Camping World Top RV Sales

For the ninth consecutive year, Camping World RV Sales is America’s No. 1 seller of towable and motorized RVs for 2013 as revealed by Statistical Surveys.

Camping World, Ashville, North Carolina

Camping World, Ashville, North Carolina

Camping World RV dealerships amassed 47 individual dealer awards for being the top-in-class in their respective states.

“We are honored to be recognized with this award again in 2013 and very proud of our 47 individual awards,” said Roger Nuttall, president of Camping World Retail Group, in a company news release.

“Our staff is giving tremendous effort in offering the best customer service and RV selection that we can provide and we thank them for their efforts.”

Camping World RV Sales surpassed 46,000 total new and used RV sales in 2013 and experienced unprecedented sales increases, excellent market share growth, and retained strong positions of market leadership, said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam.

“We take pride in our excellent 2013 results and the completion of another great year for our team,” he added.

“In 2014, we will continue to target growing our market share through same store growth, additional acquisitions, and focus on improving our sales and service customer experience. We are excited about these opportunities and confident in our ability to continue growing our RV business in 2014.”

Statistical Surveys is a provider of market intelligence to RV motorized and towable industries. Statistical Surveys’ awards are based solely on unit volume according to independent data gathered annually.

Award rankings are in no way influenced by the opinion of Statistical Surveys or its staff.

Details

Camping World & Good Sam

camping_world_logoBoth founded in 1966, Camping World is America’s #1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance, and repair; and Good Sam is the world’s largest RV owners organization offering helpful technical tips, vacation planning, extended warranty, magazine subscriptions, roadside assistance, and more to serve the outdoor enthusiast.

Partnered together, Camping World and Good Sam offer more to those who love the RV lifestyle by offering one-stop shopping and resources for everything RV and outdoors.

Camping World features over 10,000 quality products located at over 100 SuperCenters nationwide, easy online and catalog shopping as well as stocking a wide selection of new and used trailers and motorhomes from top RV manufacturers.

Good Sam members receive cost-saving benefits and services, plus loads of valuable RV information and travel tips to get you ready for your next adventure.

Additionally, Good Sam represents more than 1,500 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions.

Camping World is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR®.

Websites: campingworld.com and goodsam.com

Worth Pondering…

Arguably the best slogan ever written to describe the RV lifestyle comes to mind: Wherever you go, you’re always at home. We have much to be thankful for, including our great RV lifestyle…

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State Parks Impact Alabama’s Economy

An earlier story detailed the economic benefits for communities located near national parks and other recreation and scenic hot spots.

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Gulf State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Gulf State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The National Park Service concluded that, nationwide, the country’s parks contributed more than $14.7 billion to gateway communities in 2012.

A recent study conducted in Alabama concluded the State Park System also makes significant contributions to local economies.

From the beaches of the Gulf Coast to the Appalachian foothills, Alabama’s 22 state parks offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities that include hiking, biking, swimming, camping, boating, fishing, horseback riding, lodging options, museums, cave tours, golf, dining, and relaxation.

With an economic impact of $375.2 million, Alabama’s state parks contribute far more than simply locations for outdoor recreation and family vacations.

According to the study in 2011 the statewide network of parks and nature preserves supported 5,340 jobs totaling $140.2 million in earnings adding an estimated visitor spending of $152.4 million.

From 2007 to 2011, the parks had $170.3 million in receipts; $127.5 million was collected at the parks. Expenditures totaled $167.8 million and generated statewide economic and fiscal impacts of $336.1 million in gross business sales, $203.4 million contribution to GDP, $125.6 million in earnings to Alabama households for 4,784 direct and indirect jobs, and $9.5 million in income and sales taxes ($4.7 million state income tax, $2.1 million state sales tax, and $2.7 million local sales tax).

Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park

Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park

Economists Samuel Addy and Ahmad Ijaz with the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce conducted the analysis.

The study confirms what anyone working in the system already knows: “State parks are valuable tools to promote the state’s economy,” stated Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Director.

“But the study gave us real numbers for state parks’ overall economic impact and the many public and private jobs that depend on them.”

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which commissioned the study, the state parks division recorded more than 4.6 million visits in 2012.

