ARG Introduces 2016 Trek With Bed that Rises to Ceiling

Decatur, Indiana-based Allied Recreation Group (ARG) introduced the Trek at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 52nd Annual National RV Trade Show, December 2-4 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

ARG Introduces 2016 Trek With Bed that Rises to Ceiling
ARG Introduces 2016 Trek With Bed that Rises to Ceiling

Formerly manufactured by Safari Motor Coach, the Trek Class A motorhome brand with a long history of innovation, has been revived for the 2016 model year.

The only motorhome to feature a bed with a standard queen size mattress that rises to the ceiling, Trek delivers all the benefits of a smaller motorhome with the living and storage space of a much larger motorhome, according to a news release.

The bed rises to the ceiling at the touch of a button, revealing a large wardrobe and additional open storage areas where owners can store clothing, gear, and other equipment for their journey.

When the bed is in the raised position, it creates a generous storage space in the trunk of the Trek where bicycles, a grill, lawn chairs, or other gear can be safely stowed inside. When owners arrive at their destination, they can unpack the storage area and then lower the bed for sleeping accommodations.

In keeping with Trek’s cutting-edge design and features, the motorhome is available in a choice of two unique exterior designs with four eye-catching accent color options so customers can match their car, trailer, or other toys with their motorhome, if they choose.

2016 Trek 26HM floor plan
2016 Trek 26HM floor plan

“We used all the innovation of the previous Trek to develop a modern motorhome that maximizes storage and living space,” stated Mike Snell, president of Monaco RV.

“Owners will love the versatility of the Trek with its generous living and storage space that normally would be reserved for larger motorhomes.”

2016 Trek features include:

Ford 16,000lb chassis w/362HP V10

Automatic Hydraulic Levelers

Bus-Class Aluminum Luggage Doors

Axalta Premium Full-Body Paint

Power Awning w/LED Lighting

Side-View Camera Package

Tinted Frameless Dual-Pane Windows

Soft-Touch Ceiling w/Ducted Air

Exterior Entertainment Center

Queen Size Drop Down Bed w/TV

TREK-Trunk - A multi-functional compartment for easily accessible storage. During travel, the raised Trek Room provides a colossal amount of basement storage for travel equipment, entertainment and patio items, adventure and tourism gear, and more.
TREK-Trunk – A multi-functional compartment for easily accessible storage. During travel, the raised Trek Room provides a colossal amount of basement storage for travel equipment, entertainment and patio items, adventure and tourism gear, and more.

Details

Allied Recreation Group (ARG)

The only recreational vehicle manufacturing company with the stability, singular focus, unmatched integrity, and revolutionary vision to be the steward of the most trusted, iconic American RV brands, proudly leading them into the next generation.

Allied Recreation Group is a collection of some of the world’s most recognized and admired RV brands. Each brand—American Coach, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and Monaco—remains distinct, while together the group is a celebration of the rich heritage and future promise of the greatest manufacturers in the RV industry.

Address:1031 US 224 East, Decatur, Indiana 46733

Phone: (800) 854-1344 (toll free)

Website: alliedrecreationgroup.com

Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV)

Allied 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 brand.

Phone: (407) 681-4700

Website: alliedsv.com

Worth Pondering…

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

—Warren G. Bennis

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January 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving four recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Cruiser RV, Monaco RV, Starcraft RV, and Newmar Corp.

Cruiser RV

CruiserHowe, Indiana-based Cruiser RV is recalling certain model year 2006-2013 Fun Finder, Shadow Cruiser, Fun Finder Xtra, Viewfinder, Signature, Radiance, Enterra recreational trailers manufactured January 1, 2006, through April 25, 2013 and equipped with Fastec-brand door locks. It may be possible to remove the key from the lock in a way that potentially jams the deadbolt.

If the deadbolt jams, the interior side of the door lock may also jam. A person inside the travel trailer at the time will then be locked in and be unable to exit the vehicle without using the emergency exit, increasing the risk of injury.

Cruiser RV will notify owners, and Fastec will coordinate the inspection and replacement of the cylinders, as needed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in January 2014.

Owners may contact Cruiser RV at 1-260-562-3500 or Fastec at 1-800-837-2505.

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.

Monaco RV, LLC

stock_monaco-logoDecatur, Indiana-based Monaco RV, LLC is recalling certain model year 2008-2013 recreational vehicles equipped with Fastec-brand door locks. It may be possible to remove the key from the lock in a way that potentially jams the deadbolt.

