Visitors to GoRVing.com now can get ideas and inspiration for a family vacation or getaway with friends while playing “Hit The Road,” an interactive travel game added to the Web site to give consumers a virtual preview of what they can experience when they hit the road in an RV.
Players earn points by traveling state by state in a virtual RV as they choose destinations, while information about attractions in the area appears on the screen. If the player is interested in physically visiting the destination, he or she clicks “Driving Directions,” types in the starting address, and MapQuest provides detailed directions.
“Hit The Road” allows players to earn bonus points by playing three extra mini-games. “Interstate Of Mind” is a true-or-false trivia game with questions about the state in which the player is currently traveling. “Crank It Up” is a race against the clock to open a folding camping trailer, and “Flight Of The Pumpkin” is a virtual slingshot challenge.
The same new interactive games found on the Go RVing Web site also are available on the popular free Yahoo! instant messaging service. Yahoo users also can access customized conversation screen images that depict RVing scenes; view Go RVing TV ads; read descriptions of RV types; and download popular recipes from GoRVing.com.
Go RVing also has unveiled a “fan page” on the popular Facebook site, which serves 50 million users. Would-be and current RV enthusiasts can gather to learn about RVing, link to the Go RVing Web site, view photo albums of RV trips and the Go RVing ad campaigns, watch video postings, and communicate with each other via the comment wall.
Internet users flock to blog pages for conversation and information. A newly introduced blog on GoRVing.com is being authored by well-known travel author and RVIA spokesperson Brad Herzog as he and his family take their annual summer RV road trip. Readers are encouraged to post stories, comments, photos, and videos of their own family RV trips.
“Hit The Road,” Facebook, and the Go RVing blog are all accessible through hot links from the GoRVing.com home page.
RV Dealer Celebrates 45 Years With Holiday Rambler
Veurinks’ RV Center, C2876, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently was recognized by Monaco Coach Corporation for its 45th year as a Holiday Rambler dealer. The company, which was started in 1954 by Howard and Barbara Veurink, carries Holiday Rambler’s full line of RVs, including Type A, B, and C motorhomes.
Veurinks’ RV Center’s current eight-acre facility, which is now operated by son Tim Veurink and daughter Tammy Kuipers, includes a heated showroom, 28 fully functional RV displays, overnight RV parking, and a full-service RV parts and service center.
Forest River’s First Toy Hauler
Forest River Inc., C7781, has unveiled its first toy hauler motorhome, the 36-foot Georgetown GTX.
The base model of the GTX is built on a Workhorse W22 chassis, which sports 22.5-inch aluminum wheels and a 22,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating. Features include an 11-foot-by-8-foot garage to provide more room for “tall toys” such as four-wheel-drive ATVs with roll bars. Two opposing slideouts in the living area open up a spacious front interior with a dinette and sofa bed. Kitchen amenities include a 30-inch stainless-steel microwave oven, a 9-foot stainless-steel refrigerator, solid-surface countertops, and a stainless-steel oven with covered burners. Halogen lighting brightens the living area, which also features a 32-inch TV. The coach has linoleum flooring throughout.
Other notable features include a water purification system, a 6.5-kilowatt generator and 50-amp service, a 13,500-Btu air conditioner, slideout awnings, gel-coat exterior walls, and an exterior hose with nozzle.
Option packages include side-mount sofa beds or an electric bed lift in the cargo area, a cargo screen door, rear spotlights, and an exterior entertainment center with another 32-inch LCD TV.
The standard model Georgetown GTX has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $97,605. For more information, call Forest River at (574) 296-7700 or visit www.forestriverinc.com.
Exhibit Chronicles Evolution Of Automotive Leisure Travel
“From Autocamps to Airstreams: The Early Road to Vacationland” “” an exhibit that takes a nostalgic look at the house cars, travel trailers, and specialized vehicles used by vacationers during the formative years of motor touring before World War II “” is now being shown at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. The exhibit features both popular and obscure vehicles, illustrating their utility by displaying them loaded with period camping equipment or hitched to trailers ranging from a pioneering Airstream to one of the earliest production tent trailers known to survive.
Originally called “motor touring,” the practice of exploring the countryside by car was considered a potentially dangerous adventure until the production of inexpensive and reliable automobiles that were capable of taking motorists farther from home and back again. Americans seized upon this idea with enthusiasm, and auto camping quickly gained popularity, providing an economical alternative to the more traditional and expensive travel options (trains, hotels, etc). The increasing number of vacationers traveling by car created a ready market for specialized recreation equipment, and “roughing it” rapidly gave way to civilized living thanks to the spirit of innovation among manufacturers.
