More August 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?
When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced four recall notices involving three recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Forest River, Allied Recreation Group, and Newmar.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc.(Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Palomino PaloMini vehicles manufactured November 14, 2014, to July 23, 2015. The cambers in the axle tubes may have been installed upside down. This can cause the tube to appear bent downward towards the ground, when the bend should be pointing upwards to the unit floor.

A mispositioned camber may come in contact with a tire, a spindle or other components leading to fracture or failure, and increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and reposition any mispositioned cambers, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 25, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-269-432-3246. Forest River’s number for this recall is 400-07282015-0065.

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.

Allied Recreation Group, Inc.

argLogo_bigAllied Recreation Group, Inc. (ARG) is recalling certain model year 2016 Fleetwood Flair, Storm, Terra SE, Jamboree Sport, Tioga Montara, Tioga Ranger, Holiday Rambler Admiral, and Monaco Trek vehicles. The affected vehicles may have been improperly manufactured with a vertical propane gas tank regulator, instead of the horizontal gas tank regulator required. Use of the incorrect regulator can allow moisture to build up in the regulator, possibly resulting in improper operation.

If the regulator fails to operate properly, it can cause a propane gas leak, increasing the risk of a fire.

ARG will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the motorhomes and replace the regulator, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 19, 2015. Owners may contact ARG customer service at 1-800-509-3417. ARG’s number for this recall is 150708ARG.

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.

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2009-2016 Canyon Star toy haulers manufactured from November 28, 2007, through July 9, 2015, and model year 2007-2009 All Star toy haulers manufactured from January 30, 2006, through October 21, 2009. There is unprotected flammable plastic wrap surrounding the exterior fuel dispensing system which could burn if exposed to an ignition source.

If the exterior fuel dispensing compartment were to catch fire, the surrounding plastic wrap material could burn increasing the risk of a vehicle fire.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will install a protective metal sheet on the top of the exterior fuel compartment. The repair will be performed free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on, or before, September 26, 2015. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-574-773-7791.

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.

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Essex and King Aire vehicles manufactured March 7, 2014, to June 15, 2015, and 2016 Mountain Aire vehicles manufactured March 9, 2015, to June 5, 2015. The control module for the air suspension may experience a loss of power resulting in the air suspension not being able to achieve ride height.

If the ride height of the suspension is less than specified ride height the vehicle may be difficult to control, increasing the risk of a crash.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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.

What should you do if your vehicle is included in this recall?
If your vehicle is included in this recall, it is very important that you get it fixed as soon as possible given the potential danger to you and your passengers if it is not addressed. You should receive a separate letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, notifying you of the recall and explaining when the remedy will be available, whom to contact to repair your vehicle or equipment, and to remind you that the repair will be done at no charge to you. If you believe your vehicle is included in the recall, but you do not receive a letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, it is recommended that you contact your vehicle manufacturer or dealership.

Please Note: This is the 66th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Read More

August 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?
When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced four recall notices involving one recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Forest River.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 XLR vehicles, models T29HFS, T31FDK, T31FQSL, T30FQSL, T21FQSL, T24FQSL, T24HFS, T27HFS, T28TQDL and T30HDS, manufactured October 20, 2014, to July 14, 2015. In the affected vehicles, the wiring at the electrical inlet used for connecting external AC power to the trailer may have been strained during the assembly process. As a result, the wiring may loosen at the inlet connector.

If the wires are not properly secured to the connector, the wires may arc, increasing the risk of a vehicle fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will rewire the inlet to relieve the wiring strain and secure the electrical wiring connections, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 30, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-07302015-0068.

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.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Cedar Creek Silver Back recreational vehicles manufactured October 23, 2014, to July 2, 2015. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that is less than the vehicle’s GVWR represented on its certification label. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Inaccurate weight information can mislead an owner as to the vehicle’s weight carrying capacity which could result in vehicle overloading and a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a new set of corrected certification labels, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 25, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-593-2417. Forest River’s number for this recall is 20-07282015-0066.

