The major RV News of the week is the acquisition of Roadtrek Motorhomes by Europe’s gigantic Erwin Hymer Group, the largest motorhome manufacturer in the world. I was on hand in Kitchener, Ontario and Roadtrek headquarters this week when the deal was announced and have in depth interviews with the principals.
Bottom line is that while Roadtrek is now owned by the newly formed Erwin Hammer Group of North America, it’s top management team is the same as its been and the company wll continue to aggressively buoid its award winning and best selling Class B motorhomes…. BUT it is now part of the newly formed Erwin Hymer Group of North America which will soon be introducing some amazingly innvatiive new products, like ultra light weight towables and even larger Class C and Class A motorhomes.
You’ll get all the details, in depth, in the news of the week segment of the podcast.
But there's even more in this episode!
Shownotes for episode 76 of Roadtreking: The RV Lifestyle Podcast. Clock the time link to jump directly to that part of the podcast.
MIKE AND JEN'S UPDATE
Mike and Jennifer update listeners on their progress in training their new puppy, Bo [3:30], and some big RV shows to take note of – one in Phoenix, AZ where LeMesa RV will hold a huge small motorhome show in the University of Phoenix Dstadium and one in Perry, GA where the Family Motorhome Association will have it's annual reunion in Perry, GA. Both will be March 17-20 [5:00]
JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK – Water filters for RVers
I’m a fanatic about clean water. Clean drinking water. Filtered drinking water. It amazes me how many RVs I see that hook up directly to campground water spigots without using a filter. [7:00]
They say one filter lasts an entre season. We use the Camco TastePURE Water Filter. You can pick them up at most RV dealers, Walmart or Amazon for about $15. You do want a fresh one each year. These filters reduce bad taste, ordors, chlorine and sediment in drinking water. They have a carbon filter and come with a short flexible hose connection.
Here’s a hint, when you first hook it up r to your water source, allow the water to run free for a few minutes to flush the initial loose carbon out of the filter. When the water runs clear, the filter is ready for use.
But please… use a filter when you connect water to your RV.
And by the way, these filters aren’t restricted to RV use. Use it in the garden for reduced-chlorine watering when watering your plants and when washing your car to reduce mineral deposit spots.
Anew RVer asks our recommendations about mail forwarding while on extended trips. We refer him to Episode 58, where we talk with people from DakotaPost, a mail forwarding company based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that works with the Family Motorcoach Association in handling mail forwarding and offering virtual mailboxes. [8:24]
We talk about food storage and safety in bear country and also receive a listener tip about health care while on the RV and traveling when you're not feeling well.
RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: Roadtrek's new owners
This week we interview in depth: [20:55]
- Jim Hammill, President and CEO of Roadtrek and the newly formed Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc., which will continue producing Roadtrek motorhomes and introduce some new Hymer models over the next three years
- Martin Brandt, the CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group, who discusses the product line up, plans for Roadtrek and the drive for innovation and consumer-oriented RV products.
Brandt said the Hymer Group has wanted to get deeply involved in North America since 2013 and has been unable to find the right partner – until they met Roadtrek and started talking to Hammill and his team.
In Europe, Hymer has eight different brands and makes many different types of RVs in what in North America would be called Class A, B and C motorhomes, plus ultra light weight towables and even a unique automobile roof top mounded pop up camper.
Hammill says Roadtrek will continue making its many Class B brands but – as soon as late this spring – will also roll out some of the Hymer Class B’s as well, built on the Ram ProMaster and Mercedes Sprinter chassis. The HymerCar brand of Class B RVs will likely be the first to be produced in the Roadtrek factory.
Listen to the interview for full details.
TRAVELING TECH NEWS OF THE WEEK – Group Messaging Apps
With just about everyone using a smartphone or tablet these days, there’s almost no excuse to not be in almost constant contact with just about anyone you know. [42:44]
That’s where an ever-changing breed of group messaging apps come into play. Here are three of the best around.
Blend combines functionality with flash and simplicity. The app allows users to set up one or more groups of friends, family, co-workers or anyone else. Blend users can take part in video chats, send pictures, or have private chats with individual members of their group or groups. The app is free for iOS and Android users.
Tango works on smartphones and tablets, and specializes in video calling for group messaging. You can also send and receive texts, photos, and audio through Tango and for free. Tango even allows you to make free voice and video calls from just about anywhere in the world. Tango is free for iOS and Android with paid premium services available.
And, of course, there’s GroupMe. Considered by many to be the top group messaging app, GroupMe allows users to set up multiple texting groups, say, family, friends, or co-workers. In addition to text messaging, you can share photos, videos, or your location. And if you don’t want to be bothered by anyone, GroupMe has a setting to block messages from coming through. GroupMe is available foriOS, Android, and Windows devices with paid premium options also available.
This part of the podcast is sponsored by Verizon, the nations most reliable 4gLTE Network
There are a lot of claims being made by wireless companies about their networks. Some say they are powerful, other say they are fast – but when it comes down to actual network performance, independent studies point to one company time after time as providing a better wireless experience.
Verizon Wireless customers once again have hard-and-fast data that indicates they’ve made the right choice. For the fifth consecutive testing period, Verizon Wireless was rated No. 1 in overall network performance in the United States by RootMetrics in its National RootScore® Report.
In addition to overall performance, Verizon’s network was ranked highest for the fifth consecutive testing period in reliability, data and call performance. Verizon also won network speed performance for the fourth consecutive time and shared a first place ranking in text performance.
So, just how handily did the Verizon Wireless network outscore the competition? Verizon outranks all competitors, ranking first or tied for first with the most wins or ties in all six state categories:
- 46 states for Overall Performance (vs. 11 wins/ties for nearest competitors)
- 47 states for Network Reliability (vs. 20 win/ties for nearest competitors)
- 44 states for Data Performance (vs. 9 win/ties for nearest competitors)
- 41 states for Network Speed (vs. 10 win/ties for nearest competitors)
- 45 states for Call Performance (vs. 23 win/ties for nearest competitors)
- 49 states for Text Performance, (including the most outright wins at 10)
For more information, head over to www.verizon.com/about/news,
OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – Florida's Swamp Cabbage Festival
This episode of Roadtreking the RV Podcast is brought to you by:
- Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations
- Alde… the only name to know when choosing a heating system for your RV
- Verizon, the nation's largest and most reliable 4G LTE Networks