American Coach, the luxury motorhome division of Fleetwood RV Inc., today (Nov. 16) announced that it added RV World, located in Yuma, Ariz., to its dealer network. RV World will carry the American Eagle, American Tradition and American Allegiance product lines, and will be an authorized American Coach service center, according to a news release.
“RV World is one of Fleetwood RV’s top dealers, so we are very excited to add them to the American Coach dealer network,” said Justin Humphreys, national sales manager for American Coach and Revolution LE. “Now customers can choose one of the industry’s leading luxury coach brands as they move up in the product lifecycle, which is good for both RV World and American Coach. In addition, RV World has a great sales and service team, so we know our customers will be taken care of from the moment they step into the dealership.”
“We have a lot of seasoned, high-end customers that have been looking for us to add a luxury brand to our product offering,” said Mike Green, general manager and part owner of RV World. “American Coach offers high-quality, luxury motorhomes backed by a strong warranty. Combined with their incredible sales and service teams, we are confident that American Coach is the right partner to help us grow our business in this new segment.”
All American Coach products include a complimentary one-year membership to CoachNet. This invaluable 24/7 service provides customers with emergency roadside service and other RV technical assistance, so they can have peace of mind knowing that help is available anywhere, at anytime.
For more information about American Coach, call (800) 435-7345 or visit
More than 250 people representing Canadian RV dealerships, manufacturers and campgrounds attended the fifth Canadian RV and Campground Convention Nov. 5-8 in Victoria, British Columbia.
The event featured three days of meetings, presentations, excursions and entertainment. The multi-day pre-tour of campgrounds on the mainland and the island received high praise.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) and the British Columbia Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) sponsored the biennial event.
Held for the first time in a Western province since 2003, the event drew a number of industry representatives who had never before attended the convention, noted Louise Morel, executive director of the convention organizing committee.
“The mood of the dealer body was very positive,” said Eleonore Hamm, president of RVDA of Canada. “This was a tough year to get through but the majority did, and the majority are going to Louisville.”
RVDA of Canada will hold its annual “Canada Night” the night of Nov. 30 at the Galt House in Louisville, Ky., on the eve of the National RV Show.
Hamm noted that dealer participation at the national show was “not much down from the one we held two years ago, which is great.”
The associations presented two awards during the convention: David Dobson of RV World in Fredericton, New Brunswick, received the prestigious 2009 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award; and Darren Gelowitz of Village RV in Regina, Saskatchewan, accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his late partner, Bill Ortman, who died earlier this year.
In conjunction with the nationwide meeting, the Alberta, Atlantic and British Columbia RVDAs held their annual general meetings. The new Alberta RVDA officers are:
- President Ross Hodgins, RV City, Morinville.
- Vice President Keith Hanks, Affordable RV, Calgary.
- Treasurer Bill Burnett, Trailblazer RV Centre Ltd., Nisku.
- Past President Darva Macbeth, Woody’s RV World, Edmonton.
- One-year directors are Kyle Redmond, Bucars RV Center, Balzac, and Dean Smyl, Smyl R.V. Center, St. Paul
- Two-year directors are Marty Vellner, Vellner Leisure Products, Red Deer, and Darcy Turgeon, Carefree RV & Coach Ltd., Edmonton.
The RVDA of British Columbia elected the following officers:
- President Gord Bragg, Hub City RV, Nanoose Bay.
- Vice president Colin Yaretz, South Thompson RV Ltd., Kamloops.
- Treasurer Chris Clarke, Traveland Leisure Vehicles, Langley.
- Past President Ian Moore, Big Boy’s Toys, Nanoose Bay.
- Two-year directors are Chris Swann, Go West, RV, Coquitlam; Jason Bell, Chemo RV, Quesnel; Ward Fraser, Voyager RV, Winfield; and Rob Williamson, LMG, Kamloops.
- One-year directors are Brian McHale, SAL Group, Langley; Darren Johnson, First Canadian, Victoria; and Ruth Neubauer, BMO Bank of Montreal – Retail Dealer Finance, Burnaby.
The Atlantic RVDA postponed its officer election to a later date.
Campgrounds Camping Canada also held its annual meeting during the convention.
The 2011 Canadian RV and Campground Convention will likely be held in the East at a location yet to be determined, Morel and Hamm said.
David Dobson of RV World in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was presented with the prestigious 2009 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award this past weekend at the 2009 RV and Camping Convention held in Victoria, British Columbia.
“This is truly an honor, and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work in such a remarkable industry,” said Dobson, (shown at left holding the award with with last year’s recipient, Wayne Hambly of PEI Home & RV Centre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island).
Jo-Ann Searls, from RV Lifestyle Magazine, presented the award, named the Walter Paseska Memorial Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award, according to a news release.
Starting in the RV industry as part of the family business in the early 1980s, Dobson left the industry temporarily to work in the air cargo business. In 1990, he returned to New Brunswick to rejoin the family business. In 1992, RV World was purchased by the Dobson family and since then, Dobson has grown the dealership from a six-person operation to a 25-person dealership.
Prior to holding various executive positions and the presidency on the Atlantic RV Dealers Association (RVDA) board, Dobson was instrumental in the amalgamation of Nova Scotia RVDA with the Atlantic RVDA. He currently has served as a director and most recently, treasurer on the RVDA of Canada board and was also the appointed representative on the Go RVing Canada board for two years.
