RVtravel.com making progress promoting RVers’ rights

RVtravel.com making progress promoting RVers’ rights

From editor Chuck Woodbury

Dear Reader,

We at RVtravel.com continue to do all we can to spread the word on important issues affecting RVers, those that are ignored by other periodicals or websites with influence. Our main focus is alerting the mainstream media to these issues, forcing the profit-obsessed executives in the RV industry to take notice and do something.

OUR CONCERNS
•The sad state of the quality of RVs leaving factories.
•The soon-to-be-a-crisis of finding a campsite in an RV park without making reservations far in advance.
•The lack of lemon laws in most states protecting RVers from bad rigs (and there are plenty of them on dealer lots right now, major heartaches for someone to buy).

The letter I posted in last week’s newsletter that I sent to James Ashurst, RVIA’s senior vice-president of marketing communications, and his response was covered by the two largest periodicals (online and off) in the RV industry, RV Business and Woodall’s Campground Management. This is good: It likely alerted many industry people to the problems you and I face. This exposure represents progress in our ongoing mission to effect positive change.

AND I MUST REPEAT AGAIN that the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is not looking out for you and me, only its members — about 99 percent of all RV manufacturers. Below is the RVIA’s banner atop its Facebook page. You can clearly where its loyalty lies — certainly not with you and me! The sad truth is that no significant RV organization or other group is looking out for us! RVtravel.com is the only voice, which seems incredible when you consider there are nine million RVers rolling around our great country (plus our best friends in Canada).

A QUICK REMINDER that it is only because of the increasing numbers of our voluntary subscribers that we can be so bold in our commentaries based on our ever-diminishing dependence on the support of advertisers, who do not do business with those who rock the boat (or in our case, the RV). If you would like to help support our efforts, you can voluntarily subscribe here.

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12 thoughts on “RVtravel.com making progress promoting RVers’ rights

  1. Ellen

    We stayed at a KOA in SLC once (that was all it took). People coming and going at all hours — just didn’t feel safe. When we mentioned it to a clerk in a nearby grocery store she told us the KOA was known locally to be where druggies made deals and hung out. Staff was hired help (rather than the owners) and seemed to be trying their best but fighting a losing battle.

  2. Barbara McClung

    By the way, I just tried to click on this link at RV Business: RVIA, Woodbury Trade Views on Product, Parks. The link has apparently been “disconnected”….

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Barbara, I looked and I don’t see it either. Maybe it was too hot to handle for the publisher. I will check on Monday. If, in fact, the article is gone it likely means the publisher got some heat from someone for running it. So that means the industry is paying attention. And by the time it was pulled, it’s likely that 95% of the readership would have already seen it anyway. The same article is still on Woodall’s Campground Management at http://www.woodallscm.com/2017/10/rvia-woodbury-trade-views-on-product-parks/

  3. Diane M

    We’ve been going to the Keys since 2006 every Feb/Mar for a month stay at Sugarloaf Key KOA. The peak season rate is $105. They took a direct hit from hurricane Irma. Everyone evacuated safely. They will be closed until next October. Since everything was destroyed they will be redoing the layout. Prior to hurricane all sites were straight back ins, on top of each other. They had a Pub w/entertainment , small restaurant for breakfast/lunch, a boat launch & boat rentals, & a small beach. Will be interesting to see how they redesign Park & what they will charge once everything is new.

  4. DAVE TELENKO

    Thanks Chuck for your constant vigilance for all of us who have bought terrible RV’s from dealers who know that the model they were selling had issues, some buyers noticed them before the 1 year warranty expired & too bad about the major defects that weren’t discovered. I would sure support the “DISCLOSURE rules that have helped home buyers in making a good decision to buy or not to buy. Point in mind is that a few years ago I bought a new Winnebago That on its way to California had to replace 2 transmissions, lucky me over the next 15 years I replaced it 4 more times. The first being the third year when I was going through Barstow Ca, while in the repair shop the mechanic said I see you’ve had trouble before as this is a genuine GM rebuilt transmission. Anyway just making a point that if I had know about that before hand (disclosure) I may of had second thoughts about buying.
    So what do you think about ALL of us RVers’ joining forces to make them disclose any & all know issues about their recreational vehicles. Here’s my vote for that is a BIG YES.
    Dave

  5. Mark

    KOA’s branded as journey are just That! Keep on with your journey – don’t stop.

