The latest news about RVing from the editors of RVtravel.com
January 4-11, 2018
Expect to pay more for fuel this year, says market watcher GasBuddy. The outfit projects fuel prices across the country averaging $2.57 a gallon, up 19 cents from 2017. If true, it will be the highest price for gas since 2014. Expect peaks in most areas of the country just under $3, but higher than that in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Unexpected events could throw these estimates off, but for the last two years, GasBuddy’s projections have been between 4 and 8 percent of what actually occurred.
Used RV market watcher Black Book reports that November’s prices for motorhomes and towable rigs went different directions – the second time in two months. Motorhomes saw a 5 percent falloff, averaging $46,718, losing $2,493 compared to October figures. Meanwhile, towable units ran up nearly 6 percent, with an average sale price of $13,325, up $740 for the same period. Compare these figures to November of 2016 – motorhomes averaged $35,015 and towables $11,181.
Does national park purity include freedom from Starbucks? For thousands, it appears it does. There’s a possibility a Starbucks outlet may open at a food court in Yosemite National Park (California) and someone has started a petition to stop what they apparently consider a “half-baked idea near Half Dome.” As of midday Friday, more than 19,000 have signed the petition. You can read (or sign) it yourself here.
Hurricane Harvey hangover: Number of people who’ve applied to FEMA for temporary housing: 40,771. Number deemed eligible: 6,970. Number provided housing: 1,119. Still waiting: 5,951. Most units had been auctioned off by FEMA before Harvey came ashore. Source: Station KHOU 11.
The hurtling pace of RV sales has attracted plenty of attention – and the stock market is apparently also keeping a close eye on publicly held RV manufacturers. Recently, stock exchange NASDAQ ran an analysis article on its website, suggesting which RV manufacturers might be a better investment. Equity research firm Zacks Equity now lists RV manufacturing in the top 1 percent of the 250 industries it follows. Which company stock to buy? Both Thor and Winnebago landed in the “Strong Buy” recommendation file.
The drinking water situation at the Grand Canyon is anything but grand. Last year pipeline ruptures created havoc for park operations and visitors. Now park officials at the Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) have put in “Level 2 water conservation measures” due to failure of the park’s primary water pump system. The most obvious signs of the cutback – concession food must now be served on disposable dishes, and guests will need to specifically request water. It’s unclear how long before repairs will be made.
Ford has fired the latest salvo in the “Pickup Truck War,” announcing it will offer a diesel engine option on its F-150 and promising 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The diesel engine in combination with a 10-speed transmission will add an additional $2,400 to $4,000 to the sticker price. Ford’s bigwigs think about 5 percent of F-150 customers will opt for the new power plant when it becomes available.
If you plan to visit San Francisco, lock your car and hide your valuables. Last year, a vehicle was broken into every 17 minutes, up 25 percent from the year before. In 70 percent of the break-ins, property was visible.
Heat your RV with Electricity, not Propane!
SAVE $$$! Until now, the standard for heating recreation vehicles of all types has been to use bottled propane (LPG). With the CheapHeat™ system there’s a better option. Now you have a choice to change the central heating system between gas and electric with the flip of a switch. When you choose to run on electric heat rather than gas, your coach will be heated by the electricity provided by the RV park. Learn more.
RV sales are booming, and there’s no reason that will change soon. Well, one hitch: Continued growth depends on hiring more workers in the Elkhart, Ind., area, the RV manufacturing capital of the world. According to the Washington Post, roughly 10,000 jobs remain vacant in the area, most within the RV industry and its supply chain.
A man who cashed a cashier’s check for the sale of an RV but never delivered it to the buyer is wanted in Austin, Texas. Police say on October 28, 2017, the victim saw an ad on craigslist listing an RV for sale. The victim said she corresponded with the “owner” and he asked her to send a cashier’s check, which he then cashed. Only problem: He never delivered the RV to the buyer. If you have seen this man, contact the Austin, Texas, Police Department at (512) 974-5000.
Camping is again on “go” status at Arizona’s Tortilla Campground in the Tonto National Forest. The popular campground near metropolitan Phoenix had been shut down in December when water treatment facilities were deemed unsafe. The water supply is up and running and the gates swung open January 2.
Eliminate gray water
tank odors for less than $8
Gray water tanks can produce nasty odors, too. Using the latest technology in quick dissolving biodegradable tablets, Elemonate deodorizes your gray tank, freshens sink and drain lines and dissolves grease and organic sludge buildup in the drain lines of your sink and gray tank. Learn more or order.
Fire struck a Coachmen RV manufacturing plant last Sunday. Local news media reports the burn was limited to offices and break rooms, while the main manufacturing areas at the Middlebury, Ind., plant were unaffected.
Officials near Wilmington, N.C., are chewing on a request for a special use permit that would allow construction of a new RV park. The 43-site facility would be across the water from Carolina Beach State Park.
Planning to camp soon at popular Morro Bay State Park on the California coast? Well, forget about it, at least for now. The campground is closed until Feb. 15, as California Department of Parks and Recreation works to replace the main waterline that’s been the source of numerous leaks and mounting expenses for repairs and water bills.
Planning a visit to Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia? You’ll need a reservation if you want to overnight. It’s a first – in the past, reservations were only required during peak season but are now required year-round.
More RV dealership takeovers: This time it’s not Camping World, but rather, Family RV Group trumpeting the acquisition of four dealerships, previously operated as Dunlap RV Centers. The Dunlap operations are located in Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and will operate now as Dunlap Family RV. The takeover brings the total of Family RV Group dealerships to nine.
An inspirational book about RVing
“Travels with Charley in Search of America”
When you ask most RVers if there was one book that inspired them to take up RVing, it’s John Steinbeck’s classic road tale, “Travels with Charley.” The famous author set off in the early 1960s in a home-built camper with his poodle, Charley, to “find America.” And what he found makes for a delightful read. Get this for yourself or as a gift. Learn more or order.
The Jackson County, Ore., sheriff’s office knows batteries were stolen from RVs at a storage yard – they just aren’t sure how many. Reports on social media said 70 or more batteries were swiped from a storage yard called Hardcastle’s, and when one RV owner called in he was told five batteries were gone. He then went to check on his own rig – and says he figured at least 30 or 40 had been stolen. The yard owner says “approximately 15,” vanished. In any event, a night security guard that is said to make three passes per night didn’t stop the thieves, and the sheriff says if your battery was burgled, please call the Jackson County Sheriff’s office.
Star Wars meets RV manufacturing: You won’t meet CP3O or R2D2 in Indiana, but you may run into a robot if you visit the Lippert Component factory in Goshen. Recently, the work of eight human-units has been undertaken by a fiber laser cutter. A robotic arm at another Lippert factory does the heavy lifting on an automatic brake press. Lippert says it wants to put as many as 100 “droids” to work in the next five years. Is it possible to get a Quality Control Droid?
Canadian County, Okla., sheriff’s deputies pulled over a Class A motorhome on Interstate 40 they spotted driving both on the highway lane – and on the shoulder. The driver told deputies he was traveling alone – but changed his story enough to raise a red flag. A K9 drug-sniffing dog alerted to the presence of drugs, and the resulting search turned up 115 pounds of marijuana stashed throughout the rig. Driver arrested, rig towed to a police facility for a more in-depth search. It was there officers were surprised when a second man popped out of hiding in a slide-out. “All I can say is this man’s lucky he didn’t get a bullet when he came out of his hiding place,” commented Sheriff Chris West.
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throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.