Monday, January 28, 2013

Quartzsite RV Show wraps up 30th annual event

Don Kuk of at his booth.

By Chuck Woodbury
QUARTZSITE, Ariz., January 28, 2013 — Depending upon who you talked to, attendance at this year's Quartzsite RV Show was either up or down from last year. The show ended yesterday after a nine-day run.

"Attendance was up from last year," said promoter Kenny King, "but not what it was years ago." Vendors, about 350 all together, most of them in a 63,000-square-foot tent two football fields long, offered mixed reports. "Our sales were better than the last two years combined," said Eric Davis of Eric's RV Performance Center, who has attended for 18 years.

"I think attendance was up from last year, and our sales were up," said Daryl Lawrence of Lawrence RV Accessories. Len Bunts, owner of RV Special Things, sold LED lights. "Our sales were down about 45 percent this year," he said, "but it's probably because there were 22 booths selling LED lights. There were 17 last year and 12 the year before that." At Canada's Northwest Territories booth, requests for travel guides were down. But they were up at Nevada Tourism's booth.

Harvest Host's Don and Kim Greene, attending for their third year, thought crowds were off from last year. Mark Silver of Industrial Lock and Hardware said his sales passed last year's halfway through the show.

This year's sole RV dealer, Paul Evert's RV County, was happy with the event, where brisk sales were about half towables and half motorhomes. "Sales were good, but they can always be better," said GM Jim Hardy.

Promoter Kenny King
The annual event spans 20 acres on King's property in "metro" Quartzsite, a dusty splotch of civilization at the intersection of I-10 and U.S. 95 east of Blythe, Calif. In the summer, when temperatures routinely top 100, the town shrinks to about 3,500. But during the winter and its normally fair weather it can swell to 100,000, mostly RVers squatting on vast expanses of government land.

Show attendees come from Southern California, Phoenix, and judging from license plates, half of Minnesota attended this year. Much of the show's appeal: free admission, free parking and free camping on the federal lands that adjoin the show site. Because there's no gate admissions to count, any report of attendance is a ballpark guess. Most put it at 100,000 to 150,000.

This was the 30th year of the show, and not the last. "I've got at least 10 years left in me," said King.

Take a two-minute video tour of the 2013 show with editor Chuck Woodbury.

Friday, January 18, 2013

RV video channel passes two million views

The YouTube channel for has passed two million views and is attracting about 100,000 new views a month.

"The pace is speeding up now that we're posting a daily newsletter," said editor Chuck Woodbury. "We have often included a video in our weekly newsletter, which we've published for more than 11 years. But we're including one in every issue of our new weekday publication RV Daily Tips. Each one offers concise advice from an RVer, usually a well-known expert, about some aspect of RVing.

"For those of us with roots in print publishing, being able to include a video in an issue of a periodical -- in this case online -- seems almost too good to be true. I dreamed about doing something like this years ago when I published a printed magazine, but it seemed like science fiction."

Articles and videos from each issue of RV Daily Tips are indexed for future reference. "As we add videos this easily searchable archive will become a convenient way for an RVer to get concise advice."

Although most of the videos are provided by paid freelancers, Woodbury produces many himself. He is currently on the road in the Southwest with his motorhome for six weeks, writing stories and videotaping advice segments for future newsletters. "I plan to be busy at the big Quartzsite RV show coming up later this month," he said.

Woodbury said that other videos hosted on the YouTube channel are embedded on the company's other websites and blogs including

SOURCE: news release.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RVers may benefit from proposed Yosemite plan

National Park Foundation photo

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA -- Is the nation's third most-visited national park being "loved to death"? If so, the National Park Service is trying to work out a plan to keep Yosemite National Park breathing. After two lawsuits against the agency to force it to come up with a management plan were successful, park officials are hoping their third attempt will be the charm.

At the center of the issue, traffic congestion in the Yosemite Valley. In a story carried by the Los Angeles Times, the Service is cast as trying to keep environmentalists happy, and balancing that against the public's demand for recreation. The Park Service is not attempting to suggest capping the number of visitors the valley receives--which can hit nearly 20,000 on a busy summer tourist day--but it is suggesting some changes.

Among those changes: Shutting down rentals of bicycles and rafts, eliminating an ice skating rink, and stopping commercial horseback rides. An analysis of the Park Service' "preferred alternative" plan by staff shows the plan would have impact on RVers. Under that plan, the number of campsites available to park visitors would be significantly increased by 28-percent throughout the park, with a 37-percent increase in the Yosemite Valley alone. To manage crowds, the park would continue to use a reservation system for overnight guests.

For more detailed information on the proposed plans, visit the Park Service websites here and here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

California resort city may restrict RV parking

CARLSBAD, CA -- Carlsbad's City Council has a new ordinance to consider that would restrict overnight parking of recreational and oversized vehicles citywide. The ordinance is in response to complaints by residents, visitors and business owners associated with overnight parking of RVs.

A draft of the ordinance is available on the city website.

City representative Bryan Jones said the ordinance has become necessary because, "Overnight parking of RVs on city streets has resulted in many problems and complaints, including RV owners dumping trash and sewage on city streets." He noted that other coastal cities restrict overnight parking by RVs and have successfully introduced parking permits to address the problem.

In October 2012 the City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would prohibit overnight parking of RVs within the City of Carlsbad between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. The ordinance would include exceptions to accommodate the needs of city residents and guests. Those exceptions include:

·    Yearly residential permit: City  residents who own an RV may apply for a free yearly permit to park their vehicle on a public street at their residence for up to 72 hours. This would allow owners to load and unload vehicles before and after a trip. To reduce impacts on neighbors, residents would be limited to four such three-day allowances per calendar month. Permit holders would be expected to abide by the terms of the permit at the risk of losing the permit, receiving a citation, and having their vehicle towed.

·    Temporary 72 hour permit: Carlsbad residents may apply for a temporary permit to allow a guest to park an RV on a public street at their residence. This permit, also free, would allow residents to have guests with an RV park at their residence for up to 72 hours, six times a year, with a minimum of 24 hours between visits.

·    Commercial property permit: Hotels or motels could allow guests to park RVs next to these inns on public streets if the RV cannot be accommodated in the property’s parking lot. The city would issue each hotel and motel reusable permits that they can give to guests. This exception would apply only while the RV occupants are paying guests of the hotel or motel.

Jones said the vast majority of RV owners are law-abiding and recognize that one of the costs of owning an oversize vehicle includes storage, either on one’s private property or in a storage facility. He said the ordinance isn’t meant to discourage RV owners from visiting Carlsbad, and pointed out that South Carlsbad State Beach and private campgrounds have space for residents and tourists in RVs.

"The purpose of this ordinance is to let law abiding residents and their guests enjoy their RVs in a way that does not negatively affect their neighborhood’s health, safety and quality of life," said Jones.

The City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider introducing the ordinance on Jan. 29. If the ordinance is approved it would be brought back for adoption at a subsequent meeting and go into effect 30 days after its adoption. The city is inviting feedback about the ordinance are asked to put comments in writing and send via email to

Source: City of Carlsbad