Monday, August 29, 2005

Winnebago lays off 4.5% of workforce

Winnebago Industries Inc. has laid off 4.5 percent of its workforce at its four Iowa plants, blaming a softening market for recreation vehicles.

The RV industry posted record sales of $14 billion last year, but sales have plummeted in 2005, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., which monitors the industry. Full Story...

RV Trips - Two Book set!

Free Web-based accounts offer more than just e-mail

Not long ago, a free Web-based e-mail account was good for merely sending and receiving e-mail. As more players entered the market, competition forced new features. The story offers four favorite tricks for taking advantage of free e-mail services. Full Story...
Check out RV parts and accessories at JC Whitney

Sunday, August 28, 2005

RV life: It's about freedom

Spending about $750 in gas to get from north Boston to Draper in a 36-foot motor home is a small price to pay for Don and Eileen Veitch. Especially because the trip to Utah ends with a long visit with Sam and Jackson, their grandchildren.

"I can't see not taking the trip," Don Veitch said as 3-year-old Sam slept in the driver's seat of their motor home and 4-year-old Jackson tried to scare his grandmother with a stuffed toy snake. "We would give up other things before giving up a chance to see the family." Full Story...


Friday, August 26, 2005

For RVs, Gas Prices A Mixed Bag

If you've been following the CBS Evening News feature series 'Gas Patrol' then you've already seen this. But if you haven't here's a link to the text and video of the RV segment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ranger Shoots, Kills Man at Elephant Butte NM SP

A New Mexico State Parks officer fatally shot a man at the Lion's Beach area of Elephant Butte State Park after the man became belligerent over a $14 camping fee, authorities said Wednesday.

When the volunteer camping host approached the man to collect the fee for the developed site, the man "became immediately verbally abusive and belligerent,'' Simon said. The volunteer called for a park ranger who responded.

"It seems to have been an escalating confrontation with our officer, and that confrontation ended in deadly force,'' he said. Full Story...

RVers write letters to the editor rgarding Wal-Mart parking ban

Two letters to the editor have appered in the Billings Montana Gazette

One reason not to stay at RV parks is because they think they are motels, so we may as well stay at one. It is nice to come to Billings on a Friday evening, do a little shopping, take in a movie, finish shopping Saturday and leave around 3 p.m. and get home early.

In an RV park, it is "get out by 11 a.m. or another $40." Read the letters

Friday, August 19, 2005

Fulltimers devastated by motor home inferno

A fiery beginning to a vacation to the Peterborough area to visit family has left Wilfred Morgan and his wife Doris with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Just before reaching Quebec City in July, heading here from their hometown of Conception Harbour, Newfoundland, Mr. Morgan's motor home burst into flames.

The 75-year-old jumped from the blazing vehicle and rescued his wife through the motor home's side door.

"There was nothing we could do about it," says Mr. Morgan from his son's home in Omemee.

"We lost everything." Full Story...

Diet Dr Pepper is tool of choice in halting carjacker

Matralle Morton of Jacksonville, Texas, is 65 years old and 5 foot 4. She's a gentle person, a grandmother of six. Never in her most fervid thoughts did Morton ever imagine that some day she'd have to choke a threatening man.

But Morton did just that the other day -- reached around with her left arm from the back seat of her husband's extended-cab truck and yanked the neck of a man who while fleeing police had jumped in her pickup and was trying to drive off with her and two companions, also in their 60s. Full Story...

ERS 120x60

Thursday, August 18, 2005

RVers Leaving behind more than they find

As the Family Motor Coach Association's national rally winds down and the thousands of motor coaches that have called Minot home for the past week pull out of town, one chapter within the FMCA will be just settling in.

Sixteen RVers who are part of the FMCA Chapter: Habitat for Humanity along with the National Director of the chapter, Lynn Laymon, and his wife and President of the FMCA chapter Linda Walden, will assist the Minot Habitat for Humanity affiliate with the building of a home in northwest Minot.

When the motor coach owners visit a town for a rally or a national convention they often assist the local affiliates for two weeks with whatever phase of construction they happen to be in. Full Story...

RV modifications possible for disabled

Opportunities abound for the disabled RV traveller, but modifications can get expensive.

Merv See, owner and manager of Guarantee RV Centre in Calgary, says there isn’t much of a market for such customizations and he’s fielded only a couple of questions about it in the last 15 years.

“It’s not a big item because it’s difficult and expensive,“ says See. “Anything can be done for a price.”

