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Saturday, April 15, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
Disingenuous Department of the Interior Public Lands Rule will jeopardize access to BLM’s public lands
By Randall Brink
The U.S. Department of the Interior issued a new rule on March 30, 2023, that purports to redress a problem with the relative priority of conservation in managing the 245 million acres of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Learn more and weigh in with the BLM.
Unprotected wiring in RV catches on fire. Is your RV next?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We wrote earlier about a Montana RVer whose fifth wheel wiring caught fire, leading to his filing a class action lawsuit. The suit alleges that the manufacturer, Forest River, failed to install a circuit breaker on wiring running from the house batteries to the 7-pin connector box. It also states that the wiring was not properly protected, and that when a short occurred, lacking a circuit breaker, the wiring caught fire. Could this happen to you? Continue reading.
Thor offering $10,000 rebates to ramp up RV sales
RV dealers have a glut of 2022 model RVs on their sales lots, and that’s not a good thing for them or for manufacturers who can’t ramp up their production while plenty of “last year’s” models are still occupying RV dealers’ lots. So what to do? For one thing, lower prices. And if that’s not enough, offer rebates! That’s what the world’s largest RV manufacturer is doing right now on some models. Learn more.
Google Maps introduces game-changing updates for National Parks
As the busy travel season approaches, Google Maps has introduced new features to enhance the experience of exploring national parks. These new features are designed to assist park visitors in planning their trip and navigating within the park, aiming to provide a seamless and convenient experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Continue reading.
Walmart announces addition of thousands of EV charging stations
By Dave Solberg
Walmart has announced plans to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at thousands of its locations across the U.S. by 2023, according to a press release posted on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Currently, Walmart has 1300 charging stations at 280 locations in the U.S., and it aims to add thousands more to its over 4,700 Walmart and 600 Sam’s Club locations, all of which are within 10 miles of approximately 90% of Americans. Learn more.
Update: Settlement reached in long-running RV park battle
By Randall Brink
In February 2023, RVtravel.com reported on the case of City of San Rafael v. Chessen et al., in Marin County Superior Court, as well as a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the inherent issue of applicability of Marin County’s Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Ordnance (MRSO). You can read the earlier article here. The City of San Rafael won a motion for a preliminary injunction to enforce the MRSO, and a trial was scheduled for May 2023. Continue reading.
HUGE RESPONSE: RVtravel.com set an all-time record last Sunday when we polled readers about “camping” at Cabela’s. As of Friday evening more than 11,000 of you had voted! We’ll tell you more tomorrow.
Politically incorrect redwood tree gets censored
A historic, 1,000-year-old Redwood tree has greeted visitors to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center in Northern California for years. The slice of coast redwood, which is 76 inches in diameter, lies on its side to display its growth rings, with the oldest—at the center—going back about a thousand years. Plaques on the log mark rings in the tree’s growth and historical events at the time. One plaque noted when Columbus discovered America and another when “Cortez Conquered the Aztecs” (1521, for the record). Learn more.
RVers abandoning RV parks, saying they don’t need ‘amenities’ or ‘folks just stopping by to say hi’
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? In this week’s compilation by Nanci Dixon, we hear from several readers who cite their perceived reasons for the crowding and increased fees, another solution to avoid crowding and high fees by a DIYer, and an RVer who asks for your advice due to concerns with neighbors.
Click here to read, and comment
Alaska travel guide available this week
If you’re traveling or thinking about traveling to Alaska, you need The Milepost, the best-selling travel guide to Alaska. It includes mile-by-mile descriptions of more than 15,000 miles of road in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. Its 700-plus pages detail accommodations, camping, fishing, gas stops, restaurants, attractions and services found along the highways and byways of Alaska and western Canada. Learn more or order.
NEW! RV Video Tour
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!
2023 Coachmen Freelander Class C motorhome… toy hauler?
By Cheri Sicard
The team from Big Truck Big RV recently traveled to the Houston RV show to take a look at some of the newest RVs. In the video below they take us through the 2023 Coachmen Freelander Class C motorhome. There are some big changes and unique features in this Class C. From the outside, it looks like any other Class C, but when you step inside you can see the difference. So what is the big secret of this particular motorhome that makes it so unique?
