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Industry Vets Begin AmeriGo Consumer Club

September 16, 2013 by · Comments Off on Industry Vets Begin AmeriGo Consumer Club 

Joe McAdams

RV industry veterans and membership club innovators have come together to develop a new company – AmeriGO RV Club – poised to be the ultimate RV club and online community dedicated to RV enthusiasts.

Scheduled to launch in October 2013, AmeriGO RV Club “will boast outstanding value-added membership benefits, services, and discounts via a highly advanced online RV club experience,” organizers reported in a Monday (Sept. 16) press release. The new website, they add, will be all-encompassing throughout the RV market and feature a mix of rich content and an inviting community, where RV enthusiasts can go to learn, research, and share everything they love about RVing.

“With decades of experience in the RV industry and having already built an amazing set of offerings with our allied partners, it is with great enthusiasm that we announce the development of AmeriGO RV Club,” said Joe McAdams, chairman of AmeriGO RV Club. “Our goal in creating AmeriGO is to build a trusted resource for products, services and information that adds value and security for the RV enthusiast by providing access to and savings at our premier network of RV vendors, dealers and campgrounds.”

The company’s new website, soon to be introduced at AmeriGOrv.com, is being developed in partnership with Stoneacre Company – the premier provider of technological solutions for member-based organizations focused on passion-based themes with an acclaimed client roster including the official NASCAR Members Club, NFL Alumni Organization, Pepsi Stuff Loyalty Program, Yahoo! Rewards Loyalty Program, and Anheuser Busch Affinity Email Program.

According to AmeriGO’s organizers, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company will provide RV enthusiasts with a highly advanced and engaging online experience at AmeriGOrv.com.

Led by RV industry experts and featuring a wide array of partnerships with leading companies, AmeriGO RV Club has established an RV club benefits program with unique offerings designed especially for RV enthusiasts. The club will present exclusive programs, services and savings for members – from valuable insurance option choices that ensure the best deal on the right coverage to 10% savings at hundreds of AmeriGO-affiliated campgrounds as well as RV extended warranties, sanctioned road care plans for the ultimate in peace-of-mind as RVers navigate the open road and preferred provider pricing on RV financing options.

“RV enthusiasts will also be able to access engaging, fresh and in-depth content about everything related to the RV lifestyle, and can take advantage of frequently updated exclusive deals and discounts on dining, shopping, attractions, events and more in their local area and across North America,” the release states.

Joe Daquino

AmeriGO’s key alliances will provide the following benefits:

• AmeriGO has teamed up with Equity LifeStyle Properties, owner of Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts, to offer Club members a discount of 10 percent off daily rates at over 170 locations across North America. This partnership provides AmeriGO’s outdoor enthusiasts opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in some of the country’s most sought after vacation destinations. AmeriGO’s Club members will enjoy resort-style amenities and family-friendly activities at each of the Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts nationwide.

• Via a strategic alliance with AmeriGO, Progressive presents RVers the opportunity to shop for and purchase Progressive RV insurance policies online at AmeriGOrv.com and via the AmeriGO Agency. As part of this valuable partnership club members can select many types of coverage, including Vacation Liability, Full Timer’s, Emergency Expense as well as special product attributes, unique coverages, extended coverages and more.

• AmeriGO has teamed with Carefree Resorts to give club members access to a family of RV resorts where they will be welcomed by friendly and helpful staff, and can enjoy safe, well maintained communities with modern amenities and vibrant activity programs while benefiting from a discount of 10% on overnight stays.

• AmeriGO RV Club members will have exclusive access to an AmeriGO RV Club Protection plan by American Guardian Warranty. The product offered to members will be a custom-designed version of American Guardian Warranty’s core program that has been sold and serviced across the United States for over a decade. Flexible terms to club members give them the option to further tailor coverage to their use. Coverage is also renewable at a member’s discretion. Via AmeriGOrv.com, club members will be able to access service locations, access coverage information, and make policy changes. In the future they will have the option to extend coverage or purchase additional products through the website.