Although the ready-made choices for the disabled RVer are somewhat limited, the aftermarket options available are wide-ranging. Full Story...

A big man in a small Motorhome

Outside of his relatively tiny motorhome abode, there were motorhomes the size and swell of adult sperm whales, while he sat in a camper that looked more like whale bait.

Walter Fischer, 82, of Champaign, Ill., was attending the Family Motor Coach Association's international convention in Minot, ND on Tuesday in his motorhome that's all of 19 feet in length, compared to his neighbors' 40-and-more-footers. But he didn't care.

"We have everything they do except it's all pushed together,"he said.

Their home seemed to be the tiniest around in this rally of more than 3,000 motorhomes. But it did seem that the small ones, birds of a feather, did seem to park together. On their parking row at the state fairgrounds, there were a couple more motorhomes in a cluster - in the 20-some-foot range - that were noticeably smaller than their looming neighbors in the next row. Full Story...

Hurricane damage may cause scale down of Alabama state park

Two hurricanes within a year have put the future of the new Navarre Beach State Park in limbo.

State park officials may eliminate its popular, year-old campground and no decision yet has been made on whether to repair or replace a storm-damaged fishing pier in the wake of Hurricane Ivan last September and Hurricane Dennis on July 10.

That's not what officials in Santa Rosa County, which donated 130 acres for the park, want to hear.

"If they're going to scale it back to the point where it doesn't even resemble a park anymore, then just give it back to us," said County Board Chairman Gordon Goodin. Full Story...

No sales tax and low registration fees driving RVers to Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. As the summer sun baked the bustling asphalt parking lot at Bretz R.V. and Marine, Stuart and Tippy Reid and their little dog, Alex, sank into the leather chairs and sofa in their air-conditioned motor coach and waited for the paperwork on their new vehicle - and their new limited liability corporation.

"I was skeptical," said Mr. Reid, a retired elementary school principal. "I've seen different kinds of tax dodges and things. But the more I read about it, I learned it was entirely legal."

The phenomenon of forming a corporation in Montana to skirt sales tax is the talk of R.V. campgrounds and chat rooms and brings those with wanderlust here from all over - California, Florida, even overseas - to buy a luxury vehicle that typically costs $150,000 to $300,000 new at Bretz or to register one bought elsewhere. Full Story...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ground breaking ceremony held for Yreka, California RV Park

Surrounded by well wishers Yreka Travel Plaza and RV park owners Roger Akkerman, Lanny Edgeman and Jim Silver dug in the ceremonial golden shovel to announce the ground breaking of the first phase of development of the travel plaza.

This first phase of development is the Yreka RV park which is co-owned by Roger Akkerman of Montague and Jim Silver of Morro Bay. Silver is an experienced owner of an RV park in Morro Bay. Akkerman and Silver have put together plans for a state-of-the-art RV park including a complete wireless system for phones and computer laptops and fully integrated reservation system for easy traveler use. The park will include 103 spaces, 75 of which will be 75 to 90 foot pull-throughs. The park is designed for enroute travelers and short stays.

"We expect to have the RV park open by mid-October," Edgeman said. Full Story...

VIP - America's RV Insurance Specialist

Monday, August 15, 2005

TV Show lost borrowed Motorhome

The crew of the reality TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" found their way into the hearts of Utahns when they rebuilt the home of a Bountiful family. But they lost the $90 motorhome they borrowed from a local RV dealer.

The 39-foot-long 2000 Fleetwood Bound 39-Z motor home was staged in the parking lot of an LDS Church near the home crews were working on. It was lent to the TV show by the Ardell Brown RV Center of Sandy and cast and crew used it for breaks.

The ABC show provided security for the RV during the show's filming, but left it unprotected -- with the keys in it and the doors unlocked -- when they left town a week ago, said Rob Terry, director of sales for the RV center. Full Story...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Baby boomers are turning to recreational vehicles in droves

He started with VW campers, worked into trailers and even a converted school bus. Now, Ron Taylor, who'll be 58 next month, travels in style - a 38-foot Newmar mountaineer, one of the biggest gasoline-powered motor homes on the market.

Taylor is on the leading edge of a baby boomer trend, turning to RVs in droves, fueling a sales hike of 15.4 percent in RVs last year, compared with 2003. Better-than-average sales are expected in coming years, as boomers, raised with all the modern conveniences, can now "camp" in the style to which they're accustomed, with full kitchens, bathrooms, refrigerators, queen-size beds, air conditioning and even satellite TV. Full Story...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Oregon man dies in Motorhome accedent

Witnesses told police that a 2003 motorhome driven by Hollis E. Barnes, Sr., 64,of Klamath Falls was eastbound on Highway 140, Highway 140 between Klamath Falls and Medford Oroegon when for an unknown reason, it crossed into the westbound lane of travel and struck a westbound 2004 Subaru Wagon.