Clearly, the study concludes, state funding for Alabama State Parks is an attractive investment as the parks system generates more in tax revenues, promotes tourism, attracts both in-state and out-of-state visitors, creates jobs, and provides numerous educational, recreational, and environmental benefits that are difficult to quantify.

And in 2014 the Alabama State Park System celebrates a milestone—its 75th anniversary.

Throughout the year, Alabama’s 22 state parks will host a variety of hikes, nature walks and programs, dining and camping specials, and various other events highlighting 75 years of service.

Alabama’s park system began in the 1920s with Cheaha State Park being the longest continually operating facility. There were 11 state parks in Alabama by 1933 including Bromley, Cheaha, Fort Toulouse, Geneva, Little River, Panther Creek, St. Stephens, Sumter, Talladega County, The Lagoons, and Weogufka.

Alabama State Parks

Alabama State Parks

So whether it is hiking or biking (roads or trails); camping (RV or tent); fishing (bank, pier, or in a boat); golfing (six courses across the state); horseback riding (available at several parks); swimming, water skiing, canoeing, or boating; lodging options; museums; cave tours; family friendly activities; restaurants (with fine dining at resort parks); wildlife and nature watching; or simply relaxing; Alabama State Parks have it all. State parks also provide numerous educational, recreational, and environmental benefits that are difficult to quantify.

Details

Alabama State Parks

The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water.

These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Partners Pay the Way.

Visit the website for information about the Alabama State Parks 75th Anniversary Celebration and for lodging, camping, and dining specials and event announcements.

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

Worth Pondering…

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you
Here I come, Alabama

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Backing Up Digital Photos

If there is a downside to shooting digital, it has to be the need for a reliable backup system.

I use a 3 terabyte Western Digital MyBook external hard drive

Back up your photos on a regular basis—copy them to another location in case of a hard-drive failure. This has to do with your long-term happiness.

We hear a lot about storage in the “cloud” recently. Storing photos and other files on remote servers sounds great in theory. You don’t have to maintain any hardware; just upload your photos to online services and you’re done.

But are you? I say in “theory,” because one backup really isn’t enough. Multiple backups should be a priority for every photographer.

A hard-drive crash is all that’s needed to erase years of memories.

Nobody backs up diligently enough until they lose their first important file.

I learned the hard way, as so many have, and now preach the good news of regular backup.

It’s not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail; it’s a matter of WHEN.

As a general rule, you should make two copies of your backup.

In case of a disaster, such as a fire, flood, or tornado, it’s best to store you photos in two different locations.

At the end of the day, you need to create a strategy that works for you based on price, need, and ease-of-use.

Your back-up options include:

CDs or DVDs

Since it’s hard to predict the future of technology trends, it is possible that DVDs will become obsolete and your data may be safe but unreadable.

External hard drive

The simplest backup method is to use an external hard drive so all your images are in one location. Choose a hard drive that is big enough to keep all your current and future images, or be prepared to upgrade your drive in the future.

I use a 3 terabyte Western Digital MyBook external hard drive. For big-time storage Western Digital has 6TB of storage available (My Book StudioII) and comes with a hefty price tag.

Data Storage Centers

Carbonite is an excellent easy to use online backup service

Data Storage Centers are the kings of backup. They are typically built in buildings that are safe from fire, earthquake, hurricanes, and tornados. The key point here is that they are off-site backup solutions so that even if your system was destroyed or stolen, your data remains safe.

Once it is set up, backups are automatic. You don’t have to think about it. And you never run out of space. On-line backup services include:

Carbonite, 15-day free trial; $54.95/year unlimited backup

Mozy; $6.95/month unlimited backup

IDrive; 5 GB free; 150 GB of storage space $4.95/month or US$49.50/year

Worth Pondering…

Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology.

—Ken Rockwell.

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GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

In an earlier post on vogeltalksrving.com, we announced that the GRAND Gathering, the World’s Largest Gathering of Grand Parents and Great-Grand Parents, was planned for Quartzsite from March 6 to 9.

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

So many Grands and Great-Grands were expected, organizers hoped to set a new world record.

The Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA) and Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ) spearheaded plans for special events for this gathering.

