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Sunday, August 7, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Missing RVtravel.com reader’s daughter found
Three weeks ago we reported that Melissa Wolfe, the daughter of long-time RVtravel.com reader Alan Wolfe, of Maple Valley, WA, had disappeared and was thought to be with a known fugitive. They were traveling in a stolen black camper van and were thought to be staying in RV parks. Well, we have good news: Melissa Wolfe has been found safe in San Diego. Fugitive Joshua Bouchard was taken into custody by authorities for his 7 outstanding warrants. “Thank you to everyone, Chuck, Diane, and all of the readers on this site. We are in your debt,” Alan Wolfe wrote in a comment. We are hoping to receive further details, which we will report in our original article.
Used RV prices – Is it time to buy?
Used RV market watching group Black Book has released its most recent look at the market. Where are RV prices going? Is it time to buy that “new to you” RV of your dreams? It’s an interesting mixed bag. Compared to pre-COVID times, prices are decidedly higher. Much higher! But if you’re accustomed to the sticker shock, you may be interested to see a downward trending in some markets, while others are on the rise. Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: Readers say, ‘Nope, not crowded’
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 several readers who haven’t had problems finding reservations, for one reason or another. Read some of their tips here.
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, “Here are six trailers that I would likely consider in choosing whatever next follows me around the country. Some of these are budget busters, but there are two more value-focused models at the back. And, yes, they’re in order of preference.”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
July 31 – August 6, 2022
U.S Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, 58, was one of four people killed Wednesday in a head-on auto accident near Wakarusa, Ind., according to a release from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. Walorski, a Republican, represented the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, which includes the “RV capital” of Elkhart, and was a co-chair of the House RV Caucus. She was first elected to Congress in 2012 and was very popular with RV industry leaders. The accident occurred when the SUV Walorski was riding in crossed the center line and crashed into an oncoming vehicle, whose driver was killed. Also killed in the accident were Walorski’s staff members Zachery Potts and Emma Thompson.
In Creek County, Oklahoma, residents express concern about a newly opened RV park in Bristow. The park sits directly across the street from a superfund site under investigation by the EPA. The EPA is removing 30,000 to 35,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from an old tank farm. People in the area have gotten sick, and some have reported cancer diagnoses. Park owners Bill Newton and Robert Scott say they’ve put all their retirement savings into the park, but residents from the area have been concerned from the beginning.
This ain’t your Grandpa’s Campground! The Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Caledonia, Wis., has been busy remodeling and adding amenities including redesigned apple cannons, an expanded pedal cart track and a new giant dry tube slide. But the big attraction (and we mean that literally) is a high ropes course that will cover 22,585 square feet. Users wear a harness to traverse through structures such as bridges and platforms at various elevations of the 47-foot-high structure.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will buy 812 acres in the Yakima River Canyon in Washington state to provide recreational access to the area. The bureau will purchase the Yakima Canyon Ranch from Western Rivers Conservancy. The purchase of the ranch will give permanent access to the private Big Horn boating area, and 3.5 miles of the Yakima River. The land will also have a boat launch, river frontage, and a campground. The purchase will also expand the existing Umtanum Campground.
The supply of water at Grand Canyon’s South Rim is not replenishing as it should, so new water restrictions have been put in place. Concessions operations must switch to disposable dishes and utensils, alter menus to use less water for food prep and dish washing, adopt low water use for hotel room cleaning, and serve drinking water at restaurants by request only. Camper Services may implement limited hours for showers and laundry services.
Nearly a year’s worth of normal rain, about 1.46 inches, dumped on Death Valley, CA, in a few hours on Friday, turning roads to streams and blocking access to and from the park for 1,000 visitors. As of yesterday morning, the park was closed, and aircraft were searching for stranded vehicles in remote areas of the 3.4-million-acre park, while below law enforcement personal were helping visitors leave the area. Highway 190 is expected to reopen between Furnace Creek and Pahrump by Tuesday, officials said.
Californians age 70 and older have five more months to take advantage of the temporary rule allowing them to renew their driver’s licenses or identification (ID) cards online or by mail. Until the end of 2022, eligible senior drivers and REAL ID cardholders can renew noncommercial driver’s licenses and ID cards at dmv.ca.gov/online or by mail, even if their renewal notice states a visit to a DMV field office is required.
