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Sunday, January 29, 2023
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Goodyear faces criminal investigation in RV tire saga
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
For several years RVtravel.com has followed the story of Goodyear’s G159 tires. More than 40 lawsuits have been filed against the tire company over claims of alleged defects associated with these tires. That number was as of 2018, and many had been quietly settled by the company under the cloak of non-disclosure agreements. All of these matters have been on the civil side. But Goodyear now may be facing a legal horse of a different color. A federal grand jury is collecting evidence in a criminal investigation. Continue reading.
Finding campsite 5 times more difficult than 3 years ago
It’s not your imagination if you found it harder to find a campsite last year than in the past. It was, indeed, more difficult, or so says a recent study by The Dyrt, a popular app for camping information and booking which has released its in-depth 2023 Camping Report. Learn more.
Is RV maker Tiffin’s future in jeopardy?
By Nanci Dixon
Is the future of Tiffin as we know it in jeopardy? When Thor bought Tiffin, Bob Tiffin, owner and founder, wrote an elegant article on how all the decisions and operations would remain in Tiffin’s hands. … We are in Red Bay, Alabama, right now—home of Tiffin. The headlines on the Red Bay newspaper announced the closing of Vanleigh RV, a trailer manufacturing subsidiary of Tiffin. Read more.
Starlink RV criticized for lack of customer support
By Randall Brink
As Starlink satellite broadband service continues to evolve with more subscribers every day and more satellites launched to broaden coverage, a customer satisfaction issue has arisen with Customer Support. In investigating this topic for RVtravel.com, my aim was to determine whether the problem was real or more of a perception. Find out here.
KOA amps up the camping con game
KOA is proposing building another Terramor Glamping Resort, this time in New York. It’s not being greeted well by local residents. An anti-Terramor movement in recent months has gained both momentum and sophistication. KOA is maintaining that its luxury tents are temporary structures, even though they have 600-square-foot footprints with plumbing and electricity. Being “temporary” provides Terramor with limited tax and regulatory liabilities. Andy Zipser explains what’s going on and why he believes KOA has departed so far from its folksy origins. Read more.
Are RV parks subject to rent control? Legal gray areas leave many residents out of luck
By Jeff Clemishaw
If one thing is certain in life, it’s that rent always increases. … While most consumer goods are allowed to rise and fall as much as supply and demand require (looking at you, eggs!), housing costs can be regulated. … However, RV parks are normally exempt from these laws, leaving transitory residents at the will of the RV park. In most cases, dramatic price increases force residents to move on, even if they have nowhere else to go. Here’s a look at the existing regulations and how some RVers across the United States have been affected.
RV shipments drop in 2022: towables down, motorhomes up
Shipments of recreational vehicles dropped 17.8 percent in 2022 over the year before, according to results from the RV Industry Association’s December 2022 survey of manufacturers. Total shipments for 2022 ended with 493,268 shipments, down from an all-time record of 600,240 in 2021. Continue reading.
Breaking campgrounds into sections by camp-style could make happy campers
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? This week we hear from several readers who have had no issues making reservations. But more RVers are having trouble finding campsites, or complain about increased prices for campsites and fuel. Shelley wonders about setting aside sections of a campground depending on the RVer’s length of stay. Hmmm. All that and more here.
That was the RV week that was
January 22–28, 2023
The national average for regular gas jumped to $3.51 a gallon on Friday, according to AAA. Although that’s far less than the record of $5.02 a gallon last June, gas prices have increased by 12 cents in the past week and 41 cents in the past month. The national average has climbed by more than 9 percent since the end of last year — the biggest increase to start a year since 2009, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
General Motors has shelved, at least for now, plans to build a fourth U.S. EV battery plant with LG Energy Solutions. GM also announced plans to invest $854 million to retool plants in Flint, Mich., New York state and Ohio to build the sixth generation of the automaker’s small block V-8 engine.
During the week of January 15, crooks managed to steal 28 catalytic converters from the Las Vegas, Nevada, Camping World. The spendy automotive pollution control devices were copped from RVs parked on site. At least one of the rigs involved was there for repairs. The owner says his insurance company will cover the theft, but he will be stuck paying a $1,000 deductible.
Arizona’s Havasu Falls, one of the Grand Canyon’s most intriguing features, will finally reopen to the public after a three-year closure. The reopening is scheduled for February 1, but access will be limited at first. People whose previous reservations were canceled due to the closure will get first dibs at rescheduling a visit. No new 2023 reservations are being offered yet. However, if people whose visits were canceled aren’t able to reschedule, their spaces will open up via an online list. You’ll have to make an account here to see available slots.
