Building Customer Loyalty

People gravitate toward companies because of their products and leave them because of their service.

As a customer I want stability—a stable relationship I can count on—and consistency. For these reasons I travel over 650 miles to Midtown RV in Penticton for RV sales and service where 62 percent of their sales are to repeat customers. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
As a customer I want stability—a stable relationship I can count on—and consistency. For these reasons I travel over 650 miles to Midtown RV in Penticton for RV sales and service where 62 percent of their sales are to repeat customers. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why is it then that so many companies under invest in this area? Research by Net Promoter Score inventor Fred Reichheld found that a mere five-percent increase in customer retention can boost company profitability by as much as 95 percent.

Most small businesses are keenly aware of the importance of customer retention—often because one lost customer can often make a huge financial impact on the company—and because of their size, they’re able to provide their customers personalized attention.

But what happens when a company begins to grow? How do they scale their customer service to help more people without losing the personal touch?

The Ritz Carlton opened in Boston in 1940, and revolutionized hospitality in America by creating a luxury hotel setting. Forty years later, they began to expand, keeping customer experience at the heart of their business by fulfilling not only the expressed but also the unexpressed wishes and needs of their customers. Now, not all of us mortals can deliver wow-factor service like the Ritz. (For $2,000 the hotel will give you a one-day course on how to deliver memorable customer service).

Newmar Factory Tour at the plant in Napannee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Newmar Factory Tour at the plant in Napannee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In today’s world of instant gratification, customers expect problems to be solved quickly and correctly the first time. For customers to remain loyal, they want a personalized experience that makes them feel as though they are a true priority—not just another sale.

If companies don’t provide personalized customer service, they’re setting themselves up for failure. Today’s consumers are more informed, less patient, and more mobile than ever.

Mattersight recently commissioned a study of more than 1,000 consumers and found that that one bad customer experience could stop 70 percent of them from purchasing from that brand again.

Companies that focus on creating hassle-free experiences are on the strongest path to loyalty and retention. As a starting point, this means having a better understanding of buyers, their lifestyles, and how they want to be served.

Rather than focusing on attracting new customers, companies should focus on the value of their existing customers by behaving as if losing a single customer will put them out of business.

Newmar and Nappanee, Indiana, are in the heart of Amish Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Newmar and Nappanee, Indiana, are in the heart of Amish Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It is easier to get existing customers to buy more and to help find new customers through their advocacy than it is for a business to try to garner new customers.

Happy customers are all alike: They become advocates—to one degree or another.

Because it’s a lifecycle, nothing ends here; instead, advocates help recruit the next wave of new customers through word of mouth, or on social media—and better yet, they buy more.

Customer advocates are the lifeblood of organizations: They bring new business, provide honest feedback, and speak on behalf of you to anyone that will listen.

Here are my top three tips for turning new customers into advocates:

Be responsive—always be responsive to customers. If you can’t respond immediately, let them know when you will get back to them.

Be accountable—if the product experienced an issue or if the business dropped the ball on a follow up item, take accountability for it.

Midtown RV and Penticton are in the heart of the South Okanagan Wine Country in southern British Columbia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Midtown RV and Penticton are in the heart of the South Okanagan Wine Country in southern British Columbia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Show value early—it’s not enough to just communicate to customers; businesses need to ensure customers are receiving value. If the customer isn’t getting value, determine what steps need to be taken to improve.

What sets a business apart is how they treat their customers. Attractive prices and range of quality products and services attract new customers, but it is only superior customer experience that will retain customers.

With so many companies providing competitive pricing for similar quality products, what sets a business apart is their ability to provide consistent and quality customer service and personalized transactions. This involves understanding the customer’s needs and then finding a way to deliver on those promises every time.

Worth Pondering…

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

—Aristotle

Read More

KA-PING! What Was That Sound?

KA-PING! What was that sound?

Our Newmar Dutch Star parked at Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Our Newmar Dutch Star parked at Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A stone had been thrown from a medium sized car as it accelerated and merged onto the interstate in front of our motor coach on I-5 in central California. Not an extra loud ping as the rock hit our one-piece windshield and not our first rock chip. And NOT a big deal.

We’ve had small windshield chips before and knew the basics of that.

No crater and no cracks spreading out in all directions.

No need to panic, turn to social media, or contact our insurance company.

