Responding to dealer input and growing consumer demand, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC announced the launch of its all-new Fairfield destination trailer during the Sept. 18-21 Elkhart County RV Open House.
“Our team is very excited for the Fairfield launch,” said General Manager Nick Eppert. “This new product will combine the floorplans, features and price points that dealers have been asking for.”
Chris Hermon, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based builder, noted, “Many of our dealers have urged Heartland to become a strong player in the destination trailer business. Nick and his product team have focused on making Fairfield the ultimate destination trailer. We are thrilled with the results and are anticipating a successful debut at the Open House.”
Initially, the Fairfield will be available in seven 40-plus-foot floorplans, all featuring wide-body construction and a standard atrium design fiberglass cap. Units will also be equipped with double and triple sliderooms.
Heartland stressed a residential feel and functionality in Fairfield’s interior décor, set off by upscale cabinetry, upholsteries and accents. The kitchen area is appointed with a free standing range, 18-cubic-foot residential refrigerator and a residential microwave.
“Price points will be key with the Fairfield,” Eppert said. “A host of available options will allow dealers to order Fairfield destination trailers to fit their markets’ needs.”
Heartland will be showing product at the Open House as part of parent Thor Industries Inc.’s massive display area at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. For more information on the Fairfield destination trailer contact Eppert at (574) 266-8726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park model builder Woodland Park Inc. will be holding its Open House Showcase Sept. 18-21 at its manufacturing headquarters in Middlebury, Ind.
According to a press release, the dates will coincide with the 5th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House, set to run Sept. 17-21 throughout the industry’s manufacturing hub.
“We are excited to spend this time with all of our dealers and their staff and look forward to spending more personal time with all of them,” said Daryle Lambright, North American sales manager.
Lambright said that Woodland Park would be showing models for both the Canadian and U.S. markets, including the “largest display of custom-built park models in Elkhart County.”
He added, “We’ll feature exciting new residential options in décor, furniture, appliances and wood finishes, touches that give Woodland Park homes that contemporary designer feel. The dealers will also have the opportunity to meet our staff, ask product questions and learn more about Woodland Park products and how they can thoroughly satisfy a dealer’s clientele.”
Hours for the open house are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Woodland Park will also be conducting sales training seminars for dealers on alternating schedules and a dealer’s luncheon is slated for Sept. 18 at 11 a.m.
When Cleyardis Yilmaz joined Thousand Trails two years ago and gained access to all of the company’s recreational vehicle resorts and campgrounds in North America, she didn’t know it would change her life.
According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot, the eighth-grade English teacher visited a campground in Orlando, Fla., in 2010, rented a cabin and discovered she enjoyed the vacation so much that she wanted to find a campground closer to her Virginia home in Lakeview.
She not only found Outdoor World Williamsburg, just off Interstate 64 near Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, Yorktown and Jamestown, but she also found a second home – called a “park model” cottage – that she was able to purchase.
The 28-foot-long unit sits smack dab in the middle of the RV resort, close to the indoor and outdoor pool, adult hot tub and pickleball and miniature golf courses.
Yilmaz makes the 45-minute-to-an-hour drive every weekend to visit her unit, tend to her plants on the deck and partake in the park’s amenities.
“I’m enjoying the adult lounge,” Yilmaz said recently during one of the hottest days of the summer. “I’m working on a puzzle right now.”
While these units are nothing new to the outdoor recreation industry, more and more resorts are selling them and offering sites on their properties where people, like Yilmaz, can get away and own a second home without shelling out a lot of money.
“In the last few years, with the economy being what it is, it’s become – for Middle America – an affordable second-home option,” said David Gorin, executive director of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA).
The park models – called that because they can be parked anywhere – also are know as “recreational, transportable homes,” “park trailers,” “cabins” or “cottages.”
Legally, park models are recreational vehicles, Gorin said, and always have a place in RV parks. But they mainly stay put.
Basically, they are suites of no more than 400 square feet that come in all kinds of configurations, Gorin said.
“In many parks, they are there as rental units,” Gorin said. “If you want to go to an RV park, and you don’t own an RV, you have an option of renting a cabin or park model.”
