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Saturday, March 4, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
REMINDER: WE’VE MOVED! Yes, this newsletter was always published on Sundays… until now! Please remember our Saturday and Sunday newsletters have swapped places.
Montana moves to save campsites from filling up with out-of-staters. Will other states follow?
By Randall Brink
The 68th Session of the Montana State Legislature has been considering a bill to limit campsite reservations in state campgrounds to 80 percent of capacity. … The pending statute partially reads, “No more than 80% of all available campsites may be reserved in a state park, recreational area, or public camping ground with overnight camping.” Learn more.
Industry insiders say RV prices will drop—and they already are
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
New or used, if you’re shopping for an RV, you may face less of a hit in your wallet. The high appeal for both motorized and towable rigs brought on by the pandemic frenzy has lost its luster—and RV sellers are feeling the bite. This according to both used sales watchers and by RV dealers themselves. RV prices are heading down. Continue reading.
RVillage … going, going … (almost) gone!
RVillage, a social media site for RV enthusiasts, has announced on its website that it will shut down on March 31. The closure will include the website RVillage.com, mobile apps and support functions. Continue reading.
New Starlink satellites, price increase and confusion for subscribers
By Randall Brink
Starlink is making news with more satellites launched, and creating better coverage in more areas with faster speeds. However, the word for Starlink RV subscribers is not all good. SpaceX announced higher monthly subscription prices as well. Continue reading.
Employees and owners overwhelmed and exhausted. ‘A major tragedy for camping’
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? We hear from our readers with their responses to that question, plus we received lots of great advice for one of our readers who recently asked if driving 650-700 miles a day was realistic. Again we heard from readers who complain about how fast campsite reservations fill up (within seconds!). One RVer who has been camping her entire life laments: “It is extremely difficult to find a nice quiet campground now and if you do, you find out that the owners and employees of the campground are overwhelmed and exhausted from trying to keep it nice and quiet.” Read more.
That was the RV week that was
February 25 – March 3, 2023
HIGHLIGHTS. FULL COVERAGE IN MEMBERS’ EDITION
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that would allow gasoline with higher blends of ethanol to be sold year-round in eight Midwestern states starting in 2024. The biofuels industry has long advocated for this change, as it would permit the sale of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol during the summer months, a practice that has previously been prohibited due to concerns over increased smog during hot weather. The proposed rule would apply to Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, where most of the nation’s corn is grown and approximately 40% of it is used to produce ethanol. Read more.
With snow depths from recent storms up to 15 feet in some places in Yosemite National Park, officials don’t know when they will reopen the park to visitors. The park closed February 25 because of relentless storms, and will stay so indefinitely.
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen by a cent to $3.37 since Monday (Feb. 27), although it is still two cents cheaper than a week ago. This could be due to increased demand as the cost of oil has remained largely unchanged in recent weeks. Yesterday’s national average of $3.37 is 12 cents less than a month ago and 28 cents less than a year ago.
According to the National Park Service, visitation to the National Park System rebounded in 2022, reaching 312 million, the highest since 2019. Although 27 parks accounted for half of the visitation, year-over-year increases were seen across the system. The Blue Ridge Parkway was the most visited park, with 15,711,004 visitors, accounting for 5.04% of the total. Parks known for recreation opportunities drew 38 percent of visits. Those that primarily focus on U.S. history and cultural heritage drew 32 percent, and parks with an emphasis on nature-based experiences drew 30 percent. See the top 10 most-visited National Park Service sites in 2022 here.
Bullets were flying Thursday at an Apache Junction RV resort. The Apache Junction (Ariz.) Police Department says they’ve received seven reports of bullets hitting trailers at the Countryside RV Resort. One bullet nearly hit a man who was inside his RV watching television. Know anything? Call the police at 480-982-8260 or 480-474-8585 or submit an anonymous tip at www.apachejunctionaz.gov/tip.
Walmart is closing its only two stores in the city of Portland, Oregon, saying they’re underperforming. Some customers believe shoplifting is the reason. Walmart is closing eight additional stores. Here’s where all the stores to be closed are located, according to Business Insider.
