Monday, February 27, 2006

Supporters of Canadian recreation vehicle industry to be awarded annual RVIS award

The Motor Home & Trailer Shows have announced the 2005 recipients of the first annual RVIS Awards. RVIS (said "Arviss") is an acronym for Recreation Vehicle Industry Supporter and recognizes any business or organization, other than an RV manufacturer or dealer, showing an active and ongoing "…support of the Canadian recreation vehicle industry and all its participants who strive to promote the pleasures and benefits of the Leisure Lifestyle."

The 2005 RVIS Award recipients are:

1. BMO Bank of Montreal
2. Hitch City
3. Ontario Parks
4. On The Road Again Insurance Ltd.
5. Pike Lake Resort
6. Radio AM-740
7. RV Lifestyle Magazine

The awards will be presented to the winners, starting at 1:00pm, on Wednesday, March 1st - opening day of the 2006 Spring Motor Home & Trailer Show at the International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario.

To aid visiting media and the public in answering questions about the 2006 recreation vehicles, every exhibit at this show is staffed by factory-selected RV professionals. In fact, every exhibit at the Spring Motor Home & Trailer Show is under the direct control of the manufacturer.

The 2006 Spring Motor Home & Trailer Show will take place Wednesday, March 1st through Sunday, March 5th at the International Centre in Mississauga, on Airport Road, at Derry Rd. - just north of the main airport entrance. Get show details at: www.motorhomeandtrailershow.com

How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk


NO MORE RV ELECTRIC HOOKUPS AT AUSABLE POINT CAMPGROUND

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that effective immediately, DEC is terminating the use of the electric supply devices (hookups) at Ausable Point Public Campground for the 2006 camping season.

DEC has determined that the electrical hook-ups no longer comply with the current electric codes and thus finds it necessary to discontinue use of the electrical hook-ups at the 43 sites so equipped. This is being done to secure the safety of visitors to the campground.

The electric service to these 43 sites is nearly 40 years old and no longer provides adequate, safe power to campers. The available 15 amp services are insufficient to meet the demand of today's camper trailers and recreational vehicles. The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan clearly states that: "All campgrounds within the Adirondack Forest Preserve will be of a rustic nature without utility hookups and other elaborate facilities customarily provided by private campgrounds. Each individual campsite will retain the natural character of the surrounding forest and will contain only a fireplace or fire ring, a space for a single vehicle with trailer if needed, picnic table and appropriate sites." Full Story...

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Nomads On a Mission of Active Divine Service

Jean Ward has no problem maneuvering up the stairs to paint baseboards.

The 80-year-old has installed vinyl siding, sewed curtains and performed hard manual labor with a group that camps across the country performing volunteer jobs for those in need.

She traveled in her Hurricane motor home 1,100 miles from Toledo, Ohio, to work for three weeks at the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Enterprise. This is her 49th trip in 14 years with the Nomads on a Mission of Active Divine Service, an outreach ministry of the United Methodist Church.

"They say you shouldn't feel any pride or joy in helping others, but that's what keeps me going," said Ward, a mother of four and grandmother of five. Full Story...

2006 RV Home Base / Guide to Full-Time RVing - This comprehensive guidebook gives you essential information right at your fingertips.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Park models perfect for ex-travelers

"Park models seem to be the wave of the future." So said Bob Davis, a month after he and wife Nancy, both 66, bought a park model for a spot in Weavers Needle Travel Trailer Park in Apache Junction.

After retiring in Port Huron, Mich., and buying a 29-foot fifth wheel with slide-out, the couple were full-time RVers for three years. They especially enjoyed visiting national parks.

But then, Davis said, "Our bodies got tired of traveling. We got older and my back weaker. They decided to quit hauling their rig and stay put, at least during the winters. But they wanted more than their fifth wheel could offer and they wanted to stay in an RV park.

Ken Dugwyler, partner in RV Traders in Apache Junction, said the Davises are typical of the RVers who have traveled long enough and want the mini-mobile-home park model that fits on an RV park's lot. Full Story...

RV Trips - Guides on the best RV trips to take nationwide. Two Book set!


