RV News for June 30–July 6, 2018

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Return to RV Travel Issue 853.

Winds, predicted to gust to 80 mph, caused a major hurt in Regan, North Dakota‘s New Johns Lake Campground. The winds blasted in and overturned numerous RVs, rolling some of them as far as 20 feet. One RVer lamented she had not yet made her first payment on her new rig, but was relieved that campers there were safe.

The long holiday weekend will see the highest volume of U.S. travelers in at least 18 years. Auto club AAA projects 46.9 million Americans will travel during the July 3 through July 8 holiday period. Travel on the highways is expected to be up for the fourth consecutive year, despite higher fuel pump prices. 

Black Americans make up 13 percent of the population. But in 2012, of all those who camp in the U.S., black American campers made up only 6 percent; by 2017 the percentage rose to 8. As far as RV use is concerned, the numbers are a little different. The fastest growing segment of RV users are black, 19 percent in 2016, blasting upward to 27 percent last year. Source: Kampgrounds of America.

Planning an RV park visit in Kentucky? Bring more money. A new state law has added park stays to the list of “services” that are now hit with a 6 percent sales tax.

May was another mixed bag for used RV prices at auction, reports Black Book. Motorhomes saw a boost of better than 9 percent, with sale prices averaging $46,539. On the other hand, towables lost their pull, losing nearly 4 percent in sale value, averaging $13,267 per unit. All statistics in comparison to those of April 2018.

Camping over the Fourth a little tight? Oregon State Parks were “sold out” nine months ago. Most state parks in Oregon are 95 to 100 percent full in summer.


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stock image. State Farm on flickr.com

The local newspaper headline got it right: “All hail breaks out,” it read. Just ask the managers at Piedmont, South Dakota‘s Jack’s Campers. The outfit had about 500 RVs outside when a storm hurling two- to three-inch hailstones visited the area. Many of the rigs were new units, some used, others at the dealership for repairs, but initial estimates said all of them took some damage, and many will be “total loss” items. Ranchers took a hit too: Cattle in fields were reportedly injured by the big ice balls. 

While “small potatoes” in comparison to some RV retailers, Minnesota-based PleasureLand RV Center has snapped up its seventh location by buying up Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s Northview Campers. It is the first South Dakota location for the conglomerate.

A settlement in a California lawsuit may establish precedence regarding safety on public lands. In 2012 a 72-foot-tall tanoak tree fell, crushing then-12-year-old Zachary Rowe in his tent in San Mateo County Memorial Park. Doctors had to amputate a leg, buttock and half his pelvis to save Rowe’s life. The family sued the county, a tree service that had inspected the trees, and a utility company, claiming the property was dangerous, and the tree service negligent. All defendants attempted to have the suit thrown out, but lost their bids. The three have settled out of court, leaving Rowe with $47.5 million.

Royalbroil on wikimedia commons

Several campgrounds in Montana’s Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest are closed with major road damage from flooding. Benchmark, South Fork and Wood Lake campgrounds are presently not accessible due to road closures. Home Gulch Campground is open, but only accessible from the west entrance. Miles Falls Campground is open, but access is recommended only for vehicles with high clearance. Forest Service officials say the damage is much worse than that visited on the forest in 2011. 

Springer, Oklahoma, is home to an unusual – and retro – combination. Try an RV park with a working drive-in movie screen. Cool Breeze RV Cinema says customers who want to see a movie don’t have to bring an RV, they can watch it the old-fashioned way, through their car windshield, or sit out on the grass in front of the big screen. Tickets? Just $4. 


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news524(2)More News

A Rio Vista, California man died when he was run over by his own motorhome near Walnut Grove. The unnamed man’s rig had stalled, and a passerby attempted to help him jump-start the RV, to no avail. Their next plan was to push the motorhome out of the road with a pickup, and when the helper did so, he failed to notice the RV driver had gotten out of the rig. The RV owner was pinned, fatally, under a rear tire.

The Bureau of Land Management wants to know if you’d like to see more camping near Grand Junction, Colorado. They’d also like to know if you’d be willing to pay fees for camping near there, where camping is presently free. The proposal says new campgrounds might appear in Rabbit Valley, and an expansion of 18 Road Campground in the North Fruita Desert area. Learn more, or comment up to July 25, by following this link

Do bears have belly buttons? Inquiring minds want to know, and the Bureau of Land Management provides the answer: “Like most mammals, bears are attached by an umbilical cord to their mother when born. But the navel scar that is left behind on bears is not nearly as pronounced as it is on humans. It usually fades quickly and is soon covered with fur.” Source: BLM California News.Bytes 

mypubliclands on flickr.com

The road trip of a Williamsburg, Virginia, couple who made a stop in California’s Amboy Crater National Landmark has met with tragedy. William and Susan Schmeirer were last seen alive on June 2 at the landmark; on June 13 their car was still parked at a trailhead there. A search was made, and on the 16th apparently William’s body was located. Ground temperatures at the time reached 165 degrees. Susan Schmeirer has still not been found. 

Campers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Elkmont Campground (Tennessee) were evacuated June 28 due to flooding concerns after days of rainfall. The Little River had swollen, but after a few hours, campers were allowed back to the 220-site campground.

Pasco Police Dept.

When a Pasco, Washington, police officer spotted someone driving through a park at 2:00 in the morning, he flashed his light bar.  After all, the park was for daytime use only. Rather than stopping, the officer ended up chasing the Nissan SUV until it went off the road and into a field. Once it came back to the roadway, it missed a curve, plowing into a parked fifth wheel. End of chase – the driver, a 13-year-old boy, was treated for minor injuries. The RV was totaled, to the tune of $30,000. In case you’re wondering – the parents had given him permission to use the car. 

