Welcome to the RVtravel.com newsletter. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.
This free edition of the newsletter is a shortened version of the full edition received by our paying member-subscribers. Please pledge your support (only if it is not a hardship on you) to receive the full edition.
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
Recreation.gov lawsuit dismissed by plaintiffs
By Randall Brink
The plaintiffs who filed suit against Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., the Recreation.gov campground reservations system operator, have voluntarily dismissed their case. The proceedings in Wilson, et al., v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., et al., ended on September 25, 2023, when the plaintiffs dismissed the case after a lengthy discovery process. Learn more.
Federal government shutdown likely. What will it mean for public lands access?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
At the time of this writing, Friday, September 29, from all appearances, the likelihood of a federal government shutdown happening on Sunday is a safe bet. We’ll leave the politics out of this article, and get to how RVers and others could be affected. What will happen to access to national parks and other public lands? Here’s the latest information.
Starlink RV News: FAA enters space debris field with Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
By Randall Brink
As of September 2023, there are more than 9,000 active satellites in orbit. More than half—5,157—are Starlink satellites. … While scientific and general media coverage has expended much ink on the negative effect a large number of satellites have on radio astronomy, some people, including RV Travel readers, have raised the question of collision risk amid the density of orbital vehicles and space debris. The question points to another risk with so much equipment in Low Earth Orbit (LEO)—the potential for Kessler Syndrome. Learn more.
California’s diesel engine testing rules roll out. Are you affected?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Back in 2021, we wrote about mandatory diesel emissions testing that California was cooking up. Come October 1, this year, those new rules are more than just talk: The diesel engine testing rules are kicking in. If you have a diesel engine, will you be affected? Find out here.
Federal law enforcement officers deployed on BLM, USFS lands since 1976
By Randall Brink
On September 21, 2023, RV Travel published a story about the shooting of Brooks Roberts by federal law enforcement officers of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in the Payette National Forest of Idaho. Readers responded to the incident with surprise that the Forest Service and BLM even had armed law enforcement officers. Learn more.
You thought $245 a night was bad? How about $300 a night?!
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 relates more of your stories about boondocking to save money and avoid reservation hassles, another report about not having reservation issues at all, more complaints about empty camping spots when the campground is supposedly “sold out,” and some high-priced RV resorts on the West Coast.
RV Video Tour
Blast from the past: Tour an all-original 1979 GMC motorhome
By Cheri Sicard
Take a look at a true RV classic, the 1978 GMC Eleganza II 26-foot Class A motorhome. Patrick Botticelli from New Jersey Outdoor Adventures gives us a tour of this iconic fiberglass RV in the video below. He says at the time there were several models of similar GMC motorhomes that were mostly distinguished by their interior decors. … The GMC motorhome was what Patrick calls a “barn find,” meaning it had been tucked away in someone’s barn for years if not decades. Therefore, it is in mostly original condition.
September 23–29, 2023
This news brief section contains brief highlights from the more extensive news roundup in our member’s edition. Please consider voluntarily subscribing to receive that full edition.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) reported this week that 28,071 recreational vehicles were shipped from manufacturers last month (August 2023), a decrease of 16.9% from the 33,783 units shipped in August 2022. Year to date, RV shipments are down 45.0% with 213,421 units shipped. Read more.
Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2016-2024 Allegro Bus and 2017-2024 Zephyr motorhomes. The 240-volt induction cooktop may not be grounded, which could create an electrical shock hazard if the wires were to short-circuit. An electrical shock can increase the risk of an accident and injury. As many as 1,188 RVs may be affected by this recall. Learn more.
The average price of gas in California hit $6.079 on Thursday, compared to $3.84 for the nation. A gallon of diesel was $6.444. The current state gasoline average is up nearly 75 cents from a month ago, according to AAA. Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for a state regulator to transition early to a winter fuel blend to alleviate high gas prices. He also requested the California Energy Commission look into whether prices are being manipulated by the industry.
RV owners with their units in for service at the Camping World in East Ridge, Tennessee, were worried last weekend if their RVs survived a three-alarm fire that destroyed a warehouse and some RVs. Some vehicles were destroyed, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. RVer Don Bowers told a local TV station that he saw what he thought was his half-million-dollar RV. He said he had insurance. No one was injured in the blaze.
The 2023 Elkhart RV Open House, the RV industry’s largest meetup of the year of manufacturers, dealers and suppliers, wrapped up yesterday. RVbusiness.com reported that foot traffic “seemed noticeably down compared to past years.” The show’s focus is for dealers to look over new model RVs and to place orders for their operations. You can read Part 1 of Tony Barthel’s review of the show and what he saw in tomorrow’s RV Travel Newsletter.
