Dometic recently donated Fan-Tastic Vent products to Cleansing Hope Shower Shuttle, an organization that provides clean mobile showers for people who are homeless.
Dean Dodd is the founder of Cleansing Hope Shower Shuttle in Sacramento, California. His idea: convert buses into clean, private, free spaces for homeless people to shower. He runs the mobile shower shuttle himself three days a week.
“We are restoring hope and dignity through providing the basic need of getting clean with our showers,” Mr. Dodd said. “We develop relationships with these people and see lives changed over time. We are seeing about 50 people each day.” Being able to take a shower and clean up has given many homeless people the opportunity to find a job and a safe place to call home.
Drain Master, based in Hollister, California, has begun offering custom installations of its RV waste-management products, including valves, hoses, and hose-storage systems. Products for many types of RVs are available.
Product offerings include the company’s new Pro-Series waste valves, which are operated by a control module. Two open/close switches (for gray-water and black-water tanks) are located on the inside and the outside of the RV.
In addition, the new Waste Master Sewer Hose Storage System features a locking enclosure that installs under an RV; the system makes it possible to keep the hose permanently connected.
For more information, visit www.drainmaster.com or call (877) 787-8833; (831) 636-9775.
In its 53-year history, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry has transported more than 14 million vehicles and 43 million passengers between Cape May, New Jersey, and Lewes, Delaware. Lewes offers breathtaking views, but that’s just one reason RVers enjoy the journey.
Bob Lee, F65422, an RV industry pioneer and founder of Country Coach Inc., died October 8, 2017, at his Junction City, Oregon, home. He was 78.
After graduating from high school, the Klamath Falls, Oregon, native served several years in the U.S. Navy. He then worked for North American Rockwell as an equipment buyer for NASA’s Apollo program before deciding in 1968 to start a camper manufacturing business with two friends.
“We left our families and took off up I-5, having no idea where we were going to get off,” he said for a 2011 Family Motor Coaching article. The business the friends created in Junction City, Oregon, eventually became Monaco Coach Corporation.
In 1972, Mr. Lee left Monaco to start another company, Country Camper. It was named after his daughter’s Barbie doll camper. In the mid-1980s, the company name changed to Country Coach Inc.
After starting with two employees, Country Coach grew to occupy more than eight city blocks in Junction City and to employ more than 1,500 people. Product lines included front-entry and side-door-entry diesel pusher motorhomes that ranged in length from 32 to 45 feet, with up to four slideouts. The company pioneered innovations such as a motorhome systems monitor with a speech processor; an air leveling system; HVAC control technology; and hydronic heating systems.
“Building hundreds, not thousands, per year allowed Country Coach to focus on the quality upon which the business had been founded,” Mr. Lee said in the FMC article. “I always told my employees, ‘Build it as if your own mother will be driving it.’ And they did.” Indeed, the company slogan was “A Class Act.”
In the decades he built RVs, Mr. Lee rode the industry’s highs and persevered through its lows. In order to survive during the energy crisis of the 1970s, the Lees built trailers and park models, and even put some employees to work making stove inserts.
The family operation at times included Mr. Lee’s wife, Terry; his brothers Ron and Lenard; and Bob and Terry’s daughters, Kenda and Brenda. Mr. Lee and his wife were regulars at RV industry shows and rallies, traveling thousands of miles a year in their own motorhome. They parked beside Country Coach owners and sought their suggestions for improving the company’s products.
Mr. Lee served as a member and president of FMCA’s Commercial Council, as well as in positions with Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). A statement from RVIA said in part: “RVIA mourns the passing of Bob Lee, one of the RV industry’s leading innovators and pioneers. His entrepreneurial spirit and vision shaped and defined the high-end luxury RV market.”
In 1995, Mr. Lee received RVIA’s Distinguished Service to the RV Industry award. In 2000, he was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana.
Mr. Lee sold Country Coach to National RV Holdings Inc. in 1996. He and a group of investors bought the company back in 2007, but by 2009 it had shut down against the backdrop of the Great Recession. Winnebago Industries bought the former Country Coach plant in Junction City in 2015, and now manufactures diesel motorhomes there.
Mr. Lee is survived by his wife and daughters, four siblings, and three grandchildren. Memorial donations in his name can be sent to Junction City Local Aid, P.O. Box 493, Junction City, OR 97448.
Representatives from Erwin Hymer Group North America met with several Canadian government officials in August to discuss the company’s work in testing the first self-driving RV. During the visit, the officials took a ride in the vehicle.
According to Erwin Hymer officials, the company is likely the first RV manufacturer in the world with a government permit for testing an autonomous vehicle on public roads. Erwin Hymer was approved as a participant in Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot Program late in 2016. The company has been working on the technology with the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
Outdoor recreation sales and activities in the United States saw significant gains in 2017, and the industry outlook in 2018 is even better, thanks in part to projections that sales of new RVs will continue to rise. Those conclusions were reported in Outdoor Recreation Outlook 2018, which was released in October 2017 by the nonprofit American Recreation Coalition.
The report stated that Americans spend more than $887 billion annually on equipment such as RVs, boats, skis, and tents, and on services such as fishing licenses and zip lines, all of which supports millions of jobs.
For data on sales of RVs, the report cited RVIA projections that show wholesale shipments of RVs are expected to reach 479,700 in 2017, an 11.4 percent gain over 2016. In addition, wholesale RV shipments are projected to increase to 491,200 in 2018, which would mark the ninth consecutive year of gains.
The report stated that the number of visitors to U.S. national parks in 2017 rose 7.7 percent compared to 2016 levels over the same period. The report also noted that KOA, the nation’s largest private campground system, reported a strong year across the board.
FMCA members Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, F175089, have spent portions of their lives as restaurant owners, caterers, recipe consultants, and cookbook authors. It’s no wonder, then, that in their extensive travels throughout North America, “The Cooking Ladies,” as they call themselves, always find ways to focus on food.
Their new book, On The Road With The Cooking Ladies: Let’s Get Grilling (Whitecap Books; $29.95) is chock-full of grilling recipes and colorful photos that will tantalize the taste buds.
Also sprinkled throughout the 240-page softcover book are anecdotes from their travels. For example, one of their stops was in Campbell River, a city in British Columbia where a group of fishermen established the Tyee Club. Tyee is another name for the chinook, or spring salmon. Club membership is granted only to those who catch a tyee of 30 pounds or more using a single hook while fishing from a motorless boat.
That quirky story is followed by a recipe for West Coast Cedar Plank Salmon. The full-page photo of the prepared dish is enough to make the mouth water.
Stories and recipes are grouped into chapters that include snacks and starters; burgers, sandwiches, and pizza; pork; beef; poultry; seafood; lamb and game; vegetables; and fruit and dessert. The book also includes tips to help cooks achieve grilling perfection.
On The Road With The Cooking Ladies: Let’s Get Grilling can be ordered online through book retailers or by visiting www.whitecap.ca.