RV Resort Operator Starts Program To Save Honeybees
RVC Outdoor Destinations has launched the BEECause program to help save declining populations of the honeybee, which is an important pollinator for many crops. In addition to providing housing for bees at certain RVC properties, the company offers classes, tours, and workshops to employees and guests about how to support honeybee conservation.
The program is offered at these RVC sites: Catherine’s Landing in Hot Springs, Arkansas; Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lake Raystown Resort in Entriken, Pennsylvania; Live Oak Landing in Freeport, Florida; Medina Highpoint Resort in Medina, Texas; Mountain Springs in Asheville, North Carolina; and Pine Mountain in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
For more information, visit www.rvcoutdoors.com/beecause/.
Peter Orthwein Steps Down As Thor Executive Chairman
Peter Orthwein, cofounder of Thor Industries, stepped down from his executive chairman post on July 31, 2019, and was named chairman emeritus by Thor’s board of directors. Mr. Orthwein will remain a member of the board. A new chair had not been announced at press time.
Mr. Orthwein and Wade Thompson created Thor in 1980 with the acquisition of Airstream, which was struggling and unprofitable. But with Mr. Orthwein as the primary architect of the company’s growth strategy, Thor has been profitable every year since.
Today, Thor is a Fortune 500 company with revenue of $8.3 billion. It recently acquired one of Europe’s largest RV manufacturers, Erwin Hymer Group.
Mr. Orthwein was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 2014.
Volta Power Systems Doubles Plant Size, Partners With Retrofitter
Volta Power Systems, which produces lithium-ion energy systems for RVs and other applications, has moved out of its 7,800-square-foot facility and into a new 15,000-square-foot manufacturing complex in Holland, Michigan. The additional space was needed to accommodate rapid growth of the company’s RV business, according to a news release.
About 3,000 square feet of the new space will be used for offices, with the remainder for manufacturing, research and development, and product fulfillment.
In addition, Volta has partnered with Oregon Motorcoach Center (OMC) to satisfy demand for Volta retrofit projects on the West Coast. Volta currently provides most of its lithium-ion power systems to RV original equipment manufacturers, such as Winnebago.
The first step in an aftermarket conversion is to determine which Volta system offers the right amount of energy to meet a customer’s needs. Then, Volta builds the system and sends it to OMC for installation, which takes about a week.
For more information, visit www.voltaps.com.
Lazydays Adds Two Locations
The sixth Lazydays RV dealership opened in Knoxville, Tennessee, in May 2019. The dealership, formerly Tennessee RV Supercenter, was acquired by Lazydays Holdings Inc. in December 2018.
A few months later, in August, Lazydays RV added a seventh dealership when the purchase of Alliance Coach Inc. was completed. Located just outside of Ocala, Florida, the dealership is now Lazydays of Ocala. It sells brands such as Thor, Forest River, Holiday Rambler, Renegade RV, Fleetwood RV, American Coach, Keystone RV, and Vanleigh RV.
In addition, the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lazydays dealership opened a new RV service facility in July 2019. It has 28 service bays, a covered service drive, four body and collision bays, and a 60-foot paint booth.
Lazydays now operates dealerships in Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Minnesota, and Tennessee. Lazydays plans to open a previously announced eighth dealership in Tennessee in 2020.
For more information, visit www.lazydays.com.
Tampa Bay Bucs Engage Fans With Customized RV
This football season, fans of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers can look for a specially decked out Type C motorhome at the team’s home games. A customized 30-foot Thor Outlaw motorhome, outfitted by Lazydays RV, has been designated as the Street Team RV.
The Buccaneers Street Team was created in 2014 to engage fans and build excitement. The team’s ambassadors interact with fans at various community functions throughout the year and will use the RV for those appearances.
The RV was unveiled earlier this year at the Lazydays dealership in Seffner, Florida, just outside Tampa. In addition to Buccaneers exterior graphics, the Street Team RV features exterior interactive games that simulate a tailgate experience; two 65-inch wall-mounted exterior smart TVs with surround sound; and a back patio with awning and LED lighting, plus a DJ stand.
Senate Bill Would Increase Funding For Parks Infrastructure
A bipartisan bill introduced in the United States Senate — Senate Bill 2302, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act — would provide $287 billion over five years to update traditional transportation infrastructure.
Included in the bill is a 21 percent increase in funding for the Federal Lands Transportation Program, which provides money to federal land agencies to repair and update roads, bridges, and other transportation systems within national parks and nearby gateway communities.
In addition, the bill dedicates $50 million a year and authorizes an additional $300 million a year for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program, which is designed to address exceptionally large repair projects, and which requires the U.S. Forest Service to develop a national strategy to carry out the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program.
Xtreme Outdoors Acquires Liberty Outdoors
Xtreme Outdoors, which manufactures RVs in Somerset, Pennsylvania, completed its acquisition of Liberty Outdoors, makers of Little Guy Trailers, in July 2019.
Xtreme Outdoors is backed by entrepreneurs Yong Lee and Vikram Kaul. Joe Kicos, founder of the Little Guy brand, will stay on to run the sales and marketing efforts for Xtreme Outdoors. Most of the manufacturing staff also will remain.
Warranties for RVs sold by Liberty Outdoors will continue to be honored, according to a press release.
For information about Xtreme Outdoors, visit www.goxtoutdoors.com.
More RV Manufacturers Embrace Smart Technology
Look for “smart” technology to appear in a number of 2020 RVs.
OneControl technology from Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) is being implemented in all brands of Forest River’s Cherokee Group, LCI announced. A specially branded version of OneControl — the Cherokee Total Control App — can manage functions such as lighting, slideouts, and awnings. The app will include a new interface for 2020 models, which include Cherokee, Grey Wolf, Wolf Pup, Arctic Wolf, Alpha Wolf, Wolf Pack, Vengeance, and Sabre.
Recent upgrades to OneControl software allow for push notifications to be sent to users, reminding them of RV maintenance checks and informing them of RV features they may not be aware of. OneControl also can report diagnostic information that may help prevent maintenance problems.
Jayco Inc. announced in a press release that its Jaycommand system will be standard on a variety of its 2020 models, and optional on several others. Jaycommand utilizes a mobile app that can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet. With the app, users will be able to monitor and control a number of RV operations, which may include multiple light zones, slideouts, awnings, tank monitoring, leveling, heating/air conditioning, the water pump, the water heater, tire pressure monitoring, and the generator.
Depending on the RV make and model, Jaycommand is powered by OneControl, BMPRO, or Firefly Integrations. For a list of units that feature Jaycommand, visit www.jayco.com.
China Hosts Successful RV Trade Show
More than 700 exhibitors from 22 countries showcased more than 200 brands during the eighth All in Caravaning trade fair, held June 14-16, 2019, in Beijing, China. Nearly half of the participating companies were international exhibitors. About 500 RVs were on display, as well as accessories, appliances, furniture, camping equipment, and products for the outdoors.
The event included conferences and lectures focused on international exchange and industry trends; activities for children; and information about RV destinations.
The next All in Caravaning is set for June 2020 in Beijing. For more information, visit www.aicshow.com.