RV Coronavirus News Update, March 22, 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 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.

Breaking coronavirus RV news from last week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter.
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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.

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31 Comments
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Diane
5 months ago

As more states issue “stay-in-place” orders due to the virus, how are traveling RVers affected by these orders? As you cross state borders, are you being told to stay put for at least 14 days?

Bill Pearson
5 months ago

We just spent a weekend in the Olympic Mountains in Washington state. On leaving we were notified that all national parks are closed along with all state parks, Looks like we have had the last camp out for a while..

Herb Bidwell
5 months ago

Anyone looking for a place for a night or more travelling on I-10 in Texas, Schulenburg RV park is open and has spaces available. I-10 exit 674.

Ray Zimmermann
5 months ago

You suggested reconsidering going to Grand Canyon National Park, but full hookup sites are still open at Trailer Village, the RV park within the National Park. Partial hookup sites and restrooms are closed, as are all park visitor centers, programs, hotels, shops, shuttle buses and restaurants (some may offer takeout). If you want to enjoy a secluded visit to the Grand Canyon, this may be the time. Park entrance fees are waived. See more in this article from yesterday’s Arizona Republic. https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/arizona/road-trips/2020/03/20/arizona-national-state-parks-closed-coronavirus-grand-canyon-hoover-dam-petrified-forest-saguaro/2869387001/?utm_source=azcentral-Coronavirus+Watch&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=baseline_greeting&utm_term=newsletter_greeting&fbclid=IwAR1jKGTOdOQucdgo_kIj2k8gqOAEpq5LE8ooyGE_SUyWwlfgyeJde-6I9WY

Michelle
5 months ago

As of 6:00pm today the Florida Keys is closed to all visitors. If you do not have proof that you live in the keys you cannot come in. But everyone is welcome back after all of this is over. Be safe and stay indoors.

Dawn Shindledecker
5 months ago

Northwest Florida Water Management District and all of the management parks are evicting and canceling all reservations as of Monday, March 23, 2020. We thought we were going to be in a safe and isolated place away from the virus. Where we are, there are only 3 campers including us and the park is going to be open to people that want to use it for day use. We are self contained and have no other place to go but to leave and travel on the roads to who knows where, other than limbo not knowing if rest areas are going to remain open and/or what campgrounds will be available for staying isolated from this virus.

Cheryl Bacon
5 months ago

As far as I know, all public lands campgrounds in Florida have closed. The Keys is the only area that has closed privately owned rentals, hotels and campgrounds. Disney’s Fort Wilderness is also closed. There are several privately owned campgrounds that have openings and are in very little danger of closing. Most, if not all of them are following the Governors and CDC’s guide lines.

Jessie harvey
5 months ago

I don’t know why they would close any park or park campgrounds there going to be a lot more secluded than any place else someone needs to come to their senses and get them back open

Diane M
5 months ago
Reply to  Jessie harvey

In many parks, their employees who would be needed to clean restrooms, collect garbage, collect fees, etc., don’t want to risk getting infected. Rather than take the chance, they are closing.

Montgomery Bonner
5 months ago

Oh! Chuck, you might ask for volunteers by state to cut down on incoming information, as I am sure your servers are being overwhelmed. Two per state should do it (TX needs 4-CA as well), then you can filter that info and put it out for the rest of us. Just a suggestion.

Montgomery Bonner
5 months ago

Hmmm, this just gets more and more exciting. For those of FT Rv’ing. Since many churches and other business are closed, suspect, you could boondock in those parking lots. Be courteous, and call the emergency number on usually the door tag, or check in with the local sheriff/police in person, they will know how to contact the pastor/owner of the space. BE SMART DO NOT USE 911 to make this call, in some localities it’s being overwhelmed. With fuel way cheaper (gas here at murphy-GA is 1.80 a gallon, diesel on the other hand has not dropped) there is abundant supplies for any travel you need to do. And need to do is the watch word here now in these times.

We were in TX in early FEB, and saw what was happing in China, and Italy started to heat up, we made tracks for home, and glad we did, since we arrived home mid Feb, the local economy has dried up, Brand new Longhorn Steak House opened Tues, Mar 17, 2020, and yesterday it went to Take Out Only orders. The local grocery stores are being restocked, but people being in panic mode, are buying it down to the metal on the shelves, get a brain cell working please, supplies are going to continue to be available, if necessary federal forces will be dispatched to make sure food is available. Small towns are most likely the best avenue to find someplace to hunker down, so consider that, but if you can just stay where you are, that would be the best. If I had to choose a place because of FT living, TX would be first choice, lost of empty land all over the place there.

Carry or get personal protection devices, and no I am NOT talking about, masks, gloves, or PPE suits, I am talking about your self personal protection if you don’t already have it. Oh, another thing, if you don’t have a weather alert RADIIO get one now, why, it also broadcasts emergency information, it took the place of the old civil defense system to some degree. The government maintains this system and it’s electronic reach puts cell phone coverage to shame, it will work down in a hole. Best Buy might have them, Radio Shack is gone, so online is most likely your only source. I have 3, two at home and one it RV, they have saved my life at least twice. Weather does not recognize virus situation, it happens all the time, 24 hours a day. That most likely is what you need to worry about.

