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Saturday, June 10, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
RV manufacturer touts new 7-year extended warranty – Is it for real?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We recently got hit with a media release from nuCamp, a truck camper and teardrop trailer builder. They touted their “Ultimate Protection Plan.” They offer nuCamp customers an optional seven-year RV extended warranty, said to rival many a third-party offering. nuCamp says it’s coverage you can count on. Not only is the plan fully transferrable to whom you sell your rig, nuCamp doesn’t charge any transfer fee. If something breaks and you do have to file a claim, you won’t need to stew about the cost of deductibles. There aren’t any. But is it for real? Find out here.
New BLM rule would lack congressional oversight and limit recreational access
By Randall Brink
As RVtravel.com reported in mid-April, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has autonomously declared its intent to impose radical changes to public land management regulations without congressional approval or oversight. The move has stirred controversy recently among federal land stakeholders, who have now had two months to analyze and dissect the BLM rulemaking push. If the rule passes, public lands could close for restoration. Continue reading.
Court rules in favor of ‘Corner Crossers’ on public lands in federal lawsuit
By Randall Brink
In a decision that has drawn nationwide attention, a U.S. federal court has ruled in favor of public land “Corner Crossers” in a contentious lawsuit. The ruling could represent a turning point in the discourse surrounding private property rights versus access to public lands. The issue is important to RVers who boondock and those who hike, hunt, fish, and recreate on the Mountain West public lands. Continue reading about this very interesting lawsuit.
Camping World stock shoots upward. What it means for RVers
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Last month Camping World’s price-per-share jumped up more than 20%. Earlier this week, Tuesday, Camping World stock value was up almost 27% since the turn of the year. Readers tell us they see Camping World and other dealerships around the country awash in new RVs. The big bull market for RV manufacturers has come to a screeching halt. So why is Camping World seemingly lighter than air? The answer may spell news that all RV buyers and sellers need to pay attention to. Continue reading.
Chuck Woodbury writes: “A gas station, about a thousand miles from me in the desert, is operating as a shrine to the Cheez-It cracker, complete with a gas pump that pumps — no, not petrol, but CHEEZ-ITs.” A Cheez-It addict, Chuck is both excited and yet incredibly disappointed about this. Read why.
Lippert launches revolutionary flexible solar awning
Lippert Components, Inc., announces the launch of Solera® OG, off-grid awnings constructed using the first-ever flexible solar awning fabric. Solera OG installs like a regular awning, but with Renogy’s proprietary thin-film solar technology, Lippert awnings provide the extra benefit of up to 300 watts of solar power, without the labor, expense, additional weight and roof intrusion of installing conventional rigid panels. Now this is cool!
$245 a night at a KOA—Where will it end??
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than had been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? This week’s observations from our readers, as reported by Nanci Dixon, include more tips on dealing with crowded, overpriced campgrounds and/or avoiding them. Also, we hear about the advantages of van life, an RVer who has had no complaints camping next to those less fortunate, and the cost of staying at a KOA in North Carolina. Yikes!
Tour this Class A motorhome with TWO bedrooms: 2023 Fleetwood Fortis 36Y
By Cheri Sicard
There is a lot to like about the Fleetwood Fortis gas-powered Class A motorhome, including an incredible outdoor kitchen, two bedrooms, and a great passenger pop-up workstation/desk. But there are a few questionable features, too. Take a tour and see what you think.
TEST YOURSELF! Can you name the seven continents from largest to smallest? Answer below.
June 3–9, 2023
California’s State Assembly has approved AB 618, a groundbreaking bill aimed at simplifying campsite reservations and enhancing the camping experience in state parks. AB 618 aims to tackle late cancellations and no-shows by implementing stricter penalties and will introduce a lottery system for highly coveted campsites. Learn more here.
In the past week, Camping World announced it’s acquiring Hitch RV’s three locations across Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and Halterman’s RV in the Seattle area. Both actions are expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park celebrated its 100th birthday this week. On June 8, 1923, it was proclaimed a National Monument by President Warren G. Harding. It later became a National Park.
A rare wolverine has been spotted in northern California. Keep your eyes open (and your camera with a telephoto lens handy — the creatures are ferocious) if you’re RVing in the Sierra Mountains in Northern California now. Multiple sightings of what is believed to be the same wolverine occurred in May in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. Two sightings were in the Inyo National Forest in Inyo and Mono counties. A third sighting occurred in Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne County. Learn more.
Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain Jayco pop-up trailers. They include the 2023 Jayco Swift, Swift LI, Entegra Ethos and Ethos LI recreational vehicles. The solar panel may detach from the trailer’s pop-up roof and become a road or other safety hazard. More.
One of the West’s most beautiful scenic vistas, closed for now, is expected to reopen this summer. Hurricane Ridge in Washington state’s Olympic National Park, closed after a fire on May 7th destroyed the 71-year-old Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge. “We are working as fast as we can to get Hurricane Ridge open safely for visitors,” said Park Superintendent Sula Jacobs. “Investigators are at the site looking into the cause of the fire. We’re also figuring out how to provide restrooms, how to manage parking, and how to eventually remove the lodge debris.”
Curtis Coleman, the founder of RVillage.com, a social media site similar to Facebook but for RVers only, has announced he is running for president of FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association. Coleman recently sold RVillage, which was subsequently shut down. FMCA, a club of mostly older RVers, has been bleeding members and has lost about $2 million in the last two years. Learn more about Coleman and his plans for FMCA.
