Buy a New RV in 2015: You Deserve It!

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

2015 Starflyer 10
Folding camping trailer: 2015 Starcraft Starflyer 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worth Pondering…

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

—Bob Gibson, Hall of Fame major league pitcher

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21 Tips for the Snowbird Asking, “Now What?”

Freedom is a wonderful thing. The kind of freedom offered by the snowbird lifestyle is the ultimate. What a life!

Mardi Gras parade
A Mardi Gras parade is a popular activity at many Sunbelt RV resorts. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Home is where you park it. You’ve settled into your destination resort, your new home for the winter months. You’ve introduced yourselves to your neighbors and met several new friends.

You can choose to do nothing in particular and simply relax, socialize with your fellow snowbirds, and enjoy your winter home. Or you can opt for a more active lifestyle.

Following are 21 tips for the snowbird asking, “Now what?”

1. Many snowbird parks provide a wide variety of resort amenities and organized activities designed to keep their seasonal guests involved and active.

2. Computer rooms, game rooms with pool tables, tennis and shuffleboard courts, a pickle ball facility, and an arts and craft room frequented by quilters and sewing enthusiasts may be available at your snowbird park.

3. Check out the area’s visitor information center and local papers for current happenings, flea markets, arts and crafts classes and workshops, organized hikes, farmers markets, fairs and festivals, parades, and other events and happenings.

San Xavier del Bac
Explore the cultural history of the area. Pictured above San Xavier del Bac. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Take time to savor the local culture and learn about the area’s heritage and cuisine. Attend lectures and seminars, plays, musical performances, and dances.

5. Natural beauty abounds in most locations. Check out national, state, county, and regional parks, national wildlife refuges, national and state forests, scenic byways, nature parks and centers, aquariums, wildlife and zoological parks, and game reserves.

6. Explore the cultural history of the area by visiting museums, historical and archaeological sites, and other significant landmarks where important events took place.

7. Take tours of churches, cathedrals, antebellum mansions, architectural and heritage sites, and other locations of historical significance.

8. Check out activities and classes offered by the local parks and recreation department.

9. Absorb the local culture by attending sporting events.

10. A visit to the public library makes for an interesting rainy day activity.

11. Give back to your snowbird community by volunteering at one of the many nonprofit agencies in the area.

green jay
Take up bird watching. Many of the colorful birds found in Sunbelt regions are tropical species, reaching their northern range limits. The colorful green jay is usually seen in brushy areas and dense woods in the lower Rio Grande Valley.. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

12. Keep a journal/blog with photos of your snowbird activities to share with family and friends.

13. Make a start on sorting and organizing your photos; don’t forget to back up all digital files in case of a computer crash.

14. Take up a new hobby or sign up for a class to hone your current skills.

15. Take up bird watching. Many of the colorful birds found in Sunbelt regions are tropical species, reaching their northern range limits.

16. RVing can be even more memorable when it’s shared with other snowbirds at an RV rally. There are several different types of RV rallies including Good Sam Club National and Chapter rallies, manufacturer club rallies, and club rallies for RVers of similar interests.

17. RV shows are also scheduled with snowbirds in mind. There is no better way to shop for a new RV or upgrade your current one than by attending an RV show, where numerous dealers and suppliers come together to show off their wares. You’ll have an opportunity to check out a wide-range of recreational vehicles in one location, often at special “show prices”.

18. Dining comes in all shapes and sizes in the various Sunbelt locations including slow-cooked barbecues through to fresh-out-of-the-water seafood, Mexican and Cuban cuisine, Southern Cooking, Cajun and Creole specialties, fast foods, and buffets. Senior specials are available.

19. Walking, hiking, and playing golf are great ways to stay physically fit and to meet new people.

Tamale Festival
Take advantage of a festival near your snowbird roost. Pictured above the Tamale Festival in Indio, California. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

20. Take advantage of some of the celebrations, parades, and other special activities held near your snowbird roost. Whether you’re a foodie or sports nut, you’ll find a seasonal festivals or fun-filled event that will highlight your stay.

21. Consider mapping your return journey home into segments of several weeks.

Even after six months “on the road” you may not be ready to start the northern trek home. But before long you’ll begin planning your return to the Sunbelt next winter.

