Athletes Embrace Their RVs
What do 2006 Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb, professional bowling’s all-time money-earner Walter Ray Williams Jr., and veteran NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace have in common? They all enjoy traveling in recreation vehicles.
This year, Webb, along with his wife, infant daughter, and four dogs, arrived at the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training camp in an RV. Williams travels to PBA tournaments in an RV that allows him to bring his family and 30 bowling balls to each match without the hassle and expense of putting them on a plane. And Wallace, one of NASCAR’s most colorful personalities, has traveled with his family in an RV to each NASCAR race since 1996.
Like people from all walks of life, pro athletes appreciate the comfort, convenience, and freedom that RVs offer. Webb, Williams, and Wallace are just a few of the many pro athletes who are passionate about RVing. Here’s a list compiled by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association of 10 current and former pro athletes who have been quoted in news outlets or public forums on their love of RVing:
- Bob Gibson, Hall of Fame major league pitcher: “I enjoy the RV world. I will have one until the day I die.”
- Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver: “My RV is the only place where I can find some peace and quiet.”
- Jim Kaat, former major league baseball pitcher: “I’ve gone from being a major league pitcher to a major league RV owner. I’ll travel roughly 5,000 miles in my RV this year. It’s a great way to see America, and as relaxed a way to see the country as there can possibly be.”
- Dean Karnazes, ultra-marathon runner and best-selling author: “It’s great for family bonding and eating healthy on the road, because you can prepare your own foods.”
- Davis Love, pro golfer: “I’ve got my bed, my pillows, my satellite card, my underwear, and socks in the RV.”
- Bode Miller, U.S. Olympic skier: “My team is sabotaging me by not letting me sleep in my motorhome.”
- Rory Sabbatini, pro golfer: “Traveling by RV is like being at home. Now my wife and son come with me on tour. That has allowed me to relax and play more events without getting fatigued or stressed out.”
- Walter Ray Williams Jr., PBA’s all-time title and money-earner: “I can sleep in my own bed, watch TV, and de-stress. And can you imagine the hassle of flying with 30 balls?”
- Kenny Wallace, NASCAR driver: “RVs are my life. I couldn’t do without my motorhome. If the racetracks told me I couldn’t have mine, I’d die.”
- Brandon Webb, pitcher Arizona Diamondbacks: “That was the first time (after last season) we’d ever driven one, and we kind of liked it. So we did it again and brought it back to spring training.”
Updated Alaska Travel Books
Two popular Alaska travel books are available for those planning to explore “The Last Frontier State” this summer, including The Milepost, considered the essential guide for Alaska travelers.
The 59th edition of The Milepost ($27.95 U.S., $34.95 Canadian; Morris Communications) includes mile-by-mile highway logs for routes in Alaska, as well as the Yukon Territory, northern Alberta and British Columbia, and the western Northwest Territories of Canada. The 800-page guide also provides information about ferry travel, with schedules for the Alaska Marine Highway System, BC Ferries, and the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. Readers also will find detailed information about 11 major attractions in Alaska.
New to this year’s edition are special sections on renting RVs in Alaska; summer sled dog tours; and dining options in downtown Anchorage.
Those traveling to Alaska seeking more adventure can find it in the backcountry with assistance from the ninth edition of The Alaska Wilderness Guide ($19.95 U.S., $29.95 Canadian; Morris Communications), published by the editors of The Milepost.
This 552-page book provides basic information on bush communities, parks and wildlife refuges, hiking trails, and floatable rivers. It also discusses national and state parks, national forests, fishing, recreation cabins, lighthouses, and hot springs. Geographic and historic sites of interest are noted, as are the dos and don’ts for visiting bush communities. The guide even includes a directory to wilderness lodges, outfitters, and bush airlines.
Both books are available at bookstores, through online booksellers, or from the publisher: (800) 726-4707; www.themilepost.com.
Workhorse Owners Club Rally Draws A Crowd
Nearly 80 coaches and approximately 155 members attended the Workhorse Chassis Motorhome Club’s first-ever West Coast Rally at the Golden Village Palms Resort in Hemet, California, March 21 through 25, 2007. The club is a chapter of FMCA.
“The rally was one of our best turnouts,” said Workhorse RV marketing manager Bill Walmsley. Live entertainment, social gatherings, catered meals, and tours to neighboring attractions were just a few of the many activities. The event even drew in other RVers. “There were 15 people who liked the rally activities so much they signed up to be club members,” said Mr. Walmsley.