If I had turned to social media I’m sure the feedback would run the gamut ranging from Holy Cannolli! to use clear nail polish or bubble gum it.

Later in the day we pulled into big-rig friendly, Durango RV Resort, a 5-star park located on the Sacramento River in Red Bluff.

Most sites are pull-through 70-90 feet in length and 30-35 feet wide. In addition there are 11 riverfront sites and 21 water-feature spaces (fountains); these sites have utilities on both sides of the concrete pads enabling fifth wheels and travel trailer to back onto the sites and motorhomes to drive forward maximizing the view and water features. In addition, there are a number of buddy sites.

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The park is well laid out and designed. Utilities including 20/30/50-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV (63 channels) and centrally located. Interior roads are paved, pads are concrete. A beautiful RV resort with friendly and courteous staff. We would return in a heartbeat. But I digress.

We woke up in the morning of April 1—and it was no April Fool’s joke—to a crack in the middle of the windshield two to three feet across. We didn’t think too much about it when the rock hit the windshield the previous day as a car accelerated to merge onto the interstate. The brutally rough California freeways may have may it worse. In the whole scheme of things it’s not the worst thing that could happen.

Windshields really are amazing things. They must meet US DOT standards to withstand an incident like this, and hold up in one piece until you can get them replaced. Windshields are required to be made of safety glass comprised of two pieces of glass with a laminated plastic layer in between that keeps everything held together.

Henry Ford actually started using this style of glass for windshield as early as 1919 when ordinary glass windshields were causing needless deaths from glass fragments.

Insurance policies can vary widely. You may have windshield coverage on your RV insurance policy. For some, it’s an add-on rider, for others it’s included at zero deductible with comprehensive coverage as mandated by state law. Check with your agent or company to know and understand your coverage.

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re a Florida resident and have a Florida policy with comprehensive coverage, here’s a bonus for you: State law mandates that there is no deductible applied to windshield repairs or replacements. The replacement won’t cost you anything but time!

Glass replacement can range in cost depending upon the shape, size, and availability of the windshield. Total cost of replacement might be less than your deductible, if it applies, and not worth filing. For others, it may be well worth filing a claim.

There was no need to alter our travel plans as we were staying several days at the delightful Durango RV Resort.

We started coordinating the windshield replacement by contacting our insurance company and Midtown RV, our Newmar dealer in Penticton, British Columbia, where we had previously booked a service appointment.

We opted to file through our insurance company, as we knew the windshield replacement cost would exceed our $2,500 deductible.

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We had Midtown RV order the windshield replacement and set us up with an appointment at nearby Sunshine Glass and Mirror to coincide with our service appointment.

Sunshine Glass has many years experience replacing motorhome windshields and understands that RV glass is not the same as passenger vehicle auto glass and is treated differently. We have used them on several previous occasions and found their service to be prompt and efficient. Following the replacement we are advised not to extend the hydraulic jacks or drive the motorhome until the following day. It’s okay to extend the slides.

The following day we’re on the road again.

Worth Pondering…

The only aspect of our travels that is interesting to others is disaster.

—Martha Gellman

Read More

Newmar Partners with Tents for Troops

Nappanee, Indiana-based Newmar Corporation announced a new partnership that will allow them to show their appreciation for the brave men and women enlisted in the nation’s armed forces, a press release from the organization stated.

tentsfortroopsFor every coach retailed in 2015, Newmar will make a contribution to Tents for Troops (T4T), an organization that works with campgrounds and RV parks throughout the United States and Canada to provide free accommodations to active military members.

Tents for Troops was founded about five years ago. They are a network of RV parks located across 47 states, each committed to providing free RV and tent camping sites for active military members and their families.

Although they go by the name Tents for Troops, the majority of those who use the program are young military families traveling by RV. In fact, around 80 percent of these families have one or two children, according to a news release.

At this time T4T has just under 300 Parks in their network, and will soon be adding 14 parks in Canada.

“Tents for Troops invites RV Manufactures, RV Dealers and Industry Suppliers of all sizes to join the program, any contribution large or small will truly make a difference,” said Charlie Curry, founder of Tents for Troops.

“RV dealers can donate for new units sold or both new and used and would have the opportunity to ask retail customers if they wanted to donate $1 when they purchase an RV as well. Both OEM’s and RV dealers can encourage each other to participate, and OEM’s and dealers can encourage suppliers to do the same.”