To read the entire article in the Virginian-Pilot click here.
After reaching an agreement in March with the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) to represent recreational park trailer manufacturers as members, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) officially welcomed 16 park trailer companies as members on July 2.
According to a news release, RPTIA significantly scaled back operations and members services on the same day as part of the two-year trial period stipulated in the agreement.
“The park trailer industry is excited to be back in the RVIA fold. The RVIA standards, inspection and seals process, combined with phenomenal PR and government affairs capabilities are what compelled us to keep working to find a place at the RVIA table. It’s a great day,” said Fairmont Homes’ John Soard, chairman of the newly-formed RVIA Recreational Park Trailer Committee.
Recreational park trailer manufacturer members of RVIA are now fully integrated members of the organization with all the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as manufacturers of any other RV type.
As a result, the first RVIA standards plant inspection of a recreational park trailer manufacturing plant took place on July 3 as RVIA inspectors fanned out across the country to inspect park trailer manufacturers to the ANSI A119.5 standard, which in turn allows RVIA park trailer members to affix the new RVIA A119.5 seal to the units they produce.
Park trailer members are served within RVIA by a full-time dedicated executive director, Matt Wald, who spent the last eight years in the RVIA government affairs department. “It has taken a lot of work over the past three months to integrate our new park trailer members into RVIA. But that effort was just the beginning. Next up will be strategic planning, where we will map out the priorities and opportunities for the park trailer segment of the RV industry. And once we’ve planned the work, we will work that plan,” said Wald.
According to RVIA President Richard Coon, “This is a classic win-win. RVIA is made stronger with the inclusion of park trailer manufacturers, and the park trailer OEMs will be very well served by RVIA.”
Through a new partnership with Cavco Industries Inc. and Reliable Home Solutions, the Stockton Delta KOA will begin selling park model cabins at its site in Lido, Calif. According to a press release, a dozen units are currently being sold at prices ranging from the mid-$40,000 to the mid-$60,000 range.
The Stockton Delta KOA is the first KOA campground in the western United States to sell the new Deluxe Cabins. “We think they’re going to sell like hotcakes,” said Scott Haar, general manager of the 400-site Stockton KOA.
“Having a vacation cottage at the Stockton KOA is going to be very attractive for people who are looking for affordable ways to have a weekend getaway cabin or vacation cottage,” added Gene Davis, president of Sacramento-based Reliable Home Solutions, which is marketing the units on behalf of KOA and Cavco.
The 400-square-foot park models are manufactured by Phoenix-based Cavco, which has been building park model cabins and cottages for use as private vacation cottages in campgrounds for nearly 20 years.
While park models have been used as vacation cottages in campgrounds throughout much of Arizona, Texas and Florida as well as the Midwest and East Coast regions, they are just now being introduced in campgrounds in the West, and even then mostly as rental accommodations.
“We think the market is ready for this,” Davis said, adding that people are already bringing their friends to see the demonstration park model that was recently set up at the Stockton KOA.
Consumers who purchase the units will also need to pay a lease fee to keep their units at the KOA. Annual site lease costs range from $900 to $1,900 for the first year, but will jump to $3,960 to $5,400 for each year thereafter, Haar said, adding that the rent will include water, sewer, Wi-Fi and trash pickup as well as security at the park.
The Stockton KOA has 400 campsites, including 21 Deluxe Cabins and three Airstream trailers.
For more information about Stockton KOA, visit www.stocktonkoa.com.
Life is almost back to normal at Flagg’s RV Resort, as seasonal residents return to the York, Maine, RV park.
SeacoastOnline reported that there are an estimated 30 recreational vehicles in the York Beach campground that once held more than 80 RVs, and six new “park models” have replaced the larger, cottage-looking units the town ordered removed last year. Amid the controversy, many campers left Flagg’s, moving to Camp Eaton in York, or north to a campground in other areas.
“I’m one of the 30 that stayed the course,” said Pat Lee, who is back at Flagg’s with her husband Jack Lee. “I’m optimistic. I’ve been in the park 50-plus years. Seasons come, seasons go. I think this too shall pass.”
Last spring, Flagg’s management asked an estimated 10 seasonal residents to remove their trailers to make way for six new park-owned cottage-style units. The new park models were to be rented for overnight, weekly or longer stays.