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Unusual Motor Home on display at Sacramento, CA RV Show

One of the motor homes on display at the 53rd annual Sacramento Sports, Boat and RV Show is a a 45-foot conversion that was originally built as a tour bus for country singer LeAnn Rimes. Outfitted with amenities one might expect in a luxury home, the motor home - which rides on a stretched chassis constructed by Peterbilt - is now a touring centerpiece for Kingsley Coach Inc., the Zimmerman, Minn.-based custom coach builder.

"(The Rimes) motor home was called the executive quarters," said Bruce Rayner, Kingsley's West Coast representative. "LeAnn's father traveled with her, and this was his home and office while on the road."

It can hold a combined 150 gallons for the 410-horsepower Cummins diesel engine, which is designed to last 1 million miles or more. For the record, Kingsley officials said the Rimes coach gets around 10 miles per gallon on the highway. Full Story & Photos...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

From Online To On Road

Michael Boland knows RVs.

He's worked on them as a mechanic, he's worked in an RV factory doing maintenance, and he's sold and appraised them for a dealer.

Now he's his own boss, brokering motor home sales through his own Web sites and on eBay, offering his services as an RV appraiser and as an expert witness.

He estimates he's sold $5 million worth of RVs since setting up his virtual shop as a self-styled RV broker in 2000. Full Story...

How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk


Escapees RV Club Press Release

RV-related Action Items from RVAct
2/15/2006

Escapees RV Club is a long-standing partner of the RV Alliance for Camping and Travel (RVAct). The mission of this coalition of consumer and business organizations is to educate, organize, and mobilize members of the RV community into a grassroots force ready to act on important issues. The range of topics is vast, but the overriding objective of RVAct is to ensure that the voice of the RV community is heard on issues affecting the future of RV travel and camping. You can learn more about RVAct and check out their newsletter at www.rvact.com

We wanted to alert you to several action items currently on their slate:

Residents of Alabama: A reduction in ad valorem tax from 20% down to 15% on RVs (travel trailers and motorhomes) is being proposed in Senate bills SB 3 and SB 10. You can learn more about the issue, read a sample letter, and send your own personalized message by going to this link: http://capwiz.com/rvact/issues/alert/?alertid=8473701&type=ST
You may also call or email your state representatives, and tell them you support lowering the ad valorem tax on RVs.

Both Alabama and Mississippi are looking at legislation that supports RV friendly road sign markers. The “RV Friendly” logo—a bright yellow circle with the letters “RV” in it—lets motorists know that those businesses provide parking facilities that accommodate big rigs. To read more, or see sample support text:
Alabama residents:
http://www.rvact.com/rvact/issues/alert/?alertid=8404026&type=ST

Mississippi residents:
http://www.rvact.com/rvact/issues/alert/?alertid=8404076


Finally, the following excerpt is from the Winter 2006 RVAct Newsletter:

Federal Commission Formed For Ongoing Study of Transportation Issues

On August 10, 2005, the President signed into law the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Highlights of this legislation for the RV community include provisions that prohibit the imposition of new tolls on existing highways with only a couple of exceptions. RV enthusiasts had strongly opposed new tolls. However, the reauthorization debate left several other major issues unresolved, and Congress mandated the creation of a twelve-member National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission to address these. The Commission will develop conceptual plans, with alternate approaches, to ensure the surface transportation system will continue to serve the needs of the American people and the appropriate policies and revenue sources are in place to pay for it. The RV industry will be working with the Commission to ensure that it is well aware of the unique needs and priorities of the RV community. The report of the Commission is due no later than July 1, 2007.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

DogFriendly.com Announces a Free Web Directory of Dog-Friendly Camping and RV Parks

DogFriendly.com, the Internet and print publisher of pet travel guides, announced today that the website has added, to its expanding directory, thousands of campgrounds, RV parks, and state and federal parks. This new guide has more than just a statement about pet policies such as "Pets Allowed" or "Pets Allowed -- Six Foot Leash Required." Everyone who travels with pets knows that this is not enough information

RV Education 101 Simplifies RV Ownership with Release of DVD Value Packs

RV Education 101, founded in 1999 by Mark and Dawn Polk, just made it easier for Recreation Vehicle (RV) consumers to learn about RVs with the release of three RV DVD Value Packs. Mark Polk, the producer and host said, "We took our individual Travel Trailer and Motorhome DVD titles and put them in sets with other titles that apply.” There are three to choose from and each value pack includes four RV training DVD’s, which equates to almost three hours of one-on-one RV instruction.

