The Appeal of Pop-Up Trailers

Pop-up trailers are a blend of RV and tent, combining the best of both types. They give you the comfort and security of a travel trailer and the openness of a tent.

Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers
Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers Consumers Digest Best Buy

Pop-up trailers, which are also known as pop-up campers, folding tent trailers, and folding campers are lightweight trailers with collapsible (usually canvas material) sides that fold for aerodynamic towing by a motorized vehicle. When set up, they provide cooking, dining, and sleeping facilities for up to eight people.

Pop-up trailers are an affordable way for the budget buyer to get into RVing, a viable first step of RV ownership.

They are lightweight and make a lot of sense to campers especially young families and those looking at upgrading from tent camping to an RV.

Added to the fact purchase prices are much lower than a conventional RV, they provide a wonderful camping choice.

The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is forecasting the industry will ship 10,900 pop-up units to retailers this year and will remain unchanged in 2015.

TrailManor SilverTrail Edition
TrailManor SilverTrail Edition

Although the market for pop-ups has been eroded somewhat following the recession, there are still new pop-up trailers coming out that will continue to attract new customers who have decided that tent camping just isn’t fun anymore. And today’s pop-ups have some definite advantages over their predecessors.

They’re definitely not your dad’s pop-up. Early pop-up trailers were bland—not much more than a wheeled box with a bed and table. They have become a lot easier to set up and take down. Today’s pop-up trailers are much more automated with more power lifts that reduce setup and take down time. When you add to that the incredible number of new features—everything from updated floor plans and fabrics to extra storage and power points, their appeal has been broadened.

SylvanSport GO
Lightweight and easy to manage, the SylvanSport GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars.

Today, they are much improved and offer more appeal. There are even off-road models with dirt tires and a deck on which to carry an ATV.

Setting up a pop-up trailer is relatively simple and should take about 20 minutes.

Park your pop-up in a level spot. Secure the wheels with a tire locking chock. Raise the trailer tongue high enough to disconnect the tow vehicle. Pull the tow vehicle away and level the trailer.

Release the roof latches, and raise the roof using the crank handle or winch extending the telescoping poles on each corner of the box.

Next, bunks at the front and the back of the trailer are pulled out by hand. Then, the tent material (which is fastened to the box and to the roof) is unfurled, pulled over the ends of the bunks, and attached. Interior support poles for the bunk and the entry door are then installed.

Depending on the configuration and included equipment, several additional set up steps may be required. These steps include hooking up to utilities (electricity, water, sewer), reassembling the dinette, unfolding the sink, turning on systems (water pump, water heater, etc.), making beds and unpacking belongings.

Earlier articles on Vogel Talks RVing have featured several brands of pop-up trailers, each boasting unique features.

Bunkhouse Pop-up trailer
Bushtec Products’ Bunkhouse Pop-up trailers has introduced a new pop-up travel trailer.

The Bunkhouse Camper manufactured by Jacksboro, Tennessee-based Bushtec Products features pop-ups weighing less than 300 pounds that are popular with motorcycle riders.

The TrailManor is a low-profile hard wall trailer that opens and closes with the touch of a remote control. TrailManor’s “tow low/live high” concept appeals to campers desiring comfort and luxury beyond that offered by the typical pop-up trailer.

The Viking Epic Series of pop-up trailers offers eight floor plans in the $9,615-$13,401 price range. Manufactured by Coachmen RV, a division of Forest River Inc., the Viking Epic Series was named a 2014 Consumers Digest Best Buy in the “midrange” category.

Billed as “Mobile Adventure Gear” rather than a trailer, the SylvanSport Go is an 800-pound pop-up trailer that can carry extra outdoor equipment such as canoes and trailers and can be towed by a small car.

Worth Pondering…

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.

—James Dean (1931-1955)

Read More

Tumbleweed: An RV Like You’ve Never Seen Before

The year was 1999 when the first Tumbleweed Tiny House was mounted on a trailer.

The openness of the Linden great room, perfect for small gatherings of family and friends, and the innovative new loft are the major features of this Tiny House RV.
The openness of the Linden great room, perfect for small gatherings of family and friends, and the innovative new loft are the major features of this Tiny House RV.

