Monday, April 30, 2007

RV Industry's Record Growth Creates Many Job Opportunities

RESTON, Va., April 30, 2007 /PRNewswire-- The RV industry has enjoyed five straight years of record manufacturer-to-dealer shipments. The result of this explosive growth is the creation of an abundance of job openings at all levels within the industry, from sales to service to administration.

"We are a growing, vibrant industry that needs more workers," says Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). "We expect this growth trend to continue over the next decade. It's a great time to begin a career in the RV industry."

As the industry builds more recreational vehicles, openings abound for new RV service technicians. In recent years, community and technical colleges through a nationwide RV service technician traing programs have provided a steady stream of RV service technicians to the RV industry. The National Recreation Vehicle Technical Institute (NRVTI) offers an RV industry-developed curriculum that trains students in the diverse technical fields required of an RV service technician.
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

CEO steers Fleetwood motor home company through downsizing

Learning how to negotiate a 40-foot motor home along a city street takes a steady hand, a watchful eye and usually results in scrapes and dents along the way.

Steering a motor-home company takes all that and more.

For 66-year-old Elden Smith, who abandoned retirement two years ago this month for the top job at Fleetwood Enterprises, the road has been rougher than expected.

The market for the company's major products -- motor homes, travel trailers and manufactured housing -- has suffered declining or uneven sales. High gas prices, rising interest rates and low consumer confidence have also taken a toll.

Sales have dipped dramatically during Smith's tenure, financial losses have piled up and Fleetwood has shrunk significantly.

The company has closed or consolidated at least 13 plants, including two in Riverside County, and reduced the payroll by 5,000 people.

"We had to cut further than we ever imagined we would have to," said Smith, whose primary goal has been to return Fleetwood to profitability.
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Bob Randall's RV Buyer's Survival Guide The #1 Rated Guide For RV Buyers - Over 10,000 Copies Sold Since 2001. Before you take that critical first step in buying any RV, you must read this guide. Written by a "RV Industry Insider", you'll learn the secrets to making the perfect selection while saving more money than you ever dreamed possible. Click Here!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Some drivers cheat state out of big money

KUSA - Colorado is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every year from drivers who illegally register their cars, boats, trucks and motor homes out of state, according to a 9Wants to Know investigation.

The practice is against the law in Colorado, but legal in states like Montana where the vehicles are being registered. Montana is one of five states in the nation that has no sales tax and has low registration fees.

"I think there should be a way to catch them and hang them," said driver Jim Hartshorn, who licensed all of his vehicles in Colorado. "When they go out of state, they're cheating everybody else."

9NEWS found the practice is widespread among people who buy motor homes or recreational vehicles because they can save a lot of money. Sales tax and registration fees on an averaged-priced $150,000 motor home would cost $13,800 in Colorado. However, it would only cost $283 in Montana.

The bigger the motor home means the bigger the savings.
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Bob Randall's RV Buyer's Survival Guide The #1 Rated Guide For RV Buyers - Over 10,000 Copies Sold Since 2001. Before you take that critical first step in buying any RV, you must read this guide. Written by a "RV Industry Insider", you'll learn the secrets to making the perfect selection while saving more money than you ever dreamed possible. Click Here!

CoachShare Offers Shared Ownership Program for Luxury RVs

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) April 27, 2007 -- If you have ever dreamed of exploring the country in a luxury RV, but know you wouldn't use it enough to make the financial commitment, you'll think shared ownership makes sense. This is the same conclusion Jim Palmer came to before launching CoachShare, Inc. "My wife and I wanted to take a few trips a year in a high-end coach, but that didn't justify the cost or hassle associated with purchasing our own," Palmer says. That is when CoachShare, Inc. was born. CoachShare has launched an innovative new fractional ownership program that allows participants to enjoy the benefits of luxury motor coach ownership without the hassles and high prices normally associated with luxury coach travel. Luxury motor coaches, (motorhomes) the largest and most lavish form of recreational vehicle (RV), can have sticker prices ranging from $100,000 to more than $500,000; CoachShare's fractional ownership program divides the purchase and operating expenses between multiple owners, bringing luxury RV vacationing within the budgets of many American families. Tai Quan, a CoachShare owner in San Jose, CA, says, "This was the right decision for us. It is a great way for us to find out whether RVing is right for us long term without spending $250K to run the experiment."
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"The RVers Guide to Internet Access on the Road" covers all the options for getting internet access on the road... Wi-Fi, Cellular, Satellite... more!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Motor home stolen during fill-up stop

EL CAJON CA – A 52-year-old man suspected of stabbing and robbing a gas station customer yesterday, then driving away in a motor home, was found and arrested, police said.

A Lemon Grove man told officers the assailant approached him at the North Mollison Street Chevron station about 2:20 p.m., swung at him with a knife and took his cash and car keys. The victim's hands were cut by the knife.
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Oak Forest, IL sets parking rules for RVs

Oak Forest, IL - Dan Hughes doesn’t have a lot of money, but he wants his family to see the world.

That’s why, along with his brother, he bought a full-service 35-foot-long motor home about five years ago and has traveled across the country with his family ever since.

