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2016 Cougar Fifth Wheel Features Video | Pete’s RV Buyer Tips

May 22nd, 2015 by josh | Posted in Cougar, Fifth Wheels, General RVs, Keystone, Pete's RV Video pReView, Product News, RV Buyer Tips | No Comments »

For thirteen straight years RV buyers have made Cougar #1 in its class. The reason? Cougar offers you more features, more innovative floorplans and higher quality, all at a popular price. With unique models like the island kitchens, front living room, your choice of several bunk house models and toyhauler options there’s bound to be a Cougar that’s perfect for you.

RV Lifestyle Consultant Chad Shepard and Cougar rep Kevin Horoky meet up to walk you through the awe-some interior features found in Cougar Fifth Wheels (using a 337FLS for the demo) including:

  • Brand-Name Appliances & Furniture
  • Cougar Platinum Series Orthopedic Sleep System Mattress
  • Gas/Electric Water Heater with Quick Recovery
  • Hand Glazed Hardwood Cabinetry
  • Residential Porcelain Toilet w/ Foot Flush
  • LED Lighting Throughout
  • Cougar Camp Remote for Wireless Slide and Awning Operation
  • Optional Free Standing Dinette
  • Standard 8 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator
  • Solid Surface Countertops

Some additional features to make you obsess over Cougar fifth wheels:

  • Polar Package for Year Round Camping
  • Max Turn Fiberglass Front Cap w/ Docking Lights and Backup Mirror
  • Heated Underbelly Storage
  • Cougar Convenience Center
  • Frameless Windows
  • Electric LED Awning
  • Slam Latch Baggage Doors
  • Mor/Ryde Suspension w/ Correct Track
  • Electric 4 Point Leveling System
  • Aluminum Rims

Be sure to browse all features and specifications for Cougar fifth wheel floorplans at!

Video Transcript for “2016 Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Features (Part 1 of 2) (CC)”

Chad Shepard: Welcome to Pete’s RV TV today. I’m Chad Shepard. We’ve got a great event going on here today. As you can see, I’m in front of this beautiful Cougar fifth wheel. Best yet, we have Kevin Horoky, the number one volume sales rep for the Cougar product in the whole country, is gonna show us why, for the last 14 years, more people have bought Cougars than any other brand in the world. As you can see, this thing is beautiful on the inside. This is a 337, Cougar Front Living Room, and we’ve got Kevin Horoky here, direct from the factory. But tell is why people buy more Cougars than any other brand. Welcome, Kevin.

Kevin Horoky: Hey, welcome. (shake hands)

Chad Shepard: So, Kevin, the inside is this beautiful. You’ve guys gone to a new look this year, wood-to-wood, upgraded furniture. Tell us a little bit why, 14 years in a row, more people buy Cougars than any other brand.

Kevin Horoky: Here, is being the leader in the manufacturer, and being the #1-selling fifth wheel in the country, we’ve been pretty fortunate, but we gotta keep that innovation going. So what we did is we changed our wood color, we went to ashwood with a villa stain; we changed our entertainment package, we have her in a 50″-inch LED TV, a 5,000 BTU fireplace. We added in there, it’s called the charging station, with a USB charging cable, and then we added the, Bluetooth stereo, so now you can control your music from outside your camper

Chad Shepard: Okay. The first thing I do notice in here is the head-height, and you’ve got LED lighting, the 2 on top it. So let’s talk about it. We’ve got that, the fireplace in here, extra heating on those cooler mornings, so we don’t overuse our propane; let’s use the electricity from the campground. Big TV and it’s got a lounge style, up here in this 337. You guys, what kind of furniture are you using in this kind of-

Kevin Horoky: Yeah. You know, we like to keep the residential look within our campers, and what we went to this year was Ashley Brand Furniture-

Chad Shepard: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kevin Horoky: -so it’s a name brand furniture, and it’s residential; and then what we added, Chad, in the tri-fold sofa, is we had a orthopedic sleep system up here-

Chad Shepard: Yeah.

Kevin Horoky: -so what comes out is a comfortable, comfortable area for your customers.

Chad Shepard: Looks great. Wall-mount switches here. This one has the opposing slides in it. You guys have done a wonderful job. This is the bed that makes into a, the additional sleeping, too, if needed.

Kevin Horoky: Correct.

Chad Shepard: Yeah. Guys, just so we know, this TV right here, one thing that’s really nice about it [00:02:00], you can sit on this side over here, you can see it from down below in the kitchen. They do a great job in it. Central air conditioning, it is about a hundred in here right now, I can tell you that. (chuckles)

Kevin Horoky: Yeah, it’s warm today.

Chad Shepard: But central air conditioning as well. One thing, too, guys, I wanna tell you about Cougar is the cabinetry. It’s hard to see it from down below, but we’re using our real hardwood doors, and you can see a residential-looking, handles on these. You guys did a nice look this year. (shuts door) And these are gonna hold up over time. They’re tongue and groove on all these cabinet doors here, so they’re gonna hold up over and over time again. Kevin, why don’t you tell us a little bit about this bigger fridge?

Kevin Horoky: Here, it’s a 12-cubic-foot reefer which is nice, versus just your standard 8-cubic-foot reefer, which we implemented right here on the sly, which gives you that nice walk-through area on this floor plan. So a double-door reefer, your slide mechanism, Chad, when you’re talking about that. This is a quad-slide coach, but we wanted to keep the residential look throughout, so even our slide fascia, is a true hardwood slide out fascia; versus the competition just uses a fascia wrap.

Chad Shepard: Yup.

Kevin Horoky: So it adds to the appearance.

Chad Shepard: So this is a gas-electric fridge.

Kevin Horoky: Gas-electric fridge, and 12-cubic-foot is the size.

Chad Shepard: You got it. Step down here. We’ve got a bunch of vinyl flooring too. This is the new vinyl flooring you guys have gone with. Very, very nice look to it.

Kevin Horoky: Yeah, we went with, with that within, Actually Keystone across the board. We partnered up with a company called, Beauflor Linoleum-

Chad Shepard: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kevin Horoky: It’s a product out of Belgium. The nice thing about it, is it’s residential, it has a fiberglass backing, but it prevent- … it gives you two years against cold-cracking.

