Hurricane-Like Winds Injure Six at Texas Park

June 3, 2010 by · Comments Off on Hurricane-Like Winds Injure Six at Texas Park 

Strong winds at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi flipped at least three recreational vehicles and sent six people to Corpus Christi, Texas, hospitals early today (June 3), according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times.

NAS-CC Public Affairs Officer Bob Torres said the injured people, whose ages and names were not revealed, were sleeping when winds that exceeded hurricane levels blew through the Flour Bluff area. The winds toppled at least three RVs, which are more than 30 feet long, in the park that houses about 40 RVs of retired and current military personnel. One RV landed on the trunk of a nearby car, Torres said.

Six people were taken to Corpus Christi hospitals, although two were released after being checked for injuries, Torres said.

The damage on the base was not limited to the RV park. A boat barn that had recently been renovated was blown into the Laguna Madre and boats that were stored inside are strewed across a parking lot and water, Torres reported.

“The boat barn – is just gone,” said EN1 Carol Winkler, manager of the base’s marina.

“We know there’s been damage to some of the structures, there is roof damage and in some places no electricity,” NAS Commanding Officer, Capt. Randy Pierson said in a news release. “We’re accessing the damage and waiting for daylight to see what else has been affected.

“The base is open for business; however we urge everyone to be cautious as they come to work.”

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

After Dismal Year, RV Sales and Production Are Up

May 28, 2010 by · Comments Off on After Dismal Year, RV Sales and Production Are Up 

Watch today’s Featured Video to lern more about this story.

AAA says holiday weekend travel will increase this year. You can expect to see more RVs on the road, which industry leaders say is because more banks are lending money and gas prices are lower, according to WSBT-TV, South Bend, Ind.

Ron and Judy Ruff travel about six months each year. Their RV is their home away from home. The Ruff’s have been all over the United States and Canada.

“We were traveling when the gas prices were $4 a gallon and it didn’t stop us,” Ron said.

What they have seen recently on the roadways is the biggest surprise of all.

“It’s amazing how many people still RV,” Ron said.

This isn’t something they’re just seeing locally. Frank and Marty Leland’s RV stopped at the KOA campground in Granger, Ind. They’ve traveled the country since April. In that time, they found they were in good company.

“Fifth wheels, motor homes are very, very common,” Leland said.

AAA projects an increase in Memorial Day weekend travel — despite gas prices being 80 cents higher this year compared to last year. It appears the local RV industry is on the road to recovery, following its share of bumps in the road.

“Employment is up, numbers are up and we’re increasing more as we go,” said Bill Fenech, president and CEO of Damon Motor Coach.

Fenech said production of vehicles on the assembly line has increased 85% to 135%.

“Last year was awful,” Fenech said. “We’re up significantly.”

While sales are up, Fenech is careful to sketch a pretty picture.

“Retail is doing good, not great. We need to make sure retail supports the number of units we’re shipping. We need retail to kick in and continue to be strong,” Fenech said.

The economic downturn was long thought to be the industry’s “nail” in the coffin. Now, it appears those fears may be easing as more and more camp and ride on the road in style, in their RV.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

HGTV RV Program Examines Fifth-Wheel Trailers

May 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Today’s featured video looks at HGTV’s installment on fifth-wheel trailers. This video is part of RV 2010 show hosted by Chi-Lan Lieu .

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

U.S. Dollar Approaches Par Value in Canada

March 19, 2010 by · Comments Off on U.S. Dollar Approaches Par Value in Canada 

Canada’s core inflation rate rose beyond Bank of Canada expectations to 2.1% from 2% but the central bank is unlikely to move up its target date for raising interest rates, a top economist told The Toronto Star.

“This marks a number of months in a row where core interest rates were running faster than the bank expected,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets.

“Underlying inflation has been a bit higher than the bank expected and combined with a lot of the strong data we have seen recently in Canada just ramps up the odds of the Bank of Canada starting to hike interest rates in the second half of the year (as expected),” he said.

Strong economic data has resulted in the dollar approaching 99 cents throughout the week and we could hit parity if retail sales figures also surpass expectations, Porter said.

“If they come in higher than expected, we could see the dollar taking a serious run at par,” he said.

The report showed that consumer prices in the Ontario were slightly above the national average during the last 12 months, due primarily to higher gasoline prices, passenger vehicle insurance and the purchase of passenger cars.

