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Zebra Energy has introduced the SunSparks Solar Charging System, allowing RVers to economically and easily keep RV batteries charged. According to a press release, the system uses solar panels mounted on the vehicle’s roof, which are connected to the house battery bank through a charge controller.
A SunSparks System works in conjunction with existing equipment and is expandable and scalable to individual needs, providing a generating capacity of 150 to 450 watts. The SunSparks Plus kit also includes a wall-mounted LCD monitor, which lets you easily keep tabs on system performance and battery capacity.
Gideon Needleman, Zebra Energy’s CEO, noted, “We designed the SunSparks Solar Charging System to really allow RVers to live the dream. You bought an RV to be out in nature — and now you can finally go wherever you want for as long as you want without driving around all day to get another drink of diesel.
“With the SunSparks System, you can power your RV’s appliances and your personal electronic devices while camping for months at a time. The money you save on a few months’ worth of fuel pays for the SunSparks System. And the feeling of freedom it gives you is priceless.”
Zebra Energy offers a wide range of solar panels and accessories for off-grid use sold through a network of dealers.
Texas Advertising has partnered with Pantera Sales Inc. to produce a 566-page catalog of RV parts & accessories, the company stated in a press release.
Pantera Sales is a family-owned business established in 1969 that has specialized in RV parts and accessories for over 20 years. In 1999, Pantera hired Texas Advertising to create a production catalog. “We’re very thankful we selected Texas Advertising over 15 years ago to create our first catalog, which was an award-winning publication with subsequent editions continuing to be high-quality and complete productions,” says Charles Cozad, general manager at Pantera Sales.
The latest 2015-2016 edition of the Pantera Sales catalog is three times the size of the original, standing at 566 pages and spanning across 15 sections, covering everything from electrical to hardware, hitches, major appliances, plumbing and new products. Parts and accessories manufacturers include major brands like Thetford, Camco, Dometic, Valterra, Norcold, Atwood, Suburban and over 100 other companies that produce thousands of items.
Almost half of the catalog is dedicated to parts breakdowns, which illustrate individual schematics of various larger components. RV owners who just need a small part for a water heater, air conditioner or refrigerator will be able to use these breakdowns to identify which specific part they need, and how to order it.
“In this day and age, it’s refreshing to have a family-owned and operated company like Pantera Sales as an alternative in the RV parts and accessories world,” says Brian Schaeffer, president of Texas Advertising.
The Dent Vent is a new product designed to hide body damage on RVs. According to a press release, even the smallest scratch or dent can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to repair, not to mention time without the coach, the release stated.
Dent Vent has come up with a solution that will save time and money while keeping an original look to the RV. The Dent Vent comes in either black or white to match the exterior of any RV and is available in three sizes so the smallest chip or scratch can be concealed. For larger damage areas, mix and match different size Dent Vents to cover the blemish.
The Dent Vent is a complete kit that includes a PVC vent, color matched screws and butyl tape for a waterproof seal. The Dent Vent works on any motorhome, fifth-wheel, toy hauler, travel trailer or popup, no matter what type of siding material it is built out of, the press release stated.
PHOENIX — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld an unusual and perhaps unprecedented directive that a major national tire manufacturer must disclose in all future lawsuits how it withheld information from a Tucson family.
The order by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals directs Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to tell anyone else who sues the company that a trial judge found there was “clear and convincing evidence” that it and its attorneys engaged in a fraud by not disclosing it had done tests on the tire model in question.
Those test results, wrote appellate Judge Milan Smith Jr., could have been used to support the allegation that the tire was improperly designed and not suitable for high-speed use in the desert climate. More to the point, Smith said it could have resulted in the plaintiffs getting more in a settlement.
Separately, the appellate court upheld a $2.7 million sanction levied against the company’s attorneys, an amount designed to compensate the plaintiffs in the case for all the costs they had incurred in filing the suit. Smith said imposing the fees is the only real way to punish the attorneys as there is no way to know what the couple might have obtained had the company not hidden the information.
“We are disappointed with the decision and are considering our options,” Goodyear spokesman Keith Price said.
The company’s problems may not be over: It and its lawyers now face a new lawsuit in state court charging them with fraud.
The case involves a Tucson couple driving through New Mexico in 2003 in their motor home. While on a freeway, one of the tires allegedly failed, causing the vehicle to go over an embankment and flip over, causing serious injury to driver Leroy Haeger, his wife and their daughter-in-law.
In filing suit against Goodyear, attorney David Kurtz demanded all the information the company had on testing of the G159 model of tire. What they did not get was some data on high-speed testing, data that U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver found the company clearly had at the time.
In fact, Smith said, an attorney for Goodyear told the trial judge that the company had “responded to all outstanding discovery.”
“This response to Judge Silver was false,” Smith said. He said the attorney had been sent the tests. Kurtz finally got that information.
Ultimately, Smith said, the family settled “for a small fraction of what they might otherwise have done.” The terms of the settlement are sealed.
