Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Latest News for RVers Issue 1111, Saturday edition

Welcome to RVtravel.com, America’s longest continuously published RVing newsletter. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

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Saturday, July 1, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition

  Featured articles  

With RV sales plummeting, repair wait times are shorter

By Andy Zipser
As shipments of new RVs stagnate at a hair above 30,000 a month, posting a near 50% decline year-to-date over 2022, the dealers who sell those RVs likewise are getting a severe haircut. May sales revenue dove 26% from May of last year and was down 28% compared with May of 2021, according to a recent report from the RV Dealer Association (RVDA). But here’s a bright note amid the gloom: All that loss of sales business may mean it’s taking less time to get your RV repaired. Yes! Read more.

Truckers and RVers battle for overnight parking spots

A battle is going out there on the highways and byways — between long-haul truckers and RVers. At the end of a 14-hour driving day, truckers are required by law to pull over and rest for 10 hours. If not, they face a steep fine. But often, when it’s to pull off the road, they find RVers occupying their traditional stops — rest areas and travel centers (once known as truck stops). So what’s the solution? Russ and Tiña De Maris filed this report.

Rest area dump stations are closing. Where you gonna go?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
To paraphrase, “If it weren’t for your dump station, you’d have no place to go.” Sad to say, rest area RV dump stations are becoming about as scarce as mercury-free tuna. This week, Iowa joins a list of states that no longer offer RV dumping at its rest stops. Yes, rest area dump stations are closing, but why? Find out here.

The stunning future of AI in RVs: Imagine your RV driving itself!

By Randall Brink
The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing many industries, and the RV sector is no exception. Though it is mostly developing “under the radar” now, the transformative potential of AI in the RV industry is stunning. AI’s integration into the automotive industry has already been significant, with innovation aimed at enhancing safety, convenience, and productivity. The same potential exists for the RV industry. Imagine a future where your RV can self-navigate, predict maintenance needs, personalize your travel experience, and maneuver itself into your camp spot. This is not some far-fetched distant fantasy but an imminent transformation powered by AI. Learn more.

Coffee talk

8 a.m. Pacific • 11 a.m. Eastern
Join us in our cyber studio this morning by chat from 8 a.m. to 9ish a.m. Pacific time. Members of our staff and guests will talk live (as opposed to talking “dead”) about RVing. It’s informal. Ask questions or just lurk. If you want to join us on camera, let us know once you join the crowd. Here’s where to find us: Our Facebook pageOur Facebook groupOn our YouTube Channel. Be there or be square!

RV shipments down again in May, off half for 2023

Shipments from RV factories to dealers and consumers were down dramatically again in May. Results for the RV Industry Association’s May 2023 survey of manufacturers revealed that total RV shipments ended the month with 30,919 units, a decrease of 38.8% from the record 50,529 units shipped in May 2022. To date, RV shipments are down just about half from last year (-49.7%) with 140,735 units. Learn more

Campground Crowding

‘The concept of the great American outdoors is now miniature golf and water parks’

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 stories from our readers about the updated no-show policy in Georgia State Parks—it’s “a win for campers!” Also, finding reasonably priced campsites even on a holiday weekend, investment firms driving RVers out of parks, and a reminder to ask for discounts.

Click here to read

RV Video Tour

WOW! First look at the 2024 Chinook Maverick Class B+ Motorhome

By Cheri Sicard
The folks from Vogt RV Center produced the video below to give consumers a first look at the brand-new 2024 Chinook Maverick Class B+ Motorhome. … I have to say that for me, personally, this is one of the most impressive rigs I have seen since starting to cover these RV tours. If I were considering this particular type of RV, it would be HIGH on my list.

Click here to tour

Bumper sticker seen on the back of a motorhome: “O to 60 in 13 minutes.”

