Welcome to RVtravel.com, America’s longest continuously published RVing newsletter. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.
This is the abbreviated free edition of this newsletter. For the ad-free, full edition, please become a voluntary subscriber for a one-time donation of your choice. Your support means a lot to us!
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
NEW! Sign up for important RV news every Monday through Friday
Beginning in November, RVtravel.com will begin delivering important, breaking news of interest to RVers every Monday through Friday. We’ll concentrate on bringing you news that will be helpful to you and even save you money. Sign up to receive these weekday emails here. You can easily unsubscribe if you wish.
New 2022 travel trailers going to auction houses. What’s going on here?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When RV dealers go to the auction to buy used rigs, that’s what you’d expect them to buy. It didn’t happen that way in June. A huge number of brand-new, 2022 travel trailers—some with their furniture wrapped in packing material—rolled across the blocks. It wasn’t the only “funny” thing in this month’s report from Black Book, the industry market watcher. Motorhomes continue to act like literal bounders. Learn more.
Federal judge dismisses deadly “overnight RV parking” lawsuit against Walmart
By Randall Brink
In August 2019, Roberto Hipolito camped overnight at the back of a Walmart parking lot in Fridley, Minnesota. The next morning, Hipolito cooked breakfast on a portable butane stove. He then put the hot stove in his van, covered it with flammable bedding, moved the van closer to the store entryway next to a car, and entered the store. The van caught fire, and the flames spread to the nearby car in which Essie McKenzie’s two daughters, Ty’rah and Taraji, were sleeping. Both girls were severely burned, and Ty’rah died the following day. Essie McKenzie filed a lawsuit against Walmart asserting claims under Minnesota law for negligence, nuisance, and wrongful death. Continue reading.
Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks may boost campground fees
Two of the “Mighty Five” national parks, Zion and Bryce Canyon, may see fee increases that could affect RVers. Campground fees at both would be raised, and a new fee structure could be implemented at dump stations in Zion. What are the potential changes, and how can you make your feelings known about them? Continue reading.
New Oregon law alters RV park tenancy
In the state of Oregon, staying in an RV park for more than 45 days means that the RV dweller becomes a tenant, and the RV park owner becomes a landlord under state landlord-tenant law. That will change on January 1, 2024, when Oregon House Bill 2634, just passed by the Oregon General Assembly and signed by the governor, goes into effect. Read about it here.
Reader writes: “I would happily pay $800 a night to camp to keep the ‘casual interest’ campers out!”
RV sales have slowed and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? This week Nanci Dixon shares your comments including one by a reader who offers a solution to ease crowding that we don’t think will prove too popular. We also hear from more readers who are cutting back on camping due to increased costs, and one who wonders why wouldn’t campgrounds raise prices?
NEW: Disadvantaged RVers on “the Street”
Are there really homeless RVers?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
The topic of homelessness has been written about here in RVtravel.com since at least 2018. Over time, the number of stories has increased. … Any time we publish a story on “homelessness” we get plenty of spirited reader comments. We’ve been reminded, particularly by full-timers, that the phrase “homeless RVers” is wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a choice, they say, to not have a “home,” per se, and that their RV is their home. It’s a big topic, and we think an important one. When we were asked if we’d like to do a monthly column on the topic of homelessness and its relationship to RVing, we took up the offer. Read more.
RV Video Tour
Check out the all-new 2023 r-pod RP-203 travel trailer by Forest River
By Cheri Sicard
Join P.J. from Princess Craft RV for a tour of the 2023 r-pod RP-203 travel trailer. This particular model is new for this trailer brand in 2023. Upon walking into the rig, I was struck by the stylish décor. Personally, I love the black cabinets and accents with the light-colored walls and wood. However, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
August 5–11, 2023
Abbreviated News. Full edition available in our paid edition.
RVtravel.com applauds Campers Inn RV, which has donated more than $750,000 to support Care Camps’ mission, according to a press release from the company. Care Camps helps children with cancer experience the outdoors at medically supervised camps. Nearly three quarters of a million dollars have been raised by all 38 Campers Inn RV dealer locations through employee payroll deductions, the corporate matching program and special events in less than two years.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that Lakeview Drive will be closed from August 14 to November 14 for reconstruction.
Another crash… A fatal collision occurred in Crook County in northeast Wyoming, when an 84-year-old motorhome driver attempted a U-turn and pulled in front of an eastbound motorcycle. The riders, Jean Marie Godard and Chantal Bouvet Godard, died at the scene. The motorhome occupants were unharmed, and driver inattention is considered a potential factor in the incident.
The overnight fee to camp at Juniper Campground in New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument will raise from $12 to $20 a night beginning October 1. The park’s now-closed Tsankawi Unit is expected to reopen in late October after extensive construction is completed.
Luray RV Resort on the Shenandoah River in Virginia has reopened after a $36 million renovation with 350 campsites, up from 73 in its previous life as Outlanders River Camp. It now features an amphitheater, a resort-style pool, cabanas, a recreational center with pickleball and basketball, a mountain bike track, cornhole boards and an RC car track.
RV retail registrations dropped again for June, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.: 40,964 this year vs. 49,818 in June 2022. So far this year, there have been 208,378 retail registrations, a 24% decrease from 258,428 units in 2022.
