What to Do During a Wildlife Collision

If a crash with wildlife is inevitable, you should aim for the spot where the animal is coming from rather than where it is going

We’ve all been there. You’re on a wide, dry, empty country road, and you wonder “why does it have such a low-speed limit? I’m a good driver, I’ve got good tires, I can speed through here without any problems.”

But, maybe traffic engineers set the speed limit low not because of the road design but because this is an area where deer keep diving through windshields. That slow speed limit is there so you have enough time to scan the bushes for suicidal deer and stop in time if one wanders into the roadway.

Elk in Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Deer and moose will leap in front of your vehicle for seemingly no reason. Also, the faster your speed, the worse the collision!

In an earlier post, I reviewed what drivers can do to reduce the chances of having a wildlife-vehicle collision. Wild animals are a threat to motorists, but there are measures you can take to avoid hitting them.

Heed the warning signs and increase your roadside awareness. Reduce speed in wildlife zones. Drive defensibly and actively watch for wildlife movement or shining eyes on and beside the road. Actively scan the sides of the roads as you drive for any signs of wildlife.

Bighorn sheep in Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

One deer means more deer. Deer travel in herds and if you see one, slow right down as there will be many more. Moose are less gregarious, so one moose may simply mean one moose but it is still suggestive that more moose are in the area. And cows are frequently with a calf.

Bison in Elk Island National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What if a Wildlife Collision is Inevitable?

In certain situations, there is no real choice except to hit the wild animal. Diminish the impact if it is inevitable. If an accident with a deer, elk, or moose is inevitable, consider the following suggestions for lessening the impact.

If it appears impossible to avoid the animal, aim for the spot the animal came from, not where it is going. This may take you away from it and the animal is more likely to keep moving forward rather than backtracking. This will only work if there is one animal.

Deer in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Shift your line of eyesight to where you want to go, not at the animal. You tend to drive where you look―if you are looking at the animal, that is where the vehicle tends to go.

Try to skim rather than fully impact the animal. If you must hit something, try for a glancing blow rather than a head-on hit. Brake firmly and quickly, then look and steer your vehicle to strike the animal at an angle. Take your foot off the brake as you impact. The release of the brake causes a slight lift of the front end of the vehicle and reduces the chances of the animal coming through your windshield if your vehicle is tall enough. The deer isn’t going to be okay, but you will.

If you’re heading into a collision, lean toward the door pillar. In the Mythbusters where they tested this, the center of the car was completely crushed in every impact but the triangle by the door pillar was intact in each accident. No guarantees are offered; you are far better off avoiding the collision.

Elk in Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What to do Following a Wildlife Collision?

This depends on the type and condition of the road, the amount of traffic, the type of animal, and the condition of the driver. Take care after a collision with a deer, elk, bear, or moose. 

Check passengers for injuries and treat accordingly. Even if there are no injuries, shock may occur fairly quickly. Try to reassure one another and if it is cold, put on warmer clothing immediately as shock or fear increases the inability to ward off cold. If it is winter, stay in the car for warmth.

Rocky Mountain goat in Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are some important steps to take after assessing if everyone is relatively unharmed. Pull off the road if possible. Turn on hazard lights and if you can, illuminate the animal with your headlights. Use road flares or triangles if you have them. Warn other drivers if there is a carcass on the road which poses a hazard. 

Bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You may choose to carefully approach the animal to determine if it is dead or injured. If it is injured, back off. An injured animal can be very dangerous; it may kick or gore you from fear and pain.

You may choose to remove a dead animal from the road so that it does not present a hazard to other drivers. Quick removal prevents other animals from being attracted to the highway. Only attempt to remove the animal if you are 100 percent certain that it is dead, it is safe to do so, and you are physically capable of moving it. 

Inspect your vehicle to see if it is safe to continue driving.

Bison at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Call the police immediately or flag down help. Remember that most insurance companies won’t pay for the damages you suffer from hitting a deer or a moose if you don’t file a police report. Report vehicle damage to your insurance company.  

Worth Pondering…

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast—you miss the sense of where you’re going and why.

—Eddie Cantor

August 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

Camping at Blake Ranch RV Park, Kingman, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 14 recall notices during August 2021. These recalls involved 9 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Newmar (4 recalls), Forest River (3 recalls), Heartland (1 recall), Eclipse (1 recall), Newell (1 recall), Airstream (1 recall), Entegra (1 recall), Tiffin (1 recall), and Grand Design (1 recall).

Camping at Whispering Oaks RV Park, Weimar, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Kountry Star and 2021 Ventana motorhomes. The tie rod clamps may be loose, which could result in loose tie rod ends that could break or detach.

Dealers will replace the tie rod clamp bolts and nuts, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 17, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is FL-888.

Camping at Bellingham RV Park, Bellingham, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Bay Star, Ventana, New Aire, 2019-2020 Canyon Star, Bay Star Sport, Essex, King Aire, London Aire, Mountain Aire, 2018-2021 Dutch Star, 2020 Kountry Star, and 2019 Ventana LE recreational vehicles. The adhesive that bonds the vented portion of the window may fail.

Dealers will inspect the windows, and replace the vent if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 25, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 21E 047.

Camping at Grand Canyon Railway RV Resort, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Dutch Star, New Aire, and Ventana motorhomes equipped with Cummins L9 diesel engines. A fuel leak may occur from the fuel hose between the fuel pump and the remote fuel filter head.

Cummins will replace the fuel hoses, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 3, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar’s customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is Cummins 21E-063.

Camping at The Lakes Golf and RV Resort, Chowchilla, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Dutch Star, New Aire, and Ventana vehicles equipped with Cummins L9 diesel engines. A fuel leak may occur from the fuel hose between the fuel pump and the remote fuel filter head.

Cummins will replace the fuel hoses, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 16, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar’s customer service at 1-800-731-8300 or Cummins’ customer service at 1-800-286-6467. Newmar’s number for this recall is DTNA #21V556/FL-897.

Camping at The Californian RV Resort, Acton, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Prime Time Tracer TRT22RBS recreational trailers. The tail light is located too close to the water heater exhaust, which may cause the tail light to become distorted and fail.

Dealers will install a new water heater, and replace the tail light if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 6, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1574-862-1025. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1389.

Camping at Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Salem, Wildwood, and 2020-2021 Stealth EVO travel trailers. The freshwater tank may not be properly secured to the vehicle’s frame.

