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Saturday, July 1, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
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.
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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 page • Our Facebook group • On 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.
‘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.
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.
Bumper sticker seen on the back of a motorhome: “O to 60 in 13 minutes.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Are you experiencing unhealthy, smoky air or unusually high temperatures today?
Respond here and see how other readers responded.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
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.
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
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.
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
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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