Johnny Cash Tour Bus Restored
Creative Mobile Interiors, C9705, based in Columbus, Ohio, recently finished restoring a major piece of music memorabilia when it returned the MCI tour bus that carried legend Johnny Cash and his band from 1979 to 2003 to its original condition.
The bus, known as “JC Unit 1,” was purchased by vintage coach collector Dave Wright of Pinehurst, North Carolina, in late November 2005, and he drove it directly to CMI for restoration. “I would not entrust this job to anyone else,” Mr. Wright said. “We have a responsibility to restore this coach to reflect the dignity of the man and his place in history.”
During the restoration process, CMI cleaned and repaired items that were still in good condition and replaced items that were no longer serviceable. Changes included replacing the windows and carpeting; replacing or cleaning the upholstery; repairing the alligator-skin wall material in the bathroom; replacing the batteries; replacing the ceiling vents and covers; repairing and adjusting or replacing the door and cabinet hardware throughout; replacing the stereo system, VCR, and inverter; resealing the roof; and more. Technicians also performed a full plumbing system check, serviced the engine, and touched up the exterior paint and chrome.
Johnny Cash originally purchased the bus for $553,000 from Custom Coach Corporation, C14, which is now a division of Farber Specialty Vehicles in Columbus, and used it for all of his tours, including the 1991 “Highwayman Tour” with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.
Befitting the “Man in Black,” the bus has a predominately black interior and exterior. The rear stateroom, which features wood that came from Johnny Cash’s farm in Tennessee, includes a pair of sleeper sofas. The coach has four separate rooms, all with their own TVs, VCRs, and radios. The center galley includes a sink, stove, refrigerator, freezer, and dinette. The bus is on its second engine with 370,000 miles on it.
Although Mr. Wright wants to find a permanent home for JC Unit 1 in a museum, it currently is being used by The Tennessee Three, Johnny Cash’s band for nearly four decades, as they make their tribute tour, “The Sound Must Go On,” to keep the memory of Johnny Cash and his music alive.
RV/MH Hall Of Fame Offers Bricks For Sale
Folks who work in the RV industry or who simply enjoy RVing now have an opportunity to become part of the new RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, by purchasing an engraved brick that will adorn a pathway or garden wall on the grounds.
A large brick (8-inch-square) includes three lines of engraved text, with 14 characters per line, at a cost of $500. A small brick (4-inch-by-8-inch) includes two lines of engraved text with 14 characters per line and costs $250.
When completed, the new hall of fame will offer more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit, archive, and meeting space. Construction began in the fall of 2005. The first phase is expected to be completed in the fall of 2006, with further development to follow.
For more information about how to purchase a brick, call the RV/MH Heritage Foundation at (800) 378-8694.
Ground Broken On New Luxury RV Resort
Harp Development, based in Fort Myers, Florida, which developed Cypress Wood RV Resort, C7667, announced that it has broken ground on its newest RV resort, Golden Palms Motorcoach Estates. The new 54-acre resort will feature a 22-acre fishing lake surrounded by 75 RV sites fronting the lake and an additional 22 sites adjacent to a nature preserve.
According to developer Amir Harpaz, Golden Palms, which is located just minutes east of Fort Myers and Interstate 75, will be a deed-restricted, private, gated resort designed to meet the needs of high-end type A motorhome owners. Each 55-foot-wide-by-110-foot-deep site will include a 14-foot-by-36-foot casita. The company has four basic floor plans that customers can work from when designing their casita. The sites can accommodate up to two motorhomes and can include a pool, a spa, and a barbecue setup.
Residents will have access to the resort’s two-story, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, which will house a grand room, a full-service kitchen, meeting and game rooms, an exercise room, and locker rooms with shower facilities. The second floor will enable residents and guests to view the lake and community from an observation deck. Also included will be a pool, a spa, and a lighted tennis court.
Golden Palms also will offer 68 custom-built villas, located directly across the street, which will enable residents to have family and other guests stay at the resort without owning or staying in a motorhome.
Preconstruction prices for a site and casita range from $240,000 to $320,000. For more information, call Harp Development at (239) 694-2191, ext. 105, or visit www.goldenpalmsrv.com.
Motorhome Sites Available At Idaho Golf Community
The StoneRidge Golf and Recreation Community in Blanchard, Idaho, is now in Phase I of its development and site sales in StoneRidge Motor Coach Village, C10476. The village is located in stunning northern Idaho, adjacent to a 19-hole championship golf course, and offers a wealth of resort amenities.
Each lot ranges from 3,600 to 7,000 square feet, with a 20-foot-wide-by-60-foot-long concrete pad. Irrigation, landscaping, and direct access to the golf course and amenities are available within the 650-acre master-planned community, which includes a fishing lake, community parks, walking trails, a fitness center with pool, an exercise facility, and tennis courts.
Dean Allara, managing partner with Bridge Investment Group, the developer of StoneRidge, said that the RV village has attracted motorhomers from Arizona and California “who are thrilled to have the option of owning a motor coach site and to escape to the mild climate of the Northwest during the summer months.” He said that Phase I lots are currently 35 percent sold out and Phase II lots will become available in 2007.
