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Saturday, May 6, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
No need to plan your next RV trip! Artificial intelligence (AI) can now do it for you!
By Randall Brink
The world of travel has changed significantly in the past few years, with technology playing a significant role in how we travel, explore, work, and live on the road. A new innovation to hit the RV scene is AdventureGenie, an artificial intelligence trip-planning tool specifically designed for RVers. Read more.
New research suggests that LED lights may harm your health
By Randall Brink
As LED lights have become increasingly popular, concerns have risen that they could be harmful to your health. While LED technology offers energy efficiency and longer-lasting bulbs, recent research suggests that exposure to LED lights may suppress melatonin production and potentially cause damage to the retina of the eye. Learn more.
Game-changing new features released on The Dyrt: Free camping, $0 reservation fees, offline maps, more
The #1 app for camping, The Dyrt, has launched several new features for 2023. These new features will change the game for RVers and campers, saving you money and time. Their app lists the most campgrounds, reviews and tips of all other camping apps. Learn more about these very helpful new features here.
RV owners battle manufacturer over faulty roof: Extended warranty offers prove insufficient
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Early last month we wrote about two RVTravel.com readers with a weird problem. Their brand-new Forest River travel trailer came equipped with a roof that in some ways resembled a wavy potato chip. Gregg and Cathy P.’s 2023 Apex Nano had the relatively new Crossflex roof membrane, which should be flat and tight. Their roof had ripples and bubbles. After a bit of a tussle, Forest River offered the couple a five-year extended warranty on the roof, covering all parts and labor. Sound good? It did at first. But here’s the rest of the not-so-great rippled-roof story.
Starlink News: SpaceX speeds up launches of satellites, makes improvements, expands coverage
By Randall Brink
As SpaceX advances its plans to complete a global broadband internet network, the company has recently accelerated the launches of its next-generation Starlink V2 satellites. More than 4,000 units have achieved low-Earth orbit (LEO) to date, but more are coming. Learn more.
Boy’s Make-A-Wish RV dream turned into a nightmare. Can you help?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When Layton Williamson was only 2, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It metastasized, heading up toward his lung. But Layton was tough. Through surgery and radiation, he beat it. The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Camping World provided Layton and his family with a travel trailer, which they enjoyed for a couple of years. But recently it was stolen. Can you help find it? Learn more (includes update).
Weekenders are hogging the parks, making longer reservations impossible
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs. Has that changed campground crowding? Every week Nanci Dixon summarizes some of your emails and comments relating your experiences. This week she heard from an RVer who says having to make reservations so far ahead is difficult due to weekend campers making it difficult to book longer stays at campgrounds. Veteran “resident volunteers” at RV campgrounds say it’s getting more and more difficult to make reservations, and they sense a change coming. Do you?
RV Video Tour
Tour the beautiful 2023 Tiffin Phaeton 40IH Class A motorhome
By Cheri Sicard
Take a tour of the new Tiffin Phaeton 40IH Class A diesel pusher motorhome with one of our favorite RV review channels, Big Truck Big RV. Not the top of the line, this is considered one of Tiffin’s mid-level motorhomes. Even so, this rig is far nicer than many bricks-and-sticks homes!
That was the RV week that was
April 29 – May 5, 2023
The New York Times reported on the sudden decline in the RV industry. Dealers, it wrote, who “stocked up on as many trailers and vans as they could, have been discounting them to clear their lots — and new orders have dried up. The [Elkhart, Indiana] area has lost nearly 7,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year, and unemployment is now above the national average. Thor Industries, which owns a wide portfolio of RV brands, saw its sales tumble 39.4 percent from the quarter a year ago.”
California State Parks will delay opening some campgrounds in the Lake Tahoe region due to the historic snowpack. The opening of campgrounds at Emerald Bay State Park, Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, Grover Hot Springs State Park, Plumas-Eureka State Park, and Tahoe State Recreation Area will be delayed for Memorial Day weekend. Donner Memorial State Park may also be delayed in opening.
Weather permitting, the road from the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park near Cody, Wyoming, to Fishing Bridge Junction (Sylvan Pass), and Canyon Village to Lake Village, was expected to open yesterday.
Washington state’s Mount Rainier National Park is considering implementing a timed-entry system in 2024 for visitors during the summer season. From 2008 to 2021, annual visitation rose from 1.1 million visits to more than 1.7 million. Some visitors currently experience wait times of more than an hour to enter. Comments are being accepted through June 11.
Winnebago Industries has completed its acquisition of Lithionics Battery (“Lithionics”), a lithium-ion battery solutions provider to the recreational equipment and specialty vehicle markets.
The all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma pickup world debut is coming on May 19. Among other new features, the truck will be available with a six-speed manual transmission.
The Bureau of Land Management has opened Trinity River campgrounds along California Route 299. The north state campgrounds are first-come, first-served, with no reservations available. The maximum stay is 14 days. Details, including maximum RV lengths, are available here.
Sun Outdoors announced today that its highly anticipated Florida Keys resort, Sun Outdoors Islamorada, has officially opened for business. With something for guests of all ages, Sun Outdoors Islamorada offers tropical waters, outdoor excursions and unrivaled amenities for RVers. The park has 82 full-hookup RV sites for short-term and long-term stays. Read more here.
Vintage trailer fans nationwide will gather for Pismo Vintage Trailer Rally on May 18-20, 2023, at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort in California. The yearly tradition for vintage trailer fans sees 300+ restored trailers from the ’30s to ’70s gathered to celebrate their iconic history, restoration, and preservation, showcasing their integral part of American culture. The event is open to the public.
