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Sunday, October 16, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Hitchless towing unveiled by Toyota: Is this the future of RVing?
By Jeff Clemishaw
You heard that right. Last month, Toyota issued a monumental press release that has made shockwaves in the auto industry. It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but the auto giant has been working on developing a first-of-its-kind technology—hitchless towing. Continue reading.
GM spanked in $102M class action lawsuit. Should RVers go after Elkhart?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A federal jury in California has hit General Motors with a whopping verdict. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California says GM must pay out $102.6 million to folks who owned GM-built rigs with 5.3-liter V8 engines that had excessive oil consumption. The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 38,000 owners and lessees. It begs the question raised by so many of our readers who feel shafted by the RV industry: Why not bring class action suits against RV manufacturers? Learn more.
New RV sales head downward—What’s the future hold?
Like a kid coming off a “sugar high,” the RV industry may be seeing the end to the “good times roll” of the COVID-19 pandemic years. We reported earlier that wholesale prices for RVs at auction have taken a tumble. Now the report for folks registering new RVs with licensing agencies for August seems to be indicative of a fall-off for the RV industry. Sales are decidedly down. Continue reading.
Campground Crowding: ‘System is broken, causes great frustration, totally unfair and selfish’
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, again, RVers complain about others “cheating the system” regarding reservations and also how difficult it is to get reservations through Recreation.gov. But several RVers offer tips to find campsites as well as save money on them. Read more.
Trailer parks a risky refuge for RVs
As the U.S. housing crisis continues unabated, forcing growing numbers of low-income people into RVs as their housing of last resort, the question of where to park all those vehicles has become ever more confounding. Some end up on the streets, of course, and some in those RV campgrounds that have long-term sites available. But a significant if uncounted number end up in trailer courts, which superficially appear to provide a perfect fit. Yet that security is increasingly illusory… Read more from Andy Zipser.
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!
That was the RV week that was
October 9–15, 2022
As of last Wednesday, at least 29 Florida RV parks and resorts are temporarily closed as a result of damage from Hurricane Ian, according to information gathered so far from the Florida Campground and RV Park Association. Most of the RV parks that remain closed are in the Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach areas. “The majority of the affected parks are in Lee and Collier counties,” said Bobby Cornwell, executive director and CEO of the Florida Campground and RV Park Association. He said it will take a while to determine how much time the affected parks will need to reopen. Some have reopened relatively quickly. Others will require more time.
Camping World plans to open 20 or more new stores over the next three calendar years. It’s eyeing new locations in San Martin, Calif.; Georgetown, Del.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan.; Birch Run, Chesterfield, and Lansing, Mich.; Branson and Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Madison (Cleveland market) and Sunbury (Columbus market), Ohio; Billings, Mont.; Lincoln, Neb.; Mesquite, Texas; St. Albans, Vt.; Green Bay and Oshkosh, Wisc.; Hurricane, W.V.; and Cheyenne, Wy. Camping World Holdings currently owns and operates more than 185 SuperCenters in 42 states.
This California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) (above) hatchling was found wandering into the Hearst Castle Visitor Center on Tuesday evening. The young king was advised that tours had ended and then was safely relocated outside. Photo by Jared Meichtry, San Luis Obispo Coast District of California State Parks.
In the wake of Hurricane Ian and recent severe weather across the country, law enforcement and other public agencies are urging consumers to take precautions against unintentionally purchasing vehicles damaged by flooding in the weeks and months ahead. People looking to buy a used car or RV can enter the Vehicle Identification Number in the National Insurance Crime Bureau database to learn if the vehicle was ever flooded or stolen. “Just because a used car looks fine does not mean it is free of substantial damage,” said New York DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. Flood damage can impact the engine or transmission, corrode wiring, harm the airbag or impair the vehicle’s computers. Some sellers will try to hide the damage by taking the vehicle from a flooded area and obtain a new title in a different state before trying to sell it.
General Motors said Tuesday it would form a new division, GM Energy, which will offer electric-vehicle charging systems, solar panels and related products to consumers and businesses. In addition to software tools for customers, the new division is slated to offer a wide spread of home and business power-management products, including, GM says, bidirectional charging systems for EVs, stationary batteries, solar panels, and hydrogen fuel cells.
