Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks

Goshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company introduced the new Fuzion 420 fifth wheel toy hauler.

Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks
Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks

“You can’t get too much of a good thing” is the thinking behind the new Fuzion model, according to a company news release.

Featuring two patio decks for a combined outdoor living area of over 160 square feet, both the rear and side mounted decks include patio awning, LED lighting, and adjustable aluminum entry steps.

In addition, the Fusion 420 model is the first toy hauler in the industry to incorporate the FastTrack2 patio system by MOR/ryde which virtually eliminates pins as part of the set up process and makes short work of setting up the patio, according to the Keystone announcement.

“Patio decks are an increasingly important selling feature for our toy hauler customers,” says Fuzion product manager Tim Markel.

“Today, well over 95 percent of our customers order their Fuzion with the patio option. Adding a second deck on the door side creates a prime entertainment or relaxing area that can easily be accessed through the sliding glass patio door in the coach or by way of the aluminum steps leading to the ground. Campers love sitting on the deck and watching TV, visiting with friends, or utilizing the deck as an enclosed play area for the kids or family dog.”

Both the rear deck and the side deck on the Fuzion 420 feature the new FastTrack2 patio system by MOR/ryde.

Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks
Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks

A Fuzion exclusive, FastTrack2 allows each rail to smoothly slide and then snap in place without pins. There are no rails to lift as both the side and end rails are permanently mounted to the garage wall and simply swing into position. Setting up the Fuzion patio requires minimum effort and can be accomplished in seconds rather than minutes.

“With extra value features like FastTrack2, the MOR/ryde suspension and pin-box system, new exterior full paint options and our Fuzion Chrome edition, we are differentiating Fuzion from other brands in the marketplace,” said Marke.

“Fuzion market share is up 22 percent in April according to Statistical Surveys, Inc. Clearly our dealers have embraced the Fuzion concept and have propelled our sales.”

The new Keystone Fuzion 420 fifth wheel toy hauler specs include:

  • Shipping Weight: 15,095 pounds
  • Carrying Capacity: 3,905 pounds
  • Hitch Weight: 3,775 pounds
  • External Length: 43 feet
  • External Height: 13 feet 3 inches
  • Fresh Water Carrying Capacity: 112 gallons
  • Gray Water Carrying Capacity: 88 gallons
  • Black Water Carrying Capacity: 88 gallons
Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks
Keystone RV Introduces New Fuzion Featuring 2 Patio Decks

Details

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company is a producer of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers, with manufacturing facilities at its headquarters in Goshen, Indiana, and Pendleton, Oregon.

Keystone RV brands include Montana, Cougar, Outback, Springdale, Raptor, Residence, Retreat, Passport, Hornet, Sprinter, Laredo, Mountaineer, Big Sky, High Country, Fuzion, X-lite, Bullet, Premier, Alpine, and Avalanche.

Keystone is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles and a major builder of commercial buses.

Address: 2642 Hackberry Drive, PO Box 2000, Goshen, IN 46527-2000

Phone: (574) 535-2100

Website: www.keystonerv.com

Worth Pondering…

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

—Steve Jobs

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Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series

Building on strong sales and growing market share in the fifth-wheel toy hauler segment, Elkhart, Indiana-based Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC has broadened its product offerings with the introduction of the Torque Extreme Lite travel trailer series targeting a rapidly growing 1/2-ton pickup market.

Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series
Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series

“Heartland has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years in the fifth-wheel toy hauler segment,” stated General Manager A.J. Jones, in a company news release.

“However, because of production limitations in the past, we weren’t able to expand into other areas of the market, which continues to branch into new categories.”

As part of a companywide expansion initiative, Heartland moved its toy hauler operations into a dedicated facility, effectively doubling production capacity while significantly reducing turnaround times.

“Heartland has made a huge commitment to toy haulers, allowing us to compete in all-new price points and weights,” Jones stated.

Jones noted that Heartland owns a 22 percent market share in fifth-wheel toy haulers and a nearly 30 percent share of all triple-axle fifth-wheel toy haulers sold.

Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series
Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series

Combining lightweight construction with aggressive pricing, the Torque offers Heartland’s dealer partners a full-featured toy hauler that addresses the towing needs of 1/2-ton pickup owners.