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.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Glaval Bus Apollo, Concorde, Entourage, and Legacy, and Elkhart Coach ECE4, 2014-2016 AllStar XL, and 2014-2015 Forest River Rockport, Starcraft Starquest, AllStar, Starlite, AllStar MVP, XLT, and Xpress vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with a back up camera system which may display images from the camera in reverse.

If an object or person are on the left side of the screen but are actually on the right side of the vehicle, or vice versa, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the camera, free of charge. The recall began on August 25, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-264-5179. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-06232015-0057.

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.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2014-2016 Sandpiper and Sierra recreational vehicles manufactured October 15, 2013, to July 13, 2015. The affected vehicles may be equipped with Certification labels with an inaccurate gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Thus, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) No. 567, “Certification.”

An inaccurate weight rating on a certification label conveys inaccurate information to the vehicle owner or operator about that vehicle’s load carrying capacity, thereby increasing the risk of vehicle overloading which can cause tire failure and a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will provide a new federal certification label, free of charge. The recall began on August 25, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-534-8386. Forest River’s number for this recall is 03-07292015-0067.

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.

What should you do if your vehicle is included in this recall?
If your vehicle is included in this recall, it is very important that you get it fixed as soon as possible given the potential danger to you and your passengers if it is not addressed. You should receive a separate letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, notifying you of the recall and explaining when the remedy will be available, whom to contact to repair your vehicle or equipment, and to remind you that the repair will be done at no charge to you. If you believe your vehicle is included in the recall, but you do not receive a letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, it is recommended that you contact your vehicle manufacturer or dealership.

Please Note: This is the 65th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Read More

Still More July 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?
When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 4 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers— New Horizons RV, Heartland RV, MCI, and Entegra Coach.

New Horizons RV Corporation

new-horizons-rv-logoNew Horizons RV Corporation (New Horizons) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Summit and Majestic recreational vehicles manufactured March 11, 2013, to January 30, 2015. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

If the rivet shears under occupant load, the steps may give and the occupant may fall, increasing the risk of personal injury.

New Horizons will notify owners, and dealers will remove the rivets and the step sections will be bolted together, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact New Horizons customer service at 1-800-238-3140.

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.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC

Heartland-RV-logoHeartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain model year 2016 Torque T27, T28, T29, and T33 travel trailers manufactured May 11, 2015, to May 29, 2015. The affected trailers have Federal Certification labels that may be missing the gross axle weight rating (GAWR) information. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

The vehicle operator may unintentionally overload the trailer due to the missing GAWR information, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will replace the incorrect certification label with a corrected label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2015. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99.01.22.

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.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2014 D4500 vehicles manufactured December 19, 2013, to April 14, 2014, 2013-2014 D4505 vehicles manufactured February 1, 2013, to April 22, 2014, and 2013-2015 J4500 vehicles manufactured November 26, 2013, to May 22, 2015. The affected motorcoaches are equipped with hub carriers that may have areas of porosity which could result in the hub carrier leaking oil or cracking.

Cracks in the hub may result in hub failure, which could cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.

MCI will notify owners, and dealers will begin a routine inspection process to identify any hub carrier leaks. When parts become available, the affected hub carriers will be replaced, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947. MCI’s number for this recall is SB 425.

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.

Entegra Coach

Entegra-Coach-Color-300x233Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain model year 2015 Aspire vehicles manufactured October 24, 2013, to February 11, 2015. In the affected vehicles, the fasteners that attach the stay rod (v-rod) to the rear drive axle may not have been installed with thread locker or tightened in the correct sequence.

If the fasteners come loose, the stay rod may disconnect from the rear axle, resulting in a loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Entegra will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fasteners using thread lock, tightening them in the proper sequence and with the required torque values, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 17, 2015. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-945-4787.

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.

Entegra Coach

Entegra-Coach-Color-300x233Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain model year 2015 Cornerstone Class A motorhomes, models 45B, 45J and 45K, manufactured February 24, 2014, to March 19, 2015, and built on a Spartan Chassis. The affected motorhomes have rear jack plates that may rub on the tag axle brake air hose when the plates are retracted.

