RV Coronavirus News Update, April 9, 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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Winnebago Industries Inc. announced yesterday that it would resume production at its motorhome division as well as its Grand Design RV Co. and Newmar Corp. subsidiaries the week of May 4. The Winnebago towables division is scheduled to resume production the week of May 18. All dates are subject to change, according to officials. The Forest City, Iowa-based company had suspended all production on March 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christopher Gallagher, owner of Gallaghers RV Rentals in Liberty, Ohio, has donated the use of two of his RVs to a local hospital system. “I figure they’re sitting in storage right now, why don’t I make my RVs available to these doctors and nurses and people on the front lines so they can go in there and sleep or go in and take a shower or cook some food or read a book or something just to help them out a little bit.”

There was an inaccurate report Tuesday that Indiana Governor Holcomb had ordered state parks to close. Actually, they are still open, but campgrounds are closed.

Members of North Maine Woods Inc., a community of landowners who own 3.5 million acres of the state’s commercial forest, met on Tuesday and declared all of the organization’s campsites closed until May 1 or until the state of emergency is lifted. The organization maintains a total of 330 sites at 144 locations. Many of those locations have just a single campsite available, while some others may have as many as eight sites at one spot. Reservations are not accepted, and those seeking to camp operate on a first-come, first-served basis, when campsites are open.

The Idaho Panhandle National Forest Service has decided to temporarily close campgrounds and developed recreation sites in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, has shut down all the campgrounds it manages.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has made the decision to close its 38 campgrounds and day use recreational sites across its service area in Northern California, until at least June, at which time it will reassess the closure plan. The window to make camping reservations usually opens in April, but it has now been pushed to June, with the potential to be pushed out further. At present, the opening date for campgrounds is set for June 29.

The Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally, or “ROT Rally,” scheduled for June, has been canceled this year. The 25th anniversary of the rally will be held June 10-13, 2021. Organizers say any RV spaces and passes purchased for this year will be honored next year.

The campground and public restrooms at Lake Columbia, Arkansas, were closed, effective Tuesday morning. The move will be in effect until further notice. Current campers will be allowed to finish their stays, but no new campers will be accepted.


SUPER HANDY!faucet-755
Add an outdoor water faucet to your RV!
This lead-free outdoor faucet is really handy. If you don’t have one, here’s a super inexpensive way to add one. No tools required and it installs in a minute (just screw it on). Brass T included with the plastic faucet, just as it’s shown in the product photo. Learn more or order.


The city of Roswell, NM, normally limits how long a resident can occupy an RV on private property. The city has announced it will now suspend those requirements to assist family members who might need to quarantine for longer periods. 

Eleven specific areas on public lands within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are now off-limits. They are: Upper and Lower Calf Creek Falls, Deer Creek Campground, all Escalante canyons, Devil’s Rock Garden, Zebra Slot Canyon, Burr Trail, Irish Canyons including the Sandthrax camping area, Hot Springs Canyon, Star Springs Canyon, North Wash, Ticaboo/Bullfrog area and any other recreation site where proper social distancing practices cannot be achieved.

Many campgrounds, picnic areas, bathrooms, and boat launch facilities on the Plumas National Forest in northern California have been closed indefinitely for the health and safety of visitors and staff.

If your car insurance is through Allstate or Liberty Mutual, you might want to call your agent. Allstate is allowing customers to delay their car insurance bills and is offering discounts for April and May, when fewer cars are on the road. Liberty Mutual is doing something similar. 

Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah has closed its gates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Park superintendent Linda Mazzu said Monday night that the ongoing flow of visitors to a park noted for its spire-shaped red rock formations known as hoodoos made it difficult to maintain proper social distancing. Capitol Reef National Park remains the last of Utah’s five national parks still open, but its scenic drive and campgrounds are closed. Zion, Arches and Canyonlands national parks are also closed.


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


The narrow trail around Concord, Massachusetts’ Walden Pond is now one-way only. 

A baker at an Albertson’s supermarket must have a seriously wacky sense of humor, offering up these toilet paper cakes and “poop” cupcakes.

Idaho Power has extended the closure of its recreational facilities through at least May 14 as the company continues to take social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The closure includes all Idaho Power campgrounds, parks, developed day-use areas and boat ramps. 

REV Group Inc. announced yesterday that its RV brands have each issued a warranty extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fleetwood RV, American Coach, Holiday Rambler, Monaco, Renegade RV, Lance Camper and Midwest Automotive Designs are providing 60 days of extended warranty goodwill repair coverage to owners whose limited warranties are expiring in March, April and May 2020.

