5439 S. Garrison, Carthage MO 64836

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It isn’t as well-known as his investments in Heinz or American Express, but Warren Buffett has a stake in the recreational vehicle industry. In 2005, Buffett made an offer to purchase Forest River, an RV manufacturer in Elkhart, Ind. over the telephone just one day after he first learned about the company. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKAFortune 500) has since been doubling down, purchasing Coachman in 2008 and Dynamax in 2011 and has singled out Forest River for praise. In his 2011 letter to shareholders, he wrote: “Forest River has 82 plants, and I have yet to visit one (or the home office, for that matter). There’s no need; Pete Liegl, the company’s CEO, runs a terrific operation.”

Buffett’s endorsement came as the RV industry was recovering from a once-in-a-generation slump. RV shipments climbed back up to 273,600 units in 2012, their highest level since 2007, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Survey Research Center. The market continued to gain ground in the first quarter of 2013 with total RV wholesale shipments rising 11.2% year over year.

That isn’t peanuts. RV’s are a $10 billion industry, with 80 manufacturers and 3,000 dealers. Thor industries, maker of the Airstream, and Buffett’s Forest River control 65% of the business, which is getting a big demographic boost: More baby boomers are moving into retirement, and buying an RV is one of the ways they reward themselves when they do.

RVs fall into two general categories: towables, where the entry-level RV has no motor and must be pulled behind a car or truck; and motor homes, self-contained units where everything is within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat. Here’s a look at what’s out there:

Tent Campers:

Also known as a folding trailer, pop up camper, or tent trailer, these are lightweight units with pullout bunks and collapsing walls. Think of them as tents on wheels. Once erected, they can extend to more than 15 to 20 feet in length. They can come equipped with a portable dinette table, refrigerator, and sink, but owners have to depend on their campgrounds for a shower or toilet.

Price: $5,000 to $22,000
Leading manufacturer: Forest River
Notable brands: Flagstaff and Rockwood

Truck Campers:

Sometimes referred to as pickup campers or slide-on campers, they are the most versatile of RVs — mounted on a pickup truck, they can go almost anywhere. Popular with hunters, fishermen, and other sportsmen, their amenities include refrigerators, stoves, ovens, microwaves, bathrooms, and showers. When not in use, truck campers can be parked in a standard driveway or backyard (if the neighbors don’t object).

Price: $6,000 to $55,000
Leading manufacturer: Numerous (more than 30)
Notable brand: Northwood Manufacturing Arctic Fox 990

Conventional Travel Trailers:

Ranging from 15 to 35 feet in length and towed by means of a bumper or frame-mounted hitch attached to the rear of a towing vehicle, travel trailers can be disconnected and left at the RV park while the tow vehicle is used for short trips. The best-known is the iconic Airstream, now owned by Thor Industries and built in Jackson Center, Ohio. Of the 400 RV manufacturers in business when Airstream started in 1936, it was the only one to survive the Depression. In more recent times, it has been nicknamed the “Silver Bullet” and adopted by Hollywood celebrities like Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks.

Price: $8,000 to $95,000
Leading manufacturer: Thor Industries
Notable brand: Airstream

Fifth Wheel Trailers:

Designed to be towed by a pickup or medium-duty truck equipped with a special hitch called a fifth-wheel coupling, some larger fifth-wheel trailers are often pulled by small semis. Luxury models offer 46-inch flat panel TVs, washer/dryers, and extreme weather packages for cold weather survival. The Keystone Montana (made by Thor Industries) has been North America’s best-selling fifth wheel for 10 consecutive years.

Price: $18,000 to $160,000
Leading manufacturer: Thor Industries
Notable brand: Keystone Montana

Multi Purpose Trailers:

Also known as “toy haulers,” they are designed to be part living space, and part storage. Either towable or motorized, sport utility RVs have a ramp in the rear that provides access to a garage area for transporting motorcycles, ATVs, and other sports equipment. Slideouts in some models move the RV wall out three feet at the touch of a button.

Price: $10,300 to $170,000
Leading manufacturer: Thor Industries
Notable brand: Keystone Raptor

Class C Motorhome:

This is a motorized RV built on a truck chassis. The average length is 20 to 31 feet. Most Class C RVs have self-contained water and sewage systems. They also have an overhang over the main cab that serves as an extra sleeping area — a good thing, since these RVs usually do not have a separate bedroom. Living areas include kitchen and dining facilities, as well as entertainment systems and storage.