Click here to find out on a tour
That was the RV week that was
April 8–14, 2023
RV retail registrations in February 2023 declined 24.8% to 25,102 from 33,423 units registered the same month last year, according to Statistical Surveys. Wholesale shipments by manufacturers in February ended the month with 24,903, down from 38,522.
As of Friday, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose nine cents from the week before to hit $3.64. The main culprit is the high cost of oil, gasoline’s main ingredient, which is hovering in the low $80s per barrel. The national average has risen daily since March 29. Friday’s national average of $3.64 was 17 cents more than a month ago but 44 cents less than a year ago.
Yosemite National Park has a lot of snow! The April 1 snow surveys in the Merced and Tuolumne River basins showed snowpack (based on water content) was a little more than 240% of average, a record. This will make for spectacular waterfalls… maybe too spectacular. There may be occasions between late April and early July when Yosemite Valley is inaccessible due to flooding. River-related recreation is likely to be unavailable until sometime in July even when Yosemite Valley is open. Tioga, Glacier Point, and Mariposa Grove Roads will open much later than usual.
SoftStartRV™, a longtime supporter of RVtravel.com, has redesigned its energy management device to be 40 percent smaller, to fit in most all RV air conditioners. It also increased its discount to the readers of RVtravel.com. Learn more. SoftStartRV™ is an affiliate sponsor of RVtravel.com
Love’s Travel Stops recently completed the acquisition of EZ GO from Oklahoma-based Carey Johnson Oil Company. The acquisition includes six travel stops located on Oklahoma turnpikes, five on the Kansas turnpike and 11 convenience stores in Oklahoma and Nebraska. This is the first time Love’s footprint will include locations on a turnpike. Love’s continues to add RV parks at their locations across the country, as we reported several issues ago.
According to an investigation by Cape May County Fire Marshal and the New Jersey State Fire Marshals Office, a massive fire in Upper Township, NJ, destroyed more than 12 trailers and heavily damaged 14 others at the Seaville Shores Campground on Tuesday. The scene was chaotic as emergency crews arrived, with explosions, propane tanks igniting, and heavy smoke blocking sunlight. Fortunately, there were no civilian injuries reported, but one firefighter was taken to a hospital for evaluation and was released shortly after.
The world’s largest cornhole tournament returns to Ventura, California, August 25 to 27. The tournament will take over the entire Ventura Fairgrounds this year and its organizers have added RV camping to the agenda. A four-day pass provides a 20’ x 50’ RV site with 30-amp electricity and daily fresh water and wastewater service. Continue reading.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, with more than 75 campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada, set another all-time revenue record in 2022 boosted by an increase in both same-park sales and new locations. Last year, total revenues grew by 12.2%, with same-park sales up 2.7%.
And speaking of Jellystone Parks, 25 of its locations across the U.S. are rolling out new attractions this year, ranging from multilevel water playgrounds and swim-up bars to rope courses and laser tag fields. Its Bostic, North Carolina, park is building an alpine coaster that will feature 1,025 feet of “up” track and 2,515 feet of “down” track, for a total ride of 3,540 feet. It’s expected to open by Memorial Day weekend.
Camping World Holdings will acquire Travel Land RV Center in Houghton Lake, Michigan. This acquisition is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2023 and will become the company’s seventh Michigan location. It is also acquiring All Seasons RV in Bend, Oregon, bringing its total national retail network to “pretty close to 200 real legitimate dealerships,” says Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis.
A new RV park is scheduled to open in New Braunfels, Texas, May 1, near Lake Dunlap. Canopy RV Resort is expected to offer nearly 300 RV sites for both long- and short-term stays. Among other things, it will include a resort-style pool, gym, lighted pickleball courts, dog parks, playground, a walking trail and dedicated fiber optic Internet for every site. Prime season stays will cost about $71 to $97 a night.
Some drivers have experienced problems with their Ford 10R80 transmissions. The drivers of the SUV/trucks have described their transmissions as “slipping,” “jerking,” “harsh” or “rough,” while others say theirs make a loud “clunking” noise and hesitate between gears. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org suspect that Ford knows (or should know) about the problem but is not working to address it. The attorneys are considering a lawsuit to help drivers get back the money they spent on repairs and force Ford to fix the issue. If you’ve had problems visit this page to learn more.
Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California will transition to a fully cashless pay system starting May 1, 2023. Instead of bringing your extra cash, be sure to pack your credit and debit cards along with payment apps on your mobile devices. Farther south, Death Valley National Park will do the same beginning June 1.
Yellowstone National Park will open select roads to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 21, weather permitting. Roads routinely open this time of year and remain open until Nov. 1, when they close in preparation for the winter season. This annual opening allows visitors to explore the park’s natural beauty, including routes from West Entrance to Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful. Norris Junction to Canyon Village will also be accessible. Entrance fees will be waived on April 22 as part of National Park Week, offering visitors a chance to experience Yellowstone’s unparalleled beauty for free.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW? In Japan, the largest group of RV owners are in their 60s; however, the 50s and 70s group is also steadily increasing. Enthusiasts between 50 and 70 account for 70% of the country’s total RV ownership.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA, are reopening the foothills and Grant Grove areas after weeks of road closures due to flooding and road damage. Access to the foothills of Sequoia National Park is now restored, and the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park reopened on April 7. This reopening provides nature and camping enthusiasts with the opportunity to explore the national parks and also benefits nearby private campgrounds.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recreation managers are delaying the seasonal opening of the Yellowbottom Campground, located about 20 miles outside of Sweet Home, Oregon, because of potential safety hazards. Existing reservations through the end of May will be canceled and refunded in the coming days.
How would you like to win a set of Road Flairs and Emergency Car Kit?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 15, 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.
Were your parents happy about your career choice?
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
We haven’t read this yet, but it sounds very interesting. It’s something we’d all find interesting, considering it’s something we use every day! Check it out.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of April 10, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.60
Change from week before: Up 10 cents; Change from year before: down 50 cents.
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 98 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Super Simple Tuna Cakes & Tartar Sauce
by Charlene Knaps from Knoxville, TN
Tuna cakes are very pantry-friendly and this super simple recipe is delicious. Pan-fried, they’re crispy outside and full of flavor. Store-bought stuffing helps to bulk them up a bit. The homemade tartar sauce is creamy and tangy and can be whipped up in a snap. It’s the perfect complement to the cheesy, zesty tuna cakes. Serve them as a main meal or an appetizer.
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.
Ever wonder why squirrels are called squirrels? Well, according to the book Word and Phrase Origins, here’s why: “The Greeks were impressed not so much by this bright-eyed rodent’s acrobatic performances in trees as by its bushy tail, which they believed the animal wrapped around it like a parasol when the sun was too strong. So they named the animal skiouros, ‘shadow-tail,’ from their words for shade, skia, and tail, oura, meaning shadytail, the animal that makes shade with its tail. The allusion was pleasant, poetic, but the road to our world, squirrel, proved difficult. Skiouros became sciurus in Latin and then escureul in French before going through nearly a score of English spellings and becoming the squirrel that we know today.”
Laugh of the Week
Facebook Groups for RVers
Great places to seek and share information.
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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Squirrel aka Tree Rat. Things have a mind of their own.
I would like to know how many rv parks have gone dark meaning that they don .t allow the obnoxious led awning lights that obstruct the view of the night sky and shine into your rv space
The article on Thor is not entirely correct. It’s Thor Motorhomes that is offering the rebate but Thor Motorhomes is not the largest RV manufacturer. Thor Motorhomes is owned by THOR INDUSTRIES which also owns Air Stream, Tiffin and several other RV makers. Thor Industries with all its companies is the largest producer of RV’s.
Michigan gas prices, regular $3.79
Remember price vary everywhere you drive,. Don’t understand why station owners or who ever do this to us!
We have a nice ‘16 class A gasser, that has all the valves and water shutoffs in great locations. My buddy’s BRAND NEW C however, is unbelievably silly. While deWinterizing this unit, I had to
1.) take the bed apart to access the tank drain and filter canister.
2) pull two galley drawers out to access the hot H2O bypass.
3) crawl under a slide out to hook up a sewer and tank flush.
The booklet that he got with this rv was no help in locating these items. “ location will vary according to model”
WHO DESIGNS THESE THINGS?
Whoever it was never owned one. “Let’s make them pretty, who cares about convenience and functionality?” Not much different than new cars. 5 hours to replace spark plugs, one is always hidden behind a myriad of other things..