Here our big bank sent out e-mail, all cash dispensing at the teller window is canceled, they won’t take cash either, to cash checks, it has to go into account. Glad I was forward thinking and got some 3 weeks ago. Also now with precious metals prices down, get a supply of silver rounds @ .9999 fine quality at any reputable outlet, Monex and others sell them, ship them and usually will take a credit card for payment, you might need those to barter if conditions deteriorate further down the road. Remember, there are always butt heads, who want to be trouble.

If you have not prepared for this kind of event in either your RV or at home base, you will find it difficult to get the necessary supplies to weather this event. Home Depot and Lowes stock personal hygiene and cleaning supplies, they are limiting quantity. Here in Northern GA, our parks are open as far as I know, albeit expensive at 55 dollars a night for the high end place. GA Mountain Fairgrounds, in Hiwassee might be open go online and check, several hundred spots and more on 4-01-2020 if they are open. Several smaller campgrounds around this area, you will have to check. Some GA state parks (at least one) are being turned into medical/recovery places, so check to see if any park you want is open and available for reservations/stays.

Good Luck. Because, even when this is over, the piper will still need to be paid, and we have all the money. Get ready for it, because they are coming for it, by hook or crook.

R harper
5 months ago

This is clearly a violation of our constitutional right of unencumbered free travel in this country, instead of reporting this criminal activity why not report on our rights being peed on?

Mermaid
5 months ago
Reply to  R harper

We do not have a voice!

Greg Jones
5 months ago
Reply to  R harper

R, you just are not getting it. We are in a Pandemic situation. We are seeing the numbers grow from the beginning but they are growing exponentially! That means the cases double, in this case every 3-5 days. Mortality rate is running at about 4.2% of confirmed case which is now 318000 world wide (13672 deaths). In the US we are at 27000 cases and 347 deaths so far or about 1.3% mortality. We don’t have have an accurate case count due to lack of testing, but 2 days ago at this time we had 14000 cases.

So some scary numbers. We do not have communities, none of us unless you have recovered from the virus. So, there are 327 million people in the US. The expect 40%-70% to get the virus if unchecked. Let’s call it 61% to keep the math easy, that 200 million people. Numbers vary a lot due to a number of factors like ICU availability and care in general but 1% is getting used a lot, the hope is it’s less than 0.3% and the last number I saw from the World Health Organization is about 4%. Again, using 1% to keep it simple, that 2 million deaths in the US if allowed to run it course. There are only a few strings we can pull while waiting for a cure or vaccine. Limited travel, shelter in place, sanitation are about it. The goal is low spread so the ICUs are there for you. Cases needing ICU and ventilation vary from 2% to 15%,,,

Ran the number yesterday, cases multiple 8-16 time every 2 weeks, and again the next 2 weeks so in about 12 weeks if unchecked everyone in the US should have it… So waiting is not an option.

The Shelter in place restrictions are working in Calif. The goal is not to stop the virus but to keep the cases down enough that those needing ICU care can get it.

So quit being selfish, suck it up and do your part. With luck, we’ll be back to travel next summer and the new normal (expect normal to change some) for the summer of 2022.

Cheryl Bacon
5 months ago
Reply to  R harper

If it was in violation of Our Rights or unconstitutional, don’t you think Constitutional Attorneys would be lining up with the paperwork needed to file complaints?

Henry
5 months ago
Reply to  R harper

Article IV of our Constitution guarantees freedom of travel between states. Since I will be traveling in a few weeks back to our permanent home in TN from our winter home in AZ, I’ll be traveling through NM,TX, AR, and possibly MS. I’ll only be stopping for overnight and fuel so we will have minimal contact with people. I shouldn’t be restricted travel through these states to reach my home.

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago

I still don’t get NV Gov closing state parks to overnight camping but allowing day use. This is 180 degrees OFF what I would consider ‘common sense’. But then, we all know what has happened to common sense . . . Just sayin’.

Sherry L
5 months ago

Most Florida State Parks remain open for day use; however, hours of operation have been reduced to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Goldie
5 months ago

COE parks in FL have also closed.

Phil Atterbery
5 months ago

While reading my social media feeds I get the sense that some folks are hesitant to leave the park they are in to return home. They feel they will come across a community along an interstate that wants to stop all traffic.
Is it panic speak or what?

BJ Malecha
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

We are in Yuma, where we come every January. There has only been 1 case here so it seems safer than going home to OR thru CA. What would YOU do?

Bill Kaupe
5 months ago

Closing campgrounds is counter to isolation unless the governments are planning to open tent hospitals in them. I hope we will have places to stay when we travel back home from Mexico.

Matt Johnson
5 months ago

So much for separating yourself from close proximity of others if you live in a condo or apartment. Thanks government.

Sharon B
5 months ago

The newsletter needs an immediate correction. Florida State Parks are closed. I had paid reservations at Highlands Hammock State Park and received an email the park is closed and I already received a full refund so please correct for others who think the state parks are open

Donna Mc
5 months ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Florida State Parks NOT open. My state park reservations were cancelled and refunded. All Florida Keys RV parks closed by order of Governor.

Carl J
5 months ago
Reply to  Donna Mc

Luckily, however spring breakers got to covert on the public beaches, aholes to elbows then depart to all corners of the USA to spread the virus. But the Fl. gov is concerned about RV parks. Idiot.

Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Likewise, my reservation at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, FL was cancelled by Reserve America and I have already received a full refund. They waived the cancellation fee and reservation fee.

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

Thanks, Sharon. I’ve updated the post. I think the ones that were referred to originally in the post are the private parks. —Diane at RVtravel.com