• AmeriGO RV Club has created a strategic alliance with Newcoast Financial Services to provide RVers with the best finance programs available in the industry – featuring the most competitive rates and terms available as well as experienced staff with specialized knowledge in RV lending. Via this affiliation, AmeriGO’s members will be able to work one-on-one with Newcoast’s financial specialists through the loan application and approval process.

With personalized service every step of the way, Newcoast can also help RVers in choosing an extended warranty for their RV, executing title searches and transfers, or refinancing their loans. Established in 2001, Newcoast Financial works with one of the largest networks of quality lenders in the RV industry to make sure that customers are not only offered the most competitive rates, but also have the options they deserve in their financial packages. Newcoast Financial’s RV industry experience means that customers can expect a simple application process, quick approvals and no-hassle closings.

AmeriGO is also joining forces with the highest quality RV dealerships. The company’s goal is to establish a coast-to-coast network of certified dealerships that will offer AmeriGO members peace of mind as they ride the open road across North America, providing amazing deals and quality workmanship every mile of their travels should they need assistance, and unparalleled deals and offers on RV services, parts and accessories, fuel, and more! The company will present its initial Charter Dealerships in the fall of 2013.

“Designed around a collaborative online community, AmeriGO members will also have access to an ever-expanding range of RV-related news and information, RV travel tips & hints, tech resources, RV living articles, popular and fun RV destinations and much more,” the release explains. “Members will also be able to share their experiences and engage in communication with other like-minded RV enthusiasts via the site’s online community, local chapters and social media channels. Those new to the RV world will have the opportunity to learn all about RVing from experts, friends and family as well as fellow RVers.

“Comprehensive online RV search and shopping offerings will also allow AmeriGO RVers to find public and private campgrounds and dealers across the nation.”

With a yearly membership fee of only $9.95, the club’s developers maintain, AmeriGO RV Club offers a “truly affordable, comprehensive RV club with access to an elite spectrum of benefits, services and resources” dedicated to RV enthusiasts.

“We are thrilled to launch AmeriGO RV Club as a premier membership club dedicated to RV enthusiasts,” added Joe Daquino, president of AmeriGO RV Club. “At AmeriGOrv.com, we are creating a highly advanced online destination that provides RVers with unmatched value and makes the RV experience easier and more exciting than ever.”

AmeriGO RV Club is inviting RV enthusiasts to become fans of the company’s Facebook page by visiting the following link and clicking “Like”: www.facebook.com/AmeriGOrvClub. Fans of the AmeriGO RV Club page on Facebook will have access to an array of contests, giveaways, exclusive offers, and much more.

AmeriGO Charter Dealers are awarded territories on an exclusive basis. For dealer inquiries, contact Jeff Martin at (513) 236-7512. For campground inquiries, call (800) 933-3171. General inquiries about AmeriGO RV Club may be emailed to info@AmeriGOrv.com.

Herzogs Touted RVs for Southeast Media Tour

July 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on Herzogs Touted RVs for Southeast Media Tour 

The Herzogs during one of eight media segments  telecast in Charlotte, N.C.

Veteran RV spokespersons Brad and Amy Herzog have been generating positive coverage of the RV industry in markets across the Southeast throughout the hot summer, according to a news release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

The couple has appeared on television news and in print at every stop on their tour including Chattanooga, Tenn.; Albany, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Columbia, S.C.; and Charlotte, N.C.

In Charlotte, the Herzogs were featured in eight segments (totaling more than 22 minutes of air time) of the city’s top-rated morning show.

“The beauty of RV travel is that you never run out of things to do and see in this country,” said Brad Herzog. “RVs give you the freedom and flexibility to travel on your own terms. The windshield is like a big movie of America, but you can stop and join the action anytime you want.”

