Hall of Fame to Hold Raffle
The RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, is holding its annual raffle to raise money for its hall of fame, museum and library. The grand prize is the winner’s choice of a 2008 motorhome, a manufactured home or $75,000.
A maximum of 2,500 tickets will be sold at $100 each. A total of 100 prizes will be awarded, including a second prize of $15,000 and a third place prize of $5,000. The odds of winning something are one in 25.
Entries will be accepted through Dec. 11, and the drawing will be held the next day. The raffle is licensed and controlled by the rules of the Indiana Gaming Commission. Entrants will receive a full list of winners. For entries and information, contact the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN 46514 or call (800) 378-8694.
Coachmen Explores Green Power
Coachmen Industries has completed a yearlong test of a Sportscoach Elite diesel motorhome that was outfitted with a hydrogen generating system to save fuel and reduce emissions. But the company has not decided whether to make use of the technology.
“We are evaluating the data that was collected and will gather input from everyone involved to determine if this particular technology will benefit our customers,” said Michael R. Terlep, president of the Coachmen RV Group.
The test involved a system from Hy-Drive Technologies of Canada that uses electrolysis to produce hydrogen and oxygen from distilled water. A vacuum pump injects the gases into the combustion chamber of the motorhome engine, making the diesel fuel burn more efficiently.
Hy-Drive reports that its tests show the system produces fuel savings of 9 to 30 percent and emission reductions of up to 98 percent in carbon monoxide and particulates and up to 45 percent in nitrous oxide. The system also increases horsepower by 2 to 6 percent, tests show.
Meanwhile, Coachmen also is experimenting with biodiesel fuel and solar power. The company has teamed with Natural Source Energy Systems to conduct research on the use of biodiesel in motorhomes and solar panels on Class A and Class C motorhomes and fifth-wheel trailers.
Terlep said he believes the RV industry needs to become more environmentally conscious, and to explore new technology. “We want to extensively test these prototypes to ensure we are producing RVs that are environmentally friendly and dependable,” he said.
Thetford Acquires RV Sani-Con
Thetford Corporation, which supplies sanitation and refrigeration products to the RV industry, has acquired RV Sani-Con Systems, a manufacturer of holding-tank management systems.
Financial terms were not announced. RV Sani-Con, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky, makes a pump and motor system designed to quickly empty RV holding tanks. It supplies a large number of manufacturers, including Fleetwood, Monaco and Country Coach.
Insight Equity Acquires Atwood
Insight Equity, a private equity firm in Texas, has completed the purchase of the Atwood Mobil Products division of DURA Automotive Systems for $160.2 million. Atwood Mobile Products designs and manufactures furnaces, water heaters, ranges, hardware, windows, doors and electronics for RVs and manufactured homes. It had $330 million in sales in 2006. It has 1,900 employees and is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana.
Nevada Expands Web Site
Nevada Magazine, which is published by the Nevada Commission on Tourism, has expanded its Web site to contain more of the stories found in its print edition, plus complete listings of Nevada events and shows. The site is at www.nevadamagazine.com.
Monaco Wins Customer Survey
Pied Piper Management Company of Pacific Grove, California, said Monaco RV dealerships ranked highest in its 2007 survey to measure how shoppers are treated at retail locations that sell Class A motorhomes. Pied Piper conducts anonymous shopper evaluations of auto, motorcycle and RV dealerships. Ranking behind Monaco as the top five brands were Damon, Itasca, Sportscoach and Holiday Rambler. Seven other brands were above the industry average.
The survey found that salespeople for Monaco ranked first in offering test drives and providing compelling reasons to buy. Itasca dealerships ranked first in offering financing options to customers and in explaining the availability of extended warranties.
RV Built for Horsemen
The United States Equestrian Federation, which is the national governing body for equestrian sports, has created a partnership with a new company that is building a vehicle that combines an upscale RV and horse trailer in one unit.
Equine Motorcoach was named “The Official Horse Transport Vehicle of the USEF.”
The company was founded by Tom and Carolyn Stinnett, owners of one of the nation’s largest RV dealerships, and Julie Calzone, owner of a national advertising and public relations firm. The new Equine Motorcoach uses a truck chassis from Volvo Trucks of North America. Production is completed at a factory in Europe. All the coaches are custom-built and are available in 3, 4-6 and 7-9 horse configurations.
Dutchmen Trailers Certified
Dutchmen Manufacturing has announced that is has become the first recreation vehicle manufacturer to receive compliance certification from the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers.
The association, which represents companies that produce light-duty and medium-duty trailers, grants the certification to member companies that comply with federal safety regulations and meet selected industry standards. Dutchmen, a subsidiary of Thor Industries, builds trailers under a number of brand names, including Denali, Victory Lane, Four Winds, T@B and T@DA.