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News for RVers Issue 1075, Sunday edition

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rv travel logoWelcome to RVtravel.com, written by real journalists and not “content creators” or artificial intelligence. At RVtravel.com, our readers come first. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

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Sunday, October 23, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition



  Featured articles  

Note from publisher

I urge you to read Andy Zipser’s article (linked directly below) about a scathing report about RV manufacturing that was published last week in the Indianapolis Star newspaper. The report from the IndyStar is normally behind a paywall, but we have arranged for you to read the first two parts for free. —Chuck

(This is not a link.)

Indianapolis newspaper investigative series blasts RV manufacturing industry

Andy Zipser looks at last week’s investigative series into the brutal working conditions of factory workers in RV manufacturing plants in the Elkhart, Indiana, area, home to the RV industry. This series is normally only available to the IndyStar readers, but at our request it is making the first two parts available for free to readers of RVtravel.com. Andy’s article sums up the report, and he provides the link if you wish to read it as it appeared in the newspaper, which we highly recommend. The RV industry does not want you to see this. We believe otherwise: You should see this.

RoverPass announces ‘Flag a Camper’ feature to correct bad camper behavior

Think there is nothing to be done about bad campers? Not quite! RoverPass, an online campsite-booking platform, has just launched the “Flag a Camper” feature. This feature allows RV park owners to flag campers that have broken the rules, created issues, and been generally unruly. Read about it here.

Marcus Lemonis is back on TV, but not for what you expect

Marcus Lemonis, best known to RVers as the CEO of Camping World, is striking out in a new direction: home improvement! Yes, his newest venture is all about transforming lives as he transforms homes in the new HGTV show “The Renovator.” Learn more.

Winnebago debuts better buying experience on its website

Winnebago and Rollick, a customer engagement provider, have partnered to launch an innovative shopping experience at Winnebago.com to better engage consumers in the RV shopping process. It is equally focused on providing dealers with better-qualified buying prospects. Learn more.



Study finds human presence in National Parks drastically alters animal behavior

By Jeff Clemishaw
I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of negligent National Park visitors approaching bison and elk in the hopes of snapping a close-up photo. Or perhaps you’ve read up on Yellowstone’s long history of bear feeding and its impact on the park’s animal behavior. Human interaction with animals has always been a point of contention with park officials and biologists, and for good reason. Wildlife that’s too comfortable around people often lose their ability to fend for themselves in the wild, instead relying on the generosity of their bipedal neighbors…. A new study released recently in the People and Nature journal paints a surprising picture of just how impacted animals are by human activity. Read about this thought-provoking study here.

Campground Crowding: Why stay in a RV park when hotels are cheaper?

In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences with frequent campground crowding. This week we hear from more RVers having trouble finding availability at their preferred locations, but others having no problems at all. Also, more tips on how to continue enjoying camping life. And we hear from one RVer who wonders if trip insurance is how some RVers can afford to not show up after making reservations. All that and lots more here.

Katmai National Park has crowned a new Fat Bear Champion

This is one time of the year we get to celebrate getting fat. Every October, Katmai National Park and Explore.org celebrate another successful salmon run and their healthy brown bears with Fat Bear Week. Read about the annual contest and this year’s BIG winner here. (OMG! He’s almost as big as a Boeing 747!)


Photo Contest

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!

Click here to vote



That was the RV week that was

October 16–22, 2022

Love’s Travel Stops has opened a new store off of Interstate 35 in Perry, Oklahoma, marking its 600th location. Love’s has also started adding RV hookups to locations. Water, electric and sewer hookups and Wi-Fi are available at 21 existing Love’s locations across the country. The company also recently opened its first RV park in Cordele, Georgia. It offers full hookups, fire pits, pickle ball courts, a splash pad, laundry and more. Customers can visit lovesrvstops.com for a list of locations and to book a stay.

A Colorado-based real estate investment firm, Happy Camper Capital, has announced a $25-million investment fund to purchase 6 to 10 additional campgrounds, RV parks and marinas. Investors consider these areas “up-and-coming,” which typically offer high potential for cash flow and tax benefits.

Lazydays RV of Seffner, a suburb of Tampa, has set the world record as the World’s Largest RV Dealership, according to the WORLD RECORD ACADEMY. The dealership sells RVs, services them, rents them, and sells parts and accessories. It has 3,000 new and used RVs from 78 manufacturers across its 8 locations, nearly 400 service bays, 700 campsites at two on-site campgrounds and an RV resort at its Florida location. 

