WSU RV Passes Sell Out

One of the big differences between the U.S. and Canada?

We don’t have RV parking for college football.

On the Die Hard Cougs Facebook page, Washington State University Cougar fans were enraged when the parking passes for RVs had sold out.

From the Daily Evergreen:

The CAF [Cougar Athletic Fund] switched to selling RV passes for a full season after having them available on a per game basis in previous years.

Ganders said the decision was about rewarding their largest donors for committing to WSU with the ease of purchasing a pass for a whole season.

“We know that RV parking is part of Washington State football culture,” Ganders said. “Unfortunately that’s the inventory we have and we just try to make it as fair and as objective as possible.”

Ganders said they have seen an increase in donations from people looking to increase their chances of getting RV passes. CAF scores for RV pass priority went into effect May 1, a date Ganders said was made clear well in advance.

The CAF separates their zoned RV parking into three donor levels. Zone 1 costs $875 and requires an additional annual donation of $1000. Zone 2 costs $700 and requires an additional annual donation of $750 and Zone 3 costs $700 and requires an additional annual donation of $700.

WSU has a capacity for 330 RVs and campers on home football weekends.

Washington State University even has a webpage dedicated to RV event parking.

The only American football game that I have ever watched live was at the Pontiac Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions.

The Silverdome closed in 2006 and the city sold it for about a half million, less than one percent of the cost to build it. It reopened for a few years in 2010 and then it was closed again in 2013. Demolition occurred in 2017. ViralForest has some haunting photos of the Silverdome here.

That football game was the very first time that I had experienced a tailgate party. And yes, there were a lot of RVs and campers strewn about the parking lot. The place was packed.

Not sure that I would take our coach out to a football game.

30 Days

Not until retirement. Although getting much closer now. Only 51 more days.

No. This 30 days refers to a bylaw that the Whistler RV Park will begin enforcing. Any long-term or seasonal stay will require a move to a new site every 30 days. Failure to comply will lead to expulsion from the park.

Can you imagine how crazy it would be on the 30th day of every month (to have) 40-plus people packing up their RVs and all switching sites?

This article provides all of the frightful details of people having to lift their jacks and play musical RVs to satisfy a desire by park management to enforce a bylaw that they have never enforced before.

Park management had initially claimed that the Resort Municipality of Whistler would charge the park a fine if trailers were not relocated every month although that story has changed. The current reason? Compliance with the bylaw.

Some motorcoach resorts limit stays to only 30 days. And it is clear on their website.

Not that I have any plans to stay at the Whistler RV Park but I could not find any reference to a 30-day maximum policy on site rentals on their website.

Just another customer focused Canadian RV park operator.

Fair Taxation For Canadian Campgrounds

Fair taxation? That is a loaded question for Canadians. With a top marginal rate in Ontario of 53.5 percent, I might argue that Canadians generally experience excessive taxation.

The issue of fair taxation is of concern to the RV industry in this country. Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA) host an annual awareness day with the federal government in Ottawa. This year, it was held on Thursday, April 26th.

The RVDA issued a news release captioned with this headline: Without action, campgrounds face 300% increase in taxes.

The industry has quite an impact on the Canadian economy estimated at $14.5 billion annually and growing. Canada has over 4,200 campgrounds.

From the news release:

But the continued growth success of the RV and camping industry is not assured. The promotion of the RV sector and proper infrastructure in our existing parks are crucial to the growth of the RVing and camping industries, as well as a prosperous Canadian tourism sector. The RVing industry contributes billions to the national economy, but campgrounds across Canada require infrastructural improvements in order to accommodate new camping and RV technologies.

That is an understatement. We have found it very difficult to find parks and sites that will accommodate our 40-foot rig. The picture above shows our coach at Milton Heights Campground. One of the better campgrounds in the Greater Toronto Area but a far cry from the best RV parks in the U.S.

I am starting to see signs of Canadian campgrounds making investments specifically to support larger Class A Motorhomes. Like Salish Seaside RV Haven in Victoria, British Columbia:

The park has been completely redesigned to be truly “Big Rig Friendly”. It comprises 36 pads of which all but a very few will accommodate the largest Class A Motorhomes. Most sites are waterfront with spectacular views around Victoria’s harbour.