That was the RV week that was

June 24–30, 2023

NOTE FROM EDITOR: Two weeks ago in this space we asked you how important these news briefs were to you. Of the more than 2,600 of you who responded, 49 percent of you said they were important, with another 43 percent saying they “liked them.” Seven percent said they read them. One percent, 21 readers, said they were a waste of space. So, our conclusion: They stay!

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials are reminding Independence Day visitors that fireworks are prohibited on public lands.

Drivers hitting the road for the 4th of July will find lower gas prices across most of the country, according to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA). AAA forecasts that more than 50 million people will celebrate the nation’s birthday by traveling, with a record 43.2 million going by car. The national average for a gallon of gas fell four cents since last week to $3.54.

Rand McNally has released the new 2024 edition of its best-selling Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas for professional truck drivers. It’s also a best-seller among RVers with long motorhomes or truck-trailer combinations. Read more.

The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), and the nonprofit advocacy organization Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), are asking Golden State boat owners to speak up on a recently proposed 300% boat registration fee increase outlined in Governor Newsom’s 2024 budget. While an increase was anticipated, it was not expected to be so dramatic.

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.

BC Parks, in British Columbia, Canada, is introducing a new feature to its camping reservation service that will provide email notifications when a previously booked campsite becomes available at a specific campground. With the new “notify me” feature, people can sign up to receive as many as five alerts for any reservable campgrounds and dates. If a campsite becomes available for the desired date and location, people will receive an email notifying them that it is reservable. Learn more.

Park rangers in Tennessee and Kentucky are stepping up efforts to promote water safety because of 10 drownings already this recreation season at U.S. Corps of Engineers lakes in the Cumberland River Basin. Officials report that of the drownings, three were kayaking, two were boating, and five were swimming. None wore a life jacket.

Exposure to a mysterious gas sickened 17 campers at a Forest Service campground in Colorado. What was it? How did it happen? How did the campers fare? Read all about it.

HOLO Footwear has formed a collaboration with KOA in a three-year deal that pairs sustainable footwear with the campground network. Limited edition camp shoes will be available exclusively on HOLO’s website and KOA’s website this month, and will then be launched at Nordstrom stores in August.

In Canada, BC Ferries’ busy summer season is underway with more sailings and more staff; however, customers should expect some cancellations. Transitioning to summer schedules involves putting five additional ferries into service on routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Southern Gulf Islands. These supplemental vessels provide more than 4,700 additional sailings over the three-month period ending Labor Day. Learn more.

Photo by Chuck Woodbury

Beware of sharks in waters off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, even very shallow waters. Great white sharks have a fondness for seals, which inhabit the local waters, even near swimming beaches. Since 2012, sharks have bitten people three times in the waters off Truro and Wellfleet. One bite, in 2018, resulted in a fatality. If you decide to venture into the waters, stay away from areas where seals or schools of fish are present, and swim, paddle or wade in groups. And keep your splashing to a minimum.

Thor Motor Coach is recalling certain 2022-2024 Tranquility and 2022-2023 Sanctuary motorhomes. The R-bike rack arms may fracture and detach. Learn more.

Cumberland Township, Pennsylvania, supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to grant conditional use for a campground at the former Boyd’s Bears facility. The project, known as the Barn Resort, would provide 365 sites for RVs and other styles of camping on 33 of the site’s approximately 130 acres. The property’s centerpiece is the five-story former Boyd’s Bears Country facility, which for eight years housed a collectible teddy bear retail outlet and restaurant until the business closed in 2011.

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 California’s Sequoia National Park reopened to the public today.

The RV Technical Institute (RVTI) is ramping up its efforts to attract RV technicians in 2023. With a robust marketing campaign and active participation in consumer and industry shows, the institute is strengthening its partnerships with RV dealerships nationwide with a target of recruiting 1,000 new technicians this year.

