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    Ted Caldwell believes in the city that shares his last name.

    So much, in fact, that even though the California-based real estate developer has never previously invested in Idaho, he has spent $3 million through his company to develop Canyon Springs RV Resort into a property that will attract traveling RVers as well as residents from existing RV parks in the greater Boise area.

    “We’re already attracting residents of other Boise area RV parks who tell us they are pleased to see a new high-quality RV resort in the area with spacious RV sites,” Caldwell said in a press release, adding, “Visitors to the Boise area are also staying with us and enjoying our new facilities.”

    A grand opening has been set for Oct. 9-10 in an event that not only celebrates the opening of a new business, but one that heralds the promise of more new businesses coming to the area of Caldwell where Canyon Springs is located.

    Through his company, TCC Properties Inc., Caldwell invested $83,000 in materials for a 10,000-foot water-line extension and paid another $82,000 for a quarter-mile-long sewer-line extension that makes it easier and more affordable for other new businesses to open up near Canyon Springs. TCC Properties also paid Idaho Power $60,000 to bring electricity to the site.

    “Having these utilities extended opens the door to new development in Caldwell, potentially years in advance of what we might have otherwise expected,” said Brent Orton, Caldwell’s director of public works, adding, “Extension of these utilities improves opportunities for agribusiness, manufacturing, commercial interests, and residential development. We see this partnership with Ted Caldwell as a critical step to stimulate local economic growth in Caldwell and in Canyon County.”

    Canyon Springs also creates an increase in accommodation opportunities for major events like the Caldwell Night Rodeo and Canyon County Fair.

    The nicely landscaped $3 million RV resort has a 2.5-acre fishing pond stocked with largemouth bass as well as a 3,500-square-foot meeting lodge with flat-screen TVs and a commercial kitchen designed for major events, such as RV rallies, weddings and corporate or chamber of commerce events.

    Shade trees have been planted throughout the resort and there are green spaces between each RV site. The RV sites are 60 feet long and come equipped with full hookups, including water, sewer, electrical and cable television service as well as a lamp post that provides night lighting. Basic Wi-Fi is also available for free with high-speed Wi-Fi available for a fee. Pull-through RV sites and lakefront sites are available.

    In addition to RV sites and upscale amenities, Canyon Springs offers easy access for travelers and local residents alike.

    “Being right off the Highway 20/26 and I-84 intersection makes this an easy-on, easy-off location for overnight guests traveling through the area, and yet there is no traffic noise to speak of,” Caldwell said. “This, in turn, makes it desirable for longer-term stays, owing to its quiet environment and convenient access to and from the greater Boise area.”

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    June 4, 2015

    JESSICA WELSHANS - Sentinel correspondent , Lewistown Sentinel

    One in four households participates in some type of camping every year, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association's Consumer Demographic Profile.

    No matter if it's tenting, RVing or enjoying an a cabin, more people are looking to spend time in the outdoors.

    Jennifer Schwartz, vice president of marketing for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, found that the No. 1 reason camping is popular is people can spend time with family, reconnect and enhance relationships.

    "Camping provides that escape and time to bond; it encourages interaction. Nearly 90 percent of all campers camp with their spouse, children and/or extended family," Schwartz said.

    It is also affordable and offers a wide variety of things to do and amenities in one place. Schwartz pointed out that campgrounds cater to the family and have activities for all ages.

    Trends are leaning toward people wanting a little more convenience while they are enjoying a trip, and Schwartz said RV ownership has grown to 8.9 million households.

    "While tent and RV camping remain popular, the trend is the park model or cabin, to allow for more convenience and comfort as well as ease of use. More than 40 percent of campers have stayed in these types of accommodations and the number is growing," Schwartz said. "Recent studies show that 90 percent of outdoor enthusiasts, but non-campers would be interested in renting a cabin that feature amenities like a full bath, kitchen, beds, TV etc. which many campgrounds offer in addition to tent and RV sites."

    Aside from the many state parks that offer camping here in Pennsylvania, private campgrounds have a lot of amenities people are looking for these days.

    "The full camping experience and value that privately owned parks offer as well as the modern and clean facilities, variety of amenities and onsite recreational options create a great family destination for experienced and first-time campers alike," Schwartz said.

