RV News for March 17–23, 2018

RV News for March 17–23, 2018

breaking-newsReturn to RV Travel Issue 838.

The first Convention and RV Expo of the group formerly known as the Family Motor Coach Association has been held since the group voted to allow non-motorhome members. Now called “FMCA,” the group’s big rally in Perry, Ga., that wound up last weekend could be measured a success if the number of RVs is the measuring stick. More than 2,700 RVs, nearly all of them motorhomes, turned up, pushing the “people” attendance at the affair to 6,000.

The explosion of sales of RVs has contributed to pushing the Goshen/Elkhart, Ind., area into the national spotlight. This time the focus is on the largest job percentage gain in the U.S., up 5.3 percent, comparing November 2017 to November 2016. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The world’s largest active geyser may soon be putting on a show: Yellowstone National Park officials say that Steamboat Geyser (Wyo.), quiet since 2014, is showing signs of waking up. Both eyewitnesses and technology reported an eruption on March 15, and this could indicate more blasts in the future, although they may be minor in comparison to the 300-400 foot “major” eruptions that Steamboat is known to blast. Seeing it for yourself might be difficult: At this time, roads to the big gusher are closed while snowplows work at clearing winter snow.

Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve reports that their trails and campgrounds which were closed due to a 3,000-acre brush fire last week reopened on Wednesday. The Anhinga Fire is 90 percent contained.

We reported earlier that drivers on Arizona highways might encounter self-driving semi-trucks, as tests across Interstate 40 were under way using the autonomous trucks – equipped with a safety driver sitting, but not driving, behind the wheel. Uber Freight has announced that following the tragic death on March 18 of a woman in Tempe, Ariz., who was struck by an Uber autonomous automobile, the company is temporarily suspending all Uber autonomous vehicle testing, including automobiles and semi-trucks. 

Trinity River, BLM

Northern California campgrounds on the Trinity River near Redding need campground hosts. The Bureau of Land Management offers RV sites with varying amenities such as water, septic, phone and power connections. No salary, but living expense allowances will be provided. Hosts are needed at Douglas City, Steel Bridge and Junction City campgrounds from May to November. Contact Bill Kuntz at wkuntz@blm.gov, or Sky Zaffarano at szaffarano@blm.gov. Additional information is available by telephoning the Redding Field Office, 530-224-2100.

Virginia’s Pulaski County Planning Commission has denied a request to change the zoning status of a 30-acre property on Claytor Lake to allow for the construction of an RV park. The Blue Sky Lane RV Resort, if approved and built, would have sited up to 150 RVs on Dublin Cove. The proposal for the RV resort has been withdrawn.

Last week it was South Dakota, this week it’s California. Camping World’s march for world RV dealership dominance continues. This time, Anderson, California’s, B & B RV Center falls to the mega-holding company. 


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.


Michigan’s Holland State Park has been undergoing a restoration – and all the good work has pushed back the campground opening date to May 10. Still, it may be worth the wait. Officials say they’ve been making big improvements at Lake Macatawa campground, including wider, repaved roads, upgrades to meet American’s with Disabilities Act standards, and major improvements to the dump station. The two-loop campground has 211 sites. 

Taking your RV to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park? Best come with your holding tanks empty. Stage 3 water restrictions have been put in place, meaning dump stations are closed along with laundry and shower facilities at the Arizona park’s campgrounds. Park officials say that a broken water pipeline has been repaired, but water levels in storage tanks are below “sustainable” levels. Once the level returns to normal, restrictions will be removed.

Some Texas RVers suffered losses on Monday when fire broke out at a storage facility for RVs and boats in Willis, Texas. Early reports indicated anywhere between 70 and 100 storage units filled with RVs and watercraft were destroyed, which reached a three-alarm stage before being put out. 

More than $2 million in improvements are being pumped into disability access at Tennessee’s Cedars of Lebanon State Park. A mile-long accessible trail as well as a number of campsites with paved parking and sidewalks will complete the project, put in place to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. 


