Monaco: Alive & Well

Nearly six months ago, on May 16, Monaco and Holiday Rambler, along with Beaver and Safari, started a new journey under Allied Specialty Vehicles.

Monaco-RV-logoThe first part of that journey involved making some tough, but necessary decisions to ensure the continuation of the brands, President Mike Snell told customers in a recent newsletter.

One of those decisions was moving production and service from Wakarusa to Decatur.

“Much of the workforce was given the option to transfer to Decatur. We also worked with the company who purchased our Wakarusa facility to transition some employees to their operations,” Snell wrote.

“With a strong local economy and thoughtful transition planning, the overall impact to the area has been minimal.”

Another critical decision was to maintain distinct product DNA for each brand and to keep the company’s engineering, design, and product development teams intact, he explained.

“In order to do that, we opened a facility in Elkhart where our design teams have their own dedicated design area and shop. The entire team has been feverishly working over the last few months to bring you innovative, new features, great floor plans and stunning designs,” said Snell.

“We believe in designing quality products that fulfill our owners’ needs and desires; therefore our design process is a true collaboration between our engineers and owners across all four brands. For the past few months, we’ve been gathering your feedback through focus groups and two extensive online surveys. Your responses were highly informative and some even surprising.”

“We listened to those responses, and our design team made changes to key features to incorporate your input. In fact, any survey response that garnered a greater than 70 percent rating was automatically incorporated into our new products. When we say, ‘a coach designed by you, for you,’ we mean it.

2014 Monaco Dynasty Diesel Pusher
2014 Monaco Dynasty Diesel Pusher

“Interestingly, despite owning different brands, most of you asked for the same features in a new coach design,” added Snell.

“The only slight difference being that Beaver owners asked for specific wood species and unique furniture/trim design. Otherwise, the responses were similar and have guided our design.”

Many respondents shared that they would like more counter space and additional pantry storage in the kitchen area, as well as an interest in having a smart steering wheel and a premium audio system.

Many also indicated they prefer to keep the side exhaust, something Snell described as just a sampling of the great input the company received. He  pledged the recommendations were being applied to new designs.

The biggest news Snell revealed was the announcement the firm was making a “Return to Power.”

“For the past five years, engine restrictions kept us from offering big-bore engines, which limited our product offerings,” said Snell.

“Beginning with the 600 hp rollout in January, you’ll also start seeing 500 hp, 450 hp, 380 hp, and 300 hp models.”

“Part of our 2015 product line will feature the all new Roadmaster chassis. This gives us the ability to offer big-bore Cummins engines and a new world-class independent front suspension system,” said Snell, noting it is not an “off-the-shelf” standard rail chassis.

“Our engineers collaborated closely with Freightliner Custom Chassis to offer a redesigned Roadmaster chassis with unique modifications and tuning that gives you the ride and handling you’re expecting from our brands.”

“We realize you’re anxious to see our new products, and we’re anxious to introduce them to you. But at the same time, we all know that crafting well-designed, high-quality products is not something you can rush,” said Snell.

“We’re creating products that are unique and special in the industry, not cookie-cutter. Allied Specialty Vehicles has invested in our brands and is giving us the time and resources we need to create a stellar product line-up.”

Details

Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV)

Basic CMYKAllied Specialty Vehicles (ASV) is a $1 billion-plus manufacturer comprised of brands serving fire and emergency, recreational, and commercial vehicle markets.

Within the fire and emergency segment, ASV offers a full line of fire apparatus and ambulances. Within the recreational vehicle segment, the company produces motorized RVs under the Fleetwood and Monaco brands.

Phone: (407) 681-4700

Website: alliedsv.com

Monaco

Mailing Address: PO Box 31, Decatur, IN 46733

Phone: (260) 728-2121

Websites: monacocoach.com

Worth Pondering…

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

—Warren G. Bennis

Read More

Freightliner Introduces New V-Ride Suspension System

Gaffney, South Carolina-based Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) unveiled its V-Ride rear suspension system during the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, December 3-5.

J.P. Davis, RV product manager for Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, unveils the new V-Ride rear suspension system at the National RV Trade Show.
J.P. Davis, RV product manager for Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, unveils the new V-Ride rear suspension system at the National RV Trade Show.

