René M. Agredano
Spontaneous road trips are a way of life for many outdoor lovers. But the end of first come, first served campsites may dampen those adventures. All across the U.S., scoring that perfect campsite at a momentâ€™s notice is becoming a thing of the past. Now, many of the mhe most popular public campgrounds require reservations just to get past the gate.
The End of First Come, First Served Campsites is Welcomed by Many, Despised by Others
Campsite reservations are now mandatory in many places.
Snow is still on the ground in many U.S. cities. But right now, campers are already bookingÂ theirÂ summer RV camping reservations for popular campgrounds. That’s because from California to Maine and everywhere in-between, the busiest public campgrounds have already made the switch to a â€œreservations onlyâ€� system.
The moveÂ likely started about two years ago, maybe longer. That’s when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) eliminated the availability of all â€œfirst come, first servedâ€� campsites in the entire state. Today’s campers can reserve all state park campsites, even on the same arrival day.
Other states took notice of Minnesota’s move. Last year, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) department voted for the end of first come, first served campsites g in five state parks. And most recently, CPW officials announced that a total of twenty-two state parks are doing the same. Starting in 2019, any camper arriving at one of the state’s many designated reservations-only campgrounds must have a reservation. Anyone caught camping without a reservation will be fined.
Finally, in a move that will almost certainly spill over into other national parks, Utahâ€™s Zion National Park is kicking off the 2019 camping season by switching to reservations-only camping at the two most popular campgrounds, South and Watchman.
For now, some park systems are only requiring campsite reservations during peak season. For example, at
RV salesÂ are hot right now, but not nearly as scorching as the climate change impact on RVing we’re about to experience.Â You don’t need to hang up the keys, but rather learnÂ to stayÂ alive during cataclysmic weather events predicted for the future. Here’s what you need to know to keep climate change from ruining your adventures.
Get Ready for the Climate Change Impact on RVing Adventures
Climate change will impact your travels in 2019.
According to the experts at the Fall 2018 Northwest Climate Conference in Idaho, the U.S. and the rest of the world will see more wild weather in 2019. â€œIf the guesses are right, if the models are right, things are not looking good,â€� a University of Idaho scientist told colleagues at the conference, according to the Idaho Statesman Newspaper.
If you camped beneath the smoke-filled skies of the west in 2018, youÂ know what these scientists are talking about. DuringÂ summer, over five million acres of forest lands burned to the ground.
More unpredictable and scary weather events are expected to follow. Watch for flooding, severe storms with high winds and more out of control wildfires.
For a preview, check out the 2018 Climate Assessment Report. Published by over 300 U.S. scientists, weather predictions include less snow, more flooding, droughts and increasingly unpredictable rain dumps across the west. In the Midwest, flooding, soil erosion, and water quality issues from agricultural runoffÂ will dominate the landscape. Back east, worsening humidity, rising sea levels, algae blooms and record numbers of tropical stormsÂ will continue.
In addition, the effects of the upcoming weather phenomena known as El Nino and La NinaÂ will likelyÂ have a tremendousÂ impact on the planet’s climate. Climate change will impact RVing intoÂ next year and well into the future. Hereâ€™s how to deal withÂ it.
Choose a Boondocking Campsite with Care
Your first step in staying safe is to pick a campsite carefully. For
Climate change forecasts grow more dire by the day. But a new all-electric motorhome could shine a bright spot in the bleakness when it hits the EuropeanÂ marketplace in early 2019.
The Iridium all-electric motorhome. Image: EFA-S & WOF.
The RV of the Climate Change Age: Iridium, the All-Electric Motorhome is Here
By the time you read this article,Â a real world all-electric motorhome will be on its way to the January 2019 CMT travel trade show inÂ Stuttgart, Germany.
The exciting clean energy breakthrough in the European campervan industry is the result of a partnership between two German automobile companies, WOF and ElektroFahrzeuge Stuttgart (EFA-S). Both are known for their work in the country’s robust electric vehicle marketplace.Â The campervan’s electric-powered chassis is built by WOF, while the drivetrain and battery technology is made by EFA-S. SwissÂ RV designer, Maurer Fahrzeugbau built the RV body.Â The end result is aÂ sleek motorhome that’s a leap forward in the clean energy vehicle marketplace.
Images of the interior won’t be released until after the January reveal. But this promotional videoÂ of a conceptual solar-powered RV design highlights what Iridium’s European-style living quarters mightÂ look like:
Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries: theÂ Electric RV Breakthrough
Until now, the biggest obstacle in creating anÂ all-electric motorhome has been wind. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to move a heavy, tall vehicle at 65 miles per hour. A RV’s wind resistance places a huge load on batteries. This limitsÂ mostÂ large electric vehicles to a short driving range, typically under 100 miles of travel before they need recharging.
The Iridium all-electric motorhome will be different. Each is powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries (the same type used in Dometic’s new portable PLB40 battery). Don’t confuse lithiumÂ iron phosphate batteries with lithiumÂ ion batteries.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are the new kid on the block. They weigh less, are more efficient than lead acid batteries, have a longer life
Modern RVs have plenty of creature comforts, but hard ice cream hasnâ€™t always been one of them â€“ until now. Residential RV refrigerator installations are on the rise as RV owners areÂ opting forÂ sticks-and-bricks refrigerators in their rigs. But does the thought of having a â€œrealâ€� refrigerator live up to the expectations? Most RVers who have made the leap say â€œAbsolutely!â€�
They Rarely Regret a Residential RV RefrigeratorÂ Purchase
â€œWe did it and never looked back. Lots of ice and stays COLD!! This Samsung has a lot more room and did I say it stays COLD!â€� says iRV2 Forums member Mark MillerÂ shares about his 2008 Damon Tuscany motorhome’s unit.
Residential RV refrigerator of Mark Miller, iRV2 member.
Another RVer on Facebook agrees. â€œLove my residential. Same footprint as the rv one, way more room. New residential fridge, inverter and 400 watt solar system to run it when boondocking was cheaper than a Rv fridge,â€� explains Dan Aldridge.
In fact, scan any iRV2 Discussion Forum topics about Residential Refrigerators in RVs and youâ€™ll likely discover that the vast majority of RVers who haveÂ opted out of traditionalÂ gas absorption style refrigerators say that it was a good idea to do so. They agree that although traditional RV gas absorption refrigerators can be powered three ways â€“ by liquid propane, 120V conventional power and sometimes 12V power produced by the RVâ€™s batteries â€“ the downsides of owning aÂ unit outweighs the positives.
Pros and Cons of Residential RV Refrigerators versus TraditionalÂ RV Refrigerators
Image: Dan Aldridge
Look at the basic differences between a residential RV refrigerator versus a traditional RV refrigerator and youâ€™ll see subtle but important differences:
Residential RV Refrigerator Pros
More space inside
Consistently cold temperatures
Performance not effected by outdoor temperatures
Shorter time to power up and cool down for travel
Costs less money
Typically longer lifespan
Residential RV Refrigerator Cons
RV interior modifications are often necessary for the unit to