Worth Pondering…

As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, “Snowbird”:

“Spread your tiny wings and fly away

And take the snow back with you

Where it came from on that day…

So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go

To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…”

Happy snowbird travels!

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American Coach Introduces 2016 American Eagle

Decatur, Indiana-based American Coach introduced the new 2016 American Eagle at the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, January 14-18, at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

American Coach Introduces 2016 American Eagle
American Coach Introduces 2016 American Eagle

The $699,000 motorhome is built on a Freighliner SLM Series Liberty 600 chassis and ushers in a new design language for the company, said Steven Hileman, marketing director, in a news release.

“It’s all new DNA for American Coach,” he added.

The motorhome was designed in cooperation with designers from the United Kingdom as well as with assistance from Freightliner and Daimler. It features more than 200 new design points.

One key feature is the optional emergency exit door from the back bedroom designed to give owners peace of mind that they can exit their coach safely in an emergency.

The new cockpit is fully digital with LCD gauges monitoring critical functions in the motorhome using the Silverleaf Total Coach Control system. The navigation system is a dash-mounted removable iPad with driver and passenger user controls. Cockpit integration offers navigation, radio, and camera controls to give a passenger official “copilot” status.

“The 2016 American Eagle features European construction techniques and eight new wood finishes,” said Hileman.

Other key features include:

Dual 10-inch dash monitors for radio, Rand McNally navigation, Sirius satellite radio, weather, fuel consumption, traffic conditions, time, and outside temp

Ergo dash design with backlit switches

Dual zone HVAC with dedicated passenger control

Power memory driver seat

AUX-Zone distributes video to front TV for navigation, backup monitor and DVD

Creston app uses iPad to control lights, blinds, audio, and video

Heated and cooled driver and passenger captains’ chairs

Three hardwood ceiling plenums with integrated HVAC

Solid radius hardwood cabinetry with full insert door design

Aqua-Hot 56,000-BTU continuous tankless hot water system and 450D multi-zone hydronic heating system

Apron front stainless steel sink with solid surface covers

Galley pull-out extension with flush drop design and power lock

PEX plumbing

Serenity Max Series bed with adjustable his and her sections plus a head and foot massage component

Heated full tile floor

V-Ride drive axle

ZF i-Tag independent tag axle suspension with passive steering

Girard window awnings

Residential walk-in shower with full glass wall and door

Villa ultraleather expanding L-sofa with air mattress

Details

American Coach

AmerCoachLogoAmerican Coach is a premier manufacturer and distributor of Luxury Class A Diesel motorcoaches.

Founded in 1991 as the luxury division of Fleetwood RV, American Coach produces five brand names: American Eagle, American Heritage, American Tradition, American Revolution, and American Allegiance.

Customer Service: (800) 435-7345

Website: www.americancoach.com

Allied Recreation Group (ARG)

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

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

Address: 1031 US 224 East, Decatur, Indiana 46733

Phone: (800) 854-1344 (toll free)

Websitewww.alliedrecreationgroup.com

Worth Pondering…

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
—Maya Angelou

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Winnebago Introduces New 2015 Models at Florida RV SuperShow

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. is displaying a full complement of new 2015 products at the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, January 14-18, at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Winnebago Introduces New 2015 Models at Florida RV SuperShow
Winnebago Introduces New 2015 Models at Florida RV SuperShow

“We have continued to turn up the dial on new product development with many new floor plans making their retail show debut in Tampa,” said Winnebago Industries’ Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts, in a news release.

“We have a great history as an innovator in the industry and we are excited to show off our newest innovations at the show.”

Winnebago is introducing several new models to retail consumers for the first time at the SuperShow, including:

Travato 59K (Class C)

Travato 59K features innovative advances in technology and comfort systems. This is the first Class B in North America to feature the new 90 percent efficient Truma-Combi heating and hot water system that provides quick hot water recovery, quiet, consistent air delivery throughout the coach and an electric-heating element that uses campground electricity to take the chill off a brisk morning.

Aspect 27D (Class C)

2015 Aspect 27D in light bronze full body paint
2015 Aspect 27D in light bronze full body paint

Flexible floor plan provides a front living area, galley and bath, plus a rear lounge for spacious two-zone living during the day and comfortable sleeping for up to six adults at night.