But what Kurtz did not know until after the case had settled out of court was that the company also had internal heat and speed tests. And even as Goodyear was arguing after Kurtz went back to court that it had done nothing wrong, Smith said the company disclosed “apparently by accident” it had even more tests that would bear on the question of whether heat could cause the tread to separate.
What the court also found was that Goodyear has a history of “lengthy discovery battles” every time someone sues the company over one of its tires. At the same time, the court noted, when Goodyear has provided documents it has done so with the understanding that the attorneys in that case do not share them with the lawyers in any other case.
By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services
Blue Ox’s innovative new Avail motorhome-mounted tow bar is getting high marks from motorcoach owners who want to take their cars or trucks with them as they travel, according to Blue Ox President and CEO Ellen Kietzmann.
“The Avail has many new features that appeal to motorcoach owners that were previously unavailable on motorhome mounted tow bars including improved turning radius with better cornering, more maneuverability and smoother towing over rough roads,” Kietzmann said in a press release. “With the Avail, the motorhome maneuvers around gas pumps with greater ease and keeps the towed vehicle safely away from the motorhome in tight turns.”
Blue Ox representatives Dave and Joanne Cartaglia stated, “The Avail is and will be for the rest of the year the hot new product. The look attracts people right away. They love the color because it matches their motorhomes, and they also really like the non-binding latches.”
RVer Pat Walbrecht of Lincoln, Neb., noted, “I love the look of the Avail, but more importantly, I can easily hook it up all by myself.”
The Avail features the Blue Ox name in a raised, gold-toned badge. The arms are painted in a premium metallic copper paint. This distinctive new look increases “curb appeal” and more closely matches the colors used in the designs found on today’s motor coaches and will attract attention from other RVers who see it at campgrounds, the Pender, Neb.-based company said.
Avail owner Jim Huston, Yankton, S.D., said, “It looks really sharp, but looks only goes so far — it has to perform as well. The design is very, very clean with no extra pieces sticking out. A lot of other tow bars have things sticking up and your cables and wires get hung up. On the Avail, there’s nothing there to get hung up on.”
The Avail has a 10,000-pound tow capacity accommodating virtually all cars and pickups. It is constructed with high-quality tempered steel ensuring long life and durability and backed by a three-year warranty.
The Avail features patented nonbinding latches that release easily under any conditions, and no interference, low profile handle design. Other features include patented non-binding latches that release easily under any conditions, and no interference, low profile handle design.
Huston said, “The Avail is longer which means there is more room between the car and coach. I carry bicycles along on a bike rack mounted to the receiver hitch. On other tow bars, it’s pretty tight between the car and coach, but with the Avail, there’s enough room to get hooked up pretty easily.
“That longer distance also makes it possible for tighter turning radius. If you have a wider car, there’s less chance of it hitting. I have fairly narrow car so I don’t have a problem with that. Last but not least, every tow bar I’ve ever had, when coming to stop when turning, these will bind and it is difficult to get them unhooked. The Avail does not bind. No matter how hard I try, I cannot bind the Avail’s latches.”
Blue Ox representatives Jim and Gayle Sharlow said, “The Avail is, without a doubt, the hot new product of the year. The Avail is a winner, the color appeals to men and women. They love the increased turning radius and easy disconnect.”
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) has introduced the new Alumi-Tread hybrid RV step, featuring strong, steel linkage and attractive aluminum treads with anti-slip rubber grooves for excellent traction.
“We’re always seeking customer feedback so that we can develop the products our customers really want, and this new hybrid Alumi-Tread step brings together some of our customers’ favorite step features,” said Andy Murray, LCI vice president of RV sales, in a press release. “The unique hybrid design of the Alumi-Tread step utilizes steel linkage to provide more stability than an all-aluminum step, and also features lightweight aluminum treads lending that high-end, European look customers love, but at a lower price point.”
The sleek, euro-style Alumi-Tread hybrid step provides both style and functionality with proven steel linkage and lightweight, rust-resistant aluminum treads for long-lasting durability, and built-in anti-slip rubber grooves for traction. The Alumi-Tread hybrid step is available in triple and quad configurations and adds a clean, modern appearance to RVs, as well as a consistent, smooth operation.
LCI Chassis Components Product Manager Caleb Holdread emphasizes that LCI has an RV step for everyone. “We have a complete line of RV steps and the Alumi-Tread fits right in the lineup along with our time-tested steel entry steps and our high-end all-aluminum Tread Lite step,” said Holdread. “Using steel linkage allowed us to create a stronger structure to support triple and quad configurations, and also allows us to offer that attractive aluminum style at the right price point.”
The Alumi-Tread hybrid RV step is available standard on popular RV brands, and as an easy-to-install aftermarket kit available through aftermarket channels. RV consumers can find out more information about this product by contacting the manufacturer at [email protected] or (574) 312.6654 and consumers can order these steps and have them put onto their coach at Motorhomes of Texas.