Thursday, September 28, 2023


News for RVers #939, Sunday edition

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Here’s the latest news about RVing and more from the editors of This newsletter, along with each of our daily online publications, is funded in part by the voluntary subscription contributions of our readers. Thanks to all of you; you know who you are.

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Sunday, March 15, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition

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Coronavirus Updates for RVers

Our staff was hard at work over the weekend rounding up as much information as we could about the effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on RVers. In this issue, we report what we have learned so far. We’ll provide updates every day and provide a link in each issue of our RV Daily Tips Newsletter (sign up here to receive those emails).

There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there, but if we’re careful we should all get through this trying time without any serious harm.

And, to remind you that not everything about the current state of affairs is depressing, we present this photo from reader Brad Tuebner, who is taking seriously the advice from medical professional to “avoid crowds.” The nasty virus will have a very hard time finding him in his boondocking spot near Kingman, Arizona! In case you can’t see it, his RV is in the center bottom third of the photo.

Read the many ways the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Click here.

Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?

If so, stories you missed:
FMCA cancels Tucson rally.
Pilot Flying J issues official statement on diesel discount debacle.
Coronavirus worries RVer with upcoming travel plans. (many comments)
Camping World stock plummeted this week. What if the company goes bankrupt?
RV Travel reader upset by RV dealer treatment. Your thoughts, please?
RV Shrink: Using your (RV) head – Saving on tank dump costs.
Is presenting RV electricity seminars online a good idea?
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

That was the RV week that was

March 8–14, 2020

Imagine watching your trailer rolling down the road – behind somebody else’s trucksomebody you don’t know? That’s what happened to a Bryan, Texas, man earlier this week. He caught up with the rig in a Dollar General parking lot and called police. They investigated and were told by the man with the pickup that he’d bought the unit weeks before. How about a title and paperwork? Nothin’, huh? Jason Chambers (33) of Wimberley, Texas, got a free ride to the local jail and needs a $5,000 bond to get out.

Westin JT Haynes via

An RVer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, unintentionally exposed a drunk driver, which ended up with the latter’s arrest, and a citation of his own. On Saturday, March 9, a Class A motorhome blasted through a red light, mashing a Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep wrapped around a phone pole, leaving its driver uninjured, but the driver was discovered to have been drinking. She was arrested and charged for DWI. Police, on checking with the motorhome driver, say he reported that as he approached the stop light his brakes “went soft” and he couldn’t stop. He told police he’d been having brake problems before. After he was released from the hospital following treatment for a broken leg and facial cuts, he had to deal with a vehicle safety violation.

Looking to see Idaho close-up in your RV? You won’t be alone. While many other states are reporting a drop in outdoor recreation, Idaho says it can’t keep up with the demand. A few facts: Since 2008, the number of employees in the state’s parks has remained static, while the number of visitations have jumped 60 percent. The number of visitors and campers has increased to such a degree that the state is rolling back its promotional efforts. The state has received complaints from Idaho residents that they’ve tried for as much as 15 years to get a reservation at popular campgrounds during high seasonto no avail. The situation is similar on federal lands in the Spud Statethe Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management say the number of visitors is on the rise.

TOILET PAPER: If you can’t find it locally, you might want to try

A change in U.K. taxation is blamed for the closure of a recreational vehicle manufacturing plant in Rotherham. Swift, the country’s biggest RV builder, says it closed its facility after a drop in sales when the government declared that motorhomes should be charged the same tax rates as automobiles, rather than as they had beenas vans. The result was an astronomical 700 percent increase in tax, tacking on an average of $2,600 (U.S.) to the price of a new motorhome.

file photo. usdagov.jpg

Most of us work hard to keep up with our pets’ rabies vaccinations. A hiker on the Arizona Trail in Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains took it a step farther. After being bitten by a presumably rabid skunk, he kept right on with his hiking trip because he’d had has own rabies vaccine. The unidentified hiker was sleeping on the trail when he must have been genuinely startled (and stunk up, presumably) when awakened by a skunk biting his face. The hiker killed the skunk, treated the wound, and kept going. Somewhere along the line, a campground host in the area got wind of the incident, and out of concern, called game wardens. A game warden responded, walking the trail and leaving note-cards in plain sight, warning the hiker that he should still be seen by a doctor. Within hours the hiker saw one of the notes and made contact. The decedent Le Pew is being tested to positively identify rabies.

