RV News for July 7–13, 2018

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Return to RV Travel Issue 854.

Towable manufacturers continue to make forward sales progress. According to Statistical Surveys, Inc., January through May sales (based on registrations) were up 7 percent. Leading the pack – “pop ups,” which mushroomed nearly 13 percent. Fifth-wheels took second place, up almost 10 percent, while travel trailers settled for a 7-percent increase in sales. Park models showed some life, up 5 percent.

Yellowstone National Park had its second busiest June on record, according to statistics just released. Park statisticians counted 810,884 visits last month, a total topped only by 2016, the park’s busiest year ever. It’s also the third consecutive year that the June visits have surpassed 800,000. The total brings year-to-date visits to 1.38 million, also the second highest on record. Learn more.

rapidcityjournal.com

An Arizona family visiting South Dakota has real vacation memories: William and Lynn Summers were pulling their fifth-wheel down U.S. 212 near Newell when a sudden hailstorm caused them to pull to the shoulder. The hail pounded so hard, Lynn crawled in the truck’s back seat and covered her child, when a sudden violent gust overturned the truck and fiver, blasting it across the highway. The softball-sized hailstones beat so loud nobody could hear each other inside the rig, and 911 dispatchers could barely make out the couple’s frantic pleas for help. A passerby helped the family out of the demolished wreckage. The weather service says they reckon 90-mph straight-line winds overturned the combination.

The Camping World march for domination has turned its attention to the Pacific Northwest. Russ Dean RV, out of Pasco, Washington, an independent dealer of 40 years, has succumbed. This makes the fourth Camping World dealership in the Evergreen State.

While not a stellar showing, U.S. sales of motorhomes continue on the uptick. Over the first five months of 2018, motorized RVs showed a 3 percent climb in sales, lead by Class C units, up more than 7 percent. Statistical Surveys, Inc. additionally says that Class A unit sales continue on the decline, down nearly 3 percent.

blachswan on flickr.com

Campfires are “on” again in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. Monsoon moisture has wet the area down, reducing fire danger to moderate. Campfires are OK, but MUST be attended at all times.

Some campers in Inyo County, California, were evacuated when the Georges Fire expanded to 2,500 acres last Tuesday. Campgrounds near Whitney Portal were evacuated, and the area store closed down.

Work officially got underway Thursday on Casino Del Sol’s newest hotel in Tucson, Arizona. The 151-room hotel, expected to be completed by the end of 2019, is part of an extensive hospitality project which also includes a new 90-space RV park. Read more.


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La Mesa RV is claiming to have the largest RV showroom in the U.S. as it opens its new West Sacramento, California, location. The inside display floor showcases 130,000 square feet of RVs for sale, and opened to the public July 13.

A helicopter had to rescue a research student Thursday afternoon after a group of wolves surrounded her near a Washington state campground. Okanogan County dispatch received a call around 12:30 p.m. from the student, who was surveying the area near the Tiffany Spring Campground in northern Washington when she came across the wolves. Officials said she had climbed 30 feet up a tree and a pack of wolves was surrounding her. Read more.

stock photo

In the campground reservation “pecking order,” it appears eagles have the top spot. The Forest Service has closed two campsites on Idaho’s Kalispell Island after an active eagle’s nest was found at Three Pines Campground. After the feathered family has kicked the kids out, the campsites will presumably be reopened.

Summer travel demand for gasoline is keeping the fuel price pumped up. At an average of $2.87 per gallon, that represents a one-cent increase in a week – six cents higher than just a month back. It is a mixed bag, however: Prices were up in nearly 30 states, down in 12, and stable in another 12, says auto club AAA.

A Sandpiper fifth-wheel toy hauler was recently stolen at Myers Flat, California. The 39-foot rig bears the Arizona plate Y35389 and contained “grandmother’s ashes.” Contact the Garberville California Highway Patrol at (707) 923-2155 if you have any information on the theft.

Sales of Class B (camper van) motorhomes continue to astound: Sales were up nearly 35 percent when reckoned for January through May, compared to the same time last year. So says Statistical Surveys, Inc.