Dealers will properly secure the holding tank, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 19, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-503-831-5410. Forest River’s number for this recall is 22-1400.

Camping at Eagles Landing RV Park, Holt, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Starcraft Allstar XL transit buses equipped with Cummins B6.7 diesel engines. The electric fuel heater within the fuel module may overheat, causing plastic in the fuel heater to melt and potentially catch fire. It may also lead to engine stalling.

The remedy is still under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 19, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 05-1401.

Camping at Harvest Moon RV Park, Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2021 North Trail and Mallard recreational trailers. The refrigerator roof vents were not routed properly during production.

Dealers will inspect the roof vent, and repair the vent sleeve connection if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 16, 2021. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Camping at Grandmas RV Park, Shepherdsville, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Eclipse

Eclipse Recreational Vehicles, Inc. (Eclipse) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Attitude, Stellar, and Iconic trailers equipped with Dometic S31, R731, and R2131 3-burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Dometic service centers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Eclipse customer service at 1-269-342-3184.

Camping at Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newell

Newell Coach Corp. (Newell) is recalling certain 2008-2022 P50 vehicles. The adhesive that bonds the vented portion of the window may fail.

Newell will inspect the windows, and replace the vent if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in July 2021. Owners may contact Newell’s customer service at 1-888-363-9355.

Camping at Roosevelt State Park, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2022 Interstate 24X recreational vehicles. The inverters may have been improperly wired with incorrectly sized wires and circuit breakers.

Dealers will install additional wiring and circuit breakers, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.

Camping at Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Entegra

Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain 2018-2022 Anthem, Aspire, Insignia, and Reatta XL Class A vehicles. The sealing washer may not seat correctly in the pilot boreholes, allowing the high-pressure fuel rail assembly to leak.

Entegra will work with Spartan and Cummins to inspect the rail threads and fuel lines and replace the rail as necessary, free of charge. Cummins began to notify owners on July 30, 2021. Owners may contact Entegra Coach customer service at 1-800-517-9137.

Camping at Portland Fairview RV Park, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2017-2022 Wayfarer motorhomes. Continuous stress on the frame rail hitch extensions may cause them to fail.

The remedy is still under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mail October 4, 2021. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is WAY-101.

Camping at Dakota Campground, Mitchell, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2021 Imagine recreational trailers equipped with Dexter D30 axles. The axles may have been assembled with incorrect inner bearings.

Dealers will inspect the axles for incorrect bearings and replace the bearings as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on September 13, 2021. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910024.

Please Note: This is the 31st in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Are You Ready? The Hurricane Season is Just Starting

The tropics are heating back up

Will Grace top Elsa as the headliner storm of the season, even though Elsa was more than a month ago when the tropics were just beginning to stir?

As the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred degenerated into a tropical wave and its path swung further west into the Gulf of Mexico this past Saturday (August 14, 2021), Southwest Florida already had its eyes set on a new threat. The overnight formation of Tropical Storm Grace marked the second storm in a week the area has to monitor. The storm could make landfall in Florida by the end of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Amelia Island, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

August is when the tropics typically fire up. But we aren’t there just yet. Dr. William “Bill” Gray (1929-2016), regarded as a pioneer in the science of hurricane forecasting, would literally ring a bell on August 20 to announce the real start of hurricane season. That’s several days out.

There is definitely something that “clicks” in late August allowing for tropical systems to shift from mostly rainmakers (in some cases, these are still catastrophic) to extreme wind makers. Wind damage and deaths due to storm surge could jump dramatically in the weeks ahead.

Cedar Creek, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here’s the good news: Fred was not one of those storms (and at the time of writing it’s too early to know about Grace). And that’s actually a little bit surprising considering that storm names beginning with the letter “F” are the second most likely names to be retired, meaning they were particularly deadly or destructive.

Here’s a breakdown of retired hurricane names categorized by the letter:

Letter of the alphabet             Number of retired storm names

A                                 7

Agnes, Alicia, Allen, Allison, Andrew, Anita, Audrey

Crystal River, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

B                                 3

Betsy, Beulah, Bob

C                                 9

Camille, Carla, Carmen, Carol, Celia, Cesar, Charley, Cleo, Connie

D                                 8

David, Dean, Dennis, Diana, Diane, Donna, Dora, Dorian

E                                  5

Edna, Elena, Eloise, Erika, Eta

Daytona Beach, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

F                                  9

Fabian, Felix, Fifi, Flora, Florence, Floyd, Fran, Frances, Frederic

G                                 5

Georges, Gilbert, Gloria, Greta, Gustav

H                                 6

Harvey, Hattie, Hazel, Hilda, Hortense, Hugo

I                                   12

Igor, Ike, Inez, Ingrid, Ione, Iota, Irene, Iris, Irma, Isabel, Isisdore, Ivan

Venice, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

J                                  5

Janet, Jeanne, Joan, Joaquin, Juan

K                                 3

Katrina, Keith, Klaus

L                                  4

Laura, Lenny, Lili, Luis

M                                6

Maria, Marilyn, Matthew, Michael, Michelle, Mitch

Rockport-Fulton, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

N                                 2

Nate, Noel

O                                 2

Opal, Otto

P                                  1

Paloma

Rockport-Fulton, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

R                                 2

Rita, Roxanne

S                                  2

Sandy, Stan

T                                  1

Tomas

W                                1

Wilma

Goose Island State Park, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No, that’s not a typo. Believe it or not, the letter “I” is responsible for the most retired hurricane names. According to the Weather Authority at News 4 JAX, the best guess this year is that we’ll see the “I” storm sometime shortly after Labor Day. That would be near the peak of hurricane season which is September 10.

Ida will be this year’s “I” storm.

But which storm will be this year’s strongest? Possibly, Julian. It doesn’t sound particularly intimidating (none of them does, really), but that’s as good a guess as any. And again, that’s purely a guess.

The Big Tree at Goose Island State Park, Texas stood firm during Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017). Your RV would not be this fortunate. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dr. Klotzbach, the lead CSU forecaster, recently updated his seasonal hurricane forecast. He’s now expecting us to see four major hurricanes. In other words, the weeks ahead are likely to be very challenging for many people.

Worth Pondering…

Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable.

—Diane Ackerman

How to Avoid a Wildlife Collision

Every year wildlife collisions are the cause of hundreds of thousands of vehicle accidents along North American roads

Colliding with deer, elk, bear, and moose is potentially fatal for drivers and passengers and is likely to cause significant damage to your vehicle—and to the animals. To avoid a collision, whether driving a car, truck, or recreational vehicle, be alert and know what to do if you come head-to-head with one.