Biologists are set to begin grizzly bear captures Tuesday and continue through Oct. 28 in Yellowstone National Park for research purposes. The area around the sites will be posted with bright warning signs along the major access points to the capture site. In order to attract bears, biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Potential capture sites are baited with these natural foods and if indicators point to grizzly bears in the area, culvert traps, or sometimes foot snares, will be used to capture the bears. If you come across a warning sign of this activity, stay away.
… And nearby, all paved roads into Mojave National Preserve in California remain closed because of damage caused by flash floods on July 31 and August 1. Roads in the desert preserve sustained widespread water damage, including washouts and undercutting. … Farther north, work is progressing to reconnect Yellowstone National Park to Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate in Montana, the communities that were the most impacted by devastating flooding in June that severely damaged the roads linking the towns to the popular park.
WHAT THE …??
More than 800 competitors will be trudging through the Florida Everglades for the next week in search of invasive Burmese python snakes that will bring in thousands of dollars in prize money. The python hunt officially began Friday morning and runs through 5 p.m. on Aug. 15.
Vermont-based Pete’s RV Center has acquired American Family RV with dealership locations in Chesapeake and Salem, Va. Pete’s now has 9 locations in 7 states.
The closure of Missouri’s Frank Russell Campground at Mark Twain Lake in Missouri will be extended until the 2023 camping season due to ongoing upgrades within the campground.
Good News, Bad News: The good news is that a new RV park is expected to soon break ground in Bradley County, Tennessee. The bad news (unless you have an expensive RV) is that it will be for owners of luxury RVs who are “looking to retire or have seasonal homes in a development that offers full amenities.” So if you’re just passing through, keep on moving…
A campground in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest has been closed to camping because of health and safety concerns from human waste. The closure of Warden Field in the Citico Creek Campsite 14 could last up to two years. “Due to the lack of toilet services, overnight camping has created human waste issues,” a news release states.
Travelcamp RV, a Florida-based RV dealer, has acquired May’s RV of Dallas, Texas. Travelcamp RV will now operate in 6 U.S. states with 12 stores across the south and with five more locations expected by mid-year 2023 in Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida.
After being closed to the public for nearly a month due to a wildfire, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park, CA, is once again open to the public. Some damaged trails are still closed.
Ron Burge, America’s best-known RV lemon lawyer and contributor to RVtravel.com, has been named to the American Registry of the Top 10 percent of American Lawyers in 2022.
RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury was interviewed Thursday by KVOA-TV in Tucson, Arizona, about the increasing number of RV thefts. The RVers that prompted the report had their travel trailer stolen right from their front driveway in the middle of the day. Click below to watch the news segment including Woodbury’s comments.
Louisiana’s Sam Houston Jones State Park is now fully reopened after being closed for 20 months since hurricanes Laura and Delta caused severe damage in 2020.
In the market for a new Airstream? RV Retailer, LLC, announced on Friday that Airstream of Tampa has been recognized by Airstream as the #1 Airstream dealer in the world for all RV units retailed.
The Bureau of Land Management has reopened the Arctic Circle Campground as reduced fire activity along the Dalton Highway allowed fire crews to head home. The 19-site campground was closed June 20 because of an advancing wildfire.
Hidden Valley Camping Area in Jamestown, New York, is joining the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resort franchise network and will now be known as Chautauqua County Jellystone Park. The park will feature a swimming pool, jumping pad, gem mining sluice, and basketball and tennis courts.
Pilot Flying J is rolling out a new 10-cent fuel discount for myRewards Plus™ members. Drivers can save on every gallon of gas or diesel and with additional deals at participating travel centers through October 31. Sign up at myRewards Plus app. Be sure to read the fine print to determine if the privacy issues are acceptable to you.
Greek Peak Mountain Resort’s Campground at Hope Lake in Cortland, New York, has opened with 26 full-hookup sites and 15 more with with water and electricity. Phase two is planned with 120 more sites. Access is close by to the winter ski resort’s Adventure Center with its ziplines, ropes course, mountain coaster, and mountain bike park.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced Monday, August 1, that all of Craig Lake State Park’s backcountry campsites will switch to reservation-only sites starting in the 2023 camping season. Visitors to Craig Lake State Park have increased over the past few years, raising concerns about dispersed camping in unauthorized areas.
Portola Redwoods State Park, a popular Bay Area campground, announced on Tuesday that its campground facilities with 55 sites and four group sites will be closed for the rest of the season beginning August 5th. The closure comes from another historic California drought. The park does not have enough water to support its visitors or campers. Day use areas remain open.
