The summer 2022 RV Travel season promises to be extremely challenging thanks to a spate of RV recalls and sky-high fuel prices.
Those are the main topics that we focus on in this week's Episode 396 of the RV Podcast.
To see the video version of the entire podcast, including an update on our whereabouts and answers to your questions about the RV Lifestyle, click the player below to be taken to our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel.
An audio version of the RV Podcast is available on all the major podcast apps from Apple, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, and more, or by clicking the player below to listen to it on the device you are using right now.
Huge list of RV Recalls involving LP gas fittings
Thousands of RVs from model years 2021 through 2023 are under RV recalls for a fire risk with the quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system.
Eight RV manufacturers, 37 models, and 22,021 RVs have dangerous RV cracked and porous LP gas fittings that federal authorities say can lead to a fire
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency in charge of vehicle safety recalls, announced the fittings were made by Texas-based Flex Tech with contaminated brass. They were made in Flex Tech’s Goshen, IN factory and sent to various RV manufacturers.
While the brass fittings may appear perfectly normal, contamination in the brass created a weakness in the metal in such a way that when tightening the fitting, it can crack and LP gas may escape.
Obviously, a gas leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire, which can lead to injury or death.
Although the NHTSA announced the RV recalls, letters from the manufacturers to owners of the affected RVs are not expected to be sent out until July 1.
This means that getting those RVs checked out and new fitting installed is going to add significantly to the already maxed-out repair schedules of RV repair facilities. Getting their units in for service is undoubtedly going to interrupt the travel plans of thousands.
List of companies affected by the RV Recalls
For the following companies, the problem is all the same: The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.
- KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling 14,524 2021-2022 KZRV SportTrek, Sonic, Stratus, Connect, Sportsmen, Sportsmen SE, Sportsmen Classic, and Sportsmen Sportster fifth-wheel and travel trailers.
- Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling 3,374 2022 Scope, Tellaro, Sanctuary, Delano, Sequence, Tranquility, Rize, Synergy, Quantum, Magnitude, Geneva, Compass, Chateau, Four Winds, and 2022-2023 Tiburon, and Gemini vehicles.
- Highland Ridge RV (Highland Ridge) is recalling 2,362 2021-2022 Mesa Ridge, Mesa Ridge XLT, Mesa Ridge S-Lite, Open Range, Open Range Roamer, and Open Range Lite fifth-wheel and travel trailers.
- Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling 838 2021-2022 Northpoint, Pinnacle, and Seismic fifth-wheel travel trailers
- Starcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling 785 2022 Super Lite and Super Lite Maxx travel trailers.
- DRV Suites (DRV) is recalling 88 2022 DRV Mobile Suites and Full House fifth-wheel recreational vehicles.
- Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling 24 2022 Cruiser Shadow Cruiser travel trailers.
- Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling 26 2022 Heartland Fuel travel trailers.
According to attorney Ron Burge, who runs the https://rvlemonlaw.com/ website, writing in RV Travel, when one company makes the same exact part for many RV manufacturers and they make it wrong, the defect can affect thousands of RV owners. The higher risk here is that recall notices are not even scheduled to go out until July 1, putting thousands of RVers at risk in the meantime.
Burge says that if your RV is affected, call your RV dealer for more information.
Worries mount over high fuel prices and talk of $10 a gallon diesel
The biggest story likely to affect the 2022 RV travel season has to be the continuing rise in fuel prices.
As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the 2022 RV travel season will be getting into full swing. And thus, many in our community will be experiencing for the first time what I believe to be the single biggest threat now facing the RV Lifestyle – high fuel prices.
For many, the cost of RV travel this year has almost doubled over what it was even last year. And this is on top of runaway inflation that has seen unprecedented price rises in every other part of the economy.
Sadly, no relief is in sight.
Gasoline prices set a new record high last week, with the average price for a gallon of gasoline $4.45 as of Saturday, and the average price of diesel $5.56 per gallon.
These directly affect RV travel. Many RVers are now greatly curtailing or outright canceling their travel plans for the season.
But it is the spike in diesel fuel (used by many RVs) that is causing the most alarm.
Leading energy economist Phil Verleger worries that the tight supply could send the average US price of diesel to $10 a gallon by the end of the summer. In New York, the situation is so dire that the CEO of United Refining Co., says he “wouldn't be surprised to see diesel being rationed on the East Coast this summer.”
Prices in the Northeast are all well over $6 a gallon, and in a half-dozen states in New England as well as New York the prices have more than doubled over the last year.
The supplies of diesel are very tight, particularly in the Northeast, where inventories are at a record low based on data that goes as far back as 1990. Supplies have dropped 36% since the week of February 25, when Russia invaded Ukraine, and are nearly 50% below where they stood a year ago.
Executives for Pilot Company, which operates more than 750 locations across the U.S. and Canada, and Love's Travel Stops, a chain of more than 500 truck stops across the country, have notified customers that they're scrambling to provide the diesel they need and that spot shortages may occur.