Hold the door open, will ya?
Reader Cliff Thomson recommended this product and we think it’s a great idea. Here’s what he wrote: “We got tired of the hook breaking on our front door and on the front cargo door on our fifth wheel. So we bought two magnetic door holders from Amazon. Last week the door stayed open in a 35 mph wind. Since the magnet is spring-loaded a push will release it.”

Joining the list of other governments tightening the screws on RV street parking comes Clark County, Washington. The Oregon-Washington border county will allow automobiles to park on city streets for up to 24 hoursbut RVs? Only with a permit. The county says a $10 permit will allow an RV to be parked for a week, and can be renewed once. Those with permits won’t be allowed to have extended awnings, nor furniture; generators, electrical cords, and other hookups are strictly forbidden. And if a new permit is pulled, the rig may not be parked “on the same curb of the same block.” Violate the new ordinance and expect a visit from the county sheriff, with a $50 fine. A second violation ups the ante to $100; each subsequent violation will cost $250, and rigs may be towed and impounded.

What do you do if you own a piece of rural land that’s been in your family for generations, but can’t afford to let it sit fallow? That’s Cindy DeBeck’s problem. Her 70 acres of land sits behind a Walmart in Bangor, Maine. DeBeck approached the local authorities with a plan: Change the zoning of the land so she can develop a seasonal RV park. Either that, or she’ll have to develop housing, oreven worse in her mindsell out completely. Earlier, officials flat refused, but did appoint a volunteer citizen council to explore the idea. When the council came back suggesting the zoning be changed, the council voted last Monday to approve the change, 7 to 1. DeBeck will still need to meet other requirements but, so far, her land is much closer to being “kept it in the family.”

Will they be RVs, park models, or manufactured homes? Developers say they aren’t sure, and local government doesn’t apparently care, as preliminary approval has been given to allow 289 of whatever they are to go in near Flagstaff, Arizona. Roberts Resorts will develop 289 spaces on 30 acres in the midst of the Coconino National Forest called Village Camp Flagstaff. “If, potentially, 15, 20 years from now, everybody wanted a small cabin as their second home or as their primary home, we want to embrace that,” the developer, Scott Roberts, told the Coconino Board of Supervisors. “But if all of the sudden, the RV traffic keeps coming … we’ll embrace that as well. We really don’t know what the market is going to do.” Supervisors gave Scott conditions to meet, including paving the Forest Service road that will serve the development, and extend utility service at his expense. Construction is set to start in 2021. Source:

Think your RV park stays are taxing you to death? Pity the poor visitors to parks in Estacada, Oregon. The state already dings campground guests 1.8 percent. The county tacks on another 6 percent. Now Estacada wants in on the act, and effective July 1, the city will hit up guests an additional 6 percent lodging tax. Lemme see – if my calculator is correct, that means a park that charges $35 a night for a site will have to add on $4.83 morejust for the privilege of being a guest. But Estacada officials say the tax is for a good cause. At least 70% of their share of the tourist tax will go towhat else? – tourism promotion!

Help these new state RV travel groups grow. Join a group and start sharing info: Nevada RV CampingIdaho RV CampingNew Mexico RV Camping  • Kansas RV Camping  • Colorado RV Camping  • West Virginia RV Camping

Use handy silicone lids for cooking & storage
Use on the stove or to seal containers instead of using plastic wrap or foil. They’re BPA, Phthalate and PVC free and heat resistant to 440 degrees. Press down gently in the center of lid for an airtight seal. Use to replace missing or broken lids. Use on leftovers and to keep salads and fruits fresh! Learn more or order.

This weekend is on the Bainbridge, Georgia, calendar as a big tourism markerit’s River Town Days, a family-oriented festival in the local sports park. But earlier this week, the Flint River wasn’t playing nice, when guests at the Flint River RV Park, less than a mile from the festival site, were pushed out of the RV park by rising water. The Flint hit the 30-foot mark early in the week, the highest it’s been in a decade. RVers helped one another get their rigs out of harm’s way, but the park managerexpecting a “full house” for the local festivalsays he’s worried the river might not cooperate.

