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News for RVers Issue 1081, Sunday edition

rv travel logoWelcome to RVtravel.com, written by real RVers and real writers, not influencers, content creators and artificial intelligence. You come first, not search engine rankings. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition



  Featured articles  

Loan shark interest rates to buy an RV? How MSRP prices are set (good question!). And RV financing nightmares!

By Randall Brink
Would you take out a loan you knew you could never repay? Would you pay Mafia loan shark interest rates for an RV loan? There are situations where RV financing is a little of both.

During the RV buying frenzy that began in 2020 and only began to subside in the second quarter of 2022, there have been many anecdotal accounts of buyers paying premium prices for RVs and financing them over long terms. In many instances, those long-term RV loans will leave them “upside down” in the loan at some point before they make the last payment. The longer the loan term and the lower the down payment, the more likely that depreciation will outrun the principal, and the buyer will be in a “negative equity” position. Learn much more.

Cities around the U.S. begin cracking down on RV parking

By Jeff Clemishaw
If you live in or have ever visited some of the major cities in the Western United States, you’ve likely noticed the phenomenon of RV-lined streets. In many cases, financially strained residents with no other option occupy these RVs. While they may not be “homeless” in the traditional sense, they certainly don’t have a physical location to consistently park at. … Recently, various cities around the country have begun to enforce parking laws or outright bans on RVs to remedy the issue. The implications can mean quite a bit for the greater RV community. Read more.

A Starlink RV Falcon9 satellite launchFCC authorizes more Starlink satellites

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued regulatory approval to SpaceX this week for the launch of an additional 7,500 Starlink internet satellites. The FCC order read in part, “Our action will allow SpaceX to begin deployment of Gen 2 Starlink.” The regulator’s decision is in line with SpaceX plans to expand the Starlink network to one day include more than 30,000 satellites in low-earth orbit. Learn more.

Preowned RV prices continue to dive.

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
For several years, preowned RV prices were fairly steady and predictable. From 2017 through 2019, the average price for motorhomes stayed between $40,000 and $50,000. Towable units ranged from $13,000 to $15,000. Seasonal fluctuations were to be expected as demand dictated prices. But when COVID came calling, all bets were off. In October 2021, the average motorhome price peaked out at $81,000-plus. Towables peaked at $24,000-plus two months earlier. What a difference a year makes! Prices are dropping like a stone. Are we headed back to “normal” territory? Continue reading.



Campground Crowding: Hotels cheaper than campgrounds?

RV sales have slowed (finally) and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? This week we hear another complaint about reserved sites but no-shows, the plight of not enough campgrounds for workers, some comparisons of campsite fees to hotel prices, and a comment from a reader wanting the locations of the so-called crowded campgrounds. All that and much more here.

SpaceX announces Starlink RV discount for December

SpaceX announced a special limited-time discount for new Starlink RV subscribers for the month of December. New U.S. customers will receive their first month free of the $135 monthly subscription cost. The initial hardware equipment cost of $599 remains the same. Learn more.

Alliance RV founder gives RVTravel.com exclusive comment on unpaid overtime wage investigation

By Jeff Clemishaw
Last week, I published an article detailing a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into Alliance RV. In summary, the DOL found that over two years Alliance failed to pay the proper overtime wages for piece-rate employees. Accounted for was $1.2 million. At the time of posting, Alliance RV had not yet commented to any media outlets on the situation. Earlier this week, however, Co-Founder and President of Alliance RV, Coley Brady, reached out to me. He wanted to offer an official company comment on the investigation. To accurately represent Alliance’s side of the story, this article will detail those words.

Inflation and high gas prices to blame for campers changing plans in 2022

According to the KOA Monthly Research Report November Edition, campers and leisure travelers’ plans changed significantly throughout 2022. At least 74% of campers made one or more adjustments to their travel plans, including three-in-ten campers who camped more as they decreased other types of travel. The November report indicates camping remains a popular mode of travel amid volatile economic conditions. Continue reading this interesting report.

