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Why are some RVers so controversial? And exactly who are they?
Throughout 2022, RVtravel.com has written about the growing sociological-political issue of homeless persons residing in RVs in urban areas. In growing numbers, the so-called “RV homeless” park on city streets, on municipal lots, and on unused commercial property. The conflicting forces and objectives of homeless persons and governments spark confrontations. Many RVers live full-time in their RVs. Many have forsaken their real property homes for a life on the road. They do not consider themselves homeless. So, what distinguishes the full-time RVer from the homeless RVer? Randall Brink sizes up the situation.
Harvest Hosts locations cited for operating illegal campgrounds
By Jeff Clemishaw
Harvest Hosts is a program that needs no introduction in the RV community. For many travelers, these free campsites are a fun and interesting way to meet new people and support local businesses. The subscription service has grown increasingly popular in recent years, and local communities are taking notice. In San Luis Obispo (SLO) County, California, numerous Harvest Hosts locations have received code violations for operating illegal commercial campgrounds. Learn more.
Keeping your credit cards safe—with your phone!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Earlier this month police were called to a Starbucks in East Lyme, Connecticut. Staff reported a disturbance with two men who were in the coffee shop, trying to buy Starbucks branded merchandise. Evidently the two guys were trying to use a stolen credit card. It wasn’t the first time. They’d used the same card to buy nearly $2,000 worth of Starbucks merch around the region. It begs the question, how can you keep your credit cards safe? The answer may be in your hand right now—your smartphone can help.
The dilemma of electrical vehicle power
By Randall Brink
The past two years have been a time of explosive growth in the exploration and development of everything electric. All forms of transportation from bicycles to aircraft have undergone re-engineering to create rechargeable electric-powered analogs to petroleum-fueled legacy vehicles. The RV industry lags in this technology, but manufacturers are working on it. Continue reading.
JOIN OUR RV TECH EXPERTS NEXT WEDNESDAY
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.
One RVer’s solution to campground crowding and no reservations: Own two RVs
By Nanci Dixon
RV sales have slowed (finally) and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? … RV Travel readers discuss their experiences and offer a few tips to help other campers find that perfect spot. This week we hear from more readers complaining about no-shows at campgrounds, and about rude and selfish people. And there are tips about avoiding crowds by timing your trips correctly, as well as the advantages of having two RVs. All that and more here.
Here is the current edition of our photo contest. See if your submitted photo made the first cut, and then vote for your favorite. Winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card. Good luck!
December 11–17, 2022
The price of gasoline has fallen to the point where the national average is now cheaper than it was a year ago, even with the war in Ukraine and OPEC+ production cutbacks. According to AAA, the price per unleaded gallon was $3.329 Thursday, below the $3.343 per gallon price a year ago. GasBuddy says there’s a good chance the price could dip below $3 nationally this coming week. Diesel inventories have also been growing and that could help drive down prices. The average price for diesel was $5.00 per gallon, down from $5.81 in June but higher than a year ago when it was $3.61.
Winnebago Industries released its First Quarter Fiscal 2023 results last week. The towable RV segment was $347.3 million for the first quarter, down 46.7% from record results last year, primarily driven by a decline in unit volume. Revenues for the motorhome segment were $464.2 million, up 10.1% from the prior year, driven by price increases related to higher material and component costs, partially offset by unit volume decline. Mercedes-Benz AG has issued a global recall related to an electronic parking brake defect affecting model years 2019 through 2022 Sprinter chassis. Winnebago Industries, its dealers, and other upfitters using the Sprinter chassis are unable to sell any of these affected products pending a fix, which has impacted revenue. Winnebago’s revenues for the Fiscal 2023 first quarter that ended November 26, 2022, were $952.2 million, a decrease of 17.6% compared to $1.2 billion for the Fiscal 2022 period.
Bakers, listen up! If you love to bake, consider joining the Great U.S. National Park Service Bake Off during the month of December. The National Park Service is inviting bakers around the U.S. to create a baked good representing any national park. Participants are encouraged to post their baked creations to social media using the hashtag #GreatNPSBakeOff. All treats may be inspired by nature, architecture, history or people. Here’s a link to the hashtag on Instagram, so you can see what’s been created so far.
Electric vehicle charging is coming to more South Carolina State Parks. At a press conference earlier this week, state officials announced that Rivian, an EV manufacturer, is providing equipment, installation and maintenance costs for 10 years of charging stations at 30 of South Carolina’s 47 state parks. Two to four ports at each park are slated to be operational by the end of next year.