Chad Shepard: So, nothing too … Let’s quickly talk about construction. The aluminum, tell me how this coach is built as far as construction.

Kevin Horoky: There’s 2-inch sidewalls. It’s aluminum-framed construction all the way around. The biggest thing, though, about our aluminum frame construction, Chad, versus the competition, is we weld all of our aluminum.

Chad Shepard: Okay. Good point. Good point.

Kevin Horoky: And then we put it through our, lamination, which is a [pinteral 00:03:40] laminate, and then it gives you a 100% glue coverage so we’re gonna test all the walls before they ever make it to our facility through our system.

Chad Shepard: Yup. Kevin, over here, we look at the counter-tops and this, this is a nice look for this, and this is something that you guys have gone to to a little bit of an upgrade?

Kevin Horoky: Yeah, it’s an upgrade. We went to a solid-surface corian counter-top, and then what we did is we added the stainless steel package. [00:04:00] So now you have a stainless steel sink, with a high-rise faucet, which is a pullout. We give you the larger, oven which is a 22-inch oven-

Chad Shepard: Yup.

Kevin Horoky: -that’s stainless steel versus the competition’s the 18-inch oven. And then we went with a stainless steel microwave as well. The great thing about those floor plans, Chad, where you’re standing-

Chad Shepard: Yes.

Kevin Horoky: we were able to add the pantry here for ya, with adjustable shelves, so that will help ya. And then the biggest thing we did to keep the residential look, is we give you a residential back-splash here in this area. Both on over the stove and your feature wall over the wine rack, versus the competition just lays a paper wrap.

Chad Shepard: You got it. I agree to that. Check out how deep these sinks are. I mean, you can wash pots and pans. They got the faucet that pulls out. I mean, there’s a lot of places that cut corners in building RVs. We see it on brand X, brand Y-

Kevin Horoky: Sure.

Chad Shepard: Everyone’s chasing Cougar, right?

Kevin Horoky: Yeah.

Chad Shepard: And I think we both agree to that. And, you guys have done a lot of things right with this, that’s for sure.

Kevin Horoky: The other thing, too, that you have, Chad, right underneath your sink is you’re gonna have dedicated trash can storage. Isn’t that real frustrating? You go into a camper and you don’t know where to put your trash?

Chad Shepard: Yes.

Kevin Horoky: Here, we implement that in all of our floor plans along with the residential ball bearing drawer guides.

Chad Shepard: Yeah, we’ll take a quick look on the outside, too, guys. We’ve got wonderful features: we’ve got frameless windows on this one, some other cool stuff, too. I wanna take a quick peek. We’re gonna have to take a break here, ’cause we’re gonna cut behind you guys. We’re gonna look at the back bedroom on this, and go over some of the Cougar slide mechanisms-

Kevin Horoky: Sure.

Chad Shepard: -and those sort of things as well.

(frame cut) As Kevin said earlier, this is a quad slide coach. So we’ve got tons of room in the bedroom as well, with a nice bed slide in here. Obviously, with the camera, it’s even harder to see, but we got a lotta nice things back here. Kevin, tell us a little bit. What did you guys do for a feel back here?

Kevin Horoky: Well, the, the first thing that we did, Chad, is with our doors, we actually frame in our doors and we keep that residential look.

Chad Shepard: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kevin Horoky: And then we put a door header on.

Chad Shepard: Okay.

Kevin Horoky: So, that’s gonna ensure the quality of the, the strength of the coach on the inside; not only the outside, which we discussed, but also the inside.

Chad Shepard: Yeah.

Kevin Horoky: And then it’s not just a hanging door where you have that large gap. It’s gonna give you the privacy back here in your bedroom that customers are looking for. With the bed slide, here, we created tremendous room for a full walk-around bed.

Chad Shepard: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kevin Horoky: And then what we added is we went to orthopedic sleep system on our bed as well, so Cougar Platinum series- [00:06:00]

Chad Shepard: Yup.

Kevin Horoky: -which is a great feature for us … the most frustrating thing that you would have buying a new camper, is have to upgrade your mattress.

Chad Shepard: Yup, we see it all the time.

Kevin Horoky: Cougar, we wanted that for you guys, so you didn’t have to deal with it.

Chad Shepard: When you look at, you know, lesser quality coaches that are trying to hit a certain price point, the, that’s-

Kevin Horoky: Sure. They’re taking money out of it.

Chad Shepard: Without a doubt. No doubt.

Kevin Horoky: Another thing that we do is, we were talking about the residential of this whole aspect.

Chad Shepard: Yup.

Kevin Horoky: What we do is continue that back here in the bedroom area, too, with all the storage. We have Best in Class storage, on the outside and the inside of our coach, but we give you full extension ball-bearing drawer guides throughout the coach. We’re not cheating you, or cutting the corner putting back a single glide. But if we’re gonna look at all the storage that we have, here you have 2 shirt closets, you have storage here for shoes, a bank of drawers, overhead cabinets, and a TV cable outlet.

Chad Shepard: Yeah. There is a ton of room back here. My favorite feature of this bedroom is, for me, when I go camping, is privacy to the bathroom. If we’re with another family at night or something like that.

Kevin Horoky: Absolutely. The nice thing, too, Chad, by framing in our doors, it gives us that radius wall, so it gives it that nice interior look. And then we give you a simple thing like this: (clicks light off) just a light switch (clicks light on) to turn on and off your bedroom light so you’re not searching around.

Chad Shepard: Yup. I agree. This is the bathroom on this coach, guys. Obviously, we have a hallway, entrance as well, but this is just an additional entrance that you can scoot through the master bedroom right into the bathroom.

Kevin Horoky: Yeah, and the nice thing about our bathroom, we talked about Best in Class storage, you have a ton of storage here for your towels or your linen with shelving systems; you got a true glass shower door, and it’s a surround with a sky-light over the bath. You have a porcelain (clinks the flusher) foot-flush toilet-

Chad Shepard: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kevin Horoky: and then you have a oversize sink with a oversize medicine cabinet that also incorporate the LED lights.

Chad Shepard: Very nice. Without a doubt, I think we can all see that Cougar … the quality they build into this. padded carpeting, I mean we’ve got a lotta, a lot of good features as well.

