Marathon Coach Completes 1,250th Conversion
Marathon Coach, which was founded in 1983, marked a milestone in 2016 with the completion of its 1,250th custom bus conversion. The quad-slide coach, built using a Prevost H3-45 shell, has the latest technology, including the company’s patented TechLink electrical system; Crestron control system; ultra-high-definition (4K) televisions; and Marathon’s patented automated sewer hose system, Freedom Plus.
For more information about Marathon Coach, call (800) 234-9991 or visit www.marathoncoach.com.
Mobile App Offers Comprehensive Mapping
A new mobile app called Roam, from OnXmaps, provides access to maps of public lands, roads, trails, geographic features, recreational areas, and other points of interest on a smartphone or tablet. The app displays campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, ski routes, snowmobile trails, digitized National Park Service and Forest Service visitor maps, and much more. A user can turn on layers of data sets over a single map to see a picture of where it’s possible to bike, fish, hike, hunt, or camp. Weather, wind, and wildfire information also can be overlaid onto a map. The cost of a Roam app membership is $10 a year. For more information, visit http://roam.onxmaps.com.
RV Park Features Nightly Star Talks
When the sun goes down at Butterfield RV Resort & Observatory in Benson, Arizona, the night sky often puts on a show, and two amateur astronomers — self-described “astronerds” — are there to tell park guests about it.
Ken Klein and David Dalton are hosts of the park’s star talks, which are offered free each night, weather permitting. The talks might cover any number of topics, from constellations to dwarf planets.
The talks take place in the park’s astronomical observatory, which features a 16-inch Meade telescope. As many as 18 people can fit inside the observatory, and everyone gets a chance to peer through the telescope.
For more information about Butterfield RV Resort & Observatory, call (800) 863-8160 or visit www.rv-resort.com.
Mobile App Encourages Outdoor Exploration
The American Recreation Coalition, Agents of Discovery Inc., and the U.S. Forest Service have teamed up to offer educational, movement-based, interactive gaming for youngsters at dozens of public sites in the United States and Canada.
Discovery Agents is a free app that users play outdoors at public lands, or what the game calls “mission sites.” Users download the app onto a mobile device, create an “agent” profile, and complete a tutorial. Once a site is picked, users download a mission (the downloads require a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection). After the mission is downloaded, the game can be played without an internet connection.
The game encourages children and their families to explore; players move along routes where the game’s educational content is packaged in challenges that tap into real-world experiences.
The goal was to have more than 60 participating sites by the end of 2016. For more information, visit www.discoveryagents.net.
Yellowstone’s Dark Skies Draw Stargazers
The dark skies of Yellowstone National Park offer excellent stargazing opportunities. Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the park’s primary concessioner, suggests these spots:
*Firehole Lake Drive is a 3-mile, one-way road off of Yellowstone’s Grand Loop.
*Dunraven Pass, the highest road in Yellowstone, reaches 8,859 feet. Be mindful that you will be driving up and down a mountain road in the dark.
*Upper Geyser Basin, near Old Faithful, offers boardwalks and broad views of the skies.
*Mammoth Hot Springs, near the park’s north entrance, also has boardwalks and great views of the sky.
*Mount Washburn’s peak, which reaches 10,243 feet, is for expert hikers. Carry flashlights to hike the unlit trail.
In addition, there are a variety of organized night-sky programs in the summer and winter. For more information, visit www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com or call (307) 344-7311.
REV Group Guests Get Vip Treatment
REV Group Inc. showcased nine of its 2017 motorhomes for VIP guests during a NASCAR race weekend November 18 to 20, 2016, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. NASCAR championship races were on Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, guests enjoyed cocktails and dinner on the SeaFair, a luxury yacht. Guests watched Saturday’s race, the EcoBoost 300, from The Tavern, REV’s private infield accommodations. This race included Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney and the number 22 REV-branded Ford Mustang. (Blaney traveled to the track in his American Eagle motorhome, which REV customized in May 2016.)
On Sunday, guests attended a pre-race concert with The Band Perry, and then watched the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race from REV’s Turn 2 hospitality accommodations. Team Penske’s Joey Logano drove the number 22 Ford Mustang, which REV sponsored during select races in 2016.
On both Saturday and Sunday, guests were treated to garage tours, meet-and-greets, and a friendly guest-participation pit challenge.
REV Group manufactures American Coach, Fleetwood RV, Monaco, and Holiday Rambler motorhomes. For more information, visit www.revgroup.com or call (414) 290-0190.
Trails Program Celebrates 25 Years
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) marked its 25th anniversary in December 2016. Since its inception, RTP has provided more than $1 billion in funding for 22,000 trail projects across the United States. It also has leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources. RTP encourages cooperation among trail users and facilitates outdoor recreation and economic activity in many communities.
The federal gas taxes paid by off-highway recreational users funds the RTP. For more information, visit www.americantrails.org/rtp/rtp-25-years-2016.html.