Friday’s Statistics Canada report indicated a 1.8% increase in consumer prices in Ontario, compared to a 1.6% increase across the country from February 2009 to February 2010.

Slowed growth was reported in all provinces, except for British Columbia, which reported an increase to 1.2%, compared to 0.7% the previous 12 months.

One unexpected contributor was the Olympic Games, which resulted in a 16% increase in the cost of traveler accommodation in February, the report showed. Porter said the Olympic effect on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was a bit of a surprise.

Gas Prices on Upward Trend

Gasoline prices exerted the most upward pressure on prices for the fourth consecutive month, the report showed. In February, gas prices were 15.3% higher than the same month the previous year. The latest rise follows a 23.9% spike in prices in the 12 months leading to January.

Gas prices in February 2009 were considerably lower than they were in late 2009 and early 2010, the report showed. “However, gasoline prices have been relatively stable since July 2009,” it said.

Energy prices rose 4% during the period between February 2010 and February 2009, following na 8.2% increase in the 12 months prior. Excluding energy costs, the CPI rose 1.3% during the 12 months leading to February 2010, matching an increase in the 12 month leading to January.

During the 12-month period, six of the eight major measures of consumer pricing reported increase, excluding the shelter component and clothing and footwear.

  • The transportation component reported a 5.9% increase, following a 7.7% rise in January.
  • Driving continued to be a top expense, with consumer shelling out 7.9% more for passenger vehicle insurance premiums.
  • The cost of a passenger care also went 3.5%, following a 3.1% increase in January.
  • Recreation, education increased 3% in the 12 months leading to February 2010. Consumers also paid for traveller accommodation, cablevision and satellite services and the purchase and operation of recreational vehicles, the report showed.
  • Seeking entertainment at home proved a cheaper option, with prices dropping for home equipment, parts and services and computer equipment and supplies.
  • Food prices rose 1.2%, following a 1.4% increase in January. A 2.6% increase in restaurant prices was behind the upward pressure, as well as higher prices for dairy products and eggs, with a reported increase at 1.4%. Prices for fresh vegetables, fruit and meat fell.

The cost of running a house, furnishing and equipment rose 1.8% in the 12 months leading up to February 2010. The cost of health and personal care increased 3.2%, with prices for medicinal and pharmaceutical products up 1.9%.

Shelter costs were down 1.1%, mostly related to declines in mortgage interest cost and natural gas prices, the report showed. The cost of clothing and footwear dropped 2.6%, with women’s and men’s clothing leading the decline with a slight decrease recorded in children’s wear.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Enthusiasts Drive Steady Carolina RV Market

March 1, 2010 by · Comments Off on Enthusiasts Drive Steady Carolina RV Market 

69_NC_RVShow_webHard times may be with us still, but the romance of the recreational vehicle is still strong and may be strengthening, according to the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer.

That, at least, is the conclusion to draw from the RV Camping Show at the State Fairgrounds this past weekend in Raleigh.

“We’re paying the bills and even making a little money,” said dealer Paul Hood, whose company sold about 25 campers and recreational vehicles during the three-day show.

A dense Sunday crowd wandered, looked and ooh’d and aah’d at one home on wheels after another.

“Wow, this is nice,” said John Patty of Cary, settling into a swivel chair inside a 400-square-foot Holiday Rambler Imperial. “You could have a party in here.”

More modest models were on view, as well: pop-up campers and cozy house trailers to tow behind a pickup, with prices from less than $9,000 on up. The show also featured dealers in camp sites, refinishing services, bedding, hot tubs, campfire food, grills, travelog videos and RV insurance.

Recession hit the RV industry hard, said Dave and Jan Kenyon, staffing a booth for the Good Sam Club, an association for RV owners. According to the RecreationVehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the industry has laid off 53% of its work force since June 2007, but University of Michigan analyst Richard Curtin projects a 30% increase in units shipped to dealers this year, about 216,000 compared with 166,000 in 2009.

Dealer restocking is one reason for optimism, and it’s easier to get financing for an RV than it was a year ago, Jan Kenyon said.

Plus, dealers are dealing. The Imperial’s regular retail price of $420,102 had been marked down to $336,541. A Cherokee Wolf Pack trailer was marked down from $27,535 to $19,922, complete with kitchenette and queen-size bed.

“I don’t know how much it is, but I like it,” said Brad Seavey of Vass, N.C., when he saw the Wolf Pack.