Kevin Horoky: Residential heat ducts.

Chad Shepard: Residential heat ducts. I mean, everybody else is using a dryer hose. Same thing through the ceiling here. We’ve got true ducted air conditioning as well.

Kevin Horoky: Yeah, you, you, you’re running on 50-amp service, and there’s wire and a frame for your second AC if you need to add that for your customer back here in the bedroom.

Chad Shepard: We could use that today.

Kevin Horoky: Exactly (both laugh).

Chad Shepard: You got it. So we’ll take a quick look on the outside [00:08:00] ’cause Cougar has probably the prettiest coach in the industry. We saw a little bit of it earlier. I do want to show you the construction that the, the high gloss, and some of the frame-less window features and a little outside storage as well. Let’s take a skin outside and, check it out.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at:

Video Transcript for “2016 Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Features (Part 2 of 2) (CC)”

Chad: I’m at our dealership at Pete’s RV Center. We stock a thousand units and we have them packed in here. It’s very tight in this spot, so you guys will have to bear with us a little bit. Josh is free-handing the camera, but we want to show you the Cougar hook-up site.

Kevin, tell us a little bit about the concept behind this.

Kevin: Yeah, well this is our docking station, so which is really nice here. It’s really frustrating if you have a,  just a regular exterior shower with the 3 foot hose, right?

Chad: Yes, I agree.

Kevin: So, what we added was a hot and cold exterior shower with a quick-connect, and now you get a 15 foot blue coil hose which is going to create great pressure for you.

Chad: So yeah, hot cold water … It looks like we can put a fitting on her for our garden hose so if you want to hose the dog, the kids off, even your feet … Yeah, perfect.

Kevin: Exactly. The nice thing about it is it’s just a quick connect that goes in there.

Chad: Yep.

Kevin: You also have in here your black tank flush, which is on every Cougar that comes standard.

Chad: Okay.

Kevin: You’re going to have your city water connection, and then we added a satellite prep in case someone doesn’t want cable. We can add the satellite for them …

Chad: Sure.

Kevin: and, then you have your battery disconnect which comes in handy for storage.

Chad: Yeah, I know when sometimes we get done with our camping trip, you don’t want to pull the batteries out. It’s just as simple as just hitting that button. It’s just a power down.

Kevin: Exactly, and the nice thing is, is all of your, all of your hoses and what-have-you …

Chad: Yep.

Kevin: They’ll come underneath and then your slant latch baggage door will conceal it all.

Chad: Yep. Probably won’t be able to catch a slam-latch in this video just because of space-wise, but Josh, can you move a little bit around here? I want to have, I wanted you to take a look at the leveling system.

So, Lippert has designed a leveling system for Cougar to make it more convenient to camp.

Kevin: Yeah, so ground control 3.0 system, which is 4 point electric level up, so it’s 1 touch self-leveling … So no more cranking the jacks down or anything else. It’s going to level your coach out. It’s a great selling feature. If I was an owner of one, I’d have to have it.

Chad: Yep. While we’re in here too Josh, can you see all the welded aluminum up there in that top … So it’s not screwed. You can see why this trailer … It probably only weighs about 10,000 pounds. Are we close on that?

Kevin: Yeah, it’s a 4-slide coach, which we talked about.

Chad: Yep …

Kevin: A 337 FLS that weighs 9800 lbs. dry weight.

Chad: And that’s how they do it. It’s not by, it’s not [00:02:00] by building shorter slides or building it with inferior features. They use better construction, and that’s why the Cougar for so long has been number 1 in the industry.

I want to point out the slide mechanism on this too Josh. Can you kind of scoot over towards me a little bit here? Cable driven …

Kevin: Cable driven slide.

Chad: Cable driven slides on this, so you’ll notice here we’ve got the cable driven on the bottom part. This is made by Lippert.

Kevin: Merkel.

Chad: Merkel, okay? This is made by Merkel, and if we look up top we have another spot as well way up top there. You can see the cable driven, so Kevin, tell us the advantage of the cable driven slide.

Kevin: The advantage, one of the advantages of the cable driven slide will be A, will be weight.

Chad: Yep.

Kevin: It’s going to take out a lot of weight versus a rack and pinion slide, but the nice thing about the Merkel slide system … It’s a true 4 point seal all the way around, because your motor will drive it in and then it will drive it out to ensure that tension right there, which gives you a complete seal around your coach.

Chad: Yep, we don’t have those big bars hanging like we used to down below using, they used to just use pressure to hold the top and a lot of leaks developed from that.

Kevin: Yeah, so and then in your slide system you have a 3 point system as far as seals. You have your inner seal, it’s there. This is your wipe seal, and then this will be your bulb seal right here … So when the slide comes in it’s going to come up right to that area and it’s going to give it a complete seal.

Chad: And, we have that also additional pulling at the top and the bottom to make it a great seal on this.

Kevin: The last thing on our slides, which is really important to the customer, is they’re full walk able slides, so not only do you have a full walk able roof with our construction … But our slides are full walk able as well.

Chad: One thing we probably missed on the inside is guys, there are a lot of ways to buy the wrong product. I can tell you, people don’t realize, 90% of the RV’s out there don’t insulate slide floors, don’t insulate slide ceilings. You can’t see it unless the sales guy points it out to you. You guys do Astro Foil?

Kevin: Yeah, we do Astro Foil insulation to the main body of your coach, which gives you a rating of zero degrees.

Chad: Yep.

Kevin: We’re rated and tested for zero degrees. We’ve got that through Dometic, and then we also insulate our slide rooms as well [00:04:00] so it can control the hot-cold exchange.

Chad: Yep, beautiful setup, guys, and that’s where you go … You see products out there like, you know, The Wild Cross … Just to throw names out there, not to pick anybody out, but there is industry stuff out there that is not even close to the quality but yet is only $1000 less. With our discounts that we’re giving you can get to a nicer coach at a better price of better quality,

Let’s take a look on the other side. I want to show you some pass-through storage stuff and I also want to look a little bit more closely at the, about the leveling system on it …

Kevin: Perfect.

Chad: so we’ll cut to the other side.

Alright, so we’re back at the front of the coach. There’s some really high tech stuff that not a lot of people notice at first, but once you take a closer look … Another great reason why to buy a Cougar.

