Monday, October 31, 2005

Fulltime RVer: interview with author Joei Carlton

Traveling by RV is an increasing form of travel for the solo traveler. Most hit the road for a nice vacation. Others like Joei Carlton do it full time. Read an interview with this author, adventurer, and lecturer to find out why she enjoys the life of a fulltime RVer. Full Story...

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Spartan Profit Rises Despite Dip in Motor Home Sales

Spartan Motors Inc., a maker of vehicle chassis, said Thursday that its third-quarter earnings jumped 43 percent as increased sales of higher-profit military and fire truck products made up for a decline in motorhome sales.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $89.3 million from $91.7 million. The Charlotte, Mich.-based company attributed this to a 22 percent decline in sales of recreational vehicle chassis, which was mostly offset by the jump in military and fire truck chassis sales. Full Story...

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Joining The RV Nation

Ken Wright hated RVs and RVers... until he became and RVer.

The source of my arrogance is that my wife and I have long been outdoor purists: backpackers, car campers, river runners, and commercial guides. In all those decades, we’ve always slept – and, for several summers, lived -- under either canvas or the stars, and the biggest “motor coach” we’ve employed has been a 1981 Jeep Wagoneer. And we have endeavored to raise our two children – now 10- and 12-year-old backcountry brats and river rats themselves -- the same proudly primitive way.

Yet here we be. We be RV.

I really liked most of the fellow RVers we met on the road and in campgrounds up and down the great Rocky Mountains. While these are not people we would normally wouldn’t run into camping the way we usually camp, they were still fun. They were friendly. They were interesting. They were … well, travelers, just like us. And I think we found with these folks a deeper connection here than I, in my mountain-man machismo, was ever willing to admit before. Full Story...
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Winnebago Industries, Inc. introduces the new 2006 Winnebago View


This Class C motor home features the Dodge Sprinter cab and chassis, two unique floorplans and contemporary exterior and interior design elements.

Built on the innovative 10,200-lb. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) Dodge Sprinter cutaway cab chassis, Winnebago Industries is currently the only RV manufacturer to offer this chassis on this motor home application. The chassis features a premium 2.7L CDI five cylinder turbo diesel Mercedes Benz engine that delivers excellent power – 154 hp with 243 lb. ft. of torque, and excellent fuel economy. The View also features five-speed tip shift automatic transmission that’s designed to be one of the smoothest, most reliable transmissions on the market. A 3,500-lb. trailer hitch is standard.


The View offers two floorplans, the 23H and 23J. Both offer a front slideout room expanding the living space while parked, and a front bunk that features a hinged bunk mattress providing a 49-inch by 75-inch sleeping space.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Monaco Coach will prune jobs, predicts a third-quarter loss and cites falling sales

Monaco Coach Corp. lowered its third-quarter revenue forecast and announced plans to cut 17 percent of its nonproduction work force. The Coburg, OR-based maker of motor coaches said Monday it plans to reduce administrative and indirect labor employees by about 225. At least 100 of those jobs would be engineering, warranty service, parts, accounting and human resource positions in Coburg. Monaco employs about 5,400 companywide.

The move comes as the company said it now expects third-quarter revenue of about $297 million, down from its July estimate of $325 million to $335 million. Wall Street had been looking for revenue of about $323.7 million. The company now predicts a third-quarter loss, including discontinued operations, of about $6 million, or 20 cents a share. Full Story...
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Winnebago profits down but sales still good

“Without a doubt, we had a good year, a very good year,” Winnebago CEO Bruce Hertzke said last week after the company reported fourth-quarter and fiscal-year earnings. “It’s still the second-best year in our history, and I think that says something about the strength of Winnebago.”

The company reported revenues of $992 million, down from $1.1 billion a year ago but still the second-best revenue year in the history of the company. And the company’s 2005 income of $65.1 million, while dropping from $70.6 million, represents a 20 percent increase over a then-record income of $54.1 million in 2002.

Hertzke said higher gas prices have led to reduced consumer confidence, a key indicator for motor-home sales.

“It would be foolish to say gas prices don’t have an affect on us,” Hertzke said, “but the reason is not necessarily the cost of fuel but it’s how it affects consumer confidence. ... The reality is motor homes are luxury items, and that means we’re a cyclical business.” Full Story...
VIP - America's RV Insurance Specialist

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Campers make significant contribution to Maryland's Economy

In 2004, visitors to Maryland's state park campground visitors spent, on average, $301 per trip and visitors to the state's private campgrounds spent an average per trip of $698.

