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  • 30 May 2014 2:32 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    Gold Tooth

    One weekend Mr. Simpson and his 13 year old son Jimmy were camping in the Jacksonville State Forest area, They had prepared this camp out with very little help from Mom. Well, except for some advice. She saw Dad packing a large can of sauerkraut and asked him what he planned to do with it. He responded that it was for supper on Saturday night.  

    Mom didn't think that was a very good idea. "I know what will happen," she said. "You'll go to bed right after supper because you'll both be afraid of the dark and Jimmy will have horrible nightmares after eating that sauerkraut."  "Nonsense," her husband remarked and he packed the sauerkraut anyway.

    Friday night they went to be early. Not because they were scared, but because they were tired. They had gotten up early, finished packing, and had driven half the day to reach the beautiful campsite which they were able to claim.  Saturday was a busy day and even though they ate a good breakfast and lunch, the full day of hiking left starving by supper time. That sauerkraut turned out to be a real treat that evening. It certainly complemented that grilled sausage! And for dessert, banana pudding washed down with hot chocolate. 

    After relaxing around the campfire a short while they turned on their AM/FM radio to hear the news.  Unexpectedly, a emergency flash news report came over the radio:

    ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ALL CITIZENS:  JUST HOURS AGO A CONVICTED MURDERER ESCAPED FROM THE JACKSONVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER. INITIAL ATTEMPTS TO CAPTURE HIM HAVE FAILED. HE IS AT LARGE AND IS CONSIDERED DANGEROUS. HE IS BELIEVED TO BE HEADING NORTH-NORTHWEST ON FOOT. HE STANDS ABOUT 6'4" AND WEIGHS APPROXIMATELY 280 POUNDS. HE HAS LONG BROWN HAIR WITH A BEARD AND MUSTACHE. HE ANSWERS TO THE NAME "GOLD TOOTH." IF YOU HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OFF THE WHEREABOUTS OF THIS ESCAPED CRIMINAL PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE IMMEDIATELY.   FOR EVERYONE'S SAFETY, ANYONE CAMPING IN THE JACKSONVILLE STATE FOREST AREA SHOULD LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. THAT IS ALL.

    Instantly, Jimmy turned to his dad in fear.  "Don't be afraid, Son. You have nothing to worry about. Jacksonville Correctional Center is twenty miles north over Jackson Ridge. Besides we're leaving in the morning and there is no way anyone could travel that distance on foot in twelve hours. Regardless, the news report said he's traveling north-northwest and we're due south." 

    "Dad, I don't care. I'm scared. I wanna go home." Jimmy replied.  "What if I gave you something to protect yourself with?" "Like what, Dad? A Swiss Army knife?" "No, of course not. I brought the rifle for a little target practice tomorrow morning before we leave. But if you'd like, I'll keep it in the tent tonight for protection." "You will?" "Yes, I will." "Really? Do you promise?" "Yes, I promise." "OK, let's stay. But I'm getting tired. I want to go to sleep. And my stomach is acting up a little."

    Jimmy got up from sitting by the campfire and walked over to the tent and got in. Mr. Simpson walked over to the duffle bags and began to look for the rifle finding it in the red one.  Holding it in his hand, Mr.. Simpson knew the gun was not loaded with bullets. And he did not plan to load it either. Mr. Simpson had no concern whatsoever that the escaped prisoner would threaten them in any way. He was merely providing a sense a security for his son. Mr. Simpson was more concerned about a possible bear attack than the prisoner at large.

    Walking past the tent to put the fire out, Mr. Simpson could hear that Jimmy had already fallen to sleep. Smiling to himself, Jimmy's father picked up the pail of water and poured it over the fire. Immediately, the sizzle of steam rose into the air as the fire light disappeared into darkness.

    Mr. Simpson turned on his flashlight to find his way back to the tent. As he walked over, he held the flash light in his right hand and the rifle in his left. Crawling into the tent he placed the rifle between the sleeping bags. Zipping the tent door behind him, Mr. Simpson crawled into his sleeping bag, zipped it up and then turned the flash light off. As he laid in the darkness, he could hear Jimmy still snoring and the gentle noises from the crickets and the bullfrogs outside. For a moment, he thought about how happy he was to be there in such a beautiful peaceful place with his son who he loved so much. Everything was perfect. Peaceful. Serene.