In the meantime, Hughes needed a place to park his vehicle, which is stocked with a satellite dish and comfortably can sleep six. He moved to Oak Forest about two and a half years ago because city code allowed him to park his motor home in his back yard. He even smoothed out a spot with crushed gravel.

Now, Hughes worries his dream could be shattered if new rules force him to choose between selling his motor home or leaving town.

“I picked this town and the place I moved into because I could park my (motor home) there,” said Hughes, 43. “I will lose a good part of my kids’ life and a good part of my life.”
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MARK POLK has written a NEW comprehensive E-Book called RV CAMPGROUND BASICS. There are an excess of 14,000 campgrounds available to go camping and Mark explains the differences of public, private, membership parks, National parks etc. He also addresses How to find a park; All about campground directories and where to buy them; What to expect in each category, Campground etiquette; Reservation policies plus so very, very much more. For more info go to Mark's Website

MapQuest makes couple's home a vacation destination

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. — It would be hard to confuse Tish and Lyle Ashley's three-bedroom ranch-style home with a 150-acre vacation resort on the edge of Table Rock Lake.

But for the past two years, a lot of visitors have done just that. They've pulled their travel trailers and boats up the Ashleys' one-way street — and gotten stuck — thanks to wayward directions from the computer search engine MapQuest.

"We've had them from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Chicago and Minnesota," Tish Ashley said. "I feel sorry for those people who've driven so far and end up on our one-way street in the middle of nowhere."
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How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk

Residents Angry Over Proposed RV Park

Fawnskin, California - Bear Valley Recreation and Park District Director Reese Troublefield survived his first meeting April 17. Fingers wagged and tempers flared at the park district meeting as residents of Fawnskin made it clear they don’t want a recreational vehicle park or campground at Dana Point Park.

Close to 50 people crammed into the Bear Valley Senior Center after word spread the park district plans to turn Dana Point into a RV park. Troublefield said the RV park was just an idea he expressed to others at the park district and to John Saunders, owner of Captain John’s Fawn Harbor Marina. Saunders is in lease negotiations with the park district, which owns Dana Point and leases the marina property to Saunders. Saunders said he was upset when he saw park district crews surveying Dana Point. Troublefield said the stakes were placed to gather information on the feasibility of the plan.


Marlene Thurston was one of more than 50 concerned citizens who attended the park district meeting. Thurston said traffic created by an RV park would diminish the quality of life that people move to Fawnskin for. She raised environmental concerns, including questions about water for the campground. Thurston said its unfair to build and RV park with the Valley under water restrictions.
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Planning a trip to Canada?Peggi McDonald's RV Travel to Canada simplifies your planning and adds piece of mind to an RV Adventure in the friendly country to the north. Peggi and Husband John are Canadian and have been full time RVing in Canada and the US for 20 years. Click Here!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

FreedomRoads To Acquire Earnhardt RV Centers of Arizona

FreedomRoads, LLC, the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Earnhardt RV Centers of Arizona. The dealership operates two locations within the greater Phoenix market. FreedomRoads, which currently has revenue in excess of 1.6 billion and retails approx 36,000 units annually, will add nearly 2000 additional retail units with the Earnhardt acquisition.

The new combined company has identified Arizona as a key market for growth. It has initiated, through the acquisition of land, plans to open two new Arizona locations. In addition Camping World will open large SuperCenters at both existing Mesa and Avondale dealerships as well as at the new locations, all due to open in 2008.
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"The RVers Guide to Internet Access on the Road" covers all the options for getting internet access on the road... Wi-Fi, Cellular, Satellite... more!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Vehicle Customizing Business Under Injunction for Failure to complete work

A southwest Missouri vehicle customizing business that allegedly took thousands of dollars of payment from consumers without finishing the jobs will cease the fraudulent practice under a consent preliminary injunction obtained by Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Butler, MO - infoZine - The court order against Pro-Line Truck and Trailer of Butler, filed Thursday (April 19) in Bates County Circuit Court, also requires the business to establish an escrow account to accurately document all down payments received from consumers for close future scrutiny by the Attorney General's Office.

Pro-Line Truck and Trailer engaged in the advertisement and sale of customizing services for trucks, trailers and recreational vehicles. According to Nixon, two consumers alleged that they paid Pro-Line a total of nearly $70,000 to have a trailer built or to have extensive repairs done to a mobile home, only to have the Pro-Line fail to complete the jobs...
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Get A Free Night Of Camping at KOA Kampground May 11-12!

KOA’s annual Come Camp & Care With Us Weekend Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12. This year, campers who stay at a participating KOA as a paying guest on Friday, May 11 will receive a FREE NIGHT of camping on Saturday, May 12. View the list of participating KOA Kampgrounds
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MARK POLK has written a NEW comprehensive E-Book called RV CAMPGROUND BASICS. There are an excess of 14,000 campgrounds available to go camping and Mark explains the differences of public, private, membership parks, National parks etc. He also addresses How to find a park; All about campground directories and where to buy them; What to expect in each category, Campground etiquette; Reservation policies plus so very, very much more. For more info go to Mark's Website

Camping group celebrates 50th

TEMPLETON— Inside a dirt-stained time capsule, camping memorabilia from 20 years ago was sealed and stored underground.

Members of the North America Family Camping Association unearthed the box as part of their 50th anniversary celebration at Otter River State Forest in Baldwinville.

