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Sunday, March 7, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
RV Industry in hog-heaven! RV shipments expected to soar, set all-time record!
The President of the RV Industry Association, Craig Kirby, addressed members of the association on Friday with the message below. It’s great news for members of the association, who are in the business of manufacturing and selling RVs. But for current RVers, this is far from good news. Read more.
California to roll out mandatory motorhome emissions testing
Got a big diesel motorhome? What’s big? A motorhome that tips the gross vehicle weight scale of 14,000 pounds or more. If you do, you may be in for a rude awakening. California is readying a rollout of mandatory motorhome emissions testing requirements. They’ll go into effect in July 2023. Not a California resident? Don’t sigh in relief just yet. As it stands, even folks visiting the Golden State with a “heavy duty vehicle” are subject to some rigorous testing. All of it could slow your entry into the state. Continue reading.
KOA campground creates solar array to power entire park
The Kansas City East/Oak Grove KOA Holiday has created an innovative, green project to bring power to their camping guests. The campground is unveiling a newly constructed solar array capable of supplying all of the power needs for the park and its campers. Continue reading.
In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel looks at the Cruise America Standard Class C. Peek inside and see what Tony thinks of Cruise America’s “standard RV” and learn what these RV rentals offer. Are they worth taking for a spin? Read his review.
SpaceCraft Semi-Trailers — Do you believe it? — a 50-foot fifth wheel!?
Last week’s reviews:
Grand Design Solitude 390RK-R Fifth Wheel • Bushwhacker Plus 17 BH Teardrop • 2021 Keystone Cougar 24RDS Fifth Wheel • 2021 Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 295RL Fifth Wheel • Everbright EB-RV Tricycle Motorhome
Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.
That was the RV week that was
February 28 – March 6, 2021
2021 will prove to have the highest level of manufacturer-to-dealer RV shipments on record, if industry prognostications prove true. The latest quarterly forecast from the RVIA (RV Industry Association) projects shipments anywhere from 523,139 to 543,572 rigs. They rosily suggest a year-end total of new rigs moved at 533,356, or a whopping 24% jump over 2020, and nearly 6% more than the all-time record set in 2017. However, the industry is suffering from “supply chain” woes. If those don’t clear up, industry crystal-ball gazers say the shipments will likely be on the lower end of their scale.
Can you resurrect a dinosaur? Friends and foes are at odds over a proposed new state park for Utah. Dubbed Utahraptor State Park (in honor of the official state dinosaur), it could become Utah’s 44th state park if it can stay alive through the legislature and pass the governor’s approval. It would be a 6,500-acre site with 80 full-hookup RV sites. Opposers say the $25,659,800 price, with ongoing costs priced at $448,500 per fiscal year, are just too much for the general fund to bear. The new park would be near Arches National Park. Legislation for the new park failed muster in the last legislative session, but supporters are trying to breathe life into it again.
Jack Lynch spent 45 years teaching in New Jersey. He must have moved a lot of students’ hearts. Jack’s wife died in 2011, and Jack bought a Class A motorhome and hit the road. After traveling 100,000 miles, another tragedy hit. Jack’s motorhome caught fire when something went wrong with his refrigerator. Everything Lynch owned went up in smoke on February 15 in a Sarasota, Florida, RV park. Jack’s former students got wind of the disaster. One of them started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $52,500 to try and help their mentor get back on his feet. Already the fund has hit $50,317. Aside from the monetary contributions, the heartfelt comments left are a gift in themselves. Just one example: “Mr. Lynch was a great teacher and both my brother and I had him at MHS. I chose to major in English in college because of him. He deserves better than this tragedy and we wish him a speedy return to his dreams of travel!”
Spur-of-the-moment camping at Yellowstone National Park is going to get slimmer. Park Service officials say they have turned all sites in Mammoth and Slough Creek campgrounds into “reservation only” status, and a chunk of those at Pebble Creek Campground the same way. The service will completely close all sites at Norris and Tower Falls campgrounds this year. It boils down to this: If you want a “first-come, first-served” site, you’ll have only 166 to choose from: the few, non-reservation sites remaining at Pebble Creek, and any of those at Lewis Lake and Indian Creek campgrounds. With 30,000 visitors passing through the gates on a busy day, chances of snagging a site in Yellowstone are the stuff that dreams are made of.
