Friday, September 30, 2005

Fire destroys motor home at New Mexico Balloon Fiesta

Fire destroyed a motor home at Balloon Fiesta Park Thursday evening, sending three people to the hospital, one with serious injuries.

Firefighters say the three were inside the motor home attempting to light a gas stove when it sparked, creating a small explosion.

The motor home was camping where hundreds of motor homes from around the country create a mini-village at the Balloon Fiesta every year.

“I stepped outside to walk my dog and I just saw flames shooting way up in the air,” said Debbie Pulliam, who is camped at the park. “I got the dog and ran over here and the fire department was here putting it out by the time I got here but the whole thing looks like a total loss.” Full Story...

Rockport TX family lends motor home to fire fighters

ROCKPORT TX - Despite the severe weather that spread across the northern portions of the Coastal Bend Thursday night, firefighters from Port Arthur, Texas, one of the areas hard hit by Hurricane Rita, made it to Rockport to pick up a new home.

The Dominguez family had contacted the governor's office earlier this week to offer to lend a motor home to whoever needs it. Two firefighters arrived in the Dominguez driveway to pick up what is now their new fire station.

It will be a command center as well as a place to sleep for the crew there that's spent several nights outdoor at a Coast Guard station. Port Arthur Fire Chief Shane Droddy said the community here has no idea how much this helps the storm torn area that's still a long way from getting back to normal. Full Story...

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Man gets 15 to 25 years on theft charge connected with sale of motorhome

LINCOLN, Neb. - Rock Mueller was convicted of theft last month after he sold a Winnebago motor home to a Lincoln couple for $32,000 without paying off the outstanding loan. The couple had to turn the motor home over to a bank. Full Story...

National Park readies for winter with shorter hours, campground closures

Beginning Sunday Olympic National Park in Washington state will change hours at its visitor and information centers, and campgrounds and roads will be closed for the season. Full Story...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

From Tent to Motorhome

"You start out in your 20s with a tent and by the time you reach your 70s you've graduated to luxury," said Joyce Korsten of Richfield. "But you deserve it. You worked hard for it."

Her friends, Gen Neururer of Minnetonka and Edna Peterson, couldn't agree more. They laughed while remembering camping years ago in tents and the backs of their pickups.

"It's not roughing it at all," Peterson said of her modern-day accommodations.

The ladies and their husbands joined 23 other couples from the Minnesota Loons Chapter of the Newmar Kountry Klub for a "campout" at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds through Friday. The campers are from all walks of life from throughout the state. Full Story...

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Rental motor home industry sees business rise

The rental motor home industry is getting a welcome pull from hurricanes Katrina and Rita as major corporations rush in rigs from as far as Alaska, Canada and New York to use as emergency worker housing.

They join trailers and other vehicles helping to alleviate the corporate housing shortage along the Gulf Coast for both evacuees and companies dealing with the catastrophes.

"It's an ocean of good news for every aspect of this industry," says Sherman Goldenberg, publisher of RV Business, a trade publication.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to provide many trailers in different locations for evacuees, rather than motor homes, which are typically driven from place to place. Full Story...

VIP - America's RV Insurance Specialist

60-hour trek delivers supplies and motorhome to Katrina victims

Truckee, CA, Chris Cryder and Myron Cooper are back in Truckee but still recovering after a week spent aiding victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Cryder and Cooper, both long-time Truckee residents, began their journey to the Gulf Coast on Sept. 12, driving the Cryder family’s six-sleeper Winnebago, which would later be donated to a storm victim, and towing a 24-foot trailer filled with food, toiletries, and camping equipment.

The decision to donate his vacation vehicle came to Cryder just days after the storm hit and the devastation was evident. He said his family only used the Winnebago a few times a year and that it would be appreciated by someone in need. Full Story...

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Campground caters to ATV trail riders

Ogden, Utah, On the edge of the Uinta Mountains on scenic State Road 150, the U.S. Forest Service has built a campground that caters to the ATV community.

Eight miles up Failure Canyon east of Kamas, the Taylor's Fork OHV Campground is nestled against a mountain along Beaver Creek, with a large staging area to park and unload trailers. It features a Forest Service toilet and drinking water, and it is suitable for group camping.

There is no charge for making the trip from Kamas over to Evanston on U.S. 150. If you plan to stop on the way and spend any time enjoying the recreation on this scenic byway, there is a day-use fee of $3. There is an additional fee of $10 per night for camping, but the $3 covers parking in the staging area for the day of your ride. Full Story...

Gila River Indian Community lands large Arizona RV retailer

Beaudry RV is moving from Mesa to a larger location just south of the Santan Freeway in west Chandler on the Gila River Reservation.

