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Saturday, March 11, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
New “chain” of RV parks could be a game changer
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When the pandemic hit, RV manufacturers saw a huge demand and began cranking out rigs at an unprecedented rate. Yet, even before the pandemic, RVers were crying out that finding a place to “put in” at day’s end was getting harder and harder. Too many RVers, not enough RV parks. Now the company that’s catered to long-haul truckers since the 1960s is turning up the gas on attracting RVers and their money. While they call them “RV Hookups” and “RV Stops,” think of some of them as Love’s RV parks. Learn more.
New laws benefit campground owners, but how about RVers?
By Randall Brink
Florida is the latest state to contemplate liability shield laws for recreational activities and campgrounds. New legislation would urge people to camp at their own risk, shielding private campgrounds from liability claims. … How does all this affect RVers? Find out here.
Harvest Hosts to expand internationally
By Jeff Clemishaw
Until this week, Harvest Hosts has only been available in the Lower 48 states, Alaska, parts of Canada, and portions of Mexico. With the company’s recent acquisition of Brit Stops, Harvest Hosts will now jump across the pond and expand their operations internationally into the United Kingdom. This move is a huge step in the farm-stay company’s business operations and a significant shift toward opening locations in other countries. Continue reading.
Montana rationalizes camping reservations as other states target non-residents with higher fees
By Randall Brink
As the popularity of camping continues to grow, some states have passed laws imposing limits on non-residents and reducing the percentage of campground sites available for advanced reservation in state parks. Other states are levying punitive fee hikes on out-of-state campers, ostensibly to create more availability for resident campers. Learn more.
South Dakota full-time RVer vote in question again
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Last month we reported on two proposed laws before the South Dakota legislature which, in the view of many, would have nixed registering to vote for many (if not all) full-time RVers. As we’ve since reported, both these bills died in committee. Now, however, another bill, Senate Bill 139, has passed and, if signed by Governor Kristi Noem, could have deadly effects for those wanting to vote in the Mount Rushmore State. Learn more.
Starlink News: An exciting update for RVers
By Randall Brink
SpaceX has applied to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to introduce a new, smaller dish for Starlink subscribers. Starlink RV subscribers will benefit. Continue reading.
New, self-propelled travel trailer debuts
Lightship, America’s first all-electric RV company, has launched the Lightship L1—an aerodynamic, battery-powered travel trailer and the first purpose-built travel trailer with a self-propulsion system that enables near-zero range or mile-per-gallon efficiency loss for the vehicle towing it. Lightship is taking a clean-sheet approach to building an all-electric recreational vehicle the same way Tesla disrupted the established automakers. Read all about it and see pics.
If you want accurate campsite reservation pricing, double…no, triple…the advertised rate!
In this weekly summary of campground crowding compiled by Nanci Dixon, we hear from more RVers who have no trouble booking their wanted campsites, with tips for other RVers. We also hear from RVers who lament mom-and-pop campgrounds selling to corporations who are more focused on profits than customers. And have you paid close attention to your actual charge for a campsite after all of the “hidden” fees are tacked on? Yikes! Read the good and not-so-good news here, then please add your one-and-a-half cents’ worth.
That was the RV week that was
March 4–10, 2023
News highlights: Full report is in our member’s edition
WARNING: Be careful if you are traveling in California. As of yesterday (Friday), 34 of the state’s 58 counties were under a state of emergency issued by the governor’s office due to previous storms and this week’s severe weather threat. The state also activated its flood operations center Thursday morning. Don’t forget that most states have a 5-1-1 system. Just call 5-1-1 from your cell phone and you’ll automatically be directed to an automated roadway travel information system.
Yosemite National Park, which was buried beneath a snowstorm in late February, will remain closed until March 17, a park spokesman said Thursday. Another storm was expected to hit this weekend that could result in further impacts to the park.
Tom Love, co-founder of the Love’s Travel Stops network, died March 7. He was 85. Love got his start in the fuel business when he and “the love of his life,” his wife Judy, pumped $5,000 into leasing an abandoned gas station in Oklahoma. That was in 1964. Today the chain has grown to 600+ stops in 42 states.
Expect big crowds this spring at Grand Canyon National Park. Park visitors should expect long lines and full parking lots during the spring break season from early March through mid-April. As a result of increased visitation, traffic regularly backs up at all entrance stations with wait times of up to two hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Parking lots begin to fill up by noon and shuttle bus wait times may increase.