More than 124,000 Sprinter vans and RVs recalled

Daimler, which owns both the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands, has announced a second recall of 124,305 vehicles that roll away while in park. The recall follows a U.S. government investigation into the issue which, so far, has resulted in a previous recall in October. Read more.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Dave Solberg and Dustin Simpson return Wednesday at 4 p.m. Pacific time (7 p.m. in the East), for their weekly, live one-hour video program “Talkin’ RV Tech”. Stop by and ask these RV experts a question or just soak up all the great information about RV repair and maintenance. The program appears on several YouTube Channels and Facebook groups including the RV Travel YouTube channel.



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

November 27 – December 3, 2022

Ford’s sales of electric vehicles expanded at approximately twice the rate of the overall electric vehicle segment in November as Ford prepares to increase production next year to meet U.S. demand. Ford electric vehicles sales were up 103 percent for the month compared to a year ago. F-150 Lightning sales totaled 2,062, making it America’s best-selling electric truck in November. Since its first sale at the end of May, 13,258 F-150 Lightning trucks have been sold. Read more.

… And speaking of the Ford Lightning, here are some tips about how to extend its driving range in extremely cold conditions.

Popular camping app The Dyrt released survey results regarding expansion in private campgrounds. More than 89% of private campground owner respondents said they’d like to expand their camping business next year. Additionally, 31% added more campsites in 2022: 35.6% for tents, 30.5% for RVs, 13.6% went to “glampsites” and 11.9% went to cabins. Of the campgrounds surveyed, 17.5% of them added a new type of campsite to their campground in 2022—”glampsites” were the most common. The survey also found that 18.6% of campgrounds extended their camping season in 2022 to stay open later than usual due to popular demand in fall and winter.

According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), October RV shipments were down nearly 44% from the year prior. The total number of RV deliveries in October 2022 was 32,652 units, compared to 57, 971 in October 2021. RV shipments were also down 12.2% compared to the same time last year. Towable shipments were down, while motorhome shipments were up.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is considering allowing express toll lanes on highways and tripling a fee for electric car owners as he targets his first big push after winning reelection — paying for tens of billions of dollars in roadway projects. The $300 electric vehicle fee could be the country’s most expensive. As of July, 31 states have a similar yearly fee, ranging from $50 in Colorado to $225 in Washington, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is reported that the increase better reflects what electric car drivers would pay in federal and state gas taxes.

The popular travel website Travel Lens recently analyzed the Yelp reviews of 6,000 U.S. state parks to determine the most beautiful. The winner? Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 90% of the park’s reviews referenced its beauty. The park is Michigan’s largest and spans 60,000 acres along the shoreline of Lake Superior. The runners-up were Smuggler’s Notch State Park in Vermont and Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia.


Sewer fitting grip help! Gadget to the rescue! 
If you find the bayonet mounts for your sewer hose connections are getting a bit hard to twist off, here’s a tool for you. An adjustable oil filter wrench, made to get a grip around automotive oil filters, can also provide a handy grip and plenty of leverage on the bayonet fitting of your sewer hose, and the termination cap as well. Here’s one we recommend.


After a long battle, the Portland, OR, City Council has approved $27 million to build six of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s designed homeless camping sites. The development of these campsites is set to begin as soon as possible.

California’s Brannan Island State Recreation Area has reopened after moving to reduced operations earlier this year. The public can begin booking camping reservations starting Jan. 1, 2023. The park includes day-use areas, a boat launch ramp and campground sites. Brannan Island is a maze of waterways through the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta with countless islands and marshes with many wildlife habitats and opportunities for recreation, including boating and swimming.

Want to reserve a campsite in Yosemite’s North Point Campground? Well, good luck! The campground in the awe-inspiring heart of Yosemite Valley will use a one-time early access lottery for the entire season. After the lottery concludes, any remaining reservable campsites will be available up to five months in advance on the 15th of each month at 7:00 a.m. (the sites usually sell out within a minute).