Some are describing Washington state as the “epicenter” of the U.S. Coronavirus outbreak. Now RVs are being brought in to help with the crisis. Washington’s governor has ordered a former juvenile detention facility, Maple Lane, near Centralia, Washington, be outfitted with RVs that can be used for housing quarantine patients who might have no other place to stay. Those staying on would have access to medical care, food, and internet WiFi connections. Some local residents near the facility aren’t particularly pleased with the plan, but enough RVs to house 20 patients have already been set up.

An Iowa county sheriff says it looks like burglars are taking advantage of snowbirds away for the winter. Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson says burglaries have taken place in multiple jurisdictions, not just in his territory, but that agencies are pooling resources to try and get the bad guys. He reminds locals to keep an eye on their neighbor’s homes, and if they see anything suspicious they should report it quickly. He also suggests that if someone plans to be away from their home, they should contact their local law enforcement agency and ask about vacation watch programs, which increase vigilance by law enforcement for homes known to be unoccupied.

A piece of knee-jerk legislation in Sarnia, Ontario, is finally getting another look. Back in 2015 residents bitterly complained to city officials about “unsightly, view-blocking, safety hazard” recreational vehicles. The city quickly responded with a blanket ban on parking RVs in front yards. Now city officials, while acknowledging the matter is “an ongoing source of friction,” appear to be ready to revisit the issue and perhaps cut RVers a little slack. A new idea is to allow RVs to park in front yards and driveways from May 1 to October 31, and then relegating them to rear or side yards in winter. The public is being afforded “an open house,” evidently to comment on the matter March 26. A decision will be made in May.

Ready to put up 24 hours work in a week in exchange for an RV site as a camp host? The Globe Ranger District in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest needs you. Two locations need volunteers, both Timber Camp and Pioneer Pass. Hosts also are provided water, pump, generator, a solar panel, and propanethese are off-the-beaten-track assignments. A 90-day minimum commitment for hosts is required, as well as a background check, and you’ll need a permanent mailing address on your application. Contact Sheryl Cormack at the Forest Service for more information. Phone 928-402-6200 or email

Grampa John used to refer to obnoxious, worthless-seeming folks as “Jaspers.” Well, it seems Jasper, Texas, has at least one Jasper of its own. Last week, on Thursday, the desk clerk at a Super 8 motel rang police, reporting that a guy driving a Ford F-250 and towing a big 5th wheel had wiped out the motel’s front awning by hitting it with the fiver. The fiver-driver left the scenebut not fast enough evidently, as the clerk caught the guy’s plate number. Next day, a call came into police from a storage facility in Jasper. Somebody with a fifth-wheel behind a Ford F-250 had mauled an entry-way pillar postone that was home to the firm’s security gate keypad. Sure enough, same plate number. As of news time, police hadn’t caught up with the inept RVer.

RV Travel Newsletter Issue 857Refrigerator bars ensure nothing shifts while moving
It’s happened to most RVers – you open the fridge (even slowly) after a day of driving and a heavy jar falls on your toe – “Ouch!” Never have that happen again with these easy-to-install spring-loaded refrigerator bars. They’re also useful in cupboards and closets. Order for a good price.

Pickup truck news

According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.

Ford $20,000 pickup getting close

Ford appears close to introducing a small utility pickup truck as a 2022 model and with a starting price of less than $20,000. According to various truck industry publications, the still-unnamed vehicle will debut in late 2021. Learn more.

GM is latest to announce an electric truck

Electric trucks of all shapes and sizes and made by several long-established manufacturers as well as new companies will debut in the next few years. It will expand the options for RV owners considering new towing rigs. General Motors is the latest to announce a pending electric truck. Learn more.

HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.

Reader poll

Do you take the coronavirus threat seriously or believe its dangers are way overblown? Respond here.

You must keep road flares in the RV for emergency
You should always have road flares in your RV in case of an emergency. This pack of three bright, waterproof and shatterproof LED disks are perfect to keep tucked away. These bright lights can be seen from a mile away and can be used for traffic control, as a warning light or as a rescue beacon, and they can also be used for recreational activities such as camping and hiking. Learn more or order here

News briefs

Roswell, New Mexico, officials, seeing the need for a greater availability of short-term rentals and housing in their area, recently created a new zoning designation: RVP – for recreational vehicle park. Now a couple who’ve enjoyed RVing are taking advantage of the designation and have received zoning approval for an 11-acre RV park they’ll call Antelope Crossing. They hope to have the first phase of their projected 111-site park open this fall.

