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Sunday, January 22, 2023
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Last year, California took a step that riled plenty of RVers. A new California Air Resources Board (CARB) rule essentially hit the off-switch on RV generators. While not outright banning small generators, the state tightened emissions restrictions. The lynchpin of the RV generator industry, Cummins, announced it would no longer sell LP and gas-fired Cummins generators in California after 2023. The backlash was swift. RV industry talking heads issued immediate warnings. If the regulations stuck, the RV industry would lose a million dollars in sales in the Golden State in the first year alone. So what’s the latest on this from Cummins? Find out.
Starlink to be standard equipment on Airstream and other RVs
By Randall Brink
Thor Industries has announced that it has worked out a deal with SpaceX to add Starlink RV hardware as standard equipment on some of its Airstream travel trailers, as well as on some of its other RVs. The company claims that its products are “the first RV OEMs to work with SpaceX to make Starlink-enabled RVs.” Continue reading.
Rockslide smashes through RV park in British Columbia
By Jeff Clemishaw
Last Monday residents of Eagle RV Park in Keremeos, British Columbia, were rudely awakened when a nearby rockslide came pummeling through their park. The rockslide began around 6:30 a.m., originating from a hillside across Highway 3. Learn what happened.
These new 2023 RV models have private offices
By Randall Brink
Among the major sociological changes that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home was one of the most significant. Once people realized that there would be no going back to “normal” and that working from home was a lasting thing, many also discerned that it made no difference where “home” is and took to the road. RV manufacturers noticed and for 2023 have announced models with private offices. Read more.
TRUE OR FALSE? 4 out of 10 RVtravel.com readers bought their present RV used. Find out.
Mercedes, Winnebago tease new electric camper vans
By Randall Brink
Two major players in the Class B van space have announced new electric camper prototypes. Mercedes debuted its EQT Marco Polo Camper Van last week, and Winnebago exhibited its eRV2 at the RV SuperShow in Florida on Monday. Read about them here.
We’re ‘seasonal’ campers, not homeless!
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? Some readers share their thoughts, including the possibility that higher prices might be opening up more camping spots, and positive attitudes about sharing campgrounds with traveling workers. We also hear advice from several readers who easily find campsites. And we hear from a retired RVer, Robin, who does not appreciate being classified negatively as homeless just because she is seasonal and now prefers to enjoy one spot for awhile instead of moving around all of the time. What do you think? Does Robin have a valid point?
January 15–21, 2023
Our RV tech guru Dave Solberg has been a featured seminar speaker at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa this past week. He reports that the show is drawing big crowds, which others reported after the first two days appeared to be 54 years and older. Dave Kelly, executive director of the Florida RV Trade Association, reported that a crowd of 19,345 showed up Wednesday, the first day, just shy of a record crowd of 20,300 last year. The show wraps up today after a five-day run.
If you like to travel late at night and are planning to be in Colorado soon, be aware that U.S. 6, Loveland Pass, will have planned closures each weeknight for winter maintenance work between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., Monday through Friday, through mid-February. Planned nightly closures may be extended depending on the amount of snow accumulation and maintenance work needed to provide safe passage for the traveling public.
Thor Motor Coach is displaying more than 90 units at this week’s 2023 Florida RV SuperShow, including the new Riviera Class A diesel motorhome. The 38RB floor plan is on display for the first time in public. Notable features include a Cummins ISB-XT 6.7L engine with 340HP and 700 lb.-ft. torque, blind-spot detection system, expansive basement storage, PTL front entry door with keyless entry, modern two-tone cabinetry, Oxygenics shower head, and an electric fireplace.
Several of our readers who live in Florida have complained about being unable to reserve campsites in their own state due to out-of-staters or third-party businesses that reserve the spots moments after they go on sale. That may change. Twin bills in the Florida Legislature (SB 76 and HB 109) would allow Floridians a one-month headstart to book reservations at state parks. The proposals would allow those with valid state IDs to book 12 months ahead of time instead of the standard 11 months. The measure would also prevent companies from securing spots to resell at higher prices. If passed, it would be effective this coming July 1.
When Calgary, Alberta, firefighters got a call about a vehicle fire on January 11, it was a hot time in the old town. Flames blasting out of the Class B were hot enough to melt the vinyl siding on the apartment near the rig, exposing the building’s insulation and posing danger to residents. It turned out the RV was stolen, then parked at the complex. So far, no word on the fire’s cause.
QUICK QUIZ: An Ohio dog named Spike has been certified as the oldest living dog by the Guinness Book of World Records. How old is he? Older than 30 or younger than 30? Answer near bottom of this issue.
