Coachmen RV Unveils New Sportscoach Encore
Coachmen RV, based in Middlebury, Indiana, recently introduced its newest diesel-powered luxury motorhome, the 2005 Sportscoach Encore. The Encore is built to meet the growing demand by RVers for upscale amenities and the power that a diesel engine can deliver.
Travelers can relax on leather seating found throughout the motorhome, snooze in the bedroom suite, and enjoy the open space created by the model’s double-slideout floor plan. The raised-rail Freightliner chassis is equipped with a Caterpillar 330-horsepower turbocharged diesel engine and an Allison six-speed transmission.
The Encore is 38 feet 8 inches long and has a 31,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and a 41,000-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR). It is available in four exterior paint options.
Standard features include large picture windows, solid-surface countertops, real tile floors in the galley and bath areas, and sculpted carpet. The paneled side-by-side refrigerator blends in with the cabinetry wood options, such as Brazilian Cherry. The bathroom has a skylight and marbled shower surround. The 10-gallon water heater ensures no chilly surprises.
The slideout bedroom has a residential queen-size bed with a designer headboard, spacious wardrobe closets, and a TV disguised behind a corner cabinet. The 38-inch-deep living area slideout is said to extend farther than most motorhomes in this price range to open up the living area.
For more information about the 2005 Sportscoach Encore or to find a Coachmen RV dealer, visit www.coachmenrv.com or call (574) 825-5821.
State Parks Camping Guide Available
RV Camping in State Parks camping directory
Roundabout Publications has announced the availability of RV Camping in State Parks, a new directory that focuses on state parks nationwide that have camping facilities suitable for RVers. More than 1,600 state parks and recreation areas in 49 states are described.
RV Camping in State Parks includes maps and driving directions for each state park with RV campgrounds. It also provides an overview of each state’s park system; contact information, including Web site address; a park locator chart; information about making reservations; entrance fees and camping fees; and more.
The book also indicates how many RV sites are available; the number of sites that have water and electric hookups; and the number of full-hookup sites. Also provided is information about the seasons of operation, RV length limits, and availability of showers and dump stations.
The 256-page book is available from the publisher for $14.95, which includes free shipping. To order, send a check or money order to Roundabout Publications, P.O. Box 19235, Lenexa, KS 66285; call (800) 455-2207; or visit www.roadnotes.com.
Country Coach Debuts Limited Edition Intrigue
High-line motorhome manufacturer Country Coach Inc., a subsidiary of National RV Holdings Inc., unveiled its 2005 Intrigue LE at the Country Coach International Club’s Class Reunion Rally in Eugene, Oregon, in mid-August. It made its public debut at FMCA’s 72nd International Convention in Redmond, Oregon, shortly thereafter.
The Intrigue LE is a special-edition limited-production coach offered in four distinct themes: Napa (vineyard), Nairobi (African), Kona (tropical), and Verona (European). The new Intrigue LE offers customers an experience in theme design using features such as sculptured carpet; a full-height tile backsplash; an etched shower door; decorative elliptical ceiling lighting with etched lenses; and an array of architectural details including ornamental wood appliqués that add character to the cabinetry and valances. Each of the four editions features details specific to that scheme.
Available in 40-foot and 42-foot lengths with double-, triple-, or quad-slideout floor plans, the Intrigue LE is powered by either a Cummins ISL 400-horsepower engine or a Caterpillar C13 525-horsepower engine. Other features include a generous one-piece windshield; an Integra home stereo system with flush-mount speakers; an electric patio awning; room topper and front door awnings; stainless-steel trim; and three custom paint schemes, one for each edition. Each coach is identified with a serialized edition number on an engraved plaque.
For more information about the Intrigue LE, visit the Country Coach Web site at www.countrycoach.com or call (800) 654-0223.
New Book Chronicles Life On The Road With Alabama Football Fans
Alabama native and New York Times reporter Warren St. John has captured the colorful and sometimes outrageous nature of college football followers in his book Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey Into the Heart of Fan Mania ($24, Crown Publishing).
Mr. St. John, a lifelong University of Alabama football fan, realized that, even after relocating to New York to attend Columbia University, he remained obsessed with the Crimson Tide. To examine the fascination many people have with sports teams, and Alabama in particular, he went on a journey of discovery. His research led him to the roving community of RVers who follow the Crimson Tide from game to game across the South. He joined the caravan, first as a guest and then as a participant driving his own RV, to discover why sports can turn otherwise sane, rational people into over-the-top fans.