Ford Motor Company will lay off a minimum of 1,000 salaried employees and contract workers in North America. The decision comes as the automaker looks to manage the substantial expenses associated with its electric vehicle investments. Ford has previously implemented global layoffs, including reductions of 3,000 employees in the U.S. last year and a larger layoff in Europe earlier this year.

A Yosemite parking lot. Photo credit: NPS

Want to visit California’s Yosemite National Park? You may want to wait. Visitors can expect to wait up to four hours to enter the park, and if you’re planning on arriving after 9 a.m., don’t bother—parking lots are usually full by then. The park is reporting daily traffic and parking availability on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Effective Wednesday, June 28, and until further notice, Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas has closed some park areas due to increased fire risk. The Southwest area of New Mexico and far west Texas are experiencing high to extreme fire danger. The following fire restrictions will be implemented at the National Park. Continue reading.

Summer is the busiest season at Zion National Park, and this Independence Day weekend, the National Park Service (NPS) anticipates especially large crowds. The NPS may temporarily suspend vehicle entry at East and South entrances to reduce road congestion. If you visit, here is what to expect.

Lake Oroville
The lake in May, 2022. Nobody then expected it could refill so fast. Photo by Chuck Woodbury

California’s record snowfall in winter has been melting and has created a dramatic change in Lake Oroville, filling the reservoir that was recently known for being one of the most affected during the state’s drought. The lake north of Sacramento is the state’s second-largest reservoir, and the record snowmelt has filled it to its capacity.

Popular recreational areas closed in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest during the Cedar Creek Fire in 2022 are reopening. Visitors can now enjoy Shadow Bay Campground, South Waldo Shelter, South Waldo Trailhead, Fuji Mt. Trailhead, North Fork Trailhead, Bunchgrass Trail, Huckleberry Flats OHV Staging Area, Verdun Trailhead, High Divide Trailhead, and the Pacific Crest Trail for thru-hikers.

Camping World will acquire Crain RV, a multi-location RV dealer in Arkansas. The acquisition will be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2023. Camping World plans to convert these locations into Manufacturer Exclusive dealerships.

A bobcat assaulted a camper who was peacefully sleeping in a hammock at his campsite at Selden Neck State Park in Connecticut. According to the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the attack occurred early Friday morning. The victim, along with two other adult leaders of the youth wilderness school, managed to overpower and eliminate the bobcat, although details of the encounter were not provided.

Photo credit: Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest, AZ, officials took to Twitter to address the issue of abandoned RVs left on forest grounds. The post emphasized that the forest is not meant to serve as a storage facility. Staff members recently towed four expensive RVs that had been unoccupied for months on public lands. The tweet urged people not to leave their “land yachts” behind.

Any room for RVs at this park??

Talk about amenities! Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Tyler, Texas, has unveiled a large water park complete with thrilling water slides, a family pool, and a family spa tub. Visitors can look forward to a dining experience at the Campfire Canteen, a restaurant conveniently located near the pool. The Canteen’s menu features burgers, chicken, pizza, ice cream, and other snacks.

Michigan has enacted stricter laws against distracted driving. The state says that one in four distracted driving crashes is related to the use of an electronic device. HB 4250 states that “an individual shall not hold or use a mobile electronic device” while operating a motor vehicle, commercial motor vehicle or a school bus. Under the new regulation, “use a mobile device” is considered any instance in which a driver uses an electronic device to: send or receive a telephone call; send, receive, or read a text message; view, record or transmit a video; access, read, or post to a social networking site. More.

In dumb tourist news of the week: Ignoring warnings, a woman at Yellowstone National Park decided to dip her hand into a renowned hot spring, only to quickly retract it in shock due to the scorching temperature. The incident was captured on video by another visitor and subsequently shared on the TouronsofYellowstone (Tourist + Moron = Touron!) Instagram account.

