Monday, February 25, 2013

Sequestration looms over National Parks

WASHINGTON – If the current stalemate in the nation's capital is not soon resolved, RVers and other visitors to National Parks may see some unpleasant fallout. The shadow comes as the Service releases information on how much the parks contribute to the national economy.

Parks continued to be important economic engines for local communities, with visitors generating $30.1 billion in economic activity and supporting 252,000 jobs nationwide in 2011, according to a peer-reviewed report released today.

"Places like the Grand Canyon or the Statue of Liberty take our breath away and inspire us with their beauty and history, but our national parks also serve as anchors for our nation’s economy," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "People who visit parks need transportation, places to stay, and meals to eat – all of which support businesses and provide jobs in local communities."

The statistics for 2011 are based on the spending of nearly 279 million national park visitors; more than one third of that total spending, or $13 billion, went directly into communities within 60 miles of a park. The numbers are on par with previous years.

Interior Chief Salazar and director of the National Parks, Jonathan Jarvis warned that mandatory budget cuts under sequestration will result in reduced hours of operation for visitor centers, shorter seasons, and possibly closing campgrounds, hiking trails, and other recreational areas when there is insufficient staff to ensure the protection of visitors, staff and resources. Should Congress fail to act before the March 1 deadline, the public should expect reduced hours and services not only at America’s 398 national parks but also at the 561 national wildlife refuges and over 268 public land units.

This week the Service also released its 2012 visitation numbers showing an increase of 3.8 million over the previous year for a total of 282.8 million visitors to the National Park Service’s 398 parks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Airstream Interstate keeps top Class B motorhome ranking for 2012

JACKSON CENTER, Ohio, February 20, 2013 – Airstream announced today the brand’s Airstream Interstate, for the second year in a row, was named the number one selling Class B motorhome model in the U.S., according to Statistical Surveys Inc. In 2012, Airstream grew its market share in the touring coach segment by 20 percent and increased unit sales by 58 percent.

“We are pleased but not surprised that the Interstate has held the top spot for two years running,” said Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler. “Our focus on delivering a premium experience for our luxury buyer has been very effective, and our strong dealer network has been the key to our success in the marketplace.”

The Interstate, built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, fuses the legendary quality and design of Airstream with Mercedes-Benz’s comfort, control, and luxury. The unit continues the tradition of extraordinary design and handcrafted quality that has made Airstream a style classic for more than 80 years. The unique blend of these two premium brands yields a fuel-efficient, luxurious, safe, and comfortable way for travelers to explore the open road.

Airstream had a record-setting 2012, marking it the best-selling year in the company’s 82-year history.

SOURCE: Airstream news release and

RV Hall of Fame announces 2013 inductees

ELKHART, Ind., February 20, 2013 — The board of directors of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation (Foundation) has announced the names of those who will be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) as the Class of 2013. The induction ceremonies will be held at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, during the annual induction dinner on Monday, August 5, 2013.

Darryl Searer, president of the Foundation, said, "It is my great pleasure to welcome these new inductees who will join the honored rolls of industry leaders, pioneers and innovators who have made significant contributions the RV and manufactured housing industries. I join their friends, family and colleagues in congratulating the following honorees."  

Craig M. Bollman, a housing community developer/operator from Mobile Home Communities in Littleton, Colorado.
Beginning in the 1960s, he built his community into the first publicly traded land-lease community in the nation. For many years, he was the largest owner of manufactured home communities in the USA. He has served as the housing industry's representative to the Small Business Administration

Theresa M. Desfosses, a housing industry veteran of retail, communities, and manufacturing from State Manufactured Homes in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
Since 1968 she has led her company in retail sales of both HUD code and modular homes and the development and management of communities providing over 600 home sites in Maine and New Hampshire. As President of Burlington Homes, a HUD code manufacturer, she is the only woman to be the active leader simultaneously in all three divisions (retail, community and manufacturing). She is a founding member of the Maine MHA and a board member of the Manufactured Association for Regulatory Reform   

Kirwan Elmers, an RV Bus converter from Custom Coach in Columbus, Ohio.
Beginning with his father in 1955, for more than 50 years he has been a major innovator in the creation of luxury RVs from bus shells. Among the innovations he helped to engineer are, the first automatic transmission in an intercity bus shell (1956), first backup camera in a motor coach (1965), first cruise control in a motorcoach (1967) and the first quick change lounge area that automatically converted to a bedroom(1986). He served ten years as President of the FMCA Commercial Council

