Wide Open Toy Haulers: A Gulf Stream Success

Nappanee, Indiana-based Gulf Stream Coach reports impressive retail sales of the new Wide Open line of toy haulers introduced at the 2014 Elkhart Open House.

Wide Open Toy Haulers: A Gulf Stream Success

Wide Open Toy Haulers: A Gulf Stream Success

“We’ve had dealers sell through their initial inventory in as little as six days,” reported of Rob Reid, general manager by Gulf Stream Coach.

“It’s a powerful confirmation of the way we put the Wide Open line together. Product Manager Jason Howard started with a clean slate, collected input from toy hauler dealers across the country, and created a fleet of lightweight and luxurious floor plans on trailer and fifth wheel chassis that dealers simply can’t keep in stock.”

“Our talks with dealers gave our team a price point and a list of key features that retail customers consider essential,” said Howard.

“As a result, the Wide Open specs read like a wish list for outdoor motorsports enthusiasts with an overall width of 102 inches, a 3,000-pound capacity textured 8-foot ramp with dovetail floor, a commercial-grade hinge and positive locking mechanism, and a laminated aluminum frame floor and sidewalls. The garage includes multiple tie-downs and diamond plate rubberized flooring; a 40-gallon fueling station, and generator prep are standard features.”

“Thanks to input from dealers, we made sure that the new Wide Open line would appeal to other key toy hauler customers too, like extreme sports enthusiasts, serious anglers, pet breeders, flea marketers, and tailgaters,” he added.

Wide Open Toy Haulers: A Gulf Stream Success

Wide Open Toy Haulers: A Gulf Stream Success

“Our design also offers the comfort and styling traveling couples and families want, like full kitchens, cherry hardwood cabinets, privacy window treatments, stainless appliances, king beds standard in all models, and the biggest bathroom in the toy hauler industry.”

Details

Gulf Stream Coach Inc.

Established in 1983, Nappanee, Indiana-based Gulf Stream is a leading manufacturer of Class A Gas motorhomes, diesel pushers, Class C motorhomes, fifth-wheel trailers, and travel trailers.

Gulf Stream is organized into three divisions: Luxury Class A Motorhomes, Travel Trailers and Luxury Fifth Wheels, and Yellowstone RV Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels.

Location: 503 South Oakland Avenue, Nappanee, Indiana

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1005, Nappanee, Indiana 46550

Phone: (800) 289-8787 (toll free)

Website: gulfstreamcoach.com

Worth Pondering…

But do not ask me where I am heading,

As I travel in this limitless world

Where every step I take is my home.

—Eihei Dogen

Posted in RV Manufactures, RV Show | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

A Danish company could help reshape the future of camping.

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Wide Path Camper has introduced a travel trailer light enough to haul behind a bike.

It’s the camper’s lightness that makes the Wide Path groundbreaking. There have been a few prototype bike campers around for a while, but what’s been brought to market so far has been rather bulky and heavy—the camping equivalent of peddling a tiny house behind you—and requiring an electric-assisted bike.

The Wide Path Camper weighs just 88 pounds unloaded.

And it turns out to be pretty roomy when folded out from its travel mode. A projecting metal nose extends far enough to make space for two face-to-face sofas and a pull-down table, all within a shell that’s considerably warmer and more weatherproof than the average tent.

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

The sofas flatten at night to form a double bed large enough to sleep two people.

The Wide Path also comes with an optional solar cell for charging devices.

The trailer costs around $2,500 depending on current exchange rate (15,000 Danish Kroner to be precise).

The Wide Path Camper is also available for rent.

Details

Wide Path Camper

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Founded by Mads Johansen, Wide Path Camper s located at Ifabrikken on the harbor site in Sønderborg, Denmark.

Wide Path Camper designs, manufactures, sells, and rents ultra lightweight bicycle campers  which are foldable to make transport easier.

Phone: +45 28 29 06 46

Website: www.widepathcamper.com

Worth Pondering…

Recreation’s purpose is not to kill time, but to make life, not to keep a person occupied, but to keep them refreshed; no to offer an escape from life, but to provide a discovery of life.