Kevin, front cap. There’s 100 different ones on the market. Why have you guys designed this one here?

Kevin: Here, our front cap … A couple of things. A lot of people just walk by and look at it and don’t talk about it. It’s a great selling feature for us. The first thing that we did, Chad, is we bought a paint facility.

Chad: Yep.

Kevin: And we actually paint our front caps and then clear coat it, versus the companies out there, the other companies competition, so-called competition …

Chad: Yes.

Kevin: They still purchase from the supplier a dyed-front cap, which will eventually down the road chalk or fade …

Chad: We’ve seen that happen here in the industry.

Kevin: So you’ve got a painted front cap that’s clear-coated. You have running LED lights, then you have patented hitch vision.

Chad: Yep.

Kevin: Hitch vision’s great. How many times do you backup your truck into your camper and then have to continue to get out to look to see if you match up? Now you just use your rear view mirror, match it up with your patented hitch vision and slide right in.

Chad: Pretty cool here. This is called the Cougar remote. You’re the first guys in the industry I’ve ever seen have this, so from inside my truck I can raise and lower the landing gear so I look into my rear hitch vision. I look at my hitch. I can lower and raise, or lower and raise the landing gear in the front, so I don’t have to get out of my truck to hook up.

Kevin: It also controls all your slides.

Chad: Nice. Awning?

Kevin: Awning as well.

Chad: Good deal, so this is called a Cougar Remote. It comes with every Cougar 5th wheel.

Kevin: Correct.

Chad: Nice, nice, so tell me a little bit … We talk about max-turn technology. What is max-turn technology, Kevin?

Kevin: Max-turn technology. Instead of just taking our front cap and rounding it, what we did is we cut into our front cap and gave it that [00:06:00] 78 degree turning radius, which will allow a customer, if he has a short bed truck and not have a slider hitch and he won’t be able to pop out his back window.

Chad: Yeah, I mean we still suggest slider hitches for those small trucks …

Kevin: Absolutely.

Chad: … But it definitely helps increase turning radius.

Kevin: It’s going to increase your turning radius, especially some of the tight campgrounds that you get into. It will help you wheel around that.

Chad: Josh, you catch this from the video? Look how we’ve wrapped that cap around here, so this wall actually extends out to here. We’ve got additional, no seams on the front of this camper at all, so what we’ve done is we’ve wrapped that sidewall over a true cap. It’s not a half cap like we’ve seen on some of the prime time stuff. This is a true cap on the front of your 5th wheel.

I call this wet storage. As you guys can see here, I’ve got a battery hooked up to it so it’s kind of a mess at the moment, but that’s what we call wet storage. You got stuff in there. You want to put your rug, anything. Your hoses, those sort of things. Great spot for it.

Kevin: Sure. Yeah. Can we walk over and show you the pass-through storage?

Chad: Yeah, you got it.

Kevin: So, the nice thing … We talked about it. You couldn’t catch it in the last shot, but what we did add is a slam-latch baggage door. It’s an insulated door, slam-latch. The next thing that we added is we talked about the pass-through storage and what we’re going to give your customer. We’ve got a great couple selling features.

First of all, it’s lighted pass-through storage so you can see what you need at night. We also added a 110 outlet with a cable outlet, so you can hook up a TV to the outside and watch the race.

The next thing that we did Chad, for our customers, is we added the bulkhead divider. That’s going to prevent anything that you have stored in here to creep into the wet storage. We want to keep that stuff separate, so we’ll give you the bulkhead divider, and then being innovative we came up with pass-through storage plus. That’s going to help you with some secure storage, maybe some tools or something that you don’t want running into your patio furniture or what-have-you. It’s going to be pass-through storage plus, secure storage.

Chad: I do know in the front living rooms it’s really hard to get storage up front. You guys have done a great job with it, but as we look at some of your other best sellers like the [00:08:00] 327, you guys even have bigger storage up here.

Kevin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad: It’s really a nice fit, and this is a heated … This spot has heat in it as well, so guys when we talk about being insulated, it’s so important that this coach is rated to zero. It’s one of the few out there that’s actually been tested. A lot of them just put on a sticker, say they’re rated to zero.

Kevin: They come up with their own R value.

Chad: Yeah.

Kevin: We actually got tested and rated by Dometic.

Chad: Yeah, so as we move over here let’s talk about the windows a little bit, so …

Kevin: The windows, a nice feature that we added here is we give you a frame less window. You’re bringing those in on all of your coaches. It just gives it a sleeker look that ties in to your high gloss Medina sidewall.

Chad: Yep. At Pete’s RV Center here, we option with the discount packages we get and the pricing that Cougar has set forth, we price, we option almost 99% of our trailers fully loaded … Frameless windows, solid surface counter tops.

On the outside here, take a quick look at this. It’s hard to see from the video but there’s a big difference in the finish of this than on other brands out there.

Kevin: Yeah, instead of just regular colored Filon fiberglass sidewall, we use a high gloss medallion to just keep it cleaner and it has that nice rich look.

Chad: Yeah, so Kevin we’ve kind of gone over our limit here, but I appreciate your time on this.

Kevin: Yeah.

Chad: Guys, if you’re looking for a mid-profile 5th wheel or even a full-profile 5th wheel, Cougar can fit your bill. You guys have a ton of great floor plans and an industry leader for a long, long time

Kevin: Yeah.

Chad: Thank you for your time today, Kevin.

Kevin: Thanks for having me, Chad.

Chad: Next time for your RV, think Pete’s RV Center. We’ve got a lot of RV’s in stock. We’d love to make one of them yours.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at:

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Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome - Reasons to Consider a 5th Wheel | Pete’s RV Quick Tips

May 1st, 2015 by josh | Posted in Fifth Wheels, Motorhomes, RV Buyer Tips, RV Sales | No Comments »

When it comes to full-time camping many are uncertain about choosing the right type of unit. The debate has always been, “do I choose a fifth wheel or a motorhome?”  RV Lifestyle Consultant Joe Vartuli discusses five key points to take in consideration, and why a fifth wheel might be a better fit on the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel.

