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BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


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IMAGINE YOUR GRANDCHILDREN

HEARING THE WORDS ’ GOLDEN ARCHES’ and not automatically thinking hamburgers.

There are wonders in this nation that every child should see with his or her own eyes. And they are not made of plastic or packaged with a kid’s meal. It’s time to give your family the gift of America. Our Allegro Bus® is the most comfortable, spacious way to experience those wide-open spaces. Four slides and floor plans up to 43 feet give everyone room to roam. And with our exclusive Powerglide chassis, you’ll have the

confidence to travel from coast to coast. Custom-built and designed at the Tiffin plant in Red Bay, Alabama, this chassis is American ingenuity at its finest, delivering superior performance ▲ It’s your country. Come see it, in the roomy Allegro Bus. and reliability. The exterior is clad by the very same body paint which graces the world’s top luxury supercars. Grand touring, indeed. And because it’s a Tiffin, you can be confident in our warranty, our company, and our service. And when you buy from Lazydays, you can count on a dealer who is just as dedicated as we are.

tiffinmotorhomes.com

Congratulations to Lazydays; 4th consecutive Dealer of the Year award.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


34 46

p. 8-26

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p. 42, 40, 46, 51

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Made in America Follow us as we take a trip through middle America to find America striving to make things work

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Made in America: Fleetwood The meaning of lean manufacturing

16

Made in America: Entegra A visit to the Entegra factory reveals integrity

21

Made in America: Keystone Inside the top rated fifth wheel manufacturing plant

24

Made in America: Tiffin Southern hospitality delivered RV style

28

Two For The Road: 2011 Winnebago Tour Take a fun tour with our RV Experts

31

The Monaco Vesta RV innovation revealed in 2011

34

RV Hall of Fame Honoring the storied past of the RV lifestyle

36

RV Gear & Gadgets Toys, trinkets and tools to spruce up your RV

40

Troubleshootin’ with Ernie Winterizing Your RV with Antifreeze

42

Laws Of The Land Travel smart and avoid tickets

44

Food on the Road: RV Recipes RV tested for the road and approved by the travelers

46

Music of the Night Red Bay, Alabama and Coon Dogs

49

Dogumentary Traveling with animals, guidelines from the AKC

50

RV Events The latest happenings in the RV community

51

RV Details Find your dream coach

59 60

Partner Spotlight Technically Speaking with Steve RVers toughest questions answered


Log On and Fill Up This magazine is chock-full of travel destinations, repair tips and stories about RVers experiencing the dream of travel. And the fun only keeps coming. Visit BetterRVing.com online to find more good stuff for passionate RVers.

Weekly RV Tips Check in weekly to find new tips and tricks to simplify your RV life.

Click RV Tips

Land of Awes Travel with Ed and Rachel Barnhart as they discover North America in an RV.

Click RV Living

Living the Full-Time Dream This monthly column discusses issues from how to get on the road to organizing your closet to finding a work-camp position.

Click RV Living

Sam “Internet Guru� Matzen Keep your information safe and learn about email security.

Click RV Toolbox

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Introducing the roomier, more powerful, double slideout, walk-around queen bed Via 25Q. Nobody does more with the Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis than we do. Case in point: the revolutionary Class A Via®, now better than ever for 2011. The allnew 25Q floorplan features the industry’s first Sprinterbased double-slideout (complete with walkaround queen bed!), while all three Via floorplans now offer standard overhead cabinets up front for added storage. See where the RV revolution is headed: See your nearest Winnebago dealer, or visit GoWinnebago.com.

2011 View Profile

The Via, View® and View Profile are all built on the Sprinter chassis, which now delivers 30% more power with improved fuel economy.

2011 View

©2010 Winnebago Industries, Inc.

Learn more at GoWinnebago.com or call 1.800.643.4892 BetterRVing.com | 888.626.7800


sharing memories

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ne of my favorite pastimes is listening to our customers share memories of their RV adventures. Seeing joy on the faces of those who live the RV lifestyle to the fullest as they enthusiastically tell stories from their journeys is one of the

great rewards of working at a place where so many RVers from around the world call home. Oftentimes, our customers will share with me that their dreams may never have become a reality had it not been for the wisdom and guidance of the sales consultant who helped them find the perfect RV or how they could never have created such lasting memories with their families without the expertise of the service technicians who worked into the night to ensure their coach returned safely to the road. Moments like these demonstrate the cohesive nature of the RV lifestyle and proudly remind me that the RVer’s dream is a delicate entity whose journey to becoming a reality is reliant on the passion of many dedicated hands. At Lazydays we believe that an RVer never dreams alone. Each day we tirelessly work as a team to help our customers realize their dreams. The RV manufacturers who create the RVs that house our customers and their dreams also share in this spirit of dedication. We explore this indomitable spirit in this Winter 2011 issue and bring you stories from some of the people whose goal it is to design and build the perfect coach. A new year is upon us and with it comes a revitalized sense of excitement and optimism in the world of RVing. It brings a renewed commitment by all those in the industry to making RV dreams come true by bringing to fruition the kind of inspirational and innovative ideas upon which our industry was founded. Many of these innovations await your discovery in this issue and your discussion online at BetterRVing.com. So let us cherish the memories of our past journeys and celebrate the future with the understanding that we are all in this together, and an RVer never dreams alone. Enjoy the moments that make the memories (and the issue),

John Horton Lazydays, Chief Executive Officer

ADVERTISING Director, Liz Lema 866.317.4012 • For advertising inquires: advertising@BetterRVing.com SUBSCRIPTION Coordinator, Ronda Baer 866.531.6827 • For customer service inquires: customerservice@BetterRVing.com Managing Editor and Art Director: Ann Cosentino, ann@BetterRVing.com • All rights reserved © 2010 Lazydays® • 6130 Lazy Days Boulevard, Seffner, FL 33584-2968 BetterRVing.com is published four times per year by Lazydays. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs, which must be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope with return postage. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

FROM JOHN

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


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mailbox or your inbox. Log on to BetterRVing.com and subscribe. BetterRVing.com provides RVers with expert tips, travel destinations, industry how-tos, and also offers a virtual gathering place to connect with other adventure seeking RVers. On top of all that, we will deliver it to you just the way you would like - to your mailbox or your inbox. Or, both. And the best part, it is all free to you. Just go to BetterRVing.com and click subscribe.

Connect with us.

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RV living 8 BetterRVing.com

Winter 2011

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Made in America A trip to four RV factories reveals the unflappable character of an industry driven by the spirit of its customers.

t

HE RV INDUSTRY IS AMERICA: humble, tireless and inventive with an indomitable spirit fueled by an honest day’s work. This I thought about from

the curbside recliner of an Itasca Latitude as I gazed out the window at the passing waves of grain and recalled the events of the previous eight days. We were southbound and heading home on Interstate 22 after a 2,500-mile odyssey into America’s heartland, which included tours through four of the RV industry’s leading manufacturers’ production facilities. We had witnessed the lean manufacturing as practiced at Fleetwood RV’s #44 plant in Decatur, Ind. We had experienced the passionate craftsmanship at Entegra Coach in Elkhart, Ind. We were swept up by the frenzied, team-centric pace at Keystone RV’s Montana plant in Goshen, Ind. And, we were welcomed with open arms and southern hospitality to the Tiffin Motorhomes’ factory in Red Bay, Ala. WRITTEn & PhOTOgRAPhEd BY FREd SMITh

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Made in America

Clockwise left to right: Log cabin in Tuscumbia, Ala. Susie Yoder of Entegra, Arnold’s Diner in Decatur, Ind. Opposite page: Farm horses in Red Bay, Ala., Open road enjoyed in an RV

W

ith the details of this adventure dancing in my

road that both our country and the RV industry had

mind, I watched the setting sun as the glow

endured in recent years. As I replayed the images and

of the horizon became a backlit screen onto which

words of those I’d spoken to during our voyage, I felt

my mind projected images from the trip. I saw the

certain that times were looking up for an industry

assembly line workers, national sales directors

that, like America, was fighting to find its way after

and CEOs who shared their thoughts and insights

suffering a damaging blow.

with me on the past, present and future of RVing.

For the RV industry, the last few years were more

I began to hear local business owners voice heartfelt

than damaging. Factories closed. Dealerships crumbled.

solidarity with the RV industry whose factories

Manufacturers went out of business. Workers became

breathed life into their small towns.

jobless. An industry built on the spirit of American

As the faces of those whom I met came into

wanderlust and ingenuity was staring at the brink.

sharper focus, I was overcome with a feeling I

In covering the RV industry during the recession, as

welcomed like the familiar grasp of an old baseball

I had done from 2007 to 2009, the possibility had, at

mitt clutching my hand for the first time in a decade.

one time, occurred to me that nothing stared back. The

It was a sense of pride, not for what I had done, but

experience of the last eight days, however, made me

for what I had seen and experienced while in the

think otherwise. I discovered first-hand how the men

company of the RV industry’s heart and soul. It was a

and women of the RV industry survived tough times

feeling that, even now, I can’t fully explain except to

by putting their faith in the principles that had guided

say it was somehow … American.