These DVD value packs provide a thorough understanding of how a Recreation Vehicle works and can be viewed as often as needed. Some of the topics included are; operating, maintaining, winterizing, storing, towing, safety cautions and warnings, and the RV essential items needed for the complete RV experience. Dawn Polk added, "Not only does this eliminate the guess work as to which titles should go together, but we save the RV consumer a significant amount of money with the box set discounts. All DVD titles are still available individually too.” Full Story...

How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk


FreedomRoads and Camping World Announce NASCAR Sponsorship

FreedomRoads, the large RV dealer, and Camping World today announced that they have joined the high speed NASCAR Motorsports world with the co-sponsorship of the #10 Andretti team. RVs.com, the new and premiere RV website, will also join as a sponsor further building the RV industry's profile among NASCAR fans. The sponsorships will span 28 races in the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season.

This is the first time that an RV dealer network or RV related retailer has taken on a major NASCAR sponsorship. Full Story...

The Best Of Tech Topics - The most popular column in Highways Magazine now in a book format.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Canadian RVers enjoying higher dollar in U.S.

Retired Toronto cop Mike Fenwick is living the good life, spending part of the year touring the southern United States in his motor home.

Now, with a healthier Canadian dollar, he and wife Pat can see more, buy more and not think so hard about every purchase.

"We're living the dream," says Fenwick, who's camping for a while in Yuma, Arizona.

The Fenwicks are among some 3.7 million Canadian snowbirds reaping the benefits of a dollar that hit 85 cents US in late 2004 and has gone up since. Full Story...

301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier and More Fun - save time, money and effort.


Fleetwood recalling Motor Home workforce

Laid-off workers at the Fleetwood Motor Homes plant in Ralpho Township, PA, will return to work Monday, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Corporate officials announced in late January that the plant would be idled for two weeks due to seasonal slump in sales.

"Everybody's heading back to work," Fleetwood spokeswoman Kathy Munson said Friday.

There are about 525 workers at the Northumberland County plant, where all of Fleetwood's gasoline-powered motor homes are built.

When Fleetwood announced its third-quarter earnings report last week, company officials said early results showed that motor home sales, which make up a large part of its revenue, fell 23 percent. Full Story...

How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk


A new breed of RV snowbird

Jody Duda is living a secret life her friends back in Oregon don’t know about yet — one that has the 55-year-old wearing her college cheerleader’s uniform to a sock hop in the ballroom of a Mesa RV park for winter residents.

She and her husband, Dave, who’s 42, were able to retire last year — “You wouldn’t believe how much money there is in dog grooming,” she says — so they bought a motor home and set out for what they thought would be a nomadic lifestyle of traveling from post to post, park to park.

Before they took off, they found the Good Life RV Resort through its Web site, and after watching a promotional videotape that featured its large church service and choir, they knew they wanted to at least drop in for a visit.

But once they arrived on Dec. 1, they were hooked on the Good Life, with its dizzying array of activities and warm, friendly people, many of whom remain active into their 80s and 90s. Full Story...

2006 RV Home Base / Guide to Full-Time RVing - This comprehensive guidebook gives you essential information right at your fingertips.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dry camping issue continues to smolder

LAUGHLIN NV - In response to rumors circulating in the RV'er crowd about the eviction of dry campers from casino properties on Casino Drive, Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort and Casino staff wish to set the record straight.

Lloyd Shires, the Riverside's director of hotel operations and marketing, said, “There are people circulating rumors that Don Laughlin is behind the health district crack down on ‘dry camping.' That is completely false. Don had nothing to do with this and was as surprised as anyone else in Laughlin when the health district starting ordering properties to evict dry campers.

The Clark County Health District, which is an entity separate, although affiliated with Clark County government, sent letters to a few casinos in Laughlin indicating that if they were allowing ‘dry camping,' they were in violation of state health laws. The term ‘dry camping' refers to RVs that are fully contained rigs and don't require RV park facility ‘hook-ups' to operate. Full Story...

How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk


RVers are King of the Road

WHEN RETIREES BRENDA and John Aucoin bought their first motor home three years ago, they clocked 25,000 miles on the odometer in the first year alone. "That told us that we must be enjoying what we were doing," says 65-year-old Brenda.

