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Saturday, June 17, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
Will the Camping World acquisition spree spell an end to local RV shows?
By Dave Helgeson (former long-time RV dealer and 29-year RV show manager)
Camping World continues to acquire more and more RV dealers on its “march on to world dominance.” … In some markets, Camping World has now acquired a fourth and possibly upwards of a third of the RV dealers that regularly exhibit at local RV shows. This begs the question of what will happen to local RV shows when “King Marcus Lemonis” invokes his policy of not supporting them? Read about some possible scenarios here.
More campers embracing artificial intelligence, says KOA. How about you?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Campground giant KOA, which has more spots across the U.S. than a kid with chickenpox, says “campers” are embracing artificial intelligence. The big company just released a report that says “campers” are far quicker to adopt “silicon chip brains” than are other travelers. We’d like to differentiate “campers” from RVers and get your opinion. Continue reading then let us know what you think (with your human intelligence).
RV park industry comes up short in disaster planning
By Andy Zipser
Just ahead of hurricane season, which officially kicked off June 1, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds held a webinar/campfire session about disaster planning. The session wasn’t without merit, but as with many ARVC offerings, it was more reactive than proactive, following the news rather than getting ahead of it. Moreover, the session failed to deliver on its timely promise that it would “consider insurance options,” the lack of which is shaping up as a crucial economic threat to the industry. … Meanwhile, it goes almost without saying that campgrounds and RV parks are more vulnerable than other businesses to environmental assault. Read more.
Camping World to offer exclusive RV brands at some stores
Camping World Holdings, Inc. is launching a new brand-specific dealership format. Select dealerships will focus solely on showcasing, selling and servicing specific brands. The rollout has begun with the opening of the Jayco Morgan Hill facility in California. Camping World is also collaborating with THOR’s Keystone RV division for potential single-brand stores in northern Michigan and Minnesota, and an undisclosed manufacturer-exclusive outlet is being developed near the recently acquired Van Boxtel RV in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Learn more.
Operating new electric Pebble RV aims to be as easy as an iPhone
A new RV manufacturer named Pebble has announced plans to develop a hassle-free electric travel trailer, which it calls an “RV experience.” The company says, “Pebble integrates some of the most advanced automotive and electric vehicle technology available today to streamline the user experience. The interior is equipped with everything users need to work, sleep, explore and relax comfortably that allows users to live off-grid for up to seven days.” Continue reading.
Reservations: ‘These days, you get what you’re willing to pay for’
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than was the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? This week Nanci Dixon shares Craig P.’s thoughts on the need to be flexible, especially since camping is different than times past. (What’s that got to do with “roadkill”?) Of course, there are more complaints about no-shows, and even more advice to be flexible (sounds like a good idea, since many folks mention that). [That reminds Diane of what’s on the bottom of Chris Guld’s (GeeksOnTour.com) emails: “Blessed be the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”] A couple of folks aren’t going to tell us their secrets about how and where they make their reservations. Aww, c’mon guys!
Three terrific travel trailers without dinettes
By Cheri Sicard
Looking for travel trailers WITHOUT dinettes? I can’t say I blame you. … If you, like me, are in the “I’d rather have more floor space than a dinette” category, Mike and Susan from RV Blogger have produced a video highlighting three of their favorite travel trailers without dinettes. Let’s look at the trailers Mike and Susan recommend.
June 10–16, 2023
Campground Views, where RVers can “drive through campgrounds” virtually from their computer or mobile device (like Google’s Street View) and reserve a campsite they like right on the spot, keeps growing. The innovative online resource has now passed 1,280 virtual tours and is adding dozens of locations each month. It now includes 65% of all Recreation.gov properties, all of the state park campgrounds in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and Louisiana, and a large and growing number of state parks in California and New Mexico.
KOA has received initial approval for a Terramor Glampground in Wilmington, New York, at what was formerly a KOA campground. The glampground, which would not accommodate RVs, could be filled with 80 platform-style “glamping” tents, a lodge and restaurant building, a pavilion and a pool with a cabana building, a general manager’s house and a dormitory-style building with enough rooms for up to 12 future employees.
A Hungarian company called Dembell (no, not dumbbell) is building a super-luxury motorhome that comes with its own car garage. It also has a walk-in shower, heated toilet seat (now that’s roughin’ it for you!), a wine cooler and retractable robe hanger. It’s only $1.5 million.
RV manufacturer Thor Industries has reported decreased profits and sales in its fiscal third quarter. During the quarter ending on April 30, Thor Industries earned $120.7 million, or $2.24 per share, in contrast to $348.1 million, or $6.32 per share, in the same period the previous year. Although sales dropped by 37.1% to $2.93 billion, Thor Industries fared better than analysts’ expectations of $2.81 billion, highlighting the company’s resilience in challenging circumstances.
Five dogs were killed in an RV fire at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The incident occurred the day before the start of the American Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show. Bystanders noticed smoke coming from the RV’s vents and attempted to rescue the dogs but couldn’t due to the flames and smoke. No humans were injured. An investigation is underway.
