RV manufacturers’ board rooms may be transformed into gymnasiums as execs are doing handsprings over the latest projection for sales in 2018. Trade group Recreation Vehicle Industry Association is predicting the ninth straight year of increased RV production, anticipating 504,599 RVs will roll off assembly lines this year. That would be a 7 percent increase from last year. The last long streak of expanding production was 2002 through 2006 – stopped dead in its tracks by something called a recession.
Best February ever for wholesale RV movement, says Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. More than 43,000 RVs paraded out the doors, up more than 9 percent from February 2017. Towables took the lead, 37,481, up nearly 11 percent; but industry would rather you not talk about motorhomes. These dead-weighted the figures, down nearly 1 percent compared to February last year, with only 5,557 moving from manufacturers to dealers.
Construction work at Yellowstone National Park (Wyo.) may impact some visitors. The Park Service says work on the roadway from the east entrance to Fishing Bridge will start soon and continue for two years. Included in the plan is the replacement of the bridge at Pelican Creek. Construction should not delay traffic for more than 20 minutes at a time during the summer. The Fishing Bridge campground is also set for upgrades, but the work there won’t begin until after the Labor Day holiday.
The new federal budget provides more money for fighting wildfires, but some say it’s provided at a high price. A $2 billion-a-year contingency fund for wildfire fighting also loosens restrictions on logging on public lands. “Categorical exclusions” will make it easier to log public lands of less than 3,000 acres and limit public input on the operations, according to a story from Thomson Reuters Foundation [article].
One of the most popular campgrounds in Idaho’s Boise National Forest is closed. Grayback Gulch Campground, near Idaho City, has been that way for almost a year because a damaged bridge accessing the campground was removed. Forest Service officials say they have the plans for the new bridge and everything is ready to roll, save for the dollars. The state’s legislative body has approved the state’s share of the replacement costs and with approval of the governor, the bridge is expected to be back in place in time to allow summer use.
Here’s a refreshing switch: Instead of tearing out an RV park and replacing it with, say, a hotel, in Sandusky, Ohio, they tore down a hotel and replaced it with RV sites. It happened at Cedar Point, a local amusement park. The facility already had an RV park, but is now using the space of the old hotel to add on 25 “ultimate RV sites.” What makes them “ultimate”? For your extra money you get a glider swing and Adirondack chairs, among other perks.
Wisconsin has moved into a “demand-based pricing” scheme for its state parks. Here’s an example: Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Brighton will see a price drop of $3 per weekday use of non-electric sites to $15. On the other hand, electric sites will jump $2 to $30 for weekend use. Scrub those figures for non-residents. For them, non-electric campsites will only drop $2 to $20 a night while electric site users will see the $2 daily jump, but will pay $35 for the privilege of camping as non-residents.
Brookings, Ore., officials were horrified to hear that the U.S. Forest Service had plans to hike fees at campgrounds and other recreational facilities near their town – this after last year’s wildfires had already turned tourism on its ear. The Forest Service has ears of its own and has relented, putting fee hikes on hold for two years for one campground (Little Redwood Campground) and other rentals for cabins and fire lookouts. But don’t let your breath out too fast – other areas in the Gold Beach Ranger District still have fee hike plans on the table.
Douglas County, Ore., has officially bought up the Discovery Point RV Park near Reedsport, Ore. The 9-acre property sold for $1.8 million. The county sees the purchase as a moneymaker.
Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a discount.
A delivery building at the La Mesa RV sales facility in Phoenix, Ariz., caught fire on Friday, March 23. La Mesa officials reported the two-alarm blaze likely started in or near the roof. Two new units inside the building were damaged. RVTravel.com staffers report that one rig which would have likely been inside was spared. The rig’s customer told staff that on Thursday he had stopped by to pick up a new fifth wheel, but found the unit was so riddled with defects, he was told by La Mesa employees it would need to be sent back to the factory for repairs. Somehow the unit was outside the building and escaped the flames. More to follow in a future edition.
After lunkheads drove across a portion of Death Valley National Park’s Racetrack Playa leaving 512 feet of tire tracks, volunteers have come to the rescue. Using garden tools and 750 gallons of water, the 19 volunteers largely eliminated the unnatural rubber-made designs. “The Racetrack” is a dry lake bed where “sailing stones” leave unique imprints that puzzled visitors and scientists for decades. The feature is on the park’s northwestern side.