The motorhome continued across the westbound lane, driving off a steep embankment along the roadway about 50 feet through a wooded area before striking a tree.

Barnes was pronounced dead at the scene.

Motorhome destroyed by fire

A fully-engulfed motorhome blazing on the side of eastbound Interstate 80 near Auburn, California snarled traffic for hours Wednesday afternoon and ignited nearby vegetation.

Anders Corell and his wife were traveling back to their home in Littleton, Colo. when their motorhome caught fire around 2:30 p.m. they escaped the 33-foot Winnebego without injury.

Chief Ian Gow of the Placer Hills Fire Protection District said the fire appeared to have started in the engine.

"They're from Colorado and heading back home," Gow said. "They just had the engine overhauled in Oakland yesterday."

The Fire Department was able to unhitch the couple's towed before it was damaged.

VIP - America's RV Insurance Specialist

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

ORDINANCE to ease RV-parking law fails

City Mayor Steve Thompson tossed up his pen after the City Council tied their vote on an ordinance that would have loosened city laws to allow recreational vehicles to camp overnight in store parking lots. He found himself in conflict over the issue Monday night during the council's regular meeting.

On one hand he didn't want to see parking lots full of RVers, as happened years ago in the former Kmart parking lot. But on the other hand he didn't want to give the impression to out-of-town visitors that Fairbanks is unfriendly to RVers by not allowing them the free parking.

"I'm going to vote no," Thompson said, casting a vote to sink the proposal. A cheer arose from a handful of business owners who fought against it. Full Story...

1938 motor home arrives in Lansing Mich

It took 67 years for a Reo Land Yacht to return to the city where it was made.

The 30-foot passenger bus, customized for its original owner in 1938, arrived Saturday with owner John Phillips at the oversized wheel.

Phillips, 59, of McAllen, Texas, drove the vehicle 1,058 miles from Langdon, N.D., to Lansing in three days at top speed -- 45 mph -- to show it off to other Reo enthusiasts. "It didn't even cough," he boasted. Full Story...

Family RV Reunion

Charlie Bickford of Des Moines liked his trailer so much he made sure one of his daughters had one, so her family could come along on weekend excursions.

Now, four years after buying his first trailers, he finally got all four of his daughters, their husbands and his eight grandchildren together for a vacation - just a few miles from his home.

The Bickfords drive over to the Timberline Campground on Ashworth Road in Waukee once or twice a month and park in their favorite spot, high on the hill, overlooking the pool, the other campsites and the woods. They stay about four days, enjoying the resort atmosphere and each other. Usually a daughter or two and a few grandchildren come along on a given excursion.

"Ninety-nine percent of the people who camp here are family people," Bickford said. "It's all about togetherness. You never meet bad people." Full Story...

Drivers and crews on the NASCAR circuit helping fuel demand for top-end RVs

When the work day is done for Kevin Hamlin, he looks forward to plenty of wife Patti's cooking, a bit of remote surfing on the flat-screen TV and a good night's sleep in the Hamlins' king-size bed.

Never mind that the setting for the Hamlins' domestic bliss rolls.

At about $350,000, it also cost more than the house on 2 1/2 acres the Hamlins own back in Mocksville, N.C. -- but not nearly as much as the granite-countered, designer-furnished, million-dollar monsters that many of the circuit's drivers call home on the road.

Actually, "motor coach" is what they call them, a fairy-tale-derived term that helps distinguish them from those pumpkin campers of old. More and more, it's the luxury model that's driving $14 billion a year in sales of RVs, the most popular search term on EBay last year. Full Story...

Man illegally dumps RV tanks in drainage ditch

A Florida man, accused of dumping raw sewage in a drainage ditch, told Decatur, Ala. police he did Wal-Mart a favor by not showering its parking lot with his bubbling goo, authorities said Thursday.

Ed Fricks said he was awaiting the arrival of his grandchildren Wednesday at Zaxby's restaurant on Spring Avenue Southwest when he saw a man drive up in a Class C motor home.