Price: $43,000 to $200,000
Leading manufacturer: Forest River
Notable brand: Sunseeker

Class B Motorhome:

Smaller than an A, this type of RV is usually called a van conversion. Built on a standard van or panel truck platform, the smaller size of a B makes it easier to drive and park. Bathrooms are standard, and some have pop-up roofs and lowered floors for additional standing room. Roadtreks, made in Canada and based on Chevrolet and Mercedes vans, have been the best- selling class B’s in North America since 1990, and they currently represent 37% of the market.

Price: $60,000 to $130,000
Leading manufacturer: Roadtrek
Notable brand: RS Adventurous

Class A Motorhome:

Constructed on a truck, bus, or a specially designed motor vehicle chassis, a Class A motorhome resembles a bus in design and has a flat or vertical front end and large windows. They usually have full kitchens, full bathrooms, and self-contained water and sanitation systems. Many also have a fully enclosed bedroom and a washer/dryer. Some owners use class A RVs for full-time traveling around the country. Sportscaster John Madden used one to get to football games when a claustrophobic reaction made it impossible for him to fly. Winnebago Industries commanded 22.2% of the Class A segment in 2012.

Price: $60,000 to $1,500,000
Leading manufacturer: Winnebago
Notable brand: Winnebago Journey


Posted Courtesy of Mid America RV, in Carthage, Missouri.  Your Missouri RV Dealer.

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Yesterday’s tragedy is a somber reminder of just how fragile life really is.  With already over 20 confirmed deaths, many of them children, countless lives will forever be affected by the tornado that ravaged Moore, OK.  The media will continue to update us on the status of the city over the coming days and even weeks as they move forward.

In the midst of all of the sadness and grief there will always be uplifting moments that we can all share in.  Last night our neighboring city of Joplin, MO sent an initial wave of recovery assistance.  Police, firefighters, and emergency personnel left to aid in immediate search and rescue efforts.  Many more people from all over will continue that way to offer their support during such a difficult time.  It’s selfless acts of others that truly help make the recovery effort in these tragedies at least a little easier.

If you can’t help directly you can always assist with donations.  Right now the immediate needs will be water and food.  Especially considering that one of the local water treatment plants was seriously damaged.  They can also use new blankets, flashlights, batteries, plastic storage bags, baby items, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products.  Mid America RV, just south of Carthage and east of Joplin, will be accepting donations for the survivors of the Moore, OK tornado.  We have trailers capable of hauling several thousand pounds of supplies.  We also have local trucking companies that are ready to haul any additional donations that we can’t accommodate.  Our address is 5439 S. Garrison Ave, Carthage, MO.  We are one mile north of I-44 on I-49.  Let’s show them the same level of support that Joplin received two years ago and help however we can.

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As you probably already know fuel prices, particularly gas, is already on the rise again.  Of course the two main contributing factors are that refineries had to temporarily shut down to set up for producing the summer blends and that demand always goes up in the time between Memorial Day until Labor Day each year.  All of us know that fuel is an everyday expense that we will always have but want to limit its impact on our budgets as much as possible.  This is even more true for rvers.

You see, rvers have committed to a lifestyle that not only affords them to travel comfortably wherever and whenever they like.  Investing in their home away from home or in the case of full timers, their actual home.  These individuals have the freedom to move to the destination of their choice whenever they get away and always know exactly what their accommodations will be.  This freedom can, at times, be affected by high fuel prices.  The good thing is that there are ways to counteract the added expense.

There are really two main ways to address this concern for rvers.  The first one is simple.  You plan your trips to have less miles of drive time with longer stays in between.  For instance a two week trip with 5 different destinations in mind can easily be cut back to 4 stops.  In most cases what you save in the additional mileage will offset the added fuel cost.  The second is to camp with a more fuel efficient tow vehicle/rv combination.  There are several half ton trucks these days with fuel saving technology.  Even SUVs of various sizes can pull any range of travel trailers.  We have even sold some to customers with hybrid vehicles.  The main thing is to still find a trailer that suits your camping needs but offers a lighter package than your current trailer.

