Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.
Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)
Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.
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The mayor of Port Aransas, Texas, has issued a declaration that beginning last night at midnight, RV parks within the area will be treated as a residence. That means that no RVs can be moved into any parks within the city and those that leave an RV park cannot come back.
Colorado has closed its campgrounds (including yurts and cabins) at its state parks as well as camping at State Wildlife Areas until further notice. More.
Jayco is donating several RVs to an Indiana health care facility and area first responders in an effort to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. The South Bend Clinic has received two Seismic 4125 toy haulers from Jayco to serve as additional space for pediatric immunizations outside of the clinic with the goal of keeping kids safe during the pandemic.
All Idaho State Park campgrounds will close at 5 p.m. today to comply with Governor Brad Little’s recent stay-at-home order. Idaho State Parks remain open for recreational usage during the day, but no new camping reservations will be accepted through May 15 at the earliest.
FMCA’s June 24-28 Northwest Area Rally has been cancelled.
Hood River, Oregon, a Columbia River Gorge travel hub, has ordered an immediate halt until April 13 to discretionary overnight stays at motels, hotels, short-term vacation rentals, hosted home shares, bed and breakfasts, RV parks and campgrounds. Viewing areas at nearby Multnomah Falls, are also closed.
HOUSEHOLD & HAND SANITIZERS. If you’re concerned about keeping germs away, there are plenty of products here to do the job.
All early season camping reservations at New York state campgrounds have been cancelled until the end of April, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said. “To reduce potential community spread of COVID-19, all campgrounds, cabins, and cottages are closed to overnight visitation through April 30. All visitors with reservations will be issued a full refund,” DEC said.
Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park closed Wednesday.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced that campgrounds, cabins and bathhouses at Virginia State Parks will be closed through April 30. Effective today, March 27, Virginia State Parks will only be open for day use and activities such as hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and exercise.
Saddlehorn Campground in Colorado National Monument is closed.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis says he will sell up to 500,000 shares of his company’s stock to help set up a relief fund for his employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “We are in unprecedented times and we are all making sacrifices, but it is important for us all to do more and I’m reaching into my pocket to protect the team,” he explained.
Ocean Shores, Wash., Mayor Crystal Dingler issued an executive order Wednesday closing hotels, RV parks and other commercial lodging businesses and vacation rentals effective Friday at 3 p.m. Businesses are to immediately begin vacating existing guests by Friday afternoon. The order is effective through April 10.
Patrick Industries, Inc. a major manufacturer and distributor of component and building products for RVs, will suspend operations at some of its facilities.
U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds in Colorado are now temporarily closed.
Ashe County, North Carolina, has also restricted short-term rentals during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The new restrictions apply to hotels, motels, resorts, inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV parks, vacation cabins, home rentals, and other rental programs where leases are for less than 60 days in duration.
The U.S. Forest Service has closed all its developed recreation sites throughout California to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District also has closed all recreation facilities at its 10 parks and lakes, including campgrounds, visitor centers, boat launches and day-use areas to prevent the further spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19.
La Mesa RV is temporarily closing its RV dealership in Albuquerque, New Mexico. RVs that were in for service before the closure will need to remain at the facility until a planned reopening on Monday, April 13. Customers are being contacted alerting them to the closure.
Reader William Newman reports that the Fort Hall, Idaho, RV Park is closed until at least some time in April 2020.
Schreiner City Park in Junction, Texas, is closed to camping but otherwise open.
The Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service has closed developed recreation facilities — campgrounds and picnic areas in National Forests in California — until at least April 30. The closure will affect several campgrounds in the Big Bear Lake area and along Highway 38, many of which were set to open in April.
Reader Sharon Boehmer reports: “I had an April reservation cancelled and refunded at Escapees Rainbow’s End park in Livingston, TX. I believe this is due to Polk County stay at home order.”
Fort Collins, Colorado, is temporarily letting residents use RVs as an option for social distancing and self-quarantine. People are now allowed to occupy RVs on private property, including yards and driveways, or on a street next to the vehicle-owner’s home. They can use the RVs for working, living or sleeping purposes to promote social distancing or quarantine due to COVID-19.
Across the country, RV park owners are asking their insurance agents if their park is insured for a disruption of service due to a COVID-19 related shutdown. Here’s one agent’s answer.
Reader Jeff George reports that all Kansas City District U.S. Corps Of Engineers campgrounds and swim beaches are closed.
Mammoth Cave Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort will be temporarily closed beginning today, March 27. The owners hope to open by April 13 “if it looks to be advisable and in the interests of public health.” Meanwhile, campgrounds in Mammoth Cave National Park have closed.
ALERT FOR CHEESECAKE-AHOLICS: The Cheesecake Factory has informed its landlords that it won’t be able to make rent payments due on April 1 for any of its storefronts, according to a report from Eater Los Angeles. The restaurant company informed all of its landlords in a letter that a “severe decline” in restaurant traffic has decreased its cash flow and inflicted a tremendous financial blow to business levels.
Also: Check before you head off to your local Waffle House. Hundreds of locations are closed around the country.
Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.
From Dee Shultz: “Can you explain why it’s fine for parks to be closed to RVers but left open for day users? Everyone should stay home but full timers have a problem getting home! And how does letting people use the park during the day protect anyone?? At least RVers stay inside their rig!”
• Nancy Walker of the Clarksville RV Park in Clarksville, Tennessee, reports her park is open. “We have new check-in procedures listed on our website and Facebook.”
• John Herbst, owner of the R J RV Park in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, reports that “We are open to all RV travelers who need an overnight space. We have 10 pull-throughs and some back-ins available. We’re at Exit 75 of Interstate 25 going north and south. Reservations suggested at 575-894-9777.”
• Sherry Shay of Becs RV Park says it is open. It’s on Hwy U.S. 83, 25 miles north of Uvalde, Texas, in Concan. “We do not anticipate shutting down. Becs is a Good Sam Park. Our water is so pure that you can safely drink right from the faucet. Tastes great too! 830-232-5477.”
• From Lisa A: “I work camp in Junction, Texas, at 10/83 RV Park. It’s open for overnighters. Located just off I-10.”
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SOME GOOD NEWS (SORT OF)
VIRUS DOESN’T LIVE AS LONG AS REPORTING INDICATES
According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 can live in the air and on surfaces between several hours and several days. The study found that the virus is viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. It is also detectable in the air for three hours.
Carolyn Machamer, a professor of cell biology whose lab at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has studied the basic biology of coronaviruses for years, offered this encouraging postscript: “What’s getting presented out of context is that the virus can last on plastic for 72 hours — which sounds really scary. But what’s more important is the amount of the virus that remains. It’s less than 0.1% of the starting virus material. Infection is theoretically possible but unlikely at the levels remaining after a few days. People need to know this.”
Philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates believes that America needs six to 10 weeks of “extreme shutdown” of regular life to get a handle on the new coronavirus outbreak (or COVID-19), contradicting comments from President Trump. “It’s very irresponsible for somebody to suggest we can have the best of both worlds,” the Microsoft co-founder said in an interview with TED on Tuesday. “In six to 10 weeks, if things go well, then you can start opening back up.”
HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.
New Facebook Group: How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.
If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!