Sightseer 36Z (Class A Gas)

This spacious, open floor plan features a triple-slide and bath and a half layout. A large 50-inch TV on powered lift is built into the unique fireplace and wine storage cabinet. An available power StudioLoft bed offers added sleeping space.

Adventurer 32D (Class A Gas)

The perfect couples coach, this quad-slide floorplan includes a large in-Lounge dinette with Fold and Tumble bed, flexible in-Table, workstation/desk with USB, 12V, and 110V power ports, electric fireplace, and beautiful galley with private-collection Corian countertop, and a tile/glass mosaic backsplash.

Forza 36G (Class A Diesel)

2015 Forza 36G in sandstone full body paint
2015 Forza 36G in sandstone full body paint

Luxurious new triple-slide floor plan features a spacious lounge that’s ideal for entertaining. The master bedroom with queen or available king bed offers plenty of storage, including a wardrobe, chest of drawers, and hanging space.

Spyder Premium Toy Hauler (Travel Trailer)

Sets the standard in features and value for those who love to take their toys with them to play in the outdoors.

Destination 39FB (Fifth Wheel)

Featuring a bath-and-a-half design, the newest member of the Destination family continues the tradition of combining top-of-the-line style and comfort with premium amenities and performance.

Additional new 2015 products at the show include:

Journey 40R (Class A Diesel)

With true residential feel, the 40R is a triple slide floor plan that includes a curb-side full-wall slide and a bath and a half design.

Brave 31C (Class A Gas)

Nostalgia & Retro Winnebago Brave
Nostalgia & Retro Winnebago Brave

The brow is back. The new 31C retro-inspired Brave includes fun and function with a full-wall slideout floor plan that features a large, comfortable lounge, mid-coach bath, and walk-around queen (or available king) bed, and brings the total to three floor plans for these vintage looking, totally modern motorhomes.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis based products, the Era, Via, and Reyo motorhome lines, are incorporating the new Mobileye collision avoidance system, which includes collision warning, lane departure warning, headway monitoring and warning, pedestrian, and bicycle collision warning, speed limit indication, and intelligent high beam control on select units.

Worth Pondering…

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
—Henry Ford

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Thor Motor Coach Introduces New Floor Plans at Florida RV SuperShow

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is showcasing their 2015 floor plans at the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, January 14-18, at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

2015 Vegas RUV
2015 Vegas RUV

Making a debut in Florida is the Axis and Vegas RUV 25.2 floor plan, the first in the RUV line-up to feature a bedroom slideout that houses a walk-around queen size bed with a Denver Mattress. The L-shaped sofa with a removable pedestal table provides a place to eat, a place to watch TV, or a place to sleep.

“We’re very excited about the success of our RUVs. We’ve been on a high since last year when we first introduced them and we’ve created a total of three new floor plans,” said Joel Grimm, national sales manager of Class A and Class C Gas Division.

“Owners feel like it was made to fit their lifestyle. They’re compact, easy to drive, and contain living and storage spaces that you just don’t have in a SUV. It’s been nothing but positive reviews.”

The Tuscany XTE 40AX will also be displayed, focusing on entertainment with reclining theater seats are positioned directly across from a 60-inch LED Smart HDTV. The TV retracts into the counter below when it’s not in use, giving way to a view of the outdoors.

The 40AX also features an additional 40-inch LED TV. The model includes residential kitchen appliances, standard in every Tuscany XTE motorhome and Amish-built custom cabinetry.

2015 Tuscany XTE
2015 Tuscany XTE

The Outlaw Class A expands its claim as the ultimate residential motorhome with a new 39-foot model named the 38RE, which was recently awarded the 2015 Top RV Debut by RVBusiness. It has an immense living area, as well as a bedroom featuring 9-foot coffered ceilings and a bath-and-a-half arrangement. The rear “Patio Deck” folds down to reveal an exterior kitchenette, 50-inch big screen TV, and Bluetooth radio.

