Motorcycling Champion Teams With Four Winds International
Four Winds International, C7457, a division of Thor Industries, has announced that Ricky Carmichael, the 2003 champion of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Motocross Series and Supercross Series, has agreed to endorse the Mandalay type A diesel motorhome and the Fun Mover type C sport recreational vehicle.
Mr. Carmichael is the AMA’s all-time winningest driver in supercross and motocross racing. He began racing motocross at age 5, and during the next 11 years accumulated 67 amateur national championships. Since turning professional in 1996, Mr. Carmichael has won a record 97 races. Since 2001, he has swept season titles in both the 250cc Motocross and 250cc Supercross series.
During the 2004 racing season Mr. Carmichael will travel in a Mandalay 40B model with a quadruple-slideout floor plan and Eclipse interior décor with cherry hardwood cabinetry. The Mandalay type A diesel motorhome offers a choice of four different floor plans with double, triple, or quadruple slideouts; five exterior packages; four interior décor packages; and three cabinetry wood options. With a full complement of standard and optional features inside and out, it can be tailored to a customer’s personal tastes and lifestyle.
Mr. Carmichael also will be featured in print ads promoting the Fun Mover type C motorhome, which combines the comforts of a motorhome with a garage area for hauling equipment and vehicles. Fun Movers are offered in gas and diesel models from 27 feet to 39 feet with various garage sizes. The garages are available with a hydraulic lift-gate and manual or power ramp. The living section features a fully equipped galley, bathroom, and sleeping area.
For additional information on the Mandalay type A diesel motorhome, visit www.mandalaycoach.com or call (866) 919-4444. For more information on the Fun Mover, visit www.fourwinds-rv.com or call (574) 266-1111.
National Byways Map And Guide Available
“America’s Byways Map and Guide”
If you enjoy discovering the beauty and history of America along its most scenic roadways, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of “America’s Byways Map and Guide,” published by the National Park Society.
The large fold-out publication includes a full-size map of the entire United States with each of the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads indicated. The guide also includes maps, photos, and descriptions of each of the 96 routes that make up the National Scenic Byways Program (the Santa Fe Trail listings for Colorado and New Mexico are combined in the publication). Driving distances and times are provided, along with contact information for each byway.
The National Scenic Byways Program is a collection of 24,000 miles of distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation for their outstanding archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic value.
To order a free copy of the “America’s Scenic Byways Map and Guide,” visit www.byways.org or call (800) 429-9297, option 1.
Volunteers To Lend A Hand On National Public Lands Day
On September 18, 2004, thousands of Americans are expected to volunteer their time and energy to help clean up, make improvements, and restore some of the country’s national and natural treasures during the 11th annual National Public Lands Day. The event “” which includes more than 600 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico “” is considered the largest volunteer hands-on effort in the country.
Last year nearly 80,000 volunteers, community partners, and federal, state, and local agencies, contributed $10 million in improvements at 550 public parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests and grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs. Workers built or refurbished 500 miles of trails; constructed 60 bridges and 100 other structures; planted 6,600 trees and 15,200 other plants; cleared nearly 60,000 pounds of invasive plants; and removed close to 2 million pounds of trash.
For more information about how to get involved in a National Public Lands Day project near you, visit www.npld.com or call (800) VOL-TEER (865-8337).
RVers Plan More “Mini Vacations” This Summer
According to the latest “Campfire Canvass” survey by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), three-fourths of RV owners expect to travel more this spring and summer than they did last year. The survey, conducted in March 2004 by Robert Hitlin Research Associates of Reston, Virginia, indicated that among that group, more than two-thirds of respondents said they’ll take more “mini vacations” and “spur-of-the-moment” trips this year. In an age of over-scheduled families and busy lives, 96 percent of RV owners indicated that they believe they have greater flexibility and control with RVs, making it easier to take shorter, less structured getaways.
In addition, survey respondents cited desires to enjoy nature, travel anytime and anywhere at their own pace, escape stress, and spend quality time with family as other top reasons for using their RVs more this spring and summer. More than a third cited a desire to save money on travel as a reason for RVing more this travel season.
According to the survey, RV owners plan to use their units an average of 40 days “” including nine weekends “” this spring and summer. In addition, those surveyed plan to log approximately 2,900 miles and visit an average of five states and nine campgrounds.
