A brand new 2016 Dutch Star 4369 caught fire last September. And now we know why:
Fortunately we have had our coach in storage since October. Newmar had an erroneous postal code for our address and we only just received the notice in the mail last week roughly 6 weeks after the date of the recall notice.
Thank heavens we were not traveling south with the coach this year. Despite the number of “coulds” in the recall notice above, a coach did catch fire. If we were snowbirds, we would have been on the road extensively during the latter part of 2016. Our coach could have caught fire.
We have booked our service appointment for when we take the coach out of storage in April.
I am a wee bit concerned about the 4-hour drive to the dealer from the storage facility. We are going to check with Newmar and Freightliner to confirm if the coach is safe to drive that distance with this defect.
I guess there is more than one Basecamp on the market. Airstream has one. And Swift has one.
Swift makes their RVs in the United Kingdom. I don’t believe that they are available in Canada. They have, however, decided to enter the Australian market.
As always, I find the clever use of space very interesting. And the next few photos show just how much, or how little, space can be used to full effect in a compact area.
Swift offers the Basecamp with 13 exterior paint treatments. And many of the onboard systems can be controlled via a smartphone, something, I might add, that cannot be done with our big Class A machine.
You can find their Facebook page here.
We did not go to the Toronto RV show this year.
It is probably Canada’s largest show at roughly 350,000 square feet of exhibition space. The Tampa RV SuperShow and the Hershey RV Show both weigh in at over 1 million square feet of exhibition space. Very different experience as those two shows are large, outdoor events with a huge inventory of product. The Toronto show is indoor with a limited supply of product.
When we last went out, there were only a handful of Class A coaches. And by a handful, I mean less than a few dozen. Newmar does not show there. American Coach does not show there. No Prevost coaches from Marathon. Or from any one else. Sicard RV shows up with a few nice coaches as does McPhail’s but that is pretty much it.
Lots of fifth wheels and trailers though. Unlike the boom in RV sales in the States, Canadians are not feeling that optimistic about our economy. RV sales, particularly in the Class A segment, are not surging. Partly due, of course, to the low Canadian dollar. U.S. products are really expensive in Canada.
I did get some highlights from the Toronto RV show and one small trailer caught my eye, the Little Guy T@G Max:
This is a teardrop camper trailer. This style of camper emerged after the second World War. They were made of materials obtained from surplus markets — the skin was made from the wings of decommissioned bombers, the wheels from decommissioned military jeeps. Today, the materials are no longer military surplus. And the design is obviously very compact.
Great use of space though.
Get to the chopper was a line used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Predator”.
I just did not ever expect to see one on top of an RV.
Furrion’s vision is a bit ambitious: to make the future perfect.
Today, our mission is to reinvent luxury living for a new generation, helping our customers escape the constraints of everyday life and live a future of limitless possibilities.
It is this clear, idealistic vision that drives everything we do. Creating perfection isn’t easy, but we’ll never stop trying.
This video gives a walkthrough of the Elysium coach by Furrion. I somehow doubt that I will ever see one on the road.
It is a big show, the Tampa RV SuperShow. And some of my family attended the show this year. They even sent us photos in front of what appeared to be a Newmar Dutch Star like our Castaway.
The Tampa Bay Times carried an article which predicted a big turnout, over 70,000 attendees.
For industry representatives like Alonso, this year’s event is shaping up to be a record breaker.
“Ever since Trump won the election, people are going crazy spending money,” Alonso said.
The event has pulled in about 63,000 people for the past two years. If the weather holds up, Dave Kelly, head of marketing for the Florida RV Trade Association, has set the ambitious goal of 70,000 attendees.
The gate was 70,528.
From RV Business:
In fact, each of the first four days set an attendance high compared to past years which, despite a Sunday (Jan. 22) storm that brought rain and wind to the show’s Tampa-based venue, resulted in an overall gate of 70,528 people – a total that eclipsed 2015’s record of 63,264 by 7,264, according to Lance Wilson, president of the host Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA).
My friends at Hearthside Grove sent me a nice invitation:
As 2017 begins, we are kicking off our schedule of events happening in and around several locations in Florida. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to catch up with you over the next few months.
Stop by the booth at the upcoming shows and ask about the new lots we are constructing and the new finished 1100 sq. ft. bungalow and garage currently being built.
The first two stops are next week.
January 16-17 – Prevost Motorhome Expo – Tampa Convention Center
January 18-22 – Florida RV Supershow – Supplier Building B – Booth # B123
Unfortunately I won’t be in Florida this week but a friend of mine might be there. If you are reading this post, I hope you dropped in on the Prevost Motorhome Expo. They should have had a lot of Prevost coaches on display. The tentative list of coaches can be found here.
When we dropped by Hearthside Grove last year, there were dozens of Prevosts around the resort. Hadn’t seen so many of them in one place before.
The Marathon coach, pictured above, is always a crowd favourite. It lists for around $2.5 million USD which is well over $3 million for Canadians. Now that is a really, really expensive motorhome.
More pictures of the Marathon here.
Found this really cool article about a research project involving an old Airstream trailer.
The Mobile Extreme Environment Research Station (MEERS) at the Daytona Beach Campus is a student-run project to design and build a mobile laboratory and space habitat simulator out of a 31-foot 1976 Airstream trailer for the purpose of testing and advancing space technologies. It will allow for the study of human behaviors and performance in extreme environments, such as Mars.
An AirBnB for RVs?
Berlin startup Campanda, which offers an online booking site for Recreational Vehicles (that’s motorhomes, caravans and campervans, to you and me), has raised €10 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Michelin Travel Partner, the subsidiary of tyre manufacturer Michelin.
I’m not too fussy about Michelin — it took them far too long to resolve our simple tire warranty issue — however it was not a bad idea for them to jump in early on the sharing economy. Campanda is a small company, roughly 45 employees, with an inventory of about 25,000 RVs. Looks to me like they are primarily focused on dealers as only about 1,000 private owners rent on their service (you can list your own RV if you like the idea of renting it out to someone). We wouldn’t do it but the concept of renting motorhome is not new. For most people, an RV hangs around, unused, for much of the year. Delivering a rental service, with a bit of the sharing economy thrown in for good measure, through a digital business model is interesting although I wonder how successful Campanda will be over time.