Texas RV Trailer Tax Almost Repealed

April 30, 2003 by · Comments Off on Texas RV Trailer Tax Almost Repealed 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed legislation abolishing the controversial Texas RV trailer tax and returning all proceeds collected from it, according to a spokeswoman for state Sen. Todd Staples, who authored legislation terminating the tax. And although Texas voters will consider a constitutional amendment on the same issue on Sept. 13, Staples believes the amendment is not required for his bill to take effect because Texas voters never intended to tax vacation-type travel trailers in the first... Read more

RVIA’s “Second” Annual Meeting Scheduled

April 30, 2003 by · Comments Off on RVIA’s “Second” Annual Meeting Scheduled 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has scheduled its second annual meeting for 2003 to take place Sept. 14-17 at Lake Geneva, Wis. The gathering will take place at the Grand Geneva Resort, according to Alan Piercy, spokesman for the Reston, Va.-based RVIA. The association, which represents RV manufacturers and their suppliers, held its first annual meeting in Hawaii during March. It will conduct a second annual meeting this year as it transitions to a schedule where its annual meetings... Read more

Thousand Trails to Go Private

April 30, 2003 by · Comments Off on Thousand Trails to Go Private 

Membership-based campground owner/operator Thousand Trails Inc. has entered into a merger agreement that would take the company private later this year. Thousand Trails, an American Stock Exchange-listed company, plans to merge with private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. Kohlberg has agreed to pay Thousand Trails stockholders $14.50 a share, which is a 55% premium over Thousand Trails’ stock closing price of $9.35 a share on Tuesday (April 29). A $14.50 share price means Kohlberg is willing to... Read more

Toolson Sees “Best Ever” Product Intro

April 30, 2003 by · Comments Off on Toolson Sees “Best Ever” Product Intro 

Kay Toolson believes Monaco Coach Corp.’s 2004 model year offerings will turn out to be “our best new model-year introduction ever.” Toolson, Monaco’s chairman and CEO, said most of the company’s 2004 diesel pushers were introduced during the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally in Pomona, Calif., in March and they “are doing very well in the marketplace.” Meanwhile, Monaco will introduce its 2004 gas-engine motorhome and towable RV lineup during its national dealer meeting June... Read more

Coachmen Reports $2.8 million Loss

April 29, 2003 by · Comments Off on Coachmen Reports $2.8 million Loss 

Coachmen Industries Inc. reported a $2.8 million net loss for the first quarter because of “negative consumer sentiment regarding the economy and the war in Iraq, which resulted in slower RV and housing sales,” according to Claire Skinner, chairman, president and CEO. The New York Stock Exchange-listed company’s loss during the three months ended March 31 compares with a $600,000 net loss incurred in the first three months of 2002. Coachmen’s total sales revenue declined 4% in the first three... Read more

Only ‘04s to be Allowed at Tampa Supershow

April 29, 2003 by · Comments Off on Only ‘04s to be Allowed at Tampa Supershow 

The Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association (FRVTA) is taking an aggressive stand on new product release dates by more strictly enforcing a longstanding policy that will allow only 2004 models to be displayed at its Florida RV Supershow in January. “That’s been our continuing policy,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson, who acknowledged that some dealers were allowed to display 2004 models at the 2003 show. The rule has been in place since the show’s origin to prevent older RVs... Read more

Monaco to Build Lighter Towables

April 29, 2003 by · Comments Off on Monaco to Build Lighter Towables 

Monaco Coach Corp., primarily a manufacturer of diesel-pusher motorhomes, will begin building lower-priced and lighter-weight towable units this summer, President John Nepute told investment analysts last week. Among Monaco’s lower-priced, lighter-weight towables will be a toy hauler that will be introduced at the company’s national dealer meeting June 24-26 in Las Vegas. The toy hauler will have a retail price tag that is “$4,000 to $5,000 less than our current product,” Nepute said during... Read more

Wholesale Shipments Up in March

April 29, 2003 by · Comments Off on Wholesale Shipments Up in March 

Despite reports that RV dealers, particularly motorhome dealers, were reluctant to order new product from manufacturers in March, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported on April 29 that wholesale shipments of all types of RVs were up 3.3% last month. Travel trailers led the group with a 20.2% increase in March, followed by Class A motorhomes, which were up 2.6%, and fifth-wheels, which climbed 1.8%. There were 13,100 travel trailers shipped from manufacturers to dealers in March,... Read more