  6. Michael Schwarz

    Our opinion of KOAs is that they are reflective of RV parks in general. Some are good, some are bad, and some are terrible. I think the only thing you can say is that generally, they are more expensive than other RV parks. We stayed at a number of them as we traveled up the east coast this past summer. I would have to admit that, unlike KOAs in the rest of the country, the ones we encountered were better than average.
    We also stayed one night at a Maine KOA and paid nearly $90 for the privledge! This was the most we have ever paid for a one night stay at an RV park. It was a summer weekend in New England, so our options were pretty limited. I guess the park owners knew that. New England is crowded and small. RV parks are few and far between. Even though my wife and I are both from there, we prefer the wide open spaces out west.
    I agree with you about the KOA in Stauton. We stayed there a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The most memorable thing about it was that we had to exit through the dump station! I was surprised by one of your comments, though. You have been complaining about the lack of good campsites everywhere. Here, where the owners have more room and could add more sites, you don’t want them to. How do your two positions square with each other?
    I disagree with a previous commenter about the one in New Hampshire. We stayed there for a few days and enjoyed it there. Yes, there was some highway noise, but it wasn’t bothersome to us. When improvements are going on in the park, I always discount the noise. There were new owners and they were busy making major improvements.
    I was bemused by your comment about the RVIA. Who else would they advocate for? In my experience, like politicians, trade groups almost always advocate for whoever is paying them. If it’s not us, they aren’t advocating for us. While campers and RV manufacturers some times have interests that align, that isn’t always the case.
    Consider Escapees or FMCA. One is for-profit and the other is struggling with membership. Both of them have sponsors and advertisers so, while you may see some camper advocacy for some issues, neither is going to bite the hands that feed them.
    I am one of your fans. I have been a reader (and a customer) since I discovered your newsletter years ago. I even purchased a couple of books (you know, the ones that used to be printed on paper) from you. I am a subscriber and I agree with most of your positions. Keep up the good work!

  7. Jim

    I learned from one of the RV podcasts earlier this year when the Campgrounds of America (KOA) VP of Marketing was interviewed. KOA is an association of campgrounds that any private RV campground can apply for. Supposedly their standards are to expand family oriented activities, not the best campground site experience. The reason their prices are so high is due to all of these family experiences each campground is supposed to offer.
    As stated in earlier issues of RVTravel and other forums, you pay (in most cases except for campgrounds claiming to be a ‘resort’) for what is being offered. The time of year and the demand for campsites in popular areas contribute to this.

  8. Gil & Jana Smith

    We have been reading your comments on RV quality with great interest. Thank you for beating this drum—keep doing it! — even if you tire! Your picture of “Protect” from the RVIA web site reminded me of my sticker from our trailer from same: “Electrical – Plumbing -Heating – Fire Safety” “Manufacturer certifies compliance with standard…” A senior vice president from RVIA should know better than to imply that quality is subjective when their stickers and web site imply measurable standards. If they truly believe quality is subjective they are guilty of intentional deception.

  9. john stahl

    Some KOA’s are great and some are not so great. It depends on each independent owner as to how good or not so good each park is. Most are too expensive for what you get. KOA’s in high tourist areas are very expensive.

  10. Lynne Whitmire

    I find the quality of the KOA’s to be hit or miss just like a lot of other campgrounds. We spent our first extended trip this Summer. We stayed in koa about 5 or 6 times. KOA in Santa Fe was very nice . We camped right next to the dog park which is great for us as we travel with two dog. Twin Mt KOA in NH was noisy, and had very tiny spaces. The hiway ran right beside the camping area and there was major construction going on with huge machines charging in and out of the camp ground.

  11. Jeff

    Good Morning Chuck:

    I too am NOT a fan of KOA. In fact I’m staying in one right now. I need to get my KOA Map out and mark this one as DO NOT RETURN. Very OLD and run down. Hard to maneuver on the roads and the sites are very short and will not accommodate a large 5th wheel and tow vehicle.

    Here is a poll idea for you, if it doesn’t affect your writing this newsletter. Put out a Poll asking peoples OPINIONS of the KOA Campgrounds around the country! Would be very good to have a comment section too. Just a thought.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

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