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Sunday, July 26, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Couple sues Jayco, claims new RV was infested with wood-boring beetles
A Virginia couple is suing Jayco, Inc., claiming the 2019 Entegra 44B Aspire motorhome they bought in 2018 contained wood-boring beetles. John and Audrey Gleske, of Gore, Virginia, accuse the Indiana company and its Entegra division of being in breach of warranty. Read more.
Ancient weapons endanger drivers on Texas Interstate – Watch out!
Just when you thought folks couldn’t get much worse, a person or persons in Texas are using a modern reconstruction of an ancient weapon to mess up drivers in Texas’ Smith County. Police have been finding dozens of “caltrops” strewn along Interstate 20, about 100 miles east of Dallas. Read more.
Chased by bison, woman successfully “plays dead” – Video
A visitor to Yellowstone National Park got more than she bargained for after getting too close to a bison. The upset beast took off at high speed, straight toward the woman. She tripped and fell, while her companion continued out of range. Watch the interesting reaction of the bison here.
That was the RV week that was
July 19–25, 2020
The unanticipated dynamic of coronavirus has brought Airstream good. Company expectations were that April demand would be down by 70 percent compared to April 2019. Wrong! Demand was down only 30 percent, and May saw the biggest monthly demand record back to 1980 – a 45 percent increase over May 2019. June demand was over 100 percent. And a side note: Airstream thinks work-at-home/school-at-home users will get much bigger. The company is now putting a “powerful antenna” for internet connectivity into some models, and partnering with AT&T to feed it.
While the coronavirus pandemic has reduced traffic on America’s roadways, it hasn’t made it safe. In fact, in May, while the number of miles driven on U.S. roads dropped more than 25 percent, fatalities went up a whopping 24 percent. May was the third month in a row that saw a higher risk of being killed on U.S. roadways. Early thinking among safety experts says less traffic has somehow encouraged more recklessness for drivers.
Despite the objections of local residents, Dare County, North Carolina, officials have approved a permit for a 50-site RV park abutting a residential subdivision. Beachland Farms Campground developers did get some conditions to meet. Some residents were concerned about potential flooding or hurricanes and their aftermath. Park owners must remove any damaged rigs and see to their proper disposal. Guests won’t be able to have campfires. While rigs can be left at the park year-round, they can’t be “permanent dwellings.” Other conditions were levied, but it appears the park is on trajectory for construction.
Need a place to “overnight” in Lincoln, Montana? Try “Steve’s Place,” a definite “dry camp” experience in the heart of Lincoln’s downtown. “Close to everything,” says Steve Hartman, who founded and operates the stay-over location. With 12 RV sites, from 33 to 70 feet in length, Steve is hoping people will bring their rigs, but he’s not looking to see a profit. Steve’s Place is a donation lot ($10 minimum per day, but more gladly accepted). Just put your check or cash in the honor-system box, and the funds go directly to the local schools. Hartman hopes there’ll soon be enough donations to buy a movie projector for the students. Reservations are accepted, too. Call (406) 362-4434.
Stay free at more than 1,040 wineries and farms
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As increasing scrutiny is brought to bear on America’s history, we’re seeing more history unfold. For example, the NFL team formerly known as the “Washington Redskins” recently dropping the reference to Redskins, as many are calling out for racial sensitivity. Now in Flagstaff, Arizona, a petition is calling on a name change for a local RV park. Signers are calling for a change away from the current Kit Carson RV Park, in light of Carson’s notoriety involving the Navajo people back in 1863. Carson, a Union Army officer, was tasked with “relocating” Navajos from their homeland and forcing them onto a reservation. Hundreds died in the “Long Walk,” and modern-day activists question giving Carson positive publicity.
While the U.S./Canada border is technically closed, Americans needing to cross the border to access Alaska or return from there can do so. One RV park owner in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, says that Americans overnighting at her park are the soul of conscientiousness. Glenda Simpson runs the Triple G Hideaway RV Park and says most RVers from the U.S. are actually arriving at the park already wearing face masks. She reports that most are extremely concerned that they do everything right, and not violate any rules. With American tourists in short supply, RV parks along the route to Alaska report things are extremely difficult financially. But with a minimum 35-hour drive time to cross B.C., RVers have to pull it over somewhere.
