Saturday, May 31, 2008

Great RV Site Rentals for Space Shuttle Launch

Are you an RV enthusiast who embraces the dream of space travel? If so, The Great Outdoors RV and Golf Resort located just minutes from Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida should be on your "must visit" list this summer.

Space shuttles are due to launch on May 31st, and again in August and October. Watch the space shuttle begin its incredible flight to rendezvous with the space station right from our resort, or--for a more up close and personal experience--from the Indian River directly across from the launch pad--just a 5-minute drive from our resort's front gate!

Take advantage of our summer special RV site rental rates by calling for reservations at 800/621-2267.
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Sales of big RVs take a dive as fuel stops cost drivers $600

Recreational vehicle dealers say sales are down dramatically this year — as much as 40 percent, according to one longtime Nashville company — as consumers deal with higher fuel and food prices, as well as the slowing economy.
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But the cost of fuel is the hardest blow to take, said Tom and Penny Maulding, who gave up their home in California 10 years ago to become full-time RV travelers. It now costs more than $600 to fill up their 40-foot Fleetwood motor coach, with its diesel engine and 150-gallon tank. It gets about 7 miles per gallon.

"Every time we pull into a truck stop, I cry," said Penny Maulding, 66, as she and her husband relaxed in the motor home recently at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park campground off Briley Parkway near the Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

"These high fuel prices won't stop us from traveling, and we probably will be staying longer in each place we visit," she said. "But I can see now that we'll eventually have to give this up and settle back into a house somewhere."
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Friday, May 30, 2008

Don't be intimidated by a rental RV vacation

If you've never vacationed in a recreational vehicle, your first reaction might be "I can't afford to rent an RV" or "They're too large to maneuver."

Or maybe even "I don't want to end up like Robin Williams," who not only had trouble driving one in the movie "RV," but also had a run-in with the septic tank.

But RV dealers and rental companies are not going to hand you the keys without some preparation. A tutorial before you drive the RV off the lot is the norm.

And while gas prices have made it more expensive to take road trips in any kind of vehicle, RVs do come in many different models and sizes - from truck campers and towable trailers to motor homes and even sport utility RVs. There's one for every budget and family type. Winnebago Industries Inc., the largest maker of motor homes, unveiled a 2009 ERA (a class-B motor home model) that gets 22 miles per gallon, while the largest motor homes get about eight miles per gallon, according to industry data.

Courtney Robey, spokeswoman for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, says RVs can also be a good deal for families. Despite gas costs, "a family of four can travel much more cheaply in an RV than by flying, where you'd have to buy four tickets. And you're not going to be eating out at restaurants three times a
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day. You're going to be cooking in the RV. You also don't have to pay for a hotel room. So a family can save money in the long run."
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Bates International Motor Homes Rental Systems, Inc Opens New Utah Franchise

Bates Motor Home Rental Network of Southern Utah has opened a new RV rental office to serve the greater Southern Utah area. Bates of Saint George, Utah, located at 473 S River Road, is a part of a long-established international RV rental franchise network with locations throughout North America.

Bates invites RV owners and potential RV purchasers to contact Bates of Southern Utah to discuss the benefits of its “RV Revenue Sharing” program. This is an opportunity to enjoy income and favorable tax advantages.

RV rentals are one of the largest growing segments of the travel/tourism industry. The rental of an RV permits customers to enjoy the benefits of the RV lifestyle without the cost of ownership. RV rentals are often the first step toward the purchase of an RV, providing potential buyers the opportunity to “try before they buy.”

Bates of Southern Utah’s’ fleet consists of Class “C” and Class “A” diesel pusher motor homes. The RVs are a combination of company owned and managed units. Bates of Southern Utah is a valued member of the Bates International franchise, a system of reliable connections to proven programs, successful operating systems and an experienced management team. Bates International is known for its variety, from plush Class “A” diesel pushers to small Class “C” “cab over” styles.

Bates provides personalized attention to its customers and RV fleet. The favorable experiences of its customers reach far beyond the company and its franchise locations. Bates strives to always provide the highest quality of travel service and safe, memorable travel experiences for its clients as they experience the freedom and flexibility of journeying in an RV.
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Visit How To Rent an RV .com for information on how to get the most from your up-coming RV rental vacation.

RV industry adjusts to high gas prices as RVers change their behavior

High gas prices don’t seem to be fazing avid RVers from purchasing rigs or embarking on weekend or weeklong getaways.

Paul and Dolores Rogers grew up in Richmond and have since moved to Florida; however, their summers are spent at Deer Ridge Camping Resort a few miles outside their hometown.

Daughter Ginger Slone said her parents would not give up their summer in Richmond no matter how high gas prices get.

“They come to spend time with the family,” Slone said.

Visiting Dolores Rogers’ sisters is one of the prime reasons the family vacations every summer.

Gas reaching $4 a gallon will not prevent the Rogers from taking their annual trip to Richmond, but it has prompted a change in their behavior once arriving at the campsite.

Slone, a Michigan resident, said she and her parents previously would alternate visiting each other during the Rogers’ summer in Richmond. For example, if Slone drove to Richmond one weekend, the Rogers’ would drive to Michigan the next. However, now the trips to visit are rare and the Rogers primarily stay at the campsite.

The experiences of the Rogers seem to be the norm for those who enjoy living the RV life, said Don Crossley, sales representative at Best Buy RV’s in Richmond.

“I think fuel is a frustration, but if you own a motor home you’re going to use it,” he said.

Another trend Crossley said he’s noticed from talking to customers is that the people who go on vacations with their motor homes are more likely to find a campsite close to their home or just not stray far from the campsite once they arrive.
Full Story...
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RV Living in the 21st Century: The Essential Reference Guide for ALL RVers For anyone considering or experiencing the RV lifestyle, this book is a wide-ranging tour of things you need to know. Peggi McDonald, a Canadian with extensive (20 years on the road) RV knowledge; been there, done that. She shares the kind of information and advice that enable people to build their competence and confidence as part-time or full-time RVers.

Motoring Memories: GMC Motorhome, 1973-1978

In the early 1970s, General Motors decided to enter the motorhome business. At the time, it would be the only automobile manufacturer to produce a complete recreational vehicle. Many supplied chassis and running gear to RV builders, but GM decided to do the job entirely themselves, although they did provide unfinished bodies to others who wanted to complete them with their own customized features.

The announcement of a motorhome by such a formidable company sent chills through the industry causing shares of established RV manufacturers to fall into a slump, although they would eventually recover.

GM didn't want its motorhome to be the traditional utilitarian box-on-wheels, but rather a low, sleek, easy-to-enter design statement that would not only be handsome, but would have car-like driving characteristics.
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Founder of Thousand Trails campgrounds, Milton Kuolt, dies at 79

SEATTLE -- Milton Kuolt, a driven Washington state entrepreneur who founded Horizon Air, died Friday from complications related to emphysema. He was 79.

Kuolt, who was born in India to missionary parents, graduated in 1951 from the then-Central Washington College of Education. He worked his way up from janitor to manager at The Boeing Co., founded the Thousand Trails campground company and started Horizon Air, a regional carrier that was later bought by Alaska Airlines.
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Cabin and Campground Discounts Offered

Visitors to Kumbrabow State Forest in Randolph County are being offered cabin and campground discounts this summer to help defray the high cost of travel, according to Park Supt. Stephanie Bailey.

During the summer season, cabins may be rented for a full week (Monday to Monday) or a partial week (Monday to Thursday or Friday to Monday).

“Weekday cabin rates have been reduced this season to encourage vacationers looking for memorable settings to stay here,” says Bailey. “Kumbrabow also provides a ‘survival kit,’ part of the 2008 summer fun offered to cabin guests.”

Visitors who prefer camping qualify for the Mountain CampAway discount this summer. Through October 31, renting a Kumbrabow campsite for two nights gets you a third night free. The free night is the third night of your stay with campsite rental for the first two nights. For guaranteed CampAway campsites, call 1-800-CALL-WVA or the park office at (304) 335-2219.
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LIVING IN AN RV- CASUALTIES OF THE ECONOMY

One would think with gas prices soaring daily, RV interest would be on the decline. Gas guzzling land yachts , known for poor fuel economy 8-10 mpg, are commonplace sights in Florida. Made popular by retired Baby Boomers seeking freedom on the open road after escaping years of structured routine, home maintenance, and conventional lifestyles, empty nesters made motor coach living fashionable.

Lately, despite the bleak news at the gas pump, a new trend is emerging. Victims of the economy the exponential casualties of the mortgage crisis appear to be young renters displaced by foreclosure of their rental homes.

Seeking affordable remedies, as an alternative to homelessness many of these former renters are looking at older RV's as an alternative way to live inexpensively.
Full Story...
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RV Living in the 21st Century: The Essential Reference Guide for ALL RVers For anyone considering or experiencing the RV lifestyle, this book is a wide-ranging tour of things you need to know. Peggi McDonald, a Canadian with extensive (20 years on the road) RV knowledge; been there, done that. She shares the kind of information and advice that enable people to build their competence and confidence as part-time or full-time RVers.