Bad news for the RV industry but maybe good news for current RVers. Wholesale shipments from RV manufacturers to dealers in 2023 is projected to be right around 300,000, about half that of the 600,240 shipped in 2021. With campground crowding such a concern now, and obtaining reservations such a chore, perhaps the slowdown will open up some camping opportunities for current RVers after the huge influx of first-timers who have caused gridlock in some popular areas.
Good news for Michigan moose-watchers: The moose population in the state’s Upper Peninsula is just about the same as four years ago, according to a recent survey. This year’s survey showed 426 individuals, which is not statistically different from the 509 in 2019.
… and speaking of Michigan, its “Three Free” Weekend is today and tomorrow. State residents and visitors can grab a fishing rod, ride the off-road trails and visit state parks, boating access sites and other outdoor locations — all free of charge.
BC Ferries’ year-end results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023 (fiscal 2023) showed its highest vehicle traffic ever in its 63-year history. During the year, BC Ferries carried 9.4 million vehicles and 21.6 million passengers, an increase of 11 percent and 21 percent, respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year. The British Columbia company delivered 86,835 round trips, an increase of more than 4,000 trips over the prior year.
The former Lake Tahoe KOA is a KOA once again. Among other upgrades, the current owners are adding a new food truck that will sell beer, wine and local ice cream. The seasonal park is at 760 U.S. Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe, California. To make a reservation and receive additional information about the campground, click here.
RV-maker THOR Industries reported a significant sales decline in the April quarter but noted a gradual recovery as dealerships offered large discounts on older models. The company remains cautious due to rising interest rates impacting demand for big-ticket items and high inflation affecting discretionary purchases. Despite reduced spending in various sectors, travel-related demand remains strong. THOR may support dealers with larger promotions to sell the remaining 2022 inventory.
Ready to get off the road and settle down? In response to the high demand for luxury RV real estate, Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Yacht Haven Park & Marina has announced the sale of some of its premier rental resort lots. Interested buyers can now own a piece of RV paradise, with waterfront lots starting at $729,000. The purchase of a lot also offers the chance to rent it out when not in use, with nightly rates beginning at $155.
Wyoming’s Bear River State Park has welcomed a fuzzy, rare, 1-in-10-million white bison calf. The baby was born on May 16 and weighed about 30 pounds. These rare white bison hold significance for Native American tribes and are considered sacred. The unique snowy fur of the animal is attributed to its genetic composition, which includes Charolais cattle DNA. It is not albino.
In other (sad) bison news… The National Park Service is searching for two unidentified men who were “harassing” a bison calf at Grand Teton National Park. The incident happened last Sunday around 1 p.m., when the two men were seen approaching and petting the calf. Anyone with information is asked to call the park tip line at 307-739-3367. This come shortly after a similar incident in Yellowstone National Park. When will we learn?
Due to a rise in hazardous bear encounters caused by negligent food storage by campers, the U.S. Forest Service has indefinitely shut down Horse Creek Campground in northeast Tennessee. Wildlife experts from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have observed an alarming increase in dangerous interactions, particularly in areas north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To mitigate the risk of bear-human encounters, the national forest enforces strict rules regarding food safety and storage.
Authorities in the U.K. are warning visitors to ocean beaches to not use inflatable toys after two men drifted out to sea on an inflatable duck. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Appledore station said volunteers were conducting training exercises Tuesday when they received word that three men had floated away from Westward Ho! Beach on a giant inflatable duck. “There is no way to control these and they get pulled out from shore within seconds,” one rescuer said.
The city council of Portland, Oregon, voted 3 to 1 Wednesday to pass a new ordinance in response to its ongoing homelessness crisis. The ordinance prohibits camping in most public areas during the daytime. Mostly, the campers are in tents, not RVs. But Oregon’s largest city also has a substantial homeless population living in mostly older RVs on city streets. Read more.
IT’S GETTING HOT. Time to put a… swimming pool on your RV’s roof? Yep, that’s just what this RVing artist did. Cool! Literally!
How would you like to win these emergency food rations?
In case of an emergency, it’s good to have an emergency food supply. Don’t be without something like this!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 10, 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 likely would you stay more than one night at a location with no internet access of any kind?
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Retired? Great! We won’t put you to work, but we do insist you check this out. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get out of your recliner.
Speaking of mystery products…
This has been our #1 best-selling mystery product this year. We know why. All RVers can use, and will appreciate, this.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 5, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.54
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.34.
Change from week before: Down 6 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.91.
For fuel prices for specific states, go to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Ford is on track to increase production of the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center this fall to reduce customer wait times. Retail orders today are estimated to deliver as early as September. Ford also continues to accept retail customer orders for the Lariat and Platinum models. Learn more.
TEST YOURSELF ANSWER: The continents are, from largest to smallest:
Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. Did you get it right?
Recipe of the Day
by Karen Selznick from Orlando, FL
Wow, this quick bread is bursting with fresh blueberries. The moist bread is similar to a blueberry loaf cake. It’s so tender that our slice broke apart when we tried it. Perfect for breakfast or a snack. We suggest hiding this from your family if you want some. If you don’t hide it, they may eat the entire loaf themselves.
Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, might not be the birthplace of the hamburger, but it is the first restaurant to ever serve a hamburger. In 1900 Louis Lassen made and served the very first hamburger on two slices of toasted white bread with no “catsup.” The burgers served today are still cooked on the 1898 cast iron grill that cooked that first burger and they are still served on toasted white bread without “catsup.” And yes, it’s still open.
Laugh of the Week
Our staff comedian, Dave Solberg (did you know he used to do stand-up comedy?), sent us this earlier this week:
“After exhaustive research, I have concluded EternaBond is not the best for every application! However, it is still good for covering cracks.”
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 and Paul Lacitinola. Moderator: 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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