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RVIA Annual Review Recaps ’05 Results

April 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Record across-the-board RV wholesale shipments in 2005 – led by conventional travel trailer deliveries – capped the RV industry’s best four-year stretch since the mid-1970s. That is among the conclusions contained in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 2005 Annual Review. Manufacturers shipped a total of 384,000 units, an increase of 3.9% from 2004’s record total. Led by a nearly 25% increase in conventional travel trailer shipments, towables accounted for 323,000... Read more

El Monte, Friend Tap into UK Market

April 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Friend Communications and El Monte RV have expanded their partnership to serve the emerging demand for U.S. RV rentals by vacationers from the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe. “Travelers from the UK can now conveniently book U.S. motorhome rental and campsite reservations through an exclusive UK website,” said Joe Laing, director of marketing for California-based El Monte RV, in a press release. “El Monte RV is responding to the growing trend of the U.S. as a popular travel destination for vacationers... Read more

AGI’s Bill Estes Announces Retirement

April 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Bill Estes, group publisher of RV publications for Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), announced his retirement after almost four decades as an influential journalist, book author and editor for a host of RV consumer publications by the Southern California firm. “I am very happy for Bill as he enters his long-awaited world of retirement,” said Mike Schneider, AGI president and CEO. “It will be very difficult for me personally, and all of us in the company to lose on a daily basis the guidance and support... Read more

Monaco Debuts Retooled HR Navigator

April 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Monaco Coach Corp. has redesigned its top-of-the-line Holiday Rambler Navigator diesel pusher motorhome for 2007 giving it 84-inch ceilings and new front and rear caps. Available in five 40- to 45-foot floorplans with three or four slideouts, the 2007 Navigator is built on Monaco’s proprietary 48,160-pound GVWR Roadmaster S-series chassis powered standard by a Cummins ISM-II 500-hp engine. Detroit Diesel and Cummins engines, rated at 515-hp and 525-hp, respectively, are optionally available.... Read more

Dutchmen Purchasing Plant in Idaho

April 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. formally announced Thursday (April 27) its plans to purchase a former potato processing plant in Burley, Idaho, and convert the facility for the production of recreational vehicles. According to the South Idaho Press, the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary expects the conversion to be completed by year-end and will initially employ 80 full-time workers with plans to expand to 200 over the next two years. A ceremony attended by local officials marked Thursday’s announcement.... Read more

Monaco to Hold Dealer Congress in June

April 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Some 550 dealers are expected to attend Monaco Coach Corp.’s 2006 Dealer Congress, June 26-28 at the Gaylord Palms, Orlando Fla. – the company’s first major dealer gathering since acquiring towable manufacturer R-Vision Inc. in November. Monaco will debut its 2007 model lineup at the meeting in addition to introducing some enhancements to its year-old Franchise of the Future program. “We are going to be giving our dealers some additional product,” said Mike Snell, Monaco vice president... Read more

Cavco Ramps up Texas Park Model Plant

April 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Cavco Industries Inc. this month has begun manufacturing recreational park trailers at a 90,000-square foot factory in Seguin, Texas “We’re going to be producing units for consumers and campground operators in Texas and throughout the eastern half of the United States,” said Tim Gage, Cavco vice president. The plant will initially employ 30 to 50 workers, but additional employees will be hired as production levels increase, Gage said. The units will be produced at a factory Cavco previously... Read more

Spartan Grows 1Q Profits, RV Sales Dip

April 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Spartan Motors Inc. today (April 27) reported its best-ever quarterly results, highlighted by a 119% increase in net earnings on a 16.6% increase in net sales for its first quarter ended March 31. The Charlotte, Mich.-based company, which builds custom motorhome chassis, fire truck chassis and emergency-rescue vehicles, reported net income of $4.5 million compared with $2 million a year ago while sales increased to $103.7 million from $88.9 million. Spartan attributed its fifth consecutive quarter... Read more

Gulf Stream Forms Toy Hauler Company

April 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

The principals of Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc. and some outside investors have formed EnduraMax LLC to produce an established line of sport utility recreational vehicles (SURVs). Formed in March, the new corporation has invested more than $1 million to convert a 74,000-square-foot Gulf Stream plant in Goshen, Ind., to specialize in the production of Gulf Stream’s Wide Open line of fifth-wheel toy haulers. Production of the motorized EnduraMax Gladiator toy hauler will be relocated... Read more

Senate Panel Calls for FEMA Dismantling

April 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Hurricane Katrina’s latest fatality should be FEMA, the nation’s disaster response agency, a Senate inquiry concluded in calling for a government overhaul to avoid future failures like those the devastating storm exposed. The Associated Press reported that 86 recommendations by the bipartisan panel indicate the United States is still woefully unprepared for a storm of Katrina’s scope with the start of the hurricane season little more than a month away. The recommendations conclude... Read more

2005 Park Model Shipments Set Record

April 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Park model trailer manufacturers reported nearly 10,000 shipments in 2005, representing an 8% gain over the 9,186 shipments recorded in 2004. According to the Newnan, Ga.-based Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), 2005 is the strongest period in the 20-year history of the park model business. “Years ago, nobody knew what park models were. It’s a different story now,” said Bill Garpow, executive director of RPTIA, which ensures that the 400-square foot units are built to nationally... Read more

Monaco Reports Record 1Q Revenues

April 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Monaco Coach Corp. reported a 17% gain in revenues and a nearly 60% improvement in net income during its fiscal 2006 first quarter, ended April 1. First-quarter revenues were $385.1 million compared to $328.8 million a year ago while net income rose to $8.3 from $5.3 million. The Coburg, Ore.-based manufacturer reported operating profits in all business units, citing the impact of restructuring along with the acquisition of towable builder R-Vision. Operating income for the first quarter increased... Read more

Airstream Celebrates 75th Anniversary

April 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s likely that you’ll arrive in the east-central Ohio village of Jackson Center before you even realize you’re in town. The village boundary driving east on two-lane Ohio Rt. 274 is marked by a small sign that’s easy to miss. And amid miles and miles of flat farmland, there’s no indication as you approach the community of just under 1,400 that one of the world’s icon recreation vehicles – Airstream travel trailers with their distinctive silver bullet shape... Read more

Slapstick ‘RV’ Movie Hits the Road Friday

April 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Robin Williams’ decade-long detour into serious business is over with “RV,” which opens at theaters on Friday (April 28). The Boston Herald reported that the hyperkinetic star is back in a slapstick comedy that finds Williams as ad exec Bob Munro, hauling his family from Los Angeles to Colorado in a recreational vehicle for fun. But he’s actually racing to reach a business meeting at a mountain resort to save his job. As Bob flails about with the oversized motorhome, knocking out stop signs... Read more

Winnebago to Introduce Entry-Level ‘C’

April 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc. will introduce a new entry-level Winnebago/Itasca minimotorhome during the Forest City, Iowa, manufacturer’s 2006 Dealer Days June 25-28 at the Mirage, Las Vegas, Nev. “The (Winnebago) Access and (Itasca) Impulse will appeal to those customers looking for an affordable entry-level RV that offers numerous conveniences and features,” said Roger Martin, vice president of sales and marketing. With GVWR ratings up to 14,050 pounds, the new Class C offers 22- to 31-foot... Read more

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