This is the Herzog’s 14th summer putting a friendly face on the RV lifestyle in local media markets. The RV industry’s “Explore America Family” is traveling in a motorhome provided by Winnebago Industries Inc. and will be on the road for another few weeks with stops planned in Louisville, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

 

Baby Boomer Travel Writer Touts RV Lifestyle

July 8, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Clark Norton

Editor’s Note: The following story comes from Clark Norton, a writer focusing on Baby Boomer travel. When he isn’t on the road, Clark resides with his wife, Catharine, in the town of Narrowsburg on the Delaware River in upstate New York. You can follow his thoughts at www.clarknorton.com.

The recent news that the Winnebago company — which makes motorhomes — nearly doubled its profits in the 2013 spring quarter is just the latest indication that the Baby Boomer recreational vehicle boom is in full gear.

Winnebago motorhome sales jumped more than 50% in the same quarter, while trailer sales jumped 10%.

Some 9 million U.S. households — 8.5% — now own RVs, and the number is growing rapidly. One out of every six U.S. households say they have future plans to buy an RV.

Baby Boomers — the youngest of whom are now nearly 50 years old — are Winnebago’s and other RV manufacturers’ biggest customers. And with many of the oldest Boomers (now 67) retiring or nearing retirement, they’re devoting more and more time to travel.

RV owners average more than a month of travel annually, racking up nearly 5,000 miles a year on the road.

Motorhomes — which many Baby Boomers make their primary residences after selling their family homes — are becoming increasingly luxurious, offering everything from spacious kitchens and bathrooms to fireplaces and flat-screen TVs. Sleeping areas may fit king-sized beds and dining areas a comfortably sized table.

Price tags can range up to hundreds of thousands of dollars — but then again, so do prices for regular houses (and many sell in the $100,000 range, with trailers and truck campers selling for much less) . Fuel costs can be substantial, but the money saved from hotels, motels and restaurants while traveling more than makes up for high gasoline prices.

As you might imagine, catering to RV owners is big business, beyond the RV manufacturers themselves. Some 16,000 U.S. campgrounds, both private and public, welcome RVs. Campgrounds can be found in or near cities, park lands, historic sites and other attractions — just as convenient as hotels and motels.

Many of the private campgrounds, especially, defy the old stereotypes of rustic living. These days, facilities may include swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, spas, grocery stores, and evening entertainments. Some operate like time shares, but are not limited to just a few weeks a year as long as you keep moving periodically.

I don’t own an RV myself, though my wife and I have rented a couple of them in Australia and found them to be great for touring the rural and beach areas there — but less convenient in the urban areas, where I’d just as soon settle into a hotel.

But I also understand the allure of taking your home with you on the open road — with the flexibility to stay in a place you like or pick up and move on a whim as well — and more and more Boomers are doing just that.

Travel products that help make life easier and more affordable for the booming Baby Boomer RV market are going to do very well indeed as more and more Boomers reach retirement.

 

 

RV Lifestyle Attracting a Broader Demographic

June 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on RV Lifestyle Attracting a Broader Demographic 

Ron Spike purchased a Rockwood Windjammer travel trailer at Ruff’s RV Center in Euclid, Ohio, two months ago.

According to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, in the months since he joined the 8.9 million U.S. households — or 8.5% of all American households that now own RVs — Spike is part of a growing community of people who see upscale camping or traveling as a great way to relax.

“I parked mine at a campground in Geneva. Even though it’s about 40 minutes from our home in Lyndhurst, it’s still like going on vacation,” said the 62-year-old recently retired truck driver whose wife Marlene will join the retirement ranks this month. “There’s no stress out there. It’s so relaxing.”

Across town, Ron Revelt of Olmsted Township stopped by Moore’s RV in North Ridgeville to pick up a part for his decked-out fifth-wheel, his third and last purchase made in 2008. But he couldn’t help but check out an even more luxurious recreational vehicle during his visit.