Deer crossing Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It is important for motorists to have information about the factors that influence animal behavior. This will lead to an increased level of understanding about when, where, and why wildlife is most likely to be present near the road. Animals are active 24 hours of the day and all year round, but records kept by insurance and government agencies show that there are peak times when wildlife-vehicle collisions are more likely and drivers should be especially alert.

Drivers need to be alert and cautious because moose are on the move, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Moose are more likely to be crossing roadways at this time of year, especially after dark or early in the morning as they move from wintering areas to spring feeding locations.

Bison in Elk Island National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More moose are hit by motorists in the spring than at any other time of the year. There is another peak of activity in September and October, the breeding season for moose. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because their fur is very dark, and they are so tall that their eyes are normally above most headlight beams, and therefore their eyes may not reflect the headlights.

Drivers need to be especially careful and people should enjoy watching moose from a safe distance. Moose can be unpredictable and dangerous if you get too close and they feel cornered or get irritated.

Elk in Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Most literature suggests that dusk and dawn are traditionally times of high wildlife-vehicle collisions. Light levels are low and animals are active at these times.

Based in British Columbia, the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program (WCPP) reports that 35-45 percent of all collisions with wildlife in British Columbia and Alberta occur between 7:00 p.m. and midnight with Fridays accounting for 15.8 percent of all collisions.

Deer are involved in approximately 80 percent of wildlife-vehicle collisions. May and November have the highest rates of collisions involving deer.

Rocky Mountain Sheep in Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Moose are involved in approximately 7 percent of all wildlife-vehicle collisions. Due to the extremely large size of these animals, (a mature bull moose may weigh up to 1,200 pounds), there is a significant chance that a moose-vehicle collision will result in a human fatality.

Elk are involved in approximately 3 percent of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Wild animals are a threat to motorists, but there are measures you can take to avoid hitting them. Collisions occur most often in prime deer, elk, and moose habitats such as forested areas and waterways. Heed the warning signs and increase your roadside awareness. If you see a deer, elk, or moose crossing sign, be extra alert and slow down. These wild animals crossroads for a wide variety of reasons and at different times of the year. They cross the road randomly as well as at their regular crossings.

Bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reduce speed. Speed is a major factor in collisions. Wildlife experts have recommended 55 mph as a suitable speed for wildlife zones in good weather conditions as it provides you with some reaction time to stop. Also, the faster the speed, the worse the collision!

Drive defensively. Actively watch for wildlife movement or shining eyes on and beside the road. Drivers should be cautious between dusk and dawn. Light levels are low and animals are active. Always be aware of the danger.

Deer in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Observe your surroundings. Actively scan the sides of the roads as you drive for any signs of wildlife. Look on the roadsides, the shoulders, down into ditches (they love the grass there), median strips, intersecting roads, on the road itself and try to spot any signs of movement, flashes of eyes, or body shapes. Be sure to scan both sides.

In most vehicle collisions, particularly fatal ones, you usually don’t see the animal before it slams into you. That’s why the best way to keep bear fur out of your grille is to slow down, stay alert, and continually scan the ditches for glowing eyes.

Bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But if all that fails and you’re finding your car hurtling directly towards Bambi, there is one last-second tip that could save your life.

Slam on the brakes until the moment just before impact, then release them. This lifts the nose of the car just enough so that you may deflect the animal away from the vehicle and prevent it from flying directly at you.

The deer isn’t going to be okay, but you will.

Worth Pondering…

The best way of being kind to bears is not to be very close to them.

―Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam

July 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 10 recall notices during July 2021. These recalls involved 10 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Jayco (1 recall), Roadtrek (1 recall), VanLeigh RV (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Braxton Creek (1 recall), and Tiffin (1 recall).

New Green Acres RV Park, Walterboro, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2015-2017 Coachmen Cross Country, 2015 Coachmen Encore, 2016-2020 Coachmen Mirada, 2018-2021 Coachmen Sportscoach, 2019-2021 Forest River Berkshire, 2011-2016 Forest River Blue Ridge, 2014-2019 Forest River Cardinal, 2014-2020 Forest River Cedar Creek, 2014-2021 Forest River Georgetown, 2019 Forest River Legacy, and 2017-2018 Forest River Riverstone recreational vehicles equipped with Hehr 6400 Series windows. The adhesive that bonds the vented portion of the window may fail.

Dealers will inspect the windows, and replace the vent if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 18, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-8600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1380.

Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Solis, Travato, and Ekko vehicles, equipped with GE-ES Double Flipseats. The seat belt retractors may lock up when the vehicle is on a slight incline. As such, these seats fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards numbers 208, “Occupant Crash Protection” and 209, “Seat Belt Assemblies.”

Winnebago will work with Freedman to notify owners, and dealers will inspect the seat and repair, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-614-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885 or Freedman customer service at 1-800-443-4540.

Hilltop RV Park, Fort Stockton, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Aria, Challenger, Miramar, Outlaw, Palazzo, Tuscany, and Venetian recreational vehicles equipped with Hehr 6400 series windows. The adhesive that bonds the vented portion of the window may fail.

Dealers will inspect the windows, and replace the vent if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed September 8, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000232.

Portland Fairview RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Anthem, Aspire, Cornerstone, Insignia, Reatta, and Embark recreational vehicles equipped with Hehr 6400 series windows. The adhesive that bonds the vented portion of the window may fail.

Dealers will inspect the windows, and replace the vent if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 16, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903569.

Frog City RV Park, Duson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Roadtrek

Roadtrek Inc. (Roadtrek) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Zion, Zion SRT, Play, and Slumber vehicles. An incorrect gas detector that is missing the carbon monoxide alarm may have been installed.

Roadtrek will ship owners a carbon monoxide detector to mount to their vehicle, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on June 29, 2021. Owners may contact Roadtrek customer service at 1-519-745-1160. Roadtrek’s number for this recall is 2021-02.

Harvest Moon RV Park, Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

VanLeigh RV

VanLeigh RV (VanLeigh) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Vanleigh Beacon recreational vehicles. Interference from the rear ladder can prevent the rear egress window from fully opening.

Dealers will replace the egress window, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact VanLeigh customer service at 1-662-612-4040.

RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2021 Heartland Pioneer SS171 travel trailers. The Federal Certification label has the incorrect Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and axle rating. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 120, “Wheels and Rims – Other Than Passenger Cars” and 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Heartland will mail replacement labels to owners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 27, 2021. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Capital City RV Park, Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2019 Mountain Aire, 2020-2021 New Aire, 2020-2022 Super Star, 2018-2021 Ventana, and Dutch Star vehicles equipped with certain Cummins diesel engines. The sealing washer may not seat correctly in the pilot boreholes, allowing the high-pressure fuel rail assembly to leak.

Cummins service centers will inspect the rail threads and fuel lines, and replace the rail as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 31, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is Cummins 21E-32.

Cochise Terrace RV Resort, Benson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Braxton Creek

Braxton Creek RV (Braxton) is recalling certain 2020-2021 LX and BX travel trailers, equipped with Dometic R1731, R2131, and S31 3-burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Braxton Creek will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge.. Owner notification letters were mailed July 2, 2021. Owners may contact Braxton customer service at 1-260-768-7932. Braxton’s number for this recall is 20E071.

Grand Canyon Railroad RV Resort, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Allegro Bus and Phaeton motorhomes, equipped with certain Cummins L9 diesel engines. A fuel leak may occur from the fuel hose between the fuel pump and remote filter head.

Dealers will replace the fuel hoses, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed September 6, 2021. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-117.

Please Note: This is the 30th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

How and How Often Do People Die in America’s National Parks?

Traveling to a national park this summer? What are the odds of dying during a visit?

For travelers heading to national parks this summer, fun and sun are on most visitors’ minds. While some danger lurks at these natural treasures, new data shows that park-goers, by and large, survive the great outdoors.

An October 2020 analysis from Panish Shea & Boyle LLP which reportedly used data provided by National Park Service (NPS) for the years 2007 through 2018 showed there had been a total of 2,727 deaths spread over hundreds of sites across that 12-year period while approximately 3.5 billion visited during that same period. This equates to less than eight deaths per 10 million visits to park sites during that time frame. It is important to say that based on this data visiting national parks is very safe overall.

Joshua Tree National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Additionally, the NPS Public Risk Management Program (PRMP) analyzes mortality data to identify trends, leading causes of death, and high-risk populations. While injury rates in national parks are very low compared to injury rates in the U.S., injuries can and do happen when visitors are unprepared, exceed their experience or fitness level, or do not understand or heed hazard warnings. Being aware of the common causes of injuries in parks can help visitors understand the hazards associated with their activities and be better prepared before they go.

Badlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

PRMP reported that between the calendar year 2014 and 2016, 143 of 419 park units reported one or more deaths for a total of 990 deaths or six deaths per week. The mortality rate was 0.1 deaths per 100,000 recreation visits with 53 percent of deaths in that time frame due to unintentional causes like drowning and vehicle crashes. Around half of the medical deaths occurred as an individual was engaged in physical activity—like hiking, biking, or swimming—and 79 percent of deaths occurred among males.

Banish Shea & Boyle LLP data showed that drowning, motor vehicle crashes, “undetermined” causes, and falls were the top four killers highlighting the rural and scenic nature of most sites.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Washington’s North Cascades National Park was the most dangerous, statistics-wise, with 652 deaths per 10 million visits. Lake Mead National Recreation Area saw the most deaths during the period of the study at over 200 though there were more than 85 million recreational visits to the site during the years measured.

Data on fatalities in the parks from 2010 to 2020 released by Outforia in May—obtained using a Freedom of Information Act request to the NPS—showed the most common causes of death were falls, medical or natural deaths, or “undetermined” or “unexplained” deaths.

Grand Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Unsurprisingly, the most visited parks tend to have the most visitor fatalities. Over the last ten years, Grand Canyon had the most visitor deaths, 134, followed closely by often densely-packed Yosemite, 126. Deaths and disappearances continue at Yosemite into 2021.

Great Smoky Mountains was the most visited park in 2019 with over 12 million visitors. It experienced 92 visitor deaths since 2010 while Yellowstone had 52. Interestingly, the park with the sixth-highest number of death, Alaska’s rugged Denali, had far fewer visitors than the other five. Yellowstone had 4,020,288 annual visitors and 52 deaths. Denali had 51 deaths and just 601,152 annual visitors.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Of course, while every death is tragic, the National Parks had nearly 3 billion visitors from 2010 to 2020 including 327.52 million people in 2019 alone. Due to the pandemic 2020 visitation numbers fell to 318.21 million people. If you’re careful, the parks can be quite safe.

Falls are by far the biggest killer of park visitors responsible for 245 deaths over the ten-year period studied. Medical or natural death was responsible for 192 mortalities followed by “undetermined” (166), motor vehicle crashes (140), and drowning responsible for 139 deaths.

White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Suicides were uncommon; just two parks, Grand Canyon (15) and Rocky Mountain (11) had more than ten deaths in ten years. More people were killed by wild animal attacks (6) than homicide (5.) Deaths from environmental factors were most common at Denali (18) and Grand Canyon (14) with one known for extreme cold and the other for extreme heat.

It can reach 120 degrees in the shade in the lower portions of Grand Canyon and tragedies do occur. A 49-year-old woman, her husband, and a friend hiked about four miles down the South Kaibab Trail when the woman became dizzy, disoriented, and then stopped breathing. The cause of death was believed to be heat-related. The high at Phantom Ranch that day was approximately 114 degrees. But even first-time campers, like those flocking to the parks in 2021 as the pandemic wanes can survive by using common sense like drinking plenty of water, avoiding the hottest parts of the day, and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (I prefer a Tilley).

Saguaro National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But these statistics do not take into account the numerous near-death experiences in the national parks such as the 21-year-old woman who recently fell into the icy waters of Maligne River in Alberta’s Jasper National Park. She slipped from a rock near the bank of the river while taking a photo. Fortunately, a 48-year-old man and his wife were in the right place at the right time and were able to rescue her from the fast-moving water.

Sequoia National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While 2021 mortality data is not currently available recently reported deaths offers further insight into the issue:

  • New Mexico State Police reported on July 6 that a 63-year-old man had been found dead in the shadeless White Sands National Park
  • In April, a grizzly bear attacked and killed a backcountry guide while fishing along the Yellowstone National Park border in southwestern Montana
  • In June, a 26-year-old woman fell to her death at Zion National Park while canyoneering
  • A 56-year-old man fell to his death from Sequoia National Park on Memorial Day
  • A 53-year-old woman on a backpacking trip at the Grand Canyon died of a heat-related illness in June
  • A 64-year-old professor of Biology died last month while solo hiking in Yosemite National Park

Worth Pondering…

It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.