If the rear jack plates rub on the air brake hose, an air leak may occur when the brake pedal is being pressed, reducing the braking performance of both the drive axle and the tag axle, lengthening the distance needed to stop the motorhome and increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

Entegra will notify owners on behalf of Spartan, and dealers will reposition the tag axle brake air hose so that it is clear of the jack plate, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 31, 2015. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-945-4787.

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 63rd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

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Thor Motor Coach Introduces Pet-Friendly Class A Motorhomes

Elkhart, Indiana-based Thor Motor Coach introduces the 2016 A.C.E., Hurricane, and Windsport Class A motorhomes.

2016 A.C.E.

2016 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E.
2016 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E.

The A.C.E. continues to evolve this year. Along with the distinctive front brow, which eliminates distracting sunlight and heat, Thor Motor Coach incorporates a new automotive-style front cap and integrated LED driving lights into the coach, according to a company news release.

New inside the cockpit of the A.C.E. is the screen mirroring technology in the touchscreen dash radio that allows you to use your own GPS navigation from your tablet or smart phone.

Luxury interiors are included in all A.C.E. motorhomes featuring the Better Homes and Gardens RV Fabric Collection.

The 2016 A.C.E. is available in six floor plans with the exterior length ranging from 28 feet 8 inches to 31 feet 5 inches.

Specifications common to all models include:

  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: 6.8L V10 362 HP 457 lb-ft torque
  • GCWR: 23,000 pounds
  • Exterior Height: 12 feet 2 inches
  • Exterior Width: 99 inches
  • Interior Height: 7 feet
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 gallons
  • LPG Tank Capacity: 88 pounds
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 50 gallons

2016 Hurricane and Windsport

2016 Thor Motor Coach Windsport
2016 Thor Motor Coach Windsport

The 2016 Hurricane and Windsport brands have new standard upgrades adding extra convenience for customers.

Thor Motor Coach knows how important your four-legged friends are and want to keep them safe and close, according to the release. That is why they placed the Pet-Link Multi-Purpose Tie-Down in all Hurricane and Windsport motorhomes. It has always received rave reviews from A.C.E. owners and Thor Motor Coach wanted to expand their pet-friendly philosophy to more brands.

The Pet-Link allows you to keep your pets within plain view while you’re relaxing outside. You can also use it to lock down your bike while you’re away for the day.

Also new this model year is the blank tank flush system, which rinses the blank tank clean prior to dumping the holding tanks.

Select models feature an 11-cubic-foot residential refrigerator with an ice-maker and inverter, plus auto-generator start to ensure the batteries will stay charged.

All floor plans have a master bedroom featuring a premium Denver Mattress bed and a new Cotton Cloud mattress in the hide-away overhead bunk.

2016 Thor Motor Coach Hurricane
2016 Thor Motor Coach Hurricane

Details

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach was formed when Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International strategically merged in late 2010. For over 23 years Damon and Four Winds have been building many of the most recognized brands of motorhomes. Thor Motor Coach manufactures Class A Front Engine Diesel motorhomes (Serrano and Avanti), Class A Diesel Pusher motorhomes (Astoria, Tuscany, and Palazzo), Class A Gas motorhomes (A.C.E., Hurricane, Daybreak, Windsport, Challenger, and Outlaw), and Class C motorhomes (Four Winds, Chateau, Siesta, Siesta Sprinter, Citation, and Citation Sprinter).

Thor Motor Coach is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

Address: 701 County Road 15, PO Box 1486, Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Phone: (800) 860-5658

Website: www.thormotorcoach.com

Worth Pondering…

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

—Stephen Covey

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More June 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 2 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Forest River and Tiffin Motorhomes.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Dynamax, 2014 Cardinal trailers, and 2015 Cedar Creek, Sierra and Sandpiper trailers. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

If the rivet shears causing the quad step to fail, the step user may fall, increasing the risk of personal injury.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will remove the rivets and the step sections will be bolted together, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 26, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15-05062015-0034.

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.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Glaval Universal, Titan II, Titan II Low Floor, Legacy, Concorde II, and Entourage transit buses manufactured April 9, 2014, to October 6, 2014. During the alignment process, a tie rod jam nut may have been left loose.

