RV Coronavirus News Update, April 8, 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.

* * *
A couple of weeks ago our columnist Mike Sokol wrote an essay in the RV Travel Newsletter entitled “During this crisis, ask what you can do for your neighbor.” He mentioned helping a friend who was helping his neighbor with a 3-D printer produce safety masks for medical centers in the area. Mike helped engineer a new way to produce the masks and supplied stock from his own inventory to build 300 masks, and will supply enough for about 600 more. As of April 7, they have built and shipped 183 masks to hospitals, sheriff’s departments, retirement centers, Homeland Security, etc. Way to go, guys!

Texas state parks and historical landmarks were closed on Tuesday by Governor Abbott. State park day passes will be refunded and overnight reservations will automatically be canceled. 

Cummins Inc. and DuPont are helping address the nation’s shortage of N95 respirator masks. Cummins’ NanoNet and NanoForce Media technology, which uses DuPont’s Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT), can typically be found in air, fuel and lube filtration products used in heavy-duty diesel engines to prevent long-term engine wear, but also can be used in the N95 respirator masks worn by healthcare professionals to filter harmful airborne particles that can spread COVID-19.

Fifty percent of RVtravel.com readers, who are eligible for an economic stimulus payment from the federal government because of the pandemic, report they do not need the money. See our poll results

Chelan County, Washington, has ordered owners and operators of short-term vacation rentals, Air B&Bs and campgrounds, among others, to cease operations or face a $500 per day fine.


SAVE A TRIP TO THE STORE!
Let Amazon deliver it:  ToothpasteShampooHair conditionerDeodorantLipstickVitaminsShaving creamLaundry detergentSkin creamHand soapDish detergent Fingernail brush (get rid of germs) •. CoffeeBatteries for your devices • Pet food


A headline you will not see in normal times: “California man accused of coughing on Yuma gas pump.” It turns out the man admitted to posting videos of himself talking about coronavirus while coughing on a gas pump handle in Yuma.

The state of Wisconsin
has ruled that campgrounds and RV parks are essential businesses, in part because they’re housing essential employees.

Sorry to report that the Governor of Delaware has shut down all ice cream trucks

New Mexico is now limiting RV parks to operate only at 25 percent capacity, down from the previous restriction of 50 percent. Grocery stores and all other essential retail businesses will no longer be allowed to have more than 20 percent of their maximum occupancy in the store at any time.

Forget about getting a tattoo in Arizona. All parlors are shut down, governor’s orders. On a related note, up in Washington you can enjoy as much marijuana as you like — pot shops are essential, says the government. 

REMINDER: All Indiana campgrounds are closed except for guests who use RVs or cabins as their primary residence. And, by the way, Elkhart County, home to the American RV industry, was up to 43 cases of COVID-19 yesterday.

Crawford County, Wisconsin has ordered its campgrounds closed.

In an effort to further social distancing, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey is closing all state and county parks as of April 7th. 

Twenty-six percent of confirmed New Hampshire COVID-19 cases — 192 people — are health care workers, who are carrying an immense workload.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has closed overnight camping until further notice at the Grayrocks Reservoir and Wheatland No. 1 Public Access Areas, and at Cottonwood Draw Wildlife Habitat Management Area located in Platte County. Day use will still be permitted.

Effective today all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed campgrounds around Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir will be closed. Individuals with paid camping reservations at the Downstream Campground impacted by this orderly closure will receive a cancellation via email and a full refund. No new reservations are being accepted for now. Dispersed camping is still allowed on Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge lands around the lake.


Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order


In an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19, Iowa Gov. Reynolds has ordered the closing of all public campgrounds, cabins and yurts temporarily, as well as all outdoor playgrounds through April 30. State Parks, Forests and Preserves remain open for day use.

The Boise National Forest announced Monday that it will close additional campgrounds, trailheads, hot springs and parking lots. The new closures include dispersed campsites (not at a designated camping area) as well as official forest campsites. The closed sites are the Grimes Creek area, French Creek, Deadwood and other campsites in the Mountain Home, Emmett, Idaho City, Cascade and Lowman ranger districts.


SPECIAL
POLL
How’s your supply of toilet paper?
Respond here and see how others did, too. 


Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida will close all islands in the park to public access until further notice. Visitor programs, concession tours, and the campground were previously closed.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area in Texas has closed all campgrounds. Anyone with a reservation through April 30 at the Sanford-Yake Campground can call (806) 865-3131 for a refund.

Due to a steep decline in sales, Honda has suspended production in all automobile, engine and transmission plants in North America through May 1.

All developed campgrounds in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest are closed. Other National Forests throughout Arizona have also closed their developed campgrounds.

BP is offering a discount of 50 cents off per gallon for first responders and health care workers the next time they fill up at BP or Amoco gas stations in the U.S. To obtain the discount, first responders and health care workers can visit bp.com/localheroes. They will be asked to verify their identity through the website ID.me and will then receive a discount code via text or email that they can enter at the pump. There’s a limit of 2 discount codes per user and the codes expire by June 30.

And … Starbucks is offering all front-line responders a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) through May 3. 

Arts and crafts supply store Hobby Lobby is expected to close all of its locations Friday; employees that are furloughed will receive no pay from the company for the duration of the closures.

The West Coast is helping the East Coast during the coronavirus pandemic. Oregon has sent 140 ventilators to New York, California lent 500 ventilators to the national stockpile, and  Washington state will return more than 400 ventilators it has received from the Strategic National Stockpile so that they can be used in New York and other states that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: RVers in Florida worried about where  to stay with their RVs


Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spacesRV Travel Newsletter Issue 913
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.


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.


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


RV PARKS THAT WELCOME LONG-TERM VISITORS
Big Chief RV Resort, Burnet, Texas.
Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park, Staunton Virginia.

Own a park that you’d like listed here? Send the park name, web address and city and we’ll include it here. Send to editor@rvtravel.com. No charge.


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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TravelingMan
5 months ago

For many, we watch TV to get the latest news on CoronaVirus. The President comes on daily. The State Governor may come on daily.

Invariably, the local stations seem to cut off the President and/or Governor before they can complete the briefing (we have 5 local stations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area that carry about 10-20% off the briefing and then they cut them off). They think commercials, sports or other fake news are more important. Some cut the live feed as they are opposed to having the current President on at all due to a bias opinion. I thought they were there to distribute “Breaking News”. What is more important than a Presidential or Governor Briefing (regardless of who is in office)?

In the case of the President (any – Democratic, Liberal or Republican), if you want to watch the presentation to its entirety, tune into the following website:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/

Sorry…I can’t help on the State Live feed…

KellyR
5 months ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

It drives me nuts to watch the live feed and then minutes later have the local or national news report what I just saw and heard and they put a spin on it that I never heard for myself. I don’t care which station. Reporters should be taught to listen. They are creating the pannnnic.

John D.
5 months ago

The free Starbucks is great…as long as you have two extra hours to wait in the drive-thru window line, of course! 😉

Jim Knoch
5 months ago

Just curious to hear …. How is Gary Bunzser doing? I seldom hear updates on his CoVid battle.

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

Hi, Jim. For the most recent updates on Gary, check this post: https://www.rvtravel.com/gary-941/ Whenever Chuck hears anything he puts an update at the top. Thanks for asking. —Diane at RVtravel.com

Drew
5 months ago

Very emotional video about the poor woman in the Florida rv park. As for me, I’ve forwarded a copy of a letter sent by Dana Nelson at RV News to a Colorado senator. I sent it to my governor, the president, and all my senators. I hope we all get a grip soon.

https://www.rvnews.com/opinion-rv-industry-issues-2/

Dave Gobel
5 months ago

It’s great that BP is offering a discount for first responders and hospital workers. But what about farm hands and food processors and grocery store workers and mail, UPS,and FEDEX delivery personnel. They are in contact with potential virus carriers every hour of every work day. I think they deserve a break too.

BruceinAz
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave Gobel

But they’re among the lucky ones still drawing a paycheck to pay their bills, support their families, and buy gasoline. Many no longer have the ability to do that which can lead to problems far more serious than the Wuhan virus.

GeorgeB
5 months ago
Reply to  BruceinAz

It’s not luck, it’s called career planning. I also take exception to your view that another persons death is subordinate to your finances. Perhaps you haven’t thought out what your world would look like today with no health care, no food, no gas, no home deliveries and no truckers delivering goods.