Come January 1, 2028, California will ban the use of non-reusable one-pound propane cylinders. The ubiquitous “little green tanks” will be a thing of the past. Refillable 1-pound maker Little Kamper has set off on a media campaign to entice more customers away from the non-refillable competition. The Manteca, California-based outfit says it has expanded its relationship with more Ace Hardware stores across the country. Purchase a new cylinder for about $22, you can exchange it for a fresh one for about $12. Sound a little spendy? Check out an alternative, safe and legal alternative here.
Beginning June 1, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park will only accept mobile or electronic payments for entrance and permit fees. Visitors who can only pay with cash may purchase a prepaid pass from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Store at Beaver Meadows, Fall River or Kawuneeche Visitor Centers.
Colorado’s Paonia State Park is closed to the public until crews can repair damage to Colorado Highway 133 that has temporarily shut off access to its entrance.
Expect traffic delays for the next three years along a 75-mile stretch of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway because of a repaving project that will require single-lane closures and some full closures. The project began a few days ago.
California-based luxury glamping company Autocamp has opened its newest location in Virgin, UT, just outside of Zion National Park. Guests can stay in one of 80 Airstream trailers at the resort that have been renovated and redesigned with individual private bathrooms, queen-size beds, kitchenettes, and dining areas.
Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park opened its lottery today for viewing blue ghost and synchronous fireflies at a series of events later this month and next. The lottery will be open until midnight, May 11. Synchronous fireflies are the only species that can synchronize flash patterns when looking for potential mates. Read more about the fireflies here.
Subway restaurants is pursuing a partnership with GenZ EV Solutions, a provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, that will eventually include the opening of “Subway Oasis” charging parks at select locations. The parks will feature charging canopies with multiple ports, picnic tables, Wi-Fi, restrooms, green space and playgrounds.
After years of careful development, on May 12, Natural Bridge Caverns will open its most ambitious tour: Hidden Wonders. Already Texas’ largest and most visited commercial cave, the new multi-million-dollar tour features state-of-the-art lighting, a sound and light show, and expansion into new areas. Development of the cavern began in 2017.
A woman was bitten by a rabid bat while trying to move it off a garbage can outside the gas station at Stovepipe Wells Village in Death Valley National Park, CA, on April 28. The woman has no symptoms and is undergoing treatment.
Private fuel services are no longer available in Elk City, Idaho, this spring. Traveling the more than 50 miles between Grangeville to Elk City will not include fueling services.
Big Oak Flat Road, a continuation of Highway 120 west into Yosemite National Park, NP, will be closed until at least mid-June from just inside the park boundary to Merced Grove because of a dangerous 200-foot long, four-foot-deep crack.
A grizzly bear was shot and killed just outside Yellowstone National Park, WY, on Monday. If you were in this area and happened to notice anything suspicious, or possibly have any other information regarding this, please contact Wyoming Game and Fish at 307-777-4600.
Organizers of the 68th Annual California RV Industry Show in Pomona, California, have changed the event’s date from its original schedule of October 25-29 to October 4-8, 2023.
Where did this RV show take place?
It’s not the USA or Canada. Can you guess? The answer is below, above the staff box.
How would you like to win a delicious 4-pack of Righteous Felon Beef Jerky? Yum!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (May 6, 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.
Is there someone famous in your family tree, past or present?
Please tell us here, and leave a comment!
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Your wife is weird, right? And wives, your husband is weird, too, right? Well, you certainly need these, you weirdos!
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 1, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.60
Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Down 58 cents.
Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.49.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
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Recipe of the Day
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Gooey Bars
by Gina Collier from Shelbyville, TN
These cookie bars are fantastic! The bananas with chocolate and peanut butter is a great flavor combination. And, the banana-flavored crust is a great idea. We loved the different textures in the bars and can’t wait to make these again.
In the English language, “screeched” is the longest one-syllable word and “dreamt” is the only word that ends with the letters “mt.”
Laugh of the Week
Brad Campbell posted this on Facebook and wrote, “Decisions…” Ha!
Today in History
The RV Show pictured far above took place in South Korea, where RVing is very popular.
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. Moderators: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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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Got bit by a bat trying to remove it off the garbage can. Uh huh….me thinks I see an L on your forehead. As for the east entrance into Yellowstone? We did that. Boy was that not fun towing in there. Winding curves, braking…O am I glad that trip is off the bucket list.
Question how many rv parks have banned outside led lights. they are obnoxious and they shine into other rv sites and block the viewing of the stars at night. i hear complaints all the time as i manage a rv park in the NW
Simple solution. Campgrounds can implement a “Dark Sky” rule. Outside lights out at a given time. Violation should result in a warning. Second offence and stay is terminated!
Artificial is just a synonym for fake and perhaps a bigger oxymoron than military intelligence. This from the folks who gave us pre-owned versus used.
Better start pushing back on AI, if not you will be sorry when it is unleashed to run everyday life the way they intend it to. Think China.
And now the news section reports that the CA RV show in Pomona, CA changed the dates, while your upcoming RV shows section still have the old dates.
Thanks, Paula. It’s been updated. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Hate to say but FR has the most recalls we have ever seen and I would’ve taken pictures of everything, we have seen our own “get worked on” and said it was and had pictures to prove it wasn’t. Surprised Dicor even asked that of them. If manufacturers would do quality over quantity, maybe they wouldn’t have had this happen. Both our RV’s had multiple issues before we even took it off the lot. Beware!!!!