As noted above, there is no end in sight.
How do RVers feel about these challenges?
I've been collecting email from RVers about what effects these challenges pose to their summer travel plans.
Here are some of the responses I've received:
This is a terrible time across the nation. My travels have been put on hold. Who knows if we can get diesel in the location you might be traveling – Larry
We plan to travel to West Virginia in the fall, but for now we will camp closer to home. The gas situation is ridiculous! – Doria
Yellowstone NP is one of our favorite destinations, so Jan 1st I was online getting a reservation for the first opportunity at Fishing Bridge on May 28th! But as the date was getting closer, and the Cost of everything going higher and higher, we reconsidered even going and just doing local trips this year. A friend who is not well and mostly laid-up with medical problems told us, ‘no, you have to go … prices be damned! You never know if you'll be able to go next year'. So we are leaving soon, even while snow is on the ground in Yellowstone, to visit our favorite beautiful place on earth. – Mary
My wife Sandy and I bought our first RV a year ago and made short trips, mostly to WI where our extended family lives (we live in MN). This year we plan to add one longer trip to NH to visit friends sometime this Summer or Fall. Gas prices are an issue, but we are a couple of years from retirement and want to use this time to decide how much the RV lifestyle is for us. We would like to check out TN at some point as a potential retirement base but that may be a next year trip. We own a Thor Compass B+ class RV and didn’t buy it just to take up space in our driveway:-). – Bill and Sandy
Though we don’t like the high gas prices this will not stop us from going where we want to go. Me and my husband are late sixties early seventies with some health issues. No time to waste worrying about gas prices! – via text
Yes, now we know how it feels to spend $100. at the pump. We had only 240 miles on the odometer on our 05 Chevrolet Roadtrek. That figures to be $.416 per mile. That is the first time in my 83 years that I have put $100 of fuel in any vehicle. But we are not going to let this fuel crisis dictate our travels and have decided we will do and go where ever we chose and whenever we chose. I'm turning 84 Aug.7 and we are planning a trip up the east coast from Florida to Virgina and then on to Franklin NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We will have no campground reservations and are going to play it my ear and overnight where ever we can find a place. Harvest Host, Boondockers Welcome, and where ever else we can find an overnight stay. That is our story and we are sticking to it. -Doug & Ric
We have found that our fuel costs have almost doubled , We were lucky to find a 35 ft Jayco 5th wheel on a lake front lot. We bought it and put our travel trailer up for sale. Within 48 hours we had bought the 5th wheel and sold our 3 yr old travel trailer. We are trying out being season campers. The cost of the seasonal lot vs cost of fuel, which will be cheaper. – Scott
Here in Oregon, we have decided to keep our trips to the Pacific NW. We are on fixed incomes and when it comes to fuel costs it is really putting a crimp on how far we really want to go. We did cancel our trip to Jackson Hole hoping to make that trip next year. I’m really looking more and more at doing some boondocking to help with campground costs. I need to purchase your guide to boondocking. In these trying times, we are trying to do our best to get out and enjoy our trailer. – Mike
What are your thoughts on RV Recalls and High Fuel Prices
We invite you to share your thought in the comments below. Please, though, be courteous to each other and no politics.
RVers are frustrated and angry and it is inevitable that they want to vent. That is understandable and that is why we are here… to come together as a group and share our experiences. But anger and frustration can all too easily result in name-calling and politics.
We are not about that.
So please, in your comments, refrain from finger-pointing, name-calling and politics. By all means, let’s talk about high fuel costs. What are they in your area? How can we find ways to travel in our RV to minimize the effects? Where and how can we find great RV destinations closer to home? What are the best driving practices to get better mileage? How have we changed our travel plans this year?
Thanks for being here. And while we don’t know what the 2022 RV travel season will be like, we can all try to make it the best we can.
Looking for RV Travel closer to Home?
Mike and Jennifer's Great Lakes Shoreline Tour (U.S. Side)
The Great Lakes region is filled with beautiful vistas, welcoming towns and villages, and fabulous places to camp, hike, and explore.
We were so taken with the adventure of this trip that we just knew we had to write one of our Adventure Guides about it!
But instead of the usual 7 Days that some of our other guides can be done in, with this one, we’re suggesting that you budget more time. This is why we are calling it a “Tour” instead of a 7-Day Guide! There are 86 pages in this new ebook.
In this new Great Lakes Shoreline Tour we cover in detail:
- Notable U.S. Cities/Towns along each Great Lake (US side) like; Watertown, Grand Island, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Vermillion, Mackinaw City and so many more!
- What to See/Do Around EACH Lake like; Ocqueoc Falls Scenic Site, Les Cheneaux Islands, Antique Boat Museum, and many, many more places including BONUS side trips!
- And good Campgrounds for each Lake (US side) – at least 4 or 5 for EACH Lake! With all the info you need to set up reservations.