One highlight was a Workhorse-sponsored ride and drive in a rear-engine gasoline-powered Forest River Georgetown, which was built on the new Workhorse UFO chassis. Other activities included a technical service seminar led by Workhorse national service director Alan Stegich.
The next rally will be in Urbana, Virginia, October 2 through 6, 2007. Although registration is not currently available on the club’s Web site, a registration form will be mailed to all club members. For more information about the Workhorse Chassis Motorhome Club and how to become a member, visit www.wcmc.workhorse.com, or call chapter contact Leann Reed, (417) 231-1694, e-mail [email protected]
New Additions To Glen Canyon National Recreation Area RV Park
Forty-nine new RV spaces, 34 of which are pull-through sites, including full-hookup capabilities, and a new amphitheater have been added to the campground located at Wahweap in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The amphitheater will host National Park Service ranger programs.
The Wahweap RV Park and Campground now offers guests a total of 139 full hook-up RV sites, including 60 pull-through spaces. All the campsites in the park are more than 45 feet long; 60 of them are more than 70 feet long, allowing them to accommodate a large RV and boat. In addition, the spaces are staggered to provide guests with a feeling of spaciousness and privacy. The new section of the park also includes some side-by-side, pull-through spaces that are ideal for groups traveling together with multiple vehicles.
The new sites added to the Wahweap RV Park are located on the west side of the existing facility, near the Stateline boat ramp and boat rental facilities. Nearby dining options include Lake Powell Resort’s fine dining restaurant, the Rainbow Room; the casual Bene Pizza; and the deli-style Java City.
Guests can book boat tours at Lake Powell Resort to Rainbow Bridge National Monument and Antelope Canyon, as well as dinner cruises aboard the Canyon Princess, the 96-foot yacht-style tour boat recently added to the Lake Powell fleet.
For reservations or for more information, visit www.lakepowell.com or call (800) 528-6154.
Fleetwood Introduces 2008 Tioga Ranger, Jamboree Sport
Fleetwood RV announced the nationwide launch of the brand-new 2008 Tioga Ranger and Jamboree Sport value-priced type C motorhomes. With four initial floor plan offerings, ranging from 25 feet to 31 feet in length, the 2008 Tioga Ranger and Jamboree Sport offer RVers the flexibility and convenience to accommodate a variety of sleeping capacity needs.
Exterior construction highlights include a one-piece molded fiberglass front-end cap, high-gloss fiberglass sidewalls, and steel powder-coated running boards and rear bumper.
The design of the motorhomes creates ample space with 82-inch interior ceiling heights, tall overhead bunks with room to sit up, and multiple lighted pass-through storage compartments. Standard features include raised-panel hardwood cabinet doors; a fully appointed bathroom with a residential-style sink and faucet; and a roomy kitchen with a large stainless-steel galley sink, a three-burner stove with a conventional oven, and a microwave oven. A 19-inch LCD wide-screen television is available as an option.
Pricing on the 2008 Tioga Ranger and Jamboree Sport starts around $61,500, which includes Fleetwood’s one-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. For more information call (800) 322-8216 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
New Reno Location For Koa RV Park
Reno KOA at BoomtownFor several years, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) had operated the Reno KOA, adjacent to the former Reno Hilton in Reno, Nevada. That location now has been designated for an alternative use by its new owners. Fortunately for KOA, a new location and opportunity arose. KOA has entered into an agreement with the Boomtown Casino and Hotel Reno to operate Boomtown’s RV park. The Reno KOA at Boomtown has 203 full-service RV sites and is adjacent to the hotel complex overlooking the Truckee River just west of downtown Reno.
The new Reno KOA at Boomtown offers campers more amenities and conveniences than the former location. The park has paved roads and RV pads along with plenty of grass and shade trees. It also has its own outdoor pool and spas, as well as WiFi access, cable TV, 24-hour security, and easy access from Interstate 80. A free shuttle takes RV park guests to the casino.
For more information or to make reservations, call (877) 626-6686 or visit www.boomtownreno.com or www.koa.com.
Dynamax Introduces Grand Sport Ultra
Dynamax Grand Sport Ultra interiorIn early May, Dynamax Corporation completed production of its first 45-foot Grand Sport Ultra, which succeeds the Columbia and M2 in the Grand Sport line. According to company literature, the Grand Sport Ultra line, which also includes 40-foot and 42-foot models, features enhanced drivability, serviceability, safety, and power.
