RV Coronavirus News Update, March 31, 2020

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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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Camco, a manufacturer of many RVing aftermarket products, has suspended its manufacturing and shipping operations in Guildford County, North Carolina, at least through April 16 due to stay at home restrictions.

Winnebago Industries, Inc. announced yesterday (Monday) that it will manufacture and donate medical masks to MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center. The masks are being made by employees at the company’s Stitchcraft facility in Forest City, Iowa, which produces soft goods for Winnebago motorhomes. Read more.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Monday said Vermont “strongly discourages” incoming travel from coronavirus hotspots in the Northeast, directing “non-essential” travelers from outside the state to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new order suspends the operations of lodging facilities including campgrounds and RV parks. Guests already lodged are allowed to remain there through the end of their scheduled stay.

All developed recreation sites including campgrounds in the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in eastern Oregon are temporarily closed.

Elkhart RV manufacturer Phoenix USA has suspended production and service appointments. The company makes the Phoenix Cruiser motorhomes.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced yesterday an order restricting travel to other states. The governor said all residents who leave and return to the state should quarantine for 14 days.

Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., has temporarily suspended production at select manufacturing facilities.

Maine’s Acadia National Park is closed.

Nice weather last weekend has made many West Virginians pause their social distancing to get outside and enjoy nature. Some may have enjoyed it a little too much, leading to the closure of Cathedral Falls in the town of Gauley Bridge. Mayor Bob Scott made the decision to close the park after police had to disperse large crowds more than five times on Saturday for failing to practice social distancing.

Closed campgrounds in Grand Canyon National Park: Mather, Desert View and Trailer Village. The RV and Camper Services building including the laundry, showers and food service is closed.

A notice on the Silver City, New Mexico, KOA website states that from March 24 through April 10 it’s closing the park to all but “essential RV guests only.” That includes those staying a month or longer, full-timers who need a place to shelter, and overnighters headed to another location. Healthcare workers, first responders and mine workers are also welcome.

The Florida Keys remain closed to visitors until further notice. Two traffic checkpoints at the top of the Keys are being manned around the clock to restrict non-residents’ road access to the island chain. The southbound traffic stops are located at mile marker 112.5 on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (U.S. 1), and on State Road 905 between Ocean Reef and the access point to U.S. 1 in Key Largo.

Normally, you can’t pump your own gas in Oregon. But it’s okay for now. The state’s gas station workforce is down as much as half by illness, childcare issues and safety concerns.

McDonald’s has phased out its all-day breakfast so its operators can focus on their increasingly busy evening business.

ABOVE: RVs that will be used as temporary housing for infected patients are ready for use at a beach in El Segundo in Los Angeles County.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order yesterday that will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded. “Do not go out, unless you need to go out,” he said, stressing that this is different than “wanting” to go out. Private campgrounds and beaches are closed to all activity except exercise.

Blue Ox/Automatic announced that it is temporarily suspending some production functions at facilities in Pender and Lincoln, Neb. The company will remain open to fill incoming orders, assist with customer care, sales support, distribution, and other essential activity.

The U.S. Forest Service has shut down many recreation areas in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest, including campgrounds, picnic areas and shooting ranges.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order yesterday to slow the spread of new coronavirus, barring Arizonans from leaving their residences except for food, medicine, outdoor exercise and other “essential activities.” The governor stressed that “grocery stores and pharmacies are not closing.” No mention is made of closing privately owned RV parks.

Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California is temporarily closed. In Southern California, all campgrounds in the Mojave National Preserve are also closed.

Many bait shops across the country have been forced to close – good for the fish, perhaps, but not for anglers.

Wyoming State Park overnight camping facilities, cabins, yurts, group sites and shelters, shower houses, some non-essential restrooms and playgrounds are closed until further notice.


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Opening dates for campgrounds in Idaho’s Payette National Forest campgrounds will be delayed. Closed at least through May 15, 2020: Mann Creek, Spring Creek, Brownlee, Big Flat, Cabin Creek, Lafferty, Cold Springs, Last Chance, Huckleberry, Poverty Flat, 4-Mile, Camp Creek, Buckhorn, Ponderosa, Secesh Horse Camp, Old East Fork, and Big Creek Campgrounds.

Cook County, Illinois, has closed all its campgrounds through May 11.

TIP: Before you head out to stock up at your local grocery store, see if you can order online and then pick up the goods later. It’s safer that way.

With so many people working from home (or their RVs) and teleconferencing, Walmart reports that in the USA there’s still a demand for work shirts, but not much for clothing below the waist. The reason: video conferencing. Whatever pants someone is wearing never shows.

ABOVE: Already, coronavirus has its own magazine. We found this in Lake Havasu, City, Arizona. Be careful if you find a copy on the newsstand: Whose hands were flipping through it before yours?

Two of the biggest tourist attractions in the Las Vegas area remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic — the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Scenic Drive and Hoover Dam.

Most KOA campgrounds are open, but some are closed. Here’s an update of what’s closed. Because of the current crisis, KOA has suspended its $10 cancellation fee through the end of April.

CREEPY PEOPLE DEPT: A 15-year-old Australian boy allegedly coughed on a ranger and then tried to spit on him. The ranger was asking his family to move from an illegal campsite. The teenager is headed to children’s court.

What stupid looks like. Heffner.

…and then there’s the 26-year-old North Carolina man who is behind bars after being arrested for being incredibly stupid. Eugene Heffner was at a Walmart near his home in Belmont when he “purposely coughed at a customer” and claimed to be infected with COVID-19.


Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


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
The small staff of 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!

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Peter Donahue
5 months ago

Oneida County in New York is closing camping at local camp sites April 1st thur July 1st

Lloyd
5 months ago

Silver City, New Mexico, KOA I can’t think of any overnighters that are not headed for another destination. Just who are the campers that can’t stay? Sounds like a campground that want’s free publicity, and they got it.

Pat
5 months ago
Reply to  Lloyd

Full timers that are being kicked out of other campgrounds when they close. It’s happened to me twice.

John R Crawford
5 months ago
Reply to  Lloyd

I thought the same thing,!

Michael
5 months ago

Arizona’s definition of their “order” is more like a suggestion. Kind of like speed limit laws. According to the local news here in the Phoenix area, nothing has changed as far as requirements for the general public. Also, essential services includes, among others, golf courses and hair salons.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Someone has flagged this comment as “totally false.” So, as with everything else these days, please check ahead for updates. Thanks, and stay healthy! —Diane at RVtravel.com

PennyPA
5 months ago

Why, pray tell, are they closing the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Scenic Drive (Las Vegas)? We’ve been on it and all it is is a a self-drive thru some incredible scenery. There are no tour buses or anything. There is, as I recall, a gate keeper but they could just lay him/her off. They don’t have to close the entire drive! Hoover Dam is a different thing. There are crowds of people there.

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago

I thought Oregon had done away with “professional gas pumpers”. Guess I was mistaken. Of course, if you’re purchasing diesel you can pump your own. Makes all the sense in the world . . .

mdstudey
5 months ago

Never seen a man do duck lips before in a mug shot before. What a loser.

THOMAS HUGHES
5 months ago

fulltimers can stay until there res?ervation is up. then what do we do? its illegal to park on the street,, in parking lots national, state, city ancounty parks. where ddo we go

John R Crawford
5 months ago
Reply to  THOMAS HUGHES

Nobody’s looking out for the Full-timer. So far Georgia state parks are still open but we have to go somewhere to boondock for three days every 2 weeks.

Gray
5 months ago
Reply to  THOMAS HUGHES

Ask any official and you’ll receive the universal answer: “It’s not my problem. You are not allowed here. Go away.”