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Saturday, June 24, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
California generator “ban” fizzles – Cummins new generators on the way
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Back in late 2021, we reported on California’s potential ban of the sale of gas-fired portable generators. The “ban” allowed that by 2024, gas-fired generators would need to meet new, stringent air pollution standards. Many RVers were fired up, as the state’s Air Resources Board (CARB) lumped built-in generators, like the Onan brand, right along in the regulations. But CARB was sure the industry could respond. Onan’s manufacturer, Cummins, was not. Read the latest here.
A “common law”’ of outdoor recreation?
By Randall Brink
As outdoor recreation activities on public lands surge, government agencies and courts have embarked upon an expansive form of rulemaking that can be characterized as developing a “common law” of outdoor recreation. … But what exactly does this term mean? To understand, we must delve into the intersections of common law, legislative (in)action, the myriad forms of outdoor recreation, and the implications for public lands management. Read more.
RVtravel.com rescues reader from maddening Sprinter repair issue!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Last month, RVtravel.com reader Peggy E. read an article we published in 2021. The story was how RVers were being affected by an illegal emissions control scheme cooked up by Mercedes-Benz for Sprinter vans. While the company never admitted guilt, they did settle the matter, which alleged the company had installed emissions devices that made it appear their rigs were EPA complaint. Mercedes agreed to replace emissions equipment of affected vehicles. Peggy’s Winnebago Era was one of those affected by the Mercedes recall. Technically, this isn’t a “recall” but a settlement, but for ease we’ll use the term “recall.” Regardless of what you call it, Peggy was having big problems, and wrote a plaintive post on the RVtravel.com website. Read about it here and how RVtravel.com came to her rescue. Have you ever heard of anything like this?
Slab City – Will sale shut down legendary RV boondocking spot?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
“Everyone goes” — to Slab City. A retired Marine air base, Slab City is likely the most-visited non-conformist RV boondocking spot in the United States. Tucked into the Southern California landscape near Salton Sea, visitors are greeted by a monument built to faith, Salvation Mountain. But now there’s some question whether that mountain and the oddball RV squatters’ lifestyle associated with Slab City will continue. Read more about this very interesting [understatement] area.
Cannibalistic insects swarming town along I-80 eating everything in their path, including their own kind
You’d better have a strong stomach to read this story, which will bring to mind a bad horror movie. Massive swarms of crickets have invaded a Nevada town along I-80, eating everything in their path including their companions. If you happen to be heading across Nevada via I-80 right now (the most popular route), be careful: When the critters are crushed, they form a slimy surface, much like an oil slick that can send your vehicle slipping and sliding. Read more and watch the short video.
It’s time to “extend the camping season” and “build more campgrounds”!
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than was the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? Is it easier to find a campsite now? This week Nanci Dixon shares our readers’ comments regarding older RVers being the ones who originally paid for campgrounds but now can’t get into them if their RV is more than 10 years old, a Floridian who says they have to camp out of state due to crowding, and a full-timer who lists many pluses of living in a resort. Mathew S. says camping season should be extended, more campgrounds need to be built and the existing ones need to be enlarged. What do you think?
RV Video Tour
RV inspector’s picks: 3 best RV brands and models for travel trailers
By Cheri Sicard
Duane, a certified RV inspector from the RV Inspection and Care YouTube channel has become one of my favorite vloggers. Yes, his presentation could use a little spicing up, but his information is always rock solid. In the video below he answers a frequently asked question about his personal favorite best RV brands and models when it comes to travel trailers.
Snowbirds: Prepare to Hit the Road!
As you plan your fall and winter routes, remember that Tifton Overnight RV is the place to stay while you’re on the way! Located just off of I-75 at Exit 62 in South Georgia, this RV stop offers full hook ups, pull-through sites, a fenced dog park, and fast WIFI – and is within walking distance of restaurants including Starbucks, Waffle House, and Chick-fil-A. Learn more and book your stay today!
June 17–23, 2023
Washington state’s Olympic National Park will reopen the Hurricane Ridge area on June 27 after a fire destroyed the historic Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge on May 7. Parking spaces will be limited and there will not be any indoor spaces to protect visitors from inclement weather. Due to restroom capacity, the daily limit is 315 vehicles with the parking area supporting 175 vehicles at a time. Learn more.
The just-published second edition of the directory National Forest Camping profiles 4,108 designated camping areas at 141 forests in 42 states. It provides specific locations, how many campsites are available, what size RVs will fit, types of toilets, length of its season and camper stay limits, plus price, contact information and whether there’s a dumping station. Learn more.
