Friday

In Case You Missed It: November RV News


It’s hard to believe it’s almost Thanksgiving, but the despite the holiday season, RV news hasn’t slowed down. As always, we are here to keep you informed with the latest RV news you need to know this month. Check out this month’s top headlines below.

SylvanSport Debuting Platinum GO Camper - The North Carolina based company, SylvanSport is rolling out a VERY limited edition of Platinum GO models - 15 to be exact. These Platinum GO models will feature a two-tone silver and gray tent package - changing it up from their original silver and green colors. The platinum theme will also continue throughout the inside of the unit with four gray self-inflating mattresses. The storage lid comes in charcoal black and tires are mounted on custom blackout anodized aluminum wheels. The unit will go for $9,995 - get them while they’re hot! Read More.

Southern California Shuts Down Several State Parks Due to Fires - In more serious news, several California national parks have been closed due to the recent wildfires happening across the state. Park officials say all employees have been accounted for, but some of the parks have sustained serious damage due to the fires. We encourage you to visit the parks’ websites if you are planning to visit to make sure they are safe from these devastating fires. Read More.

Winnebago Comes Out With Camper Van - Winnebago has surprised the RV community with the introduction of its new Revel 4x4 camper van. The manufacturer is typically known for their larger models, so the compact model is an exciting change. The 4x4 camper van is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter-based rig, powered by a 188-horsepower, 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo diesel engine, and made for rugged outdoor sport and camping trips. This new model is aimed at expanding the market to reach a younger, sports and adventure-oriented crowd. You’ll want to see this unit for yourself. Read More.

Bowlus Road Chief Adds New Model - When you think aluminum trailer, Airstream comes to mind, but there's a new brand on the market - the Bowlus Road Chief. They’ve recently come out with a new model, Road Chief 26, that combines 30s style with modern amenities. The Road Chief 26 can now sleep 4 campers thanks to an extra two feet of length. The model also houses a spacious kitchen and a separate toilet and shower rooms - no wet baths here. This model will cost ya though - it comes in at $185,000, but we think all of the amenities and style are well worth the price. Read More.

Lots of new models this month! We’re always happy to fill you in with the latest RV happenings. Let us know what your favorite story was in the comments below and stay tuned for next month’s edition of “In Case You Missed It”.

Why Choose a Class C Motorhome? (And What to Look for When You Do.)


Mention that you're looking at a motorhome and most non-RVers think of a Class A -- the bus-style coach built on a specially designed commercial chassis.

Yet the reality is that the majority of motorhomes sold every year are Class C's, which are built on an automotive van or truck frame, with the motorhome body appended to the original cab.

According to Niles Whitehouse, Product Manager at Winnebago, there are some very good reasons these motorhomes are so popular.

Class C Advantages

"For one thing, many people are more comfortable driving a Class C coach, because the experience is similar to driving a large pickup. In addition, Class C coaches are typically more economical to buy and to operate, as they tend to be more fuel-efficient.

"And because they're smaller than a Class A, they're easier to maneuver in campgrounds and can go some places you might not want to tackle in a Class A motorhome," Whitehouse noted.

When it comes to floorplans, modern Class C's make the most of available space. Most have a sleeping space over the cab; that bed, coupled with a bed in the rear, plus a sofa or dinette that converts to another bed, means that a Class C coach will often have more sleeping capacity than a typical Class A, so it's no wonder Class C's are popular with families.

Many C's have slideouts that add to the living space. For example, Winnebago's Outlook 27D floorplan has two slideouts, allowing Winnebago to put both a walkaround queen bed and a roomy bathroom in a 28'8" long coach.

A New Approach

Outlook Exterior

The Outlook, introduced last year and debuting dynamic new exterior graphics this year, represents a new approach for Winnebago. "Our 'voice of the customer' research told us what most people wanted in a C, and we pretty much took everything on that wish list and made it standard. That really simplified production for us, and allowed us to bring the Outlook in at a lower price point," Whitehouse explained.


Outlook Interior

Each of the five Outlook floorplans (which range in length from 24'2" to 31'10") features a full galley, overhead bed, convertible dinette, and a long list of standard amenities

"They're fully equipped, right out the door," said Whitehouse.

Finding the Right "C"

When it comes to choosing the right Class C for your family, choosing the floorplan is important -- but so is the build quality.

Looking at things like fit and finish can tell you a lot. Do the drawers glide smoothly? Do the doors close solidly? Is that bead of caulk being used to hide sloppy workmanship?

Also, consider the quality of the 'support systems' -- things like the plumbing and electrical systems. Is the generator the right size for the coach? How about the holding tanks? Does it include or is it pre-wired for solar power?

Finally, consider the things you can't see: how solid is the framework around the coach? How solid is the warranty? And how solid is the company that's standing behind the warranty?

The answers to those questions will help you find the perfect Class C motorhome. Happy hunting!

Learn more about the Winnebago Outlook here.


FMCA Tech Tip: Should I Perform Preventive Maintenance On My RV?


There’s a choice every RV owner must face - preventive maintenance or crisis repairs. There is no third option. To help cut costs, many RVers attempt to perform preventive maintenance on their RVs themselves. 

Know your options with these tips from FMCA and the “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer. 

$$$ 

Consider this: A typical RV with a generator, two roof air conditioners, and a slide-out or two has a minimum of 18 to 22 retail hours of mandated maintenance that needs to be performed each and every year! At an average retail labor rate of $120 per hour, that’s more than $2,600 spent per year just trying to avoid a major problem.

Alas, it’s important to note that not all components on your RV will automatically self-destruct if these hours of maintenance are not performed, but it is highly recommended. If systems are maintained and checked periodically, you will gain additional life from these products. 