KZ Recreational Vehicles has recently unveiled a new solar package, available for the luxury and toy hauler lines Durango, Durango Gold, Venom and Venom V-Series. The package includes eight 220W solar panels, equaling 1,760 watts of solar power, a 5,000-watt Victron inverter/charger 24V that can power everything in a fifth-wheel, one 15,000 BTU A/C with Soft Start, a 100-amp Victron MPPT solar charge controller, and two 200AH 24V lithium batteries that are equal to eight 100AH 12V lithium batteries. The system powers all outlets and appliances and can run one 15,000 BTU A/C for 10 hours.



A 40-year-old Missouri man was found dead in his camper Tuesday afternoon at the Wheel Inn Campground in Leslie, Michigan. The man and his two dogs died of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is believed to have originated from the man’s propane heater. The incident is believed to have been an accident.

Blackwell School. (NPS Photo / David Larson)

On Monday, President Biden signed new legislation that lists Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas, as part of the National Park System. The designation will protect a 1909 adobe school house and a 1927 classroom where Mexican American students were taught. From 1889 to 1965, Hispanic students were segregated in Texas due to the state mantra, “separate but equal.”

At least 29 RV parks, campgrounds, and resorts remain closed in Florida as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Ian. Most of these parks are in the Fort Myers and the Fort Myers Beach areas.

Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans, such as the popular “van life” Sprinter, recorded a 4% increase in global sales for Q3, selling nearly 100,000 units despite challenges with the supply chain.

National Park Service officials have alerted the public to the possibility that the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria Fowleri may be lurking in an area of Nevada’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The Southern Nevada Health District confirmed a boy’s death there from an infection of the brain-eating amoeba. He may have been exposed to the organism the weekend of September 30 in the vicinity of Kingman Wash of the recreation area. The park service, working with the NPS Office of Public Health, has made the decision to continue to allow recreational swimming in the area as the organism exists naturally and commonly in the environment but disease is extremely rare.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is debuting a pilot program to make state park and forest vehicle admission day passes available to 1,000 library card holders at 20 libraries across Wisconsin. Starting Tuesday, Nov. 1, library card holders can check out a pass from participating libraries. The passes will be valid for free admission for one vehicle where admission is required. The program ends March 1, 2023.

The 2022 State of the Birds reports that half of bird species normally found in habitats as diverse as forests, deserts and oceans in the United States are in decline. The report states that one in four breeding birds have been lost from North America over the past 50 years, and that 70 species have “collectively lost two-thirds of their populations in the past 50 years and are on track to lose another 50 percent in the next 50 years.”

Podokesaurus holyokensis

And while on the topic of nature, you will be interested to know that a “swift-footed lizard” named Podokesaurus holyokensis has been named Massachusetts’ state dinosaur under legislation signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker. Podokesaurus holyokensis means “swift-footed lizard of Holyoke.” It was discovered in western Massachusetts in 1910 by Mount Holyoke College professor Mignon Talbot, “the first woman to find, discover, name and describe a dinosaur,” according to state Representative Jack Lewis.

Death Valley National Park is working to reopen campgrounds as historic summer floods forced the park to close all park roads in August. NPS road workers are focusing on clearing paved roads, and are set to begin work on all unpaved park roads next month. Permits are required for overnight camping along the park’s most popular backcountry roads and trails. When asked about park visitation, Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds says, “The floods gave us a chance to reconsider acceptable levels of camping impacts in these popular areas.”

Police are looking for the owner of a motorhome that was set on fire in a Chick-fil-A parking lot Saturday evening in Spanish Fork, Utah. A bystander told responding officers there was ammunition in the motorhome and to get away. Before police could ask more questions, the bystander left the scene on a bicycle and sure enough, ammo began exploding in the RV. Nobody was hurt. If you have info, call the Spanish Fork police.

A reminder: With days growing shorter, motorists should be on high alert for deer crossing roadways, particularly at dawn and dusk. The deer breeding season (known as the “rut”) begins in late October and continues through November until early December. Deer tend to move around more frequently during this time, and November is typically the peak period for collisions with motor vehicles.

Convenience store super chain Circle K is teaming up with Green Thumb Industries Inc.—a power player in US cannabis production—to sell marijuana at its gas stations in 2023, reports Bloomberg. First up: 10 of the company’s 600 locations in Florida. Because Florida is one of several states where cannabis can be legally sold only for medical use, purchases first will be restricted to Floridians who have medical marijuana cards. In Canada, where recreational marijuana is legal, the chain has a deal with cannabis retailer Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. that includes opening shops adjacent to Circle K locations.



