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John Stewart

RVing - 100 years and still going

"Recognizing and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RV industry is a unique opportunity to tell our story to the media and public," says Coon.

The roots of RVing are as old as pioneers and covered wagons.  But 1910 is the year that America's leading RV historians — David Woodworth, Al Hesselbart and Roger White — cite as the beginning of what has become the modern RV industry.

"The first motorized campers were built in 1910," says Woodworth, a preeminent collector of early RVs and RV camping memorabilia. "Before then, people camped in private rail cars that were pulled to sidings along train routes. The year 1910 brought a new freedom to people who didn't want to be limited by the rail system. RVs allowed them to go where they wanted, when they wanted."

Hesselbart, archivist for the RV/MH Heritage Museum in Elkhart, Ind., also pinpoints 1910 as the birth of the RV industry. "Camping has been around for centuries, but 1910 is when the first auto-related camping vehicles were built for commercial sale."

Known as "auto campers" or "camping trailers" a century ago, these vehicles were a forerunner of today's modern RVs.

"There were one-offs [individual units] built prior to 1910," says White, an associate curator for the Smithsonian Institution. "But 1910 is a good benchmark for the industry."

"The 1910 RVs offered minimal comforts compared to today's homes-on-wheels," says Woodworth. "But they did provide the freedom to travel anywhere, to be able to get a good night's sleep and enjoy home cooking. One notable exception to today's RV was the bathroom. In 1910, it was usually either yonder tree or yonder bush."

Hesselbart points out that one brand of auto camper in those days was equipped with a bathroom onboard. "Pierce-Arrow's 'Touring Landau' had a potted toilet," he says.

A version of today's Type B van camper, the Pierce-Arrow "Touring Landau," was unveiled at Madison Square Garden in 1910.

In addition to Pierce-Arrow, there were several other companies or auto-body builders producing motorized RVs. These companies and innovative products were featured in a Popular Mechanics issue in 1911, but Woodworth says the motorhomes highlighted in the article were actually built in 1910.

Camping trailers made by Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers also rolled off the assembly line beginning in 1910.  Hesselbart says the earliest RV on display at the RV/MH museum is a 1913 trailer, ancestor of the contemporary travel trailer.

Photos of 1910 RV models appear in White's book on the history of RVing and exist in both Woodworth's and Hesselbart's libraries.

To mark the centennial, RVIA is creating a special 100th anniversary logo and commemorative decal that everyone in the industry will be invited to use in their own promotions and marketing.  RVIA is planning an industry party on June 7 during the 2010 Committee Week in South Bend, Indiana, to which media and political guests would be invited.

RVIA will soon announce details of an RV caravan led by Woodworth with one of his early RVs, as well as a menu of celebration and promotion ideas for dealers, campgrounds, clubs and shows to use on their own.

"Celebrating our centennial will create excitement and pride throughout our made-in-America industry and provide an opportunity for manufacturers, dealers, suppliers and campground owners to unite under one banner," says Coon.  "For 100 years, we've been helping Americans explore their scenic treasures and heritage more comfortably, affordably and enjoyably.  That's something to celebrate."


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John Stewart

California RV Show Set for October 16-25

RVIA’s 57th Annual California RV show, the largest consumer RV show on the West Coast, is just around the corner. The “Fairplex,” Los Angeles County’s Fair and Exposition building in Pomona, California, will once again host manufacturers and suppliers displaying the latest in RVs, products, and accessories during the 10-day event October 16-25.

Occurring just as the nation’s economy is expected to begin a recovery, the California RV show could usher in a strong start to 2010 for exhibitors.

RVIA Vice President of Meetings and Shows Mike Hutya said, “There is no better way for RV manufacturers to kick off a strong 2010 than by exhibiting at the California RV Show, one of the most important retail shows in the country.” She continued, “ California is one of the nation’s top RV markets and each year the California RV Show draws thousands of potential consumers to see the latest in RV products.”

The show generally draws approximately 30,000 consumers – 90% of whom are between the ages of 23-65 years old with an average household income of $60,000.

At its June 11 meeting, RVIA’s Board of Directors voted to add incentives to manufacturers who exhibit at this year’s California RV Show. Those manufacturers that purchased space at the California RV Show by now have the ability to purchase up to 50% more space at a rate of $2 per square foot on a first-come, first-served basis.

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John Stewart

Healthy Increase in Orders Fuels Newell Coach Production, Re-Design and Re-Hiring

Due to a healthy increase in the number orders for new motor coaches, Newell Coach is increasing production, recalling furloughed production staff, and moving ahead with new coach styling and engineering updates.