    She said campgrounds offer a myriad of recreational options and amenities, for tenters and RVers alike.

    Some privately owned campgrounds have things like water parks, slides and pools; jumping pillows; miniature golf or full 18-hole golf courses; ziplines; rafting, paddleboats, canoes, kayaks or paddleboards; all-terrain vehicles; and live entertainment.

    Those with larger families can find the space to fit everyone comfortably and be able to all come together in once place for an enjoyable family experience.

    "The variety of accommodations and sites available at RV parks and campgrounds provide the space and options that families are looking for. Some families have the equipment and prefer to tent or camp in an RV while others can stay in the comforts of a cabin or park model whatever suits their needs and family size," Schwartz said.

    Groups can unitize a combination of RV/tent and cabin sites for their full family, she suggested.

    "RV's today, with slideouts that extend the living space and fold down beds can accommodate more sleepers as do cabins with multiple beds and larger kitchen and living spaces," Schwartz said.

    Preparing to camp for the first time can be as simple as making a reservation and packing your family's favorite meals, snacks and recreational gear, along with a few essentials to ensure you are prepared for anything, Schwartz said.

    First-timers can jump right into the camping experience at one of the many participating Pennsylvania State Parks, too.

    Some are offering first-time campers a way to try it out with a discount for a two-night stay and providing some of the essential gear.

    "This is the fifth year we are offering this hands-on instruction on camping," Cindy Adams Dunn, acting secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said. "You can't beat this offer as far as the cost. Campers get the opportunity to enjoy many other activities at our state parks such as hiking and fishing, and a park staffer even will help them set up camp."

    According to DCNR this includes a four-person tent; rain tarp; four sleeping pads; four camp chairs; flashlight; lantern; camp stove; and four hot dog/marshmallow sticks. All items must be returned upon departure.

    Participants need to bring their own food, cooking utensils and bedding. Suggested packing lists are provided.

    Go online to www.gocampingamerica.com or www.dcnr.stat.pa.us for more information or camping reservations.

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    Workhorse Group Inc. announced today (May 20) plans to re-enter production of Class A motorhome chassis at its Union City, Ind., plant.

    Workhorse stated in a press release that it was one of the leaders in RV chassis during the strong RV marketplace of the mid-2000s. The steady growth back to strong current RV volumes, coupled with industry demand and interest, has resulted in the Workhorse brand re-entering the RV chassis market.

    “Our RV manufacturing customers have always relied on the dependability and performance of the Workhorse RV chassis,” said Stoney Steenekamp, president of AMP Trucks Inc., a subsidiary of Workhorse Group Inc. “Today, we believe the RV market is strong once again. With the growing demand we have recently seen, it just made sense for us to begin entering back into production.”

    Workhorse intends to ramp up production of the Class A motorhome chassis at the Union City plant, which is currently in limited production of the Workhorse E-GEN vehicle, an EPA-approved electric truck chassis with onboard generator for the medium-duty truck segment. The E-GEN vehicle allows fleet operators to choose gasoline, electric, propane, or CNG fuel options.

    The Workhorse RV chassis line will be an improved design, offering both 6.0-liter and powerful 8.8-liter gasoline engines, coupled with an Allison transmission. The 8.8-liter engine is designed to match diesel towing ability and mileage.

    “It gives us great delight to once again take our place in the RV chassis market,” continued Steenekamp. “We believe the demand is there, we will be building an improved RV chassis line, and we fully expect our Workhorse W-16 and W-22 Class A Motorhome chassis to quickly be recognized as leaders in the category.”

    Previously a division of Navistar, the Workhorse brand along with the Workhorse Union City assembly plant, and a network of more than 400 dealerships were sold to Workhorse Group Inc. in 2013.

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    The RV industry, thriving, is getting younger

    Rebecca Ungarino, CNBC

    When James and Stef Adinaro first looked into purchasing an RV in 2010, they were hesitant. At 42 and 39, they felt they were too young to purchase a recreational vehicle.

    Five years and one RV later, the Adinaros are hoping to upgrade, having embraced the road-tripping "RV lifestyle."

    Originally, the couple, who lives in Salt Lake City, purchased a used mid-size 2003 Mercedes van for convenience while traveling to bicycling competitions. But now, the couple are considering buying a new Winnebago model, the Travato, which caters to the more physically fit RV owner—complete with a bicycle and kayak rack.