Newmar-factory-toursThe program is 100 percent voluntary and 100 percent free.

Troops never pay to stay at parks, and the designated parks never pay any fees or dues to be involved with Tents for Troops. It is a feel- good, pay-it-forward type of program, the release stated. T4T asks parks to offer two free tent or RV sites for a two-night stay.

“We’re honored to partner with Tents for Troops in their effort to help our military personnel enjoy the RV lifestyle,” said Matt Miller, President of Newmar.

“We appreciate all that the Armed Forces do for this country, without them we would not enjoy the freedom that we all take for granted. Many thanks to Charlie Curry for his efforts, so that the military personnel can enjoy the same lifestyle that we all enjoy.”

Details

Tents for Troops

TentsForTroopsIconAs a very small way of saying “Thank You” for all of the hard work and sacrifices men and women in the military make, campgrounds and RV parks around the nation offer free camping for active military.

Phone: (360) 274-7915

Website: www.tentsfortroops.org

Newmar Corp

NEWMAR: When You Know The Difference

Newmar Corp image001Established 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.

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, London Aire, Essex, and King Aire).

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

Phone: (800) 860-0086

Website: www.newmarcorp.com

Worth Pondering…

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.

—Marcus Aurelius

Read More

April 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2014 Palomino SolAire trailers manufactured July 1, 2014, to August 31, 2014. The affected vehicles may have been manufactured without an exterior furnace vent causing exhaust fumes to be vented into the trailer. Additionally, the lack of a furnace vent may result in a heat buildup around the furnace.

Exhaust fumes inside the trailer may result in carbon-monoxide poisoning, increasing the risk of occupant injury. A heat buildup, increases the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install an exterior furnace vent in any affected trailer that does not have one, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 400-03032015-0016.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Sabre travel trailers and fifth wheels manufactured August 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. The wires that control the brakes may have been improperly routed resulting in the wires chaffing, breaking or shorting.

Damage to the wires that control the brakes may unexpectedly lengthen the distance needed to stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. Additionally, a short in the wires may increase the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the trailers and reroute the brake wires, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on April 6, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 430-03112015-0017.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Coachmen Prism recreational vehicles manufactured from July 1, 2014, through October 14, 2014 and built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal impact, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Sprinter will notify owners, and Sprinter dealers will check the installation of the abutting wedge, correcting it as necessary, free of charge. The recall began in March 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15V-082.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Georgetown GT335, FR3 FR30, Pursuit 31BD, and 29SB, and 2016 Cardinal CAF3825FL and Tracer TRT270AIR and TRT3200BHT fifth wheel and travel trailers. In the affected vehicles, the screws that attach the expanding room to the sliding mechanism cable may fail allowing the room to extend unintentionally while the vehicle is in motion.

If the room extends while vehicle is in motion, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the slide room mechanism cable attaching screws, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-0331201501.

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

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 King Aire, Essex, London Aire, and Mountain Aire motor homes manufactured November 26, 2013, to November 11, 2014. The wiper blades may separate from the wiper arm connectors, especially when the wipers are used at the high speed setting.

If the wiper blades separate from the wiper arms, the driver may have reduced visibility, increasing the risk of a crash.

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

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

Please Note: This is the 53rd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—Martin Van Buren

Read More

February 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced four recall notices involving three recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers— Highland Ridge RV, Heartland RV, and Newmar Corp.

Highland Ridge RV

Open Range RV LogoHighland Ridge RV (Highland) is recalling certain model year 3x recreational trailers manufactured August 5, 2014, to November 17, 2014 equipped with recalling Latitude Awnings styles GX and G manufactured April 10, 2014, to November 4, 2014 manufactured by Carefree of Colorado. The affected awnings may have screws that attach the lateral arm brackets to the mounting brackets that were not manufactured to specification.

The screws could fail, causing the supporting bracket and the awning to fall and potentially injure a person beneath it.

Highland will notify owners, and dealers will replace the defective screws, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Highland customer service at 1-260-768-7771, or Carefree customer service at 1-800-621-2617.

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

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

HeartlandHeartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain model year 2015 Heartland Big Country 3800FL vehicles manufactured October 22, 2014, to December 16, 2014 and 2015 Heartland Big Country 3900FLP vehicles manufactured September 23, 2014, to January 12, 2015, 2015 Heartland Big Horn 3750FL vehicles manufactured September 3, 2014, to January 14, 2015, and Landmark 365 Charleston vehicles manufactured on December 24, 2014. In the affected recreational vehicles, the axles may be placed too far forward on the frame resulting in improper weight distribution across the axles.