A catastrophic motorhome steer-tire failure is blamed in the death of a woman in Georgia. The Class A rig was northbound on Interstate 59 near the Rising Fawn exit on February 25 when the tire blew. The driver lost control, shot through a guardrail and down a steep embankment. A woman riding in the front passenger seat was ejected and died at the scene. The driver and two other passengers survived the incident. Wonder what you’d do if faced with a blown tire situation? Read up on handling just that situation here.
Outdoor recreationists are right to be concerned about Lyme disease. The nasty, tick-spread disease infects nearly a half-million Americans each year. The effects can include severe headaches, fatigue, and nerve pain that can last and last. Now a Massachusetts doctor thinks he has a vaccination that will prevent the disease in humans. A Phase 1 clinical trial began last week, and if the vaccine is effective, it could become available in the spring of 2023. With an effectiveness of nine months, a yearly vaccination would be required to keep free of the disease.
An RV park owner in Brunswick, Georgia, is using an unusual argument to overcome local objections to his expansion plans. Mario Garcia bought the existing Southern Retreat RV Park a couple years back, which included 168 RV sites. Garcia wants to pump in 200 more sites, which has locals fighting his rezone request. To counter it, Garcia says his expansion plans will actually benefit the neighborhood. The woods between the park and nearby residences are loaded with homeless people and “where drug use is rampant.” If approved, his expansion would clear out the problems, and bring in healthy-living RVers.
Not all visitors are welcome to Florida. As spring pushes closer, officials in Miami Beach are telling college students with Spring Break plans to change their plans to Las Vegas. Local health and safety protocols will be in place from February 22 to April 12, and if Spring Breakers don’t want to follow the rules, they’re not welcome. Concerned about the pandemic spread, Raul Aguila, Miami Beach’s city manager, made it clear: “If you are coming here with an anything-goes party attitude, change your flight reservation now and go to Vegas,” he said during a city council meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported. “Miami Beach is not going to tolerate anarchy.”
A bipartisan group of Florida congress members have received a rather unwelcome response from Uncle Sam. Eighteen House members sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Robert Kadlec, asking that his agency reallocate the number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Sunshine State, to take into account the high number of snowbird visitors the state receives. Operation Warp Speed’s “vaccine allocation was determined pro-rata, based on each jurisdiction’s population,” wrote Kadlec in a letter shared with the Miami Herald. “We encourage state and local officials with populations who travel from across the country to coordinate their distribution plans.” House members who sent the letter are, needless to say, not too pleased. Senator Marco Rubio, who supported the request, described the fed’s suggestion that Florida try and get a hold of other states’ vaccine supplies as “stupid.”
As electric vehicles become increasingly common on roadways, state officials are worrying: How do you keep highways built and maintained without fuel tax revenues? A Minnesota state senator thinks he knows – charge owners of electric vehicles a tax when they “fill up” at a charging station. That’s bill one. His second notion took the form of another legislative proposal – increase fees on electric rigs. He’ll need some help with his idea. Under Minnesota law, there’ll need to be similar bills introduced in the House and, so far, nothing has turned up.
After spending $20,000 in legal fees to evict 32 “residents,” more trouble for an Epsom, New Hampshire, RV park owner. Forest Sell bought up the foreclosed Circle 9 Ranch Campground a few years back. He “inherited” a number of RV dwellers who had taken advantage of the foreclosure and had settled in, using free electricity while the bank had tried to sell the park. Mr. Sell kept at it, and gradually whipped the park into shape. Then came COVID-19, which made things rough, but the park managed. But on February 21, the park’s office caught fire and burned to the ground. Sell is undeterred. He’s planning on having a new office up and running by May.
If developers have their way, Mount Desert Island, Maine, will see a new RV park. Acadia Wilderness Lodge wants to built a 154-site park on a 42-acre parcel on the island’s “quiet side.” Of the sites, 71 will be for RVs, the balance for tenters. The developer had made a first visit with the local planning board, but the application wasn’t “complete,” and a second review will take place March 23. No word on how locals are reacting to the proposal.
Like many other states, North Dakota says it has a lot of deferred maintenance in its parks. The governor wrote in $20 million in his budget to help with that, and to upgrade park amenities. That’s a nice chunk of change, but parks’ managers say there’s a $74 million backlog. But the state’s House Appropriations Committee turned the $20 million recommendation into a $7.5 million line in a bill that was then approved. Now that bill is off to the Senate, where its fate is yet to be determined.
