MotorHome, Trailer Life magazines to cease publishing

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By Chuck Woodbury
It’s no surprise that America’s two largest RV magazines, Trailer Life and MotorHome, are set to publish their final issues in December. The magazines have been thin versions of what they once were and it’s been obvious to me and my industry friends that their days were numbered, like countless other consumer magazines made obsolete by the Internet.

Good Sam Club CEO Marcus Lemonis will launch a new title, RV Magazine, to replace them. I can’t envision it being much more than a marketing tool for Camping World, packed with ads from RV manufacturers and Camping World. Content will likely be aimed at promoting RVs and services sold by Camping World or Gander RV and products in their stores.

TrailerLife.com will continue, focusing on specific products and services for the towable enthusiasts. MotorHome.com will “convert into a full motorhome marketplace showcasing products and services needed to enhance and protect the investment for the motorized RV consumer,” according to a news release. Lemonis has debuted RV.com, which he says will “cater to all RV and outdoor enthusiasts – from beginners to experts – tent campers to motorhome owners and everyone in between.”

I expect RV.com and RV Magazine will cover pretty much the same topics already adequately covered in a thousand websites, blogs, forums, and on social media. Its first issue is set for January.

The only remaining general interest RV magazines of any size are those from the Escapees RV Club and the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). The Escapees Magazine is excellent, while Family RVing from financially challenged FMCA is uninspired, losing money and struggling to attract advertising – not good omens for its future.

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Pricerad
4 days ago

Do I get my subscription $$ back?

Janet Miller
6 days ago

I would add that another magazine which remains in the industry is is published by RVingWomen (rvingwomen.org) and distributed either digitally or in hard copy to RVing Women Members and friends (vendors, service providers, campgrounds, etc.) This periodical offers a wide array of topics, including technology tips, places to travel, reports from travelers during the pandemic, and other RV and networking ideas for its members.

Winnebago Bob
7 days ago

I have taken Trailer Life for about 20 years and since buying a motorhome (class C) started taking Motorhome also. Trailer Life used to be a go to, when we brought our first used RV. Motorhome started out good and both have now become very thin and doesn’t take very long to leaf though. The Highways magazine is a joke, compared to what it is now.
Well, Marcus, you say if I’m not happy, your no happy. Well, I’m fed up, do something other than what you are doing.

PHaworth
8 days ago

I just called to cancel my subscription (I’m paid til 2024) and was told it was a rumor and not true. They will be continuing to publish both Trailer Life and MotorHome magazine.  ???

LBaggs
8 days ago

I have been receiving TL renewal notices since May 2020. My subscription does not expire until October 2020. Luckily, I have not submitted anything to them to renew and will let the subscription expire on it’s own.
We DID do one thing right about ten years ago, shortly after becoming a TT owner. Good Sam offered a “Lifetime” membership for “discounts???” at CW and also for GS RV park reservations. I think it cost about $200 and was worth it to us not to have to deal with renewing annually, and also saves us money on site rental fees. Even though I cannot tolerate Mr. Lemonis’ lack of regard to the RV community, and VERY disappointing business operations, I will use this discount until it is no longer valid. (From the way things are going CW wise, I don’t expect it to be very far off in the future) I can order through Amazon for my product needs and have not stepped foot in a CW store in a very long time and do not EVER intend to do so.

Skip
8 days ago

Marcus Lemonis has taken the Good Sam Club from an organization dedicated to helping others to nothing but a marketing arm for Camping World. I had wondered what happened to Motorhome magazine since the recent issues have been so thin and content free. It is funny, that just yesterday I was contemplating not renewing my subscription since they had just sent out a renewal notice. I’m glad that I didn’t jump on it and renew right away to take advantage of the lower rate!

Les
8 days ago

Just called to request a refund of unused portion of my subscription. I was on hold longer than it took to do the cancellation. The representative was very nice with no hassle..

Rick
8 days ago

I just got a renewal form in the mail from Trailer Life. I then called Customer Service and they had no knowledge of pending end to the magazine.