Improper weight distribution across the axles may result in poor handling, increasing the risk of a crash.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will move the axles rearward to help with weight distribution on the Big Horn, and 3800 FL Big Country, and will add a ballast to the pin box to improve handling the 3900 FLP Big Country, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 16, 2015. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99-01-19.

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

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Newmar King Aire, and Essex vehicles manufactured December 9, 2013, to December 16, 2014, equipped with certain Wabco Quick Release Valves with Double Check. In the affected valves, the rubber diaphragm may be damaged by sharp edges on the valve seat ribs, reducing the available air pressure in the air tanks.

The reduced air pressure levels may reduce braking performance and/or the parking brakes could reapply, increasing the risk of a crash.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the valve, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 King Aire and Essex vehicles manufactured April 12, 2013, to October 18, 2013, and built on Spartan Chassis. In the affected vehicles, the steering linkage castlenuts may loosen without warning and the steering linkage may separate from the bell cranks.

If the steering linkage separates from the bell cranks, a loss of vehicle control may result, increasing the risk of a crash.

Newmar will notify owners, and Spartan dealers will inspect the steering linkage castle nuts and tighten them, as necessary, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Please Note: This is the 49th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—John Wooden

Read More

December 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Essex motorhomes manufactured February 15, 2013, to June 4, 2014, and built on Freightliner chassis. In the affected vehicles, the rear axle jack mounting bracket may be attached too close to the rear suspension air bag.

The rear axle mounting bracket may rub against the suspension air bag resulting in the air bag leaking air and a suspension collapse, increasing the risk of a crash.

Newmar has notified owners, and dealers will provide a clearance gap between the bracket and air bag, free of charge. The recall began in November 2014. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Salem and Wildwood T174BH recreational vehicles manufactured September 18, 2013, to August 29, 2014. The affected vehicles may have an incorrect Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on the certification and tire information labels. As such, the vehicles do not conform to Part 567, “Certification.”

If the trailer is loaded to the specifications listed on the label, tire failure may result, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and will provide corrected labels to the owners, free of charge. The recall began on November 11, 2014. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-353-7383. Forest River’s number for this recall is 2014-PLT6.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Salem 8X16FK, 8X18RB, 8X20RD, 8X20RC, 8X20SV, 8X21RV, 8X22RDV, and 8X22RHV, and 2015 Wildwood 8X16FK, 8X18RB, 8X20RD, 8X20RC, 8X20SV, 8X21RV, 8X22RDV, and 8X22RHV ice house fishing cabin trailers manufactured September 22, 2014, to October 23, 2014. The affected trailers may have been built with frame spring hangers that may be brittle and susceptible to fracturing.

A spring hanger that fractures may result in a loss of control of the trailer, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River has notified the dealers that have the affected trailers quarantined. Dealers will install a spring hanger reinforcement kit, free of charge. The recall began in late October 2014. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-353-7383. Forest River’s number for this recall is 6-102914.

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

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Salem Ice Cabin trailers manufactured October 10, 2014, to October 28, 2014, and certain model year 2015 Wildwood Ice Cabin trailers manufactured October 10, 2014, to October 22, 2014. Due to insufficient thickness, the Lippert Components-brand draw bar of the affected trailers may break.

If the draw bar breaks, the front of the trailer may fall or the trailer may detach from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River has notified the dealers who have the affected trailers quarantined on their lots. Lippert Components personnel will reinforce the draw tube, free of charge. The recall began on November 17, 2014. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-353-7383. Forest River’s number for this recall is 06-11032014.

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 45th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—John Wooden

Read More

November 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving five recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Winnebago, Newmar, Crossroads RV, Tiffin, and Entegra Coach.

Winnebago Industries, Inc.

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling one model year 2008 Aspect WF726A coach, one model year 2010 Vista WFE32K coach and one model year 2012 Vista WFE36D coach. The affected vehicles are equipped with certain model S2005, S2010, S5005, S5010, S5505, or S5510 wheelchair lifts manufactured by Ricon Corporation. The platform side plate of the affected wheelchair lifts may crack.

