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Sunday, January 8, 2023
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Startup company creates first-of-its-kind tire blowout protection system
By Jeff Clemishaw
Tire blowouts—the bane of towable RVing. Far too many of us have found ourselves disabled on the side of the road with a mangled tire. The lucky ones get away with no damage, but from personal observation, this is rarely the case. At the very least you’ll experience torn fenders, but many suffer catastrophic damage to their trailer. RV-DE-FENDER™ is a brand-new company in the RV accessory industry, and its revolutionary product is the first of its kind. Learn more.
Experts speculate that gas could hit $7 this year
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
“Drivers could see gas prices surge to nearly $7 a gallon in some U.S. states as refinery issues bite supply and Chinese demand bounces back, GasBuddy says.” That’s the headline from businessinsider.com. Are you ready to face real pain at the pump? Don’t start canceling your summer road trip plans quite yet. There’s a bit more to the story.
Open Roads fuel program ditches Pilot/Flying J—but says gasoline discounts coming soon
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
After a two-year attempt at negotiating with the Pilot/Flying J truck stop conglomerate, Open Roads has given up. Open Roads is a fuel discount program catering to RVers and long-haul truck drivers. Members of the program typically see discounts of 30 to 40 cents off per gallon when they buy diesel fuel at designated truck stops. We’ll tell you how you can get in on the program at the end of this story.
Test drive new Winnebago electric RV on January 18
Curious about all-electric motorhomes? If so, and you’re planning to attend the upcoming Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa which begins January 18, you might want to sign up to test drive an all-new, all-electric, zero-emission Winnebago RV prototype. Winnebago will display its other new 2023 RVs as well. Read more and sign up here.
Every Wednesday: Live video chat
Dave and Dustin answer your RV repair and maintenance questions
Our two tech experts answer your questions every Wednesday about RV Repair and Maintenance from 4-5 p.m. Pacific time (7-8 p.m. in the East). So pick their brains via chat. Ask questions or just lurk and soak up all the valuable information. Learn where to watch each program in Wednesday’s RV Daily Tips newsletter (subscribe here) or simply go to our RV Travel YouTube Channel.
The worst part of camping? ATVs, rich people and cows
Here are a few observations from our readers this week on whether or not they’re experiencing campground crowding. There are also complaints regarding the RVing experience, including the decline of “traveler’s spirit.” And one boondocker makes a valid and very depressing point when she laments that “if people don’t grow up” we’ll lose access to our public lands and forests. All that and more (cows?) here.
January 1–7, 2023
Harvest Hosts, a membership program that allows RVers to stay overnight for free at more than 4,100 farms, wineries, breweries and other locations (nearly a third of RVtravel.com readers are members), is soliciting campground owners to join its latest program “CampersCard,” a new RVer discount program that connects campers with participating RV parks and campgrounds. All the parks need to do is offer CampersCard members discounts and perks, which are customizable. The program gives each member a “Member ID” to present to participating campgrounds. It grants access to a variety of perks, such as early check-in, late checkout, as well as discounts on rates. The program is free to campgrounds, which can learn where to join here.
U.S. electric vehicle sales soared by two-thirds in 2022 over the year before to 807,180, compared to 490,456 in 2021. That amounted to 5.8 percent of all vehicles sold, up from 3.2 percent a year earlier. By comparison, total U.S. auto sales dropped 8 percent in 2002 from the year before. Tesla still dominates electric vehicle sales with 65 percent of sales in 2022 according to Motor Intelligence, but that’s down from 72 percent in January 2021.
Winnebago was named one of America’s Most Responsible Companies in 2023 by Newsweek. In its 2022 Corporate Responsibility Report, Winnebago detailed its continued progress across environmental, social and corporate priorities including third-party data validation to support the company’s net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. They also vow to advance their approach to inclusion, diversity, equity and action within the company.
Get ready for virtual traffic lights. They may be coming to your intersection. Virtual traffic lights receive data about oncoming vehicles and combine it with readouts from digital mapping services. The vehicle data on the location, direction and speed is received by other vehicles as well as the virtual traffic light system to give commands based on the flow of traffic. For example, researchers at U.S.-based Carnegie Mellon University are working towards developing a virtual traffic light system which eliminates waiting at a traffic light when no other cars are present. The system uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, which can be implemented in road signals and other areas of infrastructure as well. How ’bout that?
In case you missed this previously, due to overwhelming public support, Crater Lake National Park (Oregon), in conjunction with California’s Lava Beds National Monument, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, are honoring each other’s annual passes as of January 1. This will allow visitors to access all four parks through the purchase of a single annual pass at one of the four parks. Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the Interagency Annual, Senior, Access, or Military Passes. Learn more here.