Other Thor Motor Coach models to look for at the Tampa RV Show include:

Vegas RUV 24.2 model with rear kitchen and captain’s chairs in living area and 25.2 floor plan with bedroom slideout

Single rear-axle Tuscany 40DX featuring fully-reclining theater seating and retractable 60-inch LED Smart HDTV

Tuscany XTE Class A Diesel Pushers with high-gloss glazed cabinetry

Dynamic and cool, new Palazzo 36.2 Class A Diesel with laundry suite

2015 Outlaw 38RE Residential Edition with coffered ceilings
2015 Outlaw 38RE Residential Edition with coffered ceilings

Four Winds Super C 35SF featuring a bath-and-a-half

Outlaw Class A motorhomes including RVBusiness2015 Top RV Debut, Outlaw 38RE

ACE 29.3 with convenient camp-side dinette seating and exterior kitchen

Innovative Axis RUV 24.2 with rear kitchen and captain’s chairs in living area

Axis RUV 25.1 with large L-shaped sofa and entertainment area in back

Chateau Super C 35SF featuring a bath-and-a-half

Ingenious Hurricane 31S with optional exterior kitchen

New Miramar 33.5 model with theater seating

Luxurious Challenger Class A gas motorhomes

Class C motorhomes including Freedom Elite and Chateau Citation Sprinter Class B+

Details

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach; North America's Best Selling Motorhome BrandThor Motor Coach was formed when Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International strategically merged in late 2010. For over 23 years Damon and Four Winds have been building many of the most recognized brands of motorhomes. Thor Motor Coach manufactures Class A Front Engine Diesel motorhomes (Serrano and Avanti), Class A Diesel Pusher motorhomes (Astoria, Tuscany, and Palazzo), Class A Gas motorhomes (A.C.E., Hurricane, Daybreak, Windsport, Challenger, and Outlaw), and Class C motorhomes (Four Winds, Chateau, Siesta, Siesta Sprinter, Citation, and Citation Sprinter).

Thor Motor Coach is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

Address: 701 County Road 15, PO Box 1486, Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Phone: (800) 860-5658

Website: thormotorcoach.com

Worth Pondering…

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

—Stephen Covey

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2015 RV Shows: One-Stop RV Shopping

RV shows are like the mega-malls of the RV world.

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV and camping shows are where multiple dealers gather to bring their latest models and offer deals. This provides a great opportunity for prospective buyers to wander between different models, check out various floor plans, ask questions, meet other RVers, and find the RV that best meets their needs.

RV retail shows give you an opportunity to see many makes and models of RVs—at one time and at one place. What better way to comparison-shop for the vehicle that best fits your travel plans and budget? At RV shows, you’ll also find dealers and other RV industry experts, who can assist you in finding the right RV.

There’s an RV show every year in every region of the country.

New and experienced RVers head around the country during the year to check out what the latest in recreational vehicles and new products and accessories.

January through early April is prime RV Show Season. There is no better way to shop for a new RV or upgrade your current one than by attending an RV show, where numerous dealers and suppliers come together to show off their wares. You’ll have an opportunity to check out a wide-range of recreational vehicles in one location, often at special “show prices”.

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The two granddaddies of the RV Show circuit are the Florida RV SuperShow at Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, from January 14-18; and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show, in Quartzsite, Arizona, January 17-25.

RV shows are also scheduled with snowbirds in mind at a variety of other venues including:

South Texas RV Supersale (San Antonio, Texas), January 2-4

Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport & RV Show (Houma, Louisiana), January 9-11

All Valley RV Show (Mercedes, Texas), January 15-18

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show (Lake Charles, Louisiana), January 20-22

Ft. Myers RV Show (Florida), January 22–25

Houston RV Show (Texas), February 4-8

Ocala RV Show (Florida), February 12–15

West Palm Beach RV Show (Florida), February 12–15

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Rally/Good Sam Phoenix Rally (Phoenix, Arizona), February 26-March 1

Jacksonville RV Show (Florida), February 26–March 1

Biloxi Boat & RV Show (Biloxi, Mississippi), February 6-8

Central Florida RV Show (DeLand), February 26–March 1

Greater Atlanta RV Show (Georgia), March 6-8

Panhandle Spring RV Show (Fort Walton Beach, Florida), March 19-22

FMCA Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase (Pomona, California), March 26-29

When attending an RV show be sure to wear comfortable footwear. You’ll be walking and standing for the majority of the day. If you check out everything the show has to offer, by the end of the day, your feet will be crying out for mercy. Wearing sensible footwear will help to keep your feet from aching after a long day.

