Overnight Camping At Wineries, Farms
Harvest Hosts, a new RV membership program, offers RVers free overnight stops at wineries and farms throughout North America.
The program was started by Don and Kim Greene, FMCA commercial members and avid motorhomers. While traveling across Europe in 2008, they were introduced to France Passion, an RV visitation network that invites RV owners to visit farms and wineries and stay for 24 hours. Upon returning to the United States, the couple discovered that nothing similar existed, so they decided to develop a program themselves. After months of research, Harvest Hosts LLC was born.
As of July 2011, 300 Harvest Hosts were in the program. Participating farms can be found in all of the lower 48 states, Alaska, and Baja California, Mexico, and British Columbia, Canada, with new participants signing up regularly.
Harvest Hosts vintners and farmers invite owners of self-contained RVs to visit their vineyards, farms, and orchards and to stay for 24 hours free of charge. Most of the facilities are small agricultural operations, not formal campgrounds. Visitors dry camp and must agree to a commonsense code of conduct.
Harvest Hosts locations reflect the diversity of the American farm. They include wineries, u-pick farms, orchards, farm markets, cider mills, maple sugarhouses, dairy farms, flower and herb gardens, creameries, breweries, distilleries, open-air museums, and wildlife rescue/animal parks.
Members of Harvest Hosts receive online access to the Harvest Hosts directory, which is updated regularly and contains participant locations, contact information, hours, GPS coordinates, and activities. Members also receive a membership card, a vehicle ID badge, and access to members-only pages on the program’s Web site.
A 12-month membership costs $30, while renewing members pay $25. For more information, visit www.harvesthosts.com; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or call (928) 277-1661.
Parliament Coach Emerges From Bankruptcy
Parliament Coach Corporation, based in Clearwater, Florida, announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with its largest creditors, allowing the company to emerge from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that began on December 30, 2009.
Steve Mitchell, Parliament Coach president, stated: “It has been a long year and a half of reorganization. We wish to thank our employees that stayed with us and continued to deliver first-rate quality and service to our clients. We also would like to thank all our customers, vendors, and suppliers that stood by us, keeping Parliament a viable company. Lastly, we would like to thank our creditors, legal team, and the courts for helping us work through and emerge from this difficult time.”
Parliament Coach Corporation continues to manufacture coach conversions; remodel client coaches; provide paint and body work through all major insurance providers; consign, purchase, and trade for Prevost conversions; and expand its manufacturing operations to include the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The company also purchased the intellectual property of Blue Bird Coach Works, giving Parliament all documentation for every Blue Bird Wanderlodge motorhome dating back into the 1960s. For more information, visit www.parliamentcoach.com or call (888) 571-5755.
Thor Motor Coach Begins Gold Star Inspection Program
Thor Motor Coach rolled out its Gold Star Inspection program earlier this year. The new program requires every motorhome to pass a 200-plus-point Gold Star Inspection before it is shipped to a dealership. In addition, after the dealer accepts delivery of the motorhome, they will be contacted by a Thor Motor Coach customer service representative. The Gold Star Inspection will include testing of the appliances as well as the LP-gas, electrical, heating, air-conditioning, and water systems. Each motorhome will undergo a road test, a high-pressure 360-degree rain test, and a detailed review of the coach’s fit and finish.
“Requiring every motorhome we manufacture to pass our extensive Gold Star Inspection process gets us closer to our goal of a zero-defect coach,” said Bill Fenech, president and CEO of Thor Motor Coach. “Our dealers need to know that when they are receiving a Thor Motor Coach product, it’s in show-ready condition.” He added that feedback from the dealers will help the company be proactive in its quality control and customer service efforts and make improvements more quickly.
For more information about this program, visit www.ThorMotorCoach.com/gold-star-inspection.php.
Online RV Valuation Guides
Determining the value of your motorhome when it’s time to sell it can be a difficult proposition, considering all of the different features and options available, the mileage on the vehicle, and more. Two services “” one an updated version, the second a new option “” are available to help you determine a fair asking price for your vehicle.
NADAguides, a comprehensive Internet vehicle data and information resource for recreation vehicle, classic car, motorcycle/powersports, and boat pricing and valuation data, recently announced its newly designed sections on NADAguides.com.
Each site section now reflects intuitive, streamlined navigation; in-depth year, manufacturer, and model notes; buying, insurance, and ownership guides; shopping tools; and added features such as social networking capabilities to help consumers connect with other consumers.
The redesigned RV section provides data and pricing information for motorhomes and other vehicle types dating back to 1977. Site enhancements allow both buyers and sellers to learn more about the values they are researching. Buying guides, campground directories, towing tips, and additional RV-specific resources are also available.
A second pricing research tool is the Black Book Official Recreational Vehicle Value Guide from National Auto Research, which has published its flagship Black Book for automobiles for more than 50 years.
The new guide covers motorhomes and other RV types. The January 2011 edition includes model years 2000 to 2010, with a year of coverage added each subsequent RV model year.
As with other Black Book products, the RV guide provides a full range of value categories, including the original manufacturer’s suggested retail price, current suggested retail price, finance advance, and two distinct wholesale values that represent RVs in both clean and average condition.
The Black Book Official Recreational Vehicle Value Guide is available in a variety of electronic formats, including online access and data feeds, and users have the ability to print out copies of the valuations. For more information, call (800) 554-1026 or visit www.blackbookusa.com.