If the deadbolt jams, the interior side of the door lock may also jam. A person inside the travel trailer at the time will then be locked in and be unable to exit the vehicle without using the emergency exit, increasing the risk of injury.

Monaco will notify owners, and Fastec will coordinate the inspection and replacement of the cylinders, as needed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin by mid-February 2014. Owners may contact Monaco at 1-877-466-6226 or Fastec at 1-800-837-2505.

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

Starcraft RV, Inc.

Starcraft logoMiddlebury, Indiana-based Starcraft RV, Inc. is recalling certain model year 2014 16BH AR-ONE trailers manufactured between June 3, 2013, through September 30, 2013. The vehicles were built with tires of a lower load range than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating requires.

If the trailer is loaded to the gross vehicle weight rating that is listed on the label for the higher capacity tires, the tires may suddenly fail increasing the risk of a crash.

Starcraft RV will notify owners and dealers will replace the tires and the spare tire with new ST175.80R13D tires and issue a correct tire label, free of charge. Recall is expected to begin in January 2014.

Customers may contact Starcraft 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.

Starcraft RV

Starcraft logoMiddlebury, Indiana-based Starcraft RV is recalling 50 model year 2014 Comet BK, BW, BX, and BY recreational vehicles manufactured between August 22 and Dec. 10, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced.

On the affected vehicles, the certification label incorrectly identifies the load range of the tires. Thus, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 120, “Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars.

An inaccurate label may result in the installation of replacement tires with an insufficient load range which may lead to sudden tire failure and an increased risk of a crash, NHTSA reported.

All affected trailers are quarantined in dealer inventory. Starcraft will send corrected labels to those dealers. The recall is expected to begin in January, and owners may contact Starcraft Customer Service at 800-945-4787 for more information.

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 image001Nappanee, Indiana-based Newmar Corporation is recalling 47 model year 2013-2014 motorhomes manufactured between October 15 and June 20, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported.

In the affected vehicles, the castle nuts for the steering linkage ball joint fasteners, which mount to bell cranks, may be loose. If the castle nuts become completely loose, the steering linkage may separate from the bell cranks without warning.

The problem may cause a loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash, NHTSA reported.

Newmar will notify owners and Spartan dealers will replace the steering linkage fasteners, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Customers may contact Newmar at 800-731-8300 for more information.

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 30th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls.

Worth Pondering…

If you analyze the function of an object, its form often becomes obvious.

—Ferdinand Alexander Porsche

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More July RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving five recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Monaco RV, Augusta RV, Dutchmen Manufacturing, Lakota, and Keystone RV.

Monaco RV, LLC

monaco logoWakarusa, Indiana-based Monaco RV, LLC is recalling 2,250 model year 2011 Holiday Rambler Campmaster and R-Vision Trail Cruiser; model year 2011-2012 R-Vision Onyx; model year 2011-2013 R-Vision Trail Light; model year 2012-2014 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite, Aluma-Lite Ultra, and R-Vision Trail Sport and Trail-Lite Crossover; and model year 2013-2014 McKenzie Rainier Ascent and R-Vision Trail Lite Trek recreational vehicles.

These vehicles were manufactured October 12, 2009, through March 15, 2013 and have the water tanks mounted under the floor within enclosed underbellies. The water tank mounting system may fail.

If the mounting system fails, the water tank may separate from the vehicle and become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.

Monaco RV, LLC will notify owners and dealers will install a cross brace between the water tank and the mounting brackets, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in July 2013.

Monaco’s recall number is 13001MRV.

Owners may contact Monaco at 1-877-466-6226.

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.

Augusta RV, LL

Augusta_LogoBristol, Indiana-based Augusta RV, LLC is recalling 36 model year 2013-2014 FLEX recreational trailers manufactured February 13, 2013, through April 9, 2013.

Due to a design change in the power awning motor assembly, the motor assembly screws may unknowingly shear.
If the motor assembly screws shear, it is possible that the awning can unfurl unexpectedly, either while the vehicle is at rest or while in transit, increasing the risk of personal injury or a vehicle crash.

Augusta RV will notify owners in July 2013 and Dometic staff will replace the affected motors with motors of a different design.

Owners may contact Augusta RV at 1-574-848-0200 or Dometic at 1-888-447-0003 for more information.

Owners are being instructed not to drive their vehicle until repairs can be performed.

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.

Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc.