York’s Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal ordered the park models removed, saying they did not fit the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle. Town code does not allow manufactured housing in the park.
Flagg’s appealed the order, and when it lost the case with the town’s Appeals Board, brought a lawsuit against McDougal and the town to York County Superior Court.
The sides reached an agreement this spring. Flagg’s had to remove the six units but could replace them with RVs that met the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle.
Flagg’s is also able to attach a “Florida room” or “add-a-room” to the new units. The agreement allows Flagg’s to have RVs not to exceed 8½ feet in width in travel mode. The wheels need to stay on the RV, and must be capable of being transported without the assistance of a commercial truck, according to the consent judgment.
New units have been moved into the park, but are not yet set up for occupancy, according to those interviewed. McDougal said he has yet to inspect the new units to make sure they fit the standards of the order, but would do so soon. York’s case was precedent setting. McDougal said last year he received numerous phone calls from officials in other towns who wanted to know how York handled the issue.
Flagg’s RV Resort LLC is owned by Morgan RV Resorts LLC in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which owns numerous RV parks nationwide. Robert Moser, who heads Morgan, said the new units at Flagg’s are eight feet wide. The company has yet to decide whether to bring in more park-owned units, or seasonal recreational vehicles, to fill the vacant sites.
Teton County commissioners in western Wyoming will pay an attorney $150 per hour to oversee a Buffalo Valley property owner’s appeal of a land-use ruling.
Commissioners agreed to hire attorney Mike Barton to handle an appeal hearing for Buffalo Valley RV Resort owner Harry Washut, who contends he should be allowed to bring recreational park trailers onto his property without special approval from county planners, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported. Even if Washut prevails, commissioners said they are not sure he would be allowed to bring recreational park trailers to his property.
Washut is challenging a decision made in March by Planning Director Jeff Daugherty that recreational park trailers are unlike other recreational vehicles in that they are semi-permanent. Recreational park trailers or park models are hard-sided units that sit on a chassis. They are hauled to campgrounds, where they are connected to electric and sewer services.
Commissioners questioned Washut’s appeal because a new set of rules has been put in place that regulate the use of recreational park trailers at campgrounds. Washut asked Daugherty to review the use of recreational park trailers under an old set of rules, which commissioners said would no longer apply to his project.
Attorney Melissa Owens, who is representing Washut, argued that the units are similar to other recreational vehicles and that Washut should be allowed to bring the recreational trailers to his property, regardless of changes to the county’s land-use rules. Owens and attorney David DeFazio filed an appeal in April.
Commissioners agreed to stop planning staff from forcing Washut to remove three recreational park trailers he already has at his campground.
Planning staff said the units were illegally brought to the campground. They held off taking action while Washut had a pending application. When he withdrew it, county staff sent a letter to Washut that threatened legal action if he did not remove the units.
In return, Washut’s attorney promised that he wouldn’t bring any more trailers to the property while the appeal was pending.
Washut has been trying to bring recreational park trailers to his property for two years. He went through several reviews and meetings with county staff and elected officials but was unable to secure approval of his request, through which he initially asked to bring more than a hundred recreational park trailers to his property. Washut faced a stiff challenge from a neighboring ranch owner, who hired a former state attorney general to oppose Washut.
Commissioners were nearing a decision on the project in April, but Washut withdrew his application, saying that he did not believe he needed special permission from the county to bring the units to his land. Washut is the only campground owner still fighting with the county about the trailers.
Rue Mapp has spent many nights camping in tents and sleeping bags with her three children. But, according to a press release, when the Oakland family visit the Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA in La Selva Beach this weekend, they’re going to try something new – two nights in a cozy park model cabin, known as a “lodge” in KOA parlance.
“Park model cabins are the newest additions at many campgrounds across the country, so we wanted to check them out for ourselves,” said Mapp, who is becoming increasingly well known for her pioneering work to reconnect the African American community with camping and other outdoor recreation activities through OutdoorAfro.com.
The website, which Mapp started three years ago, encourages African Americans across the country to network with one another to plan outdoor recreation activities together, such as hiking, camping, biking, climbing and river rafting.
