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Ford Motor Co. began production last week of its new F-150 pickup and that’s important to the RV industry, said Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Dave Humphreys.
Humphreys said the industry needs to keep up-to-date on developments concerning such important tow vehicles.
“I think it’s very important as to what Ford is or isn’t going to do,” Humphreys said during the RVIA’s Committee Week gathering in Washington, D.C., last week. “Their (Ford’s) chairman made a big deal out of increasing fuel economy and apparently got a little bit ahead of his engineers. So, I think Ford has softened their position on dramatic increases in fuel economy, which probably is good for us.”
Humphreys added that because more than 60% of all RVs built in the U.S. are towables, he agreed to join the Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America (SUVOA) Board of Directors. SUVOA was formed “to tell people they should be proud of owning an SUV and not ashamed of it,” he said.
Linda Profaizer, president of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC), and Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), also joined the SUVOA board, because SUVs are a significant part of the tow-vehicle fleet.
The auto industry will fund SUVOA by purchasing advertisements on the association’s website, www.suvoa.com, Humphreys said. Go RVing banner ads will appear on the SUVOA website free of charge, he added.
Meanwhile, Ford says its new F-150, which will go on sale in the fall, is bigger and better than its predecessor because it offers the auto industry’s widest variety of body and trim configurations along with five packages featuring three box lengths and two distinct box styles, according to Automotive News.
Specifications for the new F-150 were not immediately available. However, Ford’s 2003 RV and Towing Guide states that the current version of the F-150, which is 7 years old, can tow trailers weighing up to 8,800 pounds.
Ford also builds larger pickups with greater towing capacities. Its lineup includes the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty series along with F-350 to F-550 Classic Cabs and the F-650 Super Crewzer.
One of Ford’s “top people” will be the keynote speaker during RVIA’s annual meeting Sept. 14-17 in Lake Geneva, Wis., Humphreys said.