Customers with RVs waiting for repairs at an Oklahoma Camping World were very unhappy campers when they received calls from the police saying their RVs had been vandalized. It turned out crooks had cut through the dealership’s chain-link fence and made off with seven catalytic converters worth $4,000 each, 15 spare tires and five TVs.
Southern California’s Leo Carrillo State Park has reopened for camping after storm damage. The silt and mud that covered the bottom portion of the campground about 6- to 8-feet deep was removed. The destroyed campsites were regraded, and new fire rings and picnic tables were purchased and replaced in about 40 campsites. Now, the good news and bad news: The good news: To make a reservation visit ReserveCalifornia.com. And the bad news: Nearly all sites are already booked through the summer. Bummer!
Also, from California: D.L. Bliss State Park at Lake Tahoe is closed for the summer of 2023 to replace the main waterline in the park. Campground and day-use areas of the park are officially closed to visitors and no services provided.
Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia has begun offering guided tours of Sitton’s Cave. The two-and-a-half hour tours will have you crawling through mud, scrambling over rocks, encountering strange creatures and possibly wading through an underground stream. So be prepared to get muddy. Participants must be at least 10 years old and comfortable crawling through spaces that are three feet high. Equipment is provided. Tours are $45 and reservations are required.
The National Park Service has announced an open comment period to provide feedback that evaluates the potential national-level impacts of electric bicycles (e-bikes) use in national parks. The comment period is from June 21 to July 21, 2023. Read more.
Traffic is flowing again on the shutdown section of I-95 in Philadelphia, just 12 days after a fiery crash closed it. It reopened with six lanes of temporary pavement — three 11-foot lanes each way. The pavement has been laid over a bed of recycled glass aggregate made of discarded bottles turned into a lightweight, gravel-like material.
Four Points RV Resorts, LLC, has just completed the acquisition of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Bloomington, Indiana. It now owns and operates four Jellystone Park franchises, as well as two independent RV resorts.
Visitors to South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 3rd and July 4th will have the opportunity to experience a variety of entertainment in celebration of Independence Day, including asking four President re-enactors questions at an in-character press conference. More.
Good news: The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has announced that the first set of mosquito samples of the 2023 season tested by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) State Health Laboratories has confirmed no positive findings of West Nile Virus (WNV) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). To date, ditto for Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Due to high to extreme fire danger, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park will implement the following preventative measures beginning on June 24: Fire, charcoal, and propane grills are prohibited. • Smoking is prohibited, except inside personal vehicles. • Open flames and cooking stoves are prohibited in the backcountry.
RVers now have more opportunities to enjoy a camping trip at McDonald Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia, with the addition of 39 new campsites, bringing the number of vehicle-accessible campsites in the park to 112. For 28 of the new campsites, reservations open at 7 a.m. (Pacific time) on Monday, June 26, 2023. The remaining 11 sites are first-come, first-served. The park is south of Nakusp.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is investigating a report of a moose attack on a man walking his dogs in Coal Creek Canyon Monday morning. Coal Creek Canyon is just west of Golden, Colo., near the entrance to Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which has campgrounds. Read more.
Central California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks entered Stage 2 fire restrictions on Wednesday, June 21. Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit campfires and charcoal fires in the hot, dry, low-elevation areas of the parks, including Potwisha Campground and Hospital Rock and Ash Mountain picnic areas. Learn more.
New $50,000 electric truck claims 350 miles per charge. In a crowd of trucks, this one stands out. It’s really different. The Telo MT1 is all-electric and small — call it tiny, if you wish. At 152 inches long, it occupies the same footprint as a Mini Cooper SE. Its designers hope it will appeal to city dwellers. Read more.
The FMCA RV club will hold its 2024 convention in Oregon. FMCA, a North American association of RV owners, will hold its 109th International Convention and RV Expo August 14 to 17, 2024, at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon. The club has hosted five previous events at this location. Continue reading.
Grand Design is recalling a small number of 2023 Momentum toy haulers. The Cargo Carrying Capacity label is wrong. Dealers will replace the label for free. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 12. Learn more at Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679 (recall number 910036).
Nevada’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) saw multiple fatalities both on land and water last weekend. Three people were killed in a multiple-car accident, two died by drowning, and one died of an apparent suicide. In addition, 23 people were rescued by park rangers, who also responded to criminal incidents including assault, theft and drug use.
