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The recreational vehicle community continues to assist in the nation’s relief efforts, supplying travel trailers and supplies for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Owners of Hilltop RV in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are selling units at cost to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Boyfriend Broke Up Got Back With Ex But Still Calls Me (FEMA), according to local media.
The retailer, located in Escanaba, is waiting for final delivery instructions from FEMA, which will pay transportation costs.
Hilltop co-owner Steve Swanson says the company has received several calls from drivers volunteering to haul the RVs to the hurricane area.
Other breaking news of RV-related firms joining in recovery effort include:
• Twenty travel trailers for use in Louisiana flood recovery work are being transported south this week from Meyer’s RV Super Store in Hamburg, N.Y. The 30-foot and larger units along with four Class C motorhomes are among more than 300 travel trailers and motorhomes FEMA bought from Meyers’ stores in Hamburg, Rochester, Syracuse and Bath, said Hamburg General Manager Chris Luterek.
• The Norfolk-Southern Rail Yard in Elkhart, Ind., is shipping RVs by flatcar to help Katrina victims. South Bend television station WNDU reported that the rail yard, located on Elkhart’s west side, will be moving 40 trailers a week from Elkhart to a staging area in Birmingham, Ala.
*Michigan-based Burnside RV, a FreedomRoads dealership, will send 350 travel trailers – many filled with donated clothing – to a FEMA staging area in Alabama. FreedomRoads, a national retail network, organized a company-wide campaign to donate clothing to evacuees.
• The USDA Forest Service is assisting hurricane victims by temporarily rescinding the fee requirements for campgrounds, as well as the 14-day stay limit for camping on some of its Southern Region lands. The normal fee range is $4 to $25, depending on the location. According to a press release, 106 campgrounds are open without charge to victims of Hurricane Katrina as they transition through these first weeks of the disaster.
• Keystone RV Co., Goshen, Ind., went to its 3,000 employees for a collection of food, clothing and cash for victims of the crisis and promised to match – up to $50,000 – any cash donations.
• Several New England dealers reported shipping units to FEMA. Nat Ambrose, assistant sales manager of Campers Inn said that about 80 to 100 travel trailers will be going to FEMA this week from the company’s locations in Merrimack, Kingston and Raynham. Jack Killion, general manager of New Hampshire Coach and Camper of Rumney, was heading south to receive and inspect 53 of the travel trailers he has sold to FEMA. He said he and staffer Fred Oleson will spend the next two weeks ensuring that FEMA gets working, undamaged travel trailers at a staging and receiving area.

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