Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Winnebago Industries Introduces Four New Motor Home Models

Winnebago Industries, Inc. the nation's leading motor home manufacturer, unveiled four exciting new motor home models at a press conference held at the 44th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, KY.

The new 2007 Vista and Sunstar are entry-level Class A gas models that are available in 30- and 33-foot lengths with a full complement of features and an abundance of interior and exterior storage.

Also making their debut at Louisville are the new 2008 Winnebago Destination and Itasca Latitude. Each are available in two floorplans and each offer the choice of a gas or diesel chassis in the same models. Full Story...
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

California Coastal Campground nearly Empty this time of year

Entering El Capitan State Beach is a little like Alice entering Wonderland.

Leaving the bustle of Highway 101 seventeen miles west of Santa Barbara California, ducking under the Union Pacific trestle, motorists burrow through a canopy of coast live oaks and sycamores along El Capitan Creek to emerge in a different, quieter world.

While the park's 128 campsites are invariably crammed full in summer, autumn is a different story. On a recent visit only three campsites occupied.

Sunset Magazine called El Capitan's site 85 the most beautiful campsite in California. Nestled in trees atop a bluff, within the sound of the surf, it has a magnificent sunset view up the coast. It was empty. Full Story...
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Monday, November 27, 2006

City council makes it more expensive for RVers to vist

RV parks for recreational vehicles and trailers will have to pay minimum utilities by thhttp://beta.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gife space, filled or not, Port Arthur, Texas City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday.

For the 2,000-gallon minimum, water rates will be $8.30 per space per month plus the meter fee, according to information from the city. The minimum sewer rate is $24.21 a month for each space, city officials say.
The minimum residential bill, including water, sewer and garbage, is about $38.

And even tougher regulations on the parks are looming. "We don't want the city to turn into a trailer park or an RV park," Councilman John Beard Jr. said. Full Story...
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Friday, November 24, 2006

Rebuilding campground is State's priority

Workers are removing thousands of fallen trees from Mississippi's Buccaneer State Park in the first phase of a $14 million restoration project.

Buccaneer, one of the most visited among the state's 24 parks, was obliterated by Hurricane Katrina.

Named for the pirates who used the area as a retreat in the 1700s, Buccaneer featured acres of campgrounds and outdoor recreation, including a Frisbee golf course and a five-acre water park, Buccaneer Bay.

The park restoration is planned in three phases and rebuilding the campground, bathrooms and pavilions is the state's first objective. Full Story...
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Angry RVers may go from Dish to Direct

Alice Mitchell and her late husband had spent more than three months a year traveling the country in their recreational vehicle, using a Dish Network receiver to view local broadcasts from Denver and Los Angeles.

Earlier this month, Mitchell, who lives in Monroe, Wash., 35 miles northeast of Seattle, received a letter from Dish Network, telling her that she wouldn't receive those channels after Dec. 1.

Mitchell, 65, has been eligible to receive distant-network signals for RV travel because her local satellite signal dies once she leaves the area.

"They said our RV waivers are no good anymore," Mitchell said in a phone interview.

Mitchell is one of 900,000 Dish home, business and RV customers losing out- of-area network channels, following a U.S. district court ruling in October against Douglas County-based EchoStar Communications Corp., which provides Dish service. Full Story...
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

86-year-old RVer risks life to save wife

A Montgomery County, Texas man is being hailed a hero after braving flames to save his wife.

The story begins at the Castaway RV Park and Resort in Wallis just off Longstreet in Montgomery County.

Gracie Clark, 72, told officials she and her husband Leon, 86 woke up Tuesday at 6:45 a.m. to find they had no power in their motor home.

Mrs. Clark said she stayed inside her home while her husband Leon went outside to check the breakers.

While Mr. Clark was checking out things outside, inside the home Mrs. Clark saw fire coming from the overhead AC unit.That’s when, officials said, the home burst into flames. Full Story...
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Monday, November 20, 2006

Snowbirds begin to land in favored winter havens

BULLHEAD CITY - Interstate 75 serves as a conduit, sending thousands of retired Michigan residents south to Florida every winter. But many other Michiganders choose to head west instead and some pick the Bullhead City area.