A loose tie rod jam nut may result in a loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the tie rod end jam nut, tightening it as needed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-445-2825 extension 138. Forest River’s number for this recall is 35-05262015-0038.

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.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Vengeance trailers, model numbers VGF377V, VGF378V, VGF394V13, and VGF396V, manufactured August 7, 2014, to May 12, 2015. The affected trailers may be equipped with incorrect certification labels that state the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 18,500 pounds when the actual GVWR is 18,000 pounds. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations number 567, “Certification.”

The incorrect GVWR on the labels may result in the vehicle operator over loading the vehicle which could increase the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a new corrected label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-593-4005. Forest River’s number for this recall is 17B-05132015-0036.

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.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Coachmen Shasta SHT27RL travel trailers manufactured May 7, 2013, to May 7, 2015. The affected trailers may have an incorrect gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) information stated on the Federal Weight Tags. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 567, “Certification.”

Incorrect GVWR information on the label may lead the operator to load the trailer to an incorrect weight, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the incorrect label with a corrected label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-8717. Forest River’s number for this recall is 53-05132015-0035.

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.

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

TiffinLogo-UnitTiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain model year 2015 Allegro Red 36 QSA, Allegro Red 38 QBA, Phaeton 40 QBH, and Phaeton 40 QKH motorhomes manufactured April 22, 2014, to May 8, 2015. In the affected vehicles, moisture may enter the slide-out controller and cause the “switch out” connection to short, and cause the motorhome slide-out section to extend while the motorhome is moving.

If the slide-out opens during transit, there is an increased risk of a vehicle crash.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealers will install a relay to disconnect the power source of the slide-out, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2015. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661.

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 59th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

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RVs Rule the Road

Who is driving RV sales and why?

Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona
There’s an RV for every family’s budget and needs. Photo above: Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re one of the millions of Americans or Canadians planning to head out for a summer road trip, be prepared: RVs rule the road.

With prices ranging from $15,000 to just shy of $1 million, Americans and Canadian consumers have more options than ever when it comes to hitting the open road with a bed in tow.

For the big bucks your RV comes decked out with dual sinks in the master bathroom of a 46,000-pound diesel pusher built on a behemoth bus chassis. The Newmar King Aire also has Sleep Number beds, four flat-screen televisions, and a tablet to remotely manage the climate controls. Oh, and it also has a carbon-fiber steering wheel, and the driver sits in a captain’s chair with a built-in massager.

Canada’s number one Newmar dealer, Midtown RV in the southern Okanagan city of Penticton (British Columbia) sold 6 King Aires during the past 12 months.

“King Aire buyers are people looking for a modern contemporary design with the latest in residential amenities,” said Kalvin Stayberg, Midtown RV Vice-President and part owner.

Class A motorhome: 2015 Newmar King Aire
Class A motorhome: 2015 Newmar King Aire

“They also appreciate that the King Aire couples this modern design with the Newmar Heritage of quality, luxury, and power.”

While the King Aire may be over-the-top extravagant, buyers are demanding the same kinds of countertops and finishes they’re accustomed to having in their homes. Many RVs, for instance, have memory foam beds, tile floors, two bathrooms, and Corian countertops.

Those amenities are driving massive growth in what has been a sagging industry hit hard by a lousy economy and sky-high fuel prices. Last year RV dealers sold about 350,000 vehicles and expect even stronger growth this year. That’s a return to pre-recession levels not seen in nearly a decade.

Bottom-of-the-barrel fuel prices are also helping to drive interest in the RV lifestyle. Packing up the family for a summer vacation is less expensive than flying, especially when airlines with locked-in fuel costs haven’t yet passed along fuel savings to passengers. Camping is also more family-friendly and relaxing.

There’s been strong interest at both ends of the spectrum, from that $1 million King Aire to the 1930s-style teardrop trailers light enough to be towed behind a car and the always-popular Airstream.

Vistabule Introduces ‘Cab Forward’ Teardrop Trailer
Vistabule is a popular ‘Cab Forward’ teardrop trailer

Airstream celebrated a record year in 2014, with sales up 26 percent over 2013 numbers. The retro-glam travel trailer has found new life among an expanded clientele that includes baby boomers.