Danny and Glenda Honeycutt of Angier, N.C., with daughters Bayley and Brooke, said they are about a year away from moving up to a motorhome from the fifth-wheel trailer camper they’ve had for 10 years.

“Oooh! This is nice!” said Brooke, climbing into a $251,000 Holiday Rambler Ambassador.

“You can travel in here,” Glenda said as she looked around the interior; riding inside the fifth-wheeler is against the law, she explained. Compared with car travel, Danny said, having space to spread out is “so much easier than to pack everything up.”

Dealer Dave Hansing said people who are enthusiastic about the RV lifestyle are still enthused, despite the economy.

“The worst thing about an RV is not having enough time to use it,” he said.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Utah RV Sales Bode Well for Better Economy

February 22, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Robert Jensen figures that sales of recreational vehicles will tell you a lot about the state of the economy: “We lead in and out of recession.”

And the Sportsmen’s Vacation and RV Show at the South Towne Expo Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, is whispering to him that families are spending and credit is flowing once more, according to the Deseret News.

It’s not a flood, mind you. But the credit well’s no longer dry, either.

“In my 30 years, yesterday was the best-ever first day of an RV show in terms of qualified buyers,” Jensen, of General RV Center in Draper, said on Friday (Feb. 19). “Banks are loosening up. And they know that people will (keep up payments) because they want to protect their RVs.”

While the crowd size is about the same as last year, he said, “more people are actually buying.”

“More motivated” is how Shane Kramer of Motor Sportsland in Murray described the shoppers he was seeing. And he believes the recession has played a big role in that. The rough economy has led people to vacation closer to home. Throw in the combination of more credit unions stepping in to provide financing, money in general becoming more available and the RV manufacturers creating lighter, more fuel-efficient rigs and it’s a winner for someone who wants an RV, he said. You can go into the mountains for a nice vacation for the whole family for the equivalent of a single plane ticket.

That doesn’t mean it’s boom town at the show, Kramer noted. He estimated that last year’s show was down about 40% from pre-recession attendance. And it’s still down. But it is looking better.

“I see a lot of optimism,” said Jay Jensen of Sierra RV in Sunset. “Consumer confidence is back.” And while he said credit is still a little sluggish, RVs are moving. He said at a national manufacturer’s show — where dealers go to select the models they want to carry — expectations were for a big bump in business for 2010. And that about describes his expectations.

The last year ended well for his business, he said, with sales and new hires and the opportunity to snag some great deals on pre-owned RVs.

As for what’s selling, Jay Jensen said younger families are going after smaller units, while older shoppers are drawn to motorhomes and bigger fifth-wheels. Robert Jensen has seen great interest in 25- to 32-foot RVs in the $15,000-to-$30,000 price range. And he also noted that manufacturers are introducing new models this year, not just trying to clear inventory. So they’re apparently feeling optimistic, too, he said.

The show also drew browsers like Clyde and Laris Nichols of Farmington. He’s a woodworker, searching for ideas on ways to improve some cabinets he doesn’t love in their 27-foot RV.

They don’t get out in the RV as much as they’d like, he said, but this is the year they’re hoping to go farther — and stay longer.

It’s also the year that Ryan and Renee Woolf of Syracuse hope to add a solar power generation system to their three-year-old fifth-wheel RV.

She noted that the prices have dropped from what they were when they bought their RV. “You can get bigger and nicer for less than we paid,” she said.

The show ended Sunday.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Pasadena Tightens Security for Rose Parade RVers

December 30, 2009 by · Comments Off on Pasadena Tightens Security for Rose Parade RVers 

2010 Rose Parade posterEver since the Sept.  11 terrorist attacks in 2001, teams of volunteers and police officers have monitored the dozens of RVs that line the 5 1/2-mile Rose Parade route in Pasadena, Calif.

On Tuesday (Dec. 29), that program, called “Parade Watch,” officially kicked off. Through Friday, the teams will check on RVs, alert their occupants to possible police searches and encourage them to report suspicious activity to police, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

It works much like a Neighborhood Watch program on wheels, Pasadena Police Department spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens said. With RVers keeping watch over each other, arrests have dropped significantly in recent years, she added.

During the last celebrations on the route, only a few dozen or so people have been arrested on New Year’s Eve, Givens said. Before the program and the proliferation of cell phones, hundreds of arrests were common, she said.