The BLM’s Atlantic City, Big Atlantic Gulch and Cottonwood (Wyoming) campgrounds are open and fully functional. In addition, most seasonal motorized vehicle closures lifted on June 16, including portions of Red Canyon, Lander Slope and Green Mountain. Unprecedented winter and spring precipitation resulted in varied road conditions across the area’s public lands.
The beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s visitor season coincides with the early critical feeding season for bears. As a result, increased visitor traffic on park trails and in park campgrounds at the same time bears are looking for food has led to a series of recent human and bear encounters in several areas. Park rangers are urging visitors to be “bear aware.” Find out how to do that at BearWise.org.
What is the most popular California State Park with campers? It’s Ocotillo Wells, the desert destination for off-road vehicle exploration near the Salton Sea, which attracted more campers than any other state park in California in 2019. In fact, with more than 583,000 visitors, it received double that of the second-place park, South Carlsbad State Beach. The most popular park overall was Sonoma Coast State Park, with more than 2.6 million visitors.
Winnebago Industries revenue for the fiscal 2023 third quarter that ended May 27 was $900.8 million, down 38.2% from $1.5 billion from fiscal 2022. This was driven by lower unit sales because of RV retail market conditions and higher discounts and allowances from 2022, partially offset by carryover price increases. Gross profit was $151.4 million, down 44.5% from $273.0 million in fiscal 2022. Gross profit margin decreased 16.8%.
According to the latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 9,330 traffic fatalities in first quarter 2023. That is a 3.3% decrease compared to first quarter 2022. The decrease also marks the fourth straight quarterly decline in traffic deaths after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases.
After being closed for more than three months due to severe damage from a series of storms early in the year, the Generals Highway between the Foothills and Giant Forest areas of Sequoia National Park, CA, will reopen on Saturday, July 1.
RANDOM THOUGHT: People who are “homebodies” often prefer to be at home more than anywhere else; they may not like to stray far from home. Sometimes an RV is good for a person like this because they can combine being at “home” in their RV with traveling to other places.
How would you like to win these battery-powered, remote-controlled LED red, white and blue star lights?
These patriotic fairy lights are 16 feet long and can be bent into any shape. Hang them outside, inside, wrap them around your campsite… have a blast with them! They’re battery-operated and controlled with a remote for different settings (flash, twinkle, fade, etc.).
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 24, 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 many air conditioning units does your RV have?
Rent a fifth wheel for your next trip. Click here.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STOLEN RVs?
Locked down, but vanished: A family preparing for a week’s vacation found their 34′ 2021 Keystone Bullet 290BHS travel trailer went on vacation without them. The rig was equipped with coupler and wheel locks, but someone still managed to make off with it from Williams Lake, British Columbia. The theft from Lyne Creek Road happened sometime between June 9 and 17th. Have information? Call the Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211.
And more Mounties are busy, this time looking for a stolen 2015 Layton travel trailer. The 2015 rig was stolen from a Kamloops, B.C., storage facility on Peerless Way sometime between May and June 12. At the time of the theft, the rig was believed to be bearing license plate WFJ69B. Phone the RCMP with information at 250-828-3000.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 19, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.58 (Washington state is highest, at $4.77)
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.39
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down $2.00
For fuel prices for specific states, go to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
DID YOU KNOW? The space between your eyebrows is called the glabella.
Recipe of the Day
by Lynn Socko from San Angelo, TX
Why have we never tried grilling fresh green beans sooner? We fell in love at first bite. The green beans stay crunchy. Smoky bacon, mushrooms, and onions add tons of flavor to the green beans. We used Morton’s seasoning blend on ours and it added just the right amount of seasoning. These would be delicious alongside grilled steak this summer.
You might think that great white sharks aren’t afraid of anything, but you’re wrong. Great whites are so afraid of orca whales (also known as killer whales) that they’ll avoid an area for an entire year if they spot one, even if it’s just passing by.
Laugh of the Week
This was posted by Bill O’Brien on Facebook. We know she’s talking about a boat trailer, but hey, if you want to make some extra money this summer in the campground, she’s got the right idea!
Think you’re ready for the 4th of July? Not until you have this!
What’s more patriotic than an RV-themed 4th of July shirt? Nothing! Wear this to show off your RV pride and your country pride! The shirt comes in both men’s and women’s sizes and styles and a variety of colors. It’s 100% cotton and machine washable. Learn more or order here. And if you want to see other 4th of July RVing shirts, click here.
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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