“I forgot we put it in there,” said Lorraine M. LeBlanc of Waltham, referring to the 1977 membership card she and her husband, Paul E. LeBlanc, 75, had placed in the chest.

Mrs. LeBlanc said she hated camping at first.

“I told my husband, ‘You better find someone else to come up here with you,’ ” Mrs. LeBlanc said. But after buying a camper and joining NAFCA, she was sold.

“Now (other campers) are like family,” she said.

The group of camping enthusiasts has chapters in every New England state, as well as chapters in Canada and Florida. But Baldwinville was the site of the very first group, which formed in 1957 to help organize activities.

“It was very different back then,” said Edith M. Fagley, 85, from Lanesboro. She was the eldest of about 100 campers who came to the weekend celebration.
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How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk

What's a sin - the RV, or its tax bill?

Bill Sunderman has a cause. And some observations. And a headache.

His headache isn't so much a pain in his noggin as it is a vacuum to his bank account. He owns a five-year-old motor home. It's a nice motor home. He has to pay a large personal property taxes on his motor home.

Sunderman thinks RVs should be treated the same way as boats and maybe even luxury automobiles.

The owner of a motorized boat that costs $75,000 or more must pay $500 in excise tax. A new car that costs $42,500 will set its owner back $532 in excise tax. Sunderman's personal property taxes on his motor home: $2,728.30.
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Planning a trip to Canada?Peggi McDonald's RV Travel to Canada simplifies your planning and adds piece of mind to an RV Adventure in the friendly country to the north. Peggi and Husband John are Canadian and have been full time RVing in Canada and the US for 20 years. Click Here!

What's a sin - the RV, or its tax bill?

Bill Sunderman has a cause. And some observations. And a headache.

His headache isn't so much a pain in his noggin as it is a vacuum to his bank account. He owns a five-year-old motor home. It's a nice motor home. He has to pay a large personal property taxes on his motor home.

Sunderman thinks RVs should be treated the same way as boats and maybe even luxury automobiles.

The owner of a motorized boat that costs $75,000 or more must pay $500 in excise tax. A new car that costs $42,500 will set its owner back $532 in excise tax. Sunderman's personal property taxes on his motor home: $2,728.30.
Full Story...
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Planning a trip to Canada?Peggi McDonald's RV Travel to Canada simplifies your planning and adds piece of mind to an RV Adventure in the friendly country to the north. Peggi and Husband John are Canadian and have been full time RVing in Canada and the US for 20 years. Click Here!

Gasoline at $4 Coming to a Pump Near You

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Whether it's $50 to fill up your Prius or $130 for the Ford Expedition, $4-a-gallon gasoline is coming to a pump near you.

Fuel prices are rising at a pace not seen since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita knocked out a third of the U.S. oil refining industry in 2005. Gasoline consumption is climbing twice as fast as last year and will accelerate when summer travel begins late next month.

"What we're surprised by is the increased demand," said James Mulva, chief executive officer at ConocoPhillips, whose refineries from California to New Jersey produce 56 million gallons of gas a day, enough to meet 14 percent of the country's needs. "Even though the price of gasoline is up, the demand is up," he said in an April 12 interview in Houston.

Population gains and U.S. economic growth are causing an increase in fuel purchases, according to Orlando, Florida-based AAA, the nation's largest organization for motorists. The U.S. economy will expand at a 2.4 percent annual pace in the second quarter, up from 1.8 percent in the first three months, according to the median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Gasoline use is rising almost 5 percent above the five-year average.

Americans are resigned to higher prices, says David Pursell, a principal with Pickering Energy Partners, a consulting firm in Houston.

"Last year, we had pump prices well over $3 for the summer and gasoline demand was up," Pursell said in an interview. "Would $4 gasoline cause demand contraction? I think it will, but I also thought $3 gasoline would."
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Get the Long, Long Trailer Staring Lucy & Desi

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Story Behind the Sale of Camping World to Freedom Roads

How does this work? You own three companies. You sell one of the companies you own to another company you own and you pocket $131.8 million in the process. But, now you own two companies instead of three. Hmmmmm.

That’s pretty much what happened yesterday when Affinity Group announced it had “sold” Camping World to Freedom Roads. Affinity Group’s latest annual report shows that Stephen Adams owns 1,407.2 shares or 97.41 percent of the company’s common stock, and Adams’ family members own another 37.5 shares or 2.59 percent of the company.

In announcing the sale, Affinity Group said it would use the $175.8 million it received from the sale of Camping World to pay off all the debt Camping World owes to Affinity Group. Once that the debt is paid off, $131.8 million remains. That means Adams will pocket $128.39 million and his family will net $3.41 million. Nice!
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Note: This is an editorial by Greg Gerber editor of RV Trade Digest Magazine

U.S. Highway 395: California's 'mother road'

Every road sings its own tune. Route 66 is a classic, sometimes raucous ditty from Chicago to L.A.; Highway 1 a twisty ballad to the voluptuous California coast; and U.S. 395 a mandolin-driven ode to the West that evokes images of cowboy boots and roadside diners.

