Riverbend Motorcoach Resort

For our second month south, we will be moving from Myakka River Motorcoach Resort to Riverbend Motorcoach Resort. Riverbend is located in Labelle Florida and it is only an hour or so drive from Myakka.

We will be checking in on Wednesday, December 5th, Lorraine’s birthday. We are there for one month departing January 4th, 2019.

Here is a satellite view of the property. From this perspective, the place looks huge with 315 sites.

Our lot, should it hold, is located at the top right of the property. Here it is from a closer angle.

It is a pull-in site facing the water. Lots of shoulder room on that site.

50 amp service and, hooray, Internet service (DSL) to the coach for $30 per month — only available for stays of one month or longer.

Shifting into the peak season sees a pretty steep increase in monthly pricing. We have spoken to a number of Class A parks in Florida and they have all told us the same thing: they pack things out in the first three months of the year. The market is clearly willing to pay.

Canadian dollar is dropping these days so our first year out is going to be a bit more expensive than originally planned. I just hope the loonie doesn’t crater to 65 cents or so.

I remember going into the states many years back when our dollar was basically a peso. Not much fun.

I found this video about Riverbend. No sound but it does provide some excellent visuals of the property.

We will be spending one more month in Florida and it looks like we may not have a confirmation for the next park for a few weeks yet. We are on some waitlists as some of the properties determine which lots are available to rent. We have been working through a list of 8 motorcoach resorts. Some really nice properties to consider.

And then we make our booking for our stay in Indio, California.

Where will we stop on our travels from Canada to Florida and from Florida to California and then back to Canada?

Still figuring that one out.

Myakka River Motorcoach Resort

With one winter slowly passing and a new winter not too far away, we have finally started booking our stays for our first trip south as snowbirds.

We will be leaving Canada on Thursday, November 1st to arrive at Myakka River Motorcoach Resort on Monday, November 5th.

We have booked lot 98 which is a river view lot. On the map below, it is the second site down on the bottom left of the resort property.

The lot dimensions are 84′ by 50′, which is a good size. 100 amp service available although we run a 50 amp coach. RV Park Reviews are very strong with 10 out of 10 reviewers rating the resort as excellent. Good WiFi — which I hope will be the case once we get there — and reasonably close to some of our family that live in Florida.

Here is a promo video from Myakka:

Myakka River is a Class A Motorcoach only resort. The owners of the resort are on site. The park is gated and fenced with a coded security entrance gate.

Lorraine enjoyed her discussion with Amber, one of the owners, and came away with a very positive experience.

We will leave Myakka on Wednesday. December 5th to reposition for our second booking in Florida about an hour away.

More on the second booking next time.

Outdoorsy

I do not see any scenario where we would offer our coach up for rent. We have way too much money invested in our coach and it is a surprisingly complex machine to operate safely. That said, if we had a trailer that sat unused most of the time, we might consider being part of Outdoorsy.

Outdoorsy is a sharing economy technology startup. It connects owners of RVs with potential renters. If you are interested in renting an RV at a certain location, you can jump on their site and see if there are any available RVs, everything from trailers to motorcoaches.

Outdoorsy just raised $25 million in Series B funding from several venture capital firms.

Here is part of their press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Outdoorsy, the world’s fastest-growing outdoor recreation marketplace, powering road trips and recreational vehicle (RV) adventures, today announced it has raised $25M USD in Series B funding led by Aviva Ventures and Altos Ventures. Aviva and Altos are joined by existing investors Tandem Capital and Autotech Ventures. The Series B funding will be used to expand the company’s sales and marketing efforts, broaden its geographic footprint and grow its engineering and product teams.

Outdoorsy is tapping into a new consumer travel trend and building a third lodging category with mobile rooms. Users are able to go where home-sharing sites and hotels cannot go, reaching more places than ever before.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in San Francisco, Outdoorsy is turning the travel industry on its head, having booked over 263,000 days in the last year alone and generated nearly a hundred million dollars through the platform. The company hosts the largest bookable inventory of RVs worldwide online and is rapidly expanding its global fleet towards its goal of mobilizing the more than 17M idle RVs around the world.

“More than 12 percent of American households own a recreational vehicle, yet rarely use it,” said Jeff Cavins, co-founder and CEO of Outdoorsy. “At the same time, more than 35Mconsumers try to rent a recreational vehicle in America each year with no luck. With Outdoorsy, we leveraged this global, cross-cultural phenomenon of RV travel, especially among Millennials, and brought this multi-billion dollar RV industry online and into the sharing economy.”

Millennials now make up 38 percent of all recreational vehicle usage in North America as part of the larger trend of experiential travel and the desire to have unique experiences. With 40 percent of its user base being under the age of 40, 17 years younger than the industry average, Outdoorsy is tapping into this new consumer travel trend and building a third lodging category with mobile rooms. Users are able to go where home-sharing sites and hotels cannot go, reaching more places than ever before.

“RVs are the perfect gateway experiences for consumers, and the rising demand for campervan and RV travel was a growing trend in which we wanted to invest. Moving this market to an on-demand, online sharing economy was a logical way for us to participate in this new travel market,” said Anthony Lee, Managing Director at Altos Ventures.

“Every on-demand agency in the recreational vehicle market needs to be using Outdoorsy and its pro tools across their operations,” continued Lee. “Outdoorsy built the first solution that definitively shows the world’s largest enterprises down to the at home operator, that they can list and rent safely, while enjoying peace of mind and economic benefits that were never before possible.”