The V-Ride is the first-ever single-axle rear suspension rated at 24,000 pounds, offering luxury motorhome manufacturers more options for floor plan designs and amenities while giving motorhome owners more towing capacity and flexibility, according to a company news release.

The V-Ride Rear Suspension System will be available as an option on the XC chassis from FCCC, beginning in model year 2015.

“The V-Ride is designed for today’s luxury motorhome owner who demands the ability to carry more gear and equip their coaches with more luxury amenities,” said J.P. Davis, RV product manager for FCCC.

“And it’s more than just increased towing capacity that makes V-Ride unique and innovative – its proven design and engineering provide greater durability and a more stable, comfortable ride. It’s truly luxury without limits.”

home_headerThe design and engineering of the V-Ride—already proven in heavy-duty applications—bring new features to the market that provide an improved overall driving experience, the company said. The suspension’s “v-rod”-shaped upper control arms help to dissipate suspension forces through the crossmember and frame rails, reducing stress throughout the suspension.

In addition, the V-Ride’s transverse beam is directly integrated with the trailing arm to form a single-piece U-shaped assembly.

This unified design, combined with the v-rod control arms, reduces sway and provides a more stable motorcoach ride—especially in those instances when a motorcoach’s tendency is to lean or drift outward, as when traveling around a curve.

Combined with its standard volumetric airbags, the V-Ride provides a smooth, stable, comfortable ride.

“The V-Ride maintains superior roll stability and more predictable handling throughout,” added Davis.

“This gives motorhome owners a more confident driving experience in all road conditions.”

Details

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)

03_10_fcccFreightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, and school bus, and shuttle bus markets.

FCCC also offers the around-the-clock expertise of its FCCC 24/7 Direct customer service line and a network of more than 400 Freightliner service centers, including the motorhome-tailored Freightliner Oasis Network of more than 90 dealers.

FCCC is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

Address: 552 Hyatt Street, Gaffney, SC 29341

Phone: (864) 487-1700

Customer Support Center: (800) FTL-HELP (1-800-385-4357)

Website: freightlinerchassis.com

Worth Pondering…
Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.

—Rudolph Flesch

Read More

Newmar Expands Partnership with Freightliner

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) and Newmar Corporation have announced an expansion of their ongoing product partnership through which Newmar’s Essex motorhome model will be available on FCCC’s SL chassis.

2013 Newmar Essex Diesel Pusher
2013 Newmar Essex Diesel Pusher

Newmar and FCCC jointly announced the introduction of the Essex available on the SL at the annual Newmar dealer meeting this week in Texas, said Tony Sippel, director of sales and marketing for FCCC.

An Essex model riding on an FCCC SL chassis was available for test-drives at the meeting, attended by approximately 120 dealer personnel from throughout the United States.

“We continue to enjoy a successful partnership with Newmar, working closely with them to develop custom chassis for their quality motorhomes, and we look forward to expanding that partnership with the SL and Essex,” said Sippel.

“As a Daimler company—the parent company of Mercedes-Benz—we offer access to innovative technology and a breadth of engineering and development resources. That access combined with Newmar’s rich heritage of designing and building the finest motorhomes on the road, drives the development of some of the most innovative products available in the industry, the newest of which we are eager to share with RV drivers.”

Newmar will begin offering Essex models on the SL chassis from FCCC beginning this month at Newmar dealers nationwide. The Essex on an SL will be supported by a nationwide service network of more than 450 service locations.

“Both Newmar and FCCC share a culture focused on quality craftsmanship, product innovation, and most importantly, providing the best in customer service and support,” explained John Sammut, vice president of sales and marketing for Newmar.

Freightliner SL Chassis
Freightliner SL Chassis

“So when these two great companies work together, great things tend to happen. And it’s that combination of performance and prestige that has us so proud to share the newest addition to this partnership with the Essex and SL.”

The partnership between Newmar and FCCC began several years ago, and has grown to include the availability of FCCC chassis under several Newmar models, including Ventana, Ventana LE, Dutch Star, Mountain Aire, and now Essex.

“This Essex/SL product partnership is the outstanding result of the close, collaborative teamwork between FCCC and Newmar throughout entire process of bringing this product to market,” added Pat Terveer, director of luxury sales, product planning and design for Newmar.

