Gas Prices Reach Record High

March 26, 2004 by · Comments Off on Gas Prices Reach Record High 

Gasoline prices reached record highs on Thursday (March 25), but there are indications gas prices will slip lower because it appears OPEC nations will ignore production quotas in order to maximize their revenues from high-priced crude oil. However, so far, it appears the high gas and diesel fuel prices are having a negligible impact on the RV retail market, according to industry sources. According to, a service of AAA, the national average retail price for self-serve unleaded... Read more

Motorhome Retail Down 8.9% in December

March 26, 2004 by · Comments Off on Motorhome Retail Down 8.9% in December 

Statistical Surveys Inc. has revised its December motorhome retail market report and the market research firm now believes retail sales of Class A’s and C’s declined 8.9% in December, not 18.5% as it had reported earlier. The difference in the figures resulted from Statistical Surveys conclusion that 236 Class A’s and 61 Class C’s were not included in its original report because several states shut their record-keeping departments down early for the holidays to save money. Consequently, several... Read more

Workhorse Says R Series Diesel a Hit

March 26, 2004 by · Comments Off on Workhorse Says R Series Diesel a Hit 

Officials with Workhorse Custom Chassis are convinced the company’s new R-series diesel-pusher chassis is a big hit with retail buyers. In fact, they say, some retail customers are taking delivery sight unseen of motorhomes on R-series chassis. For example, Vern Phillips, general manager of RV Peddler in Bakersfiled, Calif., sold his first R-series Class A to a customer who made the purchase “unseen and undriven,” according to Workhorse. The customer traded a “hardly used” 2002 Rexhall... Read more

Wi-Fi Demonstrated at FMCA Albuquerque

March 26, 2004 by · Comments Off on Wi-Fi Demonstrated at FMCA Albuquerque 

Some 300 of the 4,000 members attending the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 71st International Convention in Albuquerque, N.M., participated in an experiment to bring high-speed wireless Internet access to large temporary gatherings of people. “This was one of the largest outdoor networks ever set up,” said Jamison Stewart, president and CEO of Coach Connect Corp., Austin, Tex., whose company installed 10 antennas on the periphery of Albuquerque’s 76-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. ( Wi-Fi... Read more

Foreign Travel Outlook Improves

March 26, 2004 by · Comments Off on Foreign Travel Outlook Improves 

According to analysts, the RV industry has benefitted since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks because Americans decided to vacation closer to home, presumably in RVs they bought recently or are planning to buy. How much of an effect those events had on RV sales is not known, but it is becoming apparent that Americans now are less afraid of traveling overseas, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article and other sources. For example, online travel agency Travelocity reports its air-travel... Read more

Dutchmen, Monaco Issue Recalls

March 25, 2004 by · Comments Off on Dutchmen, Monaco Issue Recalls 

Dutchmen Manufacturing Co. and Monaco Coach Corp. recently issued recall notices for some products, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports. The Dutchmen recall potentially involves certain Ultralite trailers manufactured at the company’s Syracuse, Ind., Aero plant by Dutchmen Mfg. Inc. Aero dealers should be making the repairs. On certain 2000 to 2004 units equipped with Suburban furnaces, the exhaust vent may not be present, according to NHTSA. Dutchmen dealers... Read more

Tenants to Buy Florida RV Park

March 25, 2004 by · Comments Off on Tenants to Buy Florida RV Park 

The residents of Key RV Park in Marathon, Fla., have reached an agreement to buy the land on which the campground is located, according to the Keynoter newspaper of Key West, Fla. Pat O’Malley, principal owner of the facility, said the agreed-upon sales price is “just shy of $13 million. “I think it’s a great deal for everybody,” O’Malley said. “We’re really selling the park at a discount.” Key RV Park includes 190 sites, which puts the average price at around $60,000 per lot. The... Read more

Four Winds Launches “B+” Series

March 25, 2004 by · Comments Off on Four Winds Launches “B+” Series 

Four Winds International Inc. has introduced a series of “B+” models, Class C motorhomes without overhead bunks that are also called touring vehicles. The Four Winds Siesta, Dutchmen Dorado and Chateau Citation come in 23- and 24-foot lengths on Ford E350 or E450 chassis that have 11,500-pound and 14,050-pound GVWRs, respectively. They come in single or double front slideout floorplans with a variety of standard and optional features. Standard features include front and rear fiberglass molded... Read more