—Anon

Posted in Camping, RV Lifestyle, RV Manufactures | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not All RV Manufacturers Are Created Equal

Once you are able to determine much of what you want in an RV, you can begin to research the manufacturers and decide which company you will trust to build the gorgeous new coach you deserve.

2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT

2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT

Following are a number of questions to ask when it comes to the people building your    dream machine:

Are They Run By Businesspeople Or RV People That Know How To Run a Business?

The difference between a run-of-the-mill recreational vehicle and an RV filled with innovative and useful features built with an attention to detail and exceptional quality is all about the operation. If your RV is designed and built by people that love RVs  themselves, you’re much more likely to purchase a product that is everything you want: stylish, comfortable, reliable, and packed full of standard features others call extras.

Class-leading RVs are the result of companies that understand their customers because of the passion they share for the RV lifestyle and the understanding they have for what qualifies as a truly great recreational vehicle.

Do They Care About Innovation?

World's Most Expensive RV Sells For $3 Million

World’s Most Expensive RV Sells For $3 Million

Some RV manufacturers take pride in finding out what their consumers care about, what they like and don’t like about their current coach, and what they’d love to have in their next one. Other RV makers rest on their laurels, re-packaging the same tired products year after year. How can you tell the difference?

Look at what each manufacturer has done lately—what features and breakthroughs have they introduced to the market in recent years?

How are they making an effort to improve from one year to the next?

If you struggle to find answers, that particular company probably shouldn’t be building your new motorhome.

Where Do Their Values Lie?

Does the manufacturer you’re considering for the construction of your new RV talk only about their products, or do they take the time to explain how and why they have your best interests in mind?

do your dream

Do Your Dream © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A great coach is the result of a large group of great people, driven to be the very best through honesty, accountability, and a desire to treat customers like family, both before and after a motorhome has been delivered.

Do They Make An Effort To Develop Relationships With Their Customers?

With some RV manufacturers, you’re unlikely to speak with anyone on the team unless you’re contacting them with a complaint. This isn’t the way lasting relationships are fostered.

A motorhome is no small purchase, and the best manufacturers are run by those who understand what it takes to create a lifelong customer. A connection like this is the result of a total dedication to transparency, integrity, and responsiveness.

If you have a problem, those who assembled your motorhome have a problem that must be handled with honesty and an emphasis on making things right, right away. If you get the feeling that one of the manufacturers you’re considering might not react this way, move on.

Fleetwood Discovery 37R shown in Times Square décor with Cinnabar wood cabinetry

2015 Fleetwood Discovery 37R shown in Times Square décor with Cinnabar wood cabinetry

And remember that not all manufacturers are created equal and not all dealers are created equal.

Before you sign on the dotted line you owe it to yourself to get the facts and become an educated buyer.

Please Note: This is Part 4 of a 5-part series on Tips For Purchasing a New RV

Worth Pondering…

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.

—W. Clement Stone

Posted in RV Dealers, RV Lifestyle, RV Manufactures, RV Tips, Snowbird | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Tips For Driving in Winter Weather

RV travel doesn’t have to stop with the arrival of winter, but there are considerations to keep in mind when driving in cold weather.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure you and your RV is prepared, and that you know how to handle winter road conditions.

Prepare an emergency survival kit containing a cell phone, warm blankets, gloves, salt or sand, LED flashlights, first aid kit, NOAA Weather Radio, road flares, bottled water, and non-perishable food. Inspect tires, use tires designed to operate in snow and ice, and keep tires inflated to proper levels. Inspect wipers and wiper blades. Make sure you have a snowbrush and ice scraper in to remove snow and ice. Sunglasses help cut glare from snow.

There are no secrets when it comes to winter driving. If there is ice on the road, it is dangerous.

If you’re driving on ice, you may not know it until you need to stop. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a 4-wheel drive, a fifth-wheel or travel trailer, or a motorhome: brakes are the great equalizer.

Ice on your windshield means ice on the road. The ice doesn’t have to be packed up on the roadway to be dangerous—a thin sheet of ice can develop quickly into a thick problem.

Keep an eye on the temperature. Water freezes at 32 degrees. The roadways tend to be slightly warmer than the air temperature, but once you’re down that low in temperature, you need to be wary.

