Return to RV Travel Issue 842.
[Click on most news photos to enlarge.]
U.S. sales of motorhomes are alive and well, thank you. Class C sales were up more than 14 percent, comparing January and February 2018 with the same time in 2017. Class A sales? Well, not so hot – down almost 7 percent. Overall, the motorized RV marketplace saw a gain of better than 4 percent, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
After months of complaints, the City of Vancouver, Wash., has removed a beat up RV from a neighborhood. Residents said the “Zombie Motorhome” was first parked near the corner of NE 104th Avenue and 8th Street back in January. In the time it was parked there someone removed the wheels and put it on blocks. Residents said they had called Code Enforcement for months, but the RV was not removed until Thursday morning when it was towed away. — SOURCE: FOX 12 PORTLAND
Camping World’s march for domination continues in Tennessee, as the giant RV retailer is now inhaling Cullum & Maxey Camping Center in Nashville. The latter has been in business for more than six decades.
If you’ve seen more “camper vans” – Class B motorhomes – in campgrounds, your eyes probably aren’t playing tricks. Sales of the minuscule motorhomes over the first two months of 2018 were up close to 24 percent, compared to 2017. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc.
RV retailer Giant RV says there’s a giant demand for rigs in California. The firm has picked up an 11-acre lot in Downey, Calif., equipped with a 100,000-square-foot showroom, and the company says they’ll hire 60 to run the place. The new facility marks the fourth for Giant in the Golden State.
Storm winds on Saturday the 14th spelled a horrific disaster for a family in Haughton, La. Winds clocked at nearly 60 miles per hour, generating a nearby tornado, brought down a tree at the Hillcrest Mobile Home & RV Park, tearing apart a family’s fifth wheel and killing a 2-year-old girl. Five others in the rig were not injured.
The smoking lamp is out, for now anyway, in the Chisos Basin Campground in Texas’ Big Bend National Park. High fire danger has caused the campground itself to join the smoking ban already in place on trails. Smokers may light up only in designated smoking areas.
Custer Gallatin National Forest officials are considering paving the roadway to Hyalite Reservoir. With 40,000 visitors a month hitting the popular Montana recreation area in the summer, keeping up the roadway in its unpaved state is a tough job. In addition to maintaining, reconstructing and potentially paving portions of Hyalite Canyon Road No. 62, Hyalite Canyon South Road No. 620, and East Fork Hyalite Road No. 6280, the Service is contemplating rebuilding some campground roads. Learn more or comment by visiting here.
California State Parks Department is rolling out a wave of charge stations for electric vehicles – with a green twist. The units use tracking solar panels to provide enough power for an electric vehicle to drive up to 225 miles in a day. The first park to deploy one of the new units is Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz.
New Mexico’s Santa Fe National Forest is putting its Field Tract Campground on a reservation-only basis. It’s the first of its kind in the Pecos Canyon Corridor to add on to the recreation.gov system. Fear not: Other first-come, first-served campgrounds are still available, including Jacks Creek, Jacks Creek Equestrian, Holy Ghost, Cowles, Iron Gate and Davis Willow.
Late winter snow has put camping in Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest on ice. Most campgrounds were slated to open May 3, but a blizzard called Evelyn dumped more snow than could be coped with, so camping will not be a go – at least at this point. The Forest Service says they’ll reevaluate the situation on May 1 and let the public know their findings.
NEW EDITION FOR 2018
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2018 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.
City planning commissioners in Woodland Park, Colo., got a major earful when citizens crammed into a local meeting room to sound off about proposed zoning changes relating to RV storage and sales lots. Seems that such uses had not been formally included in zoning laws, and the city wanted to spell the matter out. As might be expected, many complained that RV storage yards would be unsightly and decrease property values. Interestingly, others complained that private property owners couldn’t store more than two RVs on their own land without having an RV park permit. In the end, the matter was tabled pending more study.
In the fast-paced world of NASCAR racing, it’s “win some, lose some.” Just ask Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., at the Food City 500 in Tennessee. Wallace got the honors as being the first African-American racer to lead laps in a NASCAR premier-series race since Wendell Scott did it in 1963. But then, things happen: In the end, Wallace hit the checkered flag in the actual race in 16th place, a lap down. To add insult to injury, when Wallace was called to intros, the deadbolt on his motorhome refused to unlock – forcing the driver to exit the motorhome through the emergency exit door – the one in the bathroom where, to get out, one has to climb over the top of the biffy.
The practice of “campsite holding” in Yukon campgrounds has come to a head. As an example, someone would come to a park, pop up a tent on Tuesday, then leave and not return until Friday to actually occupy the site. Complaints piled up and now Yukon Parks has made the practice a bit more unpalatable: Sites can now only be left unattended for 24 hours – not the 72 hours previously allowed. Violate the law? The fine has been upped from $50 to $200 per violation. Park officials say this should make it easier for more folks to find campsites.
