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Cavco to Intro Solar-Powered Park Model at KOA Convention

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Campground operators attending next week’s KOA Convention and Trade Expo in Las Vegas will be the first in the country to see Cavco’s newest off-grid, solar-powered park model cottage.

“This is the first of a new generation of off-grid, solar powered park models,” Joseph Stegmayer, president and CEO of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco Industries Inc., stated in a news release. The company’s newest unit is “the most environmentally friendly park model cottage on the market," he added.

NTA Inc., a Nappanee, Ind.-based company that specializes in certifying “green” manufacturers, said Cavco’s newest off-grid solar-powered park model not only has “Emerald” status, its highest rating, but is the most environmentally friendly park model the company has evaluated to date,

“Cavco is definitely raising the bar for the industry,” said Alan Reder, NTA’s senior project manager.

Built with 2-inch by 6-inch sidewalls, the unit features cork flooring, formaldehyde-free fiberglass wall insulation and phase change insulation in the ceiling, which help maintain relatively stable interior temperatures as outside temperatures rise and fall. Environmentally friendly adhesives, sealants and coatings are also used to maximize insulation while also improving indoor air quality.

Other features include composite decking, an instant hot-water heater, a dual flush toilet that uses about 1.2 gallons per flush, Energy Star appliances and energy-saving LED lighting.

The unit features solar panels, but it can also receive electricity from wind turbines and even hydroelectric power. It also comes equipped with a 6-KW Generac battery charging system for backup power. “If there’s no sun, wind or hydroelectric power available and the battery dips below a pre-set voltage level, it sends a signal to the generator to provide electrical backup,” said Bob Cramer, a technical trainer with Waukesha, Wis.-based Generac Power Systems.

Representatives from more than 500 KOA franchisees are expected to see the off-grid unit next week, while it’s on display at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. From there, Cavco literally plans to take its off-grid, solar powered park model on the road.

New Unit Will Go on Tour

Steve Lefler, an Advanced Certified Green Building Professional in California, will be taking the unit to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts throughout California and the West so that they can see first hand what an off-grid, solar powered park model looks like and how they incorporate it into their business.

“We’re going to be pulling this unit up and down California, helping people understand what it is,” said Tim Gage, Cavco’s national vice president of park models, cabins and specialty products.

Cavco is also bringing two of its custom-designed park model rental cabins to the Las Vegas convention, which are built to KOA’s 2012 specifications. The new units have been upgraded to include commercial grade flooring, which is more wear resistant, as well as a special area with multiple outlets so that laptop computers, cell phones and other electronic devices can be conveniently recharged in one place.

More information about Cavco’s off grid, solar-powered park model as well as its last cabin rental products is available at www.cavco.com and www.koalodges.com.

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