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Sunday, July 24, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
End of the line for Lazy Daze, a one-of-a-kind RV builder
Toward the end of May, the news started circulating. Long-time RV builder Lazy Daze appeared to be closed down. Lazy Daze, based in Montclair, California, had a long history and a strong, enthusiastic customer base. Practically any “LD” owner would tell you, “Nobody builds them like Lazy Daze.” And it may well be that now nobody builds ’em. What happened?
Keystone RV closing two factories, more than 330 workers lose jobs
The days of near-full employment in the Elkhart, Indiana, area—the RV Capital of the World—may be ending. Keystone RV announced this week that it is closing two factories, 41 and 705, in Goshen, eliminating 334 jobs from production to plant management, from quality control to receiving. Learn more.
Travel industry wants more lead time for National Park reservations
Nearly 400 travel industry organizations—including domestic and international organizations—have sent a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and National Park Service Director Chuck Sams calling for reforms to the visitor reservation systems in the national parks. Continue reading.
Shootings, deaths in RV parks last week
It’s been a bad week for deadly crimes in RV parks. Four people, including a child and her parents, are dead from gunfire, and three others were injured in separate incidents in both public and private parks. Read more.
Ford F-150 owners report problems with auto-start function
If you own or lease a 2018-2020 Ford F-150 equipped with auto start-stop functionality and you’ve experienced issues such as engine stalling and even complete power loss, your experiences are wanted. … Attorneys are looking into whether a defect is to blame for the stalling issue and whether a class action lawsuit can be filed against Ford. But first, they need to hear from drivers who’ve had problems with their F-150’s auto start-stop feature. If a defect is confirmed, a class action lawsuit may help drivers recoup out-of-pocket expenses, compensate them for lost value and force Ford to offer a fix. Learn more.
The latest Starlink RV news
July has been a stellar month in the development of Starlink for RVers and other mobile users. More Starlink satellites were launched in July than in any prior month in the development of Starlink. That means more Starlink availability, greater area coverage, and better data transfer speeds for many Starlink RV subscribers throughout North America. Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: Longtime work camper says this year is “out of control”
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 are calling it quits and we get some more great tips on finding available reservations. Also, a longtime work camper laments that things are not only busy at the RV park but “it’s crazy busy and people’s attitudes are just out of control!” All that and more here.
Trailer magically appears on remote Ohio River sandbar
Nobody knows how this travel trailer ended up on a sandbar Thursday in the middle of the Ohio River in Evansville, Indiana. The sandbar had only been there a few days, the byproduct of annual river dredging conducted by the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The RV was not there when a crew finished on the river Wednesday evening around 5 p.m. But when they returned Thursday, there it was. Read hilarious comments about how it got there.
Spot a moose at the 12th annual Grand Mesa Moose Day
Did you know moose can run up to 35 miles per hour and are excellent swimmers? Or that a bull moose’s antlers can grow up to one pound a day? Impressive, isn’t it? Do you want to learn more about the moose? Join Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the United States Forest Service on top of the Grand Mesa for the 12th Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day. The free family event will take place at the United States Forest Service Visitor Center on July 30, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Read more.
Here is the current 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.)
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “The way East to West has implemented this floor plan and some of the attention to detail aspects of the unit really do make it a good unit overall. I think for the price and features, this is a unit that is absolutely worth looking at for those of you who aren’t interested in slide rooms and windshields.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
July 17–23, 2022
Gas prices can’t decide what to do. “We could see the national retail gas price go below $4 per gallon by late October,” said Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates on Wednesday. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, recently told Yahoo Finance Live: “We’re seeing big declines across many areas of the country and that should continue.” Stay tuned… As of Friday, the price of gas had dropped for 38 straight days.