Subsequent phases of the Motor Coach Village will include a dedicated clubhouse with common areas and putting greens; an activity and recreation center with a swimming pool, a spa, a hot tub, and barbecue grills; and a designated pet area. The village is specifically designed for type A motorhomes with a 31-foot length minimum.
The purchase of a motor coach site includes lifetime family golf memberships. Current lot prices range from $49,900 to $74,900. Sites are currently available for occupancy.
For more information about the StoneRidge Motor Coach Village and the golf and recreation community, call (800) 952-2948 or visit www.stoneridgeidaho.com.
Family Motor Coaching Travel Story Wins Award
Pamela Selbert’s story “Underground Wonders,” which was published in the September 2005 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, won first prize in the Best Travel Article category of the Missouri Writers’ Guild’s annual competition, announced in April 2006. Pam has been a member of the guild for approximately 13 years and has written dozens of travel and miscellaneous articles for FMC in the past 17 years.
Conquest Motorhome Division Introduces Upgraded Entry-Level Type C
The Conquest Motorhome Division of Gulf Stream Coach Inc., C2697, based in Nappanee, Indiana, has announced that it has revamped its Conquest and Ultra type C product offerings. Built on the Ford E-450 chassis and the new Chevrolet-Workhorse type C chassis, the Conquest and Ultra motorhomes are available with six different floor plans, including three single-slideout units and one double-slideout unit, giving customers a variety of choices.
The new features will be available under the revised Limited Edition package option, which gives the customer many of the benefits typically found only in high-end type C models. Limited Edition upgrades include all-hardwood cabinets, doors, trim, and stiles; ducted roof air-conditioning; a vinyl ceiling; Comfort Plus furniture; and upgraded hardware, lighting, and appliances.
Lengths vary between 21 feet and 31 feet, and the gross vehicle weight rating extends upward to 14,050 pounds. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the standard Conquest and Ultra motorhomes ranges from $49,900 for the 21-foot model to $61,000 for the 31-foot model. Suggested retail prices for the Limited Edition motorhomes range from $55,734 for the 21-foot model to $65,478 for the 31-foot unit.
For more information, contact Gulf Stream Coach, Conquest Division, at (800) 765-8787, ext. 3288; www.gulfstreamcoach.com.
Leaders Celebrate U.S. Interstate System’s 50th Anniversary
Hundreds of transportation officials and industry leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., during the last week in June to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of America’s interstate highway system.
The observance culminated June 28 and 29 with the celebration of the arrival of a cross-country convoy that made its way to Washington, D.C., from California along the nation’s 46,000-mile interstate system. It also included a two-day forum to consider what the interstate system has contributed to America’s position in the world marketplace, to national security, and to the extraordinary mobility of its citizens; and what the nation will demand from the transportation system in the future to maintain economic growth, competitiveness, safety, and security.
Several American Recreation Coalition (ARC) members played key roles in the events and ARC staff played an active role in planning for the convoy and the forum. ARC’s board chairman Dave Humphreys, retired president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, served as a recreation spokesperson for the convoy during its two-week trek across the nation. Jim Rogers, president of Kampgrounds of America (KOA), C456, was a featured panelist at the forum, joining Robert Darbelnet, president of the American Automobile Association (AAA); Bill Graves, former governor of Kansas and now president of the American Trucking Associations; and Robert Bergman, public affairs vice president of United Parcel Service. The four addressed the role of the interstate system in supporting and expanding the nation’s economy over the past 50 years and looked ahead to needs and opportunities.
Then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said that the act creating the Interstate System “did more to bring Americans together than any other law in the last century. It is the lifeblood of cities and communities across the country.”
La Mesa RV Center Debuts New Georgia Dealership
La Mesa RV Center, C943, which maintains its headquarters in San Diego, California, recently cut the ribbon on its newest dealership, located in Austell, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta and next to the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park. With the addition of the Atlanta facility, the company now has nine RV dealership locations. The others are in Davis, San Bernardino, and San Diego, California; Tucson, Mesa, Yuma, and Quartzsite, Arizona; and Tampa, Florida.
“Atlanta is an important market for our company and we have dedicated the resources and inventory to make this a truly unique shopping experience,” said Jim Walters, president of La Mesa RV. “We know that this location will provide a remarkable experience for people purchasing an RV in the Atlanta area and look forward to welcoming many current and future customers to our newest location.”
Patrons who visit this location will be greeted with a state-of-the-art store that boasts more than 3 acres of air-conditioned indoor shopping. With more than 100 new and certified preowned motorhomes in inventory, the center reportedly offers the largest selection in the Atlanta area.
According to company literature, La Mesa RV is the world’s largest Winnebago dealership. Other brands occupying the Atlanta store include Georgie Boy by Coachmen Industries and Charleston by Forest River. The company also carries a large selection of late-model, preowned, certified motorhomes.
For further information about La Mesa RV’s Atlanta dealership, call (678) 569-4900 or visit the store at 150 Riverside Parkway in Austell.