The RV was named Tumbleweed because it had roots and was mobile at the same time. And in that moment, the seeds for an RV revolution were planted.

Designed to fit specifically on trailers, these bona fide mini wooden homes can hook up to your tow vehicle, or be permanently fixed on land and connected to water and electricity.

With an original focus on do-it-yourself homes, Tumbleweed issued The Small House Book, created new house designs, and offered workshops across the country.

Tumbleweed’s two-day workshops (pricing starts at $279) attracted more than 2,500 attendees a year.

The workshops revealed that not all customers want to build their own homes and would be interested in purchasing completed projects.

In response, Tumbleweed began building and delivering houses on wheels. In 2013 its mobile models gained national certification from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) as park trailers—a move that helped overcome zoning obstacles and qualified the residences for financing.

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

Tumbleweed has become a lifestyle choice for a diverse set of customers, from young people with a need for an affordable first home to Baby Boomers who want to downsize to those who simply want to add space, perhaps by putting a tiny house on wheels in the backyard or at the lake.

Designed to fit specifically on trailers, these bona fide mini wooden homes can hook up to your vehicle, or be permanently fixed on land and connected to water and electricity.

Built on wheels which can be covered when parked, this Tiny House RV is easy to move and requires no special permit to tow.

In all, the company now offers over 20 floor plans for houses starting at 117 square feet.

The house-like RVs, has been certified “Green” by TRA Certification. Tumbleweed Tiny House Company will begin labeling its homes with TRA’s green label, having earned the bronze level of certification.

TRA Certification reported that Tumbleweed earned high marks for resource efficiency with a manufacturing facility that recycles multiple materials, down to the smallest pieces of wood and wire.

The iconic Elm facade features a custom arched window above the door. The beauty and function of this Tiny House RV has withstood the test of time.
The iconic Elm facade features a custom arched window above the door. The beauty and function of this Tiny House RV has withstood the test of time.

Design your own customized Tumbleweed. Start by finding the right house model for you, select the floor plan, and choose your layout options. From there select from an array of standard options and upgrades.

Check out some of their models, and decide where to RV with your Tiny House.

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

The iconic Elm facade features a custom arched window above the door. The beauty and function of this Tiny House RV has withstood the test of time. Optional dormers are available in the loft for added space, light, and cross breeze.

The openness of the Linden great room, perfect for small gatherings of family and friends, and the innovative new loft are the major features of this Tiny House RV. The roof includes two dormers that not only let in more light and give space, but also add to the overall classic proportions of the design. The full porch across the front provides a nice outdoor sitting area to enjoy a relaxing evening.

The Mica is a sleek and modern Tiny House RV design.
The Mica is a sleek and modern Tiny House RV design.

The Mica is a sleek and modern Tiny House RV design. At 8 feet 6 inches wide, this model maximizes living space without requiring any special permit to tow. Enjoy single-level living complete with a full-sized bedroom, separate kitchen and bath, and great open views.

Details

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Tumbleweed is a Sonoma, California, company that conducts workshops around the country on how to build your own Tiny House RV.

They also offer tiny house floor plans and are building for people that want their “houses-to-go” readymade and delivered.

Tumbleweed Office

Address: 15 West MacArthur Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

Website: www.tumbleweedhouses.com

Tumbleweed Showroom

Address: 1450 Valley Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Phone: (877) 331-8469 ext. 533 (toll free)

Worth Pondering…

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

—Larry Elder

Read More

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

Read More

American Coach Introduces All-New 2016 American Allegiance

Decatur, Indiana-based American Coach introduced the new 2016 American Allegiance at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 52nd Annual National RV Trade Show, December 2-4 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

American RV introduces all-new American Allegiance
American RV introduces all-new American Allegiance

High-gloss hardwood cabinetry creates a warm, rich atmosphere throughout the American Allegiance. Offering the ideal combination of durability and beauty is a heated porcelain tile floor that looks like hardwood, according to a company news release.

Owners can choose from six exterior graphics.

Protecting owners from the sun and elements are integrated roof-mounted Girard Nova series with LED lights.

