Cavco Introduces Solar-Powered Park Model
Phoenix-based Cavco Industries has become the first park model manufacturer in the country to produce solar-powered park models, according to a news release.
"We believe we are the first company in the RV business to produce a trailer product that can produce its own electrical power," said Tim Gage, vice president of Cavco's Specialty Division, which produces park model cabins. He added that demand for the 400-square foot cabins has been "off the charts" since the company introduced the product in June.
But unlike most trailer products, which have to be hooked up to electrical utilities, Cavco's solar powered park models have enough panels to generate their own power. The units come equipped with energy-efficient light bulbs and kitchen appliances, including tankless water heaters, as well as maintenance-free batteries that are designed to store enough power to last for two days. Gasoline-powered generators are also provided as an emergency backup system.
But Gage said he anticipates that most of Cavco's solar-powered park models will be sold to consumers in Southwestern, Rocky Mountain and Sunbelt states, where there is plenty of sunshine to keep the batteries charged.
Cavco is providing the solar technology through an exclusive arrangement with Redwood City, Calif.-based Ready Solar Inc. He said the solar packages, which include panels and batteries, add about $5,000 to $7,000 to the price of a park model, depending on the park model's solar energy requirements. The typical park model sells for about $40,000 without the solar power capability.
Gage said Cavco is also exploring the feasibility of building park models with bamboo flooring and cabinetry and other environmentally friendly or green products.
"Our adoption of solar energy systems is the first chapter of our efforts to develop green park models," Gage said, adding, "There will likely be 10 more chapters as we get further into this."
For more information on Cavco's park models or its solar energy systems, please contact Tim Gage at (602) 763-5488 or Meredith McClintock at Ready Solar Inc. at (650) 255-1828 and visit their respective websites at www.cavcoparkhomes.com and www.readysolar.com.
For more information about the growth of the park model business, contact William Garpow, executive director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) at (770) 251-2672 or visit the association's website at www.rptia.com.