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Saturday, May 13, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
New report says it’s five times harder to find campsites now than in 2019
The #1 camping information and booking app, The Dyrt, says it was nearly five times harder to find campsites in 2022 than it was in 2019. The new 2023 Camping Report reveals that last year was the most booked-up year on record, with campsites being twice as scarce in 2022 as they were in 2021. Learn more.
Will timed entry into National Parks work with your RVing plans?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
In 1912, John Muir, a naturalist and considered the “father of the national parks,” wrote a letter concerning Yosemite National Park. Muir had attended a conference about the park and wrote the major issue of the conference was, “The great question Shall automobiles be allowed to enter Yosemite?” The answer has been made clear. Muir’s “blunt-nosed mechanical beetles,” as he called them, indeed gained access to Yosemite, and to all of America’s national parks. If Muir were around today, he’d no doubt despair at the long lines at entry stations. Save for, perhaps, in parks where timed entry passes are mandated. Learn more.
Some Arkansas residents opt for drug addicts over RVers
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Hot Springs, Arkansas, has a little drug problem. Described as a “magnet for crime,” Shorecrest Lake Cottages is a little 4-acre patch on a lake in Hot Springs. It sports more than 30 old, “dilapidated” cottages, where locals dismay that drug addicts hang out, and at times, toss hypodermic needles onto neighboring property. It seems everyone agrees it’s a problem. But when new owners offered to tear down the cottages and upgrade the property, it seems locals would prefer drug addicts to RVers. Continue reading.
Homeless people living in RVs stretch for miles in wealthy county
The epidemic of “houseless” people who live on the streets in mostly old or dilapidated RVs continues to grow. In this case, they line a stretch just off U.S. 101 in Novato, California, for two miles in one of the wealthiest counties in America, where the average home price last year exceeded $1.4 million. Learn more and see a video of the remarkable scene.
Sleep tourism aims to provide travelers with good night’s sleep
Is there no end to the ways the travel industry can find new ways to promote itself? The latest trend, according to a press release we received in the RVtravel.com newsroom, is “sleep tourism.” The premise is that millions upon millions of people are sleep-deprived. What they yearn for, perhaps more than sipping margaritas in Hawaii or visiting historic castles, is getting a good night’s sleep. We should pause to note that many RVers would say that traveling with their RV accomplishes that mission very well. Read more.
Angry, foul-mouthed Winnebago Man dies at age 93
Jack Rebney, the foul-mouthed Winnebago pitchman made famous in one of America’s first viral YouTube videos, died Wednesday at age 93 in southern Oregon. It was 1988 when Rebney was hired to do a series of commercials introducing new Winnebago motorhomes. After the shoot, the crew put together a compilation of profanity-laced outtakes which ended up on YouTube. To his millions of fans Rebney became known as the “angriest man in America.” He was later featured in the documentary “Winnebago Man.” RVtravel.com will have more about Rebney in an upcoming article. Our technical advisor Dave Solberg was a part of the crew that shot the commercials and will share his memories about the filming and the Winnebago Man himself.
New Jersey community perplexed by 500 lbs. of pasta found near stream
By Gail Marsh
Imagine walking along a trail in New Jersey on a fine, spring day. You step around the bend and see (wait for it) pasta! That’s right! Spaghetti, elbow noodles, penne, and even Spaghetti-O’s! We’re not talking just a little pasta! No, this is a prodigious pile of pasta. 500 pounds of pasta, according to authorities. Yipes! Continue reading.
RV parks changing their names to ‘RV resorts’ so they can charge more, but no ‘resort’ amenities to be found
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? This week, Nanci Dixon shares with us some of your recent emails about campgrounds, including from a very unhappy lifetime camper who is almost done with camping due to “outrageous” prices. Or how about a 57-year-old who can’t stay at a 55+ park because his wife is 47? (Sheesh!) More advice from campers about getting a spot, including a technique that surprisingly works. And one RVer has noticed that campgrounds are calling themselves “resorts” but with no resort upgrades. Have you noticed that?
RV Video Tour
First-of-its-kind 2024 RV generates its own water!
