Campground operators attending next week’s KOA Convention and Trade Expo in Las Vegas will be the first in the country to see Cavco Industries’ newest off-grid, solar-powered park model cottage.
“This is the first of a new generation of off-grid, solar powered park models,” said Joseph Stegmayer, president and CEO of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco, adding that the company’s newest unit is “the most environmentally friendly park model cottage on the market.”
NTA Inc., a Nappanee, Ind.-based company that specializes in certifying “green” manufacturers, said Cavco’s newest off-grid solar-powered park model not only has “Emerald” status, its highest rating, but is the most eco-friendly park model the company has evaluated to date.
“Cavco is definitely raising the bar for the industry,” said Alan Reder, NTA’s senior project manager.
Built with 2-by-6 sidewalls, the unit features cork flooring, formaldehyde-free fiberglass wall insulation and phase change insulation in the ceiling, which help maintain relatively stable interior temperatures as outside temperatures rise and fall. Environmentally friendly adhesives, sealants and coatings are also used to maximize insulation while also improving indoor air quality.
Other features include composite decking, an instant hot-water heater, a dual flush toilet that uses about 1.2 gallons per flush, Energy Star appliances and energy-saving LED lighting.
The unit is equipped with solar panels, but it can also receive electricity from wind turbines and even hydroelectric power. It also comes equipped with a 6-KW Generac battery charging system for backup power. “If there’s no sun, wind or hydroelectric power available and the battery dips below a pre-set voltage level, it sends a signal to the generator to provide electrical backup,” said Bob Cramer, a technical trainer with Waukesha, Wis.-based Generac Power Systems.
Representatives from more than 500 KOA franchisees are expected to see the off-grid unit next week, while it’s on display at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. From there, Cavco literally plans to take its off-grid, solar powered park model on the road.
Steve Lefler, an Advanced Certified Green building professional in California, will be taking the unit to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts throughout California and the West so they can see first-hand what an off-grid, solar powered park model looks like and how they can incorporate it into their business.
“We’re going to be pulling this unit up and down California, helping people understand what it is,” said Tim Gage, Cavco’s national vice president of park models, cabins and specialty products.
Cavco is also bringing two of its custom designed park model rental cabins to the Las Vegas convention, which are built to KOA’s 2012 specifications. The new units have been upgraded to include commercial grade flooring, which is more wear resistant, as well as a special area with multiple outlets so that laptop computers, cell phones and other electronic devices can be conveniently recharged in one place.
More information about Cavco’s off grid, solar-powered park model as well as its last cabin rental products is available at www.cavco.com and www.koalodges.com.
The jobs of about 70 people employed by Fleetwood Homes in Rocky Mount, N.C., hinge now on the answers to two questions, according to the Roanoke (Va.) Times.
First, will a buyer emerge for Fleetwood Homes, a subsidiary of bankrupt Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.? And if an acquisition of Fleetwood Homes proceeds and is approved by a bankruptcy judge, will the new owner continue to operate the Rocky Mount plant?
For now, there seems to be reason for optimism that Fleetwood Homes will be acquired. One potential buyer already has stepped forward. Arizona-based Cavco Industries, a leading producer of manufactured housing, and investment partner Third Avenue Trust Value Fund have made an offer on some of Fleetwood’s related assets.
“If, for some reason, a sale does not go through, Fleetwood would terminate the employees in Rocky Mount,” said Sydney Rosencranz, a spokeswoman for Fleetwood Enterprises.
That possibility led the company to comply with state regulations by filing a related termination notice last week, she said.
But Rosencranz said it is “more likely that a buyer will come in.”
Once that happens, the new owner will decide whether to continue to build manufactured homes in Rocky Mount, she said.
Scott Martin, Franklin County’s director of commerce and leisure services, said Monday (July 13) the county is cautiously optimistic that the Cavco purchase option, as reported to date, will provide “long-term viability” for the production facility and its employees.
On March 10, Fleetwood Enterprises filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time, it listed assets of $558.3 million and liabilities of $518 million.