Washington State Parks invites visitors to help celebrate the agency’s 107th birthday on Thursday, March 19, by enjoying a state park for free that day. Visitors are not required to display the Discover Pass for day-use visits to a park. The next free days are Saturday, April 11, and Wednesday, April 22.

Campgrounds at the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area in Ohio will remain closed through May 21 to repair a water line break. The campgrounds, which usually reopen to the public in mid-April, are expected to reopen May 22, in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Landslides that caused road closures last year have raised concerns about whether there will be full access to Denali National Park and Preserve during the upcoming tourism season. The National Park Service has said it plans to open the entire Denali Park Road by early June. The 92-mile road provides the only driving access into the park’s 7,344 square miles.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore may soon require an entrance fee for visitors to the tourist destination that stretches along Lake Superior’s shoreline in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The park has always been free of charge. The fee could fund some park updates, including beach access, a wheelchair accessible trail and other projects.

Read the latest news about the virus as it applies to RVers.

Campground chatter

Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA

Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.

Clean headlights are important headlights!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 916
When was the last time you gave those headlights a good scrub? It’s been a while, huh? Get yourself this 4-piece headlight restorer kit from Turtle Wax for less than $6, and have your headlights looking as good as new in less than 5 minutes. It can be used on all lenses, plexiglass and plastic surfaces, and will restore all dull, yellowed headlights. Learn more or order here.

RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Daimler Trucks recalls some Freightliner chassis used on RVs.
Keystone recalls some 2020 Bullet trailers for missing egress window.
GM recalls some Silverado and Sierra pickups.

Latest fuel prices

Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 9, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.38 [Calif.: $3.33]
Change from week before: Down 5 cents; Change from year before: Down 10 cents.
Diesel: $2.81 [Calif.: $3.71]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 27 cents.

Easily hang heavy objects in your RV
RV walls aren’t exactly designed for having screws or nails driven into them. Enter acrylic mounting tape. This is a clear, double-sided tape that is sturdy enough to hang heavy objects and can easily be removed without doing damage to the walls. Get some here.

Upcoming RV shows

Before heading out to a show check if it has been canceled.

Flint RV & Camping Show, Mar. 20-22, Flint, MICANCELED
Kitchener RV Show & Sale, Mar. 20-22, Kitchener, Ontario, CanadaCANCELED
Rockford RV, Camping & Travel Show, Mar. 20-22, Loves Park, ILCANCELED
York RV Show, Mar. 20-22, York, PA POSTPONED
Springfield RV & Camping Show, Mar. 20-22, Springfield, ILCANCELED
Quebec City RV Show, Mar. 26-29, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada – As of Mar. 17, STILL ON
Northwest Michigan RV & Camping Show, Mar. 27-29, Traverse City, MI CANCELED
RV SuperSaver Show,
Mar. 27-29, Fort Meyers, FL CANCELED

See the complete list of upcoming RV shows.

Brain teaser answer:

(The question appeared in yesterday’s newsletter): A button!

Free and bargain camping


Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.

Other resources:
Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations.
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about

Camco vent insulator keeps you warm…and cool!
Is your RV too hot in the summer? Too cold in the winter? Camco’s vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here.

RV Travel staff


Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editors: Diane McGovern, Russ and Tiña De Maris. 

This website utilizes some advertising services. 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.

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 or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


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3 years ago

Found it easier to get a campsite last week than it was to get toilet paper !!!

David Hagen
3 years ago

I just checked your suggested Amazon website for toilet tissue. All the regular stuff is out of stock.

Michael D'Haem
3 years ago

our “Blues Bash at the Ranch” outside of Bradebton Fl. was just cancelled both out of an abundance of caution and the difficulties being encountered by the artists attending.

3 years ago

I realize the RV travel audience is heavy on retirees, but for those of us who are still running a business, I would like to make two suggestions I hope will go viral by folks reposting elsewhere…

1) do NOT advertise that your restaurant or kiddy entertainment is a great place to visit while we’re all shut in. That’s a direct defeat of the entire point of the quarantine!

2) I realize small businesses are harder hit than bigger ones when clients stay in. So instead of #1, sell gift cards at a modest discount, electronic payment. Your business stays afloat now and gets a kickstart when quarantines are lifted.

Scott Walsh
3 years ago

When do you think we might see a small (B or B+) electric RV?