Miami, OK (PRWEB) July 15, 2009 -- In response to a rise in the number of orders for its new luxury motor coaches, Newell Coach Corporation is increasing production, recalling furloughed production staff, and moving ahead with new coach styling and engineering updates. The updates will appear in coaches that are currently going into production and will be completed this winter.

"In April, we began to see a very positive change in our customers' confidence," said Karl Blade, president of Newell Coach. "This trend continues. Our production backlog now extends into April of next year. After an admittedly difficult year, we are moving ahead with optimism. This is good news for our customers, our employees, and the company."

About Newell Coach:
Newell Coach Corporation is the leading designer and manufacturer of custom luxury motor coaches. Newell coaches feature state-of-the-art design and materials, custom furnishings and appliances, and full-time customer service and support. Based in Miami, OK, Newell has been manufacturing custom coaches since 1967.

For more information, call: 1-888-363-9355, or visit: Newell Coach.

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John Stewart

RVIA Gears Up For Committee Week and Advocacy Day

RVIA members will visit Senators, Representatives and key legislative staff during the association’s seventh annual Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, during Committee Week.

“Advocacy Day is vitally important to our efforts to increase awareness of the RV industry on the federal level,” said Jay Landers, senior director of RVIA’s Government Affairs Department. “Congressional visits help strengthen relationships between RVIA members and the members of Congress who represent their states and districts.”

RVIA Government Affairs staff schedule appointments with elected officials, provide briefing materials and accompany members on visits. The program also gives participants the opportunity to have photos taken with Congressmen and Senators.

Advocacy Day begins with a morning meeting during which RVIA members are briefed on the issues they will be discussing with Members of Congress. The briefing includes role-playing exercises that help RVIA members practice discussing key issues before they set out to meet elected officials.

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John Stewart

Eco-Friendly Products Transforming the RV Industry

RV Awnings and Eco-Friendly Products Transforming the RV Industry
RV awning and RV accessories retailer, ShadePro.net, introduces a product that encourages easy, affordable and green RV-living.
San Diego, CA, July 15, 2009 --(PR.com)-- As green technology becomes mainstream, RV industry experts report a growing number of consumers showing interest in RVs that are smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient. For those consumers who don’t have the extra cash to shell-out for a new, eco-friendly coach, ShadePro Inc., (http://www.ShadePro.net), will be unveiling two new products that will make “going green” while on the road a bit more user-friendly and affordable at the July 2009 Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) International Convention in Bowling Green, Ohio.

The July 20th through 23rd FMCA International RV Convention will serve as a platform for ShadePro not only to present their new products to thousands in attendance, but also enable the RV awning and shade company to promote the environmental and money saving benefits of becoming an energy efficient RV-er. ShadePro will have six service teams at the Convention offering installations and rally pricing to all attendees.

“What many RV owners don’t realize is that there are plenty of inexpensive ways to go green.” comments ShadePro.net President, Steve Smoot. “One simple item all RV-ers can do to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint is to install shade products on their RV. This not only helps limit air conditioning use during the hot summer months, but also reduces the fuel consumption by running the generator.”

The Vista Shade is an inside mounted windshield cover for Class A motor homes that blocks approximately 94% of the sun’s hot rays and saves energy in three do-it-yourself steps. Since the Vista Shade is a DIY product, the owner has the ability cut and create the shape of the shade they need and apply a small adhesive track to the glass. Once the track is installed, the Vista Shade simply slides in.

ShadePro is also re-introducing their line of awning shades with new features at the FMCA RV Convention. The RV awning shade drop is now available in 6’, 7’ and 8’ heights to accommodate tall motor homes or customers that prefer longer shades to block out the wind, sun and other elements.

By keeping the sun’s rays out and the inside of the coach cool, RV owners can afford to be eco-friendly without breaking the bank.

To learn more about ShadePro, Inc. and their RV awning and RV shade products, visit

To learn more about the FMCA's 82nd International Convention in Bowling Green, Ohio or to register, visit http://www.FMCA.com.

About ShadePro, Inc.
ShadePro.net, headquartered in Southern California, provides RV owners throughout the nation with quality RV sun and shade control products. With more than 25 years of RV awnings, RV screen room and shading experience, ShadePro has become a sun and shade control industry leader in price, quality and customer service. Visit ShadePro at the FMCA 82nd International Convention in Bowling Green, Ohio July 20th through the 23rd, or shop ShadePro’s RV awnings, screen rooms and shade products online at http://www.ShadePro.net.

About the Family Motor Coach Association
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes. With approximately 109,000 active member families, FMCA is the world’s largest motorhome owners group. Visit http://www.FMCA.com to learn more or to register for the upcoming convention.

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