Winter

There are no secrets when it comes to winter driving. If there is ice on the road, it is dangerous.

Look for spray coming up from other vehicles. If spray is coming off the tires, it’s likely that the roads are wet (as opposed to ice covered), but keep in mind that a short stretch of road with ice on it can be just as dangerous as an ice-packed roadway.

Do not follow too close.

Watch for warning signs. If there are vehicles spun out in the median or shoulder, the roads are bad. If you start seeing big semis spun out, it’s time to get your RV off the road. It’s not worth endangering your life and the life of your family. If you can’t find a nearby RV park or campground locate the nearest truck stop or Walmart to overnight.

Be sure to keep your fuel tanks full so you won’t run out.

Prior to departure check weather conditions along your intended travel route. When traveling, listen to local radio stations for the forecast and update on current weather and road conditions.

Minnesota in winter (Source: minnesota.publicradio.org)

Minnesota in winter (Source: minnesota.publicradio.org)

Any vehicles traveling through mountain passes and northern states and provinces may be required to carry a set of tire chains available in case of a snow or ice storm. Practice putting them on while it’s warm and dry. Motorhome owners might want to consider the damage a broken tire chain could inflict upon the fiberglass body of their rig. If possible, avoid roads where chains are required.

Drive an RV slower than you would drive a car—especially in bad weather. Leave extra room between your RV and the vehicle in front of you. RVs require even more time and room to stop in bad weather.

Use extra caution when traveling across bridges and overpasses. They freeze before the road.

Vision can be hindered when driving during a bright, sunny day and the surroundings are snow covered. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare and improve vision.

winterrvtipsWorth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

Posted in Road Trips, RV Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creepytings Vandalizes National Parks: How Stupid Can You Be?

The US National Park Service is investigating a woman who recently traveled from New York to a series of Western states in order to paint unsightly drivel all over a number of America’s most pristine and most iconic national parks.

Overlooking Crater Lake National Park

Overlooking Crater Lake National Park

National Park Service investigators have confirmed that images were painted on rocks or boulders in Zion National Park and Canyonlands National Park in Utah; Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park, all in California; Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado National Monument in Colorado; and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Casey Nocket, 21, is responsible for this wave of vandalism and the primary suspect in the criminal investigation. She proudly documented her trail of painting vandalism and defended her brazen defacements on her “Creepytings” Instagram page—which should make the eventual raft of felony vandalism charges easier.

Nocket also has a “Creepytings” Tumblr page where she also defended her shockingly bad national park doodles.

“It’s art, not vandalism,” she insisted. “I am an artist.”

She also compared her renderings to the work of Banksy, the English graffiti artist and political activist. And she claimed the mantle of feminism.

“Most people are respectful but graffiti is a growing problem. There’s a difference between art and vandalism,” said Aly Baltrus, spokeswoman for Zion National Park.

Creepytings Vandalizes National Parks: How Stupid Can You Be?

Creepytings Vandalizes National Parks: How Stupid Can You Be?

In general, graffiti in national parks is a growing problem, said David Nimkin, senior regional director for the National Park Conservation Association, southwest region.

“I have a hard time believing that she (Nocket) didn’t realize what she was doing was wrong. I think she clearly had a different agenda,” Nimkin said.

Nocket admits to knowing that what she is doing is wrong in a Facebook message saying that she knows she is a bad person.

Investigators continue to collect evidence, conduct interviews, and are consulting with the U.S. Attorney’s Office about potential charges. They ask the public to exercise patience and allow due process to take its course as the investigation moves forward, according to a statement written by National Park Service spokesman Jeffrey G. Olson.

Prior to the Park Service’s investigation, some of Nocket’s paintings were removed. The image found in Rocky Mountain National Park was reported to the park and then removed late September before similar images were found in the other national parks, according to the statement. Ice and snow have covered the image at Crater Lake National Park, and it may not be accessible for assessment and clean up until next summer. An image in Yosemite National Park was removed by an unknown person or persons.

While authorities could not discuss details of this case, they did stress the seriousness of vandalism in a released statement:

Death Valley vandalism

Death Valley vandalism

“There are forums for artistic expression in national parks because national parks inspire artistic creativity. These images are outside that forum and outside the law.”