Route 395 is our mother road. Its two-lane panoramas of the Eastern Sierra — especially from Lone Pine to Mono Lake — are an invitation to shift into a simpler time. The miles are marked by a beef jerky shack, a Dutch-style bakery, a herd of grazing elk, a courthouse that dates to the Civil War and a snowcapped mountain range born in the Jurassic.

And this time of year, less than a week before trout season begins (Saturday), 395 is the gateway to the state's premier fishing lakes and streams.
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Note: While this article is somewhat focused on trout fishing, it does describe the scenery and many other things to see and do besides fishing. Since Fran & I love to travel Highway 395 I thought I would bring the it to your attention.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Discount Camping Memberships Soar for Camp Club USA

Camp Club USA, the newest member in the Affinity Group’s family of companies that include Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast Resorts, Woodall’s Campground Directory, Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines, today announced that its membership base has reached a milestone – exceeding 30,000 consumers.

Since being founded in January 2006, Camp Club USA, a discount camping club that guarantees 50 percent off nightly rates at its network of more than 600 affiliated campgrounds and RV parks across the United States and Canada, has seen continued growth of its membership base.

For an annual fee of $49.95, members receive a new campground directory every year and have 24/7 online access to the most up-to-date campground listings and member information. The directory provides easy-to-read maps, turn-by-turn directions and featured amenities. Members also receive a monthly e-newsletter.
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MARK POLK has written a NEW comprehensive E-Book called RV CAMPGROUND BASICS. There are an excess of 14,000 campgrounds available to go camping and Mark explains the differences of public, private, membership parks, National parks etc. He also addresses How to find a park; All about campground directories and where to buy them; What to expect in each category, Campground etiquette; Reservation policies plus so very, very much more. For more info go to Mark's Website

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cruise America celebrates 35th anniversary in June

Mesa, Ariz. (April 2007) – Cruise America RV Rental turns 35 this June, but the celebration is starting early at rental locations across the country.

For 35 days leading up to the company’s 35th anniversary, customers can receive double the rental time at no extra charge on all weekend and weekly RV rentals. Vacationers who reserve a three-night rental can keep their motorhomes for six nights, while those who reserve a week will receive 14 nights of rental time.

This Double-Fun Deal is available on all new reservations for RV travel made between now and April 30. Customers can rent from any of Cruise America’s more than 130 nationwide rental locations, but must depart on one of the 35 days leading up to the company’s anniversary, May 1 through June 4, to receive the promotion.
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MARK POLK has written a NEW comprehensive E-Book called RV CAMPGROUND BASICS. There are an excess of 14,000 campgrounds available to go camping and Mark explains the differences of public, private, membership parks, National parks etc. He also addresses How to find a park; All about campground directories and where to buy them; What to expect in each category, Campground etiquette; Reservation policies plus so very, very much more. For more info go to Mark's Website

Monday, April 16, 2007

Curt Manufacturing introduces RV Fifth Wheel Hitch


EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (April 2007)

Curt Manufacturing, Inc. has introduced the industries first RV fifth wheel hitch with a 10-year warranty.

The fifth wheel hitch has a spherical axial bearing that ensures smooth and quiet towing. The hitch also has lock indicators that a user can see from the cab of their vehicle and is self-aligning for easy hookups.

“The Q5 RV fifth wheel hitch has been so successful in our testing, even passing the proposed new J-2638 industry standard with flying colors, that we’ve decided to further support the hitch with a 10 year warranty,” said Lee Adelman, Curt Manufacturing’s National Sales Manager.

The Q5 RV fifth wheel hitch mounts to industry standard pickup truck bed rails and is available with Curt’s R5 Roller. Visit www.curtmfg.com for more information.

Friday the 13th proves to be unlucky for Texas RV Dealership

FORT WORTH, Texas – Friday, April 13 proved to be a very unlucky day for one Texas RV dealership after a tornado caused extensive damage to more than 70 RVs and the dealer’s building as well.

Bill White, co-owner of United RV, had just reached his home when a hysterical employee called to tell him a tornado had passed through the dealership’s lot.
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Heartland Recreational Vehicles Redesigns Luxury Fifth Wheel

ELKHART, Ind. (April 2007) - Heartland Recreational Vehicles has increased retail sales and growth thanks in large part to the Bighorn, a mid-priced fifth-wheel model on the market today.

On the heels of a 254 percent retail sales growth in 2006, Heartland reported that the Bighorn is even better for 2008.

"For 2008 we have totally redesigned the Bighorn so that more than ever it has the luxury, appeal and features that today's high-end buyers and extended stay campers are looking for," said Tim Hoffman, vice president of sales.

The 2008 Bighorn offers many of the features that made the Landmark, Heartland's flagship fiver, a leader in the industry patent-pending 88-degree turning radius, universal docking center, large pass through storage and drop frame storage, along with a remarkable degree of elegance.

Bighorn's elegant feel begins in the spacious living room which features a standard 26-inch LCD flat screen TV on a swivel mount with home theatre system. Space behind the TV holds shelving for DVDs, videos and CDs. The Bighorn's new rear entertainment models feature a 42-inch LCD TV standard. Other Bighorn features include its 100 percent stained hardwood cabinet doors and stiles, free standing dinette with storage in the chairs and table and elegant slide-out fascia. The upgraded sofa turns into a self-inflating air mattress bed at the touch of a button. Decorative glass inserts add a residential touch to the room.