“The key to the Torque Extreme Lite is to keep the same high-end look and features that our fifth-wheel toy haulers provide, but doing it on a 1/2-ton towable platform,” noted Coley Brady, vice president of sales and marketing.

“Our dealers have been begging for an affordable, 1/2-ton towable, and A.J. and his team delivered with the Torque Extreme Lite.”

Available in six floor plans, ranging in length from 31- to 38 1/2 feet, the new Torque Lite series features 102-inch wide-body construction, all-aluminum framing and Equa-flex suspension with gas shocks to ensure a stable, comfortable ride.

The onboard garage is equipped with 5,000-pound tie-downs, Happy-Jac powered bunks beds and can accommodate the largest side-by-sides. MSRP pricing starts at $39,450.

“The introduction of the Torque travel trailer extends Heartland’s laser focus on the toy hauler segment,” said Heartland President Chris Hermon.

“By entering into the 1/2-ton pickup market, we have positioned Heartland to capture even more market share in what we see as a segment that continues to evolve and gain traction. As always we listened to our dealers, bringing to market a product that not only meets a growing demand but also stands out on the sales lot with features traditionally not offered by the competition at this price point.”

Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series
Heartland RV Introduces Torque Extreme Lite Travel Trailer Series

Details

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC

Heartland Recreational Vehicles is a leading manufacturer of towable recreational vehicles in the US. The Company markets over 16 brands of fifth wheel trailers, travel trailers, and toy haulers including Landmark, Big Horn, Big Country, ElkRidge, Gateway, Sundance, Greystone, North Trail, Prowler, Cyclone, Road Warrior, Wilderness, Torque, and Trail Runner.

Heartland is number three in market share in fifth wheels and closing in on being among the top five towable manufacturers of fifth wheels and travel trailers combined.

Heartland’s towable RVs are sold through an independent network of dealers throughout the United States and Canada.

The Company has over 900 employees.

Heartland factory tours are conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 3:00 p.m.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC is a division of Thor Industries Inc.

Address: 1001 All-Pro Drive, Elkhart, Indiana 46514

Phone: (574) 262-5992 or (888) 262-5992 (toll free)

Website: www.heartlandrvs.com

Worth Pondering…

I see travel as the one of the most important ways of expanding human beings’ understanding of each other. Through travel we discover humility, love, friendship, passion and ourselves.
—Kirsten Cargill

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More June 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

Forest River, Inc.

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

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

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

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

Forest River, Inc.

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

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

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

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

Forest River, Inc.

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

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

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

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

Forest River, Inc.

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

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

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

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

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

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

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

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

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

Please Note: This is the 59th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—John Ruskin

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June 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 4 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Starcraft RV, Jayco, Thor Motor Coach, and MCI.

Starcraft RV

starcraftStarcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling certain model year 2016 Launch and AR-One travel trailers manufactured March 31, 2015, to April 20, 2015. The affected vehicles may be equipped with Federal Certification Labels that incorrectly list the tire size as ST205/75R14C when the actual size is LT235/75R15C. As such, these labels fail to comply with Federal Regulation Part 567.

If the operator installs an incorrect tire due to the wrong label information, excessive tire wear may result and may cause instability during towing, increasing the risk of a crash.

Starcraft will notify owners, and dealers will install a new corrected label, free of charge. The recall began on May 28, 2015. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-800-945-4787. Starcraft’s number for this recall is 9902239.

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.

Jayco

Jayco-Color-logo-birdJayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2016 Eagle FW WB trailers manufactured April 20, 2015, to April 21, 2015. In the affected trailers, the studs that are used to attach the wheels to the axle hubs may break.

If the wheel studs break, the wheel could detach from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace any affected wheel hub, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on June 15, 2015. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901238.

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.

Jayco

Jayco-Color-logo-birdJayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Seismic Pinnacle and Eagle Premier recreational trailers manufactured April 3, 2013, to February 27, 2015. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

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

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the defective rivets with bolts, free of charge. The recall began on June 4, 2015. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

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.