One of the reasons national parks have been designated is to preserve and protect the nation’s natural, cultural, and historic heritage for both current and future generations. Vandalism is a violation of the law and it also damages and sometimes destroys irreplaceable treasures that belong to all Americans.

“It’s not like we have a slush fund to go and clean up vandalism,” a national parks said.

“Dealing with this means we’re not doing something else.”

Creepytings Nocket must  be held accountable and punished to a reasonable extent of the law―and banned from all US National Park Service sites. She needs to be fined and do some community service and she definitely needs to realize the consequences of her actions.

But more importantly, I hope that everyone who’s as outraged about this senseless act of vandalism as I am can take that rage and turn it into something positive. Find a park you care about and volunteer some time to help clean up or maintain trails. Donate to a conservancy.

Or better yet, find someone who doesn’t understand what the big deal is about this and take them outside, show them what a little time in the wilderness can do, and let them find out for themselves.

Worth Pondering…

Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.

―John Wayne

Posted in Hiking, Historic Sites, National Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snowbird Tips

The end of fall signals the start of an annual migration of thousands of RVers to the Sunbelt.

Sunrise with mist rising at our campground near Unadilla, Georgia.

Sunrise with mist rising at our campground near Unadilla, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As the snow flies, so do the snowbirds who flock to the southern climates for months at a time.

With the cooler weather the south has strong appeal. Snowbirds desire the best weather wherever they are.

When it’s snowing and blowing with freezing temperatures in Canada and the northern U.S. states, snowbirds want to be somewhere where it’s sunny and a pleasant 75 degrees. When Arizona hits 120 degrees in the summer or Florida’s low temperature for the day will be a muggy 95 they want to be in the north country where it’s a pleasant 75 degrees.

Like other snowbirds our goal is to avoid the winter slush and cold.

But to accomplish snowbird status you really need to do some serious planning.

If you want to be a snowbird there truly is more to it than just pointing the RV southward. It is hard to pack it up and leave for 6 months or more. Some travelers have trouble with a 2 week vacation.

Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and continues to captivate people around the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and continues to captivate people around the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Do you only want to leave Minnesota during the worst of the winter? Maybe only January and February? Some snowbirds stick it out through the holidays and leave the first of the year to return in April.

Others, like us, head out as soon as the first frost hits the pumpkins in October coming back when the ground begins to thaw.

But first, there are so many decisions to make.

Secure Your Home Base

Leaving means more than packing and locking up your home. It takes planning to secure your home base and belongings and to make sure your abode is as welcoming upon your return as it was before you left.

Snowbirds should make copies of all documents in case of an emergency or if papers are lost or stolen. Leave a copy with a friend or relative at home and carry the other copy, stored separately from originals.

Also make copies of passport ID pages, planned itinerary, campground confirmations, driver’s license, insurance, and credit cards.

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check the expiry dates of all personal identification, travel documents, RV insurance, passports, and credit cards.

Before you leave, contact your home insurance provider to determine how your absence will affect coverage, and whether semi-regular check-ins are required. If you don’t meet the policy requirements, you may find difficulty obtaining compensation should something happen.

Inform neighbors of your trip, how long you’ll be away, where you’ll be traveling, and how to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to regularly check the perimeter of your house, keep your sidewalks and driveway shoveled, and ensure that your doors and windows are securely fastened.

Disconnect all appliances and electrical devices, including microwave, washer and dryer, stove, refrigerator, coffee maker, televisions, entertainment centers, and lamps.

Make sure all smoke alarms are properly installed, in working order, and are equipped with fresh batteries.

Rockport is known as “The Charm of the Texas Coast” and for good reasons too. It’s a quiet, little town on the coast of Texas just 30 minutes north of Corpus Christi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rockport is known as “The Charm of the Texas Coast” and for good reasons too. It’s a quiet, little town on the coast of Texas just 30 minutes north of Corpus Christi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Place a temporary hold on your newspaper delivery, and arrange with your local postal office to have your mail forwarded to a reliable mail forwarding service.

Don’t leave a message on the answering machine that tells callers you’re out-of-town.  Instead, say you’re away from the phone and you’ll get back to them.