To create this on-demand marketplace, Outdoorsy utilizes state-of-the-art technology. In its first year in market, it introduced Wheelbase, a free, cloud-based and fully-insured RV fleet and rental management application for any business operating from three to 3,000 units. It also built, distributed and parallelized computation and real-time analytics engines to monitor and report on useful real time data, which promises users privacy and security.

“Our marketplace didn’t exist just a few years ago,” says Ryan Quinn, co-founder and head of software development. “The platform is a game-changer in this industry and ensures that our users can enjoy ease of use and peace of mind with every interaction.”

Fly In and Buy

The view from my window seat on an Airbus. This was taken last year when Lorraine and I made a trip down to Las Vegas.

Sunland RV Resorts sent me two different promotions.

One for Naples Motorcoach Resort and one for Silver Palms RV Resort.

Between March 15 and April 1st, Naples is offering a limited-time Fly & Buy offer. You leave your motorcoach at home, explore ownership opportunities at Naples, and if you purchase a lot by the end of the stay, your trip is reimbursed. Pretty narrow timeframe though. A mere two-week window.

Silver Palms is also offering a limited-time Fly & Buy offer. Their window? May 15 – September 15. Much longer.

I wonder what that means? Is Naples more popular than Silver Palms?

The pricing is always a bit of a mystery as neither park publishes their prices on their websites although some of the lots are listed on other property websites and lot prices seem to be roughly similar, around the $150,000 mark.

We might consider ownership at some point. Particularly if we find ourselves returning to the same area year after year.

But not right now. We want to explore a bit first.

In terms of a Fly & Buy promotion, I’m not sure why I would want to leave our motorcoach behind. After all, the whole point would be to experience the park with our motorcoach. Staying offsite at a nearby hotel seems almost pointless.

Of course, when the motorcoach is stranded in storage for the winter, it might be the only option if there was a desire to buy right now. I can’t imagine requesting such an offer and then having to manage the pressure to purchase if I wasn’t already sold on a lot. Oh well. Perhaps they have lots of people go down on impulse.

Here is our coach in its storage facility.

Sad and lonely I imagine.

Launching A New Line Of Luxury

Jayco unveiled a new “luxury” coach at the Tampa RV SuperShow. Here is some of the press release information:

The Jayco Embark luxury coach is designed to meet consumer demand for a premium, more accessible package for younger RV buyers, as well as customers looking to drive a smaller coach, while remaining on the premium motorhome foundation. Spartan’s premium chassis features an independent front suspension with Bilstein shocks, providing the 37-foot coach with best-in-class ride and handling; it also features better serviceability, and Spartan’s extensive service and support network.

The Embark Class A Diesel luxury motorhome features:

  • Three eye-catching premium exterior paint choices
  • Choice of two stunning interior décors
  • Galley kitchen galley complete with residential refrigerator with ice maker and water dispenser, induction cooktop, 1.5 cu. ft. convection microwave oven, solid-surface countertops and stainless steel sink
  • Versatouch Lyra command center with App
  • Entertainment system including a 50-inch LED HDTV with a sound bar in the living room and a 32-inch LED HDTV in the bedroom
  • Exterior 39-inch LED HDTV
  • Industry-leading manufacturer’s limited 2-year warranty and 24-hour roadside protection plan

The Spartan K1 360 chassis features:

  • Industry first Cummins B-series engine packaged chassis with an Independent Front Suspension
  • Bilstein 46mm shocks which provide consistent ride tuning
  • Easier serviceability with Spartan’s exclusive side-mounted service center
  • 10,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Raised rail design for frame strength and basement storage
  • Rear-mounted radiator and charge air cooler, parallel air flow system with low-profile radiator with clutch to minimize noise and dust kick-up

This is Spartan’s first foray into the Cummins B-series diesel market segment and an indication that the red hot RV market sees room for an entry level diesel pusher with some upscale pricing.

Specs and features here.

I configured the 37MB model with the following options:

  • Canadian Standard (not sure what that is but being a Canadian I thought, “what the heck, eh?”)
  • Customer Value Package which includes an 8kW diesel generation, 2,000 watt inverter, 15,000 BTU air conditioner with heat pump (2), automatic leveling jacks, backup and sideview cameras, power awning, solar shades and a couple of other minor items. (Not sure why you would order a coach without most of these items.)
  • Central Vac
  • Theatre Seating
  • Winegard Satellite Dish
  • WiFi Extender
  • Slideout Storage Tray
  • Solar Prep
  • Washer/Dryer

This is the floorplan:

And this is an interior shot from their website.

Add it all up and the coach lists for $300,000 USD or about $380,000 CAD. Assuming a 25% discount off MSRP and adding in taxes and dealer prep, this coach is roughly $325,000 CAD. Seems a bit high for younger RV buyers. North of $300,000 and you can find some wonderful lightly used models albeit with a larger chassis.

And it doesn’t look all that great in the photo gallery. Seating, finishes and cabinetry don’t cry out luxury to me.

Seems like a lot for a little coach.

It would be interesting to see how it drives on the Spartan chassis. And perhaps it does fit a certain customer segment.

Either that or there is so much demand that price and value aren’t all that meaningful in the market right now. Build something as cheap as possible and sell it for as much as possible.