Thor Motor Coach

Motorhome - Class A, Class C, Class B+ RV, Motorhome Manufactrurer, Gas, Diesel, Luxury Rear Diesel Motorhomes, New RVs, Four Winds, Damon
Motorhome – Class A, Class C, Class B+ RV, Motorhome Manufactrurer, Gas, Diesel, Luxury Rear Diesel Motorhomes, New RVs, Four Winds, Damon

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain model year 2016 Hurricane and Windsport motorhomes manufactured March 10, 2015, to March 24, 2015. In the affected motorhomes, the co-pilot seats may be attached to the floor of the motorhome in an area that is not properly reinforced.

If the floor at the attachment point is not properly reinforced, the seat base mounting may loosen over time, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will install a reinforcement plate at the co-pilot seat mounting bolt location, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2015. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-500-1020. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000101.

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

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 D4000 motorcoaches manufactured November 12, 2011, to July 11, 2012, and 2014-2015 D4500 motorcoaches manufactured July 4, 2014, to April 30, 2015. Excessive engine crankcase pressures may cause the 90-degree elbow of the vent tube assembly to detach from the crankcase ventilation breather, possibly allowing engine oil to come into contact with hot surfaces.

If the engine oil comes into contact with a hot surface, it can increase the risk of a vehicle fire.

MCI will notify owners, and Cummins service centers will administer the repairs which include securing the ends of the 90-degree elbow and reprogramming the electronic control module (ECM) with software that can adjust the engine output under misfire conditions to limit crankcase pressures. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on June 18, 2015. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947 or Cummins Inc. at 1-800-343-7357. MCI’s number for this recall is SB 423.

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 58th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake.

—Confucius

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Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out

Teardrop campers first became popular in the 1930s and grew in popularity until the mid ’60s.

Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out
Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out

Over the years there continued to be a passionate population of teardrop camper fans worldwide. More recently the small-house movement and a conscious move away from a consumptive lifestyle for many millennials has resulted in teardrop campers resurfacing as an appealing option for road-trippers looking to go small. People are discovering a love for glamping in a teardrop camper, fitting easily with a desire for an easier, simpler life.

A relatively new kid on the block, Australian-based Gidget has released their newest camper, reinventing and reimagining the classic teardrop campers of the early twentieth century.

Gidget began conceptualizing and designing their Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper more than two years ago, testing and developing materials, features, and finishes and then custom-building their Gidget prototype. The original Gidget traveled 45,000+ km (28,000+ miles) to far north Queenland and south to Tasmania and a whirlwind trip to South Australia, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and New South Wales with a special visit to Bondi and back to Queensland in six days and many points East and West.

Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out
Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out

Gidget was tested in the tropical heat of Cairns, winter at Cradle Mountain, glamped on remote beaches and in mountain rainforests, starred at family barbeques, and hosted many an extra guest when the house overflowed with visitors.

Following the comprehensive roadtesting, Gidget went into production shipping to campers all over Australia, New Zealand—and now the world.

Australian designed and manufactured, Gidget is “dedicated to creating the best teardrop camper world-wide and our attention to every detail is a real passion for us—right down to the finishings”.

The authentic retro fabric for the curtains was sourced from California, the timber features from Australian and Tasmanian timbers for Gidgets sold locally, and American walnut, cherry, and cedar for the American market—and all the features you’d expect in a larger, higher budget caravan trailer including pressurized water, LED lighting, 12/240 volt power, fully functioning kitchen, and Queen-size bed. And a built in solar panel system, security alarm system/anti-theft device and duress alarm, as well as a rotating entertainment console, simple action internal lounge, fold up table conversion—and a quality toughened glass large two burner gas cooktop with safety devices.

Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out
Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out

And Gidget is the only teardrop in the world that has the unique patented slide-out which converts a cute and compact camper to almost double the internal space in one simple and quick action.

Gidget’s new design includes a rather spectacular twist; do not let your eyes fool you, as the seemingly small, cramped, and uncomfortable camper is in fact much more spacious and lavish than you might imagine.

The Gidget Retro Teardrop camper offers numerous hidden compartments, proving to be an extremely space efficient and surprisingly spacious caravan trailer.

The queen-sized bed can be folded out in a matter of seconds and the rear of the caravan lifts up, revealing a neatly concealed sink and bathroom counter, complete with an easy-access built in fridge.

Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out
Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out

This tiny treasure comes with pressurized running water and numerous electricity ports—the 2015 version also offers a rotatable television and incorporates a skylight into the roof, enabling you to gaze up to the stars.