—Claude Bernard

Stay Safe this Summer by Using These Outdoor Heat Hacks

Heat Safety

High temperatures can be dangerous for humans and their pets. Make your visit to a national park, state park, or other recreation areas memorable for the right reasons!

Last year, as temperatures soared into the triple digits in Texas, staff at 39 Texas State Parks handled 132 heat-related illnesses in humans and pets. Now that summer has begun and temperatures are steadily climbing, consider these six heat hacks for staying safe in the outdoors. Then read about heat illness and care of your four-legged friend while on the trail.

Golfing in Hurricane Valley near St. George, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heat Hacks

Plan your trip with these heat hacks in mind.

Here are the top six heat hacks recommended for park visitors:

Hydrate

Drink at least 16 ounces of water every hour in the heat to replenish your body and prevent dehydration. Don’t forget to bring enough for your four-legged family members too.

Horse back riding in Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Block the Rays

Apply a generous amount of sunscreen before heading outdoors. Apply liberally and frequently and reapply every couple of hours and after swimming or sweating.

There goes my Tilley! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dress Smart

Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing; a wide-brimmed hat (I prefer a Tilley), good walking shoes, sunscreen, and wet bandanas to keep you cool while in the sun. For pets, protect paws against blistering by hitting the trails during cooler times of the day when the ground isn’t hot or by putting booties on pets to help shield paws from the hot ground. Touch the pavement or ground with the back of your hand. If you cannot hold it there for five seconds, the surface is too hot for your dog’s paws.

Stay Salty

Food helps keep up energy and replace salt lost from sweating. Eating snacks such as jerky, granola, trail mix, pretzels, tuna, and dried fruit is a fantastic way to nourish your body while on the trails.

Hiking Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Buddy System

Two brains are better than one. It’s beneficial to have someone with you in hot conditions so you can look after each other on the trail. With high temperatures hitting the US and Canada, heat-related illnesses are common, and having a friend around to help recognize the early symptoms can save you from getting sick.

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Plan Ahead

Study a trail map and take it with you. Average hikers move at 2 miles per hour, so allow yourself sufficient time to avoid hiking in the heat of the day. Be sure to rest in a cool or shaded area to recover from the heat if necessary. It is also a good idea to let someone know your hiking route before you hit the trails and what time you should be back. That way, if you become lost, people know where to look.

Hiking Badlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heat Illness

Look for these symptoms of heat illness.

Heat Strokes

  • Throbbing headache
  • No sweating
  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid, strong pulse
Hiking Grand Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heat Exhaustion

  • Faint or dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cool, pale, clammy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps

If someone shows signs of heat illness, take these steps:

  • Move person to a half-sitting position in the shade
  • Call 911 immediately
  • Treat based on humidity: If below 75 percent, spray the victim with water and vigorously fan; or above 75 percent, apply ice packs on neck, armpits, or groin
It’s a dog’s life! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heat and Dogs

Every year, dogs die after hiking with their owners in parks. Your dog will follow wherever you lead. But remember, your pet is wearing a fur coat and isn’t wearing shoes. Remember the five-second rule. Place the back of your hand on the pavement or ground. If you cannot hold it there for five seconds, the surface is too hot for your dog’s paws.

Photography in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dog’s Hiking List

  • Leash (no more than 6 feet)
  • Collar with tags
  • Water
  • Food/treats
  • Dog booties
  • Plastic bags (for poop pickup)
  • Foot care
Staying cool in the shade along the Lower Colorado River, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For practical steps on staying cool in your RV this summer, click here.

Worth Pondering…

“‘Heat, ma’am!’ I said; ‘it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.”

—Sydney Smith

Cool Camping: Practical Steps for Staying Cool in your RV

Summer is upon us. In fact, as Walter Winchell wrote “It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.”

The Pacific Northwest is in one of the most intense heat waves ever recorded with the worst still to come. Portland, Oregon, hit 112 degrees Sunday (June 27) shattering the previous record by 5 degrees. Seattle set a record high, hitting 104 degrees the same day, breaking the previous record by 1 degree. Seattle also experienced it’s first back-to-back 100 degree days in history and then hit the hat trick Monday. The Western North American heat wave also extends into Northern California, Nevada, and Idaho.

Sacramento River at Redding, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Americans are not alone in feeling overheated. The same high-pressure system baking in the northwestern United States has also produced record-breaking heat in Western Canada.

On June 28, the temperature in Lytton, British Columbia, a town of fewer than 300 in the Fraser Canyon, hit 118.2 degrees smashing Canada’s old national heat record of 113 degrees. That’s 1 degree hotter than it’s ever been in Las Vegas, 1,300 miles to the south, and hotter than the all-time record highs for 31 states including several in the South. And by Tuesday, the temperature in Lytton soared to 121 degrees. Lytton is at 50 degrees N latitude.

As sad aftermath to these heat records, the fires then swept in. By 6 pm. Wednesday Lytton’s residents had been ordered to evacuate as explosive wildfires neared. As of this morning (Friday), the village lies in ashes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of this devastated community.

The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Additionally, on June 27, local records were set in areas such as Ashcroft (110.8 degrees) and Kamloops (111 degrees); in all, 59 weather stations in British Columbia set records for hottest temperatures recorded for that date. These were largely beaten in the following days (Kamloops, for instance, registered 114.4 degrees on June 28 and 117.1 degrees on June 29).

On June 28, records were set in Abbotsford at 109.2, Victoria at 103.6, and Port Alberni at 108.9. As of June 29, 103 all-time heat records were set across Western Canada, including east of the Rocky Mountains. In Alberta, Banff (97.9 degrees), Edmonton (100 degrees), Jasper (102.4 degrees), and Grande Prairie (104.4 degrees) have all seen the strongest heat ever measured in these communities. Nahanni Butte, Northwest Territories also set a regional record at 100.6 degrees.

Quail Creek State Park in Utah Dixie © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Amid these extreme weather conditions, this is prime travel time, the season for putting endless miles of road in the rearview mirror of your travel trailer, motorhome, or fifth wheel. Most RV excursions take place during the hottest months of the year and even RVs with excellent climate-control systems can get hot and stuffy. Here are some tips on staying cool when you hit the road—no matter the weather outside.