The book chronicles his journey with this eclectic group, beginning with the couple who skipped their daughter’s wedding because it fell on the same day as the Alabama-Tennessee game and including the priest who has a TV set up near the altar so he can follow the games while performing weddings. In this moving city of RVs, he enters the world of the extreme fan, learning that in the shadow of the stadium, everything seems strangely normal.
Along the way, the author provides illuminating forays into the roots of humanity’s sports mania, crowd psychology, and the neuroscience behind the thrill of victory. Although the book is written about Alabama, you don’t have to be a fan of the Crimson Tide to enjoy the stories and observations made by Mr. St. John. In fact, they may ring familiar for anyone who fervently follows big-time college football.
The 288-page book can be purchased at major bookstores and through online booksellers. An abridged five-hour, four-CD audiobook version, narrated by Mr. St. John, also is available ($27.50), as well as an audio download version ($11.95). Visit www.randomhouse.com or www.rammerjammeryellowhammer.com for more details.
RV Shipments On Pace To Break Quarter-Century Record
Factory-to-dealer deliveries of recreation vehicles are up 20 percent for the first half of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003 and are on pace to set a quarter-century record, according to newly released data from Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Despite record-high gasoline prices nationwide this summer, RV shipments in June were the highest for any June since 1977. For the first six months of 2004, shipments totaled 196,200 units compared to 163,500 units during the first half of 2003.
University of Michigan researcher Dr. Richard Curtin, who conducts quarterly forecasts for the RV industry, predicts that RV wholesale shipments in 2004 will reach their highest level since 1978.
The strong shipment numbers have been spurred by increasing consumer demand for RVs. Retail sales of RVs rose 15.2 percent in the first five months of 2004 compared to the same period last year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. In 2003 the RV industry earned record revenues of more than $12 billion (as measured by the retail value of wholesale shipments).
“There are many factors behind the surge in RV sales. Among them are the rising popularity of driving vacations, a favorable economic climate, product innovation, and demographics,” said RVIA president David Humphreys. “Families want to spend quality time together and prefer the greater freedom, flexibility, control, and comfort RVs provide. Younger consumers are driving up sales, realizing the advantages of RVing over other forms of travel.”
Additionally, RV buyers continue to take advantage of low interest rates to finance their purchases. Interest rates are expected to remain at comparatively low levels through the end of 2004, according to Dr. Curtin.
Long-term trends point to substantial RV market growth due to favorable demographics and lifestyle trends. As baby boomers approach retirement age, the number of RV-owning households is projected to rise 15 percent during the 2001 to 2010 time frame, outpacing overall U.S. household growth of 10 percent, according to a University of Michigan study.
The study found the number of RVs owned by people between ages 35 and 54 grew faster than all other age groups, bolstered by an industry advertising campaign aimed at the baby boom generation. The Go RVing Coalition’s national advertising campaign of print, television, radio, and Internet ads targets adults ages 30 to 64. The industry will spend approximately $50 million on the current three-year phase of this market expansion effort.
RVIA is the national association representing more than 500 manufacturers and component suppliers that produce approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.
RV/MH Heritage Foundation Board Approves New Facility
The board of directors of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, parent corporation of the national RV/MH Hall of Fame, Museum, and Library, voted unanimously during the group’s annual meeting on August 2, 2004, to begin a phased-in construction of its new headquarters. The new facility will house the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Museum, and Library, as well as the foundation’s general offices. It also will provide exhibit space for current industry products and more than 10,000 square feet of conference and convention space.
The board’s action, announced to more than 300 industry representatives at the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame induction program that same evening, clears the way to finalize plans, with construction estimated to begin in the first quarter of 2005.
Phase one of the complex is scheduled to include the general offices, reception area, hall of fame gallery, theater, and exhibit space for the foundation’s collection of vintage recreation vehicles. Phase two, to be undertaken as soon as funding for it is complete, will include exhibit space to display historical products of the manufactured housing industry; the conference facility; and the exhibit area for current industry products.
The RV/MH Heritage Foundation, which was founded in 1972 and is based in Elkhart, Indiana, has honored more than 250 leaders with induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame and has a public museum and library archiving the products and literature of the industry’s past.