Mike
8 days ago

Wow! Where have I been. I knew nothing about this until reading this. I guess my big question is what will happen with my remaining 2 years subscription!! Do I need to call and cancel? Will it automatically be moved to the newer magazine on the web being mentioned? What am I supposed to do??

Steve
8 days ago

Well – a lot of interesting comments and most agree that Camping World is self-serving. But whether you like Camping World or not, they are a fun place to shop. Notice I did not say buy! They do have some good things just like any store and like most, we look for value and many times (maybe too often) end up buying off the internet. We do shop many sites, not just Amazon. But it is hard to beat Amazon. And of course, Amazon is just the modern-day version of a department store. But I digress!
 
We get Trailer Life and it is not bad, and if it is available online, we will probable subscribe. The short coming of all of these magazines is the articles all seem to be more of a sales brochure as compared to an honest evaluation of the unit, and are not done by “real” campers. Many times I will see statements which any experienced camper with common sense knows is not correct or how things are really done. My opinion – Camp ON!

James Hamilton
9 days ago

I have subscribed to both magazines for over 30 years. In the last two years, destination-attraction stories began to appear repeated in both mags. Given the sudden death of newspapers, and lack of advertising, killing the print mags is part of the current trend. Recent 50 page editions reflect lack of content and ad revenue. Strange lack of ads since the RV industry is cranking them out the door as fast as possible and stock on dealer lots is at an all time low. Manufacturers apparently feel no need to advertise their product with buyers on the waiting list for delivery.

I am the stupid one with 4 year subscriptions to both magazines and I can kiss my money goodbye. The best I can hope for is applying some credit to the new combined RV Magazine that will be more generic in nature. I hope they keep the travel-destination-attraction articles and pay professional journalists to write them.

Norris Klesman
9 days ago

I have a subscription to Trailer Life which runs thru April 22. I’m unable to get any answer from CW HQ how they plan to handle my subscription. Either give me the new magazine to the end of my subscription OR give me my money back.

Paul S Goldberg
9 days ago

I lapsed my Motorhome subscription back in the Spring as it offered nothing new or useful to me after 19 years of readership. They kept sending the magazine for several months after my subscription had terminated. Presumably to keep the readership up so they could justify their rate structure. Family Camping is a declining magazine, but we have been members for quite a while F352081. We also belong to Escapees since 2007 (SKP99526) and find that in addition to all the other benefits it has had the best RVing magazine of them all. We belong to an Escapee Coop, Jojoba Hills SKP Resort, so membership is really a must. We also use their mail forwarding service.

Ran
9 days ago

If were not happy, Marks not happy. Now, maybe he’ll see the real side of things, but I doubt it!!

TIMROVER
9 days ago

It was ironic that I cancelled my MotorHome subscription (several months ago) after all these years because I knew I was going full-time. I even mentioned about the thinness of the magazine in my latest YouTube episode before the major announcement. I am glad I went with my gut. https://youtu.be/6FH_MPBT8Gg

Although I am still a subscriber of Escapees and Family RVing (FMCA) and I’m not sure what to expect next from them but I’ll make sure to keep the latest news about MotorHome Magazine in mind at renewal. Other than that Escapees and FMCA are fantastic. I saved over a grand with FMCA with some new tires.

https://youtu.be/2Bjd72WK0PQ

Last edited 9 days ago by TIMROVER
Ron
9 days ago

Won’t you all ever get tired of taking your juvenile swipes at Marcus Lemonis. I’m really tired of it.

Jeff Craig
9 days ago
Reply to  Ron

What some may see as a swipe, other see as justifiable criticism. Mr. Lemonis has made many decisions that have not enamored him with the RV’ing community. That said, the world is/has been in a state of flux for the last twenty years (9/11, Great Recession, decline of manufacturing/stagnant wages/concentration of wealth and now the Pandemic) that has hurt the RV’ing environment (and then there is the carbon penalty RV’s put on the environment…).