DutchmanGoshen, Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. is recalling 543 model year 2013-2014 Aspen 1400RB, 1500BH, 1600RB, 2110RBS, 2470BHS, and 3010BHDS travel trailers; certain model year 2013-2014 Coleman CTS14FD, CTS15BH, CTS16BH, and CTS16QB travel trailers and certain model year 2013-2014 Dutchmen 190QB, 282RBS, 286BHGS, 318RKDS, and 816QB travel trailers.

Heat from the range burner may melt the propane supply hose.

If the hose melts it may leak propane, increasing the risk of a fire.

Dutchmen will notify owners and dealers will install a copper line to the propane connection in the burner, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in July 2013.

Owners may contact Dutchmen at 1-574-537-0600.

Dutchmen’s recall number is 13-195.

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.

Lakota Corporation

Lakota logoBristol, Indiana-based Lakota Corporation is recalling 49 model year 2014 CX9-BBX18 (Charger and Bighorn) recreational trailers. Due to a design change in the power awning motor assembly, the motor assembly screws may unknowingly shear.

If motor damage occurs, it is possible that the awning can unfurl unexpectedly, either while the motorhome is at rest or while in transit, increasing the risk of personal injury or a vehicle crash.

Lakota will notify owners and Dometic staff will replace the affected motors with motors of a different design.

The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Lakota Corp at 1-574-848-1636 or Dometic at 1-888-447-0003 for more information.

Owners are being instructed not to drive their vehicle until repairs can be performed.

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

Keystone RV Company

Keystone-Rv-Co.-logoGoshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company is recalling 239 model year 2013-2014 Laredo fifth wheel vehicles, models 270SRL, 280SBH, 290SRE and 293SBH, manufactured March 6, 2013, through June 27, 2013. The battery box has inadequate support for the battery and the box may fall out of position during travel.

The battery box may fall out of position resulting in electrical shorts which may lead to a fire. Also, the battery box may fall from the vehicle creating a road hazard.

Keystone RV will notify owners and will install a battery box mounting reinforcement kit, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in late July 2013.

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

Keystone’s identification code for this recall is 13-194.

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 eighteenth in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls.

Worth Pondering…

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

—Aristotle

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Monaco RV Changes Name to Navistar RV

Lisle, Illinois-based Monaco RV LLC announces that it is changing its name to Navistar RV.

2012 Diplomat 36 PFT Motor Home Class A – Diesel

Monaco, Holiday Rambler, and R-Vision brands will remain “distinct and intact” under the Navistar RV subsidiary of Navistar Inc., according to a company news release.

“The integration of Navistar and Monaco RV has resulted in better products and higher efficiencies,” said Daniel Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“Updating the name of our RV company demonstrates our long-term commitment to the RV industry. When a customer buys a recreational vehicle built by Navistar RV, they know they’re getting products with proven components, many of which are used in other Navistar vehicles — vehicles that move American goods, help keep troops safe, and ensure the safe transportation of schoolchildren.”

Navistar, Inc., a producer of school buses, commercial trucks, and defense vehicles, acquired Monaco RV in 2009.

Monaco, Holiday Rambler, and R-Vision have been part of the Navistar family of brands for the last three years and the name change is the natural next step in Navistar’s commitment to the business.

Since the acquisition, the company has streamlined operations and appointed a new executive management team. Navistar has also fully integrated the design, development, testing, and validation of its recreational vehicles with the company’s commercial truck and bus product development organization, delivering vehicle engineering expertise unmatched in the RV industry.

2012 Dynasty Gallery Diesel Pusher

Navistar RV maintains manufacturing operations for its R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towable units in Harrisburg, Oregon and Elkhart, Indiana. The company’s Monaco and Holiday Rambler brand motorized RVs are produced in a fully integrated manufacturing facility located in Wakarusa, Indiana with power train, chassis, and body assembly in one dedicated facility.

“Navistar brings more than 100 years of vehicle development and design experience to the Monaco, Holiday Rambler, and R-Vision brands,” said William Osborne, president of Navistar RV.

“With a foundation of Navistar’s business and design excellence, we’ll continue to produce some of the best recreational vehicles in the market.”

Worth Pondering…

Recreational vehicles are wonderful… To travel by RV is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.
—with apologies to Agatha Christie

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: March 16

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. How Old Are Your Tires?