And smaller, cheaper, mini-trailers, like teardrop trailers, have also resurfaced as appealing options for road-trippers looking to go small.

Also receiving significant interest are “Tiny House” style RVs which some buyers remove from their wheels and use as a cozy home. The wood-sided Tumbleweed Tiny Homes were featured in an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing.

Many consider small to be the new big. The small-house movement and a conscious move away from a consumptive lifestyle for many millennials.

But it’s not just the smaller and sleeker Airstream and teardrop trailers that are doing well. The whole industry has recently found a new stride. Behemoth motorhomes often with tag axles and travel and fifth wheel trailers—12, 28, 35 feet long—are hitting highways in the strongest numbers in years.

The design of the Cypress Tiny House RV  by Tumbleweed makes use of the most interior space, by incorporating a corner porch and utilizing the extra room as interior space.
The design of the Cypress Tiny House RV by Tumbleweed makes use of the most interior space, by incorporating a corner porch and utilizing the extra room as interior space.

Some 32,045 RVs were shipped from manufacturers to dealerships in February of this year. Compare that to 29,700 in February 2007 and 10,300 in February 2009 when the industry hit rock bottom. The industry projects it will hit its top sales in nearly a decade this year.

Plummeting fuel prices don’t hurt, either, and it’s also worth noting that Baby Boomers—folks between 51 and 69—are retiring in droves. At the same time, however, RV buyers are actually getting a little younger. According to recent report, in 2011, the average age of an RV buyer was 48 years old. The fastest-growing age bracket was 35-54.

Mainstream Class A motorhomes and fifth wheel and travel trailers run anywhere from $10,000 to $600,000 and more. After financial ability, family was the leading factor in the decision to buy an RV. People perceive these vehicles as a way to spend time with family and friends, without the hassle and expense of flights, lodging, and food.

But unless you’re living in your RV full-time, it’s about as discretionary a purchase as one can imagine. It’s a big upfront investment, and that’s before fuel costs, insurance, and license. Buying any RV indicates a high degree of consumer confidence.

The increase in sales of Airstreams and teardrops are merely part of a larger trend. Now that people perceive an improve economy, they’re buying RVs of all stripes.

The success of the RV industry is due in part to the diversity of product that offers something for every income level. You don’t have to be rich to buy a smaller trailer and go camping.

Monument Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights
An RV will take you whever you wish to go including Monument Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights

And for those families who want to spend time together while getting back to nature, RVs have an undeniable attraction and is a lifestyle that’s second to none.

Worth Pondering…

The American dream is no longer about home ownership. The American dream is that people want to travel and see America by RV.

—Andy Heck, co-owner Alpin Haus to Greg Gerber, RV Daily Report

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How To Buy The Right RV For YOU

There are but two ways to tour the country by vehicle: Convertible and take as few of your possessions as possible or an RV and take all the comforts of home with you.

Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pop-up camper and fifth wheel trailer camped at Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona, a full-service campground © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here’s how to do the latter without breaking the bank or breaking your mind.

There is nothing particularly obvious about choosing an RV. It all comes down to personal choice.

And it’s not reasonable to expect that everyone will have a chance to drive every kind of RV before they rent or purchase one. I’ve driven a pop-up trailer, truck camper, fifth wheel trailers, a Class A gas motorhome, and a diesel pusher of varying lengths, but I’d never driven a Class B or Class C motorhome.

Purchasing an RV is a personal choice not unlike buying a new car or house, computer or smart phone, furniture or household appliances.

You cannot simply decide to buy an RV and buy it—at once. There are numerous things that should be kept in mind before you’re prepared to make that crucial decision.

When buying an RV that suits your requirements, you need to consider type of RV, new or preowned, size, ease of driving, type of camping, cost, manufacturer, dealer, and much more.

There is such an amazing variety of models and floor plans to choose from that it can leave the mind boggling.

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A gas motorhome camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Very often people buy the wrong RV, only to be disappointed and trade it in or resell it less than a year later only to lose thousands of dollars in the transaction.

