there’s another side to why there are so many empty campsites. You’ll find the other side of that story behind the campground check-in desk. Continue reading.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “With so many people buying the same trailers, it’s nice to see a company that just steps back and looks at the whole picture. Then they erase most of it and come up with something that’s absolutely game-changing. There is so much to like about this trailer in the way it was thoroughly thought through and designed.”
VERY POPULAR: Tony’s review of the Lance model 1995 Travel Trailer was a big hit. “This is an exceptional example of what can be done in the RV industry when someone actually cares enough to do things differently,” he wrote.
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
July 3–9, 2022
COMING SOON: WORLD’S LARGEST RV SHOW
It’s coming August 27 to September 4. But you’ll need to hop on a plane to see it. Caravan Salon Düsseldorf 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, will showcase more than 16 halls of RVs in all shapes and sizes from 650 exhibitors. The sizes of the two largest North American RV shows, Hershey and Tampa, pale in comparison. This year’s event will also expand beyond the exhibition halls, bringing many visitors to the popular Caravan Center at Messe parking lot P1, Europe’s largest RV park with about 3,500 serviced and unserviced pitches (campsites).
Good news on the gasoline front: The nationwide average of a gallon of unleaded gas dipped to $4.75 on Thursday, according to AAA, down from the record high of $5.02 on June 14. Separately, the fuel-price tracker GasBuddy recorded a nearly $0.03 decline in the average price per gallon on Wednesday. That tied the second-largest one-day drop in the past decade. Should crude oil prices continue to tumble, most stations will lower prices by a penny or two every couple of days, according to Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. More than 2,500 stations across the country are already selling gas for $3.99 or less, and more should follow, he added.
Yosemite National Park’s famous Mariposa Grove with its 500 giant sequoias is threatened by the 703-acre (and growing) Washburn Fire that has led to the evacuation of not just the grove but the nearby Wawona area, including 600 to 700 people at the Wawona Campground. Weather conditions are not helpful, as the forecast called for increasing temperatures and reduced humidity through the weekend. The Wawona Road [Highway 41] south of Yosemite West and the Mariposa Grove, is closed until further notice. One of the grove’s largest trees, the Grizzly Giant, is 209 feet tall and an estimated 1,800 years old. Giant sequoias were once considered largely impervious to fires but have become increasingly vulnerable in the face of intense fires fueled by drought and climate change.
If you’re in the news business, you know come April 1 that you should question any press release that comes across your desk as legitimate. For example, one from Encore RV about its new lightweight two-story trailer was perhaps a little too well done. And it was completely fake! But guess which publications got duped into passing it off as real? Find out and read “the rest of the story”.
A Ford Expedition towing a travel trailer overturned Friday morning along Interstate 75 in Pasco County, Florida, which caused major delays for Friday morning commuters, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. According to FHP, the SUV driver was going too fast “for conditions,” which resulted in the camper fishtailing. The driver then lost control and the SUV and trailer rotated and the trailer overturned, blocking the roadway.
Yellowstone National Park is quickly bouncing back from the devastating flooding that recently shut it down. Five Xanterra-operated campgrounds have reopened: Madison Campground, Bridge Bay Campground, Grant Campground, Canyon Campground, and Fishing Bridge RV Park.
Have you seen this girl? An alert has been issued for a teenage runaway reported missing out of Virginia who could potentially be staying in an RV with a Maryland registration. Kiley Elizabeth O’Neil-Carter, 15, ran away from her Frederick County, Virginia, home on Wednesday, June 29, according to the sheriff’s office. Officials in Frederick County, Maryland, advised that she could be staying in a vehicle with Maryland tags. Carter, 5’6″ and 125 pounds, is possibly being kept in an RV with Maryland license plates in the vicinity of New London Road, New Market, Maryland, or in an RV park or location in the vicinity of the West Virginia panhandle between Frederick County, Virginia, and Maryland. If you have information call (540) 662-6162 or the Winchester Frederick Crime Stoppers at (540) 665-TIPS and reference case number 22003199.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts has added seven new locations: Monroe, New Jersey; Wichita Falls, Texas; Augusta, Maine; Chincoteague Island, Virginia; New Douglas, Illinois; Petoskey, Michigan; and Stark County, Ohio.
Keep your eyes open wide if you’ll be visiting Portland, Maine, soon. Residents are reporting a monkey on the loose. It may be a young rhesus macaque. And if you’re in the vicinity of Millennium and Johnson Parks in Walker, Michigan, don’t be shocked if you see a boa constrictor snake. It’s thought to be a pet, enjoying a little freedom, perhaps.
