Calif. Parks Filling up for Camping Season

February 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Reservations for California state park campgrounds have reached a feverish high, already closing down some of the choicest coastal sites this season until next winter, particularly on weekends. “We Californians love our outback; that’s part of the reason we’re in this state,” said Roy Stearns, spokesman for the state Department of Parks and Recreation. The Sacramento Bee reported that rising gasoline prices, greater desire for family time and a connection to the outdoors have... Read more

Mich. Airplane Builder Designs ‘Egg Camper’

February 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Palmer doesn’t hesitate to pound on his 17-foot travel trailer with his fist. The Grandville, Mich., entrepreneur smiles when he does it. And, just as suddenly, he comes to the point. “Do that to another trailer at an RV show and see what happens. This is a strong shape. And shape is everything.” According to a report in the Grand Rapids Press, the unit is smooth and rounded, much like an egg, which is why Palmer calls his new line of travel trailers Egg Campers. His is not... Read more

Heartland RV Eyeing Travel Trailer Market

February 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC is developing plans to introduce its first travel trailer line by year-end, representing part of a proposed expansion for the builder following an infusion of capital by a Connecticut investment firm. “I think it’s reasonable to assume that Heartland by this time next year will have a presence in the travel trailer side of the business,” Brian Brady, Heartland chairman, told RV Business. “We have a detailed plan, but at this point we prefer not to discuss... Read more

Crude Prices Fluctuate on Iran, Supply News

February 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Oil prices dipped Friday (Feb. 23), wiping out gains earlier in the day that had boosted prices to the highest level so far this year. The Associated Press reported that light, sweet crude for April delivery slipped 11 cents to $60.84 in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices climbed as high as $61.80 earlier in the session, setting a new peak for 2007. Oil ended 2006 at $61.05. Prices earlier rose on tensions with oil-producing Iran and expectations of continued pressure on... Read more

DaimlerChrysler Ships New Sprinter to OEMs

February 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The redesigned Sprinter commercial van from DaimlerChrysler AG – used by RV OEMs for van campers and minimotorhomes – will be easier to work with than its recently retired predecessor, DaimlerChrysler officials indicate. “It’s a little longer, wider and higher, which will bring advantages to RV manufacturers in terms of space itself,” said Claus Tritt, DaimlerChrysler senior manager of commercial vehicles. “It will be even easier to work with than the old Sprinter. This is all new... Read more

Forest River Buys Cargo Trailer Manufacturer

February 22, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest River Inc. has purchased Rance Aluminum Fabrications Inc., an Elkhart, Ind.- based manufacturer of high-end aluminum cargo trailers. The acquisition will allow Forest River to expand its penetration into the high-end cargo trailer business, said George Lott, manager over Forest River’s cargo division. Forest River purchased the company from Rod Rance who, along with his management team, will stay on under the new ownership. Forest River did not buy the facility but will lease it from Rance.... Read more

Survey: Price, Fuel Rating Drive Car Buyers

February 22, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite a slowdown in SUV sales over the past several years as a result of higher gas prices, 21% of consumers who plan to buy a car in 2007 intend to purchase an SUV or crossover vehicle, according to a recent survey. Roughly 24% of survey respondents said they will buy a new or used car this year, and no body style was more popular than SUVs and crossovers. Next were small sedans, at more than 19%; large sedans, 11%; compact cars, 8%; pickup trucks, 7%; and hybrid cars, 6%. A large portion... Read more

Parks Improve Bookings With Friend System

February 22, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

RV parks and campgrounds utilizing Friend Communication Inc.’s online reservation system experienced an increase in bookings in 2006. According to a press release, real-time reservations processed last year through the ReservationFriend booking engine increased 128% over 2005. Currently, there are over 750 campgrounds nationwide using the system. “Last year was a banner year for online reservations,” said Deb Kohls, vice president of business development for Orange, Calif.-based Friend.... Read more

‘Idol’ Ignites 2007 Go RVing Ad Campaign

February 22, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Riding the momentum created by last week’s launch on Fox TV’s American Idol that drew nearly 29 million total viewers, the 2007 Go RVing ad campaign continues its rollout with several high-profile TV spots. In addition to three more scheduled ads running on American Idol – the nation’s top-rated program and the centerpiece for this year’s campaign – Go RVing is adding a “bonus spot” during tonight’s (Feb. 22) show that will determine the top 10 male and top 10 female contestants. The... Read more

RV/MH Hall of Fame Announces Class of ’07

February 22, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc. board announced today (Feb. 22) members of the RV/MH Hall of Fame class of 2007. According to a press release, honorees were selected from a pool of 50 candidates and elected by the foundation board. The class of 2007 will be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame on Aug. 6, in conjunction with the grand opening of the new 55,000-square-foot hall facility in Elkhart, Ind. Members (listed in alphabetical order) include: • Mel Adams, Airxcel Inc., Wichita, Kan.: A... Read more

Consumer Level Inflation Rises in January

February 21, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Inflation at the consumer level rose by a larger-than-expected amount in January as falling energy prices only partially offset big increases in the cost of medical care, food and airline tickets. The Associated Press reported that the Labor Department said Wednesday (Feb. 21) that prices rose by 0.2% in January. That was down from a 0.4% rise in December, but it was higher than the 0.1% increase that Wall Street had been expecting. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food components,... Read more

ARVC Directory Offers ‘Points-Of-Interest’

February 21, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARC) partnered with Des Moines, Iowa-based GPS POI US LLC to produce the RV Park and Campground Directory in GPS points-of-interest (POI) format. According to a press release, the format allows consumers to customize their global positioning systems (GPS) to reflect personal interests. ARVC said the release of the RV GPS file represents the industry’s first branded custom POI file. “By enabling customers... Read more

Stat Surveys: 2006 Towable Sales Dip 2.1%

February 21, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Towable sales declined for the seventh straight month in December, pulled down by a 17.2% dropoff in travel trailer registrations from year-prior results and an 11.7% retreat in the fifth-wheel market. Despite the slowdown – aggravated by inflated hurricane-related sales in 2005 – data from Grand Rapids, Mich., marketing firm Statistical Surveys Inc. showed the towable sector down just 2.1% for the year-end. Overall towable sales in December fell 14.3% to 10,505 units from 12,262 in 2005 while... Read more

Owens Corning Considering Sale of Fabwel

February 21, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Building materials maker Owens Corning Inc., which emerged from bankruptcy in October, on Wednesday (Feb. 21) said it is considering the sale of its Fabwel business unit. The statement was included in the Toledo, Ohio-based company’s fourth-quarter earnings report. Fabwel, headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., supplies components and sidewalls to the recreational vehicle and cargo trailer industries. Owens Corning also said it was looking at strategic alternatives for its Siding Solutions arm, which... Read more

DeMartini RV Expansion Faces Opposition

February 20, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Tim DeMartini wants to expand his Grass City, Calif., dealership to sell recreational park trailers, but faces restrictions from city officials along with opposition from citizen groups. According to The Union, a new lot is already under construction at DeMartini RV Sales to display recreational vehicles. The dealership handles the bulk of its sales over the Internet. But DeMartini is hoping to open a new business down the street from the entrance of the dealership where he would display four park... Read more

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