them for more than a century and emerged with an

I turned my thoughts to the tough stretch of

RV LIVING

even deeper dedication to their customers’ dreams. BRV

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


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Made in America

Fleetwood

Folks of Fleetwood Factory tours are a daily ritual at the Fleetwood’s RV/American Coach plant in Decatur, Ind. They begin in a modest waiting room when the baritone rasp of an unseen voice shakes the walls with a mighty “Good morning, campers!” The voice’s owner pokes his head through a doorway that can hardly fit his enthusiasm. This is Tom Liechty, tour guide, sales representative and treasured attraction at Fleetwood RV and American Coach. Liechty introduces himself and sets the tone for the day with a story of how he came to find his calling at Fleetwood more than two decades ago. To retell his tale here would be to rob those who will someday make the trip to Decatur of a splendid oratory experience, so instead I’ll hold onto the memory and let one of the great storytellers of the RV industry tell it to you when you visit. It’s worth it. Act II of the tour — Liechty’s introductory court being Act I — finds us on the production line. The size and scope of the facility takes over. But like an RVer who knows the path through unchartered territory, Liechty leads the way with a smile that makes you feel like you’ve known him for years. He doesn’t know all of the 700 workers in Decatur, but he knows most of them to the point of being able to carry on running jokes that shift with and conform to each new station we visit. “Lot of these folks have been here a long time,” says Liechty, to which I ask, “How long is a long time?” He’s quick to answer with “some have been here five years,” while catching friendly glances and nods from his family of workers as we move down the production line. “A lot have been here 15, 20 years, even 30.” A look overcomes Liechty

RV LIVING

as he trails off: part grateful, part nostalgic, all pride. I would later learn that more than 600 of Fleetwood’s workers have been with the company for more than 20 years. ndustrialization and heavy-duty manufacturing take on a new persona when you can see the eyes of the men and women who commit themselves to creating the vessels their customers will choose to achieve their RVing dream. There’s a sense of purpose on display as though each worker is marching to the same rhythm. There isn’t the slightest hint of apprehension as the workers move with the kind of efficient grace Henry Ford dreamed about. Even to my novice eye, it all makes sense. Yet it wasn’t until I learned that the former parent company, Fleetwood Enterprises, was forced to lay off more than 40 percent of the Decatur facility’s labor force at the height of the recession that I understood the meaning of the look in Liechty’s eye. During the economic downturn, which saw public demand for RVs sink to all-time lows, Fleetwood Enterprises filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2009. In July of that same year, American Industrial Partners (AIP), a private equity firm in New York, purchased the motorhome assets, including the

I

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


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Made in America

Fleetwood

Decatur manufacturing and service facilities, and formed Fleetwood RV, Inc. Lead by CEO, John Draheim, Fleetwood RV adopted a lean culture, which resulted in a process of continuous improvement aimed to eliminate waste and increase efficient productivity while resulting in a product of superior quality and desirability. The workers on the production line embraced the new practice, implementing almost 1,000 minor changes since May. But they also understood it would take more than efficiency to survive the largest economic recession since the Great Depression “ e realized that we’re not invincible,” says salesperson for American Coach Janeen Gerke. “We realized that everybody has to work harder so that we are that number one manufacturer that customers want to come back to.” Loyalty to their customers is a tenet upon which Fleetwood has stood since its brand was founded in 1950. Almost 60 years later, the fundamental desire to exceed customers’ expectations served as a rallying cry among workers during the company’s most desperate hour. Yet as times worsened and the light at the end of the recession’s tunnel dimmed, Fleetwood looked deeper within itself and found the inspiration that would carry it through the worst of times. “We stayed together through everything that’s gone on over the last two years just by leaning on each other,” explains National Sales Manager Lenny Razo. “We treat this company as a family. Sometimes you may not get along. Sometimes you have to work hand in hand.” The family at Fleetwood worked hand in hand. They survived tough times and not only saved the company, but revived a small American town. “Fleetwood and Decatur, Ind., have been connected for quite some time,” explains Razo, “and I think what really makes this town special is the workforce. These people wake up early every morning and have dedicated their lives to this company. Decatur has been energized by what Fleetwood does. Our people are passionate and that’s what has drawn the company to lay its roots and foundation here in Decatur.” Back on the production line, I notice the look in Liechty’s eye as he waves to a small crew putting the finishing touches on a 2011 American Revolution. This time I understand what he’s feeling. The worst was over and better roads lay ahead for Fleetwood RV. His company, his family and his home have come a long way. BRV

The Making of a Fleetwood American Coach

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2011 AMERICAN REVOLUTION This 43-foot luxury diesel pusher is built on a Liberty chassis and features an 8.9 Cummins ISL 450 HP engine. Three available floor plans blend comfort and livability with an array of standard features including solid wood cabinetry, Sony® electronics and Villa® furniture. ■

Each Fleetwood American Coach is assembled using more than 15,000 individual parts.

The company’s main production facility in Decatur, Ind., is 95 acres.

More than 600 workers at Fleetwood American Coach factory in Decatur have been with the company for over 20 years.

Floor, sidewall and roof is subject to a Vacu-Bond process, or a manufacturing process designed to create strong yet lightweight components.

A gallon of paint is used for every 2 feet of length for a full-body paint job.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Family. Freedom. Fun.

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Made in America

Entegra

Integrity At Entegra It’s 6:18 a.m. on a morning whose biting chill welcomes us to Elkhart, Ind., with a sting that makes you glad you’re not staying for winter. The day’s first light creeps over the horizon and sparkles on the asphalt of the parking lot at the Entegra Coach’s factory with just enough illumination for us to realize that we’re far from the first to arrive for work on this particularly frigid morning. A lone figure stands at the top of the lot by the main building. Backlit by the rising sun, the slender silhouette walks toward us as our motorhome comes to a stop. His face comes into light and he greets us with a smile that instantly warms with comfort as we descend the steps of our coach. “Welcome to Entegra,” he says as his breath floats through the air like steam against an unseen spotlight, “I’m Tadd Jenkins.” Jenkins is the national sales director for Entegra Coach and, though he might humbly deny it, is somewhat of a legend among RV industry insiders. The story goes that he once drove more than 1,500 miles on a weekend to bring a distressed customer a crucial RV part so they could continue on their way. Asked if the event was true, Jenkins smiles and says, “The customer needed help and was out of options,” then unassumingly adds, “It was the right thing to do.” Integrity is a value held with utmost regard at Entegra Coach. As we make our way through a

RV LIVING

winding maze of offices and smiling faces, we pass a piece of evidence suggesting that integrity is indeed a state of being at Entegra: “Treat every situation with the highest integrity in a timely manner.” These words come from the company’s mission statement as painted on the wall just before the entrance to the manufacturing facility. he ceiling of the Entegra assembly plant stretches to a distant altitude like an industrial cathedral giving the space beneath it an air of massive proportions. The sights and sounds are distinctively that of heavy-duty manufacturing. “These coaches are made by hand,” explains Jenkins as if he could sense my focus was becoming overwhelmed by mechanized process. “They’ll never be made by robots.” Jenkins is quick to point out that at Entegra people make the true difference. “They care,” says Jenkins of Entegra’s labor force as we weave our way through the assembly line. “They recognize that part of our success is largely due to the product they build. When I come back from a

T

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


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Contest winners Barb and Dan Higgins are enjoying the campfire and BetterRVing.com. While camping in Pennslyvania, they got to see the first snowflakes of the season.

Join our community and show us where your RV takes you! See yourself in print! Next time you hit the RV trail, take a photo with your copy of BetterRVing.com and share it with us. Facebook or email info@BetterRVing.com Barb & Dan Higgins Black Moshannon State Park, Pa.

When you submit photos you grant Lazydays the right to publish the photos and your name in any manner Lazydays deems appropriate, including posting on the Web, without compensation. You must be 18 years of age or older to submit photos and photos will not be returned.

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BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Made in America

Entegra

The Making of an Entegra Coach

show, they want to know how we did. They’re excited. And when we experience a failure, or as I like to say, an opportunity for change, they’re equally sad that a customer had to spend a weekend somewhere waiting for their coach to be fixed.” When asked what he’s most proud of about his company, Entegra CEO Wilbur Bontrager asserts with calming humility, “We’re quite proud of the craftsmanship and quality that goes into our products.” Wilbur points to the Amish workers within Entegra’s ranks whose woodworking skills and tireless work ethic lend each RV that comes off the Entegra line a unique and loving touch. “Our manufacturing process involves a lot of craftsmen who have been building this kind of product for a number of years,” explains Wilbur. “Many of them are Amish and have a great work ethic as do all of our workers.” The economic downturn exacted a harsh toll on Entegra, forcing the leaders within to make the kind of wrenching decisions that often lead to sleepless nights. While the company emerged from the recession debt-free and with money in the bank, it was the ability to bring back those who had been laid-off from the Entegra workforce that made their CEO feel complete. “We survived the downturn quite well,” says Bontrager trailing with the look of a proud father in his steady eyes. “We’re very happy to have that quality of craftsmanship and skill-set back in our fold.” BRV

2011 ENTEGRA INSIGNIA

Elegance and durability are the themes of this luxury diesel motorhome. Engineered with an Aluma-Tru the superstructure and reinforced with a V-Flex rear chassis support, the Insignia is built to last. A customlaid porcelain travertine floor, distressed ultra-leather furniture and Entegra’s signature hand-crafted cabinetry ensures that your journey will be a luxurious one. ■

Sixty percent of Entegra’s workers, many of whom are responsible for the cabinetry and woodworking, are Amish.

Entegra stocks more than 200 styles of fabric; each coach contains about 35 yards of fabric.

Each coach takes about one month to undergo Entegra’s painting process.

Every coach that Entegra produces endures a rigorous pre-delivery inspection before being shipped to a dealer.

