Opinion

Mystery, intrigue surround sale of RV publication

(May 29, 2013) — Mystery and intrigue surround the sale of an RV industry publication. But, the biggest question is what is for sale? Multiple people sent me links to a website showing that an RV trade publication was being offered for sale. But nobody is admitting their publication is actually on the market — and information isn’t being provided to prospective buyers, either. 

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It is time to end government subsidized camping

(May 20, 2013) — Private campground owners, perhaps you can explain how it is even possible to charge those rates and even cover your expenses. If federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the facility, which boasts 128 sites, needs to book 11 sites per day just to earn enough to pay wages and taxes for one person to work eight hours. 

It does nobody any good to spend millions of dollars building top-notch recreation centers that are shut down or their use restricted because the “owners” can’t make money when a complete facility is basically given to them. 

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A big start to 2013

A big start to 2013 We expected this to be a big year at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC), and the first four months of

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The devastating affect of gotcha journalism

(May 8, 2013) — Hidden cameras and audio recorders can be incorporated into pens, hats, soda cans — just about anything. The last thing any business owner wants to see is a video of his or her business going viral on YouTube and mainstream media outlets because of the outrageous actions and claims made by a dealer or a member of the staff.

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What a difference two years makes

(May 1, 2013) — Just a little more than two years ago, much of the industry had all but written off the RV/MH Hall of Fame as a financially nonviable institution. Fortunately, genuine leaders stepped forward to offer a vision, helping hand, and plenty of money to keep the Hall of Fame open to the public. Darryl Searer was hired as president and, as they say, the rest is history.

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What a difference two years makes

(May 1, 2013) — Just a little more than two years ago, much of the industry had all but written off the RV/MH Hall of Fame as a financially nonviable institution. Fortunately, genuine leaders stepped forward to offer a vision, helping hand, and plenty of money to keep the Hall of Fame open to the public. Darryl Searer was hired as president and, as they say, the rest is history.

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Ripping off RV dealers at the Rio

Isolated from the rest of the strip, just about everything at the Rio is more expensive than the rest of Las Vegas, including the $4.50 bottles of water in the hotel room, the fact the front desk dings your credit card $100 per day for “incidentals,” and don’t even get me started about union thugs and the $150 they charge to carry a box 150 feet from the loading dock to an exhibit.  

But the Rio just got costlier for RV dealers who were attending the Priority RV Network meetings last week. Can you believe this resort now charges $20 for early check in? I have never, in my life, heard of a hotel charging guests an early check in fee in a city where an aircraft lands every 90 seconds around the clock.

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Another crazy ruling from RV-hostile California

(April 11, 2013) — It’s getting harder and harder to understand anything that goes on in California these days.  Perhaps someone can explain why a guy sitting at a dead stop on a “freeway” caught in one of California’s legendary traffic jams could be cited for “distracted driving” for using his iPhone’s mapping feature to find an alternative route around the mess.

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Philip Koch — an outdoor industry visionary

(April 12, 2013) — Philip Koch was a visionary in the camping industry. Why is it that so often men with great vision depart earth well before their time, leaving others to carry out that vision? Philip was the owner of Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Park in Santa Claus, Ind. He died unexpectedly this week at age 47.

I had the chance to spend a few hours with him last September when the campground invited me to spend the weekend at their resort to see first-hand how a Christmas-themed campground embraces Halloween.

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RV Daily Report celebrates its fourth birthday

(April 1, 2013) — Through it all, we have remained committed to serving the RV industry as an independent news source, not governed by corporate control. We have always allowed anyone with a message to step up and use our microphone to relay news, convey an idea or to voice an opinion. And we allow others to hold us accountable by allowing comments on every story we post.

I think RV Daily Report plays an important role in the RV industry by covering all segments in one central location — RV dealers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, associations, RV parks, campgrounds and RV owners. In honor of our fourth anniversary, I wish to genuinely thank our readers who have stood by us through some tough times and many challenges, as well as the advertisers who make it possible for us to continue our mission month after month. Without the steadfast support of companies who share our mission, RV Daily Report would be nothing more than a dream.

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Here’s a great way to introduce creativity into RV design

(March 25, 2013) — I received a press release today about a design competition in the automotive industry that I thought would be an excellent way to bring innovation into the RV industry. I, for one, think this type of design innovation would help improve the draw to the National RV Trade Show in Louisville each year.

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Band together to rescue our national parks

(March 14, 2013) — We are stewards of the land, and as such are responsible for protecting and ensuring our national & state parks are left the way we found them for future generations. I find it despicable that every time state and federal governments attempt to work through self-inflicted deficits and poor planning our state parks and national parks are the first to suffer from our government’s inadequacies.

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Are manufacturers handcuffing dealership F&I departments?

(March 13, 2013) — I heard some scuttlebutt last week about some behind-the-scenes maneuvering for manufacturers to include specific brands of emergency roadside service with every new RV they sell. Some dealers are objecting to the practice all together, but are their concerns justified?

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Do we want Washington dictating model year changes?

(March 6, 2013) — An RV dealer contacted me this week to say he was sitting on a pair of two-year-old 2012 RVs. How an RV can be two years old nine weeks into a new year is a mystery to me.  “As a dealer, it is very hard to plan for my selling season when an RV manufacturer surprises me by delivering a 2014 model in February of 2013,” he said. “As dealers, how are we to plan for this early surprise?” Good question. The answer, you can’t plan. It’s meant to be a surprise.

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Has S.D. legislature had enough with pork barrel spending?

A campground owner in South Dakota sent me some information about a bill working its way through his state legislature. The $4 million spending measure to make improvements at three taxpayer funded state parks was reduced to just $3 by the assembly and sent to the senate for further consideration. Could it be that at least one state is starting to realize that wasteful spending must stop? 

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Sequestration – No! Let’s free federal recreation providers

(Feb. 26, 2013) — It is time to tell Washington that games need to stop.  Americans overwhelmingly agree that federal deficits need to be cut, and that federal spending reductions need to be a big part of this effort. Adding up the results of these ten steps generates a new income stream that dwarfs the projected $115 million sequestration cut – nearly half a billion dollars in increased revenues.  Time to take some actions!

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Consolidation, adjusted numbers and a pearl of wisdom

(Feb. 26, 2013) — As we kick off 2013, our industry is enjoying rising shipments and incredible reports from RV dealerships and shows throughout North America regarding attendance, sales numbers, and strong interest in RV ownership. That’s great news. But, I believe this news is even more encouraging when you consider the degree of consolidation that our industry has experienced since 2008; how close we really are as an industry to “storm adjusted” shipment highs for the last ten years; and what this might mean to us all. 

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Weirdness is afoot

(Feb. 22, 2013) — When it snows in Scottsdale, Ariz., you know weirdness is afoot. Some freaky weather dropped a dusting of snow on the yards of snowbirds seeking to avoid the effects of living in the land of frozen tundra.

But, there has been so much weirdness this week, I had to check to see if there was actually a full moon. There isn’t, and it’s not expected until Monday. So, I don’t know what could be going on. Here’s a sampling of the weirdness I read about this week.

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