In fact, all three Bullhead City RV parks surveyed report they get more visitors from Michigan than from anywhere else.

Chris Koscielski, who runs the front desk at Silver View RV Resort on Goldrush Road feels right at home with the Michigan snowbirds, having migrated here from Michigan herself four years ago.

After Michigan, she said the park draws its highest number of visitors from Minnesota. “We get a lot from Canada,” too, Koscielski said. Full Story...
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Tontitown, Arkansas files motion to stop RV park

The city of Tontitown has filed a motion to keep developers of a recreational vehicle park from building on property adjacent to the city limits while the issue of the town’s jurisdictional authority over the property is decided in court.

Jay and Connie Potter, owners of American RV Park, have received preliminary approval from the Washington County Planning Board to develop the RV park on their property. However, Tontitown opposed the Potters’ petition for approval, claiming that it had jurisdiction over the Potters’ land. At the planning-board level, a dispute arose between the Potters and Tontitown as to whether the city had territorial jurisdiction over the RV park, according to Dossett’s motion. Full Story...
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Wyoming employment agency recruiting at Quartzsite RV rallies

Year-round and seasonal RVers at the Quartzsite RV Show in Quartzsite, Ariz., will soon become the targets of workforce recruitment compliments of Campbell County Wyoming's Economic Development Corp.

As part of the recruitment, they will be offered temporary homes at Cam-plex, RV not included. Full Story...
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

RV accessories can match almost anything in homes without wheels

RV travelers never have enough toys.

"If you look at what was new and great in a house last year, you'll see it in an RV this year," says Bill Sheffer, director of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds.

At the recent MARVAC show you could find some of the newest things that are appealing to RVers... Full Story...
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Hundreds of federal campsites may close

Hundreds of campgrounds, picnic areas and other recreation facilities in national forests and grasslands could close under a sweeping U.S. Forest Service cost-cutting exercise.

Every one of the roughly 15,000 campgrounds, trailheads with bathrooms and other developed recreation sites in the 193 million acres under the agency's authority is being evaluated.

The value of each site is being weighed against the costs of maintaining it, federal officials say.
Forest Service officials say they are being forced to juggle priorities as the system faces a $346 million backlog in maintenance, a growing tab for fire suppression - now 42 percent of expenditures - and an annual budget that was cut 2.5 percent to $4.9 billion for 2007.

"We are looking at reality here," said Jim Bedwell, the Forest Service's national director of recreation and heritage resources. "We're trying to best focus our funds as well as look at other ways to operate."

So far, about 10 percent of facilities in 44 national forests that have completed their studies are targeted for decommission or closure. Full Story...
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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Snowbirds begin flocking to Pahrump, NV area's RV parks

Ray Messner of Eugene, Ore., said he usually leaves his rainy home in the Pacific Northwest to head south around Nov. 1.

"This year, because the rain was coming on the first, we left early," Dolores Messner said. "I made my reservations here a month before we came."

The Messners pulled their 32-foot Gulfstream Sun Clipper into the Saddle West RV park, next to the casino on Highway 160, one of the steady stream of snowbirds visiting Pahrump in this peak season. Full Story...
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Sellers should be wary of a fraud making its rounds

There have been recent fraud attempts in the province involving counterfeit cheques or money orders, and typically involves a fraudster who poses as a buyer responding to an advertisement placed by a Saskatchewan resident trying to sell an item or rent property.
“Some people are victimized by this and some people are catching it before they get victimized,” said Cpl. Jason Kerr with the Saskatchewan Commercial Crime section of the RCMP.

Kerr pointed to an example of a fraudster who wanted to buy a motorhome and sent a counterfeit United States Postal money order which paid the seller double the payment.

“The guy sent a fake money order worth double the price of the motorhome,” said Kerr. “Then he said, ‘Oh, it was an accident, just wire me back the difference.’ So you wire the guy the difference and you’re out the money. Who is going to send double the amount? That should set off all kinds of warning bells. People need to protect themselves.” Full Story...
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Motor Home Makeover TV Show

Coming soon, a new TV reality series Motor Home Makeover. The show is being produced by Bud Brutsman, creator of Overhaulin and Rides. Motor Home Makeover is a home improvement show with emphasis on the mobile home. Full Story...
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Thor outsells competition

Thor Industries Inc. was the only publicly held recreation vehicle manufacturer to sell more retail units in September compared with last year, the company said Friday.