    Slowly, Mr. Simpson could feel himself falling to sleep and beginning to dream. Soon he was deep in sleep and snoring too.  In the middle of the night, probably around four in the morning, Jimmy awoke. He was squirming because his stomach was cramping and he was having nightmares. Jimmy struggled with every ounce of his energy against the overwhelming strength of Gold Tooth, but he just couldn't break away. Gold Tooth had him and wasn't letting go!
    "Jimmy! You have been having a nightmare. Wake up."

    As he laid on his back looking up at the top of the tent, he immediately thought about the escaped murderer.  He turned his head to look towards his father and then he saw the gun lying between them. Instantly, he was relieved. He felt safe again.  Then, in the distance he heard CRACK!!  It sounded like someone stepping on a fallen branch. Then, he heard CRUNCH!! It sounded like someone stepping onto a pile of leaves. Then, he heard CRACK!!  Again. Another broken branch. Jimmy tried to wake his Dad up, but he couldn't. He tried shaking him, but he was sleeping too deeply. Jimmy grabbed the rifle and pointed it at the door, not knowing it was loaded.   Then, outside the tent, Jimmy saw the shape of a man silhouetted by the light of the moon. Instantly, without thought he pulled the triggered of the unloaded gun.  POW!!!!  The gun fired and a bullet ripped through the tent striking the shadowy figure dead.

    Mr. Simpson woke up in a panic and didn't understand what was happening. Everything seemed chaotic and confusing. His ears were ringing from the sound of the gun firing. He couldn't believe the gun was loaded. He thought for sure it was not. Good thing he was wrong.

    Jimmy was sitting still holding the gun firm in his grip. His eyes were locked straight ahead in the direction he had fired. He was trembling with fear. Finally, he spoke.  "I saw him. It was him. The escaped prisoner. I know it was him. He was going to kill us. I had to do it. I had to do it. I had to do it." Jimmy repeated.  Hours later, the cops arrived on the scene. The man did not look like the escaped prisoner. He had short hair, no beard or mustache, and was wearing street clothes. 

    Jimmy felt sick that he had shot at someone without knowing who he was shooting. His dad felt terrible that he had made the awful mistake of thinking that a gun was unloaded without checking it by opening the breech.  Jimmy was arrested as a murderer and he was taken to Jacksonville Prison. There he was placed in the very cell that the escaped convict had been in.  "Kid, this cell is good enough for you. You killed my brother-in-law, Henry. Well just keep you here until I hope they hang you."

     Later that night a man with long hair was brought in wearing handcuffs and leg chains. The guard laughed as he shoved him into Jimmy's cell.   'Hey, you two murderers should get along just fine in there", he cackled as he slammed the door, locked it, and walked away down the hall leaving the two in there together.   "Aw. what are you in for kid? You murder someone like me?" And as he laughed Jimmy saw the gold tooth shinning though the droopy long mustache covering his face. And Jimmy realized that he had finally meet the killer face to face, locked in a cell together without anyone around to help. And all because he shot someone he didn't even know.

    "Say kid," Gold Tooth exclaimed as he came closer and closer to Jimmy, "I hear you be here for trying to kill me." Jimmy backed up until he was finally trapped in a corner of the cell. Gold Tooth put his manacled hands out in front of him, reaching for Jimmy.  "I hate it when people try to kill me," Gold Tooth growled, snatching Jimmy around the waist as he tried to sneak past him. 

    Jimmy knew he was going to die. His breath was being squeezed out of him. His last chance for survival was to shout for help to the guard who had left them both in the cell.  "HELP!" Jimmy screamed at the top of his lungs. "Jimmy, Jimmy! Wake up Jimmy!" a familiar voice was shouting and Jimmy suddenly realized he was not in the cell, but was in the tent being shaken by his father.

    What had been a great camp out had turned into a nightmare. But they had both learned important lessons. Pay attention to the authorities when they make an announcement and follow their instructions. Never trust that a gun is not loaded and never shoot at a target without positive identification, even in a dream. And when your mother gives you some advice, even if it's just not to take sauerkraut on a camp out and eat it before going to bed-believe her! 

  • 13 May 2014 1:19 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    Article by Jim Meenan

    A panel discussion was held Thursday with some of the leaders in the RV industry at the RV Industry Power Breakfast at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In a wide-ranging discussion, they talked about the current boom that is going on in the industry and some of the issues that they are now facing in terms of labor, materials and delivery. Participants included: Forest River's Doug Gaeddert, who is also board chairman of the Recreation

    Vehicle Industry Association, Thor's Bob Martin, Jayco's Derald Bontrager and three executives from suppliers -- Airxcel's Mel Adams, Lippert Components' Jason Lippert and Patrick's Todd Cleveland. Here are some of the highlights.

