Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dometic Refrigerator Recall Announced

Escapees E-news Release

Large Scale Dometic Refrigerator Recall Announced:

Dometic Corporation is in the process of issuing recalls for over 900,000 RV refrigerators. The problem, a potential fire hazard, affects many refrigerators manufactured between 1997 and 2003. The following is excerpted from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s website at www.nhtsa.gov.

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06E076000
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 926877
Models Affected: NDR1062 RM2652 RM2662 RM2663 RM2852 RM2862 RM3662 RM3663 RM3862 RM3863

To verify that your refrigerator is affected, you can either call Dometic at the number listed above, or visit their website for the recall at www.dometicusa.com/recall.php . Be sure to have your refrigerator’s model number and serial number ready.

The following is excerpted from Dometic’s recall information:

The information that you entered indicated that your refrigerator is affected by this voluntary recall. Please do the following:

#1 Turn the refrigerator off immediately if you notice any of the following indicators:
· Leakage or staining at the back of the refrigerator.
· Yellow residue at the back or sides of the refrigerator.
· The smell of ammonia.
· Refrigerator does not properly cool.
Any unit found to have one or more of the characteristics mentioned above MUST be shut down and not operated until the unit is fixed and the recall rework administered.

#2 For any unit that does fall within the recall population, but does not exhibit any of the four indicators mentioned in #1, consider the following: Do not operate your refrigerator on LP gas. Switching to electric power lowers the incident rate associated with LP gas. If you own a 3-way refrigerator, running the unit on 12-volt power carries the least risk of all. 3-way refrigerators have model numbers that end in "3."

Dometic recommends that the unit not be operated on electric unless absolutely necessary until your unit has been serviced. If you choose to operate your unit on electric prior to the recall rework, you must inspect the burner area weekly for any of the indicators referenced in number 1 above. Dometic recommends that you turn off the gas valve at the back of your refrigerator. DO NOT, however, attempt to disconnect the gas supply. If you must operate your refrigerator on electric, DO NOT operate your refrigerator while in transit or while asleep.

The rework kit will be available in early April 2007. At that time, call your preferred service center to set up an appointment. For help in locating a service cente, or for the most up-to-date recall information, call 1-888-446-5157.

RVer has bad experience overnighting in stadium parking lot

Tuscaloosa resident Pat Nooney, camping out in the stadium parking lot after the Senior Bowl on Saturday, said he had a scary experience.

Nooney said people flooded into the stadium parking lot after security left at 10 p.m., stealing anything they could carry, including the toilet paper out of portable toilets and two bikes chained to the back of his recreational vehicle.

"When they cut the chains on something that's attached to your motor home and steal it, they're getting pretty brazen," Nooney said.
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Monday, January 29, 2007

Travel Road Test: Chevrolet 3500 Van

Home & Park Motorhomes of Kitchener, Ontario, has married the creature comforts of a motorhome with the utility of four-wheel drive. Filled with the amenities the luxury-RV lifestyle is known for, the new Roadtrek 4x4 190 also can get you to some primitive campsites.

By adding 4x4 capability to this class B motorhome, Home & Park has taken the possibility of adventure to a new level. An RV that features a full galley, bathroom, and king-size bed, this Roadtrek 4x4 maneuvers just as easily along rough trails as it does through congested urban settings. Furthermore, when not being used for adventure, the Roadtrek 4x4 can transport the soccer team to its next game or make runs to the market. The secret to this union is the chassis/platform Home & Park elects to use.
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Fate Of Tontitown, AR, RV Park Uncertain

TONTITOWN -- Aldermen gave Tontitown City Attorney Mark Dossett authority to find a nonbinding settlement in lawsuits involving a proposed recreational vehicle park on Pianalto Road during a special City Council meeting Thursday night.

The council would have to vote on any proposal Dossett would negotiate.

Landowner Jay Potter and his wife, Connie, filed four lawsuits against the city, alleging officials attempted to block construction of American RV Park, south of Henri deTonit Boulevard.

The park land was located in the county when Potter began his plans, but was annexed into the city in the November elections.

The city's position is Potter must comply with the city regulations since his property was within the five-mile planning radius when it began.

Potter contends he received the OK from the Washington County Planning Board and he complied with county regulations as well as city regulations at the time the project began.
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NOTE: It seems the city is using it clout to simply to stop the project from going forward. The comments for the citizenry are interesting too... it appears the 'trailer trash' stereotype is alive and well in Arkansas... Steven

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Campground membership 'broker' sentenced for mail fraud

David Cannon was sentenced to 18 months in prison as well as three years supervised release after pleading guilty last August to mail fraud for a company he claimed brokered campground memberships.