Parade Watch team members ask campers to sign a waiver acknowledging that police can search their vehicles at any time. The campers receive a commemorative decal to place in their windshields in return.

“Most people have been here before and they know the routine and look forward to getting the little sticker from us,” said Randy Branson, 66, a Parade Watch volunteer for the last five years.

“It gives us the chance to serve the community and help out the police department. They say they really need us and couldn’t do it without us,” he said.

Bob Beardsley and his wife Kerry of Ben Lomond, Calif., parked their RV on Monday night at Colorado Boulevard and Oak Knoll Avenue. They’ve camped out for the parade for the last 12 years. They welcomed the Parade Watch volunteers.

“It’s great to check up and keep the riff-raff out of town,” Beardsley said.

The Beardsleys climb up onto the roof of their camper to watch the parade.

“If you get up there, you can see it coming,” Beardsley said. “You really get a feel for it.”

Rick Miller and his family from Redlands also arrived Monday and stationed their RV at Colorado and Oakland Avenue.

Miller likes Parade Watch because it marks the first day he is officially allowed to park along the route. Usually, he arrives even earlier to secure his spot and winds up getting parking tickets.

“We end up paying a ticket a day for three days,” Miller said. “But where can you camp for 30 bucks? That’s how I look at it.”

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

RVIA’s Sheldon Reflects on the National Show

December 4, 2009 by · 1 Comment 


Jim Sheldon, RVIA chairman

Jim Sheldon, RVIA chairman

A veteran of 35 National RV Trade Shows, Jim Sheldon felt at times this week that he was experiencing a time warp.

As the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show staged by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) wound down Thursday afternoon (Dec. 3), the RVIA chairman paused to reflect what had transpired the previous three days.

“It feels a lot like the shows in the early ’80s, coming out of the crunch,” he told RVBUSINESS.COM, “like the ’81 and ’82 shows. Dealers, manufacturers and suppliers were just beginning to experience improvements in the  marketplace. There was cautious optimism conditions were going to improve albeit at a slower incline than we hoped they would be.” 

Flash forward to 2009.

“Every segment of our industry has had to take almost Draconian steps to make sure they were operating to the best of their abilities. What I observed at the show (this week) was almost a feeling,’We got through this, let’s focus on 2010. Let’s make sure we have the necessary inventory on our lots and respond to what we think will be renewed consumer interest,”‘ he said.

Sheldon said he detected “a definite increase in the level of optimism from the dealers coming through compared to last year. The attitude is 180 degrees from what it was a year ago. As a result of this optimism, a number of manufacturers have written a large number or orders, which will bode well for our industry as we go into 2010.”

That reason alone would make the 2009 show a success, he said. But there’s more.

Based in part on anecdotal evidence this week, Sheldon said the industry forecast provided by Richard Curtin and released on the eve of show week may prove to be too conservative. Curtin, who prepares quarterly forecasts for RVIA, projected 2010 wholesale shipments to reach 203,500 units in 2010, of which 6,100 would be Class A motorhomes.

“I have great respect for Dr. Curtin,” said Sheldon. “He’s not prone to blow sunshine. At the same time, relative to his motorhome forecast, I do believe it is too conservative. I feel the Class A motorhome market will be at least 10,000 units in 2010.”

This week’s show was approximately 30% smaller than last year, but Sheldon looked at the bright side of the cozier show. 

“It was easier to see the product,” he said. “Each major and minor participant occupied a smaller space. Frequent comments were made that the smaller size show enabled  the dealers to get through the displays and this made it more manageable than in past shows.”

“In addition to that, the number of attendees for the first two days was very close to what it was last year,” he added. Indeed, opening day attendance was up slightly from last year’s show.

Sheldon also said he sensed healing between dealers and manufacturers.

“I think tremendous progress was made in that area,” he said. “I get a sense dealers are coming to the conclusion going forward they will be able to do business with manufacturers they wish to represent. I did not observe any animosity. In fact, just the opposite. I was pleased to see the number of dealers who have chosen to get back into a business relationship with manufacturers that struggled last year.”

He said he was intrigued by the dialog between U.S. manufacturers and the representatives of the Chinese RV industry, who attended this week’s show.

Any disappointments?

“None.” But he added, “The only dark cloud that continues to concern us is the reluctance of finance institutions to step up and provide adequate financing both at the  wholesale and retail level. It’s a subject that needs to be addressed by the banking community. The sooner the banking community can relax the inordinate stress they have created, the better off it will be for our entire industry.”