That's according to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, which on Tuesday announced some results of a study compiled for the department in May. The study found that Maryland's state parks and private campgrounds generated more than $231 million in total economic impact in 2004.

Of the $231.9 million in total economic impact, spending by visitors to state parks totaled $168.8 million, while private campgrounds visitors spent $63 million, according to the study. Spending by campground visitors supported 3,140 jobs in Maryland, with 2,276 of those jobs being directly related to visitor spending at campgrounds. More than $13.5 million in total tax revenue for the state and local governments was generated, according to the department. Full Story...
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Campers donate $6,000 to Volunteer Fire Company

The Maryland Line Volunteer Fire Company's efforts to raise money for its new building got a boost Oct. 8 when it received a check for $6,000 from campers at Morris Meadows Campground.

For the past 12 years, the campground's long-term campers - called "Chipmunks" - have been recycling aluminum cans they use each summer and donating the cash they receive for the cans, said manager Lois Morris Reithlingshoefer. Each year, the campers pick a different charity to receive the funds. Full Story...

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Campground owner takes on motherly role to evacuees

When Ozzie Givens signed a contract allowing FEMA to set 60 campers on her site -- with an agreement for at least 90 more to come -- she didn't just open up her business but her home.

"You know what my problem is, I don't know how far my responsibility goes," Givens explained. "But I do know one thing, I'm not going to let anybody go without."

Givens gets to the campground early in the morning and doesn't leave until after 8 p.m., Bernard said. Givens drives around in her golf cart and asks each person staying in the campers if he needs anything before she retires for the night, Bernard said.

Givens also knows each camper by name, keeping a private list of the FEMA residents that details any medical needs or whether they lack food, transportation or a job.

She also knows which contractors renting RV spots in the campgrounds need workers and has paired evacuees wanting the work with them.

Perhaps one of the more important ways she helps her displaced residents is by cajoling federal and local officials until the residents have what they need. She gets the name and telephone numbers of each official who visits the campground to call when problems arise. Full Story...

JC Whitney - Truck, SUV and Van

Friday, October 14, 2005

RV magazine guru Art Rouse downsizes to Class C

When RV magazine guru Art Rouse decided it was time to downsize from his 38' Alpine Motorhome, he started researching his options.

He concluded a Born Free Motorcoach manufactured in Humboldt was the right fit. Last Thursday, Art and Tony Rouse picked up their 26' Born Free from Dodgen Industries.

Rouse retired as publisher of several RV magazines, including Camper Coachman, Trailer Life, Motorhome, Coast to Coast, Highway Herald and he ran the Good Sam Club for RV owners. Full Story...

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

All the comforts of home

Even inflated fuel prices have not parked the RV industry. High-tech accessories and greater reliability account for the vehicles' continued popularity and a corresponding drop in buyers' ages.

"This is a lifestyle," said Gary Edwards of Holiday World of Houston.

Edwards has watched the age of his customers decline "from the mid-50s to the mid-40s" through that time.

Those younger buyers reflect an upturn in the appeal of motor homes to entire families rather than just their retired parents. Instead of flying or driving the sedan or SUV to favorite destinations, vacationers increasingly are opting for these large, roomy vehicles to make the most of precious time away from work. Full Story...

RV - Recreational Vehicle

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Lake Siskiyou Campground improvements planned

California - Improvement to the marina, RV area and cabins at the Lake Siskiyou Campground were announced to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors as ”exciting news“ by Public Works Director Brian McDermott on October 4th as he introduced concessionaire Thomas Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Resorts, who presented the proposals, including a requested fee increase.

Reynolds purchased the franchise to Lake Siskiyou Campground two years ago, operating the Siskiyou County-owned facility near the city of Mount Shasta as a concessionaire for the last two summers.

”The Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort has grown to a sizable property, and there needs to be improvements to modernize the facility for the larger RVs popular today.“

Reynolds said he is willing to pay for improvements to the Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort including creating from 35 to 50 premium RV sites with larger pull-through spaces at a cost of $150,000 to $200,000 to accommodate the large RVs.

