Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Camping World Opens in Burlington, Washington

Camping World today announced the Grand Opening of a new retail store in Burlington, Washington. The store is co-located with Foley's RV, a member of the FreedomRoads RV dealer network, along I-5 one hour north of Seattle and 30 minutes south of Bellingham at 1240 Old Highway 99 off Walton Drive (exits 231 and 232).

The store will kick off the Grand Opening on Thursday March 30th with a ribbon cutting to take place on Friday, March 31st at 7:30 a.m. The celebration will continue through Sunday, April 2nd where the public will enjoy free gifts, product specials, free lunches daily between 11 and 1 p.m., and several contests. These include an opportunity to win a two-week vacation in a luxury RV as well as a once in a lifetime chance to win a trip to the June Daytona Beach Stock Car Race which includes the use of a luxury RV and an opportunity to meet the #10 FreedomRoads/Camping World/RVs.com Ford driver John Andretti. Other prizes will be given and sweepstakes held, as well as free RVing seminars which begin at 11:00 a.m. each day. Full Story...

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An RV camp for the big kids

In a manufacturing plant conference room, 10 casually dressed men pore over diagrams, manuals and notebooks.

They pepper their leader, Mike Cody, with questions. He answers them using insider words and phrases -- "MMDC," "body builder," "Cat C7." The men nod, take notes, ask more questions.

This is Camp Freightliner. It's not your typical camp.

The campers come to learn about the "guts" of their vehicles -- the Freightliner chassis on which the essential systems of their vehicles, including steering, engine and suspension, are mounted. Full Story...

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Missing RV Family Found - Followup

Six family members who disappeared more than two weeks ago after leaving for a trip to the coast in a recreational vehicle were found alive Tuesday in a remote area of southwestern Oregon, surviving in their snowbound vehicle on dehydrated food and other provisions.

At one point, the RV slid off the road and eventually got stuck in the snow. The family tried to hand-dig the RV out but could not, he said.

The family sustained itself on snow and dehydrated food they had loaded up for the trip. They had enough propane to keep the RV heated.

Two parents were found first after they had left the recreational vehicle -- which had become stranded by snow -- on Monday to seek help, and hours later rescuers located the RV and the four others, who include two children. Full Story - Full Story...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

RVing Family Missing Since March 4 Found Alive

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Six family members missing in a recreational vehicle since March 4 were found alive Tuesday in a remote, snowy section of Southern Oregon, authorities said.

The family's recreational vehicle apparently became stranded near the line between Douglas and Curry counties, said Marshall, the Douglas County sheriff's office spokesman.

Two of the family walked from the recreational vehicle and enountered the BLM workers Tuesday morning. Full Story...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Missing RVing Family Baffles Police

Police in Oregon are baffled by the disappearance of an entire family. Peter Stivers, his wife Marlo, their two children and his parents have been missing for 12 days. The family left Ashland, Ore., on March 4, headed for the coast in a motor home, and hasn't been heard from since.

The family was reported missing on March 8, three days after they had been expected home

The family was traveling in a 35-foot motor home. Police ask anyone with information about the case to call the Ashland Police Department at (541) 482-5211. Full Story & Photo...

Winnebago 2Q Profit Plummets 39 Percent

Winnebago Industries Inc., reported Thursday that second-quarter profit fell 39 percent on lower demand and prices for motor homes.

Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 25 declined to $7.7 million, or 23 cents per share, from $12.6 million, or 37 cents per share, a year ago. The latest quarter included 2 cents per share for stock option expense.

The Forest City, Iowa-based company's revenue fell 14 percent to $206.4 million from $239.4 million last year, citing lower motor home deliveries because of decreased industry retail demand and a shift to lower priced motor homes.

Winnebago CEO Bruce Hertzke said negative consumer confidence resulting from higher fuel costs and higher interest rates appear to have driven consumers to the lower cost motor homes.

"We saw consumer confidence coming up in November and December and we thought in the spring it would go back and take off and be more of a typical year," he said. "It's starting up really slow. I wish I could tell you why it's starting up slower than I thought it would and I think 90 percent of the industry anticipated."

Industry statistics from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, a trade group, indicated that sales of the top-of-the-line class A motor home shipments decreased 12.7 percent last year, while sales of the smaller class C units dropped just 1.7 percent. Full Story...

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RVers get caught in this week's Texas wildfire

Craig and Debbie (Burton) Phillips were eyewitnesses to one of the biggest disasters in Texas history this past weekend as they traveled home from business meetings in Dallas and Houston.

Four people died in a chain-reaction crash on Interstate 40 east of Groom as smoke obscured the road, and low visibility eventually forcing officials to close an 89-mile stretch of the highway from Amarillo to Shamrock for six hours on Sunday.

Miraculously, Craig and Debbie traveled through that very area Sunday, describing the harrowing experience as follows: “As we were coming upon Groom, the westbound I-40 freeway was stopped and we sat there in our motorhome for about 15 minutes when we saw waves of flames coming across the grass in a field to the right of us. The second wave hit a ranch near us and the third wave appeared as if the home on the ranch was engulfed in flames. With each wave of flames, the fire would get closer and closer to the freeway until it was about 100 yards away from us,” Debbie continues. “Then fire jumped onto the grassy area between the freeway and a side road. We were prepared to abandon the motorhome and had our computer and valuables to take with us. Full Story...

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

RV show takes over Pomona, CA Fairplex

The Family Motor Coach Association's "Celebrating Family" convention will be held at the Fairplex Monday through next Thursday. About 4,000 recreational vehicles and between 10,000 and 12,000 people are expected to attend during the four-day event.

This is the fifth time the association has had its show at the Fairplex - the last was in 2003, said Robbin Gould, spokeswoman for the group.

