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Skyline Reports Lower Fiscal ’07 Sales, Income

July 31, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Recreational vehicle and manufactured housing builder Skyline Corp. reported lower sales and earnings for its fiscal 2007 fourth quarter and full year, ending May 31. For the year, the Elkhart, Ind.-based company posted sales of $376.4 million compared to $508.5 million the previous year while net income fell to $2.59 million from $14.3 million. Fourth-quarter sales totaled $88.5 million versus $136.2 million a year ago and net income declined to $2.25 million from $5.15 million. Skyline reported... Read more

SylvanSport Go Popup Doubles as Toy Hauler

July 31, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

SylvanSport Go, an unusual, 700-pound folding camping trailer with SURV aspects that the developer calls a “backpack on wheels,” makes its debut at the Outdoor Retail Show, Aug. 7-12, in Salt Lake City. “We set out to create a trailer for the active outdoor enthusiast,” said Thomas Dempsey, president of SylvanSport LLC, Cedar Mountain, N.C., who characterized the vehicle as a “super-mini toy hauler.” Resembling a popup camper, the 9-foot SylvanSport Go sleeping area consists of... Read more

GM Posts Profit, Bumps up Truck Discounting

July 31, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

General Motors Corp. (GM) CFO Fritz Henderson said Tuesday (July 31) that the automaker will do what it takes to stay competitive in the critical U.S. pickup truck market, including ramping up incentives and taking tactical production-capacity actions. Dow Jones reported that the executive also expressed uncertainty over the direction of the U.S. economy, but didn’t go into detail on GM’s expectations for the second half of the year in North America. Henderson, speaking to reporters after... Read more

Consumer Confidence Up, Inflation Contained

July 31, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

U.S. consumers were more positive about the economy and their own finances in July than at any time since 9/11, the Conference Board said Tuesday (July 31). CBS MarketWatch reported that the consumer confidence index rose to 112.6 from a revised 105.3, ahead of expectations of a gain to 106.0. The present situation index rose to 139.2, also the highest since August 2001, from 129.9 in June, while the expectations index rose to 94.8 from 88.8. “An improvement in business conditions and the job... Read more

Escapees Club Passes Reins to 3rd Generation

July 31, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Cathie and Bud Carr, opting for a full-time RV lifestyle, have turned the reins of the 65,000-member Escapees RV Club over to their daughter-in-law, Angie, who will serve as executive director of the Livingston, Texas-based organization. According to a press release, Angie Carr began working as an Escapees call center operator in 1997, before moving into supervisory roles and becoming involved in day-to-day operations. Most recently, she served as executive assistant to the club’s CEO and vice... Read more

Hall of Fame Offers Insight, Enjoyment to RVers

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The outsiders, the ones who don’t understand, might make a joke about the RV/MH Hall of Fame as they speed down the Indiana Toll Road between Elkhart and LaGrange. But, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune, to enthusiasts like Don and Pat Mumford – people who sold their home in Hawaii 14 years ago to travel the United States full time in a 35-foot Winnebago – the building is a good place to spend a couple of hours. Inside the building are a lot of things not many know exist,... Read more

‘Captain RV’ Wages Battle Against Parking Ban

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The mercury was climbing on a recent afternoon in downtown Antioch, Calif., but Captain RV was barely breaking a sweat. Sporting a captain’s hat and cape, and chatting up people as they stopped to read his graffiti-embellished truck, the Antioch resident said there were other places he’d rather be – but fighting for freedom and fair play are keeping him on the job. According to the Antioch Press, Captain RV – aka Chris Valenta – spends the greater portion of each day driving around Antioch... Read more

Calif. Adopting ‘RV Friendly’ Highway Signage

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation adopting the “RV Friendly” highway sign logo for use in the state’s commercial logo program for gas, food and lodging businesses. California is the 14th state to adopt the “RV Friendly” sign initiative. Other states include: Minnesota, Iowa, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Michigan, Oregon, Louisiana, Idaho, Illinois, Tennessee, Washington, Florida and Texas. According to a press release, state RV groups and enthusiasts have been... Read more

Hertzke: Winnebago Rolls on Despite Slowdown

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Sales of recreational vehicles may be off again this year from a record high in 2004, but crowds were big and spirits were high at the annual gathering of owners of motorized recreational vehicles made by Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. under the brand names Winnebago and Itasca. “They just want to have a good time,” said Bruce Hertzke, Winnebago chairman and CEO. The Des Moines Register reported that the Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) Club Grand National Rally is... Read more

Gas Prices Fall 17 Cents Over Last Two Weeks

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

U.S. average retail gasoline prices fell 17 cents per gallon over the past two weeks as Midwest refiners recovered from recent difficulties and produced more gas, the Lundberg Survey said Sunday (July 29). Reuters reported that the national average for self-serve, regular, unleaded gas was nearly $2.8843 a gallon on July 27, down from the July 13 level of $3.0577, according to the nationwide Lundberg survey of about 7,000 gas stations. Prices fell after refining capacity in Coffeyville, Kan., and... Read more

Soft Markets Result in 2Q Loss for Coachmen

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

“Severe contraction” in the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing markets signaled a second-quarter loss for Coachmen Industries Inc. despite market share gains on the RV side and a return to profitability in its housing group. “The market declines of 2006 have continued this year, and for the first six months of 2007, total industry shipments of all RV types fell another 12.9%, while in housing, single-family housing starts fell 21.6% from June 2006,” said Rick M. Lavers, president... Read more

Motorized Sector Moderates June Shipments

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

A modest upsurge in Class A and Class C motorhome shipments helped to moderate an otherwise soft wholesale RV marketplace in June. June shipments totaled 34,500 units, compared to 37,400 in 2006, according to figures released Thursday (July 26) by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Total shipments for the first half of the year amounted to 196,000 units, down 12.9% from 225,000 delivered in the first six months of 2006, although ’06 numbers do reflect orders for post-Katrina... Read more

RVers Actively Seek RV-friendly Locations

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

A research study conducted at the University of Northern British Columbia and Texas A&M University finds that RV-friendliness is key to attracting RV travelers. The research was conducted in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, one of the major destinations for tourists from Canada and the U.S. More than 900 RVers were surveyed and interviewed through the summer of 2006 and provided new insights into their demographics, habitats, needs and preferences, according to... Read more

Cruise America Celebrates 35th Anniversary

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Cruise America RV celebrates its 35th anniversary this month. The company has grown dramatically since its founding in 1972 in Florida by Robert Smalley Sr., a former president of car-rental giant Hertz. Cruise America has expanded from a small family operation to become the largest RV rental company in the U.S., as well as one of the top sellers of used Class C motorhomes, according to a news release. In 1993, America shifted operations to Mesa, Ariz., where it is still located today. Now operating... Read more

Tiffin Unveils PowerGlide Diesel Pusher Chassis

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Tiffin Motorhomes Inc., will begin producing its Allegro Bus diesel pusher on a new, proprietary PowerGlide chassis that it will manufacture at its Red Bay, Ala., factory. General Manager Tim Tiffin said the 34,600-pound GVWR PowerGlide is a step toward “one-stop service” for Tiffin customers. The new chassis is being shown to dealers during Tiffin’s annual dealer meeting July 26-28 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. The company said it will initially offer the... Read more

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