Five Things You Need to Know Today: November 18

This is Post Number 500!

This is an anniversary of sorts. I have been posting articles on the RVing Lifestyle since August 2010. I started not knowing if RVers and wannabes would read my articles.

Now 400 to 1,000 read my entries each day—and I truly appreciate it!

This is my 500th posting!

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Minnesota Investigates RVers Evading Sales Tax

The Minnesota Department of Revenue said Wednesday (November 16) in a news release it is investigating 270 cases in which Minnesotans may have set up shell companies to evade paying sales tax on luxury recreational vehicles. It has closed 22 other cases since October 2010, collecting $230,000 in sales taxes, penalties, and fines.

The department said in most cases, the Minnesota residents set up shell limited liability corporations in Montana, which does not charge sales tax. The Minnesotans buy the RVs through the Montana corporations and register the vehicles in that state, yet the RVs are kept in Minnesota.

The state said the high-end RVs cost between $150,000 to more than $1 million.

Minnesota has a 6.5% sales tax, which translates into $9,750 for a $150,000 RV and $65,000 for a $1 million RV.

2. Pilot Flying J Acquires North Dakota Travel Center

Pilot Flying J recently acquired a travel center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and will remodel the Pilot Travel Center to feature full amenities for professional drivers and the motoring public. The travel center is located at Exit 12 off Interstate 29, and the remodeling is expected to be complete for a grand opening in mid-January 2012.

CSP Daily News reported Wednesday (November 16) the 10,310-square-foot travel center will feature four fuel islands and four diesel islands along with a restaurant and a wide variety of convenience items.

Pilot Flying J plans to add four additional diesel islands and two RV fuel islands by the spring of 2012 after opening to the public. The facility will feature high-speed fuel pumps that provide faster flow so customers can refuel quickly.

3. Go RVing Canada Release Industry Results

RVing remains a popular travel option for Canadian families, who are discovering the fun, flexibility, and affordability that the RV lifestyle provides, according to a Go RVing Canada news release issued yesterday (November 17).

With a strong rebound in demand in July and August, total revenues in the RV industry now stand at just over $2.3 billion dollars, bringing it close to the equivalent sales period in 2010.

“This is wonderful news for the RV industry,” said Go RVing Canada Spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “Much of the sales rebound in this year’s third quarter can be attributed to strong demand brought about by the continued affordability of RVs in Canada. This has come largely as a result of our strong currency.”

Depending on the RV model, a typical family RV vacation can be up to 75% less expensive per day than other forms of vacation travel. According to a cost-comparison study conducted by PKF Consulting, an RV trip is shown to be more economical when compared to a traditional week’s vacation for a family of four, when the costs of flights, car rental, hotels and eating out at restaurants are considered.

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park See Decline in Visitation

Visits to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park fell 9.5 percent in October from the same month in 2010 and year-to-date visits are off more than a half-million, according to an Associated Press report.

The National Park Service said there were 1,133,520 visitors last month, compared with 1,252,357 in October 2010. October is one of the stronger months for park visitation because tourists come to see the autumn foliage.

All entrances to the park showed declines last month.

For the first 10 months of 2011, there were 7,931,484 visitors to the 500,000-acre park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border. That was 6.7 percent fewer than at the same time last year—a drop of 568,330 people.

The Smokies remains America’s most-visited national park.

5. Idaho RV Park Explosion Caused by Propane Leak

Fire officials are trying to determine the cause of an explosion at the Boise-Meridian RV Resort near the Meridian Street/Franklin Road intersection in Meridian early yesterday (November 17), which sent one man to University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the Meridian police were first to arrive on the scene and found a man semi-conscious lying next to a burning trailer. He was moved away from the fire and eventually flown to the burn center.

Fire officials know that a propane leak is what caused the explosion in the trailer but are still not sure how that gas was ignited, Deputy Fire Chief Perry Palmer said.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.

—Norman Vincent Peale

Leave a Reply