A Serenity MAX adjustable bed with heat and massage functions provides the ultimate in comfort.

Also adding to the convenience and comfort of the American Allegiance is a low-profile automotive-style dash with a power driver window.

The Multi-Plex system with power blinds and shades offers quick and convenient privacy.

A powerful Cummins 450HP ISL9 engine delivers confidence for the road ahead, while the SGM premium dash HVAC system with a dedicated defrost booster quickly clears the driver’s view.

“The new 2016 Allegiance exemplifies the American Coach brand with its innovation, luxury, technology and comfort,” stated Lenny Razo, director of American Coach, a division of Allied Recreation Group (ARG).

“We carefully considered every detail when designing the Allegiance in order to provide owners with one of the most luxurious, modern motorcoaches on the road today.”

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)

Website: www.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

Read More

Winnebago Introduces New Products Including Spyder Toy Hauler

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. displayed a full slate of new products at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 52nd Annual National RV Trade Show, December 2-4 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Winnebago Spyder toy hauler
Winnebago Spyder toy hauler

Winnebago introduced several new models at the show, including a new diesel-powered Trend that will provide even higher fuel efficiency of 18-21 mpg with the Ram ProMaster chassis that will also be available on the Company’s Viva and Travato product lines, according to a company news release.

Winnebago also introduced its first travel trailer toy hauler line—the Spyder.

The Spyder is an all-new premium toy hauler that sets the standard in features and value for those who love to play in the outdoors. Features include a black fiberglass exterior with dynamic Spyder graphics, radius ceilings, faux concrete countertops and black galley sinks, 6000-pound frame mounted tie-downs, 94-inch x 7 foot 6-inch ramp door and available pull-down screen door and patio rails.

Additional new products making their debut at the show include:

Travato 59K (Class C motorhome)

Features innovative advances in technology and comfort systems. This is the first Class B in North America to feature the new 97 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.

At the RV show with Winnebago
At the RV show with Winnebago

Aspect 27D (Class C motorhome)

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 6 adults at night.

Sightseer 36Z (Class A Gas motorhome)

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 motorhome)

The perfect couple’s coach, this quad-slide floor plan 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.

Winnebago Introduces New Products Including Spyder Toy Hauler
Winnebago Introduces New Products Including Spyder Toy Hauler

Forza 36G (Class A Diesel motorhome)

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.

Destination 39FB (fifth wheel trailer)

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.

In addition, 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.

Winnebago is also showcasing various processes, components and programs that illustrate the unique features and benefits of its products.

“Our product management and design teams are doing a phenomenal job of continually bringing to market new and exciting products that are leading the industry in both features and innovative design,” said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts.

“The Louisville Show allows us to showcase our entire product line to all of our dealer partners. It also provides us a great opportunity to showcase our unique manufacturing design by visually showing what’s beneath the sidewall of our motorhomes that provides our dealer partners with a definite market advantage.”

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc.

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: www.gowinnebago.com

Itasca Website: www.goitasca.com

goLife Website: www.winnebagolife.com

Worth Pondering…

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.

—Demosthenes

Read More

Freightliner Custom Chassis Introduces UltraSteer

Gaffney, South Carolina-based Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) introduced UltraSteer, the RV industry’s first line of fully integrated and precision-tuned tag axles.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Introduces UltraSteer
Freightliner Custom Chassis Introduces UltraSteer

Designed for premium RVs, UltraSteer is compatible with both disc and drum brakes and offers luxury OEMs I-Series and B-Series configurations to provide optimum flexibility with coach floor plans.

FCCC debuted UltraSteer at an event at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 52nd Annual National RV Trade Show, December 2-4 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

“With UltraSteer, premium manufacturers now have a clear choice for the best premium chassis on the market,” said Tony Sippel, director of sales and marketing for FCCC.

“UltraSteer provides full control and precise maneuvering in all conditions—as well as increased safety, the elimination of tire wear and lower maintenance. It is the new foundation of the driving experience luxury OEMs want to provide their customers.”