Both Transport Canada and the U.S. Department of Transportation require a tire identification code or serial number on the sidewall comprised of numbers and letters that identify the name of the manufacturer, the location of the production facility, tire size, and the date the tire was built. The last three or four digits indicate the date of manufacture. (Source: canada.com)

Molded into the sidewall of every tire manufactured is a code that indicates when and where the tire was manufactured. Required by the United States Department of Transportation, this code and the identification number starts with the letters “DOT.”  The two digits following the letters DOT indicate the plant where the tire was made. The last group of numbers—a four-digit code—is the one that discloses the week and year of manufacture.  The weeks of the year are numbered consecutively, and the last two digits of the year are included.

For example, the code 4711 indicates that the tire was manufactured during the 47th week of 2011, specifically, the week of November 21.

This information is especially important for the owners of motorhomes. Motorhomes aren’t always driven as many miles as the typical passenger car, so motorhome tires often wear out as a result of age-related issues rather than mileage.

2. Monaco to Hire for Wakarusa Plant

The Monaco RV LLC factory in Wakarusa, Indiana, is ramping up production of its diesel-powered motorhomes. That means it expects to hire another 125 workers between now and the end of April.

Its parent company, Navistar Inc., recently consolidated a diesel motorhome operation from Coburg, Oregon, moving that production to Wakarusa, according to a report by WSBT TV (South Bend). There are currently 175 workers at the plant, which began manufacturing operations in February.

Bill Osborne, vice president of custom products for Navistar’s Monaco and Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC subsidiaries, noted that the company has been preparing the facility since last fall when it announced its consolidation plans.

3. Skyline RV to Close California Plant

The Skyline RV factory in Hemet, California factory is expected to close and 82 employees will likely lose their jobs before the end of April, according to local officials and a notice the company filed with the state.

Elkhart, Indiana-based Skyline Corp. filed a notice with the California Employment Development Department in February as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act that gives employees at least 60 days notice before a plant is closed or mass layoffs occur, reports The Press-Enterprise (Riverside).

The layoffs may start April 7 and continue through April 20 based on conversations city officials have had with the company, said John Jansons, Community Investment Director for the city of Hemet.

4. Campground Tax Proposal Goes to Voters

Voters in eastern California’s Tuolumme County will be asked during the June election to expand the Transient Occupancy Tax (T.O.T.) to include campgrounds, RV parks, and house boats.

The Supervisors voted 5-0 to put the issue on the ballot.

The expanded T.O.T. would bring in an estimated $300,000 to $350,000 a year, and funding would be utilized to help operations at the fairgrounds and Railtown 1897. Railtown is presently scheduled to close at the first of July and the fairgrounds are losing their state subsidy.

The T.O.T. tax, which is paid by visitors that stay at hotels, was first approved by voters in 1983. It was expanded from 8% to 10% in 2010.

5. Propane Safety

Propane gas smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell propane in your RV:

  • Get everyone out of the RV immediately
  • Leave the door of your RV open to air out
  • Don’t smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use either cell or telephones, or create any other source of ignition
  • Turn your gas off at the main cylinder, if safe to do so and you know how
  • Call 911 or the local fire department
  • Do not turn the system back on until it has been repaired and inspected by a trained professional

Ensure that you have a LP gas detector—and make sure it’s working. Test weekly when RVing, and change the battery at least once a year.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

Change yourself . . . and you change the World!

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December RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced recall notices involving four recreational vehicle manufacturers—Winnebago Industries, Universal Specialty Vehicles, Motor Coach Industries, and Spartan Chassis.

Starcraft RV, Inc.

Middlebury, Indiana-based Starcraft RV, Inc. is recalling nine model year 2012 Autumn Ridge and Travel Star trailers manufactured from October 6, 2011 through October 17, 2011. The power converters may have been built with an undersized input coil, which may cause overheating, smoking, and melting of the converter.

This could result in a fire, injury, or death.

Starcraft will notify owners, and Starcraft dealers will repair the travel trailers as necessary, free of charge. Owners may contact Starcraft at 1-800-945-4787.

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 www.safercar.gov.

Navistar International Corp.

Warrenville, Illinois-based Navistar International Corp. is recalling 630 model year 2009-2011 Beaver, Holiday Rambler and Monaco Coach brand RVs manufactured from Jan. 11, 2008 through April 15, 2011. The front windshield may separate from the cabin body without warning, possibly impairing the driver’s ability to see the roadway.

An impairment to the driver’s ability to see the roadway could cause a vehicle crash, potentially resulting in property damage, personal injury, or death.