1.  Interior Space/Ceiling Height. Typically, fifth wheels provide more living space, especially if equipped with multiple slideouts. Slideout widths are generally smaller in motorhomes to allow for people to move about the cabin, which produces less living space. Also factor in large interior ceiling heights in fifth wheels, and you’ll feel more at home.

2.  Furniture/Appliances.  Large size residential amenities provide that home away from home feeling, with optional items such as central vac,  solid surface counter tops, and also larger AC units, heating systems, and appliances depending on the model of fifth wheel.

3.  Storage. The combination of exterior and interior storage provides extra space to bring along any and all items. Because there is no engine or cabin, fifth wheels generally have large bulk head storage for bigger sized items.

4.  Towing vs Driving.  As Joe mentions, 80% of people end up towing along another vehicle behind their motorhome, whereas with a fifth wheel you always have a dependable tow vehicle with you, allowing you to easily unhook and travel wherever you would like. Either way, you will be towing something.

5.  Cost/Maintenance. Insurance plays a key role in cost for owning a motorhome because there are more moving parts. A fifth wheel can be up to 30% cheaper to insure than a motorhome. Plus, you have to factor in all general maintenance items like the chassis, tires, wheel bearings, brakes, compressed air systems, hydraulic systems, oil changes, etc.  Overall, maintenance costs will run higher for a motorhome vs a fifth wheel simply because of the mechanics and build.

As you can see there are many factors to determine whether or not a motorhome or fifth wheel is more suitable for you and your family. As Joe explains, fifth wheels will provide you with more livability, which is better for longer stays, and motorhomes may be better suited for quicker stop and go trips. We hope we shed some insight on the differences to help make your decision making more educated.

Pete’s RV Center is an extraordinary recreational vehicle dealer with locations in South Burlington, VT and Schererville, IN. An RV sales and service provider since 1952, Pete’s RV Center carries an extensive inventory of Keystone, Crossroads, Coachman, Heartland, Evergreen and Forest River RV-branded campers.  We can be reached at 1-888-902-9352.

Video Transcript for “Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome - Reasons to Consider a 5th Wheel | Pete’s RV Quick Tips (CC) ”

Hi, I’m Joe Vartuli, RV Lifestyle Consultant, here at Pete’s RV Center in South Burlington, Vermont. I’m going to do a little bit of a buyer’s tip here. We’re actually doing a Fifth-Wheel versus a motorhome. I want to give you reasons why you should consider a Fifth Wheel if you were thinking you were in the market for a motorhome and depending on how you use it, how the Fifth Wheel can benefit you, alright?

some of the few things that we’re going to go over in kind of this quick video is interior space ceiling height. If you’ll notice, I’m in a triple slide right now. This has tremendous amount of floor space in it. It has lots of storage everywhere. It’s all very usable.  also, the ceiling heights are incredible in the Fifth-Wheels. The, no matter how tall you are, you’re not going to hit the ceiling. It’s,  it gives you the feeling of space and openness, which a lot of people like.

a couple of the other things is the furniture.  some of our units have very, very plush furniture in ‘em. The Fifth Wheels, this unit here in particular has heated massage, theater seating, that actually has a power reclining in it. So it’s, it’s all right at your fingertips,  LED lighting and solid-surface counter tops.  frameless windows on a lot of our fifth wheels, fireplaces, central vacuum systems if they don’t come with a, with a Dyson already.

also Josh just showed you the full residential style of refrigerator, which is coming in more and more of the,  the high-midline and upper-end Fifth Wheels. Big appliances. This one has a 30-inch, over-the-counter Microwave that you can see, and we are in a Bighorn 3875 so I will mention that.  this is a, a front bathroom model, has a lot of great features.

But back to what we were talking about, otherwise I’ll keep rambling.  storage. You notice the cabinetry everywhere inside of here. So inside and out, Fifth Wheels give you a tremendous amount of storage. On the outside, you have pass-through [store 00:01:59] [00:02:00], which we can’t show you here, but tremendous pass, pass-through compartments. Drills, chairs,  blocks, whatever you need to put in there, even a s-, small refrigerator will fit in some of the,  the outside storage compartments on these units. So you can bring everything with you. All right?

Towing and driving. One thing with a Fifth-Wheel is you’re only going to have one motorized vehicle.  80% of motorhome b-, motorhome buyers will end up towing a car, maybe a trailer with a motorcycle in it, but they end up towing something.

This, you have a nice tow vehicle with you all the time, so you always have a good dependable vehicle.  once you’re unhitched at the campground you go to,  state park, wherever you are, you have a reliable unit that you can go anywhere with.

next thing is cost and maintenance. Insurance cost on this is, is a fraction of what a motorhome would be. So it’s, it’s a third of what an average, maybe even a gas-class A would be.  maintenance is very simple because it’s not another motorized vehicle.

You have your roof system to take care of, you keep it clean, you have your brakes and your, your axles. You keep your bearings lubed. And that’s not a whole lot more that you need to do with a, with a camper. A few other small items, but with another motorized vehicle, you have the chass, you have the oil changes, the transmission fluids. You have a whole other motor vehicle that you have to take care of. And the ins-, like I said, again the insurance is a big part of it. There is a lot more.

Also going back a little bit to the towing, if you have the right-sized pickup, mated to the Fifth Wheel that you want, you back in, you drop your tailgate, you stop into your hitch, you put up your power legs and away you go. It’s very, very simple.

a lot of people ask me when they come in during the week, you know, I, really want a motorhome because it’s, it’s, because I want to move a lot. We want to be going every one or two days here and there. It w-, the motorhomes will work terrific for [00:04:00] that.

That being said, if you want to do extended stays at any point, the Fifth Wheel gives you much more livability in it.  it will give you more space, more storage. Some of them have two bathrooms.  bigger furnace systems, bigger air-conditioning systems until you get into your really high-end level diesel pusher motorhomes.

In a lot of ways, we’re trying to tell you the Fifth Wheel will give you a great option if you’re willing to look at it. I hope you enjoyed this buying tip from Pete’s RV. My name is Joe.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at:

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How to Choose the Proper Tires for your RV

April 22nd, 2015 by Phil | Posted in RV Maintenance, RV Service Tips | No Comments »

There’s nothing worse than getting caught out in the middle of the boonies with a blown out tire. This unfortunate situation can easily be prevented simply by choosing the right tires for your RV. Often, people will choose tires that are far below the load carrying capacity of their vehicle and simply cannot support the weight. Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you choose the right tires for your RV.