News briefs

Anchorage began its scheduled clearing of homeless encampments in Centennial Park Campground on Thursday afternoon. A number of residents have lingered in the park since it was closed three weeks ago. A federal court ruling holds that homeless camps cannot be cleared unless there is shelter space available.

Following a nine-year closure due to water utility system failure, Look Rock Campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has finally reopened. The 68-site campground opened last Saturday and will remain open until November 13th.

California State Parks and CAL FIRE began prescribed burns in Calaveras Big Trees State Park Friday as part of a series of prescription burns this fall in the northern California park. The Walter W. Smith Memorial Parkway and a portion of the North Grove Trail may be closed or restricted during the burns.

Winter weather is expected to bring temporary road closures to Yellowstone National Park. Roads closed as of Friday, Oct. 21, are: Tower Junction to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass) and West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass). Old Faithful will remain open.

… And speaking of Yellowstone… If you are headed there and planning to camp, here is where to find the status of the park’s 12 campgrounds.

… And one more thing about Yellowstone… The park might be known for its pristine lakes, rivers and streams, but did you know that it produces more than 100 million gallons of wastewater each year? This water is treated on-site at seven wastewater treatment facilities throughout park. How about that?

Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, Washington, is closed due to concerns about incoming weather. Also in the park, due to a restoration project on the Quillayute River, visitors to the Mora Campground can expect to hear significant construction noise 7 days a week through October.

Winnebago Industries revenues for the Fiscal 2022 fourth quarter ended August 27, 2022, were $1.2 billion, an increase of 13.8% compared to $1.0 billion for the Fiscal 2021 period. Fiscal 2022 fourth quarter net income was $82.6 million, a decrease of 1.8% compared to $84.1 million in the prior year quarter.

A fire that caused $125,000 damage to a shed, deck and large travel trailer parked by a century-old northwest Bend, Oregon, home Friday afternoon was traced to a hot welding tool that had been left on the wooden deck, a fire official said.

On Oct. 19, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a man was using spray paint to vandalize a petroglyph panel within New Mexico’s La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs area. Deputies were shortly on the scene and detained the suspect for questioning. Some of the petroglyphs may be up to 8,000 years old.

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) shared continued revenue growth in its Q3 Business Report. Comparing the same period in a record-setting 2021, revenue improved by 2.1% on a same-location basis. Looking ahead, advanced deposits on future business are up 4.5%.



CONTEST

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.



Reader poll

Did you buy an RV in 2020? Are you happy or unhappy you bought it?

The pandemic years set records for RV sales. Did you buy an RV then? If so, are you happy now that you bought it or unhappy? That’s our question today. Respond here.


HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?

Rotter thieves in SeaTac, Washington, relieved a Washington man of his new RV conversion. “Luanne” was Alexander Parker’s pet project, converting a retired ambulance into his new adventure-mobile. Before he could head out with Luanne, Parker parked the distinctive rig at a motel in SeaTac while he flew off for a business conference. While out of the area, he got an alert that his rig was moving. Sure enough, larcenists lifted Luanne. Then Parker got alerts from his credit card companies: They’d found his cards, and started a shopping spree. Luanne was stolen October 11. On October 14, the brazen crooks used Luanne to help them heist a Honda from a Zips location on 72nd at around 9:00 p.m. in nearby Tacoma, Washington. By this time, the letters LOL were spray-painted on the rig’s side. Parker is combining his search efforts with the owner of the Honda. Additionally, a gofundme page has been set up. Know something? Contact Tacoma police at (253) 287-4455 and refer to case number 22-287-02325.

Lacey, New Jersey, police say someone kyped a Keystone Bullet travel trailer from a Drew Avenue home. The theft of the 2021 rig came sometime between 8:00 p.m. October 7 and 1:45 p.m. on October 8. Phone the police with info at (609) 693-6636. Note: This image is a STOCK photo, and not the actual missing rig.

Another storage yard theft in Texas. This time crooks stole a 2018 Keystone Cougar 22 WBE. The dirty deed was done in Cedar Park, Texas, on Ronald Reagan Boulevard. A couple of distinctive marks: The rear ladder on the rig is bent. If crooks left the orange Texas plate on it, it’s personalized and reads TRBL LAW. If you have information, e-mail gregarnold.llm@gmail.com.

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 (by Chuck Woodbury): What I learned writing for the National Enquirer
• Featured article: Desert-dwelling RVers find fall colors, and joy
• RV Review: Ember RV announces new Touring Edition
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: ‘I was overcharged by $10,000… and didn’t know it’
• RVtravel.com readers speak: These are the best burgers in the U.S. and Canada
These products are RVers’ “must-haves” while RVing
and much more

Read it here | Back issues


Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of October 17, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.87 [Calif.: $5.85]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 55 cents.
Diesel: $5.34 [Calif.: $6.50]
Change from week before: Up 12 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.67.