Bighorn's elegance continues in the kitchen, where you'll find large islands and stained Amish-crafted hardwood cabinets with steel ball-bearing drawer guides with full extension. Among the new features are:
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Gear up for Summer RVing at Pomona RV & Travel Show

POMONA, CA --- Outdoor recreation and travel enthusiasts can see all the latest accessories and vehicles for camping, fishing, hiking, road trips and off-road activities during the Pomona RV & Travel Show, April 19-22 at Pomona Fairplex.

According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, the baby boom generation is the leading force behind RV ownership today with more RVs owned by 35 to 54-year-olds than any other age group. Today, one-in-10 vehicle-owning households in that age group have at least one RV. The high rates of RV ownership now extend across a 40-year span from 35 to 75.

Demand for RVs has been at its highest level during the past 25 years and continues to grow. Now the typical RV owner is age 49, married, owns a home and has an annual household income of $68,000.

The show will feature over 20 RV dealers in more than 250,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space filled with the latest models in recreational vehicles including a variety of motor homes, 5th wheels, toy haulers, travel trailers, truck campers, tent trailers, vans, tow vehicles, sports vehicles and RV accessories. Travel ideas for hunting and fishing trips and other vacation destinations will be presented. Several giveaways will be offered throughout the show.

Seminars on recreational vehicles, including purchasing tips, driving safety and new products will be offered daily, along with free fly fishing demonstrations by champion fly
caster Steve White.

Show hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19; noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 20; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 22.

General admission is $8 (ages 13 years and over) and free for children 12 and under.

Seniors are $4 Thursday and Friday. There is a $1 admission discount coupon available at the website www.agievents.com. Free parking for all recreational vehicles.

The Pomona Fairplex is located at 1101 E. McKinley Ave., at the fairgrounds. For
more information call 800-877-3107 or visit the website.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fuel prices have little impact on RV sales

Where fuel tanks can be as large as kiddie pools and monster RVs rarely get more than six to 10 miles per gallon you would expect the specter of rising gasoline prices to take some of the thrill out of the ride.

But according to industry watchers, the RV sector shows few signs of slowing down, as waves of retiring baby boomers choose to spend their downtime on the highway.

''An RV is a dream purchase that people spend years thinking about,'' said Dave Kelly, the marketing director of the Florida RV Trade Association. ``So when the day comes that you can buy it, something like gas prices isn't going to stop you.''

While gas prices might not be make-or-break factors in the world of RV sales, not everyone is so blasé about pain at the pump.

Tom Giarritta, a Pembroke Pines resident who was visiting the show Friday, said anyone not worried about the cost of filling a 75-90 gallon tank on an RV ``probably never owned one before.''

''We've had a motor home before,'' said Giarritta who was shopping with his wife Elaine. ``You take something like this out to California and back, you're talking over $2,000 for fuel. That's a lot of money. Do the math, like they say.''
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Get Mark Polk's Class A Motorhome 101 RV DVD All of Mark's DVD's offer practical information and he has one for every RV type. Find all the RV Education 101 DVDs here.

Camp Wal-Mart: Some stores allow overnight parking

LUMBERTON, NC— As night falls, the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot suddenly bustles as RV travelers pull off Interstate 95.

One by one, stylish motor homes and modest recreation vehicles park near the entrance of the store off Fayetteville Road and set up camp.

The draw, enthusiasts say, is convenience and price — it’s free.

Judy McKay walked toward Wal-Mart to buy antihistamine medicine for her allergies while her husband, Don, sat in the Holiday Rambler Class A eating a sandwich and enjoying a cold beer.

Don McKay checked with the store manager earlier to make sure they could stay. Signs posted throughout the parking lot warned no parking for unauthorized vehicles.

“We weren’t sure whether we could camp here,” Don McKay said.

He reached into an overhead compartment and pulled out a book called “Wal-Mart Locater,” which provides a list of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores that allow overnight parking for recreation vehicles. The book gives directions, indicates whether it is a superstore and rates the stores, he said.

Don McKay then grabbed the book called “Wal-Mart ‘No Overnight Parking’ Stores,” which provides rules to follow and stores that prohibit overnight stays.

The information also is available on the Internet.

“There is no point of paying $30 to $40 a night to stay at a campground,” said McKay, who is from Ontario, Canada. “You can do a little bit of shopping. That’s how Wal-Mart benefits.”
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Watch a short video on Overnighting at Wal-Mart

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

International Truck and Engine Partners With Conquest Motorhomes

With more than $14 billion in retail sales and more than 370,000 annual unit shipments last year, the RV industry was a large and virtually untapped market for International Truck and Engine Corporation – until now. International, a Navistar company, is partnering with Conquest Motorhomes, a division of Gulf Stream Coach and one of the RV industry’s leading manufacturers, to make International the exclusive cab and chassis provider for all of its Class C diesel motorhomes.

"This partnership is a tremendous growth opportunity for us," said Steve Guillaume, General Manager, Medium Truck, International. "The Class C motorhome market represents a substantial portion of a growing industry – approximately 33 percent of the total motorized RV market. Once again, International is challenging convention as this is a great opportunity to leverage the scale of our core business and generate growth outside of the commercial trucking sector."