The Northeast Entrance Road gates in Yellowstone National Park have reopened after four months of closure after record-breaking floods. Other than a small section of damage near Trout Lake, all flood-damaged sections have been repaved and will operate without any restrictions. 99 percent of Yellowstone’s roads are now open.
Look out for Bigfoot! Posters have been popping up all summer across Pennsylvania state parks warning that a “creature resembling ‘Bigfoot'” has been spotted nearby. There have been so many posters and enough social media buzz that the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been forced to respond, saying the signs were not “posted by DCNR.”
Winnebago Industries has partnered with Melanated Campout to encourage people of color to explore the outdoors. The collaboration will enhance each brand’s opportunity to connect with new audiences. Melanated Campout is a Black- and woman-owned company that is inspiring people of color to camp and enjoy outdoor activities. The group invites hundreds of campers to a designated campground each summer for an annual event.
Speaking of Winnebago … Winnebago Industries, Inc. will host its Investor Day on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at the Lanier Islands resort in Georgia. Company President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Happe, and other members of Winnebago Industries leadership, will provide an overview of the company’s long-term strategies, business updates and perspective on the outdoor lifestyle industry. Due to limited capacity, in-person attendance is by invitation only and advance registration is required. The event will be webcast live and all interested parties are invited to listen via the Company’s website, http://investor.wgo.net.
Sales of Ford’s electric vehicles have tripled over last year, with F-150 Lightning sales totaling 8,760 since its launch this year in June. F-150 Lightning remains one of Ford’s fastest-turning vehicles on dealer lots, turning in just 8 days. New orders for the company’s new Maverick truck totaled more than 86,000 vehicles in September, with more than 80 percent of the orders from first-time truck buyers.
We reported earlier on the RVer who had his truck camper stolen, and was run over with it by the thieves. The event unfolded in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, earlier this month, and the brazen crooks drove away with the truck camper—with an older man who’d been sleeping in the camper still onboard. Now Canadian Mounties are looking for a suspect, Jesse Myles St. Paul. He’s 6′ tall, 180 pounds, 29 years old, with black hair and brown eyes. Known to be violent, police say not to approach him, but call the RCMP at 204-857-8767. Click on the image to enlarge.
Out of 50 franchises recognized by the Franchise Business Review, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is the only outdoor hospitality group to be recognized as one of the Most Profitable Franchises of 2022. This is KOA’s first time being included in the top 50. Franchise Business Review analyzed data from more than 30,000 franchise owners representing more than 300 brands.
West Seattle (Washington) residents, unhappy with homeless RVers populating their streets, came up with a somewhat novel idea. After they convinced local police to shoo away the unwanted rig-dwellers, they put out stock watering tanks on the street that would allow only shorter vehicles to park. To beautify their efforts, they planted several hundred dollars’ worth of flowering plants in the tanks. Now the plants have vanished, leaving some of the residents to suspect a purloining landscaper.
Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim began transition to day-use operations yesterday. The Grand Canyon Lodge is now closed and visitor services limited. Visitors exploring the North Rim for the remainder of the season should plan to be self-sufficient and bring enough food and water for the day. The North Rim campground will accept reservations through October 31 and will close for the season on November 1.
For the first time in more than 30 years, Ohio has a new state park lodge at Hocking Hills State Park. The lodge features 81 guestrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, cafe, gift shop, restaurant, and formal event space. Additionally, for glampers, the lodge offers 40 different types of cabins with bedrooms, living and kitchen areas, a patio, campfire ring and outdoor grill. Some cabins are pet-friendly.
A record number of people made reservations for campsites, day-use passes, backcountry permits, cabins and picnic shelters in British Columbia Provincial Parks this season. More than 317,000 reservations were made on the new BC Parks reservation service for the 2022 season, an increase of 26.5% since 2019.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park will close for the season tonight at midnight. The Going-to-the-Sun Road typically closes each year on or before the third Monday in October, depending on road and weather conditions.
The human remains found on October 6th in the Fabbri Picnic Area of Acadia National Park have been determined to be from a suicide.
Yellowstone National Park increased its park-wide fire danger level from moderate to high on Friday. Be careful.