The Tucson-based business plans to break ground Friday, southwest of Nelson Road (the extension of Chandler's 56th Street) and Germann Road. It will open in stages over the next year.

The dealership also will service RVs and include an on-site Camping World store. Full Story...

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gas prices haven't parked these California RVers

The soaring cost of gasoline and diesel fuel has not curbed the travel appetite of Sun City Roseville, CA RV Club members - at least not according to veteran traveler Ben Pugh.

Pugh, one of the founding members of the club, said the Sun City group doesn't seem to be cutting back much on their travel plans because of fuel costs.

"We just grit our teeth, swear and fill 'er up," Pugh said.

Pugh and his wife, Patricia, recently returned from a 7,000-mile trip through Idaho and parts of the Midwest. Full Story...

ALERT TO ESCAPEES MAIL SERVICE CUSTOMERS

9/21/05 3:00 pm

In light of Hurricane Rita’s potential landfall on the Texas coast, the Escapees Mail Service is advising its mail service customers that their mail may be delayed.

Due to emergency evacuation plans being put in place by the state and local governments, the USPS, FedEx, UPS, schools and other businesses, Escapees Mail Service reports the following for its members:

1. For those members who have regularly scheduled mailings Wednesday, September 21 through Friday, September 23: your mail will be sent out today, Wednesday, September 21. There will be no further mailings until business resumes. We hope to be back to a normal routine Monday, September 26.

2. For those members who do not have regularly scheduled mailings: If a request for mailing was not received by 1:00 p.m. today, Wednesday, September 21, you will not receive a mailing until you request one after business resumes, which we hope will be Monday, September 26.

Due to the looming arrival of Hurricane Rita, Escapees National Headquarters will be closed after noon Thursday, September 22, and all day Friday, September 23, and Saturday, September 24.

If Hurricane Rita does make landfall on the Texas coast in the Houston area (60 miles from Livingston), Escapees headquarters may be without electricity and other services for some period of time. Even if Livingston is unaffected by Rita, mail service out of Houston may be delayed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

$1.99 Per Gallon Fuel Program Motor Homes Owned by Motor Home Specialist

Motor Home Specialist Inc has just initiated a new $1.99 per gallon fuel program. This program takes the worry out of rising fuel cost and gets people back on the road in a new RV. It is available for both new and pre-owned Class A diesel motor homes owned by Motor Home Specialist. For complete details visit http://www.mhsrv.com or call a representative at 800-335-6054. Full Story...

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Get a free tow bar from Workhorse Chassis

Workhorse Custom Chassis' free tow-bar offer at the FMCA International Convention in August was such a hit that Workhorse has extended it to motorhome buyers across the United States and Canada until October 31, 2005.

Workhorse will provide a free Blue Ox Alexus tow bar worth $645 with the purchase of any motorhome built on a Workhorse chassis through a participating RV dealer. Full Story...
Get RV accessories from JC Whitney

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Another RV park owner whines about Wal-Mart overnighters

SHERIDAN, Wyo. - Frank Sharpski Jr. surveyed the Wal-Mart parking lot near his R.V. campground on a recent afternoon. "There are six of them today," he said, counting the rigs that he figured would not be spending any time or money at his campground that night. "And that's a slow night."

R.V. campground owners like Mr. Sharpski, co-owner of the Big Horn Mountain KOA Kampground here, say they are increasingly feeling financial pain caused by the growing popularity of parking R.V.'s at nationwide chains like Wal-Mart. It is a debate pitting R.V. owners against R.V. campground operators that is played out on vast expanses of asphalt, a controversy fueled by rising gas prices and intensified by R.V.-oriented Internet chat sites.

The growing number of R.V. owners looking for a place to spend the night has helped force the issue into the public debate in cities including Fairbanks, Alaska; Rapid City, S.D.; and Burlington, Wis. Prompted by complaints from campgrounds and others, several communities have decided to begin actively enforcing laws banning parking-lot camping. Full Story...

This is a well reasonably balanced story about the issue of overnighting at Wal-Mart except that it fails to mention that KOAs are notoriously the most expensive parks in an area. Still the article is worth reading.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fort Wilderness gets Top Marks from Trailer Life

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground received verbal confirmation from Trailer Life: Campgrounds, RV Parks & Services Directory Associates that the campground would be receiving the Trailer Life 10-10-10 rating for 2006.

This rating is the most prestigious in the industry and is awarded to only the Top 1% of Campgrounds in North America. Although the criteria become more stringent each year, Fort Wilderness has received the perfect rating for the last seven years. Recent enhancements such as high-speed Internet, widened RV sites, and new comfort stations helped solidify this year's perfect rating.


Airstream RVs - Silver & Golden

Caroline Zimmer was a member of the first Wally Byam Caravan Club trip in 1955, gas cost 20 cents a gallon, if you can believe it.

