Buy a New RV in 2015: You Deserve It!

A newly published study shows that RV vacations cost substantially less than other forms of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership.

2015 Starflyer 10
Folding camping trailer: 2015 Starcraft Starflyer 10

For a four-person travel party, the study found savings of 27 percent to 62 percent; a two-person travel party saved 11 percent to 48 percent.

The research was conducted by PKF Consulting USA, and com­missioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). It updates previous vacation cost comparison studies done by PKF.

The PKF study provides a vacation cost analysis using two sets of hypothetical travel parties: a four-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a two-person travel party of two adults.

PKF analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers would incur taking nine different types of vacations to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations that last three, seven, and 14 days.

2015 Ascend Cloud by EverGreen
Lightweight travel trailer: 2015 Ascend Cloud by EverGreen

The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer, a lightweight travel trailer, a compact motorhome, a Class C motorhome, and a Class A motorhome. The Class A motorhome was used for comparison vs. first-class travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.

RV travel emerged as having a clear economic advantage over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. Following is what a four-person travel party could expect to save:

  • Folding camping trailer – 47-62 percent
  • Lightweight travel trailer – 34-53 percent
  • Compact motorhome – 27-48 percent
  • Class C motorhome – 28-48 percent
  • Class A motorhome – 38 percent

Following is the what a two-person travel party could expect to save:

  • Folding camping trailer – 38-48 percent
  • Lightweight travel trailer – 23-36 percent
  • Compact motorhome – 19-32 percent
  • Class C motorhome – 15-28 percent
  • Class A motorhome – 14 percent
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Compact motorhome: 2015 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour

As part of its analysis, PKF considered how fluctuating fuel prices might affect vacation costs. Their findings showed that fuel prices would have to reach more than $12 per gallon for a four-person travel party before RVing would begin to lose its economic advantage over other forms of travel. For a two-person travel party, fuel would have to reach $6 per gallon.

Buying a new recreational vehicle is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so it should come as no surprise that choosing the right one for you is no small decision.

When contemplating the purchase of an RV, take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar brands and models, attend RV shows.

RV shows are a great place to begin exploring what’s out there. These events allow you to explore different RV manufacturers and models while providing you with an opportunity to speak with dealer and manufacturer representatives, as well as other owners and shoppers in an ideal setting where your questions can be answered. You’ll also be able to compare floor plans and features side-by-side.

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

When it comes to researching your new RV purchase, the last thing you want to be is hasty. It is important to consider your budget, wants and needs, future travel plans, and any other items you feel are important in making your decision, such as safety, quality, and reliability.

There are plenty of ways to do your homework online using sites like vogeltalksrving.com. Sites like these provide news on the latest and greatest in RVs along with reviews on many of the newest models available. Internet forums are a good way to obtain honest feedback from current owners and learn from their experiences.

Take notes on each RV you see, focusing on your likes and dislikes.

Do not underestimate the importance of selecting the right floor plan for your needs.

It is also important to locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service Best of all, there is a coach for just about every budget and every family. It just takes some time to find it.

Class C motorhome: 2015 Thor Motor Coach Citation
Class C motorhome: 2015 Thor Motor Coach Citation

Worth Pondering…

I enjoy the RV world. I will have one until the day I die.

—Bob Gibson, Hall of Fame major league pitcher

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TrailManor Introduces Duck Blind Edition

TrailManor is taking a cue from a wildly popular TV show centered around ducks by offering a special “duck blind” edition of its trailers that features special camouflage graphics and trim, making the trailers even more appealing to hunters and outdoorsmen.

TrailManor Introduces Duck Blind Edition
TrailManor Introduces Duck Blind Edition

The new graphic package is offered as an option and can be retrofitted to existing trailers.

It is also available on TrailManor’s new RISE truck camper.

“We continually listen to our owners and dealers, and the Duck Blind edition is based on feedback that they provided about new styling and uses for TrailManor trailers,” said Cleo Eickhoff, vice president of marketing, in a news release.

“We want to make TrailManors as versatile as possible, and the Duck Blind edition gives our owners who are hunters another reason to take out their TrailManors for an adventure.”

TrailManor’s ultra-low profile is ideal for getting into the back country by being towed in the retracted position, he explained.