Potato State stats: Idaho State Parks include 30 parks on 60,000 acres, enjoyed in 2016 by 5.5 million visitors, generating $184 million in economic benefits to the state as a whole. Taxpayers contribute $3.4 million to the parks, which return $54 per each tax dollar in economic contributions.
Locals near Buffalo Lake, Alberta, were up in arms at a public hearing considering a new 800-site RV park. A 35-year lease at Paradise Shores goes for $35,000, and quite a number have already been paid for, despite the fact that county officials have not yet granted final approval of the plan. Three hundred people packed the hearing and only one person – the developer – spoke up for the project. An online petition against the project has more than 1,000 signatures. Still, local officials say the project is in-line with all applicable regulations; there is nothing in the zoning law that prevents an RV park of this size.
Keep insects and
bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Making a financial deal for an RV with a South Carolina dealer? Now you can really breathe easier. A new law has doubled the amount of surety bonding RV dealers must carry. Yep, as long as your dealer doesn’t do you dirt for more than $30,000, the surety bond is there to cover your losses. Explaining all of this, the South Carolina Times & Democrat says, “The purpose of dealer bonds is to provide an extra level of protection for the state and the general public. In case an RV dealer engages in dishonest activities, fraud or misuse and a customer suffers damages as a result, the bond can be used to secure a financial compensation.”
A Rhode Island nudist campground is looking for a lifeguard, and the uniform is cheap: nothing. The Providence Journal reports Dyer Woods Nudist Campgrounds’ help wanted notice for a lifeguard this summer says qualified candidates must have “excellent communication skills” and the ability to “work as part of a team.” Swimsuit is optional.
The Northern Quest Resort Casino in Airway Heights, Wash., is pumping $7 million into a new, 70-site RV park. No opening date yet announced.
Indigenous protestors at Pinery Provincial Park on Ontario’s Lake Huron have parked a travel trailer as a partial blockade to the park’s entrance. The group claims ownership of the land and is protesting the government’s presence there. One area man was interviewed by media, expressing concerns he had about his own upcoming camping trip to the park, fearing a confrontation. However, days later, he reported back, having gone ahead with his plans for the trip. Brandon Brockman told reporters from globalnews.ca [article] that campers shouldn’t fear going to the park. “Maybe when you’re at the park, spend some time and find out why these people are upset and what their history is about, just like I did,” said Brockman. “For me, it was a really insightful experience.”
We reported earlier that Forest Service officials had closed Boulder Lake Campground in Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest because of threats by a nearby landowner. In addition to firing weapons next door, the man had turned up in the campground toting guns. A judge ordered the man no longer possess firearms, and into mental health treatment. Locals thought the matter was settled, but the Forest Service has yet to suggest they will reopen the campground. Now local business owners who say they depend on tourism traffic brought in by the campground say they’ll be hurting if the campground is not reopened for this season.
What’s your life worth?
RVers are often in the middle of nowhere, far from medical help. What would happen if you or your spouse should suffer a heart attack when a hospital is hours away? Having an easy-to-use portable defibrillator along could very likely save that life. They’re not cheap, but what’s the life of you or your spouse worth? Talk about this with your partner. Learn more or order.
A New Zealand RV rental company says it will soon roll out electric RVs. Tourism Holdings is decking out a prototype Nissan e-NV200 minivan as a “two berth sleeper van,” with a maximum range of 93 miles between charges. The company says it’s working on developing touring itineraries for use on New Zealand’s South Island. The outfit’s fleet has 1,800 rigs, and says if the plan works out they hope to have 5 percent of them as electric rigs by 2020.
Thomas Owens, 42, a former RV dealer from Springfield, Ohio, will soon have time for contemplation about what prison cells and RVs have in common – bunk beds, a sink and a toilet. Owens may get as many as 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to defrauding customers by selling them RVs and other vehicles without titles. In addition to cooling his heels, Owens will have to pay restitution to at least 30 known victims of his crimes. His sentencing hearing is slated for September 21.
Police responded to a shooting incident in a West Valley City, Utah, Walmart parking lot last Saturday night. An altercation between members of a rap group and people in a passing car got ugly. Police say someone in the car opened fire on the group, hitting three of the group members and a 14-year-old girl who was standing with the group. After the shooting, the rap group members jumped in their motorhome to pursue the shooter. They didn’t get far before the rig suffered a flat tire – police speculate it may have been shot out. All four victims are listed as stable. So far the shooter has eluded police.