Airstream has announced that its Airstream Smart Control connected vehicle app will soon be available in Apple CarPlay, allowing owners of late-model Airstream Classic and Pottery Barn Special Edition travel trailers to monitor important RV functions with reduced distraction while towing or adventuring away from their RV. Learn more.
THOR Industries sales dropped dramatically in fiscal year 2023. The company announced September 25 that its net sales of $11.12 billion for 2023 were off just shy of a third (31.8 percent) from fiscal year 2022, when they were $16.31 billion. The company is projecting net sales of $10.5 to $11 billion for fiscal year 2024.
The National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are seeking public input on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates options for restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem in Washington, where the animals once roamed. Learn more.
The Placerville, California, KOA is now the Placerville RV Resort and Campground, an independent property now under the banner of BoaVida RV Parks and Resorts, which owns and operates 18 outdoor hospitality properties throughout the Western U.S. Placerville RV Resort is BoaVida RV Park and Resort’s second transition to an independent property. In 2021, BoaVida rebranded a franchised property, the Willits KOA, to Mendocino Redwoods RV Resort.
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments by October 25 on proposed fee changes for backcountry permits and campgrounds in Death Valley National Park. The NPS proposes to increase nightly campsite fees by $4 to $8. Some backcountry permits would become reservable in advance on Recreation.gov with a fee. Continue reading.
Looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween? How about taking in a SPOOKY Cave-IN Movie from inside the cave at Kentucky’s Carter Caves State Park. Admission ($10 for adults 13 and older, less or free for kids) includes the movie, drinks and snacks. You furnish the chairs. Movie titles will be announced closer to the event, which will be held three times: Saturday, October 7; Friday, October 13; and Saturday, October 21. Learn more.
Most of the country’s national parks will close and be made off-limits to the public if the federal government shuts down tomorrow, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced yesterday, affecting millions of visitors. “Gates will be locked, visitor centers will be closed, and thousands of park rangers will be furloughed,” the agency said in a statement announcing its plans to wind down operations at hundreds of sites. Arizona officials said they would keep their parks open using state funds. Learn more here.
Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2022 EKKO, 2020-2022 Minnie Winnie, Spirit, 2020-2022 View, Navion, and 2020-2021 Vita and Porto motorhomes. An incorrect hitch label was installed, which can lead to overloading of the vehicle. Read more.
One man died and two others were severely burned Wednesday in a motorhome fire at a gas station in Stickney, Illinois, near Chicago. Witnesses said the men were filling two cans with gas, which they then carried inside the RV. An explosion followed, trapping one man inside the RV and blowing another out its door.
Book is a must-have for state park campers!
This book, “50 States: 500 State Parks,” is a must-have for all state park campers and explorers. The book is a beautiful visual journey through America’s best state parks. Whether you’re looking for stunning vistas, rare wildlife, a dose of history, or an enjoyable hike, the state parks offer an array of experiences. Learn more or order.
How would you like to win this queen-sized fall happy camping duvet cover?
This adorable fall-themed duvet cover will spruce up your RV and help you get into the autumn spirit! It comes with two pillowcases and fits a queen-sized bed.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (September 30, 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.
Do you collect refrigerator magnets when you travel?
Please respond here and see how others responded.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
This trailer was stolen from Tallahassee, Fla., on September 4 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. while parked in the back of a church’s property off Apalachee Parkway going towards Chaires, a few miles past the Walmart. A white SUV was seen backed up to it. A police report has been filed. It’s a 31-foot 2006 Keystone Outback Sydney edition with one slide. A Predator generator was also stolen along with many of the family’s personal possessions inside the RV. Contact Tallahassee police, 850-891-4200, if you have 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 ??
This might be one of the sweetest things we’ve ever seen for RVers! If you have someone close to you that’s far away, you’ll want this.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of September 25, 2023:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.84
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Up 13 cents.
Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Down 30 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 Betty Bramanis from Sydney, Australia
Using Thai basil in this chicken stir-fry adds an amazing aroma and flavor to the dish. Thai basil has a savory, anise-like flavor which is completely different from the Italian basil (used in pesto). This stir-fry is sweet and salty with savory chicken and crunchy cashews. Serve with rice and enjoy! If you want to add some spice, top with a little bit of garlic chili sauce.
In the 18th century, human alarm clocks were known as “knocker-uppers.” Clocks were expensive back then, so workers across the British Isles relied on human alarm clocks called knocker-uppers. The knocker-uppers would work in the early hours of the morning, knocking on doors and windows to wake up their sleepy clients. The role was usually filled by people already up that early, such as police constables and lamp lighters, or early-rising elderly people who wanted a little extra income.
Laugh of the Week
This is too funny! Click to play. You will like this!
Today in History
RVtravel.com All Star Team
Publisher and Ethics Advisor: 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, Jan Steele and Tony Barthel. 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 many affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates 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 the 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.