As always regular maintenance on your trailer and two vehicle can make the most out of your vehicle’s efficiency.  Proper tire pressure, clean filters, wheel alignment, etc. can all help you maximize your fuel mileage on trips.  Be sure to check tire pressures any time you stop to refuel.

If you have any other suggestions we would love to hear them.  Happy camping from all of us at www.MidAmericaRV.com

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ELKHART, Ind. — The recreational vehicle market, hit hard by the prolonged recession, is making a strong comeback, industry officials reported Thursday in this RV capital of North America.

They forecast that 307,300 RVs will be manufactured and shipped this year, below the pre-recession high of 353,400 units in 2007, but nearly twice as many as the low point of 165,700 in 2009.

America’s demographics favor the RV industry, said Mac Bryan, vice president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. He said there are 9 million RVs in use now and predicted that number will multiply as more baby boomers reach retirement age.

“With creativity and imagination, there is no limit to the amount of RVs that can be sold in the next decade,” said Bryan.

The encouraging message was delivered at a “power breakfast” held at the RV Hall of Fame and Museum. Most of North America’s RVs are manufactured in this northern Indiana region.

The recession took a heavy toll on RV companies, with 53 disappearing, some through consolidation, in recent years, said Richard Coon, president of the industry association. Employment also suffered big losses.

But, Coon added, the rebound has seen  23 RV-related companies created, and job prospects on the uptick.

Tim Hyland, president of the RV Group at GE Capital, said his financial organization is optimistic about the future for RV manufacturing.  He said 83 percent of all North American RVs are built in Elkhart County.

Details for this story were provided by the Goshen, Ind., News. by Mid America RV in Carthage, MO

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If you are planning to do some camping in Missouri we have a great little resource for you.  Visit www.campinmissouri.com to see their rv travel and camping guide for the entire state.  Whether you’re on the back roads or the main roads they can show your the beauty and excitement in Missouri.  Their directory will help you find great destinations that you can easily search by region.  It even allows you to search based on what features and amenities you need.


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For several years our dealership sold the full line up of Montana rvs from Keystone RV company.  They offered what was considered for years the gold standard in quality and value.  Leading them to be the top selling 5th wheel brand in North America for 12 consecutive years.  They found a formula for success with their designs and construction that made them shine as the fifth wheel to own for serious rvers.  This was great for years however they never changed.  They no longer innovated anything.  The only thing new each year was a price increase that eventually exceeded the value that Montana had to offer.

Enter Rushmore by CrossRoads RV…..This was a real game changer.  Rushmore took the basic equation for high end fifth wheel design and flipped it on it’s head.  Style is important when you are purchasing a luxury rv.  They approached style with feature like a standard two tone exterior, residential style cabinetry, fully painted fiberglass caps, high quality directional carpeting and solid surface countertops with two tone inserts.  Insulation was also addressed by giving us R-42 in the ceiling, R-28 in the floor, and R-21 in all of the walls including the sliderooms.  Standard features like lighted awnings, 4 entry steps, IntelliJack front jacks, dual 8 cubic foot refrigerators, 40″ living room and 32″ bedrooms tvs, residential showers, and so much more.  And the icing on the cake is their master suites.  Each one with deep opposing slides giving you a spacious bedroom with unbelievable storage.  All of this comes in at a price significantly more affordable that the competition, including Montana.

With six different floorplans available, we likely have something for everyone in the luxury fifth wheel market.  Check out our pictures and videos on our website http://www.midamericarv.com/default.asp?page=xAllInventory&sq=rushmore or come by the store in southwest Missouri for a tour.  We think you’ll quickly see why Rushmore is becoming the new standard in luxury fifth wheels.

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Thank you for taking time to visit our new blog. We will be using this as a place to share information about our dealership, products, industry, and our customers. For now let’s start with a little about our organization….

Mid America RV was started in 2005 just south of Carthage, MO. We operate out of a single location on I-49, just north of I-44. We are a full service dealership with an expansive parts department, a shop the services both towables & motorhomes, as well as the areas largest sales department. Our selection of new trailers, preowned RVs, and consignments gives our customers a wide variety to choose exactly what suits their needs the best.

So whether it is sales, service, or parts that you need for your next camping adventure we would love to help you. Our commitment to customer satisfaction is what has made us one of the top dealers in Missouri and across the midwest. Visit us in person or online at www.midamericarv.com

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