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Sunday, May 10, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Coronavirus Updates for RVers
Here’s the latest news and information about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting the RV community. We feature this in every Sunday’s edition of the RVtravel.com Newsletter.
••• READ TODAY’S CORONAVIRUS NEWS •••
RV diesel fuel discounter gets bigger savings, more retailers
Everybody loves to save money – and folks who burn diesel are surely among them. A few months back we told you about a discount program, TSD Fuel Card, that is a genuine money saver. It’s not uncommon for users to report getting HUGE discounts – 50 cents or better per gallon – by using the TSD card at participating truck stops. Here’s an update on that story.
“Flushable wipes” users try cleaning up in courtroom
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist, is credited with the saying, “What goes up, must come down.” If Newton had been an RV owner he likely would have had a corollary for black water tanks: “What goes in, must come out.” Would Professor Newton have used flushable wipes in his motorhome? If he had, he might be considering jumping into a class action lawsuit now being settled with Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Charmin Freshmates Flushable Wipes. Learn more and maybe join in the class action lawsuit against P&G.
Bear pounces on sleeping campers in Colorado RV park
Okay, here’s a reminder of why most of the readers of this newsletter prefer sleeping in an RV over sleeping in a tent. Thankfully, there’s a happy ending to this bear-human encounter. Here is what happened.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• RVelectricity: State of the virtual RV rally – This is exciting news!
• RV Shrink: RV dirty swirly – cleaning stained pipe below toilet.
• An RV rental horror story: “I was ripped off by an RV rental scam!”
• Control board not working? Replace it!
• You shared your RVing dream trips. Here they are – Part 1.
• RV Education 101: RV Buying Tips: Don’t be in a rush.
• Need a new place to walk? Try this trail-finding trick with Google Maps.
… and much more
That was the RV week that was
May 3–9, 2020
Country music superstar Miranda Lambert has toured professionally for 19 years and says, “I’ve been everywhere, but I haven’t seen much of anything.” Maybe that’s from flying to venues. Resolving that issue, Lambert and husband, Brendan McLoughlin, just bought a new Airstream travel trailer which they’ve dubbed “Y’all Meet the Sheriff.” Miranda is no stranger to RVs – having a collection of vintage rigs. But now instead of just collecting, she says she and Brendan will travel in their new rig, “Seeing the world through the windshield again.”
The stock price of Camping World Holdings, Inc. jumped as much as 35 percent on Friday after reporting first-quarter results that beat analysts’ projections, driven by stronger-than-expected sales of RVs, according to a report by Bloomberg. Analysts universally applauded the results and were surprised by the recent strength in RV sales, which they attributed to consumers’ desire to vacation while maintaining social distance. Camping World management noted that new customers appeared to be entering the market as well with trade-in rates dropping to 20 percent from the normal 30 to 35 percent.
This motorhome fire was one in a sea of crises that kept first-responders hopping through one very busy 24-hour cycle in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, April 28 and 29. A structure fire at 3:08 p.m. on Tuesday the 28th started it all; then a thunderstorm blasted through, dropping trees and power lines. In the dark of the night this motorhome fire threatened a wood frame home.
Families eager to get away from it all after weeks under Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home orders have flocked to the area’s privately owned campgrounds in Pennsylvania. While camping facilities at state parks aren’t set to open until later this month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf allowed privately owned locations to welcome back transient campers May 1 – joining any long-term campers that already were present. “Honestly, our numbers were better this year than in prior years.” said Buttercup Woodlands Campground’s manager Jacob Hagofsky.
Did you change your safety detector batteries when you changed your clock? An RVer in Kelowna, British Columbia, is likely glad they had live batteries in their smoke detector last Tuesday. A 2:00 a.m. fire was shooting flames through the roof of a Class A rig when firefighters arrived; by that time the single occupant and their dog had managed to escape – they’d heard the smoke detector.
KOA is touting a new amenity at some of its parks called Paw Pen sites. Located on an individual site, Paw Pens allow campers to have their own enclosed, off-leash area that their pets can use right next to their RV. The sites feature self-closing gates, a pet waste station and shade. They may have a good thing going with these: So far guests in Paw Pen sites are staying an average of 24 percent longer than those in standard campsites.
A new date has been set for Caravan Salon, the leading international event for the caravaning (RV) and camping industry. The RV show is conducted annually on the sprawling Messe Düsseldorf venue in Düsseldorf, Germany, and dwarfs any American show in size. The event was scheduled to start on August 28 but was postponed until September 13 to accommodate a requirement by the government banning major events earlier than August 31.