DIY Preventive Maintenance

There are several seasonal maintenance tasks that you may want to consider doing yourself to cut costs.

Some of these DIY maintenance tasks include:
Is there a task that definitely requires a trip to the service center? Read this before scheduling your appointment.

A little time and effort now can prevent major expenses down the road. Happy RVing!

FMCA RV Club brings you this monthly tech tip to Enhance Your RV Lifestyle. FMCA delivers RV know-how to its members. Join today for just $50 — a savings of $10 just for RV Trader readers. Learn more at https://join.fmca.com/trader18.

This information is for educational purposes. FMCA shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.

RVillage Helps Bring RVers Together

RVillage App

Buying an RV is a huge, exciting purchase that gives buyers the opportunity to take their home on the road while experiencing the world in a whole new way. But sometimes the road can get lonely, and it’s often difficult to meet people while traveling - and that’s where RVillage comes in. RVillage is a free social network platform specifically designed to help RVers connect with one another while traveling. Founded in 2015 by Curtis Coleman, RVillage has continued to grow with more than 100,000 users currently and a new member joining roughly every 3 to 5 minutes! 

RVIllage Founder, Curtis Coleman

Since the site was built for RVers by RVers, it’s easy to set your location through the site so you can immediately see other RVers who are close by, communicate with them, and meet up with them along your route. Another amazing feature RVillage offers members is the opportunity to join one of their 3,000+ crowdsourced groups on their site. These groups range from RVers who are into boondocking, full-timers, LGBT RVers, RVers who like crafting, motorcycling, hobby-related groups - the list goes on and on. There’s a group for everyone on RVillage, and if you don’t find one that fits your needs, you have the option to create your own. RVillage is truly what you make it, and the platform is an excellent way to connect with RVers from across the country and world. 

RVillage Explore Map - Current Location

You might be wondering, is RVillage just for people who own RVs? No! RVillage is a place for RV owners, enthusiasts, and dreamers. The site is a great place to conduct research and ask other RVers questions. After all, the best place to get information is from each other, so if you’re in the market to buy an RV, RVillage has thousands of people on their site that know the process and can help you along your own buying journey.

When you sign up to join RVillage you’ll immediately receive access to all of the 3,000+ crowdsourced groups mentioned above and you can start connecting with nearby RVers right away. We know safety is a huge concern when joining new platforms, but RVillage takes that stress away because they are committed to keeping your information safe and private on their site. In fact, there is no personally identifiable information required to sign up other than a username and an email address - it’s so easy.

RVillage - Explore Map Route

For more information or to join the “RVillagers”, as they like to call themselves, visit: RVillage.com. Once you get familiar with the RVillage website, you can then download the RVillage APP for iOS or Android as it will make more sense for you and you can begin making those important connections along your way.


Thursday

Choosing the Best RV Exterior Care Products


Did you catch our article last month about maintaining your RV’s exterior (Link to September article if possible)? FMCA and the “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer are here to help you find the perfect products for your RV.

Five Conditions That Affect Product Performance
Did that polish work great for you, living in a colder climate, but not so great for your friend who lives on the beach? Simply put, some exterior products simply work better in different conditions.

There are five factors to consider when choosing a product to maintain your RV’s exterior:

Climate
Variations in temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and even the proximity of the sun can have an effect on how well a certain product will perform.

Location
Whether the RV spends an abundance of time parked in an industrial area, a wilderness area, the city, or out in the country can have a significant impact.

Environment
Air quality, in particular, can have an impact. How much smog or airborne pollutants are present in the air?

Age of the RV
Certainly, the older the RV, the more chance of it sustaining a deeper level of oxidation.

Amount of effort exerted during the cleaning process
The elbow grease you employ when using a particular product may be directly proportional to your success.

Five Steps to Choose the Perfect Product for Your RV

Know Your Material 
First of all, be sure you know the type of material you are attempting to protect or restore. Some products, when applied to an incompatible surface, may actually cause more damage than any pre-existing condition. For instance, never use petroleum products or wax on vinyl stripes or design elements.

Read the Label
Second, read the label carefully and follow the directions explicitly before applying the product. Understand the supplier probably knows more about its product than you do. It can be difficult to succumb to “reading the directions,” but in this case, it is the best advice.

Test!
Try the product on an inconspicuous location first. See whether you can obtain a small sample of the surface you wish to clean, polish, wax, or otherwise protect or restore and test the product on that piece. If that’s not possible, try the product in an area that is hidden or not readily visible, such as inside a wheel well, behind a bumper, etc. Better to discover its effectiveness, or lack of, prior to slathering it on the entire sidewall.

Pick a Reputable Brand
Stick with a reputable brand name. Check for contact information printed on the label or container. Notable product suppliers will have their address, phone number, and website info prominently placed on the product. The good companies will have a toll-free phone number. Any reputable firm will welcome feedback, whether pro or con. 

Don’t mix!
This is your RV, not a cocktail. DO NOT MIX PRODUCTS! Find the preventive maintenance products that work best for you and stick with them. Avoid switching products every time you hear of something new. If your travel habits or home base changes, then it may be necessary to switch to a different product; however, until one no longer works for you, staying loyal will have a positive outcome most of the time.

Take it from the experts – maintaining your RV’s exterior surfaces can be a challenge if the products you choose don’t have the intended results. Hopefully these tips will help you maintain that showroom look for many years or at least reap the return on your investment come trade-in time.

FMCA RV Club brings you this monthly tech tip to Enhance Your RV Lifestyle. FMCA delivers RV know-how to its members. Learn more at https://join.fmca.com/trader18



This information is for educational purposes. FMCA shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.