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BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Made in America

Keystone

Keystone Teamwork “Thou Shalt Not Park Here,” reads a sign posted in the parking lot of Keystone’s Montana plant in Goshen, Ind. It’s our first cautionary warning of the day as we begin a tour of the factory that gives birth to the RV industry’s best selling fifth wheel. We’ve entered Keystone’s national headquarters. What the modest offices within the main building lack in posh decor are more than made up for in energy and spirit in a telling sign of what lies ahead on the assembly floor. “Don’t get run over.” The day’s second piece of advice comes from the last office on the left before we enter the assembly line. Its author picks his head up from his computer long enough to send a knowing grin in our direction as the doors to the factory open and welcome us into chaos. We cross the threshold from office to factory and within seconds are swept up in a typhoon of laborious activity whose frenetic pace is unlike any we’ve seen to this point in our tour of manufacturing facilities. A cacophonous symphony of industrious metal bombards my auditory senses, instantly transforming the world into a moving picture of momentary silence. I pan my head from left to right to take in the scene and orient

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myself. To the left are the chassis. Somewhere down the line on the right must be the finished product. An order of method slowly becomes apparent as sound returns to the moment at hand. “Coming through!” The day’s third piece of advice arrives with a shout. I turn around just in time to side step two passing factory workers handling an over-sized sheet of aluminum. Chaos, I think to myself. Then it occurs to me that this may be what it looks like when supply attempts to keep up with demand. Mark Krol is Keystone’s direct sales director and our guide for the day. He hails from Chicago and looks like he would be perfectly at home in the nose-bleed section at Soldier Field on a wind-chilled, playoff Sunday with a beer in one hand and a bratwurst in the other. I ask him if this hyperspeed pace is the status-quo. “It’s a go-go pace,” he says as he shepherds us to a place we can talk out of intensity’s way. “Our products don’t have


RV Living 22 BetterRVing.com

Winter 2011

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Made in America

Keystone

engines, which allows for the line to move faster than you might have seen at motorhome factories.” Krol points out that the plant we’re in is focused solely on making Montanas, Keystone’s flagship product and top selling fifth wheel in the RV industry. “On a good day we can make 18 Montana trailers.” Krol can see the awe in my face and offers me what he feels is no secret to the success of Keystone’s productivity. “Teamwork,” he says like a young Vince Lombardi, though he might hate on principle, as any true Chicago Bears fan would, being compared to anyone from Green Bay. “Watch the line and notice how they all work together.” Krol’s suggestion (the day’s fourth piece of advice) is the primer that unlocks the kinetic mayhem of the Montana assembly line. It becomes obvious. Each individual’s laborious effort is committed in tandem with another. No one is on an island. No one works alone. The assembly line moves and breathes as a unit with each worker in perpetual motion while never wasting a step. “The Montana factory,” explains Krol, “is structured so that each team, whether it be plumbing or roofing, framing, shelling or electrical, works together to get the units out the door correctly on a daily basis.” nce an outsider acclimates to the speed of the assembly line, the faces of the workers come into focus revealing not only a sense of pride in craftsmanship, but also a certain morale that spreads its way throughout the plant, engulfing it in a blanket of positive energy. Teamwork, Krol explains from inside the living room of a freshly completed and ready-to-be-shipped to a dealership 2011 Montana, is the driving force of Keystone’s manufacturing philosophy and a fundamental principle that sustained the company during the recession. “The downturn of the last few years was tough,” says Krol, “At Keystone we learned how to increase our efficiency by doing more with less. We became stronger by getting back to our core values.” A close relationship with its customers has endured as one of the most sacred of values for Keystone and one on which much of its success and rise to prominence in the RV industry was built. “We never lost faith in each other and we never lost touch with the customer,” says Krol, “Their ideas help shape our innovation as a company. Many of the features of the Montana came about due to suggestions made by our customers. Now that we’ve weathered the storm and are here on the other side of the recession, we look forward to exceeding our customers’ expectations. We look forward to a great 2011.” BRV

The Making of a Keystone Montana

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2011 KEYSTONE MONTANA The industry’s top selling fifth wheel is back with even more great features for 2011. Plush residential furniture, high-line electronics and solid hardwood hickory cabinets highlight the “fiver,” which has defended its championship title for the last six straight years by listening to its customers and exceeding their wildest dreams. ■

The Keystone Montana has been the industry’s best selling fifth wheel for the past six years.

Keystone’s Montana plant in Goshen, Ind., can build as many as 18 units in a single day.

The Montana features more than 30 cabinet doors and drawers that are hand-crafted by Keystone’s skilled woodworkers, many of whom are Amish.

The Montana is favored among the film and television industry to house cast and crew on location and has been featured in the HBO series “Entourage.”


Made in America

Tiffin

Roughing It, Smoothly Many of those who have made the journey to Tiffin Motorhomes’ factory in Red Bay, Ala., know that Bob Tiffin has an open door policy and will gladly sit down and chat with an RVer about anything from slide outs to Bear Bryant. They may also know that the invitation to talk with any member of the Tiffin family is an open one that extends from the founding father to the last person on the assembly line and everyone in between. Visitors to Tiffin’s factory know a lot about the company that has raised the bar and set the pace among manufacturers of luxury diesel motorhomes. What visitors to Tiffin’s factory may not know is how crucial a role the RVer played in the company’s survival of the darkest economic storm the RV industry has ever known. t’s a Friday morning, which means that about two-thirds of the 1,200 workers at Tiffin’s plant are wearing Crimson Tide apparel in allegiance to University of Alabama which, in less than 36 hours, will take on the University of South Carolina in a gridiron showdown of conference foes. On this Friday, Bob Tiffin is away, but his son Tim welcomes us to his office and opens up about hard times endured. “We went through some tough times in ’73 and another downturn in ’80 and ’81. Daddy had a lot of experience [surviving recessions] and kept us ready for when the next one hit.” Like much of the RV industry, Tiffin was unaware of just how crippling the economic downturn of 2007

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RV LIVING

and 2008 was until they were in the middle of the worst. “We really didn’t see it coming,” says Tim Tiffin of the recession, “but we were positioned well and were fortunate to have resources to withstand it. We had a great dealer base with strong dealers who could withstand the tough times with us.” South East Sales Manager Danny Inman has been part of the Tiffin family for 37 years. His gracious and booming presence has endeared both he and his company to the hearts of RVing customers for equally as long. Maybe longer. When asked how Tiffin survived the gauntlet that forced so much of the RV industry to early retirement, Inman spoke from the heart. “Being a familyowned company with as good a group of employees as we have who have been here as long as they have made a big difference,” says Inman in a husky Southern voice that should be made an official Alabama state treasure. “Knowing that we’ve got a company that will stand behind the product and do what’s right for the customer … it makes you want to come to work every day.”

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


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888.626.7800 BetterRVing.com 25


Made in America

Tiffin

The Making of a Tiffin Motorhome

T

iffin Motorhomes was certainly not immune to hard times. Yet the company stayed true to the principles that have guided their steady rise since Tiffin’s founding in 1972. Production has doubled since October 2009, a sign that perhaps the most treacherous of times are in its rear view mirror. “Our employees held together,” says Tim Tiffin with the kind of compassion in his eyes that those who have never lost can never understand. “We kept our quality up, even when production slowed way down. I’m real proud of our guys for hanging in like they’ve done.” As I listened to Tim Tiffin and recalled the images of Tiffin’s diverse menagerie of workers pouring their hearts and souls into the artful task of creating dreams for their customers, I’m reminded of a conviction spoken to me by Bob Tiffin, whom I interviewed some 18 months earlier at the absolute zenith of the recession. Sitting in a 2010 Zephyr with one of the most iconic of the RV industry’s living legends, I quietly asked, “Mr. Tiffin, what motivates you?” He spoke to me as I’m sure he’d speak to anyone who sat down in his office at Red Bay. Calmly, humbly, to the point, what he said resonated with a truth I knew echoed beyond the walls of Red Bay and was the reason Tiffin, and indeed the rest of the RV industry, has emerged from the storm of the great recession with an even stronger commitment to making their customers’ dreams come true for decades to come. “The spirit of the RVer … is what drives our company.” BRV

RV LIVING

2011 TIFFIN ALLEGRO BREEZE Affordable and efficient, this 28-foot motorhome has created a buzz in the RV industry by combining superior design, engineering and craftsmanship in a compact unit that is poised for a luxurious future. The rear Navistar® diesel engine provides a powerful yet smooth ride all the while engulfing its owner in a comfort level RVers familiar with Tiffin quality have come to expect. ■

As many as 1,000 worker hours are devoted to each Tiffin coach.

Tiffin builds nearly everything on its coaches inhouse, including some of the chassis.

Tiffin imports the wood used in its coaches from

Many Tiffin owners enjoy watching their coach come

New England. to life as their home on wheels progresses down the assembly line.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


One Brand. Two Luxury Class A RV Resorts.

Contact us NOW to learn more about our “Stay and Play” vacation weekends! Call (866) 475-7746 or email info@BellaTerraRVresort.com Bella Terra features FREE Wi-Fi AND FREE CABLE OVERSIZED CONCRETE PADS 200 AMP POWER NINE ACRE CENTERPIECE LAKE SITES WITH KITCHENS, GAZEBOS, FIREPITS

Florida Grande features SPACIOUS LOTS WOODED PRESERVE AREAS 20,000 SQ FT CLUBHOUSE MANY SOCIAL ACTIVITIES HEATED POOL, HOT TUB, BILLIARDS ROOM AND EXERCISE FACILITY

Come see us at the Florida RV Super Show or S.E.A. FMCA Brooksville Rally to learn more about this exciting partnership!