Is making a reservation something of a conundrum? If it’s a popular hot spring near Aspen, Colo., it is now. The Forest Service says that if you want to camp at Conundrum Hot Springs from mid-April to the end of July you’ll need to make a reservation. It’s the first reservation system ever in use in the White River National Forest.
Strengthen your hands, fingers and forearms
Here’s a great, easy way to build up the strength in your hands, fingers or forearms. Perfect for RVers. If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or tennis elbow this is for you. It’s also great for simply building up the strength of your grip. This is a best-seller and costs about $10. Learn more or order.
At least half the RVs for sale at AC Nelson’s RV World in Atlantic, Iowa, have been damaged or outright destroyed. Don’t blame a fire; the damage was caused by a tornado that ripped through the area Friday, April 13. Happily, nobody at the sales lot was hurt.
Carter Lake, Colorado’s South Shore campground, is open again after remodeling efforts have pumped up capacity by 21 sites, new bathrooms and an expanded boat ramp. Total money poured into the project: $1.3 million.
Another state reports that 2017 visitation in its park system set record numbers. This time, South Dakota officials say overnight camping was up nearly 4 percent to more than 342,000 camping nights. They add that’s just a continuing upward trend, seen over 10 years.
A Logan, Utah, RV dealership was visited by an ill wind. A wind gust snagged the dealership’s metal roof, pulled it off the plywood sheeting, and blasted it out into the parking lot – damaging one customer’s RV along the way. Not skipping a beat, the dealership owner quipped that the firm’s prices for RVs were so low, it blew the roof off.
Saskatchewan bound? Watch out for weed! Canada’s federal government is expected to legalize the use of “recreational” marijuana soon, and individual provinces will then figure out the details. But for Saskatchewan, some of the details are in place. A campsite in a provincial park is defined as a “private place.” Although the feds say you won’t be able to toke in public places, it looks – according to some media observers – that lighting up while camping, at least in Saskatchewan, is a go. But don’t grab your stash immediately, for just as parks officials may make alcohol verboten in parks on certain days, the same may be held true for “Mary Jane.”
Travis Vader, the man found guilty of killing Canadian RVers Lyle and Marie McCann in 2010, will be back in court this October. The McCanns vanished during a road trip, leaving behind their burned out motorhome near Edson, British Columbia. Vader was originally found guilty of second degree murder, but the judge used a section of the criminal code deemed unconstitutional decades earlier, so the findings were changed to manslaughter, with a life sentence and no parole for at least seven years. Now prosecutors will be back in court to appeal the manslaughter finding. Vader himself is appealing the conviction, but has yet to get a court date.
Despite overwhelming public opposition, a planned 210-site RV park near Cap-Brulé, New Brunswick, is still in “go” mode. Shediac Camping Resort drew nasty criticism in a three-hour hearing when developers sought – and received – a continuance to allow them to resolve issues with provincial highway overseers. Residents wanted the Beaubassin East council to simply kill the project off, but the council unanimously voted to give the development until 2020 to find an alternative for an entrance road. The original plan for the entrance road was deemed unsafe due to a blind hill on the highway.
Things got ugly at the Mudbug Bash at Mississippi’s Red Creek Off-Road park. Eight inches of rainfall made itself known by flooding Red Creek, turning the roads and campsites into treachery. A multi-agency rescue force pulled 81 people out of the campground, the largest operation of its kind in the history of the area.
Visitors to Utah’s Bureau of Land Management country may be affected by fee changes proposed by the agency. In BLM’s Moab region, overnight fees at campgrounds will jump $5 to $20 per night. Klondike Bluffs, Black Ridge, Utah Rims, Mineral Bottom Road and Cameo Cliffs/Hook and Ladder campgrounds would add fees where none are charged. In the Monticello area, camping fees for Hamburger Rock, Creek Pasture and the Superbowl campgrounds would rise from $10 to $15. Comb Wash would be expanded and begin charging $15. Fees would start being charged at Shay Vista, Grand Flats and Muley Point campgrounds. Grand Flats is designed to limit camping along Bears Ears Road and Deer Flat Road to designated camping. In the Salt Lake area, the Knolls Off-Highway Vehicle Area would see entrance fees up $4 to $10, and annual passes would double to $80. Campgrounds in the Vernal area, Bridge Hollow, Indian Crossing and Pelican Lake would double fees to $10 per night. And the Cedar City Field office would charge fees to camp at Rocky Peak, Carter Cabin and the Hanging Rock recreation site. Learn more here.
It was bad enough to have to hitch up their trailer to escape a flood, but then it got worse. Roy Shultz and his wife were living in their travel trailer in Vinton, La., when a flood threatened their RV park. They hitched up and started away from the flood, but quickly determined the truck they were using didn’t have enough heart to pull the trailer, so they pulled off at a carpool lot and dropped the trailer. When they came back the trailer was gone. Security video footage showed a pickup pulling the trailer away on April 2nd. We’re happy to report that on the 17th, police found the missing trailer, not far from the park where the couple had to escape the floodwaters. No word on whether all their belongings were still with the trailer.