Oct 14, 2016

Our Top Picks for the Best Fall Festivals of 2016!

Kentucky Apple Fest

Look, don't even say you love apples until you've been to this down-home fall celebration. Originally held in the early 1960s to promote the area's local apple market, the festival eventually became so popular amongst both locals and travelers alike that it beat out the nearest competition for fall fun - the Johnson County Fair. 

Let's just say that due to Apple Fest's extreme popularity over the past 50 years or so, the JoCo Fair hasn't actually existed for some odd years now. But hey, given the ridiculous number of creative apple treats available - and one of the world's largest apple pies taking residence there - can any of us really be all that surprised? 

Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest

If you're looking for a place where the kids will never run out of things to do (or just a way to exhaust them from fun), then this festival in Meridian, Idaho is your go-to. 

With beginnings as just a corn maze off I-84 and Eagle Road in the late 1990s, the farm's annual autumn throwdown is one you'd likely only think to have heard of in country heart-and-hearth magazines. 

But between a giant house-sized jumping pillow, a corn cob beach, pig races, and a potato sack slide, this festival is both real and always ready for new families at the ticket booth. 

Oh, and while you're there, don't forget to visit the infamous corn maze - also known as "The MAiZE" - to experience a twisting, confusing cornfield like none you've ever seen before. The biggest kicker? There's a theme to the giant maze each year- this year, comedy has joined the farm, and it's shaped entirely like a picture of comic Jimmy Fallon. 

Yep, you heard that correctly. His head is literally carved into the cornfield as part of the maze (would we really lie to you about that?!). Still don't believe us? Get a peak for yourself and check out all the crazy opportunities this place offers for fall family fun on your next trip! 

Roebuck's Festifall at Walnut Grove 

Held every year at South Carolina's Walnut Grove Plantation, this fest provides a range of activities and happenings for any and all ages - all meshed with historical flair. 
Here, the events, lifestyle, and tactics of the American Revolution come to life. 
With over 100 historical reenactors present each year, perfect fall weather envelops demonstrations like no other. Learning cavalry tactics and military drills of the time, you will hear cannons fire and be able to participate in numerous colonial era-inspired crafts, projects, and trade (shopping) activities. With food vendors and RV parking all available on-site, you can spend a whole day here both enjoying the weather and learning about our nation's incredible past.

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta

Not only fun for the whole family, this particular fest (oh, and regatta, because you're not really in Maine unless there's one of those) really is an all-American event, boosting the economy every year for the small, rural, coastal community of Damariscotta. Originally beginning in 2007 as a race between two pumpkin boats, this "Only in Maine" festival has expanded to be truly one-of-a-kind. 

Promoting education on horticulture, gardening, and rural economic health to adults and children alike, the event evolves into a trip full of fall activities. Between learning the specific science behind growing Atlantic Giant Pumpkins, a boat race of countless 400-700 lb. hollowed-out pumpkins, and a giant pumpkin parade, this gourd-devoted parade will leave you in awe of the orange autumn fruit! 

Other activities at the Pumpkinfest include: 
  • A pumpkin "soapbox-style" derby
  • Pumpkin dessert contest
  • Pumpkin Pie Eating Contests
  • An infamous 180 ft. pumpkin drop (which, mind you, is onto a stack of junk cars)
  • Display of 65+ carved and decorated pumpkins
  • Columbus day weekend events ("slice of small town Americana")
Long story short: You haven't REALLY seen pumpkins until you've been to Damariscotta.

Apple Butter Stirrin' Festival

At the Historic Roscoe Village in Roscoe, Ohio, you'll not only get the fall experience of a lifetime, but also get to truly visualize the past in this 1830 restored canal town. This late-October festival provides a number of sights, smells, and activities, from their famed apple butter cooking over an open fire to live bluegrass music and canal boat rides to pass the time.

The festival also boats "Spirit of Roscoe" ghost tours, bringing the past even more to life as the wind gets chillier and the sun looms toward the horizon. Haunted hello's not your thing? There's still plenty to do in this small Ohioan town, with unique shopping, original restauranteurs, museum and history tours, and bustling entertainment to keep you occupied.