In 2022, preliminary data shows there were 14,002 aggressive driving crashes in Idaho. Last year 39 percent of all fatal crashes involved some form of aggressive driving behavior. “More people engage in aggressive driving than they may realize,” said Denise Dinnauer, the Aggressive Driving Program Manager for the Idaho Office of Highway Safety, who offered these examples: Speeding, tailgating, driving too fast for conditions, cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down, failing to stop for red lights or stop signs, failing to yield, weaving in and out of traffic, changing lanes without signaling, blocking cars that are attempting to change lanes, passing a vehicle on the wrong side of the road or on the shoulder and making hand gestures or facial expressions at other drivers.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park experienced its second busiest year ever in 2022 with 12,937,633 visits. That was more than 1.5 million above the park’s ten-year average, and more visitors than Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon national parks combined.
The Jefferson County (Missouri) Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of five catalytic converters and a battery from vehicles parked at the St. Louis RV Home-Port storage business, 2600 Hwy. FF, south of Eureka. The catalytic converters, valued at about $2,500, were cut off five RVs. If you have info call 636-797-5515.
Okay, not RV news but we couldn’t resist
On Wednesday, Louisville, KY, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted 500 bottles of Viagra arriving from Hong Kong, a total of 15,000 pills. The shipment was heading to an individual in Brooklyn, NY. If genuine, they would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1.06 million. EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a suggestion how to use some of the contraband: Grind up the pills into fertilizer and feed them to the cactus below that we spotted in Tucson. (Our apologies.)
This was our best-selling Amazon product in February. Hundreds of RVers bought one! Click here to see.
Yellowstone’s winter season starts to wrap up March 5 as roads begin to close to the public. By March 15 at 9 p.m., most park roads will close, including the South, West and East entrances. Annually, most of the park closes to the public to plow roads for a spring opening. The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction to Cooke City, Montana, remains open to automobiles all year, weather-permitting. To keep up on road conditions, call 307-344-2117 for recorded information.
The National Park Service (NPS) is investigating vandalism on the Spring, South Ridge Penobscot, Penobscot East and Deer Brook hiking trails in Acadia National Park, Maine. The NPS encourages anyone who may have information on these crimes to call 207-288-8791. The graffiti, primarily consisting of red blazes spray-painted on trees, rocks, and cairns, creates confusion for visitors, who should follow the blue blazes maintained by the NPS to mark established hiking trails. In addition to the red paint damaging park resources, it encourages visitors who might not be familiar with these trails to embark on potentially dangerous routes.
FMCA, a North American club for RVers, is preparing for its 106th International Convention and RV Expo March 15-18 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. Approximately 2,500 RVs are expected. The event is open to all RVers, not just club members. Get info.
INTERESTING! Forty-two percent of Americans never went on vacation as a kid, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults by Funjet Vacations showed that while 51% went on their first trip before they turned 18, a third of Americans didn’t take a vacation until early adulthood. The survey also found that the average person has been on six vacations purely for leisure and relaxation in their life wants more.
An NBC News analysis of 15 years of federal data reveals that Washington state’s North Cascades National Park has the highest death rate in the park system. From 2007 to 2021, the park recorded 3.7 deaths for every 100,000 visitors, which is more than three times the rate of the second deadliest site, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Reserve in southern Alaska. Kelly Bush, a former ranger at the park who oversaw its search and rescue operations, said many of the deaths she knew about were among alpine climbers and hikers.
Most Virginia State Parks campgrounds opened March 3. Exceptions are Claytor Lake State Park, which will open on June 1, and Douthat, Hungry Mother, Pocahontas and Shenandoah River state parks, where full-service campgrounds are open year-round. Reservations may be made up to 2 p.m. the day of arrival. Parks with campgrounds offer site-specific reservations for more than 1,800 campsites ranging from primitive camping to sites with electric and water hookups. Learn more.
And lastly… some wise advice from the National Park Service:
Chinese proverb: “If a man has no nickname, he never grows rich.”
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers – boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
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.
Not signed up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter? You’re missing out!