In December, KOA estimated that camping should expect another record year, with 58 million households camping at least once. The outlook for 2023 also looks healthy as 87% of campers plan to include the activity in their New Year’s resolutions, most of which say they would like to increase their trips.
Reservations in Washington’s Olympic National Park will look different this year. The Kalaloch, Hoh, Mora and Fairholme campgrounds will open some reservations up six months in advance, other sites two weeks in advance, and others just four days in advance. The park hopes that by opening up last-minute sites it will give visitors more flexibility. Visitors should use recreation.gov to find the exact reservation window for each campsite.
Maine’s State Park campground reservations center will begin to accept online and phone reservations for Lily Bay and Sebago Lake State Parks on Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. Then on February 6 at 9 a.m., the campground reservation center will open to accept phone and online reservations for all 12 Maine State Park campgrounds.
Ladies, listen up! After a successful run in 2022, the RV Women’s Alliance and the RV Technical Institute are taking their All-Female Technical Class nationwide this year. Through their partnership, five classes will be offered across the U.S. Each class has 12 openings and will be for women interested in becoming RV technicians or women already in the industry who would like to advance their skills.
One of America’s largest RV shows kicks off a 9-day run Jan. 21 in Quartzsite, Arizona, normally a dusty outpost of about 3,000 permanent residents where north-south U.S. 95 intersects Interstate 10. The show is free, with vast public lands all around for free or almost-free boondocking, no reservations required. Nobody knows how many RVers show up, but it’s huge, in the hundreds of thousands. Bring your sunscreen, as days are normally sunny with short-sleeve-shirt temperatures. And don’t miss the many flea markets and rockhound shops in and around town.
A suspect was arrested Friday for allegedly setting fire to an RV in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, killing the occupant, police announced. The suspect allegedly lit the deadly blaze after getting into an argument earlier in the day with other RV occupants. One man was found dead inside the charred recreational vehicle.
Some residents of Sequim, Washington, are upset that RVs are parking on city streets, most of them legally, but the result has been an increase in complaints of trespassing, theft and other issues. The city’s solution: Once the weather is warmer and drier, city staff will paint bike lanes on both sides of West Prairie Street between Fifth and Seventh Avenues, where the problem is of special concern.
Campground Trivia: What do RVtravel.com readers prefer, a well-lighted or dark campground? See how more than 1,600 of our readers responded in yesterday’s poll.
Fire-resistant bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables from a fire. Its two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material make it resist fire and heat up to 2000℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables won’t be harmed. Learn more or order.
Zooland Family Campground in Asheboro, North Carolina, has been sold to campground management company TRG Resorts. The 147-unit campground has operated for more than three decades. The park’s current policy prohibits RVs more than 10 years old, unless approved by management.
Heading to British Columbia, Canada, this spring? According to a BC Parks Facebook post, reservations are now open for spring camping for four months in advance. Last year, 2022, camping in British Columbia parks was up 26.5 percent compared to 2019.
Beginning this year, visitors to California’s Los Padres National Forest should expect to pay more in overnight camping fees. Most nights will increase by $10, which bumps most campsites from $30 to $40 a night. Group campsites will see a $25 increase, from $25 to $50. The fee affects 33 campgrounds within the National Forest and one day-use site.
Duck Creek RV Resort, located just south of Whitehall, Michigan, is adding 112 new full-hookup campsites surrounding a new two-acre pond, as well as new bathroom and laundry facilities to serve those sites. The new campsites will have full utility hookups plus cable television and Wi-Fi service.
All trails and roads are at a “considerable” avalanche risk in Rocky Mountain National Park following several days of heavy snow storms. The most recent report, posted January 3, notes that all trails are snow-covered and/or icy and some roads impassable.
Chinook RV will debut its Bayside SS — a Class B van conversion with an entirely new floorplan based upon the Ford Transit 4×4 platform, at the 2023 Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, which begins next Thursday, Jan. 12, at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich. Among its features: a rear “dry” bath.
RVshare, the largest RV rental platform, was recently named a winner of Good Housekeeping’s 2023 Family Travel Awards. The company offers the largest selection of peer-to-peer RV rentals in the United States.
Plan to camp in Alberta, Canada? If so, be sure you buy an annual Public Lands Camping Pass, which allows “random camping” along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Proof of the recently enacted pass may be required for campers, with a fine if they don’t have one. It costs $30, a bargain. Learn more.