Gulf Stream's initial order for 625 International® DuraStar™ chassis underscores the significance of the market opportunity, with the relationship projected to expand over time. This deal was a direct result of close collaboration between International and Workhorse Custom Chassis, as International sought support and guidance in penetrating the RV industry. The International chassis is available on Gulf Stream Coach's Super Nova and Gladiator (Enduramax) models.
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Fuel Prices Won't Put a Damper on Vacation Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Don't expect less crowded roads and waterways this vacation season. According to Nationwide Mutual Insurance's Second Annual Fueling Powersports Index, powersporters – owners of RVs, travel trailers, boats and motorcycles – indicate even if gas prices go up, their love for their lifestyle has them willing to “pay to play."

Nationwide polled 2,518 motorcycle, power boat, bass boat, RV and travel trailer owners to gauge their sentiments on how fuel prices would impact their powersport vehicle use. Nearly 70 percent of powersport enthusiasts say they will not change their vacation plans because of high prices.

"Our second annual survey demonstrates that powersport owners are adapting to a range of fuel prices. In fact, enthusiasts say gas would have to cost nearly twice as much before they would stop using their vehicles," said Mitch Roggemann, national sales director for Nationwide’s Property & Casualty Specialty Products. "This is reflective of the fact that close to 70 percent of all powersporters use time spent on their vehicles as an escape from everyday life."

"At Nationwide, we know powersporting is truly a lifestyle," said Roggemann. "Understanding the passions and motivations of these enthusiasts allows us to remain connected with them, and ensures our ability to offer the best protection available."

Key findings:

-- Enthusiasts say they would pay from $2.88 (travel trailer owners)
up to $3.38 (motorcyclists) per gallon before even considering
using their vehicles less frequently.

-- That's 28 cents more per gallon than motorcyclists said they
were willing to pay in the Nationwide survey last year.

-- Power boaters and bass boaters say gas prices would have to
reach $3.26 and $3.17 respectively before they would use their
boats less often. That's 50 cents more per gallon than they
said last year.

-- The study found that fuel prices would have to go through the roof
before enthusiasts would stop using their vehicles, with prices
ranging from $4.14 per gallon (travel trailer owners) up to $6.27
per gallon (motorcyclists).

-- Most powersporters plan on traveling long distances this summer.
RV owners say they expect to drive 819 miles round trip each time
they use their vehicle this year. Travel trailer owners expect to
drive 459 miles round trip each time this year.

-- While powersporters don't expect to use their vehicles fewer times
this year, high fuel prices do have some effect on how long they
run their vehicles per trip.

-- Motorcyclists expect to ride about two hours and 54 minutes per
trip this summer. That's about 18 minutes shorter than last
summer.

-- Power boaters will run their boats about 16 minutes less per
outing and bass boaters will run their engines about 32 minutes
less per outing.

For more information on powersports, visit www.nationwide.com

Local KOA Manager Not Happy About Custer State Park Upgrades

The face of the future is emerging at four state-owned resorts in Custer State Park as construction crews begin to hammer and saw their way into a multi-million-dollar renovation project.

The work eventually will include new water, electrical, heat and cooling systems, 33 new rooms at the historic State Game Lodge, 50 new camping cabins and the addition of electricity to 300 campsites.

Critics of the addition of camping cabins and electric campsites worry that the improvements will further blur the economic line between the park campgrounds and their private counterparts. Josh Daiss, general manager of the Mount Rushmore KOA, said the campground improvements in Custer State Park will move the park beyond traditional rustic camping and put it in more direct competition with private campgrounds that have offered more camping comforts.

That will hurt business and lower property values of the private operations, he said.

Daiss and several other campground owners or managers intend to meet Thursday with the Pennington County Commission, acting in its role as equalization board, to request a reduction in property taxes in anticipation of those lost values.
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RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alfa motor home swerved off Highway crashed in to Home

On Sunday afternoon, drivers occasionally stopped to look at what resembled the aftermath of a tornado. The house was boarded up, with a gaping hole in the roof and a deep crack running along the side. Children's toys lay strewn about the front yard next to piles of trash, insulation, glass and a mangled metal fence.

But it was not a force of nature that ripped through a Stanislaus County home the night before. Just before 8 p.m. Saturday, a 2006 Alfa motor home swerved off Highway 99, in California and crashed into a house on Pecos Avenue north of Ceres.

No one was in the house at the time of the accident, but the driver, Stephen Quance, sustained injuries to his neck and head. Quance, 56, of Bremerton, Wash., was taken to Doctors Medical Center and was in critical condition Sunday evening.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Quance lost consciousness while driving north on Highway 99. His foot got stuck on the gas pedal, according to the CHP report.
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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.

1957 Plymouth Belvedere Time Capsule to be Unearthed

This isn't RV related but it's a great story I think you will enjoy... I did.
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The intriguing story began in the summer of 1957, when Oklahoma was celebrating 50 years of statehood. As part of Tulsa's celebration - or "Tulsarama" - civic leaders and business promoters decided to bury a brand-new, white and gold 1957 Plymouth Belvedere sports coupe in a concrete vault underneath the courthouse lawn. The Plymouth was chosen because at the time it was an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity. It was believed to possess the kind of lasting appeal that would remain in style for 50 years.