Jackson Center-based Thor also sold more units in the quarter ended Sept. 30, relative to last year, the company said citing Statistical Surveys Inc. In the month of September, Thor travel trailer and fifth wheel retail sales were up 7 percent from last year to 6,378 units. Motor home sales were up 9 percent, to 550 units, from last year. Full Story...
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Protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Sources of carbon monoxide can include malfunctioning appliances, such as furnaces, stoves, ovens and water heaters that operate by burning fossil fuels such as natural or propane gas. When malfunctioning appliances aren't adequately ventilated, the amount of carbon monoxide in the air may rise to a level that can cause illness or even death.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be hard to detect. People who have a mild to moderate problem with carbon monoxide often will find that they feel sick while they spend time at home. They might feel a little better outside in the fresh air but will have symptoms return shortly after they get home.

Symptoms of low levels of carbon monoxide can be confused with flu, food poisoning or other illnesses, and can be long-term health risk if left unattended. Mild exposure symptoms include slight headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Medium exposure symptoms include severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion and fast heart rate. Extreme exposure to carbon monoxide can result in loss of consciousness, convulsions, and death. Full Story...
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lions Club to auction off Born Free motorhome

This 1986 model Born Free motorhome, a 22' rear kitchen cab over, will be auctioned off Tuesday evening, Nov. 21, during the Humboldt Evening Lions Club 24th Annual Radio Auction. It only has 99,000 miles and has brand new tires. An opening bid of $4,000 will start the bidding. Bidding will be in $100 increments for the Born Free. At approximately 9:58 p.m., the bidding will stop and some lucky bidder will have a Born Free of their very own. All the money raised at the auction provides funds for the Lions to invest in the community. People can stop out to Dodgen Industries in Humboldt to see the motorhome prior to the auction.

An opening bid of only $4,000 will start the bidding. Bidding will be in $100 increments for the Born Free. At approximately 9:58 p.m., the bidding will stop and some lucky bidder will have a Born Free of their very own.
Full Story...
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Traveling clubs take to the road

There are clubs that meet monthly at least ten months of the year, almost never in the same place and sometimes not even in the same state. These are Recreational Vehicle (RV) Camping Clubs. They plan caravan trips, campground gettogethers and often have their own club newsletter, historian, "Sunshine Chairman," "Wagon Masters" and sheriffs. A variety of camping and RV travel clubs for individual interests are available to join, usually for very small club dues of around $20 a year.

The Gulf Coasters are a group of campers who meet at a predetermined camp ground each month and enjoy the outdoor atmosphere and actually enjoy the business meeting that takes place during the rally. The officers are: The Gulf Coasters are a Chapter of the Family Motor Home Association. The chapter was planned in 1985 at a J.C. Penny meeting room. The first rally was held at Gulf Pines R.V. Park. At this rally a board was selected. The chapter meets once a month for a weekend at different camp grounds. The Gulf Coasters have not only the officers but a Wagon Master, sheriff and deputy sheriff, newsletter editor, historian, Sunshine Chairman, director and alternate director who acts as liaison to the Family Motor Home Association. Full Story...
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunline Coach Company Closes

A letter sent to all dealers today from attorney Anthony Giannascoli broke the news. Below is the text:

"This letter will serve as notice to you that Sunline Coach Company has engaged in a plant shutdown and is closing its doors and ceasing all on-going business operations."

"For some time, Sunline has been actively seeking capital from potential equity investors and venture capital firms. Sunline has also been negotiating with potential buyers in an attempt to avoid a shutdown. In today's business environment, these efforts have proven very difficult and in the end unsuccessful. As of the end of business Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006, Sunline determine that it was regrettably unable to reach and agreement with a final buyer to avoid a shutdown. Notice of the shutdown was provided to Sunline employees the next day, and this communication is being forwarded to you as soon as the circumstances have permitted."

