RV Coronavirus News Update, April 3, 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.

* * *
Grand Canyon National Park, America’s second most popular national park, is now closed. Last year it welcomed nearly 6 million visitors. The National Park Service says it’s closing it based on the recommendation of the Chief Health Officer in Coconino County, Arizona. Some other popular Western parks now closed include Joshua TreeYosemite, Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Many of America’s 419 national park sites are still open.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park will extend the closure of the park due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally set for March 24 through Monday, April 6, but has now been extended until further notice.

The Escapees RV Club has cancelled its 2020 Escapade. All who were registered to attend the June 21-26 event in Rock Springs, Wyo., have been contacted with information about receiving a full refund. “We are confident that this is the best decision, based on a number of factors regarding the ongoing concerns with COVID-19,” the group said in a member newsletter.

Oneida County (New York) has closed down campgrounds and RV parks throughout the county.

Some Texas counties requiring RV parks to stop taking daily and weekly business. Monthly and other long-term guests are okay. “The cities or counties do not want additional outsiders into their areas,” said Brian Schaeffer of the Texas Association of Campground Owners.

Camping World is now providing curbside pickup on parts and accessories.

Thousand Trails in Long Beach, Wash., and three parks in Oregon (Seaside, Whalers Rest and Pacific City), are allowing members to continue sheltering in place until April 30. All new reservations for those parks are cancelled until then. Throughout the system, Thousand Trails has temporarily closed indoor amenities, playgrounds, swimming pools, spas and hot tubs.

The state of Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park announced Wednesday that they are ending overnight camping as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but are not closing all outdoor facilities. Campers currently registered in Gulpha Gorge at Hot Springs National Park will be asked to leave by April 3. Arkansas State Parks will be open for day use only effective as of 8 a.m. Friday, “until further notice.”

Tiffin just cancelled its Amana, Iowa, rally in June. Attendees can choose to roll their paid fees into next year’s proposed Amana rally or get a full refund. Those already registered should have received an email yesterday (April 2). Thanks Ron Hough for the heads up on this.

The Forest Service has temporarily suspended public access to developed campgrounds, day use areas, and dispersed recreation area restrooms throughout Alabama’s Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests.

The National Park Service has closed campgrounds and restrooms in New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area, and Bluestone National Scenic River in West Virginia in response to COVID-19. Hiking trails and river accesses will remain open.

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Virtually all outdoor recreation in Oregon has closed, including every national forest, all state parks, most national parks and a growing number of local parks across the state as officials responded to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a population that just couldn’t stay away from nature.

Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia has directed all private RV parks to quit renting sites to out-of-state campers.


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Natrona County, Wyoming, officials have closed all campgrounds. They include: Black Beach, Cottonwood, Fremont Canyon, Okie Beach, Westside, Bishops Point, Diabase, Sage, Weiss, Gray Reef and Wolf Point. Camping areas on Casper Mountain are not yet accessible, so those areas are not immediately impacted by the closures.

Ken Wahl reports that Velocity Truck Centers, authorized Freightliner service center, is open in Tolleson, Arizona. “A great time to get an appointment for service and recall orders. Full hook ups for overnighters in the queue for early morning work,” he wrote.

The Good Sam RV Rally scheduled this month at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair has been cancelled.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered a shelter at home order that begins today for all residents. Campgrounds are still open but officials will monitor them to make sure people do not cluster in groups.

UPDATE ON OUR FRIEND Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor
Gary is battling COVID-19 in a Seattle area hospital. He has been in ICU for a week now. He is heavily sedated and on a ventilator, and continues to be in critical but stable condition. The drugs have him pretty much out of it, so he is not communicative with anyone. His family is hopeful about a good outcome. Read our story about Gary and leave him a message.

VIRUS SPREAD BY JUST BREATHING? A prestigious scientific panel told the White House Wednesday night that research shows coronavirus can be spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but also just by talking, or possibly even just breathing. Research by the University of Nebraska shows that genetic material from the virus was found in patients’ rooms more than 6 feet away from the patients. It’s possible that aerosolized coronavirus droplets can hang in the air and potentially infect someone who walks by later, said Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences.

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.

RV STOCKS: Yesterday’s Closing: Camping World up 6.58%, Thor up 2.43%, Winnebago up 3.27%.


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 WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT
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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Tommy Molnar
5 months ago

“A prestigious scientific panel told the White House Wednesday night . . .”. I wonder what constitutes “Prestigious” these days.

In this incidence, it sounds to me like if you’re outside (like in a camping environment) you would have nothing to fear. The slightest wind (or breeze!) would dissipate the virus. It’s really hard to know who or what to believe because everyone is introduced as an “Expert”, or “A prestigious scientific panel”, or whatever else designation folks are given to make them sound like they’re in the know. Who really IS in the know?

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

I think that’s true, Tommy. We’re all learning (hopefully) as we go. Like I have felt my whole life, it’s the “fear of the unknown” that worries me the most. Stay healthy! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Rich
5 months ago

Here is what’s going on in Nebraska:
LINCOLN, Neb. – In a proactive effort to prevent the potential for spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will prohibit overnight camping at state parks, state recreation areas and wildlife management areas starting Monday, April 6 through Friday, May 8, with a possible extension.
In addition, the closure of state park area lodging and cabins will be extended through May 8.

Tom
5 months ago

Mississippi State Parks closed.

Steve
5 months ago

I have been notified that all Myrtle Beach, SC, RV parks have been forced to close through the end of April, 2020. By order of Horry County, SC.