Winnebago Industries Introduces Ability Equipped ERA
Winnebago Industries Inc. has developed a floor plan for its fuel-efficient ERA Type B motorhome that is designed to accommodate RVers with special physical needs. The new Ability Equipped floor plan has been added to the ERA line for the 2010 model year.
The Ability Equipped ERA includes a Ricon KlearVue lift in the rear of the motorhome. The low-profile design of the lift allows an unobstructed view out the windows in the rear entrance door. Other features include a wider aisleway to facilitate navigation inside the motorhome; wheelchair lock-downs on the driver’s side of the vehicle behind the front cab seats; swing-out bath doors; an assist bar and a second showerhead holder in the wet bath; a custom galley with the microwave oven mounted under the stovetop for access; and a Waeco refrigerator that extends on a sliding tray from the end of the galley cabinet.
In addition to the rear door with the wheelchair lift, the Ability Equipped ERA also has front cab doors and a large sliding door on the passenger side.
Built on an 8,550-pound-GVWR Sprinter chassis with a 3-liter 6-cylinder turbo-diesel Mercedes-Benz engine, the ERA features an aerodynamic design with smooth lines and full body paint. It has a ceiling height of 6 feet 3 inches and an exterior length of approximately 24 feet. The Ability Equipped floor plan carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $118,168.
For further information about the Ability Equipped ERA, contact Winnebago Industries Commercial and Specialty Vehicle Department at (800) 492-9135 or an authorized ERA dealer.
Children’s RV Book
RV Mouse, by Mary Jean Kelso, is the story of a wayward rodent whose misadventures in a motorhome cause chaos in the campground. The book’s suggested audience is children ages 4 through 9. Told convincingly from the mouse’s point of view, it follows a hungry rodent’s encounters with campers as it searches for a meal.
Ms. Kelso has been an avid RVer for most of her life. In addition to RV Mouse, she has self-published other children’s books and young adult books. The book is illustrated by K.C. Snider, an Oregon-based artist whose work has appeared in other books by Ms. Kelso, including The Christmas Angel and One Family’s Christmas.
RV Mouse is available for $10.95 from Guardian Angel Publishing Inc. (www.guardianangelpublishing.com; 314-276-8482), or from online booksellers.
Ms. Kelso and Ms. Snider are scheduled to hold a book signing and illustration show at FMCA’s Redmond, Oregon, convention in August. They also are slated to present a seminar on children’s book writing and illustrating.
Campgrounds Help Kids Connect With Nature
Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, an award-winning book, documented an alarming disconnect between today’s wired generation and nature. But children can reconnect with nature through all kinds of campground activities, according to Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
The association is encouraging its 3,500-plus affiliated campgrounds, RV parks, and resorts to increase their offerings of nature-oriented programs for children and families. Following are examples of how privately owned parks across the United States are offering ways for kids to learn about the world around them.
- Artic RV Park in Cosmopolis, Washington, near Olympic National Park, offers crawdad fishing in a river that flows next to the park. “I keep spare bait for crawdads, string, and weights for children to use for ‘long lining’ in the river,” said park owner Roy Pearmain. Mr. Pearmain, who has a degree in biology, also takes his park guests on nature walks and talks about the medicinal uses of plants and trees that are native to the area.
- At Camp Taylor Campground in Columbia, New Jersey, kids can learn about wolves, bobcats, and foxes by visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve, which is located at the campground. Park owner Jean Taylor said, “Most of our weekend activities are designed to promote environmental awareness and preservation.”
- Castaways RV Resort and Campground in Berlin, Maryland, overlooks Assateague Island, where wild ponies live and play. The park encourages kids to participate in recreation activities.
- Lazy River at Granville in Granville, Ohio, has many outdoor activities, including a 300-foot-long zip line, which is popular with people of all ages. The park also recently opened a mile-long walking path to encourage guests to get out of their RVs and enjoy a walk in the woods.
- The Great Outdoors RV Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville, Florida, has 3,000 acres of land that are home to native egrets, deer, and quail. The Great Outdoors puts a heavy focus on nature and recently opened a nature center with a wildlife museum, nature programs, and hikes.