The National Park Service in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration is seeking public input on a proposed project to rehabilitate the Scenic Drive and multiple parking lots in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. Many of the park’s parking lots were designed and built in the 1960s, when the park received about 160,000 visitors a year. Currently, more than 1.2 million visit annually and improvements are needed for park infrastructure to accommodate the increase. Comment here.
A new initiative called TrailQuipt Bear Spray Rentals offers tourists the opportunity to rent bear spray at three locations in southwest Montana. The kiosks provide bear spray rentals starting at $16 for two days and $28 for two weeks, with a refundable deposit of $60. If the bear spray is unused, the deposit is returned. Reservations can be made online without a deposit, and the rentals can be returned to any of the three locations.
And speaking of bears, here’s a reminder to keep your windows closed when away from your vehicle in bear country. Workers for a glass company captured video when a bear wandered up to their New Hampshire work site, climbed into a truck and feasted on a worker’s lunch in the front seat. The good news? The hungry fellow left without leaving even a single scratch on the vehicle.
The start of summer is upon us and there’s some good news: Gas is cheaper than last year! Lackluster demand and low oil costs are keeping gas prices relatively stable. The national average for a gallon of gas rose two cents since Wednesday, to $3.58, but that’s a whopping $1.43 less than a year ago.
Camping platform The Dyrt has introduced a new feature called The Dyrt Alerts for its PRO members. This feature notifies campers about openings at previously fully booked campgrounds. With the increasing difficulty of finding available campsites, The Dyrt responded to user feedback by incorporating this alert system into its $35.99 annual PRO membership. PRO members now receive two reusable scans to track campground availability, allowing them to modify and update their searches without any extra fees. Try a PRO membership for free here.
Salt Lake City, Utah, will establish a sanctioned homeless campground. The Utah Office of Homeless Services plans to identify public land for safe parking and structured sanctioned encampments by 2025. The Utah Office of Homeless Services is collaborating with the state and Utah Department of Transportation to identify suitable lots for the campground.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, opened the Shady Creek Recreation Area campground, located near Muscatine, Iowa, on June 16. The opening was delayed due to infrastructure upgrades within the park. Need reservations? Visit www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
RVtravel.com contributing writer Dave Helgeson will present a seminar at this September’s Hershey RV Show titled “Dry Camping Tips and Tricks.” Here’s its description: “Thousands of designated (non-utility) campsites remain vacant every night, even in the busiest season. In these days of crowded campgrounds, learning how to become a better dry camper will give you the confidence to utilize a non-utility campsite for a couple of nights or longer when all the full-hookup sites are taken.” Read Dave’s stories on RVtravel.com here.
Sad news for some RV snowbirds who spend winters in Yuma, Arizona. The community’s YMCA will close August 11, ending recreational, fitness and other programs it has offered to area residents for nearly a quarter-century.
Monarch Alternative Capital LP, an investment firm with approximately $11 billion of assets under management, has formed Go Outdoors, a platform to acquire, develop, and operate marinas and RV resorts across the United States. Learn more.
Campers Inn RV is acquiring Dylan’s RV Center in Sewell, New Jersey. The 48,500-square-foot RV center sells type A, B and C motorhomes as well as providing service and RV storage. It is the second location Campers Inn RV acquired in New Jersey in the past year.
Ford is recalling certain 2019-2023 F-Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, and F-600 SuperCab trucks and three-passenger front bench seat regular cab vehicles. The owner’s manual does not include instructions for adjusting or removing certain head restraints. Ford’s number for this recall is 23C20. Contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332 to learn more.
FUNNY: Break-in at the Apple store! Police are looking for iWitnesses.
How would you like to win this 4-pack of camping-themed kitchen towels?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 17, 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 long is your RV?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Early-morning crooks made off with a big haul in Henderson, Nevada. On June 8, sometime close to 5:00 a.m., the bad guys made off with a brand-new 2023 Entegra Vision XL 34G. The “vanishing point” was in the 300 block of Calabria Beach Street. Photos show the rig itself, and a person and vehicle of interest. The stolen rig was last seen with Arizona temporary tag 5477R29. Know something? Call the Henderson Police at 702-267-5000.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Who said you couldn’t wash dishes with an old cassette? You can! See what we mean, and make sure you enlarge the photo—it’s punny!
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Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 12, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.60
Change from week before: Up 5 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.41.
Change from week before: Down <1 cent; Change from year before: Down $1.92.
For fuel prices for specific states, go to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
New Facebook Group from RVtravel.com: RVing the Midwest.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
by Kitchen Crew from Nashville, TN
Grilling bacon-wrapped pineapple is a delicious marriage of sweet, smoky, and salty flavors. We’ve amped the flavor even more with a brush of spiced brown sugar maple glaze in this recipe. The bacon is slightly precooked before wrapping the pineapple chunks. This, and finishing cooking the bacon on a layer of foil, helps the bacon become crisp and prevents flame flare-ups from excess grease. The final result is crispy sugared bacon wrapped around the juicy, tart and sweet pineapple. Yum! If you’re looking for an easy and flavorful appetizer for your next BBQ, give these a try.
We can credit Shakespeare for making up more than 1,700 words that we use today. Some of these include: critical, lonely, road, suspicious, gloomy and eventful. Click here to see a list of more words.
Laugh of the Week
“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.” —Rita Rudner
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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