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Sunday, September 11, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Single-use propane cylinders may soon vanish in California. What to do
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Probably none of us can imagine an RV campground built on top of a landfill. To that end, the push is always on for more recycling. Think about just one item—disposable one-pound propane cylinders. The little green guys you might stick on the bottom of a lantern, or use to fire your really portable gas grill. Each year, four million of them are sold in California alone. While a quarter are recycled, the rest—tossed in the trash. May not sound like much, but it amounts to about 2,200 garbage truck loads each year. It’s a lot of hazardous trash, and the Golden State is on the cusp of banning the sale of single-use propane cylinders, come 2028. What alternatives are there? Find out here.
Beware Yellowstone visitors: Keep clear of bull elk
Bull elk in Yellowstone National Park are on the make, and they can be unpredictable and dangerous during fall mating season. If you’re headed to the park, keep your distance from these fellows as they will experience no guilt in hurting you. It’s the elk mating season, commonly referred to as the rut, and it is officially underway. So, keep these thoughts in mind: … Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: This type of campground should be re-zoned as a ‘trailer park’
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 an RVer who has seen campgrounds deteriorate dramatically recently and so they may give up RVing, several RVers complaining about price-gouging cancellation policies, a suggestion for penalizing “no-shows,” a suggestion to rezone RV parks full of full-timers as trailer parks, and more. Read all those comments and more here.
See article related to above where your input is requested. [Also linked below in the section “What do you think?”]
Today’s RV parks: ‘Camping’ gives way to ‘Resortainment’
by Andy Zipser
To the extent that the RV park industry increasingly draws inspiration from its hotel-and-resort big brothers and sisters—which is to say, a great deal—looking at the latter can give campers and RVers a sense of what lies ahead for them. Judging by recent developments, alas, that means more glitz, higher prices and less of anything that resembles “nature.” Continue reading.
“Super Bowl of Marbles” coming to Tennessee state park
The best marbles players in the world roll into Standing Stone State Park on Saturday, Sept. 17, for the 39th annual National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship and Festival. It’s considered the “Super Bowl of Marbles.” “There is no other event like this in the world,” said Shawn Hughes, park ranger at Standing Stone. “The day has something for everybody, and we invite anyone who wants to have a good time to come and enjoy it.” Read all about it.
Bighorn National Forest asks community for help with dispersed camping squatters
For years, the National Forest Service has been dealing with a growing issue—careless dispersed camping squatters dropping off their RVs in the forest for an entire season with the intention of using them as “summer homes.” Outside of the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming, Forest Service staff have turned to local communities to help combat the problem. Learn more.
Here is the current edition of our 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!
Please note: We’ve changed the rules around a little bit. Please read the updated rules here. And don’t forget to submit a photo!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Your thoughts invited: RV park? Trailer park? Campground?
In this feature, we ask our RVtravel.com readers a question to see what they think about a particular issue. Today, we’d like your opinion about RV parks. Most long-time RVers have observed that RV parks are not all the same, far from it. One can be gorgeous and cater to overnighters or short-term travelers. Another can be ghetto-like and be filled with low-income residents who live there full time. Another may be very attractive and populated with seasonal or even full-time RVers in expensive RVs. What should those later places that cater to “residents” be called to distinguish them from places that cater to “travelers”? What do you think? Be creative! Continue reading, and then please weigh in.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “This might be one of the most unusual RVs we’ve looked at here that you can actually go out and buy right now. But first, let’s uncover what the Woolly Bear is…”
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
September 4–10, 2022
This summer’s drought is expected to result in a patchy array of fall color starting earlier in the leaf-peeping haven of New England, while the autumn colors are likely to be muted and not last as long in the drought- and heat-stricken areas of the south. In New England, experts anticipate the season, which typically peaks in October, to be more spread out with some trees changing earlier or even browning and dropping leaves because of the drought. Other places, like Texas, could see colors emerging later in the fall due to warm temperatures.
A fire at a Gander RV Service Center Of Antioch (Illinois) injured one firefighter last Saturday evening. The Antioch Fire Department responded to a structure fire around 7:30 p.m. Fire officials say the monetary loss is unknown but is expected to be in the millions with the loss of buildings, RVs and other contents destroyed by the fire.
How will campgrounds adapt to electric vehicles? Torrey Trails RV & Golf Resort is taking the first steps. The campground in Bowling Green, Florida, is putting final touches on 210 EV-ready campsites. Campground developer Amir Harpaz says the move is to make the campground “future-proof.” Each pedestal, provided by Wild Energy, will automatically start billing the customer as soon as a vehicle is plugged in to charge.