The Chicago man operated a business called Tampa Bay Campground Brokers, reportedly contacting people interested in selling their campground memberships with the promise of having prospective buyers in the wings, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. TBCB charged an advanced fee for the transaction with a promise to refund the fee if the transaction didn't close.
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Monday, January 22, 2007


Seasoned RV travelers know that come springtime, it’s time to “hop” over to Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach, CA, which will host its 15th annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza celebration Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 8. RVers are invited to visit the 100-acre resort and participate in scores of family activities including a hunt for more than 5,000 Easter eggs hidden in the Dunes’ sandy shores, visits from the Easter Bunny, movies on the beach, kids’ craft sessions, cottontail bike parades and a Champagne brunch.

The Dunes’ Easter weekend will kick off on Friday, April 6 with a decorating session where children of RV guests will dye, glitter and paint thousands of Easter eggs. Children will be encouraged to decorate their own baskets and bonnets using flowers, seashells, ribbons and other materials. Additional baskets, bonnets and visors will be available for sale.

SUV Owners Group Releases New Consumer Towing Guide

99% of Car Towing Capacity Lost Since 1970s

The shift in consumer preference to SUVs and light trucks for family transportation was driven not just by the desire for better comfort and safety -- since 1970 fuel economy mandates that resulted in downsized vehicles caused 99 percent of cars to lose their ability to tow basic recreational equipment, Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America (SUVOA) announced today.

"The gutting of car towing capacity should be a wake up call that major lifestyle consequences could loom large as the nation contemplates the next wave of energy policy changes," SUVOA President Barry W. McCahill said. "The threat is on several fronts -- California's carbon dioxide law and the 10 states that have chosen to follow suit; the Supreme Court's upcoming decision on the regulation of carbon dioxide; and proposed federal legislation to increase federal fuel economy standards."
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ReserveAmerica Launches Mississippi State Parks Reservation Service

Mississippi campers can now plan camping trips online for the first time!.

ReserveAmerica, the United States' leading outdoor recreation reservation and campground management solutions provider, has won a five year contract and recently launched a reservation service for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winter Texan RVers say tax is a raw deal

Winter Texans Maurice Pacha of Washington, Iowa, and Gene Phagan of Greeley, Colo., are angry.

And, pulling a line from the satirical 1970s movie Network, they’re not going to take it anymore.

Velma Manship of Iowa and Shirley McDowell of Illinois feel pretty much the same way.

Double taxation of their RVs, they say, runs against common decency and notions of fairness.

Besides, the Constitution of Texas, as well as tax officials in Hidalgo and Cameron counties, says that an RV has to be "substantially affixed" to its site in an RV park to be subject to an annual real estate tax.

Yet Pacha and Phagan paid sales taxes on their RVs when they bought them and now, additionally, they and others are burdened by county real estate taxes of about $300 a year.

They aren’t alone. Since 2000, Winter Texans say, about $8 million in such taxes has been collected from RV owners in Hidalgo and Cameron counties.
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Camping World Opens SuperCenter in Las Vegas

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Camping World, America’s largest retailer of RV and outdoor supplies and accessories, today announced the opening of a new SuperCenter in Las Vegas co-located with Las Vegas RV, part of the nation’s largest RV dealer network FreedomRoads, at 13175 Las Vegas Boulevard. With a store already operating in nearby Henderson, this is the rapidly expanding retailer’s second location in the high demand Las Vegas market.

The new SuperCenter boasts 2800 square feet of retail space and share 25 service bays with Las Vegas RV. With over 8000 sku’s available from basic camping and outdoor accessories to hard to find RV parts, the full service, state-of-the-art store provides customers with all of their RV, outdoor, camping accessory and service needs. Camping World prides itself on same day installs, with walk in and scheduled appointments all welcome.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Retail Gas Price Follows Oil Costs Lower, AAA Reports

BURNSVILLE, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A rapid drop in the cost of oil from above $60 per barrel to near $51 per barrel in the last two weeks has begun to push the cost of gasoline lower at the pump, according to AAA’s daily, on-line Fuel Gauge Report (www.aaafuelgaugereport.com).

Gail Weinholzer, director of public affairs, AAA Minnesota/Iowa said today the national average price of self-serve regular gasoline has dropped about 5 cents in the last week to $2.229 per gallon, and prospects look good for even lower prices in the weeks ahead.

The key to lower prices will be an oil price that remains near its present level or moves even lowers in the days and weeks ahead, Weinholzer said. Oil and gasoline inventories have been growing for months, and attempts by oil producing countries to scale back production in an effort keep prices up do not appear to be working.

One year ago the price of self-serve regular gasoline was higher than today at $2.321 per gallon, Weinholzer said.

AAA’s fuel price survey shows Hawaii has the highest average gas price in the nation at $2.919 per gallon. Washington state and Oregon have the next highest average prices; at $2.645 and $2.634 per gallon, respectively.