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Molino Tells FRVTA to Expect ‘Good Year in 2010’

September 14, 2009 by · Comments Off on Molino Tells FRVTA to Expect ‘Good Year in 2010’ 

frvta-logoThere are a lot of positive signs out there in the marketplace right now, Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Mike Molino told attendees Saturday (Sept. 12) during the general session of the 29th Annual Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) Convention — including plant openings in Elkhart, a drop in the once-burgeoning level of distressed U.S. RV inventories and positive late season occupancy reports from many campgrounds.

But it wasn’t really news to any of the 175 individuals in attendance at FRVTA’s Sept. 11-13 meetings at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs that the industry continues to face a difficult time.

“It’s tough out there right now,” said Molino. “The most impressive thing I’ve seen is those who are here today and the fact that when we budgeted for the dealer attendance at our convention, which is coming up Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, we budgeted what we thought was a reasonable number. And the dealers have already exceeded that in their registrations.”

Molino, moreover, mirrored general industry sentiment in saying that he looks forward to a better business atmosphere next year. “We’re going to have a good year in 2010,” he said. “It may not be a great year, but it’s certainly going to be a good year, and its certainly going to be better than 2009. So, let’s all look forward to that.”

In remarks preceding those of Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Vice President Gary LaBella’s, Molino said a recent survey of RVDA’s membership revealed that retailers aligned with the national dealer association expressed three main areas of concern:

  • Perhaps the most serious among RVDA’s members is the continuing scarcity of credit. No matter what RVDA tries to do at the national level in concert with a variety of other national associations in this and other allied fields — including RVIA — to try to lobby for legislation that would help dealers and the industry, it simply hasn’t resulted in the hoped for result of an easing in financing. “We worked on things called TARP, TALF and the SBA prgram — three major programs to help get financing for consumers and for dealer floorplans,” said Molino. “Nothing’s been successful on the implementation, and we’re still trying to find out why.”
  • “Under-resourced” manufacturers, some of whom are new on the scene and are rolling out “dazzling” new products with low price points but aren’t in a position to provide an adequate “logistical chain” for repair parts and general warranty. Molino, as a result, warned dealers to “be careful who you deal with.”
  • The very survival of key industry components, including the dealer association itself, which, like RVIA, has been dipping into its reserves to sustain itself. “We have been spending money we’ve put away to spend for a rainy day over the last couple of years, and, boy, if it isn’t raining now, I’d hate to see when it is. So, we are spending some of that money. But we are in good financial condition.”

“Believe it or not, as weird as it may seem, the government we have in place right now is pro-RV,” he added. “It could be a lot worse. It could be like the Carter administration where RVs were portrayed as the enemy. We don’t have that now, and that’s good. And for that we have to thank the great PR effort on the part of RVIA and Mr. (Gary) LaBella here.”

Molino also credited the ongoing efforts of U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, the northern Indiana congressman who has been a “major player” in consistently stepping up and supporting the industry throughout the “Great Recession” in its efforts to secure financing alternatives.

“But it hasn’t worked yet,” he said. “and we’re still trying to figure out why, and there are people in government trying to figure out why. If you guys see that it’s working, please tell us because we’re looking for signs of that. But right now, the banks aren’t lending.”

Molino said there are indeed signs of increasing credit availability.

“But it’s not as good as it was before (the credit crunch,” he said.

“And until it gets better, the industry’s recovery is going to be slow. So, you’ve got to talk it up to your congressmen and senators and bankers. Try to find out what the problem is. You know, the government is making their money available — and insuring the money — and yet we can’t get it out there to the consumer and to the dealer.”

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Outdoors RV Delivers First WindRiver Travel Trailer

August 31, 2009 by · Comments Off on Outdoors RV Delivers First WindRiver Travel Trailer 

windriver-travel-trailer-deliveryRick Breeden (right), general manager of Big Country RV in Bend Ore., takes delivery of the first WindRiver travel trailer produced by Outdoors RV Manufacturing from Darin Nelson, Outdoors RV sales manager. The WindRiver is one of four brands Outdoors RV will be focusing on in producing rugged and durable RVs for the Northwest and Western Canada. The WindRiver is Outdoors RV’s luxury-lite brand. Stainless steel appliances, Halogen ceiling lights, electric awnings, LCD TVs, shock absorbing off-road suspension system, five-sided aluminum frame laminated construction, fiberglass front caps, roto-torqued outdoors tough cabinetry, Beaufloor flooring (50 Below zero cold cracking warranty), and the “Ultimate Outdoors Four Seasons Camping Package” are a few of the highlighted features that go into producing the WindRiver product line. Big Country RV has been servicing the RV buyers of central Oregon for more than 30 years and has been selected as one of the “Top 50” most professional North American recreational vehicle dealers for 2009 by RV Business magazine.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