Melissa Cates
3 years ago

This park is located just outside Jasper TX.

The COE park is looking for Volunteers. They need someone ASAP at Sandy Creek COE. This is a non-pay job and back ground check will be required. You will receive a full hook up site with RV covers on all of them except for 2, but that will be coming soon. This is free in return for 20Hrs a week, that’s only 10hrs each per couple. They are asking for a minimum of 6 mths. But theres an opportunity to stay longer after evaluation.
This is an wonderful experience to be able to live at the lake and enjoy all the benefits.

Our jobs are to be very friendly and welcome and check guest in and out. cleans sites for incoming and out going campers. Keep the park free of litter and limbs debris and do task as asked from the park Rangers when needed. We don’t mow (unless they request) or clean restrooms (except for checking for toiletries). They have contractors for both of these jobs.
This is very laid back and fun opportunity for RVER’S that are able to do the easy task
The picture posted is an example of the RV covers.
Contact, Ranger on duty
409-429-3491 — at Sandy Creek Park. Lake BA Steinhagen Lake.

3 years ago

I was asked how I am dealing with this outbreak and I told them I am building a ladder on the walls of my house so I can climb them. If this is not over and done with by summer I can add lyme to my corona.

3 years ago

We have those magnetic door stops all over our sticks and bricks house. Great little piece of technology.

3 years ago

Maybe an article on how Amazon, which you promote, is getting away with letting their vendors price gouge the heck out of products in demand……This morning I saw MANY things like hand sanitizer with a delivery date of 6-7 weeks away and over $100.00 for 2 12oz bottles…….Ebay is the same…..

3 years ago

Amazon, ebay, etc all clamped down on that in the past week. Banned thousands of sellers, apparently. There’s an article in The NY Times if you want to read.

3 years ago

Send them a message don’t buy them, use soap and water and wash properly like you (probably) always have.

Retired UPSer
3 years ago

Visitors have been a favorite target of taxing authorities for a long time. Lodging taxes have become a very important source of income for every level of government. They can say that the money is going to help increase tourism but in reality it just frees up that part of their budget so it can be spent somewhere else and who better to tax than those who can’t vote? Taxation without representation used to be a rallying cry…… didn’t it?

3 years ago
Reply to  Retired UPSer

We can still vote with our “feet”!

3 years ago

What I want too know is this. Which one of you pushed the panic button and cause the U.S. to run out of toilet paper and paper towels.
At least the paper making industry should be busy for a while. I work for a lumber mill and we make lumber for pallet companies so we should be busy making lumber for the pallet companies.
This is the only good thing about this virus is some companies should be busy for a while.

Rich Thelen
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

in my opinion,if the manufacturers ramp up production to compensate for the sudden demand they will have an abundance of product shortly because the usage rate will remain constant. It will be weeks before the hoarders exhaust their supply and need to replenish which will result in an over abundant inventory of product.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

People who live in areas hit by storms and hurricanes are not surprised by the run on toilet paper and other supplies because we know what we need to get by for a few days to several weeks. We know the supply chain slows before and after a storm.

When getting ready for a storm, we go by the motto “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

I keep storm supplies year round. I just rotate out perishable goods throughout the year. By doing this, I am not spending a chunk of money at one time and I avoid the crowds. Because I have gone without electricity, water, and experienced the need to keep mold and mildew at bay, I have all the supplies that are now hard to come by.

I do not see the need to make light of the confusion and stress that others are feeling. This is what happens when a first time event occurs. I see it every year with people who have never experienced a hurricane. I do not make fun of them, and if I know them, I just hand over a list of needed supplies to help take their stress level down a notch.

And yep, I have plenty of toilet paper and paper towels.

3 years ago

You had a add saying to try Amazon to get toilet paper. Last week my daughter went to order some, they wanted over $60 freight for the TP. And yes is a prime member.

mike henrich
3 years ago

On the list of upcoming RV Shows…..add York, Pa to the cancelled list.

Steve flippo
3 years ago

Note to self…stay away from estacada, oregon.

Bill T
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve flippo

Anything worth seeing in Estacada?

Donald Paulin
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve flippo

Please explain your dissing of Estacada.

3 years ago
Reply to  Donald Paulin

Taxes, nuff said. RVers need to vote their displeasure with government taxing them to visit their state…go figure.

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