Now Zimmer is the star of the Caravan, which started pulling into Ellsworth on Thursday. By Saturday, 99 of the distinctive "silver Twinkie" trailers and RVs were expected to have streamed into Ellsworth from Sault St. Marie, Mich. as part of the 50th anniversary of the first caravan organized by Airstream company founder, Wally Byam.

On the 1955 trip to Bangor, company founder Wally Byam organized the caravan club, which now boasts 156 club units around the country. The annual trip is so popular that participants are chosen by lottery. Full Story...

Good Sam ERS

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

RV owners feeling fuel pinch

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa - As Old Threshers wrapped up for another summer on Monday, the owners of numerous campers and RVs were left to face gasoline prices that jumped about 50 cents a gallon (89–octane unleaded was selling for $2.95 a gallon here) during what was a weeklong stay for some, and the prospect of some very costly rides home.

Old Threshers campground manager Wayne Slycord, Eldon, said that with about 2,000 campers in everything from half–million–dollar motorhomes to tents, campground numbers were down from a year ago. He would not say for the record how far down, however.

The price at the pump for tanking up RVs and pickups was the likely culprit in the drop–off, Slycord believes. Full Story...


Gas prices kept Labor Day traffic light

The cost of travel this past holiday weekend was expensive, and most motorists who stopped at the Williamstown, VA Visitor's Information Center said the high prices at the pump might cause them to cut back on travel.

Boni McKimmie, an employee at the visitor's center, said traffic was light at the center for a holiday weekend.

'Things have been slow all weekend. Of course it's because of Hurricane Katrina and the high price of gasoline," she said. "We've had about 220 today so far (Monday afternoon); that's light for a holiday." Full Story...

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Defining 'camping' depends on phase of campers' lives

It's a debate as old as a covered wagon, a conundrum as vexing as starting a fire without a match.

Is it really camping if you aren't sleeping on the ground in a tent?

Campground owners say despite friendly ribbing, camping is camping, whether it's in a tent designed to hang off the side of a cliff, a family-friendly pop-up, or a comfortably-sized recreational vehicle that allows for a hot shower, television viewing and microwave popcorn. Full Story...

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First Motor Home With an integrated Fuel Cell

Smart Fuel Cell said Tuesday that its fuel cell is standard equipment on the Hymermobil S-Class motor home, which is about 22 feet long and weighs almost 4 tons.

Hymer is also offering the fuel cell as an option in its B-Class and B-Star-Line vehicles. Hymer motor homes and caravans are sold in Europe and Asia.

Unlike other cells being developed for vehicles, the A50 model used in the motor home will not help to operate the motor homes and won’t affect their gas mileage. Instead, the cell will continuously recharge the battery to run onboard devices such as parking heaters, satellite and television systems, lighting, and digital gadgets. Full Story...

American Family Association Launches Katrina RV Campaign

American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., has launched a unique operation to provide long-term relief through RV housing for homeless Katrina victims from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

Currently several campers are already on-site and in route to northeast Mississippi where the Tupelo Furniture Market has parking with utility hook-ups for 110 units, and according to Lankford the number of donated RVs continues to grow daily. AFA plans to place additional RVs in other cities housing storm refugees. The titles will be issued to AFA and then transferred to the families once they take over the RV as their new home. Full Story...

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina victims looking to RVs as home find short supply.

Motor home dealers in Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana have run out of rentals and are turning away frantic families. In some cases, dealers said, frustrated would-be renters are simply buying RVs.

For the most part, those buying RVs work for government agencies trying to operate in hurricane-devastated areas, businesses trying to keep their operations running, relief agencies struggling to set up operations and media organizations covering the aftermath.

But they are also victims of the storm, desperate for a place to sleep or a way to track down their sons, sisters, mothers and co-workers. "People are begging us," said Angela Sieli, co-owner of Atlanta RV, which rents and sells motor homes. Full Story...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

FOREST SERVICE WAIVES CAMPGROUND FEES FOR KATRINA SURVIVORS

The USDA Forest Service is taking another step to assist survivors of Hurricane Katrina by temporarily rescinding the fee requirement for campgrounds and the 14-day stay limit for camping on some National Forest System lands in the Southern Region. The normal fee range is $4.00 to $25.00 depending on the location.

The forests offering free camping include the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana, the National Forests of Alabama, the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest in Arkansas, the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas and Oklahoma and the National Forests and Grasslands of Texas. In all, 106 campgrounds are open without charge to victims of Hurricane Katrina as they transition through these first weeks of the disaster.

Location information on the fee-free campgrounds will be shared through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and state and local assistance agencies. Individuals and families with communications capabilities can call their nearest USDA Forest Service office. Full Story...

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