More than a dozen people were rescued Tuesday night after flash flooding at Greenbrier Campground in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Additionally, Sevier County representative Perrin Anderson confirmed that more than 400 people were evacuated from the campground.
Due to recent high temperatures and increasing fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management has declared Extreme Fire Danger on BLM-managed lands in southern Oregon. No campfires are currently allowed in the BLM’s Medford District.
Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed 1.5 miles north of the West Entrance to Sprague Creek Campground from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., for construction work.
CNN reports that as gas prices are falling, so is interest in electric and hybrid vehicles. Still, interest in electric cars is about three percentage points higher than it was at the start of 2022, according to Edmunds.com.
A woman with an open bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey in a bag was arrested for driving a golf cart on Florida’s I-95 while drunk. The 58-year-old woman was apprehended Saturday night on the shoulder of Interstate 95 after being spotted driving in the center lane. She is now facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly intoxication in a public place and resisting an officer without violence.
A Utah hiker was arrested Monday for starting a wildfire near Springville after trying to burn a spider with his lighter. “What led him to stop and notice a spider and decide to try to burn it, we don’t know,” said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
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.
When RVing, do you read mostly printed books or eBooks?
Inquiring minds want to know. Respond here.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVS?
Taken August 1, 2022, at around 1:00 a.m., a Forest River r-pod, RP-179. The diminutive travel trailer went missing from Westby, Wisconsin’s County Road B. Got information? Call the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office at (608) 637-2123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While every stolen RV is a heartbreak, some just seem to have an extra helping of hurt. Sometime between July 1 and August 4, this 2021 Escape 21NE travel trailer was stolen from a storage facility in Arvada, Colorado. Adding insult to injury, the owner took delivery of this custom rig last fall—after waiting for a year-and-a-half to get it. Last seen with Colorado tags, AJQK88. Let’s do what we can to find this one. Contact the Adams, Colorado, County Sheriff’s Office and reference case number 2212341. Phone (303) 654-1850.
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: Shirley Wallace and her amazing two-story trailer
• RV Review: Backwoods Camper for Jeeps
• Opinion: How bureaucracy changed the character of a state park
• RV Gadgets and Gizmos: Game-changing RV power is here with the Mastervolt Power Package
• RVelectricity: Is towing a camper trailer with an EV truck practical?
• Know Your RV: Use your water heater on gas or electric—or both?
• Around the Campfire: RVers debate: Are RV warranties worth it?
… and much more
Our best-selling products in July
These are the products our readers are buying! Check ’em out.
From Yesterday’s issue:
Take our emergency road service survey: Tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
RVers rightly depend on emergency road service providers, and there are a number to choose from. But how do you know which one is best? Please take a survey of your experiences and tell us your recommendations. We’ll publish the results in a future newsletter. Our efforts will allow you to personally rank who you think is truly the best road service. Read more and help your fellow RVers out by participating in our survey(s) here.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of August 1, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $4.19 [Calif.: $5.47]
Change from week before: Down 14 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.03.
Diesel: $5.14 [Calif.: $6.27]
Change from week before: Down 13 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.77.
If you drop me I’m sure to crack, but give me a smile and I’ll always smile back. What am I?
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
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Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Sign up here.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This product gets it right… this IS the worst-case scenario. But it’s not like it will actually happen, right? You tell us.
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
Casseroles were created for back-to-school season. This creamy chicken Alfredo casserole is super yummy and comes together very quickly. The casserole has a nice flavor and is super creamy. We loved the addition of garlic and Parmesan flavors to the jarred Alfredo sauce. Peas give the casserole a pop of sweetness. Buttery Ritz crackers on top get all toasty while this bakes. A wonderful meal on a busy weeknight.
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 animal with the largest tested working memory is a…? You might think dolphin (dolphins are commonly thought to have the best memory of any non-human creature), but it’s actually a Border Collie dog named Chaser. Chaser, trained by psychologist Dr. John W. Pilley, has the largest tested memory of any animal. She can identify more than 1,000 toys by name and by the category they have been assigned. This is in addition to knowing common words such as “ball” and “tree.” Even more, when given a basket filled with all old toys with one new toy mixed in, she can identify the new toy (and its name) by excluding toys whose names she already knows. Good girl, Chaser!
Today in History
(Sorry about the awful photo. We didn’t choose it. It will go away when the video starts.)
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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