The closure of the U.S./Canada border is more than a sore thumb to one Nova Scotia RV park owner. George Verrilli has retired from his New York practice as an obstetrician, and now at the ripe-young-age of 91, George is anxious to get back to Nova Scotia to reopen his RV park so that his 37 regular seasonal guests can be accommodated. But try as he might, he’s been turned down for crossing into Canada four times. George says he’s more than ready to self-quarantine at the RV park when – and if – he can get there. So far he’s received “helpful” suggestions from Canadian authorities that perhaps he should just hire some high-schoolers to handle the work at the park and stay put in the Lower 48.
Alaskans returning home from the Lower 48 got more clarification on travel across Canada. A U.S. Senator, Dan Sullivan, announced snowbirds can head home, and the 14-day quarantine for new arrivals will generally not be applied to Alaskans. However, vehicles will need to be self-contained, as nothing but fuel may be purchased en route: no food, and no motel accommodations allowed, under penalty of fine. A British Columbia tourism internet site puts it succinctly, as above.
Ranger Darren Cooke and Bradley Cheshire were in the Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park near Lake Tahoe in the mid-morning hours last Saturday when Cheshire noticed what appeared to be a small bear running down the middle of Highway 89. He stopped his vehicle a short distance away to attempt to get the animal off the road. But the animal quickly darted away into a wooded area. As it did, Cheshire noticed the “bear’s” long tail. Nope, it wasn’t a bear at all but a big ol’ Newfoundland dog, later identified as Sam. After a short chase, Sam was captured and soon thereafter reunited with his owner.
Nebraskans may begin enjoying RV camping by reservation only at select state park areas starting May 20. Limited RV camping will be available at parks where social distancing and group-size recommendations can be maintained to help ensure compliance with the state’s public health directives.
Neat! Monocular telescope connects to phone
This is one of the neatest gadgets we’ve seen in a while! This waterproof monocular telescope connects right to your phone so you can take photos of that bird waaaaaaay over there. You can now photograph anything up to 12x closer than before. Great for birdwatching, concerts or any sporting event. We already bought one! Learn more or order.
A mystery fire at the Lakeland RV Campground in Milton, Wisconsin, destroyed 10 RVs and damaged two others on April 21. The fire, which occurred sometime between 5:40 p.m. and 6:47 p.m., was so intense that little was left in the way of evidence. Authorities are ruling nothing out at this point.
Whatcom County, Washington, firefighters fought an “interesting” blaze at the Black Mountain Ranch on the Mount Baker Highway last Monday afternoon. The campground, largely a temporary base for Canadians, was vacant when the fire broke out. On arrival smoke-eaters found two RVs afire, and before it was over, one more RV and a park model rig were wiped out. Flames blasting upwards to 80 feet and venting propane tanks made the battle “more interesting,” in the words of the district chief. He believes someone’s space heater kicked on and ignited the first RV, leading to a chain of losses.
The Lancaster (Nebraska) Event Center’s year-round campground is now open. It offers 320 gravel or grass sites that offer 30- or 50-amp electric service and seasonal water service. The event center’s fairgrounds has also added free access to laundry machines, high-speed wireless Internet service and discounted sewer pump and/or winter water fill services in addition to the existing shower room, single dump station and vehicle washing area.
Now, use your air conditioner in low-power situations never before possible!
At RVtravel.com we don’t see too many products that we go nuts over, but the SoftStartRV is a game changer. Here’s what it can do:
• Run two air conditioners on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run a generator or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.
Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
In case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.
Much of the USA has resumed business as usual. How do you think this will affect the spread of the coronavirus? Respond here.
PAST POLL: We asked this a few days ago: Have you cancelled camping reservations for this summer? More than 1,700 readers weighed in. See how they responded.
RV Crime News
Heartless crooks in Arizona swiped a traveling nurse’s trailer – then dumped it, but kept her stuff. Kim Fore was between hospital assignments and had her travel trailer parked at a friend’s home in Phoenix. To make ends meet between nursing gigs, she was out doing a food delivery job and on returning “home” found home wasn’t there. A crook in a white Chevy backed up to the trailer, removed its hitch lock, and skated away. The trailer was later found, but gone were her scrubs, work supplies and stethoscope. The thief also ripped off sentimental items, like a shell casing from a rifle salute given at her father’s funeral and his old camping jacket.
A young fellow in a Class A motorhome apparently wasn’t too wise as to width and overhead when he took off down a dirt trail with police hot on his trail. Johnathan Kendrick (22), of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was spotted by sheriff’s deputies driving what was reported as a stolen RV. They followed the rig up Highway 85 near Crestview, Florida, on May 3. Attempting to stop the driver was fruitless – he stomped on the accelerator and nearly sideswiped another motorist before departing the highway and flying down a “dirt trail.” He must have left a wake of RV parts as he managed to mash a few trees, wiping out the rig’s awning along the way. He finally disabled the rig when he hit a tree more directly and tried to hot-foot from the scene, only to be tackled by a deputy. He’s charged with eluding, resisting arrest, and operating without a valid license. He claims he didn’t steal the motorhome – he was only running because he knew there was an arrest warrant out for him.