Unplug your automatic garage-door opener and install a lock on the garage door track, so thieves can’t use a crowbar to pry it open.

Turn down thermostats to 50 degrees. Low heat will prevent a freeze-up.

Now, pack up the rig and head south.

Worth Pondering…

As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, “Snowbird”:

“Spread your tiny wings and fly away

And take the snow back with you

Where it came from on that day…

So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go

To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…”

Posted in RV Lifestyle, RV Tips, Snowbird | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dry Falls: World’s Largest Waterfall

As the name suggests, Dry Falls no longer carries water, but is the remnant of what was once the world’s largest (in water volume) waterfall known to have existed on earth, but that was during the Great Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age.

Dry Falls: World's Largest Waterfall

Dry Falls: World’s Largest Waterfall © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Today the falls is a massive cirque of basalt: Dry Falls Lake. The site is designated a National Natural Landmark.

Viewing the 3.5 miles of sheer cliffs that drop 400 feet, it is easy to imagine the roar of water pouring over them. Niagara Falls by comparison, is one mile wide with a drop of 165 feet.

The falls were created following the catastrophic collapse of an enormous ice-dam holding back the waters of Glacier Lake Missoula. Water covering three thousand square miles of northwest Montana, about the volume of Lake Ontario, was locked behind this glacial dam until the rising lake penetrated, lifted, and then blew out the ice dam. This massive torrent known as the Missoula Flood ran wild through the Idaho panhandle, the Spokane River Valley, much of eastern Washington, and into Oregon, flooding the area that is now the city of Portland under 400 feet of water.

Reaching the Dry Falls area, this tremendous force swept away earth and rock from a precipice 15 miles south of the falls near Soap Lake, causing the falls to retreat to its present position, now known as Dry Falls. The falls is considered a spectacular example of “headward erosion”. If this is confusing, given the present topography, it also helps to know the falls are on an ancient course of the Columbia River. The river had been diverted this way by the encroaching glaciers. It returned to its present course as the ice retreated.

Dry Falls: World's Largest Waterfall

Dry Falls: World’s Largest Waterfall © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Today, the former waterfall overlooks a desert oasis filled with lakes and abundant wildlife. It is now dry as a bone but water is still present in the Sun Lakes, a haven for fishing, swimming, and boating in this otherwise arid desert landscape.

Dry water channels from the Banks Lake area slide south to the lip of the falls, and then the land falls away in great basaltic cliffs. What was once an ancient splash pool at the base of the falls is now a broad desert meadow dotted with lakes and ponds, swarming with birds and animals of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. This is a uniquely beautiful area to explore, both to delve into the geologic history of the area and to reach out and touch the native flora and fauna of the Washington desert.

Umatilla Rock towers like a giant fin in the middle of Grand Coulee in the basin below Dry Falls. This rock would have been an island in the midst of swirling waters during the great floods.

Today it offers a clear look at the multiple layers of geologic soils and rock that make up these lands. At the junction where the road splits (left to Dry Falls Lake, right to Camp Delany), head left along the gravel road at the southwestern base of Umatilla Rock. Stray off the road and hike cross-country through the open sage prairie and you might spot a few pheasant or quail. In the first mile or so, you’ll pass Perch Lake and climb a small rise for views of the lake basin.

Dry Falls: World's Largest Waterfall © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dry Falls: World’s Largest Waterfall © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping is very popular in the park, which offers over 150 campsites for RVs and tents. There are also boat rentals in the summer.

The best views of Dry Falls are from the Vista House Overlook. The Dry Falls visitor centre features displays about the geology and natural history of the area and tells the story of this amazing geological phenomenon. From lava flows to the Ice Age floods, and from the Native American legacy to the modern discovery of how Dry Falls was created, the Dry Falls story is revealed to tens of thousands of visitors each year.

A gift shop in the visitor center has a wide selection of books, maps, guides, videos, postcards, film, and other merchandise about Dry Falls and the surrounding area.

Now, that is really climate change. Man made? I don’t think so!

Details

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is a 4,027-acre camping park with 73,640 feet of freshwater shoreline at the foot of Dry Falls. The Dry Falls Interpretive Center is located two miles north of the main park on Highway 17.