Flying J and VISA: Together again!

Flying J and VISA seem to be buddies again. The Escapees Club received a letter from Flying J, stating they are now accepting VISA at all pumps and all stations.

In addition, they have put a new purchase tracking system in place that identifies repeat customers and removes some of the transaction limits when you pump your fuel. In their words:

“Flying J’s state-of-the-art technology identifies its loyal customers by tracking positive purchase histories through the customer's Flying J RV Real Value card and/or method of payment. This advanced technology enables Flying J to override the purchase controls imposed by card readers at the fuel islands and eliminates the $75 limit that customers are subject to industry-wide.”

This is good news for RVers, as it can take multiple transactions to fill a large RV tank when that $75 limit is in effect. Flying J assured us that you need not have one of their loyalty cards for this system to work. Just make a couple of successful fuel purchases at any station with your credit card of choice, and the system will remember you and automatically remove the $75 limit on your fuel purchases. This sounds like a great reason to give Flying J another try!

Of course if you switch credit cards, the smart pumps at Flying J will require one or two transactions with the new card for the positive purchase history of the new card to be recognized.
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DDVDs (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.

Coachmen Offers RV Purchase Rebate

The rebates Coachmen is offering range from $250 on the very economically priced 2009 Spirit of America® travel trailer up to $2,000 on a 2009 Sportscoach® Class A diesel coach. And, the Coachmenomic rebates are multiplied on new 2007 and 2008 model year of select models in dealers' inventory. So for instance, the rebate would be $5,000 for a 2008 Sportscoach motorhome and $1,500 for a 2008 fifth wheel.

The rebate program applies to select new products marketed by Coachmen RV Group under the brand names Coachmen®, Sportscoach®, Georgie Boy™, Adrenaline™ and Viking®. Coachmen RV Group produces a full line of recreational vehicles.
Full Story... Coachmen Offers RV Purchase Rebate
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Camping World Internet Only Specials

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Purple truck is home to traveling man

Angel Hess is a 29-year-old lanky Midwesterner by birth whose address this week ---- and maybe next week, too ---- is a roadside patch of gravel near Lake Hodges in Escondido.

His home is a 1953 Ford bread truck painted bright purple, with a hand-painted mural of the outdoors on the back and illegible graffiti ----- spray-painted while Hess was in New York ---- on the side.

In 2006, Hess, a native of Indiana and a photographer by trade, found himself in New York City, earning too little to afford East Coast rents and weary of what the West Coast calls "sofa surfing" at friends' apartments.

On eBay, he spotted the funky bread truck and had an epiphany.

With a winning bid of $2,500, he bought the boxy vehicle, which already had been painted purple and semiconverted to an RV by a previous owner in Eureka.
Full Story...
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DDVDs (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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Bruce Byrne treasured most was traveling.

Bruce Byrne was a motorhead. Motorbikes, motorcars, motor homes — if it had wheels and an engine, Byrne was interested, and the faster they went, the better.

His fascination with the mechanical world wasn't Earth-bound, either. He was also enamored of anything that flew, including World War I biplanes and the space shuttle Endeavor, which he once watched being launched.

But more than anything besides his family, what Byrne treasured most was traveling. And if you think he let the fact that he spent the last 30 years of his life in a wheelchair dictate his itinerary, you didn't know Bruce Byrne.

He once calculated he had piloted the succession of Winnebago motor homes he and his wife, Frances, owned over the years some 240,000 miles, nearly 10 times around the world.

Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, hot-air balloon festivals, an honest-to-goodness hobo convention in Iowa. From the purple mountain majesties of this country to its back roads, the Byrnes have been there, done that, and my oh my, Frances has thousands of neatly cataloged snapshots to prove it.
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RV Repair and Maintenance Manual - Updated and Expanded

Bad gas leaves damaged cars & RVs , angry drivers

SEATTLE -- Three gas stations were shut down temporarily on Sunday after at least 11 vehicles were damaged by bad gas the drivers had just pumped.

"I filled the tank up and as soon as I pulled away from the pump my car died," said Mary Anne Trengove, who stopped at the Shell station on 2nd Street in Snohomish.

"The guy right next to him had just filled up his motorhome and the motorhome did the same thing -- started but didn't pull away.

Officials said tanker trucks that filled up at the Shell Terminal on Harbor Island in Seattle at about 5 p.m. Sunday received a sludgy gas that may have been mixed with water.

The gasoline was delivered to several Puget Sound area Shell and Safeway gas stations.
Full Story & Video...
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Get the Original RV Movie - Lucy & Desi's The Long, Long Trailer

4 Coastal Campgrounds Open near Brookings, OR

Four Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest campgrounds on the Chetco River on the coast of Southern Oregon have been opened for the season.

Miller Bar, Nook Bar, Redwood Bar and South Fork Camp are all on the recreation portion of the Wild and Scenic Chetco River, and all are on Forest Road 1376 within a 30-minute drive from Brookings.

Each site will have trash dumpsters and portable toilets through Sept. 5. Camping fees are $5.

A proposed $10 fee may be implemented sometime during the summer.

Installation and construction work on a new toilet will start at Miller Bar sometime during the summer. No water is available.

To get to the campgrounds from Brookings, turn east off U.S. Highway 101 onto the North Bank Chetco River Road. which will become Forest Service 1376.

Ludlum Campground, a barrier free-campground, is open along Wheeler Creek, along the Winchuck River, also about a 30-minute drive from Brookings. The Little Redwood and Winchuck Campgrounds on the Chetco River and the Illahe Campground on the Rogue River will not open this year. The day-use area at Winchuck Campground will be open, however.

For information go to www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou or call Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest at (541) 858-2200
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Over-the-Road Wireless For Dummies Learn how to get connected on the road. Covers WiFi, choosing equipment and services, protecting data, managing your business and personal affairs, enjoying online entertainment and more.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

RVers make St. Peter, MO their weekend home

St. Peter Herald - St. Peters,MO,USA
Converting the Nicollet County Fairgrounds into a village of its own, the Good Sam RV Club made St. Peter its destination for its 2008 Spring Samboree gathering over the weekend.

More than 300 campers and recreational vehicles of all shapes and sizes turned up for this year's event, which was blessed most of the time with wonderful spring weather and the fairgrounds vast expanse in which to fit that any rigs.

"I believe this is the fourth or fifth time we've come to St. Peter for our Spring Samboree with the last time being in about 2005," Minnesota Good Sam RV Club State Director Luke Johnson said. "Our numbers are down a bit this year which the high cost of fuel probably played a big part in for many.

"But, we just love coming here because the Chamber and city residents always treat us wonderfully."
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Rising gas prices fuel concern; RV owners hit hard by cost

Before Dan MacKinnon and his wife, Nancy, followed the snowbirds to Lakeland, Fla., for the winter, they looked around for a summer place in New Hampshire. But with prices running $500 to $600 a week for a rental, they decided to buy a camper.

Yesterday, the MacKinnons were out working at their campsite at Mill Brook RV Park to get a jump-start on summer.

Although most other campers will not arrive until Memorial Day weekend, the MacKinnons have already unpacked, planted flowers, spread cedar mulch around their site, and hung a new, bright red feeder for the hummingbirds.

The camper is bolted down because one thing the MacKinnons don't do anymore is drive it.

"We just drive the car, and these days, that's enough," Dan MacKinnon said, wincing at what it costs to just fill the car's gas tank.
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RV Education 101 has added another informative e-book to their line-up: – RV AWNING USE, CARE AND ACCESSORIES The book also explains “How to Install a Window Awning in 6-easy steps”.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Township Hears Compaints About RV Storage

Town Talk - Philadelphia,PA,USA
Middletown Township Council discussed tightening up an ordinance regulating the storage of motor homes, snow-mobiles and other recreational vehicles on residential properties.Township Manager Bruce Clark said the language of the proposed updated ordinance is in line with the state motor code definition. The proposed changes forbid a travel trailer larger than 30 feet long and 14 feet high to be stored on a residential property. Recreational vehicles can't be stored within the building setbacks, and are not to be lived in or used for overnight sleeping.

"Things have gotten out of control in terms of sizes. It detracts from the township," said a Martin's Lane resident, who noted a large travel trailer is parked on the front lawn in his neighborhood.

Council Member Chris Quinn said he opposes the proposed revised ordinance.

"From my perspective, I think we're taking away personal rights," he said. "The size of the vehicle should be increased to 36 feet. A reasonable size is all right."
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How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk. Mark is well know as the how-to RV tech. Click Here

RV Rental Firm Offers Gas Rebate

With all eyes on rising fuel prices, Allstar Luxury Coaches introduces its new GAS PASS promotion. The price of gas is making for some pain at the pumps on a summer road trip. In an effort to ease some of that pain, Allstar is rolling out this special offer: The new GAS PASS promotion gives RV renters a $300-$500 fuel rebate credit for new summer rentals booked now through June 15, 2008.

