Home & Park Debuts The Roadtrek 210-Popular
Home & Park Motorhomes, C3790, a manufacturer of type B motorhomes based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, introduced the 210-Popular model at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, this past December.
Similar in physical appearance to Roadtrek’s 190-Popular models, the new 210-Popular is based on the Chevrolet Express 3500 Series extended van and has a 155-inch wheelbase for better ride and handling. The frame extends 18 inches behind the rear wheels, resulting in an overall length of 21 feet 11 inches. And rather than jutting out after the cab, the fully painted fiberglass body widens gradually to a maximum of 8 feet at the rear wheels and then gently tapers to the rear. The 210-Popular retains the original Chevrolet side-entry door and rear doors for easier loading and better air circulation and features a single door key and power locks.
While the 210-Popular follows the same general layout as the 190-Popular, the interior of the new model has 74 inches of headroom, a 32-inch-wide aisle, more room in the bath area, and increased storage space. In addition, 30-inch-wide twin beds and a 6-foot 6-inch-wide king bed are available. The revised galley features a larger window; a longer and deeper countertop; a microwave-convection oven; and a 4-cubic-foot refrigerator. Storage space in this area includes five deep drawers and a huge cupboard below the countertop.
The exterior features a new hidden storage compartment between the axles that’s drawer-mounted for access. Three additional drawers are mounted for auxiliary batteries, external connections, and storage. A macerator sewage pump has been added as well.
For more information, visit www.roadtrek.com or call (888) 762-3873.
New Book Offers Canine Hiking Information
Many dog owners enjoy taking their pets with them when traveling or hiking. But once they arrive at their destination, they often are discouraged to find signs that read, “No Dogs Allowed.”
To help dog owners find hiking sites where dogs are welcome, Doug Gelbert has written The Canine Hiker’s Bible ($19.95, Cruden Bay Books), which provides detailed descriptions of more than 225 dog-friendly parks and trails in North America. The book also identifies dog-friendly walks near North America’s most popular attractions.
The book offers rules for dogs in many of the most visited national lands in the United States, at state and provincial parks, and at more than 1,300 beaches and 500 beach towns on the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean, and the Great Lakes. Other sections include outfitting a dog for a hike; information for hiking in the desert and at altitude; low-impact hiking; and a canine hiker’s watch list.
To order The Canine Hiker’s Bible, contact Cruden Bay Books, P.O. Box 467, Montchanin, DE 19710; (302) 999-8843. The book is also available from online booksellers. For more information, visit www.hikewithyourdog.com.
Amadas Offers New Resort Coach
Amadas Coach Corporation, C10031, a commercial coach conversion company that specializes in entertainment, executive, and specialty coaches, has entered the “residential” market with its Resort Coach line of motorhomes.
To fill the niche between upper-end production motorhomes and high-line custom bus conversions, the 35-foot Resort Coach provides an option for consumers looking to downsize while maintaining the highest quality available. With a price in the mid-$500,000 range, the coach is built on an MCI F3500 shell and includes as standard many of the features expected in a luxury bus conversion. Buyers can choose from four basic floor plans, each with double slideouts, and four distinct color palettes, then customize as they deem necessary.
Amadas also has arranged with Prevost Car Company to begin building 40-foot and 45-foot double-slideout Resort Coaches using Prevost’s XLII bus shell. As with the 35-foot model, several floor plans and colors will be available for buyers to choose from and customize. The 40-foot and 45-foot coaches will be priced in the low and high $800,000 range, respectively.
For more information, contact Bob Mitchell at (518) 260-6500 or visit www.amadascoach.com.
Georgia National Fairgrounds Welcomes 10 Millionth Visitor
Officials of the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, site of FMCA’s 73rd International Convention in March 2005, recently welcomed their 10 millionth visitor to the facility. Mike Garner of Albany, Georgia, was the lucky guest when he passed through the gates on February 13, 2004, to attend the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Fish-a-Rama and Turkeyrama.
For being the 10 millionth visitor, Mr. Garner received a gift package that included Georgia National Fair season passes, ride tickets, and concert tickets; a two-year Georgia Wildlife Federation membership; passes to future Georgia Wildlife Federation shows; and Georgia Wildlife Federation show T-shirts.
The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter opened in 1990. In its first year, the facility hosted 57 events that drew 327,877 people. In 2003 the fairgrounds welcomed 293 events that attracted 858,819 patrons. FMCA has done its part to add to the 10 million visitors, bringing thousands of members to the fairgrounds for its three previous conventions held there in 1996, 1999, and 2002.
John Dodgen Hits The Road On “Meet The President” Campaign
John Dodgen, president and CEO of Dodgen Industries, parent company of Born Free Motorcoach, C1171, recently completed a 10-week, 10,000-mile whirlwind campaign across America to meet current and prospective Born Free customers and to provide training for the salespeople at Born Free dealerships.
“Born Free builds the ultimate in quality class C motorhomes that we tailor to fit the needs of the individual client,” Mr. Dodgen said. “With this campaign, I personally wanted to kick off our 36th year in the RV business by meeting our clients and the dealers who represent our products. I want them to know that the guy who started the company and still owns it is accessible and 110 percent involved.
“It is also my responsibility to provide those who represent Born Free with the training and product knowledge necessary to make this entire process a precision experience. We also want our clients to understand that after buying a Born Free motorhome, there is a unique support system and level of camaraderie to be enjoyed that goes along with belonging to the Born Free family.”
During his 12-stop campaign, Mr. Dodgen met more than 1,500 people. Upon his arrival at each dealership, he fired up his patented portable barbecue cooker, which he towed behind an all-new 30-foot Born Free motorhome, and prepared barbecue pork tenderloin and oven-baked beans (using a secret recipe that goes back more than 80 years) for all to enjoy.