Dry Falls: World's Largest Waterfall

Dry Falls: World’s Largest Waterfall © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Location: 7 miles southwest of Coulee City in northeast Washington. It is a feature of Grand Coulee Canyon, which is itself part of the Channeled Scablands that cover three-quarters of eastern Washington.

Directions: South of US-2 onto WA-17, and drive to the visitor center which is in sight of the highway, on the east side.

Address: 34875 Park Lake Road NE, Coulee City, WA 99115

Phone: (509) 632-5583

Website: www.parks.wa.gov

Worth Pondering…

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.

Posted in Camping, Historic Sites, Road Trips, State Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Differences Between Gas, Diesel & Luxury Diesel RVs

One of the primary aspects involved in selecting a new RV is making a decision on the type of motorhome you need.

2015 King Aire 4553 luxury motor coach with Florence Interior and Sable Maple Cabinetry

2015 King Aire 4553 luxury motor coach with Florence Interior and Sable Maple Cabinetry

The debate between gas vs. diesel motorhome engines has fueled many hours of debate within the RV community. It can be difficult knowing which way to go.

While many shoppers consider either a gas or diesel-powered coach, some prefer the added comfort and technology a luxury diesel RV provides.

If you are trying to decide between a gas or diesel motorhome, try to decide what features are most important to you. There is no right or wrong option, just advantages and disadvantages worth considering.

Gas or Diesel: Cost

The first consideration for many people shopping for a new motorhome is price. How expensive is the motor coach?

2015 Thor Motor Coach Axis RUV

2015 Thor Motor Coach Axis RUV

Motorhomes fueled by gasoline are often the choice of first-time RV buyers or RVers who don’t live in their coaches fulltime as they are less expensive than most diesel offerings. Gas models will usually not offer the same level of features and technology as their diesel counterparts, although some manufacturers build high-end gas motorhomes with amenities that rival many of the mid-level diesel units.

Long considered to have the most advantages, diesel engines typically have more power and increased torque compared to those that run on gas. With increased torque comes better towing capability and improved performance during hill climbs. If you are looking to purchase a large Class A or will be towing a boat or large SUV, then diesel may be your best option.

But for the most part, if you want to save money but still get a great coach, you’re probably looking for a higher-end gas model. If you have been saving for retirement in order to become a snowbird or full-time RVer, a luxury diesel pusher motor coach won’t disappoint. Also, diesel and luxury diesel coaches almost always retain their value longer than gas motorhomes.

2015 Fleetwood Storm shown in Platinum Onyx décor with Cinnabar wood cabinetry

2015 Fleetwood Storm shown in Platinum Onyx décor with Cinnabar wood cabinetry

Because most luxury diesel motorcoaches look and feel just like the nicest of homes, they are also the most expensive. Manufacturers equip their luxury diesel coaches with the latest and greatest features and technology available, so whether or not the increased price tag is worth it depends on what you want from your new motorhome.

While diesel engines have their advantages, these come at a price. Gasoline engines are cheaper to purchase and also less costly to maintain. If you are strictly making your decision on initial cost, then look at your gas options first.

Gas or Diesel: Fuel Efficiency

Despite that fact that diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline, it’s no secret that diesel coaches are much more fuel efficient than gas-powered models.

This is due in large part to the fact that diesel has a greater energy value than gasoline, delivering up to 10 percent better fuel economy by volume.

If you are planning to rack up big miles on your motorhome or treat it as your year-round or seasonal residence, you’d be wise to at least consider a diesel-powered option. But if you intend to use your motorhome for the occasional vacation and weekends at the lake, and then store it for winter, or are still trying to decide if the RV lifestyle is right for you, a gas-powered coach may be a better fit.

Gas or Diesel: Interior Comfort

Quality RV manufacturers craft comfortable, well-appointed interiors for both their gas and diesel-powered models. Depending on the brand, some gas-powered motorhomes can look like luxury coaches on the inside. Still, gas motorcoaches typically offer less comfort and technology than diesel and luxury diesel RVs. It all comes down to what you and your travel partner find important to enjoying your home on the road.