    Q. What's next for the RV Industry? Amid all the recent success, what's on the horizon?

    A. Gaeddert: We are obviously motoring in a really strong direction right now. The immediate future I think looks good. We are in a sweet spot in the industry from all standpoints, whether it be demographics, popularity, a push for more physical activities. As far as challenges, inside the industry, short-term ones are obvious: transportation, labor and material shortages. Long term the challenge to continue to grow it are to satisfy our customers. External factors -- it's going to take something like a crazy situation exploding in Ukraine, or something that puts unnatural pressure on oil prices.

    Martin: We have bright days ahead of us because of the demographic. All the opportunities we have of people who are not actually camping yet. They are tent campers. They are taking that next step. We look at that as great opportunities for everybody in this room.

    Bontrager: The RV industry is really a mirror of what's happening in our economy. The customers never left us. They sat on the sidelines for a period of time during the recession. That's been a big piece of our rapid growth the last three years. What I see going forward is I think we are going to be in a prolonged period of growth.

    Lippert: From our perspective I feel real solid that this industry was hit arguably the hardest in the recession. Being in manufacturing it's a lot tougher than a lot of other businesses in the recession. We all learned a lot of important lessons in the recession.

    I think we all feel positive about where the industry is going, and it hasn't felt this good in a long time. But as an industry we are probably well positioned to recover from anything that hits us between the eyes.

    Q. Amid the September open houses, what's the future of the trade shows such as Louisville for both the near future and long-term?

    A. Bontrager: We also have to remember when we talk about the Louisville show that we are a consolidating industry. We have fewer manufacturers, fewer suppliers, fewer dealers involved in the business. I think the Louisville show provides a lot of value. The open houses have kind of grown a life of their own. It's been good for the industry.

    Adams: It's really the only showcase of the North American RV industry and maybe internationally to some degree. As a supplier at that show, it's always a great opportunity to see everyone else in the industry, see all the manufacturers. But I also think it's probably the only place where we are showcasing the industry and attract national media.

    Cleveland: The Louisville show is absolutely necessary.

    From the supplier side, we continue to support Louisville.

    Martin: For us definitely there will be a continued presence for the open house. We are anchored right here. For Thor, it will be bigger than last year. We are doing what the dealers are asking us to do. The dealers really seem to enjoy the time of the year, coming in and seeing new models. It's a great time for them to come by. It's a little bit before Louisville. That way they can get their product in before spring shows. Forest River really started this and it's just grown. I still see a great importance for both.

    Gaeddert: It's turned into a somewhat predictable cycle. which has been very healthy for the entire industry, suppliers, dealers, manufacturers, campgrounds, finance companies, etc. (The shows) complement each other extremely well. The demand is there for both of those events. We are going to continue to do what the market wants us to do, in this case, the dealer base wants us to do. It's here to stay for now. It's very good for the industry.

    Q. With every-body working who wants to work, where does the industry get employees from locally? Or does the industry just expand elsewhere?

    A. Gaeddert: The cool thing is we've gone from a 20 percent rate of unemployment down to 5.8. That's like dropping 150 pounds in a short period of time. It's great news that we are where we are at now. Somebody brought it up earlier, our core work force in this area is the reason companies are focused in concentrating in this area. This area is full of good people that have great skill sets and build high-quality products and deliver high-quality service. Plain and simple, that's why it's here.

    As far as moving outside because of the employment issue, I think that's a tough one. If you look back there's 70 to 80 years of culture in this area with this work force. It's pretty tough to go replicate that somewhere. The second thing is the supplier base and the distribution channels. So it's going to be tough. Companies are going to have to separate themselves by being the best place to work, how they take care of folks. We are going to have competition for labor. But at the end of the day, part of the solution is working together and trying to bring that 5.8 down further and become steadier.

    Martin: For me, we are based in northern Indiana and Ohio. This is where the supplier base is. It would be really hard to move out of the area. The challenge is to bring more people into the area. You do that by creating a great company that people will want to work at.

  • 21 Feb 2014 10:40 AM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    Please be advised if you need an RV Show Certificate of Insurance you can email the following information to us at info@koaowners.org:

     

    Who the certificate is to be made out to

    Place the show will be held

    Show Address

    Contact at the Show


    If you need any additional information please let us know by calling 800-678-9976 or from CANADA 888-461-2062 or email us at info@koaowners.org

     

  • 01 Feb 2014 9:00 AM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    JUAN CARLO/THE STAR Run or Dye participants run away from the powder during Saturday’s fundraiser for the Ventura YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clara Valley. The event was held at the KOA campground just west of Santa Paula.