Raniel Diaz on flickr.com

If developers have their way, a new 150-site RV park will pop up from the desert floor in Salome, Arizona. Not far from Quartzsite, the proposal is not without its detractors. Airpark residents in the neighborhood showed up to voice objections to the 155-acre development, with worries over noise and possible litigation. La Paz County supervisors moved ahead, approving a tentative development map and suggesting problems could be worked out along the way.

Things are not going well for Canadian motorized RV dealers: Motorhome sales continue to decline, down more than 3 percent in January through May sales. Class A units were the only bright spot, up close to 3 percent. Class C sales dove more than 5 percent. Source: Statistical Surveys, Inc.


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The bomb squad, K9 units, and police of all varieties got called out in Mobile County, Alabama, when a caller to the sheriff’s office told them an RV had been wired with explosives. After hours of being evacuated from their nearby homes, residents learned the caller had been arrested – charged, not with planting bombs, but with making terroristic threats. No bombs, but Anthony Smith Jr., 34, still made a big bang with his call.

New York’s Finger Lakes National Forest is implementing a few fee changes. Backbone Horse Camp and Day Use campground will see phased-in fees over two years. Until next May, fees will be $10, then jump to $15 per night. The 11-site Blueberry Patch Recreation Area now has an overnight fee of $15.

It’s enough to make U.S. RV manufacturers drool: Purchases of RVs in China are up a whopping 100 percent so far this year, in comparison to sales in 2017. Sales are projected to be more than $150 billion down the road. There were 70,000 rigs in China at the end of last year.

A particularly nasty thunderstorm visited itself on the Murray Point Campground in the Great Blue Heron Provincial Park, just north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The July 7 storm trapped a number of RVers in demolished rigs and felled “hundreds of trees,” according to first responders. One RVer whose rig was “bisected” said she was trapped in one end of the RV while other family members were caught in the other end.

Thor Motor Coach and a Texas RV dealer, Holiday World of Katy, are both parties to a lawsuit brought by a pair of disgruntled customers. Jerry and Nancy Jones say they bought a Thor Synergy in 2016, only to find it filled with “numerous defects” that “substantially impaired its use, value and safety.” They claim the rig has been back to the shop four times for fixes and still isn’t right. They ask for a cancellation of their contract, a refund of their payment, reimbursement for expenses, and more. The couple is represented by The Law Offices of Jeremy A. Williams PLLC in Houston.

Nearly 100 RV sites could be stricken from the “available” list if a Massachusetts RV park owner has his way. Martin Costa has approached local school officials, proposing to sell his Westport Camping Grounds to them, and locals have jumped on the bandwagon, starting a petition drive to urge the town of Westport to join in. Costa says he wants to retire and sell off the RV park. The schools could turn the park into ball fields and a location for a school building.

In an unusual twist, a Lebanon, Ohio, police officer has retained an attorney to help him fight a traffic ticket. Officer Dan Fry is charged with failing to proceed with caution in an incident where both his police car and a motorhome were totaled out in an intersection crash. City insurance is slated to pay for both vehicles. If Fry decided not to fight the ticket, he could settle it for $120. Lebanon police dash-cam footage shows the moment of impact.

One of Oregon’s biggest resorts is set to close this summer and 146 employees will lose their jobs. The Kah-nee-ta Resort & Spa sits on the land of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs about two hours from Portland, Oregon. It notified the state Friday that it plans to close, with employee layoffs beginning Sept. 5. The resort, which includes a lodge, spa, hotel and 51-space RV park, has been a popular tourist destination for decades. Read more.


‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.


Rhode Island’s “RhodeWorks” program, wherein tolls are charged at two locations on Interstate 95, has met with a lawsuit. Three trucking firms and the American Trucking Association have brought suit against the state for discriminatory practices. The only vehicles charged tolls? Commercial trucks. The state feels it will prevail, and plans to expand the truck-only-tolls to 12 total locations.

Want to get into RV park ownership? Wonder what it takes? Recently a 107-site Trout Creek RV park in Summerland, British Columbia, was sold. The total property is more than 43 acres, with the park accounting for about 7 acres, and included a clubhouse and beach access. Total selling price? $8 million.