Canada is giving away Parks Canada Discovery Passes to 4,000 lucky Americans. The pass offers unlimited admission to more than 80 Parks Canada destinations ($113 value USD). One especially lucky winner will receive a “Dream Sabbatical” worth $20,000 USD to see the power of parks in action, enjoy the beauty of Canada and soak in the mental health and wellness benefits parks provide. Enter here. But hurry: The last day to enter is July 31 at midnight, Eastern time.
Escalating fire insurance costs are posing a threat to California’s private campground operators and the state’s tourism industry. “Unless state officials and the insurance industry can figure out ways to reign in these rapidly escalating insurance costs, the cost of travel and tourism within California will increase, California will lose travelers to other states, and we will begin to see private parks and even some hotels being forced out of business,” said California Outdoor Hospitality Association President and CEO Dyana Kelley.
RV owners club FMCA is gearing up for its 105th International Convention & RV Expo, sponsored by Blue Ox, August 24 to 27, at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. All RV owners are invited, not just club members. Activities include an RV expo/show featuring the latest model RVs and accessories, seminars and entertainment. The owners of nearly 700 RVs are expected. Last year’s international rally, held July 7-10 in Gillette, Wyoming, before today’s record-high gas prices, attracted the owners of 1,335 coaches. Register or learn more.
Ford and GM have asked U.S. regulators to allow them to deploy a limited number of self-driving vehicles with no steering wheels or brake pedals. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards were written for vehicles with human drivers. Robots don’t need pedals and steering wheels, so an automated taxi or delivery vehicle without those controls couldn’t be hijacked. An automated, self-driving RV in our future, perhaps?
Watch out for monster snails. Authorities have found and killed 1,434 Giant African Land Snails, or GALS, since they were found in June in Pasco County, Florida. And now scientists have discovered rat lungworm, a potentially deadly parasite, among the slimy giants. The snails are popular as pets, but some owners grow tired of them and release them, whereupon the creatures feed on 500 types of plants and even stucco buildings. If you see one, don’t touch it. The parasite can cause meningitis, even kill you. (And when you get to heaven, you’ll need to say you were done in by a snail. How embarrassing!)
A new, explosive wildfire has erupted near Yosemite National Park and grown into one of California’s largest wildfires of the year, prompting evacuation orders for 6,000 people. The Oak Fire started Friday afternoon southwest of the park near the town of Midpines, and by Saturday evening had rapidly grown to 11,000 acres and was 0% contained. Many roads have been closed, including Highway 140 between Carstens Road and Allred Road, one of the main routes into the park. Meanwhile, the Washburn Fire, which began in the park, was 79% contained Friday after burning about 7.5 square miles.
Kampgrounds of America, Inc.’s (KOA) revenue continues to grow according to its Q2 Business Report, but slower than in 2021, improving by 5.9% over the year before. In the same quarter in 2021, revenue was up 33 percent over 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Looking forward, advanced deposits are 62.9% ahead of the same time period in 2019, which was the strongest camping year prior to the pandemic. In the quarter, KOA acquired three campgrounds: the Gatlinburg East/Smoky Mountain KOA Holiday in Tennessee, Ouray KOA Holiday in Colorado, and Livingston/Paradise Valley KOA Holiday in Montana.
A man who was hiking on an unmarked trail in southwestern South Dakota that was featured in a social media challenge died when he and another hiker ran out of water. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said 22-year-old Maxwell Right, of St. Louis, was hiking in Badlands National Park Wednesday when he collapsed and died of suspected dehydration and exposure.
Yellowstone National Park released a new video this past week showing the power of June’s devastating floods. Beginning June 12, 2022, unprecedented amounts of rainfall caused substantial flooding, rockslides, and mudslides within the park. Historic water levels caused severe damage to roads, water and wastewater systems, power lines, and other critical infrastructure. Most of us have heard about the floods and seen the photos of the aftermath, but viewing this short video offers a totally new, and horrifying perspective. Click the video above.