When entering an RV show, you’ll receive a map and brochure that details the location of each vendor. Plan your route through the show to maximize your time, energy, and priorities. You may wish to jot down important information or remind yourself of vendors you wish to revisit later in the day.

You may want to make notes, swap phone numbers, or have a way to write down information. Bringing a small notepad and pen/pencil if you don’t have a smart phone that can input notes for future reference. Just pop the notepad in your pocket and you’re good to go for the day.

Enter the giveaways. Most RV show vendors offer giveaways, discounts, and more. All you have to do is enter the contest. Besides, who doesn’t like free stuff or discounts on products? Several years ago we received a free week of camping following the Mid-Valley RV Show in the Rio Grande Valley. On another occasion we received a month of camping for $99.

Worth Pondering…

I don’t think you can call yourself a true American until you’ve been behind the wheel of an RV … I love seeing parts of the country I wouldn’t otherwise.

—Jeff Daniels, actor

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You Can Do More & Spend Less With A Truck Camper

You can do more and spend less with a truck camper. From sandy beaches to back roads, from regular parking spaces to the driveways of family and friends, truck campers can go anywhere a pickup truck can go. The turning radius of pickup trucks allows you to turn around quickly which can be crucial when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

Host Industries Introduces 3-Slide Camper for Short Bed Trucks
Host Industries Introduces 3-Slide Camper for Short Bed Trucks

Truck (pickup) campers were first created by Walter King in 1945 when he began manufacture of the Sport King camper in Torrance, California. King loved to hunt and fish and came up with the idea while pursuing these hobbies with his buddies. Though King Manufacturing, expanded his product line in the early ’50s by offering small travel trailers and in the ’70s with motorhomes, the cab-over camper remained one of its most popular products until 1987 when the company officially shut down operations.

Truck camper prices are very competitive with other RV types. And you will save money on fuel, registration, insurance, maintenance, storage, and depreciation.

Many people have become frustrated by attempting to match a truck and camper when they haven’t yet selected either one. You need to choose either a truck or a camper before you can assemble a safe and successful truck and camper combination. This can be done in one of two ways: Match a specific camper to an unspecified truck or match a specific truck to an unspecified camper.

Match a specific camper to an unspecified truck if you already own a camper or have selected the camper you plan to purchase and are now ready to find the right matching truck.

Match a specific truck to an unspecified camper if you already own a truck or have selected the truck you plan to purchase and are now ready to find the right matching camper. The favored recommendation is to choose your camper first to ensure that you get the camper you want and to avoid buying more or less truck than you need.

Adventure LP Eagle Cap truck camper
Adventure LP Eagle Cap truck camper

Choosing a truck can be a complex process. Not only are there six truck manufacturers and four truck levels to choose from, but each truck comes in a myriad of styles, bed lengths, engine types, and option packages. The number one issue when buying a truck for a truck camper is payload capacity.

Campers are available in three basic types, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages: pop-up campers, hard-shell campers, and campers with a slide-out.

Pop-up truck camper are often hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds lighter than hard-side campers. When collapsed, their low profile allows for a lower rig height and superior driving aerodynamics compared to hard-side campers. Their lower weight allows you to use a lighter duty truck.

Hard-side campers have their own advantages. They offer significantly more storage and significantly more insulation from the weather. They’re always set up and ready to go. And in general, hard-side campers also have a more domestic full-sized RV feel.

Slide-outs in a truck camper have a huge “wow” factor. You’ll be blown away by the difference. A single slide can completely transform the interior feel of a truck camper. When a truck camper features a full-wall slide-out or multiple slide-outs, you’ll almost forget you’re even in a camper.  The answer seems obvious, “Yes, please”.

Livin Lite’s CampLite Truck Camper
Livin Lite’s CampLite Truck Camper

On the other hand, non-slide campers are usually several thousand dollars less than slide-out models and are often several hundred pounds lighter as well. The reduced weight can mean that you can use a less expensive, lighter-duty, and more fuel-efficient truck.