RV Business Announces 2009 Top 50 Dealer Awards

August 31, 2009 by · Comments Off on RV Business Announces 2009 Top 50 Dealer Awards 

rvbtop50logo-smallRV Business today (Aug. 31)  has announced selections for the 2nd Annual RV Business Top 50 Dealer Awards, which are based on the nominations of North American RV manufacturers and are to be presented on the evening of Wed., Oct. 7, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the annual RV Dealers International Convention/Expo.

A volunteer panel of industry veterans concluded its review of dealer applications on Aug. 21 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., keeping a keen eye on dealers’ overall focus on professionalism, association activities, civic involvement, best practices and consumer care.

Above all, RVB Publisher Sherman Goldenberg maintains, the mission of the Top 50 program is to continue to remind individual dealers – and the industry at large – of the intent and specific recommendations of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence and, beyond that, to give attendees at the Recreation Vehicle Dealer Association’s (RVDA) Con/Expo a chance to relax and reflect on a year that was trying at best.

“We had an overwhelming response from our manufacturer nominees this year,” said Goldenberg. “The number of applicants received was about 40% more than what we had in 2008. Before judging even started, we considered this year’s program a success, and that was largely due to the many quality dealerships submitting applications. Because there were so many worthy RV dealers who applied, it was a much more difficult selection process this time around, and, unfortunately, we weren’t able to include everyone who applied.”

“The judges did take a very good look at all the application materials dealers sent in, and it was a very close race,” adds BJ Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates Inc., whose Mishawaka, Ind.-based agency oversees the application process for RVB. “We encourage all participating dealers, whether they were selected or not, to reapply next year.”

RVB Top 50 dealers are not ranked, although 10 Blue Ribbon retailers are singled out for special recognition. In addition, a Dave Altman Award for lifetime achievement in RV retailing and exceptional corporate citizenship will also be presented to one of the Blue Ribbon dealers at this year’s RVBT50 dinner at which Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee, the former — and possibly future — Republican presidential candidate  will be keynote speaker.

“Given the current national political climate and the ongoing debate between the two political parties — and the ways in which these debates directly impact the recreational vehicle industry  — we consider Mr. Huckabee an excellent and thought-provoking choice for an enjoyable evening in Las Vegas,” said Goldenberg. “And that goes for industry people of all political persuasions.”

The following U.S. and Canadian retailers are the recipients of the 2009 RV Business Top 50 Dealer Awards (in unranked, alphabetical order):

  •      Aberdeen RV Center, Aberdeen, MS
  •      Aloha RV, Albuquerque, NM
  •      Altman’s Winnebago, Carson, CA
  •      American RV, Grand Rapids, MI
  •      Apache Village RV Center, Hazelwood, MO
  •      ArrKann Trailer & RV Centre, Edmonton, AB
  •      Beckley’s Camping Center, Thurmont, MD
  •      Big Country RV, Bend, OR
  •      Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall, NC
  •      Boat N RV Superstores, Rockwood, Tenn.
  •      Can-Am RV Centre, London, ON
  •      Carolina Coach & Camper, Claremont, NC
  •      Coachlight RV, Carthage, MO
  •      Coates Trailer Sales, Columbus, MN
  •      Colonial Airstream, Lakewood, NJ
  •      Crown RV, Conyers, GA
  •      Curtis Trailers, Portland, OR
  •      Dandy RV Superstore, Anniston, AL
  •      Dixie RV Superstore, Newport News, VA
  •      Dodd RV, Yorktown, VA
  •      General RV, Wixom, MI
  •      Giant RV, Montclair, CA
  •      Greeneway Campers, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
  •      Guaranty RV, Junction City, OR
  •      Hilltop Trailer Sales, Fridley, MN
  •      Ketelsen Campers of Colorado, Wheat Ridge, CO
  •      Kings Campers, Wausaw, WI
  •      Lazydays RV Supercenter, Seffner, FL
  •      Little Dealer Little Prices, Phoenix, AZ
  •      Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores, Santa Fe Springs, CA
  •      Modern Trailer Sales, Anderson, IN
  •      Mount Comfort RV, Greenfield, IN
  •      Parkview RV, Smyrna, DE
  •      PleasureLand RV Centers, St. Cloud, MN
  •      Poulsbo RV, Kent, WA
  •      Quality RV, Draper, UT
  •      Reines RV Center, Manassas, VA
  •      Richardson’s RV, Sun City, CA
  •      Rick’s RV Center, Joliet, IL
  •      Roy Robinson RV, Marysville, WA
  •      RV America Inc., Johnstown, CO
  •      Steinbring Motorcoach, Garfield, MN
  •      Tennessee RV Sales & Service, Knoxville, TN
  •      Terrell Camping Center, Terrell, NC
  •      Thompson Family RV, Davenport, IA
  •      Tom Johnson’s Camping Center, Marion, NC
  •      Topper’s Camping Center, Waller, TX
  •      Trafford’s RV, Center Conway, NH
  •      Veurinks’ RV Center, Grand Rapids, MI
  •      Woody’s RV World, Red Deer, AB