“With the Essex, as with the other products of this partnership, customers get comfort, convenience, and safety all riding on the seamless integration of coach and chassis.”

In August 2012 Newmar Corp announced that the Class A motorhome manufacturer had assembled the 1,000th Essex Diesel Pusher.

Details

Newmar Corp.

NEWMAR: When You Know The Difference

Established in 1968 Newmar is an innovator and leader in the RV manufacturing industry and recognized for its excellence in quality.

Newmar Corp is privately owned and has a dealer network that spans across the United States and Canada.

Newmar Corp is located at 355 N. Delaware Street, Nappanee, Indiana.

2013 Newmar Essex Diesel Pusher
2013 Newmar Essex Diesel Pusher

Newmar Corp currently manufactures Class A gas motorhomes (Bay Star Sport, Bay Star, and Canyon Star), Class A diesel motorhomes (Ventana LE, Ventana, and Dutch Star), and luxury Class A diesel motorhomes (Mountain Aire, Essex, and King Aire).

Address: 355 N. Delaware Street, PO Box 30, Nappanee, Indiana 46550-0030

Phone: (800) 860-0086

Website: newmarcorp.com

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, and school bus, and shuttle bus markets.

FCCC also offers the around-the-clock expertise of its FCCC 24/7 Direct customer service line and a network of more than 400 Freightliner service centers, including the motorhome-tailored Freightliner Oasis Network of more than 90 dealers.

FCCC is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

Address: 552 Hyatt Street, Gaffney, SC 29341

Phone: (864) 487-1700

Customer Support Center: (800) FTL-HELP (1-800-385-4357)

Website: freightlinerchassis.com

Worth Pondering…

In every thought and action, think excellence.

—Byrd Bagget

Read More

Freightliner Introduces SL-M Modular Motorhome Chassis

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) introduces the SL-M modular motorhome chassis, adding design flexibility to the power and performance of its SL Series motorhome chassis line.

fccc_logo_fedIn designing the SL-M, FCCC engineers created a versatile RV chassis with a fully customizable basement storage space. Designed and engineered with the luxury RV in mind, the SL-M end result allows builders and owners to maximize their storage capacity and explore a wider range of interior layouts.

The SL-M can accommodate a variety of coach lengths and floor plans, opening up new configuration possibilities for coach manufacturers and RV owners, according to a news release.

“We created the SL Series out of our focus on our customers’ chassis needs and commitment to always providing them chassis options engineered to meet and exceed those needs,” said FCCC President Bob Harbin.

“We certainly took their insights and input into consideration in designing the SL-M. By adding a modular chassis to the SL Series line, we open up our most advanced, durable and reliable chassis to even more customization possibilities.”

The SL Series is the first and only Class A motorhome chassis to be equipped with the Detroit DD13 engine featuring BlueTec Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) emissions technology. This innovative chassis/engine combination offers customers outstanding fuel economy without compromising its powerful drive or comfortable ride, says the release.

detroit-dieselLike the entire SL Series, the SL-M offers the 13-liter, 500 hp DD13 engine from Detroit, which combines the power of 1,650 ft-lb of torque with an Amplified Common Rail System (ACRS) to optimize each injection event and improve fuel economy.

The DD13’s BlueTec SCR emissions technology is proven to meet long-term EPA 2010 emissions requirements by dramatically reducing nitrous oxide (NOx), particulate matter and fine particle emissions, while helping maximize fuel efficiency.

The DD13 also includes Virtual Technician, which integrates GPS technology with engine diagnostics. If the “check engine” light comes on in the RV, the data is sent to the Detroit Customer Support Center. The information is then provided to the customer, along with a choice of authorized service outlets and the opportunity to schedule a repair. Virtual Technician also lets the service outlet know which parts are needed, shortening the overall service time.

The FCCC SL Series offers a standard ZF independent front suspension handling a Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) of 14,600, 16,000, 18,000 and 20,000 lbs., and the result is a smoother ride.

Details

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, and school bus, and shuttle bus markets.

Camp FreightlinerFCCC also offers the around-the-clock expertise of its FCCC 24/7 Direct customer service line and a network of more than 400 Freightliner service centers, including the motorhome-tailored Freightliner Oasis Network of more than 90 dealers.