24M, a company that specializes in developing advanced batteries, will receive $3.2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Program, to develop more affordable, efficient and resilient electric vehicle (EV) batteries for the RV industry. 24M has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to develop low-cost, fast-charging, sodium metal batteries with low-temperature performance for EVs.
Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) capped its 60th year of business with record revenue surpassing its 2021 record-setting mark by 1.3%. Impressively, 2022 registration revenue grew by 34.3% over 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park is launching the “Park it Forward” program on March 1. The program will require visitors to purchase and display a valid parking tag for any vehicle parked more than 15 minutes in the park. The $40 annual parking tags will be available to purchase online or at any of the park’s visitor centers and the $5 daily and $15 weekly tags will be available for purchase beginning February 21 at 10 a.m. EST on recreation.gov. The sales from parking tags will support the park’s operational costs.
Texas may lose an 1,800-acre state park that has been open to the public for 50 years as the private landowner plans to sell the park’s property to a private developer. Fairfield Lake State Park is about 100 miles southeast of Dallas-Fort Worth and is one of 89 parks in Texas. Of all the land in Texas, only about 5% is publicly owned. Texas Parks and Wildlife has leased the acreage since the 1970s. The land, including the lake and state park, was listed for $110 million.
Carlsbad Caverns was forced to shut down its cave and tours this past week due to electrical problems. The visitor center, Rattlesnake Springs, and trails around the visitor center will be open, the park said on its website. “Reservations and fees are not required during this period.” Tours were set to resume tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 30), but check with the park before visiting. Some trails in the park have been closed due to flooding: Old Guano, Slaughter Canyon, Yucca Canyon, Guadalupe Ridge, Rattlesnake Canyon, Juniper Ridge, Double Canyon, and Ussery.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved a revised business plan for its Cove Recreation Site, ID, located approximately 35 miles south of Boise, that includes raised fees for day-use and overnight camping to help cover increased operational, maintenance and upgrade costs. Day-use fees were raised from $2 to $5 per vehicle, overnight tent camping from $5 to $15, and overnight recreational vehicle camping from $12 to $15. Current national pass discounts, such as the America the Beautiful Pass, will be honored. These will be the first fee increases at the site since 2005.
An elderly Las Vegas couple was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in California’s Death Valley National Park on January 13. Authorities received a call from Paul Fischer, 73, reporting that he had just killed his wife, Mary Fischer, 72, and planned to kill himself. He told the 911 operator where to find the couple. A note in the couple’s car explained that the wife was suffering from chronic health issues.
Edmunds, a guide in car shopping for more than 50 years, has named the Ford F-150 Lightning as the Best of the Best in Edmunds Top Rated Awards 2023. This follows the announcement last week that the Ford F-150 had won Edmunds’ Top Rated Truck and the F-150 Lightning the Edmunds Top Rated Electric Truck awards.
U.S. Park Rangers at Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument in Nevada and Special Agents with the National Park Service are investigating recent vandalism within the monument. On the afternoon of January 16, an adult male vandalized government property in Tule Springs Fossil Beds, which preserves Ice Age fossils along with other sensitive plants and animals. If you recognize the person of interest above or if you have information about the incident, call or text the NPS Tip Line at 888-653-0009 or visit go.nps.gov/SubmitATip .
Campspot, an online marketplace for RV resorts, campgrounds and more, has unveiled its second annual 2022 Campspot Awards. These awards recognize the best campgrounds across North America. The contest is open and voting will end on February 10 with winners announced on February 28. Campers are encouraged to vote to determine which campgrounds are best. See the nominees and vote for your favorite. You may even win a trip to visit the top 10 parks for free!
Blue Water Development has recently acquired the management of Sea Swell Campgrounds and Skyway Camping Resort. Sea Swell Campgrounds features wooded camping and is central to scenic Maine harbors and local recreation with views of Penobscot Bay. Skyway Camping Resort offers all the classic camping amenities just north of New York City in the Catskills. Blue Water specializes in investing in, developing, and managing RV resorts, campgrounds, hotels and attractions.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? We asked RVtravel.com readers what bothered them the most when camping, a neighbor’s loud music or a barking dog? One of the surprises from the 2,300 respondents was that for some of them neither bothered them. What percentage of the respondents do you think said that? Was it 2 percent, 7 percent or 12 percent? Find out.