ST or LT?

ST (Special Trailer) tires are designed specifically for vehicles that need to tow heavy loads such as trailers or boats. For self-motorized RV’s such as motorhomes or campers, LT tires are just fine, and are actually more popular as they have higher speed ratings. ST tires have a speed rating of 65 mph, meaning they are not meant to be driven faster than that designated speed. Designed with stronger sidewall technology, ST tires are made specifically for hauling heavy loads without giving out while cornering or turning. LT (Light Truck) tires are made with much more general specifications and can be driven at higher speeds. In addition to RV’s, other vehicles that generally employ LT tires include vans, trucks, and SUV’s.

Understanding Tire Measurements

Choosing the right tire size is essential for ensuring your safety on the road. Here are some common measurements to look for in a tire.


Section width is the measurement of the widest part of the tire’s inner wall to the outer wall. In a tire model number, it is the first 3-digit number and is expressed in millimeters.

Aspect Ratio

This measurement is also known as section height. It is expressed as a percentage of the tread width. For example, with this model number ST175/80-R13, the section height is 80% of the section width (175), for a section height of 140 millimeters.

Internal Construction

The letter following the aspect ratio in a tire name indicates the internal construction of the tire. Most tires will have “R” for radial construction. It is by far the most popular type of tire, representing 98% of tire sales.

Wheel Diameter

Wheel diameter is the measurement of the diameter of the wheel. In our example tire model number ST175/80-R13, the 13 measurement indicates that the wheel is 13 inches across.

Load Capacity

One of the most important measurements is the load carrying capacity of a tire. First, you need to weigh your vehicle to understand the full weight that will be supported on your tires. Make sure to weigh it with all persons and items that you will be traveling with on board, to get the most accurate rating. All tires come with a Load Index number, which correlates to the max amount of weight it can support. You can use a chart to figure this out, just remember to multiply that weight by the number of tires you will have on your vehicle.

Terrain and Climate

If you plan on driving off road or in snowy areas, you may need to get a specific type of tire that can handle difficult terrain.

A big thanks from Kevin Gallagher from Big Brand Tires for contributing this article to the RV Info Blog.  If you are in the Goleta, CA area and needing tires or service work on your auto or RV, visit his store. Super Yelp reviews!

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2015 Prism Class B Motorhome Features Video | Pete’s RV Buyer Tips

April 17th, 2015 by josh | Posted in Coachmen, General RVs, Motorhomes, Pete's RV Video pReView, Prism, Product News, RV Buyer Tips | No Comments »

Whether exploring the countryside on a weekend getaway or transporting the soccer team, Prism gets you there in style. It’s the perfect marriage between experience, dependability and value from the Industry’s premier Class C maker with the economy and prestige of the Mercedes diesel chassis.

RV Lifestyle Consultant Joe Vartuli walks you through the grand features found in Prism Class B Motorhomes (using a 24J for the demo) including:

  • Aluminum Rims
  • Full Body Paint - Red Cobalt
  • Fiberglass Front Cap w/ Sunroof & Shade
  • Convection Oven
  • Queen Bed
  • Exterior Camp Kitchen Table
  • Power Awning
  • Slam Latch Trunk Doors
  • Mercedes Diesel Engine

Some additional features to “drive” you crazy over Prism class b motorhomes:

  • Roller Bearing Metal Drawer Guides
  • Front Sunroof w/Night Shade
  • Rotate/Recline 2-Tone Pilot & Passenger Seats
  • Generator
  • Powered Roof Hatch
  • Hardwood Cabinet Doors
  • Exterior Entertainment Center
  • Roller Day/Night Window Shades
  • Side View/Rear View Cameras

Be sure to browse all features and specifications for Prism class b motorhome floorplans at!

Video Transcript for “2015 Coachmen Prism Class B Motorhome Features (Part 1 of 2)”

Hi folks.  Joe back again on the inside of the 2015 Prism Coachman. Our new touring line of diesel vans that we’re carrying here at Pete’s.  both Indiana and Vermont I want to make sure you know that.  some things on this, you can see the skylight in the front here, and that has a nice shade that comes down to block the sun out in the, in the evening when you’re sleeping. But also it will slide right up, and now you have full natural light coming in. Same thing with this one here as well. You have two shades on this. You have a dark one, you also have one that’s just like a day shade, more of a screen.

a couple of nice features to let natural light in, that way your, your coach is not dark.  you’re going to look up in the front a little bit here Josh. You can show them  the cockpit area. And you can see the seats really, really are nice supple leather. Automatic transmission, full entertainment center and that, the  entertainment center here too as well has the back-up camera and so when you’re backing up it will show you, along with your side views as well. Well go right into that screen.

Airbags, both passenger and for the driver obviously, okay.  a couple of other things on the front you’re going to notice. This one has the u-shaped dinette in it. With it has seat belts built in so your passengers can come with you. Cup holders in the back. And as I’m working my way back here, this is your day shade, all right. It’s a roller shade so it’s much more durable than the old style they were using, the pleated blinds. And then you also have your full night shade right here.

All right LED lighting everywhere in this coach. It has a soft insulated roof system. It’s all ducted air conditioning. You can see the duct work throughout here. We’re going to go in the kitchen a little bit. Now actually I didn’t show you the,[00:02:00] there’s another entertainment center here, so besides what we showed you outside, there’s another flat screen [gents 00:02:04] in here. Along with the  the DVD system that is right here as well. And that is Bluetooth ready, so all the functions that you have on your, your portable devices will work in this.

solid surface counter tops, split sinks, residential-style faucets as well. You’re going to see, this is, this is a really neat feature, everybody complains I there’s no outlets. You have a pull up of two outlets here, plus two USB ports as well. Also light switch is up on the top, you’re always going to see a metal blind where your stove is or your sink, that way it, it, it’s a safety feature, okay.  cabinetry is deep, and they are Morrison Tenet Cabinetry. They’re pre-screwed, and put up.