"As a result of the shutdown and termination of operations, Sunline anticipates that its primary secured lender will require a liquidation of all of Sunline's assets. Sunline will attempt to maximize the proceeds from this anticipated liquidation. Sunline also has a second secured credit. It is anticipated that all liquidation proceeds will be used to satisfy Sunline's secured debts with these two creditors."

“Sunline does not anticipate that the liquidation of its assets will produce sufficient proceeds to enable Sunline to satisfy any of its unsecured debts. We regret to inform you that as a result of the shutdown, Sunline will no longer exist as a going concern to satisfy any warranty claims."

"As you can imagine, the shutdown of Sunline, with its 40 plus year history, was an extremely difficult decision and all the management oat Sunline regret any difficulties you, as a dealer, may experience as a result of Sunline's closure and liquidation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me."
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Motorhome refurbisher builds worlds fastest motorhome

Jim Rosenburgh and his crew refurbish 1970's vintage GMC motorhomes. They are sent to him from all over the country for new interiors, new suspensions, and for several more horses under the hood.

"They got more power than they'll need. They'll sit there and burn rubber," he said of the front-wheel drive motorhomes after he and his crew are done with them.

But this master mechanic wanted a way to make the motorhome side of his business even a bit more fun. What if, he thought, he could make one of these motorhomes go really, really fast? He read there was an actual Bonneville Salt Flats record for the World's Fastest Motorhome.

And so he did. Last September, next to some of the sleekest, fastest machines on the planet, a motorhome from Sequim, WA with mechanic Dennis Schleve Jr. behind the wheel, pulled up to the Bonneville start line. A worker at the flats tried to send them to the RV parking area until they convinced him they, and the motorhome, were actually there to race.

"When I originally conceived this I had a vision in my mind of the motorhome with the flames and the wing going down the salt flats, the rooster tail of salt behind it. I just had this picture in my mind," Rosenburgh said.

The picture in his mind did race down the salt flats, with the painted flames, with the wing on top, with the rooster tail of salt trailing behind and reached 102.76 miles an hour: a record. Full Story...
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Wal-Mart parking lot gives through-traveling RVers a place to sleep for the night

The first two RVs roll into the parking lot about 3:30 on a fall afternoon. The occupants get out, chat with each other and take a bloodhound for a walk.

A few minutes later, another RV shows up, a 37-footer with popout kitchen.

By dusk, three more RVs arrive, pick spots in the spacious outer row of the parking lot, and expell people and dogs for a little leg-stretching after a long day's drive.

This night, they'll call the parking lot of Fredericksburg's Central Park Wal-Mart home.

Jim Pollard and a toy poodle named Bailey emerge from the 37-footer with a tennis ball, which Bailey chases and drools on tirelessly.

Pollard, wife Cathy and Bailey are heading from their home in Ontario, Canada, to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they vacation for a month each fall.

It is their second full day of driving, and the Pollards have only just survived the rush-hour crawl from Washington to Fredericksburg.

This morning, they awakened at their first overnight stop, a Wal-Mart parking lot in Erie, Pa. Four hundred miles later, here they are.

They're contented partakers of what Jim Pollard calls "the Wal-Mart RV culture," an informal community of travelers who take advantage of the chain store's ample, lighted parking lots instead of paying to park overnight in commercial RV campgrounds. Full Story...
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Pacific Northwest Flooding Causing Problems for National Parks

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Nearly 18 inches of rain in 36 hours.

That's how much fell at Mount Rainier National Park, one of the crown jewels of the Pacific Northwest, and more rain and snow is forecast through the weekend.

The deluge on Monday and Tuesday swamped roads and bridges, cut power and sewer lines, and forced park officials to close the gates for the first time in 26 years. The basic cleanup will take weeks, and in some places, park officials say they won't know the extent of the damage until after the snow melts in the spring.

At Mount Rainier, the Nisqually River engulfed the main scenic highway through the park and left a quarter-mile gash in Nisqually Road. The river now flows where a campground once stood.