    The Travato, which has a suggested retail price of $85,476, is an example of how the industry is hoping to cash in on a physically fit consumer.

    "The big shift is occurring in how people RV. Nowadays, RVers are more active," said Stef Adinaro, a personal trainer. RV parks have begun catering to this shift by offering more gyms, fitness classes, walking trails and bike rentals, she said.

    Helping to fuel that trend is, in some cases, a consumer who is younger than the industry has seen in the past.

    According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association's most recent ownership report, the fastest-growing cohort of RV owners in 2013 was 35 to 44 years old, which is just slightly less than the industry's largest cohort of owners, which are between 45 and 54 years old. The average American RV owner was 50 in the 1980s, and today that age is 48 and falling.

    "You used to think of RVs and think of the cigar-smoking grandpa and the retired couple," said Matt Rose, director of recreation vehicles at the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council, "but not anymore."

    And that could be good news for not only RV manufacturers, but also for RV parks.

    "They spend more money on experience than on a material good," said Rose, who coordinates retail shows in Indiana. He has seen that these younger RVs spend more money while traveling and take more frequent trips.

    RV sales historically have tended to rise and fall with the economy and consumer confidence. Right now, they are on the upswing.

    Shipments have grown steadily, reaching an eight-year high of 356,735 units shipped nationwide in 2014, according to the RVIA. Shipments showed an 11 percent gain year over year, and a 116 percent gain since the industry's recession low of nearly 165,000 in 2009.

    General Electric, one of the RV industry's largest lenders, expects the trend to continue.

    "What we have seen since 2015 has begun is very strong attendance at retail shows," said Tim Hyland, president of the RV group at Commercial Distribution Finance for GE. The growth in attendance has been consistent nationwide, and it speaks to current consumer interest.

    In a survey conducted by GE at the annual RVIA trade show in Louisville, Kentucky, in December, 41 percent of survey respondents—the majority of which were RV dealers—said they expected sales to rise 5 percent to 10 percent next year, and 26 percent expected a 10 to 15 percent growth.

    "Historically, when the RV market is growing, a younger buyer does typically come back," said Randy Potts, chief executive officer and president of RV manufacturer Winnebago.

    Margo Armstrong, an RV owner since 1995 who travels full time in her vehicle, writes about the on-the-road lifestyle, and says physically active RV-owning families and couples in their 60s are common. 

    "Retired with a 401(k), hopefully still intact, most are active, like to park in groups, and are into pickleball, pool, crafts," said Armstrong, describing the typical RVer.

    "Parks are opening yoga classes and exercise rooms," said Ray Champagne, owner of Beach Rose RV Park in Salisbury, Massachusetts. He said the majority of the consumers he sees remain baby boomers, but that they want to stay as physically active as possible and do more on the road.

    Champagne opened his RV park in 2000 as he entered "semi-retirement" and says the industry has changed "tremendously."

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    Whether you've just started researching class A motorhomes, you're driving in your fifth motorhome you've owned, or you're just about to drive off the lot with your first motorhome ever, you might not have spared a thought to this one important detail:

    Your tow car.

    From Jeeps to SUVS and trucks, how do you pick the vehicle that best fits your needs once you've parked your motorhome at the RV park? How do you prefer to tow your vehicle - flat towing, with a two-tire dolly, or on a towing trailer? How does the tow bar attach to the back of the coach and the front of the tow car?

    If you're unfamiliar with the science behind the different options for towing, it can easily sound overwhelming. And that's before you need to consider safety and braking... But here's a handy guide to help you start in the right direction including a listing of all available 2014 tow cars.

    2014 Tow Car Guide

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    A fictitious RV website with a Baldwin County address has caught the attention of  local law enforcement officials.

    A call came into the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Monday regarding a luxury RV business that didn't exist.

    "A gentleman called and said a man from Canada showed up at his address with $35,000 in cash to purchase an RV he saw on the website," said Capt. Brad King. 

    The website is georgiarvdepot.com. It contains a vast inventory of luxury RV vehicles at ridiculously low prices. 

    King said the caller was confused as to why the man thought his address was where the business was located.

    Listed on the site is the address 3024 North Columbia St. 

