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Sunday, November 8, 2020
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
RV “vloggers” fined, threatened with arrest for taking video in National Park
Popular YouTubers and travel bloggers Kara and Nate had a rough surprise when they were contacted recently by the National Park Service about filming in parks without a permit. Threats of arrest warrants were made unless the couple responded to allegations that they filmed content on national park property that they monetized on their YouTube channel. They promptly responded, and ultimately were issued a $1,000 fine and a ban from filming in parks in the future. Read more.
Quartzsite RV Show: Maybe there’s some hope for the safety-minded
We reported last week how the “Big Tent” Quartzsite RV show is still “a go” for its mid-January blast. The real blast was in terms of feedback from readers, some of which are reported on here. Quartzsite residents Russ and Tiña De Maris are keeping tabs on the snowbird arrivals, and how the residents are handling the pandemic. Read more about Quartzsite and its upcoming RV Show here.
Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for October
The list of latest recalls on RVs and other vehicles and/or products of interest to RVers has been released by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list includes models from Airstream, Forest River, Jayco, Newmar and others – plus many other vehicles commonly used by RVers. Is your RV or other vehicle on the list? Find out here.
And RV recalls issued in the past week …
• Some Sprinter RVs may be involved in recall.
• Forest River recalls 9,261 trailers: Bad wiring insulation could cause fire.
• Some Palomino travel trailers recalled. Antenna wing could fall off.
• Some Lance trailers recalled for potential stove propane leak.
Today’s RV review…
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Jayco Jay Feather Micro 166FBS travel trailer. He writes, “… despite its small size at only 19’8” in total length and weighing in at 4,038 pounds, it still has everything you might need to enjoy RVing.” Learn more.
Keystone Cougar 24SABWE travel trailer
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
NEW: Sign up for our new Facebook Group, RV reviews. We post a link to Tony’s reviews there every day as well as other reviews and videos.
That was the RV week that was
November 1–7, 2020
By the time you read this, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park will be open again – at least parts of it. The park closed its gates October 22 due to wildfires. One of those fires, the East Troublesome Fire, was aptly named, as it crept into the park’s western side, then clambered over the Continental Divide and made its way on to the park’s east side. The park has seen 29,000 of its 265,600 acres take a hit from wildfire. The fire has proved to be particularly feisty, burning away despite a foot of snow that dumped into the park.
A tragic loss of life in Paso Robles, California, could underscore the need for regular RV maintenance. Police issued a SIG alert for Highway 101 on October 29 after a wheel came loose from a fifth-wheel. The Crossroads RV lost a right-hand wheel while under tow on the highway. The escaped wheel rolled across the southbound lanes of the highway, jumped the median, and landed on the roof of a northbound Jeep Cherokee. The impact of the wheel on the roof was so strong it crushed the roof, killing a passenger in the Jeep by blunt force trauma. The fifth-wheel pilot wasn’t even aware of the wheel’s loss until flagged down by another motorist. As RV technicians recommend, have your towable’s wheel bearings inspected every year.
It could pay to be a trout fisherman. That’s true in Arizona in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where a partnership between the National Park Service and the state’s Game and Fish Department pays fishermen. Here’s the catch: All you need to do is to catch (and not release) brown trout. The “Incentivized Harvest” program will pay a $25 bounty for each brown trout caught and turned in. Participants will need a valid Arizona fishing license, and use artificial lures with barbless hooks. Why the bounty program? Seems that adult brown trout feed on other fish, and threaten native fish species. Are you hooked on the idea? Catch up with the program details here.
We reported last week about the RVer whose rig caught fire while driving I-40 near Knoxville, Tennessee. The fire broke out apparently due to a brake malfunction. An off-duty police officer stopped to help out, and is credited (along with an unnamed nurse) of saving the life of a bystander who collapsed with a heart attack. New information shows the man with the heart attack was more than just a bystander. Art Sherman pulled over and helped the RVer get his truck detached from the flaming fiver, and he is the man, presently in the hospital in a medically induced coma, who had the heart attack. Sherman is a U.S. Navy veteran. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Art’s medical expenses.