Since then, the Napoleonville, La.-based couple has spent two to three months each year on the road. Last summer, they hit Disney World, Las Vegas and Grand Junction, Colo., among other stops. They often travel with the Cruisin' Cajuns, a group of roughly 200 fellow motor-home enthusiasts who can cook up some mean crawfish etouffee.

Their current home-on-the-road is a 39-foot Fleetwood diesel coach, with walls that expand when the vehicle is parked. "We have all the conveniences of our own home," says Brenda. "We have all our favorite things out. We have wonderful meals. It's much more fun doing this than sitting in a chair at home watching TV." Full Story...

2006 RV Home Base / Guide to Full-Time RVing - This comprehensive guidebook gives you essential information right at your fingertips.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

New RV center may put Simpson County on the map and become Kentucky’s largest tourist attraction.

Developer David Garvin hopes to have a “big announcement” to make within the next six weeks for his proposed recreation vehicle park in Simpson County.

“We’ve got several things cooking right now, but nothing has been firmed up,” Garvin said. “We’ve made some headway. We’ve generated some excitement in the RV industry.”

Garvin said outdoor megastore Cabela’s is still interested in locating at the site. However, Cabela’s will wait until the road improvements are made, he said.

Garvin – founder of Bowling Green-based Camping World – first proposed a five-story 650,000-square-foot megacenter at his $53 million Franklin development but said it would take too much of his 300 acres to construct such a tall building. He wants big roads, big parking lots and greenery.

Instead, he is dividing the property up for the RV-related businesses, entertainment centers and restaurants.

Garvin’s development is expected to open in 2007. It could create as many as 800 jobs.

The massive project has the ability to literally put Simpson County on the map and become Kentucky’s largest tourist attraction. Full Story...

The Best Of Tech Topics - The most popular column in Highways Magazine now in a book format.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Michigan Keeps “RV Friendly” Momentum Rolling

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently approved the popular “RV Friendly” highway signs that tell recreation vehicle (RV) enthusiasts which roadside gas, food, lodging and camping facilities easily accommodate RVs including motorized and towable units. This approval follows closely on the heels of the Texas Department of Transportation adopting the RV Friendly signs and adds considerable momentum to the initiative.

The RV Friendly logo—a bright yellow circle with the letters RV—alerts RV motorists of facilities adjacent to highways that cater to the special needs of RVs at specific highway exits. When RV Friendly logos are included on the logos of qualified establishments, motorists know those businesses have parking facilities capable of accommodating RVs. Full Story...

301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier and More Fun - save time, money and effort.


Campground is not just a place to park an RV

KIAWAH ISLAND, FL - Call Ocean Lakes a campground and officials there will quickly explain that it's not just a place to park a camper.

They like to refer to Ocean Lakes Family Campground as a destination within a destination, one that has 310 acres along the oceanfront, with pools, 70-channel TV hookups, free wireless Internet and a yearly Bluegrass Festival.

Whatever you call it, as of Tuesday, you can also refer to it as the state's top attraction.

The campground took home the big tourism award of the year Tuesday, the Governor's Cup, which is given to an attraction that has had a significant economic effect. It was announced in front of about 500 tourism leaders attending the Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel at The Sanctuary.

The award comes at a time when the Grand Strand's camping industry faces pressure from developers who want to cash in on the premium oceanfront campgrounds, such as Ocean Lakes, Pirateland and Lakewood occupy. Full Story...

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Happy RV campers

Suzi Dow can't forget that startling morning when a bull moose wandered into the Wyoming campsite she shared with her husband.

Fred Dow still gets nervy when he recalls the day he and Suzi took a "white-knuckle shortcut" over a hideously narrow cliffside road on the way to a campground in Colorado.

Those are just two of the countless colorful memories the Dows, of Bisbee, have gathered during more than a decade of research on national forest campgrounds.
The goal of their work, in a nutshell, is to create a nation of happy campers.
Their detailed findings — on everything from campground facilities and fees to vegetation and nearby attractions — are available free at www.forestcamping.com on the Internet. Full Story...

Start planning the ultimate RV trip with the Great Western and Eastern RV Trips


Monday, February 06, 2006

Kentucky starts taking reservations for campgrounds

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Parks Department is launching a new campground reservation system over the next two weeks.

Campers will be able to choose from nearly 3,000 sites at 32 different state parks by phone or Internet as the system launches over the next two weeks, the department said.