Farther east, Montana's Glacier National Park received close to a foot of rain, causing widespread flooding and damaging the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road. The park's Flattop Mountain got 8.5 inches of rain on Tuesday alone, roughly tripling the previous record over the past 25 years, Ranger Matt Graves said. Full Story...

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Federal judge halts 9 renovation projects in Yosemite Valley

SACRAMENTO — A federal judge has ordered a halt to a broad slate of renovation projects in Yosemite Valley, stepping anew into a battle over the human imprint on one of America's most heavily visited cathedrals of nature.

In a 25-page written ruling, U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii in Fresno ordered the halt to nine construction projects — including roadwork, hotel renovations and new RV campsites — that are part of a long-planned, $423-million upgrade of long-neglected visitor facilities.

Park officials say the projects are being held hostage by litigation brought by "fringe" environmental groups.

"These are projects the public has told us they want," said Scott Gediman, a park spokesman. Full Story...
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ReserveAmerica Will Operate the National Recreation Reservation Service

ReserveAmerica, the United States' leading outdoor recreation reservation and campground management solutions provider, today announced it has signed an agreement ending the ongoing protest of its Department of Agriculture contract award, and is beginning implementation of the consolidated National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS(TM)) contract. Under the terms of the contract, ReserveAmerica will provide comprehensive recreation information and reservation services for all U.S. federal recreation agencies, including the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. Full Story...
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

RV park closing decision isn't an easy one

The Friends Creek Conservation Area, near Argenta, IL, undoubtedly is a beautiful area. And the small campground it has for recreational vehicles is faithfully enjoyed by a handful of campers.

The question facing the Macon County Conservation Board, however, is how many tax dollars should be placed into a recreational vehicle campground that isn't used anywhere near its capacity.

Board members decided to close the campground after learning that the electrical wiring needed to be replaced at a cost of $166,000. RV campers at the site balked, saying the board was closing a facility that was beautiful, safe and close to their homes.

Offers to reduce the cost of replacing the electrical wiring soon surfaced. A group of electricians said they would do the wiring for free if materials were supplied. Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, said he would seek a state grant to help keep the campground open.

But the campground issue appears to go deeper than the wiring. There are now indications that the board's decision was based at least partially on the cost of maintaining the campground and the relatively limited use it receives. Questions are now being asked about whether it's a wise use of taxpayer dollars to maintain a campground that isn't widely used.

That discussion also presents a dilemma for campground users. They like the campground in its current, uncrowded state. If the board improves the campground, they also will have to do a better job of promoting the campground, which will lead to more campers. Full Story...
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Monaco Coach Corporation Reports Third Quarter Results

COBURG, Ore., Nov. 2, 2006 -- Monaco Coach Corporation , one of the nation's leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles, today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2006.

Revenues for the third quarter were $292.5 million, approximately 1.5% lower than last year's third quarter revenues of $297.0 million. The third quarter loss was $7.1 million, or $0.24 per share compared to last year's third quarter loss of $6.0 million, or $0.20 per share. Third quarter 2006 includes the results of R-Vision and related companies.


"The retail motorhome market remained challenging, causing our wholesale shipments to be adversely impacted during the quarter," said Monaco Coach Corporation Chairman and CEO Kay Toolson. "The towable market recently softened which affected our sales in that segment. However, downward trends in fuel prices and a stabilization of interest rates should help stimulate retail buying interest. These two factors have been the backdrop for recent increases in consumer confidence, which is a major indicator for our markets. In support of this, our internal numbers are showing the month of October up over last year in both wholesale orders and retail sales. This bodes well for the upcoming national RV trade show in Louisville, Kentucky." Full Story...
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An RV will take you places, but don't consider it an investment

While the stereotypical image of an RVer is of a snowbird senior citizen, it's not an accurate picture in Canada, where 50 per cent of RVs are owned by people younger than 55, and 43 per cent of RV families have children. Retirees are a secondary market, albeit one that is growing rapidly as boomers with the travel bug seek out ways to scratch their itch without breaking the bank.


But although RVs can be a cost-effective way to see the country, don't buy them as an investment, the way you might a cottage.

"Any motor vehicle is a depreciating asset," says auto editor Jeremy Cato. "You rent things that depreciate and buy things that appreciate." Full Story...
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