When firefighters in Scott, Louisiana, got to the scene of an RV fire last Saturday, they found this: A travel trailer burning up in an open field. But that’s not where it all started. Earlier, a neighbor looked up to see the flames breaking out of the trailer – at that time parked next to a house. Riding to the rescue in his trusty BMW SUV, the neighbor somehow hitched up to the rolling inferno and got it away from the house. Firefighters credit the roll-out with saving the home from damage, and point the fickle finger of guilt at the RV’s refrigerator.
An RVer in Greeley, Colorado, was just getting ready to unlock his rig, parked at a storage yard. His eye caught movement and spotted a man fiddling around with a window on the rig parked next door. When he asked the man what he was up to, the only response was a rapidly retreating back. On opening his RV, the owner found he was shy a television, the inside of his rig smelled like cigarettes, and somehow, a glow-stick that didn’t belong there was found inside. It all added up: Police had been called to that same storage lot several times where RVers complained of rigs broken into and items from TVs to fireplaces and electronic equipment gone. Two days after the “cigarette smoke” incident, folks spotted the intruder, this time following him away from the lot. Police caught up with Gabriel Gonzales (28) and have charged him with multiple counts of breaking, entry, and theft. He also confessed he’d been sleeping in some of the units.
Springdale, Utah, the gateway city to Zion National Park, was a hopping place Tuesday morning. Fire broke out in a restaurant in front of the town’s historic Bumbleberry Inn. Fire crews responded to – dare we say – the appropriately named Porter’s Smokehouse. The flames also chewed their way through the Inn’s gift shop, but didn’t threaten the Inn’s guest rooms, which are in a separate building out back.
City officials in Crescent City, California, were on the horns of a dilemma. The municipally owned “Shoreline RV Park” needed to transition to that of a “destination resort,” and the old name was – well – just not right. How about “Lighthouse Shores”? Nah, turns out a local Airbnb had already tapped that name. “Lighthouse Cove”? “Lighthouse Beach”? Who could provide Solomonic-like wisdom in choosing the new moniker? A lightning strike of genius arose! Why not ask the park’s guests? An overwhelming 85% of the then-present 26 guests hit on Lighthouse Cove RV Park.
One of the more devastating wildfires that struck Oregon in September was the Almeda fire. Thousands lost their homes, entire towns leveled. But that disaster has spawned another: Two of the affected towns, Phoenix and Talent, were both considered to be towns where housing was relatively affordable – and many local employees from the medical field lived in them. With a shortfall of housing, two big medical employers jumped in to try and support their workers. Providence scurried to convert vacant land it held in two locations into RV parks. Charitable foundations associated with the outfit bought new fifth-wheels, volunteers stocked them, and employees began moving in October 12. Another hospital system, Asante, says it will open its own, newly constructed, 32-site park by December 1. Employees who own RVs can bring their own; others will find “slightly used” rigs provided by the company. In all, more than 100 employees lost homes between the two companies.
We reported earlier that Dare County, North Carolina, commissioners would be making a decision that would have considerable effect on RV park space availability. Last month the commission entertained ideas about how many “glamping” cabins would be allowed in RV parks. Now the vote has been taken, and a decision made – sort of. On a 4 to 3 vote, the local planning commission recommended commissioners allow a maximum of 50% of an RV park be allotted to cabins. Outside forces suggested 75% or even an allowance of 100%. The commissioners settled on a 50-50 split between RV sites and cabins. BUT, they said, the staff should “revisit” the numbers issue and come back in December with their thinking.
Two major roads in California’s Yosemite National Park have closed due to snow. Tioga Road (Highway 120), the 47-mile scenic route, and Glacier Point Road closed down Thursday night. A call on whether or not to open either or both of the roads will be made by park officials on Monday. For updates you can phone 209-372-0200.
It could be another unanticipated side effect of COVID-19. At least one Canadian tire dealer is warning customers that they could be in for a surprise – a lack of winter tires. Duane Belyea, of Auto Tire & Safeties in Oshawa, Ontario, says tire manufacturers slowed up in winter tire production. And now with the Canada/U.S. border closed to crossing, many Canadian snowbirds are stuck up north in snow country. The reduced supply of winter tires coupled with an increased demand could spell a miserable winter when the snow flies.