    The report raised red flags, and King decided to check the web site out. 

    "Shortly after starting my investigation into the business, I was contacted by the Chamber of Commerce, questioning me on the legitimacy of the company."

    Staff from the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce reported to King that they had received several calls from people in the area, asking if the business was real. 

     The website has a professional look to it, but King says there are signs that the business is fraudulent.

    "The pictures of the RVs all have different backgrounds as if they have been copied and pasted from other locations online and the only way to get in contact with the business is through email. A legitimate company has different forms of communication available for its customers." 

    During King's investigation, the location of the website has moved twice in an attempt to make it hard for law enforcement to track. 

    "As of now we have found the domain provider that is currently hosting the site and are in the process of securing documents to help us determine who the subscriber is and where they are located," he said. 

    King said the main focus is to gather as much information as possible to shut the site down in order to stop individuals from falling prey to the scam.

    The low prices for the RVs it what lures people to the site, says King. 

    "They have vehicles that typically run from $200,000 to $500,000 listed at prices like $39,000."

    Since the business does not have a legitimate location, it offers to ship vehicles to customers for a nominal fee. 

    "They say they will deliver the RVs to your home, but you have to pay a deposit for the service.  Chances are this is where they are making their money. The Baldwin County address was put on the site probably to make it sound more legitimate." 

    The sheriff's office also received a call from a local resident who alleged that she saw a print publication for the business as well. 

     The investigation is ongoing as officials attempt to locate the creator of the fraudulent business and put an end to the website and advertised print publications. 

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    CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- Sep. 22, 2014


    The founder of Fifth Wheel St., David Gray, introduces today a new app for RV buyers and dealers, RV Tow Check, that he believes will eliminate towing guides forever.

    The web-based RV Tow Check app is available for free and it's accessible on smartphones and tablets at http://RVtowCheck.com.

    "Practically all towing guides give RVers just enough information that may cause them to purchase a trailer too heavy for their tow vehicle's capabilities," said Gray. Towing guides listing maximum tow capacity fail to take into consideration the different towing requirements between fifth wheel and conventional trailers. These common guides do not consider the additional payload weight created by the fifth wheel trailer pin weight.

    "Even the creators of the most well-known towing guide published by Trailer Life devotes four pages of instructions, entitled Choose Wisely, that spells out the details required for selecting the correct towing combination," he explained. With the RV Tow Check app, you'll never need to read a towing guide again.

    Gray said that the minimum requirement for RV Tow Check requires three inputs by the buyer or dealer. They are gross combination weight rating (GCWR), gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the gross vehicle weight (GVW). The user has the option to select a fifth wheel hitch if it's not already installed in the truck. Users may include any additional unscaled weight for cargo and additional passenger weight. The app does not assume everyone weights 150 pounds, like the manufacturers do, he added.

    "The RV Tow Check app may look simple on the outside, but the engine on the inside is strong, and the sophisticated math formulas perform multiple calculations," said Gray. "The processed results will give you the best and safest maximum trailer towing weight based on mid-range tongue and pin weights. With these three minimally required user inputs, buyers and dealers can be confident that the RV purchase or sale will not exceed the vehicle's GCWR, GVWR and GAWR."

    "There are two outputs shown, one for the fifth wheel towing combination and the other for the conventional towing combination," he added. RV Tow Check is the first app that displays maximum towing capacity for both fifth wheel and conventional RV classifications simultaneously.

    Located at FifthWheelSt.com, Gray said it is one of the fastest growing self-help RV safety websites. It was founded in April 2011 to promote towing safety by providing tow ratings, simplified weighing worksheets, web-based and mobile app calculators as well as important articles and safety information to assist all who tow fifth wheel, gooseneck and conventional trailers.

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    July motorhome retail registrations grew 10.1% compared to the same period a year ago while sales increased 13.2% year-to-date, according to a report by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

    Forest River Inc. was the sales leader for the first seven months with a 25.4% market share, edging out No. 2 Thor Industries Inc. (24.6%). Winnebago Industries Inc. was third with a 21.2% share.

    The Class A motorhome market posted an 8.7% gain in July and a year-to-date hike of 11.9% compared to the previous year. Thor led the sector with a 22.9% market share followed by Winnebago (20%) and Forest River with a 15.9% share.