Gidget has two unique teardrop camper models currently available for the Australian and International market. The Bondi original plus the longer body Noosa.

The Noosa being 20 inches longer allows for more living area, storage, and space for a compact shower and toilet.

The Bondi starts at US$15,500.

The Noosa starts at US$19,200.

Details

Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out
Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Features Slide-out

Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper Pty Ltd

Address: Unit 2 / 3 ‘Lucia Court’ Deakin Street, Brendale Q 4500

Phone: 07 3142 2410 or +61 7 3142 2410 (International)

Website: www.thegidget.com.au

Worth Pondering…

Our wish to you is this: drive a little slower, take the backroads sometimes, and stay a little longer. Enjoy, learn, relax, and then…plan your next journey.

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4 Cool Trailers NOT Named Airstream

According to Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey, Airstream is one cool camper!

While we can relate to the nostalgia of this classic trailer, there are other adorably cool trailers worthy of consideration.

From caravans that float to cabins on wheels, and minimalist campers to modern-day covered wagons fit for the Oregon Trail, here are four of the coolest trailers on the road.

Cricket

The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer
The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer

Part tent, part RV, the NASA-inspired Cricket Trailer is the go-to camper for the modern road tripper. Combining small-space expertise and backpacking background, a former space architect with NASA designed the Cricket Trailer, a small, self-contained pop-up camper. It’s his response to bigger-is-better RV cul­ture.

The name Cricket was inspired by an early design sketch, in which the lifts on the pop-up looked like the legs of the insect. The Cricket is a kind of hybrid tent and trailer, made of aluminum, wood and steel, with a pop-up style roof. It takes just 20 seconds to set up once you’ve arrived at camp, which basically involves popping up the roof which is made extra easy with the assistance of automatic gas pistons.

Sealander

This 840-pound microcaravan comes with an outboard motor. (Credit: sealander.de)
This 840-pound microcaravan comes with an outboard motor. (Credit: sealander.de)

Saving you the trouble of deciding between a boat and a camper, the Sealander is an amphibious vehicle that quickly transforms between the two. It can be customized to include two stainless steel gas cookers, a sink and water pump, toilet, and sound system, among other perks. And with two huge windows and a roll-up tarpaulin roof, you can stare at the stars while falling asleep to the soothing sound of water slapping against the hull.

Its wide, bowl-shaped design not only provides stability while floating, but it can easily navigate shallow waters without running aground. It also means you don’t need a trailer or a boat ramp to launch it in the water—simply back it up to a sufficiently cleared shoreline and the Sealander is successfully launched.

Leaf House

Leaf House is a tiny portable home design that takes up a small amount of space, is big enough to live in comfortably, and accommodates a family of four. (Source: tinyhousing.ca)
Leaf House is a tiny portable home design that takes up a small amount of space, is big enough to live in comfortably, and accommodates a family of four. (Source: tinyhousing.ca)

Handmade by a Canadian college professor, each 97-square-foot Leaf House is built of spruce pine and is tested to withstand even the harshest Yukon winter. It also weighs less than 5,000 pounds, thanks to lightweight concrete kitchen counters, bamboo flooring, and birch-plywood ceilings. Designed for a family of four, this fully self-contained portable house includes a sleeping loft, Murphy bed, full bathroom with a compact bathtub, a kitchen complete with a small fridge, and an open dining area.

The Leaf House is mounted on wheels, allowing you to pick up and go whenever the urge arises.

The Pod

POD-1172
The Pod

This retro caravan might be small — it’s only 34 square feet — but it won’t leave you wanting. The fiberglass and steel trailer features a four-person table that transforms into a double bed, a birch and aluminum interior, and a tiny-but-functional kitchen. And at only 705 pounds, it’s light enough to be towed by even the smallest car.

A fun and stylish living unit for two, the pod has now been in production for over 13 years and prides itself on being the forerunner of modern-retro teardrop trailers and micro-caravans.

Features of the pod include a dining area to seat four people in comfort with full size dining table and integral fold-away table, large interior sleeping space—equivalent to a double bed, large rear hatch door with gas-spring opening providing convenient access to the kitchen, quality hand-built kitchen, weatherproof foot-well with a fold-up feature, 12 volt power socket, two interior lights, leisure battery and charger, built-in storage areas, two support legs, and roof and floor vents.