By Cheri Sicard
Crowded campgrounds? Who cares? This 2024 RV, the first of its kind in the industry, offers perpetual resource generation. That means total electric independence and the industry’s first water-from-air generation system. The world is now your campground!
That was the RV week that was
May 6–12, 2023
According to the RV Industry Association, 37% of American leisure travelers, representing 67 million people, plan to take an RV trip in 2023.
Allstate has compiled driving data from 200 cities across the country and Boston was ranked the most dangerous to drive in. Boston residents go an average of 3.7 years between collisions. Nearby Worcester landed the next worst spot, coming in at 199. The safest city? Brownsville, Texas.
Love’s Travel Stops has opened two new locations, both offering RV overnight parking. The first, in Mansfield, Louisiana, will soon include 21 hookup sites. The other, in Harlingen, Texas, has four non-hookup sites. Both have dog parks. In February, the company announced it would open 25 new travel stops and 15 Love’s Truck Care and Speedco locations this year.
A motorhome went up in flames last Tuesday in Westport, Wash. Nobody was hurt, but the RV was toast. The RV’s occupant said the fire was caused by a candle burning in the bathroom.
Winnebago Industries, Inc. is recalling certain 2020-2023 Travato, 2021-2023 Solis and 2022-2023 EKKO motorhomes equipped with certain Cummins Onan QG 2800i and Onan QG 2800i EVAP generator sets. The fuel hose between the fuel filter and injection pump module (IPM) may have not been properly secured which can cause a gasoline leak. Learn more.
Due to heavy snow, the reopening of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is scheduled for June 2 for the 2023 season
Two campgrounds in Yosemite National Park at two lodges, Tuolumne Meadows and White Wolf, will remain closed for the season due to the harsh winter and record-breaking snowpack. The National Park Service confirmed that the opening dates for campgrounds and other facilities at those sites have not yet been determined.
Lippert has reported a decline in revenue for the first quarter of 2023, attributed to a drop in North American RV wholesale shipments and selling prices. The company’s net sales for the quarter were $973.3 million, a 41% decrease compared to $1.6 billion in the same quarter of 2022.
Campspot, a leading online marketplace for RV resorts, cabins, and campsites, has announced the most popular and top trending states for camping in the U.S. this summer. According to the data, the most popular states for camping this summer are: 1) Michigan, 2) California, 3) Wisconsin, 4) Montana and 5) Maine.
RVshare, the largest RV rental website, has teamed up with Campground Views to give campground owners an opportunity to boost RV campsite reservations. Through their partnership, registered campsites can get $600 towards Campground View’s Virtual Tour technology. This will allow them to capture 360-degree virtual videos of their property and RV spaces, which can be embedded in their websites and booking engines. Campgrounds that have adopted this technology have observed a 244% surge in online reservations, a 40% reduction in call volume, and twice the average length of stay.
An 8-year-old boy who was missing for two days in a remote Michigan park after looking for firewood around his campsite was found alive and in good health on May 8. Nante Niemi was discovered under a log about two miles away from his family’s campsite at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. According to Michigan State Police, Nante covered himself with branches and leaves for warmth, and ate clean snow for hydration, before he was rescued. He was reunited with his family after more than 150 search and rescue personnel searched a 40-square mile area of the 60,000-acre park.
The Gulfport City Council in Florida has passed an amended RV ordinance following months of discussion over parking regulations on private property. The changes ease certain restrictions on RV owners, including the removal of most setback requirements, except for a three-foot separation from the residence for fire safety reasons. While parking RVs in front of residences is still prohibited, the new ordinance provides much-needed relief to Gulfport residents who own RVs.
Oregon state parks have installed electric vehicle charging stations in a joint effort between private and public stakeholders. Rivian, Adopt A Charger, and Entec Polymers have collaborated with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to install 17 EV chargers across six state parks. The project aims to promote sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation in the state, with the new EV chargers supporting zero-emission travel to popular destinations.
Washington state’s Hurricane Ridge inside Olympic National Park lost its historic lodge to a fire this week. The lodge was undergoing a rehabilitation project and unoccupied at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported. Firefighters from Clallam County Fire District 2 and Port Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene. The lodge had been closed since March 27 due to construction work. Unfortunately, park officials have confirmed that the historic building, which housed interpretive exhibits, a gift shop, and a café, is now a complete loss. The cause of the fire is unknown.