Lava Beds National Monument (CA), in conjunction with Crater Lake National Park (OR), Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA), and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (CA), invite the public to comment on a proposal to implement a multi-park annual pass. The pass would allow visitors to access all four parks through the purchase of a single pass. The annual multi-park pass is expected to be implemented on January 1, 2023. The comment period began July 22 and ends August 21. Submit a comment online by visiting here and selecting “Open For Comment.”
After months of construction, replanting trees and repairing the park’s amenities, a grand opening was held last week for Sam Houston Jones State Park, which lost roughly 80 percent of its tree coverage during Hurricane Laura in 2020. The Lake Charles, Louisiana, park has 30 full-hookup RV sites and 10 glamping tents.
Lazydays has acquired Dave’s Claremore RV, located in Claremore, Okla., near Tulsa on historic Route 66 and Interstate 44. The dealership is located between the Oklahoma City and the Ozarks markets.
Hipcamp has published a Dark Skies Map, where you can stay and enjoy the Milky Way and a sea of stars above. Listings include those for RV parks, caravan parks, cabins, treehouses and glamping sites across the U.S. that are ideal for stargazing.
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a proposal to increase overnight fees at several campgrounds within the Burns District in southeast Oregon. Costs at Page Springs, Fish Lake, Jackman Park, South Steens Family, South Steens Equestrian, and Chickahominy Reservoir campgrounds are slated to rise to $20 per vehicle from today’s $6 to $8.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed the Greenbrier area to all use due to additional road damage caused by an estimated three inches of rain occurring during the early morning hours on Thursday, July 21.
Construction of a possible 54-site RV park in West Orange, Texas, has been put on hold by the West Orange City Council for further review.
Like moths? New Mexico’s White Sands National Park announces National Moth Week from July 23 through July 31, which “celebrates moths’ beauty, life cycles, and habitats. ‘Moth-ers’ of all ages and abilities are encouraged to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods.”
Wawona Road (continuation of Highway 41 into Yosemite National Park, CA) between South Entrance and Yosemite Valley, was scheduled to reopen yesterday. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and the Wawona area will remain closed for at least another week. This closure includes all camping and other services (other than gas) in the Wawona area. Remember, you need a reservation to drive into or through the park.
Nevada City, California’s, Inn Town Campground has been voted the No. 1 campground in the United States, as determined by popular vote conducted by USA Today. “This particular shout out is great,” said Inn Town owner Erin Thiem. “It’s prestigious, it’s awesome, and it’s exciting. It helps put Nevada City on the map.”
In celebration of Colorado Day, and the 146th birthday of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering free entry to all Colorado state parks on Monday, Aug. 1. All other park fees are their usual prices, including camping.
The Glynn County Commission (Georgia) has approved a conditional use permit for One Road RV Resort along the Blythe Island Highway in Brunswick. The 27-acre park will contain 125 spaces and 12 to 15 cabins.
Winnebago Industries Inc., has debuted a new mobile app that provides reliable, relevant information for Winnebago owners on a secure platform, helping enable owners learn about their vehicle’s key features and systems and find a service provider. The app is free on iOS and Android platforms.
The Vacationland RV & Camping Show, Maine’s largest RV Show, will make Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn, Maine, its home through 2027. The show had moved to Portland for two years during the pandemic. The next event is March 31 and April 1-2, 2023.
In little more than nine months since beginning production, Ember Recreational Vehicles of Bristol, Indiana, has built its 1,000th travel trailer. The unit came off Ember’s production line Monday.
Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Area near Selby, South Dakota, has reopened after a flood washed out the dam and park entrance road in May 2018. Primitive camping is available. Make reservations at Go Outdoors South Dakota.
A public hearing will be held Aug. 1 at Clear Lake (Iowa) City Hall to discuss the rezoning of a land just north of the Clear Lake State Park campground for use as an RV park. AKK Investment Properties LLC, of Webster City, is petitioning to rezone the property from “low-density residential” to “intensive commercial” to permit the development.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will present a Free [Shooting] Range Day at five of the state’s public shooting ranges on Saturday, Aug. 20. Participants will gain hands-on experience and instruction with firearms at no charge from certified instructors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Equipment will be provided free. Learn more.