RVers want to stay cool. Whether you spend most of your time in the rig or simply want a cool, comfortable home to return to at the end of the day. The first and most obvious remedy is a good air conditioning unit. That unit, however, is only as good as the power on which it runs. 

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Just as the right hookups are important to a functioning AC, so, too, is regular and diligent maintenance. Having a functioning AC unit in your RV during the summer months is crucial and that’s why it’s imperative to keep your AC unit in ship shape by performing regular cleaning and maintenance, to get ahead of any major issues before they start. Regularly changing any filter screens and giving the entire unit a once-over can go a long way.

But even with the AC on, taking certain considerations to stay cool can benefit the comfort level inside your rig. When it comes to staying cool in your RV, there are a handful of surprisingly simple tips that go a long way.

Trees offer shade from the intense summer sun at Jeckyl Island Campground in Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Selecting your RV site with care helps to prevent it from getting hot in the first place. This sounds obvious, but it still needs to be stated: park in the shade if you can. The shade provided by large trees, hills, or even buildings can make a huge difference in the internal temperature of your RV. Sites facing the southwest should be avoided and make every effort to ensure that the refrigerator is in the shade. Avoiding direct sunlight and keeping your shades and blinds closed can make a huge difference. On a shady and cooler day, open the windows to let fresh air in and to make sure there’s enough ventilation in the RV. You may also consider upgrading to dual-pane windows which will also be beneficial for winter camping.

World’s Largest Roadrunner at Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

New technologies are changing the way RVs are powered and cooled and while some of the technologies are still emerging, many RVers have added solar to their RVs roof and invested in the latest battery technology. Being truly self-contained is on the way as RVs get adequate electricity to run air conditioners, microwaves, and other devices in the RV. With the new battery technology coming, help is on the way.

If you’ve done your best to prevent your RV from heating up in the first place and turned on your AC to cool it down, then there are other simple things you can do to help KEEP your RV cool.

Amelia Island, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cover your roof vents with a reflective surface. Foam-based vent fillers that are tucked inside ceiling vents are available at most RV dealers. They help to reflect the sun’s rays off your RV. Their insulating abilities help your RV stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Don’t forget your shower skylight.

Extend your awning to help shade your RV (if it’s on the sunny side). This will not only shade the windows on that side of your RV but the walls too.

Put a bowl of ice in front of a table fan. The air passing over the ice water gets chilled and provides some relief. And if you don’t have any ice then a damp cloth placed over the fan will have a similar cooling effect.

Expect hot summers and warm winters in Laughlin, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keep the exterior door closed and try to minimize frequent openings. Opening the door repeatedly allows the hot outdoor air to enter your RV.

Avoid using the stove or oven. On hot days, plan to use your outdoor kitchen or campfire to cook meals or eat meals that don’t require cooking such as sandwiches and salads.

If your RV has incandescent light bulbs or halogen lights, turn them off as they emit heat. Consider installing LED lights which give you light (obviously) but they don’t release heat.

Summers are hot along the Lower Colorado River © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keep the windows closed during the daytime to prevent hot air from infiltrating your RV but open up the windows at night if you are camping in a place with cool evenings.

One of the most important ways to prevent heat-related illnesses is to drink plenty of water (most experts suggest eight glasses per day. Plain water is the best way to hydrate, no second-guessing necessary. But that can be hard to do when water tastes so…watery. Fortunately, it’s possible to get hydration from a variety of drinks but be careful that you’re not having too much of the ones that dehydrate.

Saguaro Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Consuming any kind of liquor removes water from your tissues, meaning you have to drink even more water to offset the effects. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the alcohol content, the more dehydrating your drink is.

Curious to see which beverages are the best for keeping enough fluid in you? The following six are hands-down your best hydrating choices: water, milk, fruit-infused water, fruit juice, watermelon, and sports drinks.

Chilie peppers in Hatch Valley, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Eat spicy food. Capsaicin, a compound in chilies that gives them a kick, triggers a response in your nervous system that makes your face sweat and cools you down.

Symptoms of heat illness include dizziness/fainting, nausea/vomiting, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark urine. Age can make you more vulnerable to heat stress. Babies, young children, and seniors are less able to sweat and adjust to changes in temperature.

Staying cool at Lake Pleasant, Arizona

And finally, additional tips to stay safe in extreme heat include:

  • Avoid the direct sun as much as possible
  • Avoid strenuous activity and exercise
  • Avoid sunburn and wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin and an SPF 30 lip balm
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, UV-blocking sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat (I prefer a Tilley)

Worth Pondering…

“‘Heat, ma’am!’ I said; ‘it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.”

—Sydney Smith

June 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired. With 30 recalls your RV may be on the list?

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

Bellingham RV Park, Bellingham, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 30 recall notices during June 2021. These recalls involved 17 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (7 recalls), Keystone (3 recalls), KZRV (3 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (2 recalls), Heartland (2 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Grand Design (1 recall), Roadtrek (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Triple E (1 recall), REV (1 recall), Genesis Supreme RV (1 recall), Coach House (1 recall), Host Campers (1 recall), Rossmonster Vans (1 recall), Highland Ridge (1 recall), and StarCraft (1 recall).

Eagles Landing RV Park, Auburn, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Columbus Fifth Wheel trailers. The legs on the Allure Swivel Dining chair may detach from the chair body.

Dealers will install a hardware kit to reinforce the chair legs, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 28, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-821-1487. Forest River’s number for this recall is 410-1342.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Sierra and Sandpiper Fifth Wheel and Travel Trailers. The bolts that hold the floor to the chassis were improperly tightened.

Dealers will tighten the bolts to the chassis outriggers, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expect to be mailed July 3, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-534-4574. Forest River’s number for this recall is 03-1347.

The MotorCoach RV Resort, Chandler, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Columbus Fifth Wheel trailers. The breakaway switch and trailer brakes may not activate when needed due to an incorrectly wired breakaway switch.

Dealers will rewire the breakaway switch, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 30, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-821-1487. Forest River’s number for this recall is 410-1350.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 IBEX travel trailers. The shackle nuts may have been insufficiently tightened during production.

Dealers will tighten shackle nuts, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 20, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-3119. Forest River’s number for this recall is 77-1361.

Flag City RV Resort, Lodi, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Salem Fifth Wheel, Salem Travel Trailer, Wildwood Fifth Wheel, and Wildwood Travel Trailer vehicles. The red and amber clearance lamps do not reflect enough light. As such these vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Assoc. Equipment.”