Heading to Canada’s Banff National Park soon? Be aware… Parks Canada has announced that private vehicles will be restricted from visiting Moraine Lake, one of Banff’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors will be required to take shuttles, local transit, or commercial vehicles to visit the iconic blue lake.
Since Monday, January 16, nearly 300 campers have been stranded at Arizona’s Catalina State Park when heavy rain and storms caused the Cañada del Oro wash to overflow, blocking visitors and campers from coming or leaving. The park finally reopened Friday, January 20. Everyone made it out safely.
Beginning March 1, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will require a parking tag to park any vehicle for more than 15 minutes, under their new Park It Forward program. Tags will cost: Daily – $5; Weekly – $15; and Annual – $40. The revenue will fund park services such as trail maintenance, emergency responders, law enforcement staff, and more. Parking will remain first-come, first-served throughout the park. Get details at Great Smoky Mountains.
Recent storms and flooding in California have damaged the South Fork Campground and nearby trails in Sequoia National Park. The storms not only brought flooding, but also produced landslides. The 10-site campground on the South Fork of the Kaweah River is currently unusable and closed, and the road has suffered severe damage and is impassable.
The Escondido, Calif., City Council has postponed consideration of stricter RV parking regulations until more information is available regarding permits, city regulations and potential safe parking lots for unhoused individuals living in RVs. A proposal was brought to the council on Jan. 11 that would have restricted RV parking citywide on highways, streets, alleys, public ways, public places or city parking lots. RV parking is said to have negatively affected traffic safety and quality of life for Escondido residents and workers. Some residents opposed the regulations, which they believe could make life even more difficult for houseless individuals forced to live in their RVs for lack of other affordable options. Mayor Dane White wants to postpone the decision until more information is brought forward. One of his concerns is the ability of out-of-town visitors to park their RVs by the homes of the people they’re visiting.
On February 1, campers at Colorado’s Rabbit Valley of the McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area will no longer be able to camp for free. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin using an online reservation system for all five campgrounds in the area and will charge campers $20 a night plus an extra $8 transaction fee for each reservation. The new rules will also limit camping in this area to seven nights per month. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
Visitors to Glacier National Park, MT, in 2023 can expect to use a vehicle reservation system to access Going-to-the-Sun Road via the West Entrance and the North Fork area of the park from May 26 through September 10, 2023, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vehicle reservations will also be required for Two Medicine and Many Glacier valleys and the St. Mary Entrance to Going-to-the-Sun Road on the park’s east side from July 1 through September 10, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will be the third year of the pilot reservation system, designed to manage high traffic volumes to protect natural and cultural resources while delivering quality visitor experiences.
Here’s a bit of news to scare you… A “monster” Cane Toad, “Toadzilla,” has been discovered in a Queensland, Australia National Park. The poisonous amphibian is an invasive species to Australia, and worries rangers who fear their size may be damaging their environments. “Toadzilla” was almost the length of a ruler, and weighed nearly 6 lbs. In the toad’s native Americas it has many predators, but not in Australia, where it’s consuming large amounts of insects and invertebrates and competing with native wildlife for food. Good thing we’re not camping in Australia, eh?
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will play alongside the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky at Mammoth Cave National Park in April. The performance area is inside the cave in a large open area. Talk about a show! Tickets for the event will be distributed via lottery through Recreation.gov beginning Monday, January 30 at 10 a.m. ET and will be open through February 6 at 10 a.m. ET.
Gasoline prices increased this past week, carrying on the trend of recent weeks after prices came down toward the end of 2022 from summer highs. Gasoline prices rose to $3.392 per gallon on average on Friday, according to AAA. That’s up from $3.379 per gallon the day before and $3.285 a week ago. Gasoline inventories are still 8% below the five-year average.
FMCA will return to the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona in 2024. RV owners from across the United States and Canada will gather in the Grand Canyon State as FMCA hosts its 108th International Convention & RV Expo in Tucson March 27 through 30, 2024. FMCA hosted successful events at the Pima County Fairgrounds in 1985 and 2022.
Our newest National Park, West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, has added 45 acres of land to the area designated as a preserve. The tract will provide easier access to current lands. Access to the newly purchased property will be limited initially as the park marks the boundary and establishes suitable areas for parking.
Gulf Stream Coach celebrated 40 years of RV manufacturing Friday at its display at the Florida RV SuperShow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. At a celebration ceremony, Gulf Stream Chairman Dan Shea said that some current employees were there at the beginning of the company, and helped build the first coach.
Michigan’s Algonac State Park is set to receive additional funding for full-hookup sites. The initial plan is to convert approximately 50% of sites in the northern section of the Riverfront Campground to full-hookup campsites and eliminate the north bathroom.