BELLA TERRA OF GULF SHORES 101 Via Bella Terra, Foley, AL 36535 www.BellaTerraRVresort.com

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FLORIDA GRANDE MOTOR COACH RESORT 9675 SE 49th Terrace, Webster, FL 33597 www.FloridaGrande.org


two for the road touring the tour The 2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD blends engaging style with creative functionality in a luxury diesel motorhome steeped in eye-catching design and forward thinking ingenuity. The dynamic sales duo of Jason Cohen and Evan Crayder took the Tour for a test drive and discovered that great looks are only part of the story for this high-line coach. Jason Cohen: 13 Years RV Sales Experience, Proud Father of Three Children, Former Chef Evan Crayder: Two Years RV Sales Experience, Loving Father of Three Children (Including Twins), Maniacal Sports Fan

EXTERIOR

Jason and Evan gaze at Winnebago’s flagship luxury diesel pusher.

Jason: The 2011 Winnebago Tour 42 has a full wall slide and a bath and a half. Evan: It also has a 450 HP Cummins EPA emissions equipped, turbo-charged ISL 8.9 liter diesel engine which gets improved gas mileage and is better for the environment. Jason: I’m impressed. Evan: You haven’t even been inside yet. Jason: I’m impressed you know all that without looking at the brochure. Evan: I’ve got notes written on the palm of my hand. Let’s take a look at the inside. INTERIOR

home theater sound system that comes with an amplified digital TV antenna. You can even see it from the half bath. Jason: Just how many notes can you fit on your hand? Evan: I’ve got big hands. Jason: OK … so, moving on to another great feature of the Tour’s living room is the L-shaped extendable sectional sofa. Evan: This is an exclusive Winnebago feature. Winnebago designs and builds these couches in-house, which means that they’re able to create the floor plan around the coach and not the other way around. Jason: It’s just one more nuance that makes the Tour feel like home. A lot of people have sectional couches in their homes, and now Winnebago has put one in your RV. Evan: One thing I don’t like to do at home is clean. Jason: Yes, I know. I’ve been to your home.

As Jason and Evan step aboard the Tour, they are greeted by a wood-glazed decor that feels like home.

Evan: But the Tour is easy to clean because of the full tile floor in the living area and the central vacuum system throughout the coach.

Evan: What I really like about this floor plan is the distinct separation between the living area, the kitchen and the bedroom area.

Jason: Another great feature that Winnebago added in the 2011 Tour is the Aqua-Hot Heating System that instantly heats your hot water.

Jason: Winnebago gave this coach a great, homey feel. You can seat seven or eight people in here, and there isn’t a bad spot in the house to watch the TV.

Evan: If you’re hooked up to a water supply, you’ll never run out of hot water when you’re camping.

Evan: The TV is no less than a 40 inch LCD HDTV with a

Evan: So, if you’re in Bum-diddly, North Dakota, and it’s

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Jason: It will also preheat your engine.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


13 degrees outside, you don’t have to let your coach idle for 35-plus minutes while your engine heats up. You just kick-on your engine preheat. When you’re ready to go, your engine is ready to run. Jason: It uses a diesel-fired boiling unit to create the heat for your hot water. Evan: That unit also creates an even, comfortable radiant heat throughout the coach. You won’t have hot and cold spots and you don’t need a furnace. Jason: It also heats your bays and runs off diesel fuel as opposed to LP gas. BEDROOM

The duo steps into the spacious bedroom. There’s room to dance, though thankfully, no one does.

Evan: The king size bed in the bedroom with an Ideal Rest digital comfort control mattress that folds up like an adjustable bed, making it more comfortable for reading or watching TV. Jason: And it has dual firmness controls similar to a Sleep Number® bed. Evan: Throughout the interior, you’re surrounded by coffee-glazed wood cabinetry with tons of storage. Jason: Plenty of space for all your Hawaiian shirts. Evan: You mean your Hawaiian shirts. The bedroom also has a 32-inch LCD TV that retracts into the woodwork with the push of a button. Jason: They call that “baby maker” mode. The TV retracts and Barry White comes on the speakers. Evan: Well played, sir. Let’s take it for a spin. COCKPIT

The Tour merges effortlessly into highway traffic and cruises at 65 mph.

Jason: The 2011 Tour 42QD has a tag axle that gives you better stability and makes you feel like you have a better grip on the road. Evan: With the tag axle, those 18-wheel trucks pass you and you hardly feel a thing. They don’t blow you around,

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which makes you feel more confident on the road too. Jason: I love the full-piece windshield, which many highline coaches at this price point have. Because there is no TV in the cockpit, you get a better view of the scenery as you drive. Evan: The ergonomics of the coach are great. Everything on the dash area is organized, visible and well within reach. It’s a very quiet ride with great door seals. Jason: Winnebago makes their doors from the same piece of material they use to build their side walls. That, along with the way they do their hinging, makes for a better fit and a better seal, resulting in less wind noise. Evan: It’s a comfortable ride for the passenger. We’re cruising on the highway right now, and it hardly feels like we’re moving. Jason: Since I’m doing all the work, you think you can make me a sandwich? Evan: I’m afraid not. That’s the bad news. Jason: What’s the good news? Evan: I’ve got a heated seat, and if I turn my head I can still see the TV and catch the score to the game. email Jason at jcohen@lazydays.com or Evan at ecrayder@lazydays.com

An interview with Winnebago continued on next page.


Winnebago Industries’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing Roger Martin discusses the newly designed 2011 Winnebago Tour INTERVIEWED BY FRED SMITH

What role did Winnebago’s customers play in the design of the Tour? We talk to all our customers after they buy from us and ask them to rank four or five things that influenced them to purchase a Winnebago. The thing that consistently ranks number one is floor plan. When we began to design the Tour for 2011, floor plan was at the front of our mind. We felt that if our customers were telling us that the floor plan was so important, we wanted to ensure that we were making the appropriate investment of time and money in developing plans that were both unique and functional. Because the floor plans are so unique, this style floor plan is only available by Winnebago. All four floor plans are unique from anything else available in the RV industry.

When a customer looks at the Tour,

they’re going to be immediately impacted by the look of the coach, particularly the front-end.

Which of the Tour’s features makes Winnebago especially proud? We’re extremely proud of the exterior styling of the coach. When a customer looks at the Tour, they’re going to be immediately impacted by the look of the coach, particularly the front-end. What they may not realize is the amount of thought and care that goes into designing that space ergonomically. Not only does the front-end have a stylish appearance, but when you sit in the driver’s seat and experience the comfort of the driver’s compartment, you immediately recognize the ability to see the road, utilize the gauges and operate the vehicle. All of that functionality is a result of the thoughtful work done by Winnebago’s exterior styling people. We’re very proud of that and have received a lot of positive feedback from our dealers and retail customers. What challenges did Winnebago overcome in creating the Tour? We have a unique floor plan and wanted an L-shaped sectional that could function in a slide-out motorhome. We built that

SEE AN RV

creative piece of furniture ourselves. We didn’t have to depend on an outside furniture manufacturer. We used our own ingenuity and designed a piece of furniture that is specific to RV use. It was a challenge, but it allowed us to design the floor plan collectively as opposed to buying someone else’s piece of furniture and slapping it down on the floor. How did Winnebago emerge from the recent economic recession as a stronger company? This industry has been in turmoil for the last two or three years. Several manufacturers have either closed their doors or fought their way through difficult financial times or even bankruptcy. One of the things that Winnebago brings to the table is a 52-year history of solid financial performance. We’re an organization that has lived through some tough times, whether it was back in the late 1970s or the last two to three years. We’re a manufacturer with a proven track record not only with our financial performance, but also with our service, parts and warranty fulfillment. The Tour was created during the downturn yet is a very forward thinking coach. How did Winnebago maintain a vision for the Tour with an eye on the future? During the downturn, we made sure that we did not put our products’ research and development on the back burner. We pressed on full steam ahead with the projects we had planned, the Tour being just one of them. We couldn’t take our foot off the developmental throttle and allow our 2010 and 2011 products to look like our 2009 products with different paint. We realized we had an opportunity to invest heavily in our research and development and accelerate ahead of the competition. The Tour is the flagship project we had on our drawing boards and a sign of what’s to come for Winnebago. BRV

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


The 2011 Monaco Vesta is the ďŹ rst motorhome produced by Monaco RV in collaboration with its parent company, Navistar Corporation. BetterRVing.com caught up with two of the Vesta’s chief architects to discuss what this revolutionary coach means for Monaco RV, its customers and the entire RV industry.

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the Monaco TIM SMITH General Manager of Business Strategy and Planning, North America Truck Group, Navistar, Inc. DAVID ALLENDORPH

Chief Designer, Navistar Industrial Design,Truck Development and Technology Center, Navistar, Inc. The Vesta is the first Monaco RV created in collaboration with Navistar Corporation. What was the experience like for everyone involved?

It was a great process and experience from beginning to end. We really jelled as a team. The Vesta is our first example of what we can accomplish by leveraging the strengths of Monaco and Navistar together. ALLENDORPH: The Monaco team was great to work with and really open to what we wanted to do. Our goal with the Vesta was to create an appealing RV that established the kind of brand image that would make an impact in the industry. Our team worked full-time for about six months in designing the Vesta. We put in a fair amount of hours, but it was well worth the time spent. SMITH:

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Vesta interview

In what ways is the Vesta revolutionary?

The Vesta represents the first fully integrated coach in the RV industry — meaning all of the components that go into that coach: the chassis, the house and the engine are manufactured by one company. Through vertical integration, we have many opportunities to get things right in terms of driveline tuning, noise vibration and harshness. At Navistar, we design commercial trucks that travel more than 100,000 miles each year moving freight. We leveraged that aspect of Navistar’s experience to design the Vesta’s power train and chassis and driver environment to be the best on the road.

SMITH:

What about the Vesta are you personally excited about?

