Getting the Towable Weight Down - RV Business magazine reported in June 2008 that Pilgrim International Inc,Middlebury, IN, introduced the Ultima Composite and Supra Composite fifth-wheel series that are manufactured with a composite substrata that replaces luan and shaves hundreds of pounds off the weight of the unit. The roof and floor of the coaches also are made with the CosmoLite composite from TekModo LLC, Elkhart, IN.
RV Business also reported in June that the 5,000th Passport Ultra Lite travel trailer rolled off the line at Keystone RV Co.’s Howe, IN facility less than 18 months after the brand was introduced. Ryan Juday, Passport production manager said that “rising fuel costs certainly have boosted Passport sales.” and was one of the factors contributing to the success of the Passport Ultra Lite.
Also reported in June was the Gulf Stream introduction of the lightweight laminated fiberglass-and- aluminum Firefly travel trailer with five 20-to 26-foot floor plans with dry weights ranging from 3,300 to 4,400 pounds. The Firefly was designed to be towed by crossover vehicles.
RV Industry Taking on Motorhome Fuel Efficiency - RV Business magazine reported in June that the prototype of the new Damon Avante that is still under wraps in the factory may hold the biggest promise for the company. Dealers got a sneak peak of the prototype of the new 31-foot, European- inspired front-engine Avante diesel pusher Class A motorhome that won't be formally introduced until the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show Sept. 10-14 in Hershey, Pa.
The Avante will be mounted on a 16,000-pound GVWR Workhorse commercial truck chassis and is projected to average between 14 and 15 miles per gallon. The MSRP will be in the range of $125,000 to $140,000.
And in a second article on fuel efficiency, RV Business reported that Gulf Stream debuted fuel- efficient '09 Coaches at their annual dealer meeting June 2-7, including the debut of a “Super C” on a Daimler Sterling truck chassis that gets 14 mpg.
Knowing Where You Are - If you plan on going off road or into wilderness areas, you should look at the Topo USA 7.0 software from DeLorme. Topo USA 7.0 combines the DeLorme street and topographic databases into one seamless map of the entire U.S. Pre-plan trips to your favorite locations and see the lakes, mountains, and other natural features in ways not possible using standard mapping products.
Preview trips in amazing 3-D on maps you rotate and control. Profile trails to see the degree of difficulty in advance. New in this version is the ability to also access the four million places of interest from Street Atlas USA as well as boat ramps and campgrounds from the DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer series.
As extended RVers, we never left home without our DeLorme Street Atlas and Topo software. They are invaluable for trip planning, handling changes to the itinerary, and determining the type of terrain we are driving through or visiting.
Looking for a compact lightweight satellite dish antenna for your towable RV. Check out the Vu Qube Portable Satellite TV Antenna available at Camping World. You can position the antenna and acquire satellite signal in less than five minutes with the wireless remote. The weather-resistant antenna is only 17 1/2"H x 16"W and weighs only 10 1/2 lbs. The Vu Cube is available at Camping World,
New DeLorme Products - You'll find the DeLorme Earthmate GPS LT-40 Deluxe 2009 on DVD as a web exclusive offer for $149.95 (formally $179.95). The Ultimate Off-Road & On-Road Bundle with Topo USA 7.0 Topographic Mapping Software and Street Atlas USA. The GPS LT-40 provides an even more powerful GPS, for large-screen laptop & UMPC navigation with new driver-view "NavMode" in 3-D. The device plugs into the USB port of your Laptop & Ultra-Mobile PC.
The popular handheld DeLorme Earthmate GPS PN-20 handheld GPS unit with a 1GB SD card and reader is available for $299.95. The powerful unit comes with Topo USA 7.0 topographical software.
Sport Utility RVs (SURV) - One growth area for RV manufacturers is the increasingly popular Sports Utility RV (SURV). SURVs are now available in sizes ranging from the 700 lb. Sylvan Sport Go popup with an all-aluminum frame capable of hauling an ATV, to the Newmar Corp. All Star mid-engine diesel- powered Class A diesel SURV available in rear and side loading configurations.
WiFi at RV Resorts - Tengo Internet continues to add new WiFi services to RVers. The popular WiFi service provider announced thirty-six new locations in 15 states and Canada offering TengoInternet Wi-Fi services to guests in late August. TengoInternet continues to expand its Wi-Fi service area with hundreds of TengoZones located throughout the United States and Canada. You can find locations providing Tengo Internet WiFi service on the Tengo Internet website.
12-volt DC Flat-Screen TV - If you are looking for a flat-screen LCD-TV for your RV, check the TV power source requirements. Although flat-screen LCD-TVs come with a 120-volt AC power cord, many are connected to a transformer that provides DC power to run the TV. We have a Sharp LCD-TV which uses a transformer with a 13-volt DC output which requires us to use 120-volt AC to run the TV.
We recently purchased a Polaroid 19” LCD flat-screen HD-TV with a built-in DVD player that has a 12- volt DC output from the transformer and weighs less than 20 lbs. This enables us to use a 12-volt DC power cord with the Polaroid TV and DVD player if we are not hooked up to shore power and do not want to use the generator or an inverter.
Note: You may have to go the big box store to identify which TV's use 12-volt DC power because the product specifications for flat-screen TV's at the various big box store websites do not indicate if a transformer is used or the output voltage of the transformer use to power the LCD-TV.
Traffic Status - RVers traveling in congested areas may find the MyTraffic website very helpful in keeping up with traffic delays.
The easy to use and navigate website provides info on beating traffic. A partial list of the Information to help you get through includes city-wide hotspot alerts, personalized traffic reports, E-mail, test message or phone alerts, a free traffic hotline available day and night, and Traffic on demand by text message and mobile web, as well as Traffic Feeds for your feed reader or MyYahoo page.
You may not be able to control traffic delays, but at least you will be aware of what may be ahead and able to change your route.
Backing Up Aids – You’ll find an excellent selection of products to assist in backing up your RV or personal vehicles safely on the JC Whitney website that includes backup cameras, a variety of alarms, and sonic detectors. Click on RV Campers, and then Backup Alarms and Monitors.