Severe flooding that has ravaged parts of Australia in New South Wales and Victoria has left a trail of destruction in its wake, with caravan parks and more than 100 national parks closed for now.
This may be the most unusual pet to attend the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa. Dave Solberg spotted this porky fellow.
Grand Design RV Co. now offers the MORryde Independent Suspension System as an option direct from the production line. The system is said to reduce road vibration and shock transferred from uneven roads to the RV, resulting in a reduction in wear and tear throughout the unit.
Meyer’s RV, a leading East Coast RV dealer, recently purchased Johnston RV located in Webster, N.Y. Johnston RV is a full-service RV dealership located just east of Rochester, N.Y.
Solar Power backup solution for when the sun don’t shine
Ever been stuck at a non-hookup campsite and it’s raining or cloudy just when you need power the most? CarGenerator is fully weatherproof and patented and engineered to produce 1000 watts of power in any weather conditions. Learn more.
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.
Now is a good time to clean out your water heater!
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.
What is your opinion about reading articles and information that is accurate but generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Is that okay with you or unacceptable? Please respond here and see how others responded.
TRUE OR FALSE? Three-quarters of RVtravel.com readers have stayed at a KOA campground. Or is it the other way around? Find out.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Another delayed-by-the-holidays travel trailer theft report. This time a 31′ 2008 Dutchmen Tundra, model 31BHDSL, is gone from Awendaw, South Carolina. The rig had been parked out in front of a residence on Doar Road, and vanished between December 22 and December 26. It had a South Carolina plate, 23116KT. Have information? Contact (843) 554-2471 or email email@example.com.
Already coping with the loss of his wife a month ago, a Madera County, California, man has been hit again. This time bad guys ripped off his travel trailer, cargo trailer, and three ORVs. All were stolen from behind a warehouse in Madera Ranchos on Tuesday, January 10. The RV is a 2016 Grand Design Imagine 28-foot bunkhouse model. It was bearing license plate 1MN2780. If you have any information that might help with recovery, please call (559) 287-0643.
And since you asked…
We’ve been asked if any of the stolen RVs we list are ever recovered. In our January 8 edition we reported on a Forest River Wildwood travel trailer stolen from an industrial park area in McAllen, Texas, on New Year’s Day. Included in the report were security cam photos that may have actually lead to a success story. Adan Omar Salinas and Christopher Lee Rodriguez were arrested and charged with the theft of the rig. Local police picked them up January 12.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Even if you don’t have, or don’t want, these on your RV or other vehicle, there’s no way this won’t make you laugh!
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• We want to know: What are your favorite RV YouTube channels?
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Service center takes RV on joy ride; owners not joyful
• Everything you need to know about RV insurance – You may not be in good hands
• Letter to the editor: “I’d like to see an app that shows specific RV site specs”
• 7 advantages of a solar generator over installing solar on your RV
• RV Tire Safety: How much air pressure do my motorhome tires need?
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 16, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.31 [Calif.: $4.25]
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Down <1 cent.
Diesel: $4.52 [Calif.: $5.43]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Up 80 cents.
Sometimes I am born in silence. Other times, no. I am unseen, but I make my presence known. In time, I fade without a trace. I harm no one, but I am unpopular with all. What am I?
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
by Donna Thiemann from Mansfield, TX
If you’re staring at boneless pork chops and not sure what to do with them, make these baked pork chops. Made with only 4 ingredients, you probably have them all in your kitchen right now. Once baked, the pork chops are tender and juicy. Mustard makes them slightly spicy and sweet and the bread crumb coating crisps up. A simple dinner recipe.
Small blind spot mirror good for all vehicles
If you don’t have one of these on your RV or tow vehicle, you need one! These small 2″ round glass blind spot mirrors easily stick onto your current mirror, no hard work is needed! They’re waterproof and rust-resistant and can rotate and sway to be adjusted for the best visibility. They’re affordable and could save you from an accident. Learn more or order.
Brain teaser answer
A fart. (Sorry.)
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.
Dalmatians are perhaps best known for working for firefighters in their role as firefighting apparatus escorts and firehouse mascots. Before fire trucks, firefighters used horses to get around. Since Dalmatians are very calm around horses, the dogs were easily trained to run in front of and next to the horse carriages to help clear a path and keep horses from getting distracted and quickly guide the horses and firefighters to the fires.
Did you hear about the man who was rushed to the hospital after swallowing six plastic horses? It was terrible at first, but now the doctors are describing his condition as stable.
QUICK QUIZ ANSWER. Spike, a 9-inch-tall Chihuahua, was certified as the oldest living dog on Dec. 7, when he was 23 years and 7 days old.
Today in History
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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, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Jeff Clemishaw. 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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