FCCC is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

Address: 552 Hyatt Street, Gaffney, SC 29341

Phone: (864) 487-1700

Customer Support Center: (800) FTL-HELP (1-800-385-4357)

Website: freightlinerchassis.com

Worth Pondering…
Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.

—Rudolph Flesch

Read More

More January RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced four recall notices involving three recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Airstream, Keystone RV Company, Forest River, Inc., and Fleetwood RV.

Airstream

airstream-logoJackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream is recalling potentially 576 units of its model year 2008-2013 Interstate motorhomes manufactured August 2007 through December 2012 and equipped with the rear sofa floor plan, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The electrical equipment underneath the sofa may come in contact with the seat belt buckle or metal cables from the seat.

If the metal sofa components come in contact with the electrical components, electrical arcing could occur. Arcing may lead to a vehicle fire.

Airstream will notify owners, and dealers will install a cover over the electrical components, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin by late January 2013. Owners may contact Airstream at 1-877-596-6111.

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

Keystone RV Company

Keystone-Rv-Co.-logoGoshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company is recalling 191 model year 2012 and 2013 Springdale travel trailers, model 266RLSSRWE, manufactured from October 18, 2011, through December 5, 2012. The suspension may contact the copper propane line for the range.

If the suspension contacts the copper it may damage it, resulting in a propane leak. If the propane leaks in the presence of an ignition source, there is an increased risk of fire and/or explosion, which could cause property damage and/or personal injury.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will modify the propane line to route it away from the suspension, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin during early January 2013.

Owners may contact Keystone Customer Service by calling 1-866-425-4369.

Keystone’s recall campaign number is 12-186.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverElkhart, Indiana-based Forest River, Inc. is recalling 451 model year 2010-2012 Berkshire and Charleston diesel motorhomes. The chassis are equipped with connectors for diode jumpers that may come loose, resulting in an open circuit. Two circuits are affected: The one that disengages the cruise control with brake pedal use, and the one that illuminates the brake lights with brake pedal use.

Failure of the cruise control to disengage when the brakes are applied may increase the risk of a vehicle crash. Without the brake lights illuminating when the brakes are applied, the driver’s intent is not communicated, increasing the risk of a crash.

Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) is performing this recall on behalf of Forest River. DTNA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the diode jumpers to make sure they are fully locked in place and will correct the vehicles as needed.

The recall is expected to begin on January 28, 2013.

Owners should contact Daimler Trucks Warranty Campaigns Department at 1-800-547-0712, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday, or the Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-FTL-HELP after normal business hours.

Daimler’s recall campaign number is FL-634.

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

Fleetwood RV

Fleetwood logoFleetwood RV is recalling 14 model year 2012 and 2013 Bounder Classic model 30T motorhomes manufactured from February 17, 2012, through November 30, 2012. The Federal Certification Tag information relating to front and rear tires is incorrect. Due to the inaccurate label, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Part 567, “Certification.”

Owners relying on the information provided on the label may incorrectly inflate their tires, which could contribute to a tire failure that could cause a crash.

Fleetwood RV will mail new federal certification tags to owners. Owners who are not comfortable installing these labels may have them replaced at a dealer, free of charge.

The safety recall is expected to begin in January 2013. Owners may contact Fleetwood RV Owner Relations at 1-800-509-3418.

Fleetwood RV’s safety recall number is 130102FRV.

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

Please Note: This is the twenty-sixth in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls.

Worth Pondering…

On being retired…we woke up this morning with nothing to do and by evening we had not completed it!

Read More

January RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced three recall notices involving three recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Thor Motor Coach, Winnebago Industries, and Newmar Corp.

Thor Motor Coach

thor-255x144Elkhart, Indiana-based Thor Motor Coach is recalling certain model year 2011 through 2013 Tuscany, Astoria, Ultrasport, Montecito, and Palazzo recreational vehicles manufactured from May 17, 2010 through October 30, 2012, built on Freightliner brand XB and XC custom chassis, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall potentially will impact 727 units. The vehicles are equipped with diode jumpers that may come loose in their connectors resulting in an open circuit. Two circuits are affected: The one that disengages the cruise control with brake pedal use, and the one that illuminates the brake lights with brake pedal use.