Specifically, the 45-foot model includes four slideouts, a gas fireplace, and a king-size bed, making it the only vehicle in the Dynamax fleet to incorporate such features.
The interior of the 45-foot Ultra also includes silhouette power shades, Granite-brand countertops, stone floors, a 15-cubic-foot refrigerator, 26-inch TVs (front and back), and upgraded fabrics throughout, to name a few of its amenities.
The Ultra’s exterior compartments are larger than those on previous Grand Sport motorhomes and feature pantographic hinges and side-swing hinges under the slides to facilitate access.
The Ultra is powered by a 450-horsepower Mercedes-Benz engine on a Columbia Freightliner chassis and has the capacity to tow 14,000 pounds with an option to tow up to 40,000 pounds.
The Ultra’s utilities package includes a standard Aqua-Hot heating system, as well as a large inverter, a battery bank, a generator, multiplex wiring, a new sleek slideout design, and a full-length Zip Dee power awning built in above the roof.
For more information about the Grand Sport Ultra, visit www.dynamaxcorp.com or call (888) 295-7859.
RV Industry Promotes Employment Opportunities
Recognizing that the RV industry has undergone considerable changes in the past five years, manufacturers and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) are providing a variety of programs to attract qualified employees.
A consortium of RV manufacturers, including Monaco Coach Corporation and Country Coach Inc., recently launched a program that includes hosting RV manufacturing tours for guidance counselors, high school teachers, and students; producing a DVD that features RV career information for distribution to high school and community college students; and working with a local community college to develop a curriculum to address RV careers.
In recent years community and technical colleges have provided a steady stream of service technicians to the RV industry through a nationwide program. The National Recreation Vehicle Technical Institute (NRVTI) offers an RV industry-developed curriculum that trains students in the diverse technical fields required of an RV service technician. The NRVTI program is taught in schools in Spartanburg, South Carolina; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Elkhart, Indiana; Lake City, Florida; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Waco, Texas; and Fitzgerald, Georgia.
Along with NRVTI schools, several industry-wide, Internet-based education programs help dealership employees grow in their careers and achieve better results.
To learn even more about career opportunities and training in the RV industry, visit www.rvia.org and click on “Technical Info & Training.”
New Campground Books
Roundabout Publications recently released two new books that provide information about public campgrounds throughout the United States.
In RV Camping in State Parks, readers will discover nearly 200,000 campsites in more than 1,650 state parks, forests, and recreation areas in 49 states (Hawaii is excluded). All the featured parks have campgrounds and facilities suitable for RVs. The 272-page book provides a map and park locator chart for each state; an overview of each state’s park system; information about reservations and fees; plus contact information with phone numbers and Web addresses.
Details about each park include directions, GPS coordinates, and contact information. Also provided are the number of sites available and the type of hookups offered; seasons of operation; RV length limits; and availability of showers, dump stations, and more.
The second book, RVer’s Guide to Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, describes more than 600 Corps-managed campgrounds on nearly 200 lakes around the United States.
All of the lakes featured in this 320-page book have campgrounds with developed sites for RVs. Detailed campground information includes location and directions to each campground; seasons of operation; fees; amenities; RV length limits; number of campsites; and type of hookups available. The lakes offer everything from highly developed, modern facilities to quiet, secluded spots to simply escape for a while.
RV Camping in State Parks ($17.95) and RVer’s Guide to Corps of Engineers Campgrounds ($18.95) are both available from the publisher. Contact Roundabout Publications, P.O. Box 569, LaCygne, KS 66040; (800) 455-2207; www.roadnotes.com.
El Monte RV Plans Expansion
El Monte RV, a national motorhome rental company, plans to open additional rental sites via existing independent dealers this summer. Currently the company has 50 locations, including 35 dealer sites, and recently it has opened or has made plans to establish additional locations in Utah, Illinois, Delaware, Colorado, and California.
Company officials cite increased Internet traffic for helping pinpoint specific market demand for RV rentals. Before most travelers began turning to the Internet for vacation research, the company concentrated on opening locations near entry points for its international travelers. But Web demand has highlighted opportunities in new territories that El Monte RV hadn’t before considered.
For additional information about El Monte RV rentals, visit www.elmonterv.com or call (888) 337-2214.