From the pages of I RVing: Fall 2022

Unprecedented Flooding Sweeps Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK experienced a massive flood event on June 13—inundating the region with a 400 percent increase in average precipitation, according to CNN. The Yellowstone River surged to 50,000 cubic feet per second (CFP), shattering the previous record of 32,000 CFP, the Montana Free Press reports. All entrances to the park closed due to heavy flooding, rockslides, and extremely hazardous conditions. The flooding decimated critical portions of northern roads. The park quickly evacuated visitors and worked to reconnect nearby residents with power and water. One month later, Yellowstone announced that 93 percent of roadways and 88 percent of backcountry were open. Even so, as the recovery continues, millions of yearly visitors can expect limited access to the park until the full damage is evaluated and cleaned. For RVers planning to visit the weird, wild grandeur of Yellowstone National Park, check NPS.gov/yell to stay up to date on the park’s conditions.

The Grand Canyon Gets the Hookup

The Grand Canyon National Park is gearing up for $21.8 billion worth of work, fixing and replacing water, wastewater, and electric systems in the park that have long outlived their 25-year shelf life from the 1970s. With $1.9 billion in yearly funds lined up for the next five years from the 2020 Great American Outdoors Act, the Grand Canyon National Park is preparing four large projects at the South Rim—most notably major upgrades to the Transcanyon waterline.

RV Park to Give Airport a Revenue Lift

A Florida airport is seeing interest take off in transportation beyond aviation. Since the 2020 pandemic, the air transportation industry underwent heavy shocks. The RV industry, on the other hand, surged across the country. With pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, Ocala’s International Airport could start diversifying their revenue stream by converting 64 acres of spare land into a massive luxury RV park, the Ocala StarBanner reports. The development would be the first of its kind at an airport.

Electric RVs Await Next Charge

Last June, the Winnebago Advanced Technology Group released some preliminary findings from traveling in an electric RV (e-RV). According to RVNews.com, the ATG team found that while
long trips were possible, they were probably not ready for a high-pressure travel schedule. Currently, e-RVs are better suited for short trips to nearby parks. Even as RV industry titans like Winnebago prepare to launch their new electric models—some as early as spring 2023 the national infrastructure is not yet prepared to fully support e-RV travel, Bloomberg reports. Tandem equipment to charge vehicles and trailers, for example, is not common. With EV infrastructure in need of a boost, manufacturers like Thor Motorcoach are lobbying Congress to make a greater federal investment.

Valvoline Ventures into RV Service Centers

Vehicle care service provider Valvoline plans to put more routine maintenance services for motorhomes on the road. In September 2021, the company began a pilot program in Atlanta, testing out a 75-minute RV preventative maintenance service, including oil and filter checks, greasing chassis zerk fittings, and tire assessments. Looking ahead, campers can expect to see more new standalone RV centers on the road.

A Chip on RV Manufacturer Shoulders

One of COVID-19’s most notable disruptions in the RV market is the semiconductor industry. After a two-year supply crunch, some chipmakers now warn of cooling demand for parts. Meanwhile, RV manufacturers remain stuck with a shortage. “The biggest customers are getting priority [like Apple], while more fragmented industries …[the auto industry] are being pushed to the back burner,” says Angelo Zino, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research.



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