If you can’t live without a slide-out camper, you won’t be the first. Just keep in mind the added weight, costs, and other considerations. And then enjoy your extra space.

Nothing beats equal parts research and experience. Learn about the above choices and make some informed decisions about what you want and need in a truck camper. Then go out and experience different truck campers in person.

This may mean several months of research, visiting dealerships, and attending RV shows. In the end, the balance of research and experience should allow you to choose a truck camper with confidence.

Worth Pondering…

May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view… where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.
—Edward Abbey

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Triple E Introduces 50th Anniversary Edition Class B

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

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

With a full exterior makeover, four different floor plans, and an available 50th anniversary interior package, the new Unity is the culmination of five decades of automotive innovation, according to a company news release.

The new European body design features integrated running boards, LED tail lights, clean aerodynamic lines, and three available paint schemes: the new Euro Sport, White Suede, and Silver.

With fiberglass curved baggage doors with struts and an increased baggage area opening, packing and unpacking has never been easier.

This clean design aesthetic continues to the interior with an optional 50th Anniversary Package. Featuring espresso brown cabinets, gloss cream upper cabinets, white Corian countertops, and in-direct LED lighting, this new look brings luxury to the open road.

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

Built on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 dual rear wheel chassis, the Unity is powered by a fuel-efficient 3-liter V6 BlueTEC Turbo Diesel with 188 horsepower and 325 foot pounds of torque.

From steep mountain passes to tight city streets, the Unity has the power and agility to take drivers anywhere they need to go with an estimated 18-22 mpg, the Unity packs plenty of punch without sacrificing fuel economy.

Unity pricing starts at $118,495 and full production is anticipated in December.

RVers can get a sneak peak of the new Unity at America’s Largest RV Show at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania from September 10 to 14, 2014, and the California RV show in Pomona, California, from October 10 to 19.

Details

Triple E Recreational Vehicles

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

Triple E RV is a Canadian manufacturer of Regency Class C motorhomes and Leisure Travel Vans (Serenity, Libero, Unity, Free Spirit, and Free Spirit SS, and Free Spirit TE).

Address: 301 Roblin Boulevard, Winkler, Manitoba, Canada R6W 4C4

U.S. Address (Mailing Only): P.O. Box 68, Walhalla, ND 58282

Phone: (204) 325-4361 or (877) 992-9906 (toll free)

Website: www.tripleerv.com

Leisure Travel Vans

Triple E Recreational Vehicles is the parent company of Leisure Travel Vans

Website: www.leisurevans.com

Worth Pondering…

Like water flowing over the rocks in a river, our lives touch all who are near us. Let your life leave good marks on those you touch.

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Holiday Rambler Introduces 2015 Models At Hershey Show

Decatur, Indiana-based Holiday Rambler will introduce two new models at America’s Largest RV Show at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania from September 10 to 14, 2014.

2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT
2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT

Attendees at the Hershey RV Show will be able to view the recently released Class A gas Vacationer 36DBT and Class A diesel Ambassador 38DBT. Both new models feature a spacious opposing living area slideout design to maximize space utilization and value, according to a company news release.

“We’ve had a great response to the new Ambassador and Vacationer during dealer days and we can’t wait to show them to customers,” said Mike Snell, president of Holiday Rambler.

“Both of these floor plans are similar, but we’re offering them at gas and diesel price points where the market is strong and consumers are asking for more product variety.”

The 2015 Ambassador 38-foot Class A diesel RV is equipped with three spacious slideouts. The 38DBT features a bath-and-a-half floor plan and opposing wall living area slideouts to create a large family gathering area.

The Ambassador maintains side-swing luggage doors and pass-through basement storage for increased cargo functionality. An optional drop-down overhead bed is available.

The Ambassador is manufactured in three classic exterior-color options and includes two choices for interior design and two wood color choices.

The motorhome also features solid wood doors and slideout facia.