Being a commercial truck guy, the thing I like about the Vesta is driving it. It is a great ride and the ergonomics are spectacular. As soon as you sit behind the wheel, you recognize that there is something different about the Vesta. All the controls and switches are

SMITH:

within reach. The pedal package is positioned appropriately for any size driver. It’s easy to get yourself in a comfortable spot to drive long or short distances in this coach. ALLENDORPH: I think it’s a great looking coach. From the outset, the design team asked, “What can we do to make RVs look better?” The Vesta is very contemporary in its look. It has great proportions, which is something designers are always interested in. By proportions I mean the coach’s height from the ground and relationship between the wheels and fenders. Having great proportions gives the coach a more solid foundation and a better feel and look. In what ways was the design process of the Vesta a break from what we usually see in the RV industry?

We approached designing the Vesta as an opportunity to consult and work with the best engineering minds from the automotive and trucking industry. We shared ideas on paper and worked out many designs on the computer before we began

ALLENDORPH:

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


building anything. With the Vesta, we wanted to make an impact in the RV industry. Working with such an experienced and creative team helped us achieve what we set out to do. How did the customer play a role in the design of the Vesta?

The customer influences everything we do as a company, including the development of future strategies product cycle planning. The voice of the customer and their input encompasses our whole business. We’re continually engaged in both traditional and creative ways to gain our customers’ insight to meet those needs. When we talk about customers, we’re not just talking about retail customers, we’re also talking about dealers as well. The Vesta is a result of dealer input. It’s a fully functional, integrated product that’s outstanding in the

SMITH:

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industry and differentiated from our competitors. It has the features and the benefits that both the retail customer look for and the dealer is looking to sell. The Vesta is a fuel efficient and “green” RV. Is this a sign of things to come from Monaco RV?

You can see in the Vesta some of the features that were developed through our wind-tunnel testing. These aerodynamic features coupled with the MaxxForce™ 7 engine are the things that enhance that fuel economy improvement. On the exterior, the Vesta has nicely rounded edges, an optimized angle on the windshield and we’ve chamfered down the back side to release the air stream as it flows over the coach. These exterior features along with the efficient engine greatly help the fuel economy. Going forward, this is the kind of design implementation

SMITH:

that you’re going to be seeing in the products that we develop. ALLENDORPH: With Navistar’s infrastructure, we have the tools that can be leveraged to enhance everything we’ve done to create even better RV products. We believe we can create a powerful synergy by combining Navistar’s bus and truck technologies with Monaco RV’s capabilities in a way that will truly change the industry. The 2011 Vesta sets the tone and is a great sign of what lies ahead for Monaco RV; opportunities to get things right in terms of driveline tuning, noise vibration and harshness. At Navistar, we design commercial trucks that travel more than 100,000 miles each year moving freight. We leveraged that aspect of Navistar’s experience to design the Vesta’s power train and chassis for durability that was less like an RV and more like a commercial truck. BRV


RV Hall of Fame WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY FRED SMITH

In the heart of RV manufacturing country in Elkhart, Ind., the hallowed halls of the RV industry’s history awaits curious travelers from across the globe. The RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame honors the storied past of the RV lifestyle with an educational experience sure to instill a nostalgic sense of wonderment in every RVer. RV historian and head storyteller at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Al Hasselbart, offers both a glimpse of RVing heritage and a preview of the adventure that awaits at an attraction no die-hard RVer can resist.

RV LIVING

Al Hasselbart Author of “The Dumb Things Sold Just Like That: A History of the RV industry in America” How would you describe the spirit of the RVer? From the beginning, we Americans have been vagabonds. We are travelers. Going back to Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone, who I am sure would have been RVers had there been RVs for them to use, Americans longed to see and enjoy this wonderful country of ours. Being able to take your home with you on your journey just makes it that much easier.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


How have RVs evolved during the 20th century? More than 100 years before the first automobile, people were inventing ways to hang a bed off the back of a horseless carriage to go camping. Before WWI, we had rustic and basically hard-shelled tents. After WWII, as servicemen returned home and were looking for inexpensive ways to travel recreationally with their families, we entered the “camper age” and RVs were identified as campers. In the 1970s and 1980s, we began what we refer to today as “RVing” with larger, self-contained motorhomes. Today, RVs have become modernized, luxurious homes on wheels. The evolution has never stopped, and I can’t imagine, given the inventive and innovative nature of the RVer, that it ever will. How do you think RVs may evolve in the future? An attempt to produce flying RVs surfaced in the 1970s. Helicopters were converted for camping and living. Ultimately, the attempt was abandoned, but we may come to something like that in the future. Who knows? What do visitors experience at the RV/MH Hall of Fame? At the RV/MH Hall of Fame, the history and evolution of this wonderful industry is explained from its very beginnings through the years of the Great Depression, WWII, the heydays of the 1950s and ’60s, right up to the present. In addition to the more than 50 vintage RVs on display at the museum, the Hall of Fame honors the pioneering individuals who built this industry and made it what it is today. The RV/MH Hall of Fame contains the biggest collection of RV-related literature in the world. Visitors from all over enjoy its library of books, magazines and photographs — some of which go back to before the 20th century — to discover how this industry has grown. The RV/MH Heritage Foundation is proud of the museum. We’re proud of our archives. And we’re proud to honor the people who have made it possible. BRV To learn more about the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., please visit www.rvmhhalloffame.org.

BetterRVing.com | 888.626.7800


hot, new & useful

Make 2011 Fresh, Fun & Efficient With These Great Products BetterRVing.com is always looking for ways to improve the quality of the RV lifestyle, and these innovative and time-saving products will help you do just that. From increasing shelf space in the kitchen and improving the environment to new games and a cool way to travel short distances, these items can make your life easier and add more fun! Fold-Tuk Bowl This collapsible bowl, available in fourand six-cup sizes, is kitchen genius. The size of a large saucer when flat, it expands to be used as a casserole or baking dish, and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees. It has a naturally non-stick surface and easily transfers from the oven to the fridge or freezer with an air-tight lid. A nonskid bottom makes sure it stays in one place, even when you’re moving. The four-cup is $15.99 and the six-cup is $21.99. It’s available at Amazon, the West Marine, Fold-Tuk online stores (www.foldtuk.com) and specialty retail stores across the country. Buy a few and stack them!

Fresh Wave® An all natural air freshener, Fresh Wave® eliminates odors without any chemicals, perfumes or fragrances. Instead, it uses simple ingredients like lime, clove, pine, and cedar wood. Because it’s available in so many forms – as a spray, laundry additive, candle, pearl pack and more – it can be used in a variety of ways. From burning a candle to eliminate cooking odors to placing a pearl pack in the garbage can, your RV home will always be free from odor. Fresh Wave products range from $8.95 for the crystal gel in a jar to $29.99 for a 3-product home kit, and are available at Bed, Bath & Beyond or at www.freshwaveworks.com.

BioBags These compostable, tall kitchen and pet waste bags are polyethylene free and decompose in 10 to 40 days in a municipal composting environment. Made from corn, these bags have been recommended by both Oprah.com and MarthaStewart.com, and demonstrate the company’s philosophy that together, we can begin “changing the world without changing the earth.” The pet waste bags are available at Petco and retail for about $6. The kitchen bags are available at Whole Foods and retail for around $6.

GEAR & SWAG

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


The Gas Can™ by Campfire In A Can® Perfect for evenings with friends, this portable fire pit is easy to put together and an environmentally safe way to enjoy a campfire. The unit weighs around 15 pounds and connects to an external propane tank; an adjustable shutoff valve allows you to easily control the size of the fire. Super glow chips and a ceramic log set create the look of a real fire and are safe for making s’mores and other campfire treats. It’s even been approved for use during fire bans. Storage is a breeze since everything fits into one container. It retails for $239.99 and is available at www.campfireinacan.com.

Buck Stacking Game This clever game is a test of manual dexterity and observation. Each set comes with a lifelike deer head made of resin and 30 antlers in different sizes. The objective is for each player to take turns mounting the antlers atop the deer head without tumbling the stack. Great for kids over 12 – even big kids who drive RVs. The game retails for $34 at www.uncommongoods.com

The America Pillow This handmade pillow highlights many of the icons Americans love and includes embroidered images associated with specific areas of the country. From alligators and apple pie to the Statue of Liberty and the Sierra Mountains, this colorful pillow is sure to be a conversation starter. Each pillow is entirely hand embroidered on a light tea-color cotton cover and unbuttons for cleaning. It’s $196 at www.uncommongoods.com

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hot, new & useful

Genesis Electric Bicycle The Genesis is the beginning of an unprecedented electric bike. This ebike’s Power on Demand feature gives you the option to power around with no pedaling to arrive at your destination fresh and ready. Later, get your exercise by pedaling home to stay in shape. The Genesis is lightweight, with a folding frame so you can fit a couple of them in the RV basement storage area. You can travel 15 - 25 miles at 17 mph on one charge. The bike is $950 and is available at Lazydays and www.prodecotech.com.

RV Onesie This adorable onesie is great for babies who already enjoy the RV lifestyle. Inspired by her niece to make clothes beyond the typical children’s fare, the artist created this shirt after a cross-country trip from Michigan to California. The shirt itself is 100 percent organic cotton made in the U.S.A. The appliqué uses repurposed fabrics and is attached both via heat press and stitching for extra durability. It’s machine washable and available for $14 plus shipping at www.etsy.com/listing/51907543/camper-on-organiccotton-dijon-onesie.

The Next Exit How many times have you wondered whether you’d find what you needed at the next exit? Or looked behind you to find the hotel or restaurant you wanted was at the exit you just passed? This comprehensive highway exit directory eliminates exit anxiety forever, covering every highway in the U.S. and listing fuel, lodging and food options for each exit. Known as the “Exit Bible,” this 560-page book is updated yearly after the publisher puts 40,000 in its company cars to make sure it’s accurate. The book is $14.95 and can be purchased at bookstores or online at www.thenextexit.com.