The QIA are pleased to announce that over 600 people gathered at their venue to create the letter “Q” with people.

And earlier this week the QIA received official word that they’ve been accepted into the World Guinness Record for this GRAND Gathering Weekend Event.

A QIA member, John Hendrix, suggested the idea last winter and from there it blossomed into a fantastic weekend with the culmination of the “largest human letter Q” taking place.

“Many of the snowbirds already in Quartzsite for the winter stayed the extra time, just so they could participate and have bragging rights,” said Bernie Martin, who participated in the event.

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

“Word got out that the event was happening and there were RVers and snowbirds coming to Quartzsite from all over the southwest, on their way home for the summer.”

Quartzsite is a central gathering location for thousands of RVers every year. The spacious BLM land, great weather and central highways create a huge gathering of these “mobile nomads.”

Participants in this historic event can purchase an official certificate directly from The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Store in London.

You will need to go to the official website of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Store

select the top RIGHT area where it states in a Tab RECORD HOLDERS.

At this point you can select whatever type of certificate you would like to purchase.

You will need the following two (2) identification numbers to complete your purchase for this particular event.

Participant Verification code:

ID:131121-7121

Code: lmez5074LM

The QIA has the link to the Guinness World Records® Store on a special tab so it will open a new tab and allow you to go back and forth from this page and the Store page.

If you like, just copy each individual line and paste it into the correct section of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® form.

CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE!

A GREAT EVENT FOR ALL!

Worth Pondering…

Quartzsite = $400,000 diesel pusher motorhomes towing $40,000 SUVs looking for free camping.

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Another Snowbird Season Ends as the Northern Migration Begins

As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds escape winter at home by migrating southward each fall.

Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, another scenic destination, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. Sedona is also a popular stop over snowbirds on their northern flight. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. Sedona is also a popular stop over snowbirds on their northern flight. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These snowbirds are mostly seniors that live part time in the Sunbelt and spend summers in the Northern states and Canada.

They are gilded nomads, prosperous enough to own a recreational vehicle, a temporary second home, or condo unit.

Snowbirds desire some place warm and relatively free from crime, and an active lifestyle that may involve boating, fishing, swimming, dancing, hiking, biking, 4X4ing, golf, shuffle-board, or pickle ball. Some prefer the Pacific or Atlantic coast or Gulf of Mexico with their sunny beaches, while the preference of other is the arid desert of the Southwest.

Warm weather hubs such as Arizona, Texas, Florida, and California are tops for their predictable warm weather. But other states are also becoming popular—Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Snowbirds build the population base. Their financial impact is estimated in the billions of dollars.

Snowbirds often evolve in flocks, following friends and family and regional or social enclaves into migratory communities.

Fire Canyon/Silica Dome offers an excellent view of the deep red sandstone of Fire Canyon and the unique geological features of Silica Dome at Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas . © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fire Canyon/Silica Dome offers an excellent view of the deep red sandstone of Fire Canyon and the unique geological features of Silica Dome at Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas . © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There was, in the beginning, a simple mathematical formula: The shortest distance between Up North and the Sunbelt was a straight line—I-95 down along the East Coast or I-75 from the Midwest to Florida’s West Coast or I-5 and 1-15 south to the Desert Southwest.

Patterns are patterns and habits are habits. The majority of snowbirds still tend to migrate straight south from their northern home.

They flock to Florida from New York and New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio, from Michigan and Illinois, even from Ontario and Quebec. Snowbirds arrive in Texas primarily from the Mid-West. And northern refugees from Washington, Oregon, Colorado, British Columbia, and Alberta migrate to Palm Springs, Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson, and other hot spots in the Desert Southwest.

The available options are unlimited enabling snowbirds to design their winter lifestyle to suit their financial ability and social preferences.

While most snowbirds enjoy long-term stays at RV parks and resorts that cultivate a sense of community among seasonal residents, others, like us, prefer to be “roving gypsies” spending the winter months traveling from one warm-weather location to another.

Then, in the shift of seasons with spring on the horizon, they go again. Spring, warmer weather, and melting snow and ice mark the time of year when a mass migration gets underway as snowbirds return to their northern homes.