Popular van rental company GoCamp is expanding to more than 50 locations nationwide across 25 states. GoCamp has doubled its number of rentable camper vans within the past year. Top-earning GoCamp van owners who rent out their vans generate more than $50,000 a year in passive income.
The Hershey RV Show, billed as the largest RV show in the USA, gets underway this coming Wednesday, September 14-18. More than 1,300 RVs of all types will be on display over a million square feet at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Seminar speakers include our own Mike Sokol, who will speak on RV electricity. Tickets are only available online, not at the gate. Admission is free for children 12 and younger.
Based on new research from Allied Market Research, the global market for glamping generated $2.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to more than $7 billion by 2031. North America held the dominating market share, but the Asia-Pacific zone is quickly catching up.
Mammoth Cave is officially six miles longer. The new additions bring the total length of the cave to 426 miles. The announcement comes during Mammoth Cave National Park’s 50th Anniversary celebration of the Flint Ridge-Mammoth Cave connection which earned Mammoth Cave the title of longest cave in the world.
Seattle officials are concerned about Monday night’s NFL football game between the Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, with ex-Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson returning to town in an opponent’s uniform. A sizable homeless community occupies sidewalks and other areas used by fans to park and walk to the game at Lumen Field. Officials are worried TV cameras will show the settlements, which would reflect poorly on the community.
As people around the world mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Yosemite National Park employees reflected on the monarch’s visit to the park in March of 1983, where she stayed at The Ahwahnee Hotel with her husband, Prince Phillip. Accompanied by rangers and Superintendent Bob Binnewies, they took in the views and stopped at Inspiration Point, Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, and Tunnel View, and attended services at the Yosemite Chapel.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The sovereign of the United Kingdom is also the head of the British Armed Forces. That duty fell to Queen Elizabeth II for almost 71 years. Until her death, Queen Elizabeth was the only active commander in the British military who served in the British Army during World War II. … Also, on May 8, 1945, then Princess Elizabeth and sister Princess Margaret snuck out of Buckingham Palace to join thousands of revelers on the streets to celebrate the Allied victory over Germany.
As more people began getting back to traveling in 2021, the number of traffic fatalities in Arizona rose for a second straight year to their highest levels in 15 years, according to the most recent Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report published Wednesday, Sept. 7. The number of those killed in traffic collisions rose from 1,054 in 2020 to 1,180 in 2021, an increase of 12 percent. The total number of traffic crashes also rose by 22 percent as people drove an estimated 8.1 billion more miles last year than in 2020.
If you’re into unique places to spend a night, hop on over to the U.K., where you can sleep in a UFO, located in its own crater. The spaceship sleeps four and has its own fully electric remote control retracting stairs and door, an escape hatch, and a smoke machine to simulate a full lunar landing!
Caravan Salon, the world’s largest RV show, held each year in Düsseldorf, Germany, finished its 2022 event last week after attracting 235,000 caravan enthusiasts (RVers). By comparison, last year’s Hershey (Pennsylvania) RV Show, America’s largest show, attracted a crowd of about 64,000.
Due to high fire danger and forecasted extreme fire weather, Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Coos Bay District (Oregon) officials are now banning campfires on Coos Bay District lands, including Loon Lake, East Shore, and Edson Creek Campgrounds. Any other type of open fire, including the use of charcoal briquettes, is prohibited.
As a result of fire activity, the Bureau of Land Management Klamath Falls (Oregon) Field Office has temporarily closed BLM-managed areas near the Van Meter Fire for public and firefighter safety. Members of the public may not enter closed areas, and all uses including hiking, hunting and dispersed camping are prohibited. Learn more.
Louisiana’s South Toledo Bend State Park has reopened. While it was closed, major repairs were completed on the park roads, new campsite pads installed, and cabins were upgraded with granite countertops and a fresh coat of paint. The park is located on several small bluffs that extend over and into the Toledo Bend Reservoir.
Starting in 2023, a $29 “Keep Colorado Wild Pass” will be added to residents’ annual vehicle registration fees. The pass will give access to all Colorado State Parks and will be automatically included unless the owner opts out. The pass will be linked to the vehicle’s license plate and cannot be transferred to another vehicle.
You’re invited to celebrate the starry night skies of Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The park’s annual astronomy festival, known as AstroFest, will take place Thursday, September 22, through Saturday, September 24.