“They keep coming up with more new neat things,” said Revelt, 73, a retired teacher and pilot who talked of new safety features and luxuries in the kitchen and bedrooms. “There’s always something I want.”

Nationwide, sales are rebounding because of new destination campers like Spike and repeat customers like Revelt who travel the country. They represent renewed hope for an industry that has suffered blows since the recession but is now attracting more younger people and families.

To read the entire article click here.

RV Lifestyles Featured in ‘U.S. News’ Report

May 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on RV Lifestyles Featured in ‘U.S. News’ Report 

The garden at Escapees CARE in Livingston, Texas.

In a move away from traditional cookie cutter-style retirement communities, many new retirement niches have emerged to serve new preferences among Baby Boomer retirees, writes U.S. News.

Retirees are now opting for choices beyond traditional golf course and ocean-view senior living communities, writes U.S. News, with niche communities catering to seniors interested in higher education, the RV lifestyle, and even for Harley Davidson enthusiasts.

“Both current retirees and those just arriving, the baby Boomers, are seeking more choices and less of the cookie-cutter options of a community located either on a golf course or in an isolated rural location,” Andy Carle, founding director of George Mason University’s Senior Housing Administration curriculum, told U.S. News.

The seven unusual niche retirement communities include Aegis Gardens’ retirement community in Fremont, Calif., which caters to people who speak Mandarin and Cantonese and features feng shui consultants.

ShantiNiketan in Tavares, Fla,. attracts many Indian-Americans with offerings that include a dining menu comprised mainly of Indian food and vegetarian options; a prayer room with daily bhajans, and an auditorium that plays Bollywood and other foreign language movies each night after dinner.

At Lake Weir Living, located near The Villages in Florida, Boomers are encouraged to bring their campers, boats and classic cars — and their Harleys. The community’s units can be customized to accommodate residents’ “toys,” such as a three-car garage or an area designed for RVs.

The other four communities are:

  • RainbowVision in Santa Fe, N.M., which is LGBT-friendly.
  • Lasell Village in Newton, Mass., where residents are required to complete a certain number of hours of learning and fitness activities each year, along with other higher education-affiliated communities.
  • Escapees CARE in Livingston, Texas, where residents live in their own RVs with access to adult day care services.
  • The Burbank Senior Artists Colony in Burbank, Calif., where retirees have access to a performance theater, creative art studios and a Hollywood-theme clubhouse.

 

Herzogs Take RV Story to Midwest, Southeast

April 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on Herzogs Take RV Story to Midwest, Southeast 

The Herzog family plan their next trip.

Brad and Amy Herzog, spokespersons for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), will hit the road to put a friendly face on the the RV lifestyle in local media markets for a 14th straight year.

This year’s two-month media tour has the Herzogs traveling to cities in the Midwest and Southeast.

The RV industry’s “Explore America Family” will be traveling in a motorhome provided by Winnebago Industries Inc., which features the type of amenities that appeal to consumers and are fueling the growth in motorhome sales, according to RVIA’s RVIA Today Express.

The Herzogs provide an accessible example of an RVing family. At each stop, they deliver messages of family togetherness, health and wellness benefits of RV travel, and the freedom, fun and flexibility offered by RV travel. They emphasize that RVing is a convenient way to travel, and that it’s a great option for young families with children.

The 60-day tour launches June 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. The tour includes stops in Nashville, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Milwaukee, Wis.

Survey: Fuel Costs Not Major Factor Anymore

April 29, 2013 by · Comments Off on Survey: Fuel Costs Not Major Factor Anymore 

RV owners will be on the road in a big way this spring and summer to enjoy time outdoors with family and friends, according to a new survey.

The latest Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners, conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), reveals that 71% of RV owners intend to use their RVs more this spring/summer than they did last year, and 21% say they’ll use theirs the same amount. Just 5% said they’ll use their RV less, the RVIA reported in its RVIA Today Express.