In line with volunteering his time and expertise with the regional and national RVDAs, Dobson is also an avid community supporter through numerous charitable societies. As the founding director of the John T. MacMillan Jr. Memorial Foundation, he has helped over 25 families stricken with cancer to deal with hardships. The foundation was created in 2006 in hour of his late nephew. Dobson has also shown equal compassion toward the Crones and Colitis Foundation and Childhood Cancer Foundation.
His extensive list of community contributions include Knights of Columbus, Fred T. and the Oromocto Chapters, the Shriners, Soup Kitchen in Fredericton, local churches and parishes, military associations and their families, RCMP golf tournament annual fundraiser, local Sambories, and helping one family in need each year at Christmas.
Each year, the RVDA of Canada, in conjunction with RV Lifestyle Magazine and Dealer News, invites nominations from across Canada for the Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award. The award is dedicated to the memory of Walt Paseska, founder of Walt’s Trailer Sales in Headingley, Manitoba, in recognition of his many years of commitment and dedication to the RV industry.
Since established in 1989 by Camping Canada Magazine, this award has been presented to individuals who share Paseka’s enthusiasm and commitment, in recognition of their long-term contribution to the RV lifestyle and commitment to the community as a whole.
The other nominees for this year’s award were:
- Kevin Betzold, GNR Camping World, Manitoba.
- Bill Ortman, Village RV Centre, Saskatchewan (deceased).
- Rod Sellers, Sellers RV Centre, Saskatchewan.
- Irene Sturzenegger, Go West RV Sales, British Columbia.
- Kirk Thomson, Can-Am RV Centre, Ontario.
Each year, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada), in conjunction with Camping Canada’s RV Lifestyle Magazine and Camping Canada’s Dealer News, presents a Canadian RV dealer with the Walter Paseska Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award, established in 1989 by Camping Canada, and dedicated to Walter Paseska for his many years of commitment and tireless dedication to the RV industry.
Camping Canada will present this year’s Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award at the Canadian RV & Camping Convention being held at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, from Nov. 5-8.
Their industry peers nominate Canadian RV acting dealer principals on the basis of the following criteria:
- Long-term dedication to the RV industry and promotion of the RV lifestyle by the acting dealer principal of a recognized full service RV dealership.
- Commitment and participation in the RVDA at the provincial or national level.
- Recognition by customers and peers as a person with the highest integrity and credibility in both work and personal life.
- Contribution to the community.
In alphabetical order, the following have been nominated for the 2009 award:
- Kevin Betzold, GNR Camping World, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Dave Dobson, RV World, Waasis, New Brunswick.
- Bill Ortman, Village RV, Regina, Saskatchewan.
- Rod Seller, Sellers RV Centre, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.
- Irene Sturzenegger, Go West RV Sales, Coquitlam, British Columbia.
- Kirk Thomson, Can-Am RV Centre, London, Ontario.
Recent traffic accidents in New Brunswick involving vehicles towing trailers should be a wake-up call to those not outfitting their RVs with the necessary safety equipment, says an industry official.
Dave Dobson, past president of the Atlantic Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association and the general manager of RV World in Mangerville, New Brunswick, said two recent accidents involving trailers probably could have been prevented had the vehicles been outfitted with a weight-distribution system, according to the Frederickton, New Brunswick, Daily Gleaner.
A weight-distribution system takes the weight off a trailer and distributes it evenly across a tow vehicle.
Without one, a trailer’s weight can lift the front wheels of a tow vehicle off the ground and increase the likelihood of an accident.
“One of the accidents, without knowing much about it, I would say it might have been a weight-distribution issue, and the other one was definitely a weight issue, where the customer was towing it without weight distribution equipment,” he said.
“These accidents are a reminder, and I actually wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it sometimes, but once the vehicles leave our yard, we don’t know what happens after that.”
Weight-distribution systems are considered an extra with most RVs, Dobson said, but he always reminds customers at his store of their importance and requires customers who don’t outfit their RVs with one to sign waivers.
He said if it were up to him the equipment would be required by law.
“We have had a number of discussions with the motor vehicle department in regard to what the needs may be for towing, and I certainly wouldn’t be against regulations,” he said.
Derek Dobson, vice president of the association and the owner of Leisure Time Sales in Rothesay, New Brunswick, agreed.
He said a few hundred dollars for a safety hitch is almost always a wise investment.
“What I usually tell people is that you can go with the minimal amount of hitching and drive safely with that nine times out of 10, but it is that one time out of 10 that your additional hitching will come in very handy,” he said.
“That time will pay for it tenfold.”
While hitches and other weight-distribution equipment can prevent some accidents, they aren’t always the answer, said Gary Clark, general manager of Patterson Sales in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
He said in his experience most accidents involving RVs are caused because drivers aren’t aware that their trailers or RVs are too heavy for their vehicles.
He said in light of recent accidents, motorists should check their vehicles manual to see the maximum weight they can safely tow.
“There are different weights for every vehicle and that is the main thing,” Clark said. “You have to pay attention to the weight your vehicle is OK to haul and then get the proper hitch for the amount of weight you will be hauling.”