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
The Chevy Silverado was the most stolen vehicle in 2021, surpassing both the Ford F-150 full-size pickup and Honda Civic on its way to the top of the list. According to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 48,206 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickups were stolen in 2021, up from 40,968 in 2020. NICB noted that of the nearly one million vehicles stolen last year, 14 percent were Chevy, Ford and GMC full-size pickups.
… And speaking of the Chevy Silverado, the Chevy Silverado 1500 has secured the top spot in the Large Light Duty Pickup segment in the latest 2022 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). The annual survey ranks major car brands and individual vehicle models. The 2022 study is based on survey responses from 84,165 individual 2022 model-year vehicle customers.
Ford unveiled the most powerful F-150 pickup ever, unseating the electric F-150 Lightning built for off-road terrain. The 2023 F-150 Raptor R promises to produce 700 horsepower from a supercharged V8 engine. Its price tag starts at $109,145, the most expensive Ford F-Series pickup ever.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, notes that almost one-third of pickup occupant deaths in the 2020 calendar year were from rollover crashes. The IIHS states that seat belt use is particularly important in a rollover as it lowers the risk of ejection from the vehicle. “National belt use observations show that people driving or riding in pickups are less likely to buckle up than occupants of other vehicles,” said IIHS President David Harkey.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
We’d rather be eating, we’d rather be outside, we’d rather be sleeping… But mostly, we’d rather be doing THIS.
Can you easily get into your RV’s bed with its slides in?
We’ve asked you before if you can access your bathroom and your kitchen with your slides in. Now, let’s see about getting into our beds. Click here to respond.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Details are thin, but sometime before July 4, someone stole this 2020 Heartland Pioneer BH305. The travel trailer was taken from the Cornerstone Campground in New Castle, Indiana. Contact the New Castle Police Department at (765) 529-4890.
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: Should we sell our email list with your name on it?
• Featured article: Good Sam Club … Going, going, (almost) gone
• RV boo-boos: Look out! First step to a safe trip – take the RV steps in!
• Around the campfire: Who’s to blame for lack of quality RVs?
• Know Your RV: Why balance your trailer tires?
• RV “Gremlins” Part 5: Forced air furnaces and why they’re so finicky
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 18, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.49 [Calif.: $5.71]
Change from week before: Down 16 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.34.
Diesel: $5.43 [Calif.: $6.52]
Change from week before: Down 14 cents; Change from year before: Up $2.09.
I am black when you buy me, and red when you use me. When I turn white it’s time to throw me away. What am I?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Upcoming RV shows
It won’t be long before RV show season gets underway. Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Love the flavors of chicken cordon bleu but not the work? Then this casserole is for you. It’s filled with chicken cordon bleu flavors, but it’s an easy-to-put-together dinner. There’s tang from the Dijon, a bit of smoky flavor from the ham, and it’s filled with chicken. Thanks to the cream of chicken soup and Swiss cheese, it’s super creamy. On top, the Panko/butter mixture forms a tasty little crust. This is very filling so you won’t need any sides. An easy dinner casserole.
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.
The Famous Idaho Potato recently wrapped up its 10th national tour. Here are some statistics about the monster spud: If it were real (it’s made of fiberglass), it would take 7,000 years to grow. If it were used to make mashed potatoes, it would provide 20,217 servings. If it were sliced into fries, would make more than one million! If it were baked, it would take about two years! And from the Idaho Potato Commission: “One Idaho potato contains more potassium than a medium-sized banana and more vitamin C than a medium-sized apple.”
And speaking of potatoes…
QUESTION: Why did the potato cross the road?
ANSWER: There was a fork up ahead.
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, 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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