Missouri has the lowest state-wide average gasoline price in the nation at $2.014 per gallon. Oklahoma has the next lowest price at $2.016 per gallon, followed by Minnesota with an average gas price of $2.017 per gallon.

Nationwide, the price of self-serve, mid-grade gasoline averages $2.367 per gallon, a decline from $2.438 per gallon in the middle of last month, and down from $2.464 one year ago. Self-serve premium averages $2.452 per gallon nationwide; down from $2.526 one month ago. Premium averaged $2.553 per gallon at this time last year.

The national average prices for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline for AAA's mid-January survey for the last five years are: 2006, $2.321; 2005, $1.812; 2004, $1.561; 2003, $1.468; and 2002, $1.128.

AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is based on data from Oil Price Information Service, the nation's most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information. AAA purchases the data and makes it available free on the Internet as a public service. Average daily prices for the nation, all 50 states and more than 250 localities are available for all grades of gasoline, making the site the most current and complete public source of fuel price information.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Colorado town may restrict or stop free RV parking at Wal-Mart

The Monument, Colorado board of trustees is considering an ordinance that could prohibit or restrict overnight RV parking in the parking lots of retailers, with some saying a parking lot strewn with RVs isn’t attractive.

Trustees will work on the issue next month with a new ordinance that confines parking to specific sections of parking lots, Town Manager Cathy Green said.

“It doesn’t prohibit overnight RV parking, but you have to have a special area for it,” Green said.

The RV parking issue originated with the town’s planning commission. In early 2005, during Green’s first week working for the town, officials told her they didn’t want overnight RV parking at Wal-Mart or any of the town’s “big box” stores.
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Born Free and New Horizons announced a co-op venture

Born Free Motorcoach and New Horizons RV announced a cooperative venture to market and sell each other's products.

In an unprecedented move by two manufacturing entities, Born Free factory-owned stores in Florida, California and Iowa will begin selling all New Horizons line of fifth wheels, travel trailers and toy haulers. They products are expected to be on the lot by Feb. 1.

Born Free announced the opening of a factory store at New Horizon RV’s location in Junction City, Kansas in December.
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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Big Bend NP raising camping fees

Beginning Jan. 24, Big Bend National Park will raise its developed campground camping fees from $10 to $14 per site per night.

Big Bend participates in the National Park Service Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, and 80 percent of entrance fee revenue goes back to the park to fund maintenance and visitor related projects.

Information on this and other fees at Big Bend is available at the National Park Service Web site,
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Women RVers take action

Seems like a lot of activities at snowbird RV parks revolve around food and eating.

Women RVers at Shiprock RV Resort, 1700 W. Shiprock St., Apache Junction, have organized support meetings similar to Alcoholics Anonymous for those seeking weight loss. And low-impact exercises are conducted in the clubhouse most weekdays. These are perfect for repeating in confined spaces such as RVs. A group goes weekly to Weight Watchers and to Curves.

Many are bringing low-calorie/low-fat foods that are heart healthy to potlucks. Joyce Whitney, a full-time RVer, is the organizer. She and husband Hank left Maryland in 2003 in their RV and "never looked back."
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Friday, January 12, 2007

RV enthusiasts gather for Route 66 rally

Hundreds of motor homes rolled into the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival grounds in Indio on Wednesday, cautious of their blind spots, but revved up for a weekend of tailgate parties, seminars, happy hours and other activities.

The recreational vehicles - some as long as 45 feet and some costing in the millions - lined up en masse at the Western Area Rally called "Get Your Kicks On Route 66," which lasts through Sunday.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Town's stance on RV parks and campgrounds questioned

An ordinance to prohibit new campgrounds in Belmont, New Hampshire, had some residents wondering if the planning board was trying to kill tourism in the area.

The proposed ordinance create definitions for a campground, recreational vehicle resorts, and campsites, adopt minimum design and operational standards for existing campgrounds, and prohibit new campgrounds in the area.

Planning Board Chair Peter Harris told the small audience that recent history had shown that more and more people are using campgrounds as full-time residences and that, without the ordinance, there could be a significant impact on safety services such as fire and ambulance.

However, some residents had objections to the idea of prohibiting camping parks altogether, fearing that it would affect tourism.

Resident Mark Mooney got into a shouting match with the planning board over the regulations, saying it was "unbelievable" that the board would consider prohibiting further campgrounds from coming into town, with the main revenue there from the tourist industry.
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Son Rents RVs to Take Parents on a Road Trip

What would you do if your parents — two characters in their 80s — were miserable after they made an impulsive move from San Diego to Phoenix?

This was the question facing Mike Leonard, whose quirky slice-of-life features air on NBC's Today. What to do?

Then he got an idea: Rent a recreational vehicle and take the folks on one final lap around the country. He'd enlist his twenty- and thirtysomething children, Kerry, Brendan and Matt, and Matt's wife, Margarita, to come along.

"Actually, I think I'll get two RVs," Leonard said.