The patented torsion power lift design allows “raising the roof” quickly and easily. There is an added sense of security provided by the hard side wall construction, said Eickhoff.

TrailManor travel trailers are unique in that they are hardwall travel trailers that fold down like tent campers for easy towing. They are also much lighter than traditional travel trailers due to TrailManor’s unique laminated construction, he explained.

TrailManor trailers can be towed with properly equipped minivans, crossovers, and small SUVs, so owners don’t have to buy big tow vehicles. It only takes about one extra gallon of gas to tow a TrailManor 100 miles, said Eickhoff.

A TrailManor trailer sets up in less than two minutes and owners don’t even have to unhitch.  Inside, TrailManors have the amenities of upscale travel trailers, including a full kitchen, a hardwall bath with shower and tub, plenty of storage, and great living space.

foldingmain1Details

TrailManor Manufacturing Company, LLC

TrailManor was founded in 1983, but the story goes back much farther.

Before the first TrailManor was shipped to a dealer, the design went through ten years of prototypes and testing. It was only after the innovative TrailManor design was thoroughly tested and proven that it was made available to the public.

Founder, William J. Hulsey, has a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and more than 25 years of experience in developing high technology materials and products. He transferred this knowledge to a dedicated group of current TrailManor employees who continue to manufacture trailers that are light in weight, easy to tow, engineered to last, high in resale value, and fun to use from the moment you leave your driveway.

Today, TrailManor has two locations, a manufacturing plant in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and general offices in Hartington, Nebraska.

The product line has expanded to include both the classic TrailManor design and a new series of Sport models that are exceptionally light, very affordable, and a delight to own.

That’s what you should expect from a travel trailer, and that’s what you get with TrailManor.

General Offices:  P.O. Box 397, Hartington, NE  68739

Manufacturing Plant: 1202 McGhee Lane, Jacksboro, TN  37757

Phone: (423) 563-6685

Website: trailmanor.com

Worth Pondering…

If you wander with open eyes and simple curiosity, you’ll discover a much richer pleasure — the simple feeling of possibility that hums from every direction as you move from place to place.

—Rolf Potts

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TrailManor Introduces 2014 Models

Jacksboro, Tennessee-based TrailManor Manufacturing Co. introduced its 2014 models featuring significant changes, including new exterior styling along additional floor plans in its popular 2417 trailer.

New TrailManor graphics package for 2014
New TrailManor graphics package for 2014

TrailManor has added new slide out versions in its 2417 model.

The smallest trailer in the TrailManor lineup, the 24-foot model now comes with three different floor plans, plus two different widths. A Sport version of the trailer is six inches narrower for customers looking for more visibility while towing or a trailer that will fit easily into a garage.

TrailManor 2014 models were available to the public the first time at the America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, September 11-13.

TrailManor travel trailers are unique in that they are hardwall travel trailers that fold down like tent campers for easy towing. They are also much lighter than traditional travel trailers due to TrailManor’s “unique laminated construction.

TrailManor trailers can be towed with properly equipped minivans, crossovers, and small SUVs and only take about one extra gallon of gas to tow 100 miles.

foldingmain1

A TrailManor trailer sets up in less than two minutes and owners don’t have to unhitch.

Inside, TrailManors have the amenities of upscale travel trailers, including a full kitchen, a hard wall bath with shower and tub, plenty of storage, and great living space.

Details

TrailManor Manufacturing Company, LLC

TrailManor was founded in 1983, but the story goes back much farther.

Before the first TrailManor was shipped to a dealer, the design went through ten years of prototypes and testing. It was only after the innovative TrailManor design was thoroughly tested and proven that it was made available to the public.

Founder, William J. Hulsey, has a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and more than 25 years of experience in developing high technology materials and products. He transferred this knowledge to a dedicated group of current TrailManor employees who continue to manufacture trailers that are light in weight, easy to tow, engineered to last, high in resale value, and fun to use from the moment you leave your driveway.

Today, TrailManor has two locations, a manufacturing plant in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and general offices in Hartington, Nebraska.

The product line has expanded to include both the classic TrailManor design and a new series of Sport models that are exceptionally light, very affordable, and a delight to own.

That’s what you should expect from a travel trailer, and that’s what you get with TrailManor.