Popular with migrating snowbirds, Arches National Park is renown for an awe-inspiring combination of arches, cliffs, stone spires, and other dramatic rock formations. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Popular with migrating snowbirds, Arches National Park is renown for an awe-inspiring combination of arches, cliffs, stone spires, and other dramatic rock formations. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From late February to early March some snowbirds begin their pilgrimage back to their northern residences. Others delay their departure until the snowy mess up North is nothing but a distant memory.

Still others, like us, break up their journey into segments taking several weeks to a month or more to reach their northern home.

Through both journeys, they change the lives of everyone else who comes, for however long, and of everyone who stays.

Worth Pondering…

Ah, Spring! Baseball. Blossoms. Sunshine. And northbound Snowbirds. Hitching up, bidding farewell to winter friends, heading up the Pacific Flyway…that’s Spring in the southwest for Snowbirds. Once snowbirds reach central and northern California, they may see they have been joined by great flocks of their high-flying feather counterparts, seeking sanctuary and feeding grounds in the state’s wetlands as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway.

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Safari Condo Introduces Teardrop with Retractable Roof

Saint-Nicolas, Quebec-based Safari Condo introduced the Alto R Series (R-1713 and R-1723) camping trailers.

Alto R Series (retractable roof)

Alto R Series (retractable roof)

Both tear drop trailers are lightweight and boast an aerodynamic shape increasing the ease of towing.

The design incorporates an electric retractable roof providing more interior space than traditional teardrop trailers.

The desire to combine the aerodynamic features with an increased vertical space inside led to the retractable roof design, according to Daniel Nadeau, CEO of Safari Condo.

Alto R Series (retractable roof)

With an exterior height of only 83.5 inches with the roof down, all R-series Alto models fit easily in a garage. With the roof up, they offer a comfortable living space with an 82-inch interior clearance.

Their front dining area is usable even with the rear bed deployed. Beds, fridge, storage, and toilet are all usable even with the roof down.

You can create two different dining areas by simply moving the table. A model with indoor shower is available.

The seamless aluminum retractable roof is built in a single piece of curved Alufiber/aluminum sandwich panel. It is opened and closed by a pair of electric linear actuators. Its crescent-shaped windows are tinted tempered glass.

Alto R Series (retractable roof)

Alto R Series (retractable roof)

With the retractable roof down, the aerodynamic shape of the Alto, developed in a virtual wind tunnel, creates 75 percent less aerodynamic drag than a traditional travel trailer. This factor, along with its lightweight, makes the Alto readily towable by most compact cars and small SUVs.

R-1713

72-inch x 76-inch king size bed

Converts to two 27-inch x 76-inch single beds

Front dining area converts to 36-inch x 81-inch single bed

Dining area available even while bed is set-up

Alto R Series (retractable roof) interior

Alto R Series (retractable roof) interior

Table can be moved to create two distinct dining areas (2-seat and 5-seat dinette)

Fixed flush toilet

Storage in the toilet cabinet

Weight: 1,683 pounds

Sleeps 3-4

R-1723

60-inch x 76-inch king size bed

Front dining area converts to 36-inch x 8-inch single bed

Dining area available even while main bed is set-up

Table can be moved to create two distinct dining areas (2-seat and 5-seat dinette)

Fixed flush toilet

Interior shower with curtain

Weight: 1,725 pounds

Sleeps 3-4

Details

Safari Condo

Alto R Series (retractable roof) interior

Alto R Series (retractable roof) interior

Safari Condo offers a range of 15 Class B models on three chassis, three models of ultra light travel trailers/caravans, and hundreds of combinations of options and accessories.

For over 15 years Safari Condo has manufactured functional ultra light caravans and class B motorhomes from high quality materials.

Their vehicles offer everything you need for outdoor activities, in a well-designed and compact format.

Address: 1378, chemin Filteau (Autoroute 20 sortie 305), Saint-Nicolas, QC G7A 2N4

Phone: (418) 836-6664 or (866) 836-6664 (toll free)

Website: www.safaricondo.com

Worth Pondering…

There is little to disturb me

But the pine squirrel falling cones.

In the inlet is a splashing,

It’s the dollys in a fight

Over who will use that riffle

For to spawn their eggs tonight.