The Escapees RV Club will hold its third annual Rethinking Remote Work Conference beginning April 3. The four-day virtual event is open to the club’s members as well as non-members interested in RVing or remote work. Three levels of participation are available, $29, $59, and a free option to attend the main event. Info here.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline increased nearly a dime since last week to $3.46. However, this price pop could be short-lived, as demand and the global cost of oil have fallen recently. “Less expensive oil and fewer people fueling usually combine to lower pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “However, there is some upward pricing pressure at the moment due to the switch to summer blend gasoline, which may add about five to ten cents per gallon. But if demand and oil costs remain low, this recent price bounce may fade.”
Lance Camper, a REV Group company, has announced that in April it will begin manufacturing its new Enduro Off-Road trailer, thus entering the overlanding product segment.
Airstream is recalling certain 2021-2023 Basecamp, Bambi, Atlas, and Interstate travel trailers, equipped with certain SDS2 2-burner drop-in cooktops. The internal aluminum burner tubes that connect to the gas valves may fracture and cause a gas leak. Learn more.
The 2023 Explore Pennsylvania directory and camping guide is now available from the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association. The 64-page publication features the latest trends for RV and camping enthusiasts and serves as the association’s official membership directory and consumer magazine. Order a free printed copy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-303-2887. A digital version is available online by clicking here.
Beginning May 26, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state will transition to a fully cashless fee system and will accept only electronic card payments for entrance fees and campgrounds. Visitors who are only able to pay with cash can purchase a prepaid pass from local vendors before visiting the park.
Subway restaurants plans to create “Subway Oasis” charging parks at selected locations. They will consist of charging canopies with multiple ports, picnic tables, Wi-Fi, restrooms, green spaces, and playgrounds. Subway’s multi-year strategy to deploy the charging parks will include testing smaller, quick EV charging stations at specific new or renovated Subway eateries this year.
SuperSteer RV Products claims it has answered Mercedes-Benz customers’ requests for improved ride and handling of the dual-rear-wheel 2WD Sprinter 3500 camper vans and motorhomes with its new SS-480-1 rear suspension package, which, it says, results in “sports-car-like” ride and handling. Learn more.
Planning to drive I-90 across the Washington Cascades this weekend? Check the weather report. Up to 22 inches of snow is expected. If that happens, the popular interstate could be closed. And in Colorado, mountain passes and the Interstate 70 corridor will see severe impacts with heavy snowfall and wind-driven snow causing slushy roads, snow-packed conditions and potential whiteouts.
In April 2024, millions of people, including RVers, are expected to travel to find the most optimal viewing experience for the solar eclipse. And since there won’t be another total solar eclipse widely viewable from the U.S. until 2045, this one is important. So maybe it’s a good time to make your campground reservations.
A 2023 Fleetwood Bounder rolled off the production line Thursday — the 40,000th motorhome of the popular brand, which debuted in 1985.
More News: Read the up-to-the-minute RV news from RVtravel.com, updated every day when news that matters to RVers occurs.
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.
How would you like to win a set of Happy Camper Wine Glasses?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (March 11, 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!
Did you pay to have your current RV professionally inspected before buying it?
Most RV buyers, we believe, consider having their RV inspected for quality issues before buying a good idea. But how many actually do it? Maybe we can get an idea from this poll. Answer it here, and please leave a comment.
Did you know? We conduct a reader poll every weekday in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. Don’t miss out. Sign up today. It’s good. Really good!
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Thank us now, thank us later, thank us whenever. But trust us. You’ll thank us for this… and your car and RV will, too!
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 6, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.39 [Calif.: $4.70]
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Down 71 cents.
Diesel: $4.28 [Calif.: $5.32]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 57 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
by Hope Adcox from Monroe, GA
A fast and easy homemade fried rice that’s also easy on your wallet. Using leftover rice makes putting this dish together super simple. This fried rice has wonderful flavor from the sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Tossed with a mixture of veggies, chicken, and eggs, this chicken fried rice is super hearty.
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.
The word “mortgage” comes from a French word meaning “death pledge” from mort (dead) and gage (pledge). That’s why we have RVs instead, right?
Big Rig RV owners! You need this!
If you aren’t carrying the 2023 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas with you in your RV, you’re inviting trouble. This is the atlas that truckers rely on to plan their routes. It helps them get “there” the fastest while avoiding roads where they could get stuck with turns too tight or bridges too low to fit through without shaving off their roofs. Even if you have a GPS, this is an important resource! Learn more or order.
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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I’m missing the brain teaser! Will you please bring it back? Thank you from Canada.
The Trivia statement was as funny as Leave Here with a Laugh!!! 🙂
The Perfect Scam Podcast was an eye-opener. I hope these people are condemned to the worst place on earth. I rarely listen but today’s podcast caught my eye. It’s worth a listen.