Addendum: A Honda Element just had a contest with a snow-melt-engorged tributary of the Gunnison River. Which one do you think won?
I missed the show, but I heard about it. Perhaps the Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) driver had heard (incorrectly) that there was free camping on the far side of the river, from one of those lists of free campsites on the internet -- that are obsolete the microsecond they are published. Then he took the chance of trashing his vehicle, all for the sake of saving 5 or 10 dollars.
It is time once again to put out an advertisement for a better way to spend your holidays than camping. Just a few years ago, "stay-cations" were talked about as an alternative to travel-oriented vacations. Has that new buzzword already receded from public thinking?
I hope not, because it is a great idea. Think of how much fun people could have by going to a nearby luxurious hotel, resort, or casino. Let the kids go to a real movie or a water slide. Let Mom and Dad treat themselves to a candlelight dinner at a great restaurant. There would be little packing and unpacking. Little driving. They may even have time to relax. 
That is just the opposite of what they are doing by driving long distances to the mountains or the shore, where they fight crowds and bugs.
This proposal seems obvious to me, but why won't other people jump on the bandwagon? Is it the high cost of the 'stay-cation' at the nearby resort?
I'll bet that is mostly perception rather than economic fact. It's all about sloppy accounting systems that people carry around in their heads. Consider the people who resent paying a couple dollars at my campground, where it had always been free before.
But they have thousands of dollars tied up in mountain bikes, kayaks, ATVs, UTVs, motorbikes, Goretex hiking boots, climbing equipment, generators, miscellaneous camping junk, driving costs, RVs and trailers, $60,000 four wheel drive vehicles, etc. Oh, and then the storage costs.
And how many days a year is all that crap used?
 I asked the mother of one family of campers how long it had taken to pack all of their detritus, back home. She said she had been packing the entire week.