Visitors Flocked To National Parks In 2009
Ten million more Americans and foreign tourists visited the United States’ national parks last year than in 2008, a 3.9 percent increase that marked the fifth busiest year ever for the National Park System, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced.
More than 285 million people visited national parks and other units of the National Park System during 2009, compared to slightly less than 275 million visitors in 2008. The 2009 figure fell short of the all-time visitation record of 287.2 million in 1987.
Secretary Salazar highlighted the benefits national parks provide to our economy. A study released in February revealed that the National Park System supports more than 223,000 jobs and nearly $14 billion in economic activity across the United States.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park continued its reign as the most-visited national park in 2009, attracting 9.4 million visitors, while the Blue Ridge Parkway was the most visited unit of the system, with nearly 16 million visitors.
The other nine most visited national parks, in order, were Grand Canyon; Yosemite; Yellowstone; Olympic; Rocky Mountain; Zion; Cuyahoga Valley; Grand Teton; and Acadia.
NASCAR Campgrounds Now Open
NASCAR and Morgan RV, one of America’s largest private RV resort owners/operators, announced the June 2010 opening of 13 NASCAR RV Resorts, located in eight states.
NASCAR RV Resorts are built for family-friendly weekend-long parties to give fans and campers the NASCAR experience away from the track. Campground guests can watch Sprint Cup and Nationwide series races presented on giant screens in concert-style tents. Campers will see exclusive pre-race and post-race TV programming, including driver interviews, driver meetings, race official interviews, and at-track commentary. A wide range of other racing-related activities will be offered also, such as tailgate events, parade laps, cookouts, and kids’ games.
The initial 13 NASCAR RV Resorts are Stonebridge Park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina; NASCAR RV Resort of Mays Landing, New Jersey; Indian Creek RV Resort in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio; Westward Ho Campground in North Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin; Adirondack Gateway RV Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York; Indiana Beach Campground in Monticello, Indiana; Wild Acres, Virginia Park RV Resort, and Wagon Wheel, all in Old Orchard Beach, Maine; Megunticook Campground by the Sea and Camden Hills RV Resort, both in Rockport, Maine; Endless Caverns and RV Resort in New Market, Virginia; and Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell, Florida.
For more information, visit www.nascarrvresorts.com or call (888) 722-3781.
Flying J Dump Station, Loyalty Card Updates
To continue providing waste dump station services at Flying J locations, the company has instituted a $10 fee to customers using this service. However, for holders of Flying J’s RV Real Value cards, as well as those with Flying J’s Frequent Fueler cards, a $5 dump station coupon will be added to their card based on fuel purchases. All FMCA members are issued the RV Real Value loyalty card when they join the association. The club member must present his or her card to the cashier at point of purchase to receive the discount.
According to Mark Adamson, Flying J director of training and development, the new fee is necessary to cover increasing costs associated with escalated maintenance expenses resulting from normal usage, and from misuse of waste dump stations; rising costs from sewer treatment service providers; and increasing expenditures related to regulatory responsibilities.
Flying J began charging the fee in early April 2010.
Flying J officials encourage FMCA members to make sure their Flying J card is linked in the system to show their FMCA affiliation. This will allow FMCA members to be part of any future promotions and communications. There are three ways to link your card. If you were not a member of Flying J’s RV Club when you joined FMCA and were issued the Flying J loyalty card, then your newly issued card automatically was linked to show your FMCA affiliation. If you were already a Flying J RV Club member when you joined FMCA, Flying J does not link FMCA to your new card. If you have been issued a replacement card at some point, or if you have had the card for a very long time, it could be that it is not linked to FMCA.
Two manual methods to link your FMCA card with your Flying J RV Card exist. First, join Flying J’s Loyalty Online program (www.flyingj.com/loyaltyonline). Then on the Customer Profile page, select FMCA under the “Club” heading and enter your FMCA membership number. Flying J does offer exclusive benefits to the company’s Loyalty Online members, so they encourage RVers to sign up at this Web site. A second option is to call Flying J’s help line at (877) 787-3595 during business hours and Flying J operators can link the cards.