—Cy Bingham (1904)

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How to Search for Diamonds?

One of the difficult things about searching for diamonds is the fact the best way to find those sparkly gems is not obvious.

Crater of Diamonds State Park offers several different size shovels and screens from which to rent.

Crater of Diamonds State Park offers several different size shovels and screens from which to rent.

So, as in other things in life, a little knowledge can go a long way to save Crater of Diamonds State Park visitors time and energy and improve their chances of finding a diamond.

Several opportunities to gain that knowledge are offered at the park, according to Park Interpreter Margi Jenks.

“We give several demonstrations a day that each last about 20 minutes. During that time we try to tell our visitors what diamonds look like, what kind of material to look for that has half a chance of containing a diamond, and how to correctly do the three different search methods. We cover these same topics in a 7-minute video, which is located on the wall of the upper patio level of our Diamond Discovery Center,” said Jenks.

“Finally, if you don’t have time for the demonstration or video, we have a display and a brochure, Diamond Hunting Tips, which both go over some of the information about our three different search methods.”

The first thing to consider in choosing a search method is both your group circumstances and the circumstances at the park.

Everyone can and should surface search every step that they take and every second they are out on the search field. Surface searching is the easiest search method and requires no tools. You just walk along, looking for rounded pebbles that are extremely shiny. People using the surface searching method found all six of the over 2 carat diamonds registered in 2013. It is also the way that three of the four diamonds recently registered following a thunderstorm were found.

The circumstances at the park—if it has recently rained—will determine whether you choose the dry or wet sifting search method.

The colors of diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are white, brown, and yellow, in that order

The colors of diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are white, brown, and yellow, in that order

When the dirt in our search field is wet our volcanic mud is extremely sticky and will fill in all the holes in the 16-inch mesh box screen used for dry sifting.

However, if the search area dirt is dry, using the dry sifting method, a single box screen and a hand trowel is probably the best one for children under the ages of 10-12. Unless the child is tall for his or her age, the water troughs that we have at the washing pavilions for the wet sifting method are too tall for smaller children to reach.

Also, wet sifting is hard work, because it requires hauling the dirt to our washing pavilion. Then, it takes more muscle power to wash the dirt through the wet sifting double screen set. We demonstrate the correct ways to sift using either our dry sifting box screens or our wet sifting double screen set, so that you get the most out of your effort.

With either search method, one way of limiting the amount of energy you expend searching for diamonds is to not dig a hole. In most cases digging a hole is a waste of time and energy.

Diamonds found at the Crater are typically smooth and well rounded. Their shape resembles a polished stone with smooth sides and rounded edges.

Diamonds found at the Crater are typically smooth and well rounded. Their shape resembles a polished stone with smooth sides and rounded edges.

Instead, look for the gravelly areas between the rows or in the ditches and skim off the top half inch. This gravel and dirt will be easier to sift than the deeper clay, which is everywhere under the surface of the search field and will gum up any screens. Also, diamonds are more likely to be found as part of these gravels, because they are slightly heavy for their size.

Finally, the field is rough to walk on, so for anyone who has balance or other walking problems, they will want to be extra careful and either surface search or dry sift. The field is 37.5 acres, which is a large area to cover for small children, people with health conditions, or the very elderly. If any of those circumstances fit your visitor group, you will probably want to make sure that the field is dry when you visit and then choose the dry sifting method over the wet.

All of the equipment—dry sifting box screens and wet sifting double screen sets, as well as buckets and GI or long handled shovels—is available for rent at the Diamond Discovery Center’s tool rental desk. But, you can also bring buckets, shovels, sifting screens, and other tools from home, as long as they are not motorized or battery driven.

Details

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

Search area last plowed: Canary Hill only, last week; Most recent significant rainstorms: Friday, March 28, 2014

Crater of Diamonds Arkansas DiamodnTotal diamonds found in 2014: 85

Total diamonds found in 2013: 368

Operating Hours: Visitor Center/Diamond Discovery Center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., extended summer hours

Admission: Adults $8.00, children ages 6-12, $5

Camping: $12-30

Location: From Murfreesboro, take Arkansas 301 and go 2.5 miles southwest to the park

Address: 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958

Phone: (870) 285-3113

Website: www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com

Worth Pondering…

Angels are like diamonds. They can’t be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique.

