Renegade Introduces Ikon
Bristol, Indiana-based Renegade/Kibbi LLC, which specializes in building motorhomes for the racing community, has expanded its product line with the IKON, a new model targeting the general RV market.
The new IKON incorporates quality-crafted baggage and compartment doors for easier operation and larger carrying capacity. Multiple air-conditioning units, precise power leveling jacks, undercoating, and other top features are standard equipment.
According to press information provided by the company, the IKON’s aerodynamic exterior design means better fuel economy, and the interior designs are functional and luxurious. The IKON is said to be very customizable for those wanting a coach with individuality, and it is built on a commercial-duty chassis for years of service.
The IKON also includes leather Flexsteel furniture, Corian solid-surface countertops, polished tile flooring, and more as standard equipment. Renegade offers a variety of floor plans with a long list of options, appliances, and accessories. Another notable advantage is that each IKON motor coach is designed specifically for the individual customer’s use and need.
For more information about the IKON or other Renegade/Kibbi products, call (888) 522-1126 or visit www.kibbi.com
Alaska RVing Book
An excursion to Alaska via recreation vehicle is different from any other trip you may take. A new book titled RVing to Alaska ($24.95, RV Stuff) provides “how to” information about planning and making this trip.
Written by veteran RVer Ron Jones, the book begins with advice for anyone thinking about or planning a road trip to Alaska. The information found in the book is intended to help travelers plan and make a safe, economical, and enjoyable journey through Canada to Alaska.
Readers will learn about RVing in the “Lower 48″ and northern Canada/Alaska and the differences, traditions, and laws. The 150-page book also includes tips about road conditions (including driving over frost heaves), routes, emergency road service, places to go, visitors centers, pets, wildfires, border crossings, and packing extra items. It also offers advice about campgrounds, loonies and toonies (Canadian currency), boondocking sites, wildlife, credit cards, historic mile markers, moose droppings, and more. RVing to Alaska focuses on “how” to make the trip to Alaska by RV, with just a smidgen of travel guide tossed in.
To order, call (800) 262-3060 or visit www.rvstuff.org.
Camp Freightliner Schedule Announced
Camp Freightliner, hosted by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), provides an opportunity for motorhome owners to spend two intensive, fun-filled days learning more about their vehicles. Freightliner experts will lead workshops covering a variety of aspects of RV ownership. Topics will include understanding and maintaining air brake and electrical systems; overall tips and guidelines for maximum performance; suggested maintenance intervals; the importance of weight distribution; and proper vehicle storage.
In addition, pilots and copilots will have the opportunity to learn firsthand the intricacies of a Freightliner chassis by examining a bare chassis to review its features and components.
FCCC officials have designed the camp sessions “” nearly 30 will be held in 2010 “” for any new, existing, or prospective Type A motorhome owner who wants to learn more about diesel-powered RVs and how to care for them. The cost is $100 per person or $150 for a pilot and copilot together and will be held at the company’s Gaffney, South Carolina, training and service center. Camping will be at the Spartanburg KOA at a reduced rate of $34 per day during the class. The company also will hold a camp at Riverbend Resort in Harrisburg, Oregon, August 19 and 20, following FMCA’s 84th International Convention in Redmond. Camping rates at Riverbend Resort will be $26 per day during the class.
For more information about Camp Freightliner, call (864) 206-8267 or visit www.freightlinerchassis.com.
Country Coach Founder Acquires Company Assets
The assets of Country Coach, the high-line motorhome builder that went out of business last year, were put up for auction on February 4 and 5, 2010, and brought in approximately $5 million. More than 1,300 people registered to bid on items in person, and another 350 people registered online. Among them were the company’s founder, Bob Lee, who was no longer associated with the company at the time of the bankruptcy filing.
Items for sale included 10 finished motorhomes and 15 unfinished coaches, tools and machinery, office equipment, furniture, and parts. Bob Lee, who founded the company, then called Country Camper, in 1973; his wife, Terry; and his brother, Ron, acquired the intellectual property of Country Coach, including the logo, drawings, parts lists, and blueprints, along with key pieces of equipment. According to published reports, the family already owns most of the factory buildings that were being used by Country Coach, and the trio made the purchases with an eye toward reviving the company at some point.
According to bankruptcy records, Country Coach owed its main creditor, Wells Fargo Bank, $7.5 million when it was ordered to sell its assets to pay creditors.
Green-Certified Rvs At RVIA Show
If the signs at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in December 2009 are any indication, “green” and “RV” can go hand-in-hand just fine.
