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WHY YOUR SUPPORT IS SO IMPORTANT TO US.
Saturday, April 8, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
RVers find roof bubbles on new RV. ‘Normal,‘ says RV dealer. RVtravel to the rescue
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We often hear from RVtravel.com readers who are having issues with RV dealers and manufacturers—consumer issues where we can sometimes help. This may be an instance where just a little “nudge” helped out Gregg and Cathy P. Their brand-new travel trailer came equipped with an “option” they’d never ordered: strange bubbles in the roof. When the dealer was called on it, he tried to excuse it by saying that “Some roof bubbles are normal.” That didn’t set well with Gregg and Cathy, and they reached out to us. Read what happened.
New RV parks coming to the Pacific Northwest, aimed at long-term residents and helping to address housing affordability
By Randall Brink
Two major lending companies, Hunter Street, a Minneapolis-based alternative investment management firm, and Hickory CRE Lending, headquartered in New York, NY, and specializing in commercial real estate lending, have jointly agreed to provide $29.8 million in financing for the development of two new RV parks in the Pacific Northwest. The parks are specifically aimed at long-term residents and helping to address housing affordability. Learn more.
Visitors rank top 10 national parks – Have you been?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Have you ever filled out a visitor survey card at a U.S. national park? Your efforts aren’t in vain. A recent compilation of results led to rankings by visitors of the most popular national parks throughout the nation. The rankings, in this survey, were based on those who rated “Very Good” to the question: “Overall quality of the facilities, services & recreational opportunities.” Here are the Top 10 in order of preference.
Trouble with Starlink V2 Mini satellites
By Randall Brink
“We’re experiencing some issues,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted. Some second-generation Starlink satellites may have to be deorbited; one has already fallen and burned in the Earth’s atmosphere. Musk said on Twitter that there is a lot of new technology on the V2 Mini. Learn more.
Harvest Hosts gets some low-priced competition
Harvest Hosts, the popular membership organization that offers RVers a place to stay overnight for free at more than 4,800 wineries, farms, tourist attractions and even golf courses, is getting some competition. And the newcomer’s annual membership cost is a fraction of the HH price. Read more.
The ‘nomadic lifestyle’ has finally come to an end
Every week Nanci Dixon reads through the many emails and comments from our readers about their experiences with camping and crowded campgrounds and compiles some of them in this report. This week she heard from several RVers with tips to avoid the crowded campgrounds and the higher prices at them, or how to mentally deal with the new challenges. But there were more complaints about parks being bought by corporations and seemingly not caring for their customers like the previous owners did.
NEW! RV Video Review
Look for Cheri’s new RV Video Reviews every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Not signed up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter? You’re missing out!
Lightweight Winnebago Hike 100 FLX tiny toy hauler
By Cheri Sicard
Winnebago’s Hike 100 FLX tiny toy hauler packs a whole lot into a tiny, lightweight package. This is a great small RV for active RVers like bikers, hikers, kayakers, etc. Join the team from We’re the Russos in the video below to take a full interior and exterior tour of this small toy hauler travel trailer.
Other RV reviews this week:
- Tour the 2023 Grand Design Solitude 380FL 5th Wheel
- The 2023 HOST Mammoth truck camper with washer/dryer!
That was the RV week that was
April 1–7, 2023
Newport Dunes RV Resort, seen above alongside an artificial lagoon, is preparing to “welcome new and returning campers this spring and beyond,” according to a press release issued in late March. No doubt about it, it’s a pretty Southern California setting (in Newport Beach), but if you want to plop your rig down on one of those beachfront sites, it’ll cost you, tax included, about $600 a night.
With this season’s statewide snowpack at 237% of average as of April 3, California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW), the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) are urging the public to take extra precautions and to be aware of cold-water dangers this spring to avoid a tragedy. Expected California flooding could be deadly. Read more here.
Campspot, a camping software provider and online marketplace, launched its first platform-wide promotion during peak booking season, resulting in the largest reservation week in its history. The promotion offered a free booking bonus and unique discounts at nearly 300 participating campgrounds across the country, generating more than 60,000 bookings for the spring and summer season.
ABOVE: Crash last week on I-84 in Connecticut. No reports of injuries. This is a reminder to never allow passengers to ride in a towed vehicle.
A tornado hit McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana, on March 31, resulting in the tragic deaths of Brett and Wendy Kincaid, who were camping at the park. Conservation officers found the couple after an extensive search and rescue operation. The storm caused significant damage to the campground, with overturned campers and debris scattered throughout the area. The Indiana DNR reported that the storms were extremely powerful, resulting in significant damage to the park. The campground remains closed.
The 2023 Milepost Alaska Travel Planner directory will be published April 15, but is available now at Amazon for immediate delivery upon publication. This is THE guide to traveling more than 15,000 miles of road in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. Its 700-plus pages detail accommodations, campgrounds, fishing, fuel stops, restaurants, attractions and services found along the highways of Alaska and western Canada. If you plan to travel the Alaska Highway this summer, this is a must-have reference. Learn more or pre-order.