”The last RV site development was in 1985 with 64 new sites,“ Reynolds said. ”Our 109 full hookup RV sites are 100 percent occupied during prime season and we turn away thousands each year who would like to come.“

He said the proposed new premium RV site is in an environmentally friendly location well back from the lake but close to the store. It will be the first camp site people come to when they enter the camp resort. ”The RV sites will be on natural ground with only one paved road to access them.“ Full Story...

Trailer Life Campground Directory

First Handicapped Accessible Campground In State Dedicated

The first campground in the Adirondacks as well as in New York State designed to accommodate people with disabilities was dedicated Monday in Long Lake.

The $2.6 million 300-acre John Dillon Park is scheduled to open in the spring of 2006 and includes 200 acres adjacent to Grampus Lake with facilities specially designed for those with disabilities. The park features three-miles of wide, crushed stone trails, lean-tos modified for wheelchairs and lakeside docks accessible for fishing, canoes and kayaks. Full Story...

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Residents oppose new NY state campground.

Residents are casting a wide net with a petition aimed at preventing a campground development in the town of Morris, NY.

Residents of state Highway 51 and Pegg Road hoping to stop the development have sent copies of the petition to 10 local and state agencies and officials.

"A business of this nature would irrevocably alter the bucolic nature of the farm and residential pastoral environs in the area and would most assuredly have a negative impact on the values of neighboring properties," the petition states.

The petition also says that noise, trespassing and other criminal activity could increase if the project is completed.

But neighbor William Nealis said Butternut Valley residents don’t want any campground.

Nealis said there are environmental concerns involving sewage runoff, as well as the possibility that nearby wetlands will be affected. The campground would be on property that borders the Butternut Creek.

Maureen Dill, one of the petition signers, said quality-of-life issues for neighboring residents are as important as the environmental concerns.

Nealis also said neighbors are concerned that the campground could turn into a site for rowdy festivals and concerts.

Nealis said that before moving to Butternut Valley several years ago, he lived near a campground known for its festivals and suspected drug activity. Full Story...

Raging flood waters force campground evacuations

Rising floodwaters from the raging Bear Camp River in West Ossipee, NH forced some campers to evacuate yesterday.

"People are bailing out. If I had waited another half-hour, I wouldn't have gotten out," said Jack Taylor of Littleton, Mass., as he drove across a flooded section of dirt road linking Westward Shores Campground with Route 16. Full Story...
VIP - America's RV Insurance Specialist

Sunday, October 09, 2005

NORTHERN byway is fall color Hotspot

A drive north of the Twin Cities in the Chippewa National Forest, located just west of Grand Rapids, Minn., has been named one of the U.S. Forest Service's Fall Foliage Hotspots. Visitors will see the leaves of aspen, birch and maple trees in rich colors of gold, amber and scarlet as they travel through the forest on the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway (Hwy. 38) or the Avenue of Pines (Hwy. 46). Also, visitors can check the Forest Service's hot line (1-800-354-4595; www.fs.fed.us/news/fallcolors) for weekly updates of peak fall color changes in forests throughout the country through mid-November.
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Friday, October 07, 2005

RV Travel Increasing Among Hispanic American Families

Isaac and Connie Hernandez and their sons have long known the joys and benefits of RV travel. The El Paso, Texas family bought their first RV four years ago and have already traded up to a larger model.

The Hernandez family is among a growing number of Hispanic Americans who find the RV lifestyle appealing. According to a study by Harris Interactive for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, among those who identified themselves as members of an ethnic group, Hispanic Americans are most likely to consider purchasing an RV.

“When we travel in the RV, it’s like having our home with us,” says Connie, 39, a radio station account executive. “It’s more convenient than staying in a hotel and more affordable than flying.” Full Story...


New campground opens in Oregon

SWEET HOME, OR — Camping will be free through Monday at Linn County’s newest campground, River Bend, which opened today on a limited basis.

The campground, which hugs the banks of the South Santiam River six miles east of Sweet Home, features 45 camping spurs. Brian Carroll, Linn County parks director, hopes to see that number double in five years with the addition of a second phase of spurs and amenities.

Camping this weekend will be “first-come, first-served,” Carroll said. Beginning Tuesday, camping is $18 per night for a spur with full services, or $15 per night without services. People can pay at the camp’s self-service registration area. A camp host is on site, Carroll said.

