Liberty Coach Wins 2008 Crestron Innovative Design Award
Liberty Coach vice presidents Frank and Kurt Konigseder (left and right) are joined by audio/video engineer and programmer Paul Hilgeman in accepting the Crestron Innovative Design Award.
Liberty Coach, based in North Chicago, Illinois, received Crestron Electronics’ Innovative Design Award for the company’s use of the Crestron system in its Prevost Elegant Lady motor coach interior. Crestron announced the winners of its fourth annual Integration Awards during the Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association Expo in Denver, Colorado, on September 6, 2008.
The completely integrated Crestron touch-panel remote-control system used in the Liberty Elegant Lady interior gives the user command of seven zones of audio as well as the video devices, lighting, the heating and air-conditioning system, the window shades, and even the outdoor awning. The Crestron system also monitors and manages the fresh water and waste water, power generator, air doors, and locks. Integration of the Moritz system controls the AC circuit breakers and more than 100 dimmable and programmable DC breakers for lights, valves, and other mechanical systems. The cellular access point enables remote control of the system from any location, which is helpful when you’re constantly on the road. With remote computer access, the onboard systems can be monitored and modified from any location.
Liberty Coach is a family owned and operated private coach conversion company founded in 1970. The company creates interiors on the Prevost XLII and H3-45 chassis at its North Chicago, Illinois, facility, and operates a sales and service facility in Stuart, Florida. For more information about Liberty Coach, call (800) 332-9877 or visit www.libertycoach.com.
National Park Service Launches Web Site For Disabled Visitors
Last year more than 276 million people visited facilities managed by the National Park Service (NPS) to enjoy their natural beauty and historical significance. These visitors included many people who have disabilities or special needs.
National park units are continually adding accessible trails, campgrounds, museum exhibits, ranger programs, and other opportunities for visitors with disabilities. To highlight these opportunities, the NPS has developed a Web site titled “National Parks: Accessible to Everyone” “” www.nps.gov/pub_aff/access/index.htm. The site provides information about opportunities available in parks for visitors with disabilities and special needs that can be used by folks when planning their visit.
Although information from some NPS parks and units may not currently be included on the Web site, that doesn’t mean the park does not have accessible features. To obtain information about units not included in this Web site, call the park or visit its individual Web site, which can be reached via www.nps.gov. The individual Web sites for many parks include sections about accessibility features available at the unit.
Spartan Motors Sponsors “Bible Across America” RV Tour
Spartan Motors Inc. has teamed up with Zondervan, the world’s leading Bible publisher, to sponsor a coast-to-coast, 44-state RV tour called Bible Across America to handwrite and publish a new Bible one person, one verse at a time. At the conclusion of the tour, the Bible will be published with all 31,173 contributors listed in the appendix and then sold in stores nationwide.
Spartan Motors has donated the use of one of its RV test units “” a 42-foot, 500-horsepower Fleetwood American Eagle motorhome with a Spartan K2 chassis “” for the 15,000-mile tour, and will provide roadside assistance through its national network of dealer and service partners.
Bible Across America is being launched to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the New International Version (NIV) Bible translation. The tour will make scheduled stops at events, universities, retail stores, churches, American landmarks, and other venues to allow people of all ages and walks of life to write a verse in the Bible. The tour kicked off September 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and includes stops ranging from a NASCAR race in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego, California, as well as signing events in the heart of New York City and for legislators in Washington, D.C.
For more information about tour stops and real-time blog updates, visit www.BibleAcrossAmerica.com.
Lassen Volcanic National Park Opens New Visitors Center
The new facility helps visitors better appreciate the natural wonders of Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park in California celebrated the grand opening of its Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitors Center, the park’s first year-round visitors center, on October 2. The new facility received its name from the Mountain Maidu Indian name for Lassen Peak, which means “Snow Mountain.”
The new center will include a staffed information desk, an exhibit hall, an auditorium for the new park film, a bookstore, gift sales, food services, a first-aid room, rest rooms, an amphitheater, and an after-hours backcountry registration and orientation vestibule. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitors Center is also a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified building and is expected to achieve the highest rating of platinum. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/lavo.
Foremost Insurance Partners With Outdoor Ethics Organization
Specialty insurer Foremost Insurance recently announced its Bronze Sponsor relationship with Tread Lightly!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to responsible outdoor ethics.
Tread Lightly! aims to educate people on how to enjoy the outdoors without harming it. They also organize efforts to restore damaged habitats and improve natural areas that need attention. Foremost’s relationship with the organization puts the insurer in good company with other partners including Jeep, Hummer, Cabela’s, Nissan, and Kawasaki.
For more information about Foremost’s insurance programs for RVs and other vehicles, or to find a Foremost agent near you, visit www.foremostoutdoors.com. To read more about Tread Lightly!’s mission, visit www.treadlightly.org.
Life On Wheels Program Discontinued
Following the death of Life On Wheels founder Gaylord Maxwell on September 20, Mr. Maxwell’s wife, Margie, and family, have decided to discontinue the Life On Wheels educational conferences program.
The announcement, which can be found at the www.lifeonwheels.com, states that the program “educated more than 15,000 students “” offering them the basic training necessary to make RVing a viable lifestyle and making their RVing dreams come true. Gaylord started the program in 1996 and left a wonderful legacy of educated, satisfied RVers.”
