RV News for May 26–June 1, 2018

RV News for May 26–June 1, 2018

breaking-newsReturn to RV Travel Issue 848.

April used RV auctions were a mixed bag. Motorhome values continued to sound a retreat, losing more than 6 percent in value, compared to March. That meant the average selling price was $42,591; the volume of comparative number of sales was flat. Towables went the other way, gaining 2 percent in price, to an average of $13,792, while volume shot up a remarkable 20 percent. Source: Black Book.

Officials at New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park report ups and downs in the installation of the new elevator system. The new lifts should now be operational by June 15, rather than the May 25 promised date. Contractors have been working 70-hour weeks to complete the job, and say it now comes down to getting the cab interiors refreshed. The two elevators replace the original ones installed in 1955 that failed in 2015. 

A campground host is needed at Montana’s Flathead Lake State Park in Lakeside. Campground maintenance and public relations are the needed skill sets; site with full hookup is provided in exchange. The host is needed from this month on to September. More info? Call 406-755-2706, ext. 3. 

Could war be breaking out among the RV retailers? Lazydays Holdings Inc., parent company of Lazydays RV says it is “[embarking] on our geographic expansion strategy,” with the first salvo fired in Minnesota. There the company has taken over Shorewood RV in Anoka. Lazydays sports six dealerships located through Florida, Colorado, Arizona and Minnesota. Look out, Camping World!

Large swaths of Arizona’s Coconino National Forest are closed due to extreme fire danger. ALL state lands in Coconino County below the Grand Canyon are also closed. Included in the list of closures are these ROADS: Schultz Pass, Elden Lookout, Hart Prairie, and Lockett Meadow Road. These popular campgrounds are CLOSED: Pumphouse Wash off Highway 89, Freidlein Prairie Road, Fort Valley/Schultz Creek, Canyon Vista, Marshall Lake. Bismarck Lake, Lockett Meadow, Canyon Vista, Dairy Springs, Little Elden Springs, Red Rock Crossing, Kehl Springs, Knoll Lake, Blue Ridge, Long Valley Work Center, and Moqui campgrounds. REMAINING OPEN are these campgrounds: Double Springs, Ashurst Lake, Forked Pine, Bonito, Elks, Walker Lake, all west of Highway 180 (Wing Mountain, Lava Tube, Kendrick Mountain), 3E area off Lake Mary Road, Lake View and Pine Grove, Clints Well, Fort Tuthill, and O’Leary campgrounds.

R&T De Maris

Fatal traffic incidents involving commercial trucks are up, according to the latest statistics published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The stats show a 3 percent increase in fatalities from the most recent year available, 2016, over those for 2015. More than 4,200 people died in big-truck crashes in 2016. At the same time, fatality crashes for big rigs per 100 million miles driven remained at 1.46. 


tempgun-682

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 huge discount.


April proved to be the RV industry’s best, based on shipments of units from builders to sellers. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association says April shipments set a record, with 47,442 total RVs down the road, up 12 percent from April 2017. Year-to-date moves show towables up close to 14 percent, and motorhomes up nearly 10 percent compared to the same time last year.

WTKR.com

The crossed Confederate flag logo of Dixie RV Superstore in Newport News, Virginia, is gone. Don’t imagine that it had anything to do with “political correctness” – rather, the sign is gone and replaced with one from Camping World. Yes, the Jefferson Avenue RV dealer has lost its own war (or maybe it was a surrender) as the mega-RV dealer has scored another store in its march across America. 

This summer may prove to be a crowded travel season, according to a survey by Generali Global Assistance. The travel insurance company says 68 percent of Americans plan a summer vacation, up from 61 percent in 2016. Money is no object: The average vacation budget is $2,643, and will last a week-and-a-half. 

RVs are occasionally blamed for starting wildfires  – a burning rig, a dragging safety chain – but here’s a new one: a blown tire. San Cristobal, New Mexico, firefighters were called to a grass fire on SR 522 when a travel trailer blew a tire, and the rim dragging the pavement sparked the fire. A football field worth of grass and trees burned, but smoke eaters protected an endangered home in the Memorial Day Weekend scorcher.

Guests at the Ashland Talent RV Park in Talent, Oregon, got a frightening visit from an upset semi-truck driver. The driver missed his turn onto the I-5 on-ramp, and instead, barreled his big rig into the RV park, going the wrong-way on a one-way road, smashing a couple of cars, finally getting stuck on a curve. Park employees approached, which further upset the driver, and he then repeatedly mashed a fence in an attempt to leave. He did finally leave, in the back of a police car, charged with criminal mischief, reckless driving, hit and run, possession of methamphetamine, and supplying contraband.

Flooding in 2017 shut down Turtle Beach RV Resort in Manteca, California. But in time for the summer rush, the Thousand Trails membership campground has reopened. Management is tossing a picnic to celebrate the affair June 2, from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Early fire restrictions have broken out in Colorado’s Dillon Ranger District. An emergency order is in place, banning campfires and stove fires throughout the Tenderfoot Mountain area. A combination of drought conditions and unhealthy human attitudes toward untended campfires led to the ban. 