Remote Lantern Whether you’re coming home late at night or enjoying the outdoors after dark, this remote controlled lantern allows you to have as much light as you need. It features a dimmer, flash function, handle suitable for hanging and remote control that attaches to your key chain. Plus, it’s great for adding light to any area of your RV. Choose from four bright colors. Three AAA batteries provide 100 hours of continuous light and the remote requires two AAA batteries, all included when you purchase it at www.eddiebauer.com for $19.50 plus shipping.

GEAR & SWAG

Pathfinder LED Cap Just for men. L.L. Bean has the Pathfinder LED cap that does double duty. During the day, it keeps the sun out of your eyes and off your face and at night, the embedded LED lights help illuminate your path. The hat is $19.95 at www.llbean.com.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


The 2011 American Coach Luxury Line is Here. Reconnect with your I N N E R

M A K E

A N

C H I L D .

I M P R E S S I O N

2 0 11

E X C I T E M E N T

A N D

2 0 1 1

R O M A N C E

A Pioneering Spirit.

2 0 1 1

2 0 1 1

The 2011 American Coach line of luxury motor homes are arriving at Lazydays – the nation’s top-selling American Coach dealer. Built on the impressive Liberty Chassis foundation, the entire American Coach line features 30” deep slide boxes creating the largest interior living space available today. 2011 also marks the debut of American Revolution – the newest member of the American Coach family. Come on down and experience the luxury for yourself today.

For more information, visit us at www.americancoach.com or call us at 800-854-1344.

BetterRVing.com | 888.626.7800


troubleshootin’ with ernie

Ernie Herring 35 Years Experience RVIA/RVDA Master Certified Technician

WINTERIZING

Your RV with Antifreeze Experience level: novice Time needed for job: 1 to 2 hours Tools needed: screwdriver, antifreeze (4 to 5 gallons depending on size of RV) “cheater” hose (available at most RV dealerships and RV supply stores)

W

inter is here and with it often comes a windchill factor that can wreak havoc on your RV’s plumbing system. Ernie will show you how to winterize your RV with antifreeze to prevent your pipes from freezing and potentially cracking from the cold. Before winterizing your RV, be sure to empty your black and gray water tanks, then turn off your RV’s water supply and the pressure to your water pump. Next, drain the water from your water heater. To do this you need to access your water heater’s panel on the exterior of your coach (Fig. 1). Looking at Fig. 3, we see both the water heater’s drain plug and the safety release valve. Using a socket wrench, remove the drain plug (Fig. 4) by turning it counter-clockwise (lefty-loosey). Water should begin to flow from the now open drain. Pull out the safety release valve (Fig. 5). The open value creates a vent that allows for water to freely drain from the coach’s water heater. Once the water has completely drained, replace the plug and disengage the safety release valve. Next we’re going to access the water system and engage the water-heater bypass valve (Fig. 8). This will ensure that no water will go into the water heater tank until we are ready to fill the tank with antifreeze. Unscrew the water filter (Fig. 9) and remove the filter

RV TOOLBOX

element. If the filter is old, discard it. If the filter is still usable, you may store it until you are ready to use the coach again. Re-install the filter canister. Now, access the water pump and disconnect the hose that feeds into the fresh-water tank. At this point, we’re going to attach one end of our “cheater” hose to the water pump (Fig. 12) and feed the other end into our container of antifreeze (Fig. 13). The next step is to turn on your coach’s water pump. You will quickly see the antifreeze fill the cheater hose on its way to your RV. Go into your coach and run antifreeze through every place that water normally runs. One by one, you’re going to turn on every faucet and flush every toilet until you see the pink antifreeze (Fig. 16). If you have a residential refrigerator, be sure to run both your ice maker and water dispenser until you see antifreeze flow where water would be dispensed. Make sure you see antifreeze anywhere that water would normally flow. The final step is to disengage the water heater bypass to allow antifreeze to flow into your water heater. Allow the antifreeze to flow for about 40 seconds to a minute. Once this step is accomplished, your RV is winterized, and you can join Ernie on the pond for a frigid season of ice fishing. Always consult your owner’s manual or a certified RV technician before attempting to work on your RV. BRV BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


4

5

7

1

8

9

11

12

13

16

Step-By-Step Access your water-heater panel from the coach’s exterior.

STEP 1

STEP 2

Open the panel.

Locate your water heater’s drain plug and safety valve. STEP 3

STEP 4 Open the drain plug with a socket wrench. STEP 5 Engage the safety release valve. Water will begin to drain freely from the drain plug.

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STEP 6 Your water system can also be accessed from the coach’s exterior. STEP 7

The water system

Engage your water heater by-pass valve. STEP 8

STEP 9 Unscrew the water filter and remove the filter element. STEP 10 Disconnect the hose that runs from your water pump to your fresh-water tank.

Make sure the connection hardware on your cheater hose is secure.

STEP 11

STEP 12 Attach one end of your cheater hose to the pump... STEP 13 ...and put the other end into your antifreeze container. STEP 14 Turn on your water pump. Antifreeze will now run through your RV’s pipes. STEP 15 Turn on every faucet, flush every toilet and check every place water flows. STEP 16 When you see pink antifreeze where water normally would be, your RV is winterized.


Laws of the Land

t

raveling through state lines is thrilling as an RVer, searching for the next site while making continuous memories. With the proper planning those memories should not include flashing lights and a costly ticket. Here is a list of state laws to help you navigate your next travels and keep you safe on the road.

Alabama

Georgia

Maximum Towing Speed: 70 mph

Maximum Towing Speed: 55 mph

Trailer Brakes: 3,000 lbs.

Trailer Brakes: 1,500 lbs.

Allowed to Triple Tow: No

Allowed to Triple Tow: No

Required Safety Devices: Chains, Breakaway, Fire Extinguisher

Required Safety Devices: Chains, Fire Extinguisher, Flares

Combined Length: 65 Feet

Combined Length: 60 Feet

Rest Area Overnight Rules: Overnight Parking Not Permitted

Rest Area Overnight Rules: Overnight Parking Is Permitted

Cell Phone Laws: Cell phone and texting ban on drivers with an intermediate license for fewer than six months; enforcement is primary*

Cell Phone Laws: Texting ban on all drivers; enforcement is primary*

Arizona

Michigan

Maximum Towing Speed: 75 mph

Maximum Towing Speed: 55 mph

Trailer Brakes: 3,000 lbs.

Trailer Brakes: 3,000 lbs.

Allowed to Triple Tow: Yes

Allowed to Triple Tow: Yes

Required Safety Devices: Breakaway

Required Safety Devices: Chains, Breakaway

Combined Length: 65 Feet

Combined Length: TT - 59 Feet / MH - 65 Feet

Rest Area Overnight Rules: Overnight Parking Is Permitted

Rest Area Overnight Rules: Four Hour Maximum Stay in Rest Areas

Cell Phone Laws: None*

Cell Phone Laws: Texting ban on all drivers; enforcement is primary*

Florida

North Carolina

Maximum Towing Speed: 70 mph

Maximum Towing Speed: 55 mph

Trailer Brakes: 3,000 lbs.

Trailer Brakes: 1,000 lbs.

Allowed to Triple Tow: No

Allowed to Triple Tow: No

Required Safety Devices: Chains, Breakaway, Fire Extinguisher, Flares

Required Safety Devices: Chains

Combined Length: 65 Feet

Rest Area Overnight Rules: Four Hour Maximum Stay in Rest Areas

Rest Area Overnight Rules: Three Hour Maximum in Rest Areas Cell Phone Laws: None*

RV TIPS

Combined Length: 60 Feet

Cell Phone Laws: Cell phone ban on all drivers younger than 18; texting ban on all drivers; enforcement is primary*


South Carolina Maximum Towing Speed: 55 mph Trailer Brakes: 3,000 lbs. Allowed to Triple Tow: No Required Safety Devices: Chains, Breakaway, Fire Extinguisher, Flares Combined Length: None Rest Area Overnight Rules: Overnight Prohibited Cell Phone Laws: None*

Tennessee Maximum Towing Speed: 70 mph Trailer Brakes: 1,500 lbs. Allowed to Triple Tow: Yes Required Safety Devices: Chains, Breakaway, Fire Extinguisher, Flares Combined Length: 65 Feet Rest Area Overnight Rules: Two Hour Maximum Stay in Rest Areas, Overnight Prohibited Cell Phone Laws: Cell phone ban on young drivers; texting ban on all drivers; enforcement is primary*

Washington Maximum Towing Speed: 65 mph Trailer Brakes: 3,000 lbs. Allowed to Triple Tow: No Required Safety Devices: Chains, Breakaway, Fire Extinguisher, Flares Combined Length: 75 Feet Rest Area Overnight Rules: Eight Hour Maximum Stay in Rest Areas Cell Phone Laws: Hand held and texting ban on all drivers; learners permit; cell phone ban; enforcement is primary*

Wyoming Maximum Towing Speed: 75 mph Trailer Brakes: No Laws Regarding Allowed to Triple Tow: Yes Required Safety Devices: Chains Combined Length: 85 Feet Rest Area Overnight Rules: Overnight Parking Is Permitted Cell Phone Laws: Texting ban on all drivers; enforcement is primary* *For more information on cell phone laws visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety online. Log on to BetterRVing.com every week for new state law information.