The show unofficially starts on Monday at 3 p.m. with a special exhibit of motorhomes only. That four-hour event will include a special seminar called "Selecting the Right Motorhome for Your Needs."

For the rest of the week, the association's main show will start at 8:30 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. During the main show, about 800 RVs will be on display along with other RV-related accessories and parts booths. Full Story...

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Billings MT Council OKs 10-hour RV parking

The City Council hopes its revised camping ordinance will extend a "welcome to Billings" sign to owners of recreational vehicles. At the same time, local merchants say the regulations give them the tools to shoo away RV owners who overstay their welcome.

The cornerstone of the new RV camping ordinance, approved on first reading Monday, is a 10-hour rest period that allows RV owners to stay temporarily in private parking lots. An ad hoc committee that studied the issue over several months had recommended a six-hour rest period. But the council decided that a longer rest period would be easier to enforce and would save RV owners from heading back on the road before they're fully rested. Full Story...

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Catalina State Park, Arizona recently added 75 campsites

David Herr basked in winter sunshine at his campsite in Catalina State Park and reeled off three things he loves about the park's new campground.

"Beautiful scenery. Beautiful weather. Lots of room."

Herr, a visitor from Pelican Lake, Minn., is one of many tourists and Tucsonans who've found their camping bliss in the 75-site Campground B at the park north of Tucson.
Opened last fall to supplement the often booked-up Campground A with 48 sites, the new campground has proved so popular that both campgrounds — with a total of 123 sites — frequently have been filled to capacity in recent weeks. Full Story...

RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVD’s into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DVD’s (3 hours of information) that help RVers understand how an RV works, and how to maintain and use their RV’. There are DVD sets for motorized or towable units.

Gazette Opinion: Billings needs better solution for RV parking

Other communities around the country have found middle ground on RV parking and allow parking for 18 to 24 hours, so long as the private property owner agrees. In Billings, a welcoming solution would be to allow parking for 12 hours -- enough time for a night's sleep.

Billings City Councilman Don Jones was correct when he noted at a council work session last month that six hours is too short. As a practical matter, how would the city enforce a six-hour limit? Would code enforcement officers go out at 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. to issue tickets?

Private business owners should have the right to determine whether RV parking is permissible on their property and under what conditions. Even for businesses that benefit from and appreciate RV parkers' purchases, there are important considerations that may require restrictions on overnight parking. For example, covenants on the property may forbid overnight parking, noise from RVs may bother nearby residential neighbors and there may not be room for RVs with the other demands for parking space. Full Story...

RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVD’s into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DVD’s (3 hours of information) that help RVers understand how an RV works, and how to maintain and use their RV’. There are DVD sets for motorized or towable units.

Fleetwood Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2006 Earnings for RV Group

The RV Group earned $3.8 million in operating income for the third quarter, compared to an operating loss of $33.5 million in the comparable period of the prior year. Revenues for the Group increased 7 percent to $365.3 million in the quarter compared with $342.6 million in the same period of the prior year. Sales of FEMA trailers in the third quarter of fiscal 2006 and 2005 were $72 million and $9 million, respectively. Full Story...

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

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

California RV Dealer Helps Homless Couple

The Vehicle Store RV Center is located just two blocks down Mission Avenue from the Palm Tree Lodge. But for Rod Borders and Cheryl LaForge, the auto dealership's parking lot might as well be a world away from the motel.

For most of the fall, the 71-year-old Borders and his wife had alternated between living at the Palm Tree and on the streets of Escondido, sleeping in their beat-up 1981 Chevrolet El Camino.

In late January, the couple moved into a 1986 Pinnacle motor home tucked into the back corner lot at the RV dealership. Ed Hughes, the store's owner, told them he would sell them the vehicle at cost and let them stay on the property indefinitely.

"It's unbelievable," Borders said, as he stood in the narrow, light mauve living quarters of his 28-foot home on Monday. "Sometimes, I have to pinch myself."

Hughes has let the couple hook up to his store's electricity and water at no charge while they wait for some minor repairs to the vehicle, including replacing a fractured windshield.

"We're not making a nickel off them. We're just trying to help them," said Hughes, who said he learned of the couple's situation from the news article.

"He knows what he's done for us," LaForge said. "But I don't think he knows the extent of what he's done for us." Full Story & Photo...

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Ohio Campground to Reopen

Leith Run Campground on the Wayne National Forest, near New Matamoras, is expected to reopen next month under new management.

The campgrounds sits off Ohio 7, between Newport and New Matamoras, 18 miles north of Marietta and right on the Ohio River.

This year, all campsites and shelters must be reserved at least five days in advance. Any sites not reserved will be posted on the campground bulletin board. Any sites not filled are available on a first-come basis, and fees will be collected at Leith Run.

“There is still a chance people can slip down on a weekend and find an empty campsite,” Sammon said. “But it is always best to reserve a site and campers should never take an empty site without checking the board.” Full Story...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mobile home park makes way for new CA State Park campground

Those living at Crystal Cove State Park say farewell to their slice of paradise -- and to a 26-year battle to stay there.

By day's end Wednesday, there was little left at the El Morro Village mobile home park besides vacant trailers and makeshift memorials of sprawled lawn chairs and sun umbrellas.

"This was a place where if you were rich, poor, young or old, you just got along with everybody," said Bryan Wallace, 36, of Dana Point, whose family lived there summers and weekends since he was a child.

"This has been hard for me and my family to say goodbye."

By fall, the enclave tucked into a hillside between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach will begin to take shape as a public campground, RV park and a sandy beach unencumbered by trailers. It is due to open by 2008. Full Story...

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