Failure of the cruise control to disengage when the brakes are applied may increase the risk of a vehicle crash. Without the brake lights illuminating when the brakes are applied, the driver’s intent is not communicated, increasing the risk of a crash.

Daimler Trucks (DTNA) will notify owners on behalf of Thor, and Freightliner dealers will inspect the diode jumpers to make sure they are fully locked in place and will correct the vehicles as needed.

The recall is expected to begin January 28, 2013.

Owners should contact DTNA Warranty Campaigns Department at (800) 547-0712, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday, e-mail address DTNA.Warranty.Campaigns@Daimler.com, or the Customer Assistance Center at (800) FTL-HELP after normal business hours.

DTNA’s recall campaign number is FL-634.

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

Winnebago Industries Inc

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries is recalling model year 2010-2013 Winnebago Journey and Tour motorhomes, and model year 2010-2013 Itasca Meridian and Ellipse motorhomes manufactured from June 2010 through November 2011. Potentially 1,521 units are affected, according to NHTSA.

The chassis are equipped with connectors for diode jumpers that may come loose, resulting in an open circuit. Two circuits are affected: one that disengages the cruise control with the brake pedal use; and one that illuminates the brake lights with brake pedal use.

Failure of the cruise control to disengage when the brakes are applied may increase the risk of a vehicle crash. Without the brake lights illuminating when the brakes are applied, the driver’s intent is not communicated, increasing the risk of a crash, according to NHTSA.

Daimler Trucks North America will be conducting the recall on behalf of Winnebago Industries, according to NHTSA. Daimler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the diode jumpers to make sure they are fully locked in place and will correct the vehicles as needed.

The recall is expected to begin on January 28.

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

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Nappanee, Indiana-based Newmar Corporation is recalling potentially 626 model year 2011 through 2013 Ventana Class A, Dutch Star Class A, and Mountain Aire Class A model motor homes manufactured from January 25, 2010, through September 19, 2012, built on Freightliner brand XB and XC custom chassis, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The chassis are equipped with connectors for diode jumpers that may come loose, resulting in an open circuit. Two circuits are affected: The one that disengages the cruise control with brake pedal use, and the one that illuminates the brake lights with brake pedal use.

Failure of the cruise control to disengage when the brakes are applied may increase the risk of a vehicle crash. Without the brake lights illuminating when the brakes are applied, the driver’s intent is not communicated, increasing the risk of a crash.

Daimler Trucks (DTNA) will notify owners on behalf of Newmar, and Freightliner dealers will inspect the diode jumpers to make sure they are fully locked in place and will correct the vehicles as needed.

The recall is expected to begin Jan. 28, 2013.

Owners should contact DTNA Warranty Campaigns Department at (800) 547-0712, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday, e-mail address DTNA.Warranty.Campaigns@Daimler.com, or the Customer Assistance Center at (800) FTL-HELP after normal business hours.

DTNA’s recall campaign number is FL-634.

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

Please Note: This is the twenty-fifth in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls.

Worth Pondering…

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Read More

North Trail RV Center Announces $15M Expansion

South Florida-based North Trail RV Center announces plans for a $15 million dollar expansion at its Fort Myers location.

The family-owned company also operates a dealership in Fort Lauderdale and a separate collision center in Fort Myers.

Expansion of the 80-plus acre ‘footprint’ will begin in late 2012, according to a news release.

This state-of-the-art facility will include expanded sales and finance departments, service buildings, and a parts mega-store that will total over 70,000-square-feet, almost two acres, of floor space under roof.

With areas set aside for rallies and events, this ‘destination’ dealership will be a one-of-a-kind for this area, according to North Trail RV Center.

This $15 million expansion will add a huge, positive boost to Southwest Florida’s local economy.

Plans call for the hiring of an estimated 100 new workers. The dealer now employs over 180 people at its three locations, states the release.

“North Trail RV Center is already very unique because RV owners can have all of their sales, finance, service, bodywork, tire, and chassis needs met right here in one place,” says Alan Erp, president and founder.

“We completed the expansion of our collision, chassis, and tire center in 2011. We will be significantly increasing inventory, as well as our staff and we will also be featuring the newest, largest RV parts mega-store in Florida.”