?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Now that the weather is getting colder and gloomier, these things come in real handy. And this is probably one of the cutest ones we’ve seen!


Brain Teaser

I am a fruit. Take away my first letter, I am a crime. Take away my first and second letters, I am an animal. Take away my first and last letters, I am a form of music. What fruit am I?

(Answer below.)

Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.


Do you subscribe to our RV Daily Tips Newsletter?
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

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

by Diana Adcock from Yes, IL

Make sure to marinate the beef for this stir-fry as long as Diana suggests. It soaks up the delicious marinade and adds the perfect Asian flavor to the dish. The broccoli is crunchy and a nice contrast to the tender meat. Serve over rice.

Click here for the recipe


This is our #1 best-selling Amazon product this month. We’ve sold nearly 170 of them, that’s just about 6 a day! Click here to see.


Brain teaser answer:

Grape


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.


Trivia

St. Augustine, Florida, a little less than an hour south of Jacksonville, is the oldest city in America. Founded in September 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain, it’s the longest continually inhabited European city founded in the U.S.


Wow! This is so handy!
What a great idea! Hook this on your steering wheel and you’ll have an instant ergonomic desk. It’s very light, but sturdy enough to support a laptop, lunch or notepad. It mounts quickly on the steering wheel and is easily stowed in the back seat pocket. We love this! Learn more or order.


Sunday funny


Today in History



RVtravel.com All Star Team

rv travel logo

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, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, 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. Mascots: Archie and Astor (the Disaster)

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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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Bd2
1 month ago

re: Hotel v. RV park
We drive about 1.1k miles one way to visit my son and family quite often.

I did a calculation on driving my Subaru [that gets 32-34 mpg] v. my Class-C RV [at 8 mpg]. Staying in a motel with car at the midpoint of the drive and a RV park. The Subaru and motel crushed driving the RV.

I have done it once with RV and it confirmed my calculations.

Gary
1 month ago

“Rotter thieves in SeaTac, Washington”

What are “rotter” thieves?

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary

Ha! Thanks for asking, Gary. I asked Russ De Maris about that term when I was proofing the newsletter because I thought maybe it was a typo and he meant to put “rotten.” (He knows lots more unusual terms than I do, so I frequently have to look them up or ask him.) He sent me this definition: “A thoroughly objectionable person.” Have a good evening. 😀 –Diane

Gary
1 month ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Learned sumthin’ new.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary

Yep, me too. I like to learn something new every day. My vocabulary has expanded greatly since I began working with Russ 10 years ago! 😆 Have a great day, Gary. 😀 –Diane

Lee A
1 month ago

Love’s Santa Teresa, NM, Full Hookups:

We stopped here for overnight on our way to San Antonio. We booked it online and selected Space #6. When we arrived we discovered it wasn’t level and the sewer connection went uphill from the RV. Since there were no other RV’s booked for the night they moved us to Space #1. It was level, but since all of the hookups are at the back of the RV we only hooked up the water hose. Since our tanks were empty upon arrival we didn’t need the sewer anyway. Everything was brand new and the WiFI worked fine. The fenced dog area was big with green grass. We would stay here again if passing through El Paso.

Lee A
1 month ago
Reply to  Lee A

Love’s Santa Teresa, NM, Full Hookups:, Continued

The down side was that the location was next to the truck entrance and exit so there was constant noise until about midnight when things slowed down. It was well lit and we felt pretty secure because the Border Patrol and Sheriff were coming and going all night. It was a bit far off the freeway and only a couple of miles from the US/Mexico border. It was great because we fueled up, had some pizza for dinner, and had a clean place to spend the night without having to unhook the truck. Plus, the OTA TV worked great with lots of El Paso TV stations to pick from.

Brian Burry
1 month ago

Dalmatian of the Spider Dog Gang was funny 😄

jillie
1 month ago

I hate to say it that was not a funny. That was tragic. Yes funny in a sense but those children should be disciplined. Need to think about this in a whole new way. IMO not yours

Bill Franko
1 month ago
Reply to  jillie

It’s a joke. Ever hear of photoshop? Geeez…

jillie
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill Franko

In todays day and age children will see someone or thing and go out and do it.l really do not like putting things out there that stupid children and their parents who ignore it really think things thru. This photo shop which I have heard of will give bored children something to do that is nothing short of stupidity. 30 or more years ago this would have been funny but in todays stupid children they will do what they see. IMO not yours