C.M. Fore (deceased)an RV manufacturer from Foretravel, Inc. in Nacadoches, Texas.
Since founding his company in 1967, he has been a leader in the evolution of luxury Type A motorhomes. He was among the first to use diesel engines in motorhomes, and among the first to build pusher chassis. He built the first uni-body motorhomes and pioneered the use of many household features such as multiple air conditioners, central vacuum systems, ice maker refrigerators and more. He led the concept of factory owned stores by creating factory outlets in major markets around the country.
Lawrence C. Lippert, an RV and MH industry supplier from Lippert Components in Goshen, Indiana.
Beginning his company in 1955 with two employees, he built it into the largest component supplier in the industry. He provides every thing from frames and chassis to roof materials for both homes and RVs. His products have included axles, countertops, mattresses, draperies and furniture. Now a third generation family led company, he is recognized for building a generous corporate citizen employing over 4500 workers in 12 states.

Thomas P. Meyers, a housing manufacturer from Guerdon Industries in Louisville Kentucky. 
For over 50 years he led several housing manufacturers to dynamic and varied growth. Guerdon Industries was the first to enter overseas markets in a significant way with plants and sales in South America, Asia and the Middle East. At its peak, Guerdon was operating 57 plants with 7,000 employees. At Commodore Homes he led 27 factories producing 20,000 floors per year. He founded Meyers and Associates and provided consulting services to manufacturers world wide.

Claude N. Palmer (deceased)a housing retailer from Palmer Homes in Waverly, New York.
Since 1971 he has provided a source of affordable housing to families in south central New York. He has received top retailer recognition from 7 manufacturers. He developed Holly Park Terrace with 99 oversize lots in 1970 and created Custom Modular Homes Company to build upscale state code modular homes. He was the first in his region to offer home/land financing packages.

Mathew Perlot (deceased)an RV manufacturer from Safari Motorhomes in Harrisburg, Oregon.
For more than 25 years he has been recognized as an innovator and leader in the motor home industry. He pioneered the concept of the affordably priced diesel pusher, and the automatic awning. He was honored as RV Executive of the Year in 1994. He took Safari and Beaver public in 1996 and eventually sold to Monaco.

Thomas Walworth, an RV and manufactured housing industry consultant and statistician from Statistical Surveys Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Under his leadership, his company has become the recognized official scorecard for sales in both the RV and manufactured housing industries in the US and Canada. He has served for over 20 years on the RVIA Market Information Committee. His data has become relied upon for marketing planning by every major company in either industry.

SOURCE: RV/MH Hall of Fame news release and

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Winnebago RV tops motorhome industry in 2012 volume growth

FOREST CITY, IOWA, February 14, 2013 — Winnebago Industries, Inc. has been recognized by Statistical Surveys, Inc., as the top performing motorhome manufacturer based for calendar year 2012 based on the largest volume and the largest overall growth in motorhome retail registrations.  

In the U.S. motorhome retail registration report issued yesterday, Winnebago Industries was listed as the top selling manufacturer for Class A and Class C motorhomes in calendar 2012, with market share of 20.6 percent compared to 19 percent the year before. Winnebago Industries’ volume growth was 16.1 percent above retail registrations during calendar year 2011 compared to industry growth of 7.3 percent.

In the United States, Class A market segment, Winnebago Industries was also the top-selling market leader with 22.2 percent for calendar 2012. In addition, the company also led the U.S. Class A gas market segment with 24.2 percent market share, and grew its U.S. Class A diesel market share to 19.4 percent and U.S. Class C market share to 18.5 percent for calendar year 2012.

SOURCE: Winnebago News release and

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chicago RV Show to feature adventure filmmaker John Holod

CHICAGO, IL, February 12, 2013 — Cinematographer John Holod will present a program of highlights of his RV adventure films to attendees of this week's Chicago Camping at RV Show. The 45th annual event kicks off Wednesday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. 

Holod has traveled the world producing travelogues, but in recent years has focused on travel by recreational vehicle, with productions on most regions of North America. Highlights from his most popular series of DVDs, which spotlight RV travel to and in Alaska, will be included in his Chicago program.

The veteran filmmaker released his newest DVD last month, "Route 66 RV Adventure." Holod will debut highlights of that production at the Chicago show, its first major audience of RV enthusiasts. "Driving Route 66 is right up there with the Alaska Highway on most RVers' bucket lists," said Holod. "Many RVers — if not most — do not realize that about 80 percent of the old highway is still there and can be easily driven with any RV. The film is especially relevant to the Chicago audience because that's where Route 66 began on way west to Santa Monica, California."