Heading to the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, which starts January 18? Be sure not to miss our RV technical guru Dave Solberg’s one-hour seminars at 1 p.m. each day titled Tips for Choosing the Right RV for You. Even if you don’t attend the seminar, please stop by before or after and say hi to Dave! He’ll be very happy to meet you.
COMING NEXT MONTH FROM RVTRAVEL.COM. After a long absence, we’re bringing back our website NewRVer.com, a “Beginner’s Guide to RVing.”
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.
Are you as active in public now as before the Pandemic?
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
No holidays for creepy crooks? While we took two weeks off, RV thieves were still hard “at the job.” Maybe you can provide information that will help get these rigs home.
This 2014 Forest River Wildwood vanished from the Huddleston, Virginia, area on December 20. Little descriptive information to go on, but the report said, “It also has a new spare tire mount on the front.” A spare tire carrier on the front? If that’s really so, it should stand out pretty clearly. If not, eyeball for a new carrier where most RVers have them. If you know something, contact investigator Ellis at 540-586-4800, dispatch at 540-586-7827, or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 888-798-5900.
Yet another Forest River Wildwood travel trailer goes missing. This one swiped from an industrial park area in McAllen, Texas, on New Year’s Day, 2023. Police have security cam footage of the theft on the 6500 block of South 28th Street, showing an older, white, Ford F-250 extended cab truck making the tag. A giveaway on the truck is the bed—it’s two-tone in color. If you have information on this theft, contact the McAllen police at 956-681-2000.
Late arriving information from Canada’s cold north (sent by dog sled?): Sometime between November 16 and December 8, someone swiped a 2019 Forest River Rockwood Lite travel trailer from a home in Big River, New Brunswick. Last known to bear a New Brunswick plate, TRN 946, the trailer should still have the VIN 4X4TRLF27K1883924. Contact the Chaleur Region RCMP at (506) 548-7771 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 ??
Having trouble remembering things? Experiencing more “senior moments”? There’s a cure for that! Really!
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story, by Emily Woodbury: Re-wilding: Becoming curious about the big, wide world
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: ‘Taking your RV to the dealer is like playing the lottery and the odds are against you’
• Majority of RVers turn away from junky-looking RV parks (our readers’ comments and tips)
• Why having no regrets should be an RVer’s mantra
• In the RV shop with Dustin: Two additional uses for EternaBond tape on your RV
• RV Tire Safety: Is it illegal to change tire type or size on an RV?
• Video of the day: 5 crazy, ‘ouch’ RV fails
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 2, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.22 [Calif.: $4.22]
Change from week before: Up 13 cents; Change from year before: Down 6 cents.
Diesel: $4.58 [Calif.: $5.47]
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Up 97 cents.
What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
by Jeanne Benavidez from Odessa, TX
If you’re trying to get a home-cooked meal on the table after a busy day, make this easy chicken spaghetti. It’s super cheesy and creamy. Boiling the spaghetti in chicken broth adds so much savoriness to the dish. The creamy soups balance out the punch of spice from the Rotel tomatoes. Velveeta melts and melds with the other ingredients and gives the dish its signature gooeyness. This whole meal is quick, easy, and made in one pot. Win-win all around.
Roof vent not doing its job? Here’s a solution…
If you smell your toilet when driving your motorhome down the road, it’s because the odor is being drawn into the RV and not outside via the roof vent. The solution is to get an inexpensive 360 Siphon Roof Vent. It works for all RVs even when the RV is not moving, like in a campground. Keep the stink away.
Brain teaser answer:
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.
The average U.S. household has 300,000 items in it. Wow! (Not us RVers, right?)
An elderly couple who’d recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary were sitting on the sofa in their Airstream when the wife asked, “Dear, do you remember how you used to sit close to me?” He moved over and sat close to her. “Dear,” she continued, “do you remember how you used to hold me tight?” He reached over and held her tight.
“And,” she went on, “do you remember how you used to hug me and kiss me and nibble on my ear?” With that, her husband got up and started to walk toward the rear of the trailer.
“Where are you going?” she asked. “Well,” he answered, “I have to get my teeth.”
A “cool tool” indeed: The Magnetizer/Demagnetizer
This gadget, recommended by Dave Solberg and Dustin Simpson, instantly magnetizes or demagnetizes steel tools and other small parts. You can convert any tool blade to a magnetic retriever of things like screws, nuts, and metallic particles. No batteries or electricity required. Never lose a screw again! Read more about it here, or buy one for yourself 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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