Navistar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the shade mounting clips and repair the vehicles as necessary free of charge. Owners may contact Navistar at 1-877-466-6226.

Navistar’s campaign number is 11520.

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 www.safercar.gov.

Keystone RV Company

Goshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company is recalling 805 model year 2007-2009 Cougar Fifth Wheel Trailers manufactured from May 12, 2006 through February 12, 2009, for incorrect information on the federal identification tag and tire and loading information label. These vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Part 567, “Certification.” The subject vehicles were manufactured with a label that lists the maximum tire pressure of 80PSI instead of the correct maximum of 65PSI.

Overinflating tires increases the risk of tire failure and property damage.

Keystone will mail to consumers the corrected label or the customer will have the option for dealers to install the label free of charge. Owners may contact Keystone Customer Service at 1-866-425-4369.

Keystone’s Safety Recall Number is 11-171.

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 www.safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Middlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. is recalling 80 model year 2012 Jay Flight and Eagle Super Lite half-ton travel trailers manufactured from October 6, 2011 through October 17, 2011. The power converters may have been built with an undersized input coil, which may cause overheating, smoking, and melting of the converter.

This could result in a fire, injury or death.

Jayco will notify owners, and Jayco dealers will repair the travel trailers as necessary free of charge. 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 www.safercar.gov.

Winnebago of Indiana, LLC

Middlebury, Indiana-based Winnebago of Indiana, LLC is recalling three model year 2012 Era motorhomes, manufactured from July 25, 2011 through August 4, 2011 and built on Sprinter/Daimler chassis. The supplier of the rear springs rolled the spring eye diameter out of tolerance during production, and then corrected the diameter without heating the parts. This could potentially lead to a crack of the spring eye over time.

If the spring eye were to crack, the rear spring could collapse, suddenly upsetting the vehicle’s handling, which could increase the risk of a crash.

Winnebago is working with Sprinter/Daimler to notify owners. Sprinter/Daimler is handling the remedy for this campaign. Please see 11V-323. Sprinter/Daimler dealers will replace the rear springs as necessary free of charge. Owners may contact Sprinter at 1-877-762-8267.

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 www.safercar.gov.

Note: Five articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls previously posted:

Worth Pondering…

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

—Aristotle

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Winnebago & Monaco Chart New Paths to Success

Prior to the recession, Winnebago Industries and Monaco RV were major players among motorhome manufacturers. But high fuel prices followed by the economic downturn left the entire motorized segment of the RV industry—including Winnebago and Monaco—struggling for survival.

Both manufacturers showcased their products and plans for re-establishing themselves in the market at the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show recently held in Louisville, Kentucky. They are confident the RVs they had on display will resonate with retail customers and create new jobs in their Elkhart County, Indiana, factories, according to a Friday (December 2) report in the Elkhart Truth.

Winnebago has chosen to return to producing towables after a 30-year absence while Monaco is drawing upon the components and expertise available from its new owner, Navistar International Corp.

Winnebago Charts New Course

While standing in the new Winnebago brand travel trailer, Fred Hershberger, national sales manager, expressed his company’s self-assurance.

“If you can dream it, you can build it,” he said. “We can do anything we want to do.”
In late 2010, Winnebago, based in Forest River, Iowa, purchased the small towable maker Sunnybrook in Middlebury, Indiana, in order to return to the comparatively thriving travel trailer market, according to the newspaper.

Eventually the brand with the manufacturer’s iconic moniker will grow to include every type from folding camping trailers to fifth wheels but the initiative is starting with the travel trailer called the Winnebago One.

Winnebago ONE exterior. (Credit: PRNewsFoto/Winnebago Industries, Inc.)

“It’s refreshing to get back into the business,” Winnebago spokesman Chad Reece said of towables. “It’s a very large and vibrant market and we wanted to get back into it.”
Winnebago designed and built the new model from scratch, incorporating consumer demands that sales personnel often hear at retail shows, Hershberger said.

“Buyers have to like the appearance because they will be living in here,” Hershberger said. “Satisfaction after the initial purchase is huge.”

During the show, Hershberger said, dealers have been excited about the new towable products and a number have placed orders. Along with the Winnebago brand, the company has kept the Sunnybrook brand and updated those units.

Production at the Middlebury plant has increased with the most backlogged orders ever, Hershberger said. Consequently, the workforce “has substantially grown” and will continue to add employees.