Now I was talking on the outside of a supplemental heat system. This is a 15,000 BTU air conditioning system but it also has a heat pump in it. So on a day when it’s 50, 55, and you want to put some, you don’t want to turn on a traditional furnace in here, you would use the heat pump in this system. It will keep the coach fairly warm at a medium temperature okay. it’s not meant for 30 degree nights, but in the 50’s if you want to keep the coach a little bit warmer, you would use the heat pump on this. Just another, another supplemental way of, of  of climate control on your coach.

And, this one has the, you want to come over to this side Josh, to show them the other twin bed? So you have a little bit more of a full bed I should say in here. And this one has the upgraded Serta Mattress in it, a pillow top. It’s nice and thick, it’s very comfortable. And you can see similar storage throughout. You have a vent for ventilation over the top of the bed. I’ll open up the,  the bathroom here.  porcelain foot-flush toilets in all the [00:04:00] Prisms, along with glass  glass showers. Some may be angular, this one is actually though the square style.

Stainless steel laboratory sink in here, also your opening medicine cabinet. Shirt ward, you could put  other shelves in here too if you wanted to. There’s lots of storage. We have pillows in here for the  for the u-shaped dinette as well.  you have a pantry, three shelves. And the, show them the floor Josh. So you have it’s what we call a thick rubberized congoleum.  we call it the bow floor. It’s very cold weather crack resistant, it’s very easy to keep clean. It’ll last forever. It’s super durable.

another thing, full extension roller ball bearing drawer glides. Four-side wood, five-side wood, all the way out. Well we kind of hope you like this, this little more of an overview with this, on this, the, the 2015 Coachmen Prism.  once again we do equip our coaches with generators, heat pump systems, full body paint,  convection microwaves, two-way refrigerators. All those we do standard here at Pete’s. Call us for the best price you’re going to find in the East Coast or in Indiana. Thank you, I’m Joe with Pete’s RV and thanks for thinking Pete’s.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at:

Video Transcript for “2015 Coachmen Prism Class B Motorhome Features (Part 2 of 2)”

Hello, I’m Joe Vartuli, RV Lifestyle consultant here at Pete’s RV Center in Vermont. And we’re going to do a video on the Coachmen Prism Touring Van. this is a new product at Pete’s RV. We’ve brought something in that two people can travel with in comfort, bring guests now and then if they want to. very fuel efficient, a lot of fun to drive, and have some great looks on, great looks and features as well. I’m not going to do a model-specific on this. It kind of an overview of all of them, but you’re going to notice the aerodynamic front.

This one has the red cobalt blue paint but there are a couple of other options you can do with a full-body paint as well. all the coaches are going to have LED lighting. they’re going to have side view cameras, they’re going to have a rear camera, backup camera as well. a stainless steel wheel-liners. we’ll always bring them in with these options. I’m going to open up, the passengers door where you can see the cab, the cabin, and it’s very sporty.

You have a Mercedes Benz stick shift up here. also your, your stereo system, all-dash AC and everything along with your, your RV air conditioning that comes with it as well. These seats swivel, they tilt back, there’s a lumbar support. So they’re very, very comfortable. And once again I can’t stress enough how much fun these really are to drive. you wouldn’t think that it would be but, 24 feet on this Chastity is really a lot of fun. going to walk around to the side a little bit here.

All right we’re in a little bit of a tight area but see the LED the LED entry light on the outside? You have a nice black um, power awning on here as well. Full entertainment center on the outside, you have an LED TV, along with a stereo system. You also have Jacks here for you could put other, plug other speakers in, you can plug your iPad into it, your laptop, run Netflix through it, [00:02:00] whatever you want. It’s just another more modern-day feature that they’re doing now a days.

also a 20,000 BTU furnace, is a su-is the, the main heating system on this. There’s also a supplemental and I’ll show you that on the inside. we’ve been ordering our with the pull-out utility table. This folds up, slides right into this, this this compartment area. You don’t even know it’s here, but yet when you’re at the campground, you have a place for drinks, you have a place for food, whatever you need to use it for it’s here for you. And that’s built in. And also storage is great on all the the Prism models. Not just this one but all the Prism models, they give you ample storage, in a small touring coach.

All right we’ll go around to the back a little bit here. You have the wiring all set up and a, and a receiver, a class three receiver. you could tow, you could put a pod in here for more storage. You could do a, a bicycle rack, you could do, tow a small motorcycle trailer, a lot of different things you can do with it. And this Chasity will tow up to 3500 pounds, okay. Come around to the side, of course see the led auto style lighting.

And I’m going, we’re going to back up a little bit on the coach on the side. That way you can see how nice this paint really looks. So it is from top to bottom. Stainless steel wheel liners you can see it with the dual wheels in the back. You also have an outside utility shower, hot and cold water. And your black tank hookups are underneath that back storage compartment on this coach. They’re going to be different places on the other three models.

[00:04:00] All of ours come through with a 3.6 kilowatt Holman Generator, so you have your own power source all the time when you’re on the road. You don’t have to worry about hooking up, if you get stuck for a night and you can’t make it to the campground, you have your own power source to run everything in the, in the touring van. Come around to this front again Josh, and we’ll go on in to the inside. also slide awning packages we put on here, so over the tops of the slide outs, we put the awnings over it. And those are black kind of to go with the, the red cobalt that this coach has.

With those they protect the top of the slide out from debris, branches, pine cones, whatever, whatever you’re in the woods with, it won’t ruin your slide out seal system. It’s good protection.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at:

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Forget Me Not…or Forget About It?

April 10th, 2015 by Phil | Posted in Camping Lifestyle | No Comments »

We campers always seem forget something when packing up for the weekend or vacation. Sometimes it’s a situation where we can buy another one at the campground general store.  Other times, forgotten items can’t be easily replaced, or it’s unreasonable to do so.

Make a list and check it twice, right?  We’d love to think those lists we’ve all written–some in excruciating detail–guarantee no items get left behind.  That’s a laugher!

Ever make a list compiling the items forgotten on your camping trips?  I did this once with interesting results. An experiment of sorts; when you realize you forgot something that was on your mind or your list to bring, start a new list. But here is the catch. Unless it in necessary, do not go buy it, go without it for this trip. After your trip is over and you made it back home safe and sound, look at the list of all the things you forgot or wish that you had brought. Now write down next to each item, what impact not having that item had on your trip. I think you will be surprised with the answers.