Food trucks will be set up at Indiana rest stops as part of the state’s coronavirus pandemic response. The temporary program will allow the trucks to operate there so that truck drivers and other essential travelers can grab something to eat. 

Panera Bread has launched Panera Grocery which sells pantry items including milk, bread and fresh produce. Panera has temporarily closed about 15% of its locations but the new service is offered at around 1,900 locations through contactless delivery, pickup, drive-up or in the drive-thru. Items available include a gallon of milk for $4.99 and an avocado for $1.49. The bakery normally sells loaves of bread and bagels.

Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, remains in critical but stable condition in a Seattle-area hospital. The popular writer and seminar speaker has been in ICU, breathing with a ventilator, for nearly two weeks now.


battery-test-751

SAVE MONEY!
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small tester, for about $8, will alert you in an instant to the condition of your batteries, saving you money from needlessly tossing away good ones! Works on AA, AAA, C, D and 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.


SPECIAL POLL
Do you wear a face mask when you go out in public? 
Respond here and see how others did, too.


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Middlesex County, Virginia-owned Canoe House Landing Beach in the Jamaica community is closed to the public and four private campgrounds in Middlesex have agreed to delay openings. The campgrounds: Cross Rip Campground in Deltaville, Bush Park Camping Resort in Wake, Bethpage Camp-Resort in Urbanna and Grey’s Point Camp in Topping. The delay includes both seasonal and transient (fewer than 14-day stay) campers.

Fresno, California-based RV Country is providing a 37-foot motorhome as a rest area and meeting location for frontline health care workers at Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia.

Don’t plan on visiting McCall, Idaho, anytime soon. Local officials have doubled down on their plea to the general public to stay at home, along with a reminder that all nonessential travel is prohibited. Temporary closures of short-term lodging, including RV parks, in the county have been extended to May 15. Exceptions are for people providing essential services or in quarantine.

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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Susan From KC
5 months ago

Anybody needing a place to park your camper-LazyDay Campground is open for business in Danville, Mo. (573) 564-2949. They have plenty of room with full hookups.

Don Kostyal
5 months ago

Indiana’s decision to allow food trucks in the rest areas is a fantastic idea–all States should consider the same.

Tommy Howard
5 months ago

R V Parks should remain open. What a great way to isolate one self.

Tisha Yates
5 months ago

Can you still camp in Michigan in a private campground

Brenda
5 months ago

I drive a MINI Cooper and was looking forward to the MINI Takes the States Rally that was scheduled to begin late July. It has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.

Rick Sorrenti
5 months ago

Has any owners noticed the lousy service life you are getting from Duracell batteries. I have noticed tremendous number of their AAs are leaking only after 3 months. Duracell used to be the standard. No longer

Alvin
5 months ago
Reply to  Rick Sorrenti

Thanks for the heads up Rick. I think we should all watch for leaking batteries before they ruin a good device. I’ve noticed a decline in service life of nearly everything. It all started when my lady and I bought an old Leonard refrigerator in 1968 shortly after we married. That fridge was built the year i was (1947) and worked like a charm. Six years later we sold it to a guy for a beer fridge, and I’m betting its still going. How many fridges would the consumer have bought in the last 50 years?
Same with the hot water heater. Ours was installed in our first house in 1959, In 2005 when I retired and we were going to be away more than we were going to be home I got cold feet and replaced that aging old hot water heater, nothing wrong with it, I just thought what if.
So we replaced it, five years later it blew up -replaced it again, two years later ( a week after the warranty expired) and a day before new owners took possession of the house the replacement sprung a leak and I replaced it too. We can watch all we want, but what good does it do. Then there’s RV’s…………….lol.

KellyR
5 months ago
Reply to  Alvin

Still using 1960 Maytag washer and dryer.

Richard Davis
5 months ago
Reply to  Rick Sorrenti

I also have noticed the poor service life and tendency to leak and corrode. I have stopped buying that brand.

Joe
5 months ago
Reply to  Rick Sorrenti

I quit using Duracell batteries many years ago for the same reason. Overpriced and terrible quality. I only buy Rayovac now. Our local supermarket periodically sells the 4 packs of AA and AAA for $1.00. I’ve never had one leak. I had 2 Maglite AA flashlights. One had Duracell and remained in my desk drawer at work (climate controlled, etc.) The other one had Rayovac and traveled all over and was in various locations that were not necessarily climate controlled. The Duracell batteries leaked and destroyed the flashlight. The Rayovac batteries were several years old and the flashlight still worked! Unbelievable!