Reflecting the family-friendly nature of RVing, 97 percent of respondents said they believe that RVs enable their family to spend more quality time together. Three-quarters of those surveyed said they will travel with either their children or grandchildren this spring and summer. Nine out of 10 RV owners surveyed said that RVing helps their family maintain a healthier lifestyle. Among the top reasons mentioned are the ability to escape stress and to rejuvenate, to control one’s own schedule, and to get more exercise.
RVIA is the national association that represents more than 500 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.
Four Winds International Expands Type C Lineup
Four Winds International, C7457, a division of Thor Industries, recently added three models to its type C motorhome lineup. The Four Winds Siesta, Dutchmen Dorado, and Chateau Citation are said to offer more convenience features than similar-size gas-powered motorhomes in the same price range.
The new motorhomes, all built on Ford chassis, are available in 23-foot and 24-foot lengths with single- and double-slideout floor plans. Standard features include front and rear molded fiberglass caps, plus a choice of interior décor packages and cherry, maple, or oak hardwood cabinetry (depending on the brand). The kitchen includes a refrigerator, a microwave oven, an LP-gas range, a pantry, and a stainless-steel sink. The living area includes an entertainment center with a 24-inch flat-screen TV, a fabric-covered jackknife sofa bed, fluorescent ceiling lighting, a wardrobe, and a large panoramic window.
Optional features include an exterior paint package, a “legless” or automatic awning, a 4-kilowatt generator, a fabric or UltraLeather pull-out sofa bed, UltraLeather captains chairs, and Corian-edged countertops.
Four Winds International offers a two-year, 24,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty on the motorhomes, and new owners also receive the Thor Customer Care Roadside Assistance Plan for the first year free of charge.
For more information about these coaches, visit www.fourwinds-rv.com or call (574) 266-1111.
Attendance Up At RV Retail Shows
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported that RV retail shows across the United States held during the first part of 2004 have shown an increase in attendance and sales compared with shows during the same period in 2003.
Record attendance was reported at January 2004 RV shows in Atlanta, Georgia (up 33 percent); Denver, Colorado (up 30 percent); Port St. Lucie, Florida (up 29 percent); Nashville, Tennessee (up 20 percent); and Huntsville, Alabama (up 15 percent). The annual RV retail show in Quartzsite, Arizona, drew an estimated record crowd of nearly 200,000 during its run from January 17 to 25, according to show official Kenny King.
Officials surveyed said that show attendees were more upbeat, and many were serious first-time buyers choosing RVs for vacations this summer. The stronger economy, improving consumer confidence, and low interest rates were cited as reasons attendance grew. In addition, families are seeking greater flexibility and control “” and increasingly turning to domestic road travel “” in today’s travel climate.
Show attendance is one of the indicators used to illustrate overall strength of the RV industry. In addition to being a robust year for retail shows, RV wholesale shipments are forecasted to rise 2.9 percent in 2004. According to University of Michigan Survey Research Center director Dr. Richard Curtin, RV wholesale shipments to dealers are anticipated to reach the highest level in 25 years.
Most RV owners believe RV shows play an “important” or “very important” role in their buying decision, according to a recent RVIA survey.
For a listing of future RV shows, visit www.rvia.org/rvshows. RVIA is the national association that represents more than 500 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.
ARC Leader Testifies Before Senate On Federal Recreation Fees
On April 21, 2004, Sue Bray, a long-time member of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) board of directors and the executive director of the Good Sam Club, testified before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources about federal recreation fees. She was invited to appear at a special oversight hearing looking at the operations of the National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, which was created in 1996 and is in use at thousands of sites across the nation.
Both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are contemplating legislation that would provide a successor to the fee demonstration program but that also would continue many of its key principles, including local retention of collected fees.
Ms. Bray’s testimony offered several recommendations, including a six-year authorization period for fees; a new National Recreation Fees Advisory Board; and ways to ensure local participation in fee-setting and prioritizing fee revenue use. Her testimony also emphasized that the recreation community sees fees as a means to reach a goal of enhanced visitor experiences, not as an end in itself. She also noted that experiences under the fee demonstration program showed that fee authority was sometimes erroneously viewed as focused on revenues rather than visitor experiences.