Rebirth of Monaco

Since the summer of 2009, when Monaco Coach Corp. was bought out of bankruptcy by Navistar and renamed Monaco RV, production has returned to the once-closed plant in Wakarusa, Indiana. This summer, the Indiana operation was given a boost when Navistar announced it was consolidating motorhome production from Oregon to Wakarusa and creating about 400 new jobs, the Elkhart Truth reported.

Toby Crews, regional sales manager, pointed to the diesel Diplomat and Vesta as two lines that are shifting to Indiana.

Production of the diesel motorhomes will be moving to Wakarusa in the spring. The goal for completion of the transition is March, but how things develop in Wakarusa “depends on the economy and depends on dealer needs for product,” Crews said. “We’ll ramp up in Wakarusa as we need to.”

Although it is a smaller company trying to regain market share, Monaco has the advantage of the Navistar name and experience, Crews said. Monaco motorhomes are built with a Navistar engine on a Roadmaster (Navistar subsidiary) chassis.

“We are the only manufacturer in the world that builds the engine, the chassis, and the house,” Crews said. “We’re not a house builder. We’re a motorhome builder.”

To grow, the company has chosen to focus on innovation, customer service, and quality, Crews said.

It is an issue that has plagued the entire RV industry. Indeed, service technicians Michael For both Winnebago and Monaco, giving consumers well-built, properly-functioning RVs will be an important ingredient for success.

Related

Worth Pondering…

Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than they expect to get.

—Nelson Boswell

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Aqua-Hot Systems Now Available in Additional Monaco Coaches

For consistent warmth and dependable hot water, Aqua-Hot Hydronic Heating Systems are now available on additional luxury motorhome models from Monaco RV LLC.

The Aqua-Hot 400 comes standard on the 2012 Monaco Diplomat and Holiday Rambler Endeavor motorhome lines while the Monaco Dynasty is equipped with the Aqua-Hot 600, according to a Friday (December 2) news release.

Fort Lupton, Colorado-based Aqua-Hot said systems also are available on several 2011 motorhome models, including the Monaco Signature, Dynasty, and Camelot, as well as the Holiday Rambler Navigator and Scepter.

“Many customers ask if the Aqua-Hot is available on our RVs,” said Laura Fry, Monaco sales and marketing specialist. “They love the system and would not purchase a motorhome without it.

“Consumer demand is so great because Aqua-Hot offers consistent heating throughout the coach, which is a great improvement over regular heating systems. And, they have come to rely on continuous hot water.”

Aqua-Hot’s multiple circulation pumps allow for up to five comfort zones while heat exchangers disperse heat quietly and evenly. The tankless system combines domestic hot water and heating in one unit.

Aqua-Hot 400 diesel

Providing on-demand 120-degrees, SteadyHot water, the Aqua-Hot 400 eliminates the need for an external storage tank. With zero recovery time, the dependable unit has a flow rate of 1.25 gallons per minute and can generate 75 gallons of hot water an hour.

With safety a priority, the 400′s design features internal steel fuel lines for fire safety. Zero-pressure tanks and an interlock switch prevent the unit from operating when the cover is removed.

Measuring just 12 inches high x 18.5 inches wide x 30 inches in length and weighing only 140 pounds empty, the compact Aqua-Hot 400 from Aqua-Hot Heating Systems can be easily installed as an RV is being built or retrofitted into an existing coach.

According to the 2010 NADA Recreational Vehicle Appraisal Guide, an Aqua-Hot system may add up to $9,400 to the resale value of an RV.

Aqua-Hot Hydronic RV Heating Systems

Designed specifically for diesel-powered motorhomes, Aqua-Hot heating systems are diesel-fired, which use fuel already on-board, removing the hassle of propane. Alternately, the electric heating element can be used to provide heat during moderate, ambient temperatures.

The Aqua-Hot’s independent heating zones allow maximum comfort to be felt in all areas of the motorhome with the ability to control the temperature in each zone: for example, the bedroom can maintained at a comfortable 65º, while the living room is set at 75º and the bathroom at 80º.

In addition to zone-specific interior heat, Aqua-Hot also provides continuous domestic hot water to ensure ultimate comfort for showering.

Aqua-Hot Hydronic RV Heating Systems provide you with:

  • Endless hot water—you will never run out
  • Quiet, interior heating—no need to turn up the volume on your TV
  • Uniform interior heat distribution—no hot and cold pockets
  • Engine preheating—easier start-ups in cold weather

Details

Aqua-Hot Heating Systems

Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc. (formerly Vehicle Systems, Inc.) was founded in 1989 when the company’s owner had a vision of creating a superior heating system which did not yet exist in the RV market.