Over 100,000 RV parts, accessories and camping supplies for your Gas or Diesel Motorhome, Fifth Wheel, Travel Trailer or Toy Hauler are in stock at our North Trail RV Center parts department.
Over 100,000 RV parts, accessories and camping supplies for your Gas or Diesel Motorhome, Fifth Wheel, Travel Trailer or Toy Hauler are in stock at our North Trail RV Center parts department.

North Trail RV Center said it has been the largest Newmar dealer for the past 10 years, and is the fastest growing ‘Top 5′ Tiffin dealer in the nation.

“We are very excited and eager to break ground,” says Erp.

“North Trail RV Center will without a doubt be the newest, state-of-the-art, destination dealership in the country. We’ve created a ‘families serving families’ atmosphere at North Trail RV Center over the last 26 years that has made us so successful that we’ve more than outgrown our current facility. We are investing over $15 million dollars into this ‘destination’ dealership and South Florida.”

The recipients of numerous platinum awards, transient service awards, Circle of Excellence awards, and also the Mahlon Miller Award for Customer Service Excellence for parts and service year after year, North Trail RV Center has dominated the South Florida market, states the release.

North Trail RV Center is an authorized sales and service center for Freightliner, Spartan, Onan, Newmar, Tiffin Motorhomes, Fleetwood, American Coach, Jayco, Heartland RV, Thor, Winnebago, Keystone RV, and Pleasure-Way.

Details

North Trail RV Center

South Florida’s largest RV dealer, North Trail RV Center has new and used RVs for sale—motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and toy haulers.

They have two convenient Florida RV dealerships—Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale—and a separate collision center in Fort Myers.

The world’s largest Newmar RV dealer, North Trail RV Center also offers America’s most popular selling brands of recreational vehicles including Tiffin Motorhomes, Winnebago, Itasca, Fleetwood RV, Keystone RV, Pleasure-Way, and Jayco.

Get excellent deals on a variety of new and used Class A gas motorhomes, Class A diesel pushers, Class C gas motorhomes, Class B diesel motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and toy haulers.

For over 26 years, the locally-owned, family business has grown to employ over 180 people in its three South Florida locations.

With major facility expansion plans for 2013 in Ft. Myers, North Trail RV Center will continue to be South Florida’s number one, full-service RV dealer for many years to come.

RV Dealership Locations

Fort Myers RV Dealership (Main)

Address: 5270 Orange River Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33905

Phone: (888) 798-6678 (toll free US and Canada)

Fort Lauderdale Dealership

Address: 4300 Ravenswood Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Phone: (877) 289-3127 (toll free US and Canada)

Website: northtrailrv.com

Worth Pondering…

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.

—John Dewey

Read More

MotorHome Magazine Announces 2012 Readers’ Choice Award Winners

The results of MotorHome magazine’s first-ever Readers’ Choice Awards are in and this year’s winners include many of North America’s most popular motorhomes, campgrounds, RV products, and services.

More than 130,000 MotorHome readers were invited to choose from 100 brands and cast votes online at MotorHomeMagazine.com for their favorites in 24 categories such as Class A Motorhome, RV Cleaner, and Satellite Hardware.

Among the winners are recognizable names such as Winnebago, Camping World, Blue Ox, ADCO, and Cracker Barrel.

As true RV enthusiasts, MotorHome readers are the experts. The Readers’ Choice Awards gave readers an opportunity to share their knowledge and recognize the companies that make their passion possible.

“We’re excited to tap into the wealth of knowledge MotorHome readers have gained during years of experience as RV owners and travelers, “MotorHome Chairman Marcus Lemonis said. “MotorHome readers know what works best, and for the first time—and moving forward on an annual basis—we’ve asked them to rate their favorite RVs, campgrounds, products and ancillary services.”

“The winners are the best of the best in the RV industry and we thank our loyal readers for participating in this valuable asset to the pages of MotorHome magazine,” MotorHome Publisher Bob Livingston said.

“Congratulations to all the winners for being at the top of their game.”