Dealers will add reflex stickers to both the amber and red clearance lamps, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 20, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-534-3167. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1359.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 East to West Alta Travel Trailers. The LP/CO detector was installed in the incorrect location.

Dealers will install a new detector in the correct location, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 20, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-264-6664. Forest River’s number for this recall is 501-1366.

Coastal Georgia RV Park, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 East to West Entrada Class C Motorhomes. The federal placard incorrectly states that there are six seats equipped with seat belts when there are actually only four. As such, these motorhomes fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 120, ” Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).”

Forest River will provide a new federal placard, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 21, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-264-6664. Forest River’s number for this recall is 504-1374.

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2021 High Country Montana trailers. The 120VAC wiring connectors for the slide room circuit were not mounted properly, which can allow water to enter the electrical connections.

Dealers will inspect the connectors, and mount the connectors to the frame, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 18, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-409.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Keystone Cougar 368MBI trailers. The frame rails do not have enough cross support, which could cause them to buckle under certain side-load stress conditions.

Dealers will add cross braces between each spring hanger and an outrigger between the tires on the off-door side of the vehicle, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 15, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-411.

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019 Keystone Bullet, Sprinter, and 2020 Keystone Hideout vehicles equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 4, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369.

Poche’s RV Park, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2021 Stratus and SportTrek trailers. The water heater circuits were wired with an incorrect size circuit breaker, which may prevent the breaker from tripping, and failing to provide adequate wiring protection.

Dealers will replace the 20 amp circuit breaker with a 15 amp circuit breaker, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 23, 2021. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016 ext. 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall is KZ-2021-02.

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2018-2019 KZ RV Sidewinder vehicles equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 4, 2021. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016 ext. 154 or 153.

Hollywood Casino RV Park, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2021 Connect travel trailers. The trailer tongue weight is too low, which may not apply enough downward force to the hitch of the tow vehicle, causing the trailer to be unstable at highway speeds.

Dealers will increase the tongue weight by adding additional weight to the tongue or by moving the axles, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 13, 2021. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016 ext. 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall KZ_2021-04.

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2022 Rize, Scope, Sequence, and Tellaro vehicles. The Flex-190 Solar Panel junction box may short.

Dealers will install a new solar panel and junction box, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 26, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000226.

Jack’s Landing RV Resort, Grants Pass, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2018-2022 Axis 25.6 and 2018-2021 Vegas 25.6 motorhomes. The heat shield between the LP tank and chassis muffler was not installed.

Dealers will install a heat shield, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 9, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000228.

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC. (Heartland) is recalling certain 2018-2021 Mallard, Shadow Cruiser, Sundance XLTTT, Wilderness, Prowler, Trail Runner, 2018-2019 Pioneer, Terry Classic, 2020-2021 Lithium, and 2021 North Trail trailers equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 4, 2021. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

The Barnyard RV Park, Lexington, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2021 Mallard, Wilderness, Trail Runner and 2020-2021 North Trail trailers. The LP gas lines may not have been tightened properly on the outside cooktops, which could result in a gas leak.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the LP gas lines, and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 17, 2021. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Jayco Designer, 2017-2021 Eagle HT, Eagle, Jay Feather, Jay Flight SLX, Jay Flight, North Point, Octane Superlite, Pinnacle, White Hawk, 2017-2020 Eagle HT, 2018-2021 Jay Flight Bungalow, 2017-2019 Octane, and 2019-2020 Eagle HTX travel trailers and fifth wheels equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 4, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Holiday Trailer Park of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021 White Hawk travel trailers. The metallic electrical boxes may not be grounded.

Dealers will install a bare copper grounding conductor to the metallic electrical box, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 14, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901568.

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2016-2021 Imagine, Transcend, and Momentum travel trailers. The LP regulator that controls the LP gas pressure may fail, allowing excessive gas pressure that causes the appliance flame to increase.

Dealers will replace the LP regulator, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 28, 2021. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910023.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Roadtrek

Roadtrek Inc. (Roadtrek) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Zion, Zion SRT, and Play motorhomes. The undermount generator that charges the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) house batteries may have a faulty internal regulator, which could damage the AGM batteries and cause electrical system failure.

Dealers will inspect and if necessary, replace the undermount AGM generator, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 31, 2021. Owners may contact Roadtrek customer service at 1-888-762-3873.

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2017-2022 Dutch Star, 2017-2019 Mountain Aire, 2019-2021 Ventana and 2021 New Aire motorhomes. The sealing washer may not seat correctly in the pilot bore holes, allowing the high pressure fuel rail assembly to leak.

Dealers will inspect the rail threads, and replace the rail as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 19, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8000. Newmar’s number for this recall is Cummins 21E-032.

Whispering Oaks RV Park, Weimer, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Serenity S24CB, Unity U24MB, U24CB, U24IB, U24FX, U24TB, U24RL, Wonder W24RL, W24MB, W24FTB, and W24RTB recreational vehicles. The metal deflector that protects the refrigerator’s wood frame from exhaust is positioned too low, which could allow the exhaust to discolor or char the wood frame.

Dealers will install a metal deflector extension, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 7, 2021. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9932-1.

REV

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Fleetwood Bounder P Model, Holiday Rambler Vacationer P Model, and 2018-2021 Fleetwood Southwind Model P motorhomes. The floor may have improperly sealed holes that could allow gases such as carbon monoxide to enter the living area.

Dealers will reseal the floor area, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 23, 2021. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1-800-509-3417. REV’s number for this recall is 210521REV.

Las Vegas RV Resort, Los Vegas, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Genesis Supreme RV

Genesis Supreme RV (Genesis) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Genesis, Vortex, and Wanderer bumper pull and low profile fifth wheel trailers, equipped with Dometic 3-burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Genesis Supreme RV will notify owners, and Dometic service centers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Genesis Supreme customer service at 1-951-337-0254.

Ambassador RV Park, Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Coach House

Coach House, Inc. (Coach House) is recalling certain 2021 Platinum vehicles equipped with Dometic 3-burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Coach House will notify owners, and Dometic service centers will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed by July 31, 2021. Owners may contact Coach House customer service at 1-800-235-0984.

Host Campers

Host Industries (Host) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Mammoth, Tahoe, Rainier, and Cascade trailers equipped with Dometic 3 burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

A remedy has not been established at this time. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Host customer service at 1-514-330-2328.

