Tiffin Reorganizes; Will Close Vanleigh RV
In early January as the February 2023 issue of Family RVing went to press, featuring an article about the Vanleigh RV Beacon fifth-wheel, Tiffin Group announced plans to diversify its motorized product offerings and streamline its business. The family-run company intends to focus on the growing Type B and Type C motorhome market, according to a press release. To position Tiffin for future success, the release continued, Tiffin will cease production of the Vanleigh RV line of towable recreational vehicles. The closure was expected to take place in March 2023.
In a January 9, 2023, letter released by the Tiffin Group, president Leigh Tiffin cited elevated inflation, rising interest rates, higher fuel prices, and a weakening stock market as factors that have affected the RV industry. “Certain products we offer have been impacted more than others, and this reality has forced us to carefully assess how to position our business for the future,” he said. Mr. Tiffin added that the decision to close Vanleigh was made more difficult by his own connection to the operation. In 2014 Leigh Tiffin and his father, Van Tiffin, established Vanleigh RV.
Leigh Tiffin noted that all Vanleigh RV product warranties will be honored, and customer service will continue. Last year, the company integrated Vanleigh’s service operations with existing Tiffin service and customer care operations.
Florida RV Show Hosts Near-Record-Setting Crowds
During its five-day run in January 2023, the 38th annual Florida RV SuperShow, considered by many to be the official start of the U.S. RV show season each year, attracted throngs of RVers and other consumers. According to the Florida RV Trade Association, more than 79,000 people attended this year’s event at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa — second only to last year’s crowd of nearly 84,000.
“I think the casual shopper decided to stay home this year, but the people that came to the show came to do business,” said Dave Kelly, FRVTA executive director. “Also, with so many RVs sold in the past year, we had a lot of people coming to shop all the parts and accessories that were here.” The event featured more than 1,300 RVs, along with two exhibit halls filled with camping accessories, supplies, and other travel-related products.
The 39th Florida RV SuperShow will be held January 17 through 21, 2024, with an industry day on January 16.
Fully Automated RV Park Opens In Georgia
Stafford, a commercial real estate development firm, has opened a fully automated RV park in Tifton, Georgia, just off Interstate 75. Tifton Overnight RV offers 34 pull-through sites ranging from 48 to 100 feet long, RVBusiness reported. Full-hookup sites, fast Wi-Fi, and a dog park are provided.
The campground is located just off I-75’s exit 62 in Tifton. A Walmart Supercenter is a half-mile away, and a variety of restaurants are in close proximity. For more information, visit www.tiftonrv.com.
Aqua-Hot Announces New Gen 1 Heating System
Aqua-Hot, an Airxcel brand known for its hydronic heating systems, has introduced the Aqua-Hot Gen 1 compact forced-air furnace and water heater specifically developed for RVs. The Gen 1 is designed to be a space-saving single appliance that provides a comfortable interior environment by distributing warm air through four outlets while also supplying 10 liters of hot water. It is available in three versions – diesel, gasoline, or propane. It utilizes RV-C Open Source intelligence, so total operation of the unit can be integrated into the RV’s general control panel.
“The introduction of the Gen 1 marks the entry into a new market for Aqua-Hot. It can be installed on most types of RVs, including styles of Class C motorhomes, Class B camper vans, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, truck campers, and other comparable-sized vehicles,” said Mark Davis, business unit manager for Aqua-Hot. He noted that the Gen 1 is designed to be integrated into new RVs or used to replace an existing system.
For more information about the new Gen 1 system and other products, visit www.aquahot.com.
New Smart Lithium-Ion Battery Technology
Dragonfly Energy Holdings Corporation, maker of Battle Born Batteries, announced the spring 2023 launch of Dragonfly IntelLigence, a product line said to provide significant advances in mobile lithium-ion battery applications, including RVs, as well as for stationary backup and off-grid energy storage.
Dragonfly IntelLigence technol-ogy incorporates mesh network connectivity; according to company literature, this enables accurate remote monitoring for entire lithium battery banks via Dragonfly Energy’s mobile app. Customers will have power when they need it and be able to monitor voltage, temperature, current load, battery health, system balance, and more.
One key product utilizing IntelLigence technology, the Dragonfly Wing, is an expandable power storage solution said to be easy to install and configure for a variety of energy storage uses, including home and mobile. Featuring LiFePO4 battery chemistry, this system includes hybrid balancing, selectable voltage, and built-in soft start. Other Dragonfly IntelLigence-compatible accessories will be available, expanding the capabilities of a smart lithium-battery power system with features designed to protect and optimize the batteries and system as a whole.
For more information, visit www.dragonflyenergy.com/dragonflyintelligence.
Thor Industries Teams With Starlink
Thor Industries announced that it has entered into an agreement with SpaceX’s Starlink to integrate flat high-performance Starlink devices into select motorized RVs across the Thor family of companies in 2023. The product provides high-speed, low-latency internet even while in motion. This makes Thor and its operating companies the first RV manufacturers to work directly with Starlink.
Initially, flat high-performance Starlinks will be offered as optional equipment in certain Airstream, Entegra Coach, Jayco, and Tiffin motorhomes. The factory-installed Starlinks will be eligible for a one-month service credit after the initial month of activation.
Developed by SpaceX, Starlink provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet around the world. With satellites positioned in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers, over 65 times closer than conventional geostationary satellites, Starlink is said to achieve significantly lower latency and higher transmission speeds for end users.
Starlink began offering service two years ago, and last fall the company introduced flat high-performance Starlinks, which provide high-speed, low-latency internet while in motion on land.