“” Lazelle Jones
Featherlite And Foretravel Begin New Dealer Partnership
Featherlite Luxury Coaches, C5238, has been selected as the exclusive dealer for Foretravel motorhomes in the state of Florida. Featherlite Luxury Coaches’ sales and service center in Sanford will carry the full line of Foretravel motorhomes and offer warranty, parts, and service to Foretravel customers. Service and warranty work on all Foretravel motorhomes also will be available at Featherlite’s other sales and service centers across the United States as well as at Foretravel dealerships.
“Motorhome travelers all over the country will benefit from this new partnership between Foretravel and Featherlite,” said Ray Fore, president and general manager of Foretravel Inc., C236. “Foretravel motorhomes and service will be more accessible than ever, and the opportunity for customers to purchase the quality Foretravel product at Featherlite’s coach headquarters in Sanford, Florida, is a great convenience.”
Featherlite Luxury Coaches also produces Featherlite Vantare H3-45 and XLII Prevost bus shell conversions.
For more information, contact the Sanford facility at (888) 826-8273 or visit www.fthr.com.
Winnebago Industries Adds Magellan Navigation System To Select 2004 Models
Motorhome manufacturer Winnebago Industries, C93, and RiverPark Inc., C7180, a national distributor of mobile audio and electronic products to the RV industry, have collaborated to offer a Magellan vehicle navigation system in select 2004 motorhomes.
The Magellan Integrated Navigation System, produced by Thales Navigation, will be available as optional equipment on Winnebago Brave, Adventurer, and Journey models, as well as Itasca Sunrise, Suncruiser, and Meridian motorhomes.
Using the coach’s color rearview monitor, the navigation system provides turn-by-turn directions with voice-prompted guidance. The Magellan system includes full national map coverage; an infrared remote control; simple onscreen menus; and the ability to exclude roads due to construction or traffic.
Ganis Changes Name
Ganis Credit Corporation, an E*Trade Bank Company, C4076, recently changed its name to E*Trade Consumer Finance Corporation. The company also has relocated its corporate office: E*Trade Consumer Finance Corporation, 3353 Michelson Drive, 2nd Floor, Irvine, CA 92612; (949) 224-7700.
2004 RV/MH Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced
The board of directors of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation has announced its class of 2004 for the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Those elected will be inducted in Elkhart, Indiana, on August 2, 2004. They include:
- Martin H. Lown, an RV retailer and campground operator from Coachlight RV Sales, C2094, located in Carthage, Missouri. Mr. Lown has been in the RV sales business for 35 years; was the founder and first chairman of the Holiday Rambler Dealer Advisory Board; and has held the Newmar Top Five Dealer designation for 25 consecutive years.
- C.T. McCreary, an RV manufacturer from Modernistic Industries, Gardena, California. Modernistic Industries was one of the earliest manufacturers to open plants in various parts of the country. (Modernistic Industries of Iowa became Winnebago Industries.) Mr. McCreary was one of the founders of the Los Angeles RV Show and is responsible for many innovations to industry products, including installation of the first RV central vacuum system.
- Charles N. Miller, an industry supplier from Reese Products, Elkhart, Indiana. Mr. Miller has been a member of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) for 28 years and was responsible for starting the RV Leadership Prayer Breakfast, which he chaired from 1975 to 1990.
- Duane Spader, an RV finance consultant from the Spader Companies, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is a founding member of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), for which he served as president from 1974 to 1975 and as chairman from 1975 to 1976.
- Gene Stout, an RV manufacturer from Coachmen Industries, located in Elkhart, Indiana. Mr. Stout has served on the RVIA board for 25 years, including a term as chairman from 1985 to 1986. He was awarded the Distinguished Service to the RV Industry Award in 1983 and was instrumental in the growth of the South Bend RV Show.
The RV/MH Heritage Foundation, founded in 1972, has honored more than 250 industry leaders from the RV and manufactured housing industries with induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, located in Elkhart, includes a public museum of industry products dating from 1913 and a library containing the world’s largest collection of industry-related literature.
Strengthening RV Sales Forecast For 2004
Factory-to-dealer deliveries of recreation vehicles are expected to reach their second-highest level in 25 years as increasingly confident, younger consumers drive up sales, according to a newly released forecast for 2004.
University of Michigan researcher Dr. Richard Curtin has predicted that RV wholesale shipments in 2004 will rise 2.3 percent above totals that were forecast for 2003. Dr. Curtin’s 2004 estimate of 320,200 RV shipments would come very close to reaching 1999’s peak level of 321,000 shipments, the highest in a quarter century.
The RV industry is projected to earn record year-end revenues for 2003 “” becoming an estimated $12-billion-a-year industry (as measured by the retail value of wholesale shipments). Not only did RV retail sales increase in 2003 over 2002 levels, but wholesale shipments for 2003 were on track to post their best six-year period in a quarter century, according to market data compiled by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
“RV sales are anticipated to strengthen in 2004,” said Dr. Curtin. “A stronger economy, higher incomes, continued low interest rates, and concerns about the safety of international travel will continue to bolster the appeal of RVs.” Other recent economic factors in the RV industry’s favor are lower taxes, gains in home values, and the stock market revival, noted Dr. Curtin, who produces the Index of Consumer Sentiment released monthly to business clients and the media.
According to RVIA, many RV manufacturers report that they have boosted production to keep pace with growing consumer demand for their products.
Long-term trends point to substantial RV market growth because of favorable demographics. As baby boomers enter their prime RV-buying years over the next decade, the number of RV-owning households is projected to rise 15 percent between the years 2001-2010, outpacing overall U.S. household growth of 10 percent, according to a 2001 University of Michigan study.
RVIA is the national association that represents 500 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.