Glacier National Park, Montana, is seeking public input on proposed fee rate adjustments beginning in 2024. Aimed at improving visitor experiences and price-matching other nearby sites, the proposed rates for campsites would increase between $3–$10 depending on the type of site. Some group sites could potentially increase up to $30.
Two RVers were taken to a local hospital after an I-84 rollover crash at Milepost 61 east of Boise, Idaho. On arrival, emergency responders found one occupant already out of the motorhome, while another was trapped beneath it. Swift medical care was given as crews stabilized the RV and extricated the second victim in about 30 minutes. Both occupants had seemingly non-life-threatening injuries. A car was also involved, but its occupants emerged unharmed. As you can see in the photo, the motorhome was a goner.
SmartPlug Systems, LLC (SmartPlug) is recalling certain 30-amp shore power inlets, part number BM30xx manufactured from June 1, 2023, to July 21, 2023. The manganese bronze D-rings may crack or fail when properly tightened, which could cause electrical arcing and increase the risk of fire. Owners should contact SmartPlug customer service at email Warranty@smartplug.com to learn more.
Speaking of Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers are searching for a black bear that bit the arm of a man relaxing in a hammock after dark Saturday, August 5, at a Purgatoire River bottoms campground east of Interstate 25 near Trinidad. Dogs were called in to search for the animal. Learn more.
Fresh eggs straight to your RV? We’ll take it! Tin Cup RV Park in Mahomet, IL, is undergoing impressive, eco-friendly updates. Alongside new amenities like a laundromat and expanded RV pads, the park is embracing sustainability. Plans include adding a solar farm to reduce the carbon footprint and an aquaponics greenhouse to deliver fresh produce to guests. An onsite chicken coop adds to the farm-to-table experience, aligning with the growing trend of eco-conscious living.
Among the least-publicized campgrounds are those in cities and small towns across America. In most cases, camping in city and town parks costs less than nearby private or other better-known public camping areas. In many cases, the overnight fee is $10 or less, with many sites still free. Some even include free or inexpensive utility hookups. Now, our friends at Roundabout Publications along with The Ultimate Campgrounds Project have published a directory of these under-publicized parks. The first edition of its “Camping in America’s City & Town Parks” is now available. Continue reading about this great new resource.
Attention Solo RVers. Never be lonely again. On apps such as Replika, Character.AI and Snapchat’s My AI, people are turning to sophisticated chatbots that closely mimic human conversations. When someone is feeling uncomfortably alone, a bot relationship can help soothe their lonely heart. Such bots are rare, but you can bet they will get better and more popular fast.
Now that’s totally wild!
Notorious house-crasher “Hank the Tank” exposed as hungry female mastermind at Tahoe
After a year-long spree of home break-ins and daring escapades, the elusive “Hank the Tank” bear has been apprehended in South Lake Tahoe, California. However, recent revelations reveal a twist to the story, involving multiple bears and surprising behavior. Find out how DNA testing and a change of heart grant “Hank” a second chance at life. Read the details here.
Snake falls from sky, attacks women who is then assaulted by hawk
By Cheri Sicard
A snake falling from the sky? Sometimes you know it is just not your day. But you really KNOW it’s not your day when a snake falls out of the sky, latches onto your arm and starts striking, and THEN a hawk comes down and attacks you in an attempt to retrieve the snake! As bizarre as all that sounds, that is exactly what happened to a Silsbee, Texas, woman last week. Check this out!
How would you like to win this vintage trailer camping puzzle?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (August 12, 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 has it been since you mowed a lawn?
Respond here and learn how others responded.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Duct tape may be the giveaway on this 2018 Heartland Pioneer BH270 travel trailer. Stolen August 2 at 1:40 in the morning in Dayton, Texas, you’ll see duct tape marks below the window on the street side, just on the hitch side of the slide-out. Contact the Dayton Police at (936) 258-7621 with any information.
Did someone rip off your ride? Let us post information on your stolen RV. Email Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Think of all the places you could use this! On the dashboard, cup holders, seats, your windowsills, countertops, keyboards… the uses are endless! We want (okay, maybe need…) one!
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of August 7, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.83
Change from week before: Up 7 cents; Change from year before: Down 21 cents.
Change from week before: Up 11 cents; Change from year before: Down 75 cents.
For fuel prices for specific regions, states and cities, go to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Upcoming RV shows
Click here for a directory of upcoming shows.
Recipe of the Day
by Laura Yoder from Brunswick, GA
Laura was right when she said she did good, and this Mexican Manicotti is a delicious reason why we love home cooking. It mashes up a Mexican and Italian dish for one yummy dinner. The ground beef and black bean mixture piped into the manicotti shells are perfect. Spreading sour cream and shredded cheese on the top and then placing the casserole back in the oven for a few minutes creates a gooey cheesy layer on top.
There are about one trillion bacteria and nearly 200 types of fungi on each of our feet. There are 26 bones in each foot (one less than in a hand), and there are about 250,000 sweat glands in our feet. Feet have nearly 8,000 nerves, many near the skin – which is why feet are so ticklish.
Laugh of the Week
We love this!
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 and Cheri Sicard. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade and Tony Barthel. Moderator: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Artificial Intelligence (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.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.