Holod's programs will begin at the top of the hour throughout the show. More information about his productions, all of which are available on DVD, is available at Holod's website


Friday, February 1, 2013

Route 66 RV dealer network expands into Canada

OVERLAND PARK, KS, January 31, 2013 – With ten new locations on board and another ten locations in the works, the ROUTE 66 RV Network is aggressively expanding in Canada.

“We’ve been contacted by interested dealers from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia” says Rob Merrill, ROUTE 66 partner. “What attracts these dealers is the unmatched opportunity to tie their local dealership to one common North American brand. 

The new ROUTE 66 Canadian dealers currently on board are:
  • Triangle RV Centre – Sylvia Thistle-Miller - Sidney, BC
  • Chemo RV Sales & Service – Jason Bell - 150 Mile House/Quesnel, BC
  • Kelowna RVs – Randy Woodside - Kelowna, BC
  • R.V. Lifestyles –  Neil Freidenberg - Calgary, AB
  • Village RV – Darren Gelowitz - Regina, SK
  • Transcona Trailer Sales – Garth Bromley - Winnipeg, MB
  • Hiemstra Trailer Sales – Wayne Heimstra - London, ON
  • Arrkann Trailer & RV Center — Ken Freidenberg — Edmonton, AB
One of the founding dealers of The Network in Canada, Sylvia Thistle-Miller of Triangle RV in Sidney, BC believes ROUTE 66 not only serves dealer’s needs but also the interests of their customers. “Unlike other RV dealer networks, ROUTE 66 seeks to add value to our customers’ experience after they buy an RV. They can get savings at nearly 500 KOA campgrounds in North America, traveling discounts through the ROUTE 66 RV Club and the peace of mind that comes with the new ROUTE 66 roadside/tTech24 program.”

Additional dealers will be added to the ROUTE 66 RV Network in Canada with the recommendation from these and other future member dealers. Each dealership’s territory will be clearly defined to ensure every dealership enjoys market exclusivity in offering The Network’s unique dealer and consumer program benefits in the U.S. and Canada.

The ROUTE 66 RV Network is the largest network of RV dealers in North America with nearly 150 locations in 44 states and provinces.

SOURCE: Route 66 news release and

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quartzsite RV Show wraps up 30th annual event

Don Kuk of at his booth.

By Chuck Woodbury
QUARTZSITE, Ariz., January 28, 2013 — Depending upon who you talked to, attendance at this year's Quartzsite RV Show was either up or down from last year. The show ended yesterday after a nine-day run.

"Attendance was up from last year," said promoter Kenny King, "but not what it was years ago." Vendors, about 350 all together, most of them in a 63,000-square-foot tent two football fields long, offered mixed reports. "Our sales were better than the last two years combined," said Eric Davis of Eric's RV Performance Center, who has attended for 18 years.

"I think attendance was up from last year, and our sales were up," said Daryl Lawrence of Lawrence RV Accessories. Len Bunts, owner of RV Special Things, sold LED lights. "Our sales were down about 45 percent this year," he said, "but it's probably because there were 22 booths selling LED lights. There were 17 last year and 12 the year before that." At Canada's Northwest Territories booth, requests for travel guides were down. But they were up at Nevada Tourism's booth.

Harvest Host's Don and Kim Greene, attending for their third year, thought crowds were off from last year. Mark Silver of Industrial Lock and Hardware said his sales passed last year's halfway through the show.

This year's sole RV dealer, Paul Evert's RV County, was happy with the event, where brisk sales were about half towables and half motorhomes. "Sales were good, but they can always be better," said GM Jim Hardy.

Promoter Kenny King
The annual event spans 20 acres on King's property in "metro" Quartzsite, a dusty splotch of civilization at the intersection of I-10 and U.S. 95 east of Blythe, Calif. In the summer, when temperatures routinely top 100, the town shrinks to about 3,500. But during the winter and its normally fair weather it can swell to 100,000, mostly RVers squatting on vast expanses of government land.

Show attendees come from Southern California, Phoenix, and judging from license plates, half of Minnesota attended this year. Much of the show's appeal: free admission, free parking and free camping on the federal lands that adjoin the show site. Because there's no gate admissions to count, any report of attendance is a ballpark guess. Most put it at 100,000 to 150,000.

This was the 30th year of the show, and not the last. "I've got at least 10 years left in me," said King.

Take a two-minute video tour of the 2013 show with editor Chuck Woodbury.

Friday, January 18, 2013

RV video channel passes two million views

The YouTube channel for has passed two million views and is attracting about 100,000 new views a month.

"The pace is speeding up now that we're posting a daily newsletter," said editor Chuck Woodbury. "We have often included a video in our weekly newsletter, which we've published for more than 11 years. But we're including one in every issue of our new weekday publication RV Daily Tips. Each one offers concise advice from an RVer, usually a well-known expert, about some aspect of RVing.

