See It All In A Thor?

Any thoughts on the quality of the Thor line? Post a question like that and expect answers like this:

I have a Thor and pull a pick up behind it. That way I can collect all of the parts that fall off it.

Or:

Sounds like a Thor is an excellent value. For the price you get 2 new hobbies.
1. You get the RV lifestyle.
2. You get a full time hobby fixing it as it falls apart.

Thor has a new video promotion. Seems pretty compelling. See it all in a 2021 Motorhome from Thor. Wait. Aren’t we still in 2020? Although I do agree that many will not see it all in 2020. Not in a Thor or any other coach.

I’ve never owned a Thor and I have spent very little time looking at their coaches. Thor did buy out Entegra and I do like those coaches.

Quality?

Why don’t we hear about the quality of a Thor from another Thor.

Such a great video.

Terrifying

“It absolutely terrifies me to think of the prospect of any sort of easing of restrictions that could allow greater travel between Canada and the United States.” — Dr. Abdu Sharkawy, Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases consultant and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

This map shows why it would be ‘terrifying’ to open Canada-U.S. border:

The caption underneath the chart:

This photo shows COVID-19 cases in Canada and the United States. The data on the map above is on a more localized level in the United States, which makes it appear more red, but there are an overwhelming number of cases south of the border compared to Canada. (Source: Johns Hopkins University).

Dr. Abdu Sharkawy went viral on social media a few months back and ultimately found himself on a Snopes fact check: Did an Infectious Disease Specialist Write ‘I Am Not Scared of COVID-19’?

And yes, he did.

This was part of his plea:

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous.

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Now? He is absolutely terrified at the thought of easing border restrictions with the United States.

He seems to have embraced the fear along with many Canadians.

Canadians’ COVID-19 fears are rising again — and the U.S. might be to blame according to the CBC.

It’s clear that Canadians are watching the cautionary tale south of the border. Searches on Google Trends for “COVID” and “U.S.A.” peaked at the end of March in Canada, but had dropped off to less than half of that by the first week of June. Since then, however, web searches related to the pandemic in America have nearly doubled, while searches related to the pandemic in Canada have held steady.

Polls suggest Canadians are worried about the situation in the U.S. A Nanos Research survey for the Globe and Mail found that 81 per cent of Canadians polled want the border with the United States to stay closed for the “foreseeable future.”

Léger finds that 86 per cent of Canadians reject the idea of re-opening the border at the end of July, as is currently planned (although the border closures have been renewed and extended repeatedly in the past). Remarkably, 71 per cent of Canadians “strongly disagreed” with a re-opening of the border, suggesting a firmly held opinion.

In mid-May, Léger reported that 21 per cent of Canadians wanted the border to open by the end of June or earlier. Now, just 11 per cent agree with opening the border by the end of July.

With all of the fear of in Canada, I would be very surprised to see the border to the United States re-opening this year. It looks more and more likely that we will be grounded in Ontario for the winter.

On a happier note, the bed lift in our coach stopped working last night. The bed was stuck in the upright position. I worked on resolving the issue until close to 3 am and utterly failed to fix it. Lorraine was able to sleep sideways on what remained of the usable portion of the bed.

I slept on the floor.

Back to work on resolving that problem this morning.

I hate sleeping on floors.

Record RV Sales Amid Pandemic

Fake news. A term commonly associated with Donald Trump although the phrase has a more formal entry in places like Wikipedia:

Fake news, also known as junk news, pseudo-news, alternative facts or hoax news, is a form of news consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media. Digital news has brought back and increased the usage of fake news, or yellow journalism. The news is then often reverberated as misinformation in social media but occasionally finds its way to the mainstream media as well.

Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership. Similarly, clickbait stories and headlines earn advertising revenue from this activity.

I check on the RV industry news every day. And every day I see headlines telling me that the industry is experiencing record sales. And yet I see no evidence of record output in production. Are the headlines and stories dishonest? Misleading? Or completely above board and accurate?

From RV Business:

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked havoc with the US economy, but the RV industry is one segment of the economy that appears to be untouched, according to a report by TruckCamperAdventure.com. In fact, one could say that the pandemic has been a boon to the industry with RV dealerships reporting record sales nationwide. Arizona-based Tom’s Camperland is one such dealership.