Christian Home Exchange Offers New Way To Travel
The Christian Home Exchange is a way for people to visit different regions in an affordable manner while meeting new friends and contacts in the area where they are traveling.
The idea behind Christian Home Exchange is for members to exchange, rent, or lease their property “” home, apartment, RV, etc. “” on a temporary basis to other interested members. In addition, members provide one another with local contacts from their church community who can be reached once they arrive at their destination.
An unlimited one-year membership ($29 United States; $44 Canada) entitles members to one property listing on the group’s Web site, www.ch-exchange.com, and unlimited access to all other listings on the site. The site also lists bed and breakfasts, retreat centers, and camping facilities that offer hospitality to other Christian Home Exchange members.
For more information, visit the Web site or call (901) 309-1194.
Fleetwood Pace Arrow To Be Featured In New Movie
Fleetwood RV, a division of Fleetwood Enterprises, C985, announced that its Pace Arrow model motorhome will play a prominent role in the upcoming Universal Pictures film Meet The Fockers, the sequel to the successful comedy film Meet The Parents that starred Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller.
Fleetwood RV will supply Universal Pictures with three Pace Arrows, which will be used for interior, exterior, and action scenes. The motorhomes will undergo modifications by Universal to accommodate the production needs of the filmmakers. Fleetwood also is considering additional promotional activities surrounding the film’s anticipated December 2004 release.
The sequel picks up the story of Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his fiancée, Pam (Teri Polo), whose relationship has finally been accepted by her parents, Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner) Byrnes. But when her parents travel to Florida in their motorhome to meet Greg’s parents, the hyper-relaxed Fockers, played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, it quickly becomes apparent that the two families are woefully mismatched, which all adds up to a disastrously funny time of “getting to know you.”
ABC Companies Opens New Service Center Operation
ABC Companies, C9055, which sells and leases new and preowned highway coaches, is developing a new franchise to offer service for RVs and other vehicles.
ABC Service America is a one-stop shop designed to service passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and recreation vehicles of all sizes. Each facility features a modern, comfortable waiting area; two lube bays; a service and detail area; a wash facility that can handle a range of vehicles; and waste disposal facilities for RVs.
ABC Service America offers RV owners a comprehensive choice of diagnostic and express maintenance options to preserve the life of the vehicle, keep it operating at maximum efficiency, and maintain its maximum value. As an added convenience, ABC Service America maintains service records on each vehicle to be sure the equipment manufacturer’s maintenance schedule is met.
For more information or to find an ABC Service America location near you, call (800) 222-2875 or visit www.abcserviceamerica.com.
New Books Promote Camping, Recreation On Public Lands
Roundabout Publications is offering a trio of books that detail camping and outdoor activities available on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. Since each book covers a different government agency, no information is duplicated.
Adventures on America’s Public Lands ($22.95, Smithsonian Books) highlights prime destinations managed by the BLM. The full-color, 494-page guide details what to do, what to see, and the types of camping available throughout the BLM system. The book, illustrated with 231 photos and 190 color state and site maps, offers readers comprehensive information for each site, including routes, fees, camping, amenities, accessibility, and natural and/or cultural features.
National Park Service Camping Guide, Second Edition ($12.95, Roundabout Publications) features detailed information about campgrounds within National Park Service areas. More than 100 areas and 400 campgrounds are described. The campground descriptions include the number of sites; season of operation; camping fees; RV length limits; rest room, laundry, and dump station availability; and much more. In addition to national parks, the guide also covers national recreation areas, national monuments, national historic parks, and other areas the National Park Service oversees.
Coleman National Forest Campground & Recreation Directory, Second Edition ($19.95, Globe Pequot Press) is a 624-page, full-color guide to all U.S. National Forest campgrounds. This comprehensive directory includes driving directions, number of sites, fees, RV length limits, activities, points of interest, and more for each of the 4,300 campgrounds listed.
Each book is available individually from Roundabout Publications with free shipping, or all three can be ordered as a bundle for $47.95, a savings of $8. To order, visit www.travelbooksusa.com or call (800) 455-2207. Mail orders can be sent to Roundabout Publications, P.O. Box 19235, Lenexa, KS 66285. Kansas residents add 5.3 percent tax.