General Offices:  P.O. Box 397, Hartington, NE  68739

Manufacturing Plant: 1202 McGhee Lane, Jacksboro, TN  37757

Phone: (423) 563-6685

Website: trailmanor.com

Worth Pondering…

If you wander with open eyes and simple curiosity, you’ll discover a much richer pleasure — the simple feeling of possibility that hums from every direction as you move from place to place.

—Rolf Potts

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Starcraft RV Celebrates 50 Years

Topeka, Indiana-based Starcraft RV kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration June 1 with a company picnic and the “AR-ONE Golden Giveaway,” a year-long consumer sweepstakes in the United States and Canada.

Starcraft-RV-logoThe 2014 model year marks 50 years in the RV industry for Starcraft, a pioneer builder of folding camping trailers.

“We’re excited to be celebrating our 50th year in business.” said Akos Sefcsik, vice president and general manager for Starcraft.

“It’s a milestone that not many have achieved in our industry.”

To celebrate this milestone, Starcraft held a company picnic for its employees at its campus in Topeka. Nearly 300 employees attended the picnic where Starcraft catered a lunch, had carnival games for the children and a cornhole tournament for the adults.

In addition, the company also announced The “AR-ONE Golden Giveaway”.

It will last a full year and the drawing will take place in June of 2014.

The winner of this sweepstakes will receive an AR-ONE 25BHS travel trailer.

Participants can enter in two ways, online at the Golden Giveaway website (SEE link below), which will be linked to Starcraft RV website (SEE link below) and Facebook, or they may send in an entry form they pick up at their local Starcraft dealer.

Starcraft logoThe company has also added a 50th anniversary decal to all 2014 units as well as a 50th anniversary promotional package featuring various items special for the 50th year.

Other 50th year celebrations include the launch of a new website for the company, a gift bag for every customer who purchases a new, previously untitled model year 2014 unit, and an event for dealers during the fall open house.

“We have planned these various 50th year activities and programs in hopes that our employees, dealers and customers feel as much pride in our 50 years as we do,” said Sefcsik.

“We plan to keep this celebration going all year.”

Details

Starcraft RV

Starcraft-AR-OneTopeka, Indiana-based Starcraft is one of the oldest and most respected names in the RV industry.

In fact, the company has been around since 1903. Back then, they made their name building livestock tanks and other metal farm equipment.

In the 1920s, they added a variety of boats to their product lineup.

And in 1964, Starcraft entered—and revolutionized—the modern camping industry.

Starcraft RV manufactures and markets towable RVs under the Starflyer, Comet, AR-ONE, AR-ONE WideBody, Launch, Launch Ultra Lite, Travel Star EXP, Travel Star, and Autumn Ridge brand names.

Starcraft RV is a Jayco, Inc. company.

Mailing Address: 903 South Main Street, P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (800) 945-4787 (toll free)

Website: starcraftrv.com

Golden Giveaway Website: cmcpromotions.net/goldengiveaway

Worth Pondering…

The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”
—Alan Ashley-Pitt

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TrailManor Introduces Three New Models

Jacksboro, Tennessee-based TrailManor Manufacturing Co. LLC introduces three new folding hard-wall trailer models.

The TrailManor 2922 models are based on the company’s best-selling 2720 line, with the addition of a king-size rear bed.

The 29-foot trailers are offered in configurations including front and rear beds; a front slide out model with sofabed; and a front slide out model with a dinette.

“RV buyers have been trending toward larger beds for several years, and TrailManor dealers have received lots of requests for a king bed in smaller models,” noted Cleo Eickhoff, vice president of marketing for TrailManor, in a news release.

“Last year, we addressed this by offering a king bed in our 2417 Sport model. Now, we’re giving dealers three new king bed models at highly desirable price points.”

TrailManor 2922 travel trailer

TrailManor’s entire lineup features hard-wall travel trailers that fold down like tent campers for easy towing. They are lighter than traditional travel trailers due to TrailManor’s laminated construction and can be towed with properly equipped minivans, crossovers, and small SUVs. The company said that it takes about one extra gallon of gas to tow a TrailManor trailer 100 miles.

A TrailManor trailer sets up in less than two minutes and owners don’t even have to unhitch. Inside, TrailManors are equipped with the amenities of upscale travel trailers, including a full kitchen, a hard-wall bath with shower and tub, plenty of storage, and ample living space.