Luxury Diesel Motorcoaches

Luxury Getaway in a Formula 1 Palatial Motorhome

Luxury Getaway in a Formula 1 Palatial Motorhome

For starters, luxury diesel RVs are diesel-powered coaches equipped with increased horsepower, a heightened level of features and technology and high-end furniture, cabinetry, and fixtures.

If you’re a retiree, someone who is planning to live in their motorhome full time, or just want and can afford the best that industry has to offer, you may be best suited by a luxury diesel coach.

The following are the largest differentiators associated with luxury diesel motorcoaches.

Most luxury diesel motorhomes feature a custom chassis built specifically for the unit it will support. This increases reliability, comfort, stability, and weight capacity. Luxury diesel motorhomes almost always offer a more powerful engine as well. Combine both of these advantages and you have a coach that can tow more than any other type of motorhome.

Please Note: This is Part 3 of a 5-part series on Tips For Purchasing a New RV

Worth Pondering…

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

—Aristotle

Posted in RV Dealers, RV Lifestyle, RV Manufactures, RV Tips, Snowbird | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EverGreen Introduces Lightweight Ascend Cloud Trailer

Middlebury, Indiana-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC has expanded the 2015 Ascend lineup with the introduction of the super lightweight Ascend Cloud series.

2015 Ascend Cloud by EverGreen

2015 Ascend Cloud by EverGreen

The Ascend Cloud’s ultra light design is a welcome addition for those looking for a smaller trailer with all the standard features of larger coaches, according to a company news release. Ranging in length from 19 feet to 24 feet long and a width of less than 8 feet makes the Ascend Cloud easy to tow behind sedans, SUVs, and mid-sized pick-ups.

True to its name, the Ascend Cloud series is a super lightweight travel trailer featuring an aerodynamic, curved exterior. The graphics resemble flowing lines reminiscent of its namesake. Four new floor plans in the Ascend Cloud series provide customers more choices in a lightweight towable.

The Ascend Cloud’s 81-inch interior ceiling height creates an open, roomy space with plenty of room for all guests. A variety of floor plans with jackknife sofas, dinettes, and even a flip down bunk in the C193RD, create sleeping space for up to six adults. Skylights in the living area and bath allow plenty of natural light, creating an airy, open atmosphere. A large shower with radius door also adds to the spacious bath.

“Our Ascend line has always been popular among couples and young families so the Ascend Cloud series meets a need for those looking for something even lighter,” commented Ascend Cloud Series Product Manager Jeff Terhune.

2015 Ascend Cloud C193BH interior

2015 Ascend Cloud C193BH interior

“With the Ascend Cloud series we took the top Ascend features and modified them to create a super lightweight travel trailer that has all the function and storage of larger trailers. The high ceilings, reduced width and open concept are just a few of the best qualities we wanted to extend into the Ascend Cloud series.”

All Ascend Cloud models feature finished, lighted exterior pass through storage for packing all the camping essentials. Overhead cabinets and a wardrobe in the bedroom increase the storage capacity further. The bathroom has a large medicine cabinet for increased storage and function.

Like all EverGreen products, the Ascend Cloud is built with the DuraLite double welded aluminum structure, ensuring a long-lasting, durable trailer. The barreled laminated roof increases the interior height and creates a smooth exterior roofline that prevents water from pooling.

2015 Ascend Cloud C183RB interior

2015 Ascend Cloud C183RB interior

Unlike other smaller travel trailers the Ascend Cloud has a ducted A/C for the ultimate in cooling comfort. A black diamond plate front stone guard protects the trailer from rock dings and other roadside hazards. An enclosed, heated underbelly provides another line of protection from the elements and reduces wind turbulence.

Details

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC was founded in December of 2008 with the premise that the recreational vehicle industry needed a new generation of innovative, sustainable, eco-friendly, green travel trailers and fifth wheels built like none before.

The vision of EverGreen is to use sustainable eco-friendly, recyclable, composite materials to replace wood and produce higher quality, longer-lasting products that are fully equipped, yet lightweight.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC is the first RV manufacturer to achieve the TRA Certified Green Emerald Rating for its eco-friendly Ever-Lite travel trailers and fifth wheels.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC currently offers six lines of travel trailers (Ever-Lite, Sun Valley, i-Go, Ascend, Element, and Amped), four lines of fifth wheel trailers (Bay Hill, Tesla, Lifestyle, and Alfa Gold), and two lines of toy haulers (Amped and Tesla).