St. Joseph, Missouri, may soon be home to a new RV park in the city’s riverfront area. The city will have a financial stake in the matter, if the plan is approved by city councilors. A private developer already has land in the riverfront area, and says he’ll drum up $750,000 for the development. However, negotiations are underway that would have the city pony up $1.3 million in transient tax dollars to enhance the RV park with pickleball courts, a splash park, an event pavilion, public restrooms and a playground. Additional funds would be available for some utility and road work.
Utah officials don’t know the cause, but they have the effect down cold: Litter. Wildlife lands managers say there’s been a serious increase in the amount of trash dumped on lands they manage, and an increase in illegal dumping as well. One theory is that more people are getting outdoors in a knee-jerk reaction to being cooped up by COVID-19, but don’t have the decency to pack out what they pack in. U.S. Forest Service officials say they, too, are seeing more littering on their lands. Game officials ask that if you see someone trashing, don’t confront, but get a vehicle license plate number and report it.
Bigger Indiana state-operated wildlife refuges: Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Blossom Hollow in Johnson County got a 40-acre addition of forest habitat. Among “residents” affected are two shrew species, while “visitors” include several migrant birds. Mossy Point Nature Preserve in Parke County sees nearly an additional 26-acre increase helping out several uncommon plant species like witch hazel and ginseng.
You can pull the shades down, but you just can’t hide. That’s the lesson from Border Patrol agents in Laredo, Texas. Patrol agents at the Interstate 35 checkpoint had a pickup truck towing a travel trailer come through. A K9 agent alerted to the presence of concealed humans. A secondary inspection revealed 30 folks believed to be from Mexico and Guatemala tucked away inside.
While the name of Paradise, California, may have been a dream choice, the devastating wildfire made it anything but. Now, for some still recovering from the fire, Paradise is turning into hell. The town council has changed the ordinance that allowed folks recovering from the fire to live in RVs. Come January that’s no longer the case. Unless they have an active building permit, no more RV permits will be issued. Town officials say too many are simply squatting, creating health and safety issues. Town officials say they’re “working” with people in a bind and point out the ordinance change doesn’t say anything about fines or forcible removal if someone misses the deadline.
A Massachusetts RV dealer is finding out it’s not a good idea to play footsy with the IRS. Robert Fuller (65), of Boylston, Massachusetts, operated Fuller Motorhomes and, according to reports, failed to mention some $900,000 in income over a four-year period. Now a U.S. District Court judge says Boylston will have pay $451,535 in restitution and sit out six months in prison for his misdeeds.
📌 Day Two of our Big Contest
It’s Day Two of our Cavalcade of Prizes Contest, which runs through next Saturday, August 1, with a bunch of great prizes including a fantastic SoftStartRV air conditioner management device. With its advanced technology you can now run your RV’s air conditioner with standard 20-amp household current or a small generator. Other prizes include a half-dozen 360 Siphon roof vent caps, which will expel the stinky odors from your toilet holding tank out your roof to prevent your RV from smelling like an outhouse. And you could win one of five copies of Mike Sokol’s book about RV Electricity, essential knowledge for all RVers. Plus more great prizes! Be sure you are signed up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter to increase your chance of winning.
ENTER ONCE A DAY!
👍 LEARN MORE AND ENTER THE CONTEST. Click here
Today’s secret phrase: Wilbur loved carrots more than his wife, Freida.
RV Crime News
In this case of “cops and robbers,” the bad guy didn’t get away – but he hurt others. Police in Holt, Missouri, got word of a stolen motorhome involved in a vehicle accident on July 18. Armed with a description of the RV, police set off on a chase. Dustin Leach (36), of Kearney, Missouri, wasn’t interested in stopping and attempted to pass a young mother and her daughter while barreling down Southeast PP Highway. Leach sideswiped the mom’s car, shoving it off the roadway; the motorhome Leach was errantly piloting rolled and ended up on its roof. He faces a laundry-list of charges. Mom and daughter, both in safety equipment, weren’t seriously injured; Leach, unbelted, suffered moderate injuries.