Reservations can be made by calling 1-888-4KYPARK on Feb. 8 and via the Internet on Feb. 15.
How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fleetwood Enterprises sees weaker 3Q sales

Fleetwood said early results show that motor home sales, which make up the majority of its revenue, fell 23 percent to $179 million. As a result, "third quarter operating results will likely fall somewhat short of those from the second quarter," said Elden L. Smith, president and chief executive, in a statement, adding this should still show "dramatic improvement" over the year-ago period, when the company reported a net loss. He said the company expects that results "will reflect profitable continuing operations."

The company's RV sales grew 5 percent to about $361 million from $343 million a year ago, thanks to a 75 percent jump in the sales of travel trailers, to $167 million. Fleetwood said this was somewhat offset by the loss in motor home sales. Folding trailer sales also fell 5 percent, to $15 million.

Travel trailer sales included about $74 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Shipments to FEMA also increased manufactured housing sales by $57 million, boosting the segment's revenue by 14 percent to about $209 million from last year's $184 million. Full Story...

Out-of-state RV buyers may get Indiana Sales Tax Break

Since the summer of 2004, whenever a customer pushes back from the desk and opts to think about the deal over a cup of coffee and a sandwich, Bill Beck, owner of Mobile Structures and MSI Trailers of Elkhart, IN, knows the sale is dead.

Beck said his sales, like the sales of many recreational vehicle and cargo trailer dealers across the state, have fallen since the Indiana General Assembly enacted a bill that required out-of-state buyers to pay Indiana sales tax on RVs and cargo trailers. Estimating that more than 85 percent of his business is to non-Indiana residents, Beck has watched his sales "cut down by a couple of million dollars."

A pair of bills moving through the Indiana General Assembly will attempt to remedy the situation by exempting many out-of-state customers from paying the 6 percent Indiana sales tax. Full Story...

Monaco Coach Reports Fourth Quarter & 2005 Year End Profits

Monaco Coach Corporation one of the nation's leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles, today reported revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2005.

Fourth quarter 2005 revenues were $306.0 million, down 4.8% compared to $321.5 million in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2004. Fourth quarter gross profit was $31.3 million, down from $35.9 million a year ago.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005, Monaco reported revenues of $1.24 billion, approximately 10.8% lower than last year's record revenues of $1.39 billion. Operating income for the year was $7.2 million versus $59.7 million for 2004. Net income for the year was $2.6 million, compared to $36.7 million earned in 2004. Earnings per share were $0.09 compared to $1.23 for 2004.
Full Story...


Airport is ground zero for thousands of RVs

A steady stream of traffic landed on the runways of the Hernando County, Florida Airport Monday.

These people movers didn't fly, though. They rolled.

Hundreds of recreational vehicles hummed into the airport, their owners gearing up for the Family Motor Coach Association's 25th annual Southeast Area Rally.

The event officially begins Friday Feb 3, 2006 and runs through Sunday. Organizers expect some 2,300 motor homes to roll into Garden Grove, the small hamlet where the airport is located. Full Story...

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RV-Friendly Highway Signs—Act Now!


The RV-friendly logo-a bright yellow circle with letters-alerts RV motorists that businesses sporting this logo will provide parking facilities that accommodate large RVs.

In order to display the RV-friendly logo, the business must adhere to certain criteria, such as high canopies, pull-through spaces, and an adequate turning radius.

The RV-friendly logo program led by RVIA (the national RV Industry Association) in conjunction with RVAct (a coalition of RV clubs). We strongly encourage members who reside in Alabama or Mississippi to personalize the letter posted at www.rvact.com in order to strengthen the impact to those state representatives.

Let’s help add Alabama and Mississippi to the five states currently using or preparing to use the RV-friendly symbol. Those states currently include: Oregon, Louisiana, Washington, Tennessee and most recently, Texas!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Massachusetts pledges $1 million to repair storm damaged park

Nearly half of Nickerson State Park's 420 campsites, badly damaged by a winter storm, will reopen in March following $1 million in repairs.

Two hundred campsites will be open by early March. The remainder will be opened intermittently throughout the spring.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation will begin posting notices on its Web site beginning Feb. 15, announcing which sites will open within the next two weeks.

Nickerson State Park has the largest campground on Cape Cod.


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