Carroll said a grand opening will be held in the spring. The winter schedule will depend on weather. Full Story...

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High Fuel Prices Effect RV Attendance at Homecoming

Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia is one of the largest tourist draws in East Tennessee.

The lots are filling at the Fox Inn Campground located next to the Museum of Appalachia in Norris. But with fuel prices hovering near the three dollar mark owners have noticed a difference. Normally there is no chance to get in for anyone who didn't make a reservation a year in advance.

"We typically keep a wait list of about three pages and I got through every single wait list this year person except one,” says Debbie McKinney, owner of the Fox Inn Campground.

Leon Fields and his wife are traveling back to their home in Florida. Most years they wouldn't be able to find a spot at Fox Inn's lot. This year, they could. His RV takes about 75 gallons to fill and gets ten miles to the gallon. So it is about $250 to go 750 miles. Full Story...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Louisiana Campground accused of price gouging

Attorney General Charles Foti on Tuesday accused a campground in St. Helena Parish of gouging campers by nearly tripling its rates after Hurricane Katrina struck the state.

Natalbany Creek Campgrounds, on La. 16 west of Amite, is charging RV campers $900 a month compared with its $350-a-month rate before the storm, Foti alleges in a lawsuit filed in district court in Tangipahoa
Parish.

About a week after Katrina struck, the owners raised rates from $22 to $30 per day, Foti said. About a week after that, they eliminated daily rates and ordered campers to pay the inflated monthly rate, Foti said.

"Price gouging will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Foti said in a statement. Full Story...

Texas RV parks hope higher gas prices do not discourage Winter Texans

McALLEN, TX— Local RV park owners are hoping higher gas prices nationwide do not discourage Winter Texans from traveling to the Rio Grande Valley this year.

Due to the long recovery process officials expect because of these two hurricanes, it is unknown when prices will decrease.

During the winter months, visitors largely from the Midwest pump millions of dollars into the Valley economy and officials hope that continues this year, despite above average gas prices.

"I think gas is definitely going to be a factor," said Aida Hernandez, president and CEO of the Mission Chamber of Commerce. "I think we’re going to feel a little bit of a pinch, but not much. I think the bigger picture will come in January. That’s when peak season is." Full Story...

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

California campground on Coloarad River a favorite

You wanted to go to the Colorado River and camp for a few days but it was too hot in the summer. Well, now the time has come, and the weather in that part of the desert has cooled down -- and Mayflower Park is waiting for you.

About six miles north of Blythe and located on the banks of the Colorado River, Mayflower, a Riverside County regional park, has always been a favorite of ours. We've camped there for two or three days, we've camped there on our way to destinations farther east and we've camped there several times on the way back from destinations in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

It's a good campground for families and there's plenty to do for everyone. It's a favorite of the snowbirds who come to Southern California to visit each year because it has hookups for RVs, as well as good access to the river for boating and fishing. Full Story...

Piloting a 30-foot motorhome down the Baja from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas

Get lost in the Baja? Not a chance. There's only one way down, one way up: Mexico 1, a 1,700-km-long Transpeninsular Highway that starts at Tijuana and ends at Cabo San Lucas. There are, however, plenty of detours off this famed stretch that will take you happily off-course through tracts of cacti, mounds of boulders, groves of palms, and brown-sugar beaches.

Tagging along with friends piloting a 30-foot motorhome, we found the road south was alternately smooth sailing and white knuckling. The highway to our first stop at Las Salina, roughly 70 km south of the border, was well-maintained and signed. The reason for this became clear by the third toll booth: We were cheerfully relieved of 74 pesos at each stop (49 for the rig, 25 for the car). Several hundred kilometres south and we would wish for more tolls, if only to match these same road conditions. Full Story...

Campers want electronic creature comforts

While other campers are riding bikes from the beach or barbecuing their dinners, John Liberski might spend hours trying to position his satellite dish so he can watch a NASCAR race in the comfort of his 30-foot-long recreational vehicle.

Given the leafy tree canopy of Anastasia State Park, that is no easy task. On a recent weekend, Liberski, 63, of Fort Pierce, Fla., finally hits pay dirt when he finds a small clearing on the edge of the campground road, where the dish is clearly visible to passers-by and campers.

The neighbors don't seem to mind. After all, they came with their own electronic gadgets. Full Story...

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