For example: I forgot our laptop computer one time.  I use it to download my photos of our adventures while camping.  I obviously did not run out and buy another one. I went without it. And after my camping trip, I found that the impact of me not having that laptop was very positive. Although I did not get to download my photos, I also did not spend a bunch of time looking at my e-mail, Facebook page and surf the news.  Refreshingly, I spent more time outside the camper, going for walks around the campground, at the pool or playing with the kids.

Another example which was not so family-friendly was forgetting the extra towels–leaving only three to share between the five of us.  Not wanting to buy more on top of the stockpile at home, we roughed it.  After each use, we hung them on the line to air dry for the next person.  It all worked out just fine AND I no longer forget to pack enough towels!

The kids learned something about forgetting things. Our little one forgot her favorite stuffed animal.  The one she sleeps with every night. “Oh no!” she said. “How will I sleep for three nights without it?”  She quickly discovered when the body is tired after a very active day of camping, sleeping was not a problem without her stuffed animal.

Food and grocery items are probably the most forgotten things when packing for camping trips.  However, there seems to always be a way to make amends.  One time we forgot the pancake mix.  No worries. We had eggs, flour, sugar, and milk to make the batter from scratch.  Same scenario when the kids prized Lucky Charms cereal went unpacked.  Mom whipped up an incredible fruit bowl and toast that the kids boasted as being the best breakfast ever.

Whether it’s batteries, bikes or bug spray, with a little ingenuity and creativity, there always seems to be a solution to work through a family camping trip forgotten item (mind you, we’re not ascending the Alps!). Better yet, it is amazing the outcome on so many of the items on your “forgotten” list that are truly non-essential and actually take away from the camping experience.

Provided by Chuck Lundberg. See more of what he and others are liking on the Facebook page!

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Another Successful Year for Big Change Roundup Fundraiser Supporting Vermont Children’s Hospital

March 15th, 2015 by Phil | Posted in General RVs, Pete's News, Vermont | No Comments »

RV Info Blog Editor’s Note:  For those of our Pete’s RVing community outside of Vermont, you may not be aware that for the past several years we provided a motorhome for the “Big Change Roundup for Kids”.  The following note is from coordinator Steve Pelkey with wonderful news on this year’s efforts to raise money for University of Vermont Children’s Hospital.  Way to go Steve and everybody involved with the event!  We’re pleased to hear “Bandit 1: The Pete’s RV Coach for Kids” once again made it through the frequently sloppy winter weather, allowing staff to arrive safely at their many scheduled stops over the last couple of months.

Hi Terry and Phil…

Another year of WOKO’S Big Change Roundup for Kids has come and gone…but not without making a BIG statement…$292,755.96 raised for the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital!!!

Last year we ended at $227,000…and trickled to $268,000 in the month that followed.  This years number will likely advance beyond the 300K mark!!!

The Pete’s RV Coach for Kids visited more schools, events, business’s, and individuals than ever…and indeed is the icon that cheers on Change Bandits in their events across the region.  In fact as more individual fundraising events are added to the calendar for “Big Change”…organizers almost always request an appearance from the RV…It makes a statement of big goals, and BIG success, helping sick local kids and their families.  Let’s see…a dart tournament, billiards tournament, a Big Change carnival, a Polar Bear Plunge, an Arctic Challenge, 2 Gymkhana’s, a couple spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfast, a Giant bottle drive…throw in a Zumbathon, etc….and you get a feel for some of the events the RV visits and lends support to.  Quite simply it’s “Publishers Clearing House”…make people feel part of something huge…and it will be!

We’ve even taken to RV-Bombing individual Change Bandits at home on the weekends…When we knock on their doors often they’re eating breakfast around the kitchen table…kids see the RV out front, Dr. First wishing them good morning and thanks for helping in the Big Change Roundup…blows em’ away every time!

Pete’s RV’s support has helped this event fund cutting edge, acute pediatric care…providing research, support, and services for children and families facing big challenges.  It wouldn’t be “Big Change” without Pete’s RV!!!

Thank you for your continued investment and support in helping local kids…and for being a great partner in The Big Change Roundup for Kids !!!

Thank you again!

Steve Pelkey

Operations Manager
Hall Communications Inc.

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Intern Scott Kliczewski Gives Thoughts on Time Spent at Pete’s RV

December 22nd, 2014 by intern | Posted in Pete's News, Vermont | No Comments »

pRV Blog Editor’s Note:  With all of the hip marketing agencies and technology companies nestled in Burlington, Vermont, it can be challenging to get college students to consider Pete’s RV for their senior internship.  But our program’s reputation continues to gain exposure since it’s inception in 2011, resulting in a terrific run of interns from UVM and Champlain College. The following summary was shared with Pete’s RV by Scott Kliczewski. He came to us from Champlain’s business program.

The time I spent at Pete’s RV Center this semester was invaluable to furthering both my professional skills in a business setting and overall knowledge of marketing. Coming into this internship I had very little experience of digital marketing and none with the RV industry. This internship allowed me to dive deeper into the marketing strategy of a successful business and gain valuable experience not available inside a classroom.   Since the internet has become such a large part of today’s world it is essential for businesses to build a strong online presence and maintain it with a well-designed digital marketing strategy.

In addition to marketing, it was extremely beneficial working closely with all of the departments within Pete’s RV.  I spent time with members of the sales team, service department and parts and accessories store gaining knowledge on how a properly run business operates. Interacting with customers during my internship at Pete’s RV was equally beneficial in understanding the importance of maintaining a high level of customer service.  I observed this first hand between Pete’s RV employees and their customers.  Either by phone or at the dealership, Pete’s RV does a really good job working out issues with customers and putting in the extra effort to send them away happy.

Internship bonus:  With confidence, I can now identify the differences between a fifth wheel and travel trailer (and many other RV-related facts)!

I would not trade my time at Pete’s RV Center for anything. I am very thankful to Marketing Manager Phil LeClair and the entire Pete’s RV family for giving me such an incredible opportunity to learn and grow. I look forward to going back to Pete’s RV this summer as a part-timer!

Students interested in an internship with Pete’s RV can apply via the Employment Opportunities page.

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