From Newton County, Texas. Sheriff Billy Rowles reports that two people were stealing a travel trailer. How did the sheriff’s office find out? Turns out the two dumb crooks didn’t bother to check inside the trailer before hitching up. As they drove down the road, a man inside the rig called 9-1-1 for help. It didn’t take long for a deputy to pull over the crooked couple and book them into jail. On a non-related note, Sheriff Rowles also reports a woman called the department, complaining about a woman bothering her by knocking on her front door. Turns out the unwelcome visitor was upset – she’d been chased by a bobcat. All in a day’s work – in Texas.
A young family with dreams of an RVing holiday scrimped, saved and borrowed to buy their dream rig. Three weeks later, the dream bubble burst when crooks stole their $33,000 rig from right outside their British home. Mark and Heather Wilson and their two kids, Oscar and Ada, had big plans, and Mark, a metal worker, says he sold everything he could and took out a loan for the balance on the Fiat Swift Sundance. Police speculate the thieves had keys to make the rip-off. The unit was insured, but it could take months for the company to decide whether they’ll pay off or not.
Some crooks are bad liars. Police in Altoona, PA, got a call about a possible burglary. A man spotted an unfamiliar pickup pull into a neighbor’s place, and the driver carefully placed his hands on the front of a travel trailer – as if trying to sense of anyone was inside. Randall Lundy (34) told responding police he knew the property owner, and that he was interested in buying the RV. However, he couldn’t name the owner, and he claimed he’d walked in on foot. The truck? Oh, his girlfriend actually drove the truck in, and she just left. Police say the prevaricator is now up on charges of felony burglary and misdemeanor attempted theft from a motor vehicle.
Boondockers Welcome — Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Modest membership fee. Learn more.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
Here’s a classic trailer, ripped off. This 1961 Airstream Bambi, with two flexible, low-profile solar panels on the roof, vanished from an area west of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, probably during the night of July 17. When last seen, this little rig was bearing the California legacy plate BAMM61. While the plate may be quickly swapped out, it would take longer to change out those white-wall tires. Inside is an orange and yellow color scheme, all looking like original manufacture. Know anything? Contact the owner, Nathan Holtz, at 562-450-0808 or email xxotxx [at sign] aol.com.
Good news: Arrests made in national RV theft ring: Troopers with the West Virginia State Police recovered four stolen RVs Friday in Mercer County, WV, and arrested two men. On Friday, four RV campers were stolen from Roy’s RVs in Randolph County. The RVs were pulled by four separate pickup trucks that ran the North Beckley Toll Plaza at 4:30 a.m. without paying their toll. Troopers were able to locate and stop two of the trucks, securing the RVs and taking the drivers into custody. Investigators believe the thefts were part of a national theft ring involving stolen RVs throughout the Southeastern USA that were then shipped to foreign countries.
Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
Where do you camp when a tornado is headed your direction? Hopefully in a park with a storm shelter. Here’s RVtravel.com’s ever-expanding directory of such places.
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.
Sculptor creates another stone truck tougher than “Built Ford Tough”
By James Raia
Eight years after he made his first stone truck, Chris Miller has created another. He’s also kept Ford Motor Company true to its word in an astonishing way. … Miller’s [second] stone truck was inspired by a vintage truck he viewed while combining a vacation and hopeful inspiration country voyage into rural Georgia. He found what he was seeking – a 1940 Ford truck aging well. Check this out!
Can you see me now? No. Toyota recalls pickups with dim lights
Nearly 200,000 Toyota Tundra pickup trucks in model years from 2018 through 2020 and equipped with LED headlights have been recalled. The reason: The trucks’ front lights may be too dim for other drivers to see. Learn more.
Farewell to RVer favorites Chevy Spark, Honda Fit
Two entry-level cars popular for flat towing – the Chevrolet Spark and Honda Fit – will cease production after the end of their current 2020 model years. Read more.
Did you ever go on a blind date? Click here to respond.
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.
In what place does today come before yesterday?
Hang up the heavy stuff!
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.
Euharlee, Georgia’s, planning commission has voted to recommend an amendment to the city’s zoning laws that would hit RV owners hard. Under the suggested change, residents could only park RVs on a rear or side yard, and no more than two per lot. Two public readings of the proposal will need to be made before a formal vote on the matter is taken.