2015 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38DBT
2015 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38DBT

The 2015 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38DBT specs include:

Chassis: Freightliner XCS Series

Engine: Cummins ISB 6.7L

GVWR: 28,000 pounds

GCWR: 33,000 pounds

Overall Length: 38 feet 11 inches

Fresh Water Holding Tank: 77 gallons

Grey Water Holding Tank: 60 gallons

Black Water Holding Tank: 32 gallons

2015 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38DBT floor plan
2015 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38DBT floor plan

The 2015 Vacationer 36DBT is a 37-foot Class A gas RV. The Vacationer offers three slideouts and includes a bath-and-a-half floor plan.

The master bath includes a double-sink vanity. The Vacationer includes side-swing luggage doors and pass-through basement storage.

It introduces an all-new four-tone, exterior color palette — Waterford II — to the Holiday Rambler collection and includes two interior color options and two wood color choices. The Holiday Rambler, too, offers solid wood doors and slideout facia.

The 2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT specs include:

Chassis: Ford

Engine: 6.8L Triton V10

GVWR: 22,000 pounds

GCWR: 26,000 pounds

Overall Length: 37 feet 6 inches

Fresh Water Holding Tank: 85 gallons

Grey Water Holding Tank: 58 gallons

Black Water Holding Tank: 42 gallons

2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT floor plan
2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36DBT floor plan

Details

Holiday Rambler

Holiday Rambler has been manufacturing innovative luxury coaches and towable recreation vehicles since 1953.

Providing owners with quality and comfort for life’s greatest adventures, Holiday Rambler offers a variety of products that make the freedom of the road even more appealing.

Holiday Rambler continues its tradition of innovation, quality and value as part of Allied Recreation Group.

Address: 1031 US 224 E, Decatur, IN 46733

Phone: (574) 389-4026 or (877) 466-6226 (toll free)

Website: www.holidayrambler.com

Worth Pondering…

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

—Larry Elder

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FMCA Confirm 2014-15 Rally Schedule

Cincinnati-Ohio-based Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is making final preparations for its 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, set to take place March 17-20 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia.

Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The RV-friendly facility is located just off Interstate 75, a prime north-south route for snowbird RVers.

More than 2,500 motorhome families and some 6,000 to 8,000 people are expected to attend.

All RV owners and members of the general public are invited to participate, according to a FMCA news release.

Various admission options are available for the Perry event. Activities include an RV show that highlights more than 100 display motorhomes, plus booths filled with RV components and accessories, as well as home products; motorhome-related seminars; organized tours of local sites and attractions; evening entertainment; and other social activities.

To register for the 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase at the Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 17 to 20, click here.

After the Perry event, it’s on to Redmond, Oregon, where the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center will host FMCA’s second Family Reunion of 2014, August 13-16. Click here to register.

The Madison, Wisconsin, Family Reunion will take place July 29 to August 1, 2015, at the Alliant Energy Center.

Deschutes-aerial-best“We had a fantastic event there in August 2011,” said FMCA President Charlie Adcock.

“We have been looking forward to returning ever since. The Alliant Energy Center is a terrific host facility, plus Madison and the surrounding area have so much for motorhome families to do and see.”

FMCA first hosted an event at the site back in 1984 when it was known as the Dane County Exposition Center. Various improvements made since then, including the addition of the 225,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall, have added to the appeal of the facility when it comes to accommodating an FMCA event.

The Madison gathering in 2011 drew a total of 2,143 motorhomes to the site. FMCA officials expect an even better turnout in 2015, given renewed interest in the motorhome lifestyle since the end of the recession.

Prior to the Madison confab, FMCA will make a return visit to Fairplex in Pomona, California, March 26 to 29, 2015, for the 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase.

Details

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 

fmca_twin-oaks-rv-park-elko-perry-gaThe Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes.

With approximately 85,000 active member families, FMCA is the world’s largest motorhome owners group.

Since 1963 FMCA has issued more than 425,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome ownership and travel.

FMCA takes pride in the merit of its many membership benefits, which include a mail forwarding service, an emergency medical evacuation program, international conventions, chapter and area rallies, and a free subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

FMCA recognizes approximately 500 chapters across the United States and Canada. Many of them encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of motorhome. And still others are based on a common interest, such as music, sports, coach conversions, or amateur radio.

FMCA National Headquarters address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)

Website: fmca.com

Worth Pondering…

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

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