Between smelling the simmer of apple butter and watching the leaves turn, we're honestly not sure what we want to do first in Roscoe this year.

Stay tuned to RV Insider, the official blog of RV Trader, 
for more insider tips, tricks and guides to the best RV destinations in the country, as well as plenty of resources for buying and selling your own new or used RV!

Trader Online Web Developer

Update on the Big Outdoor Adventure Giveaway: WE HAVE A WINNER!

From April to June this year, we were so thrilled to have had the opportunity to run The Big Outdoor Adventure Giveaway in partnership with Keystone RV and Thousand Trails! Now - out of more than 75,000 entrants - we are happy to announce that Patty Washall of Wilmington, Delaware is our grand prize winner!

Patty won a 2016 Keystone Fuzion Impact VaporLite 26V RV and a year-long Thousand Trails camping pass, with the total value of her grand prize totaling nearly $40,000! As frequent tent campers, Patty and her husband have dreamed of owning an RV for years, but something always seemed to come up when they were ready to buy.

“We are thrilled to be the Keystone Vapor Lite winners! This is a dream come true for a couple that loves camping more than anything,” said Mrs. Washall.

“We have been tent campers for many years, and it has been our greatest wish to own a real camper. We can’t wait to enjoy all the seasons in our brand new RV!”

Earlier this month, Patty and her husband received the Keystone RV and Thousand Trails camping pass at the Indian Valley Camping Center in Souderton, Pennsylvania. “We couldn’t have dreamed of a more deserving winner for this giveaway,” said Paige Bouma, vice president of RV Trader. “We can’t wait to hear about all the incredible places Patty and her husband visit in their new RV.”

Stay tuned to our blog and social media pages for updates on the winner, her story, and future journeys in her brand new Keystone RV!

Check out the video of our grand prize winners receiving the keys to the Keystone VaporLite!

Trader Online Web Developer

Actually living out the TRUE American dream: Meet the real-life couple who quit their business day jobs to travel the country in an RV

Hudson and Emily are a 25-year-old husband and wife - but they're anything but your average American couple.

They both have Masters degrees in Business Administration. Both of them love to travel and adventure the world. And, believe it or not, they recently quit their "American dream" jobs in the greater DC area to pursue their true American dream of traveling the country in an RV together! 

Travel and lifestyle bloggers since 2012, they recently purchased a 2000 Fleetwood Bounder diesel pusher and are beginning renovations on the inside. On January 1st, they will embark on a year-long, "bucket list" trip, and plan to visit all 50 states. Some of their planned destinations include:
  • Hiking America's great National Parks
  • Attending national events, such as major concerts, sporting events, state and county fairs, etc.
  • Living amazing adventures (like skydiving, bungee jumping, and swimming with sharks)
  • Making unforgettable memories (Exhibit A: riding a helicopter over Alaskan glaciers

"One of the biggest encouragers of our dream was Hudson's dad, who passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack last year," Emily told us. "As hard as that has been, it's also been a good reminder not to wait until we're retired to live our dreams - because we never really know if we'll have that opportunity." 

The two will be actively blogging, uploading videos to YouTube, and updating their social media platforms regularly to document their daily adventures and newfound RV living experiences.
"Our goal is to encourage people to think about the stories they want to tell someday - and then go out and live them." 

Stay tuned for updates on this incredible traveling duo's journey in 2017!

Trader Online Web Developer

Oct 13, 2016

Latest edition of Go RVing Canada's Wildhood Stories now on YouTube!

Go RVing Canada recently released a jaw-dropping addition to their video series "Bring Back the Wildhood," documenting the nomadic adventures of photographer Brendan van Son and his girlfriend, Erin. The couple's series records their trip to from Toronto to Calgary...and honestly, it's something you've got to see to believe. Translation? Social media = powerful, appealing digital and social media-based consumer experiences. Check it out and get inspired by this incredible project.
Trader Online Web Developer

Winnebago Announces Q4 Results

Winnebago Industries Inc. reported a 13.1% increase in net income for Q4 of the fiscal year, citing an outstanding towable division performance. As of Aug. 27, revenues for Q4 totaled approximately $263 million, improving almost 12% from this time last year. Net income was a little over $13 million, a 12.1$ growth since last year.

