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German Coach Features Unique ‘Garage’

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s the latest twist in the ongoing explosion of so-called “toy hauler” or “SURV” recreational vehicles – a diesel pusher motorhome with a cargo-hauling “garage” situated beneath the carriage and between the wheel wells. German manufacturer Volkner Mobile RV is showing this unique storage slideout, large enough to accommodate a low profile car, at Caravan Salon ’06, an international trade fair of recreational vehicles, mobile homes and camping equipment at the fairgrounds... Read more

Freightliner to Continue Selling Sprinter

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

DaimlerChrysler Motors Corp. LLC’s Freightliner Corp. truck dealerships will continue to sell a Freightliner-badged Sprinter cargo van that has become popular in the RV industry as a high-mileage van camper and Class C chassis. DaimlerChrysler earlier had said that Sprinters would be sold after the first of the year exclusively by Dodge dealerships under Dodge logo. “We are reacting to the market conditions,” said spokesman Randy Jones. “They have changed.” The move to keep... Read more

Former Thor California Execs Start OEM

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Two former Thor California executives have formed a towable manufacturing company in Southern California and plan to be rolling product out by fall, according to a report in the Press Enterprise, Riverside. “It’s not high-tech. It’s not like going to the moon,” said Tom Powell, chairman and chief executive officer at Pacific Coachworks in Riverside, noting experience has been key in getting the company off the ground. Powell, a 30-year RV industry veteran who partnered with... Read more

Stat Surveys: June Towable Sales Drop

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Towable retail sales fell in June from a year ago, down 6% for the month and 0.2% year-to-date, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc. It marked just the second time since last June that towable registrations showed a year-over-year decline. In March, the market was off 10%, while sales were flat, up just 0.2%, last month. Overall June towable sales fell to 31,328 units from 33,327 last year while 143,236 units were sold compared with 143,548 for the first six months. The... Read more

FreedomRoads Finalizes Revolving Credit

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Chicago area-based FreedomRoads LLC today (Aug. 31) announced it has closed a $404.5 million loan syndication, consisting of an amended floorplan credit facility and a revolving credit facility. According to a press release, the amended floorplan and revolving credit facilities will provide FreedomRoads, a national network of RV dealers, with added flexibility to support future growth and exceed the $2 billion sales mark. The transaction was led by J. P. Morgan Securities Inc., JPMorgan Chase Bank... Read more

SunnyBrook Holds Dealer Open House

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

SunnyBrook RV introduced four new products at its first-ever Dealer Open House Aug. 10 at its 68-acre complex in Middlebury, Ind. The marquis product among its new offerings is the Bristol Bay, a high-profile fifth-wheel featuring gel-coat fiberglass exterior, stylish fiberglass front cap, solid-surface kitchen countertop and bathroom lavatory, a faux marble shower, Euro style chairs with ottomans and an array of upscale options. The 33-foot Bristol Bay has an MSRP of $43,000 and is positioned between... Read more

Lippert’s 50th Embraces Family, Success

August 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

The agenda outlining activities during Lippert Components Inc.’s 50th Anniversary Weekend promoted a sailboat cruise and a golf tournament on a course designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. But the main draw at the gathering – held July 29-Aug. 1 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Northwest Michigan – was a celebration of family. Around 75 present and former workers, including the three members of the Lippert clan who have guided the firm over the years, were afforded a unique perspective into... Read more

NuWa Repositions Hitchhiker Towables

August 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Fifth-wheel manufacturer NuWa Industries Inc. has realigned and reduced the retail price on its 2007 Hitchhiker Discover America series while establishing the Hitchhiker Touring Coach as a lower-priced spin-off brand separate from Discover America. In addition, the Chanute, Kan.-based manufacturer has trimmed the price of its high-line Hitchhiker Champagne (MSRP $78,000) as much as $8,000 by allowing customers to pick their own amenities rather than pre-packaging them in groups. “We are emphasizing... Read more

Lazydays RV Celebrates 30th Anniversary

August 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Lazydays RV celebrated its 30th anniversary Tuesday (Aug. 30) with a breakfast event at the Seffner, Fla., dealership. According to a press release, Lazydays’ founder and Chairman Don Wallace spoke before more than 600 employees about the past, present and future of Lazydays. “This milestone will allow our employees to collectively celebrate the past, while looking ahead to the future,” said Wallace. “We are proud of the contributions Lazydays has been able to make to the... Read more

Peterson Industries Enters Canadian Market

August 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Peterson Industries Inc., manufacturer of the Excel line of high-end fifth-wheel RVs, has established its first dealership in Canada. According to a press release, Advantage Trailer World in Edmonton, Alberta, took delivery on their first unit in May and has since received several Excel fifth-wheels. Advantage owner Ted Trowsse noted that Excel’s guarantee against plumbing freezing down to zero degrees was an attractive feature in the Canadian marketplace. Family-owned Peterson also recently held... Read more

Monaco Names Honda Executive to Board

August 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Coburg, Ore.-based Monaco Coach Corp. has appointed Richard E. Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., to its board of directors. “With his many years of executive experience in the automotive industry, Dick will be a tremendous asset for Monaco Coach,” Kay Toolson, Monaco chairman and CEO said of Colliver, who heads up the Honda and Acura Automobile divisions. “He will be a valuable addition to our board, and brings a wealth of distribution and marketing... Read more

Travel Trailer Sector Boosts July Shipments

August 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Continued strength in July travel trailer shipments outweighed another double-digit drop in the motorized sector, resulting in a 4.8% increase in wholesale deliveries over last year. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported that 30,500 units were shipped to dealers’ lots in July compared with 29,100 a year ago. Through the first seven months, total RV shipments rose 13.1% to 255,500 units from 225,900 in 2005. For the 12th straight month, overall towable shipments outpaced last... Read more

Post-Katrina Trailer Policy Deemed Proper

August 29, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

The panel that oversees travel trailer sales in Louisiana acted within its authority when it suspended certain rules that ultimately allowed a politically connected River Ridge company to receive $100 million in federal contracts after Hurricane Katrina, the state’s inspector general says. The Associated Press reported that the Louisiana Recreational and Used Motor Vehicle Commission also acted properly in its investigation of the company, Bourget’s of the South, according to the report. The... Read more

Study Shows 45 Million Americans Camp

August 29, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group, 45 million Americans go camping. The Rocky Mountain News reported that from birdwatchers to mountain bikers, the active set accounts for almost $300 billion in annual retail sales and contributes more than twice that to the U.S. economy, according to a Boulder-based trade group. Outdoor recreationists shell out $46 billion a year on the gear they need to hit the woods, the rivers and the slopes, according to a recent... Read more

August Consumer Confidence Plummets

August 29, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

U.S. consumer confidence fell sharply in August, the Conference Board said Tuesday (Aug. 29). CBS MarketWatch reported that the consumer confidence index fell to 99.6 in August from a revised 107.0 in July. This is the sharpest drop since Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast. The index is at its lowest level since last November, when confidence was recovering from the hurricanes. The fall in August was sharper than expected. Economists expected the index to drop to 102.7 from the initial estimate... Read more

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