Shoot ’em, Cowboy!
There it is again. That buzzzzz, buzzzzzzzzz, buzzzzzzzz sound right in your ear. You can’t keep these flies away! The newspaper “swatter” isn’t doing the trick, and your wife is getting annoyed (oh no!). You remember, buried deep in the junk drawer, the stocking stuffer from your son three years ago: Flyshooter Bug Gun. “Let’s see if it works,” you say to yourself. Pull it out of the holster, close one eye, tongue sticks out a little bit in full concentration, aim, POW. Fly #1 is dead. Repeat. Fly #32, dead (nope, you didn’t lose track). Wife happy. Nap time. Learn more or order here. 


news524(2)More News

There’s a proposal afoot that would have the public be willing to share Washington state’s coastal parks with seals. We aren’t talking about “pinnipeds … a widely distributed and diverse class of carnivorous, fin-footed, semiaquatic marine mammals.” Rather, the U.S. Navy is floating a proposal to use 29 Washington State Parks for Navy Sea, Air and Land Teams (SEAL) special operations training grounds. The Navy already has permission to use five state parks, but expanding the program would require further permissions from state authorities. A State Parks and Recreation Commission spokeswoman told spokesman.com the department “would be concerned about anything that would affect the visitor’s experience, environment and safety.”

Is Buffalo Chip, S.D., a town? The issue is a bit of a ping-pong ball. Buffalo Chip Campground became a town by popular vote in 2015, but locals took umbrage and the City of Sturgis took the matter to court, claiming the new town shouldn’t be. A court ruled that Buffalo Chip was simply a campground, not a town. But the state’s Supreme Court shook it’s judicial head and said, Buffalo Chip, you are a town – only the state can challenge your existence. Now South Dakota has joined the fray – saying that at the time the chip became a town, state law required at least 100 residents to make a town – something that Buffalo Chip doesn’t have. The nebulous municipality fires back that the same law says “100 residents, or 30 registered voters,” which Buffalo Chip claims to have. Stay tuned!

Clallam County, Washington’s, park officials are pondering the opening of a third camp loop at the county’s Dungeness Recreation Area. The site is already home to two loops with 66 campsites; the new loop would add 42 to 45 more. A public meeting was held on March 6 to discuss the proposal, and the majority of the public comments were in opposition to the plan. Park officials say an estimated growth in area population and the changing dynamic of “baby boomers'” tastes and needs are mandating the need to plan ahead, and possibly expand. 

China is bracing itself for an explosion in RVing. Despite the relatively new arrival of RVing to the masses, in 2016 there were already 500 RV campgrounds in the country. By 2020, plans are in place for 1,000 more. Source: news.xinhuanet.com


travelswithcharlie-750An 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.


An Arizona family found a new definition for the phrase “captive audience” at a Mesa, Ariz., Camping World store. Michael and Mary Harmon took their two toddlers to the big dealer to browse RVs about a half-hour before closing time. An associate told them to head on out to the lot and they’d get someone to help them. When no salesman came, they tried getting back into the store, only to find the door locked – and so was the gate leading out of the sales lot. Faced with a 10-foot-tall fence with wires over the top, the Harmons called 9-1-1 for help. After police gently tapped the wires to confirm they weren’t live electric fence wires, they helped the family scale the fence and get out of their hour-long ordeal. Camping World officials said that the dealership has set closing procedures and would be reaching out to the family to see what happened. 

At a Florida RV resort, the postman can’t “bare” to deliver the mail. Some guests at the Eden RV Resort, a “clothing optional” park in Hudson, have a complaint with the letter carrier. There’s a rack of mail boxes out in front of the resort for letters, but when a parcel comes, it’s expected the packages will be delivered directly to the recipient’s door. The problem is, the local carrier refuses to come in the gate, perhaps fearing a bum’s rush. We’re not sure how the problem will be resolved, but our opinion is, most of the packages to be delivered probably contain copious quantities of sun block. And that’s the naked truth.

Two people have been arrested and one more sought in an Iron Ranger crime wave in some of Oregon’s national forests. Using bolt cutters, crowbars and a blowtorch, the three allegedly cracked open – and in some cases outright ran off with – fee collection containers set out for users to pay fees. Officials say some $30,000 in fees were stolen, and another $7,000-plus in costs to repair or replace the fee tubes – this involving 50 separate rip-offs, all of which occurred last summer. 


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Return to RV Travel Issue 838.

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4 thoughts on “RV News for March 17–23, 2018

  1. kevin

    Taking your RV to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park? Best come with your holding tanks empty. ???????

    This should read FULL!

    1. kevin

      with water that is…….

  2. Terry

    Been to that resort …professionally. Had company verify all would be clothed within the rig needing services, the lady owner of the rig told me they never want to make someone uncomfortable when coming to help…. (hubby was silent) …fortunate that the morning was cold and rainy so everyone outside was duly covered.

  3. Terry

    50 separate ripoffs…. didn’t learn anything after say , the 1st,2nd, 3rd….25th???? Now they’ll raise the fees …

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