We won’t see very many parks making these improvements with excessive taxation from the government:

“Our industry needs to be sure that we will be governed by a fair tax regime, including being eligible for the small business tax deduction,” said Robert Trask, Chairman of the CCRVC. “Without clarification from the government, our members face retroactive tax increases of as much as 300%. Having campgrounds pay a higher tax rate than billion-dollar corporations is dumbfounding.”

You can read the full release here.

The Way South

We have now made a few bookings for our trip south. We will be leaving from Sherkston Shores RV Resort — identified as point 2 on the map above. Point 1 is where we are living right now.

The plan is for Lorraine and I to take the coach over to our dealer mid-August. We have a bit of a punch list:

  • Side radiator lower grill guard almost disconnected from body of coach
  • Oasis hot water heater pump failure — this one is a known defect by the manufacturer
  • Full wall slideout uneven — literally rises up a quarter inch or so after slides are deployed — this was not resolved during warranty by the dealer and is still outstanding
  • Full length of Girard Awning Casing on top of passenger side of coach overhangs coach body by about an inch
  • Levelling jack leaking hydraulic fluid (passenger side front)
  • Small puncture in roof membrane requires repair
  • 483 RSB – Recall 17V 420: Driver Passenger Shade
  • 486 TSB – MCD Remote Shade Motor Replacement
  • 488 RSB – Recall 17V 497: Battery Cable May Rub Against Frame (potential fire hazard)
  • 493 PIB – Freightliner Lightbar: instrument panel odometer value may reset and not match the engine ECU odometer value

We also need to get our towing system in place for our new toad. For the towbar we are installing a Blue Ox baseplate, a Blue Ox KarGard, a Blue Ox Towbar, and a Patriot Braking System.

The dealer wants the coach for about a month. We will pick it up from the dealer mid-September and head over to Sherkston Shores and hang out there until the end of October.

We then make three stops over five days on our way down south. Point 3 on the map above will be at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. Looks like a nice place. The first drive will be 6 hours on the road not including breaks.

Point 4 on the map is our next stop. We will spend two days at the Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort. I suspect that this will be a stunning place to rest up after a second long day of driving. Roughly 7 hours between Stonewall Jackson and Mountain Falls without including any breaks.

After a two-night layover, we will head over to point 5 on the map above: Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort. Another 6-hour drive without including any breaks.

From there, we take a longer drive over to Myakka River Motorcoach Resort. A little over 8 hours on the road without including any breaks.

And then? A whole month in the sun and warmth.

Why take the drive down so quickly? Well, we want to enjoy as much of our time as possible in the south. 4 relatively long days behind the wheel will be worthwhile once we pull into our site in Florida.

Everglades Isle Motorcoach Resort

Booking out past January 2019 is proving to be a bit challenging. For our final month in Florida, we are still deciding between three motorcoach resorts: Pelican Lake Motorcoach Resort, MotorCoach Resort St. Lucie West and Everglades Isle Motorcoach Resort.

We are waitlisted at Pelican Lake and MotorCoach Resort St. Lucie West. Not because they are sold out this early. It is because they are not ready to accept any new bookings. We’ve been told that there won’t be any issues booking us into these resorts however we wanted to make sure that we had our first few months in Florida confirmed.

Everglades Isle was able to take a booking and we reserved a site with them from January 5, 2019 to February 1, 2019. A waterfront site, site number 15. We might change our mind however we do like the resort and its location.

Everglades is a Class A restricted resort where coaches need to be ten years or younger and in excellent condition although I suspect that they would allow older coaches provided they are in excellent condition.

Large pads topped with brick pavers. Even the roads in the park are topped with brick pavers. Free cable at site, free WiFi at site, full hookups with 100 amp service. And some nice amenities at the clubhouse.

Andy, the Gadget Guru, did up a full review at his website which you can find here.

This is his short video on a tour of the park:

We now have our first three months planned out although we are still debating the drive down to Florida from Canada. We are intending to take 5 days for the drive down. One approach is to take two long days and hang out at the Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort November 2, 3 and 4th and then leave early on the 5th to arrive at Myakka River Motorcoach Resort. Another approach would be to take a far more leisurely drive and not spend more than 5 hours a day on the road and try our chances at whatever RV park might be handy in that range.

Hilton Head looks nice though.

More to come on the plans for the journey out from Florida over to California.

All this planning does take my mind off the bitter cold temperatures we are still experiencing here in Canada.