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Snowbirds Migrate Despite Higher Gas Costs

December 16, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Arizona RV parks were bracing for the worst following a year that saw gas prices reach record highs. But, according to a report in The Arizona Republic, managers say bookings are up, surprisingly, and the winter visitors were arriving early. With RVs getting as little as six miles to the gallon, RV owners are paying a lot to drive south for the winter. And yet, they are driving. “You can’t give it up. You can budget somewhere else,” said Cathy St. Peter, 46, who trekked from Washington... Read more

Baird Analysis Breaks Down FEMA Totals

December 16, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Milwaukee, Wis.-based investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co., which regularly tracks the recreational vehicle sector, issued a report offering a breakdown of travel trailer units shipped to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for use as temporary shelter. Baird’s data, compiled from FEMA documents and other sources, showed that the industry has sold 91,794 units to FEMA – 60,600 trailers direct from manufacturers and 31,194 through intermediaries – with a cumulative value of... Read more

International Takes Industry Bow in Louisville

December 16, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

A new player in the recreational vehicle business that promises to bring considerable clout to the table in terms of new products on the motorized side of the business – Chicago-based International Truck and Engine Corp. – made its industry debut Nov. 29 at RVIA’s 43rd Annual National RV Trade Show as the new parent company of gas and diesel chassis builder Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC. International Truck and Engine Corp., an operating unit of Navistar International Corp. that makes commercial... Read more

Gulf Stream Design Offers Three-Zone Living

December 16, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

In an innovative design twist, Gulf Stream Coach Inc., Nappanee, Ind., employed two 17-foot offset superslides, a wooden partition and hidden pocket doors to create what the company calls a “three-zone” living system in its 2006 Sun Voyager Class A motorhome series. The coach, which debuted at the 43rd Annual National RV Trade Show is Louisville, Ky., is built on a 24,000-pound GVWR gas-fueled Workhorse chassis with an available 26,000-pound GVWR front engine diesel chassis recently introduced... Read more

AGI Strengthens Consumer Show Division

December 16, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) has expanded its consumer show business division with the acquisition of Royal Productions Inc., a Richmond, Va.-based company which currently produces 12 consumer shows in the boat, home and garden, recreational vehicle and camping markets. “We approach this acquisition from two directions. It’s not only a good solid profit center and adds to the growth of the company, it also multiplies our distribution channels to the end consumer,” said Mike Schneider,... Read more

KOA Annual Report Outlines 2005 Growth

December 15, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Positive trends and strong performance during the past year were outlined in the first-ever annual report by privately held Kampground of America Inc., made available to franchisees during the KOA International Convention, Nov. 14-17 at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The report, spearheaded by president and CEO Jim Rogers, showed that the Billings, Mont.-based company’s system achieved camper night growth of 1.6% among same-park KOA’s though September, and... Read more

Bell Issues Bid to Buy Coast Distribution

December 15, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

El Segundo, Calif.-based Bell Industries Inc. announced today (Dec. 15) it has sent a letter to the board of directors of The Coast Distribution System Inc. offering to enter into negotiations to acquire the company by merger for $7.70 per share in cash. Bell is comprised of three business units, including the Recreational Products Group located in Eagan, Minn., which distributes aftermarket parts and accessories to the recreational vehicle and boating markets. Coast, based in Morgan Hill, Calif.,... Read more

RV Supplier Relocating to Washington State

December 15, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Wheel Masters, a manufacturer of recreational vehicle wheel cover systems and tire accessories, is relocating its operations along with 40 jobs to Vancouver, Wash., according to a report in The Columbian. The privately owned company is consolidating a fabrication and distribution business located in Stead, Nev., near Reno, and a Portland, Ore., warehousing operation into a 30,000-square-foot light manufacturing facility in Vancouver. Jerry Edwards, owner of Portland-based Crown Group One, Wheel Masters’... Read more

Stat Surveys: Motorized Dips 6% in October

December 15, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Motorized sales dipped 6% in October as Class A registrations were down a modest 6.5% after posting double-digit declines during five of the previous six months, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. One factor aiding year-to-year comparisons is that October 2004 marked the onset of a softening in the motorhome retail sector. Builders were slow to react to the downturn last year, which was reflected in a nearly 22% decline in motorized wholesale shipments for October. Overall motorhome retail sales... Read more

Pilgrim Debuts Legends Towable Series

December 15, 2005 by · Leave a Comment 

Pilgrim International, Middlebury, Ind., has introduced the low-to-mid-priced Legends towable series in lengths of 29 to 32 feet with two travel trailer and six fifth-wheel floorplans. “We are giving the customer an alternative to towing a big, high-profile fifth-wheel,” said product manager Doug Lantz. The Legends, with fiberglass laminated aluminum sidewalls, was introduced at the 43rd Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. With a starting base retail price of $29,000, Legends... Read more

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