As if dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic weren’t enough, now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a new campaign. Be prepared for the 2021 zombie apocalypse. An internet-based horoscope outfit, claiming to use the fuzzy predictions of the French physician Nostradamus, says that 2021 will be the year that witnesses a global apocalypse of zombies. This, purports Nostradamus, will come about after a Russian scientist, dabbling with a bio-weapon, will turn loose a bacterium that will bring on the year of the living dead. The CDC has created an Internet-based response to the situation. “There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example,” according to a CDC blog post. “You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.” No, this is not an early April 1 “fake news” piece. Check out the official U.S. government website.
Folks living in RVs in Richmond, California, may have a place to park their rigs if the city council acts soon. The city’s council voted to create a one-year pilot project that could place 100 RVs at the mostly vacant Hilltop Mall parking lot. The lot would be provided with security and basic utilities. But locals are waging a “not in my backyard” war, urging officials to send the camp somewhere else. In play is a half-million dollar state grant which, if not used by the end of June, will lose half its value.
Singer Gordon Lightfoot is “Alberta Bound,” and he’s apparently not the only one. The Canadian province’s park agency says government campgrounds there saw their busiest ever camping season in 2020. Some 250 campgrounds had 288,000 reservations, up from 193,000 in 2019 – this despite being limited to 50% capacity at times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials say they don’t expect the demand to decrease this year.
If you love the San Diego, California, climate, come April 1 there’ll be another RV park where you can bask in the ocean breeze. Opening on the site of a former power plant, Costa Vista RV Resort on the Chula Vista Bayfront sports 197 RV sites. Back-’em-in sites start at $109 per night. But regardless of your price level, you’ll still have access to the pool that overlooks the bay, and being “connected” wherever you are on the property. Got friends without RVs? There are 49 available park models starting at $315 a night.
Sometimes you can say too much. A suit filed in the New York State Supreme Court against the town of Lyme, New York, may prove that true. A couple of years ago, hopeful developers of an RV park called Three Mile Bay Marina began the process of attempting to gain permission to build. The outfit says it had already jumped through hoops and obtained some permits, and then, last December got completely shut down. In an e-mail exchange, the town’s supervisor, Scott G. Aubertine, told developers that after 50 residents opposed the park in person and turned in a petition against it, demanding the board to stop the development, “the Town Board felt ‘obligated’ to address its concerns by enacting [a] moratorium.” The moratorium effectively prevents any construction of new RV parks, campgrounds or marinas within the town’s borders for a period of 12 months. Since Three Mile Bay was the only outfit asking for a permit, its suit charges the moratorium is unconstitutional and can’t be enforced. The developer wants actual and punitive damages caused by the moratorium, as well as attorney fees.
Last week, the Mesquite, Nevada, city council did all but roll out the welcome wagon for a proposed RV park. First the council gave the nod to a conditional use permit, allowing 9.58 RVs per acre on the parcel, then approved the site plan for buildings and amenities. Along the way, keeping neighbors happy, city fathers approved spending available funds to construct traffic lanes over a new road to alleviate any potential of traffic congestion. The park’s developer owns the land where the road would run, and says he’ll donate a 60’ right of way, and construct a needed culvert. The new park will be located north of the Sunset Greens area; no construction start date has been announced.
Washington’s Pierce County Sheriff’s office doesn’t want the gift. At least, according to their Facebook page, that’s the case. Last week somebody “dropped off” an ancient fifth-wheel trailer along a McKenna, Washington, roadside. “Apparently, they thought the county would love this gift,” deputies wrote on their Facebook page. “Well, we don’t.” Officials say it will cost plenty to move and dispose of the dilapidated derelict.
See any news you think we should share? Drop a line to Russ (at) rvtravel.com.
Protect your RV “pigtail”
That 7-way connector on your travel trailer or fifth wheel is a critical component. When not plugged into your tow rig, the thing is susceptible to the onslaught of dirt, rain and even bugs. Here’s a plug cover that slips right over your precious plug and keeps out the crud. One user says, “This works perfectly to keep the plug on my RV clear. I remove it when not in use and place it in my ‘RV emergency tool kit.’ This way, it’s not knocked around when driving.” Learn more or order.
NEW RV TRAVEL PODCAST ON THE WAY
On April 4, RVtravel.com will debut a weekly RV Travel podcast. Our expectation is it will be the most informative and entertaining program of its kind about RVing, and one of the most popular. If you would like insider information about the podcast and a chance to be invited to special live recording sessions, promotions, etc., sign up for our RV Travel Podcast Insider Newsletter.
