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Pump Prices Ending 2008 Near Five-Year Low

December 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Gas prices are at nearly five-year lows as 2008 closes out, with further decreases likely, according to the automotive club AAA. The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore., reported that nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular was $1.62 on Tuesday (Dec. 30), 4 cents lower than a week ago. It’s the lowest national average since January 2004, AAA said. “AAA remains reasonably confident that retail gas prices will continue to move somewhat lower in the coming weeks because the troubled global... Read more

Record Display Space Booked for Tampa Show

December 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The 24th Annual Florida RV SuperShow Jan. 14-18 kicks off the spring selling season for the RV industry and is being watched, along with a number of other upcoming retail shows, as a bellwether for the industry. “We will have more suppliers’ booths than ever before and a record amount of manufacturer space,” said FRVTA Marketing Director David Kelly. “With the addition of new entertainment and more seminars, we’re anticipating record crowds this year. We’re also... Read more

Amid RV Layoffs, Amish Turn to Home Business

December 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The enclosed back porch of Marion Bontrager’s home east of Millersburg, Ind., once served as a storage area, laundry room and summer kitchen. As reported by the Goshen New, the are us now filled with a table saw, an assortment of woodworking tools and an array of pieces of furniture in various stages of construction. One corner still contains the washing machine and a load of laundry, but the rest has been given over to Bontrager’s new business, Southedge Furniture. Like many of his Amish brethren,... Read more

Coachmen’s Swift Targets Lightweight Market

December 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Utilizing lightweight composite components, Coachmen RV Co. designed its new Swift travel trailer to meet the trend toward lighter-weight tow vehicles. With a dry weight of 3,500 pounds the 30-foot Swift employs composites from Azdel Inc. in the sidewalls and Cosmolite from TekModo LLC in the flooring. “Every component is examined to maximize weight reduction,” said Bill Martin, vice president of marketing. The Swift’s “progressively designed” interior features aluminum-framed furniture,... Read more

Happy New Year from RVBUSINESS.com

December 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The RVBUSINESS.com website will be idle on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 as our staff observes the New Year’s holiday, although we will post stories on a limited basis if significant news breaks. We will return on Monday with the latest industry breaking news. Here’s wishing all of our subscribers a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2009.  Read More →

Fleetwood Delisted, Gives Restructuring Update

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The NYSE will suspend trading on shares of recreational vehicle and manufactured housing builder Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. on Jan. 5 after notifying the company that it is not in compliance with the continued listing standard. According to a press release, NYSE requires a minimum average market capitalization of not less than $25 million over a consecutive 30-trading-day period. Fleetwood’s stock ended Monday’s trading at 11 cents per share. Fleetwood said it is making the necessary... Read more

Judge Denies Class Action in Formaldehyde Suits

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A judge on Monday (Dec. 29) refused to grant class-action status to lawsuits claiming that thousands of hurricane victims were exposed to potentially toxic fumes while living in government-issued trailers. The Associated Press reported that U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt ruled a batch of lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of plaintiffs against the federal government and several trailer manufacturers can’t be handled as a class action because each person’s claim is unique and must be... Read more

Spader’s RV Looks for Strong Recovery in 2010

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

RVing remains popular in South Dakota but local dealers haven’t been immune from the nation’s slumping economy, according to a report by the Argos Leader, Sioux City. “We’re like most industries,” said Duane Spader, owner of Spader’s RV Center in Sioux Falls. “The motorhomes were very soft. They were down about 30% this year.” Spader, who works with dealers across the country through Spader Business Management, said that sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheel... Read more

Consumer Sentiment Hits New Low in December

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks and other investments. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 38 in December from a revised 44.7 in November, according to an Associated Press report. The separate Present Situation index, which measures how respondents feel about business conditions and employment prospects, fell to 29.4 in December from 42.3 in November. It is now... Read more

November Wholesale Shipments Show 72% Slide

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Representing the sharpest year-over-year percentage decline in 2008, November wholesale shipments were down 72.1% as all sectors registered drops of 50% or higher. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall November shipments totaled 6,000 units compared with 21,500 a year ago. For the 11 months, deliveries fell 30.1% to 231,400 units from 331,000 the year prior. The high-volume travel trailer market declined 69.1% in November with 3,400 units shipped versus 11,000 in... Read more

NuWa Industries to Cease Production in January

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

In a letter to dealers, Chanute, Kan.-based NuWa Industries Inc. said it is ceasing production of its high-end fifth-wheels after completing product already in process and will be making “a graceful exit from the RV industry.” CEO Mike Mitchell said that the company could not see enough “light at the end of the tunnel to feel confident that market conditions would improve sufficiently to justify continued losses that would be incurred waiting for the market to return.” The builder... Read more

Florida Dealer Upbeat in Challenging Market

December 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

With row after row of unsold recreational vehicles in stock, you might think that Dennis Charron, general manager of the Giant Recreation World in Orlando, Fla., would be worried. He is concerned – but only a little bit, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. Sales of RVs, down nationally 27% this year, have been better than that in Florida, traditionally the nation’s No. 2 RV market behind California, he said. “Gas prices really didn’t hurt us,” Charron said. “The... Read more

Composites Lighten Airstream’s Scout Trailer

December 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream Inc. turned to composite materials to build the “post modern,” lightweight Scout concept travel trailer designed in conjunction with noted automotive designer Bryan Thompson. “We took about 50% of the weight out of the chassis using a lightweight, high-strength alloy steel,” said Mark Wahl, senior vice president of operation. “Then, we made a fully composite body. There is no wood anywhere in the structure. Even most of the cabinets are composite materials.” The 2,000-pound,... Read more

WiFiRV Sets $1.5 Million Investment for 2009

December 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

WiFiRV, a provider of WiFi Internet services in the U.S. for the outdoor recreational hospitality industry, reported continued growth for 2008 and a new budget of $1.5 million to invest in wireless services for the RV industry in 2009. According to a release, WiFiRV said it has prioritized where to invest through affiliation with property owner, management and financial investment groups in the RV industry. “In 2002 we started WiFiRV when we recognized a need to help travelers stay connected on... Read more

Coachmen Finalizes Deal with Forest River

December 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Coachmen Industries Inc. announced that it finalized the sale of nearly all of the assets from its RV business to Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc. on Dec. 26. The sale had been overwhelmingly approved by the company’s shareholders the previous week. “While the housing markets remain under intense pressure, Coachmen Industries Inc. has substantially strengthened the financial stability of our company with the completion of the sale of our RV group,” said Rick Lavers, CEO of Coachmen.... Read more

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