"For those of us with roots in print publishing, being able to include a video in an issue of a periodical -- in this case online -- seems almost too good to be true. I dreamed about doing something like this years ago when I published a printed magazine, but it seemed like science fiction."

Articles and videos from each issue of RV Daily Tips are indexed for future reference. "As we add videos this easily searchable archive will become a convenient way for an RVer to get concise advice."

Although most of the videos are provided by paid freelancers, Woodbury produces many himself. He is currently on the road in the Southwest with his motorhome for six weeks, writing stories and videotaping advice segments for future newsletters. "I plan to be busy at the big Quartzsite RV show coming up later this month," he said.

Woodbury said that other videos hosted on the YouTube channel are embedded on the company's other websites and blogs including

SOURCE: news release.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RVers may benefit from proposed Yosemite plan

National Park Foundation photo

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA -- Is the nation's third most-visited national park being "loved to death"? If so, the National Park Service is trying to work out a plan to keep Yosemite National Park breathing. After two lawsuits against the agency to force it to come up with a management plan were successful, park officials are hoping their third attempt will be the charm.

At the center of the issue, traffic congestion in the Yosemite Valley. In a story carried by the Los Angeles Times, the Service is cast as trying to keep environmentalists happy, and balancing that against the public's demand for recreation. The Park Service is not attempting to suggest capping the number of visitors the valley receives--which can hit nearly 20,000 on a busy summer tourist day--but it is suggesting some changes.

Among those changes: Shutting down rentals of bicycles and rafts, eliminating an ice skating rink, and stopping commercial horseback rides. An analysis of the Park Service' "preferred alternative" plan by staff shows the plan would have impact on RVers. Under that plan, the number of campsites available to park visitors would be significantly increased by 28-percent throughout the park, with a 37-percent increase in the Yosemite Valley alone. To manage crowds, the park would continue to use a reservation system for overnight guests.

For more detailed information on the proposed plans, visit the Park Service websites here and here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

California resort city may restrict RV parking

CARLSBAD, CA -- Carlsbad's City Council has a new ordinance to consider that would restrict overnight parking of recreational and oversized vehicles citywide. The ordinance is in response to complaints by residents, visitors and business owners associated with overnight parking of RVs.

A draft of the ordinance is available on the city website.

City representative Bryan Jones said the ordinance has become necessary because, "Overnight parking of RVs on city streets has resulted in many problems and complaints, including RV owners dumping trash and sewage on city streets." He noted that other coastal cities restrict overnight parking by RVs and have successfully introduced parking permits to address the problem.

In October 2012 the City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would prohibit overnight parking of RVs within the City of Carlsbad between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. The ordinance would include exceptions to accommodate the needs of city residents and guests. Those exceptions include:

·    Yearly residential permit: City  residents who own an RV may apply for a free yearly permit to park their vehicle on a public street at their residence for up to 72 hours. This would allow owners to load and unload vehicles before and after a trip. To reduce impacts on neighbors, residents would be limited to four such three-day allowances per calendar month. Permit holders would be expected to abide by the terms of the permit at the risk of losing the permit, receiving a citation, and having their vehicle towed.

·    Temporary 72 hour permit: Carlsbad residents may apply for a temporary permit to allow a guest to park an RV on a public street at their residence. This permit, also free, would allow residents to have guests with an RV park at their residence for up to 72 hours, six times a year, with a minimum of 24 hours between visits.

·    Commercial property permit: Hotels or motels could allow guests to park RVs next to these inns on public streets if the RV cannot be accommodated in the property’s parking lot. The city would issue each hotel and motel reusable permits that they can give to guests. This exception would apply only while the RV occupants are paying guests of the hotel or motel.

Jones said the vast majority of RV owners are law-abiding and recognize that one of the costs of owning an oversize vehicle includes storage, either on one’s private property or in a storage facility. He said the ordinance isn’t meant to discourage RV owners from visiting Carlsbad, and pointed out that South Carlsbad State Beach and private campgrounds have space for residents and tourists in RVs.

"The purpose of this ordinance is to let law abiding residents and their guests enjoy their RVs in a way that does not negatively affect their neighborhood’s health, safety and quality of life," said Jones.

The City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider introducing the ordinance on Jan. 29. If the ordinance is approved it would be brought back for adoption at a subsequent meeting and go into effect 30 days after its adoption. The city is inviting feedback about the ordinance are asked to put comments in writing and send via email to

Source: City of Carlsbad