Rob Tischler, President of Allstar Coaches had this to say: "With the high cost of fuel, and air fare prices blasting through the stratosphere, RV travel has never made more sense."

With locations in California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and opening soon in Las Vegas and Phoenix, Allstar Coaches services the entire USA and has the ability to deliver a luxury motor home to virtually any doorstep in America. The Allstar fleet consists of late model Class A motor homes ranging from 35' to 45'. Fully equipped with the latest options and custom designed utilizing the finest materials available, these vehicles are truly state-of-the-art luxury suites on wheels.

The staff at Allstar makes it easy to get back on the road again, simply mention the Promo code "GAS PAS" at the time of booking to receive a fuel rebate credit.

For details contact Allstar Coaches at (866) 838-4465 or www.allstarcoaches.com.
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Camping in Washington's Icicle River Valley

Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
All told, there are about 200 campsites in the Icicle Creek Valley -- and on a holiday weekend like the one upcoming, every one of them likely will be taken.

Weekends are the busiest, of course. If you want to make sure to get a site this weekend, you'll probably have to arrive by Friday morning. Except for a handful of group sites that can be reserved, all the campsites in the valley are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

None of the campgrounds have power hookups, but the larger ones -- Eightmile, Upper Johnny Creek and Blackpine Horse Camp -- can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 50 feet. Bridge Creek, Lower Johnny Creek, Ida Creek, Chatter Creek and Rock Island campgrounds are smaller, more tent-oriented places, although most can handle smaller trailers. Rock Island and Chatter Creek are older campgrounds, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The big, 84-site Tumwater Campground along U.S. Route 2 west of Leavenworth and the nearby 73-site Nason Creek Campground near Lake Wenatchee are both snow-free and open.
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Assateague Island National Seashore will be open by Memorial Day Weekend

Campground renovations are now complete and the bayside and oceanside sites at Assateague Island National Seashore will be open to visitors in time for the Memorial Day Weekend rush.

The construction of improvements at the Maryland end of the park were funded in part by recreation fees collected at the national seashore, Superintendent Scott Bentley said.

However, construction continues at the North Beach parking area, which will limit the number of parking spaces to 200. When complete, there will be a total of 523 parking spots. The bathhouses and rinse-off showers will also not be available. Portable toilet facilities will be provided.

For more information on Assateague Island National Seashore, visit www.nps.gov/asis.
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RV Camping Vacations in High Demand

May 2008 - In the midst of increasing gas prices and questions about summer travel plans, consumers are not surrendering their hopes of summer vacations as they look to alternative and less-costly vacation options, namely camping and RVing. Many are choosing to offset the high-fuel prices by staying closer to home, looking for new experiences with less driving required.

These numbers show that RV camping continues to be a strong and viable vacation option even in this uncertain economy," said Linda Profaizer, ARVC president. "People still have a desire to get outdoors and travel. The statistics say they are turning to camping and RVing as a getaway."
Full Story...
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RV Living in the 21st Century: The Essential Reference Guide for ALL RVers For anyone considering or experiencing the RV lifestyle, this book is a wide-ranging tour of things you need to know. Peggi McDonald, a Canadian with extensive (20 years on the road) RV knowledge; been there, done that. She shares the kind of information and advice that enable people to build their competence and confidence as part-time or full-time RVers.

Family Campers and RVer’s Rallied in Colorado

For the sixth year in a row, Brush served as the first stop for members of the Family Campers and RVer’s (FCRV) which carries the theme, “FCRV - Where strangers become friends and friends become family.”

The annual Spring Fling Rally, held May 16-18, brought approximately 215 RV’s to the community to celebrate the beginning of the camping season. The statewide rally will be held at the Elbert County Fairgrounds in Kiowa over Labor Day Weekend.

While in Brush, members from chapters throughout the Front Range enjoy hiking, biking, and shopping, but spend a good amount of their time involved in activities at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DDVDs (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.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Campground at OK's Lake Wister State Park Closed

Oklahoma park officials say the Victor Area campground at Wister Lake State Park will be closed throughout the 2008 camping season because of flooding.

A State Parks spokesman reports extensive flood damage to the campground near Wister in southeastern Oklahoma.

The Quarry Island and the Ward's Landing areas and the area below the dam are open. Cabins, picnic pavilions, hiking trails and the spray park are not affected by the flooding and also will be open.
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DDVDs (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.

Snowpack Delays Mount Rainier Park Road Openings

Many areas of the Mount Rainier National Park are still covered in snow, delaying the opening of parts of the park by several weeks longer than normal.

A press release from the park said visitors should keep this year’s heavy snow in mind while planning their visit.

Paradise, at 5,400 feet, received 898 inches of snow over the winter, and more than 15 feet are still on the ground. At Longmire 27 inches of snow still linger.

The heavy snow load, unusual low-elevation snow, and need to continue daily snow removal operations throughout April all stunted the park’s process of spring road opening.

The Stevens Canyon Road, connecting the east and west sides of the park, may not be open for Memorial weekend and will most likely open in mid-June.

The target public opening for the Sunrise Road is July 3.

Opening of State Route 410 and State Route 123, from the north park boundary south to U.S. 12, is tentatively scheduled for early next week.

No opening date has been announced by the Washington State Department of Transportation for State Route 410 east over Chinook Pass.

Visitors should check the park’s Web site (www.nps.gov/mora) or call the park at (360) 569-2211 for current information.

The Ohanapecosh Campground is scheduled to open on time May 23, but the Cougar Rock Campground will not open until June 6. The visitor center will open June 13.

Hikers should anticipate total snow cover on all trails above 3,000 feet. The trail melt out will be late this year, and backpackers planning trips on the Wonderland Trail should anticipate a lot of travel on snow throughout July.
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Get the Original RV Movie - Lucy & Desi's The Long, Long Trailer

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yogi Bear Provides a Great Florida Getaway

MADISON, FL - Want a cheap vacation? No, not "the land of the big black mouse." Not even the beaches. Here, just off of Interstate 10 in between Live Oak and Tallahassee, is a campground like no other: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground.

Joyce Sumrall, alongside her husband Alan, manages the campground and personally welcomes each camper. Their pride in the facilities shows through in their enthusiasm to make everyone’s experience worthwhile. Their staff will go out of their way to help out. This is a great place to "reconnect" as a family. Groups are welcome for church retreats. Many events take place, such as gospel revivals and barbecue fundraisers.

Owners of recreational vehicles will find pull-through sites with full water and electric hookups, and a "dumping station" nearby. Enough space between RV campsites allows privacy among campers. So those who are night owls preferring to watch TV won’t bother the early risers wanting to get some sleep before leaving in the morning.
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Memorial Day Camping - Michigan and Great Lakes

Packing heat takes on a new meaning when you're looking at camping this Memorial Day weekend, when traditional summer kick-off weather may feel more like late fall or even winter at night, especially near Porcupine Mountains State Park, where yesterday it snowed.

But here's the good news. Some Michigan state parks and private campgrounds still have openings for their high-demand (heated) cabins or rental trailers.
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How to live simply in a 39 foot RV — By Louise Hornor

My husband and I live full-time on the road in a 39 foot tour bus that has been converted into an RV. While this is considered fairly large by RV standards, it is a very small home, especially considering that we share it with one dog, two cats, and four tropical fish.

Keeping things uncluttered is vital for several reasons. First, we travel almost every day. Loose items simply cannot be lying around in a moving vehicle. At best, they will become a big mess as they slide and shift. At worst, they can become deadly projectiles in an accident.

Secondly, clutter can become overwhelming in such a small space. Our bedroom is 9 ft x 8 ft and our kitchen even tinier. Anything left on the counters or floor makes it seem even smaller. Travel is dusty, too, and it is much easier to clean a smooth, empty surface. The good news is that 300 square feet doesn’t take long to clean.
Full Story...
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RV Living in the 21st Century: The Essential Reference Guide for ALL RVers For anyone considering or experiencing the RV lifestyle, this book is a wide-ranging tour of things you need to know. Peggi McDonald, a Canadian with extensive (20 years on the road) RV knowledge; been there, done that. She shares the kind of information and advice that enable people to build their competence and confidence as part-time or full-time RVers.

Three-Quarters of American Drivers Guilty of DWD

Nationwide Insurance released its second annual DWD (Driving While Distracted) study, which found that, while 98 percent of Americans claim to be safe drivers, a vast majority also admit to DWD. More than four out of five cell-phone owners are guilty of talking on their phones while driving, and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of all drivers admit to partaking in some form of distracting behavior while driving, from cell phone use to eating. Further, almost 80 percent have been in a vehicle with distracted drivers and more than 40 percent have been hit or almost hit by another driver who was talking on a cell phone while driving.