On Thursday, Brinkley RV celebrated the first production unit of its Model Z luxury mid-profile fifth-wheel. Company owners spoke to 65 employees about the startup’s intention to “disrupt the market with superior quality.” The first production unit is a 34-foot, 11-inch, 3400 model with three slideouts including opposing slides in the rear living/kitchen as well as an east-west bed slide in the front bedroom.
ABOVE: Here’s an unusual trailer. Can you guess where you might buy one (this new model just recently rolled off the assembly line)? It’s not in the USA. It sleeps four and has an extra large dinette that can help accommodate families traveling with children. The roof pops up at the campsite. But it’s probably a little too far away to buy and then tow home — that’s not going to happen. This OKTO Villa is made in South Africa (where RVing is very popular!). And, by the way, over there, as in much of the World, travel trailers are called caravans.
Never lose your keys again! Lippert, an RV component supplier, has introduced a keyless, Bluetooth-enabled door lock for RVs. The user can unlock and lock their RVs door using their smartphone with proximity sensors to determine their location via a OneControl application. And yes, the system does come with a keypad lock and a set of keys in case you lose your phone.
Due to popular demand, the design of Utah State Park’s annual pass has been upgraded. The new 2023 pass will now be sold in a compact, wallet-friendly card style. This new design allows more visitors to utilize the pass — such as those on a bicycle, riding motorcycles, on horseback, or even walking in on foot. These passes are now available to purchase online and at state parks.
Kick off the new year and get a jump on those resolutions by lacing up and heading out to one of Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites to celebrate First Day Hike’s on New Year’s Day. With more than 40 guided treks, family and friends will be able to welcome 2023 in the outdoors. Distance and difficulty vary from park to park, allowing hikers of all levels to connect with nature and each other. More information.
Campers Inn RV, the nation’s largest family owned and operated RV dealership, raised more than $400,000 during its recent Glitter & Gold Gala, according to a news release. This donation will give more than 200 children the chance to attend special oncology summer camps through Care Camps, a national nonprofit that provides kids with cancer the opportunity to experience camping.
If this isn’t just the cutest! It’s the Barefoot, nüCamp’s new retro-chic trailer. The fiberglass RV features a spacious dinette that converts into a comfortable sleeping area. The kitchenette has a 2-burner stove, fridge, and sink with storage above and below. The wet bath has a cassette toilet, shower, frosted window, and a custom-designed sink. But, ouch — it’s not cheap! The advertised price is $47,000.
Travel Nevada has unveiled a downloadable guide designed to help aspiring and established rockhounders and gem collectors discover and mine for their own precious rocks, minerals and gems in the state. “On the Hunt: A Guide to Rockhounding in Nevada’’ provides entry-level information on respectful rockhounding, as well as tips, tools needed, maps, and resources for gem identification.
California’s (and a small piece of Nevada’s) Death Valley National Park reopened Cottonwood and Marble Canyon roads late last month: both were damaged by flooding over the summer. A free permit is now required to camp along the park’s backcountry roads. Get them at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or the Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station. Roadside camping has increased in recent times, which has damaged the terrain. Be careful on some of these very primitive roads.
Who says there are no mountains in Florida? Check out this sign at Everglades National Park! (Okay, so they’re small mountains!!)
Washington state’s most popular state park, Deception Pass, will expand by 78 acres early next year. The new parcel of land sits on the north end of the park.
Don’t fret if you spot a fire at a Nebraska State Park. As weather allows over the winter months, officials across the state plan to burn slash piles. The goal is to reduce fuel loads at a time when conditions are safer for burning.
Here’s good news if you like shopping at Costco on your RV travels. The company will open 24 stores in its upcoming 2023 fiscal year, including 15 in the USA.
Tours of Lehman Caves in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park will be unavailable in January and February due to several cave rehabilitation and improvement projects. Tours will resume March 1, 2023, and can be reserved 30 days in advance. More information.
Approximately 1.2 million Dodge Ram trucks are being recalled because of the risk of tailgate doors opening without warning. The recall affects 2019-2022 Ram 3500, 2500, and 1500 pickup trucks.
GM has issued a recall for some 2022 and 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 models due to an issue related to daytime running lights (DRLs) failing to deactivate. The recall of approximately 740,000 vehicles, which includes many other GM vehicles, affects both U.S. and Canadian models. Learn more.
More than half of the people killed or hurt in traffic crashes had one or more drugs in their bloodstreams at the time of the wreck, according to a study released last Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Truck Camper Magazine has published its 2023 Buyers Guide and Gear Guide. The buyers guide includes extensive information about more than 130 truck camper models. The gear guide profiles more than 110 gear products. The magazine publishes a free, twice-a-week email newsletter, which is available here.