Worth Pondering…

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.

—Phillip Johnson

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8 Reasons To Buy a Class B Motorhome

With an RV you can explore the world and take the comfort of your own home with you.

Airstream Interstate exterior
Airstream Interstate Class B motorhome

The RV industry offers a myriad of choices. From travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers to truck campers and motorhomes, there’s an RV for every budget and every lifestyle. And when it comes to motorized RVs, there are three basic choices—Class A (gas or diesel), Class B (camper van), and Class C .

For freedom and flexibility, motorhomes offer the ultimate experience. Transportation and living quarters are rolled into one comfortable experience. Ranging from the larger Class A motorhomes to the compact Class B camper vans, to the Class C, there is something for everyone.

With motorhomes ranging from compact and space saving models to luxury diesel pusher coaches that can pull a car in tow to zip around town for daytrips, there’s a motorized model for every family.

A small camper built on a van chassis, the Class B is the fastest growing segment of the motorhome market. They are easy to drive and maneuver in tight spots, easy to load, more fuel efficient, and can pack all the amenities of a home in a small, compact floor plan—but best of all they roll down the highways and byways on four wheels.

Roadtrek Introduces All New Zion Class B
Roadtrek Zion Class B motorhome

Easy on fuel, Class B motorhomes fit in most conventional parking spaces, and can be used as a second vehicle. With a class B you can travel anywhere, park anywhere, and sleep anywhere.

All the conveniences of home are packed on board in one compact and convenient package including bathing, sleeping, dining, and cooking facilities.

Without further ado, the top 8 reasons why a Class B motorhome may be the right RV for you and your family are…

  1. Easy to Drive
Imperial Class B motorhome by EverGreen
Imperial Class B motorhome by EverGreen

Class B motorhomes are easy to drive and maneuver pretty much anywhere a car can travel. They will take you wherever you want to go from shopping at Walmart to a remote camping site in a national forest or on BLM land, a scenic byway to an Interstate highway, and from winding mountain roads to crowded city streets. Class B motorhomes are maneuverable and easy to drive yet has all the comforts of home.

  1. Easy on Fuel

Easy on fuel, Class B motorhomes normally get 15-22 miles per gallon compared to 6-10 for a Class A or C.

  1. Easy to Park

Parking is always a hassle with large Class A and C motorhomes. Class B motorhomes can fit into most parking spaces and can be parked most anywhere.

  1. Camping Made Easy

Class B motorhomes requires little set-up and minimal take-down time. They’re easy to park in any camping site. Hooking up to city utilities takes minutes. Same with unhooking and you’re ready for a day of touring or onto the next camping site.

  1. Useful for Towing

Tow a boat, a utility trailer for your toys, a small car, and even a camping trailer for extra sleeping room.

  1. Easy to Store

No need to rent storage space due to lack of adequate parking at home or restrictive community ordinances. Since Class B motorhomes resemble passenger cars they’re not likely to offend community sensitivities.

7. Doubles as Second Vehicle

Triple E RV is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the introduction of the redesigned Leisure Travel Van 25-foot Unity luxury touring coach.
Leisure Travel Van 25-foot Unity luxury touring coach.

Class B motorhomes can be used as a second vehicle for everyday use including shopping at a local store or mall, driving to work, dropping the youngsters off at school.

  1. Touring Made Easy

Class B motorhomes are designed for touring. Unlike the larger Class A and C motorhomes, Class B camper vans accelerate, corner, and change lanes with ease. No concern about bridge or tunnel clearance.

Worth Pondering…

The past is a ghost, the future a dream. All we ever have is now.

—Bill Cosby

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RVs Rule the Road

Who is driving RV sales and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worth Pondering…

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

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

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How To Buy The Right RV For YOU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying an RV usually requires some trade-offs.

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

The right RV comes down to personal preference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Workhorse to Re-enter RV Chassis Market

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

workhorse logoPlans call for delivery of RV chassis in 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Workhorse Custom Chassis

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

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

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

Website: www.workhorse.com

http://www.workhorse.com

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

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

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

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

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

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

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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