Gulf Coast Town Rejects RV Park Plan

April 28, 2003 by · Comments Off on Gulf Coast Town Rejects RV Park Plan 

Freeport, Tex., zoning officials denied a request earlier this month to develop an RV park in the Gulf Coast community located about 40 miles south of Houston, according to the Brazosport Facts newspaper. The Bridge Harbor Yacht Club proposed developing an RV campground next to a condominium. However, several condominium residents who spoke during a recent Freeport Planning and Zoning Commission meeting said the campground development would lead to overcrowding. “With all the barbecue smoke, the... Read more

RV Lifestyle Gets More Good Publicity

April 28, 2003 by · Comments Off on RV Lifestyle Gets More Good Publicity 

A writer’s trip to Yellowstone National Park in a rented motorhome provided the RV industry with more good publicity in the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. The writer, Andy Mead, traveled with his wife and 8-year-old twins to Yellowstone last year. As he reported in an article distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services: “Driving your own motel room has a lot of advantages, especially when you’re trying to be unharried, with children. It was nice to have room for the kids to move... Read more

Monaco Sees Positive Momentum

April 28, 2003 by · Comments Off on Monaco Sees Positive Momentum 

Just since the beginning of April, Monaco Coach Corp. has seen “some positive retail momentum building on dealer lots,” John Nepute, the company’s president, said during a conference call with investment analysts on Thursday (April 24). Nepute pointed out that Monaco’s Class A motorhome retail sales were up only 4% as of the end of March compared to the same period last year, but by April 24 that figure had climbed to 10 percent. “It’s quite a jump,” said Nepute, who assumed the increase... Read more

Noble Composites Sees “Slight Pick-up”

April 25, 2003 by · Comments Off on Noble Composites Sees “Slight Pick-up” 

Now that the war in Iraq is winding down, supplier firm Noble Composites Inc., Goshen, Ind., is among the companies in the RV industry experiencing “a slight pick-up” in business, according to Roger Gowdy, a sales representative for the firm. However, Noble’s order volume is “still not where it was in January or February,” Gowdy added. Noble supplies high-gloss, custom molded fiberglass panels to the manufacturers of higher-end motorized and towable RVs. About 75% of the company’s panels... Read more

Patrick Reports First Quarter Loss

April 25, 2003 by · Comments Off on Patrick Reports First Quarter Loss 

Supplier firm Patrick Industries Inc. reports it lost $900,000 during the first quarter despite a 10% increase in shipments to the RV industry, according to David Lung, president and CEO. However, the RV industry represents 33% of Patrick’s total volume, while the manufactured housing industry, which accounts of 39% of Patrick’s volume, experienced a 26% decline in shipments during the first quarter, Lung said. Consequently, Patrick’s RV industry-related growth in the first quarter was not... Read more

Sztykiel Feels Spartan’s Undervalued

April 25, 2003 by · Comments Off on Sztykiel Feels Spartan’s Undervalued 

Spartan Motors Inc. President and CEO John Sztykiel believes the company is “undervalued” by the financial community, so he convinced the firm’s Board of Directors to authorize the repurchase of up to 500,000 shares of Spartan’s stock. The stock repurchases will take place as open-market transactions during the next 12 months. Currently, Spartan, a supplier of diesel pusher chassis to motorhome manufacturers, fire truck chassis and emergency-rescue vehicles, has around 12.1 million shares... Read more

“Take Pride” Praised by Good Sam

April 25, 2003 by · Comments Off on “Take Pride” Praised by Good Sam 

U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s recent announcement that the Take Pride in America program will be relaunched drew praise from Good Sam Club Executive Director Sue Bray. “As a Charter Member of Take Pride in America, we were delighted to see this program come back to life,” Bray said. “Our members’ philosophy is very compatible with the program’s mission and purpose. Our annual Cleanup Day is an excellent example of how we maintain the integrity of state and national parks. It is... Read more

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