"Our survey shows that four out of five drivers have been both guilty of, and witnesses to, DWD," said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety for Nationwide. "Clearly, distracted driving has taken over our roadways, and our survey shows that no one is immune - no matter how safe they think they are. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving causes 80 percent of all accidents."
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Memorial Day weekend RV travel plans still on

In spite of record-high gasoline prices and a shaky economy, the number of Americans planning road trips for the Memorial Day weekend has dropped only slightly from last year, according to a survey released last week by AAA.

About 31.7 million Americans plan to travel by car that weekend, a drop of about 1 percent from the 32 million a year earlier, AAA said.

Still, surveys and polls over the past few years have shown that when fuel costs climb, travelers shorten their trips or cut back on extraneous expenses such as shopping to help make up the difference.

This trend holds true for owners of recreation vehicles, the behemoth land yachts that get as little as seven miles to the gallon. Seventy-six percent of RV owners surveyed said they still planned to travel via RV this spring and summer but will probably take shorter trips, a recent survey by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association found.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Michigan offers to store RVs, boats free for 15 days to bolster campground use

LANSING -- Gas price sticker shock has prompted the state to offer a new deal for campers: Store your RV, camper trailer or boat and trailer at certain state parks and recreation areas -- free -- for up to 15 days.

The Department of Natural Resources announced the camper storage plan Thursday in an attempt to head off a decline in state campground stays due to the unwelcome arrival of $4-a-gallon gasoline.

The idea is to allow campers to store their gas-guzzling homes-on-wheels near their favorite vacation spots in between overnight stays so they can save money on fuel -- about 30 percent, DNR officials estimate.
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Tinley Park campground saying goodbye

Southtown Star - Chicago,IL,USA
Phil and Pat DeGregorio bought the Windy City Campground and Beach Resort as an investment for their family 31 years ago.

Saturday, they started saying goodbye.

For the next two weekends, the longtime Tinley Park campground is hosting a going-out-of-business sale. The DeGregorios are handing over the property May 27 to make way for Panduit Corp.'s new corporate headquarters.

"It has been a gradual weaning," Pat DeGregorio said on the sale's first day. "It's still hard. We have put a life's worth of blood and sweat into this place."

The entire operation needs to go, from lawn mowers, picnic tables and extension cords to life jackets, ceiling fans and dining chairs.

Frankfort's Linda Morrison paid a final visit before departing with a $3 swimming tube festooned with a cartoon Tasmanian Devil.

"It is kind of sad. Campgrounds are going away," Morrison said. "This was the last one."
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Gas prices not keeping families from traveling

High gas prices are not going to stop members of the National African-American RVers Association from travel and recreation. This year’s Southern Regional Rally, in Gadsden at the River Country Campground, was lined with recreational vehicles belonging to more than 200 families.

The Southern Regional Rally, which takes place once a year, brings together 15 local groups from the Southern region in areas including, Alabama, Arkan-sas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Lemuel Horton, director of the Southern Region of NAARVA and president of the Merrimac Sams group in Decatur, Ga., said he doesn’t think too much about gas.

“As an RVer, if you worry about gas, you’re in the wrong business. People probably take shorter trips now because of the price, but it doesn’t stop it,” he said.

Sydria Carter, member of the Jacksonville, Fla., group said while gas is high, she still is willing to attend these events.

“It’s a priority for us, so we make sacrifices,” Carter said.

NAARVA, an organization known for being family-oriented, also fosters camaraderie and lifelong friendships. S.N. Campbell said that’s a large part of the attraction and what the organization is about.
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FLORIDA'S SEBASTIAN INLET STATE PARK REPORT

Sebastian is known less for what happens on its beach than off it (hint: Surf's up!). Bring your board; this is one of the premier places in Florida to surf. When the waves are rolling in, Sebastian's "Monster Hole," about a third of a mile offshore south of the inlet, breaks the waves just right for a long ride. Look for more good surf action immediately north of the inlet.

Families who don't want little ones to contend with waves can watch them frolic in "The Cove," a protected, gently sloping pool of water north of the inlet.

Away from the three-mile stretch of pristine beach are a milelong nature trail and a 6 1/2 -mile Volksport path. They lead visitors over the jetty, down the beach, across the dunes and around The Cove before joining a paved walking/bike trail on the park's north side. Fishing is a popular pastime here, with fishermen casting from the park's pier and jetties.

Tent and RV campsites ($23 per night) are situated along the inlet on the shores of the Indian River Lagoon. You can bring a motorboat or rent one -- or a canoe or kayak -- at the park's marina.
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RV Repair and Maintenance Manual - Updated and Expanded

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Campground Report

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest plans to keep Graham Harbor Springs Campground on Lake Chelan closed indefinitely because of fire damage and to remove restroom facilities and other amenities at Grouse Mountain Springs Campground as part of a cost-saving plan. The names of the campgrounds were incomplete in a Page A1 story on May 3. Graham Harbor Campground will remain open, and Grouse Mountain Campground will have a reduced season but also remain open.
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So, if you have a few minutes and an internet connection, please check out Mike's Awesome Tools website.

Motor home fire briefly closes Vermont Interstate

BRATTLEBORO -- Vermont State Police and Brattleboro Fire Department responded to a fire in a motor home on Interstate 91 Thursday morning.

When emergency workers arrived, the engine compartment of the truck was fully involved. The fire spread to the can and the cargo area, so the truck was a total loss, police said.

Owner Osman Ozkan, 43, from Newport, N.H., was not injured in the fire. A trailer being towed by the truck was not damaged.

The cause was most likely a blown transmission line, police said, which caused transmission fluid to leak onto the vehicle's hot exhaust system.

Police shut down the right lane of the highway for roughly two hours to handle the incident.

Vermont Agency of Transportation came out to spread sand on the leaked transmission fluid.
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Lure of open road beats costs

With gas prices hovering around the $4-a-gallon mark, who wants to be driving those behemoth, gas-guzzling recreational vehicles?

In the Capital Region, it turns out, a lot of people. While sales of trailers and motor vehicles are tanking nationally, most local dealerships say they're having a great season.

Alpin Haus, with showrooms in Amsterdam, Clifton Park and Wilton, reports sales up 15 percent over last year.

"Our April is probably the best April we've had in three or four years," said Andy Heck, Alpin Haus president. "It's really bizarre."

Albany RV says its sales are up about 20 percent. Even many smaller dealerships are happy.

Not everyone is cheery. Paul Parker, owner of Northway Travel Trailers in Malta, is closing down this summer after 23 years. Sales are down, he said, but "the people who have them will always use them. They like the lifestyle."

Capital Region RV retailers may be benefiting from the nature of jobs in the area -- the thousands of workers in state government, education and health care ensure the region is largely cushioned from economic ups and downs.

At the same time, many of those buying trailers or motor homes may not be planning the traditional cross-country trip, but are renting trailers and parking them at local campsites for the summer.

"It's still a much cheaper vacation than flying the family to Disney," said Dean Pells, general sales manager at Albany RV. "You can rent a seasonal campsite for $1,500, $1,800."

Many area campgrounds that cater to trailers have seen reservations rise.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

High Diesel Prices Have Many RVers Putting It In Park

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Some people spend the summer in their recreational vehicle, but the price of diesel is sucking the fun out of the travel season.

In Northwest Arkansas, average diesel prices are $4.45 cents per gallon which has many RVers putting it in park.

Don and Alice Faye Turney have a Post Office box in Texas, but their home is on wheels.

"I'm a full time RVer, wherever we park is where we live," Don Turney said.

"In this rig, I get seven miles per gallon, so it can be a relatively expensive thing," Turney said.

With diesel at $4.45 a gallon in the area, a fill-up runs the Turneys about $450.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

"It's affected us negatively, but since we don't have a house, it's just another expense of traveling in this life," Turney said.

"What it means to full time RVers, it means when we get some place--we stay longer," Turney said.
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Family revives summer camping retreat

Litchfield Enquirer - Litchfield,CT,USA
Duane Caldwell's best memory of camping with his family at Cozy Hills in Bantam leaps to his mind easily: "Catching frogs in the pond." then added, "We'd get here and I'd never wear shoes."

He and his family, including the late Jim and Carol Caldwell and siblings Kim (Lang) and Dan, spent part of their summers growing up at Cozy Hills, located off Route 202 just over the Litchfield-Bantam town line and two miles east of Mount Tom State Park.

Time passed, and unfortunately the years weren't kind to the 52-acre property. Once owned by the aircraft giant Igor Sikorsky in the 1930s, the property was a Scout camp, was subdivided, and had a number of owners, ending up with the name Looking Glass Hill Campground, whose owner began trying to sell it in the late 1990s.

It stood vacant and unused for a number of years. And now, in his mid-40s, Mr. Caldwell owns it. And the first thing he did was change the name-back to Cozy Hills.

"People call us up and say 'Is this the same Cozy Hills in Bantam? We thought that closed,'" said Mr. Caldwell's wife Monica. "They're so excited, and they're so glad we bought it. Some people say 'We were thinking about buying it too.' They can't wait to get a site and come up."

Mr. Caldwell, a welder by trade whose business in New Milford continues while he keeps busy at the campground, had his work cut out for him when he signed the mortgage papers for the property in early December 2007. The first order of business was to get the small house in shape so he and his wife and son, Nikolai, could move in. "It was a mess," he said with a laugh. "It was full of mice. It was infested. But we got in there, gutted it and got it ready. We moved in 21 days later."

Then the work really began. Mr. Caldwell and his crew, consisting of friends with a variety of expertise, began clearing the old roads, removing debris, years of fallen leaves and cutting trees down to discover the more than 100 campsites, suitable for tents, campers or RVs with electrical hookups, scattered on loop roads inside the campground.

Today the place is nearly ready and has undergone a complete and utter facelift. Gone are the spindly overgrown trees, leaf bogs and muddy roads. The pond grew from three to 12 acres, thanks to the work of busy beavers over the years, and Mr. Caldwell is happy to have them. "There're two huts (beaver houses) and a nice big dam there," he said. "It's a good fishing place. There're lots of frogs."

The dirt roads are graded, and will soon be filled with gravel and ready to welcome RV campers. Power for those sites is established, and Mr. Caldwell is impatiently waiting for CL&P to finish the work so he can rent the rest of his anxious customers a place for the summer. Tent sites are also ready for weekend and week-long visits.
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WA DNR looking for volunteer campground hosts

The Washington state Department of Natural Resources is currently recruiting volunteers who would like to serve as unpaid campground hosts. In that role, host provide a positive, helpful and informative presence for visitors.

Hosts have two primary duties – to conduct general campground maintenance and to act as a primary point of contact for campers. All hosts must complete CPR/first aid training and successfully pass a Washington State Patrol criminal background check.

If you are interested in volunteering as a DNR campground host, call the volunteer program coordinator at 360-902-1678, or send an e-mail to christine.redmond@dnr.wa.gov. For details on available sites and application forms, go to www.dnr.wa.gov and search for “campground host recruitment.”
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Opening of YNP's Norris Campground delayed

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.- Because of the heaviest snowfall in a decade, the opening of Norris Campground in Yellowstone National Park will be delayed.

Norris Campground was scheduled to open Friday, May 16. But park officials Wednesday said the campground has current snow depths of 18 to 24 inches, making it inaccessible to campers.

Individual sites at Norris will open intermittently as the snow melts and conditions allow, with all sites expected to open in about two weeks.

Current information on the status of Norris Campground

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KOA Campground in California Named one of the Best

The Crescent City/Redwoods KOA campground in California was recently named to a list of top campgrounds in North America for 2008 by ReserveAmerica, a recreation reservation service.

The campgrounds were selected based on testimonials, campground ratings and feedback provided by park rangers, regional park management and campers throughout the year.

Nearly 4,000 parks were reviewed and the winners were determined based on specific family-friendly criteria ranging from educational programs and visitor centers to camping amenities and overall beauty and scenery.
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Ultra-luxury RV resort gets Franklin Township, PA planners' recommendation

An Allentown developer proposing a luxury camping resort in Carbon County has cleared a major hurdle in the project.

The Franklin Township Planning Commission on Thursday recommended that the township supervisors and engineer allow Victor Frye's two-phase plan for the project, off Route 209 near the Mahoning Valley interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The $10.9 million, camping resort would start with a first phase of up to 55 luxury camping vehicles of 340 square feet each, equipped with stainless-steel kitchens. They would be on 25 acres on the lower part of Frye's land.

The second phase, which Frye would pursue if the first phase is successful, could have room for up to 120 more $350-a-night campers on a second 25 acres.
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Alaskans fear high fuel prices may keep RVers away

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The summer tourism season is about to swing into full gear but rising fuel prices could significantly alter the number of travelers coming to Alaska in a recreation vehicle.

Industry experts here say there is reason to be concerned.

Bob Thwing, a consultant at Clippership RV is getting ready for summer but admits that gas prices are a concern for customers.

He says when people call to book RVs, they always ask what fuel will costs.

Last year, 82,000 people traveled from the Lower 48 to Alaska in an RV, bringing with them millions of dollars in revenue.

"The concern is those with less discretionary income may opt to do something different or travel less or travel closer to their own home destination," Peck said.
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Texas RVers Respond to Rising Fuel Costs by Camping Close to Home

During the week, Roy Rector works as a cyberspace detective.

But on weekends, Rector escapes the stresses of the workweek by cooking up gourmet meals in quiet, picturesque campgrounds just outside of town, while his wife, an elementary school principal, crochets.

"It's hard to unwind at home when you're staring at so many things that have to be done," said Rector, 52, adding, "You don't stop and unwind."

And while rising fuel costs make it more expensive to travel long distances with their 34-foot fifth wheel, the Rectors find they can still have peaceful getaways by staying in private campgrounds close to home.

It's a phenomenon that's taking place throughout Texas, said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners. "As fuel costs rise, RVers are camping it closer to home," Schaeffer said, adding that travelers are increasingly visiting texascampgrounds.com to find out where private campgrounds and RV resorts are located.
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Campgrounds Closed - danger from beetle-killed trees

CHEYENNE — Vacationers will have fewer places to pitch their tents this summer in Colorado and Wyoming, and they can place the blame on bugs.

The U.S. Forest Service has closed some popular campgrounds in the two states because of concern that trees killed by the bark beetles that are ravaging forests across the West could topple onto unsuspecting visitors.

Bark beetles have always been a part of forests in the West, but warming temperatures and an abundance of aging lodgepole pines that haven’t been thinned by fires have allowed populations of the hungry insects to explode. They now infest nearly 3,600 square miles of forest in the two states.
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Taking the High Road to a Greener Vacation

Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
Can you have a "green" RV vacation?

Erin Lehn Floresca, formerly the RV editor at BellaOnline.com and permanent resident in a recreational vehicle, weighs in with a resounding yes.

"RVs have gotten a bad rap as gas-guzzling hunks of metal," she says, "but many full-time RVers actually use less fuel per week than regular commuters.

"And because of the limited space and resources, RVers shop only for what they need, reuse containers, conserve water and battery power and use natural gas."

Andy Thomson, a "green" RVer and architect focusing on sustainability, agrees.

"It teaches you the limits of things," he says. "With tanks and batteries ... you become acutely aware of the need to conserve."
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Winnebago Introduces 2009 Winnebago, Itasca & ERA Motor Homes

Winnebago Industries celebrates its 50th anniversary with the introduction of the exciting, new 2009 Winnebago, Itasca and ERA brand motor homes during the Company's Dealer Days event held May 12-15, 2008, at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Nev. With a theme of "50 Years on the Road," Winnebago Industries displayed 50 motor homes representing key elements of the Company's 23 model lines and 78 floorplans, 46 percent of which are new or redesigned for 2009.

"Winnebago Industries broadened the product differentiation between the Winnebago and Itasca brands for 2009, providing our dealer partners with new and exciting motor homes to fit each of their needs," said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Bob Olson. "We're excited to introduce our redesigned Winnebago Adventurer Class A gas line with exciting new floorplans and aggressive pricing. Our totally redesigned Itasca Suncruiser is now more widely differentiated from the Adventurer and features unique new floorplans at a tremendous value. We also made significant upgrades to our Class A diesel products while holding the line on pricing, made added positive changes to our Class C product lines complete with the redesigned Winnebago Aspect and Itasca Cambria products, and have new floorplans throughout our entire 2009 lineup."
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RV Disaster?

Summer 2008 will be all about trading down: Forget the grand tour of Italy, and think about a road trip to the Four Corners.

This belt-tightening ought to be good news for a sector of the vacation industry that has enjoyed solid growth in recent years: recreational vehicles. RVs are cheaper than a vacation home, help travelers save on hotels, and appeal to those who prefer leisure and economy over speed and glitz. A study by PKF Consulting, posted on the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association's Web site, notes that "typical RV family vacations are on average 26 to 74 percent less expensive than other types of vacations studied."

Instead, the RV industry is in trouble. Americans seem to lump recreational vehicles in the same category as powerboats: discretionary, big-ticket purchases that guzzle too much gas.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Bakersfield, CA has country music and great outdoors

Once considered a backward hamlet with little or no urban culture, Bakersfield has undergone a stunning transformation in the past 20 years that includes such ecologically smart developments as The Park at Riverwalk, a 32-acre parcel along the Kern River. Rescued from urban development, The Park at Riverwalk is an oasis of meandering streams, small lakes and picnic areas. The crowning achievement of The Park is the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, a public performance venue that brings in music, theater and community showcases.

Bakersfield is known as the Country Music Capital of the West. Legendary country artist Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard and a couple of other country performers, defined a style of traditional country music that became known as the Bakersfield Sound.

You'll find Bakersfield-area adventures of the outdoor kind. The Kern River descends from the Sierras through the Sequoias through Lake Isabella and through Bakersfield. Several river-rafting outfitters offer tours from single-day family outings, to multiday camping adventures along some of the wildest rapids in California.

Along with the river adventures, outdoor lovers will find fishing along the river and area lakes plentiful, scenic and relaxing. The Bakersfield/Kern River basin is networked with hiking trails and campgrounds, from rustic to deluxe RV parks.
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How to Buy an RV, Before you Buy it An RV Education 101 E-book By Mark Polk

RV 101: Sure, they're big, but you can do it

HOLMDEL, N.J.—If you've never vacationed in a recreational vehicle, your first reaction might be "I can't afford to rent an RV" or "They're too large to maneuver."

Or maybe even "I don't want to end up like Robin Williams," who not only had trouble driving one in the movie "RV," but also had a run-in with the septic tank.

But RV dealers and rental companies are not going to hand you the keys without some preparation. I rented an RV for the first time last summer, and I didn't head out on vacation not knowing what I was doing. A tutorial before you drive the RV off the lot is the norm.
And while gas prices have made it more expensive to take road trips in any kind of vehicle, RVs do come in many different models and sizes - from truck campers and towable trailers to motor homes and even sport utility RVs. There's one for every budget and family type. Winnebago Industries Inc., the largest maker of motor homes, unveiled a 2009 ERA (a class-B motor home model) that gets 22 miles per gallon, while the largest motor homes get about eight miles per gallon, according to industry data.

Courtney Robey, public relations manager for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, says RVs can also be a good deal for families. Despite gas costs, "a family of four can travel much more cheaply in an RV than by flying, where you'd have to buy four tickets. And you're not going to be eating out at restaurants three times a day. You're going to be cooking in the RV.

You also don't have to pay for a hotel room. So a family can save money in the long run."
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Camping Adventures in Miami FL

If you live near Miami and are looking for an affordable camping spot that is less than a tank full of gas away need not look any further than their own backyard, figuratively of course.

"I don't think people here locally really realize that this is a unique campground in that it's in a circular pod style and affords folks more room than a conventional campground would be and it's a very peaceful," said Marvin Garwood of Larry and Penny Thompson Park & Campground in South Miami Dade.

For $25 a night, registered guests can enjoy the new swimming pool and cabana complex that's loaded with fun things to do. On the park side, there's a man made beach and a water park available for a small fee.

"For the beach and the slide area there is a $5 fee for adults, $4 for kids," said Garwood, "and I think we even have a discounted rate for seniors."

Parents travelling with little ones who want more than just a pool to keep them entertained can head to CB Smith Park and Campground in Pembroke Pines.

For $8.50, campers can enjoy the park's two water playgrounds, a pair of 400-foot slides and the Lazy River; all just a short walk from the park's new lakeside campsite.

If you are a Miami resident, Palm Beach resident or Broward resident RV sites are $25 per night.

You can use the boats, the water park, the golf center which has the batting cages, mini golf and driving range.
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Camping in Toronto

Glen Rouge Campground, is a 8.7-hectare site nestled in the wilds of Rouge Park.

The camp, just minutes away from the Toronto Zoo, opened for the season last weekend, drawing some 20 groups of campers and RVers.

“It gets very busy,” said Bonnie Dunsby, who manned the visitor centre Saturday night and registered campers. “When the kids get out of school, that’s when it really hits.”
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RV Repair and Maintenance Manual - Updated and Expanded

Report Says Oil Bust in the Cards

Is $120 oil even real? Not if you ask the Saudis, or even Lehman Bros.

The investment bank’s oil expert said this week that the oil boom is due to bust. Economic growth across the globe will slow just as new refineries kick in, raising supply.

Recession or not, a U.S. slowdown will slacken demand sharply, right as new oil hits the market. "Supply is outpacing demand growth,” said Michael Waldron, Lehman’s oil strategist.

"Inventories have been building since the beginning of the year. We have pretty significant projects starting soon in Saudi Arabia, and large off-shore fields in Nigeria,” he said.

Lehman is now predicting prices at $83 a barrel in 2009 and as low as $70 in 2010.
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

RVs Welcome at Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground

The "father of bluegrass" started this festival in southern Indiana's Brown County, where it lives on at the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground.

"It's the oldest continuously running bluegrass festival in the world," said Gaby Zimmerman, park manager.

More than 50 bands will perform; headliners include the Grascals, Cherryholmes and Gene Watson. There's a two-day music camp for children. And there'll be plenty of campfire-side picking and jamming at the 600-site campground, where tents and RVs are welcome.

June 26-July 6; Summerfest,Milwaukee, (92 miles), 414-273-2680, www.summerfest.com.
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DDVDs (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.

Rock Valley, Iowa Opens New Campground

KTIV - Sioux City,IA,USA
In the works for three years, Rivers Bend Campground in Rock Valley, Iowa is set to open this Memorial Day weekend.

The one and a half million dollar campground is owned by the city, but an Iowa tourism grant and the donated land from Van Zee Enterprises made the project possible.

Kent Eknes, Mayor, "They had used these pits for gravel and sand and when they had utilized what all was available, they really didn't need it anymore so they donated about 92 acres to the city with the understanding that we would develop it into a campground."

The campground features three large ponds, one for swimming and two for fishing and other recreational activities.

There are full-utility sites and tent sites in more wooded areas of the campground.

It also features biking and walking trails which will take you into downtown Rock Valley.

Eknes, "We think there's a lot of benefits to living in a small town, but sometimes people think it's not as exciting as living in a city and people can drive for that. These are the kind of quality of life projects that we like to just enhance people's living experience."
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Friday, May 09, 2008

Preparing for the 2008 Yellowstone RV Season

There is an abundance of campgrounds and RV parks in Yellowstone, only five are available for reservations via Xanterra: Bridge Bay Campground, Canyon Campground, Grant Village Campground, Madison Campground and Fishing Bridge RV Park. And of those, Fishing Bridge is limited to hard-sided RVs. The rest of the Yellowstone campsites operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Your best bet is to pick an open campground, head there early in the morning and grab a slot when someone departs... check-out time is 10 a.m.
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America's Top 100 Family Campgrounds for 2008 Chosen

With the continued increase in camping popularity and as the Summer camping season quickly approaches, ReserveAmerica, the United States' leading recreation reservation service announces the nation's sixth annual "Top 100 Family Campgrounds," a guide to help consumers plan their visits to America's greatest 'hidden gem' locations all across the great outdoors. Consumers can explore and reserve over 4,000 campgrounds by visiting http://www.ReserveAmerica.com

The Top 100 Family Campgrounds were selected based on testimonials, campground ratings and feedback provided by park rangers, regional park management and campers throughout the year Nearly 4,000 parks were reviewed and the final 100 campgrounds were determined based on specific family- friendly criteria ranging from educational programs and visitor centers to camping amenities and overall beauty and scenery. Factors including the quality and availability of hot showers, laundry facilities, hiking trails, family beaches, radio-free zones, visitor centers, educational programs, children's events and location were also considered.
Full Story...
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Hula over to Happy Camp to kick off Summer

Friday Flyer - Canyon Lake,CA
What better way to welcome summer to this “little bit of paradise” than with a luau? The Canyon Lake Campground Club will be hosting a “Welcome to Summer Luau” next Saturday, May 17 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Happy Camp, and residents are invited to come for the day or camp out for the weekend and get to know club members.
According to president Alex Cook, the club felt this would be the perfect way to showcase to the community some of the improvements it has been able to undertake at the Campground, along with the help of the POA Campground Committee, using money raised at previous events. Both the Ice Cream Social held in September and the Harvest Festival Campout in October were well attended by residents interested in helping fund beautification and clean up efforts at the unique community amenity, allowing the club to purchase new grass and sod, as well as improve the horseshoe pits and playground equipment.
Full Story...
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How to Take a Gas Holiday

"People aren't canceling their trips outright," says Marie Dodds, a spokeswoman for AAA, "but they are definitely looking into other options."

Even camping--that mainstay of penny-pincher vacations--might look different this year, thanks to gas prices. State parks in New York, Maine and Vermont have all reported an increase of 10% to 15% in camping reservations over last year. But more campers will be arriving not by gassy RV but by car--or even motorbike. Campgrounds have become more motorcycle-friendly in recent years to cater to that growing market. Chris Rhie, 23, says he plans to ride his new Suzuki motorcycle--which gets 50 m.p.g.--from San Francisco to Yosemite for a camping trip with his girlfriend this summer.
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Boaters and RV’ers Don’t Plan to Abandon Ship

With marine fuel nearing $5 a gallon and regular gas heading in that direction, you might be surprised to learn that when it comes to getting out on the water, or getting out on the road, Americans will not be denied.

If you already own a boat or an RV, chances are good that you're planning to put your boat in the water and you've made plans for road trips in your RV.

That would seem counterintuitive, but the numbers speak otherwise. While retail sales for recreational boating topped $39 billion in 2006 — an increase of nearly six percent from 2005 — the last two years have not been as buoyant. In 2007, the industry saw a drop of 14 percent in unit sales, and nine percent in dollar sales. And this year will be worse. In fact, at the recent Miami boat show, many new boat dealers were downright depressed. "See that brand-new boat over there?" said the president of one upscale boat manufacturer. "I've sold it four times this week." Translation: The prospective buyers couldn't close financing.
Full Story...
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County Officials Weighing Options on Alfa Leisure Land Deal

With the news that Alfa Leisure has shut down its operations and is unlikely to construct a new manufacturing plant near Riddle, Douglas County officials are weighing their options on the 34 acres of land the recreational vehicle manufacturer had agreed to buy and another 14 acres on which it held an option.

A $2,000 payment on the $1.02 million purchase contract with the county was due April 28 and has not been paid. Previously, the company made both of its February and March payments, although those were 10 to 15 days late, said Kathleen Johnson, an assistant county attorney.

Those were the first two payments the company made after signing its purchase deal two years ago. Alfa Leisure was not required to begin paying on the contract until certain infrastructure requirements concerning road and wetlands issues were completed in January.

“We may get a payment but we really don’t know at this point. We haven’t heard anything from them,” Johnson said.

Alfa Leisure closed its offices and manufacturing plants in Ontario, Calif., and in nearby Chino on April 30. County officials didn’t learn of the closure until Monday.

The company had planned to construct a 100,000-square-foot building next to Interstate 5 at the South Umpqua Industrial Park and to place its motor homes on display for passing freeway motorists. Johnnie Crean, the company’s owner, said he planned to employ 200 workers within five years of the plant’s opening.
Full Story...
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jim Jaillet though his towing days were done for a while. Wrong!

From Jim's Blog...
Yesterday about 11am, from out of nowhere my new engine started making a clanging sound and just stopped running. Fortunately, I was able to guide to a safe place off of the pavement. I was on US Highway 101 in Northern CA, kinda sorta out in the middle of nowhere. I even had to raise my cell phone antenna on the roof of my motorhome to get a one-bar signal.

I called the mechanics who installed the engine and told them of my situation. They said they would send a large truck to haul my motorhome back to their garage 305 miles away. A few blog entries back, I gave these mechanics the "REALLY GOOD GUYS AWARD". Keep in mind, they could have said "find a away to get it back here and we'll take care of it.
Full Story...
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TVA encourages campground conservation

The Tennessee Valley Authority is kicking off an energy and resource conservation initiative at its campgrounds to encourage campers to use water and electricity efficiently.

"We're asking campers to help protect the environment by reducing their energy consumption and being careful not to waste water," said Bridgette Ellis, TVA environmental executive and senior vice president of the Office of Environment and Research, in a news release. "Most campers want to do the right thing, but they don't realize how much electricity and water is wasted."

TVA is posting resource conservation tips at many of the campgrounds they manage. The tips include:

Make sure doors and windows are shut on campers when air-conditioning is on;
Turn off air-conditioning in campers and open windows if the occupants are away from their campsite for more than eight hours;
Turn off lights when leaving a camper -- even if only for a short time;
Turn off water when leaving a campsite;
Fix leaking hoses, couplers or other equipment immediately; and,
Alert the maintenance crew or campground manager if the water leak is on the campground faucet or connector.

TVA campground regulations already prohibit the use of outdoor appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers and outdoor electrical pest-control devices and do not allow washing of boats, cars, trailers or other equipment.

By reducing water consumption and electricity use at campgrounds, TVA hopes to avoid an increase in camping fees and help reduce the impact of recreational activities on the environment.
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Airstream Recalls Motorhomes

Airstream is recalling 51 Model-Year 2005-2006 390 skydeck, Model-Year 2006-2007 360xl, 390xl, 396xl, a37 and a39 motor homes built on freightliner chassis. the chassis contain steering filters that can plug due to failure of the screen adhesion to the filter housing causing a rise in return line pressure potentially leading to a hose separation from the filter or steering gear fitting resulting in a sudden loss of steering fluid and power assist.

CONSEQUENCE: sudden loss of steering assist without warning involving a motor home could be a problem for certain drivers increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: freightliner is conducting this recall and will replace the affected filters with a larger filter (please see 07v-570). the recall is expected to begin during may 2008. owners may contact freightliner at 1-800-547-0712 or airstream at 1-937-596-6111.

Customers may also contact the national highway traffic safety administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov.
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Time's Up for Western RV... Maybe Not.

An eviction notice given to Western Recreational Vehicles last week gave the company until midnight Wednesday to get out, but the company may not have to leave.

As for the eviction notice, an investigator with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office said the property owner is in talks with Western RV's lenders hoping to come to some kind of resolution.

In another twist, dozens of laid-off workers said Tuesday that Western RV was temporarily hiring them back for a few weeks.

No one from the company would confirm that.

The company shut down last month for financial reasons. More than 200 workers got laid-off.

A lawsuit against Western RV that alleged the company didn't pay rent totaling around $400,000.
Full Story & Video...
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Snow & Cold Delay Campground Openings in CO

Snow in the high country is delaying the opening of some campgrounds on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests this season.

U.S. Forest Service recreation planners recommend that you check with your local Forest Service office before heading out.

If there is a problem with your reservation you will receive notice from the National Recreation Reservation Service. Reservations may be canceled altogether or changed to an alternate date. The reservation service can be contacted at http://www.recreation.gov/ or call 1-888-448-1471.

Campgrounds currently open include Lake Isabel, sites along the South Platte River and in the Manitou Park area north of Woodland Park. Eleven Mile Canyon will open as scheduled. Jefferson Lake and the campgrounds at Rampart Reservoir are all tentatively scheduled to open on May 15.

Sites at higher elevations like Blue and Bear Lake, Kenosha and Hall Valley will be delayed, but should be available for the Memorial Day weekend.

In Lake County, Twin Lakes and Lakeview campgrounds will be open as scheduled. The recreation facilities at Turquoise Lake may not be open for the Memorial Day weekend.

In Chaffee County, the campgrounds will be open on time but Monarch Campground will not be available until mid-June.
Source...
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America's Top 100 Family Campgrounds for 2008 Chosen

ReserveAmerica reservation service announces the nation's sixth annual "Top 100 Family Campgrounds," a guide to help consumers plan their visits to America's greatest 'hidden gem' locations all across the great outdoors.

The Top 100 Family Campgrounds were selected based on testimonials, campground ratings and feedback provided by park rangers, regional park management and campers throughout the year Nearly 4,000 parks were reviewed and the final 100 campgrounds were determined based on specific family- friendly criteria ranging from educational programs and visitor centers to camping amenities and overall beauty and scenery.
Full Story...
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Norcold Extends RV Refrigerator Recall to More Units

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May 2008 - Norcold has voluntarily extended the serial number range of recalled cooling units found on RV gas absorption refrigerator models 1200LR, 1200LRIM and 1201LRIM.

Norcold notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and
Transport Canada of the extension upon becoming aware that the recall could involve additional refrigerators, which may under certain conditions, result in a fire.t

The additional refrigerators use cooling units manufactured from March 1, 1999 through February of 2001. The cooling unit serial numbers (found on the solution chamber and viewed through the refrigerator intake vent door outside the RV) range from 1008701-1273700.
Full Story...
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RV Repair and Maintenance Manual - Updated and Expanded

GE To Stop Providing Consumer Loans For RVs, Most Boats

General Electric Co.'s (GE) consumer finance unit plans to stop providing loans for the purchase of recreational vehicles and most watercraft, the latest effort by the conglomerate to exit what it considers low-margin businesses.

"It's a challenging time for RV and marine financing," said Cristy Williams, a spokesperson for GE Money, the company's consumer finance arm. "We just didn't see the returns that we wanted to see."

GE notified manufacturers late last week that it intends to stop providing new consumer loans for such purchases on Aug. 1.

Williams said GE Money will continue servicing its existing RV and marine loan portfolio, which it values at $3.6 billion. In addition, GE's commercial finance unit will continue to provide financing for dealers to stock inventory.
Full Story...
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RV Manufacturers Going Green

ELKHART COUNTY — Last year alone, RV companies in Elkhart County turned more than 2,000,000 pounds of landfill waste into new products.

When the manufacturers cut windows and doors from the side walls of RVs, they used to throw the scrap pieces away. Now they stack them on skids and send them to Nappanee Window, Inc.

That's where employees work to recycle the scraps into compartment doors for the outside of RVs.

"We didn't set out to be environmental pioneers, that wasn't our goal," explained Nappanee Window Marketing Director Josh Kanagy. "By capturing this waste and reusing a lot of the material, it helps lower the cost of the customer for the finished product they buy from us. And it makes everyone more profitable, which is what we're all in business for."
Full Story & Video...
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AL-KO Kober Corp. has acquired RBW Industries Inc.