Write for RVtravel.com. Gain fame and maybe even fortune someday (relatively speaking). If you have a story that needs to bust out of you and onto the pages of this website, then this is your opportunity. Just click here to find a submission form. We may not offer to pay for these initial contributions and are selective in those we publish. But when we spot talent, we will take notice and invite the writer to submit more, often with very generous pay.
Friday’s average price of gasoline in the U.S. was $3.74 per gallon, down a penny from the day before, 7 cents from last week and 30 cents from last month. A year ago the price was $3.18.
As of yesterday, U.S. Highway 2 in Western Washington was closed because of the Bolt Creek Fire from milepost 31.7 (east of Zeke’s Drive In and Gold Bar) to milepost 49 (east end of Skykomish). The stretch of the Stevens Pass Highway was open only to people evacuating.
Saguaro National Park will temporarily close its east and west side visitor centers in both districts of the park the week of September 12th. These temporary closures will allow staff to address maintenance issues. The park is in the Tucson area.
California’s DMV has canceled behind-the-wheel tests for vehicles without air conditioning in areas impacted by high temperatures. This includes commercial and non-commercial driving tests. DMV offices in cooler, coastal areas will continue to provide all services.
Campers at Oregon’s Milo McIver State Park had to evacuate after a wildfire ignited. Thousands in the state remained without power Saturday after utilities did targeted shutoffs in an effort to lessen the danger in dry and windy conditions. The park is about 24 miles southeast of Portland.
Washington state’s Mount Rainier National Park has implemented a park-wide fire ban for all campfires and the ignition of wood, briquettes, or any fuel in fire pits, fire pans and barbecue grills.
This weekend, the Canadian RV and Camping Industry is celebrating its 7th annual Camper Appreciation Weekend with site discounts and support of the charity Care Camps.
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will close the westbound Interstate 84 Bliss rest area tomorrow until further notice due to a damaged waterline. A time frame for when it might reopen was not announced.
Make your reservations now for the 2022 Dutch oven cooking contest weekend at Missouri’s Crowder State Park for some friendly competition. Campers should register for the contest by Saturday, Sept.17, at 10 a.m., by emailing email@example.com. The park is at 76 NW Highway 128 in Trenton.
On Tuesday, the fire danger rating was elevated to high for Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge. Visitors should not be deceived by how green the landscape looks. It is the dead and down timber and dried vegetation (fuels) that could carry fire. Nearby, Yellowstone’s fire danger was also raised to “Very High.”
Merrill Lake Campground, near Cougar, Wash., is closed to the public until further notice after a helicopter used for firefighting crashed into the lake Wednesday. The helicopter was dipping into the lake to pick up water to help fight the Kalama Fire when it crashed. The pilot was not injured.
Beware of excessive heat when hiking. A 59-year-old woman died in Grand Canyon National Park earlier this week. Park rangers are warning visitors to prepare for “excessively hot days in the coming weeks.”
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (Montana) plans to move to a fully cashless fee system and only accept credit card, debit card, mobile, or electronic payments for entrance and permit fees, starting on November 1. The national monument will start collecting the fees at the entrance gate and in the visitor center.
COMING THIS MONTH
A new weekly newsletter: RV Tech Talk. The nation’s leading experts on RV repair and maintenance will discuss, both in writing and in live online discussions on Wednesday evenings, what you need to know to keep your RV in top condition and to troubleshoot problems. Hosted by Dave Solberg. Sign up.
On Friday, a California-based auction company auctioned off an unusual piece of Detroit Tigers memorabilia: Ty Cobb’s dentures. Cobb played for the Tigers from 1905 to 1926 and died in 1961. The left-handed wizard batted over .300 for 23 consecutive seasons, stole home 54 times and struck out a mere 680 times in 13,103 career plate appearances (exactly 5%)—all records that will never be broken in modern baseball. The winner paid $18,840 for the choppers.
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
Ford, America’s best-selling pickup brand, posted sales of 65,446 pickups in August – up 8.0 percent from a year ago, thanks to demand for F-Series, Ranger and Maverick. Ford overall share year-to-date of the total pickup segment increased 0.6 percentage points in August to 28.3 percent. F-Series trucks expanded its year-to-date sales lead through August over its second-place competitor to 85,411 vehicles. Meanwhile, sales of Ford’s electric vehicles are up four-fold over last year, with the F-150 Lightning having its best monthly sales since it was launched.