MotorHome 2012 Readers’ Choice Award Gold winners are:

  • ADCO for RV Cover
  • Banks Power for Performance Add-On
  • Blue Ox for Tow Bar
  • Camping World for RV Retailer
  • Carefree of Colorado for Motorhome Awning
  • Cracker Barrel for Sit-Down Restaurant
  • Cummins Onan for Motorhome Generator
  • DirecTV for Satellite Provider
  • Dometic for RV Refrigerator
  • Florida for State to RV In
  • Freightliner for Chassis
  • Michelin for RV Tires
  • Pechanga RV Resort for RV Campground
  • Pilot Flying J for Fuel Station
  • Protect All for RV Cleaner
  • Roadtrek for Class B Motorhome
  • Sea Foam for Fuel Additive
  • Shell Rotella for RV Engine Oil
  • SMI Manufacturing for Brake Actuator
  • Thetford for RV Toilet
  • TireMinder for Tire Monitoring
  • Winegard for Satellite Hardware
  • Winnebago Industries for Class A and C Motorhome

Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels were honored in each category, and the winners were presented with their awards at the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, November 27-29.

Details

MotorHome Magazine

For 45 years, MotorHome has been the trusted source for technical, travel and lifestyle information for savvy coach owners.

Each month, MotorHome delivers the latest news and information about motorhomes, RV product evaluations, objective coach reviews and tests, technical features, new RV accessories, and intriguing travel destinations, campgrounds and RV resorts.

MotorHome is published by GS Media & Events, a division of Good Sam Enterprises, LLC (GSE).

GSE and its wholly owned subsidiaries serve the safety, security, comfort, and convenience needs of the North American outdoor and recreational vehicle market. With various companies, brands, products and services, GSE targets almost every aspect of this diverse and dynamic niche market.

Website: motorhomemagazine.com

Worth Pondering…

Learning never exhausts the mind.

—Leonardo da Vinci

Read More

Workhorse to Cease Operation in October

Lisle, Illinois-based Workhorse Custom Chassis is going out of business and is due to shut down in October, though Navistar International Corp., its owner since 2005, is saying little about it.

Spokesman Steve Schrier confirmed the news and responded to questions by referring to statements in the company’s recent 10Q disclosures to the federal Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), reports Truckinginfo.com.

Workhorse stopped making its W42 and W62 van chassis early this year, one competitor said, and final production is apparently imminent of motorhome chassis. Production should wrap up this month, a worker at the plant in Union City, Indiana, said before directing further questions to Navistar headquarters.

However, Navistar’s eStar electric van, though managerially connected to Workhorse, remains an active product, Schrier said. Introduced in 2009 with the help of a federal grant, eStar captured early sales from several customers for use in California, which encourages use of zero-emissions vehicles with its own grants.

Nonetheless, “the commercial viability of electric vehicles is what drives sales in this market,” Schrier said.

With no engine or conventional drivetrain and the comparative simplicity of electric components, maintenance and operating costs are very low, even if purchase prices are high.

And although A123 Systems, which supplies batteries for the eStar and other electric vans, has been struggling financially and currently is the subject of a controversial investment proposal from a Chinese firm, “individual suppliers are not impacting our eStar business,” Schrier said. About 100 were built at the Navistar-Monaco plant in Wakarusa, Indiana, last year.

Workhorse was started in 1998 by investors who took over production and sales of General Motors’ popular P-series Stepvan chassis when GM dropped it, Truckinginfo.com reports.

GM gasoline and diesel engines powered vehicles which, like competitors’ chassis, got bodies from outside suppliers. Large delivery fleets like FedEx, UPS, and Frito-Lay were among its customers.

Navistar acquired Workhorse seven years ago and it seemed a good fit, as Navistar diesels would find another outlet, even if emphasis was still on gasoline.

It also seemed that the new subsidiary might be strengthened through its association with a big corporation whose history from the 1930s into the ’60s included the popular Metro van.

For a short time Workhorse offered an integrated chassis-body product called MetroStar.

The Great Recession a few years later hurt both parties, and Navistar executives’ losing bet on their non-SCR “in-cylinder solution” to diesel emissions limits contributed to heavy financial losses. These prompted serious cost-cutting.

Two financial reviews showed that Workhorse could not recover investments in it, the 10Q statement said. So earlier this year Navistar ordered Workhorse to stop accepting orders for W-series chassis and to begin to “idle” the business. It has taken a $10 million charge as part of shutdown expenses.

Workhorse R Series Diesel Chassis

Schrier said Navistar would continue to provide warranty and parts and service support for existing Workhorse chassis.