A woman from Albion, Maine, died after suffering burns from a campfire. 46-year-old Liza Bragg was injured while standing near someone who was attempting to start a fire at D&R Campground on Pellerin Drive last Friday. She was taken to a local hospital before being transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she later died from her injuries. The Maine Department of Public Safety is investigating.
National Park Service officials are seeking help from the public in locating a 25-year-old man who went missing after a camping trip in California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Trammell Evans was last seen on April 30 at the Black Rock Campground, and officials believe he was hiking alone.
Beechwood Campground in Michigan’s Ludington State Park, the largest campground along the shore of Lake Michigan, is closed for construction. The campground contains more than 40 percent of the park’s campsites. It will remain closed until at least June 30.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has paused taking reservations for camping at the Huckleberry Recreation Site near St. Maries, Idaho. Construction to modernize and upgrade the campground’s electrical system will begin this coming week and is expected to last through late summer. The east side of the Huckleberry Recreation Site will remain available for day use activities only. Entry to the west side of the site will not be permitted, including to the RV dump station.
INFORMATION REQUEST: RVtravel.com is working on an article about RV seatbelt safety. Do you know of anyone who was injured in a motorhome crash who was buckled up at the dinette or on the sofa? If so, please contact Chuck Woodbury at email@example.com with details. Thank you.
How would you like to win this magnetic indoor/outdoor dartboard?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (May 13, 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.
How often do you go out to eat?
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
You’re a professional RVer, you’re a professional marshmallow roaster, you’re a professional fill-in-the-blank… but we bet you’re also a professional THIS! Aren’t you? Don’t lie…
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 8, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.53
Change from week before: Down 7 cents; Change from year before: Down 80 cents.
Change from week before: Down 10 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.70.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
Grilled Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
by Robert Priddy from Tahlequah, OK
Shrimp tacos are a summertime favorite and these are scrumptious. When you eat them, you’ll think they came from an awesome food truck. The grilled shrimp have just the right amount of spice and smokiness. They are fantastic in a taco paired with cool, fresh ingredients. These shrimp tacos will disappear in no time… so good!
Have you ever thought, “Boy, that cheese smells like stinky feet!” Well, you’re not alone and there’s a reason why it sometimes smells like that. The bacteria that creates that gross sweaty-gym foot smell is called Brevibacterium linens. That same bacterial strain is used to ferment several varieties of cheese such as Munster, Raclette and Limburger. Limburger is one of the stinkiest cheeses, so if you don’t like that smell, stay away from that one (although we find it quite yummy…).
Laugh of the Week
Brand new book! Van and RV Camping in State Forests
Our friends at Roundabout Publications have done it again—they’ve published another helpful book for RVers. This one is for RV camping at 585 camping areas in 298 forests across 25 states. Save money by camping on public lands managed by government agencies. Having this book will save you money! Learn more or order.
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 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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So, it has been revealed, right in this very newsletter, that clean water can be generated from air! I hope that with this technology I never have to see another ad on TV about people suffering from lack of clean water to drink and cook with.
Why does the weekly gas prices not include the California prices anymore. Just curious.
Hi, Royce. In case you don’t see my reply to Bill, I’ll repeat it here: A reader (not from California) wondered why we singled out California’s gas prices when there are several other states with higher gas prices than most. That’s all. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Thank you for your reply.
You’re welcome, Royce.👍 (FYI, Washington state’s gas/diesel prices are quite high, also.) Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
We have often wondered in the 10+ years we have been full timers why RV Parks consider themselves resorts when they have nothing even close. No one seemed to know. To us, a Resort is the place that has every amenity you can think of for both kids and adults with variety of activities and events, and a place with a bathroom that allows tents, is a campground, like state parks. We also found that they charge for their name, many we stayed in had price of Resort but were campgrounds. We know these need to make an income, but at what cost, where will they be when we are gone!
My experience has been that parks claiming to be a “resort” is that they have been a less desirable place to stay. The “campgrounds” where we have stayed have been by & large much nicer places so I am often leary of what these parks will be like. Generally they are ok, but not as nice as those described simply as “campgrounds”.