Younger and more diverse buyers are now joining the RV lifestyle, as per a recent survey by the RV Industry Association (RVIA). New RV buyers are now showing a greater preference for private campgrounds, with 30% of respondents choosing this option as their ideal campsite, up from 16% in the previous year. This trend has important implications for both the RV industry and the outdoor hospitality industry as they adapt to the evolving needs and preferences of this new generation of RV enthusiasts.
Camp in a bean can! Yep, that’s right. Bush’s Beans is teaming up with the National Park Service to “bring the beautiful bean to the great outdoors.” Three lucky campers will win a stay in a large, mobile Bush’s Beans RV “canper” at three national parks: Big Bend, Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains. The cozy bean can features a bed, a kitchenette, table, and obviously… a lot of beans. The three winners will win an all-expenses-paid trip for the winner plus a guest, bean-filled camping breakfasts and dinners, and a guided excursion around a national park. Enter the contest now until April 26 for your chance to win your stay in a giant bean canper here.
Walmart plans to add EV charging stations to thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club stores coast to coast by 2030. Walmart, which currently has almost 1,300 EV fast-charging stations at more than 280 U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, said it will build its own network of low-cost, fast-charging EV stations. Stay tuned…
Fun Town RV, the largest towable RV dealer in Texas, will expand into Ottawa, Kansas, with the acquisition of Central RV. Meanwhile, Camping World has announced it is acquiring Breeden RV Center in Van Buren, Arkansas, which will be its fourth location in the state.
Hawaii’s lawmakers are considering passing a bill that would require tourists to pay a $50 annual fee to visit the state’s parks and trails. The fee is intended to help take care of the archipelago’s natural resources and would be of special help in maintaining lesser-known spots, which have suddenly become busy from posts on social media.
That wet spot in the photo above is sewage seeping from a trailer at a Calexico (Calif.) RV park. Thirty-five residents have been evicted by the city from an unnamed RV park due to it being “substandard and unfit for human occupancy.” The owner is fighting with the city, claiming the park is perfectly legal. City Manager Esperanza Colio said there were illegal sewage pipes exposed, leaking pipes that led to puddles of sewage, and electrical lines improperly and illegally hooked up.
GM has applied for a patent for a new tow assist system that can increase a vehicle’s towing capacity. The patent application, assigned number US 11,607,918 B2, was filed on Oct. 21, 2019, and lists Canadian-based inventors. The system will be connected between a lead vehicle and a trailer, and includes a drive unit that responds to the force between the trailer and the tow assist unit, allowing it to bear part of the towing force.
Due to increased popularity, summer camping experiences in Olympic National Park, Washington, now require reservations. At the popular Staircase Campground from July 5 through August 31, campers need to reserve a site on Recreation.gov or by phone, with a maximum stay of seven days. The reservation window opens two weeks in advance with a cost of $24 per night. There is a 50% discount for seniors and Access Pass holders.
Two people were found dead at Sun Outdoors Rocky Mountain RV resort in Granby, Colorado, on March 31. Police responded to the resort to carry out a welfare check on two individuals that were reportedly inside of a commercial transport vehicle. Both were found dead. An investigation is underway.
Walmart is closing more stores. After recently closing its two remaining stores in the city of Portland, Oregon, Walmart is now set to close four more locations — in South Bend, Indiana; Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Everett, Washington. Increased theft was citied as a reason for the Everett closure. Last year, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned closures could be on the way due to theft. “It’s higher than what it has historically been,” he told CNBC in December. “If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close.”
People experiencing homelessness and living in their RVs can use a sanitation dump station and water-filling site in Long Beach, Calif., beginning this week. The station is set up near Cherry Avenue and 32nd Street and will operate on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow residents to properly dispose of sewage and refill their water storage.
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort locations offer a fun-filled Easter weekend for families, including egg hunts with Yogi Bear and Easter-themed games. Some locations offer Easter craft activities, Easter Bunny visits, and chocolate Easter Bunny eating contests, according to Trent Hershenson, VP of Marketing for Camp Jellystone. Popular Easter-themed weekends run as late as June at some locations to ensure families don’t miss out on the fun. Visit jellystonepark.com to find the nearest park to you to see local events.
Headed to Oklahoma? Send for a free 2023 state visitors guide, state map, a 2023 Oklahoma State Parks and Outdoor Guide or a Route 66 Guide through the state. It’s all here.
The Alberta (Canada) government will invest more than CA$211.3 million in a three-year plan to improve recreational facilities in provincial parks. After a record 10-million-visitor year, this funding reflects the growing demand for quality recreational spaces. The government has allocated CA$50.9 million for 2023 to support 60 campgrounds, day-use areas, and trail enhancement projects. The plan aims to develop and expand provincial campgrounds, creating more than 900 new campsites and multiple new locations for camping.
And speaking of Canada… The British Columbia government has introduced a new initiative to enhance accessibility in provincial parks situated close to urban areas. British Columbia’s “Parks Commitment to Inclusion” will dedicate CA$3.6 million over three years to improve park facilities to meet accessibility standards. This includes upgraded washrooms, parking lots and trails, universal design in new campgrounds, and ongoing improvements to the BC Parks website with accessibility information and photos for several parks.