Of the top 15 towable RV manufacturers, EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, along with its Lifestyle Luxury RV fifth-wheel division, was the fastest growing company in the industry for both registered retail sales and total increase in market share for the year 2013.

Address: 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-4298

Website: www.goevergreenrv.com

Worth Pondering…

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.

—Ayn Rand

Posted in RV Lifestyle, RV Manufactures | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving four recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Allied Recreation Group, Starcraft, Jayco, and Keystone Company.

Allied Recreation Group, Inc.

holidayrambler_logoDecatur, Indiana-based Allied Recreation Group, Inc. (ARG) is recalling certain model year 2015 Monaco Holiday Rambler Alumascape fifth wheel trailers, models 323RL and 343RE, manufactured August 28, 2013, to December 18, 2013. In the affected vehicles, the Federal Certification Label figures related to the front and rear tire type, front and rear tire width, front and rear tire load index letter designation, and front and rear tire pressure ratings, in pounds per square inch (PSI) and in kilopascals (KPA) are incorrect. As such, the vehicles do not conform to Part 567, “Certification.”

Incorrect information on the label may result in improper tire inflation which may contribute to tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

ARG will notify owners, and dealers will replace the tires with new tires of the same specification as the original tires in case any of them have been improperly inflated, and also replace the Federal Certification labels with corrected information, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on September 30, 2014. Owners may contact ARG customer service at 1-800-509-3417. ARG’s number for this recall is 140827ARG.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Starcraft RV

Starcraft logoMiddlebury, Indiana-based Starcraft RV is recalling certain model year 2015 AR-One travel trailers, models 28P, 28R, 28U, 28V, 28S, and 28W, manufactured April 23, 2014, to July 18, 2014. The affected trailers are equipped with the roof AC option, eliminating the roof vent. As such, since there is no widow in the kitchen, there is inadequate venting for the gases emanating from the range.

In the event of a situation where the propane gas continues to flow, if the gas range cannot vent, an ignition source may ignite the propane gas, resulting in a fire.

Starcraft RV will notify owners, and dealers will install a range hood that vents to the outside of the trailer, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on October 17, 2014. Owners may contact Starcraft RV customer service at 1-800-945-4787. Starcraft RV’s number for this recall is 9902221.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Jayco Color logo birdMiddlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2015 Jay Flight travel trailers, models 264BHW (7V) and 267BHSW (7W), manufactured April 23, 2014, to June 4, 2014. The affected trailers are equipped with the roof AC option, eliminating the roof vent. As such, since the window does not open, there is inadequate venting for the gases emanating from the range.

In the event of a situation where the propane gas continues to flow, if the gas range cannot vent, an ignition source may ignite the propane gas, resulting in a fire.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the non-opening window with a window that opens, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on October 30, 2014. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall 9901221.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Keystone RV Company

Keystone-Rv-Co.-logoGoshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Hideout 308BHDS fifth wheel trailers manufactured October 2, 2013, to August 8, 2014. The affected trailers may have been built with a 120V outlet in the exterior kitchen that is not part of the GFCI protected circuit.

An outlet that is not part of the GFCI protected circuit has an increased risk of providing an electrical shock if an electrical fault exists in an appliance plugged into the receptacle.

Keystone has notified owners, and dealers will verify that the outside kitchen outlet is on a GFCI circuit, replacing it as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on September 15, 2014. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 14-216.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Jayco Color logo birdMiddlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2015 19RD (TP) Jay Flight trailers manufactured May 19, 2014, to May 21, 2014. The affected trailers may have been manufactured with the roof ladder installed on the door side of the trailer. This incorrect location does not have a reinforcing backer to hold the ladder to the trailer.

If the ladder does not have the support of the backer, when the ladder is used, the screws can pull out of the trailer wall and the ladder may give, increasing the risk of injury to the ladder user.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the placement of the ladder, and install a backer if the ladder is installed on the wrong side, free of charge. The recall began on September 30, 2014. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901220.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 43rd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best.

—John Wooden

Posted in RV Manufactures, RV Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment