Monday, August 27, 2012

California town parking ordinance singles out RVs

Blythe, California city council members are mulling over a proposal to restrict RV parking on the town streets. Blythe lies in close proximity to the snowbird "Mecca" of Quartzsite, Arizona--just 20 miles to the east. Some have noted an oddity in the proposed ordinance: Purportedly written with public safety in mind, the law would single out RVs while other vehicles would seem to create similar safety hazards.

The brain-child of town mayor, Oscar Galvan, the law if passed would limit the parking of recreational vehicles on the street to just two days. The proposed law declares its purpose to be of a benevolent nature: "WHEREAS safety issues, such as sight distance from driveways and intersections, result when such vehicles are parked on public streets or rights-of-way in the City."

Granted, when a large vehicle is parked on the street next to a driveway, the line-of-sight when looking out for traffic can be obstructed. However something that has nothing to do with safety also pops up: "WHEREAS, the parking and/or storage of recreational vehicles and trailers causes visual blight in the City."

A close reading of the ordinance reveals the only vehicles which come under the two-day parking restriction are these, defined under California law: "A motor home, travel trailer, truck camper, or camping trailer, with or without motive power, designed for human habitation for recreational, emergency, or other occupancy." Nowhere in the proposed rule are there limits to how long boat or utility trailers may be parked on the streets of Blythe.

A drive through the town streets does reveal a large number of boat trailers, many of which are loaded up with large pontoon-style boats. These large (and popular) rigs likewise tend to restrict the line-of-sight of drivers and pedestrians. Just how much "visual blight" either boats or RVs create is in the eye of the beholder. Evidently in the eye of Blythe's mayor, RVs must be ugly.

Should the ordinance pass, park your RV on the streets of Blythe in excess of 48 hours and find yourself guilty of a misdemeanor, subject to a citation, and the vanishing of your RV by towing. The first reading of the proposed ordinance will be this week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Class B van conversion RV features slide-out and more

Class-B "camper vans" have come a long way since the days of the old "hippie conversion." Now comes an upstart idea from Canada: A Class B with a slide-out and a dry bath. Leisure Travel Vans announced  the release of their "Free Spirit SS" on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis.

For RVers who don't mind a minimalist space environment, there are a few things almost just too good to be true: Picture getting 19 to 22 mile-per-gallon. Need a little fresh air while napping? Just open the sliding door at the foot of your bed for a bigger-than-life view of the outdoors. Need to head off to 'powder your nose'? Stand ready for a porcelain toilet, shower--even a vanity.

The Free Spirit SS adds a few other features:

- V6 turbo diesel
- Rack and pinion fiberglass slideout--just to the rear of the driver's seat
- Leather sofa bed, folds down to 54" x 80" with memory foam topper
- Under the sofa bed, a pedestal table, 'erects in seconds'
- Corian countertop, stainless sink, cabinets, refrigerator/freezer, convention-microwave oven equipped galley
- 16,000 Btu furnace
- 600 watt inverter
- Full width sliding screen door.

Expect sales to start this fall at less than $120,000 (US). 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RV maker Monaco changing its name to Navistar RV

LISLE, Ill., Aug. 6, 2012 – Monaco RV, a manufacturer of motorized and towable recreational vehicles, today announced that it is changing its name to Navistar RV.

Monaco, Holiday Rambler and R-Vision brands will remain distinct and intact under the Navistar RV subsidiary of Navistar, Inc. “The integration of Navistar and Monaco RV has resulted in better products and higher efficiencies,” said Daniel Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Navistar, Inc., producer of industry leading school buses, commercial trucks and defense vehicles, acquired Monaco RV in 2009. Monaco, Holiday Rambler and R-Vision have been part of the Navistar family of brands for the last three years. Since the acquisition, the company has streamlined operations and appointed a new executive management team. Navistar has also fully integrated the design, development, testing and validation of its RVs with the company’s commercial truck and bus product development organization.

The company maintains manufacturing operations for its R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towable units in Harrisburg, Ore., and Elkhart, Ind. The company’s Monaco and Holiday Rambler brand motorized RVs are produced in a fully integrated manufacturing facility located in Wakarusa, Ind., with powertrain, chassis and body assembly in one dedicated facility.

“Navistar brings more than 100 years of vehicle development and design experience to the Monaco, Holiday Rambler and R-Vision brands,” said William Osborne, president of Navistar RV. “With a foundation of Navistar’s business and design excellence, we’ll continue to produce some of the best recreational vehicles in the market.”

SOURCE: Navistar news release and

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

RV full-timers to hold September rally in Oregon

Howard and Linda Payne of the website will stage their inaugural western rally next month, Sept. 18-23, at the River Bend Resort in Harrisburg, Oregon, just north of Eugene. RV campsites and hotel rooms are available to attendees.

The rally will include a dozen or so seminars taught by the Paynes geared mostly to new RVers and those considering full-timing or just getting started full-timing. Rally registration will also include three catered meals, entertainment, open RV walk-throughs and free minor repairs and service from Guaranty RV.

The Paynes, full-timers themselves since 2005, will conduct seminars each day beginning Tuesday, Sept. 18 through Saturday. The cost is $280 per couple or $140 for a single (not including RV sites or hotel). Discounted rates are available for prior RV-Dreams Rally attendees. More information is available at the website.