Aon Recreation Insurance Expands Product Offering
Aon Recreation Insurance, C95, will add several new insurance products to its lineup beginning October 1, 2006. In addition to the full spectrum of vehicle insurance policies, such as RV, auto, boat, and motorcycle, the company will begin offering consumers newly expanded options for personal auto insurance; a full line of home, condo, earthquake, and renter’s insurance; and small business insurance.
These new insurance products are one of the benefits of the company’s decision to relocate its operations from Bellevue, Washington, to California to be part of Aon’s industry-leading personal lines insurance division.
“This is a very natural extension of our business and a positive development for our customers,” said Susan Corscadden, executive director of Aon Recreation Insurance. “The opportunity for growth, state-of-the-art phone and computer systems, and the people-power backing us as part of Aon’s personal lines division make this a big step forward in our business evolution.”
According to information furnished by the company, customer service will not be affected by the relocation. Aon will maintain the high level of commitment to servicing its customers as it always has. All contact phone numbers will remain the same.
Aon Recreation Insurance has offered specialty RV insurance to RVers for four decades. For more information about Aon Recreation Insurance call (800) 521-2942 or visit www.aonrecreation.com.
RV Park Adds Nostalgic Drive-In Movie Experience
Guests staying at the Hi-Way Haven RV Park, C9955, in Sutherlin, Oregon, now have the chance to relive their childhoods by watching classic films from the comfort of their RV.
The family-friendly park recently reopened its once dormant drive-in movie screen. Park owner Jim Remley, an Oregon native, was inspired to return the park to its original roots as a local landmark “” the Cloverleaf Drive-In. “I actually went to the movies here many times as kid,” he said. “I wanted to offer families the opportunity to share a drive-in movie experience with their kids. My 9-year-old son loves it!”
Guests of the 102-site park can now watch classic films from the comfort of their own RV. But, as Mr. Remley pointed out, many guests prefer watching from their cars, the old-fashioned way.
Mr. Remley received his license to show classic films from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, which grants him the ability to treat campground guests to movies from many of the top film libraries as long as he meets some basic guidelines.
“We won’t be competing with local theaters,” he said. “Our movies will strictly be for the guests of the park, and we will only show movies that are fun to watch at a drive-in. For instance, we have already shown the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window and the original War of the Worlds.”
The Hi-Way Haven RV Park is located at 609 Fort McKay Road in Sutherlin. For more information about the park, visit www.hiwayhaven.com or call (800) 552-5699.
New Certified RV Service Center Program
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) has announced the creation of the Certified RV Service Center Program. The purpose of the program is to increase professionalism in Florida’s RV dealerships and service centers. With many technicians now certified through the Distance Learning Network, association leaders saw this as an obvious next step.
The criteria to qualify for the program are fairly basic and include the following minimum standards:
Be an FRVTA member in good standing and adhere to the FRVTA Code of Ethics.
- Have at least one Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Master Certified Technician employed.
- Have at least 80 percent of service technicians currently RVIA-certified or in training for certification.
- Maintain a current Florida Propane Repair License and employ at least one qualifier.
- Have a permanent service facility.
- Provide outside service to general drive-in public and nonwarranty customers.
- Maintain a parts inventory to support warranty and nonwarranty service.
- Have a customer satisfaction index (CSI) in place.
Once an application is submitted and an FRVTA representative has inspected the business, the certification will be awarded. Businesses will be given decals that recognize them as FRVTA Certified Service Centers, will receive special recognition in the annual FRVTA Membership Directory, and, in partnership with Coach-Net, C4055, will be given priority status. Certification will be valid for one year and will be renewed upon revalidation of criteria.
For more information about the FRVTA Certified RV Service Center Program, contact the FRVTA at (813) 741-0488.
Home & Park Motorhomes Builds 20,000th Roadtrek
On May 29, 2006, Home & Park Motorhomes, C3790, based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, completed its 20,000th type B motorhome. The milestone motorhome was purchased by McMahon’s RV, C9993, a leading multi-location RV retailer in the greater Los Angeles, California, area and the number-one seller of Roadtrek motorhomes. Dealer Brent McMahon was on hand to take delivery of the unit from Home & Park chairman Jeff Hanemaayer and general manager Jim Hammill. Also in attendance was special guest Carl Zehr, the mayor of Kitchener.
“This achievement represents yet another significant milestone in our 32-year history,” said Mr. Hanemaayer. “I am fully confident with the great people that we have here and at our dealers that significant milestones will continue to be achieved in the ongoing success of Home & Park Motorhomes.”
The Roadtrek is available in six different models based on Chevrolet and Sprinter van chassis. They’re made by 200 employees in a modern 120,000-square-foot plant that allows production of more than 1,500 units annually on a single shift.
The company, which was founded in 1974 by Jeff Hanemaayer’s father, Jac, took 24 years to build the first 10,000 units, but only eight years to complete the second 10,000 motorhomes. Company officials note that they expect that it will take even less time to build the next 10,000 Roadtreks.
For more information, contact Home & Park Motorhomes at (888) 762-3873; www.roadtrek.com.