Montana’s Glacier National Park officials have banned camping in soft-sided RVs and in tents at Many Glacier Campground. The situation arose after a 150-pound grizzly bear wandered into the campground and helped himself to a trout that a couple of campers were cleaning. No word on when the restrictions will be lifted.  


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California state park officials say there’s a definite shortfall of campsites, and they want to change it by adding 50 more. Residents of Auburn, California, aren’t so sure. The state says it plans to put a campground in place at the Auburn State Recreation Area. Dozens testified, both for and against, at a recent public hearing park officials put on. If final approval is given, construction could get under way in 2019. 

Gleason, Wisconsin, is the home of a new 53-site campground, with most spots boasting water and electric. Great Northern Campground opened near the end of June, located on the area’s ATV/UTV trail. Visit the website

Another popular campground wasn’t open for the big holiday weekend: Officials with Montana’s Lolo National Forest kept the gates shut on Big Larch Campground. Unseasonably wet weather and last winter’s heavy snowfall combined to leave the campground filled with rotten and fallen trees, others threatening to come down. No word as to a reopening date.

Something smells on Old Cape Cod, and it ain’t fish. Back in 2016, the National Park Service revoked a certificate that allowed Horton’s Campground on the Cape Cod National Seashore to exist – it was done as campground owners had allegedly begun clear-cutting, and encroaching on federal lands. Now new owners of the 39-acre site say they want to forget about the campground and subdivide the site into building lots. One of the outfit’s two plans was immediately dismissed by local authorities, who warned the owners that the Park Service could take the land by eminent domain, to which the owner’s attorney responded, “They’re welcome to do that.”

A Mancos, Colorado, RV park slated to open July 4 has had its opening delayed yet again. Riverwood RV Resort’s opening was held up when the town board found the park had not met codes regarding vegetation screening, nor had some other inspections been met. The town did grant permission to allow the park to use round RV pads, which were already built, instead of the rectangular ones that were in the original, approved plans. The town gave an extension to allow the park to continue development for another 60 days.

Southern Foodways Alliance on flickr.com

A New York RVer may want to rethink his approach after a bite of supper in a popular Memphis, Tennessee, barbecue joint. The man pulled his pickup and Airstream trailer into Central BBQ and went inside for a bite. When he came out the truck and trailer were gone. So were his pug and basset hound who’d been left with the combination. Police located the truck and the trailer – separated – not long after. The dogs were OK, but some electronic gear had vanished. The RVer got a ticket: For leaving his rig running, unattended. 

Chester, West Virginia, residents, irked by a lack of action on the part of city officials to stand up to an RV park developer, have had their day in court. The Hancock County Circuit Court has ordered that city officials must enforce their own ordinances as they relate to the RV park, which has not been given official permission for construction. The city clerk told news media that work must be stopped at the park until an application to build is submitted and approved.

Bridge work in Idaho will shut down the Little Boulder Campground in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. Park Road (aka County Road 1963) will be closed for bridge replacement beginning July 16.

Man bites rattlesnake: After arguing with his RV-next-door neighbor, Ryan Sauter, a 39-year-old in Caldwell County, Texas, decided to get even. He tracked down a three-foot rattlesnake, bit the poor reptile’s rattles off, then stuck the snake in the man’s RV. Sauter figured with the rattles gone, his nemesis wouldn’t hear the snake. But the intended victim saw Sauter coming out of the rig and got wise, spotting the silent snake. Police arrested and charged Sauter with deadly conduct and criminal trespass. 


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Return to RV Travel Issue 853.

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8 Thoughts to “RV News for June 30–July 6, 2018”

  1. SFC Dennis R Strope, USA, RET

    Inre; “Black Americans”, Add one more, my fiancee is black, and wants to share my ‘wander-lust’. I am retired Army and ‘Ella’ is prior service, also Army. She readily agrees with my general answer to any who question my choice of ‘full timing’, “I have been around the world a few times, want to see what we have right here in our own back yard.”

  2. Orlando Alvarez

    Not to sound picky, but according to the Guinness World Record, the highest temperature ever recorded was 134 degrees on July 10, 1913 in Death Valley, California.
    The Amboy Crater National Landmark piece above mentions a temperature of 165 degrees. New record, or a typo?

    1. Thanks for your very valid question, Orlando. Here’s a quote from the sheriff’s department: “By 10:30 a.m., ground temperatures hit 130 degrees and by 2:00 p.m., the ground temperatures reached 165 degrees with an air temperature of 117 degrees.” The report said they had to stop using search dogs because it was so hot. —Diane at RVtravel.com

    2. Reginald Free

      Ground temperature not air temp

  3. Cheryl E Lane

    I’ve had the same problem on my iPad if I enlarge the text to more easily read it. Then any ads that are on the sides of the newsletter, run into the article so that I can’t read it.

    1. Mercedes Henry

      I am experiencing the same thing on my . It actually started last week.

  4. Harry, do you know the actual url of the offensive ad? I’ll block it.

    Are you reading on an iPad by any chance. We have more problems with weird, annoying or offensive ads showing up there.

    We do not want pop ups on our site with the exception of a subscription pitch that every visitor who has never visited our site gets.

    Chuck

  5. Harry

    Very annoying, Flexible Online Degrees ad keeps popping up over top of articles I am reading here.
    Please fix or get rid of it.

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