Jun 102009

According to a story on RV E-News, Affinity has announced the sale of its Camping World stores nationwide to help ease some of its heavy debt load. I have heard rumors of this before, but to date nothing has happened. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. 

While newbie’s and weekend campers spend a lot of time prowling their aisles, very few fulltimers I know do much shopping at Camping World, especially after they have been on the road a year or so. Especially if they care about saving money. While it’s true that Camping World Stores often have a large inventory, we have found that we can usually get anything we need online, and even at small Mom and Pop RV stores, for less money.

As a case in point, last winter I was shopping for a Vu Qube portable satellite TV antenna. I found them as much as $75 cheaper at a small RV store in Casa Grande, and another in Tucson, then I did at the Camping World stores in Tucson and Mesa, Arizona.

So I guess if the sale of their Camping World stores helps Affinity, it’s a good thing for them. But I don’t think I’ll be rushing into one of their stores to make a purchase anytime soon, no matter who their corporate parent is.

Terry and I have not gotten much accomplished since we got to Elkhart Saturday, because we both have been feeling under the weather. In fact, I probably spent nearly as much time napping as I did awake yesterday.

But this afternoon we have to go over to the fairgrounds in Goshen to get our booth set up for the Heartland Owners Rally, where we will be vending Thursday and Friday. I’ll also be presenting my Highway History and Back Road Mystery seminar Friday afternoon at the rally.

The fairgrounds is close enough that we won’t be taking the bus to the fairgrounds, just commuting in the van for the two days of the rally.

There are several other RV events scheduled for the fairgrounds this summer, including a Newmar rally we hope to get a booth at. We are still shopping for a diesel pusher to replace our bus conversion, and Newmar is in the top three of the manufacturers we are considering. I’ve always admired their products and their reputation, so it will be interesting to spend some time around a crowd of Newmar owners and listen to their feedback.

Thought For The Day – The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “Affinity Selling Camping World?”

  1. Newmar makes a fine coach. Some of those Newmar owners should be able to steer you toward someone they know who has a coach for sale. I belong to the Foretravel Yahoo Group and these guys (present company excepted) know what is on the market. Now, be prepared. When you announce that you are closing in on a new coach your “financial adviser” will weigh in on the subject.

    On other subjects, I hope Terry is on the road to feeling better.

  2. Newmar is on my top list also, along with Tifin. Hope you guys get to feeling better, long hours in a booth trying to be friendly when your sick “ain’t” no fun!!

  3. Hi Nick

    Newmar and Tiffin are my two top choices. I would really like a Allegro “Bus” if affordable but will probably settle for a Phaeton (used…2005+). A Newmar “Dutch Star” would be my choice there but would again probably settle for a Country Star because of costs. I want a 350 HP+ . What is your third choice????? I’m guessing Winnabago as you seemed to mention in a past post.

  4. Nick,

    A close read of the Camping World sale says that it is really just a debt transfer as the owner of Affinity, I think, is the purchaser of Camping World. So there is no change in management.

  5. Nick, about 9 months ago I sold my 2003 Newmar Kountry Star DP for less than $50K after I had it for sale for 2 years…I had to keep dropping the price….it was a beautiful rig….too bad you weren’t looking then. You should be able to get a comparable rig for that amount or less now.

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