His vision became a reality when his first heating system, the Aqua-Hot, was introduced to the high-end RV motorhome and coach conversion market in 1989.

Address: 15549 E Hwy 52, Fort Lupton, CO 80621

Contact: (800) 685-4298 or (303) 659-8221

Website: aqua-hot.com

Worth Pondering…

Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

—Eleanor Roosevelt

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: October 21

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. RV Towed in Possible Texas Terror Plot

Bexar County Sheriff's officials towed away a rented Coachman Class C motorhome that was parked in front of Bexar County Courthouse in downtown San Antonio. (Credit: Reuters)

Bexar County Sheriff’s officials towed away a rented Class C motorhome that was parked in front of Bexar County Courthouse in downtown San Antonio, Texas early Wednesday (October 19) morning, Reuters reported.

Five French-passport carrying Muslim men of Moroccan descent were arrested during a courthouse burglary during the early hours Wednesday. Police told Reuters they found photographs of public buildings, water systems, and malls from various U.S. cities in the motorhome. The Coachmen motorhome appears to belong to Road Bear RV Rentals.

2. Monaco RV Indiana Service Center Now Open

Coburg, Oregon-based Monaco RV, LLC, a manufacturer of motorized and towable recreation vehicles, announced the opening of an Indiana service center.

The Monaco Service Center, located across the street from its Wakarusa manufacturing facility, opened for business October 3 at 76 Ward Street in Wakarusa. The expansive 14-bay service center facility will service all Monaco brand products and is staffed by RVIA certified factory technicians. The Monaco Service Center will also have an accessible full body paint booth, for all paint repairs and touch up work.

To coincide with its grand opening and welcome back customers, the Monaco Service Center will offer a special introductory labor rate of $90 until April 1, 2012.

The Monaco Service Center will be Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling (877) 4MONACO (466.6226)

3. Texas Citrus Output Could Fall

Texas citrus growers in the Rio Grande Valley have been jolted by a one-two punch of drought and untimely freezes but are still standing as the harvest gets going.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that Texas orange and grapefruit production could decline by 17 percent from last year to about 277,000 tons.

With Florida, the nation’s citrus powerhouse, expecting orange and grapefruit production to increase by more than 4 percent, prices may not change much despite Texas’ problems.

But with the drought making the fruit sweeter than normal, producers hope consumers will stomach the price and keep eating citrus, reports Houston Chronicle.

The drought has not been as extreme across the Valley as other parts of Texas, but it has had an effect on citrus development, especially fruit size, growers said.

The newest USDA estimate says Texas will produce 73,000 tons of oranges in the 2011-2012 production year, 10,000 fewer tons than last year. Texas grapefruit production is expected to dip to 204,000 tons from 252,000 tons last year.

Harvests have just started in Texas and Florida, which is expected to grow 6.6 million tons of oranges and 854,000 tons of grapefruit this year.

4. Carriage RV Shuts Its Doors Temporarily

Millersburg, Indiana-based Carriage RV has shut down, WSBT-TV reported Wednesday (October 19). The doors and gates at its facility were locked in the morning.

WSBT talked to two truckers who came to make deliveries. They say they were told by their companies it was closed. WSBT also talked to several RV owners who had stopped by the plant for maintenance work. They were advised that there would be no charges for that service work because the company was closing and there would be no work done until further notice.

In breaking news PNC Bank of Indianapolis has filed a lawsuit to take possession of Carriage Inc, which the bank says owes it more than $5 million in overdue loans, the Goshen News reported.

Rumors of Carriage’s financial woes have been circulating through town for the past two weeks, the paper noted, when company officials first made the call to start closing down its buildings and sending workers home.

The suit was filed Tuesday (October 18) in Elkhart County Superior Court I. It claims Carriage Inc. owner Glenn Cushman has been in default of his financial obligations to PNC Bank from as far back as Sept. 21, 2009, The Goshen News reported, noting that several loan extensions were required to keep the loans from defaulting.

5. Cummins Complete Technical Center in China

Cummins Inc. announced Wednesday (October 19) that it has completed the Cummins East Asia Technical Center in Wuhan, Hubei province, making it the firm’s largest engine development and research facility outside Columbus, Indiana.