Gold Rush Brunch

O

ur trip through Entegra was full of excitement and discovery, but we never thought we would come across this. Susie Yoder, page 10, not only works on finishing valances for high-end coaches, she occasionally provides her co-workers with an amazing brunch treat. Her recipe was on the ready right next to her well-handled hammer. Even Tadd Jenkins said we had to try this, and now we are passing the magic on to you. (Serves 15) 1 pound meat (cubed meat, browned sausage, sliced smokie links)

Directions

2 tablespoons minced onion

pan. For the white sauce, melt the

8 scrambled eggs

butter, add flour and mix well.

4 cups hash browns

Add milk and cook until thickened.

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.

2 tablespoons parsley

Pour over layered mixture.

White Sauce

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit

¼ cup melted butter

for 30 to 40 minutes.

¼ cup flour 1 ¾ cup milk

Recipe provided by Susie Yoder of Entegra.

1 cup sour cream

ENJOY!

Layer meat, onion, eggs, hash browns and cheese in a 9" x 13"

¼ teaspoon salt

RV LIVING

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Recipe Contest

winner Last issue we hosted an RV Recipe contest and here is our winner. Pamela Anderson from Petal, Miss. not only has a great name but a winning

Mississippi Mushrooms 1 package white button mushrooms 1 pound thin bacon toothpicks 16 ounces Dale’s Seasoning sauce for steaks

Directions Wrap one piece of bacon around each mushroom.

RV Recipe. This dish is simple,

Use a toothpick to fasten bacon around mushroom.

easy and quick to prepare for

and add Dale’s Seasoning sauce. Flip mushrooms

your next event. Enjoy!

Grill until the bacon is crisp, or broil on low for

Place mushrooms wrapped in bacon in a large bowl a few times and let marinate for 10 minutes. 10 minutes until bacon is crisp.

Visit BetterRVing.com for more RV recipes to enjoy while traveling.

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Music of the Night WRITTEN BY STEVE FIELDER

COONHOUNDS ENJOY AN

average lifespan of 10 years, but unfortunately for many, their short lives come to an abrupt end much sooner. When a good dog dies, the question of where to bury the dog becomes of paramount importance. For Key Underwood, a coonhound enthusiast from Freedom Hills, Ala., and owner of his beloved Troop, said to be the best coonhound around, the decision was a natural choice. Underwood chose a favorite hunting ground where he and Troop had enjoyed the music of the night many times together. He laid Troop to rest on Labor Day 1937, and hand-chiseled a memorial to the great hound into a stone taken from the chimney of a nearby abandoned homestead.

RV LIVING

Through the following years other hunters followed Underwood’s example, laying their favorite hounds to rest near Troop and erecting memorials to their dog’s reputations as hounds worthy of the title, coon dog. Since Troop’s internment, 187 coonhounds have been buried in Key Underwood’s Coon Dog Cemetery, now a nationally famous attraction. Many of the dogs buried there are recognized world champions, but all are champions in the hearts of the men and women who hunted with them and loved them. I hunted raccoons for many years in Michigan. Two of my favorite hounds were Roper and Wrangler. Brothers at birth and ardent competitors in sport, they challenged each other throughout

their lives to be first on trail and tree. When each died, Roper at age seven and Wrangler two years later, I chose to bury them high atop neighboring hills on a farm where they often ran and treed raccoons together. On crisp autumn nights when breezes rustle the cornstalks and the harvest moon bathes the landscape in a warm glow, I now imagine them challenging each other across the valley with their melodious bawls and chops — precious sounds once loved in life, now cherished for time immemorial in the memory of their master. When hunters are faced with the question of where to bury a beloved coonhound, as was Underwood, we turn to the words of Ben Hur Lampman, editor of the Portland Oregonian in 1925: “The one best

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.”

History of Coon Dogs Fox hunting with scent hounds traces its roots back to the sixth century B.C. when the Ancient Greeks brought fierce mastiff-type dogs to the British Isles. The Celtic people recognized the scent-trailing abilities of these dogs and used them for hunting. Perhaps they were crossed with fleet-of-foot sight hounds to ultimately produce the dogs capable of hunting the fleet-footed fox and stag. When Robert Brooke brought his foxhound pack from England to the New World in 1659, he unwittingly ushered in what would become the most popular of all hunting dog sports in America, raccoon hunting with hounds. Raccoons and other North American furbearing species were nonexistent in Europe. Hunting with hounds had been the sport of royalty there for centuries, but necessity became the mother of invention as the settlers encountered animals in their new home that would not only be used for food and trade but would also provide recreation for long nights on the frontier. The result was the development of a sport enjoyed by gentry and the common man alike. Once in America, as the colonial foxhounds began to age and running with the pack became a chore, the foxhound began to pursue the trail of the slower-

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moving, more numerous raccoon. But the wily raccoon’s nightly forays into woodlots, clearings and streams produced more puzzling, technical scent trails than did his contemporary, the fox. In addition to being a meticulous worker of trails, the converted foxhound had to possess, as part of its new skill set, the ability to accurately locate a raccoon in a tree the racoon had climbed to seek rest and security and to stay at the tree, barking incessantly until the master arrived to dispatch the game. This ability to “tree” game was paramount to the successful establishment of a hound to be used in hunting raccoons and has become the benchmark for breeding in each of the established coonhound breeds. This skill, called treeing, was developed by breeding the dogs with that trait to others of the same ilk until the now-inherited trait became the coonhound’s benchmark. While bird dogs point birds and sheep dogs herd sheep, coonhounds tree raccoons. It’s what they do and to one who lusts for the excitement of the chase and the sight of the raccoon’s eyes burning like two coals of fire from the branches above at trail’s end, there’s no sport on earth quite like it.

Catch and Release Raccoons are nocturnal so raccoon hunters must pursue their sport while most Americans are comfortably at home asleep. Most “hunters” who enjoy raccoon hunting with hounds will tell you theirs is the ultimate catch and release sport. While thousands of field trials for coonhounds are held annually in virtually every state in the Union, no guns are permitted at the trials and no raccoons are killed. The onceflourishing market for the heavilyfurred pelts has gone the way of the raccoon coat. Hunters today pursue the sport simply for the love of the

great outdoors, the excitement of the chase and tree, and the camaraderie of their fellows. Coon hunting clubs exist across the nation where birds of a feather flock to discuss their hunts, the exploits of their favorite hounds and to enjoy the ever-present mixture of food, fun and fellowship.

Coon Breeds Six individual breeds of coonhounds are recognized by the American Kennel Club, each, with the exception of the Plott, descended from the colonial foxhounds from England, Ireland and France. The Plott came from Germany in 1750 when two brothers with that name brought five dogs onto American shores. Each breed, the Black and Tan, the Bluetick, the American English, the Plott, the Redbone and the Treeing Walker are similar in size and stature but are most easily recognized by their differences in color. Coonhound males average 60 pounds with females 10 to 15 pounds lighter. But breeders of each are quick to point out what to them are the distinct differences in their favorite breed’s looks, ability and temperament. Coonhounds, like their fox hunting ancestors, are primarily pack-oriented although field trials have produced hounds that are more independent. Many coonhounds are housed outdoors in well-designed, elaborate kennels designed to provide shelter, exercise and ease of care. However, more and more hunters are bringing their hounds inside to become members of the family in addition to companions in the field. Hunters are trading the convenience of kenneling their dogs for the joys of companionship the dogs provide.


Coonhounds typically bond with the person who spends the most time with them. They are known to have great temperaments in getting along with other dogs and their human counterparts. Coonhounds need a great deal of exercise and shouldn’t be confined to a house or apartment without lots of trips outdoors to a local dog park or, ideally, without nightly jaunts in pursuit of raccoons. Once considered the tools of the backwoodsmen, coonhounds are taking center stage at major dog shows, especially since the American Kennel Club’s coonhound initiative began in early 2005. Currently, five of the six coonhound breeds have been officially recognized by the AKC with only the Treeing Walker coonhound — ironically the sports most popular breed — yet to achieve full recognition, something the breed is expected to achieve next year.

“Coonhound enthusiasts

readily agree

that the music of the pack

on trail and

The Coon Dog Song

tree is their

The voice of the coonhound is one of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of raccoon hunting. Fanciers of coonhounds generally describe the barks given by the coonhound as bawls and chops. A bawl-mouthed hound sings a long, melodious note on trail, changing to the short, staccato chop when the quarry is treed. Coonhound enthusiasts readily agree that the music of the pack on trail and tree is their favorite part of the sport. For one that has enjoyed this music of the night for nearly 60 years and in virtually every state where the sport may be enjoyed, I wholeheartedly agree. If this night music is your genre of choice, you can enjoy it nearly every night of the year. There’s a concert in the making at sundown, somewhere in a wood lot near you. BRV

favorite part

of the sport.”

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Dogumentary

Travel With Your Dog Taking your dog along can make the family vacation more fun for everyone, if you plan carefully. Here are some trip tips to make traveling with your dog enjoyable. Courtesy of AKC.org HEALTH AND SAFETY

CRATES

TRAVELING BY RV

Health Checks. Bring your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are up to date; keep shot records with you.

A crate is an excellent way to keep your dog safe in the RV. Look for these features when purchasing:

Get your dog used to the RV by letting him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides.

To keep your dog healthy as you travel, bring along a supply of his regular food and some local or bottled water. Be sure to bring any medications he needs.

IDENTIFICATION

In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified. Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.

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Large enough to allow the dog to stand, turn and lie down Strong, with handles and grips, and free of interior protrusions Leak-proof bottom covered with absorbent material Ventilation on opposing sides with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow “Live Animal” label, arrows upright, with owner’s name, address and phone number Stock the crate with a comfortable mat, your dog’s favorite toy and a water bottle

Avoid car sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach; however, make sure he has plenty of water at all times. Keep the RV well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate. Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries. Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death. Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog. Never leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. BRV


rv events FRVTA SuperShow

January 12 - 16 Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 301, Tampa, Fla. Don’t miss the RV SuperShow, with around 1,100 RVs on display the SuperShow is the largest RV show in the country. Lazydays will have over 200 coaches on display, visit Lazydays at the SuperShow for a chance to win an Apple iPad. For more information on hours and admission prices visit frvta.org.