While it may make business sense to rework these publications, in the decade I’ve had a subscription to MH magazine, they have definitely become an advertising piece for CW/GO with what often feel like recycled articles on maintenance – the only thing missing from them is what aisle the parts can be found on at your local CW store. But, it’s a CW publication, so that should be expected. I just hope they keep the ‘Tips-n-Tricks’ section!

Rick
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

One of the nice things about living in America is that we aren’t compelled to purchase (with time or money) things that we don’t want. One man’s “recycled article” could be another man’s enlightenment. And as a first year camper owner, I’ve asked folks a lot of questions about trailer-related things, and the overwhelmingly usual response is, “Camping World has it”. If they want to put out a catalog disguised as a magazine, that’s their business. I certainly don’t have to read it or respond to the ads if I don’t want to.

Jeff Craig
9 days ago
Reply to  Rick

‘First year’? Now I better understand your perspective – Welcome to the Club! We’ve been RV’ing for 12 years now, and I constantly learn something new daily about how to enjoy our trips or maintain our rig.

While I agree with you about the ‘catalog disguised as a magazine’ bit, it is the loss of the magazine ‘as it was’ that concerns me. There are a lot of good YouTube RV channels out there, but not many of them compare to what I’ve learned over the years in MH Mag. And, you are correct about ‘enlightenment’, as I’m sure the original article I read about Banks Systems, tow gear, or a TPMS likely gets covered every five years – and are fresh for new owners while exposing those of us who’ve been around for a while with new options.

I too, buy the majority of parts and accessories from CW. But, like Chuck and many other RV’ers, Mr. Lemonis should to use his position to expand the infrastructure of places RVs can stay, not just selling them.

See you out there and drive safe!

JR Thornton
8 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Will Marcus ever stop self promoting himself and his organization without regard to the RV community?

Brandon Rutherford
4 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Marcus Lemonis has taken a great family run business (CW) in Kentucky and stripped it down to the bones. He took Good Sam which I purchased a Lifetime membership to so I could get the Good Sam magazine, fuel discount, And of course site discount. CW had the President’s Club for a discount if you wanted. Then ML bought Trailer Life which I used when I started RVing to learn things, (found a donated one at a RV park in OH and immediately subscribed) and took them from good learning magazines full of information to a thin ad magazine for CW. This is why I try to donate to RV Travel and tell everyone I can about it.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 days ago

Thank you for your kind words and your support (financial and otherwise), Brandon! We appreciate all of the above — and we appreciate you! Have a great day, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Bob
9 days ago

No surprise. The “Highways” magazine that Good Sam members get has already been revised to be nothing more than a cheap catalog for Camping World. Very disappointed.

Mark O.
9 days ago
Reply to  Bob

I toss it in the recycling trash every time it shows up, nothing but ads.

DW/ND
9 days ago
Reply to  Bob

“Highways”? I tho’t that died after Marcus took over Good Sam Club. I am a life member of Good Sam and have been for about 20 years. I haven’t received or seen a “Highways” mag. in years!

Wyndy
9 days ago
Reply to  DW/ND

Same here – life member since 1996. I haven’t seen a Highways in many, many years.

Paul Maccaline
9 days ago

If  Marcus Lemonis is publisihing a new magazine, I won’t be reading it. If our camper were to break down outside of Campers World (not that I would ever visit one again) I would have it towed elsewhere.

fred raco
9 days ago

I really enjoyed reading these. Sorry to hear the news.

Pat
9 days ago

I just signed up for two more years. What will happen to the subscriptions money we paid for years in advance? Should I cancel before the end of the year hoping to get my money refunded?

Eldon
9 days ago
Reply to  Pat

I saw the announcement about this in one of last weeks newsletters. I was planning on not renewing my subscription when it expired next year and decided to cancel it early just to see if I would get a refund. I called the Subscription number in the Trailer Life Magazine and after being on hold about 5 minutes actually got through to a customer service rep. I told him I wished to cancel my subscription and without question he said he would take care of it and that a refund check would be mailed out within 2 weeks. Certainly not a lot of money but I appreciate the manner in which they took care of this.