Details

TrailManor Manufacturing Company, LLC

TrailManor was founded in 1983, but the story goes back much farther. Before the first TrailManor was shipped to a dealer, the design went through ten years of prototypes and testing. It was only after the innovative TrailManor design was thoroughly tested and proven that it was made available to the public.

Founder, William J. Hulsey, has a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and more than 25 years of experience in developing high technology materials and products.

He transferred this knowledge to a dedicated group of current TrailManor employees who continue to manufacture trailers that are light in weight, easy to tow, engineered to last, high in resale value, and fun to use from the moment you leave your driveway.

Today, TrailManor has two locations, a manufacturing plant in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and general offices in Hartington, Nebraska.

The product line has expanded to include both the classic TrailManor design and a new series of Sport models that are exceptionally light, very affordable, and a delight to own.

That’s what you should expect from a travel trailer, and that’s what you get with TrailManor.

General Offices:  P.O. Box 397, Hartington, NE  68739

Manufacturing Plant: 1202 McGhee Lane, Jacksboro, TN  37757

Phone: (423) 563-6685

Website: trailmanor.com

Worth Pondering…

If you wander with open eyes and simple curiosity, you’ll discover a much richer pleasure — the simple feeling of possibility that hums from every direction as you move from place to place.
—Rolf Potts

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TrailManor Now Building Trailers in Tennessee

The cantilevered TrailManor—a mix between a folding camping trailer and a conventional hard-sided travel trailer—is now being built in Jacksboro, Tennessee, with new owners Robert J. and Cleo Eickhoff, according to a news release.

”My husband has been associated with TrailManor for 18 years as a factory rep,” said Cleo Eickhoff, marketing director for TrailManor Mfg. Co. LLC, with headquarters in Hartington, Nebraska.

The couple moved into an ownership position after William J. Hawlsey, founder of now defunct TrailManor Inc., had health issues. ”That coupled with the fact that the economy had taken a downturn, TrailManor just suffered terribly,” Eickhoff said. ”We moved from Nebraska to Tennessee to try to help Bill, but it just didn’t work.”

TrailManor Inc. then located in Lake City, Tennessee, stopped production in September and the Eickhoffs bought the company’s assets two months later and began manufacturing TrailManor travel trailers in a different factory in Jacksboro.

While continuing to build the TrailManor, the company has introduced three TrailManor Sport floor plans in 16- to 24-foot lengths that retail starting at $16,797—which is about $9,500 less than the traditional TrailManor.

The TrailManor: the remarkable folding trailer design that built the company

The TrailManor 2417 Sport features the classic folding TrailManor design. It has a king sized bed on one end; a double bed on the other, so there’s plenty of room for family. It also features a full kitchen with sink, 3-way refrigerator, and an innovative portable stove that can be used either inside the trailer or outside if you want to enjoy the outdoors. The 2417 also has a cassette toilet option.

The TrailManor 19 RD SportDeck is built on the same frame as the 2619, so it has exceptional strength. The value of the model is enhanced with more standard equipment including twin gas bottles, Fantastic vent, and a slick new European style sink and two-burner stove. Then we added 15 inch tires and alloy wheels, a coated back deck, sturdy new folding steps, and a convenient outside shower. It even features a hardwall bathroom and our popular dinette floor plan.

The new TrailManor 16 RD SportDeck is the lightest TrailManor yet. Its compact design makes towing behind smaller vehicles simple and stress-free. And it still offers plenty in the way of amenities. There’s a two-burner stove, sink, and refrigerator. You can even add a bathroom option, or opt for more counter and storage space. The dinette floor plan offers room for relaxing and meals, and it is an ideal choice for couples who love to camp at a moment’s notice.

TrailManor has 30 dealers nationwide and currently employs 24 people in a 22,000-square-foot factory in Jacksboro. The company plans to start building the traditional TrailManor Elkmont travel trailer, which had been discontinued, in a factory the couple owns in Hartington, perhaps as early as summer.

”We were fortunate that the base core of employees moved to Jacksboro with us,” Eickhoff said.

After opening the factory in Hartington to build the Elkmont, TrailManor, and TrailManor Sport will continue to be built in Tennessee, Eickhoff said.