Dollar General, the mini “Walmarts” of rural communities, plans to add 1,050 new stores in 2023.

The cost of a reservation system to handle front-country camping at Congaree National Park in South Carolina is driving the cost of camping there a bit higher. Beginning January 1, nightly reservation rates will be as follows: The cost of reserving a campsite at the Bluff Campground will go from $5 per night to $10 per night. The fee for reserving a standard campsite at the Longleaf Campground will go from $10 per night to $15 per night.

Mesa Verde National Park, CO, is seeking the public’s help locating a stolen white construction trailer from the park last weekend. The white utility trailer carrying two Honda generators was taken near the entrance of the park on November 26. The 20-foot double-axle pull-behind trailer’s license plate is DSI-238. Security camera footage shows a black pickup truck entering the park at 2:48 a.m., then leaving with the trailer at 3:25 a.m. An anonymous tip line has been set up. If seen, call or text the National Park Service Tip Line at 888-653-0009 or online here.

California State Parks will hold its annual “Christmas in Coloma” holiday celebration at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (SHP) on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Community members, families and out-of-town guests are invited to enjoy traditional family-oriented holiday activities and explore historic buildings at the park. Read more.



If you plan on visiting Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park, bring your mask with you. Masks are once again required at all indoor facilities such as bathrooms and visitor centers within the National Park. COVID-19 infection rates are rapidly rising in the surrounding Alamosa County, but mask requirements could change on a weekly basis depending on the infection rate. Masks are not currently required in Colorado’s other National Parks.

Honda is recalling 117,445 model year 2017 to 2019 Honda Ridgeline pickup trucks. The rearview cameras may fail to display an image, increasing the risk of a crash and injury. To remedy the issue, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Honda dealer for a replacement of the rearview camera tailgate harness. Owners can expect to be notified about the repair program on or around January 16, 2023.

Dozens of RV residents at the Cali Lake RV Resort in Santa Clarita, CA, are facing eviction come January. According to the LA County Department of Regional Planning, the park is in violation of several zoning laws. Park owner Stewart Silver added 56 new spaces when he bought the property in 2018 but failed to obtain a permit. The area is at high risk for flash floods and wildfires and, if needed, evacuation plans can’t be executed properly. Additionally, the park’s septic system was not built for the additional spaces.


At last! A directory of where to camp on public lands!
The Bureau of Land Management Camping book describes 1,273 camping areas managed by the BLM in 14 Western states. Details for each camping area include the number of campsites, amenities, facilities, fees, reservation information, GPS coordinates, and more. You’ll want this book if you camp or are interested in camping on BLM land. Learn more or order.


News briefs

Due to staffing limitations at Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park, Paradise road is now closed to public access on weekdays. The Longmire area will continue to be open daily, barring any major storm events.

Sioux City, Iowa, has received $104,000 to build a campground on the north side of the Sioux City Railroad Museum. The funding will be used to acquire 16.1 acres of land. Additionally, the City Council will be presented with a 2024 budget request of $320,000 towards remaining funding. The campground will feature 79 RV sites.

Beginning December 15, The Neon Museum in Las Vegas will offer visitors access to printed scripts of the guided tour of its Neon Boneyard in five languages: Chinese, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. The languages were selected based on language translations most often requested on the museum’s website.

Winnebago Industries is recalling 4,616 model year 2020-2023 View and Navion motorhomes. The LP fuel line is routed near the rear wheel well, which may allow the fuel line to contact the tire and become damaged, resulting in a gas leak. Owner notification letters were expected to be mailed last week.

On Thursday, December 1, State Route 67, and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, closed to all vehicle traffic for the winter. State Route 67 and all North Rim services are scheduled to reopen for the 2023 season on May 15, 2023 (subject to change). The North Rim, or “other side,” of Grand Canyon, is visited by only 10% of all park visitors.

