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 organizing this update that we did not have time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)
Many RV park owners were thrown into limbo on Friday (March 20) as the states of New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Connecticut were ordered to close their campgrounds for being “non-essential.” Through the efforts of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) the four states have reversed their bans, allowing the parks to remain open — good news for RVers.
From floridastateparks.org: “Out of an abundance of caution, all events, activities, special event reservations, pavilion rentals and camping/cabin reservations at Florida State Parks have been canceled for the next 60 days. Most Florida State Parks remain open for day use; however, hours of operation have been reduced to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” Florida state beach parks are also closed.
On Saturday, Elkhart County, Indiana, where 80 percent of all RVs are manufactured, reported its first case of coronavirus. The total cases in the state is 126.
KOA has been forced to close a few of its campgrounds. Here’s a list and more information. KOA reports that reservations are up 11 percent for the summer over last year.
RVillage has temporarily put all get-togethers on hold until it is safe to have in-person meetings again.
If you’re thinking of visiting Grand Canyon National Park, maybe reconsider. The South Rim is open but restaurants are closed, services are limited and a pipeline break has disrupted water service to Mather Campground. The Grand Canyon Railroad has cancelled its excursions for now. Other Arizona park closures include Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument.
The Beaver Ambassador Club has cancelled its Spring International Rally scheduled for April 22-26 in Kerrville, Texas. All rallies scheduled in April are also cancelled.
Yellowstone National Park is open, but its campgrounds (except for Mammoth), as they are every year, are still closed for the season.
Winnebago Industries has suspended all factory tours; Thor, too.
West Virginia’s 10 state park lodges, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails system, and the seven campgrounds operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at flood control reservoirs across the state were ordered closed on Friday in an effort to check the spread of COVID-19. Campgrounds at Corps of Engineers Beech Fork Lake, Stonewall Jackson Lake and Tygart Lake are operated by the state parks system, and remain open.
All New Jersey State Park campgrounds are closed.
All regional gatherings of the S.M.A.R.T RV Club scheduled during April and May have been cancelled or rescheduled. Most local chapter activities during this time period also have been cancelled. Scheduled events after May will be re-examined as the situation develops.
Rocky Mountain National Park became Colorado’s first national park to close to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The park hosted a record 4.67 million visitors in 2019.
As you travel the highways and byways, rest assured that most truck stops will be open for business. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation said truck stops now qualify as an essential business, meaning they are viewed as too vital to shut down. The businesses are making adjustments for the pandemic. Pilot Flying J, for example has stopped providing self-serve food and others have closed restaurants.
Riverside County, Calif., RV parks are closed and have cancelled reservations.
No new reservations are being accepted until May 15 at the Corps of Engineers Parks at Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Lake, both in Texas in the Belton area.
Montana State Parks visitor centers are closed. Parks are open.
Two more RV manufacturers have suspended operations, Pennsylvania-based Aliner and Little Guy Trailers. Little Guy shared this message: “Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the closure of all non-life-sustaining business as of 8 p.m., March 19th. Unfortunately, this means that our factory located in Somerset, Pennsylvania, will be closed immediately.”
All Nevada State Park campgrounds are closed. Only day use permitted.
Some Military campgrounds are closed or only available to active military members. Here’s an unofficial list of parks not taking reservations, or already closed.
Cummins Inc., Columbus, Ind., has suspended production at its midrange engine plant in Walesboro, Ind., for two weeks in response to the decision by its customer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to shutdown pickup truck assembly until at least the end of March.
The giant Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, is closed until at least March 31. The mall’s parking lot has traditionally been off-limits to overnight RV parking.
Heard in the RV park today (one RVer’s solution for ending the coronavirus pandemic): “They should send anyone infected to an island, like they did with people who got leprosy.” Oh, my!
Florida RV parks remain open for business except in the Florida Keys, where there has been a temporary order for hotels, private campgrounds and RV parks to close for their short-term guests, meaning those staying under 28 days. This does not apply to Florida State Parks, which are closed except for day use, and with restricted hours.
RVC Outdoor Destinations is seeing an uptick in reservation requests from traveling nurses, many of whom use their RVs as their self-contained home while they are on temporary assignment at hospitals and other medical facilities across the country. RVC Outdoors owns and operates nine resorts in nine states.
All hotels and RV parks in Brewster County, Texas, are now closed.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has reached an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to direct overflow campers to nearby campgrounds using the listings on GoCampingAmerica.com. “This is a great opportunity for campgrounds and parks to help those that need a place to stay and boost their business,” the association wrote on its Facebook page.
ABOVE: These St. Bernards are equipped with TP. Brandy casks are not as important these days. Difficult times require creative solutions.
DID YOU SEE OUR SURVEY IN YESTERDAY’S NEWSLETTER? We asked: If asked to voluntarily isolate yourself, will it be in a traditional home or an RV? See what are readers plan to do (and answer the poll if you wish).
The BC Interior RV Show, set for Penticton, British Columbia, for April 3-5, has been cancelled. Ditto for The Vancouver Island RV Show and Sale, which was scheduled to start April 11.
Pismo Coast Village in Pismo Beach, California, is now closed until April 17 or until further notice.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will accommodate current overnight guests through April 2nd. Reservations for all state parks from April 3rd to and including May 8th will be cancelled and site fees refunded. Before May 8th, the department will review the state park campground closure to decide whether it should be extended. The decision affects all individual and group overnight facilities including campsites, yurts, cabins, tepees, and services operated by concessionaires.
All campgrounds and visitor centers will be closed at Point Reyes National Seashore (Calif.) until at least April 7, 2020.
Spain has shut down all its lodging including campgrounds.
In Connecticut, the opening of camping season at state parks and forests has been postponed until Memorial Day weekend in May, unless a further delay is deemed necessary. All campground reservations made for stays prior to Memorial Day weekend will automatically be cancelled and refunds will be processed.
A LITTLE HUMOR: From RVtravel.com reader Patricia Gerald: “Tonight I am having a quarantine party. . . None of you are invited.”
The city of Galveston closed beach park facilities Thursday. The order applies to Stewart Beach, East Beach, Seawall Urban Park, Seawolf Park and Dellanera RV Park, all managed by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has canceled campground reservations in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The cancellations do not affect anyone who is currently in the campground. Reservations after May 15 will be reevaluated at a later date.
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