    Class C registrations saw an 11.8% rise in July while year-to-date sales were up 14.7%. Forest River was the segment leader with a 35.6% market share year-to-date, followed by Thor with 26.5% market share, and Winnebago with 22.5% of the U.S. market.

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    Fleetwood RV and American Coach are showing new models and features to consumers at this week’s 2014 America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa.

    “New for all Fleetwood models is our newest wood stain color, Butternut,” said John Draheim, president and CEO of Fleetwood RV and American Coach, in a press release. “We are fortunate for loyal customers that continue to provide us such positive feedback on our products. It is important to us that we continue to bring them more options and include their feedback in our newest designs. The Butternut wood color is just that.”

    Among those new models is the recently debuted Fleetwood Discovery 37R, which received a positive review in MotorHome Magazine. The Discovery 37R is now available to consumers at Fleetwood dealerships.

    “We received a very positive review in Motorhome Magazine on our 37R Discovery, and dealer response has also been very positive,” said Draheim. “This will be the first major show where consumers get a chance to see the 37R, and additionally where they get to see our new light Butternut wood option.”

    Also on display is a special issue Fleetwood Storm, the 28MS Game-Day Edition. The Storm is optioned with special tailgate lifestyle features like a Weber grill, outdoor refrigerator, slideout bar, extra-length awning, exterior 50-inch LED HDTV and HD satellite system. “The Game-Day special edition takes all your dream tailgate features and puts them in a compact and affordable Class A, just in time for football season,” said Director of Marketing Steven Hileman.

    Expanding the selection of Fleetwood Discovery Class A diesel options for customers, an all-new 37R is a quad-slide, single bath floor plan with a free-standing recliner/footrest, freestanding dinette, fireplace, and opposing sofa with air mattress. The coach also includes a stackable washer/dryer unit in the master bedroom. The 37R is the only Discovery floorplan to include an L-shaped pull-out counter extension which expands to increase linear counter footage in the kitchen area. The coach includes an 8.0kW Onan Quiet Diesel generator with slide.

    American Coach will also reveal a new wood color at the show, Toffee. The new lighter wood option offers an additional premium hand-rubbed hardwood cabinetry option to consumers.  

    “Our customers and dealers have been asking for another wood color option and we’re very pleased with the result. The new Toffee wood color turned out fantastic and we think consumers will agree,” states Lenny Razo, Director of Sales for the Eastern Region. “We are also showing our first single-bath, single rear-axle American Coach in many years.”

    Referring to the new quad-slide American Revolution 39A shown for the very first time this week at the Hershey event, Razo added, “This new floorplan gives consumers a wider variety of floorplan configurations within the American Coach family without giving up the amenities they are so accustomed to.”

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    The American Revolution is the only coach in the lineup with a shorter, more space-conscious design, offering a single-bath that allows owners access from the living quarters and master bedroom and includes a double glass-bowl vanity with overhead cabinetry. With a quad-slide layout, the 39A provides a comfortable living area with L-shaped sofa transformer, which converts to a 95-inch-by-70-inch bed, and an Ekornes consul-plus chair. The all-new Revolution 39A is a perfect option for owners who want to experience the same quality luxury of an American Coach without the extra length.

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    Blue Ox has introduced a new new line of sway bars for the motorhome chassis market.

    “With the addition of sway bars we now have a complete line of chassis performance products that will drastically increase the ride comfort of most motorhomes,” said Ellen Kietzmann, president and CEO of Blue Ox, in a press release.

    Sway bars are designed to eliminate the excessive side to side movement which is often times referred to as body roll.  This can be particularly noticed when going around corners or curves or entering and exiting driveways. Blue Ox sway bars are heat treated with a tensile strength of up to 180,000 PSI, have forged ends on all models, are made in the U.S. and carry a lifetime warranty.

    “More important than just the introduction of sway bars is the opportunity to talk about the entire chassis performance.  We look at this product line as taking a stock chassis and turning it in to a high performance chassis,” said Kietzmann.  “Used all together, this line of products will make a motorhome drive more comfortably and decrease driver fatigue.  Even people that haven’t been comfortable driving a motorhome may feel much more comfortable once they have our Chassis Performance Package installed.”