At last! A directory of where to camp on public lands!
This edition of the Bureau of Land Management Camping book describes 1,273 camping areas managed by the BLM in 14 Western states. Details for each camping area include the number of campsites, amenities, facilities, fees, reservation information, GPS coordinates, and more. You’ll want this book if you camp or are interested in camping on BLM land. Learn more or order.
Saturday Giveaway!You could win this!
If you win this Camco water pressure regulator, you will help ensure that you do not accidentally blow out your RV’s plumbing system. Repairing that… well, you do not need such a costly expense!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 8, 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.
Did you marry your high school sweetheart?
How many RVtravel.com readers did that? We don’t have a clue. Let’s find out. Click here to respond and see how others responded. This will be fun.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
We reported the theft of this Tiffin Phaeton in our March 16 edition. The rig has been recovered—found in a storage yard just 10 minutes away from where it was ripped off, in Lakewood, Colorado. The storage facility managers called police when they found the rig parked in their yard without license plates. But summer travel plans are off for the Class A owners: The rig’s interior was trashed, and the place littered with hypodermic needles. Concerned, the family did a “home test” for methamphetamines, which came back negative. But a professional inspector later found evidence the rig had been used as a meth lab. The owners are now staying out of the rig, hoping for justice and some sort of restoration. In jail and charged with burglary and vehicle theft, James McDonald, age 39, is alleged to have broken the lock on the gate leading to the Class A’s garage, and somehow overwhelmed the garage security system.
Stolen in summer—reported in winter. Last July 26 was the last time the owners of a 2019 Coleman House Coach saw their rig in Hauppauge, New York. But they didn’t know it was gone until February—and now we hear about it, courtesy of Crime Stoppers. The 28-foot travel trailer was parked at a residence on Hoffman Lane and vanished sometime in the seven-month span. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers says you can leave an anonymous tip via phone call at 1-800-220-TIPS. A cash reward is mentioned. Perhaps we can help thaw out a really cold case.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
How’s the weather? How will the weather be two months from now? Warm? Hot? Yep. You’ll need this for sure.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of April 3, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.50 [Calif.: $4.63]
Change from week before: Up 8 cents; Change from year before: Down 67 cents.
Diesel: $4.11 [Calif.: $5.05]
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.04.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Ginger Ale – Honey Mustard Glazed Ham
by Tiffany Ash from Woodburn, IN
The glaze on this ham is sweet, tangy, and delicious. Once cooked it has the perfect balance of flavors and is extremely tender. We saved the glaze from the pan and drizzled it over the slices on a platter. This will make a delicious holiday ham.
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.
84 percent of Americans give or share candy on Easter each year. The most popular? According to Instacart, Cadbury Creme Eggs are the most popular.
Laugh of the Week
Spring cleaning involves your water heater, too!
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.
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, 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. Artificial (AI) contributors: Johnny Robot and Milly MacWilly. Canine 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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The Camco’s water tank rinser is a disaster waiting to happen. Two years ago I bought one and used it to clean my water heater. In less than 2 minutes the gray wand blew off into my water heater! It took me almost 2 weeks to retrieve it using a lot of patience, bad language, an automotive wireless endoscope, and some American ingenuity. When I called Camco they said that it was the first time they heard of that happening. Also said it wouldn’t hurt to leave it in there! If you read the reviews on Amazon and other RV supply sites you will see that it has happened to many other people. The end of the gray tube splits, allowing it to separate from the nipple on the yellow hose fitting. Spend a few dollars more and buy an all metal one and save yourself some grief!
You’re not the only one of our readers, and writers, who has had that happen, Lee. Glad you were finally able to retrieve it. Have a good afternoon/evening. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Years ago we went tent camping and yes we used an outhouse. It was our daughters first experience with it. The look was priceless but we also worried she would fall in. She was accident prone. But yes we know what cold is.
>>> Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned closures could be on the way due to theft. “It’s higher than what it has historically been,”
I wonder how much of this increased theft is because Walmart (and so many other stores) now make you do your own checkout process. Some days, I don’t mind, but when I have many things, or wine or beer, and have to wait for someone to come around and enter a code, I find it very, very annoying.
Good question. Could be that Gma and Gpa are just stealing a can of soup at the self checkout. Or maybe it’s the thugs in masks working as mobs that we see with our own 2 eyes on the news stealing thousands of dollars of phones. TVs, computers, makeup, fragrances, expensive tools and a can of soup. Maybe it continues because liberal prosecutors seldom prosecute those mobs. Maybe when those downtrodden mobs in $500.00 Jordans tell us it is a form of reparations we should believe them.
It could be the innocuous accidental self check out theft though, or purposeful, but it seems those could be mitigated instead of closing stores.
I have been to 3 of the so-called top ten national parks to visit. Some are too far away from me. Some do not pique my interest. All the national parks are great. Smoky Mtn. NP most visited because it is near the greater population center. But my favorites are out west. Yellowstone tops my list followed by Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Arches, Glacier, and Bryce Canyon. Utah has 5 national parks within a days drive of each other.