—Jaclyn Smith

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Winnebago Offers FREE Factory Tours

Annually more than 10,000 visitors come to Forest City, Iowa, to get the inside story of one of America’s most iconic brands—Winnebago.

Tour One of America's Most Iconic Brands - Winnebago. Source: PRNewsFoto/Winnebago Industries, Inc.

Tour One of America’s Most Iconic Brands – Winnebago. Source: PRNewsFoto/Winnebago Industries, Inc.

You are invited to see for yourself why Winnebago is the best-selling brand and most recognized name in RVing with a free factory tour. 

Founded in 1958, Winnebago became a household word when the company became the first recreation vehicle manufacturer to build motorhomes in an automotive-style assembly line system. Winnebago builds its Winnebago, Itasca, and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhome brands in one of the most technologically advanced RV manufacturing facilities in existence today.

“If you haven’t been on our tours—you are missing out,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts.

“The tour not only shows you how our motorhomes are built from start to finish, but also the technology and innovative designs that set our motorhomes apart from the rest.”

The tour starts at the Winnebago Visitors’ Center with a 20-minute video that offers a preview of the manufacturing process. After the video, the tour bus, manufactured by Winnebago Industries, departs for a drive-through tour of the grounds.

Tour goers are also able to do walk-in tours of three buildings: the Chassis Weld facility, where the raw chassis is prepared to become a home on wheels with the front cab and basement storage added; the Stitchcraft facility that builds quality chairs, window valances, sofas and other innovative furniture pieces that are only found in our motorhomes; and our main production area named Big Bertha.

Winnebago line worker adds finishing touches during a factory tour.

Winnebago line worker adds finishing touches during a factory tour.

Equivalent in size to eight football fields, Big Bertha features three production lines. Visitors will see the magnitude of this building thanks to mezzanines that provide a bird’s eye view.

Before or after the tour, visitors can also visit the Winnebago Museum which is located in the upper level of the Visitors’ Center. The museum chronicles the Company’s 56-year history, as well as the design and construction of the Company’s motorhomes.

During the spring and summer months, the Visitors’ Center also features some of the latest models of the company’s Winnebago, Itasca, and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes, as well as Winnebago Towables, right off the assembly lines.

Visitors can also see one of the first motorhomes built by Winnebago Industries, the classic 1967 Winnebago D22, as well as a 1959 trailer. The Visitors’ Center is also home to WIT Club, the company’s product owners club and Winnebago Outdoor Store, which offers a variety of Winnebago branded apparel, gifts, and wearables.

Tours of Winnebago are free, and all ages are welcome. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Visitors’ Center is accessible to those with disabilities; however the factory tour does include three staircases.

Tours, which last approximately two hours, are offered twice daily at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday from April through October, and at 1:00 p.m. in November. If your group is larger than six, reservations are recommended.

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc.

The production area named Big Bertha is equivalent in size to eight football fields and encompassing three production lines. (Source: tvchannelsfree.com)

The production area named Big Bertha is equivalent in size to eight football fields and encompassing three production lines. (Source: tvchannelsfree.com)

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: gowinnebago.com

Itasca Website: goitasca.com

Era Website: erarv.com

goLife website: www.winnebagolife.com

Worth Pondering…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

—Aristotle

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RVC Outdoor Destinations Launches New Interactive Site

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC Outdoor Destinations, a leading provider of high-quality outdoor resort properties in the United States, has unveiled its new interactive and industry website (SEE link below)

Pool deck at Medina Highpoint Resort in the Texas Hill Country

Pool deck at Medina Highpoint Resort in the Texas Hill Country

The site is responsive and has been designed for all mobile devices.

It provides easy navigation and a superior user experience that allows visitors to get a feel for RVC’s Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts, according to a news release.

“Our guests have been telling us that they love our resorts but that we could do a better job presenting both our properties and the RVC movement on our web site—so we responded and have completely rebuilt it. We’ve utilized the best web design resources available to provide a richer site with better graphics, better pictures, clearer messaging, and a superior overall web experience,” said Andy Cates, CEO and general partner of RVC Outdoor Destinations.