“From Autocamps to Airstreams: The Early Road to Vacationland” is scheduled to run through February 8, 2009, at the Petersen Automotive Museum, one of the nation’s largest and most progressive automotive museums. The museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Museum members and children under 5 are admitted free. Covered parking is available for $8 per vehicle. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For general museum information, call (323) 930-2277 or visit www.petersen.org.
Industry Veteran Opens Coach Renovation Center
Bob Lee, the founder of Country Coach Inc., C2132, who remains a consultant with the Junction City, Oregon-based motorhome manufacturer, recently opened a new business in Eugene, Oregon, that will specialize in repairing, restoring, refurbishing, and servicing high-line Type A diesel pushers.
Oregon Motorcoach Center, C11513, will give owners of older luxury diesel motorhomes the opportunity to have their vehicles updated and upgraded without having to purchase a new coach. The company will provide a full range of additions and changes that can be made to both the interior and exterior of the coach, and even the possibility of adding a slideout room.
In addition to Mr. Lee, who serves as CEO, other principals include Bob’s daughter Brenda; Pat Mason, Bob’s son-in-law who is married to daughter Kenda; and Vance and Jane Anderson.
The company is located at 29417 Airport Road in Eugene. For more information, call (800) 942-6860 or visit www.oregonmotorcoachcenter.com.
Monaco Coach Corporation Announces Signature Resorts
RV manufacturer Monaco Coach Corporation, C2111, has announced the formation of Signature Resorts, C11470, to develop and manage its growing luxury RV resorts segment.
The company will be led by president of resort operations E. Randall Henderson Jr. Mr. Henderson has served as president of resort development for Monaco since 2004, and has been responsible for the construction, marketing, sales, and management of Motor Coach Country Club in Indio, California, and Las Vegas Motor Coach Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, both Monaco-owned developments. Previously Mr. Henderson served as the president of Outdoor Resorts of America.
Two new Signature Resorts currently are under construction “” one in Bay Harbor, Michigan, and the other in Naples, Florida. Lying just south of Petoskey along five miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor totals more than 1,200 acres with 36 holes of championship golf, a marina, a full equestrian center, and sophisticated shopping and dining venues. The Naples development, located on the southwest coast of Florida, will provide luxury accommodations with direct navigable water access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Signature Resorts’ Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, California, has 400 luxury sites, an 18-hole golf course, two miles of waterways, and a clubhouse with full dining and athletic facilities. The Las Vegas Signature Resort has more than 400 sites, an executive golf course, a pool, and tennis and spa facilities.
For more information about Signature Resorts, visit www.signaturervresorts.com.
National Park Retirees Group Rates Parks For Quiet, Noise
The 650-member Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) has put together a list of five national parks in the contiguous 48 states where visitors still can find genuine peace, quiet, and natural sounds.
When you visit these or other national parks, the CNPSR suggests that you tell park rangers you wish to be away from man-made sounds as much as possible and ask which sections of the park are best for quiet enjoyment.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada. The Great Basin region includes most of Nevada, half of Utah, and sections of four other states. Hiking here, or especially snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, are excellent ways to experience peaceful natural sounds in one of the West’s lesser-known and least-visited parks.
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. This is a remote wilderness park whose land base is 99 percent designated wilderness, although the majority of the park acreage is in Lake Superior where motorized boating is allowed. But quiet can be found almost anytime in the interior, especially when hiking, paddling, and camping in the more remote areas.
North Cascades National Park, Washington. Almost 400 miles of trails allow visitors to experience nature with minimal human-caused intrusions. Opportunities for solitude are greatest in the more remote cross-country zones. Overnight recreational use is closely managed to provide a high level of solitude, including permits, designated campsites, and party size limits.
Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana. Characterized by willows, sedges, and grasses and flanked by sagebrush steppes and coniferous forests, the park provides habitat for moose and elk and retains much of its natural character. The battlefield sits in the beautiful U-shaped Big Hole Valley near Wisdom, Montana.
Muir Woods National Monument, California. Stewards of this small park in the greater San Francisco Bay area are committed to protecting the old-growth redwood forest, and have embarked on a variety of efforts to protect the natural soundscape. The Junior Ranger program was reworked to include quieting exercises, and a new program emphasizes listening and appreciating the natural soundscape. The park also has tested quiet days and quiet zones.
CNPSR members also highlighted five parks that are most at risk in the face of growing noise pollution: Minute Man National Historical Park (Massachusetts), Mojave National Preserve (California), Mt. Rushmore National Park (South Dakota), Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii), and Everglades National Park (Florida).
National parks in Alaska deliberately were left off the most-quiet list, since many of these parks are inaccessible by road and relatively lightly visited. Two national parks omitted from the noisiest list, since their longstanding noise issues are well known, were Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.