Spartan Motors CEO Sees ‘Late ’09’ Growth

April 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

John E. Sztykiel, CEO of Spartan Motors Inc., a chassis supplier to the RV industry, told investors during a conference call on Tuesday (April 28) that he expects from the company’s RV segment “flat to declining sales, with really the potential growth in late 2009, moving into 2010.” Sztykiel had these additional observations about the RV business: “As we looked to the motorhome market or the RV market, it is still in a very, very distressed state. As mentioned earlier, we... Read more

Canadian Dealer Eyes Fleetwood Plant

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A veteran Canadian RV dealer proposes to buy the Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. travel trailer plant in La Grande, Ore., and begin production there of a new product. Craig Little, owner of Arbutus RV & Marine Sales Ltd., Cobble Hill, British Columbia, told RVBusiness today (April 28) that he hopes to close on the purchase of the 103,000-square-foot plant and adjoining property in May and begin production yet this year. The proposed purchase price is $1.8 million, Fleetwood revealed in a motion filed... Read more

Düsseldorf Trade Fair Set for Aug. 29-Sept. 4

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Caravan Salon Düsseldorf, the world’s largest RV show, will provide a unique overview of all innovations for the 2010 season from Aug. 29 to Sept. 6 in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 10 halls, approximately 550 exhibitors will present motorhomes and RVs in all price categories, accessories and furnishing components as well as camping and campground equipment, tents/awnings and travel destinations. “We are delighted to be able to offer an overview of all areas of mobile home leisure activities... Read more

LaBella Updates Industry on Go RVing Efforts

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: Gary LaBella, vice president and chief marketing officer for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), offered RVIA members an update on the status of the Go RVing campaign in a recent letter. Excerpts follow: At this critical time for our industry, when consumers are slightly relaxing their grip on their wallets in response to deep discounting, we need to keep fighting for people’s discretionary dollars.  Go RVing can only spend what it has, but within this... Read more

ILI ‘Bullseye’ Electro-Mechanical Leveling Systems

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Ever set up camp and still think your rig was traveling down the highway? ILI has developed its Bullseye line, a new generation of electro-mechanical leveling systems to replace existing hydraulic leveling systems in the RV industry. With five years of testing at the OEM and consumer-level, the Bullseye is an automatic electro-mechanical leveling system that is available in folding and vertical models; both models are offered with a variety of lifting capacities depending on the size and weight of... Read more

Spartan’s Class A Chassis Sales Off 91.7%

April 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors Inc. reported today (April 28) that sales for its Spartan Chassis Inc. subsidiary, the company’s largest subsidiary and operating unit, decreased 60% year-over-year to $98.2 million for the quarter ending March 31. Spartan Chassis represented 85% of Spartan Motors’ total consolidated sales in the quarter. Spartan Chassis’ sales to the Class A diesel motorhome market decreased 91.7% year-over-year in the quarter, while backlog for RV chassis... Read more

Colorado RV Dealer Sees ‘Great Market’

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite the recession, people still need their recreation. That’s why Lakewood, Colo.-based Windish RV Center sees a golden opportunity in its new Del Camino location, according to the Longmont Daily Times-Call. “The whole northern Colorado market is a great market,” said Jim Humble, Windish general manager. “There’s a lot of RVs sold up here. There’s a lot of people that like to go camping up here but don’t want to drive to Denver.” While sales of... Read more

Settlement Helps Coachmen Make Q1 Profit

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Former RV manufacturer Coachmen Industries Inc. reported a loss from continuing operations for the first quarter ending March 31 but a profit when discontinued operations were factored in. Net sales from continuing operations for the first quarter were $11.3 million compared to $30.8 million reported for the same period in 2008. Gross profit for the quarter decreased to a loss of $2.1 million, from a profit of $5.5 million for the first quarter of 2008. The company reported a net loss from continuing... Read more

Pat Hittmeier Succeeds Ott at KOA Inc.

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

    Pat Hittmeier   Pat Hittmeier, a 28-year veteran of Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) home office in Billings, Mont., and most recently the vice president of its Sales and Campground Development Division, has been promoted to the position of COO for the 47-year-old company. Hittmeier replaces Shane Ott, who has resigned from the positions of president and COO of KOA Inc. The position of president will remain vacant, according to Jim Rogers, KOA’s CEO and chairman, and the duties... Read more

RVIA: Shipments Down 57.5% in March

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 Wholesale shipments of RVs to dealers rose in March compared to February, but remain well off the 2008    pace, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported today.  Shipments totaled 12,800 units for the month, down 57.5% from March 2008, RVIA reported. The month’s tally brought all shipments for the first quarter of 2009 to 30,400, down 63.2% from 82,600 units a year ago. January shipments totaled 7,300 units and February’s 10,300. Towable shipments in March totaled... Read more

Iowa Campers Survive Twister in Shower Rooms

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Most of the campers left Pinicon Ridge Park in Linn County, Iowa, on Sunday (April 26) before a twister ripped apart three recreational vehicles, damaged four others and tore apart trees. Tom Hazelton, special program manager with Linn County Conservation, said most of the campers left for home before the tornado hit late in the afternoon. Of those who remained, several sought shelter in a shower building. No injuries were reported, however one dog did not survive, according to the Des Moines Register. The... Read more

Texas Survey: Camping Still the Cheapest Vacation

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Ninety-two percent of RV enthusiasts camping in Texas RV parks and campgrounds say it’s cheaper to stay in a campground or RV resort than a hotel or motel, and many derive additional savings by cooking some or all of their own meals, according to the latest online survey by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). More than half of the survey respondents said they save anywhere from $20 to $50 a night by staying in a campground or RV resort, with an additional 25.7%  of respondents... Read more

‘The Rally’ Blogger Sees Better Times Already

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

(Editor’s Note: The following story was written by Bob Difley and first appeared on his blog on I’ve been teaching seminars at “The Rally” even before it was called that, when its official title was the eloquent Great North American Rally, or as it was known by its acronymn, the pirate-sounding GNAR. During this 10-year run, the RV industry, as well as the rally attendance, has risen and fallen on the whimsical gyrations of the economy, foreign oil prices, orange... Read more

Dicor Creates New Weather- and Chemical-Resistant Membrane

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Nothing is harder on a vehicle that spends its whole life outdoors than inclement weather. Dicor Corp. recently introduced a corrosion-resistant, multi-purpose membrane specially formulated for home, business, RV, automotive and marine applications that is formulated to be highly chemical resistant to gasoline, diesel fuel, anti-freeze, battery acid, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, cleansers and many other common chemicals. This new membrane, known as the TPO 442-CR, is a versatile product... Read more

Go RVing Ads on National Geographic Channel

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Go RVing’s advertising on the National Geographic Channel began in mid-April on such popular shows as National Geographic Presents and What Happened?  The award-winning ad campaign will kick into high gear at the official start of summer with its sponsorship of the channel’s Memorial Day Marathon, according to a news release.  In July, Go RVing leads up to its sponsorship of America‘s Wild Spaces with a 15-second, custom-created RV vignette that will air 15 times the week... Read more

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