With UltraSteer, the wheels on the tag axle follow the ideal turning path of the front suspension, with forward-mounted tie rods enabling the inside wheel to have optimal turning range.

The result is a 17 percent reduction in the curb-to-curb turning radius—140 percent advantage over typical steer tag axles—as well as a 20 percent tighter turning angle than the nearest competitor.

In addition, UltraSteer’s outboard-mounted shocks are more reactive to roll input, greatly enhancing ride and handling, and its wide-track suspension arms provide increased lateral stiffness, also improving handling and safety in sudden maneuvers.

“UltraSteer is the latest example of how we work to consistently deliver a better driving experience to manufacturers and RV drivers,” added Gordie Taylor, RV product manager for FCCC. “Backed by the engineering excellence and innovation of the Daimler family, UltraSteer shows how we at FCCC keep our OEMs a step above the competition.”

UltraSteer will be available initially on select FCCC chassis beginning in early 2015.

Details

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)

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

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

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

Address: 552 Hyatt Street, Gaffney, SC 29341

Phone: (864) 487-1700

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

Website: freightlinerchassis.com

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

—Rudolph Flesch

Read More

ARG Introduces 2016 Trek With Bed that Rises to Ceiling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 Trek features include:

Ford 16,000lb chassis w/362HP V10

Automatic Hydraulic Levelers

Bus-Class Aluminum Luggage Doors

Axalta Premium Full-Body Paint

Power Awning w/LED Lighting

Side-View Camera Package

Tinted Frameless Dual-Pane Windows

Soft-Touch Ceiling w/Ducted Air

Exterior Entertainment Center

Queen Size Drop Down Bed w/TV

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

Details

Allied Recreation Group (ARG)

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

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

Address:1031 US 224 East, Decatur, Indiana 46733

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

Website: alliedrecreationgroup.com

Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV)

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

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

Phone: (407) 681-4700

Website: alliedsv.com

Worth Pondering…

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

—Warren G. Bennis

Read More

Thor Motor Coach Introduces New Floor Plans

Elkhart, Indiana-based Thor Motor Coach (TMC) introduced new additions to the Tuscany XTE, Hurricane, Four Winds, Axis, Windsport, Chateau, and Vegas motorhomes at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 52nd Annual National RV Trade Show, December 2-4 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

2015 Tuscany XTE Diesel Pusher
2015 Tuscany XTE Diesel Pusher

TMC continues to raise the bar on innovation that has customers talking as if the floor plan was custom-made to fit their own personal taste, said Kara Terman, marketing coordinator, in a company news release.

The Tuscany XTE 40AX focuses on entertaining the masses. 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, which is convenient when sitting down at the dinner table. Preparing meals and storing the leftovers is a breeze with the residential kitchen appliances, standard in every Tuscany XTE motorhome.

“The custom-built Amish cabinetry will amaze and delight, looking like it came out of a coach costing thousands of dollars more,” said Terman.

The Tuscany XTE motorhome lineup gains has added two new floor plans with the addition of the 40BX, the first in the XTE lineup to offer bunk beds. TMC implements a unique three-door arrangement that gives the bunk area complete privacy from the living area of the coach.

2015 Vegas RUV Motorhome
2015 Vegas RUV Motorhome

“Bunk beds have been so popular in gas motorhomes that it only made sense Thor Motor Coach introduced it to their Class A diesels,” she added.

“TMC puts a twist of their own by implementing a unique three-door arrangement that gives the bunk area complete privacy from the living area of the coach. Kids will feel like they truly have a bedroom of their own, especially when it comes time to watching their favorite cartoon or DVD on their own bunk TV.”

Thor Motor Coach has created a better solution to those wanting a coach with two bathrooms, she noted.

The Hurricane and Windsport models now have a “half-and-a-bath” in the 35C floor plan. Instead of placing the full bathroom in the rear and the half bathroom in the middle, they switched the locations.

“People can enjoy true privacy and not have a guests trudging through your bedroom to take a shower,” said Terman.

40BX Tuscany XTE Class A Diesel Motorhome floor plan
40BX Tuscany XTE Class A Diesel Motorhome floor plan

“TMC paid close attention to owners’ needs with this floor plan and created an astounding amount of walk space in the bedroom, a multitude of dresser and closet space, and a variety of sleeping areas.”