STOLEN RV REPORT
Great News: We could not find any reports of stolen RVs this past week. But we urge you to review the dozens of RVs stolen we’ve reported in the last few months. Let’s help find these for their owners and maybe even put the crooks in jail. Click here.
Tape it to the limit…
Rather than an adhesive, this type of tape fuses to itself. It makes a totally waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has all kinds of other emergency uses advertised such as a quick fix for a leaking radiator hose, so it certainly deserves a place in your RV toolbox since it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. Learn more or order.
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific Standard time today, March 7, 2021. 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.
Last week one reader claimed their $25 Amazon gift card: Debra L. of Cincinnati, Ohio.
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 those 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.
A weekly roundup of news stories that will make you smile (and maybe shed a tear or two…). This week: a 37-year friendship with a rescued swan, repurposed newspaper stands to help the homeless, COVID has stopped rhino poaching, honeybee venom treats breast cancer, and, of course, several cute animal videos. Click here to smile.
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.
Used truck sales? No surprise: Ford, Chevy, Ram lead pack
It’s nothing new that the Ford F-150 remains the country’s top brand among new pickup truck sales. But the enduring vehicle is also the country’s top-selling used truck and top-selling used vehicle. According to iseecars.com, the Boston-based analytics firm, the Ford F-150 is followed by the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram Pickup 1500, giving used pickups the top-three sales places. Continue reading.
Honda, Jeep only trucks getting Consumer Reports kudos
Pickup trucks continue to dominate sales in the United States. But Consumer Reports isn’t impressed. Among the 17 pickup trucks tested by the leading consumer organization, only the Honda Ridgeline and the Jeep Gladiator were recommended. Read more.
Be like Mike Sokol! Use this 3-light and digital voltage tester!
Mike Sokol says: “I found this nifty tester online and have been using it in a variety of voltage checking situations. It performs all of the 3-light tests for outlet polarity, open ground, open neutral, etc., as well as being a 3-digit digital voltage indicator. In addition, it performs a standard 5 mA GFCI safety test – which you should be performing on all of your GFCI outlets once a month (or at least once a camping season).” Read more about it here.
Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible at will?
What common English word is 9 letters long and each time you remove a letter from it, it still remains an English word – from 9 letters all the way down to a single remaining letter?
Thanks to Susan Jinks for submitting! Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Camping World now claims a sixth location in Illinois. This time Braidwood dealer EZ Living RV will join the vast group of independent RV sales outfits having sold out. The deal is expected to close next month. EZ Living has been in business for close to 24 years. Meanwhile, across the country, Triple A RV Center, a dealer in Medford, Oregon, will likewise succumb to Camping World. The company has been in business for 45 years.
Camping fever is hot in Canada. Ontario provincial parks are seeing a near-100% increase in reservations for sites in July and August compared to last year. Weekends are largely booked solid, and officials suggest planning a visit during mid-week. Privately owned campgrounds are also reporting a huge surge in interest.
If you want to buy a Volvo after 2030, it won’t run on gas. The Swedish automaker says it is phasing out all production of combustion engines, and will sell only electrics. The volt-consuming vehicles will only be sold online; dealerships will continue service and preparation.
Not every place in the country has a “go away, RVs” attitude. The Marshall County, West Virginia, parks board is forward-looking, and plans to break ground on its own 40-site RV park. Board members expect that their new construct in the existing Grand Vue Park in Moundsville will bring in hundreds of RVers each year. Each site will have full hookups, a fire pit, and Wi-Fi access.
A $1 million revamp of the Pacheedaht Campground in Port Renfrew, B.C., is in the works. The First Nation’s operated campground will get help from a grant to add 20 new campsites, some of which will have utilities. It may be a welcome relief to some who have reported the campground’s existing “utility” services have been simply water taps near some sites, and shared 15-amp electric hookups.
Make sure to have this Fire Extinguishing Aerosol in your RV
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Comes in a one or two-pack. Learn more or order.
The New England RV Dealers Association (NERVDA) has announced a unique online event for RV enthusiasts and campers who have not been able to visit in-person consumer RV shows this season. The two-day virtual experience will include dealer and campground participation, 18 main stage presentations, workshops and networking/chat features to encourage an interactive experience for all attendees. Click for complete information.
Family affair no more. A group of 12 RV dealerships known as Family RV, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with branches in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, have sold out to RV Retailer, LLC. Founded 50 years ago and held as a family operation, Family RV declares it had a “banner year” in 2020. Engulfing buyer, RV Retailer, declares itself “the country’s largest privately-held RV dealer.”