Building on last year’s format, which appears to have worked rather well for those involved, RV Business Top 50 Dealer Award honorees will be promoted in the national press, in dealers’ hometown newspapers and in the pages and websites — of Affinity’s trade and consumer magazines: RV Business, Trailer Life, MotorHome, Highways, Coast to Coast and Camping Life.

Underwriting this year’s program are Platinum co-sponsors ADP Lightspeed, Salt Lake City, UT; Blue Ox, Pender, NE; Coach-Net, Lake Havasu, AZ; Cummins Onan, Minneapolis, MN.; Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Gaffney, SC, RV Trader and, Norfolk, VA, and Ultra-Fab Products, Elkhart, IN, while Protective Asset Protection Division, Chesterfield, MO, is a Gold sponsor.

Tickets for the $120-a-plate dinner ($99 for RVDA members, Con/Expo exhibitors and Top 50 dealer guests) are available through’s registration link (

“All in all, we can’t imagine that anyone attending the RVDA Con/Expo wouldn’t want to take the opportunity to mix with Mr. Huckabee and their industry peers at the cocktail party prior to our dinner and to hear Mr. Huckabee speak on the hot topics of the day at the dinner itself, regardless of their political persuasion,” said Goldenberg. “And, of course, we’ll honor our dealers, one by one, at the dinner as well, giving everyone a chance to reflect on the professionalism for which we’re trying to help raise the bar in this industry.”

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Northwest RV Show Set for British Columbia Venue

August 28, 2009 by · Comments Off on Northwest RV Show Set for British Columbia Venue 


The 13th annual 2009 Snowbird RV Show & Sale is coming to the Tradex in Abbotsford, British Columbia, from Sept. 24 to 27 and is bringing the latest in recreation vehicles, accessories, gadgets and travel destinations, according to the Abbotsford Times.

There will be over 180,000 square feet for display space at the Tradex, located beside the Abbotsford International Airport.

This event is offering everyone from avid, full- and long-time RVers to families interested on taking recreational trips throughout British Columbia — or wherever their destination may be — a chance to learn more about the vehicles that will be on display, as well as lifestyle opportunities that come with RVing.

The event will take place both indoors at outdoors, as more than 50 exhibitors will be showcasing some of the new and more innovative RVs that are on the market today, as well as accessories like electric bikes and other gadgets.

Exhibitions will also include information on RV properties and private sales.

For those interested in the environmental aspects that RVing provides these days, there will be exhibitions on “innovative green” products that are being offered at dealerships throughout the Lower Mainland.

This will include the Evergreen Ever-Lite, which called “the world’s first eco-friendly composite travel trailer.”

According to this website, the Evergreen Ever-Lite comes well equipped with some of the more modern exterior and interior features in the industry.

John and Harriet Halkyard, co-authors of “99 Days to Panama,” will be on hand along with Mike and Terri Church, co-authors of a series of RV and camping travel books, and a number of other industry experts to offer free daily seminars on some of the popular Southern destinations for those interested in exploring somewhere other than the rugged terrain of British Columbia.

One of the destinations up for discussion will be Arizona.

For more information, check out, e-mail or call (604) 870-4678.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

« Previous Page