TMC didn’t forget the entertainment aspect and answered it with theater seating and the Always-in-View 40-inch LED TV, she explained.

The models also provide theater seating and the “Always-in-View” 40-inch LED TV.

Thor Motor Coach’s “Recreational Utility Vehicle”, referred to as the RUV, continues to grow with the addition of the 25.2, available in Axis and Vegas RUV brands. The RUV is sized like a large SUV, and drives like one, but offers so much more, said Terman.

The 25.2 is the first in the 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.

“Excitement surrounds the 29G, which is available in both Four Winds and Chateau motorhomes,” said Terman.

“Thor Motor Coach understands Class C owners want convenient and functional amenities outside as much as they do inside. To respond to the demands, they now offer an exterior kitchen as standard on the 29G. The exterior kitchen features a refrigerator, kitchen sink and portable gas grill. To go the extra step, you can opt for an exterior 32-inch TV as well.”

40AX Tuscany XTE Class A Diesel Motorhome floor plan
40AX Tuscany XTE Class A Diesel Motorhome floor plan

“The number one reason people buy one motorhome over another is because the floor plan fit their needs or their lifestyle,” said Gary Stanton, product manager at Thor Motor Coach.

“We continually push ourselves to build new and innovative models for our valued dealer partners. We want them excited about the new line-up and to share their enthusiasm with consumers.”

Details

Thor Motor Coach

Thor 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; North America's Best Selling Motorhome BrandThor 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

Read More

Winegard Introduces Rayzar Automatic

Burlington, Iowa-based Winegard introduces its Rayzar Automatic HD TV antenna.

Winegard Introduces Rayzar Automatic
Winegard Introduces Rayzar Automatic

Winegard Company will showcase the Rayzar at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) National RV Trade Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, December 2-4.

The Rayzar Automatic, Winegard’s next generation in digital and HD broadcast TV antennas, is a fully automatic HD TV antenna that quickly scans for all available local broadcast channels, according to a company news release.

This antenna is for RV enthusiasts who want to enjoy programming as well as local news and weather.

This fully automatic enhanced dual band antenna features state-of-the-art technology to provide the most user friendly and comprehensive free HDTV viewing experience on the market.

No manual aiming or cranking. Fully automatic, simple operation. Manual tuning over-ride option also available to reposition antenna when looking for a specific channel broadcast from an alternate location that was not found during initial search

The Rayzar Automatic external hardware searches for live, local signals, while an LED wall plate inside the RV illuminates all locations where TV signals are available. The antenna positions itself automatically to ensure maximum channel availability. However, there is a manual override option that allows the user to look for a specific broadcast channel.

Winegard Introduces Rayzar Automatic
Winegard Introduces Rayzar Automatic

The dual band antenna boasts state-of-the-art technology ensuring “effortless usability and an optimal viewing experience,” the company said.

Combined with Winegard’s state-of-the-art Surface Mount Technology, the Rayzar Automatic’s ultra-low noise amplifier provides optimal signal strength for better picture quality with little-to-no pixilation or picture loss.

The Rayzar Automatic pulls in both VHF and UHF channels.

The Rayzar Automatic is designed and manufactured at the company’s Burlington, Iowa, manufacturing facilities.

The modern-looking Rayzar Automatic measures only 15 1/2 inches in diameter by 7 inches high, weighs a light 4 1/2 pounds, and is easy to install with a simple coax hookup. There is no need to drill a hole in the roof for a crank handle.

A sleek, low-profile dome houses the technology, protecting the hardware from shock, vibration, high humidity, and extreme temperatures.

The U.S. patent-pending Rayzar Automatic comes in black or white for $399 at Camping World Super Centers and RV dealers nationwide. It is expected to begin shipping mid-December.

Details

Winegard Company

winegard_outline_stack_loBurlington, Iowa-based Winegard Company is a respected world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative antenna products for satellite and terrestrial communications.

Since its founding in 1954, Winegard’s pioneering solutions have shaped the industry for home, recreational vehicle, truck, marine, medical, and automotive antennas.