Have you seen this stolen trailer?
The Pike County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Department could use your help finding it. The 2013 Coachmen Apex was stolen from its residence on Highway 301 South in Delight sometime after May 1. The Arkansas plate is AB426453. Call the Sheriff if you have info, (870) 285-3301.
While the coronavirus has locked up people in their homes, it hasn’t discouraged internet fraudsters. Britain’s Guardian newspaper says the country has been flooded with thousands of fake listings for RVs, often copying pictures and data from legitimate advertisements. The fake salespeople then offer to deliver the vehicle – after money has been deposited. Of course, the rig never turns up and the money vanishes. An investigator told the Guardian he’d never seen so many fraud ads turn up in such a short time.
Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. This Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order.
Pickup truck news
According to our recent survey, about 80 percent of RVtravel.com readers own at least one pickup truck. Recognizing that, we’ll provide the latest news highlights about the vehicles here each week.
Truck sales speed past cars for first time in industry history
The phenomenon of sport utility vehicles and pickup truck sales continues. Last month, for the first time in automotive history, pickup trucks outsold passenger cars in the United States. According to statistics released by market researcher Autodata Corp., the truck segment, dominated by General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), outsold passenger cars by more than 17,000 units. Why? Find out here.
Bollinger Motors unveils two futuristic electric trucks
Bollinger Motors, founded in 2015 by Robert Bollinger, manufactures the B1 Electric Sport Utility Truck and B2 Electric Pickup Truck. A 4×4 off-road and street legal, all-wheel-drive electric truck, Bollinger’s utilitarian looks challenge the norms of mainstream truck design. Check ’em out here.
Tiny truck camper aimed at half-ton truck set
Are you young and adventurous? How about, do you still feel young and adventurous? Then a Yakima, Washington, RV manufacturer is looking for you. Adventurer Manufacturing, which produces the truck camper lines Adventurer, Overlander, Scout and Eagle Cap, have a new line they’re releasing, and if the relaxing of restrictions comes about as they hope, they’ll have some of these new rigs to sell at the end of the month. Are they for you? Find out here.
Nissan Titan hoping for 2020 revival in tough truck crowd
Nearly 20 years ago someone decided on the not-so-keen idea of naming a full-sized pickup truck after a mythological Greek god. It’s been a curse for the Nissan Titan. Perennially low-selling in the country’s best-selling vehicle segment … the Titan had the poorest sales of any mainstream full-size truck last year. Refreshing the truck for 2020 was the least Nissan could do …. [T]he 2020 Nissan Titan is now worthy of decent promotion. It’s as good as it’s ever been in a tough crowd. Read more.
I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness. What am I?
Need a place to store your RV or belongings? Rent available space on private property near you at Neighbor.com. Save money over commercial facilities. It’s like the AirBnB of storage. Learn more.
Dutchmen Manufacturing has announced that its 2021 Kodiak Ultra-Lite brand of travel trailers will come standard with Solar Roof Ready Prep. By adding the solar ready prep to the roof, company officials noted, it eliminates the hassle of running connection wires and makes solar panel installation straightforward.
America’s Largest RV Show is still set to run in Hershey, Pennsylvania, beginning September 16. More than 1,500 model RVs should be on display, including the debut of many 2021 models.
The Holiday Rambler RV Club has canceled the Eastern International Rally in Amana, Iowa, scheduled for July 20-24.
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.
Editor Chuck Woodbury writes: If you want to know what we are up against with the incredibly nasty virus we’re dealing with today, read the book “The Great Influenza,” the story of the 1918 Pandemic. It’s estimated that about 500 million people worldwide were infected and that between 50 and 100 million died – 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population. I’m [Emily] reading it right now and it’s fascinating.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of May 4, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $1.79 [Calif.: $2.64]
Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down $1.11.
Diesel: $2.40 [Calif.: $3.19]
Change from week before: Down 4 cents; Change from year before: Down 77 cents.
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Free and bargain camping
Click here to view this week’s free and bargain camping spots.
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 OvernightRVparking.com.
Brain teaser answer:
The letter s.
Amazing tool does so much!
This multifunctional tool is seven in one! This heavy-duty pen tool features a handy tablet or smartphone stylus, a sturdy screwdriver, a bubble level, a universal inch/cm ruler and a handy Phillips screwdriver flathead bit, and it’s only the size of a pen! Perfect for any weekend project, and it even makes a great gift. Learn more or order.
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editors: Diane McGovern, Russ and Tiña De Maris.
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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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