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L.A. Auto Museum to Showcase Birth of RVing

May 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is set to unveil its newest exhibit, “From Autocamps to Airstreams: The Early Road to Vacationland,” which takes a nostalgic look at the house cars, travel trailers and specialized vehicles used by vacationers during the formative years of motor touring before World War II. According to a press release, the display features vehicles “both popular and obscure,” illustrating their utility by displaying them loaded with period camping equipment or... Read more

Unicat Markets Smaller Off-Road Unit in U.S.

May 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Germany-based Unicat GmbH has begun marketing the 26-foot Unicat MXT – a more consumer-friendly version of its go-anywhere Class C motorhome – in the U.S. “This is by far the smallest version that we manufacture for the American market,” said Avi Meyers, president of distributor UnicatAmericas Inc., Palo Alto, Calif. “This is much more like a pickup truck. It’s easier to get in and out of, and it’s softer riding.” The MXT predecessor in the U.S., built on an International... Read more

Chinese Trade Mission Yields Positive Results

May 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) concluded its trade mission to China in Beijing on May 23 with members of the delegation enthusiastic about the progress made during the eight-day event. “We were very pleased with the trade mission,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “I believe we accomplished much of what we set out to do. We increased our knowledge and understanding of the Chinese business culture and RV market, began to build relationships with key industry and government... Read more

Analyst Poll: Dealers Look for Recovery in ’09

May 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Recreational vehicle dealers are looking for a market turnaround in 2009, according to a recent survey by investment firm Avondale Partners LLC. In an attempt to gauge dealer sentiment and market conditions in the second quarter, Avondale polled 122 U.S. dealers. The company noted: “RV dealers believe that the industry will recover sometime in 2009 and/or after the U.S. presidential election. Fuel prices and a soft economy were also hot points.” Avondale added that one of the main differences... Read more

Veteran Pa. Dealers See Gas Impacting Sales

May 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

When Larry Etnoyer started selling recreational vehicles 55 years ago, gasoline cost about 25 cents a gallon. As reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the owner of Etnoyer’s RV World in suburban Highspire, Pa., continues to sell RVs. But “sales are definitely down,” he Lock Pickers Mall. said. “Sales started to go down about three years ago when gas prices went up,” he said. “They’ve been slowly dropping ever since. Now, sales are about 20 percent less... Read more

Fed Likely to Stay in Holding Pattern on Rates

May 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite growing speculation that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates to stem rising inflation, few expect a move anytime soon, according to a CNBC report. At most, analysts say, the Fed probably will stay in a holding pattern, with little incentive between now and the November presidential election to move rates either way. Employment will be a critical factor in determining Fed behavior in the coming months, so the Labor Department’s release next week of its monthly employment report... Read more

RV Lifestyle Attracts More African-Americans

May 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The throngs filling campgrounds across America this summer will include hardy outdoors types and those who prefer creature comforts. But, according to an Associated Press report, they’ll have at least one important thing in common: Nearly all of them are white. A small but committed group of campers is trying to change that by growing a generation of black campers, one person at a time. The National African-American RVers Association (NAARVA) is composed almost exclusively of black people who... Read more

As Gas Costs Soar, RVers Taking ‘Staycations’

May 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A growing number of RVers are enlisting into the “staycationing” lifestyle as gas prices continue to rise, causing travelers to think twice about driving long distances. According to a report by WCAX TV, Burlington, Vt., Candy Conover is representative of the trend that is keeping people closer to home. The Vermont native traditionally would haul her camper to Tennessee and Texas for getaways, but this year she’s parking her unit for the season at a local park. “It’s just too much,”... Read more

Winnebago Earns ‘Best Buy,’ Names PIE Dealers

May 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc.’s 2008 Itasca Sunova has been recognized as a “Consumers Digest Best Buy.” Featured in the June 2008 issue of Consumers Digest magazine, a “Best Buy” is defined as a product that offers the most value for a given amount of money. “We are extremely pleased to receive a Consumers Digest Best Buy designation for the Itasca Sunova for a second time,” said Roger Martin, vice president of sales and marketing for the Forest City, Iowa-based builder. “Respected... Read more

RVDA Announces New Ambassador Program

May 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Twenty-four associate members recently joined a small group of Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) executives and staff to mark the launch of its Ambassador program. During the May 6 meeting at RVDA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., the newly designated ambassadors learned about the various components and programs available to dealers through the RVDA, RV Assistance Corp. and the RV Learning Center. “The major message we wanted the ambassadors to come away with is how they can help spread... Read more

Crude Plunges; U.S. Oil Markets Investigated

May 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Oil prices fell sharply Thursday (May 29) after the Energy Department reported unexpected declines in crude oil and gasoline supplies last week, but said the drop in crude inventories was due to temporary delays in unloading oil tankers along the Gulf Coast. The Associated Press reported that a stronger dollar and concerns about gas demand also weighed on prices. Retail gas prices, meanwhile, rose to a new record above $3.95 a gallon. Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell $4.23 to $126.80 a barrel... Read more

Elkhart Firm Markets Hydrogen Fuel Generator

May 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Jake Bergh sees the development of his new hydrogen fuel generator as a way to cut down on costs for RVers in the face of spiraling fuel prices. Dubbed the Fuel Commander, the on-board unit is tailored for diesel RV chassis and heavy-duty diesel truck applications. Bergh, an RV and boat industry veteran, has partnered with Elkhart, Ind.-based R & H Specialties Inc. to begin production of the patent-pending product that is slated to sell for $3,500. “We literally guaranteed a 10% increase in... Read more

April Shipments Off 8.5%, Class A’s Struggling

May 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Towable wholesale shipments showed more modest declines in April while the motorized sector continued to struggle, pulled down by a 35.7% decline in Class A deliveries from a year ago. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall April shipments fell 8.5% to 31,400 units compared with 34,300 in the year prior. For the four months, deliveries fell 10.9 % to 114,000 units from 127,900 in 2007. All towable segments showed single-digit wholesale declines in year-over-year... Read more

FEMA Evaluating Emergency Housing Options

May 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Tomorrow’s disaster victims may watch their homes and communities be rebuilt from the cool comfort of a front porch, according to a report by the Canadian Press. The porches are a feature of prefabricated cottages designed for Hurricane Katrina’s victims as an alternative to travel trailers issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The cottages have proved so popular that a major home improvement retailer plans to sell them to the general public. Now the cottages are among... Read more

Supplier AL-KO Kober Ramps up Idaho Facility

May 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Germany-based AL-KO Kober Corp. has opened a new manufacturing facility in Caldwell, Idaho. AL-KO supplies axles and brakes for the RV and light-trailer industry from the facility where operations began on May 15, as reported by the Idaho Business Review. The Idaho facility comes less than a month after AL-KO purchased RBW Industries Inc. in Chino, Calif., which manufactures slideout systems, hitches, landing gear, pin boxes, bed lifts and TV brackets. “We have been looking for opportunities to... Read more

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