Coachmen’s New Fuel-Efficient Freelander
The Sprinter-based Freelander 2100 CB measures 25 feet in length and sleeps six.
According to company literature, Coachmen’s new Freelander 2100 CB Type C motorhome achieves an estimated fuel economy figure of 17 to 19 miles per gallon and has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at approximately $89,000.
The Freelander 2100 CB is built on a Freightliner Sprinter chassis, which features an aerodynamic front-end design and a Mercedes-Benz 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel engine. The motorhome has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,030 pounds and a gross combination weight rating of 14,530 pounds. With an exterior length of 25 feet, the motorhome is said to be very maneuverable, which, along the vehicle’s comfortable cockpit, creates a driving sensation similar to an automobile or SUV.
Inside, the motorhome sleeps six “” two in the master bedroom, two in the cab-over bunk, and two on the convertible U-dinette. Coachmen also fitted the cab-over bunk with a safety net to prevent falls.
The galley features an aluminum sink with a high-spout faucet, a microwave oven, a range and oven, and plenty of storage. A bench separates the galley countertop from the driver’s seat in the cockpit. However, when the bench is not in use, a pull-out extension expands the countertop an additional 2 feet.
The living area slideout, with the U-dinette, expands the living space. Adding to the roomy feel are 7-foot-high ceilings and large windows throughout that let in plenty of natural light. A 19-inch LCD HD-ready television is mounted on the wall across from the dinette.
The Freelander 2100 CB includes a 50-gallon fresh water tank, a 37-gallon gray water tank, and a 22-gallon black water tank. It also includes 78 cubic feet of exterior storage accessed through large side-swing doors.
For more information, contact Coachmen at (800) 353-7383 or visit www.coachmenrv.com.
Two Books Focus On Women RVers
The adventures of motorhoming from a woman’s point of view highlight a pair of books now available.
Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and Bus with a Will of Its Own ($13.95, Broadway Books) by Doreen Orion is a funny, inspiring travel memoir of one couple’s cross-country motorhome trip and how it changed their lives.
Doreen, a self-described “Long Island Princess,” is content being a grouchy couch potato until her type-A personality, outdoorsman husband, Tim, suggests they take a year off from their jobs as psychiatrists to see the United States in a bus conversion. Unwillingly, she agrees, and the duo, accompanied by a pair of cats and a poodle, embark on an action-packed, romantic journey of trials and transformations. The misadventures, marvelous places, and delightful people they encounter along the way have a life-changing effect on the traveling duo, as Doreen grows to appreciate the simple life and Tim learns to become more mellow.
This book is available at bookstores, online booksellers, or through the publisher at www.randomhouse.com/broadway. For more information, visit www.QueenOfTheRoadTheBook.com.
In Patt Fero’s fictional story, www.queenmotorhome.com ($16.95, The Goldmind Company Inc.), a pair of successful “baby boomer” women who seemingly have it all (careers, beautiful homes, financial security, loving families) realize something is missing in their lives. So these lifelong friends, who have joked for years about running away in a motorhome, do just that, taking readers on a rollicking ride filled with laughter, adventure, insights, and tears.
With their “Queen” tiaras nestled securely on their heads, Liz and Leslie set off on their long-awaited journey away from it all, making new friends, facing challenges, and reveling in the new experiences they find on the road. What they didn’t expect, however, was that their lives and relationships would take on new meaning, and that the discoveries they would make about themselves would alter their lives forever.
This book is available at bookstores and through online booksellers, or it can be ordered online at www.queenmotorhome.com.
Allison Transmission Call Center
Allison Transmission, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, has established the Technical Assistance Call Center (TAC) to answer distributor, dealer, and consumer service questions and to build a robust database that allows quick, on-target answers as well as early detection of any service issues.
Allison’s TAC is staffed with highly experienced technicians who have hands-on knowledge about transmission service. Beyond providing expert answers, TAC’s ultimate goal is to develop better-informed, more satisfied service technicians in the field.
By calling TAC’s toll-free line (800-252-5283), callers can receive quick assistance to questions about all Allison 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 product family vocational models as well as AT, MT, and HT models. The information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While most calls are from distributor and dealer service personnel, TAC also fields calls from end-users with general questions such as fluid levels and diagnostic codes. For more complex consumer questions, the TAC rep will involve a distributor or dealer near the caller’s location to help resolve the issue.
Fleetwood Announces Consolidation
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. announced that it is relocating motorhome production from its plant in Paxinos, Pennsylania, to its plants in Decatur, Indiana.
The Paxinos manufacturing facility, which opened in 1973 and employs approximately 325 people, will cease operations effective early December 2008. The plant built Fleetwood Type A gasoline and Type C motorhomes. The full line of products currently built in Paxinos will be transferred to the Decatur manufacturing complex, which currently builds Type A diesel motorhomes, during the company’s fiscal third quarter. Fleetwood’s other Type A gas and Type C motorhome manufacturing facility, located in Riverside, California, will not be affected by the Paxinos plant closure.
This consolidation will not affect the availability of Fleetwood motorhomes to dealers or consumers in the marketplace. All current brands and models will continue to be offered.