Not every local government is turning a thumbs-down to RV park development. Town commissioners in Cedar Point, North Carolina, have given the go-ahead to the Page Place RV Park to proceed on its sixth phase of development, which will allow an additional seven sites to be built. The developer looks to ultimately have 72 sites.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS STOLEN RV?
If it isn’t hard enough on medical frontliners fighting COVID-19, now comes another stumbling block for some in Rochester, Michigan. The Rochester Medical Group was operating a COVID test center in their parking lot. That is, until a couple of rotters in a dark-colored Ford F-150 rolled into the lot early in the morning of November 2. The truck, equipped with a sunroof, was quickly hitched up to the travel trailer the medical group used to help with their testing program. It contained 500 COVID-19 testing swabs, boxes of PPE, and propane tanks and heaters that staff members used to stay warm. Repeated requests to the medical group for a better description of the stolen RV went unanswered – but if you know anything, call either the Rochester Police Department at (248) 651-9621 or Rochester Medical Group at 248-844-6000.
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a couple of photos for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific Standard time today, Nov. 8, 2020. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV here (if you haven’t already), for a chance to win in future issues.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s RV Daily Tips newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or the newsletters that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.
Don’t buy a portable generator
Use your car’s engine instead. Save money. Save hassle. Learn more at cargenerator.com.
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.
Pickup trucks, SUVs rule on top-10 five-year depreciation ratings
Four pickup trucks are among the top-10 vehicles with the lowest five-year depreciation, according to a new report from iSeeCars.com. The automotive data and vehicle research site lists the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the lowest depreciation, at 30.9 percent. It’s more than 18 percent lower than the national five-year depreciation average. Read what other trucks and SUVs age well here.
Luxury trucks cost about the same as the average car to insure
Some fully equipped 2020 luxury trucks cost more than $90,000. The top five most expensive new trucks this year cost about the same as the average amount to insure a 2020 car. Which are the five most expensive new trucks, on average, to insure? Find out here.
Ford is going big on electric vehicles but not big electric trucks. At least not yet. Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, Americas & International Markets Group, said last week that “at the moment, we do not have any plans to go into heavy-duty with battery-electric vehicles.” Ford will introduce an all-electric light-duty F-150 pickup in the coming years and is scheduled to unveil a battery-powered version of its Transit commercial van on Nov. 12, but a zero-emissions F-Series Super Duty (F-250, F-350, F-450) has not been announced.
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.
A man is stranded on a riverbank with a wolf, a sheep and a cabbage. He has a tiny raft to cross the river, but it can fit only himself and one other, either the wolf, the sheep, or the cabbage. If he leaves the wolf with the sheep, the wolf will eat the sheep. If he leaves the sheep with the cabbage, the sheep will eat the cabbage. How can the man cross the river with the wolf, the sheep, and the cabbage and get all to the other side safely?
By RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury
Book for newbie RVers a must-have!
If you are planning to buy your first RV or are just getting started with your first rig, this book by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury should be a must-read. The ABCs of RVing answers important questions that newbie RVers don’t even know enough to ask! Read this, and you’ll save countless hours of research and avoid making costly rookie mistakes. It’s available in both a Kindle version and printed edition.
The Boston RV & Camping Expo, normally held in January, has been rescheduled for April 15-18. The annual event is sponsored by the New England RV Dealers Association and held in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
A person accused of setting fire to a business office at the Lake Norman RV Resort in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, is wanted. Firefighters responded to the business around 1 a.m. last Saturday to find it engulfed in flames. Video shows a masked person breaking into the business office, dousing the office with accelerant and igniting the building. The person involved also caught fire and can be seen running off to try and extinguish the flames from his lower legs and feet. Please call the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office at 828-464-3112 if you have information.
The pandemic has fueled interest in South Dakota’s state parks and recreation areas. Camping nights rose 25% this year compared to the first 10 months of 2019, topping 380,000. Visitations climbed 31% to nearly 7.8 million. For the month of October, campground use jumped 99% to 20,574. Visitations went up 51% to 528,940.
Camping World is faring well through the pandemic. Last week CEO Marcus Lemonis said the company plans to open at least eight to 10 locations per year through a combination of new store development and strategic and opportunistic acquisitions.
Many restaurants across the USA will offer discounts to veterans on Veterans Day, November 11. Some, by the way, will offer special deals through this month, including Cracker Barrel, a favorite of RVers. Here’s a long list of the best known.