Driggs, Idaho, will soon be in the RV park business. The state’s Department of Parks and Recreation has given the city a nearly $100,000 grant for the construction of a “small RV park,” to be located in the downtown area. The four-site park didn’t face much opposition from competing RV park owners. The nearest commercial parks are 8 and 11 miles away from the isolated community.

DanTD on wikimedia commons

A Florida community is actually considering relaxing RV parking restrictions. RV owners in Crystal River, Florida, have complained to city officials that local parking ordinances are so tight, it’s difficult to park a rig without it going beyond the “front or back plane of their house.” City staffers have suggested allowing RVs to hang out five feet beyond the front line of homes; council members will decide whether to approve or not.

Water and electric service to 23 sites is now a reality at Oregon Inlet Campground in Nags Head, North Carolina. National Seashore officials say the electrical drop was to both please RV users and reduce the noise of generators in the campground. This winter 24 more sites will get the same upgrades.

A Manitoba, Canada, man found out the hard way that it’s best not to dump your holding tanks on the ground. The unidentified man was winding up a two-week stay with his family at Nelson Lake, Ontario, and dumped his tanks next to a roadway. A witness made a call to a tip line, an investigation ensued, and the dumper was nabbed. In addition to the $2,000 fine for illegal dumping, the man is now prohibited from camping on government land in Ontario for a year.

Twenty campsites are again available near Portage, Manitoba, as officials have reopened Delta Beach after a major restoration project. The campground was wiped out by floods in 2011 and 2014. Officials hope they have things well prepared to weather future floods.

Brenda Clark on azcentral.com

When an SUV traveling on Arizona’s Interstate 40 near Williams clobbered a wandering elk on the freeway, little did a motorhome owner know she’d be caught up in an amazing rescue. While the SUV driver got minor injuries, the elk was killed. A few minutes later Brenda Clark motored up to the accident scene and wasn’t quite sure what she was seeing – a small brown, “something” covered with goo, struggling by the roadside. Turns out the elk was pregnant, and the impact caused the birth of her calf. Clark and her family toweled off the calf, spoke with law enforcement officials, and ended up using their motorhome to transport the calf to a rescue facility. The calf is fine, thanks. And the Clark kids got to name her: Lucky.

An off-duty Lakewood (Washington) Police officer, Jeff Hall, and his wife, Nancy, who is a nurse, saved a family from the burning wreckage of their car after a crash last Sunday afternoon. The driver of the SUV had fallen asleep at the wheel and drifted into the shoulder of Highway 101 near Gardiner, Washington, according to Trooper Chelsea Hogdson. The SUV flipped onto its top and burst into flames. The family, visiting from France, suffered only minor injuries. They lost everything in the fire except their passports and credit cards, but passersby came to the rescue. “It was very encouraging to me to see this couple walk out of their RV,” said Nancy, “because we had traffic stopped in both directions and these were just people on their weekend getaways and they walked out with clothes [for them].” Source: KOMOnews.com


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Return to RV Travel Issue 854.

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3 Thoughts to “RV News for July 7–13, 2018”

  1. Chuck Masterson

    From the rollover picture…the rig was still on the road before it rolled over.

  2. Eric Meslin

    The indoor La Mesa showroom in Port St. Lucie, FL is advertised as 3 acres. According to my calculations the one in Sacramento is 2.98 acres. Probably some rounding going on somewhere.

  3. Rin Schmitz

    Thanks for your article on Holiday World Katy Tx & Thor. We bought our new 2016 Fleetwood Bounder from Holiday World Willis Tx & had same problems with Holiday World warranty service. You have 1 yr warranty for most things & Holiday World had our MH over 45 days on 4 visits in that 1st yr. they fixed some items but I had to redo some of there fixes. Just poor that dealers want to sale RV’S but don’t want to do the warranty work. Dealers charge like $180 an hr labor, but they don’t want to hire qualified techs to do the work. Holiday World won’t even do any Ford chassis warranty work. Keep writting the poor dealer customer service.

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