Six RV and park model companies boasted products at the show with a “Green Certified” insignia on them provided by the independent certification firm TRA Certification Inc. TRA is a longtime, internationally accredited certifier of quality management systems and has developed a set of green requirements based on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) consensus standard for new construction, which also fits the RV industry.
In recent months the group has established a set of consensus green requirements for RV and park model construction practices. This is the first time such a program has been applied to the RV industry.
“Everyone has become more green conscious about everything,” said Tom Arnold, president of TRA Certification. “We know the RV industry has a customer base that is particularly attuned to environmental concerns. This provides a tremendous opportunity for RV manufacturers and dealers to tout this special kind of added value, provided their claims are backed by some agreed-upon requirements that buyers can trust.”
TRA Certification, which is based in Elkhart, Indiana, has developed four levels of green certification that companies can promote with special stickers on their products. A sample of green practices used to make these products includes such things as cutting wiring to exact lengths to eliminate waste, operating a separate recycling facility, using eco-friendly insulation that is formaldehyde-free and contains recycled glass and sand, and efficient installation practices for insulation. Other examples include RVs with more aerodynamic designs and lighter-weight materials to reduce fuel consumption, more fuel-efficient engines, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and more efficient appliances.
“There are many ways in which a company can show its greenness,” Mr. Arnold said. “Often a company may not even realize what product or practices can be called green. That’s where we can help. Products like awnings, for example, not only provide campsite shade for RVers, but also for the RV, thereby reducing cooling loads.”
“We’re really just getting started with this industry,” said Mandy Leazenby, TRA green program manager. “We will be working with many more manufacturers in 2010 as well as educating dealers about the extra benefits they have to sell,” she said. “Companies are recognizing the need to market themselves as green and gain the trust of potential buyers. This is yet another way in which the RV industry is growing more sophisticated to meet the demands of a changing marketplace.”
Two Industry Leaders Pass Away
Thetford cofounder Frank Sargent, who celebrated his 100th birthday last September, died on December 7, 2009, in Naples, Florida, following complications from a fall and spinal injury.
Mr. Sargent was born on September 20, 1909, in Stewardson, Illinois, and grew up in nearby Trowbridge. In 1963 he cofounded Thetford Corporation, which became a leading manufacturer of sanitation equipment for the RV and marine industries. As partner, director, and a major shareholder of the company, Mr. Sargent helped introduce many new products to the market while also establishing a manufacturing division in Europe. Thetford was owned by members of the Sargent family until 1989.
During the final years of his life Mr. Sargent wrote a book titled Tales of Trowbridge, which was based on stories from his childhood.
On December 22, 2009, Adam Huber, founder and owner of Protect-All Inc., passed away at his home in Anaheim, California, after a long bout with cancer. He was 87.
Mr. Huber was born April 21, 1922, in Casper, Wyoming. He helped start Pacific Petrochemicals in 1959; sold the company to Ashland Oil in 1967; then bought it back in 1977, renaming it Champions Choice/Protect All Inc. His professional life was spent developing many specialty lubricants. Thanks to his love of his Dodge motorhomes in the 1960s, he developed Protect-All cleaners and polishes and Quick & Easy Wash for motorcycle, RV, and automotive enthusiasts.
He enjoyed flying his 1977 Cessna Skylane 182, having coffee with his buddies at the Fullerton Airport, spending time with his family and dog, and telling people about his company’s products.
National Parks Now Subject To State And Local Firearms Laws
A change in federal law that went into effect February 22, 2010, now allows firearms in many national parks. People who can legally possess firearms under federal and state law now can possess those firearms in the national parks in that state. The new law (Sec. 512 of P.L. 111-24) was passed by Congress and signed in May 2009 by President Obama. Prior to February 22, firearms generally had been prohibited in national parks, except in some Alaska parks and in those parks that permit hunting.
State and local firearms laws vary. Visitors who would like to bring a firearm with them to a national park need to understand and comply with the applicable state and local laws. Approximately 30 national parks encompass more than one state, so visitors need to know where they are in those parks and which state’s law applies.
Federal law continues to prohibit the possession of firearms in designated “federal facilities” in national parks, such as visitors centers, offices, or maintenance buildings. These places are posted with “firearms prohibited” signs at public entrances. The new law also does not change prohibitions on the use of firearms in national parks and does not change hunting regulations.
Park Web sites have been updated to include links to state firearms laws to help visitors understand the laws and plan accordingly.