Lazydays has donated about $4,500 to Second Harvest Heartland from a percentage of its service proceeds in June from its Lazydays RV Service Center of Minneapolis. “During these trying times, we wanted to partner with a local food bank to help those in need,” said Keith Foerster, Vice President of Service Operations. “We’re all in this together and it’s important to us to be supportive of our fellow community members.”
Late Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives took significant action to address campground modernization and deferred maintenance on public lands with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) by a vote of 310-107. The bill, which provides the largest investment in iconic public lands in over a century, was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last month and now heads to the White House, where the president is expected to sign it.
Peninsula Campground, located on Rollins Reservoir near Yuba City, Calif., closed for the season Friday due to COVID-19.
Elkhart County, Ind., Sheriff Jeff Siegel said his department will not enforce a statewide mask order that goes into effect Monday, according to a report by The Elkhart Truth. Gov. Eric Holcomb said not following the order would be a violation, but the “mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets.” Approximately 85% of all American RVs are made in the county.
Joshua Tree National Park’s Cottonwood campground, closed earlier this month because of “aggressive honeybee activity” is open again. The park’s Jumbo Rocks campground, closed for the same reason, has also reopened.
Carolina Beach Family Campground in Wilmington, NC, has announced it is no longer taking reservations. The campground was issued a notice of violation for inadequate wastewater systems, and a notice to abate from the sheriff’s office for garbage, trash and other materials that could impact health of campers. A county spokesperson says the campground has been instructed to not accept additional campers and to have campers in tents leave because of the inadequate wastewater system. They have also been asked to add portable toilets and hand washing stations, as well as dumpsters to add additional garbage capacity on the property.
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.
Check for gas leaks often by using this!
Russ & Tiña De Maris write: “We keep our natural gas leak detector tucked in the door pocket of our tow vehicle so we can check for leaks when we reconnect an LP bottle after filling. We also use it whenever we make up a new connection on a gas line, or ‘think’ we might have a leak. Here’s one you can pick up for a good price with lots of good reviews.”
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Nothing significant to report this time.
Remove ticks easily from people or pets
This highly rated Tick Twister Remover Set will remove ticks, large and small, without squeezing them, reducing the risk of infection. It does not leave the mouthparts of the tick in the skin. It’s safe and easy, and it helps prevent Lyme Disease. Keep one of these in your RV. Learn more or order.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Pandemic is pushing editor to be a hermit.
• RVtravel.com readers see no improvement in RV quality.
• Watch the horror of a motorhome crash test.
• Marriage advice from a hand-signalin’, RV backer-upper.
• RV Electricity: Get yer red hot projects right here, folks….
• RV Tire Safety: Shield your tires from exhaust heat.
• Stash your RV inside a “fake house”?
• Little known danger: Too much water can kill your dog.
• Update: Help! Lend your RV to a frontline healthcare worker.
• Boondocking in a coronavirus world. Part 4: What’s holding you back?
• Tips from a pro: Digitize your family photo albums.
• True story: “My RV was a Bloodmobile.”
• Weird, Wacky, Wonderful RVs of the Week.
… and much more
For peace of mind, use a backflow preventer
Backflow happens when a fresh water system gets “cross-connected” with a source of bad water or other contaminants. You don’t want that! Prevent this from happening by using a backflow preventer. Here’s an affordable one. Use it and rest easier. (You can read more about backflow prevention here.)
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of July 20, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.19 [Calif.: $3.03]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 56 cents.
Diesel: $2.43 [Calif.: $3.25]
Change from week before: Down 1 cent; Change from year before: Down 61 cents.
Sign up for an email reminder for our weekday RV Daily Tips Newsletter, published every Monday through Friday. You won’t want to miss it!
Upcoming RV shows
We will restart this feature as RV shows begin again.
Two new guides to free campgrounds
Roundabout Publications has teamed up with the Ultimate Public Campground Project on these two new guides. Discover thousands of designated camping areas in the West and in America’s Heartland – real places – not big box store parking lots. Included are areas managed by various governmental agencies. Learn more about the West edition or Heartland edition.
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:
In the dictionary.
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
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RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Emily Woodbury, 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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