“Sales have been fantastic,” explained Brad Leach, CEO of Tom’s Camperland. “April, May, and June were company records, the best we’ve had in 43 years. It’s been talked about a lot. People aren’t taking airplanes, taking cruises, or traveling to Europe, people are looking for other ways to vacation. There’s no better way to do that safely than in a truck camper.”

If you aren’t familiar with truck campers, they look like this:

You put them on a pickup truck and then you head out to the wilderness for a few days.

The RVIA does track industry shipments of truck campers. In May of 2020 year-over-year shipments were down by 42.4 percent. The industry shipped 167 units that month. Cumulative year-to-date shipments were down 10.4 percent from 2019 with just over 1,000 units delivered to dealers.

Brad does provide some clarification in a different article:

“Stats are kind of tricky with truck campers because I can tell where we rank with travel trailers because they are registered. With truck campers you can’t really tell because they aren’t registered everywhere, but we’re usually ranked one or two with Lance, one or two with Eagle Cap, and one or two with NuCamp, so you can go off the numbers and when you sell every brand but for a couple, you can kind of figure out that we probably sell more than anybody in the country.”

Yes. Stats are kind of tricky but hey, trust me, sales have been fantastic! Come and get one before we run out!

I Read The News Today Oh Boy

I should stop reading the news. Every day I drop in on the following Canadian news outlets: Globe and Mail, CBC, Toronto Star, National Post and Toronto Sun. On the U.S. side I drop in on New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Add in several dozen other online media outlets and there is no shortage of stories and no shortage of dramatically different perspectives on the same stories.

Let’s take a look at a couple for today.

First up? The front page story on the Globe and Mail:

I’ve highlighted similar polls in the past. This one today is from Nanos and it found that 81 percent of Canadians want to keep the border to the United States closed.

More than eight in 10 Canadians say the Canada-U.S. border should remain closed to non-essential travellers for the foreseeable future, according to a new Nanos Research survey.

I enjoyed one of the comments on this article:

80% of Canadians say the border should remain closed. However, 80% of Canadians seldom go to the USA themselves ever. More than 80% of Canadians are not in a business like hotels or restaurants that are dependent on travellers from the USA. 80% of Canadians think anyone making more money than them should pay more income taxes.

Over 80% of Canadians would like life to go back the way it was before the pandemic. 100% of snowbirds want the border reopened by October. Over 80% of kids would like to go to Disney World.

So it really comes down to what question you ask…

What else? How about this one from Business Insider:

Odd choice of picture to go along with that headline. An older model Class C on a Ford chassis? Not a luxury RV and certainly not an expensive RV.

Read the article and you will gain compelling insight into the millions that the wealthy are spending on RVs:

“Interest in the RV lifestyle … is literally off the charts now,” Garry Enyart, chairman of the RV Industry Association, told Business Insider’s Katie Warren.

Then again, the Wall Street Journal has some different advice for investing in RV companies:

Yes, it is time for RV investors to hit the road once all those wealthy folk have spent millions of dollars on their high-end RVs for a two-week summer vacation at a crowded campground during the global pandemic. Makes perfect sense.

And one more headline for today. More RVs experiencing spontaneous combustion.

It was a Holiday Rambler. No cause. Motorcoaches do this sometimes. They catch fire. Be careful.

Here is a video report on that fire:

I really need to stop reading the news.

The Centre

Left or right? Or somewhere in the middle?

There are some interesting questions that people post about their motorcoaches.

I follow the Newmar products closely and I subscribe to dozens of groups that focus on our brand of motorcoach, the Dutch Star.

Here are a couple of shots of our coach. This one was taken last night at our site in Canada.

We looked like this a mere six weeks back. Yikes.

This shot of our coach was taken back in 2016 shortly after we had taken delivery of our brand new Dutch Star. We were staying at what was then the Petoskey Motorcoach Resort in Michigan. Lovely spot.

If you look carefully at the shot of our coach, you will notice something a bit different from the shot of this person’s coach.

Did you notice anything off about the second Dutch Star? As in the Dutch Star logo not being in the center of the front hood?

Someone posted that picture on one of the social media feeds to ask this question:

Is the DUTCH STAR lettering on the front of your coaches centered or off to the left like ours is? It’s about to drive me NUTS!!!! I’m about to pull them off!!!!!!!

Answer? Centered.

Probable cause of the Dutch Star lettering being inserted off to the left? Inept body repair work.

They had bought the coach used. They now suspect that the coach had been involved in some kind of accident. Hopefully they did a more thorough inspection on the rest of the coach before they bought it.