Buying an RV can be a frustrating experience—it can be intimidating and confusing. Since there’s a myriad of new and preowned RVs available for purchase, it can be confusing trying to decide which one is best for you and your family and it’s not easy to know where to begin.

If you’re buying an RV for the first time, you can quickly get lost in the details—there are lots of them. There’s a considerable amount of information competing for your attention—along with some misinformation.

Buying an RV usually requires some trade-offs.

I’m not going to discuss all the different features and options on various types of RVs or tell you which models are best (something that is really quite personal and which changes over time); however, there are a few questions and factors to keep in mind when selecting the best RV for you and your family.

The right RV comes down to personal preference.

My purpose then, is to provide you with a basic framework to use in deciding which RV to buy.

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are a few factors that I encourage you to keep in mind when buying your RV. I’ll provide my advice on purchasing an RV which comes from my personal experience of buying numerous types of RVs and various models.

Here are a few questions that’ll help you narrow down what to buy.

What type of camping or RV travel will I do? Weekends at the lake? Summer vacation? Months at a time? Snowbird? Full time RVing?

What type of RV should I get? Pop-up trailer? Truck camper? Travel trailer? Fifth wheel trailer? Motorhome? The classing system for motorhomes starts with Class B as the smallest, Class A as the largest, and Class C in between. Gas or diesel?

Towing? Whether you’ll be towing your trailer or towing another vehicle behind your motorhome, make sure you have the right vehicle and appropriate towing hitch. Be aware of and check GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and CVWR (Combined Vehicle Weight Rating).

Where will I camp most of the time? Full service RV parks? Campgrounds with minimal services? National, state, or county parks? BLM? Off grid? Wilderness camping?

How much cooking will I do? Large kitchen with appliances, plenty of counter space, and food storage areas?

Class B motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Related costs? Fuel? Maintenance and service? License fees? Insurance? Storage?

Financing? If you’re like most RVers, you’ll need to finance at least part of your purchase. Check with your bank or lending institution to determine your credit limit and interest rate prior to shopping for the RV of your dreams.

How much storage space will I require? How many people do you need to pack for? Consider the amount of food and clothes you will want to take—plus all the toys, games and sports equipment?

With any RV, there are bound to be some compromises. The important thing is to avoid surprises. As long as you keep your expectations in line with reality, you can still have a ton of fun and freedom in your new RV.

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A diesel pusher and toad camping at Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…
Safe travels and keep your wheels on the road.

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How To Test Drive an RV

When choosing an RV, there’s a lot to consider.

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A Diesel Pusher camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, I discuss the steps involved in buying a new or preowned RV.

Where do you plan to camp? What are your travel plans? Are you a weekend warrior, snowbird, or full-timer RVer? What size RV fits your family? Do you prefer a motorized RV or a towable? What is your budget? Space and storage requirements? The list goes on.

A major difference between driving RVs and cars is that they don’t handle the same, especially when cornering. Test-driving will help to determine what kind of RV is manageable for you. The last thing you want to do is purchase an RV that you can’t drive safely.

But once you get to the test drive phase, there are six things you absolutely must do:

1. Try the bed

Is it comfortable? Large enough? If you plan on sharing it with another person, bring them along to ensure it’s comfortable for two. Mattresses can be too thin, too firm, or too soft. They can be made with uncomfortable seams, creases, or thin spots. Try making the bed with the type of bedding you prefer. Is there space for fitted sheets to tuck in.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Small travel trailer camping at White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, Maricopa County, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If the bed is convertible, be sure to test the complete conversion process, both setup and stowage. How difficult and time consuming is the change-over process? How long and how many people does it take to convert the bed? Finally, test the noise levels for sleeping. Run the fan, air conditioning, heat pump, and furnace.

2. Evaluate the bathroom layout

To make sure you’ll fit, sit on the toilet and stand in the shower. Try the shower arm if there is one. How difficult will it be to clean up after using the shower and sink? Is the sink usable? Is there room to brush your teeth, wash, and shave? Flush the toilet. How much water does it use? Is there adequate space for soap, shampoo, and personal items? Check the lighting and the mirrors. Are they adequate?