The Eagle County (Colorado) Board of Commissioners is considering a new plan for its fairgrounds. Among the proposed changes is the addition of a 100-space RV park with other areas for tent camping.
Louisiana Office of State Parks is offering a special discount on overnight stays at state parks this fall. Campers will get four nights for the price of three when they book through ReserveLAStateParks.com and enter the promo code KICKOFF2022. The discount can also be applied to cabins and group camps, too.
Be careful where you leave your soldering iron. What you see above is the remains of a $90,000 Forest River fifth wheel trailer that went up in flames Wednesday in Saline County, Kansas. Apparently, the owner of the RV was soldering speaker wires but got distracted and momentarily set the tool on a table. And that’s all she wrote…
Bish’s RV, with 20 locations, has joined the GoRollick Dealer Network, and will provide access to its more than 5,000 new and used RV units to members of Sams Club, NADAguides, eBay and other partners.
The Glamping Show USA, an industry trade show for the glamping industry, continues to grow. The recent Oct. 4-5 event at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora, Colo., attracted 1,454 trade visitors, up from 1,055 the year before, a 37% increase.
Ohio’s 124.8-acre Paradise Lake Park Campground near East Rochester has been sold for $1.6 million to Fireside Lake LLC of Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Timed-entry permits are no longer required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Park officials warn that without reservations, entry lines may be long.
An RV Market Forecast and Analysis report by Techabio estimates the recreational vehicle market will gain an incremental growth of $28.62 billion from 2022 to 2026.
Outdoorsy, the leading peer-to-peer RV rental company, has reached $2 billion in total transactions. The major milestone comes following the company’s best year on record. The company celebrated its $1 billion transaction in March of 2021.
Our RV tire columnist Roger Marble alerted us to a scam
“I just got a call from a guy claiming to be from my bank asking if I had used my credit card to make some high-dollar charges this morning. He was in a real hurry and didn’t want me to wait to dig out my card so I could confirm I had not lost it. I told him I had not made any charges, then he asked for the card number. He gave me the first 4 numbers but I know that these are universal numbers for the bank and were not part of my account. At this point, his accent became a big “tell.” So I told him I would check directly with the bank and he started talking faster in an effort to keep me online. I called the bank and they confirmed my card had not been used this morning. This is just a new scam.”
Campers at Missouri’s St. Francois State Park are invited to partake in some Halloween fun Saturday, Oct. 22, including a costume contest, best decorated campsite and trick or treating. The park is at 8920 U.S. Highway 67N in Bonne Terre.
Meyer’s RV Superstores, a leading RV dealer on the East Coast, has recently purchased Bay RV Center located in Joppa, Md. Bay RV is a full-service Maryland RV dealership located at 1002 Pulaski Highway just minutes off Interstate 95 at Exit 74.
Following a nine-year closure, the 68-site Look Rock Campground at Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened yesterday and will remain open through November 13. The campground had closed in 2013 after a water utility failure.
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.
Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.
If you had a time machine, would you take a month-long trip 200 years back in time or ahead in time?
Inquiring minds want to know. Respond here and see how others responded.
Yesterday’s poll: We asked if you were a member of the Good Sam Club. We were surprised at the results.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
No stolen RVs to report this week. But here’s some good news:
Stolen trailer we posted was located; crooks caught after tip pays off
Back in early September, we posted a story in our regular Stolen RVs segment on a case from Eagle Mountain, Utah. Seems that on August 23, a pair of cool customers drove into a storage yard, backed up to a Micro Lite trailer, and drove away. Along the way to the scene of the crime, the couple stopped at a nearby convenience store and one of them, a woman, went in for refreshments. She left behind her photo on the store’s security camera system, which may have been the pair’s undoing. Continue reading.
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.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Is RVtravel.com all about “lambasting the RV industry”?
• Featured article: Our readers share about their rudest campground neighbors. Yikes!
• RV Review: Game-changing Palomino Pause breaks the mold
• Around the Campfire: If RVers had a magic wand, how would they use it?
• Your RV’s R-value. Don’t believe it hook, line and sinker
• Exterior evaluation: Routine RV inspections can prevent major water damage
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: ‘Problems? Oh, let me count the ways…!’