If the platform side plates crack, the lift platform can separate from the lift and come to rest against the vehicle’s lift door. When the doors are opened, the platform may fall out, increasing the risk of injury to the lift operator.

Winnebago will notify owners to take the coaches to a Ricon dealer or service center who will install supplemental platform support bumpers. Any platform that has already started cracking will be replaced, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in November 2014.

Owners may contact Ricon customer service at 1-800-322-2884 or Winnebago customer service at 1-800-537-1885.

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

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2007-2012 Bay Star, Ventana VT/VL, Dutch Aire, Dutch Star, All-Star, Mountain Aire, and Essex motorhomes manufactured January 16, 2007, to May 24, 2012. In the affected vehicles, the circuit breaker for the refrigerator heated water line may be incorrect for the amperage draw.

A circuit breaker that is incorrectly rated for the amperage need increases the risk of a fire.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the motorhome and verify that the circuit breaker rating is correct for the amperage draw, free of charge. The recall began November 6, 2014. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Crossroads RV

CrossRoads logo3_smallDS Corp doing business as Crossroads RV (Crossroads) is recalling certain model year 2015 Crossroads Zinger Z-1 trailers manufactured March 21, 2014, to September 10, 2014, and 2015 Crossroads Cruiser trailers manufactured April 3, 2014, to September 5, 2014.

The affected trailers may have a Federal Certification Label that has incorrect information. The GVWR is overstated by 2,000 lbs. for the Cruiser models and 1,600 lbs for the Zinger Z-1 models, this overstatement caused the Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) to be overstated on the Tire Placard label. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 110, “Tire Selection and Rims for Passenger Cars” and Part 567, “Certification.”

Incorrect GVWR information may result in the trailer being overloaded which could cause sudden tire, axle or suspension failure, increasing the risk of loss of control and a crash.

Crossroads will notify owners, and will send corrected Federal Certification, Tire Placard, and CCC labels to the owners with installation instructions, free of charge. The recall began in October 2014. Owners may contact Crossroads customer service at 1-855-226-7496.

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

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

TiffinLogo-UnitTiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Allegro Bus 45 foot LP, 37 foot, and 40 foot motorhomes. In the affected vehicles, the Federal Certification label incorrectly states the front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). As such, the vehicles do not conform to Part 567, “Certification.”

If the motorhome is loaded to the incorrect specifications listed on the label, tire failure may result, increasing the risk of a crash.

Tiffin will notify owners and send a corrected sticker for the customer to put over the incorrect sticker, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in November 2014. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661.

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

Entegra Coach

Entegra-Coach-Color-300x233Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain model year 2015 Aspire and Anthem Class A motorhomes manufactured July 18, 2014, to September 17, 2014. The Cummins ISB or ISL engines in these vehicles may have been equipped with Fleetguard UFF-XT fuel filters, part number FF63009, whose filter shell may separate from the fuel filter nut plate causing the engine to stall without warning.

If the engine stalls unexpectedly there is an increased risk of a crash.

Entegra will notify owners, and Spartan Chassis dealers will work with Cummins to replace the fuel filter with a non-defective one, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on in November 2014. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-945-4787.

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

Please Note: This is the 44th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—John Wooden

Read More

Motorhome Driving Is Easier With Comfort Drive

For many, getting behind the wheel of a motorhome isn’t the pleasurable experience it should be.

Comfort Drive-logo-horz
Comfort Drive creates the ultimate combination of advanced technology and intelligent design.

Maneuvering in and out of tight spaces can be a chore, while maintaining control at highway speeds—especially in the midst of a crosswind—can be downright difficult.

Several years ago, the engineers at Nappanee, Indiana-based Newmar Corp decided to change all of that. The result was one of the biggest steering breakthroughs the RV industry has ever seen—Newmar Comfort Drive Steering System.

What is Comfort Drive?

Comfort Drive Steering is an intelligent steering system that decreases driver fatigue often associated with operating a typical diesel pusher over long distances. It also aids a driver to maintain a straight path by compensating for cross-winds and crowns in the road.

Comfort Drive creates a positive on-center feel which reduces parking efforts and improves reversibility when backing up a motorhome.

With Comfort Drive, you’ll exert less effort turning the wheel when you drive, back up, and turn. This advanced technology responds to your steering—then makes your driving experience easier.