“Our towables business continues to be one of the primary performance drivers, as shipments and retail registrations both outperform the market, thanks to several new products and increased dealer outlets. The motorized team drove a higher level of manufacturing output while also working hard to deliver more consistent levels of product quality.”

Read the full article and hear more of Winnebago CEO Mike Happe's perspective on the impressive success the company has seen thus far!

Trader Online Web Developer

Recreational Vehicle Dealers Assocation (RVDA) Chairman: RV business continues to be strong

The following column from RVBusiness.com, written by Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Chairman Brian Wilkins, looks deeper into the recreational vehicle industry's recent dramatic spikes in growth.
"For many of us, as we put Labor Day weekend in the rear view mirror and send the kids back to school, we know that the RV selling season is going to start to slowdown.  
It’s just the seasonality of the business, especially for those of us in the northeast part of the country. That said, from most accounts, business has been and continues to be very strong. Evidence of this was the recent press release from RVIA recapping July MTD wholesale shipments and forecasting 2016 shipments to exceed 405,000 units and 2017 shipments to reach 411,000 units. These would be the first two years that shipments exceeded 400,000 units since these numbers started being tracked in 1978.
Shipping 405,000 units will also mark a complete recovery from the 2006-2009 market downturn. What’s most interesting about this recovery is the speed with which it happened.  I know, as we’ve gone through it, it hasn’t always seemed like an especially speedy recovery. But if you look at the numbers, it’s been a pretty awesome recovery.
From 1978-1980, RV shipments dropped from 389,000 units to 107,200 units, or 72.5%. It then took the industry 28 years to return to those 1978 numbers, doing so in 2006, when it hit 390,500. As we all know, that return didn’t last long. Shipments quickly dropped from that 2006 number back to 165,700 in 2009, a decrease of 57.5%.
This time, the market has fully recovered in just 10 years. I think this recovery says a lot about our industry. For years we have talked about the Go RVing campaign, and how RVs have become more popular. These numbers support this and can give us confidence that our industry and our products are better situated to not only recover from future market downturns, but to possibly support further market growth, possibly to levels we’ve never seen before.
As we move into fall, the fall show season has begun. I recently returned from the Hershey RV show. For further evidence of our industry’s growth, take a look at the attendance figures issued by PRVCA. According to their press release, attendance hit an all-time record of 57,692 attendees. According to a past press release, that’s an increase of 80% over the 2009 attendance of 32,100 attendees. That’s 80% increase in just seven years. It doesn’t seem as if the customers disappointed either, with most dealers seemingly very pleased with retail activity including multiple accounts of the show’s first day being the best dealers have ever had.
Hershey was followed closely by the Elkhart RVOpen House, and we all know how much this event has grown over the past eight years.  Open House week is an industry event that 10 years ago, didn’t even exist. Yet, according to the Elkhart Truth, both Forest River and Thor expect to exceed $1 billion in sales this week alone. What’s most amazing about the Open House event is that there is no structure or organizing body behind the event. The event’s growth has been completely informal, with most of the industry — manufacturers, suppliers and dealers — participating while the only structure is two leading manufacturers agreeing on the dates of the event.
Yes, business is good and the prospects for our industry seem to be very promising. Interest rates remain favorable, the economy has been consistent, and as stated above, RV popularity is as high as it’s ever been. 
But we do need to proceed with caution. 
In the past, the market has not sustained these types of numbers. As a result, as an industry, we don’t have a lot of experience at maintaining these levels for extended periods of time. Manufacturing is maxed and employment is tight at both the OEM and supplier side and if our industry is going to continue to grow, increasing our employment base and training that base is going to become critical. In addition, as I have discussed in past columns, we need to address issues of product quality, after the sale warranty support and replacement parts availability if as an industry, we are to reach our full potential."
Trader Online Web Developer