Details

TrailManor Manufacturing Company, LLC
TrailManor was founded in 1983, but the story goes back much farther. Before the first TrailManor was shipped to a dealer, the design went through ten years of prototypes and testing. It was only after the innovative TrailManor design was thoroughly tested and proven that it was made available to the public.

Founder, William J. Hulsey, has a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and more than 25 years of experience in developing high technology materials and products.

He transferred this knowledge to a dedicated group of current TrailManor employees who continue to manufacture trailers that are light in weight, easy to tow, engineered to last, high in resale value, and fun to use from the moment you leave your driveway.

Today, TrailManor has two locations, a manufacturing plant in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and general offices in Hartington, Nebraska (with a manufacturing facility planned there during 2012).

The product line has expanded to include both the classic TrailManor design and a new series of Sport models that are exceptionally light, very affordable, and a delight to own.

That’s what you should expect from a travel trailer, and that’s what you get with TrailManor.

General Offices:  P.O. Box 397, Hartington, NE  68739

Manufacturing Plant: 1202 McGhee Lane, Jacksboro, TN  37757

Phone: (423) 563-6685

Website: trailmanor.com

Worth Pondering…

Nothing is an obstacle unless you say it is.

—Wally Amos

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Tom Johnson Awards Customer with New RV

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, Tom Johnson Camping Center, in conjunction with Forest River Inc., awarded one lucky customer with a new RV. The RV giveaway is one of the highlights during the complimentary annual customer appreciation BBQ, according to a recent company news release.

During this year’s 31st Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ Tom Johnson Camping Center awarded a lucky winner with a brand new Forest River Flagstaff 176 model folding trailer. Runner-up contestants were awarded flat screen televisions. The annual giveaway caps off the four day/three night complimentary customer appreciation BBQ which features nightly live bands, seminars on RV travel and maintenance, and activities for kids and adults.

“We are fortunate to have loyal and supportive customers and the Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ is one of the ways we like to say thanks from Tom Johnson Camping Center,” said Gary Stroud, Vice President. “The BBQ is a unique event we hold at our Rally Park that allows us to connect with our customers, show our appreciation to them and ensure we are meeting their needs and desires.”

Tom Johnson Camping Center received an award during the ceremony from Forest River Inc. for surpassing sales of over 2,000 Flagstaff brand RVs. Forest River Inc., one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of RVs, was a key partner in the contest. Tom Johnson Camping Center has been holding the Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ for 31 years and this is the third consecutive year that they have awarded a contestant with a new RV.

Tom Johnson Marion Campground. Campground. Amenities include 66 full hook-up RV sites, 45-foot pad plus tow vehicle parking, 50-amp service available, concrete pads with patios, oversized sites. (Credit: tomjohnsoncamping.com)

“Each year has seen the RV being awarded to a very deserving person and it is gratifying to be able to spread joy and expand on our RV family,” stated Stroud. “The RV lifestyle is still the most affordable way to travel and a free RV makes it even more affordable.”

Details

Tom Johnson Camping Center

Founded in 1967, Tom Johnson Camping Center, North Carolina and South Carolina’s Number 1 RV dealer is the inaugural recipient of the Dave Altman Number One RV Dealer Award. A Blue Ribbon award-winning dealership, Tom Johnson Camping Center is among the top-ten recreational vehicle dealerships nationwide.

With expertise in sales, service, parts, and rentals, Tom Johnson Camping Center offers a comprehensive selection of Class B, Class C, Class A Gas motorhomes, and Diesel Pusher motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and folding trailers. Their RV Inventory is one of the East Coast’s largest.

Tom Johnson’s locations in Marion, North Carolina—close to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Concord, North Carolina—close to Charlotte, North Carolina have full service RV repair centers to repair or modify your RV while offering an extensive parts department with a complete selection of accessories and parts for all types of RVs as well as general camping supplies.

Fireworks at Tom Johnson Camping Center's 31st Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ. (Credit: tomjohnsoncamping.com)
Tom Johnson has camping facilities available next to both RV service and sales centers.  Their brands of new inventory include the following manufacturers:

Worth Pondering…
“Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.”

It could be the theme song of every RVer, though it’s not likely what Steppenwolf had in mind when they recorded Born to be Wild in 1968.

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