3. Examine the storage space

Does the RV have adequate space for all essentials? Determine space availability for the toys you plan to tote along, such as bikes or golf clubs. Longer items like golf clubs or skis can present problems. Is there adequate space for clothes, towels, cleaning products, vacuum cleaner. Where will you store miscellaneous items? Will you have to move things around in order to make the bed and go to sleep, or can they stay in their place night and day?

Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Operate ALL appliances

Furnace, A/C, heat pump, microwave, refrigerator, stove top and oven, fan, lights, inverter, batteries, leveling jacks, water heater, and water pump.

Extend and retract the slides.

5. Check the water systems

Go through the process of filling the freshwater tank and dumping the grey and black water tanks. Are the hoses easy to access and store? Are valve actuators handy? Is there lighting that would enable you to complete the process at night?

6. Drive it

Test drive at highway speeds and on rough roads and up and down hills. Figure on a 20-30 minute test drive in as many traffic and road surface conditions as you can. 0-65mph on the test drive, cornering, braking, shifting.

How quiet is the drive? Any rattles? Do the cupboards stay latched? How is visibility? Does the back-up camera provide an adequate view?

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Is the cockpit seating comfortable? Are controls conveniently located?

With any RV you test drive, there will be compromises. You may test all of these factors, find some that aren’t ideal, and decide to purchase anyway. The important thing is to avoid surprises after you sign on the dotted line.

As long as you keep your expectations in line with reality, you can still have a ton of fun and freedom in your new RV.

Worth Pondering…

Recently I ran across a few lines by Pierre de Ronsard, a 16th-century poet: “Live now, believe me, wait not till tomorrow. Gather the roses of life today.” Maybe it’s time to stop dreaming about buying the RV of your dreams—and just do it!

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Workhorse to Re-enter RV Chassis Market

With RV demand growing stronger, the Workhorse Group plans to re-enter production of Class A motorhome RV chassis at the Workhorse Union City, Indiana plant.

workhorse logoPlans call for delivery of RV chassis in 2015.

The Workhorse nationwide network of over 400 dealerships will support and service the motorhome vehicles.

Workhorse has been recognized as a leader in RV Chassis throughout the strong RV marketplace of the mid-2000s. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) estimates RV volume was nearly 33,000 units per year in 2007, dropping to 5,900 units in 2009, and has been on a steady incline, with Class A Motorhome 2014 volume of over 21,800 units per year.

The steady growth back to strong current RV volumes, coupled with industry demand and interest, has resulted in the Workhorse brand re-entering the RV Chassis Market.

“Our RV manufacturing customers have always relied on the dependability and performance of the Workhorse RV chassis,” said Stoney Steenekamp, President of AMP Trucks Inc., a subsidiary of Workhorse Group Inc.

“Today, we believe the RV market is strong once again. With the growing demand we have recently seen, it just made sense for us to begin entering back into production.”

Over the years, the Workhorse brand established itself as a leader in building RV chassis, with dependable product solutions and strong support through a network of more than 400 dealerships and service centers across the country.

Workhorse intends to ramp up production of the Class A Motorhome chassis at the Workhorse Union City plant which is currently in limited production of the Workhorse E-GEN vehicle, an EPA-approved electric truck chassis with onboard generator for the medium-duty truck segment. The E-GEN vehicle allows fleet operators to choose gasoline, electric, propane, or CNG fuel options.

Prior to leaving the motorhome chassis market, Workhorse manufactured the W16D diesel chassis
Prior to leaving the motorhome chassis market, Workhorse manufactured the W16D diesel chassis

The Workhorse RV Chassis line will be an improved design, offering both 6.0L and   powerful 8.8 liter gasoline engines, coupled with an Allison transmission. The 8.8L engine is designed to match diesel towing ability and mileage.

“It gives us great delight to once again take our place in the RV Chassis market,” said Steenekamp.

“We believe the demand is there, we will be building an improved RV chassis line, and we fully expect our Workhorse W-16 and W-22 Class A motorhome chassis to quickly be recognized as leaders in the category.”