With much fanfare and hoopla, the beautiful new car was entombed on June 15, 1957. It will be disinterred in celebration of Oklahoma's Centennial on June 15 2007.

When Tulsa leaders dig up the car in a few months, they could be unearthing a potentially pricey piece of history. Although the automobile cost $2,000 50 years ago, it could be worth 50 times that amount if it's in good shape. Once free from its KCL-made plastic cocoon, excavators will find either a bag of rust or a well-protected and preserved pristine work of mechanical art. The old Belvedere had rear wings and curved features that made almost any car lover's heart throb.
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If I miss the ending to this story I hope one of you will remind me. - Steven

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gas prices won’t keep RV snowbirds from making the trek north

Just in time for RV snowbirds to fuel up for the trip home, gas prices have taken a turn for the higher.

Peggy McShea said she and her husband spent about $600 on gas driving their motor home from New Hampshire to Bonita Springs, Florida earlier this year. They plan to pay at least $800 this month on the trip back. McShea said travelers packing up to leave the RV park where she’s staying have been griping about the spike in price.

“We only get about eight miles to the gallon” in the motor home, the 64-year-old retired elementary teacher said. So instead of a trip to California next winter, she said she’s coming back to Florida to save on gas. And there will be fewer day trips once she gets here.

“The trend in the campground for next year, from what I hear, is more people are coming down and staying for longer, rather than jumping around, because of the price of gas,” McShea said. “There are a lot of peole that are on fixed incomes.”
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301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier and More Fun - save time, money and effort


A home away from home

At vacation time many of us will travel seeking new adventures or a well-deserved reprieve from life in the fast lane. One way to reach those destinations is by motorhome, even with the high price of gasoline. Just ask Grass Valley's Mark and Judi Christensen.

The Christensens purchased their used motorhome last fall on eBay, then flew to Arizona to inspect the vehicle before closing the sale and driving it home. After arriving in Grass Valley, the motorhome underwent a few minor maintenance repairs and alterations.

In spite of today's rising cost of gasoline, Mark says their motorhome is still a vacation value. "The motorhome's an enjoyable way to go. It's actually more comfortable than riding in the car. You have all the room you need; my hotel's right here." Their motorhome has a full kitchen, bathroom with shower (very tight fit!), a regular bed and seating that becomes an additional sleeping area, if necessary. Judi keeps the motorhome stocked and ready to go at a moment's notice.

And although he hasn't figured out a cost comparison between a motorhome vacation and other methods of travel, Mark says, "If you have to worry about the cost of gas, you can't afford to go."
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U.S. RV Transport company seeks drivers

A U.S. company that delivers recreational vehicles to dealerships wants to hire 200 Albertans to drive RVs from south of the 49th parallel to Alberta, where they're selling like hotcakes.

The company, U.S. RV Transport, moves travel trailers and fifth wheels across the United States, Canada and 22 other countries.

It has shipped about 1,000 RVs yearly to Alberta over the past five to six years. But this year, it's projecting to ship upwards of 5,000, said national sales manager Bill Goodwin, from Wakarusa, Indiana.

"We are literally swamped," Goodwin told Sun Media yesterday. "I'm going to put it on the oilfield.

So the company wants to hire 200 Alberta-based drivers who would make the 3,000-km trek to Wakarusa to pick up the RVs and tow them back to Canada, usually over four to five days, Goodwin said. The trip pays about $1,800 US, expenses included.

Anyone with a driver's licence and a three-quarter tonne or one-tonne pickup truck between the ages of 21 and 71 can apply. Inquiries can be made by calling 1-877-856-9275.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Motorhome demolition derby part of Yuma, AZ fair

Fair attendees who plan to attend Wednesday night's demolition derby at the Yuma County Fair will be treated to an extra dosage of destruction.

According to fair manager Kelly Watkins, a special pre-demolition derby featuring at least three motorhomes will precede the regular derby.

"They fall apart pretty easy," Watkins said. "Last year one looked like a motorhome when it started, but it was more like a patio afterwards."
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Get Mark Polk's Class A Motorhome 101 RV DVD All of Mark's DVD's offer practical information and he has one for every RV type. Find all the RV Education 101 DVDs here.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Park volunteers arrive in their RVs as strangers but leave as family

The RVers are volunteers at the Koreshan State Historic Site on Florida. The site was the home of 250 people who followed their religious leader to Florida in the late 1890 and early 1900s.

The winter months bring a small workforce here to lend a hand to the park staff in keeping the place going. Some volunteers give tours in the historical buildings. Others work in the office or do hosting duties in the public campground and still others perform maintenance on the grounds, equipment and the myriad of historical buildings.

Most of these folks, live in a state-owned “volunteer village” campground on the banks of the Estero River. During the peak of the season, there might be 30 people in 16 or more RVs in this campground, with accommodations ranging from $250,000 motor coaches to plywood beds in the back of a 10-year old Toyota pickup. All have volunteering in common but the people keeping house in these places have backgrounds, temperaments and personalities as varied as the four winds from whence we came.
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KOA Buys California Delta RV Resort/Marina Complex

Kampgrounds of America Inc. has purchased the entire Tower Park Resort and Marina complex in Lodi California from Westrec, the world’s largest marina operator.