The company’s 2-way VSAT antennas provide real-time broadband solutions for extreme and remote environments in support of the oil and gas industries, as well as military and emergency response teams.

Winegard is a privately-owned company that designed the first residential antenna for the U.S. It has designed more than 1,000 antenna models and does custom antenna design and development work.

Address: 3000 Kirkwood Street, Burlington, IA 52601

Phone: (800) 288-8094

Website: www.winegard.com

Worth Pondering…

We owe a lot to Thomas Edison—if it weren’t for him, we’d be watching television by candlelight.

—Milton Berle

Read More

RV Boom & Expansion Plans

When Thor Industries purchased Shipshewana, Indiana-based KZRV in April, expansion was not on their radar.

KZRV StoneRidge fifth-wheel with black cherry partial paint
KZRV StoneRidge fifth-wheel with black cherry partial paint

But that changed a day after the purchase was finalized when Thor officials walked through the manufacturing plant.

“On the first day after owning them, management stated they could produce more units if they had a lamination facility,” said Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries.

“We quickly just told them to give us a proposal and a plan. They already had the land.”

KZRV, which manufactures towable recreational vehicles, recently announced that it plans to expand its operations in Shipshewana, creating up to 125 new jobs by 2017, reports the South Bend Tribune.

KZRV will invest up to $4.83 million to construct and equip a new 80,750-square-foot lamination facility in Shipshewana, according to a news release by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The building, which will be fully operational by late spring 2015, will allow the company to increase its production capacity for lamination, aluminum frame welding, and towable recreational vehicle assembly.

New Spree Connect from KZRV model C282BHS
New Spree Connect from KZRV model C282BHS

Lamination is being moved from an existing building where it shared space with the assembly line.

KZRV currently employs more than 360 full-time workers. It plans to begin hiring aluminum welders and general assembly workers in late spring 2015. Interested applicants may apply in person at the KZRV human resources office in Shipshewana.

Thor Industries’ other companies have their own laminating facilities, so this will be used for KZ only, Martin said.

KZRV produces a full line of towable RVs, from high-end models like the Durango and Stone Ridge to value lines including Sportsmen Classics. The KZRV complex, with the new addition, now consists of eight buildings covering 530,000 square feet.

The Economic Development Corp. offered KZRV up to $1.25 million in conditional tax credits and up to $21,600 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. LaGrange County will consider additional incentives at the request of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp.

The expansion is the fourth announced in the last month by Thor, one of the world’s largest RV manufacturers.

Besides Airstream in Ohio, Thor’s other expansions are taking place at Heartland and Keystone. All told, about 330 jobs will be added to the Elkhart County area over the next several years because of the expansions.

KZRV LP introduces its Spree Sandlewood Edition lightweight travel trailer featuring a champagne full-body exterior.
KZRV LP introduces its Spree Sandlewood Edition lightweight travel trailer featuring a champagne full-body exterior.

Thor Industries, one of the world’s largest RV manufacturers, is based in Elkhart and employs about 9,400 people, most of them in Indiana.

It’s clear the company believes the current RV boom will last for a while.

“Airstream is a more expensive travel trailer,” Martin said.

“For that product alone to have enough production to expand their factory for the first time in 20 years speaks to the health of the industry.”

All the expansions collectively say something, too, he said.

“It’s a telltale sign that we have a positive outlook on the industry and for Thor,” he said.

“We see it as a positive trend for the long term.”

RV Boom

KZ12_StnRdgBG_02About 80 percent of all new RVs in the U.S. are made in Elkhart County.

RV shipments have been up 32 consecutive months.

Year-to-date totals through August reached 246,483, a gain of 9 percent over the 226,125 units shipped through August of last year, according to figures from the Reston, Virginia-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Year-end figures are expected to be more than 300,000 for the second straight year. Recreational vehicle wholesale shipments reached 321,127 units for 2013, a gain of 12.4 percent over the previous year. In 2007, a run of six straight years of 300,000 plus shipments ended.

Worth Pondering…

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

—Amelia Earhart

Read More