2015 King Aire 4553 Florence Interior and Sable Maple Cabinetry
2015 King Aire 4553 Florence Interior and Sable Maple Cabinetry

Comfort Drive removes friction from the steering process so you steer with a light grip, making long trips less tiring. It makes your motorcoach handle more like a car with a self-straightening wheel and lane change sensor adjustments that make it easy to stay in a lane once you’ve committed to it, even at high speeds.

With Comfort Drive you can fine-tune the system’s resistance and responsiveness with a touch of the adjustable Comfort Drive controls right on the dash.

Enhanced Comfort

2015 LondonAire Front
2015 LondonAire Front

By actively adapting to your steering inputs while eliminating friction, Comfort Drive lets you steer with a light grip that won’t leave you feeling sore and fatigued after a long trip.

With Comfort Drive, you’ll exert less effort turning thanks to a self-straightening wheel that makes parking and navigating tight spaces easy.

Experience Comfort Drive for Yourself

Newmar first introduced the Comfort Drive Steering System on its 2007 Luxury products.

Comfort Drive is now available throughout the entire Newmar diesel and luxury line, which includes:

  • Ventana LE
  • Ventana
  • Dutch Star
  • Mountain Aire
  • London Aire
  • Essex
  • King Aire

Test drive Comfort Drive today and experience the Newmar Difference for yourself.

Your Western Canada Newmar dealer is Midtown RV in the sunny Southern Okanagan community of Penticton.

Details

Newmar Corp

NEWMAR: When You Know The Difference

Newmar Corp image001Established 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.

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, London Aire, Essex, and King Aire).

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

Phone: (800) 860-0086

Website: www.newmarcorp.com

Worth Pondering…
In every thought and action, think excellence.

—Byrd Bagget

Read More

Still More September 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving five recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Grand Design RV, Winnebago Industries, Newmar Corporation, and Spartan.

Grand Design RV, LLC

Grand Design Corp-Logo-blackMiddlebury, Indiana-based Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain model year 2014 Momentum 355th, 380th, and 385th fifth wheel trailers manufactured June 24, 2013, to March 21, 2014 and built with 8,000-pound capacity axles. The affected trailers may have been built with suspension bolts that can shear. These bolts connect the axle springs to the frame, and after they shear, the axle spring may detach from the frame hanger or “shackle”.

A spring that detaches from the hanger may result in a loss of control of the trailer, increasing the risk of a crash.

Grand Design will notify owners, and dealers will replace the suspension bolts with ones that have a shorter thread depth, free of charge. The recall began in August 2014. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910002.

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.

Winnebago Industries, Inc.

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain model year 2015 Winnebago Vista and Itasca Sunstar motorhomes manufactured April 26, 2014, through June 27, 2014. The affected vehicles may be missing a damper plate on the inside air conditioner shroud. This damper plate is to help prevent disruption of the range flame by air discharge from the roof air conditioner.

If the air conditioner blows out the range flame but the propane gas continues to flow, an ignition source may ignite the leaking propane, resulting in a fire.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will remove the current diverter and replace it with a damper plate, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 131.

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 (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2014 Dutch Star motorhomes manufactured April 14, 2014, to June 20, 2014. An incorrectly wired headlight wiring harness may have been installed in the affected vehicles. As a result, if one of the two headlight circuit breakers fails, both headlights and both fog lights may go out.

If the headlights and fog lights go out, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will install an auxillary headlight harness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc.

Spartan-Chassis-Inc.Charlotte, Michigan-based Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc. (Spartan) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Gladiator emergency vehicles, 2013-2014 Metrostar emergency vehicles, 2015 motorhome chassis, and 2015 school buses chassis. The Cummins ISB or ISL engines in these vehicles may have been equipped with Fleetguard UFF-XT fuel filters, part number FF63009, whose filter shell may separate from the fuel filter nut plate causing the engine to stall without warning.

If the engine stalls unexpectedly, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Spartan has notified the final stage manufacturers, and Cummins will replace the affected fuel filters, free of charge. The recall began in August 2014. Owners may contact Spartan customer service at 1-517-543-6400. Owners may also contact Cummins customer service at 1-800-223-4583.

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-RV-logoMiddlebury, Indiana-based Starcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling certain model year 2015 16RB Launch travel trailers equipped with the Extreme Package Option, manufactured April 16, 2014, to April 21, 2014. The information on the Federal ID label incorrectly indicates an 80psi cold tire inflation pressure instead of the correct pressure of 50psi. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 120, “Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).”