The ensuing trip became the subject of a four-part series that aired last July, was an instant Today classic and spawned a book and a movie deal.
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Monday, January 08, 2007

RV Show attracts those who love camping with the comforts of home

You could have seen the colors from an airplane — a blue field, then a yellow field, a quilt of pretty patches from the sky.

But as Peggy Muth recalls it, she had such a sweeter view from the ground, sitting beside her husband, driving their trailer past fields of flax and canola in Canada. They could stop to see the colors up close at any time. And they did.

"Just beautiful country," she sighed.

Muth, 71, stood among thousands of other RV lovers Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, describing the virtues of traveling the country by camper, trailer and motor home.

The five-day Tacoma RV Show, which continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, drew all types of drivers, from the owners of red Ford trucks to the buyers of sleek, black, luxury sedans. They wandered through a range of RVs, climbing the narrow stairs of $10,000 trailers and stepping through the spacious living rooms of $501,000 motor homes.
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The '60s return on RV resort stages

The big stage for former Broadway showman Joe McGrath has moved to an east Mesa recreational vehicle resort, and he's making it a showcase for name entertainers.

McGrath, entertainment director at ViewPoint RV & Golf Resort, is booking 2007 concerts by Pam Tillis, Gary Lewis & the Playboys and Beatlemania. All are acts you'd expect to see in clubs in Las Vegas, Branson, Mo., and Nashville.

McGrath is riding a new wave, bringing nationally recognized talent to RV park auditoriums that in the past have been associated with dinner-dances and flea markets.
Minutes southeast of ViewPoint is the Monte Vista RV Resort where Frankie Avalon, John Davidson and the Gatlin Brothers will be among this year's headliners. They'll also appear at the Paradise RV Resort in Sun City.

Linda Profaizer, president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, a Falls Church, Va.-based trade group, said the transition to name entertainment reflects an effort to meet consumer demand as baby boomers emerge in the RV market.
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Bandleader keeps winter RVers moving

Dancing feet are happy feet. Just ask the folks who regularly trip the light fantastic in the many ballrooms in the East Valley RV resorts.

They have a choice of about 15 locations to enjoy the resorts' multi-purpose rooms, which boast stages for the bands and plenty of floor space for dancing. The occupancy is 300 for most locations.

The crowd includes both winter RVers and year-round residents, none of whom seem to mind the admission of $5 to $10 that usually is charged.

Bandleader and former high school music teacher Myron Sommerfeld said, "It's always a great pleasure to come back to Arizona."

He and his wife, Jenneice, spend summers playing dances in and around their home town of Valley City, N.D. then head south to their home in Mesa's Fountain of the Sun for the winter dance season. Myron leads the band, plays drums and sings. Jenneice plays keyboard.
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Sunday, January 07, 2007

RVers take their pets to share adventures

Pets are family members. Many retirees' plans include travel and so, of course, their animals go, too.

If a towable trailer or motor home is to your liking, shop around for the unit that best works for both you and your pet.

Sherry Loewen, sales manager at Loveland R.V., estimates that 75 percent of the seniors she serves are pet owners. They prefer to take those pets along, and select towable RVs over motor homes because the critters can cozily stay in unhitched trailers while owners shop, go out to eat or see some sights.

Loewen said that her customers adapt RV purchases to pets' needs, as well as to their own. Some downsize from a fifth-wheel to a smaller travel trailer so older pets won't need to negotiate steps.

One retired couple, who are dog breeders, purchased a toy hauler to accommodate the multiple kennels they take to dog shows.

Loveland RV also modifies trailers, Loewen stated. For example, they've cut holes in floors and altered closets to provide secure niches for litter boxes.

Loewen recalled numerous purchase decisions made by dogs. Owners often bring them along to sniff RV interiors and select which they prefer.

"I don't know how they know which one the dog approves of," she said.

Pet-owning seniors traveling in RVs have a lot of lodging choices.
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Public input can save campgrounds set for closing

The U.S. Forest Service almost certainly will deactivate a substantial percentage of the campsites it now manages in Colorado and across the nation. How many and how soon may be determined in part by the passion of the individual users.

"This is something we'll take to the public," said Greg Griffith, deputy forester for the Rocky Mountain Region, based in Lakewood.

Griffith said his agency has no hard schedule for its decision, "but it's something we would like to do fairly quickly."

In Colorado, the review process begins with the combined Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests, called GMUG. The forest service aims at shutting down about half the GMUG sites, but Griffith claims there's room for a reprieve.

"If we have campgrounds that are identified as particular favorites, we're willing to look at things," he said.

The public may comment on the fate of some 140 campgrounds and other facilities in the GMUG complex by writing to the Forest Service, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416 or calling 970-874-6600. It's your chance to become part of the process. Otherwise, your favorite camping area might not be there next time you show up.
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