What’s RVtravel.com’s most popular newsletter? It’s not this one. It’s our Monday through Friday RV Daily Tips. The percentage of subscribers who open each issue’s email reminder notice is the highest of all our newsletters. They love all the incredibly valuable tips and advice, delivered concisely every weekday morning. If you don’t already read it, why not give it a try? Just click here, type in your name and email address, and you’re good to go. Easy unsubscribe if it’s not your cup of tea (or coffee or whatever).
How would you like to win a Portable Food Warmer?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (March 4, 2023) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!
Don’t carry a heavy iron with you… use WrinkleGuard!
Leave the heavy iron and ironing board at home. Downy’s WrinkleGuard Wrinkle Release Fabric Spray works like magic (seriously… we’ve used it!). Just spray your wrinkly item, smooth it out, and voila! The wrinkles will disappear. Not only that, but it helps get rid of static, too. It’s perfect for RVers. Learn more or order.
WHEN ARE YOU OLD?
A new study by U.S. Trust has found that perceptions of the onset of old age vary widely among different generations. Millennials, for example, say that you are old once you turn 59. Gen Xers, on the other hand, hold a slightly more generous view, saying that old age begins at 65. When it comes to boomers and the silent generation, both agree that you’re not really old until you hit age 73. —SOURCE: AARP
What are your likely plans for 2023? Buy an RV, sell your RV, or both?
Let us know in today’s poll, and learn other readers’ plans.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
This 2015 Gulf Stream StreamLite 29BIK trailer was stolen from Midland, Michigan, on February 6, but has been spotted in Miami, Florida. Anyone with information is asked to contact Midland RV Sales at 989-631-1231.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of February 27, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.34 [Calif.: $4.59]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 27 cents.
Diesel: $4.29 [Calif.: $5.36]
Change from week before: Down 8 cents; Change from year before: Up 19 cents.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Have a pet? Well, good news, we’ve found the cutest camping-themed… thing… (you’ll just have to click and see) for your pet, ever!!
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
by Patricia Stephens from Pine Knot, KY
Easy and delicious, we love this Crock Pot chicken and dumplings. It’s super creamy with shredded chicken throughout. Once in the slow cooker, the biscuits turn into soft, fluffy dumplings. This recipe makes a very thick chicken and dumplings. If you like it thinner, we suggest adding a second can of chicken broth. Quick and easy to prepare, this is a hearty comfort food dinner.
The Perfect Scam Podcast
Every Saturday 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 you talk about something without getting to the point, you’re said to “beat around the bush.” Where’d that term come from? It came from hunter lingo. It refers to the brush beaters long used by hunters to drive quarry animals out of cover.
Laugh of the Week
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, Janet Groene, Machelle James, 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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My group I work with in Acadia I sent them what was reported here about the vandalism. I drive thru there and let me tell you one can get lost on those trails and its scary to think of someone lost in the dark up there. I know I won’t drive there after dark. Its creepy spooky dark. Why do you think they named a lake Witch Lake. uh huh
I am 84 years old, and I still do a lot of things. I play golf, I go hunting, I cross-country ski. I still repair things around the house when needed, My wife and I still do a lot of traveling.
News on RVillage, we were part of it till it went to FB. Many who once was on RVillage have went elsewhere, not liking the move to FB. It was a paid membership that those who paid for life, lost the money. Some got notices, some didn’t like myself. As for Montana not having room for their own residents, take away all that revenue the “outsiders “ are giving them by going there, then see what they have to say.
it’s getting bad trying to just enjoy the lifestyle, everyone needs that extra buck, No etiquette or ethics, much rudeness seems. Just go enjoy. Think ahead, be kind.
EPA increasing Ethanol production:
Standard government…EPA increases use while a study partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, found that ethanol is likely at least 24% more carbon-intensive than gasoline. In addition, it takes about 3X as much water to produce ethanol than straight gasoline.
So your sayin that government can reduce carbon emissions from automobiles approximately 3% based on gasoline having an average of 10% ethanol content 12 months per year.
Given that this is the first administration in 40 years to have a net increase in greenhouse gasses under its watch, in truth climate change may be even less important to them than a Chinese spy balloon.