A man who was reportedly passed out while driving struck multiple people with a vehicle at the Beach Front RV Park off Lower Harbor Road in Curry County in SW Oregon on Monday, killing one and injuring two. The driver, 66-year-old Paul Armenta, was airlifted to a hospital. The accident is under investigation, but alcohol is not being considered a factor.
A number of national parks, including Grand Canyon, Olympic and Yosemite, citing increases in COVID cases, have reinstituted or are recommending face mask requirements if you enter a park building. Also, the National Park Service has implemented a mask mandate on public transit in all of its parks. Requirements can change from day to day, so check the website of the park you’re heading to for the latest information.
General Motors has disclosed that it has nearly 100,000 vehicles parked at its facilities, undeliverable before June 30 because they lack certain components.
Blue Ox will manufacture two Airstream-specific versions of the company’s best-selling weight distribution products, the SwayPro and TrackPro models. The hitches will be available through Airstream’s authorized dealership network. They feature exclusive matte black components and silver chains to align with the Airstream design.
Ocala (Florida) International Airport is planning to convert spare land into a 64-acre “luxury” RV park. “Wealthy tourists could park their RVs at the airport,” the Star Banner newspaper wrote.
Multiple Connecticut state parks closed early on the Fourth of July after reaching parking capacity on Monday. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) tweeted that as of 1:15 p.m., 14 parks across Connecticut were closed.
Also closed … The Michigan Department of Natural Resources closed Grand Haven State Park’s beach on the Fourth of July because of multiple fights.
Ocean City, Maryland-based outdoor hospitality specialist Blue Water continues its rapid expansion with the addition of Prospect Mountain Campground in Granville, Massachusetts, to its management portfolio.
Roadwork set to return next week to the Generals Highway in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks will create some traffic delays for visitors. The road connects the two parks in California. The roadwork, set to start tomorrow, is to continue throughout the summer and fall.
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 Vehicle Briefs
This month, GMC is offering a discount of up to $2,550 on select configurations of the 2022 Sierra 1500 Limited, and up to $1,500 on select configurations of the refreshed 2022 Sierra 1500. The Professional Grade brand also offers interest-free financing on 2022 Sierra 1500 Limited and Sierra 1500 models, plus $750 Buick GMC Loyalty Cash on select configurations of the 2022 Sierra Limited. SOURCE: GMauthority.com
In June, Ford total pickup sales, including F-Series, Ranger and Maverick, were up 26.3 percent over a year ago, with total pickup sales of 66,663. Ford’s total pickup share gained approximately 7 percentage points over last year – at 29 percent in June. This is the highest share of any brand in the total pickup segment.
Did you miss Gail Marsh’s article yesterday? Around the Campfire: RVers wonder if the perfect truck exists.
Do you run your RV refrigerator on propane when the RV is moving?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Crooks crunch in California. This 2002 Fleetwood Jamboree was kiped at a Newark, California, storage facility, and was found to be missing on June 26, 2022. A rather unusual paint job on the cabover section, and interior as well. Last seen bearing Florida tag, QR054. Vehicle VIN # is 1FDXE45S62HA71737. Know something? Contact the Newark, California Police at (510) 578-4237.
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: Oh, the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet…
• Featured article: Is your RV a death trap? For some RVers, the answer could be ‘yes’
• Your thoughts, please: Do you plan to give up RVing?
• Reserved but empty campsites: The campground’s side of the story
• RV boo-boos: Watch where you’re going or this can happen!
• Thief tries to siphon gas from RV, gets crappy surprise
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 4, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.77 [Calif.: $6.04]
Change from week before: Down 10 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.65.
Diesel: $5.68 [Calif.: $6.78]
Change from week before: Down 11 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.34.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Ah, the life of luxury. This is a pretty darn nice setup! Chocolate-covered strawberry with champagne, anyone? Don’t mind if we do!
Every day, a cyclist crosses the border between Spain and France carrying a bag. No matter how much customs officials investigate him, they do not know what he is smuggling. What is he smuggling?
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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
Coating pork in Dijon mustard not only enhances the flavor of the meat but also helps to seal in the juices. These pan-fried pork cutlets are an easy and flavorful weeknight meal. Tender and juicy, your family is going to request these again.
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.
Today’s toilet paper is noted for its softness and smoothness, with fancy additives like lotion and aloe, but that wasn’t always the case. It was once far more rough and coarse, and inefficient production techniques meant that cleaning your bum wasn’t always without an unpleasant surprise — a splinter! It wasn’t until 1935 that the brand Northern Tissue (now Quilted Northern) began to specifically promote “Splinter Free” toilet paper. SOURCE: Cheapism
We think this probably has to be one of the best family photos of all time. Hilarious!
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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