RVIA Guarantees Satellite Training Cost

March 25, 2004 by · Comments Off on RVIA Guarantees Satellite Training Cost 

For the second year, RVIA agreed to a $250,000 guarantee to allow the University of South Florida to reserve satellite time for distance learning classes being offered by the RV Service Training Council (RVSTC). If enrollment in classes scheduled to begin in September fail to generate enough money to pay the cost of booking satellite service, RVIA will underwrite the shortfall up to $250,000. The board committed the money during its February meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., but it’s not likely to... Read more

Stier’s RV Expanding in Southern Calif.

March 25, 2004 by · Comments Off on Stier’s RV Expanding in Southern Calif. 

The Stier’s RV unit of the Holiday Holdings Co. dealership alliance is expanding on several fronts in Southern California, including the planned opening of a location in Santa Fe Springs, according to Mike Stier, principal of Stier’s RV and regional president of Holiday Holdings. Stier’s signed a long-term lease on a former car dealership location in Santa Fe Springs and will spend around $1 million to upgrade the property. The location will open as an exclusive Coachmen RV dealership in July... Read more

RV Parks Becoming Scarce in S. Florida

March 24, 2004 by · Comments Off on RV Parks Becoming Scarce in S. Florida 

Winter, which is tourist time in Florida, means lots of people rolling through from other states in RVs, from campers to motorhomes. But across the state, RV campground space is dwindling as developers purchase RV parks near waterfront land and in suburbia, the Miami Herald reports. Even as more and more people buy RVs and drive them to South Florida, there are fewer and fewer places for them to park, according to the newspaper. Altogether, about 15 RV campgrounds have closed in Florida in the past... Read more

DIRECWAY Wi-Fi Available to RV Parks

March 24, 2004 by · Comments Off on DIRECWAY Wi-Fi Available to RV Parks 

Until now, only small, entrepreneurial start-up firms in the Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, business targeted RV parks and campgrounds as potential customers for the wireless high-speed Internet access services. But on Tuesday (March 23), Hughes Network Systems Inc., announced it would begin offering its DIRECWAY Wi-Fi Access to RV parks and restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, convenience stores, hotels, auto dealerships and truck stops. Hughes is a subsidiary of DIRECTV Group, which was a unit... Read more

Winnebago Plans Small Price Increases

March 24, 2004 by · Comments Off on Winnebago Plans Small Price Increases 

Motorhome manufacturer Winnebago Industries Inc., plans to increase prices on its 2005 units by 1.5% to 2%, Senior Vice President and CFO Ed Barker said during a conference call with investment analysts last week. Despite sharp increases in the prices of many of the materials used for building RVs, Winnebago does not plan to increase prices on 2004 units it will build during the next few months, although the company does pass chassis price increases on to its dealers as they occur, Barker said. Winnebago... Read more

Holiday Holdings to Buy Shipp’s RV

March 24, 2004 by · Comments Off on Holiday Holdings to Buy Shipp’s RV 

The Holiday Holdings Co. dealership alliance intends to buy Shipp’s RV Center Inc., a dealership in Chattanooga, Tenn., according to Holiday Holdings President Marcus Lemonis. Randy Shipp, president of the dealership that bears his name, will continue to run the business, which is more than 30 years old and includes a 75-acre campground on Chattanooga’s south side. The Shipp’s name will remain on the Chattanooga dealership and Holiday Holdings plans to use it as a brand name when advertising... Read more

Gulf Stream’s Towables Business Grows

March 24, 2004 by · Comments Off on Gulf Stream’s Towables Business Grows 

Gulf Stream Coach Inc. has completed a 35,000-square-foot expansion of its towables plant in Nappanee, Ind., and eventually will increase production there of its Conquest, Innsbruck, Amerilite and Kingsport travel trailers and fifth-wheels by 40%. During the ramp-up phase for the expanded facility, which should conclude in late April, Gulf Stream anticipates increasing output of the four brands by 20%. The effort to expand the company’s Plant 51 began in November and the facility now includes 125,000... Read more

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