KOA has been operating the RV resort campground portion of the complex for the past year under a lease agreement with Westrec. The campground was called the Stockton Delta KOA.

The campground portion of the property has 380 full service campsites, including lodges, as well as a pavilion, swimming pool, pet playground and outdoor movie cinema. For the summer 2007 season, KOA will be adding a recreational activities team, jumping pillow and additional accommodations.
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301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier and More Fun - save time, money and effort.

Anaheim, CA RV park to reopen

Owner of Disneyland-area park planned housing there, but now expects delays because of Disney-led opposition.

The landowner is expecting long delays in approval of the project because of a Disney-led, anti-housing campaign in the Anaheim Resort. So, he plans to reopen the former Travelers World RV Park by May to make money in the meantime.
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Monday, April 02, 2007

KOA Kampgrounds of America Moves To New, Improved Reno, Nevada Location

Campers looking for a great KOA Kampground in Reno, Nevada will have to start looking just a little further west than they did before.

Kampgrounds of America Inc. has entered into an agreement with the Boomtown® Casino and Hotel Reno to operate Boomtown’s RV park just outside Reno. The park has 203 full-service RV sites and is located right next to the Boomtown Reno, overlooking the Truckee River just west of downtown Reno. The new park will now be called the Reno KOA at Boomtown.

For several years, KOA has operated the Reno KOA adjacent to the former Reno Hilton. That location has been designated for an alternative use by its new owners.

The new Reno KOA at Boomtown will offer campers more amenities and convenience than the former location. The Reno KOA at Boomtown has paved roads and RV pads along with plenty of grass and shade trees. It also has its own outdoor pool and spas, as well as WiFi access, cable TV, 24-hour security and easy access from Interstate 80.
There’s even a free shuttle from the park to the casino. RVers will also find gasoline, diesel and propane for sale conveniently nearby at the Boomtown Chevron Mini Mart.
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Camping World and Bank of Internet to Offer Banking to RV Enthusiasts

Bank of Internet USA (the Bank), a wholly owned subsidiary of B of I Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ: BOFI), and CWI, Inc. (Camping World) announced today that they have launched a five-year marketing agreement to offer deposit and loan products to recreational vehicle customers through RVBank.com, a new website operating as a branch of Bank of Internet USA. The agreement will allow both companies to drive new growth opportunities by matching Internet banking with the financial needs of the RV lifestyle and by introducing "Boomer" and "Senior" Internet banking customers to the freedom of recreational vehicle ownership.

Effective April 1, 2007, RVBank began serving the customers of Camping World, America's largest retailer of RV parts and accessories, by offering online FDIC-insured bank deposits and loans nationwide with the great rates and low fees that Bank of Internet USA has been providing to customers for more than six years.
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301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier and More Fun - save time, money and effort


RV campground opens on Navigational Canal

The Port of New Orleans will be home to the city’s newest campsite, New Orleans RV Campground. The 20-acre site is on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Phase 1 of the five-year project consists of 52 40-foot-wide RV spaces with a laundry and bathhouse for $750,000. Additional phases call for a total of 150 RV spaces and the construction of a marina, hotel and restaurant so the campground can “one day become a tourist destination,” Delesdernier said.
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Good Sam Club Honors the 2007 Welcome Mat Award Winner

Every year, Good Sam Club members choose which companies roll out the red carpet -- or, in this case, the welcome mat -- of good customer service. It's called the Welcome Mat Awards and for the Good Sam members it is an opportunity to express support and encouragement for companies that treated RVers right throughout 2006. The honor goes to businesses across a wide spectrum of RV-related customer service, from fast food restaurants to campgrounds to NASCAR events. In all, there are 24 categories, which are voted on by the one million families in the Good Sam Club. "RVing attracts families, baby boomers, retirees, tailgaters, outdoor enthusiasts and travelers of all kinds," said Sue Bray, executive director for the Good Sam Club. "The Welcome Mat Awards are our members' way of recognizing the people and businesses that make the life of an RVer more enjoyable."

RV Manufacturer Marathon Coach still humble amid extravagance

COBURG, Oregon- First, get your bearings.

It's the building along Interstate 5, near the Coburg exit, with the "Marathon" sign that fades to different colors in the night and jolts you awake on your return trip from Portland.

It's not Monaco Coach, its neighbor to the west, which is no slouch in the motor home industry either but, with Marathon around, will never be the swankiest home on the block.

And it's not symbolized by a couple of geezers swishing Budweisers in their lawn chairs outside their RV at a KOA park while the Li'l Smokies heat up inside to enliven the Happy Hour.

Put it this way: The people who own these vehicles are the people who could own Budweiser. The price range for these land yachts is $1.4 million to $2 million.

Each chassis is driven to Coburg from its birthplace at the Prevost company in Quebec, Canada. Each is akin to a framed house. What they do at Marathon - the largest Prevost converter in the world - is build the interiors and paint the exteriors...
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Get Mark Polk's Class A Motorhome 101 RV DVD All of Mark's DVD's offer practical information and he has one for every RV type. Find all the RV Education 101 DVDs here.


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