    PHOTO BY JUAN CARLO, VENTURA COUNTY STAR 

    KOA campground just west of  Santa Paula, hosted a Run or Dye event Saturday where more than 7,000 people created a rainbow of colors to benefit the Ventura YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clara Valley.  Campground owner Scott Cory told VCStar he jumped at the chance to host the event after he was approached by organizers.


    The landscape may be gray and brown, but at the KOA campground just west of Santa Paula, more than 7,000 people created a rainbow of colors during the Run or Dye event.

    “This is the best exposure we’ve ever had for the campgrounds. There are over 7,000 runners today,” Cory explained to VCStar. “We like to be active in the community, and there are hundreds of volunteers who came to help out.”

    According to VCStar the 5K course followed a path through the campgrounds with intermittent stations where runners were doused with powdered, nontoxic, water-soluble pink, orange, blue, green or purple dyes.  Run or Dye participants run away from the powder during Saturday’s fundraiser for the Ventura YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clara Valley.  The event was held at the KOA campground just west of Santa Paula.





  • 31 Jan 2014 10:00 AM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    Gulf Stream Coach Inc. has launched the new 25SBW floorplan in its Conquest/Innsbruck travel trailer line, featuring a rear kitchen design and upscale amenities normally found in larger, more expensive trailers.

    According to a press release, the 25SBW borrows key design features of the best-selling Conquest/Innsbruck 295SBW. The floorplan offers a gourmet-friendly, full-width rear kitchen with extensive cabinetry, storage drawers, an L-shaped counter and double-door refrigerator. The main living space uses a deep slideout to provide room for a comfy sofa, dinette with under-seat storage, and a floor-to-ceiling entertainment center with a multi-function home theater sound system and connections for an optional LED HD TV.

    “The rear kitchen design of the 25SBW is a retail champion in two ways,” said National Sales Manager Randy Baskerville. “It has immediate appeal when RV shoppers find it on dealers’ lots, with its high-quality cabinetry and spacious sunlit workspace. But more than that, RVers soon realize how practical and convenient it is on the campsite, enabling everyone to share the casual camping lifestyle without making the cook stand in the middle of the main living area.”

    In spite of its compact size, the 30-foot 25SBW gives owners a true master bedroom with a solid panel privacy door, a walk-around queen bed with under-bed storage, mirrored shirt closet, wardrobe, and overhead cabinets.  A mounting point and wiring for a wall-mount flat screen TV is also included.

    Gulfstream also designed an en suite bath with two entry doors – one from the main living area hall, the other from a private door in the master bedroom.  A large corner shower with a solid-panel enclosure and shower door is featured in the bath.

    With a dry weight under 5900 pounds and durable construction, the 25SBW is “a high-reward, high-value alternative for campers who like to travel light and easy,” noted Baskerville.

  • 03 Jan 2014 1:59 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    You may want to let your campers know:

    Double Camel in cooperation with Lionshead Specialty Tire & Wheel LLC is recalling certain Vail Sport ST LH 99 tubeless trailer tires, size 225/75D15, load range D, DOT code 69, manufactured from July 14, 2013, through July 27, 2013, (and a sidewall date code 2813 or 2913), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Double Camel in cooperation with Lionshead Specialty Tire & Wheel LLC is recalling certain Vail Sport ST LH 99 tubeless trailer tires, size 225/75D15, load range D, DOT code 69, manufactured from July 14, 2013, through July 27, 2013, (and a sidewall date code 2813 or 2913), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    The affected tires may fail under prolonged use and may become unseated from the rims.
    Failure or unseating of the tire increases the risk of a crash.

    Due to the risk of failure, these tires fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 119, “New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars.”

    Lionshead will notify owners, and dealers will replace the tires with compliant ones. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Customers may contact Lionshead at 1-574-533-6169.

  • 02 May 2013 11:52 AM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)
    This may be of interest to our Canadian members:

    A free listing is available for campground / RV Park owners in Canada, from Campgrounds of Canada.  When you use the special coupon code FREELISTING (all uppercase!) then your listing will be free, but third party advertisements will be shown on your listing. Other than that it is the same as a paid listing. You will gain a high quality, professional looking, full page advertorial and you are in full control. With our strong SEO features your listing will be found.
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