Mapp, in fact, has gained so much notoriety for her website, that she is frequently invited by the White House to share her ideas on ways to better engage African Americans in healthy activities in the Great Outdoors.
Two years ago, the White House invited Mapp to participate in the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors. She was subsequently invited to participate in a White House brainstorming session for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, offering her ideas and insights on ways to engage Americans to become more involved in outdoor recreation activities.
This year, the White House invited Mapp to attend the National Parks Centennial and to assist the Department of Interior with her input on ways to engage African American families in outdoor recreation.
“I understand how families can improve their physical and emotional well-being through camping and other activities in nature,” Mapp said, adding that the cabins that KOA and other campgrounds now provide are important because these rental accommodations makes it possible for people who don’t have camping equipment or RVs to participate in the camping experience.”
Mapp plans to shoot video, blog and tweet about her experiences camping this weekend.
KOA is sponsoring Mapp’s trip in cooperation with the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which is supporting Mapp’s efforts to actively promote camping and other outdoor recreation activities in the African American community.
For more information on OutdoorAfro.com and on Mapp’s upcoming camping trips, please contact Rue Mapp at (510) 913-6100 or email her at email@example.com.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has named Matt Wald to the newly created position of park trailer executive director, according to a press release.
RVIA and the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) recently reached an agreement for park trailer manufacturers to join RVIA as members. One of the conditions of that agreement was the creation of the park trailer executive director position within RVIA to guide association efforts for this membership segment on a daily basis.
RVIA will begin soliciting and accepting companies as park trailer members in April. Wald will officially assume the executive director position on July 2, spending the interim time transitioning from his current role as government affairs director.
“I’m excited to welcome Matt to this new role representing park trailer manufacturers,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “With his strong government relations and public affairs background, he is uniquely qualified to serve the interests of the park trailer industry both within RVIA, but also more importantly to the world.”
In his new role, Wald will be responsible for promoting and protecting the interests of park trailer manufacturer members, including: monitoring and acting on federal, state and local legislative issues; preparing, analyzing and distributing market data and demographics; managing the ongoing process of creating and updating the ANSI A119.5 national safety standard for park trailers; serving as the liaison between RVIA and the media to promote the recreational park trailer industry as well as acting as an industry spokesperson with government agencies, industry trade groups and at industry trade shows. He will also serve as staff liaison and manage the affairs of RVIA’s newly-formed recreational park trailer standing committee.
Wald has worked as RVIA’s director of government affairs since 2003 with the responsibility of lobbying state and federal governments on issues impacting the RV industry. Before joining RVIA, Wald served as director of federal and state government programs at the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. He also was director of government affairs for both the American Subcontractors Association and the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association.
After a year of dispute, the town of York, Maine, and Flagg’s RV Resort LLC have come to an agreement over new seasonal units moved into the York Beach camper park last spring.
Seacoastonline.com reported that under the agreement, the six park model units in question must be removed within 60 days. Flagg’s will then be allowed to replace the units with RVs that meet the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle.
The agreement allows Flagg’s to have RVs not to exceed 8 1/2 feet in width in travel mode. The wheels need to stay on the RV and they need to be capable of being transported without the assistance of a commercial truck, according to the consent judgment.
The consent judgment also allows, after application for a building permit, the installation or attachment of a “Florida room” or “add-a-room” as allowed in other campgrounds. Flagg’s also agrees to pay York $1,000 to cover town costs and attorney fees.
The consent judgment dismisses a pending action in York County Superior Court brought by Flagg’s after Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal issued the park a Notice of Violation and Order for Correction Action on June 28 that was upheld by the town Board of Appeals in September.
Flagg’s owner, Robert Moser, argued the six units that were “park models” were recognized in the industry as recreational vehicles. McDougal disagreed, saying they more closely resembled dwellings and were therefore not allowed in the park by town ordinance.
Moser is president of Morgan RV Resorts LLC, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a company that owns numerous RV parks from Maine to Florida. They’ve had no other problems with park models in other towns, he has said.
Last spring, Flagg’s told an estimated 10 seasonal residents of the park to move out their privately owned RVs to make way for the new units.