A Colorado sex offender was arrested Thursday at the Three Flags RV Resort in Wildwood, Florida. Timothy Walter Contenta, 36, was staying at the RV resort on State Road 44, but had not registered with local authorities as a sex offender.
Don’t go to Yosemite National Park this February without making a reservation first. The beautiful and incredible “firefall” will be happening again at Horsetail Falls in the park. The unique lighting effect only happens with the right sunlight in February. You’ll need a reservation to enter February 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26.
Congaree National Park, South Carolina, plans to increase nightly camping fees on January 1, 2023. Reservation fees at Bluff Campground have increased from $5 to $10 per night, and Longleaf Campground from $10 to $15 per night. The reason for the raise? The park must cover higher reservation fees from recreation.gov.
The new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck has added the 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year award to its trophy case. The F-150 Lightning is the first electric truck to win by a unanimous vote among the judges. Ford is ramping up quickly to deliver 150,000 Lightning trucks per year by the end of next year.
An RV park with 257 RV spaces and 49 “adventure cabins” is being proposed north of Durango, Colorado. The development would be under the Village Camp brand, an offshoot of Roberts Resorts. The proposed park would occupy 36.3 acres of land where a gravel pit once sat.
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.
Is RVing as enjoyable to you today as it was five years ago?
We’re curious. Respond here, and please leave a comment.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
This 2013 r-pod camper (or one just like it, we’re not sure) was stolen from Enchanted RV Park in Hiawassee, Ga., on Saturday or Sunday night, December 10 or 11. It has a frog decal on it; also has a slide out. A reward is offered for information on who stole it and where the camper is located. No specific info was provided about who to contact if you know anything, but the Hiawassee police, at 706-896-2888, would be a good starting point.
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 ??
OMG, this made us laugh out loud! If your celebrations begin today, you absolutely need this!
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: RV awnings are reminiscent of a simpler time in America
• Today’s RV Review: Santa’s Sleigh
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Industry ‘insider’ defends the industry, says ‘fiberglass dumpsters aren’t the goal’
• Winnebago’s ‘Heli-Campers’ give insight into the future of RV design
• RVtravel.com readers share their weirdest RV encounters
• Ho! Ho! Ho! 12 of the BEST RV ugly Christmas sweaters
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of December 12, 2022:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.24 [Calif.: $4.35]
Change from week before: Down 15 cents; Change from year before: Down 8 cents.
Diesel: $4.75 [Calif.: $5.56]
Change from week before: Down 21 cents; Change from year before: Up $1.11.
There are seven hidden objects in this Christmas drawing. Can you find them all? Find: Mrs. Claus, a grumpy Santa, a snowman, a bell, a polar bear, an elf and an apple. Click to enlarge.
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Healthy cooking for two: The perfect cookbook for 2023
This healthy-eating cookbook has 175 simple and delicious recipes for two. It’s the perfect way to get healthy for the new year without sacrificing flavor. It also shows you how to shop for and plan out meals with tips on how to budget at the grocery store. Teriyaki salmon, anyone? Or how about jerk pork with mango salsa? Yuuuumy! Learn more or order.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
by Catherine Thompson Floyd from Burlington, MI
Wow, chocolate chip cookies get a holiday makeover in this recipe. Sweet and crunchy, these chocolate chip cookies have everything you want in a cookie. Using Andes creme de menthe chips and peppermint oil amps up the minty flavor. They taste like the holidays! Try to eat these while they’re still warm … so good!
Brain teaser answer:
New National Parks guide is great Holiday gift!
We all know that National Geographic puts out beautiful, thoughtful work, so it’s no surprise that their brand-new book, “Complete National Parks of the United States,” is no exception. This 3rd edition is a travel guide to 400+ parks, areas, trails, historic sites, seashores, campgrounds and much more. Great gift! Learn more or 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.
According to Santa’s team of scientists, in order for Santa to visit every house in the world on Christmas Eve, he would have to visit 822 homes per second. That means he’d have to travel about 650 miles per second! Boy, he’s fast!
Here are a few Christmas jokes to tell friends and family this week:
How do you know Santa is around?
You can always sense his presents.
How did Scrooge win the football game?
The ghost of Christmas passed!
What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. We have just heard on the news that donations to Food Lifeline (a member of Feeding America) are down 75% this year. Millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, are going hungry. If you have ever considered donating, now is the time. If you contribute regularly, thank you! You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Find a local food bank here.
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, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: 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. 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.
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