Winnebago Begins Production In Oregon
Winnebago Industries Inc. has begun manufacturing diesel motorhomes at the former Country Coach Inc. complex in Junction City, Oregon. However, full-scale production is not expected until all facility modifications are made and testing is complete in the second half of 2017, the plant’s manager told RVBusiness.com.
Winnebago acquired the 270,000-square-foot plant and its equipment in December 2015, along with a veteran workforce. Plans call for the plant to manufacture Type A diesel motorhomes, which will free up space at Winnebago’s Forest City, Iowa, complex to expand production of Type A gas and Type C motorhomes.
Winnebago’s Grand Tour was the first motorhome to roll down the Oregon plant’s line. Initially, the plant also will produce Winnebago Tour, Forza, and Journey diesel-powered motorhomes. In time, Country Coach motorhomes might be made there, said John Millis, the plant’s general manager. He said the facility is being designed to handle 1,000 units a year, with production levels dependent on market demand.
China RV Fair Shows Growth
More than 17,000 visitors from China and abroad attended the All In Caravaning (AIC) trade fair in Beijing, China, June 18-20, 2016. The attendance figure represented an increase of about 50 percent from last year.
More than 500 exhibitors also were on hand, an increase of 79 percent from 2015. The exhibition covered almost 323,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. More than 200 vehicles were sold during the show, and more than 1,000 vehicles were ordered by campsites and dealers.
AIC debuted five years ago. For more information, visit www.all-in-caravaning.com.
Ohio Park Whips Up Homemade Ice Cream
The popularity of Muddy Paws has people licking their lips at the Akron/Canton Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Uniontown, Ohio. Muddy Paws is the name of one of the park’s many homemade ice creams and is the overall favorite of park guests. The chocolate ice cream is made with homemade brownies and pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
The 68-site campground, owned by Mert and Charlene Yoder, is one of only a handful of Jellystone parks in North America offering homemade ice cream and root beer. Charlene makes as many as 50 flavors of ice cream during the camping season, which runs through October 15. Only about 20 flavors are available on any given day, because everything is made fresh.
In addition to the ice cream, themed weekends from April to October draw guests to the park. For information, visit www.akroncantonjellystone.com.
Class Of 2016 Inducted Into RV/MH Hall Of Fame
The 10 members of the Class of 2016 were inducted August 1, 2016, into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. Two of the inductees are particularly noteworthy because of their ties to FMCA: Gary Bunzer and the late Jay C. Hesse.
Mr. Bunzer, also known as “The RV Doctor,” was nominated by FMCA. He founded Bunzer Consulting Inc. in 1976, and since then his name has become synonymous with RV technical education and training. He has contributed articles to FMC for 30 years, including the “House Calls” column, and is a featured speaker at FMCA conventions. He was the first RV educator to write, produce, and direct specific RV service training videos and DVDs for professional RV technicians and RV owners. In 2009 he received the National Education Service Award from Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.
Mr. Hesse, who died in 2014, was president and CEO of Blue Ox, an FMCA commercial member. Blue Ox manufactures recreational towing equipment as well as products for the agriculture, commercial, and defense industries. He was known as a dynamic leader, innovator, and a generous contributor to RV industry organizations and causes, both in time and dollars. Mr. Hesse received the RV Aftermarket Association’s Jim Barker Person of the Year Award in 1998.
In all, five people each from the RV and manufactured housing industries were part of the Class of 2016. The RV inductees also included Ernie Friesen of All Seasons RV and Redding RV; Thomas R. “Tim” McGuire of The Coast Distribution System Inc.; and William (Bill) Overhulser of Del Rey Industries.
During the induction banquet, which was attended by more than 300 people, RV/MH Hall of Fame president Darryl Searer announced plans for an expanded hall of fame and facilities, including an event center, a rally site, offices, and a manufactured housing museum. The plans call for the expansion to be completed no later than 2020, depending on how quickly funds can be raised. The current facility is close to its debt-free goal, he said, and the new facility will be debt-free when it opens.
E-Book For Kids Focuses On Yellowstone
National Parks Traveler, a website with daily news and feature coverage of America’s national parks, has released its first e-book for youngsters, Young Explorer’s Guide To Yellowstone National Park.
The 58-page, full-color publication examines Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. The book covers park history, geology, thermal features, wildlife, landscape, and vegetation.
The cost of the e-book is $2.99. To order, go to goo.gl/9VLBUF. For information about National Parks Traveler, visit www.nationalparkstraveler.com.