“RVC is redefining the camping experience, and that includes providing a world class web experience that appropriately reflects what we are doing.”

RVC’s new website provides guests with a web experience that is consistent with its collection of beautiful resorts.

Catherine’s Landing, Hot Springs, Arkansas

Catherine’s Landing, Hot Springs, Arkansas

In addition to its attractive design, the site is built on HTML 5 infrastructure, optimized for user searches, and easy to navigate.

While touring the site, guests can learn more about RVC and its team, tour properties, make reservations, read various traveler reviews, and see RVC’s recent articles.

RVC Outdoor Destinations

RVC Outdoor Destinations develops, owns, and operates a portfolio of high-quality outdoor hospitality properties located within some of the country’s most beautiful natural settings and offering upscale services and amenities.

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC is redefining the traditional camping experience with its original Outdoor Destination concept and upgraded RV resorts that provide guests with a comfortable, customizable, outdoor vacation through a variety of affordable lodging options, including RV sites, yurts, cabins, and cottages, all with enhanced guest amenities and recreational activities.

Cottages in Florida

Cottages in Florida

RVC operates 10 Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and North Carolina.

Address: 429 N Main Street, Suite 100, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Phone: (901) 432-4748

Website: www.rvcoutdoors.com

Worth Pondering…

Oh, what a beautiful morning’,

Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin’

Ev’rything’s goin’ my way.

Oh, what a beautiful day!

—“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from the musical Oklahoma

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Airstream Releases First Live Riveted Owner Story

An earlier story announced the introduction of Airstream’s new social-media driven campaign, “Live Riveted”.

Airstream-riveted-desigairstream-n1-higher-res2-copyThe campaign, which launches with a 90-second video, consumer manifesto, and “live riveted challenge”, is anchored by a new microsite (SEE link below)

“Every day I meet people who are doing great things in this world and are inspiring others to do more,” said Mollie Hansen, Airstream’s VP of Marketing.

“We believe this group will motivate others to share their stories and help grow the Live Riveted  community.”

Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream has now released the brand’s first “Live Riveted” stories  that feature video in a continuation of the company’s Live Riveted campaign designed to capture the spirit of the Airstream lifestyle.

The first video focuses on Tim Flannery, champion baseball coach, musician, surfer and philanthropist, and showcases personal and inspiring stories capturing his passion for living life to its fullest.

“Our goal through this unique campaign is to create and connect a community of people that encompasses the spirit of the Airstream experience,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO.

“Tim is a perfect example of someone who has a passion for life and philanthropy that cannot be ignored. Whether on the road in his Airstream, coaching baseball or playing benefit concerts, his inspirational life embodies what it means to live riveted.”

Airstream Introduces Free Live Riveted Mobile App

Airstream Introduces Free Live Riveted Mobile App

As a former MLB player with the San Diego Padres and current third-base coach for the San Francisco Giants, Flannery’s passion for life transcends baseball as he spends his free time as a talented songwriter, avid surfer, and musician with his band The Lunatic Fringe.

Flannery’s philanthropic efforts also have helped raise funds for the Bryan Stow Fund. Stow suffered traumatic injuries from an incident on Opening Day 2011, and through benefit concerts, CD sales, and silent auctions, Flannery has raised more than $200,000 to help support the Stow family.

“I was thrilled to become part of Airstream’s Live Riveted community and share my story to encourage others to never give up and always live life to the fullest,” said Flannery.

“I hope to inspire people to follow their dreams each and every day, always seeking new experiences, and for me that is what Airstream is all about.”

Tim Flannery is one of many stories shared by inspiring people who embody the Live Riveted lifestyle and featured as part of Airstream’s Live Riveted community.

Details

Airstream

Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Wally Byam designed the first Airstream trailer in the late 1920s, after his wife refused to go camping without a kitchen to cook in.

Airstream-3370040def3bede4The design of the Airstream was based on an aeroplane fuselage with lightweight aluminum and the effect was stunning, sleek and silver. It caused a sensation.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements,” Airstream has remained a timeless classic throughout its 82-year history.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111

Website: airstream.com

Airstream Live Riveted microsite: airstream.com/live-riveted

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

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