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of October 10, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.91 [Calif.: $6.16]
Change from week before: Up 13 cents; Change from year before: Up 65 cents.
Diesel: $5.22 [Calif.: $6.49]
Change from week before: Up 39 cents; Change from year before: $1.64.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Having a hard time hanging art in your RV? Tired of your RV’s dated interior? Well, this will certainly help! This is cool!
What word in the English language has every vowel in order in the word? (Whew, this one might take you a while!)
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.
Upcoming RV shows
For a directory of upcoming shows click here.
Recipe of the Day
Mushrooms and Peas Rice
by Bonnie Glazier from Palermo, ME
A simple side dish that will be delicious alongside pork, chicken, or steak. There are bursts of flavor from the peas. Mushrooms add an earthy flavor. Combined with rice, it’s a very quick and easy side dish.
Brain teaser answer:
Facetiously. (AEIOUY in order.)
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.
Dig a hole to China! Well, if you actually did want to dig a hole to China you’d have to start in Argentina. Argentina is the country with the most landmass directly mirroring China on the other side of the globe. Make sure you stick to Northern Argentina, though. If you start digging too far south you may end up in Mongolia or Russia.
And if you’re curious where you’d end up if you started digging anywhere in North America, you’d probably end up right in the ocean off the western coast of Australia.
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, Linda Brady. 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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I do know that Camping World took over the RV center in Chelsea Michigan. I was told the one in Belleville Michigan still has not reopened. As for Acadia? Ouch. I drove for them last summer. Glad there is no madman running loose thru those woods. If ever been there? You would know. Sad though someone took their own life in a place that so beautiful. As for the campground I am staying at? People are living here out of their trailers. I hate to say it is far cheaper then to rent an apartment. Everyone here keeps to themselves. I on the other hand am stuck here because the house still is not ready and the costs just keep going up. 2 more things to be done but yet now have to wait on one person to do their job. Hopefully fingers crossed I will be moved in within 2 weeks. As for big foot? I hate to say it I am parked next to woods and do hear things back there. Just glad they stay back there. Not sure I am ready for that next encounter.
Dianne, Checked into RV Self Park in Sullivan, MO last night. It’s all do it yourself! Check it out!
Thanks, lil John. I don’t know if that comment was intended for me, but I’ll respond just in case. Here’s a link to it: https://rvselfpark.com/ It says it’s “America’s 1st Automated RV Parking Facility.” It’s interesting to read their rates and what is included. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane
Ford F150EV, perhaps 12,000 for the year
vs F-Series sold a total of 726,004 pickups in 2021. I look forward to removing gov subsidises, making all EV,’s pay road maintenance taxes, stop calling them zero emission vehicles, and increasing oil production in the USA.
RE Trivia: Y is not a vowel.
Hi, Crzn. According to Merriam-Webster, “y” is considered a vowel if it’s at the end of a word (plus in a couple of other instances). I remember learning that almost 70 years ago. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane
I was taught: A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. In my book that makes Y a vowel, even though it is a part-timer. Happy Trails
Same here. Thanks, Gordy. Have a good night, Y don’t you? (It’s late and I’m getting silly. Sorry.) 😀 –Diane
I was waiting for someone to chime in on that letter. Fun to see a mini english class being debated.
There is also the word “abstemiously”
You get the big gold star today, Kevin! Good job! Have a great day. 😀 –Diane
Your Readers Poll really makes you think. Do I go back in time and buy some good stock, but possibly die of something that could be easily cured today. Or, do I go into the future only to find there is no future after a nuclear holocausts.
Enough with the negative waves Moriarty. Sorry, couldn’t help it, just call me Oddball.
Thanks one of the best movies ever.
Considering the lack of sanity or leadership from D.C. I would have to agree.
The problem is not just in DC. Look at China, Russia, North Korea, the Middle
East, and parts of South America. Especially Russia, Iran and North Korea.
They have their fingers on the nuclear button.
I watched Don’t Look Up. Meryl Streep should be ashamed of herself for that movie even though the Academy Awards gave it 5 nominations. No idea what they were thinking but I hate to say it I lost two hours of my life. Although if you want to see our lack of sanity from our leadership watch this movie. It explains exactly what is going on in Washington currently. IMO not yours
I’m with you Larry