Chevy is offering some discounts in September as part of Chevy Truck Month. A Chevy Silverado HD discount knocks $750 off the 2022 Chevy Silverado HD, including both the 2500HD and 3500HD models, and $500 off 2023 Chevy Silverado HD models. A $1,000 accessory allowance is also available on all these models, and eligible GM and associated accessories include sport bar, bedliner, tubular nudge bar, assist steps, wheels, and more.
The 2022 Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck came in at the very bottom of Consumer Reports’ recent ranking of pickups in terms of owner satisfaction. The overall percentage of satisfied customers came in under 60%. By comparison, Ford’s F-350 truck was number one with an over 80% approval ranking. Despite its overall low score, the Nissan Titan has some positive points, said CR. These include its smooth and powerful engine, light effort gate, roomy cabin and wide range of standard safety features.
Is gas or diesel fuel more expensive where you are now?
RECENT POPULAR POLL
We asked: Should drivers with RVs 40 feet or longer need a special driver’s license? Do you think more of the 3,200 readers who responded said yes or no? Find out.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Brazen thieves got their portraits taken in the act in Bradford, Ontario. The pair donned safety vests and hitched their mini-van up to a 2016 Jayco Hummingbird travel trailer in someone’s front yard in broad daylight. The act, caught on the owner’s security system, shows the not-so-dynamic duo sprinting into their getaway rig at about 5:00 p.m. on August 20. The suspects are evidently style ignorant, a man wearing a white mask, orange and yellow construction vest, dark pants, and dark shoes. His accomplice, a woman, wore an orange and yellow vest, tan capris, white shoes, and a black shirt with the “PUMA” logo on the front. Contact the owner, Tristan Bromwich by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the South Simcoe Police at 905-775-3311 or 705-436-2141.
Stolen, apparently from a storage yard in Moneta, Virginia. This 2006 Winnebago Class C unit disappeared with help on August 28 around 7 a.m. Not much of a description, other than white “with blue and yellow decals.” Last seen with Virginia plate VPZ-5738. Stolen from the 1200 block of N. Old Moneta Road, a security cam caught an image of a suspect. Contact Investigator Alderson at 540-586-4800.
Canadian Mounties are searching for a 2016 Springdale sprung from Crofton, B.C. The trailer was stolen from a residence on Megan Street sometime in the night of August 30. No model information was provided, but it appears to be in the 20-some-foot range, and is equipped with an electric awning. Contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 with information.
Crooks working in Eagle Mountain, Utah, were staying cool on August 23. Using a 2007-or-so model year Ford crew cab pickup, a man and a woman stopped at a Holiday Oil gas station near Sunset Storage. A woman passenger walked in and picked up some refreshments. She was kind enough to give her image to the store security camera. After the casual stop, the pickup then drove on into Sunset Storage, backed up to a Micro Lite travel trailer, hitched up, and casually drove off. A week later the trailer’s owner stopped into the storage facility and found his rig vamoosed. Sadly, we have no more information about the trailer, but perhaps the photos will help. Know something, call Central Utah Dispatch at (801)794-3970 and ask to speak to a deputy.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
Don’t miss Russ’ article yesterday: How likely is it that your RV will be stolen? We have the stats, and tips.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Nothing significant to report this week.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: How likely is it that your RV will be stolen? We have the stats, plus tips
• Featured article: RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Service center repairs gone wrong; rig goes up in flames
• Are boondocking myths limiting you to crowded campgrounds?
• RV Manufacturer Warranty, Part 2: RV repair shop owner explains, “Why I refuse to honor your warranty!”
• Your thoughts invited: Have Walmart ‘campers’ changed?
• OMG! See what happened when RVers overfilled their fresh water tank
… and much more
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
“Makes all critters taste great.” And it means ALL critters. Does kinda make you curious…
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of September 5, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.75 [Calif.: $5.05]
Change from week before: Down 8 cents; Change from year before: Up 57 cents.
Diesel: $5.08 [Calif.: $6.17]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.71.
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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
by Leslie Holt from Franklin, TN
An easy and delicious appetizer for your next party. When baked, the crescent dough is soft and buttery. Inside, the cream cheese filling has bits of soft onions and salty bacon. A wonderful flavor combination. You could serve these for any occasion from game night to a holiday party.
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.
How did the dogwood tree get its name? It’s because a concoction brewed from its bark was thought to cure dogs of mange.
Times have changed. We still have “backseat drivers” (of both sexes), but you’ll never see an ad like this again. Click it to enlarge.
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Mike Gast, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola, Jeff Clemishaw 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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