If the user inflates the tire to the incorrect psi noted on the label, a tire blowout could occur, increasing the risk of a crash.

Starcraft will notify owners, and dealers will remove the incorrect labels and replace them with a new label with the correct information, free of charge. The recall began in late August 2014. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-800-945-4787.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 42nd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

—Amelia Earhart

Read More

Luxurious RVs For Life On The Road

The level of comfort and luxury in recreational vehicles varies wildly from basic pop-up trailers and truck campers to opulent and massive diesel pushers motor coaches.

These luxurious condo on wheels often take their interior cues from luxury yachts, with leather upholstery, fine wood cabinetry, and a slew of other high-end amenities. These plush land yachts will make you forget you’re not staying at a plush luxury hotel or spa. Whether you rent or buy, following are four options to inspire your next road trip.

Millennium Luxury Coach 

Millennium Luxury Coach
Millennium Luxury Coach

You’ll be blown away by the efficiency and innovation of a Millennium Luxury Coach.

The opulent features in the 2015 Millennium line—including a sink top glass bowl in the bathroom, quartz countertops, and Swarovski crystal accent fixtures—put this traveling home in a category of its own. The 45-foot, quad-slide 2015 Millennium H3-45 Prevost conversion is powered by a Volvo D-13 diesel engine.

Millennium is a family owned company with over 20 years history in the marine, aviation, and luxury coach building industry.

American Coach

2015 American Eagle 45A in Pacific Royale interior décor and Rich Caramel wood cabinetry
2015 American Eagle 45A in Pacific Royale interior décor and Rich Caramel wood cabinetry

The 2015 American Eagle by American Coach is outfitted with the latest and greatest perks, including polished porcelain tile floor, a cedar-lined wardrobe, shower skylight, central vacuum system, and dishwasher. Or customize your own luxury motorhome and add a washer/dryer, satellite dish, and heated tile floors.

American Coach is available in four lines—Revolution (approximately $400,000), Tradition (approximately $460,000), Eagle (approximately $620,000), and Heritage (approximately $850,000).

American Coach is manufactured in Decatur, Indiana, by Allied Recreation Group.

Thor Motor Coach

2015 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany
2015 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany

The 2015 Tuscany Diesel covers all the bases and then some. Amenities like an electric built-in fireplace, full-sized stainless steel fridge, and a cushioned dining booth will practically make you forget you’re living on the road.

The Thor Motor Coach flagship luxury Class A Motorhome offers the ultimate in beauty, styling, and power in the most livable floor plans with all the high-end amenities. The wide-open floor plans are complimented by premium Comfort-fit by Villa custom furniture, polished porcelain tile with elegant inlay, and hand crafted solid wood cabinetry.

The 2015 Tuscany is available in six floor plans ranging in length from 41 feet to 45 feet.

Newmar

 

2015 Newmar King Aire Diesel Motor Coach
2015 Newmar King Aire Diesel Motor Coach

Newmar is a world leader in making incomparable luxury coaches that offer comfort, durability, quality, and reliability. Newmar continues to raise the bar when it comes to luxury diesel motorhomes.

For 2015 Newmar offers four lines of luxury motor coaches—Mountain Aire, London Aire, Essex, and the top of the line King Aire. Available in five distinct floor plans with four different wood colors to pick from along with four interior decors, the 2015 King Aire is powered by a 600HP Cummins ISX15 and the paint graphics are extended over the windows for a clean look.

Five years ago, Newmar created the ultimate combination of advanced technology and intelligent design. The Newmar Comfort Drive Steering System is one of the most significant innovations in motor coach drivability ever. And it’s another innovative feature that defines the Newmar difference.

For over 40 years, the Newmar mission has been to create recreational vehicles that are unlike any others.

Airstream

Create only memories with an Airstream
Create only memories with an Airstream

As soon as you invoke the word Airstream, people get the attraction. It’s a part of American culture that transcends time. Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest and most recognized recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

In 1931, Airstream began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.

Every inch of an Airstream has a function. Airstream is the most thoroughly tested brand in trailer history. Its engineering is the culmination of over 80 years of experience plus millions of miles on roads throughout the world.

Worth Pondering…

Stop wishing; start planning: A goal without a plan is just a wish.

—Larry Elder

Read More