The recent Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, Florida, came close to breaking its all-time attendance record of 84,000 with a final turnout this year of around 79,000. Meanwhile, the always-popular Quartzsite (Ariz.) RV Show, which wraps up today, is said to be attracting big crowds.
Mattole Road through California’s popular Humboldt Redwoods State Park is closed for “weeks or more” following a landslide that buckled the pavement. The closure starts about 1.5 miles west of the U.S. Highway 101 juncture. It’s possible that seismic activity played a role in the landslide.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are warning residents in Grand Lake of increased mountain lion activity after the death of one dog and injuries to two others since December. Pet owners, especially if you walk your pets outside around campgrounds, be cougar-aware. More on those attacks in this story.
Two popular BLM-managed campgrounds in San Benito County, Calif., Oak Flat and Jade Mill, are closed due to the temporary closure of Clear Creek Road. Part of the road was washed out by recent storms. Condon Peak campground is open. Repairs may take up to six months.
Interstate 10 will be closed in each direction at different times this weekend in Phoenix, Ariz., between Loop 202 and US 60, while crews remove bridge falsework and build the new Guadalupe Road bridge barrier. If you’ll be passing through, check here first.
The 2023 edition of the Official RV & Camping Guide to Missouri is now available free in printed and digital formats, courtesy of the Missouri Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (MOARC). A digital version of the guide is available instantly at www.CampInMissouri.com.
RecNation Storage, an owner, operator and developer of specialized recreational vehicle and marine storage facilities, has launched RecNation Rental, a peer-to-peer RV rental startup that will allow RecNation customers to rent their vehicles and earn additional income.
Glampitect North America has unveiled its 2023 Glamping Structure Buying Guide, and we think it’s fun to look through. Poke around the new guide and see if a safari tent, yurt, or geodome is in your future. Plus, it’s fun to see how much these things cost and how they’re designed.
A stinky sinkhole has closed a California Mendocino County RV park and resort after officials deem Creekside Cabins “a menace to public health.” This comes just weeks after a large sinkhole stranded residents and visitors. After inspection, Mendocino County Code Enforcement officers inspected the site and found that overflowing RV septic tanks had covered the resort’s ground in sewage, and residents were asked to evacuate.
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HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Little to go on, but here you go: The Baldwin County, Alabama, sheriff’s office is looking to track down a stolen 2006 Sunnybrook travel trailer. It was taken January 13, 2023, from the Bay Minette/Stapleton area. There was no license plate on the rig. Got info? Call (251) 937-0202 and use option 1. Refer to Case 23000301.
Earlier this month we reported on Jill Silverthorne’s loss. Her specially equipped disability-use Class C was stolen shortly after she’d bought it, leaving her stranded in Los Angeles. Not only was the Gulfstream Touring Cruiser gone, so was her Jazzy wheelchair. In a good news/bad news playout, the Gulfstream has been found. Police recovered the missing Class C east of LA. Sadly, the (human) rats did considerable damage: seats and televisions ripped away from their moorings. Jill’s trying to keep upbeat. “Trying to stay in a positive attitude and not throw myself a pity party because nobody brings balloons anyway. Might as well stay as positive and in the moment as I can,” she said.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Chefs, cooks, lovers of RV-related things, listen up! This here is your new favorite kitchen accessory. We’re sure of it!
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Cover story: Thank you 16 million times!
• We want to know: What is your favorite RV kitchen gadget or accessory?
• Today’s Video RV review: 2023 Wildwood Heritage Glen 308RL trailer by Forest River
• RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Air horn blows when wipers, lights and more are engaged. What the heck?
• Ask Dave: How do we educate the RV consumer about towing capacity?
• RVtravel.com’s BEST RV YouTube channels awards
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of January 23, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.42 [Calif.: $4.28]
Change from week before: Up 11 cents; Change from year before: Up 9 cents.
Diesel: $4.60 [Calif.: $5.48]
Change from week before: Up 8 cents; Change from year before: Up 82 cents.
What starts with a P, ends with an E and has thousands of letters?
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread
by Michelle Helgesen from Crystal Lake, IL
One taste of this rich and decadent banana bread, you may never want it any other way. The addition of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips is an amazing flavor combination. Enjoy this for dessert or with afternoon tea. Easy to throw together, you will be hiding bananas to ripen just to make this moist banana bread.
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.
When Gmail first launched it was thought to be a joke. Why? Well, Gmail was launched as a beta product on April 1, 2004. April Fools’ Day! The entire world thought Google getting into the email business was an April Fools’ prank! Not quite…
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, 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”
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