The weather man reported that we are in for a cold snap; maybe even a bit of freezing and snow!!!  We are never ready for the beautiful days of fall to be over.

Seems as though we have the same old story to tell from the factory. Getting materials has been a continuing challenge and we have not been able to keep production up to match the sales. As stated in prior newsletters, we aren’t alone with these situations; the entire RV industry is experiencing the same.

Three of us went to Elkhart Indiana to attend the Elkhart RV Dealer Open House on September 27th. The event was canceled but we were successful in finding some of the materials we need so it was well worth going.

We have spoken with some of the TrailBlazer Club members who are currently in Branson Missouri attending the TrailBlazer’s Jubilee. So far there are fifty TrailManor travel trailers there. Our salesman, Bob Eickhoff, was fully intending to attend the Jubilee but he had a pretty bad vehicle accident and was unable to go.

Our sales rep, Casey Zimmerman, is at one of new dealers this week holding an open house showcasing TrailManor (Tulsa RV in Catoosa, Oklahoma). We are anxious to hear from him about the activity there. It is always exciting to introduce the most unique travel trailer in the world at our new dealers.

RV magazines are publishing a lot of stories (both negative and positive) regarding the impact that the recent immense increase of RV ownership is having. RV parks are filled to capacity, RV repair (both in house and on site) are nearly back logged and new and unique facilities are popping up. One fascinating new facility is on a 140-acre location referred to as Fun Town’s ‘Retail Center’ near Elkhart Indiana. The CEO shared that three years ago he felt fortunate for his business to generate $250,000 to a million dollars a year; his projection for this year is $750 to $800 million and for next year over one billion. WOW! Pretty impressive!

Another article shared the demographics of RV owners. Those stats, too, are interesting. Thirty-one percent (31%) are first time RV owners. Of all RV owners, 22% are in the 18-34 age group; 29% are in the 35-54 age bracket and 49% are 55 years old and older.

Solar power is making a pretty big splash across the RV industry and many of you, our customers, are including solar panels with your orders.

Many of you are winterizing your units. The following tips may be of value to you:

  1. Take the battery out and put it on a trickle charger (the one from Harbor Freight has a winter mode).
  2. Use an air adapter to blow the water lines out AFTER disconnecting the water pump (blow out the water pump separately). Pull out the plug in the water heater and blow that plug out.
  3. Put antifreeze in the drain traps and toilet (NOT in the fresh water tank because you many never get the taste out).
  4. Remove any paper products or other items that mice can make nests from (towels, sheets etc.).
  5. Pull out the anode rod for the hot water heater.

Sorry for consolidating two months into one newsletter…  we’ll write another next month… until then, enjoy the ‘winterless’ weather.

Paul Wipf