One of the last events to be held in the Billings, Montana, Expo Center before the COVID-19 pandemic was the Billings RV & Boat Show. Interestingly, one of the first events to take place at the center as a semblance of “normalcy” returns is – sure enough – the Billings RV & Boat Show. Because other center users had canceled their events, it gave the RV show more show days, and promoters say the attendance was about as high as the pre-COVID show. The show ran February 23 through 28.
Public comments are being taken on an RV park expansion plan in Ticonderoga, New York. Brookwood RV Resort wants to add 28 new sites to its existing stock of 70. Comments to the Adirondack Park Agency closed March 5.
With travel restrictions easing, visitors to Lake Minatare State Recreation Area in Nebraska will find upgrades for RVers. Known for its 55-foot-tall lighthouse observation tower, the recreation area now features 50-amp electrical service at all of its utility sites.
Pandemic affecting global ecology? Sonovia, an Israel-based face mask manufacturer, estimates that 129 million disposable masks are used each month. A significant number of them turn up in the world’s oceans. Since at least a portion of most of these masks is plastic, with an estimated breakdown time of 450 years, they point to a CDC recommendation that people switch from disposables to cloth masks, which can be cleaned and reused.
A Louisiana-based investment group paid $1.85 million for 94 acres on Waterworld Road in Robertsdale, Alabama, along Interstate 10 just east of Buc-ee’s. The buyers plan to develop a destination wave park and riverfront RV resort on the property. The site is off I-10′s Exit 53 and includes frontage on Styx River.
Jellystone Park 2021 reservations are up 136% so far this year, driven by a huge increase in Spring Break bookings. So says vice president of marketing Trent Hershenson. “Parents are eager to get their families out of the house, especially those of us who have been living through one of the worst winters in years.”
Campground and RV Park News
Developments in places where we stay 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 and RV Park News” here.
You can’t call yourself a fan of RVtravel.com if you’re not signed up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter! The Daily Tips newsletter has it all: quick tips, popular articles, polls, a website of the day, clubs and useful organizations, trivia, a pet of the day, a joke, and so much more! Check out Friday’s issue, then sign up here.
RV recalls posted since our last newsletter
Boondockers Welcome — Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Great alternative to crowded RV parks. Modest membership fee. Learn more.
Did you miss yesterday’s RV Travel?
If so, stories you missed:
• Campground Crowding: Demand pricing is more common than we thought
• Is it safe to bring a propane tank inside an RV?
• Readers say THIS is the worst kind of road to drive. We offer tips
• RV jacks won’t retract? Try this
• RVelectricity: A tale of solar generators and sock puppets…
• Time to de-winterize and sanitize the RV water system
• An important guide to getting medical help while on the road
• Are remanufactured RV parts any good? Do they carry a warranty?
• Triple towing: Is it legal? Is it safe? Should you do it?
• Tire pressure gauges lose accuracy over time. Here’s how to check them
• Are “China bomb” tires built that way on purpose?
• Building an RV Park: The construction crew arrived and the real work begins!
… and much more
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of March 1, 2021:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.71 [Calif.: $3.56]
Change from week before: Up 8 cents; Change from year before: Up 29 cents.
Diesel: $3.07 [Calif.: $3.85]
Change from week before: Up 10 cents; Change from year before: Up 22 cents.
Upcoming RV shows
Most of the RV shows in the early part of 2021 have been canceled. We will restart our show directory feature here as shows begin again. In the meantime, see the frequently updated schedule here.
This is a necessity for your slides!
If you’ve heard a cracking or popping sound when extending your slide outs, it means your seals are sticking and/or drying out! Using a seal conditioner about every 8-12 weeks is recommended to avoid drying and cracking. Once they begin to wear and show damage, they are no longer working to their fullest capacity. We recommend using Thetford Premium RV Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner – it works like a charm.
Brain teaser answer:
Remove l = starting, remove t = staring, remove a = string, remove r = sting, remove t = sing, remove g = sin, remove s = in, remove n = I
My wife yelled to me from upstairs. She yelled, “Do you ever get a shooting pain across your body? Like someone has a voodoo doll of you and they’re stabbing it?” “Ummm… no. Why?” I asked. She said, “How about now?”
Today In History
WRITERS WANTED: We are always looking for new writers. Freelance, part- or full-time, it’s up to you. Good pay for the right person. Must have professional news writing experience. No beginners. If interested, let us know here.
RV Travel staff
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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