Legacy RV dealerships in Bonne Terre and Festus, Mo., have been acquired by Optimum RV of Ocala, Florida. The Missouri stores bring Optimum RV’s total locations to 10, including four dealerships in Florida and single locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

The Biden administration is removing trees in central Washington forests across four counties to reduce wildfire risks. This initiative covers national forests, state lands, and private properties, targeting 2.45 million acres in six fire-prone regions. The project plans to treat 124,000 acres and aims for completion by 2032.

Do you appreciate this news? Please say “Thank you” to our hardworking staff. 
RVtravel.com would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary contributors. Their support helps us avoid relying on advertising, and keeps our resource-rich work unbiased and free for all RVers to enjoy. Every contribution makes a difference. When you contribute, you’ll receive a special member-only ad-free version of our weekend newsletters forever as one way for us to say thank you. Learn more or donate.

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win this camping gear multitool with axe, hammer, pliers, knife, saw, bottle opener and more?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 1, 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.

Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!

Reader poll

Are you experiencing unhealthy, smoky air or unusually high temperatures today?

Respond here and see how other readers responded.

This is one of the coolest gadgets we’ve seen in a while. It’s incredibly handy, and will limit all the things you have to carry to get the job done!

Today is National Play Outside Day! Go have fun!

Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of June 26, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.57
Change from week before: Down <1 cent; Change from year before: Down $1.30.
Diesel: $3.80
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down $1.98.

For fuel prices for specific states, go to U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Worried about hot tires? Here’s an easy way to measure the temperature of any spot in your tire (or measure the temperature of just about everything else).

Upcoming RV shows

Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.

Recipe of the Day

Pulled Pork & Crispy Onion Ciabatta Sandwiches

by Robynne Glenn from Lake Arrowhead, CA

Just the title of this pulled pork recipe alone had our mouths watering. So, imagine the state of affairs in the kitchen when we began to smell the aroma of it cooking! This pulled pork sandwich is all you imagine it to be… and then some. Tender and juicy, the pork shreds easily. The kicked-up barbecue sauce is tangy and not too sweet.

Click here for the recipe


A woodpecker’s tongue is so long that it wraps around its skull to protect its brain while striking a tree or other hard surfaces. This, combined with other factors like: super-strong neck muscles, spongy bone plates in the skull that act like a football helmet, and a very small amount of cerebrospinal fluid surrounding its brain, all help prevent a woodpecker from racking its brain while pecking. —Illustration by Denise Takahashi.

Laugh of the Week

Two reasons to travel when you are young!

Today in History

RVtravel.com All Star Team

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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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
Help desk:
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This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.


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Parker (@guest_243184)
4 months ago

Michigan, how are we supposed to use our navigation systems (nearly everyone uses their phones) if we can’t use our phones?? Laws about tech need to be written VERY CAREFULLY else they make normal functioning technically illegal.

Mike Schwab (@guest_243933)
4 months ago
Reply to  Parker

>“an individual shall not hold or use a mobile electronic device”

So can’t hold or change settings while driving, need to pull over and park.

>“use a mobile device” is considered any instance in which a driver uses an electronic device to: send or receive a telephone call; send, receive, or read a text message; view, record or transmit a video; access, read, or post to a social networking site.

Viewing map not listed. Responding to a map message not listed but I wouldn’t want to risk it.

TexasScout (@guest_243151)
4 months ago

Re: News section: KEEP IT!

In the News section:

Re: Michigan has enacted stricter laws against distracted driving.
I don’t mind this just as long as the cops can’t use anything in their patrol cars. No computer, radio, phone, etc. What’s good for the Goose is Good for the Gander.

Re: In dumb tourist news of the week:
I’m for removing all warning labels and let Darwin take it’s course. We need to eliminate some of the “dead dumb wood”.

Last edited 4 months ago by TexasScout
BC Bob Cartwright (@guest_243524)
4 months ago
Reply to  TexasScout

TexasScout; Re: Michigan hands free law. Why should it be good for the Gander? The “Gander” in this and all cases is the elected politicians who write and pass laws. Not law enforcement. Law enforcement has the bloody job of responding to crashes and removing mangled and dead bodies after a driver “loses control” of a vehicle on a curve or straight stretch of roadway. Speed and lack of attention when a cell phone is involved, is a deadly combination. Ask me how I know.