The survey of 378 RV owners was conducted by RVIA and Cvent from March 29 through April 22 and has a margin of error of 4.7%.

The top reasons for using their RVs more include enjoying outdoor activities (78%), taking more mini-vacations (72%), spending quality time with family (62%), and escaping the stress and pressure of daily life (51%).

In a significant change from last year’s survey, just 34% (down from 58%) said fuel prices will affect their RV travel plans. Those who say their plans will be affected still plan to travel in their RVs, but will adjust their plans by traveling to destinations closer to home (80%), driving fewer miles in their RV (63%) and staying longer at one location (59%).

According to the survey, 73% think now is a good time to buy an RV because RVing is the best way to travel comfortably and conveniently (64%), and great deals now available (58%). Top benefits of RV travel include spending more time enjoying outdoor activities (80%), flexibility (76%), seeing natural sites and attractions (75%), the ability to bring pets (60%), and being on the open road (56%).

The research found that traveling with pets remains popular with RV owners. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents said they travel with pets. Of those, 94% bring a dog and 10% bring a cat.

 

Illinois Dealer Sees Camping Renaissance

April 12, 2013 by · Comments Off on Illinois Dealer Sees Camping Renaissance 

Kamper’s Supply logo

RV camping is enjoying a renaissance.

Marvin Oetjen, owner of Kamper’s Supply in Carterville, Ill., said a number of factors, including the costs and hassles associated with air travel, are driving interest in recreational vehicles. Oetjen also noted that RV camping is a lifestyle, according to a report by the Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale,

“A lot of younger families are finding out the RV lifestyle is great for family life,” he said. “They are doing things in nature. They are enjoying the things they should be enjoying.

“My wife and I started camping in 1968. Our boys grew up in a campground. They still communicate with some of the kids they met back then. It’s a great family thing. When you’re in a campground, you know your kids are in the campground. They’re not running the streets somewhere.”

Oetjen said anyone who enjoys the great outdoors is a potential RV camper.

“I’d say for someone to really enjoy RVs and camping, they would have to first of all like nature and the outdoors and being around people,” he said. “When you go to a motel room and close the door, you don’t see anyone until the next morning. That’s not the case in a campground.

“It’s totally different than going to a restaurant every night, or going on vacation and going into a motel every night. This is a totally different environment. “

Kamper’s Supply has been in business 38 years. The size and quality of campers has changed dramatically over the years. Oetjen said most families can find a vehicle that suits their taste and fits their pocketbook. Intermediate range trailers have been the best sellers in the past couple years.

“You can go from a very primitive camping unit to a very luxurious, full-time living vehicle,” he said. “We have washers and dryers. We have fireplaces. They aren’t wood burning, but they produce heat. They have changed a lot since we started in the business.”

To read the full article click here.

Go RVing Claims 100,000 Facebook Followers

April 1, 2013 by · Comments Off on Go RVing Claims 100,000 Facebook Followers 

Magic mark hit on GO RVing’s Facebook page.

Go RVing reached a major milestone in mid-March when it exceeded 100,000 active followers of its Facebook page.

According to a press release, the ever-growing community is a mix of both current and prospective owners who have actively chosen to follow the messaging provided daily by the brand.

Since the page was launched in 2008, the style and content of the daily postings have been remixed to increase engagement with followers. In the past 18 months, the page’s reach has grown dramatically through messaging that regularly resonates with consumers who are decidedly interested in the Go RVing message.

Over the years, numerous analytical sequencers have been created to track the interactions on social media and quantify the organic and viral reach of a brand’s messaging across numerous social media platforms. Go RVing utilizes several different metrics programs to obtain a well-rounded overview of its campaign’s reach, according to the release. In recent weeks, some individual Go RVing posts have been seen by over 168,000 Facebook users through organic and viral sharing.

“Effective use of social media rarely ‘just happens,’” said James Ashurst, RVIA vice president of advertising and public relations, “but when strategically developed and executed, social media can be a powerful and direct link between brands and their intended market.”