12 Tribes Casino RV Park, Omak, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rossmonster Vans

Rossmonster Vans LLC (Rossmonster) is recalling certain 2018 Ram Promaster vehicles. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

No remedy established at this time. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Rossmonster customer service at 1-720-295-0623.

Highland Ridge

Highland Ridge RV (Highland) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Mesa Ridge Limited, Mesa Ridge Lite, Open Range Light, Open Range Ultra Lite, 2019-2020 Mesa Ridge, 2019-2021 Open Range, 2020 Silverstar Limited and Silverstar Lite fifth wheel and travel trailers equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 3, 2021. Owners may contact Highland customer service at 1-260-768-7771.

Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

StarCraft

StarCraft RV (StarCraft) is recalling certain 2017 Starcraft AR-One MAXX, Autumn Ridge SCS, Travel Star EXP, 2018-2021 Autumn Ridge Outfitter, 2017-2019 Autumn Ridge, Launch Ultra Lite, 2018-2019 Avalon, GPS, Launch Outfitter, 2019 Mossy Oak Lite, 2019-2020 Mossy Oak, Mossy Oak Ultra Lite, 2018 Solstice, 2017-2018 Solstice Super Lite, 2018-2020 Telluride, and 2019-2021 Super Lite travel trailers and fifth wheels equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 3, 2021. Owners may contact Starcraft RV customer service at 1-800-945-4787.

Please Note: This is the 29th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

HURRICANE 2021 SURVIVAL GUIDE: STAYING SAFE IN YOUR RV

Storm season is here! Are You Ready?

Believe it or not, June is already winding down. And while I’m sure there’s plenty of excitement left in the month (especially with hurricane season officially underway), now’s a great time to reflect on what an amazing month we’re having. As you know, it’s the time of year when spring really starts to look like summer.

It always throws people off when it’s the eve of the Atlantic hurricane season. No, not during hurricane season—not unless a hurricane comes within 1,000 miles, anyway!

Fortunately this was not a major storm approaching Capitol City RV Park in Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I thought it might be nice to start off with some good news. Of course, that statement is a “no brainer” since the 2020 Hurricane Season was the most active in modern times (since 1851). There were 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes, and seven major hurricanes. Boom! Actually, the past decade has been off the charts in terms of activity. There have been on average 17 named storms each year making the past decade the busiest on record. It has also been the busiest 30 years on record as well with two years, 2020 and 2005, both having record seasons. Those two seasons combined for nearly 60 named storms and 14 major hurricanes. For perspective, there have been decades when the total number of storms was under 90. During the 1910s-1920s there were only 60 named storms over a 10-year period. As recently as 1992, there were only 91 storms over a 10-year period.

Rokport-Fulton, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Now, the bad news! Despite no La Niña, this will still be an active hurricane season. It just won’t be a super season!

With hurricane season upon us, it’s important to know the ins and outs of RV safety—when to ride out a tropical storm and when it’s time to head out of Dodge to a safer locale. Motorhomes and travel trailers are ideal ‘survival’ vehicles during natural disasters. When faced with a possible hurricane, your recreational vehicle can transport you, your loved ones, and your home to a safer place.

Goose Island State Park, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here’s what you need to know

Hurricane season is no joke. The devastating power of these twisting tropical storms is humbling—and it can change your life, or even end it, in a second. That’s why folks who live near the coastal areas most vulnerable to hurricanes carefully track each storm over the course of the season, even the small ones. It might just end up being a tropical depression that spins off harmlessly into the ocean but you just can’t be too careful when dealing with nature’s fury.

Goose Island State Park, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Of course, that goes double, if not triple, for those of us who live or travel in a recreational vehicle. We’ll cut right to the chase: no matter what kind of rig you call home, an RV is not a safe place to ride out a hurricane. In fact, even tropical storms and smaller thunderstorms can cause serious and life-threatening damage to your home-on-wheels.

Nature’s fury has a knack of catching you off-guard; hurricanes are no exceptions. Hurricanes pack enough punch to destroy everything in their wake and in those times it is best to be prepared for an immediate evacuation. Tropical storms and hurricanes are unpredictable to a large extent and must not be treated lightly. Your RV can become your best friend and your ticket to safety if you take certain safety measures for yourself and your vehicle.

Rokport-Fulton, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When you’re traveling by RV, the weather takes on a whole new level of importance. Motorhomes and travel trailers are not safe places to take shelter during extreme weather events which means it’s critical to stay up to date and alert about changing weather patterns and potentially severe weather warnings in your area. It’s not melodramatic to say that your life and the lives of your family could hang in the balance.

The Big Tree at Goose Island State Park, Texas stood firm during Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017). Your RV would not be this fortunate. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fortunately, the same feature that makes RVs an unsafe place to weather a storm makes it relatively easy to avoid bad weather in the first place: they’re on wheels! Evacuation is the key to surviving a hurricane in an RV. It may actually take days to reach a safe destination. In addition, the path of the storm may change requiring you to change directions.

Don’t wait too long and get stuck in heavy traffic with last-minute, mandatory evacuees. As soon as you know a hurricane is likely to come your way, load up your RV and head out before the Interstate becomes a virtual parking lot.

Rokport-Fulton, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Prepare an emergency kit by stocking your RV with items such as water, non-perishable foods, and prescription medications. Before the storm, fill your vehicle with fuel and check the windshield wipers and tires. Place your RV and house insurance documents, vehicle registration, title, passport, and other important documents in a waterproof bag and keep them with you.

Keep handy items such as tarps, flashlights and extra batteries, candles and extra lighters or waterproof matches, disposable garbage bags, NOAA Weather Radio, first aid kit, and a toolkit ready at all times.

Goose Island State Park, Texas following Hurricane Harvey, a Cat 4 hurricane (August 25, 2017) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to News4Jax Insider, your first aid kit should include sterile adhesive bandages, sterile gauze pads, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, triangular bandages (3), sterile roller bandages, antibiotic ointment, scissors, tweezers, needle, moistened towelettes, antiseptic, thermometer, tongue blades (2), a tube of petroleum jelly or another lubricant, assorted sizes of safety pins, cleansing agent/soap, latex gloves (2 pairs), sunscreen, bug repellent, Tylenol or other pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center) and laxatives, activated charcoal (if advised by the Poison Control Center), bottled water and additional sterilizing liquids (alcohol and acetone).

Stay safe out there! Remember, run from the water and hide from the wind.

Worth Pondering…

In reality, you don’t ever change the hurricane. You just learn how to stay out of its path.     

—Jodi Picoult