Details

Workhorse Custom Chassis

Previously a division of Navistar, the Workhorse brand along with the Workhorse Union City, Indiana assembly plant, and network of over 400 dealerships was sold to Workhorse Group Inc. in 2013.

Workhorse Group Inc. manufactures electric drive systems for medium-duty, class 3-6 commercial truck platforms, and can equip its Workhorse chassis with electric, gasoline, propane, or CNG engines.

The company is re-entering the RV Chassis market and will also be building Class A motorhome chassis at the Workhorse Union City, Indiana plant.

Website: www.workhorse.com

http://www.workhorse.com

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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Steps in Buying the RV of Your Dreams

It’s all about buying the RV of your dreams!

Live it well! Enjoy today! Do your dream! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Live it well!
Enjoy today!
Do your dream! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Whether you are considering the interior accommodations, features, and technology or the amount of available interior and basement storage, it all matters, but the process of deciding what’s right for you doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

When contemplating the purchase of a motorhome or trailer, take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar types and brands of campers, attend RV shows, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service.

Visit the RV dealers in your area, and attend RV shows. Seeing a selection of models in one location allows you to do side-by-side comparisons on manufacturers, models, size, price and options.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start fantasizing about the good times you’ll have cruising down a scenic highway in the RV of your dreams—your home-away-from-home. But do the research first.

The first thing to remember when RV shopping is to set goals and stick with them. Key goals include establishing an RV budget, deciding on the RV type and size, deciding on the RV floor plan, features, and amenities, and narrowing down the manufactures to several choices that meet your criteria.

2012 Newmar Dutch Star Class A Diesel motorhome camped at Leasburg Dam State Park, New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
2012 Newmar Dutch Star Class A Diesel motorhome camped at Leasburg Dam State Park, New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Towable or Motorized?

For many families, towable RVs offer great flexibility and if you already own a vehicle that can serve as your tow vehicle, you are already half-way there.

Motorized RVs on the other hand offer great passenger comfort while on the road and some people find them easier to maneuver into a camping site.

Are you a weekend warrior, or do you plan to do extended adventures? Or are you a snowbird or full-time RVer.

You’re obviously going to need a lot more gear if you plan to live in your RV for an extended stay, which means you will need more storage space and greater load capacity. Sport Utility RVs (or toy haulers) are a great option for people who want to bring along a lot of large gear.

Sleeping capacity?

What size or RV fits your family? How many people will your RV need to sleep? An RV built for two offers a different set of features than a bunkhouse built for a family.

rent an rv
Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With so many new styles of RVs on the market it’s helpful to narrow down your desired floor plan before hitting the showroom floor.

Where do you plan to camp?

Depending on where you plan to camp, the size of your RV may be an issue you need to consider. Most RV parks and resorts can accommodate motorhomes and trailers up to 40 feet in length or longer. Some national parks, state parks, provincial parks, and county or regional parks campgrounds have length restrictions.

A Class B motorhome, Class C motorhome, truck camper, or small trailer are all goods options for people who desire to have the ability to camp most anywhere.

You’ll also want to consider options, such as a generator or solar panels, that simplify boondocking or dry camping.

When do you plan to camp?

Are you a summertime RVer? Or do you like to find your AWAY year round?

If winter camping is something you enjoy, then consider a four-season RV.

When purchasing an RV for use in cold weather, ensure sure it has cold weather features including heated holding tanks, dual pane windows, adequate LP capacity, an enclosed underbelly, and heated bays.

A camping trip to a ski area; football, basketball, or hockey game; hunting or snowmobiling; cross country skiing, snow tubing, tobogganing, or ice fishing are some of the ways you can continue to enjoy your RV during the winter months.

Boondocking on BLM land near Quartzsite. Note the solar panels. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Boondocking on BLM land near Quartzsite. Note the solar panels. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Or if you plan to spend considerable time camping in hot weather, you’ll need adequate air conditioning.

There are many choices of RVs on the market with something for everybody and every budget.

Worth Pondering…

Never forget your dreams.

—Corczak

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