He added, “Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or more recently on Instagram and Pinterest, all of Go RVing’s activities are part of an overall digital strategy developed jointly by both our staff and the team at The Richards Group. Everything we do is designed to support and work cohesively with other aspects of our marketing and advertising campaigns each day. Perhaps the greatest advantage of social media is that we can tweak our messaging as we go – we can react in minutes if needed and we can change our content on the fly. Done correctly, social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain a high level of engaged interaction with our audience.”

To recognize the Facebook milestone, Go RVing ran a weeklong “100,000 and Counting Fan Appreciation Giveaway” that attracted just shy of 9,000 entrants for a prize package of RV-camping essentials. The top prize included a $100 debit gift card, Go RVing window decals, koozies, lanyards, glow sticks, and four collapsible campfire roasting forks and the essentials for making s’mores all packed into a heavy galvanized bucket which can be used at the campfire. Several runners-up were also awarded prizes, with each winner being selected randomly by computer.

7 Good Reasons to Hit the Road in an RV

March 14, 2013 by · Comments Off on 7 Good Reasons to Hit the Road in an RV 

Gas might not be cheap, but that shouldn’t keep you off the road come vacation time.

As reported by MLive.com, that was just one of the things the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) Director Bill Sheffer had to say when we called him up, just a few days before the Perani and Event Center’s RV show kicks off. Our question: In today’s economy, with gas prices what they are, is there really any point in buying an RV.

The short version: Yes, said Sheffer.

Below is the longer version, seven reasons from Sheffer you might want to rethink that plane ticket.

1. Gas prices shouldn’t deter you.

Yes, he was being serious.

“When you start to run the numbers,” he said, it might add up driving a vehicle that only gets 10 miles to the gallon isn’t actually as expensive as it sounds when you start to add up what an alternative choice involves: plane tickets, hotel room, restaurant food, and car rentals among them.

“A family of four can go easier on their pocketbook (in an RV) rather than getting on a plane and going to a resort,” he said.

2. You can camp at your favorite resort destinations.

“There’s lots of campgrounds around Disney World. Now, it’s going to be a little bit longer … but if you’ve got the time and the option to do that with a family, it makes for a pretty special trip,” Sheffer said.

3. More people are doing it.

Sheffer said RV sales have grown 16 percent over the last year.

“I’m even surprised by that,” he said.

4. RVs might be more more affordable than you think.

There will be 90 RVs at this year’s show, and you can essentially pay whatever you like. Sheffer said the prices range from about $7,000 to $90,000, adding that you can get a nice RV paying about $200 a month.

5. If you’re still worried about gas, you don’t have to drive very far.

If Disney World isn’t in the cards, or even if driving out of state isn’t an option, Sheffer said there are a lot of campgrounds throughout Michigan — even mid-Michigan — that are worth checking out.

“We don’t drive our RV to work every day so it’s not like it’s a big fuel buster because we only use these for vacations,” he said. “You can travel really quite close to home and still travel with your RV.”

6. You’re taking your home with you.

If you’re creeped out by wondering who slept on the hotel room bed last, that’s not a problem in an RV. And the sandwich you’ve been thinking about is never far away.

“When you lay your head on your pillow, it’s your pillow,” Sheffer said. “You have your own stuff, you take what you want. When you ant a snack or a sandwich you don’t have to worry about what restaurant you’re going to.”

7. Make it a group activity.

Sheffer said it’s common for families to hit the road together, often renting campground spaces next to each other.

“Being outdoors is something special,” he said. “When you can get together around a campfire, that’s special.”

And sure, he admitted, you can travel together in hotels, too. But the campground experience is different.

“When’s the last time you went to the person in the hotel room next door and said, ‘hey you want to come over for a s’more?’” Sheffer said.

The RV show takes place this year from March 14-17. Hours are weekdays from 2-9 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Go to the event website for more information.

 

 

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