The National Park Service has requested higher entrance fees for Acadia National Park, ME. Because of an increase in traffic, maintenance has become more costly. The NPS has requested these fee increases: Individual: From $15 to $20. Vehicle: From $30 to $35. Motorcycle: From $25 to $30. Annual Pass: From $55 to $70. The public will have until December 29 to comment on the proposal. If the fee increase is approved, Acadia will be one of the most expensive National Parks to visit in the U.S.


MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
An ornament for the National Park lover!
Choose from a selection of beautiful National Park ornaments for the National Park lover in your life. Aren’t these so neat? We want them all! See this one and more here.


North Carolina’s state parks has been granted $17.4 million for improvements and land acquisition. The money will expand the state park’s system, and repair and restore facilities and trails throughout the parks. Nearly $2 million will go to improving the campground at Pettigrew State Park.

The Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA) reports that RV wholesale shipments into Canada for the 3rd Quarter ending Sept. 30, 2022, totaled 10,269 units, compared to 14,245 in 2021, a decrease of 27.9% year over year.

Electric vehicle owners visiting Colorado’s state parks have several new places to charge. EV chargers have been installed at John Martin Reservoir, Barr Lake, Castlewood Canyon, Chatfield, and North Sterling with chargers at Lake Pueblo State Park on the way. This brings the number of Colorado state parks with EV charging stations up to 16.

Blue Compass RV (formerly RV Retailer LLC) has acquired B&R Camper Sales in Mobile, Ala. Blue Compass RV has more than 100 locations across the USA.

Camping World is set to acquire RV Solutions Inc., a family-owned RV dealership group in San Diego, California. The transaction includes two RV dealership locations, RV Solutions and Airstream of San Diego, along with one standalone parts and service center in El Cajon. The acquisition should finalize in the first quarter of 2023.

Zion National Park, Utah, has opened its main Zion Canyon road to vehicles. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is no longer operating on shuttle-only service and passenger vehicles are allowed. Visitors should plan for limited parking and check roads for closures before leaving.

The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, NJ, will close on Dec. 31 after more than 26 years displaying shrunken heads, mutant animals and models of unbelievably tall or small humans. The museum is closing because the franchisee is reaching the end of its agreement with Ripley’s.

Beginning Jan. 7, “RVing Today TV,” a longtime RV lifestyle program, will air on KOBI (NBC 5) in Medford, Oregon, and KOTI (NBC 2) in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The program now appears in more than 100 television markets across the USA.

According to a press release from Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest, U.S. Forest Service officials say visitors could see a price increase or more fees at campgrounds and day-use areas. The proposal will implement fees at six sites that are currently free.



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 and writers as they move about the country.

Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.


Reader poll

Did your parents take you camping as a child?

And after you respond, please leave a comment. Click here.


HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?

This pretty distinctive rig, a 2020 Forest River Flagstaff E-pro trailer, was ripped off November 7 at 5:17 a.m., in Houston, TX. Note the distinctive rack mounted up front. Security cam footage shows suspect vehicle used in theft. Taken from parking lot at Cornerstone Plaza, near TC Jester Parkway. Phone 305-586-7054 with information.

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.


?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Feeling a little bored lately? How about really spicing things up… This would make a great activity to do together as a couple… after dinner… late at night…


Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Small space living: Challenges aplenty
Service Centers and Repairs Report: RVs… not meant for the great outdoors!
Great expectations: Revisiting places that aren’t as you remember them
RVtravel.com readers speak out: The 11 most wanted RV gifts of 2022
Beware the damaging dips: Our motorhome got stuck. Really stuck
Gifts NO RVer wants this Christmas
Around the Campfire: Surprising campground rules you must follow
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 November 28, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.53 [Calif.: $4.81]
Change from week before: Down 11 cents; Change from year before: Up 15 cents.
Diesel: $5.14 [Calif.: $6.01]
Change from week before: Down 9 cents; Change from year before: $1.42.


Brain Teaser

What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?

(Answer below.)


A Year of Us: One question a day for couples is lots of fun
Having a journal like this is such a wonderful way to bond with your partner. It only takes a few minutes to fill out each day, and it will be something you’ll be so happy to look back on years down the road. A Year of Us: A Couples Journal, asks daily questions that spark everyday conversations. Kick start 2023 with something like this. Learn more or order.


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

Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.


Recipe of the Day

Minestra

by Tracy Stephan from Gleason, WI

With a wonderful combination of intense flavors, this soup is a delicious one-pot meal. Can’t find escarole? Spinach is a great substitution!

Click here for the recipe


Brain teaser answer:

What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?

If you take the first letter of each word and place it at the end, it’ll spell the same word backwards.


Keep your brain sharp and your knives sharper!
Tired of dull knives in the kitchen? This easy-to-use knife sharpener (used by staff members Emily, Chuck and Nanci!) sharpens your knives with a few quick strokes. You’ll feel like a professional! The sharpener has two settings, one for polishing the knife and for quick touch-ups and another for dull, damaged knives. Its small size is perfect for an RV, and it’s a great price! Learn more or order here.


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

The largest National Park in the world is the Northeast Greenland National Park in Greenland. This park covers the entire northeast quadrant of the country, which is about 375,000 square miles. This is about 44.8 percent of the entire landmass of Greenland. You could sure do a lot of exploring there!


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, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, 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.

CONTACT US
Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
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This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.

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jillie
1 month ago

I have to agree with Porcupine Mountain. Been there at least 3 times and it is just as beautiful as Acadia National Park. Which by the way I agree with the fee increase. I drove one of their buses last summer and the amount of people who come into the park is insane. Especially by sand beach. Talk about trying to drive without wondering who gave them a license too drive. But those with the money won’t flinch but those who live in the area might. Looks like I might just get the pass thats good for a life time. Good luck with that one.

Dennis Johnson
1 month ago

Regular unleaded is 2.86 in St. Cloud, MN today.

Jeff
1 month ago

Racecar spelled backwards is still racecar.

BryanC
1 month ago

Regarding Tennessee’s tax:
Um, how about them finding an equitable way to be “more equitable?” I would have to drive about 30,000 miles per year on electricity for the $300 fee that “better reflects what electric car drivers would pay in federal and state gas taxes” to be close to accurate. If I do drive that much in a year, I am buying gas to do it so I would be taxed a second time. Will I get a credit? (Let me guess, nope!) Once again, somebody looks for an easy answer that’s appealing to those who are poor in math & logic and comes up with something that seems designed to “punish the treehuggers.” BTW, how much of that fee is sent to the federal government if the fee seeks to replace both the $0.26/gallon Tenn. state tax and the $0.184/gallon federal tax that is lost?

Last edited 1 month ago by BryanC
James
1 month ago

The editors must be winos. Seems to be an ongoing theme

Rob
1 month ago

And so it begins… Tennessee may triple fees for electric cars to pay for tens of billions of dollars of roadway projects. Gas taxes have to be replaced somehow, and apparently 31 other states are already finding ways to do so.
There’s no free ride, and electric car owners are finding that out the hard way.

TexasScout
1 month ago

After reading this “news letter” for the last 6 months, I just don’t think I want to buy an RV anymore. It’s sad.

Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  TexasScout

Yes, it’s really bad when you have to make plans over 6 months in advance and hope you can still reserve a spot.
We’ve done this for the past two years.

alan W householder
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Try 11 months in advance for Florida State Parks, we gave up this year and made no reservations anywhere, just might stay home and tough it out here in N.E. Ohio

Michael Thomas Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  TexasScout

While I did laugh a little when I read your comment, I must add “sad but true” to my reply!

captain gort
1 month ago
Reply to  TexasScout

I agree. Same observation, here in California at many parks. So much for the the “good old days” of the “open road”. This will be our last RV. Car/hotel travel really does not cost that much more, is far more flexible, and a lot less stress. The RV “industry” over-hyped this pursuit to the masses and literally ruined it. Greed. They pee’d in their own bath!