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New RV OEM, Echo Mfg., Launches in Elkhart

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April 13, 2011 by   Leave a Comment

Bandit travel trailer by Echo Manufacturing

Bandit travel trailer by Echo Manufacturing

A new RV manufacturer headed by an industry veteran is set to make a splash with its first product launch of lightweight travel trailers and a multi–purpose hauler — the “American Spirit,” the “Canadian Spirit” and the “Bandit APH.”

President Mike Scheetz of Echo Manufacturing, Elkhart, Ind., announced the new products, designed to be affordable and lightweight for those “wanting to haul and camp for less.” The Bandit is a hauler with 19-, 24- and 32-foot floorplans, The American Spirit, and Canadian Spirit are travel trailers with six floorplans ranging from 19 feet to 27 feet. Production of these products is now under way and the first units have arrived on dealer lots. “We’re taking orders,” Scheetz stated in a news release.

Bank of America floorplanning

Scheetz also announced that they have recently been approved for floorplanning by Bank of America. Qualified dealers should contact their Bank of America representative. “This is exciting news for our company and our customers, and will help us launch to the next level. We are honored to be partners with a top notch company like Bank of America.”

Scheetz has spent 15 years in the RV industry, extensively involved in RV development and sales. Former positions include vice president of motorized for a major RV manufacturer and product manager at several other notable companies.

Noting the Bandit’s 19-foot model’s base weight of 3,350 pounds and carrying capacity of 3,270 pounds., Scheetz said, “it’s a hauler that can almost carry its own weight” while being towed by a half-ton pickup or SUV. This allows plenty of “stuff” to come along for recreational activities, from tailgate parties to ATV excursions. It can also double as a work vehicle for construction projects and the like, all while providing comfortable RV living facilities.

The two “Spirits’ ” weight range is from 2,939 pounds to 4,257 pounds. “We’re building small, lightweight, and proven floorplans that the customers want. Not a lot of gadgets or glitz, just good, usable trouble-free products at the best price.”

Responsive to the retail customer

“Our game plan at Echo is to be a small but responsive RV manufacturer dedicated to giving the retail customer what they want in a quality product at a good price.,” said Scheetz. “We highly value our reputation and our integrity. We want to do right by the customer both in our product offerings and in our after-sales support. We stand behind everything we do.”

“We also think it important to listen to dealers and RVers about what people want to buy, rather than go with what we want to sell them. We intend to be very active in bringing new and innovative products to the RV market, but they must be products that we know the retail customer wants. To do this means, among other things, developing a close partnership with our dealers, who are on the front lines of RV sales.”

“Right now we’re building a network of dealers that share our core values,” Scheetz continued. “We want dealers who stand behind what they sell. We want RVers talking positively about us around the campfire.” Echo will provide sales and service throughout all of the United States and Canada.

All about personal service

“Our aim is to grow the company, of course,” said Scheetz. “But we also want to keep it a manageable size. We’re not looking to be the biggest. I don’t want three layers of management between me and our dealers. I want them to call me directly. This is all about personal service, between us and our dealers, and between us and our retail customers.”

The Echo manufacturing facility, located on the north side of Elkhart, currently employs 17 people, with more to be added as production increases.

“I’ve had some great rides in this business,” said Scheetz. “I’m looking forward to another one.”

For more information, visit www.echorv.com, email sales@echorv.com, or call Mike Scheetz at (574) 333-3669.

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