Executives at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC), a major competitor, said one result of Workhorse’s closure has been more interest from customers in gasoline power, something Workhorse specialized in.

FCCC last year began offering General Motors’ 6-liter Vortec 6000 gasoline V-8, the same engine that Workhorse used toward the end.

Until late last week, Navistar’s website listed Workhorse as one of its truck brands and offered a link to the Workhorse site. A newly redesigned website now lists only International and Mahindra International as Navistar’s truck brands.

But Workhorse’s site as of this writing is still active and describes the W series commercial and motorhome chassis, and gives no hint of their demise.

Worth Pondering…

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know that place for the first time.

— T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding

Read More

Still More August RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving five recreational vehicle manufacturers—Winnebago, Jayco, Roadtrek, Gulf Stream Coach, and Newmar Corp.

Winnebago Industries Inc.

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. is recalling 44 model year 2012-2013 Winnebago and Itasca motor homes. A cutting machine may have scored the copper propane tubing resulting in unknown long-term reliability.

If the copper tubing fails, propane can escape, leading to a fire or explosion which can result in property damage, personal injury, or death.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will replace the copper tubing, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin during September 2012. Owners may contact Winnebago Industries Owner Relations at 1-641-585-6939.

This is Winnebago recall no. 126.

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

Jayco, Inc.

Middlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. is recalling 300 model year 2012-2013 Jay Flight Swift SLX travel trailers manufactured from October 24, 2011, through July 3, 2012.

These trailers may have oversized bearings installed in the axle. This may cause excessive movement in the wheel hub, causing the bearings to become overheated and worn.

Overheated and worn bearings may lead to axle failure while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the axle bearings with proper size bearings, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in Aug. 2012. Owners may contact Jayco at 1-800-283-8267.

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

Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.

Kitchener, Ontario-based Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. is recalling 145 model year 2011 and 2012 Roadtrek 21PC Popular and 21VC Versatile model class “B” motorhomes built from October 1, 2010, through November 12, 2011. On some motorhomes, the rivets may fail that secure the awning brackets to the motorhome side wall, allowing the bracket and Thule awning to come off the motor home while operating the awning.

If the awning separates from the motor home, the user or people nearby may be injured.
Roadtrek will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional stainless steel rivet on each of the awning brackets, free of charge. Roadtrek has not provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Roadtrek Service Department at 1-888-ROADTREK (762-3873) or 1-519-745-1169.

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

Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. (GSC)

Nappanee, Indiana-based Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. (GSC) is recalling 443 model year 2006 through 2008 Crescendo, Sun Voyager, Independence, Bounty Hunters, and Yellowstone Class A diesel pusher motor homes built on Freightliner Custom Chassis (FCCC) from March 18, 2005, through December 2009.

These motorhomes’ chassis are equipped with Bosch hydraulic disc brakes which, when exposed to long periods of time of non-driving, may experience diametrical brake caliper piston growth and reduced piston to bore clearance, potentially leading to brake drag and overheating resulting in reduced brake performance.

Reduced brake performance increases the risk of a crash.

FCCC will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles, free of charge. Owners may contact GSC at 1-800-289-8787 or Daimler Trucks/FCCC at 1-800-547-0712.

Daimler Trucks’ recall campaign number is FL-628.

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

Newmar Corporation

Nappanee, Indiana-based Newmar Corporation is recalling 70 model year 2008 and 2009 Grand Star Class A motorhomes built on Freightliner Custom Chassis (FCCC) from Jan. 25, 2007, through May 22, 2009.

These motorhomes’ chassis are equipped with Bosch hydraulic disc brakes which, when exposed to long periods of time of non-driving, may experience diametrical brake caliper piston growth and reduced piston to bore clearance, potentially leading to brake drag and overheating resulting in reduced brake performance.

Reduced brake performance may lead to a vehicle crash.

Owners will be notified by Daimler Trucks/FCCC, and repairs will be performed by authorized FCCC dealers free of charge. Owners may contact Newmar at 1-574-773-7791 or Daimler Trucks at 1-800-547-0712.

Daimler Trucks’ recall campaign number is FL-628.

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

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

Worth Pondering…

The question is not what you look at but what you see.
—Henry David Thoreau

Read More