William Albert (@guest_243525)
4 months ago

You missed my point. The law should apply equally to all. If I can’t talk on my phone, the cops shouldn’t be able to either. The point was to demonstrate the absurdity that cops are “super multitasking beings” just because they’re cops.

Diane McGovern
4 months ago
Reply to  William Albert

Hi, William aka TexasScout. I totally agree with BC Bob and totally disagree with you on this point. I mean, really?! I do believe that cops are “super multitasking beings” because that’s what their job requires and that’s what they’re trained to do. Just sayin’. –Diane at RVtravel.com

Mindy (@guest_243535)
4 months ago
Reply to  Diane McGovern

For the first time, I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you to a point, Diane. The cops are human too. We’ve been almost sideswiped as well as almost hit a cop because they were distracted (he slammed on his brakes and flipped a u-turn right in front of us while we were towing our 5th wheel) . It is indeed, a challenging job, trying to multi-task and drive a vehicle as a cop, however, no one is a super human being. Hands-free equipment is most definitely the way to go. Just my 1 cent (because of inflation 😆).

Diane McGovern
4 months ago
Reply to  Mindy

Hi, Mindy. Of course I agree with you that cops are human. But their jobs require that they be “super multitasking beings”. I think that means they’re trained to multitask more than most humans are required to, and in much more stressful conditions than most have to deal with. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t make mistakes in the process, unfortunately. Have a good evening and a safe and fun Fourth. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Mindy (@guest_243540)
4 months ago
Reply to  Diane McGovern

Happy 4th of July to you too, Diane 😊!

Diane McGovern
4 months ago
Reply to  Mindy

Thank you, Mindy.🤗 –Diane

jillie (@guest_243094)
4 months ago

In 2019 we visited Zion for 30 minutes when we found out getting a bus to travel around the park would require us to wait almost an hour or more for a bus. We said forget it and went outside of Zion and visited a little known ghost town. No people. But from what we saw it was very beautiful. If I every do that again which is probably never again would be to go after the tourists have vanished. As for unhealthy air? It has really screwed up Maine weather so much so that we are still waiting for the rain to cease. June went down in the weather history books since record keeping began as the coldest wettest rainiest months ever. Usually it is blue skies and warm air and not much rain. This year it is like being in London or Seattle. From what I was told the wild fires have gotten into the jet stream. So done with this weather. Lets Blame Canada.

Diane McGovern
4 months ago
Reply to  jillie

Let’s not blame Canada. Have a good night, jillie. 🙂 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Cancelproof (@guest_243530)
4 months ago
Reply to  jillie

Can’t blame Canada for the mistakes that all members of the international tree huggers association have made by exacerbating the environmental damage from fires they have caused by not allowing for cleaning out the naturally occurring excess fuel on the forest floor. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Jeff (@guest_242970)
4 months ago

Consider using the app Upside to save money on gas and restaurants. The savings accumulate in your account and you can redeem at $25.00.

SDPeg (@guest_242965)
4 months ago

Gas Prices! Get an app. We use Gas Buddy, it’s saved us lots of $$. Recently in Needles CA the price for Regular was $6.49 to $6.69 per gallon.Across the Colorado River in Mohave Valley AZ it was $3.39 per gallon…less than 2 miles away!

tom (@guest_242916)
4 months ago

Unleaded E-10 is $3.049 today. Slight price increase to grab your travel money for the 3 or 4 day week-end. Fill up before you get to Florida.

Dan (@guest_242961)
4 months ago
Reply to  tom

It’s July 4th. The normal tradition of hot dogs, burgers, buns and chips get cheaper and gas goes up. It’s difficult to change tradition

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