ELKHART — AL-KO Kober Corp. has acquired RBW Industries Inc. of Chino, Calif. RBW, is a manufacturer of recreational vehicle accessories, primarily hitches.

The majority of RBW’s employees are expected to remain with the company under the new ownership, said AL-KO, which added that it plans to expand the production capacity at the former RBW location in Chino with additional investments.

The two companies began discussions a few months ago on how best to help each other, and the acquisition decision arose out of that, the company said, noting that the parties agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
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Proposed RV Park Prompts Boycott Campaign

STOCKTON SPRINGS — A local business owner has become the target of a boycott campaign after he recently spoke in support of a proposed RV park.

An unsigned flyer, which was posted at The Village at Stockton Harbor condominium community, said Kenneth “Skeet” Wyman and three town officials “are not friends of The Village at Stockton Harbor” and called for people to boycott two businesses Wyman is involved with.

Wyman, who is an owner of both Wyman’s Seafood and Wyman’s General Store, attended a planning board meeting on April 23 and said he supported a proposed 30-unit RV park on Cape Jellison. He said the development would help expand the town’s tax base and thereby ease the burden on taxpayers.

Condo residents have cited concerns at several planning board meetings about noise and air pollution, stormwater runoff and traffic safety issues stemming from the RV park. They have also said the RV park could lower their property values.
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Monday, May 05, 2008

Northampton Beach State Park Campground Open for Season

GREAT SACANDAGA LAKE — About two-thirds of the sites at Northampton Beach state campground are either submerged or too wet to use, but the facility and four others opened on schedule Friday.

Early-season campers are hardy — and traditional, too.

Fourteen members of the extended Scarano clan from Little Falls gathered at Northampton, and some planned to stay through Wednesday. They came from as far away as Newport, R.I.

The lure? Walleye.

Not far away, Mimi and Larry Sisario of Tribes Hill were lounging beside their trailer in the rainy, 45-degree weather.

“You can’t miss opening day,” Larry Sisario said, adding that he and his wife haven’t missed one in 20 years.

“We’re always here,” Mimi Sisario said. “We don’t camp when it’s warm. We come up here and freeze.”

About 80 of the campground’s 224 sites were usable, he said. Only 30 are available for reservations.

“The other 50 are first-come, first-se
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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Western RV Served Eviction Notice

Western Recreational Vehicles was served an eviction notice Friday just weeks after a company-wide lay-off.

The eviction notice was posted on the doors by the Yakima county sheriff's office.

Western RV has until next Wednesday to get off the property on Sutherland drive or face charges for trespassing and even burglary.

The company shut down because of financial reasons a few weeks ago, and laid off more than 200 people.

Lawsuits against Western RV for allege failing to pay rent for months at its old location off Washington Avenue last year.
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Downturn drives RV makers into a ditch

Rising gasoline prices, falling home values and tightening consumer credit are driving U.S. recreational vehicle sales off the road as the business enters the normally busy spring and summer selling season.

The industry is scrambling to adjust by laying off workers, selling real-estate assets to raise money and bringing back cheaper, more fuel-efficient vehicles whose popularity peaked during the last oil crisis in the 1970s.

Analysts are skeptical the turnaround will be quick. They say it's going to take time for consumer confidence to rebound and predict 2008 will wind up being another down year for retail sales -- the fourth in a row.

The news is mostly grim. On Tuesday, Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., which makes bus-sized motorhomes and towable camping trailers, said it had sold its Riverside, California, headquarters and will defer dividend payments on some convertible debt to boost finances.

The news from Fleetwood, the latest in a series of worrisome announcements from major industry players, came a day after news that RV industry wholesale shipments fell 17 percent in March, pulled down by a 27 percent decline in motorhomes and a 36 percent drop in shipments of the very biggest vehicles.

Sales have been hammered as the U.S. economic downturn eroded consumer confidence. Year to date, motorhome shipments are down 24 percent and towables are down 14 percent.
Full Story...
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Motor Home Maker Thor Industries Sales Down By 10 Percent

Thor Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of motor homes, travel trailers and motorhomes, posted a 10 percent slump as against last year's in its preliminary sales results for the third quarter.

Sales declined to $707 million from $790 million. Analysts had expected a $744 million revenue for the period.

On Friday, Thor dipped $3.28 by 11 percent to $27.45 in the New York Stock Exchange composite late in the afternoon. The trade was the biggest plunge for Thor since August 2002.

Recreational vehicle sales dropped 12 percent to $600 million from $684 million. Bus sales, however, was slightly up by one percent to $107 million from $106 million.

Thor's product line includes Four Winds motor homes, Airstream trailers and Champion mid-size buses.
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Camping at KY's Lake Barkley State Resort Park

Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville,KY
TRIGG COUNTY, Ky — The campground at Lake Barkley State Resort Park was sprinkled with a few tents and a handful of recreational vehicles and travel trailers.

This will change soon.

"As soon as school lets out, it really picks up a lot," said Jenny Howard, the park naturalist and recreation supervisor at Barkley, the largest state park in Kentucky and generally considered the crown jewel of the system. "And by mid-June (the campground) will be packed, especially on weekends, until around mid-August."

"(Camping) is probably why I am who I am because of our family vacations," she said. "We were a family that didn't have a lot of money to go and stay in a hotel with a pool every night, but still my parents wanted to get out and about and see historic sites and go to the beach and have those experiences. So we would camp.

For most park visitors, camping isn't quite the roughing-it experience it once was. Most of the campsites at Barkley and other Kentucky parks have water and electric hookups, with restrooms and bathing facilities nearby. Campers often arrive in RVs loaded with televisions, DVD players, fans and even air conditioners.

"A lot of times young couples or young families will tent camp," she said. "Senior citizens and baby boomers seem to most often be RV campers."
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Friday, May 02, 2008

Face-lift is plan for CA's Lake Jennings Campground

San Diego Union Tribune - United States
On the opening page of the Lake Jennings Campground Master Plan, one line sums up the state of the 96-site campground owned by the Helix Water District and run by San Diego County since 1966.

It says: “A little forgotten, a little neglected, Lake Jennings Campground has the potential to be a prime destination for RV tourists, locals looking for a weekend retreat, sunbirds, etc.”

On the pages that follow is a two-step plan that calls for the Helix Water District to first refurbish and modernize the 100-acre campground and then expand it and improve the perimeter of the 176-acre lake.
Full Story...
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Jayco Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Giveaway

Jayco kicks off its first-ever National Sales Event on May 1, 2008, just in time for the camping season.

Jayco’s Blue Tag Anniversary Sales Event will last until June 30 and is a first in uniting all Jayco dealers in one large-scale promotional effort. The purpose of the sales event is for Jayco to thank its dealers for 40 years by giving them free promotional materials and online marketing campaigns.

As part of the Blue Tag sale Jayco is sponsoring a 40 Free Nights at KOA Giveaway

Register at any Jayco dealer until June 30, 2008 to have a chance of winning 40 free nights at KOA Kampgrounds or one of 400 KOA Value Kard Rewards.

You can also register to win at the Jaco Website
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DDVDs (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.

Pilgrim International, Inc., First RV Manufacturer to Offer 5-Year Warranty

Pilgrim International, Inc. is pleased to offer the RV Industry's first 5-Year Warranty on all flooring systems utilizing the CosmoLite composite substrate.

"Traditionally, water has been the culprit in the deterioration of most RV floors," stated Dave Hoefer, Co-founder and Chairman of Pilgrim International. "Even a small amount of moisture resting on the floor of a traditional camper can result in a soft spot, and ultimately lead to instability.

Pilgrim began manufacturing floors utilizing the new CosmoLite composite substrates in October of last year.
Full Story...
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Alfa Leisure shuts its doors

Ontario, CA –Motor home and luxury 5th wheel manufacturer Alfa Leisure announced they have ceased operations as of April 30th, 2008. The shutdown will impact about 150 employees.

“This is a sad day for Alfa Leisure and for the RV community” stated Founder and CEO Johnnie Crean, “We gave this company our all, fought tooth and nail and in spite of a Herculean effort, could not overcome the financial headwinds that continue to plaque our industry.”

Known for RV designs that bucked most trends and tended to focus on the genuine enthusiast, Alfa had attracted a loyal following and was in the midst of a turnaround that under different circumstances might have produced far better results. Ongoing challenges with key supplier Crane Composites further exacerbated the situation.

“Alfa has been fighting an uphill battle and the final straw was certainly Crane’s unwillingness to stand behind their product” stated Crean. “We’d like to thank all of the owners and dealers who over the past thirty five years have been our catalyst and our inspiration.” Crean went on to say that “about 90 days ago we were excited to bring in a high powered new management team to try and save us, but it was far too late. The Crane issue quite simply became insurmountable”

There are currently no plans for additional operations and the company shutdown is just one of a growing number of RV manufacturers that have closed their doors. As housing values have dropped, many potential buyers have lost the equity in their homes they had in the past used to purchase big-ticket items.
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