"He backed into the dead end and looked suspicious," said Fricks, a Decatur revenue inspector. "He walked to the back end of the motor home, looked at his tire, looked up toward Zaxby's, pretended to raise the hood, and I thought, 'This man is crazy.' He walked to the back of motor home, and I thought, 'He's dumping his sewer.' "

The man faces possible charges of criminal littering and violation of health codes. Criminal littering is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine for a first conviction. Full Story...

Friday, August 05, 2005

More campground owners whining about Wal-Mart 'campers'

Faced with trying to attract RV campers away from a free site, the Rotary Campground may try taking on Wal-Mart.

Roy Borstad, chairman of the Rotary Campground committee, says recreational vehicle owners camping out in the Wal-Mart parking lot are hurting revenues for the charitable organization and may pose a health risk. Borstad wants to see rules that allow the parking lot campground to exist changed so that it can be shut down.

"It's tough. We sell duck tickets at their front door and stuff like that. The city has got to pass an ordinance, it's got to come from the city," said Borstad.

"We're going to do something, but we don't know what yet." Full Story...

Family's motorhome goes up in flames

A family of five on a recent visit to Jasper, WY saw their motorhome go up in flames, but they managed to escape the fire without any injuries.

The father got everyone in the family out of the vehicle immediately. Once they were out he smashed a window with a rock so he could grab a pair of keys to the minivan he was towing behind the motorhome, and drove it to a safe distance.

The motorhome was parked within the townsite and the occupants awoke to the smell of smoke in the early morning hours of July 22. Full Story...

RV Park opens near Fort Hall, ID Casino

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have opened an RV Park located behind the Fort Hall Casino just off exit 80 on Interstate 15 north of Pocatello, ID.

The facility is called the Buffalo Meadows RV Park. It offers 37 sites supplied with water, sewer and power hookups. Full Story...

Campground visitors ignore honor system

The district is developing a campground about a mile south of Fort Rice using an old rest area that has been abandoned by the state, and which provides access to the Missouri River for boating and fishing. The campground is still awaiting plumbing and a few other amenities before it's complete, but the 10 camper sites do have electricity. Anybody using the area for camping is asked to participate in the honor system and donate $12 a night.

"What really has my blood boiling is that it appears there is no honor among people," Davis told commissioners. "There was a celebration in Fort Rice July 23 and 24 and I figure there were 15 to 20 campers using the campground. They were all plugged into the outlets and they had to pass by the 'Iron Ranger' going in and out where we had a sign asking for some compensation. Out of the 15 or 20 campers, one left a check for $20." Full Story...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

RVers on a mission--to construct church

They come from all walks of life, from college professors to janitors.

But these mostly retired men and women have one mission in mind—helping to build the River of Life Church in Sauk Centre, MN from the ground up.

Their RVs (recreational vehicles) line the west side of the church property. Some may come to help with the foundation, others with the plumbing or electrical work.

According to River of Life Pastor Steve Abbott, RV members started arriving in Sauk Centre in mid-June from as close as Minnesota and as far away as California. He expects they will stay until the project is completed around Thanksgiving. Full Story...

Nurse answers to hire power

As soon as Saraellen Davis hears about a new job, she pulls out her maps and looks online for potential day trips in the area.

She currently is working as a certified registered nurse anesthetist at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital here, until someone is found to fill the position permanently. Davis started July 1. "I'll stay until they find somebody, unless some fabulous job comes up," Davis said.

Davis, who is 48 and single, is a health care professional who has realized that she can make more money if she takes her skills on the road.
Moving around suits Davis' lifestyle, she said. An artistic woman who makes mixed-media collages in her spare time, she jumped at the chance to work for a few weekends in Taos, N.M., a few years ago.

For now, she's living in her 38-foot Coachman motor home at a Franklin County, VA campground, with her cocker spaniels, Hopi and Rosie. Full Story...

Howard and Linda Payne dumped their successful lives for an RV and the open road

Howard and Linda Payne were living high on the hog -- six-figure income, 4,000-square-foot home, country-club membership.

But in January, the Louisville couple decided to give all that up for a midlife adventure.

They quit work, sold their house and moved in May into a 400-square-foot RV that will carry them on an extended road trip across America, starting tomorrow. Full Story...


Monday, August 01, 2005

CAMPGROUND reservation glitch killing business

Some Manitoba campground owners say a glitch in the province's reservation system is costing them half their business this summer.

The system has been telling customers campgrounds are full, when spaces are still available.

Planning a RV trip to Canada? You need to read 'RV Travel to Canada' by Peggi McDonald. Peggi is the authority on RV travel in Canada and shares her knowledge in this information packed ebook.

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