A Memorial Day weekend fire will no doubt live in the memories of about 120 campers at Island Acres Campground near Grand Junction, Colorado. At first some thought the smoke was simply a campfire, but in the end, 170 acres of forest land was toasted. Everyone was evacuated safely, and firefighters got the upper hand quickly. The campground was able to reopen on Monday, and evacuees got refunds.

Connecticut park officials opened Kettletown State Park in Southbury just in time for the big May weekend, following a nasty windstorm that downed trees the week before. Still, one other park didn’t make the cleanup deadline in time: Squantz Pond State Park remained closed despite the holiday traffic.


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Essential for big RVs! 
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this is for you. The truck driver’s road atlas shows all the highways you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.


news524(2)More News

The Culver, Oregon, city council has voted down a staff proposal to turn a vacant city-owned lot next door to the council building into an RV park. When public discussion opened in April, the usual litany of “noise, loss of property value, and crime” arguments arose. But the council didn’t worry about those issues – they rejected the idea when cost estimates for the park came in near $2 million.

What happens when you cross a pop-up camper with a Jeep Wrangler? If in Texas, you’ll get the American Safari JXL. A “bolt-on kit” sleeps four, and adds 50 percent more cargo room. The shell is poly-plastic that tacks on 15″ of length, and the pop-up roof is equipped with a bed. You’ll also find a countertop and sink. Options include a lower bed to sleep two, cabinets and cubbyholes. Or go whole-hog with dinette seating/sleeper fold-out, and dinette table. A “pull-out toilet and shower option,” is also available. Base package, $18,000. 

Off again – on again: That’s the story from Arivaca, Arizona. Last week we reported Pima County, Arizona, officials had slammed shut the gates at La Siesta Campground (we erroneously called it Sunset Campground) for alleged license violations. Now the county has recanted, allowing the place to reopen under current zoning regulations, and providing it meets “certain code compliance provisions.” The campground owners are ecstatic, and looking forward to their RV friends all coming on down.

Campground guests in Marcellus, Michigan, proved to be good neighbors last Sunday. One RVing couple were in their travel trailer when a propane leak ignited, severely burning the wife, who is legally blind, and injuring her husband. Neighboring RVers were quick to the scene with garden hoses, quelling the flames and administering first aid until paramedics and firemen arrived. It all happened at Melville Seven Lakes Campground.

After public opposition, Madison County, Illinois, zoning officials have killed plans for construction of an 80-site RV park to cater to refinery workers. A petition with at least 60 signatures against the park was handed over – a chief complaint that “a beautiful tract of land” would be ruined if populated by RVs. The site is in Bethalto.

Ayoreo tribe member

An Austrian RVer, Wilhelm Wabnegg, set off for the RV trip of a lifetime, cruising about in the rainforests of Paraguay’s Defensores del Chaco National Park. But on May 10, Wabnegg’s Mercedes motorhome was found – intact, operational, but empty. Military forces looked for him to no avail. Now the Ayoreo tribal people have volunteered to look for him. The tribe are nomadic hunter-gatherers, whose ancestors have lived in the area for centuries, and government officials feel if anyone can find the missing RVer, it’ll be the Ayoreos. 

Hazardous trees have closed Pettit Campground in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest. It will not reopen until officials have evaluated and removed the dangerous trees. The campground is in southern Idaho, east of U.S. Highway 93.


insect-screen-761Keep 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.


Got milk? water? The Bureau of Land Management assures recreationists they do now, at the Fontenelle Creek Campground south of La Barge, Wyoming. The 55-site campground’s water supply was shut down earlier, but has resumed normal operation.

Bold thieves swiped two life-size Native American metal sculptures from a KOA campground in Craig, Colorado. They may have bitten off more than they bargained for – the copper sculptures are property of the state, and possession of them makes for a possible felony charge. Know anything about this? Call the Craig Police Department at 970-824-8111, or the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office at 970-824-6501. 

Ground has been broken for a new RV park in Helper, Utah. Opening date not set for the Castle Gate RV park.

In a somewhat surprising move, Arizona’s Department of Water Resources has recommended that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation turn down a request from the Quartzsite, Arizona, town government to give a 50-year lease to its share of water from the Colorado River. The town has argued that since it can’t afford to build a pipeline to carry the water from the river to the town, it should still benefit by selling off the rights to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District for use in irrigating in the central part of the state. The state says after hearing comments from other river users, they would agree with the notion that, “water from the river should stay with the river,” and future generations of users. 

Pittsburgh Police. Click to enlarge.

One look at the photo will explain why firemen had to rescue two people, a dog and a cat from a motorhome. The group was piloting a Class A unit when a “mechanical failure caused it to lose control.” Two other unfortunate vehicles were victimized before the motorhome mashed into a home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both human occupants were hospitalized with serious injuries. 

Last January, Roy Devoursney (61) used a motorhome as a weapon against Salem, Oregon, police officers. After a running chase through the streets of the city, he smashed a patrol car in what prosecutors call a “vehicular attack.” In the end, police used bullets and stop sticks to bring the incident to a close. Last week, Devoursney pled guilty and faced the music. He won’t be RVing for a while: 13 years in prison was the sentence. 


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Return to RV Travel Issue 848.

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