Same-park revenue at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts soared 21.8% during the third quarter as locked-down families ventured outdoors. Even with most campground openings delayed by the COVID pandemic, year-to-date same-park sales were up 3.7% over 2019.
The father of toy hauler RVs, Mark Warmoth, has died at age 64. Toy haulers, which were born in the deserts of the Southwest, have gained widespread popularity. Their rear or side ramp doors allow the loading and carrying of motorcycles, ATVs, jet skies, and any other “toy” that will fit.
Work campers looking for seasonal employment might want to consider Lowe’s, which is hiring 20,000 temporary workers for the upcoming holiday season. Amazon will also beef up its ranks by 100,000 workers to deal with its busiest time of the year.
If your idea of a good cup of coffee means stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts, then you may like to know that its parent company (and also Baskin-Robbins) has been acquired by Inspire Brands, whose portfolio includes Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Sonic Drive-In and Jimmy John’s.
According to a fall update to the annual North American Camping Report by KOA, 21 percent of leisure travelers went on a camping trip this summer and 42 percent still plan to take a camping trip in 2020. The report, which surveyed 3,500 leisure travelers, was released in October, so lower temperatures don’t appear to be taking the chill out of more camping.
Celebrities at large in an RV
Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kendall Jenner and her father, Caitlyn Jenner (previously Bruce), were seen heading out of Los Angeles on Thursday, apparently to go camping. Photos showed Caitlyn filling up Kendall’s Range Rover while the model sat in the driver’s seat, towing an Airstream trailer. If you see them, send us a photo.
Workamper News has launched a new online course designed to help mobile entrepreneurs start and maintain successful small businesses. “With the right training and support, a mobile entrepreneur can learn the fundamentals to start a business, a strategy to market the company, and a process to ensure it thrives,” said Workamper News’ Steve Anderson. Students complete the training at their own pace by viewing more than 70 videos compiled into 26 lessons.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis and his wife, Bobbi, have launched the Lemon-Aid Foundation and pledged $50 million toward providing opportunities for underserved communities and small businesses through strategic loans and equity investments.
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.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Tribute to veterans from WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle and editor Chuck Woodbury.
• Why is Veterans Day always observed on November 11? (Tribute to veterans from Mike Sokol)
• What I learned when I wrote “Where are all the Black RVers?”
• The most beautiful, tiny, van-camper RV you have ever seen!
• How many sewer hoses does an RVer need?
• We had our RV custom painted. Here’s what the process was like…
• RVelectricity: Power adapter overview – What works or doesn’t work?
• RV Tire Safety: Tire load capacity is like your engine red line.
• Campground crowding: Are monthly renters filling up spaces?
• The Digital RVer: Use an old phone as your webcam.
• RV extended warranties: How to get claims paid faster.
• Building an RV park: We have tractors! Septic system, fencing and more updates.
… and much more
Stick no more!
An RVtravel.com reader recommended this white graphite powder as the perfect fix for sticky windows. Frames can contract in cooler weather, making things tight. He said his fix is lubricating the window tracks with a simple “puff” of white graphite powder. Why the white? “It doesn’t make a mess like the black stuff!” he explained.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of November 2, 2020:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.11 [Calif.: $3.03]
Change from week before: Down 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 49 cents.
Diesel: $2.37 [Calif.: $3.23]
Change from week before: Down 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 69 cents.
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Upcoming RV shows
Most if not all RV shows for the remainder of the year are cancelled. We will restart our show directory feature here as shows begin again. In the meantime, most of the shows scheduled for 2021 (earliest beginning Dec. 31, 2020, in South Carolina) are still on. See the schedule (updated Nov. 1) here.
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.
Don’t let winter keep you in the dark!
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.
Brain teaser answer:
The man crosses first with the sheep, leaving the wolf with the cabbage. He then returns alone, then crosses with the wolf, leaving the cabbage behind. He leaves the wolf alone and returns with the sheep. The man leaves the sheep and crosses with the cabbage. He leaves the cabbage with the wolf and crosses one last time, returning with the sheep. Finally, all four are safe on the other side of the river.
My friend composes songs about sewing machines. She’s a Singer songwriter or sew it seams.
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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