FRVTA Ft. Myers RV Show

January 20 - 23

Lee Civic Center, 11831 Bayshore Road, Ft. Myers, Fla. For information on hours and admission prices visit frvta.org.

Sun ’N Fun Fly-In & Expo

March 29 - April 3

Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland, Fla. Fly over to the Lazydays display at the Sun ’N Fun and see some of our new and used luxury RVs. For more information visit sun-n-fun.org.

FMCA SE Area Rally

February 2 - 6

Hernando County Airport, Brooksville, Fla. Be sure to say hello to Lazydays at the FMCA SE Area rally. We will be there with 30 of our new and used luxury RVs.

Register online at fmca.com.

FRVTA Tampa Spring RV Show

April 7 - 10

Florida Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, 2202 West Reynolds Street, Plant City, Fla. Visit the Lazydays display where we will have 20 new and used luxury RVs on display. For more information, visit frvta.org.

RV LIVING

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


Details RV 2011 American

Revolution pg. 52-53 2011 Tiffin

Allegro Breeze pg. 54-55 2011 Entegra

Insignia pg. 56-57

BetterRVing.com | 888.626.7800

888.626.7800 BetterRVing.com 51


2011 American Revolution

THE JOY OF THE GREAT INDOORS This 43-foot luxury diesel pusher is built on a Spartan chassis and features an 8.9 Cummins ISL 450 HP engine. Three available floor plans blend comfort and livability with an array of standard features including solid wood cabinetry, Sony速 electronics and Villa速 furniture.

RV DETAILS

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


THIS COCKPIT is built to give you an enjoyable trip down the road; it comes complete with side-view cameras, adjustable pedals, a remote start and six-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seats.

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2011 Tiffin Allegro Breeze

THE 28-FOOT TIFFIN BREEZE is a revolutionary motorhome packed with more luxury than you’d ever expect. Affordable and fuel-efficient, it’s perfectly sized for the whole family to ride and sleep in comfortably. Plus, the Breeze is built on a custom Powerglide® chassis making it easy to maneuver with responsive handling; you’ll command the road without feeling cumbersome. Its smooth-riding air brakes, air ride, and rear Navistar® diesel engine make the Breeze a small but powerful package.

RV DETAILS

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


The compact Tiffin Breeze was designed with spacious and comfortable sleeping quarters. The bedroom highlights a queen-sized memory foam mattress, wallto-wall Scotchgard速 treated carpeting, his and her nightstands and under-the-bed storage. If you have extra guests, the dinette converts to as bed as well. THE SPACIOUS BEDROOM AREA

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2011 Entegra Insignia

THE POWER UNDERNEATH: The 2011 Insignia is the newest addition to the Entegra family of coaches. Built on a Freightliner chassis and powered by a 360 HP Cummins turbocharged engine, the Insignia is an extraordinary motorhome. It has been meticulously crafted with Amish-built cabinetry, travertine porcelain tiles and custom built leather furniture.

RV DETAILS

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


THE SPACIOUS INTERIOR The Insignia’s bedroom offers a pillowtop mattress, plenty of storage and lots of closet space. The bathroom, with its vessel sinks and porcelain tile, will become your personal spa retreat. The ultra-modern kitchen comes complete with a Norcold refrigerator, a stainless steel sink and solid-surface countertops.

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What is the measure of the perfect RV? (How hard your heart beats when you finally find it.)

Whether you’re looking for a small towable pop-up or a lavish Class A motorhome, we have the one that will make your heart stop in its tracks. If you’re not in our neighborhood just go to lazydays.com and use the navigation on the left hand side of the page to shop our inventory - both new and pre-owned. If you see something that interests you or you fall in love with a particular RV just give us a call or send an email and we’ll help fulfill your RV dream.

lazydays.com

Passion. Freedom. Comfort. Excellence. This is where dreams come true. 58 BETTERRVING.COM WINTER 2011

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


PARTNER SPOTLIGHT How long have you worked at Lazydays? Ten years ago I answered an ad for a receptionist at Lazydays and here I am today. What experience in your life prepared you most for your job? I’ve always worked with people in previous careers and I learned how smiling and treating people kindly goes a long way towards making them feel welcome. How many times do you think you have said the magic words “Welcome to Lazydays” in your career? I have no idea. So many people ask me that question and have suggested that I get a button to push so every time I say “Welcome to Lazydays” a computer tracks it so we can finally know. What do you personally do to enhance the customer’s experience at Lazydays? When people come to Lazydays, we want them to have fun. I always try to make it fun for

HELEN McCARLEY Sales Receptionist

the customers. I try to listen to our customers’ needs and reassure them if they have a problem. I’m always upbeat and keep a positive attitude. I love what I do and I think our customers can see that. What are you particularly proud of regarding Lazydays? I’m proud of our employees for how much they give of themselves to help people in need. That’s the culture of Lazydays. Since day one, I’ve noticed how quick we are to help a fellow employee. I’m also very proud of the Lazydays Employee Foundation and what we’ve been able to do to help at-risk children in our community. What one thing about you outside of work might surprise both customers and co-workers? I crochet. I’ve made many blankets for babies that have been born to co-workers here at Lazydays. I’m a great grandmother and have made a lot of blankets for my grandchildren and now my great grandchildren.

Only with Blue Ox ... ®

Patent #6629701

NEW! You can stop sway before it starts. SwayPro is the new standard in weight distributing hitches! TM

SwayProTM sports our revolutionary rotating brackets (shown top right with latch tightener tool) that safely and securely tighten the spring bar chains, controlling sway at the source.

“It provides all the sway control we could hope for and we are very happy with its performance. Very easy to connect and disconnect with less parts than many other hitches!”

All brackets are self-contained and require no pins or clips.

—Scott Kimmer

The spring bars snap into place quickly and securely and capture grease inside the head socket for no mess!

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One Mill Road • POB 430 Pender, NE 68047 800-228-9289 www.blueox.com

®

Strong As An Ox™


ask steve

Technically Speaking with Steve Roddy He’s an RVIA/RVDA Master Certified technician with over 38 years of RV experience. Some call him a living legend in the RV industry. He just likes to be called Steve.

Q

Can I use 12-volt LED lights with a dimmer switch? If so, what has to be done to the dimmer switch?

A

Yes, you can use a dimmer with 12-volt LED lights in your RV. Be sure to turn off the dimmer

when it is not in use to avoid causing the LED to flash. If you experience problems, you can purchase an LED dimmer as well as dimmable LED bulbs, which are new to the RV marketplace.

Q

A

Q

How do you know if you need a separate braking system for your car? I have a 37-foot coach with air brakes and wonder if I need separate brakes for my car. The dealer says I do, but I know people who have the same coach I have who don’t have separate brakes.

A

Weight requirements for braking systems are regulated by state law. This website

will help you determine your state’s requirement: www.brakebuddy.com/Towing-Laws. Just remember,

Which type of brake control system do you recommend for pulling a trailer with an SUV?

you may be legal in your home state, but not in the

There are two different types of brake controls: a

of any states you travel through.

timer system and a pendulum or inertia system.

Q

The pendulum is the better brake control to use in my opinion. It gives you a more accurate response to your everyday braking needs. A timer control increases trailer braking the longer you have your foot on the brake. This is not always practical in stop and go traffic. The pendulum type controller increases trailer braking as you increase the tow vehicle’s braking.

state you are driving in. Always be aware of the laws

A

How do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look in the NFL playoffs?

The Bucs are a lot like RVers. Determined. Inventive. And, as long as they don’t end up in

snow-covered Chicago or Philly, they’ll be fine.

Q

A

How can I get the quickest response to my questions?

We have technical experts who will respond to your questions around the clock at Forums.

BetterRVing.com, an online forum designed to get the most out of your RV life. Or, send your tech questions to insider@BetterRVing.com.

BetterRVing.com | Winter 2011


You relax while we do the work. Lazydays is an authorized Bosch brake recall facility and is ready to assist you with the recall recently announced by Workhorse. The pallets of repair parts have arrived and our service experts are standing by to fix the problem. We have 273 service bays and over 100 RVIA/RVDA certified/master certified technicians. Our mission is to provide peace of mind to every RVer who has their service done here. Please call us now to schedule your Bosch brake recall service appointment.

Get a free night’s stay at our campground when you have your Bosch brake recall service done at Lazydays. All our campground sites are paved and equipped with full hookups, WiFi, cable TV and morning newspaper delivery. We have a beautiful swimming pool, tennis courts and even ping pong tables. Plus we invite you to enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch in our CafÊ during your stay.

RV SERVICE

If you love RVing . . . this is home.

Call 877.406.9021


6130 LAZY DAYS BLVD. SEFFNER, FL 33584-2968

PRESORT STANDARD U.S. Postage PAID LAZY DAYS

5000-0111

love the freedom of going wherever they please. is pleased to cover them wherever they go.

EMERGENCY EXPENSE. You choose to spend your free time enjoying the open road. So Progressive makes sure you’re taken care of by covering lodging and transportation if your RV becomes disabled due to an accident. Protect your trips with Progressive.

LAZYDAYS INSURANCE AGENCY

1-866-317- 4014 WWW.LAZYDAYS.COM/PROGRESSIVE Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. Coverage available for separate premium, may not be available for all RVs and coverage selections, and is subject to policy terms. 10A00146 (03/10)


Winter 2011 betterRVing