China Daily reports that Cummins Chairman and Chief Executive Tim Solso said the expansion aims to help Cummins, the largest foreign investor in the Chinese diesel engine industry, better tailor its products to the world’s biggest automobile market. The technical center cost $61 million, with the expansion project worth $33 million, the company said.

A series of emission-testing facilities will be put into use next year, in a move to help Chinese-made engines break into markets in Europe, Russia, Republic of Korea, Australia, and Brazil.

The center will also develop clean energy technology, including electric motors and automobile cells. It employs more than 100 technicians and plans to increase the number to 1,400 in the next two years.

Launched in 2006, the center is a 55-45 joint venture between Cummins and Dongfeng Cummins Engine Co (DCEC), which itself is the Indiana-headquartered firm’s venture with China’s leading automaker Dongfeng Motor.

China is Cummins’ largest and fastest-growing market overseas, with its sales in the country at $3.1 billion last year.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands. The blood flows with the fast circulation of childhood.
—Sir Richard Burton

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2011 Navistar LPGA Classic: A Financial Hole-In-One

The 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic commences Wednesday (September 15) at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex in Prattville, Alabama.

The four-day event will generate an economic impact of about $7 million for the River Region, a financial hole-in-one, according to a study conducted by the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, reports the Montgomery Advertiser.

“We’re looking forward to another great year,” Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. said. “What people have to realize is we get the benefits throughout the year of hosting the classic. It’s not just the week when the tournament is played.

“The national exposure the area receives with live broadcasts from the Golf Channel gives us the kind of advertising we could never afford. I have seen golfers in Prattville restaurants months after the classic. When I talk with them, the LPGA always comes up. It’s what brought them to Prattville.”

Across the river, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange also sees the tournament as a boost.

“There are going to be several events held in Montgomery,” Strange said. “It’s going to be great for the entire region. Everyone is going to see a positive impact.”

Many of the golfers will be staying in private homes. It’s the behind-the-scenes people who will fill the area’s hotel rooms, said Dawn Hatchcock, vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“You have Navistar bringing in guests and clients. The Golf Channel will have people here, along with officials from the LPGA,” she said. “We expect our downtown hotels and businesses to see great traffic from the tournament. Downtown is in close proximity to Capitol Hill, so the trip to the tournament is a short one.”

Daniel Ustian, president, CEO and chairman of Navistar International Corp, said from a business standpoint, the classic is a success, as the company operates two engine plants in Alabama, reports the Montgomery Advertiser.

“We wanted a signature event for our suppliers, customers and potential customers,” Ustian said. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

“We love coming to Prattville and the River Region. When the week is over and our guests return home, they know exactly what Southern hospitality is all about.”

Prattville has become a “must stop” on the tour, said Jonathan Romeo, tournament director.

“Everyone looks forward to coming to Prattville,” he said. “The community has welcomed the tournament from the beginning. When the ladies come to Prattville, they are treated like rock stars.”

Admission will be free to this year’s event. Tournament play days are Thursday through Sunday. Navistar will be taking donations for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps military personnel who have been wounded or injured.

“Hopefully, the free admission will result in bigger galleries. People are going to see some great golf,” said Gillespie, who is no slouch on the links himself. “It will be a great way to raise money for a project that helps the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

And the Navistar-sponsored tournament has a deal to stay in Prattville through 2012. The LPGA Classic brings 144 of the top women golfers in the world to the Senator Course at Capitol Hill.

Monaco to Hold LPGA RV Rally

In conjunction with the LPGA Classic, over 130 Monaco RV coach owners will assemble to hold their East Coast Come Home LPGA Rally on September 15-18, according to a press release.

RVs are the choice of transportation for many players as they travel between tournaments. Several LPGA players are actually camping alongside Monaco RV Rally participants.

The Monaco RV East Coast Come Home LPGA Rally will offer many free-of-charge amenities for rally participants including: tickets to all of the LPGA tournaments, four nights dry-camping, two catered breakfasts, three cocktail hours, three catered dinners, entertainment on Friday and Saturday, leisure activities, and games.

One of Monaco RV’s premier dealer partners, Alliance Coach of Wildwood, Florida, will be on site displaying Monaco’s new and innovative “Next Generation of RV’s” for 2012. A customer service team from Monaco RV will also be hand for the four-day event, to provide any needed maintenance and ensure rally participants have a safe and enjoyable time.

Note: Two earlier articles on 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic:

Worth Pondering…
There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own way.

—Christopher Morley

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